Andre Burakovsky is in the final year of a two-year bridge contract that will make him a restricted free agent this summer. The Swedish forward, who has been a healthy scratch six times this season, has scored only six goals and six assists in 44 games, filling a role outside of the team’s top six.
After a season filled with trade rumors about the winger, Elliotte Friedman added a new wrinkle to those rumors Thursday in his 31 Thoughts column. The Capitals are reportedly interested in multiple high draft picks for the winger.
7. On Burakovsky: The Capitals have asked for a couple of mid-to-high round draft picks in exchange (seconds and thirds would be a good get) for him. That would give them more flexibility and assets to chase what they need. Even with a seven-game losing streak, absolutely no one is writing them off.
This is different than other reports, including one from two days ago, that the Capitals were interested in a veteran player for Burakovsky ($3 million AAV) to fill out their roster for another deep playoff run.
Before the holiday trade freeze, Chris Johnston of Sportsnet reported that the Vancouver Canucks had an interest in Burakovsky. Friedman added that “I don’t think they’re interested in a futures deal. If they trade Burakovsky, they want someone now.”
The rumor was broadly broached by Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan in a January 11 interview with Mike Vogel about where the Caps stood halfway through the season.
Vogel asked MacLellan what the Capitals might do at the deadline.
“Depending on injuries, obviously that affects it. We’re going to be at minimal salary,” MacLellan said. “We could add a lower end player. Anything we do at the deadline will probably centered on a hockey trade, player for player, salary for salary.”
MacLellan also noted that Burakovsky has “obviously” taken a step back in his development, and he wanted the winger to “work his way through, and get back to what he does best, as a skater, shooter, offensive player.”
Tuesday, Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic reported that Washington was indeed listening to offers from teams about trading for Burakovsky. LeBrun explicitly stated “the tricky part, too, is that the Caps would no doubt want to replace him with a veteran, top-nine piece in their quest to repeat as champs. Getting futures in that trade doesn’t really help.”
LeBrun said he believed Arizona, Vancouver, Colorado, and Dallas have all reached out to the Capitals.
But going for futures could still get the Caps the top-nine, veteran forward they want. It would just take two trades instead of one, and would likely require those futures the Caps receive in exchange for Burakovsky.
Elliotte mentions in here that the Caps want a couple mid- to high-round picks for Burakovsky. MacLellan said he wanted to do a forward-for-forward swap, but if he's not getting offered exactly what he wants, makes sense to do two moves. Get assets, then flip them for someone. https://t.co/m6ZoZLqAdZ
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) January 24, 2019
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong
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