The scouts of the Washington Capitals and Dallas Stars have been at each others’ games in recent weeks and have been scouting each other “heavily,” Sean Shapiro of the Athletic tweeted out on Friday night. He also said that Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky, who has been in the rumor mill for the past few weeks, is on the Stars’ radar as the February 25 trade deadline approaches.
Stars and Capitals have been scouting each other heavily lately. Including Stars head pro scout in Washington this evening. The Caps Burakovsky is on the Stars list as they look at trade options and continue to assess where team is at.
— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) January 19, 2019
The Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan reported that the only scouts at the Capitals’ 2-0 loss to the New York Islanders last night were from the Stars.
In information that people will definitely overreact to, the Dallas Stars have two scouts at this game.
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) January 18, 2019
Capitals General Manager Brian MacLellan stated at his mid-season press conference last week that he would be open to doing a “player-for-player” deal before the trade deadline as the Capitals currently only have $411,667 in cap space.
Burakovsky, who will turn 24 on February 9, is a natural candidate for a trade. He has been a healthy scratch frequently the past month and only has five goals, nine points, and a -6 rating in 41 games this season. Burakovsky has been held off of the scoresheet in his past five outings and has only one assist in his last 13 games.
Burakovsky is scheduled to become a restricted free agent on July 1 and will need a qualifying offer worth at least $3.25 million for the Capitals to retain his rights, a hefty price for someone who’s struggled to produce consistently over his career. If the Caps fail to make a qualifying offer, Burakovsky would become an unrestricted free agent.
Burakovsky’s best season came in 2015-16, when he recorded 17 goals and 38 points in 79 games, setting career-highs in each category. He has 55 goals, 129 points, and a +26 rating in 293 career NHL games, all with the Capitals. The young Swede has missed time the past three seasons due to hand injuries.
The Stars have $795,793 left in cap space, so a trade would have to involve a player or players with cap space that would be close to Burakovsky’s contract. Earlier this week, the Stars were involved in a trade with the Anaheim Ducks, bringing forward Andrew Cogliano to the Lone Star State while sending center Devin Shore to Southern California. Dallas has 10 forwards making less than $3.5 million this season.
Dallas is one point outside a playoff spot in the Western Conference while Washington is a point behind the Islanders for the Metropolitan Division lead.
By Harrison Brown