This is perhaps the most important offseason the Washington Capitals are embarking since 2014. Back then the team missed the playoffs for the first time in the Rock the Red era. If this is still considered the Rock the Red era, this is the second time the team missed the postseason.
Back then Adam Oates and General Manager George McPhee departed. In came new coach Barry Trotz and new GM Brian MacLellan. This wasn’t technically MacLellan’s hire I don’t think because they were kind of hired at the same time.
But it was still the GMBM era. And this era has now seen three head coaches come in and out the door over the past eight years. That’s alarming and it’s imperative that MacLellan gets this next head coaching hire right.
This will also be MacLellan’s most challenging offseason to date. He has to get his roster younger while remaining competitive in the latter part of Ovechkin’s NHL career.
"“Trying to stay competitive while getting younger is going to be challenging, yes, but that’s the stage we’re at. That’s the decision we’ve made here. We want to finish out a couple careers of important players in our organization and we want to stay competitive, but we also want to get younger. So, it’s a challenge to be in position to have all three of those things but we’re going to try.”"
In a way he has started doing that. He re signed Dylan Strome mid season to a five year extension. At the fire sale trade deadline he got Rasmus Sandin from the Toronto Maple Leafs. He also wants to sign future team captain Tom Wilson to a long term deal.
The Caps hope to get younger both internally and maybe with a few master trades. They also have the eighth best odds and a six percent chance of landing the number one pick in this year’s draft.