After over 4 decades of suffering, the Washington Capitals finally broke through in 2018 and won the Stanley Cup. Constructed with a solid core group that consists of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Braden Holtby, the Capitals are built for the long haul. The Capitals have been a very competitive team for over the last decade, and it looks like it will not slow down any time soon.
The Capitals have all the right ingredients in their lineup. The goaltending has been excellent with Braden Holtby in between the pipes. The defensive unit is strong, and has a good mix of young players and stable veterans. At forward, the Capitals are very deep up the middle with Backstrom, Kuznetsov, and Eller.
During the regular season and postseason, the Capitals saw plenty of young players enter the mix and contribute some big goals. Players like Jakub Vrana, Chandler Stephenson, and Devante Smith-Pelly were big time performers and all are playing on reasonable contracts.
WHAT DOES BARRY TROTZ DO?
The big offseason question facing the Capitals involves the status of Barry Trotz. Trotz does not have a contract for next season, and his future is still unknown.
Trotz is among one of the top coaches in the league, and will surely get a hefty raise wherever he goes. On the flip side, there could be a slight chance where Trotz decides to walk away from the game and retire.
No matter what Trotz does, his services will be chased if he does not return to the Capitals. If he decides to walk away from the game, he will always be known as a well-respected coach that has a ton of wins under his belt.
JOHN CARLSON IS A FREE AGENT
On the blueline, 28-year old John Carlson is set to become an unrestricted free agent. Carlson had an excellent season for the Capitals. He recorded 15 goals and 68 points. He added 5 goals and 20 points in the postseason.
Carlson will likely be looking at a big time pay raise and a long-term contract. It will be interesting to see if the Capitals can meet his upcoming contract demands. Carlson is a defenseman that plays in every situation for the Capitals, and will be highly sought after if he makes it to free agency.
WHAT IS PHILIPP GRUBAUER’S STATUS?
Grubauer had an outstanding regular season for the Capitals. He played in 35 games for the Capitals this season, and recorded a 2.35 goals against average. Grubauer is set to become a restricted free agent, but there could be some play to move him if a good trade comes along.
The 26-year old German born goaltender has been excellent as a backup to Braden Holtby, and it will be interesting to see what kind of money and term Grubauer will be seeking as a restricted free agent.
By: George Foussekis