Washington Capitals forward Chandler Stephenson was not on the ice during the team’s practice at SAP Center on Monday morning and could be part of a transaction, according to senior writer Mike Vogel.
Chandler Stephenson will not be on the ice today. Nothing official at this time, but sounds like the #Caps will be making a roster move before tomorrow’s game here in San Jose, and he is part of that transaction.
— Mike Vogel (@VogsCaps) December 2, 2019
Center Nicklas Backstrom, who has missed the past five games with a lower-body injury, skated in a regular jersey in practice, meaning he will likely return to the lineup when the Capitals face off against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night (10:30 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington). In addition, forward Carl Hagelin, who has missed the past 11 games with an upper-body injury, is eligible to be activated from long-term injured reserve and will likely play against the Sharks after taking contact in practice last week.
The Capitals are right up against the NHL salary cap with $2,625,000 available and they need to fit Hagelin’s $2.75 million cap hit, so moving Stephenson would free up enough cap space to accommodate Hagelin.
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.
By Harrison Brown