The Capitals have made the first of what might be a few cost-cutting measures by shipping Brenden Dillon to the Winnipeg Jets for two second-round picks Monday. The news was first reported by TSN's Darren Dreger and later confirmed by the team.
Dillon, 30, had three seasons left under contract at a $3.9 million cap hit per season, but will now go to a Jets team that needs defensive help in a big way.
He played in all 56 games for the Capitals last season and tallied two goals with 17 assists. The left-handed shot made a nice pairing with Trevor van Riemsdyk down the stretch, but with the team up against a flat salary cap of $81.5 million and loaded with defensemen, someone had to go.
With such a cost against the cap, the team needed to make at least one move to clear cap space and Dillon was the one to go. He wasn’t known for his offensive ability as a player in Washington, but played very well defensively and was one of, if not the team’s best true defensive defenseman.
Now, assuming the Capitals call up Martin Fehervary, as general manager Brian MacLellan indicated, the Capitals will have just over $12 million in cap space to play with. That does not include the pending Alex Ovechkin extension, the addition of a 13th forward or two NHL goalies being added to the roster. In short, they may not be done making trades.
The Capitals now have recouped a second round pick in 2022 and will pick in every round, and they have an extra second round pick in 2023 with all their picks in every round as well.