Over the weekend, Elliotte Friedman reported that a few teams around the NHL have inquired about Marcus Johansson‘s availability. Johansson, a top-six winger, earns $3.75 million and will be a restricted free agent after the season.
As reported by Chris Nichols of Today’s Slapshot, Friedman expanded on these rumors on Monday morning on Calgary’s Sportnet 980.
Friedman via Nichols:
They’re a capped-out team. I think they’d like to do a couple of things. Maybe add a third – another center. A bigger guy who can play two ways. Johansson is a guy who – they have Kuznetsov, who’s moving up the roster. If Burakovsky can maintain a full-time, top-six position, I think (Johansson) is a guy who could go somewhere at some point.
Johansson is certainly an asset that plenty of teams would welcome on their second line. If the Caps feel Evgeny Kuznetsov and Andre Burakovsky can solidify the top-six, perhaps they view Johansson as movable.
For the right return, any player should be considered trade-able, but dealing away Johansson just because the team think they have too many top-six forwards would be unwise, especially if the intent is to bring in a third-line center. Trading a top-six forward for a third-line center would be getting 80 cents on the dollar.
That being said, Brian MacLellan has earned the benefit of the doubt, so if the rumors are true and a Johansson trade then comes to fruition, hopefully it will be a trade that benefits the Caps run at the Stanley Cup this season.
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