Capitals Approach Huge 7-Day Span That Could (Should) Significantly Re-Shape Team

The Washington Capitals (and the rest of the NHL) head into the biggest week of the off-season next week as the NHL draft (July 7-8), qualification of restricted free agents (July 11) and the opening of free agency (July 13) all occur within a seven-day span. It’s likely we could see a very different Capitals team begin take shape over that span.

The draft traditionally begins the (unofficial) off-season trades process, which could see the Capitals look to address a number of their needs (goaltender, center, left-handed defenseman and right wing). We could see trades actually begin at anytime over the next four days leading up to the draft.

If the Capitals don’t address all of their needs via trade, they’ll next look to free agency, which opens July 13 (players are able to begin formal meetings with other teams on July 12). It’s likely the Capitals will add several free agent players this off-season. As for the Capitals, Marcus Johansen, Johan Larsson, Matt Irwin, Michal Kempny, Justin Schultz and Pheonix Copley are all unrestricted free agents. It’s possible none of them return. Shane Gersich and Brian Pinho are also unrestricted free agents.

We will also find out about the status of key restricted free agents by July 11. Ilya Samsonov, Vitek Vanecek and Lucas Johansen are all restricted free agents this off-season. If the Capitals intend to keep (or even trade) they will need to extend minimum  qualifying offers to each of the players before July 11. More on the minimum offers required for each player can be found in our previous post here.

Due to the extension of the 2021-22 regular season and desire to get back on track to start next season, the off-season has been compressed and key dates in the off-season schedule have been subsequently bunched-up in the second week of July. We will likely see a significantly different team emerge over the next two weeks as the Capitals look to reload once again for the 2022-23 season.


July 1 ▪ First Buy-Out Period Begins

July 2 ▪ Deadline for First Club-Elected Salary Arbitration Notification (5:00 p.m. New York Time)

July 7 ▪ 2022 NHL Draft – Round 1

July 8 ▪ 2022 NHL Draft – Rounds 2-7

July 11 ▪ Deadline for Qualifying Offers, which are not open for acceptance prior toJuly 13

July 12 ▪ Restricted Free Agents may make contact with Clubs (including their own) regarding potential interest, but may not sign new SPCs or Offer Sheets until the opening of RFA/UFA Signing Period ▪ First Buy-Out Period Ends (5:00 p.m. New York Time) ▪ Club’s ability to offer own potential UFA an eight (8) year SPC expires (11:59 p.m. New York Time)

July 13 ▪ RFA/UFA Signing Period Begins (12:00 p.m. New York Time) ▪ Qualifying Offers open for acceptance (12:00 p.m. New York Time)

July 17 ▪ Deadline for Player-Elected Salary Arbitration Notification (5:00 p.m. New York Time) ▪ Deadline for RFA Offer Sheets for First Club-Elected Salary Arbitration (5:00 p.m. New York Time) ▪ Commencement of Second Club-Elected Salary Arbitration Notification (5:01 p.m. New York Time)

July 18 ▪ Deadline for Club-Elected Salary Arbitration Notification (5:00 p.m. New York Time)

July 22 ▪ Qualifying Offers Expire Automatically (5:00 p.m. New York Time)

July 27 ▪ First Day of Salary Arbitration Hearings

August 11 ▪ Last Day of Salary Arbitration Hearings

August 13 ▪ Last Day for Issuance of Salary Arbitration Awards 48 hours after Club’s last Salary Arbitration Award/Settlement ▪ Deadline to Exercise Salary Arbitration Walkaway Right

48-hour period beginning at 5:00 p.m. New York Time on the 3 rd Day after Club’s last Salary Arbitration Award/Settlement1 ▪ Deadline for Such Club’s Second Buy-Out Period

the information above was provided by the NHL PR department

By Jon Sorensen

Related Reading:

Why Capitals Should Pursue Acquiring Canucks’ J.T. Miller
Why The Capitals Should Sign Pending UFA Ilya Mikheyev
Why The Capitals Should Extend An Offersheet To Maple Leafs’ RFA Rasmus Sandin
Preparing For The RFA Qualifying Offers For Vitek Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov And The Potential For Outside Offer Sheets

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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17 Responses to Capitals Approach Huge 7-Day Span That Could (Should) Significantly Re-Shape Team

  1. novafyre says:

    We will see some familiar faces go, but I fear we will also see a number of our prospects leave, traded away for older veterans.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Very possible. Hopefully it’s not the top 2-3.

    • Anonymous says:

      No to the later… team isn’t a contender

    • steven says:

      You may be right but that will be so sad as once again this team will trade its future just to try to make the playoff next eyar. They have gone out in the first round a lot lately so maybe it is time to rebuild and say to heck with Ovie getting the scoring title; after all isnt the game suppose to be bigger than any one player?

  2. Anonymous says:

    As long as we keep LaPierre and Alexeyev… can’t trade those 2. LaPierre will be an impact player.

  3. GR+in+430 says:

    I’m wishing for Montreal to offer Samsonov $10.8M/yr for 8 yrs. The Caps could really use those high picks. But that isn’t going to happen.

    I suspect instead the Caps will simply qualify all their RFAs and trade the rights to Samsonov for a mid-round pick. Given the uncertainty around whether the Russians will be allowed to play this year, that’s about the best the Caps could get.

    Then they might look to shed Eller and/or Mantha’s cap hits, and use that cap space to sign a mid-level free agent or 5, to ensure that they have plenty of mid-level guys ahead of everybody in their prospect pool, so they can later trade those disgruntled prospects for more mid-level players and picks.

    This is the Caps way…

    • steven says:

      Thats a nice idea and toss Carlson into the package and maybe even Mantha! And have Montreal toss in 2 or 3 2nd round picks over the next 2-4 years. hen take the multiple 2’s and package them with TJ for a #1. Instand salary relief and getting younger and rebuilding in a positive way.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I think C is fine as Connor M and Protas can handle C…

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re gonna replace Nicklas Backstrom with Connor McMichael/Aliaksei Protas? Nicklas Backstrom?

      • steven says:

        At this point in their careers and with Backstroms surgery I would think that you have to and add Lapierre in the mix. This team needs to get younger and faster and hanging onto older players just because they had a good career is silly. Now is the time to start the rebuild as it can be done a few players at a time by gradually working theyounger players into the lineup. Sorry but just making the playoffs just to lose in the first round is not acceptable and maybe missing the playoffs a few years to get higher draft picks and give the younger players experience is what is needed rather than the status quo.

  5. A1962 says:

    BMac better be in on Chycrun, Gibson and maybe sign Trochek to a fair deal if he can’t trade for Miller.

    • steven says:

      So you are willing to trade the future for th present? That is what the Caps have done for many a year along with ba draft picks so maybe it is time to change thigs and play the young guys rather than tossing away draft picks.

  6. Lance says:

    Gibson is interesting and I saw Hellebuyck might be available in trade. I’d trade Samsonov+ for either.

    I have to say I’m impressed with the Caps’ drafting in recent years. We’ve picked up a lot of solid talent even though we’ve been picking late. McMichael. LaPierre. Iorio, Leason, Fehervary and plenty more are likely to have long, successful NHL careers. I hope BMac keeps all the better prospects. It doesn’t make sense to trade away good prospects. Especially in this nutty cap era.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Agree Lance, things have improved in recent years with regards to the draft. The team parted ways with a scout out west and brought in Danny Brooks who has been excellent.

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