The Capitals predicted opening night roster after signing Dylan Strom

The Washington Capitals have been pretty busy in the post-season so far, bringing in eight players during the first two days of free agency.

To summarize: Capitals 2022-23 roster is now sports Dylan Strom (2c), Conor Brown (top six wings), Marcus Johansson (down six) and Henrik Burgström (depth center / wing) in front; Eric Gustafson (lower conjugation) and Matt Irwin (depth) at the men of defense; and two new goalkeepers, Darcy Comber And the Charlie Lindgren.

The team is now $6.3 million over the maximum salary, per friendly team. Teams are allowed to reach 10 percent over the off-season cap.

Brian McClellan’s signings suggest many big competitions will be playing out during training camp, no bigger than a third-place finish, where if Conor McMichael loses to Lars Eller, he could spend the season at AHL Hershey.

Expected capitals opening night list

Capitals General Manager Brian McClellan He said the hats would fill Niklas Backstrom’s spot internallyBut adding Strom during free agency pushes McMichael, the best young player on the team, to the bottom of the squad and possibly out of the roster altogether. Despite the 2021-22 season that saw him finish second on the team in CF/60, first in xGF/60, second in SCF/60, and second in HDCF/60, McMichael was not given more chances and one of the first players stapled to the bench by coach Peter Laviollette, who seemed concerned about the Canadian’s two-way match. Of the players who made 20 appearances in the championship last season, only Brett Leeson (8:57) had an average ice time lower than McMichael (10:28). McMichael could join Hendrix Lapierre and Aliaksei Protas at Hershey next season, but the opportunity may open up a year later. Many veteran attackers will be unrestricted free agents next summer.

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Other battles in the camp will include the six lower left flank positions. Based on evidence from last season, Marcus Johansson and Axel Johnson-Fajalbe both own the inside track, but Snively, Borgstrom, Leason, Protas, and maybe even McMichael will all pay to have one of those spots. It will either be the thirteenth frontline duty in the NHL or the Hershey Bears for those who lose out on positions. Could Eller be suitable for the winger as he was tried on several occasions last season?

In defense, things are a little tighter. Gustafsson appears to have purposely signed on to play for TVR but Caps Brass has also been impressed by how well Lucas Johansson performed in the Premier League last season. Laviolette’s favorite Matt Irwin is also back, playing on both sides, and making 17 appearances in 2021-22. This is a competition likely to continue throughout the season as the hats have usually carried eight defensive men under La Violet..

The strange state of the salary cap in the capitals

Don Fishman, who specializes in Capitals’ salary cap, likely worked long hours this summer. The team is currently well above the cap ($6.3 million), but one immediate solution is obvious: Put Niklas Backstrom ($9.2 million), Tom Wilson ($5.17 million), and Karl Hagelin ($2.75 million), all with long-term injuries. . Reserve to start the year. The maximum savings will be $17.12 million and will give the team a shadow of over $10.7 million in space. But, what happens when these guys return as the team expects them to do at some point this season? This is a bit more complicated.

The last update we received on Hagelin is that He has an appointment in August To determine finals how successful his eye surgery will be and whether he has recovered enough to play hockey in 2022-23. He’s been back skiing since early May, and if that date is positive, can we see him fighting to play as early as October? Hagelin’s $2.75 million salary would still be covered in the long-term absences of Wilson and Backstrom ($8.05 million in space), but it would also likely force a younger striker who won one of Hershey’s last spots or should someone like AJF return. On concessions first. This striker is not going to have a header that changes much for the team going forward.

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Now, Wilson is expected to return for the holiday season after off-season knee surgery. A first-line salary of $5.17 million would match the cap with Backstrom staying on LTIR but creates another scenario where without a trade, another attacker needs to return to Hershey. Wilson is a right winger and it’s not likely that one of those guys currently on the depth chart on the right side is going to be ahead. One possible scenario involves Sheary moving to the left which is where we would already expect most of the competition for roster spots to be without adding an NHL veteran into the mix. As you can tell, things get really tight for someone like the aforementioned McMichael.

The last piece is Backstrom. The Capitals have run this entire season as if they expect they won’t be able to pull Nikita Kucherov and hide the Swede position until the playoffs. If that were the case, someone who was paid a lot more than Dylan Strom would currently be on the list. In our hypothetical scenario so far, Backstrom’s salary of $9.2 million would put the team about $6 million over the cap upon his return. So, there’s something important to offer there and one possibility that could be Eller and Hagelin’s deals that together add up to $6.25 million in salary. This would also free up opportunities for cheaper alternatives and the youth already in the organization.

One thing is for sure, the team’s front office will get their paychecks for the rest of the summer during the regular season.

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What are your thoughts on the work the hats did on day one? How do you think they will look on opening night?

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