The NHL saw a flurry of deals on Wednesday, a full five days ahead of the trade deadline.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman provided insight on what may or may not happen moving forward in a midnight 32 Thoughts column.
In the article, Friedman throws out Maxi Domi’s name as another forward the Washington Capitals could be targeting at the deadline.
Someone who might be on Washington’s radar: Columbus’ Max Domi. (Marek added Boston and Colorado could be also, which fits, too.) Although Vitek Vanecek has played very well, the Capitals continue to monitor the goaltending market. They needed a strong week — five out of six points in Canada, a win over the Islanders — to convince management they righted the ship. I could see a situation where Fleury wants to finish his career in Pittsburgh, another reason he’d be leery about joining the Capitals.
Domi, a 27-year-old center, is in the final year of a two-year, $10.6 million contract with a cap hit of $5.3 million. He will be an unrestricted free agent over the summer.
The scrappy Blue Jackets forward has a nose for the net and can play on the power play. Also, like his dad, Tie, Max is not afraid to drop the gloves. Domi is three years removed from a career year where he tallied 72 points (28g, 44a) in 82 games for the Montreal Canadiens. This season, the Canadian has 31 points (9g, 22a) in 51 games. After scuffling in January, Domi rebounded and registered seven points in his last seven games.
He currently skates on the Blue Jackets’ second line with Cole Dillinger and Oliver Bjorkstrand.
Domi is coming off major shoulder surgery (labral tear) that he had in June 2021.
Other forwards the Capitals have been rumored to be interested in include Claude Giroux and Calle Jarnkrok. Jarnkrok was one of several players dealt on Wednesday, landing in Calgary.
Jarnkrok to CAL for a 2nd (Florida's) in 2022, a third iin 2023 and a 7th in 2024. SEA retains 50 per cent. Was a lot of competition for him.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) March 17, 2022
The Canadiens have traded defenseman Ben Chiarot to the Florida Panthers in exchange for Tyler Smilanic, a 1st-round pick in 2023, and a 4th-round pick in 2022.#GoHabsGo https://t.co/dD9btbcaEQ
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) March 17, 2022
OFFICIAL: #NYR have acquired forward Frank Vatrano from the Florida Panthers in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. pic.twitter.com/6nAjpUVAV5
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) March 16, 2022
It’s unclear how aggressive Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan will be at the trade deadline as the team has gotten hot since Anthony Mantha returned, earning 11 of a possible 12 standings points. During a press conference with reporters in early March, MacLellan said the team would likely not mortgage its future to make a splash at the deadline.
“I’d be less inclined to trade prospects because they are going to be playing here sooner than later,” MacLellan said hinting a youth movement is on the horizon for the Caps. “I don’t know if we’re going to be as aggressive as we’ve been in the past. Just to add depth pieces, we might overpay a little bit because we have a good team and we thought we’d go a long way and need players. I don’t know if we’re in that mode, but we’d still like to try and improve the team.”
Friedman’s report also mentioned that the team continues to keep tabs on the goalie market where GMBM reportedly remains interested in prying Marc-Andre Fleury from the Chicago Blackhawks. MAF, who essentially controls his destiny, may pass on any possible deal due to the Capitals-Penguins rivalry.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
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