Tuesday, the Washington Post’s Barry Svrluga spoke to Brian MacLellan. Svrluga described the Capitals general manager as “rankled — ticked off, really” at the notion that he didn’t have a plan coming into the offseason, which saw the team lose a big chunk of its veteran depth (Marcus Johansson, Nate Schmidt, Justin Williams, Karl Alzner, Kevin Shattenkirk, and Daniel Winnik).
Many of the free-agent losses were expected by the fanbase as the team went all-in for a Stanley Cup, but several complications during contract negotiations, most notably Evgeny Kuznetsov’s, made things worse. The Capitals were forced to salary-dump their third best goalscorer, Marcus Johansson, to the New Jersey Devils.
The most debatable move the Capitals made during the offseason was re-signing 30-year-old first-line forward TJ Oshie to an eight-year, $46-million retirement deal. MacLellan had some strong feelings about anyone who doubted the signing.