The move came less than 30 minutes after depth defenseman Taylor Chorney was claimed off waivers by the Columbus Blue Jackets. Chorney’s departure cleared $800,000 in salary cap space, but Jerabek’s addition added another $925,000, so the Capitals now have roughly $617,000 in room. With Jerabek, the team also has the maximum 23 players on the roster, so another trade would require a corresponding move. Just two players on the roster are waiver-exempt and can be sent down to the American Hockey League without any risk: rookies Jakub Vrana and Madison Bowey.
On Tuesday, MacLellan said he was wary about parting with high draft picks after blockbuster deals the past two seasons depleted some of the team’s assets, but “I think if something makes sense with lower-end draft picks, we are more open to do that.”
Jerabek, who signed with Montreal as a free agent this summer, has one goal and three assists in 25 appearances this season, averaging 17:21 in ice time. The trade deadline isn’t until Feb. 26, so it’s possible Washington isn’t done dealing.
“I think trying to keep aware and communication with other teams on who is being moved, and I think it shifts and changes a lot,” MacLellan said Tuesday. “If something makes sense for us, we will try to improve our team.”
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