The summer is a very interesting time for the NHL. Players are on the move, discussing contracts and searching for other options and career-boosting opportunities. With the Caps winning their first Stanley Cup, they intend on keeping the core guys together as any team would. Last week, I ran a poll on Twitter asking the fans who they think the Caps will re-sign and let go.
Of the 47 voters, 62% of them said they would re-sign everyone. However, the Caps let go of notable veterans like Brooks Orpik and Jay Beagle. Beagle has been such a huge contribution to the team’s success throughout the years and will forever be remembered as an original member of the Caps family. He is rumored to sign with the Vancouver Canucks by July 1st when the free agent market opens up. Orpik has also been a huge part of the team’s success on and off the ice. His leadership qualities helped mold players like Christian Djoos and Dmitry Orlov into well-poised players.
Devante Smith-Pelly signed a new contract with the Caps for one year worth $1 million. He stated he wanted to have a chance at defending the Stanley Cup before searching for other options. He was a huge turnout in the playoffs, playing that gritty bottom six style the Caps lacked for years.
Another big signing was that of John Carlson and Michal Kempny, solidifying the top four defensemen for the next few years. Kempny was a huge surprise pickup at the trade deadline last year. He proved to be a perfect fit for Carlson’s left side, a defensive defenseman who isn’t afraid to shoot the puck on net. He played a key role in the run’s success with his overall play.
Personally, I don’t expect the Caps to look into the free agent market too much. They may use this time around to give the veteran guys from Hershey or the younger potential looks at the lineup to see if something works and clicks. I could see Madison Bowey and Travis Boyd making a good run at securing roster spots. I will be running weekly fan polls this off-season via my Twitter @Jurky88 and will recap and share the results. Stay blessed and keep celebrating!