TJ Oshie made an impassioned plea on Breakdown Day to finish his career in DC and avoid being left exposed for the Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft by general manager Brian MacLellan. Oshie, if exposed, could be coveted by Seattle for his offensive skill, leadership, popularity, and ties to the area. While a crapshoot, cutting ties now could also benefit Washington no matter how difficult a seperation may be. Oshie is 34 and has four years remaining on an eight-year, $46 million deal.
“My allegiance is here,” Oshie said. “I’ve done, I feel like, as much as I can to prove this is where I want to be. I’ve got family out there. That’s great, but Washington’s where I want to be. I’ve bled and cried here. This is where I want to stay long term. People can speculate and make assumptions about what I want to do or what I like. People bring up the ‘C.’ That stuff is not that important to me. ”
Wednesday, MacLellan was asked where he stood on Oshie’s future ahead of the Expansion Draft being held in late July.
“I thought he had a great year,” MacLellan said. “One of his best years. He continues to produce. He continues to be a big part of what’s going on in the room and on the ice. He’s a big part of our organization. It would hurt our team and our organization if we lost him in the Expansion Draft. I don’t know if we’ve made any decisions fully on that but ideally, we’d like to keep him around.”
During the 2020-21 season, Oshie scored 22 goals in 53 games and was on pace to score 34 times – a career-high. Oshie’s 22 goals were the fifth most of his career and the sixth time he’s scored 20 goals in a season. He was also on pace for 66 points (43p in 53g), another career-high.
The Capitals will be able to protect seven forwards, three defensemen, and one goalie or eight skaters and one goalie for the Expansion Draft. The Capitals ended the season with no cap space and their biggest priorities this offseason are re-signing Alex Ovechkin and Ilya Samsonov. The NHL salary cap could remain static for the next few seasons.
“I think there are some young pieces that are here now. I think there may be some young pieces that come in to play next year. But the core of this team are the guys that drive this team, and even drove this team this year,” Peter Laviolette said. “You look at the production from some of the players like TJ Oshie. He had a really good year from a production standpoint. Nick Backstrom is still able to produce. John Carlson had a good year. We can go right through the lineup. There were a lot of players, not all, but a lot of players that produced well.”
Headline photo: Cara Bahniuk/RMNB
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.