With little money left to work with and players left to sign, the Capitals traded winger Marcus Johansson to the New Jersey Devils on Sunday in exchange for a second and third round draft pick. The second round pick was originally from the Florida Panthers and the third round pick was originally from the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The team’s dire cap situation already led to the departure of Kevin Shattenkirk, Karl Alzner and Justin Williams in free agency. In the wake of Evgeny Kuznetsov signing an eight-year deal with Washington that carries a cap hit of $7.8 million, it was clear the team had to make a move to clear up cap space from its roster.
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By trading Johansson, the Capitals freed up nearly $4.6 million of cap space for next season. According to the website Cap Friendly, the Capitals currently have about $9.2 million of space left under the salary cap with 14 players under contract for next season. The maximum number of players for an NHL roster is 23.
Even after trading Johansson, general manager Brian MacLellan still has work left to do. Andre Burakovsky and Philipp Grubauer are both in need of new contracts as restricted free agents. The team only has five defensemen signed and will need to find two more, including a top-four player to replace Nate Schmidt.
Without much money to work with, the Capitals could explore another trade or, more likely, it could suggest the team will have a much younger look to it for next season. Jakub Vrana looks poised to make the jump to the NHL and the team’s fourth line also has two openings. Madison Bowey and Christian Djoos could also both be in play to be in the team’s top six on defense next season.
Johansson, who will turn 27 in October, was a first-round draft pick of the Caps in 2009. In seven seasons in Washington, Johansson has scored 102 goals and 290 points. He just completed the first year of a three-year contract he signed in the summer of 2016.
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Click "play" in the embedded podcast to listen to the Capitals Talk Podcast interview with Ted Leonsis and click here to subscribe to the podcast.
Just as the party seems to be ending, the 2018 Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals are finding new ways to celebrate.
Sunday at Nationals Park, the Caps were honored with the "team of distinction" award in the D.C. sports hall of fame, the first-ever award of its kind.
“I think it just shows how this team connected with the fans and as many people have noted, this is one of the most divided cities in the world," Caps majority owner and president of Monumental Sports, Ted Leonsis said to Rob Carlin on the Capitals Talk podcast. "People can’t agree on anything, but they agreed on how much they loved, and how much fun they had and how proud they were that we won the Stanley Cup."
Founded in 1980, the D.C. sports hall of fame honors athletes, sports journalists and executives each year for excellence in D.C. sports. 2019 was the first time an entire team was formally recognized, fitting for the first-ever Stanley Cup championship in D.C.
"It [the honor] is a good capstone on that run," Leonsis said.
Listen to the full episode linked below.
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Before first pitch against the Braves on Sunday, the Washington Nationals yielded the field for a celebration as the Washington DC Sports Hall of Fame inducted 11 members to the 2019 class.
The class includes D.C. legends from sports such as football, basketball and soccer. The Hall of Fame created a new category to honor a "Team of Distinction." It is no surprise that the 2018 Stanley Cup Champions are the first to receive this honor.
The full list of honorees are:
- Andrew Beyer – covered horse racing for the Washington Post for four decades, created the Beyer Speed Figure
- Tom Brown – two-sport professional athlete, played with the Washington Senators and Washington Redskins
- Sasho Cirovski – winningest coach in U. of Maryland men’s soccer history, three-time NCAA champion
- Tom Dolan – two-time Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer (1996 and 2000) and former world record holder
- Danny Ferry – men’s basketball national player of the year at DeMatha Catholic High School and Duke University
- Ray Flaherty (1903-1994) – first head coach of the Washington Redskins, two-time NFL champion
- Charles Mann – two-time NFL Super Bowl champion during 11 seasons with the Washington Redskins
- Kevin Payne – first president and CEO of DC United and four-time MLS Cup champion
- Cathy Reese – three-time coach of the year with U. of Maryland women’s lacrosse, 12-time NCAA champion
- Allie Ritzenberg (1918-2018) – fixture of D.C.’s tennis community for nearly eight decades
- 2017-18 Washington Capitals – 2018 Stanley Cup champions, brought first NHL title to D.C.
The Washington DC Sports Hall of Fame was founded in 1980 and honors over 100 members of D.C. sports from athletes, sports journalists and executives.
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