Caps waive 4 players, finalize 23-man roster ahead of opener

Capitals forward Connor McMichael

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Capitals placed four players on waivers ahead of Sunday’s 2 p.m. deadline, trimming their number of healthy players down to the necessary 23 needed for their season-opening roster.

Forwards Axel Jonsson-Fjallby, Henrik Borgstrom, Brett Leason and defenseman Lucas Johansen represented Washington’s final cuts of training camp, leaving the team with 14 forwards, seven defensemen and two goalies. If they go unclaimed, the four waived players will report to the Capitals’ AHL affiliate Hershey Bears.

Among the roster bubble players to make it are forwards Joe Snively, Connor McMichael, and Aliaksei Protas. The Capitals still need to determine which two players will join veteran defenseman Matt Irwin as healthy scratches for Wednesday’s opener against the Boston Bruins, positing head coach Peter Laviolette with the decision of whether Protas or Snively showed enough to warrant a starting spot over the highly drafted McMichael.

“Connor is here, he’s gonna be in competition to be in that lineup and make a difference,” Laviolette said at practice Sunday. “We’ve got some young players here still. He’s still young right now. Guys like Protas and Snively have come in and made some noise as well so there will be a battle.”


Just how many of those players suit up Wednesday will depend on the health of T.J. Oshie (upper-body injury), Dmitry Orlov (lower body) and Lars Eller (illness). The three of them returned to practice Sunday in full capacity, boding well for their chances of playing against the Bruins.