The cap-strapped Washington Capitals had arguably the worst offseason of any NHL team. The Capitals lost several big names due to unrestricted free agency (Justin Williams, Karl Alzner, Kevin Shattenkirk). But it was the surprise salary dump of Marcus Johansson and the unexpected loss of Nate Schmidt in the expansion draft that may have hurt the most.
Johansson, in his prime and signed to an affordable three year pact worth $4.583 a season, was the team’s third-leading goalscorer last season. Meanwhile, Schmidt is one of the best young defensemen in the game.
On Thursday, Nicklas Backstrom and Dmitry Orlov spoke about the losses of Johansson and Schmidt during the NHL’s European Media Day tour.
They were about as sad as you would imagine.