The Dallas Stars and the Tampa Bay Lightning are where the Capitals want to be, in the Stanley Cup Final. They got there in part because of their role players, some of whom will be hitting the free agent market in the offseason. Are there any available players you should be watching who could help Washington next season? Let's look.
Please note: I am not including restricted free agents on this list, just unrestricted.
F Mattias Janmark ($2.3 million cap hit in 2019-20)
The Caps need offensive depth and Janmark is a middle-six forward who can play either wing or center, though he is primarily used as a wing. He is a very good two-way player, but his offense is not where the Caps would need it to be for him to be a viable option. The Caps need to improve defensively, but they also need depth-scoring and Janmark scored only six goals in each of the past two seasons.
G Anton Khudobin ($2.5 million cap hit in 2019-20)
Washington will need another goalie to serve as a tandem/No. 2 option behind Ilya Samsonov, and Khudobin looks like a great potential fit. He had a .930 save percentage in the regular season in 30 games and a .923 in the playoffs in 20 games, playing in place of an injured Ben Bishop.
But has Khudobin played his way out of the Caps' price range? A 34-year-old goalie with a small cap hit already entering free agency in a saturated goalie market certainly would make Khudobin seem like an affordable target, but it's hard to know what the market will be for him in free agency.
While it is hard to see a 34-year-old goalie getting a significant raise, is he going to fall from leading a team to a conference championship and possibly a Stanley Cup to being in the price range of a cheap No. 2 option in Washington? If he does, he seems like a perfect fit for what the Caps need.
F Correy Perry ($1.5 million cap hit in 2019-20)
General manager Brian MacLellan certainly loves players other teams hate to play against and Perry is certainly that. But he's also 35 and the Caps don't need another older vet, especially one who scored just five goals in 57 games.
D Andrej Sekera ($1.5 million cap hit in 2019-20)
Sekera is a left-shooting defenseman. He plays on the right, but on the third pair. There's really no fit here.
Tampa Bay Lightning
D Zach Bogosian ($5,142,857 cap hit before contract was terminated, $1.3 million cap hit with Tampa Bay)
The 6-foot-3, 221-pound defenseman is a righty and that certainly is an area of need for Washington, but really they need a top-four player. Bogosian may be a bottom-four defenseman, but on a contender he is a bottom-pair guy. You could say the same about Nick Jensen. I would see Bogosian as more of a potential fit if the Caps had confidence that Jensen can play on the second pair. If not, they really don't need another bottom pair defenseman.
F Patrick Maroon ($900,000 cap hit in 2019-20)
Maroon is a fourth-line physical player.He won't be a game-changer in the regular season, but has shown this postseason and last with the St. Louis Blues that he can be a key player in a deep playoff run. The Caps have lot of other areas they need to address in the lineup, but if the price is right it may benefit them to add a depth piece like Maroon.
D Jan Rutta ($1.3 million cap hit in 2019-20)
Rutta is a depth right defenseman. The Caps need to bolster the right side of the blue line with someone who can play significant minutes. That's not Rutta..
D Luke Schenn ($700,000 cap hit in 2019-20)
Schenn is a depth right defenseman. See above on Rutta.
D Kevin Shattenkirk ($1.75 million cap hit in 2019-20)
The sad thing is that on paper, Shattenkirk would seem like a good fit for what the Caps need as a potential top-four, puck-moving right defenseman. He's been good in Tampa Bay, but I really don't see MacLellan gambling on him again or Shatthenkirk wanting to come back.