Bill Boyce/Associated Press
With training camp just a few weeks away, the Capitals’ Opening Night roster and NHL roster as a whole will look very similar to last season’s, considering that General Manager Brian MacLellan was able to bring back all but three members of the Stanley Cup-winning team in the offseason (Jay Beagle, Jakub Jerabek, and Alex Chiasson). Aside from Beagle (Vancouver) and Jerabek (Edmonton), Chiasson has yet to find a new home and the only word came when Chiasson had his Day with the Stanley Cup. With $1,099,039 in cap space, the Caps have some room to add some more depth to their lineup, and with a familiarity with each other, could the team look at a reunion with Chiasson?
After signing a professional tryout offer (PTO) prior to training camp last season, Chiasson showed enough in the preseason to earn himself a one-year, $660,000 contract. While he was not expected to contribute massive offensive totals, Chiasson scored nine goals and added nine assists for 18 points in 61 games played, averaging a respectable 11:46 of ice time a night for former Head Coach Barry Trotz; his career-highs in goals and points came during the 2013-14 season, when he finished with 13 and 35, respectively for the Dallas Stars.
Aside from his day with Lord Stanley’s mug, there has been little word on Chiasson’s future this offseason. While a reunion with the Caps could make sense for a number of reasons, the Capitals have added to their offensive depth this offseason with the signings of Nic Dowd and Sergei Shumakov, which leaves little room for Chiasson on the depth chart. While his offensive production isn’t his strength, and his speed leaves something to be desired, Chiasson carved out a niche on the team’s penalty kill, scoring one shorthanded goal, blocking eight shots, and recording 1.8 points shorthanded per 60 minutes; in addition Capitals goalies finished the season with an .861 save percentage on the penalty kill.
While the few additions to the team’s bottom-six may decrease the likelihood of Chiasson returning, anything could happen between now and the start of training camp, where there will undoubtedly be some competition for roster spots. What do you think Caps fans? Will the Capitals bring Chiasson back or will he go elsewhere?
By Michael Fleetwood