Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Caps Finalize Burakovsky

The Washington Capitals have been putting a lot of teams to shame, doing a great job of getting what they need to do done, including shifting around a lot of salary cap space for their restricted free agents, like Andre Burakovsky.

Burakovsky and the Capitals agreed on a 2-year, $6 million deal on Tuesday, nearly completing all the necessary tasks for this summer and we haven't even gotten out of the first full week of July.

The 22-year old will now round out a fairly good cast of scoring forwards there in Washington, although a hand injury slowed his season and he was only able to play in 64 games, scoring 12 goals and 35 points, still good enough to be pool worthy, but with this new deal, expectations are certainly going to be raised.

Burakovsky lined up with Brett Connolly and Lars Eller for the better part of last season and with the changes that have already occurred in this off-season, that line could see a promotion, depending on how the top four players on the forward list below shake out.

Forwards Cap Defense Cap Goalies Cap
Alex Ovechkin 9.538 Matt Niskanen 5.750 Braden Holtby 5.100
Evgeny Kuznetsov 7.800 Brooks Orpik 5.500 Pheonix Copley 0.650
Nicklas Backstrom 6.700 Dmitry Orlov 5.100
T.J. Oshie 5.750 John Carlson 3.967
Lars Eller 3.500 Taylor Chorney 0.800
Andre Burakovsky 3.000 Madison Bowey 0.695
Tom Wilson 2.000 Aaron Ness 0.613
Jay Beagle 1.750
Brett Connolly 1.500
Riley Barber 0.925
Jakub Vrana 0.863
Devante Smith-Pelly 0.650
Tyler Graovac 0.625
Zach Sill 0.613

The Capitals are just about touching the ceiling of the salary cap limits, now only about $1.6 million away, thanks to the moves that they have made already and they only have to re-sign back-up goalie Philipp Grubauer to finish the necessary moves.  That likely won't leave them much room for any other moves, if they need it and you could argue that they might.

The Capitals are going to live and die with their core group of players and with the recent cap hits for Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov, they have had to remove pieces from the core, without really replacing them at all.  That, to me, signals that things are not exactly going to get better, if they go into the season with this setup.  Unless they can swing a trade somehow in the summer, I don't think they really have a choice, but to rock a roster that is fairly similar to the projected one above.

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