“We Like What They Bring to Our Lineup”: General Manager Brian MacLellan on Capitals’ Trades, Expectations For Andre Burakovsky, DSP, and More


On an NHL Trade Deadline Day that saw the Capitals go without making a move, Capitals General Manager Brian MacLellan met with the media shortly after the 3:00 P.M. deadline to discuss the team’s acquisitions of Carl Hagelin and Nick Jensen, expectations for the team and players the rest of the season, and the possibility of re-signing right wing Brett Connolly, among others topics.

Commenting on a “quiet day”, MacLellan praised the skill-set of both Hagelin and Jensen, citing Jensen’s speed, improved and elevated play, and compete level as reason the Capitals were interested in acquiring him. “I don’t know if there was another guy out there….but given the way he plays, I think he’s a perfect fit for us”. MacLellan also revealed the Capitals were persistent in calls to the Detroit Red Wings (from which they acquired Jensen) up until they completed the transaction.

MacLellan praised Hagelin’s role on the penalty kill, saying “I like Hagelin on the PK…he’s always been a thorn in our side, and he’s a guy that can disrupt power plays”. MacLellan was asked about the Capitals’ decision to waive Devante Smith-Pelly, saying that the decision whether to waive Smith-Pelly or Dmitrij Jaskin was ultimately a last-minute “internal” decision to free cap space. “I think he didn’t have the best training camp, and I think maybe expectations were he would pick up where he left off [in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs]”. MacLellan also iterated the team could still bring him up for a playoff run this spring.

MacLellan confirmed that the Capitals fielded offers on pending restricted free agent and young forward Andre Burakovsky, who was a name in trade rumors earlier this season, saying the team ultimately did not pull the trigger on any transaction. MacLellan said that he expects the 24-year old former first-round pick to continue to pick up his production (he has seven points in his last 10 games) the rest of this season.

MacLellan was asked about pending unrestricted free agent Brett Connolly, who is in the midst of a career season offensively, having recorded 33 points in 63 games played this season. MacLellan reiterated the team would be interested in re-signing the 26-year old right wing, but also said the decision would come down to the team’s salary cap situation after attending to other business and Connolly’s asking price. He also said the team has had brief talks with forward Jakub Vrana’s representative about a contract extension.

By Michael Fleetwood

About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan, the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. Michael joined the NoVa Caps team in 2015, and is most proud of the growth of the NoVa Caps community in that time. An avid photographer, Michael resides in VA.
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8 Responses to “We Like What They Bring to Our Lineup”: General Manager Brian MacLellan on Capitals’ Trades, Expectations For Andre Burakovsky, DSP, and More

  1. Day One Caps Fan says:

    Trotz and McLellan will always be Saint Barry and Saint Brian to me! But GMBM has been quite the master swindler when it comes to trades with his GM buddies.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Well once again the Capitals failed to land that faceoff expert that they so desperately needed. A move that will cost them their second Stanley Cup. You cannot get rid of a player of Beagle’s abilities at the faceoff dots. More often then not the Gm fails once again to acquire the help we so desperately needed.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      I think “get rid” is too strong a term. Beags went for the pay day, and rightfully so. His last chance at a big contract in his career. Caps couldn’t afford him.

    • hockeydruid says:

      It was sad to see Beagle go however his $3 million a year for 4 years was just to much for this team to pay for a 4th line center who does not score. Chaisson would have been a better resign and came at league minimum. Resigning Smith-Pelly was a waste of time and money. They could have once again used Chaisson there or brought up Reily from Hershey to play the wing on the 4th line. Yes Beagle had great faceoff skills but on a team that is hamstrung because of the salary cap and what Beagle Deserved they could not pay. They will face that situation again this summer when Varna, Haglin, Connolly, Burakovsky, Stephenson, Down, Jaskin and Djoos are all either RFA or UFA. I didnt mention Orpik because I think this will be his last season here. Of the above group who do you keep and who goes? Varna in my opinion stays as does Djoos. I would like to keep Stephenson and Connolly and at 26 and 27 after this season how long do you sign them for. At 30 Down was nice for one year. At 31 did we give to much for a rental in Haglin? Jaskin at 28 is not worth keeping. And that leaves us with Burky and at 24 is he worth another 3 year deal or do we let him go for nothing. Maybe a trade can be made for him at the draft. Also the Gm has to start to think about what to do next summer as both Backstrom and Holtby will be UFA. Both will want more money to resign so do they get traded this summer or lose one and keep the other?

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