Second Line Changes
There will be two primary changes to the Washington Capitals second line. First of all, at least to start the year, Alex Ovechkin will be the second line left wing. The first line of Burakovsky, Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie (more on him later) did a phenomenal job in the postseason. Whoever the head coach is, he or she needs to at least let this line develop some chemistry. Even in a worst case scenario, you flip Ovechkin and Burakovsky.
But what about Marcus Johansson? Well, he gets traded to the Anaheim Ducks straight up for defenseman Sami Vatanen. Player for player swaps (except for that nutty 20 minute period last summer) rarely happen. But this one makes sense for both teams. Normally, this would affect the Caps expansion draft strategy. However, remember we just paid Vegas to take Orpik.
Secondly, the Caps are now free to trade John Carlson if he won’t sign an extension. But now that the Capitals need a new top six forward and with free agency looking shallow at best, it’s time for another trade. This one sends Carlson to the Edmonton Oilers for Jordan Eberle (with the kings of Alberta retaining $2 million).
Another player for player trade that makes sense. Edmonton gets an offensively gifted defenseman who has been an excellent power play point man in the past. He’s a great fit in their system. Eberle needs a change of scenery, but even in a “bad year”, he still got 20 goals. This came despite spending most of his even strength time with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who didn’t have much chemistry with him.