Contending teams must often make a difficult distinction between a good player and a “core player.”
The Washington Capitals could very well feel that sting if they decide that pending RFA Marcus Johansson‘s asking price is simply too steep.
GM Brian MacLellan dropped some hints that the Swedish forward might not fit into the Capitals’ budget when addressing the media on Tuesday.
Johansson’s a nice piece, no doubt, but he’s been bumped down the pecking order thanks to a combination of added veterans (Justin Williams and T.J. Oshie) along with rising young forwards (Evgeny Kuznetsov and Andre Burakovsky).
Even if a trade isn’t happening, it sounds like Johansson’s deal might be the first domino to fall.
If teams are looking to make a move, perhaps quality depth players would be involved in the exchange: