With the trade deadline rapidly approaching (this Monday, 2/26, 3:00 p.m. ET.), teams are starting to get serious about making their final moves for the final quarter of the season. Yes, “silly season” is in high gear. Here are the latest Capitals tid bits from the rumor mill for February 21st.
SportsNet’s Elliotte Friedman’s provided an update on contract negotiations between the Capitals and John Carlson’s representation in his 31 Thoughts from 2/20.
“Don’t know how to read into this, but John Carlson and the Washington Capitals seem very comfortable with waiting to talk contract. Teams used to be scared to wait this long but Steven Stamkos’ free agency has changed that. If an organization really believes a cornerstone wants to stay, they will play it out. How Washington does could lead to further changes on the roster, which gives the Capitals a better idea of their salary structure.”
It sounds like there has been little, if any, movement with regards to re-signing Carlson. It would seem that this likely means one of two things: 1) both sides feel good about coming to terms on an extension before the July 1 deadline, or 2) both sides are aware that Carlson wants to at least test free agency to see what value he can garner on the open market. We presented the major factors involved in re-signing Carlson in a piece earlier in the season, which you can read right here.
According to Tom Gulitti of NHL.com, “Capitals GM Brian MacLellan said he’s still listening/talking to GMs leading up to NHL Trade Deadline on Monday, but if they do anything else it would be a depth trade similar to Kempny trade yesterday — not a Shattenkirk-type for pieces of future type trade.” MacLellan laughed when asked about Capitals coach Barry Trotz’s suggestion Monday that he might have more coming before the trade deadline. “We’re looking at all things,” MacLellan said. “We’re in communication with other teams and players and if something makes sense for us, we’re going to do it.”
A word to the wise, MacLellan has made this exact same statement in years past prior to the trade deadline. At minimum, it’s sound negotiating skills.
According to Gulitti, If Chorney clears waivers, a trade could still be possible. He’d have some value after he’s cleared waivers as an extra Defenseman in the AHL who can be called up if needed due to injury.
Early rumor is that newly acquired defenseman Michal Kempny will start out paired with John Carlson. It’s uncertain what this will do to the other defensive pairings. Carlson has been paired with rookie Christian Djoos for a good portion of the season. Kempny is expected to make his Capitals debut Thursday night in Florida against the Panthers.
By Jon Sorensen