#3 Anthony Mantha
No rivalry in hockey is greater than Anthony Mantha and Caps fans that weren’t a fan of the trade deadline that shocked the world in 2021 when the Caps traded the fan favorite Jakub Vrana for him.
Although he gets a lot of criticism from those types of fans, Mantha hasn’t had a terrible season. He’s eighth on the Caps in scoring with eight points. Five of those points though were goals.
Mantha’s five goals ties him for third on the team four ways which includes names like Evgeny Kuznetsov, Connor McMichael, and Alex Ovechkin. If the Caps can’t afford to keep Mantha or decide to trade him before the deadline, his numbers to start the season have slightly increased his trade value.
The real question in all this is which type of team would take on his $5.7 million salary cap hit. Would the Caps have to retain any of it is another question.
Nothing has divided the Caps fanbase more than the Mantha trade. Reality is he’s off to one of his better starts this season and it could’ve been a lot worse. He has five goals despite some early season healthy scratches.
Now if Mantha ends up having a breakout season, that puts Brian MacLellan in a tough spots as well as the fans who questioned the trade to begin with.