Three Players the Capitals could Move Before the Trade Deadline

As the 2023 NHL trade deadline approaches, the Washington Capitals find themselves outside of a playoff spot and rumors are arising that they may look into selling.

The metropolitan division is becoming more and more competitive, and as the divisional rivals continue to look to adding to their already superior roster, Brian MacLellan’s 2023/2024 retool for next season might start a few months early.

The Capitals have several Unrestricted Free Agents (UFAs) that will most likely be wearing another team’s sweater next October, which means that it makes even more sense to trade them now, acquire some assets, instead of missing the playoffs, or losing in the first round and losing them for nothing in the off-season.

Here are three Capitals that could leave the Capitals by the end of the NHL trade deadline.

Dmitry Orlov

Dmitry Orlov has spent his entire NHL career with the Capitals, since getting drafted in the first round back in 2009. The Russian defender has become an essential piece of the defensive core, and a fan favorite as the years have progressed.

Now 31 years of age and on an expiring contract that holds an AAV of $5.1m, Orlov and the Capitals have apparently struggled on negotiations on a new deal. Given the price of defensemen in the NHL at this current time, the Capitals could get great value in return, especially if the Capitals retain salary on the contract, meaning that the receiving team would be getting an experienced and stable top four defender at a fraction of the cost.

Lars Eller

It seems like just yesterday that the “Great Dane” scored in game 5 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which ultimately ended up being the game winning goal to clinch the series.

(Image Credit: NBC Sports)

Several years later, Lars Eller is on an expiring deal and his time might be up in the District. Eller, who once was a reliable third line center, has slowly regressed over the past few seasons, but still holds some value given his experience and specialty on the penalty kill and on puck drops.

Though his value has diminished, the Capitals could see decent return, and many playoff teams are looking to add a veteran and experienced center to their depth charts.

Nick Jensen

(Image Credit: Jaspers’ Rink)

The American defender who is having himself a career year on a struggling Capitals team is another player who will most likely not return next season to the Capitals. Given the salary cap restrictions on the Capitals, and the price for a right handed top four defenseman, its unlikely Jensen stays in DC next year.

However, that being said, a top four right handed defensemen can also fetch a lot in return on the trade market. Especially if that same defensemen is only making $2.5m against the salary cap.

It might be time that the Capitals cash in on Jensen while he is still under contract for the plethora of assets while they still can.

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