The number one priority is signing veteran winger Tom Wilson. The Washington Capitals have a little over $8 million in cap space to get a deal done with Wilson. The fact that Tom didn’t go to arbitration against the Capitals makes us believe there will be a deal done sooner rather then later with great confidence.
In addition to Wilson, both Madison Bowey and Liam O’Brien are restricted free agents that have yet to sign on the dotted line. Madison Bowey was not eligible just yet for arbitration and should be a part of the Caps blue line plans next season as he as of now is the sixth d-man. O’Brien on the other hand did file for arbitration.
Liam O’Brien’s hearing is scheduled for July 23 in Toronto. The Capitals and O’Brien can continue negotiating up until the arbitrator issues his ruling, so a new deal could come before then to stop the process. For Liam, by filing for arbitration, this means he cannot sign an offer sheet from another team at this time.
Ok so the Capitals need to sign Wilson, Bowey and O’Brien…got it, but what else? The Capitals have already hired a new head coach in Todd Reirden, have lost associate coach Lane Lambert who joined Trotz in New York, and may lose goal tending coach Mitch Korn. If Korn leaves, you promote Olaf Kolzig. That is easy enough. The Capitals need to sign one more associate coach before the season starts.
The last piece for the Capitals to iron out would be the seventh defense spot. Will the Capitals re-sign Brooks Orpik for the league minimum for a veteran? Could Washington find another defenseman in Hershey? They could lean this way, but there’s a small problem. There really isn’t a viable veteran option as, Jonas Siegenthaler, Lucas Johansen and Connor Hobbs would be the most likely additions, with the possibility of veteran defeseman Aaron Ness in the mix as well.
There are still a few more things to finish before camp opens up again for the Capitals…but for now lets just relax. The Capitals won the Stanley Cup!