The NHL season is just around the corner and it is set to be a good one. This offseason has been full of surprises, as many star players have changed teams. The league has also added a new team. Our home team Washington Capitals made moves left and right, trading some players and resigning others. This years Caps look a lot different than that of last year’s Presidents Trophy winning team.
Although general manager Barry Trotz said that no major changes would be coming to the Caps roster for the coming 2018 season, he was mistaken. The Caps will look different this year, and they might not be better off than they were at the start of 2017. To start, the Caps renewed many expired contracts with returning players. On the offensive line, right winger T.J Oshie, left winger Andre Burakovsky and center Evgeny Kuznetsov have all resigned and will return to the Caps roster for next season. On the defensive line, Dmitry Orlov and backup goalie Philipp Grubauer each got new contracts and will continue their careers on the Caps in 2018.
The new contracts signed by returning players filled up the salary cap and pushed out other key players from last years roster. Center Marcus Johansson was traded in early July to the New Jersey Devils for second and third round draft picks to make room for Kuznetsov’s new deal and right winger Justin Williams had to return to his old team the Carolina Hurricanes because there was to money left for him to be paid. Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk has also left the Caps and signed with the New York Rangers.
Through all of this confusion, the Caps can always rely on superstar forward Alexander Ovechkin, who will play his 13th season for the Caps this October.
Here at WJ, a few Caps fans have mixed feelings about the new roster for the upcoming season. Sophomore Nick Liden, a Walter Johnson Icecats player, shared his opinion on the new look of the Caps.
“I hyped for the new season, but new names means uncertainty,” Liden said, “Hopefully we will be better with the new prospects, but even if we are I doubt we can win the cup this year.”
Aside from the Caps, other NHL teams have been making changes to their rosters as well. The Dallas Stars acquired star goaltender Ben Bishop from the Los Angeles Kings and signed him to a six year 30 million dollar contract. The western conference winning Nashville Predators signed forward Nick Bonino from the Pittsburgh Penguins, last year’s cup winning team. Wonder boy forward Connor McDavid signed an eight year 100 million dollar contract extension with the Edmonton Oilers. Players from all around the league were drafted to play on the newest expansion team: The Las Vegas Golden Knights.
Opening Day begins on October 4, starting with The Toronto Maple Leafs against the Winnipeg Jets at 7 p.m.