LeBrun: Washington Willing To Deal Mantha But Haven’t “Gotten Much In The Way Of Offers,” It’s A “Long Shot” Kuznetsov Moves

The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun reported on Saturday that the Washington Capitals have made left-wing Anthony Mantha available on the NHL trade block but have not received much interest in the 28-year-old.

“The Capitals would be willing to trade Anthony Mantha (No. 24 on The Athletic’s trade board), but as of now, it doesn’t sound like they’ve gotten much in the way of offers and would rather see if a new coach and a contract year can motivate him,” LeBrun wrote.

Mantha finished last season 11 goals and 27 points in 67 games during a campaign where he was frequently healthy scratched despite starting the year with three goals in his first five games. He has one year left on his deal, which carries a $5.7 million cap hit, before becoming eligible for unrestricted free agency in July 2024.

The current buy out window closes on Friday.

LeBrun also said that “It’s a long shot they move (center) Evgeny Kuznetsov, even though they’d probably be open to it. He has limited no-trade protection.”

The 31-year-old has two years left on a contract that costs $7.8 million against the salary cap and recently changed agents. Kuznetsov led Washington in assists (43) and finished third in points (55) in 81 games this past season. Though, he also tallied a career-low -26 rating.

Kuznetsov, who reportedly requested a trade out of the nation’s capital, has 165 goals and 551 points in 680 career NHL regular-season games, all in Washington, and has a 10-team no-trade clause in his contract. He has also earned 29 goals and 67 points in 87 career postseason outings, including when he led the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs with 32 points (including 12 goals) in 24 games.

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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20 Responses to LeBrun: Washington Willing To Deal Mantha But Haven’t “Gotten Much In The Way Of Offers,” It’s A “Long Shot” Kuznetsov Moves

  1. Anonymous says:

    About as I expected. Sift through all the summertime clouds KC bait and reality emerges.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Mantha needs a huge year, if he wants to get paid.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I never thought Kuzy would be dealt. Russian reports are 50% accurate with a healthy dose of make believe.

  4. Prevent Defense says:

    “Mr. Phelps, your mission, if you decide to accept it ….” “This tape will self-destruct in five seconds!” I urge all under-40 NovaCapsFans to oil-up their internet search engines and pull up several episodes of the seminal 1960s counter-espionage serial drama “Mission Impossible.” The series features the intrepid Mr. Phelps (Peter Graves) and his IMF (Impossible Mission Force) who perform lavish, risky deceptions and abductions to defeat various national enemies, primarily the bad guys from international Communism. You can’t beat it with a stick.

    “Mission Impossible” and “IMF” describes the challenging new environment of Washington Capitals IMF Commander, Spencer Carbery. He is tasked with motivating Messrs. Kuznetsov and Mantha to once again become productive NHL forwards after several years of the most futile failure. Simulataneously Carbery and Mitch Love and other yet-to-be-hired assistants must integrate talented Hershey Bears into the Caps lineup. They must propel the Caps into the 2024 NHL Playoffs and win at least one round. All this while helping GM MacLellan sneak under the NHL salary cap week after week. And just look at that Turkish beer-gut on Alex Ovechkin! Carbery is the one tasked with whipping Ovie back into game shape.

    We all look forward to watching Commander Carbery in action as he tries to “Right the ship” and re-energize the demoralized and depleted Washington Capitals. I think he has the motivation and the salary to succeed. He’ll need outstanding assistance from every support arm of the Caps’ franchise.

    • novafyre says:

      Steven Hill was better than Peter Graves. Watch S1E3 Operation Rogosh.

      The initial concept was that the IMF leader had a pool of talent to pick from and, for each assignment, would select those he felt best suited for the job. Not the most veteran, not the youngest, not the cheapest, but those whose talents were what he needed at that time. And if you got picked, you were used. No sitting in the press box or on the bench for you.

      That’s what Carbs needs to do. View all of the talent he has under contract and use those that give the Caps the best chance to win that game. If Ovi is struggling, sit him. No one should be immune.

    • redLitYogi says:

      one of the most iconic show openings ever. Watch is just for that “this tape will self-destruct in five seconds.” (Note that every expense was spared on the actual machine itself. 🙂

  5. andrew777dc says:

    I still think there’s no use sitting around regretting incurred losses. As the old management consulting joke goes, if the horse is dead, there’s no use trying to bring it back to life. Take a loss, learn from it, and move on. But what if it’s dead only offensively (Mantha), or dead only in certain years or months (Kuzy). See above and move on. “Kill it, if you have to.” Better start anew.

  6. re says:

    Mantha’s a complicated chess problem. There may be a solution. Maybe what we think is a rook actually can play effectively as a knight (impossible in chess but anything goes in hockey). It could be as simple as asking him to do what he can do well. And it’s the same with Kuznetsov. Look at the good things he can give you and let him give those things to the team.

    • redLitYogi says:

      But, I’d add that I wonder what effect the Russian invasion in Ukraine has had on his morale. It can’t have helped matters. Kuzy, by all accounts, is a highly intelligent and funny guy, all of which points to high sensitivity as well. Something was seriously wrong. Can he and the team be honest about what that is and see if he can become a useful, full time contributor again? Lack of communication seems to be an issue here.

      • hockeydruid says:

        Kuzy problem is nose candy and wanting the be the #1 on the team where is the probably the #2 skilled player but uses that skill very little. Caps problem is they paid him to much to soon and it made him complacent and stroked his ego way to much and took the hunger out of him. I didn’t like PL as the HC but he tried hard to motivate him to the point where he placed him on the 3rd line That didn’t motivate him and I don’t have any idea what will; maybe threaten to send him to Russia where he can serve in the military?

  7. hockeydruid says:

    I like Backy but feel he has lost a step that he could not afford to lose. He has a dream and still wants to be an elite player. Face facts you are not elite anymore and never will be again. All athletes reach this point in their careers where they still want to play but for the betterment of the team they need to retire. This is where GMBM earns his money and grabs his manhood and stands up and tells Backy time to retire. NO GM ever leaves the decision up to a player if they are going to play or not. My question is say he comes back and plays no better or worse than he did at the end of this past season is he, Backy, going to admit he is not elite and retire?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Spencer reaching for that strike one already? This is beyond devastating news. Another year of Mantha. There is always one idiot on the Caps roster, which is fine, unless they have Mantha’s contract.

    No matter how much soap you put on a turd, at the end of the day, it is still a turd

  9. Prevent Defense says:

    Cartoonist and syndicated political satirist Oliphant was a bitter Nixon-critic from the 1960s. But he produced an amazing product leading up to Nixon’s first inauguration in 1968. It was an Oliphant-drawn portrait-bust of President Richard Nixon, well-dressed, well-groomed and very respectful. Smiling too. The Nixon in the portrait wasn’t sporting his signature “five-O’clock shadow” stubbly beard. Oliphant ran the caption, “Everybody deserves One Clean Shave.”

    This applies to Newcoach Carbery. He hasn’t done anything yet, positive or negative. So his One Clean Shave remains intact. Once the NHL Draft starts going next week, Newcoach Carbery will be open cannon fodder to us bitter Caps critics from coast-to-coast!

  10. DC Scappeli says:

    I kind of thought that maybe Mantha turned himself into box office poison and maybe played himself out of the league with his underwhelming performance last season. I’m not sure what would motivate the guy or how you get his confidence back. Reports that he’s hired a mental coach means he’s fragile mentally right now. There didn’t seem to be much athletic arrogance or any swagger to him the past two seasons.

    But if someone can change his mindset and instill some confidence, maybe the guy can eek out at least a season where he’s not just dead weight for the Caps? Either way, it looks like the Caps are stuck with him.

  11. jonicap says:

    I strongly suggest we keep Kuzy for the moment. He could play better with a different coach, and our new coach is just the one to test this out.

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