Things are complicated in Washington, DC. After another disappointing playoff finish, Washington Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan will have some tough decisions to make with regards to keeping his team under the NHL salary cap. Does he re-sign TJ Oshie? Can he afford to keep Kevin Shattenkirk? These are tough decisions. Unfortunately, with reports that two of his top players are receiving offers from the KHL, things may get a lot more difficult for MacLellan this offseason.
Washington Post reporter Isabelle Khurshudyan reported earlier today that Caps pending restricted free-agents Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dimitri Orlov have indeed received offers from the KHL, but that no signing is imminent. The two Russians would likely command top dollar (ruble?) in the KHL should they chose to chase it, but the most interesting development in such a scenario would be the impact to the Capitals.
Kuznetsov was the team’s third leading scorer behind only Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin in 2016-17. He also managed 10 points in 13 playoff games. Orlov was no slouch either, he broke out this past season and establish a career high 33 points in 82 games while playing big minutes on the team’s blue line. No matter how you look at things, the loss of either player would be devastating for a team that’s already in the middle of an identity crisis.