Apr 19, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik (44) moves the puck against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the third period in game two of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Blue Jackets won 4-3 in double overtime. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Capitals reach cap ceiling with FA signings


The Washington Capitals aggressively hit the free agent market on Tuesday in search of help along the blue line. At a steep cost, the team found just that. Now general manager Brian McLellan has the team he wants, but little enough salary cap space to have much more than that.

CSN Washington notes that the Washington Capitals have about $1.1 million in cap space after signing defensemen Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik to long term deals and goaltender Justin Peters to a two-year deal. “We had cap room, ownership gave the green light to get to the cap, and we spent the money where we thought we needed to spend it the most,” MacLellan said.

The Peters deal has been safe from much scrutiny since goaltender Braden Holtby is the presumed starter in Washington, but the pair of blue line signings leaves the Capitals will little cap space to address the void at center ice left by the inevitable departure of Mikhail Grabovski.

Still, MacLellan likes the team he’s constructed, saying, “I like our defense. We have six really good defensemen. I think we have a good balance now and I think we’re going to let it play it out.”

He’ll have little other choice once the 2014-15 season is underway unless the Caps can make even-salaried swaps. For better or worse, the Washington Capitals have a new vision for their team and new players to help execute that vision.

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Tags: Washington Capitals