Capitals Keep the Band Together
When you win a championship, you want to bring as many players from that championship team back for more. That can be very tough to do, but the Capitals managed the trick and get an A+ for their offseason.
By Evan Redmon, August 2nd, 2018
The Washington Capitals are bringing back five players from their Stanley Cup team that could have potentially gone elsewhere
The term ‘Capitals Signing Bonus’ usually means someone just got paid. And to be sure, someone did.
Make that five someones.
There was worry among Caps fans that the band would break up after the team hoisted their first Stanley Cup above their collective heads in their history. Several players – several key players, to be sure – had deals that were expiring. After Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Nicklas Bäckström and Braden Holtby – the core of the Caps – there was some uncertainty about who else would be on the ice in Chinatown.
Worry no more, Caps chaps and hockey chicks. Devante Smith-Pelly, Michael Kempney, John Carlson, Brooks Orpik and Tom Wilson are all back in the fold. I don’t know who keeps track of such things, but this has to do down as one of the best offseasons a Stanley Cup Champion has ever had.
At some point in time, I will grow tired of watching this video. Should only take about 54,367 more times than the 691 times I’ve already watched it.
The Capitals will return for the 2018-2019 season with most of the players featured in this video. Most will have a lot more money.
Capitals Signing Bonus Doesn’t Extend To Everyone
At this point, it’s much easier to name the players who departed than the ones who are sticking around. While there were several players that found new teams, a couple in particular stand out.
Beagle was clearly expendable. It’s not that he played horrifically or anything like that, he just didn’t do much to make himself stand out among the crowd. During the Capitals Stanley Cup run, Beagle was relegated to little more than a faceoff specialist. His numbers didn’t justify a big payday.
Considering the Vancouver Canucks ponied up a $12 million contract over four years, there was no way the Capitals were going to match that. So good for him. But it was the right thing to do for the Caps to move on.
Imagine if I told you during the Capitals first game in the playoffs against the Columbus Blue Jackets that the Caps would win it all. Then I told you that they would make no effort to resign their starting netminder in Grubauer.
That would seem unlikely. But we know how this whole thing panned out.
Grubauer faltered under the pressure, Holtby regained his elite form, and the rest is history.
That scenario also seemed unlikely, considering how Grubauer played during the regular season (and the season before that, as well). His save percentage was outstanding. He seemed all the world to be the Capitals goalie of the future.
Now, he’ll battle, ironically, Semyon Varlamov for the top spot in front of the net.