Marcus Johansson is an unrestricted free agent this summer. He will be one of the most popular players on the market.
Sportsnet analyst Nick Kypreos spoke about Johansson’s availability during the latest episode of the Prime Time Sports podcast with Bob McCown, Stephen Brunt, and Richard Deitsch.
Kypreos believes the Capitals would like to bring Mojo back.
“They (Boston Bruins) got so much out of [trade deadline acquisitions] Charlie Coyle and Marcus Johansson,” Kypreos said. “[Johansson] was way better than they thought. And they would love to get him back, but he’s going to be priced out, at five or six million dollars.
“[I’m] hearing the Washington Capitals would like to take a run at him again, but they may have issues if they don’t clear up some room,” Kypreos continued. “But this guy’s gonna get paid, but I don’t think it’ll be by the Boston Bruins.”
Kypreos’s comments follows an early June report by The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun that the Capitals had interest.
“Speaking of the Caps, my sense is that they’ve got Johansson on their radar if he’s not priced himself out of their orbit,” LeBrun wrote.
Johansson would be immediately welcomed back by his former teammates. “That would be great,” Nicklas Backstrom said to LeBrun if Brian MacLellan found a way to bring him back. “As a good friend of his, I was a little disappointed when he got traded from our team and then we went on winning it that year (without him). It was a little unfortunate but at the same time, it’s part of the business.”
TJ Oshie added that Johansson was a “big part of the culture” of the team.
The 28-year-old Swede is an elite skater and scored four goals and had 11 points during the Bruins’ Stanley Cup run.
As RMNB’s Julia Karron noted, Johansson’s strong play in front of the net and clean zone entries during the Stanley Cup playoffs were the “the perfect résumé for free agency.” He was named second star of the night in his first Stanley Cup Final game without even tallying a point, which he would do soon after in Game Three. But he has had durability issues, missing 52 games during the 2017-18 season and 24 in 2018-19.
In an effort to re-sign Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov, the Capitals traded Johansson to the New Jersey Devils in the summer of 2017 for a second and third round pick in the 2018 draft.
There was talk at the trade deadline about the Capitals’ interest in re-acquiring him, but instead, Johansson went to the Bruins for a 2019 second-round pick and 2020 fourth-round pick–an awkward dynamic, given Johansson’s history with concussion-causing Brad Marchand.
Two years ago, seeing newly-departed Mojo still practicing in his Caps gear made us slowly die inside.
Maybe the summer of 2019 could bring us back to life.
Headline photo: Capitals
S/T to @Prospects_Watch
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