The Capitals made a flurry of roster moves on Monday prior to the NHL's 5 p.m. deadline as Nicklas Backstrom was designated as injured non-roster while Connor McMichael and Beck Malenstyn were assigned to the Hershey Bears.
The team also announced additional moves and the opening night roster would be announced on Tuesday.
All teams had to be cap compliant with no more than 23 players by 5 p.m. on Monday. By designating Backstrom as injured non-roster, his $9.2 million cap hit continues to count towards Washington's payroll, but he does not count towards the team's 23-man roster limit. As the roster now stands, the Caps have 21 players with about $108,000 in cap space.
With additional moves coming, this does not mean the end of McMichael and Malenstyn's push for the NHL. Both players do not have to clear waivers and can be recalled at any time. These may be what is known as "paper" transactions, meaning the players are reassigned to Hershey, but remain with the Caps and are soon recalled.
With so little cap space, any additional moves on Tuesday will have to clear enough cap room in order to make a recall, if that is indeed the team's plan. That could include some roster shuffling with the team's other waiver-exempt players still on the roster such as Hendrix Lapierre and Martin Fehervary, or, depending on his health, it could mean placing Nicklas Backstrom on long-term injured reserve which would allow the team to go over the salary cap.