Feb 20, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Capitals center Lars Eller (20) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Montreal Canadiens in the second period at Capital One Arena. Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

With the trade deadline now just a few days away, we will be taking a closer look at the situation for each team over the coming weeks.  Where do they stand, what do they need to do, and what assets do they have to fill those needs?  Next up is a look at the Washington Capitals.

The Capitals have missed the playoffs just once in the past 12 seasons, so it should come as no surprise to hear that they’re in the mix for the division lead once again and looking to add at the deadline. They already made one move to acquire Brenden Dillon, but could there be more on the way?


37-17-6, second in the Metropolitan Division

Deadline Status


Deadline Cap Space

$1.08M in a full-season cap hit, 0/3 used salary cap retention slots, 46/50 contracts per CapFriendly.

Upcoming Draft Picks

2020: WSH 1st, WSH 3rd, ARI 3rd*, WSH 4th, WSH 5th, WSH 6th
2021: WSG 1st, WSH 2nd, WSH 4th, WSH 5th, VGK 5th, WSH 6th, WSH 7th

*If the Capitals win the Stanley Cup this season, they will give San Jose the 2020 ARI 3rd instead of their own 2021 3rd as part of the Dillon trade.

Trade Chips

One of the things that GM Brian MacLellan has been known for throughout his time leading the Capitals is protecting his own first-round picks. Just once has the Washington executive spent that top selection at the deadline, back in 2017 as part of the package for Kevin Shattenkirk. Given how that experience went, it’s not surprising to see the Capitals sitting with their first-rounder in tact as the deadline approaches.

While that doesn’t mean it is off limits entirely, the Capitals aren’t really in a position to bring in an impact player without removing some salary anyway. They convinced the San Jose Sharks to retain some of Dillon’s hit, but that still doesn’t give them a ton of wiggle room.

If salary has to move out, look no further than the defensive group that Dillon was brought in to shore up. Nick Jensen’s name has been thrown around recently, while Michal Kempny hasn’t had quite the same impact this year as he did when they first acquired him. Radko Gudas however is one to keep an eye on, given his apparent scratching for tomorrow’s game. Gudas was an extra at practice and is on an expiring contract.

If Washington is to get involved in another deal it may also take some prospect capital to get it done. Trading Connor McMichael at this point is a ludicrous proposition, but perhaps some of their lower-level names could be had. All of that is predicated on the idea that they actually get involved on one of the bigger names however, something that certainly may not happen at this point.

Five Players To Watch For: D Nick Jensen, D Radko Gudas, D Christian Djoos, F Travis Boyd, G Pheonix Copley

Team Needs

1) Bottom-Six Depth: To be honest, there aren’t a lot of obvious ways to improve the Capitals now that they’ve addressed (or tried to address) the issue on defense. The only other thing that seems likely is adding in some more depth at the bottom of their forward group, perhaps in the form of a player with some more experience. Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic at one point suggested (subscription required) Trevor Lewis as a potential fit, given he brings some positional versatility and Stanley Cup history.

2) PP2 Quarterback: This isn’t really a need for the club, but something that may be considered should they be after something this weekend. There is no doubt that the first unit in Washington is a masterpiece, but Dmitry Orlov’s group hasn’t been as effective. If the team ended up moving out a player like Jensen, perhaps they would consider bringing back someone with a little more offensive flair who could be sheltered at even-strength.

This article first appeared on Pro Hockey Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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An asterisk (*) indicates player is still active. 

894 / EDM / 1986
Wayne Gretzky
801 / DET / 1962
Gordie Howe
766 / WAS / 2003
Jaromir Jagr
741 / STL / 1996
Brett Hull
731 / LA / 1982
Marcel Dionne
717 / BOS / 1974
Phil Esposito
708 / NYR / 1991
Mike Gartner
698 / WAS* / 2016
Alexander Ovechkin
694 / NYR / 1995
Mark Messier
692 / DET / 1996
Steve Yzerman
690 / PIT / 1995
Mario Lemieux
684 / ANA / 2006
Teemu Selanne
668 / LA / 1999
Luc Robitaille
656 / DET / 2002
Brendan Shanahan
640 / NJ / 1997
Dave Andreychuk
625 / COL / 2002
Joe Sakic
625 / CAL / 2012
Jarome Iginla
610 / CHI / 1970
Bobby Hull
608 / DET / 1994
Dino Ciccarelli
601 / LA / 1992
Jari Kurri
577 / PIT / 2007
Mark Recchi
573 / NYI / 1986
Mike Bossy
564 / TOR / 2006
Mats Sundin
564 / NJ / 2003
Joe Nieuwendyk
561 / DAL / 2007
Mike Modano
561 / SJ* / 2017
Patrick Marleau
560 / MON / 1983
Guy Lafleur
556 / BOS / 1975
Johnny Bucyk
549 / CAR / 2002
Ron Francis
548 / CHI / 1992
Michel Goulet
544 / MON / 1957
Maurice Richard
541 / CHI / 1977
Stan Mikita
538 / STL / 2008
Keith Tkachuk
533 / MON / 1973
Frank Mahovlich
525 / CHI / 2016
Marian Hossa
524 / NYI / 1990
Bryan Trottier
522 / DET / 2000
Pat Verbeek
518 / STL / 1996
Dale Hawerchuk
515 / COL / 2005
Pierre Turgeon
513 / SJ / 2007
Jeremy Roenick
512 / BUF / 1986
Gilbert Perreault
507 / MON / 1971
Jean Beliveau
503 / CHI / 2006
Peter Bondra
502 / PIT / 1997
Joe Mullen
500 / CAL / 1989
Lanny McDonald

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