Capitals

Capitals

With the NHL free agency period closing in, we at NBC Sports Washington want to know which free agents you, the fans, think the Capitals should make moves on this off-season. 

We chose the 16 free agents we think are the best fits for the Caps. Every week day we'll pit two free agents against eachother, make an argument for why the Caps should sign each player and let you, the fans, vote via our Twitter.

Here are the various matchups, with voting details, a brief preview of the matchup and the final voting results. The free agents are split into four regions: third line forward, fourth line forward, depth defenseman and Capitals' free agent. 

CAPS FREE AGENT MATCHUP BRACKET

Round One

MARCUS JOHANSSON, C/W (Bruins) vs. JOONAS DONSKOI, RW (Sharks)

Voting Period: Mon. 6/10 6 a.m. ET to Tues. 6/11 5:30 a.m. ET
Matchup Preview: Johansson is obviously a good fit in Washington. The former Cap has put up a strong postseason performance with Boston, and is one of the reasons the Bruins are in the postseason to begin with. But MoJo is money and Donskoi is a competitive, cheaper option. Click here for the full matchup breakdown of Marcus Johansson vs. Joonas Donskoi.
Voting Results: Michael Ferland (149) over Marcus Johansson (38)

MATTS ZUCCARELLO, LW (Stars) vs. MICHEAL FERLAND, LW (Hurricanes)

 

Voting Period: Tues. 6/11 6 a.m. ET to Wed. 6/12 5:30 a.m. ET
Matchup Preview: Zuccarello was a major factor for the Stars in the playoffs, while Ferland completely disappeared. An injury limited the winger to seven games for Carolina, and he managed just one point in those seven games. Click here for the full matchup breakdown of Matts Zuccarello vs. Michael Ferland.
Voting Results: Michael Ferland (60) over Matts Zuccarello (19)

BEN LOVEJOY, D (Stars) vs. DERYK ENGELLAND, D (Golden Knights)

Voting Period: Wed. 6/12 6 a.m. ET to Thurs. 6/13 5:30 a.m. ET
Matchup Preview: Lovejoy's playoff experience with both Dallas and Pittsburgh means the defenseman could provide added depth for the Caps, both on and off the penalty kill. Engelland also brings penalty-kill experience, in addition to strong possession. Click here for the full matchup breakdown of Ben Lovejoy and Deryk Engelland
Voting Results: Engelland (24) over Lovejoy (18)

CARL GUNNARSSON, D (Blues) vs. RON HAINSEY, D (Maple Leafs)

Voting Period: Thurs. 6/13 6 a.m. ET to 6/14 5:30 a.m. ET
Matchup Preview: Gunnarsson is cheap and can deliver when it matters. Hainsey likely won't be as cheap, but is a stronger defenseman than Gunnarsson. Click here for the full matchup breakdown of Carl Gunnarsson vs. Ron Hainsey.
Voting Results: Gunnarsson (16) over Hainsey (9)

BRIAN BOYLE, C (Predators) vs. MARCUS KRUGER, C (Blackhawks)

Voting Period: Fri. 6/14 6 a.m. ET to Sat. 6/15 5:30 a.m. ET
Matchup Preview: Boyle's size and consistency speaks for itself, as does his playoff experience. But the smaller Kruger will likely cost less, and has a fair amound of Stanley Cup experience as well. Click here for the full matchup breakdown of Brian Boyle vs. Marcus Kruger.
Voting Results: Kruger (43) over Boyle (16)

 

NOEL ACCIARI, C (Bruins) vs. PIERRE-EDOUARD BELLEMARE, LW (Golden Knights)

Voting Period: Mon. 6/17 6 a.m. ET to Tues. 6/18 5:30 a.m. ET
Matchup Preview: Acciari's character and toughness speaks for itself, as does his penalty-kill experience. Bellemare brings veteran experience and strength on the penalty kill. Click here for the full matchup breakfown of Noel Acciari vs. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare
Voting Results: TBD

CARL HAGELIN, LW (Capitals) vs. DEVANTE SMITH-PELLY, RW (Capitals)

Voting Period: Tues. 6/18 6 a.m. ET to Wed. 6/19 5:30 a.m. ET
Matchup Preview: Since the Capitals already resigned Hagelin, the question becomes whether Smith-Pelly is worth resigning too. WHile the winger's 2018 playoff performance was key to the Caps' victory, after last season there are some red flags. Click here for a full breakdown on whether the Capitals should resign Smith-Pelly
Voting Results: Devante Smith-Pelly should be resigned (39)

BRETT CONNOLLY, RW (Capitals) vs. BROOKS ORPIK, D (Capitals)

Voting Period: Wed. 6/19 6 a.m. ET to Thurs. 6/20 5:30 a.m. ET
Matchup Preview: While Connolly added to the Caps' scoring depth, he's pricey. But veteran Orpik brings a certain expertise with his less-expensive pricetag. Click here for a full matchup breakdown on Brett Connolly and Brooks Orpik.
Voting Results: TBD

Round Two

MICHEAL FERLAND, LW (Hurricanes) vs. JOONAS DONSKOI, RW (Sharks)

Voting Period: Wed. 6/19 6 a.m. ET to Thurs. 6/20 5:30 a.m. ET
Matchup Preview: Ferland is productive and physical, but Donskoi is cheaper. Which should the Caps sign? Click here for the full matchup breakdown on Micheal Ferland vs. Joonas Donskoi.
Voting Results: Donskoi (67) over Ferland (7)

DERYK ENGELLAND, D (Golden Knights) vs. CARL GUNNARSSON, D (Blues)

Voting Period: Wed. 6/19 6 a.m. ET to Thurs. 6/20 5:30 a.m. ET
Matchup Preview: Engelland has good experience with the Golden Knights can fill various roles and take on a third-line role. Gunnarsson is older but has proved clutch for the Blues and is good on the penalty kill. Click here for the full matchup breakdown on Deryk Engelland vs. Carl Gunnarsson
Voting Results: Engelland (15) over Gunnarsson (12)

 

MARCUS KRUGER, C (Blackhawks) vs. NOEL ACCIARI, C (Bruins)

Voting Period: Mon. 6/24 6 a.m. ET to Tues. 6/25 5:30 a.m. ET
Matchup Preview: Kruger's pricetag is lower than that of Acciari, plus Kruger brings a strength on the penalty kill. But Acciari is also strong on the penalty kill and would be a perfect fit on the Caps' fourth line. Click here for the full matchup breakdown on Marcus Kruger vs. Noel Acciari.
Voting Results: Acciari (36) over Kruger (4)

BRETT CONNOLLY, RW (Capitals) vs. DEVANTE SMITH-PELLY, RW (Capitals)

Voting Period: Tues. 6/25 6 a.m. ET to Wed. 6/26 5:30 p.m. ET
Matchup Preview: Connolly adds to the Caps' scoring depth, but comes with a hefty pricetag. Smith-Pelly has proven to be inconsistent in the past, but is definitely less expensive. Click here for the full matchup breakdown on Brett Connolly vs. Devante Smith-Pelly
Voting Results: Connolly (85) over Smith-Pelly (48)


Round Three--Semifinals 

JOONAS DONSKOI, RW (Sharks) vs. CARL GUNNARSSON, D (Blues)

Voting Period: Wed. 6/26 6 a.m. ET to Thurs. 6/27 5:30 a.m. ET
Matchup Preview: Donskoi can fit into any role required of him, while Gunnarsson is almost exactly what the Caps are looking for depth-wise. Click here for the full matchup breakdown on Joonas Donskoi vs. Carl Gunnarsson
Voting Results: TBD

 

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