Washington signed Panik to a four-year, $11 million deal in June 2019. His contract carries an average annual value of $2.75 million. Panik scored nine goals and recorded 13 assists in 59 games during the 2019-20 season.
The team will find out whether Panik cleared waivers Thursday at noon.
If he is not claimed by another team, the move gives Washington the option to put Panik on the taxi squad for some needed salary cap relief. If Panik goes on the taxi squad, the Capitals would be able to clear up $1.075 million of his salary cap hit.
Over the past eek, Panik has appeared to be pushed out of the lineup in favor of Daniel Sprong. Sprong, who has been a steady plug-in for lineup mainstays this season, has seven goals and five assists in 28 games.
Panik came out of the lineup for two games with Lars Eller’s return March 30 after the center missed seven games with a lower-body injury. Panik was back in the lineup when Jakub Vrana was a healthy scratch for two games against New Jersey at Prudential Center over the weekend, but Vrana slotted back in Tuesday against the Islanders.
The Capitals’ next game is Thursday at Capital One Arena against the Boston Bruins. Washington (25-10-4) is tied atop the East Division with the Islanders (25-10-4).
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