The Washington Capitals’ Opening Night roster isn’t official yet, but there are some takeaways.
Monday, the Capitals got cap compliant at the NHL’s 5 PM deadline, but appear to have punted on making some final decisions until Tuesday. The Capitals’ roster is in flux due to injuries to Capitals’ legends Alex Ovechkin (day-to-day/lower body) and Backstrom (week-to-week/hip).
The team assigned Connor McMichael and Beck Malenstyn to the Hershey Bears to get under the 23-man roster limit but also designated Nicklas Backstrom as an injured non-roster player.
#Caps assign forwards Connor McMichael and Beck Malenstyn to the Hershey Bears (AHL) and designate Nicklas Backstrom injured non-roster. #Caps expect to make additional transactions and announce the 2021-22 Opening Night roster on Tuesday, Oct. 12.
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) October 11, 2021
NBC Sports Washington’s JJ Regan points out that McMichael’s move to Hershey could simply be a “paper transaction” before the Capitals possibly place Nicklas Backstrom on long-term injured reserve.
This gets them cap compliant for the 5 p.m. deadline, but sounds like they have not finalized things yet. Reminder that McMichael does not require waivers so he can be recalled any time. Could be a paper transaction for now https://t.co/3Rn8bblvkb
— JJ Regan (@JJReganNBCS) October 11, 2021
Per Hockey Wilderness, “the CBA specifies that an injured non-roster player is still paid his salary and still counts toward the cap hit of the team,” meaning Backstrom’s cap hit still counts, but he is not on the team’s roster.
There are some other takeaways that we can glean from the moves. Nineteen-year-old rookie Hendrix Lapierre has indeed made the team. Meanwhile, defenseman Martin Fehervary, who has been skating with John Carlson on the first pairing, has officially graduated to the NHL.
We’ll find out more tomorrow.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
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