The Washington Capitals had one of the quieter off-seasons, up against the cap and as talented as any team in the NHL, the Capitals didn’t need to do much. Coming into the off-season: the Capitals had two major goals: re-sign Alex Ovechkin and stabilize the goaltending. Brian MacLellan did just that. Alex Ovechkin was re-signed to a five-year contract with an AAV of $9.5 million. Signing Ovechkin to a team-friendly deal that allowed the team the flexibility to continue to field a competitive team around Ovechkin is a huge success.
The goaltending situation seemed to be a bigger question mark, especially when the Seattle Kraken selected Vitek Vanecek in the NHL Expansion Draft. Without their breakout young goaltender from a season ago, it suddenly became apparent that the Capitals had no cap space and very limited goalie depth on the roster. That’s a problem.
Within the span of a week, MacLellan solved the problem. MacLellan was able to move Brenden Dillon, which gave him the cap-space and draft capital to reacquire Vanecek from the Kraken and then the team re-signed Ilya Samsonov to a bridge-contract. Another shrewd move from the Capitals’ front-office. With the face of the franchise under contract for five-years on a contract the team can afford and their young goaltending duo from a season ago re-signed, it’s hard to argue that the Capitals were anything but a winner in the 2021-2022 off-season.