Yesterday’s free agency frenzy did not answer all of the questions that remain for the Capitals and their affiliates for the 2017-2018 season. While some big names have sadly departed, there are others who have yet to sign with the Caps or elsewhere. Here’s a quick run-down. UPDATES IN RED With a little over 5.5 million left, there are still 3 forwards, 2 d-men, and a goalie to go for the Caps. YIKES!
Player Watch – Guys we’re still waiting on – the big One – Grubauer, one potential Cap, and the lovable Hershey favorites
- What We Know – He’s been given an offer by the Capitals and is eligible for arbitration.
- What We Don’t Know – Did the Copley signing give him pause?
Andre Burakovsky SIGNED 2-year/$6 million dollar deal July 4
- What We Know – He’s also been given an offer by the Capitals. He is NOT eligible for arbitration.
- What We Don’t Know – At 22, does Bura value himself along the likes of MoJo? If so, how are the Caps going to work three large salaries into 12.4 million of cap space and still fill holes on their roster?
Evgeny Kuznetsov – SIGNED 8-YEAR, 62.4 MILLION CONTRACT
- What We Know – He’s been given an offer by the Capitals and, like Grubauer, is eligible for arbitration.
- What We Don’t Know – After seeing Oshie’s deal, is Kuzy also looking for big money over the long haul?
Travis Boyd SIGNED 1-year/2-way deal
- What We Know – The Hershey centerman, who has not missed a game since joining the club full-time two years ago, has been given an offer. He’s eligible for arbitration and a bonus fact – he’s waivers exempt.
- What We Don’t Know – Is Boyd’s contract going to look like every other one offered to and signed by Hershey guys (two-year deals)?
- What We Know – The undrafted “tough guy” has been given an offer. He’s learning to become more offensive-minded as opposed to taking unnecessary penalties, but the 22-year-old still finds himself in the box upon occasion and it’s not at opportune times.
- What We Don’t Know – How is O’Brien (who is NOT eligible for arbitration) going to fit into the organization’s plan? He’s been in DC before and would love to get back.
- What We Know – There aren’t many in Hershey who aren’t pulling for a deal to get done with their beloved captain.
- What We Don’t Know – There are many other organizations out there who need character guys like Mitchell who aren’t afraid to stick up for their teammates on the ice.
- What We Know – The Bears d-men soaked up every little bit of info and advice doled out by Gilbert. Some team’s going to get a great on-ice player/coach.
- What We Don’t Know – Who’s in the market for a seasoned NHL d-man that isn’t going to command a huge cap hit? Um…just about everyone.
- What We Know – Thomas has the ability to score, no doubt, and just about everyone can use a guy who can score.
- What We Don’t Know – Has the reported strained Thomas/Mann relationship hurt the kid’s chances?
- What We Know – Not much – Since turning pro in 2013-2014, he’s played for two AHL teams and three ECHL clubs, most recently the Stingrays.
- What We Don’t Know – Is he likely to get an AHL contract?
Work to do in Hershey – The Bears have nine guys who were under contract last year that are free agents (R. Bourque, Gazley, Parker, Zajac, Margonari, Labrie, Leach, Milner, and Morrison).
So we continue to wait and watch.
By Julie Beidler