The Washington Capitals and general manager Brian MacLellan have been busy over the last week or two as they were major sellers at the NHL Trade Deadline. With their focus on the future, they continued shaping the roster beyond this season. One of the major areas that needed to be addressed was the blue line, as, before the deadline, the Capitals only had John Carlson under contract. After extending Nick Jensen before the deadline and acquiring Ramus Sandin from the Toronto Maple Leafs, the blue line’s future is becoming more apparent.
Now the Capitals have made another move regarding their defense as they re-signed pending unrestricted free agent Trevor van Riemsdyk to a three-year, $9 million extension on Saturday. It was only a matter of time before this deal got done, as keeping TvR in Washington beyond this season was high on MacLellan’s list and one of the reasons he wasn’t traded.
TVR has been a critical depth defenseman for the team serving on the team’s second and third pairings throughout the year. Recently because of injuries has been playing on the top pairing with Sandin as the two of them have thrived together.
The deal gives the 31-year-old veteran a $2.05 million raise from this season. He has certainly earned the raise, as he’s recorded a career-high in goals (7) and points (19) while being five assists away from breaking his current career high of 16.
ESPN’s Kevin Weekes provided more details on the annual salary and bonuses of the contract. van Riemsdyk will make $3.75 million in the first season of the deal, $3 million in the second, and $2.25 in the third for an AAV of $3 million.
With Jensen, Carlson, Sandin, and now TvR locked in for next season, along with prospect Vincent Iorio getting time, MacLellan can shift his focus to addressing the forward group. While there will be plenty of familiar faces on the team next season, expect MacLellan to make some offseason moves with the limited cap space he does have available.