Big Decisions Ahead For Capitals’ Non-Roster Free Agents

It’s a busy time for Washington Capitals’ general manager Brian MacLellan. Part of MacLellan’s immediate “to-do” list is includes assessing and re-signing all of the Capitals’ current non-roster free agents. This years free agents include four forwards and five defensemen, six restricted free agents and three group six unrestricted free agents.

Earlier this week we presented the Capitals salary cap budget for the 2020-21 season. In the post we discussed the current roster free agents and projected decisions for re-signing. In this post we’ll take a look at the current non-roster players who are currently free agents.


Daniel Sprong (RFA) – Sprong was acquired from the Anaheim Ducks at this years trade deadline in exchange for defenseman Christian Djoos. After a short but encouraging stint with the Bears, Sprong participated in the Capitals summer training camp and made the trip to the Toronto bubble for the playoffs. Because he was acquired via trade, it’s extremely likely that the Capitals will extend him and get a longer look. His scoring ability is also needed in Hershey.

Current Salary: $750,000
Decision: Re-Sign
Projecmted Contract: two years/$775,000

Brian Pinho (RFA) – Pinho has been one of the Capitals best forward prospects over the past 16 months. He recorded a 20-goal season with the Bears this season and made his NHL debut during the Capitals postseason. At 25, Pinho’s time is more constrained, but his rapid progress over the the last season is intriguing. He will be re-signed.

Current Salary: $700,000
Decision: Re-Sign
Projected Contract: two years/$800,000

Liam O’Brien (UFA – G6) – O’Brien’s value remains primarily in Hershey. He is a fan favorite and one of the team’s leaders. However, since O’Brien, 26, is unrestricted, the choice is his. He may want to follow former roommate Riley Barber’s exit and explore other options. If he wants to stay, he will.

Current Salary: $700,000
Decision: Re-sign:
Projected Contract: one year/$750,000

Shane Gersich (RFA) – Gersich was given just a one year extension by the Capitals last summer, which indicates they’d like to see more and quickly. Gersich had a good season and modified his game. Unfortunately he and Garrett Pilon were the only two forwards cut from Capitals summer training camp, which could be an indication of team’s current thinking.

Current Salary: $700,000
Decison: Re-sign
Projected Contract: one year/$750,000


Lucas Johansen (RFA) – Johansen has struggled at the AHL level. The former first round draft pick has suffered significant injuries almost every season, but has also struggled in the 128 games he has played for the Bears. There is an outside chance that the Capitals will want one more year, however a change of scenery would be best for both Johansen and the Capitals.

Current Salary: $925,000
Decision: Don’t Re-sign

Kris Bindulis (RFA) – Bindulis has struggled to get playing time at the AHL level, which ultimately saw him playing-out his last contract at ECHL Carolina. In early August he was transferred to Krefeld Pinguine in the German league.

Current Salary: $792,500
Decision: Don’t Re-sign

Connor Hobbs (RFA) – Hobbs’ AHL career has also suffered from several significant injuries. After putting up flashy offensive stats in the WHL, the scoring and playing time has never really materialized for Hobbs. Because he has been severely limited in playing time, mostly due to injuries, the Capitals may want to give him an extra year.

Current Salary: $720,000
Decison: Re-sign
Projected Contract: one year/$750,000

Colby Williams (UFA – G6) – Williams struggled to find playing time as a defenseman for the Bears, which even saw him actually spend time at the forward position late in the 2019-2020 season.

Current Salary: $700,000
Decision: Don’t Re-sign

Tyler Lewington (UFA -G6) – Lewington is in a very similar situation to Liam O’Brien. He is a fan favorite and a key leader on the Bears team. However, Lewington has more value from a Capitals perspective, and will likely get an extension offer. The final decision is his, and he may look for a better opportunity at more playing time in the NHL. If he wants to stay he will.

The formal end date of current contracts has been extended until after the NHL playoffs conclude because of the pause in play due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Current Salary: $675,000
Decision: Re-sign
Projected Contact: one year/$750,000

The current contracts for the aforementioned free agents have been extended until after the NHL completes postseason play due to the pause for the COVID-19 pandemic.

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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2 Responses to Big Decisions Ahead For Capitals’ Non-Roster Free Agents

  1. Anonymous says:

    I think TL would be a good 7th or 8th D for the Caps.. keep him

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