Capitals General Manager Brian MacLellan Talks to the Media About Losing Michal Kempny, Potential of Re-signing Hagelin, Justin Williams, and More


With the Capitals set to begin their quest to repeat as Stanley Cup champions on Thursday against the Carolina Hurricanes, General Manager and Vice President of Hockey Operations Brian MacLellan met with the media to discuss a myriad of topics, including the loss of Michal Kempny to injury, the potential of re-signing Carl Hagelin, ex-Capital (and current Hurricanes’ captain Justin Williams, and more.

When MacLellan last met with the media, it was shortly after the conclusion of the 2019 Trade Deadline, at which he acquired forward Carl Hagelin and defenseman Nick Jensen to bolster the Caps’ roster. When asked about whether Hagelin was a player the team would be interested in re-signing (he is a pending Unrestricted Free Agent), MacLellan responded by saying, “We’ll deal with that after the playoffs. You know I like the fit but we’ll see where his representatives are at”.

MacLellan was asked about former Capitals right wing Justin Williams, who played two seasons (2015-16 and 2016-17) with the Caps before signing a two-year contract with the Carolina Hurricanes in free agency in 2017, with whom he currently serves as captain. MacLellan had high praise for the veteran, who brought an invaluable amount of experience to the Caps’ locker room upon his arrival:

“He’s a great teammate, he has the right blend of leadership, have fun, compete…he provided us with that leadership and he’s doing the same thing in Carolina now and he’s just a great guy to have on your team”

MacLellan was asked about the possibility of recalling right wing Devante Smith-Pelly from the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears, after a breakout performance in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs that aided the Caps in their run to the franchise’s first championship. While he did not rule it out, he also noted that the Caps have players currently on the roster who are deserving of playing time as well:

MacLellan also addressed the loss of Top 4 defenseman Michal Kempny to a hamstring injury shortly before the conclusion of the regular season, saying that it “hurts to lose him”. MacLellan was also asked about the progression of right wing Tom Wilson’s game this season, complimenting the oft-criticized (by those outside Washington) power forward on an “outstanding year” (one in which he recorded a career-high 22 goals and 40 points in 63 games played).


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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7 Responses to Capitals General Manager Brian MacLellan Talks to the Media About Losing Michal Kempny, Potential of Re-signing Hagelin, Justin Williams, and More

  1. Jeremy Hafner says:

    I feel like he will be dumb enough to sign him to 2-3 year deal and continue to block off players like Riley and Liam from getting their shot in the pros.

    • Chef JTH says:

      While I like Hagelin I totally agree that some homegrown talent in Hershey should be given a shot with the big club.

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