Capitals free up some cash to attempt to sign free agents
Elliotte Friedman: It wouldn’t be a surprise if the Washington Capitals used some of the salary cap space they gained in the Matt Niskanen-Radko Gudas trade to re-sign Carl Hagelin.
Brian McNally: The Capitals needed some extra salary cap space to sign RFA Jakub Vrana, as well as to possibly re-sign Carl Hagelin or Brett Connolly. Would guess that they’ll go with Hagelin.
Pierre LeBrun: The Capitals are hoping to re-sign Hagelin so need to clear some space. They have some other players who are free agents and needed more flexibility.
Blue Jackets have some depth on the blue line
Aaron Portzline of The Athletic: The Columbus Blue Jackets will likely be losing some key free agents this offseason. The Blue Jackets have some depth on the blue line and could tap into it to acquire some help elsewhere in a trade.
Seth Jones – It would take a crazy offer for them to move him.
Zach Werenski – A RFA that could be looking for a raise, potentially in the $6.5 million range. Always the potential for contract talks to get ugly.
David Savard – A top-four right-handed defenseman whose value is high. Jones is their only other right-handed Dman. Would need a body back and not draft picks.
Markus Nutivaara – Would draw interest and carries a $2.7 million cap hit. The Blue Jackets still think he can improve even more. Not trading for a draft pick.
Trading low, but …
Ryan Murray – Another season battling injury. A bulging disc caused him to miss their final 26 regular season games and all 10 playoff games.
Trade value is low – a draft pick or two.
The Chicago Blackhawks are said to have some interest, and there will likely be a few others. Murray is an RFA who is owed a $2.825 million qualifying offer.
Better value to keep
Dean Kukan – A third pairing defenseman at $725,000 this season. Could listen to trade offers but may want to keep.
Vladislav Gavrikov – The Blue Jackets are high on Gavrikov. On an entry-level deal and has the ability to thrive in the league.