Friday, June 30, 2017

Caps Go Big on Orlov

On the eve of the free agency window opening, the Washington Capitals did well to re-sign potential restricted free agent defenseman Dmitry Orlov to a massive new deal.

The Capitals and their 25-year old defender agreed to terms on a 6-year, $30.6 million deal on Friday morning, rounding out the team's top four blueliners once again, re-joining Matt Niskanen, Brooks Orpik and John Carlson as the team's main rearguard.

Last season, Orlov finished 50th in defensemen scoring in the hockey pool, finishing with 6 goals and 33 points in all 82 games for Washington, making him into a fairly reliable option at draft time.

The Capitals blueline will still have a couple new faces on it, because it does sound like Karl Alzner is heading to unrestricted free agency tomorrow and the team will need to fill out a little bit more, likely using some of their top prospects to fill the 5-6 roles next season.  The Capitals also have some glaring holes at the forward position, ahead of free agency, which will also need to be addressed one way or the other.

Forwards Cap Defense Cap Goalies Cap
Alex Ovechkin 9.538 Matt Niskanen 5.750 Braden Holtby 5.100
Nicklas Backstrom 6.700 Brooks Orpik 5.500 Pheonix Copley 0.650
T.J. Oshie 5.750 Dmitry Orlov 5.100
Marcus Johansson 4.583 John Carlson 3.967
Lars Eller 3.500 Taylor Chorney 0.800
Tom Wilson 2.000 Madison Bowey 0.695
Jay Beagle 1.750 Aaron Ness 0.613
Brett Connolly 1.500
Riley Barber 0.925
Jakub Vrana 0.863
Garrett Pilon 0.776
Nathan Walker 0.650
Tyler Graovac 0.625
Zach Sill 0.613

Salary CapThis current projected 23-man roster doesn't leave a lot of cap space for shopping tomorrow, as it currently has a shade over $7 million left underneath the ceiling, after you take into account their slight bonus overage as well.  With Evgeny Kuznetsov, Andre Burakovsky and Philipp Grubauer all in need of new deals as restricted free agents, this Orlov cap hit probably means one or two of these three may have to be dealt away for cheaper, NHL-ready assets.

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