Training Camp Battles: With Roster Moves Coming, the Capitals Will Have Plenty of Competition for Depth Positions

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Photo: NHL via Getty Images

With Chandler Stephenson and Christian Djoos now signed to new contracts, the Washington Capitals are slightly over the NHL’s maximum salary cap.  While they are over the cap, their cap situation is fixable with a few minor roster adjustments.  The Capitals can remain over the salary cap through training camp so they can let things play out through the preseason games.

FORWARDS

The Capitals overhauled their bottom-six forward group over the summer.  They brought in Garnet Hathaway, Richard Panik, and Brendan Leipsic during free agency.  Panik and Hathaway are two locks for the club to make the roster, but Leipsic will most likely have to earn a spot to remain on the roster.

In addition to the new additions, Chandler Stephenson and Travis Boyd will be in the mix for the final spots on the Capitals fourth line.  One would think that Nic Dowd will hold the fourth line center position to begin the new season.

With new additions and some established veterans, the Capitals could also look deeper in the organization for some younger talent to take a roster spot.  Shane Gersich, Brian Pinho, and Garrett Pilon are some of the younger prospects that might get some more looks during training camp and preseason games.

There are likely just two spots to fill to round out the Capitals opening night lineup.  With several forwards competing for minimal spots, competition should be intense and the Capitals coaching staff will have tough choices to make.

DEFENSEMEN

With Christian Djoos now signed, the Capitals are likely set on the blueline for the upcoming season.  However, it is still possible that Djoos could be moved to shed some cap space if the cap crunch becomes too much.

Djoos did not have the best season a year ago, but it was tough for him to crack the Capitals lineup on a nightly basis.  The 24-year old Swede only played in 45 games for the Capitals a season ago.

Djoos must have a better season coming up if he wants to earn more ice time.  Organizationally, the Capitals likely do not have many younger candidates ready to make the big jump to the NHL yet to challenge for a final defensive roster spot.

Some notable players that could possibly challenge for a defensive roster spot include Lucas Johansen and Connor Hobbs.  These players have been in the Hershey ranks for some time now, and have shown positive steps in their professional developments.

By: George Foussekis

About George Foussekis

I am a sports fanatic. I love hockey and football, and I enjoy writing about my two favorite sports. I am a proud Old Dominion University alum.
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2 Responses to Training Camp Battles: With Roster Moves Coming, the Capitals Will Have Plenty of Competition for Depth Positions

  1. Anonymous says:

    Can I just comment on the change or upgrade in interesting articles on the NOVA Caps website the last few months has been great! I now come here each day to check what new content has been added. I want to congratulate you and say (even during slow summer season) Keep Up The Good Work!

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  2. jimallcaps says:

    I think that Boyd will be the extra forward with CS in another hockey town for a late round pick or buried in Hershey. Clearly, BMac wants a tougher bottom 6 than last year and Hathaway, Panik, and Leipsic are good energy guys and tough. CS is too expensive and such a defensive liability that he will most likely not be in DC this winter. If someone gets hurt, Gersich, Pillon, and AJF can be called up without going through waivers. I also see BMac trading away CS to keep TR from skating him, given that BMac went heavy and tough. Leipsic may not be as big as CS or Boyd, but plays with an edge.
    I also think Djoos is most likely gone with AA and Fev ready to jump up next year for a lot less. Siegy is much better in his own end than Djoos and is a swift skating, good first pass blueliner.
    With CS and Djoos gone or buried in Hershey, the Caps will be under the cap.

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