Washington Capitals GM Brian MacLellan recently said he thinks a top-six forward with skill would help the team during a quick retool.
A six-game losing skid in late February sent the Washington Capitals tumbling out of playoff contention. It also forced GM Brian MacLellan to become a trade-deadline seller, shipping Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway to the Boston Bruins, Marcus Johansson to the Minnesota Wild, Lars Eller to the Colorado Avalanche and Erik Gustafsson to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
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MacLellan, however, is looking ahead at retooling his roster for a quick turnaround next season rather than engaging in a full rebuild. His acquisition of defenseman Rasmus Sandin from the Leafs provided the Capitals with a welcome boost of puck-moving youth and skill to their blueline.
The Capitals GM could be seeking more additions in the off-season. Washington Hockey Now’s Sammi Silber cited his recent appearance on a local sports radio show where he spoke about bringing in depth to his top-six forward lines.
Their current top-six wingers include Alex Ovechkin, T.J. Oshie, Tom Wilson and Anthony Mantha.
“I think our lineup needs a little more skill right now,” said MacLellan. “If we could add a top-six winger that has skill in the off-season, I think that would help.”
MacLellan could be looking at replacing Mantha, who’s had a disappointing 10 goals and 26 points in 61 games. CapFriendly indicates the 28-year-old winger carries an average annual value of $5.7 million and is a year away from becoming a UFA.
With just $7.3 million in projected cap space and 16 roster players under contract for 2023-24,
shedding Mantha’s contract would free up much-needed cap space to add a more reliable winger via
free agency. Options could include Tampa Bay’s Alex Killorn, Dallas’ Max Domi or Toronto’s Michael
- Washington Capitals Could Pursue a Top-Six Winger This Summer
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