The Washington Capitals and general manager Brian MacLellan have fully committed to retooling this roster once their playoff hopes slipped away. After losing six straight games, the Capitals now find themselves seventh in the Eastern Conference Wild Card race. In an effort to make this lost season count, the Washington upper management has begun to unload their pending unrestricted free agents in the hope to recoup some value instead of losing them for nothing this offseason. The process started with Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway going to the Boston Bruins and has continued with Marcus Johansson and Erik Gustaffson, as they were dealt yesterday.
Now with the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline two days away at 3 pm EST on Friday and the Capitals fully committed to trading away expiring contracts, there are still a couple of players that will be on the move.
The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta reported on Tuesday that the Washington Capitals are expected to move pending unrestricted free agent center Lars Eller and left-wing Conor Sheary before the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline on Friday.
Eller has had a drop off in production this year as the 33-year-old has seven goals, nine assists, and 16 points through 60 games. While these numbers aren’t eye-popping, they are solid numbers for a veteran bottom-six center who could be a valuable addition for a contender looking for depth.
The 30-year-old undersized Sheary has enjoyed a solid season for Washington as he has produced 12 goals, 18 assists, and 30 points through 62 games. Just like Eller, he will be a valuable addition to a contender as he provides secondary scoring and depth for a team.
Both players also bring playoff experience as they have each won a Stanley Cup, with Eller winning one with Washington in 2017-18 and Sheary winning two with the Pittsburgh Penguins when they went back to back in 2015-16 and 2016-17.
While nothing is set in stone, trades have come together quickly so far this trade deadline as teams clear out cap space and acquire cap space as each league day passes. One thing is for sure, MacLellan will do whatever it takes to get a return for players on expiring contracts. Stay tuned for trade updates, as there are plenty left to come over the next 48 hours.