Swapping Stanton and Carrick is likely performance-related, as Carrick was on the ice for two Buffalo goals on Wednesday night and was scored on again during Thursday’s 4-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. The 21-year-old didn’t play in an NHL game all of last season, playing 34 games during the 2013-14 season. Carrick was partnered with Taylor Chorney as the team’s third defensive pairing for three games.
Stanton, 26, has registered 27 points (four goals and 23 assists) in 119 career NHL games with the Blackhawks and Canucks. He appeared in 54 games with Vancouver last season and recorded 11 points (three goals and eight assists). Stanton set NHL career-highs in goals, plus-minus (+9) and penalty minutes last season and ranked fourth among Canucks defenseman in hits (93) and blocked shots (113). Stanton tallied seven points (two goals and five assists) in 28 games with the Hershey Bears this season.
He signed with the Capitals as a free agent on July 24. Stanton was one of Washington’s last cuts in training camp, competing with Chorney for a depth defenseman role. The Capitals also have Aaron Ness on the roster, so it’s unclear which will be in the lineup against the Blue Jackets on Saturday.