With most of free agency finishing up, the Washington Capitals sit in an interesting spot. They currently have 12 forwards signed and 8 defenseman signed with little cap room to spare. The Caps have $1,113,205 in cap space, with one roster spot still to fill. At this point, one has to wonder what will happen with Mike Green. With a little over a six million dollar cap hit and an expiring deal, Green may be on the move. The Capitals signed defensemen Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen to massive deals and Green is not someone you put on the 3rd pairing at that cap hit. The Capitals also may look to move Troy Brouwer or Joel Ward as they fill a similar role on the roster and it would open up a role for Tom Wilson to get more ice time. Brouwer makes more sense as he scored a large portion of his goals in Oates power play system and Ward has played for Trotz for three previous seasons. Brouwer also may have more value with another year on his deal and past Stanley Cup experience with Chicago.
Although arguably overpaid, the Capitals have a good group of defenseman if they can bring in a bottom pairing guy to play with Orlov (Adam McQuaid anyone?). Alzner-Carlson and Orpik-Niskanen gives Trotz two dependable pairings that can both play more than 20 minutes a game. I’m confident with Trotz’s defensive system that the defense will be good this year given the personal as well as the coach.
The forward group, however, leaves a lot to be desired. The Caps have plenty of bottom six depth but there is still a glaring hole at the second line center spot. Former Capital Mike Ribeiro still sits in free agency so he may be option if the Capitals want to go in that direction. Ribeiro was good in his time here and would be an upgrade over what is currently on the roster. Derek Roy is another option, but he hasn’t put up great numbers since his 2010-2011 campaign. The trade route may be the best option. If Green and Brouwer can bring back a second line center and a bottom pairing defenseman that would be a great move to make.
Tags: Washington Capitals