Are the Capitals looking to replace Orlov? Are they still trying to shore-up the 4th line? Who’s still out there, and what are the team’s options? The Capitals are currently $3,454,874 under the salary cap for the coming season. What can be done?
The Capitals have stated on a number of occasions this off-season, that adding another player to the roster is something they are considering, most notably, a fourth line winger. Is this a free agent? A prospect? And does the Orlov stalemate play into this? The current free-agent market continues to provide options:
Top Offensive Free Agents Still Available:
Patrick Elias (LW) – 40, previous salary: $5.5 million
Tomas Fleischmann (LW)- 32, previous salary: $750,000
Tuomo Ruutu (RW) – 32, previous salary: $4.75 million
Alex Tanguay (LW) – 36, previous salary: $3.5 million
Kris Versteeg (LW) – 30, previous salary: $4.4 million
As you can see, there is still decent talent on the market, and adding one of the above would surely boost the bottom lines productivity, but can the Caps afford to sign any of these free agents? Enter Dmitry Orlov.
Does the in Orlov contract stalemate represent idling by the Capitals, waiting to see how a few things may play out? The team may be waiting to see how a prospect or two perform in the coming rookie and training camps, set to start September 17th and 23rd respectively. If Madison Bowey or even Jonas Siegenthaler impress enough, it’s not impossible for one of them to pull a “Burakovsky” and find themselves on the opening night roster. This would save the Capitals money, and allow them to sign a decent 4th liner, in the neighborhood of $2.5 to $3 million. Not too shabby. If the Capitals are looking to go by way of signing a free agent, options are still out there as well:
Top Defensive Free Agents Still Available
Kris Russell (D) – 29, previous salary: $2.6 million
James Wisniewski (D) – 32, Previous salary: $5.5 million
KyleQuincey (D) – 30, previous salary: $4.25 million
Christian Ehrhoff (D) – 34, previous salary: $1.5 million
Dennis Seidenberg (D) – 35, previous salary: $4 million
When you consider the proverbial “window of opportunity” at one year (this season), signing an older player for a one year deal is not a terrible play. Certainly, there is value in the market at this time, which has to be a consideration for the Capitals when it comes to Dmitry Orlov. Time is the friend of the Capitals at this point, as unsigned free agents become more desperate to sign with a team.
Of course, the Capitals and the Orlov camp could be just playing traditional hard ball, and have come to a stalemate in the negotiations, and eventually Orlov will be signed. Orlov has stated through several sources that he is happy in Washington and wants to stay, so the Capitals may realize this and may be trying to get the very best price for Orlov at a at a relatively short term. However, for the Capitals, it’s good to know there are options.
By Jon Sorensen