Who the Capitals could lose to free agency this summer

Lets glance over at the UFAs and RFAs and figure it out
Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Washington Capitals
Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Washington Capitals / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

With the Washington Capitals 2023-24 season in the rearview mirror, the work has begun for their 50th anniversary season. Lets go over Cap Friendly and list the unrestricted and restricted free agents and figure out who's staying and who's leaving.

UFAs: Max Pacioretty, Nicolas Aube-Kubel

RFAs: Connor McMichael, Beck Malenstyn

The bottom two is the scariest out of the four free agents this summer. The Capitals absolutely have to extend both Connor McMichael and Beck Malenstyn. McMichael's cap hit was $863,333 while Malenstyn's was $762,500. The Caps currently have $460,078 in final cap space until the Stanley Cup is awarded.

McMichael finished with 18 goals and 15 assists for 33 points. A solid sophomore season I'd say. He finaly also got the playing time he deserved after a 9 goal, 9 assist, for 18 point season in 2021-22 in 68 games. This season McMichael suited up for all but two games.

Malenstyn had a solid rookie season playing in 81 games where he finished with six goals and 15 assists for 21 points. He had a couple of highlight reel goals too including a breakaway in November against the defending Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights.

Then there's the UFAs who I don't see coming back next season. That includes Max Pacioretty and Nicolas Aube-Kubel. Patches finished with four goals and 19 assists for 23 points in 47 games as he didn't join the Caps until January. The 35 year old had a $2 million cap hit and performance bonuses in the contract based on the amount of games he ended up playing.

NAK who is Sergei Ovechkin's favorite player, had a $1,225,000 cap hit. The 27 year old finished with six goals and 10 assists for 16 points. He's definitely a valuable weapon. And he bounced back after beginning the season with the Hershey Bears, having ending up suiting up for 60 of the 82 Caps games.

It's not a matter of anything bad it's whether or not the Caps can afford NAK. They may actually be able to if other things happen that are a topic for another time.