The Washington Capitals grabbed a huge Game Three victory over the Florida Panthers on Saturday after a few tweaks to a lineup that lost Game Two in Florida. One of those tweaks was Brett Leason coming out of the lineup in favor of Connor McMichael.
Now, the team has announced postgame that Leason has been returned to the AHL’s Hershey Bears. The Bears need a win Sunday to stay in the Calder Cup running or their season will end.
NEWS | The Capitals have re-assigned forward Brett Leason to the Hershey Bears. #ALLCAPS | @FTX_Official https://t.co/m4evdUCmzo
— x – Washington Capitals (@Capitals) May 7, 2022
Leason had six points in 36 games with the Caps in the regular season to go along with 13 points in 31 games for Hershey at the AHL level. He made his postseason debut in that second game and skated 8:17 of total ice time.
The rookie winger filled in on the fourth line for the Caps in his one game this series after Tom Wilson left a giant hole in the lineup via his injury in Game One. His departure to Hershey could mean good things for Wilson’s future availability in this series or it could mean that head coach Peter Laviolette has decided McMichael is the man for the job going forward.
Wilson did not play in either of the last two games and a hunch from Grant Paulsen suggested he could even miss the rest of the series due to a knee injury.
McMichael skated on the third line with Lars Eller and Conor Sheary which allowed the Caps to reunite an uber-successful fourth line of Johan Larsson, Nic Dowd, and Garnet Hathaway. The move sent back immediate dividends as that fourth line dominated at five-on-five, only allowing a single Florida scoring chance while recording five of their own.
Here’s the full release from the Caps:
Capitals Re-assign Brett Leason to Hershey
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have re-assigned forward Brett Leason to the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL), senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
Leason, 23, made his NHL debut on Oct. 29, 2021 against the Arizona Coyotes and has recorded six points (3g, 3a) in 36 games with the Capitals this season. The Calgary, Alberta, native also appeared in one playoff game for the Capitals on May 5. In addition, the 6’5″, 218-pound forward has 13 points (6g, 7a) in 31 games with Hershey.
Leason recorded 20 points (9g, 11a) in 33 games during the 2020-21 season with Hershey, including 13 points (5g, 8a) in his final 15 games. Leason surpassed his rookie point total of 14 (3g, 11a) set in 2019-20 in 17 fewer games in 2020-21, while also tripling his goal total. Leason ranked fourth on Hershey in goals and points and second in shots (74). Additionally, Leason was one of five skaters to appear in all 33 of Hershey’s games and was the only Hershey player to record a power play goal (1), a shorthanded goal (1) and a game-winning goal (2).
The Capitals selected Leason with their second round pick, 56th overall, in the 2019 NHL Draft.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
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