Hometown Hopeful: With An Offseason of Change Anticipated, Joe Snively Deserves A Shot At A Spot in Capitals’ Lineup Next Season

John McCreary/NHLI via Getty Images

The Washington Capitals’ 2023 offseason is almost near, with their dance with the New Jersey Devils for the final game of the 2022-23 regular season completing a campaign fraught with injuries, disappointing results, and an anticipated summer of changes ahead. With a look toward a more youthful, faster lineup, one candidate for the new-look Caps may already be on the roster.

Homegrown Capital Joe Snively, a native of Herndon, Virginia, has not had many chances in the Caps’ lineup this season, however when he has been given a sweater by Head Coach Peter Laviolette, the 27-year old forward has shown glimpses of offensive talent and speed that has seen him compile a total of 11 Points (6G,5A) in 24 Games Played with his hometown team across two seasons, including a goal against the Devils on Thursday.

Initially signed as an undrafted free agent in 2019, Snively made his debut in the 2021-22 season, and registered 7 Points (4G,3A) in 12 Games Played before seeing his season end due to injury. Although he made the Capitals out of training camp this season, he did not see ice time until playing his first game on October 20, 2022.

With the Caps suspected to move on from Laviolette, whose tendency to play veterans rather than the team’s young players has drawn ire from many in the Washington fan base, the opportunity for Snively, who has one year left on his current two-year contract, will present itself once again and it is one that the Capitals should grant.

While Snively is slightly older than what one might think of when discussing “youth”, the lack of regular ice time has made it difficult to truly ascertain whether he is capable of enduring a full, 82-game season. Regardless of whether a regime change behind the bench happens, the homegrown kid from Herndon should be a candidate for a more prominent role next season.

By Michael Fleetwood

More on Snively
Joe Snively Scores First Goal of the 2022-23 Season After Being Recalled From Hershey
Joe Snively: 2022 Prospect Review And Forecast
Joe Snively: Annual Review and Forecast; 2019-2020 Season
Joe Snively: 2021 Annual Review And Forecast

About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan, the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. Michael joined the NoVa Caps team in 2015, and is most proud of the growth of the NoVa Caps community in that time. An avid photographer, Michael resides in VA.
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13 Responses to Hometown Hopeful: With An Offseason of Change Anticipated, Joe Snively Deserves A Shot At A Spot in Capitals’ Lineup Next Season

  1. Diane Doyle says:

    It probably would be good to give Snively a chance in next year’s lineup. After the disastrous second half of this season where they were near the bottom of the league in points and points percentage, I’m of a mind to jettison most of the players and team management from the team. Okay, that’s not realistic or wise. But I figure they move on from Lavi and a lot of the coaches. And also move on from Mantha and Kuzy.

    • hockeydruid says:

      Moving on from PL would be nice however I have this sinking feeling in my gut that he will be back on a 2 year deal. If they are only going to retool and keep most of the players that are on the team now I cant think of many young coaches who would want to come here not being able to have a say in the roster makeup. Kuzy would fetch several picks and maybe even a young developing player. Mantha is going to be a problem as he is going to cost a pick to get anyone to take him or the Caps will have to take back an equally bad contract or player. Getting Backy to retire and making him a coach (an expensive one but he looses no money) would help as would getting Oshie to move on in a trade or retire(making him a high paid scout) Moving Carlson is going to be hard due to age and salary without including a pick or taking a bad contract. Let Smith, Sheary and Irwin walk and now you ahve room for 5 younger players. IF the last game of the season didn’t teach Ted and the GM what they have to do nothing will, and that is get younger and faster. .

  2. Anonymous says:

    He deserved a chance this year.

  3. franky619 says:

    A younger cheaper Sheary.

    • redLitYogi says:

      I like that take. Snively’s probably got a bit to learn but yes, he can replace Sheary (who I think is the kind of legit player who should be moved onto an actual contender, not be a blocker with us). Snively has consistently produced. I’m mystified at how the team thinks, sometimes.

  4. hockeydruid says:

    Since the goal of the owner is to get Ovie the record no matter what then there is no reason NOT to start a rebuild now. Snively in for Sheary and resign Brown for 1 or 2 years to replace Smith. Then move on from Backy and Oshie and Kuzy and let Malenstyne and Protas take their place and look at CMMM and Lapierre in training camp as well as Frank and Borgstrom. Get younger and faster and in doing so make Ovie even more dangerous.

  5. novafyre says:

    I think Nicky made it clear in his Al Cokin interview that he intends to be back next season.

    • KimRB says:

      No shocker to me. If people would stop thinking that this is a big game of EA Sports NHL, and that human beings are involved, they’d realize that a man isn’t gonna leave $18M on the table, just because we want cap room. Anyone who thinks that he’s set for life on what he’s made in the NHL so far, has probably never had more money than could buy a couple of McDoubles off the Dollar Menu.

      • novafyre says:

        Yes, it’s a lot of money. But pro athletes have walked away from existing contracts at a younger than usual age. Most of the time, it is injury related.

        I may be giving Nicky more credit than he deserves, but I really believe that he believes that his operation was a success and he can meet his standard of performance. In his interview, I inferred that he was happy with his progress back so far and with this summer vacation and preseason, he feels will be back to his standard next season. I feel that if did not feel he was progressing, he would retire.

        Now, we may feel that Nicky’s standard at his age isn’t as good as he does. He may be deluding himself. But I feel with him it is more than just the money.

  6. KimRB says:

    I think it’s mostly, but not all, about money. Yes, pro athletes have retired young, due to injury , but with guaranteed contracts, they still got paid.

    I’m not even close to being rich myself, but I’ve worked for rich people, on a contract basis. And I’ve yet to meet one, who one day just pushed his or her executive office chair back, and said “Ya know what? I’m rich enough. I don’t care about money anymore”. Even the ones I’ve known who retired early, were still constantly investing, and thinking about money. When you think that Nick has made $94M, but had federal, state and local taxes taken out, and has houses, property taxes etc, and wants to make sure his kids, and future grandchildren are taken care of, then you realize that a good chunk of what he’s earned is gone already. He will want that $18M, and will get it.

    BTW Fyre, I’m not singling you out, and lecturing you in particular. This is for the benefit of everyone who thinks Nick should retire now.

    • novafyre says:

      No problem. I agree that the $$$ are playing an important part. I just read Nicky as not putting $$$ above everything. I have always felt he set himself a performance standard not just went after more money. Not saying that more money wasn’t important but that with him it isn’t everything.

      • dwgie26 says:

        Yeah, it’s not all about money. It is about pride and doing what you have done your whole life… play hockey. I think he wants to see what he can do next year with a full offseason. If it doesn’t go well, i could see him retiring a year early, but not two. And if OV has a legit chance of goal record in Becky’s last year (meaning he scores 40 again next year), I think he plays it out. I am perfectly ok with that.

        He should be a good (albeit overpaid) 3C for us. Moving out Kuzy and Mantha will free up a lot of money and the younger (and cheaper) Caps/Bears players will need to play above their contract value. And bring in a true 2C.

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