A half hour after the Washington Capitals announced that they had traded Andre Burakovsky to the Colorado Avalanche, the team’s senior writer, Mike Vogel, gave some background behind the deal.
According to Vogel, Burakovsky requested to be dealt ahead of the trade deadline last season on February 25.
“We pursued it at the deadline, but it would have had to be a home run then,” Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said to Vogel. “We would have had to bring back a player at that point; to trade him for picks at the deadline didn’t make any sense when we were trying to put together a playoff run.
“Had the player not requested the trade, I would have preferred to keep him in that third-line role for this season.”
The Swedish forward asked to be moved to a team that would give him an opportunity to play in the top six. The Caps explored deals ahead of the trade deadline and at the NHL Draft in Vancouver, but did not make moves then.
Burakovsky joins a young and up-and-coming team in Colorado led by Nathan MacKinnon (99 points) and Mikko Rantanen (87 points). After an unlikely postseason berth, the Avalanche advanced to the second round of the NHL playoffs where they were bounced by the San Jose Sharks in seven games.
On Twitter, Burakovsky seemed excited about the move, liking the Colorado Avalanche’s announcement of the trade minutes after it happened.
Andre noooooo pic.twitter.com/zgBwvF1E84
— RMNB (@russianmachine) June 28, 2019
Burakovsky had been linked in trade rumors as early as December of 2018.
Vogel pointed out that the Capitals got the same return for Burakovsky that they did for Marcus Johansson when the team flipped the Swedish forward to the New Jersey Devils for salary cap relief in the summer of 2017.
Headline photo: Cara Bahniuk
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