You can’t say the Capitals aren’t trying to dramatically improve.
Late Saturday night, TSN Insider Bob McKenzie reported that the Caps inquired about several “notable” veteran defensemen ahead of the trade deadline.
Now we’re hearing the names and they’re substantial.
TSN 1200’s AJ Jakubec, a legitimate source, tweeted that the Capitals are “making a push for Erik Karlsson.” Jakubec reported that the team would have to move John Carlson, whom the team said they were interested in re-signing longterm earlier in the season.
League sources say Washington is making a push for Erik Karlsson. They would have to move UFA D John Carlson elsewhere to get something done. VGK, TB, SJ also in the mix. Vegas would take Bobby Ryan. Tampa Bay can’t take Ryan.
— AJ Jakubec (@AJonSports) February 26, 2018
How much to read into this report is unknown. Sportsnet’s John Shannon also reported that the chances of Karlsson moving today are now less than 50 percent.
From Someone in the know on Karlsson: "No D-Day today…Less likely than more".#NHLTrade
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) February 26, 2018
Karlsson is a two-time winner of the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s best defenseman, winning the award in 2012 and 2015. He has one season remaining on his current deal and has a cap hit of $6.5 million.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that the Caps were interested in Ryan McDonagh but “appear to have moved on.”
Think WASH continues to poke around on D…checked in on Ryan McDonagh, though they appear to have moved on.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) February 26, 2018
The Athletic’s Craig Custance also reported that Mike Green is willing to waive his no-trade clause to return to Washington.
Green has full trade protection, but according to an NHL source, he has already given the Red Wings clearance to trade him to at least Washington and Tampa Bay.
Over the offseason, Green and his wife Courtney bought a house in Washington DC, planning to live there until after Green’s NHL career is over.
In any potential big name deal, the Capitals would likely have to be creative and move future assets and current roster players that have similar salaries to stay under the cap. According to Cap Friendly, they have the least deadline cap space going into the deadline ($149,999).
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) February 26, 2018
12:37 pm update: Darren Dreger reports the Senators are still working on a potential deal for Karlsson.
Sens still talking to teams about Karlsson. Unless something changes, unlikely Hoffman or Smith go. Offers aren't good enough.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 26, 2018
2:40 pm update: The Caps are still working to try and get Karlsson.
The Washington Capitals have escalated effort in an attempt to land Erik Karlsson before the 3PM trade deadline, per league source. But running out of time.
— Travis Yost (@travisyost) February 26, 2018
3:01 pm update: The Caps were unable to complete a deal.
There’s a still a team at the table with #sens talking Erik Karlsson.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) February 26, 2018
The #Caps did not make a deal ahead of the deadline, I'm told.
— Tarik El-Bashir⌨️🎙🏒 (@TarikNBCS) February 26, 2018
Headline photo: Claus Andersen
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