Report: Capitals “Would Entertain” Trade Offers For Eller “If It Could Get Help On Defense”

According to The Athletic’s Eric Duhatschek, Pierre LeBrun, and Michael Russo, the Washington Capitals “would entertain” offers for center Lars Eller “if it could get help on defense” ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline on Friday, March 3 at 3 PM ET.

Duhatschek wrote: “Washington, I’m told, would entertain offers for him if it could get help on defense, where the injury to John Carlson has really thinned the ranks.” The Athletic noted that the Los Angeles Kings are deep on the right side and could move either Matt Roy or Sean Walker.

Since center Nicklas Backstrom and right-wing Tom Wilson made their season debuts after undergoing respective surgeries in the offseason, Washington has seen its forward lineup overflow as they had to assign center Aliaksei Protas to the AHL on January 7, the day before the two played their first game, and have had to scratch one regular forward from the first half of the season in every game they have played with both available.

Eller, center Dylan Strome, and left-wing Anthony Mantha (who was scratched for four of the last six games before subbing in for injured captain Alex Ovechkin in the team’s 6-2 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday) have all taken turns sitting in the press box since Backstrom and Wilson returned.

Eller can become an unrestricted free agent after this season and comes at a $3.5 million salary cap charge.

The 33-year-old has gone scoreless in his last nine games and just seven goals, 15 points, and a 54.8% faceoff-winning percentage in 47 outings overall this season. Eller has averaged 1:48 per game on the penalty kill, which is the second-most on Washington excluding right-wing Connor Brown.

The team could use help on the blueline after John Carlson took a puck to the head in their 4-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets on December 23 and is out indefinitely. The Athletic is among numerous sources who say that the 32-year-old is not expected to return until at least late in the regular season. If he does not play another regular-season game, Washington could have a spare $8 million in salary cap space to use ahead of the trade deadline.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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31 Responses to Report: Capitals “Would Entertain” Trade Offers For Eller “If It Could Get Help On Defense”

  1. Lance says:

    As I see it, the best case is the Caps squeak into the playoffs and are rewarded by playing the invincible BOSTON BRUINS or another very good team. I’d enjoy watching but clearly the Caps would be massive underdogs.

    The Caps are just as likely to miss the playoffs altogether. Either way, BMac has to think about building a new, young team. You don’t have to trade all the vets. I’d keep Kuzy to keep Ovie happy. Backstrom is a Cap for life (not sure he’ll get back to form).

    If a combo of 1st and 2nd round picks can be obtained in deals for Eller, Orlov, Jensen, Mantha, Hathaway. I’d make Strome and Milano available as well depending on their salary expectations.

    There is simply no path toward seriously competing for a Stanley Cup this year. Don’t pretend otherwise, BMac. We have young players in Hershey who can fill in for any vets you trade.

    • hockeydruid says:

      Sorry but the BEST case scenario would be to NOT make the playoffs and be out in the first round…..again! There is NO path for this team to compete for the CUP for at least the next 5 years. Their window closed 2 or 3 years ago and sad to say no one wants to admit it. I an see trading several players to get something for them before the become RFA/UFA and walk with getting nothing in return. Just not sure that GMBM and the ego of Ted will let that happen. Trade: (providing there are takers and Ill take almost anything as I dont see many players on this team bringing a 1 except Orlov) Eller, Mantha, Orlov (as there is no way that this team can pay another player $8 or 9 Mil and have a competitive roster), Oshie (straight up salary relief), MoJo, Jensen and if someone would take him Kuemper.

      Trading the goalie may sound silly but it clears off a lot of salary and we have several goalies in Hershey who could fill in and Lindgren taking the starting role. Guys like Milano, Hathaway, Sheary, NAK, TVR, Gustafsson, AA and Fehervary can all be signed after the season as there will be plenty of money there. If Nicky retires then there is even more cap room.

      As you said “There is simply no path toward seriously competing for a Stanley Cup this year”. And no path for the next several years maybe up to 5 depending on how wisely this team drafts and what players they get in trade and sign as UFA’s. The GM, probably to satisfy the ego of the owner, has tried to keep this team in the playoffs to the detriment of its future by trading younger players and signing older players to ridiculous salaries rather than trade them. Without a really high draft pick in 3 years when Ovie is gone there will be little to no scoring punch on this team. The rebuild has to start now not wait 3 years and then take another 5-8 years to get competitive Build through the draft not by tradigplayers for older players just to make the playoffs..

      • Lance says:

        I’d like to see a big trade-off, too, Druid. We need young stars and you almost always have to draft those guys. But Ted says there will no rebuild while Ovie is still playing. So I’m hoping BMac will get as many good picks as possible for veteran players. Orlov is really good. I expect a desperate team would offer a #1 pick to add him for a playoff run. Maybe BMac intends to re-sign him. That’s cool but he’s getting some age on him. How many years does he have left? Wouldn’t it be better to add a first round prospect if you can? We have a near zero chance to go a playoff run with or without Orlov.

    • horn73 says:

      You can’t write things like this, “We have young players in Hershey who can fill in for any vets you trade.” and expect to be taken seriously…So players in Hershey that can’t beat these players out will just take their place and nothing – ridiculous. Kim would say don’t be snarky, but letting dumb people or calling out dumb post/comments is important.

      Lol – a defenseman steps into Orlov’s place – yeah right or Strome – those guys can’t match his numbers in Hershey, let along the NHL – Protas isn’t as productive in Hershey as Mantha is in NHL…anyway, maybe Kim’s point is it isn’t worth the time to reply to folks like Lance and even druid gets dumb again in this thread.

      • Anonymous says:

        Just because you don’t get it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. There are players who can fill in. We need to get assets for players who won’t be here next year anyway.

      • KimRB says:

        It’s not important, Horny. It’s important to you maybe, but in the grand scheme of the universe, whether a person is called out for voicing an opinion on a hockey team is pretty far down the list.
        It’s not important to me either, so snark if you wish. I just would prefer to find refuge in a hockey blog that didn’t degenerate into a flame war. Seen too many of those.

        • dwgie26 says:

          My best friend is called Horney so can’t go there. but I do agree with Horn73. Can’t trade Orlov. Strome should be part of the future.

          I would trade Eller. Protas can step in as 5C if needed. He needs to finish which is part of the challenge with a young player. Sounds like Eller has more value than Mantha.

          but no… you can’t trade the whole team away. And I think this team can win.

          I assure you this… nobody want to play the Caps in the first round. Not even the Bruins. Many first seeds go down… just ask Tampa.

          • horn73 says:

            LMAO, Horney and hornytoad are two of the “nicknames” I (and my brothers) were called when we were in school…

            I don’t think the Caps get above a 3rd for Eller, may as well hold onto him if that is the case. Mantha is the one likely to go in my mind if they need space for JC.

            As most would expect, I agree with Dwgie26, you never know in the playoffs, and I do know that a rebuild is always painful even if it works. Colorado in the first 5 years. If I want to watch that kind of stuff, I’ll go to watch Hershey and see all the guys that can’t score in the NHL.

            Most rebuilds last more than a decade. I don’t want that and with all the openings coming up, this is the time to make some big moves and lower the average age of this team while improving the talent.

            If GM does poorly this offseason, then maybe consider rebuilding, but it is the last thing they should do now.

      • Anonymous says:

        A little early in the day to be drinking isn’t it?

      • hockeydruid says:

        Question…..if anyone gets traded are you just going to skate a player down or are you going to call up someone from Hershey to take his spot assuming that you get picks for the players traded and no players come back? Not looking to match production looking for a body to fill in for the rest of the season. Some people are just snarky unless all the Caps do is make it to the first round, get a low draft pick and lose in the first round again. Dont you ever look long term or are you that short sighted? If you notice the important words as “Fill in” never said replace. If Eller goes they may have 3 or 4 players called up to try them out and see who does best in prep for next season and the rebuild. However there are people, like you, who fail to see the benefits of trading the UFA or RFA’s for picks or minor players to get something for them and reduce the salary cap and at the same time assuring that this team will receive a higher draft pick which is needed to rebuild this old and slow team. One other thing and Im sure you will disagree with this and probably dont understand it either but removing the HC now and installing someone more willing to play younger players to see what this team has in the wings is much needed prior to a rebuild.

        • dwgie26 says:

          But you just assume the Caps will lose in the first round. Why? Should have beat FL last year. Lavi set it up. Players didn’t finish. Why assume that? We didn’t get past the first round the last three years? I hear you. Doesn’t automatically mean it is going to happen again. People thought we would get bounced in 2017-8. Lame duck coach. Old team. Shitty players. and then we won the cup. this team can win.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Caps are very much in the hunt for #3 in the Met. The Rangers/Devils aren’t too scary, imo. Shesterkin is god tier right now, but so is Kuemper. The Canes and the Bruins are the real monsters, so either wild card is probably well fucked.

    If the Caps can bring in an RD who can play PP, they would not only be able to plug the gap until Carlson gets back, but it could also lessen some of his minutes, instead of the team being so reliant on him (which they shouldn’t be).

  3. Anonymous says:

    I feel that would be a savvy move. They lose Eller at the end of the season regardless. Let’s get something for him while we can.

    • Harrison Brown says:

      We’re probs not going to get much for him (a 5th?) regardless. Either way, clearing that cap space will be worth it.

  4. Mark Eiben says:

    I don’t know what team would want Eller and give us one of their D men (rhd assumed). To me, the deal to move Eller and then acquire a D man would be 2 separate transactions. But that’s just me.

    • Harrison Brown says:

      I agree, would probs take picks and/or something else

      • Anonymous says:

        LA has been long rumored to like Eller and have RD they would move. At TDL all players are overvalued.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Wild come to mind. Eller in a package for Dumba is totally plausible.

      • Mark Eiben says:

        Both teams could probably use the other player for playoff runs…but I could only see each as a rental, not to be resigned…intriguing though. We would definitely have to add to something like this and Carlson would have to stay on LTIR until the playoffs I think.

        • Anonymous says:

          I think it would happen if Mantha gets moved too. It would be a high cost for a presumed rental, although with the Caps having only Carlson under contract for next year, he’s not a “pure rental” in the sense. It doesn’t make sense to move Eller plus a pick for Dumba if Mantha is getting health bombed and the Caps can’t field a max cap roster, given how deep this draft is.

      • hockeydruid says:

        Dumba would have been nice several years ago. would rather trade players for picks or for young players in the minors or Juniors. This is what this team is going to need next year and down the road not a player who is nearing the end of his career as we have plenty of those!


    I could see VAN trading Meyers to shed his salary along with Kuzmenko for Eller+Mantha+picks…

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