Mid Summer Report: Washington Capitals

download (31)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the Washington Capitals

Last Season’s Finish:  56-18-8, 120 pts, 1st in the Metropolitan Division, Lost in the 2nd round of the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • F Lars Eller (Trade)
  • F Brett Connolly (UFA)
  • F Brad Malone (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • F Jason Chimera (NY Islanders)
  • F Michael Latta (Los Angeles)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Stanislav Galiev
  • F Zachary Sanford

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/16)

  • D Dmitry Orlov

Current Cap Situation as of 8/16/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $69,545,126
  • Current salary cap space: $3,454,874

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Marcus Johansson, T.J. Oshie, Lars Eller, Justin Williams, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Daniel Winnik, Tom Wilson, Jay Beagle, Andre Burakovsky, Brett Connolly, Stanislav Galiev
Defensemen
Matt Niskanen, Brooks Orpik, John Carlson, Karl Alzner, Dmitry Orlov, Nate Schmidt, Taylor Chorney
Goalies
Braden Holtby, Philipp Grubauer

 

Outlook:
Washington had a great regular season.  Well, enough about last year…   No, seriously, the
Capitals finished with 120 points and the president’s trophy last season, but once again, fell way too early in the playoffs, this time, to the eventual champion Pittsburgh Penguins.  Playoff disappointments have dogged this team for nearly 10 years now.  Over the past 10 seasons or so, they consistently rank among the top regular season teams, but, they have yet to get out of the second round of the playoffs during that time.  This season, the Capitals bring back virtually the same team they had last season.  They should cruise through the regular season once again, but time will tell whether they can finally put together a long playoff run.  They are certainly due for one.