When does 2023 NHL free agency start?

Conor Sheary, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Conor Sheary, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

NHL Free Agency is that crazy time of year where all NHL teams including the Washington Capitals shop around the market and look to bolster their roster.

This year’s free agency class isn’t as strong as it was in previous years but it is still an important time. First is the NHL Draft on June 28-29.

After that free agency is slated to begin on Saturday July 1 at noon eastern. The Caps can still re sign whoever they want but they can’t officially sign other players until after that period hits.

On the forward front Craig Smith and Conor Sheary will be unrestricted free agents. Obviously Sheary is the one worth trying to re sign but it’ll come at a steep price.

On defense Matt Irwin is an unrestricted free agent who will likely not be back. Martin Fehervary is a restricted free agent who the team must try to re sign.

Somehow according to Cap Friendly, the Caps have $7,313,333 to spend in projected cap space.

There are also several players that could be available on the market. Could the Caps be open to a Dmitry Orlov reunion? Would it be worth it or would the defenseman be willing to take a pay cut to return to the team he loves?

Other names include Patrick Kane, Vladimir Tarasenko, and Jonathan Toews which are all tough players to add with the limited money.

Ryan O’Reilly, Max Domi, Alex Killorn, and Michael Bunting round out the big name forwards that could be available. Another defenseman besides Orlov is John Klingberg.

Caps are pretty much set at goalie but Tristian Jarry of the Pittsburgh Penguins could be available to a team that could be interested.

More. Big Game 5 looming for Bears. light

Overall though I think the Caps will upgrade their forwards via the trade market. Whether they swing for the fence on Sheary or not remains to be seen.