#1 Evgeny Kuznetsov
The number one is the easiest in this list and it’s Evgeny Kuznetsov. Whether you want it to happen or not, he wants out of Washington. If MacLellan said it to Mike Vogel, the writer of WashCaps.com and who I call The Godfather of Caps writing it must be true.
MacLellan told Vogel about how they tried to execute a trade in the lead up to and during the NHL Draft:
"“Our strategy going into the draft time period was to make a trade, to identify the age group we’re kind of targeting and try and make a trade and bring in a top-6 forward, trade one or two guys. We were open to possibilities. Pursued a number of things, but that, unfortunately, didn’t come through for us.”"
The Caps won’t need free agency. They are 100 percent all in on the trade. I’ll have another article soon explaining more on why free agency is out of the picture based on the salary cap situation (for now).
If the Caps can find a return of a forward in the 25 to 30 age range they’ll be golden. If not, they might have to wait it out. See if Kuznetsov and new coach Spencer Carbery can gel and if they can’t maybe Kuzy can increase his trade value and make both sides happy.