Capitals Face Summer of Uncertainties After Playoff Exit
Several players have expressed their plans in the offseason after the Washington Capitals bombed out via a 2-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference second round.
According to NHL.com, forward T.J. Oshie, who will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, said he plans to stay with the Capitals. "Right now, I'm a Capital, and I feel like that's where I'll be," Oshie said after his exit meetings with Capitals coaches and general manager Brian MacLellan.
However, Oshie's plan depends on the Capitals' salary cap room and his asking price for next season. According to the Washington Post, Oshie may ask for more than the $4.5 million he received last season.
If he hits the free agent market, Oshie will be one of the most highly sought forwards available. Oshie may ask for a contract amounting to what Kyle Okposo and David Backes signed with the Buffalo Sabres and the Boston Bruins, respectively. Okposo signed a seven-year, $42 million deal while Backes inked a five-year contract worth $30 million.
The Capitals acquired Oshie in a trade with the St. Louis Blues last July 2, 2015. Last season, he scored 33, seven more than his NHL career high that he set the previous year. Oshie recorded 56 points in 68 regular-season games this season after getting 51 points in 80 games last season, per NHL.com.
Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, for his part, said he will explore the market. "I think I do have to weigh out a lot of my options, I have to talk to some teams and see who else is interested," the 28-year-old Shattenkirk said.
Shattenkirk tallied 13 goals and 43 assists in 80 regular-season games but struggled during the playoffs, when he had six points (one goal, five assists) and was minus-4 in 13 games.
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