Report: Capitals Connected To KHL Free Agent Sergei Shumakov

Photo: KHL

It’s late August with training camp right around the corner, but it looks like the Washington Capitals aren’t finished trying to add to their roster. Earlier today KHL winger, Sergei Shumakov, terminated his contract with his KHL team, CSKA Moskva, making him a free agent. He can sign with any team in any league in the world if he wishes, but the reports are he wants to play in the NHL. 

The New York Rangers have been mostly connected to the 25-year-old right-handed left winger, but earlier this morning Igor Eronko, a respected reporter out of Russia, said that the Caps are possible. It certainly isn’t a definite but if the Capitals can add the talented Russian it could help boost their depth.

It’s more than likely that if Shumakov comes to North America that he signs with the Rangers since they are not expected to be competitive this season, meaning they can give Sergei lots of playing time. The Capitals on the other hand seem set in their roster, bringing all of their Stanley Cup Champion team back besides two players (only one being a forward). It would be hard to crack the lineup of team that just won a Cup. But it’s also hard to ignore the Russian factor in Washington and the fact that they did just win the Cup. That could be very attractive to any Russian player.

Last season, Shumakov scored 40 points in 48 KHL games, which translates into 51 points in the NHL in a full 82 game season. He tied for his team lead in points and +/- (+28), was 2nd in goals (17), and 2nd in assists (23). He turns 26 next week, so he isn’t young but he isn’t old, and those numbers are impressive. There’s always a question about Europeans adjusting to the NHL game but if he could he’d certainly be a boost to any team.

If the Capitals are able to land Shumakov then it will be interesting to see how they handle the roster. If Sergei wanted to sign here he’d probably want at least 3rd line time meaning a player like Brett Connolly would probably be demoted, as he’s the weakest player in the top nine. He would be either trade bait or bumped to the 4th line, which he might not appreciate in a contract year, which would force a trade anyways.

But it’s really not worth speculating any further as these are just reports, it’s not even close to being a fact that the Capitals will sign the Russian. But if they do get their hands on him and he can translate his skill over to the NHL then the Capitals could have found a fantastic offensive boost to their already deadly lineup.

By Luke Adomanis

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13 Responses to Report: Capitals Connected To KHL Free Agent Sergei Shumakov

  1. CockyHockey says:

    I was totally onboard until I saw the Connolly part. I’m good with keeping Conno

    • lukeadomanis says:

      They don’t technically have to get rid of Con, Shunakov could fit under cap with Con. Just saying Con might want to leave if he’s playing on the 4th line.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The top 9 is fine and dont mess with them…. they are locked up mostly… 4th line maybe…

  3. Clifford Keefe says:

    Uh oh…I hope we don’t parlay this potential acquisition into an excuse to part ways with Connolly…


  4. Anonymous says:

    How does 40 points in 48 games translate into only 51 points in 82 games….someone’s math sucks.
    Anyway, why jack with a lineup that just won the Cup? He’s 26 and Caps have no room, nor the money to pay for someone that has not proven himself yet.

    • lukeadomanis says:

      It has to do with ALOT of research to compare how KHL goes up against the NHL. It’s been found that on average for every 1 NHL point it’s worth .804 NHL points. I also did the math wrong, he’d average 56 NHL points in 82 games.

      Signing him wouldn’t kick anyone out because he’d fit under the cap. It’s worth the gamble.

  5. JTH says:

    If he’s willing to sign a two way contract and spend some time in Hershey learning the Caps system I say sign him and lets see how he fits in.
    As far as Brett “Clutch” Connolly is concerned let him play.
    He’s found his groove with the Caps.

  6. redLitYogi says:

    If I’m Shumakov, I look elsewhere. My guess is the entire idea is a plant to up his price. (Good agent, well done. Is his name Boras?) But in the unlikely event the Caps do want him, why would they? I’m thinking it’s because we don’t have high end offensive talent in the pipeline and we may find it hard to keep both of Vrana and Burakovsky. (And both of them are really top 6 type talents.) As good as Wilson is/was last year in the playoffs when he wasn’t head-hunting (and which the league should stop him from doing) our top line was never better than it was when Trotz put Vrana out there on it for the 3rd period of game five vs the Pens. The Pens had been dominant up until then. So Vrana is actually a top line player who’s not getting the opportunity. Burakovsky is also a top talent. As long as they both stay in Washington, they are behind Ovechkin, Oshie, and possibly Wilson on the forward depth chart. That’s one 2nd line spot and one 3rd line spot.

    • redLitYogi says:

      replying to myself: Connolly will always be underappreciated, I think. But he’s also damn good, I think. So we have a good complement. But if we DO want Shumakov who is it we DON’T want? Connolly? Burakovsky? Is anyone trade bait? And what are our needs? (Well, middle to bottom pair defenseman with wheels would be useful…)

    • Clifford Keefe says:

      Excellent points, Red!

      Thx again,

      Sta. Monica

  7. Pingback: Capitals Sign Sergei Shumakov To One-Year Entry-Level Contract Worth $925,000 Contract | NoVa Caps

  8. Clifford Keefe says:

    Like you, I feel Connolly’s talents, for some reason, have been underappreciated and therefore unrewarded with PT–puzzling when you pause to consider the fact that Brett is regularly among the league leaders in shooting percentage…But the lack of appreciation occurred under Barry Trotz, who was often intransigent when it came down to playing his favorites….

    Let’s see if that changes under his successor…


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