Monday, June 17, 2013

Best Case Scenario for the Caps

About a week ago, I posted about the future of the Washington Capitals. However, that was about the distant future for the Caps. How about the near future? As in next year?

A lot could change depending on the free agents and trading, but here is what I feel is the best case scenario (all monetary stats via CapGeek).

The Caps currently have $5,658,483 of cap space.

Let's start with the offense. First off, the Caps need to solidify their first line. Nick Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin are under contract for a while, so we don't need to worry about them. However, there are many possibilities for that third spot. We also need to solidify our second line (Center, mostly) and get more offense/grit for the third and fourth line. We could:
1. Re-sign Marcus Johansson. He currently makes 900K per year, so a good deal would be maybe 4 years, 6-8 million. Actually, we should do that no matter what.
2. Via Bleacher Report, Viktor Stalberg could be a good fit for the Caps, so the Caps could trade away under-performing players such as Jason Chimera, who will have a contract year soon. A good deal could be Jason Chimera and a 3-5 round pick/prospect for Stalberg. Of course, he would probably be a 2nd/3rd liner. He could possibly signed for a 4 year, 5-6 million contract.
3. For that second line center, Mike Ribeiro would be a good fit, but if he is too expensive, it may be a good idea to send him to Toronto for Nazem Kadri, who is an inexpensive weapon. If this works, we could sign him to a 4 year, 4-5 million contract.
4. Matt Hendricks is awesome, but he may be the odd one out here. He may find himself in a trade, or just being dropped. The Caps have some good weapons as it is.

With that, here are the offensive lines for next year:

Now on to the D. The Caps D is pretty good, but it can still be improved. More than anything, we need grit. We also need to get rid of players such as Poti and Schultz, as well as re-sign players.
1. Signing Karl Alzner has to be the top priority for the Caps. They should sign him to a contract, such as perhaps a 5 year, 10-12 million. Hopefully, he'll be OK with this.
2. Tom Poti and Jeff Schultz have to go. However, we'll need a good D-man. Somebody like Ryan McDonagh of the New York Rangers. He was fantastic against the Caps and would fit right in with the team. Trading Poti, Schultz, and a pick(s?)/prospect will probably be enough to pry him out of the hands of the Rangers, especially since they have other people to lock up. We could potentially give him  a 5 year, 10 million contract as well.

Here are the possible D pairs:

By doing this, we'd be trading/releasing 13.2 million bucks and be spending 8.5 million, for about 10 million left in cap space. We could even spend more on players who want more. I'm not saying this will happen, but if it does, the Caps will have a pretty good roster going in to the new year.

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