Trotz said he doesn’t think there will be “anything drastic,” as Washington is looking for depth, either on defense or at fourth-line forward. Though Trotz wasn’t asked about it, the Capitals are one of the teams who have shown interest in Winnipeg’s Andrew Ladd, a pending unrestricted free agent left wing who carries an annual cap hit of $4.4 million.
The price for Ladd may be too steep for a rental, and it would require the Capitals to clear a considerable amount of cap space. Washington will have about $1.15 million in annual cap room available at the trade deadline, according to generalfanager.com. The risk would be fiddling too much with a roster that’s cruised to 92 points through 58 games, but the reward would be a top-six winger with 16 goals and 17 assists.
Trotz said getting players such as defenseman Brooks Orpik and center Jay Beagle back in the lineup after significant injuries feels like acquisitions in their own right, and seeing Orpik transition back into the lineup well has given the team brass some clarity as to what needs there still are. So what areas of the team would Trotz would like to see solidified?
“Probably more on the depth areas, and if we could find a specialist here or there,” Trotz said. “You always want to grab one of those guys that are specialist at whatever, be it a penalty killer or a faceoff guy, whatever that may be. Something like that would be what you’re always looking for.”
Trotz said center Scott Gomez, who won two Stanley Cups with the New Jersey Devils in 2000 and 2003 and is on a professional tryout agreement with Washington’s American Hockey League affiliate in Hershey, “is on the radar.” Gomez is under contract with the Bears, but not with the Capitals, and Gomez could be signed by another team. Trotz said he watched Gomez and the AHL team play on Sunday, and other organizations were in attendance, too.
Asked about how 23-year-old winger Stanislav Galiev has handled only playing in 16 games despite being on the roster all season, Trotz said he’s been “fantastic” and alluded to Galiev being safe at the deadline. “He’s not going anywhere,” Trotz said. The roster limit of 23 disappears after the trade deadline, but Trotz said he wouldn’t want to carry too many players.
“I just think that if you have too many extras, it slows your practice down,” he said. “It takes away from your group. I think most teams try to keep their corps to probably four lines, a couple extra forwards and an extra D.”