With Caps forward Marcus Johansson still unsigned, people are starting to whisper about him possibly being on the trading block. The Hockey News is where I got this tidbit of information, and while I wouldn’t be desperate to trade Johansson, I think it’s smart to realize his status as a luxury piece for this team. I’ve already written my thoughts on the MoJo situation, so I know that I wouldn’t mind seeing the salary cap space for his deal being used on a defenseman who can fill substantial minutes.
This is all speculation for now, but with Mikhail Grabovski still unsigned, and three unknown teams as the finalists to land the center-man, it could be possible that general manager George McPhee has something up his sleeve in regards to all of this. It’s also possible that MoJo is re-signed at some point before camp starts, relegating all of this to white noise.
Taking the speculation a step farther, if I were to rank each way the remaining cap space is to be spent, it would be as follows:
1. Use cap space to acquire a defenseman (although, admittedly, I’m not sure that there is a defenseman left on the market that could significantly cure Washington’s blue-line problem. I just feel that this is the biggest area of need for the Caps, therefore it should be the highest priority.)
2. Sign Mikhail Grabovski (My feelings for the past couple of months have been that this is an unnecessary move, however, with the limited cap space, it would seem difficult for the Caps to overpay Grabo, and I would rather have Grabo than MoJo.)
3. Re-sign MoJo.
To reiterate, I’m not a full-blown MoJo hater. He is a young, talented, and fast forward who would be a welcome addition to any NHL club. I just think that for the Caps and their lack of front-line physicality, MoJo is a bit of a luxury. I’d like to see GMGM address that identity issue before prioritizing the re-signing another finesse speedster.