According to David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, the Washington Capitals have a deal in place to trade forward Chandler Stephenson, possibly with the Vegas Golden Knights.
Hearing the Capitals have a trade in place involving F Chandler Stephenson. Possible Vegas may be involved.
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) December 2, 2019
Stephenson, 25, was held out of the Capitals’ practice at SAP Center in San Jose on Monday afternoon because of a pending roster transaction, according to Capitals’ senior writer Mike Vogel.
With center Nicklas Backstrom, who has missed the past five games with a lower-body injury, and forward Carl Hagelin, who has missed the past 11 games with an upper-body injury, set to return against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night (10:30 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington), the Capitals need to make a move to stay under the NHL salary cap. They currently have $2.65 million available but need $2.75 million to activate Hagelin off of long-term injured reserve.
Stephenson, 25, has posted three goals, four points, and a +5 rating in 24 games this season after signing a one-year, $1.05 million contract as a restricted free agent on July 27.
The Capitals currently have 21 players on the roster. The maximum they could have is 22 but they do not have the room to carry that many with their current salary cap situation.
The Capitals selected Stephenson 77th overall in the 2012 NHL Draft. In 168 career regular-season games with the Capitals, Stephenson has 14 goals, 33 points, and a +2 rating. He posted two goals, seven points, and a +3 rating during the team’s run to the Stanley Cup in 2018. In 180 career AHL games, all with the Hershey Bears, Stephenson recorded 30 goals, 87 points, and a +4 rating.
Golden Knights President of Hockey Operations George McPhee drafted Stephenson when he was GM of the Capitals.
The Golden Knights were in action at Madison Square Garden against the New York Rangers on Monday night, delaying a possible trade with the Capitals.
Vegas is playing. Nothing finalized, but I believe there is something cooking between Washington and Vegas. https://t.co/BUp8UigjkW
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) December 3, 2019
Sinbin Vegas confirmed that the Golden Knights are expected to acquire Stephenson but reported that there is still work to be done on the deal.
To clarify what we know on the trade rumors, we have multiple sources indicating that Vegas is expected to finalize a trade with the Capitals for Chandler Stephenson. However, the deal is not done at this time.
We do not know the return, but it is not expected to be an NHLer.
— SinBin.vegas (@SinBinVegas) December 3, 2019
By Harrison Brown