Capitals could ditch underachieving forward

Nicklas Backstrom is nearing a return - could a deal be in the works?



The Washington Capitals have been without the services of forward Nicklas Backstrom all season, as he underwent a hip resurfacing procedure over the summer. However, the good news is that Backstrom has returned to practice, and even recently skated without the non-contact sweater: 

Of course, the Capitals are also dealing with other injury woes, as T.J. Oshie and John Carlson remain out with upper body injuries. 

The Caps, who are looking to shed salary, could potentially part ways with underachieving forward Anthony Mantha in order to accommodate the inevitable return of Backstrom. According to Marco D'Amico of Montreal Hockey Now, the Caps could even send Mantha to his home province of Quebec in a potential trade with the Montreal Canadiens.

Per the translation: 

"Nicklas Backstrom, who is currently on the long-term injured list, is getting closer and closer to a return to play and that's why the Capitals have to let go of a few contracts. That's why D'Amico believes Mantha is a good option, as he's on a salary of $5.7 million until 2024. This season in 34 games, the native of Longueuil has 19 points, including eight goals. Mantha could therefore come and accelerate the reconstruction in Montreal and even play on the same line as Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield."

"If the Capitals are ready to retain a certain part of his contract, the two clans would certainly be satisfied by this exchange."

Mantha certainly hasn't provided the kind of offense that the team has expected of him, with only 19 points in 34 games played. 

Source: Fanadiens