The Washington Capitals lost six in a row before splitting their weekend back to back. As things stand before Monday’s slate of NHL games, the Capitals are 29-27-6 with 64 points. That’s sixth in the Eastern Conference Wild Card but they are just three points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for that second and final wild card spot.
NHL insider Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet went as far to say on his 32 Thoughts podcast that the Caps are “open for business”. That means general manager Brian MacLellan is listening to offers as we speak.
On defense, Nick Jensen, Erik Gustafsson, Trevor van Riemsdyk, Matt Irwin, and Dylan McIlrath are free agents ready to test the market. As are forwards Lars Eller, Conor Sheary, Marcus Johansson and Nicolas Aube-Kubel. The restricted free agents include defensemen Martin Fehervary and Alex Alexeyev.
The big rumor right now on who the Caps are after is Jakob Chychrun of the Arizona Coyotes. Friedman’s latest episode was with Jeff Marek and titled Deadline Sunday, giving an in depth preview of what all 32 teams are doing ahead of Friday’s NHL Trade Deadline.
Friedman said that Brian MacLellan is trying to re sign a bunch of the team’s pending unrestricted free agents. If the two sides can’t come to an agreement GMBM is going to trade them to a contending team for future assets.
Many teams are calling about Lars Eller and Nick Jensen. But not the Coyotes. To give up Chychrun, the Coyotes want one or a few of the Caps top prospects. Guys like Connor McMichael or Hendrix Lapierre.
McMichael and Lapierre are in Hershey centering the Bears second and third lines, respectively. Lapierre though has been scratched from the lineup for two games recently. He also went down with an injury on Sunday.
Chychrun is a defenseman who can play on the right side or the left side with a cap hit of $4.6 million. He’s been held out of the Coyotes lineup since Feb. 11 for trade related reasons and won’t play him again before the March 3 trade deadline.