Capitals have decisions to make with bottom-six forwards


Depth hasn’t always been the greatest strength for the Washington Capitals, yet it seems plausible that they might enjoy a multitude of options at forward this season. Still, that might come down to making the right decisions regarding their bottom-six forwards, as discussed on Friday.

More specifically, it appears that eight different forwards are competing for six spots:

Martin Erat
Jason Chimera
Eric Fehr
Mathieu Perreault
Joel Ward
Aaron Volpatti
Jay Beagle
Tom Wilson points out that the Capitals are experimenting with different options in this situation, including trying Fehr and Erat at center. Fehr, 28, has had some experience at the pivot spot with Washington but Erat, 32, hasn’t played in the middle very often. Still, Erat’s two-way ability makes it an appealing thing to ponder.

“[Oates] thinks that’s a real good spot for him and I would agree with that,” Capitals GM George McPhee said. “He’s a real clever player as well, real responsible defensively, and might be a real good fit at center ice. I think we know what he is. We didn’t get to see enough last year, but we might actually get more out of him playing him at center.”

Most NHL teams have figured out their lineups at this point, yet the Capitals might still be weighing their options as the weekend goes along. For those who believe the team’s window is closing, these decisions could be pretty significant.