This starts with every upcoming free agent getting their rights traded. T.J. Oshie could get the Washington Capitals as much as a second round pick depending on his market. Kevin Shattenkirk‘s market is likely dead because everyone thinks he’s signing with the New York Rangers. A sign and trade might be the Caps best weapon if they want to get anything for him because they’re the only team who can sign him for eight years.
Karl Alzner could easily fetch a fourth round pick while Justin Williams should net either a fourth or a third. The Washington Capitals would be lucky to get anything for Daniel Winnik‘s rights because I can’t see anyone saying “hey, let’s have more time to negotiate with a bottom six forward”. These mid-round picks might not sound like much, but because the NHL draft is a crap shoot, loading up on ammunition isn’t a terrible idea.
Another reason why loading up on draft picks is a good idea is because the Capitals would be smart to bribe the Vegas Golden Knights to take Brooks Orpik in the expansion draft. This clears a huge contract and allows them much more salary cap flexibility. In today’s NHL, the salary cap is a very valuable weapon if used properly.
Marcus Johansson and John Carlson are both likely gone. The latter is a free agent after the 2017-18 season, so unless the Washington Capitals view him as a long-term building block, trading him is the right move. Johansson could make sense for a team like the Anaheim Ducks or Minnesota Wild, but a lot of work would need to be done to make the latter happen.
Lars Eller could be traded as well, but he might be a guy who has more value at the trade deadline. Jay Beagle fits in this category as well. So what’s left of the Capitals, who sort of resemble what Fallout 5 might look like?