Days ahead of the trade deadline, the Washington Capitals have made their first move to open up some cap space to their cash-strapped team.
Wednesday, the Capitals placed depth forward Richard Panik on waivers.
The trade deadline is 3 PM on Monday. Henrik Lundqvist ($1.5 AAV) is also learning this week if he can return to the NHL this season after open-heart surgery.
Panik (WASH) on waivers
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 7, 2021
Panik can now be claimed by any NHL team on waivers for the next 24 hours. If Panik clears, the Capitals can place the forward on their taxi squad or send him down to the AHL.
Richard Panik, on waivers, is an above-average bottom-six play-driver whose contract is exactly the type that teams don't want right now. #AllCaps pic.twitter.com/ThjtLjUETY
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) April 7, 2021
Panik was signed to a four-year, $11 million contract ($2.75 AAV) by Capitals GM Brian MacLellan in June 2019 to replace Brett Connolly, who left for Florida. Panik initially skated in Connolly’s third-line right-wing spot but finished the 2019-20 season on the fourth line. This season, Panik got pushed out of the lineup after advancements made by Daniel Sprong and Conor Sheary. Panik has been scratched three of the last five games as the team became fully healthy.
This ice time chart from @IneffectiveMath really tells the story of how Sprong and Sheary have kinda usurped Panik's minutes. https://t.co/cbQaLIJhWy pic.twitter.com/z3bhjiJw9S
— Good Tweet Pete (@peterhassett) April 7, 2021
Panik scored 22 points (9g, 13a) in 59 games during the 2019-20 season and has 9 points (3g, 6a) in 36 games this year.
According to Cap Friendly, the Capitals have only $10 of cap space. Per The Athletic, if Panik clears and ends up on the Capitals’ taxi squad, it would remove $1.075 million of pro-rated cap space each day he’s not on the Capitals NHL roster. The Capitals would also be able to promote and demote Panik for at least 10 games or 30 days without any worries that another team would claim him.
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