BUSY TIMES AHEAD FOR CAPS, GOLDEN KNIGHTS
There’s not a lot for a general manager to do when his team is in the Stanley Cup final, but George McPhee did sign a couple of minorleague players in forward Tomas Hyka and defenceman Zac Leslie on Thursday.
The real work for McPhee, the Golden Knights GM, and his Capitals counterpart Brian MacLellan starts soon enough.
Vegas has lots of cap room and six players eligible to become unrestricted free agents on July 1.
The list includes 34-year old forward Mikhail Grabovski, who hasn’t played since 2015-16 because of post-concussion syndrome and will presumably call it a career, and 33-year old defenceman Clayton Stoner, who has only played 14 games in the past two seasons after abdominal surgery.
Also needing new deals are 28-year old defenceman Luca Sbisa, as well as 30-yearold winger James Neal, 30-year old winger David Perron and 31-year old winger Ryan Reaves.
At the very least McPhee should bring back Neal, who has been a Golden Knights leader while earning a $5-million salary, as well as Reaves, a tough fourth liner who was making $1.125 million.
Vegas also has five players who would be RFAs on July 1 in defencemen Colin Miller and Shea Theodore, plus forwards William Karlsson, Tomas Nosek, William Carrier.
Karlsson and Theodore are in line for rich deals, while Miller and Nosek have also proved valuable in the playoffs.
The Capitals unrestricted free agents will be defencemen John Carlson, Michal Kempny and Jakub Jerabek, along with forwards Jay Beagle and Alex Chiasson.
If they can’t reach a deal with Carlson, the Caps will likely put extra focus on Kempny, who has performed admirably in the playoffs.
It’s hard to imagine Beagle, a Cap since 2008-09, playing anywhere else.
Needing deals as RFAs will be winger Tom Wilson, who is in for a substantial raise from his $2-million salary, as well as winger Devante Smith-Pelly, centre Travis Boyd, defenceman Madison Bowey and Philipp Grubauer, Washington’s goalie of the future. And of course, also without a contract in a couple of weeks will be Washington coach Barry Trotz. “We’ll talk,” MacLellan
Hockey Night in told Canada
regarding his bench boss’ situation
before Game 3.