Galiev, 25, a third-round pick in 2010, appeared 24 games with the Capitals last season, tallying three assists. He spent the entire season on Washington’s roster because the team didn’t want to expose him to waivers for fear of losing him. He was cut from the training camp roster before this season and then cleared waivers.
With Washington rich in young forward prospects such as Zach Sanford, Jakub Vrana, Riley Barber and Travis Boyd, the organization has prioritized getting them NHL experience this season over Galiev. For that reason, the Capitals are willing to move Galiev to what might be a better situation for him. Galiev is a restricted free agent at the end of this season, and it’s possible Washington would not have qualified him anyway.
Speaking to reporters Thursday, General Manager Brian MacLellan said he doesn’t believe the first-place Capitals have any glaring needs to be addressed by the trade deadline, but he’s open to upgrading “on the fringes.” One thing the organization is looking for is a No. 3 goaltender to play in Hershey and serve as injury protection for Washington’s Braden Holtby and Philipp Grubauer.
The Capitals faced the Oilers on Friday night with their most depleted lineup of the season; four regular players — T.J. Oshie, Andre Burakovsky, Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik — sat out with injuries. It could be a good opportunity for Washington to assess whether it still needs a depth addition, and Galiev could be the asset to help them obtain it.