Updates on the Capitals and Canucks – May 22, 2017

by | May 22, 2017 | Rumors | 35 comments

Trading Alex Ovechkin appears an unrealistic option for the Washington Capitals.

Another look at possible offseason moves for the Washington Capitals plus speculation on Alex Edler’s future with the Vancouver Canucks in your NHL rumor mill.

THE WASHINGTON POST: Isabelle Khurshudyan recently called the suggestion among some observers that the Washington Capitals should trade captain Alex Ovechkin to be unrealistic. She noted an Ovechkin trade would require the blessing of team owner Ted Leonsis, who remains committed to the club contending for a championship next season. Trading Ovechkin would rob the club of their leading goal scorer. Stripping him of the captaincy could create more locker-room tension that it might potentially solve.

There seems to be mutual interest between the Capitals management and pending free agent right wing T.J. Oshie to re-sign but limited salary-cap space could hamper those efforts. Those constraints could also spell the end of winger Justin Williams’ tenure in Washington. Playoff rental defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk isn’t expected back.  Forwards Evgeny Kuznetsov, Andre Burakovsky and Brett Connolly are restricted free agents in need of new contracts.

Khurshudyan also wonders if the Capitals might buy out the remaining two seasons of veteran blueliner Brooks Orpik’s contract. With Karl Alzner eligible for unrestricted free agency, the Caps will have a top-four spot on their defense to fill. Restricted free agent Dmitry Orlov also requires a raise. She speculated the club could attempt to work out something to ensure Nate Schmidt isn’t plucked away by the Vegas Golden Knights in next month’s expansion draft.

Looking at this summer’s trade and free-agent markets, Khurshudyan finds the pickings slim for the Capitals. The top UFA forwards include Boston’s Drew Stafford, Anaheim’s Patrick Eaves, Florida’s Thomas Vanek, Dallas’ Patrick Sharp and Nashville’s PA Parenteau. She doubts they’ll get into the bidding for San Jose’s Joe Thornton or Patrick Marleau. but Calgary’s Kris Versteeg could be a cost-friendly fit. She suggests Chicago’s Johnny Oduya as an affordable third-pairing defenseman.

Khurshudyan also notes the Capitals don’t have a lot of trade chips they can afford to part with this summer. Goalie Philipp Grubauer could interest clubs seeking a young goalie ready for a starting job but she suspects they’d rather lose him, instead of Schmidt, in the expansion draft.

Defenseman John Carlson has a year left on his contract but moving him for a scoring forward merely addresses one issue but leaves a big hole on the blueline. They also can’t afford to part with their top prospects as they could be affordable additions to the roster next season. Possible trade options could include Minnesota’s Nino Niederreiter, Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg or Rickard Rakell or Edmonton’s Jordan Eberle.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ovechkin’s not going anywhere. I don’t see Leonsis blessing such a move and I doubt they’d get a return that could improve their championship aspirations next season.

They have over $50 million invested in just 11 players for 2017-18 and new contracts for Kuznetsov, Burakovsky, Orlov and Schmidt will eat up a big chunk of their remaining cap space. So could a possible new deal for Oshie. Buying out Orpik would free up $3 million against their cap for next season and clear a spot on the blueline for a younger, faster rearguard. 

There really isn’t much for them to chase in this summer’s UFA market that could improve their roster next season. Doesn’t mean they won’t look for an affordable depth option or two.

The trade market could be their best bet for a significant addition, but it could cost them a decent player and a promising prospect. I can see them possibly using Connolly as a trade chip this summer.

THE PROVINCE: Jeff Paterson wonders if Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alex Edler might consider a change after playing for Sweden in the 2017 World Championships. Edler could also see former teammates Ryan Kesler, Kevin Bieksa and Alex Burrows enjoying deep playoff runs with Anaheim and Ottawa and be spurred to consider a trade. Edler has a no-movement clause, giving him control over possible trade destinations. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: To date, Edler hasn’t requested a trade and management apparently hasn’t asked him to consider a move. It remains to be seen if playing for the gold medal-winning Swedes in the World Championships or seeing former teammates skating on better clubs will change his mind.

Edler’s been hampered by injuries in recent years but he remains a big-minute puck-moving defenseman who could attract interest from clubs seeking a skilled, mobile blueliner. He has two years left on his contract at an annual cap hit of $5 million, which could be difficult to move this summer.  



  1. Does orpik have a nmc? I wonder if they could send a prospect and/or pick to get vegas to take him.

    Lyle . As an early riser I appreciate the continued efforts of yours to post new content as early as you do. Great breakfast reading material. Thanks

    • Cheers, Chrisms. And Orpik lacks any type of movement/trade clause. He can be dealt anywhere without his consent.

    • Washington cant afford to give up too many draft picks. They don’t have a pick until the fourth round this year and next year they don’t have a second round pick. I think If they sign Shattenkirk they also lose their 2019 second round pick to the Blues.

      • If Vegas took orpik I would offer them gruebour and a mid round pick.

      • Why would Vegas not just select Grubauer assuming he’s not traded prior to the expansion draft? Why take Orpik & a mid round pick?

        Chrisms not trying to be confrontational & we have been beating this draft pick compensation for Vegas to pass or take bad contracts for some time. No team is doing so for a mid round pick.

        Flo paid NJ a 2nd to take Savard’s cap hit but only 575K in salary. Neither Vegas nor anyone else is taking another teams problem for a mid round pick especially 1 with 2 more years with a cap hit of 5.5 & still 10 million owing.

        If Grubauer gets traded before the expansion draft select Schmidt & be happy. The quality of most players teams are confronted with losing in this expansion draft dwarfs anything from past expansion drafts so using past draft pick compensation as a reference is meaningless. The NHL was also very smart to only take 1 team as opposed to 2 in this round of expansion as it gives all the leverage to Vegas.

        The compensation each team will be required to pay to potentially buy themselves out of their issues based on the quality of said assets it’s different for all teams. Similarities between some sure but a mid round pick isn’t buying you out of anything. A 2nd round pick in the NHL is a crap shoot; well under 50%, at best to even play in the NHL.

        If Was wants to dump Orpik the cost will be far more significant than that & they have traded almost all their picks in the next 2 years, this years 1st, 2nd & 3rd & next seasons 2nd. They would have lost 2019’s 2nd as well had they beat Pit.

      • Cause striker they get three assets instead of one. The situation created by expansion is completely new so comparing savard bolland etc is irrelevant. Mcfee gets a vet d man a goalie and a pick. Or he gets one of the above. Orpik has negative value to cap strapped teams but to an expansion team he could have value. He has to build a system as well as a team so quantity of assets is up there with quality. I believe people will e surprised at the cost for Vegas to avoid taking or to pick certain players. Won’t be as high as people think. Cause of it is too high teams won’t bite leaving mcfee out assets. It’s a game of chicken both sides lose if they don’t compromise

  2. The Caps need to follow the Shark’s 2016 model if they want to take another run at it.

    Take the C from Ovie. He is not a leader. They will NEVER win following him. Find the GIF’s of his defensive “efforts” on the Kessel goal and the Rust goal in the Pens series to see why. He’s not a winner.

    BUT…like Kessel, who was miscast as the go to guy in Toronto, Ovie could thrive as a SECONDARY piece just playing his own game.

    They also need to trade Kuznetsov. Not a winner and they can get a nice return for him. He’s too similar to Backstrom, they need a different type of center behind him. Like the Jason Spezza from a few years ago. The way Carter slots behind Kopitar.

    Orpik gotta go. Losing Orlov not the end of the world. I’d keep Schmidt over him.

    Then, add some young legs and speed to fill out the bottom six and you might…might…have something.

    I hope they do none of this and just keeping putting all of their egg’s in Ovie’s basket year after year hopefully he’ll finally somehow lead them to victory.

    PS- Random prediction…if he’s not kept by the Flames, Elliot goes to Dallas and teams with Bishop to give the Stars one of the best tandems after years of having the worst.

    • Did you see the picture of Ovy’s leg on Twitter. It was black & blue, numerous other colors as well & huge. I’m surprised he could even play it had to effect his skating. All players play injured this time of year I get that but not all injuries are created equally.

      I can’t believe I’m defending Ovy. Like many hockey players his skills are world class but not 1 of my favorite players, nor my type of player. 1 of the greatest if not greatest NHL goal scorers of all time.

      Was lost to a better team as the injuries to Alzner & Ovy couldn’t be overcome. The acquisition of Shattenkirk a disaster, Orpik done as anything more than a depth Dman & dressing 7 D & sitting Connolly considering Alzner could barely skate was a bad decision by Trotz. It caused continuity problems all over the line up.

      As did dressing 7 Dman for Ottawa last night. I would have dressed White for that game over Harpur. His energy, enthusiasm & skill may have meant a completely different game. It certainly would have benefited is development him long term.

      • Agree about Ovechkin – he was definitely playing hurt for the Pittsbugh series. As for the captaincy, I don’t see the change there either. Washington’s in a salary cap corner and they need some prospects or European free agents to fill out the roster and contribute on the cheap.
        Interesting that there’s speculation about a coaching change – can’t see that helping either but consider Columbus this year under John Tortorella or Anaheim under Randy Carlyle – who knew?

      • Anh was a great team when Beaudreau was let go & the so called experts had Columbus breaking thru the year before; 2015-16, many going to the conference final or even Stanley cup for some. A year late.

        Anaheim was my cup pick in 2015-16 & I had them going to the final again this year & a serious cup contender for years to come. Any team with Getzlaf, Kesler, Silfverberg, Rackell & that D is a cup contender.

        Unfortunate they lost Rackell & not certain they can over come that loss. Who’s behind the bench in Anh is of little consequence to me I think I could get that team to the conference finals. I’d just stand there & say next. Ha-ha!

      • Striker, then your not watching Anaheim play and the adjustment that Caryle has made in game, to give his team the advantage. Using your comment wouldn’t one think the same for Washington but yet they failed.
        Its funny how the media has their favorites (coaches) and give them all the credit when successful but when a coach like Torts has success they said its in spite of him not because of him. This is because he isn’t media friendly so they won’t heap the praise.

      • Ovechkin did play really hurt getting pain numing injections….and he was still pretty darn good… a lot of respect that 8 played so hurt and made 0 excuses…. kudos to him great job

        I hate the Crapitals team they are dirty ….but respect the hell out of Ovie and Coach Trotz

      • while absolutely no slouch,ovicheken isn’t even 3/4 as good as mike bossi was in his 9 years playing with 600 goals let alone richard lemuiex or gretz. really good goal scorer right up there with bret hull but to call ovi maybe the greatest goal scorer of all time makes me scoff.

      • notable corrections lol bossy – 10 years – 573 goals which is still 57 goals a year average oh and he won 4 cups.

    • Really strip Ovie trade Kuznetsov yeah that’s what Washington needs to do. They were one win away from facing Ottawa and lost to the Cup champs a lot of teams would love to be this close. Ovie played on one leg after Kadri took his knees out most players would have been done for the playoffs. Washington needs to fine tune and take another run at it next year but 30 other teams will be doing the same thing.

  3. Edler is paired with Dallas’ Klingberg on Team Sweden so how about Edler and Columbus’ 2nd to Dallas for 3rd overall and either Lehtonen or Niemi? Dallas would improve their D and get rid of a goalie to free up cap space and the Canucks would have 3rd and 5th overall to draft a centre and a defensive prospect to improve their rebuild depth.

    • I like it but wonder if that is enough for the 3rd overall. Might have to be Tanev instead though I would prefer keeping tanev and moving elder.

    • Edler is worth more than Dallas’s 3rd overall pick in this draft. None of the players that may get selected at #3, Vilardi, Glass, Tippet, Heiskanen, hell could be anyone of about 15 players in this softer draft & none may ever be worth what Edler; just turned 31 in April, is worth today & over the next 4 to 6 NHL seasons.

      A soft #1 or solid #2 NHL Dman. He is certainly Vancouver’s #1. Nor are they adding a pick & taking back a dead contract. They can sign Niemi when bought out for less than 1/2 of what he’s being paid today when Dallas if that’s who they want backing up Markstrom.

      The other significant factor is the bad blood Aquilini won’t let go with Galardi. He isn’t done sticking it to him yet or at least thinking he is.

      You had made the same proposal the other Day. Vancouver doesn’t need to draft a Dman high in this draft & their D is set moving forward, they can draft Dman in later rounds or years & let them stew in Major JR or the minors for years to develop.

      They draft 1 of Glass or Vilardi or another C option at #5, keep them in Jr./USHL & move on. Nor does Vancouver have the cap space to take on a Lehtonen or Niemi. They have Horvat & Gubranson to sign this summer. Gubranson apparently rejected 5 years at 5 mil per in Flo the reason he was traded.

      Rebuilding teams need cap flexibility to take on contracts & assets as the opportunity presents it’s self.

    • Gored the value is about right there. not sure about the goalie going back. Edler and a 2nd for 3rd overal even in a questionable year is one of the most reasonable mockffers I’ve seen on this site

  4. Backstrom,, Orpik

    Galchenyuk, Emelin, first Rd pick, B prospect.

    A way for WSH to shake up the roster, get younger, save some cap space to resign Oshie and Kusnetzov, and rid themselves of Orpik. Plus pick up a few 1st Rd pick and prospect.

    Montreal gets a true #1 Center while Price and Pacoreitty are on affordable deals.

    If Galchenyuk is traded (in a package deal) they need a top line Center coming back.

    Hard for wsh to shake up roster without taking some risk.

    • Backstrom is a top 5 center in the league. In my opinion he should have won the selke award this year, crazy he didn’t even get nominated.
      If you are trying to pry out backstrom it would take sergachev, chucky and a first+.

      If washington did want to shake things up they could land a lot more for backstrom that you propose. Also, when it comes to forwards backstrom is the one veteran that they shouldn’t trade.

      • Agree there’s been very few players in the league better then backstrom over the last 10 years.

      • Backstrom is so good and your right he is underated..terrific talent and this is coming from a Penguins fan that guy can play.

      • I think Alex Ovechkin would be a perfect fit in Los Angeles with the Kings….They need a goal scorer bad and the kings are big and play a physical style game.

        Jake Muzzin and a draft pick or prospect to Washington..

        Ovie with either Kopitar or Carter works

    • Hahahahaa.

      It’s good to have hopes & dreams, Are you having cold sweats when you wake up from those dreams?

  5. Connolly isn’t a trade chip. His value in trade is virtually non existent. With Was playoff hopeds on the line Was choose to dress a hobbling Alzner as a 7th Dman & wouldn’t even pull Orpik out of the line up & he was beyond brutal in these playoffs. This was a terrible signing by Was, Orpik was never worth the 5.5 per for 5 year deal he signed for, it was very short sighted of Was to tie so much salary up in him with this roster. It will cost them Alzner. Time to pay the piper for these short sighted decisions.

    • You say the Orpik signing terrible but the backes signing was ok? Let’s look at things from a hockey perspective not a fan perspective

      • My only issue with Backes is term & salary other wise I love this signing & Boston has no cap issues & can afford to do so as no 1’s making 8, 9 or 10 mil plus per year or doing so anytime soon. It sure beats having retained Lucic or Eriksson.

        My 1st choice was actually Brouwer, Backes was my 2nd as he can play C as well as RW & when Krjeci is eventually moved in 2 to 3 years or when ever an injury dictates Backes can slid into the middle, a nice luxury to have.

        Backes & Brouwer are similar players but I like Brouwers 4 year 4.5 deal far better than Backes 5 year 6 mil per deal & Browuer is also a little over a year younger. That said I can live with it. Simply the cost of dipping into the UFA market & players that can play C are simply more expensive than wingers all things being equal.

        I don’t wear rose colored glasses & am not a homer. Yes Boston is my favorite team, but I like many NHL teams. I’m a fantasy hockey pool fan 1st. I want to win all my pools, fantasy, draft, box, bets & I don’t draft or bet with my heart but my head, relaying on facts & odds of probability.

        I didn’t like the Orpik signing when signed. They just signed Niskannen at the exact same time. Orpik wasn’t a solution in today’s NHL. I don’t pay this type of Dman, a 34 year old slow shut down Dman at point of signing a 5 year 5.5 per deal. I sign K. Miller a 28 year old late bloomer to a 4 year deal at 2.5 per or other, better yet give Orlov that ice time as they did this season.

      • David Backes was invisible never heard his name the whole year….. quite surprising considering how good he was in St. Louis.

      • That’s right gold everyone knew backes was beat up and on the decline yet Sweeney gives him that money and term? Just a brutal signing. Striker you should take the glasses off cmon man

      • The Same happened with Brouwer in Calgary. Everyone in Calgary thinks that was a horrible signing. He’s getting a ton of flack for a very mediocre year.

  6. I wait 1 more year before considering moving Edler, doing so won’t impact his trade value to much the return at that time similiar in fact with only 1 year remaining it may allow more clubs to bid for his services. Hutton, Stetcher, Juolevi all need a few veterans to help buffer their development as NHL Dman.

    Edler, Stetcher.
    Hutton, Tanev.
    Juolevi, Gubranson.

    Spare: Sbisa; someone take him please.

    If Juolevi is ready to start his NHL career. Each young Dman gets a veteran to play with although Gubranson just turned 25 in January, he only has 339 NHL regular season games played so still not fully developed at the NHL level & just coming into his prime for NHL Dman.

    As Hutton & Stetcher both came out of College they maybe ready to assume far greater roles slightly faster due to maturity; age, but they & Gubranson are ready to carry Van’s D, Edler & Tanev are both still needed today.

    I look to move Edler the following summer with 1 year remaining & Vancouver has a far better handle on Juolevi, Subban & Brisebois as well as Hutton’s & Stecher’s development. What if 1 or both were to experience some short term regression as the rebuild takes place up front?

    The D looks solid moving forward, it’s the forward group that’s lacking but as much as I have slagged Benning & Linden, in a short period of time, although 2 years late, they did a job job securing solid assets for Hansen & Burrows.

    • Sorry should read but they & Gubranson aren’t ready to carry Van’s D.

    • And, what, you would trade Tryamkin to the Penguins for a second round pick because I would love that idea?

  7. Anyone know if there is anything in place for Vegas if a player retires or leaves for Europe instead of reporting to Vegas?