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MacLellan explains why Capitals cut Derek Roy

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MacLellan explains why Capitals cut Derek Roy

In the end, Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said he didn’t want to sign Derek Roy to a free-agent contract and three weeks from now see him sitting in the press box as a healthy scratch.

“I thought he had a good camp,” MacLellan said of the 32-year-old center. “I had a lot of discussion with our coaching staff with what role he would have if we decided to sign him to a contract and in the end we decided flexibility in our bottom six is going to be important for us moving forward and we couldn’t really find an established role for him.”

By having Stanislav Galiev on their opening roster the Capitals have the flexibility of assigning him to the Hershey Bears once center Nicklas Backstrom returns from offseason hip surgery, which could be sooner than originally expected.

“It looks like he’s progressing very well and it might not be 10 games,” MacLellan said. “It might be four or five games. That played into it, too.”

MacLellan said his coaching staff could not decide whether Roy would fill a role as a fourth-line center, a wing or a 13th forward.

“There was no definite answer on everybody’s part, so we made a decision to move away from him.”

The Caps currently roughly $600,000 under the NHL  salary and theoretically would have roughly $1.1 million of cap space if Galiev is sent to Hershey following Backstrom’s return.

“We have some flexibility,” MacLellan said. “We’ll see what we have and we can address a more certain need in the future.”

As for Brooks Laich and his $4.5 million salary this season and next, MacLellan said he’s hoping to get the most out of the 32-year-old forward.

“Every team has similar situations, where you want more out of a plyer,” MacLellan said. “I think the only thing we can do is keep working on it and if it’s not working we’ll find a solution.”

MORE CAPITALS: Caps could contend for many of NHL's individual awards

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: The Caps add two defensemen, problem solved?

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NBC Sports Washington

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: The Caps add two defensemen, problem solved?

The Capitals got their trade deadline started early by trading for defensemen Michal Kempny and Jakub Jerabek. Washington has been struggling of late, but do their new acquisitions address the team's weaknesses?

JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir evaluate the two trades and talk about where they could fit into the lineup.

You can listen to the latest episode here on the Capitals Faceoff page or with the player below.

Want even more great Capitals coverage? Follow @TarikNBCS and @JJReganNBCS on Twitter!

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Caps make second blue line addition, acquire Jakub Jerabek from Montreal

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USA TODAY Sports

Caps make second blue line addition, acquire Jakub Jerabek from Montreal

The Capitals continued to retool their scuffling blue line on Wednesday, acquiring 26-year-old defenseman Jakub Jerabek from Montreal in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2019.

The move comes a couple of days after GM Brian MacLellan dealt a conditional third-round selection to Chicago for swift skating Michal Kempny.

Both Jerabek and Kempny are left shot, puck-moving defensemen who move well and make crisp outlet passes. Both also hail from the Czech Republic.

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The team sees Jerabek as a No. 5 or 6, I’m told.

On Wednesday, the Caps also officially said goodbye to Taylor Chorney, who was claimed off waivers by Columbus. Chorney will report to the Blue Jackets.

The Caps were off on Wednesday as they made their way Florida for Thursday night’s meeting with the Panthers, so it’s unclear how Coach Barry Trotz intends to deploy his new defensemen.

But it’s probably safe to assume that Kempny will move into a spot within the top four with John Carlson, Dmitry Orlov and Matt Niskanen.

MORE CAPITALS: GET TO KNOW MICHAL KEMPNY

That figures to leave Brooks Orpik and Jerabek on the third pair, while rookies Christian Djoos and Madison Bowey jockey for position as the next man up.

Kempny is expected to make his Caps’ debut on Thursday night.

Is the Caps’ D corps better? Well, that remains to be seen. But it had become clear to MacLellan and Co. in recent weeks that the status quo was not going to cut it. This month, in fact, the team has allowed 39 goals in 10 games. Only the Rangers (40) have allowed more in the same span.

With the trade deadline looming next Monday, the Caps now have roughly $617,000 in cap space, according to www.capfriendly.com, and are at the roster maximum of 23 players. So they would need to make a move in order to add another body.