Grading Brian MacLellan’s 2022 season with the Capitals

Brian MacLellan, Nicklas Backstrom, Dick Patrick, Alex Ovechkin, Gary Bettman, Braden Holtby, Ted Leonsis, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Brian MacLellan, Nicklas Backstrom, Dick Patrick, Alex Ovechkin, Gary Bettman, Braden Holtby, Ted Leonsis, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /
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Next up for the first time ever in our end of season Washington Capitals report card series we grade the overall performance of General Manager Brian MacLellan. We’ll look at the roster he assembled this year and the moves he made at the deadline to set up for an important summer ahead.

What MacLellan did over the offseason to address the injuries to Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson to start the season was signing Dylan Strome and Connor Brown. Sadly we didn’t get a chance to see how well Brown could’ve done as he hurt himself but Strome proved himself worthy of earning a five year contract extension.

They also signed Sonny Milano just days after the season began and after he proved himself got re upped to a three year deal. On defense he added Erik Gustafsson. At goalie he hit a home run by signing the hottest free agent veteran on the market in Darcy Kuemper.

It wasn’t enough as injuries and bad lineup decisions from a lame duck head coach in Peter Laviolette was what ultimately did the Capitals in when it comes to failing to make the playoffs.

The first move MacLellan made when the Caps season ended was deciding not to renew Laviolette’s contract so now they’re shopping around for a new head coach.

Now the deadline is when things got really spicy and perhaps saved MacLellan from getting an F on this report card. He first dealt Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway for Craig Smith and a draft pick. The Caps also got draft picks when they shipped Marcus Johansson to the Minnesota Wild and Lars Eller to the Colorado Avalanche. They also got Rasmus Sandin from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Erik Gustafsson.

Hot. Grading Alex Ovechkin after a brilliant season with Capitals. light

Grade C+: Like I said the deadline moves saved GMBM from getting an F. Craig Smith wasn’t a home run but Rasmus Sandin has the potential to be one. And they loaded up on draft capital which will help them for the next few years. So overall slightly above average.