Brett Leason, 20, was a late bloomer who needed time to improve his skating and gain a sense of himself.

  • Perspective

With each departure, Washington’s Stanley Cup recedes further into the past.

The latest moves and rumors as the league's free agent signing period opens.


The Capitals' division added a lot of talent as the league's free agent signing period opened Monday.

The move, which can become official when free agency opens Monday, lets the Capitals fill a hole on their third line.

“We’re pursuing all the fits we see for a third-line right wing in free agency,” General Manager Brian MacLellan said Saturday.

The move, which brings second- and third-round picks in the 2020 draft to Washington while also providing the team with salary cap space, came after Burakovsky had requested a trade.

The 18-year-old, who describes himself as a “200-foot center,” says he hopes to improve his strength while playing for the London Knights in the Ontario Hockey League.

  • Analysis

“Whatever happens in our bottom six [forwards], those would be the areas we’re addressing,” GM Brian MacLellan said.

The Capitals will open the season on Oct. 2 in St. Louis against the defending Stanley Cup champions.

“I’ve been extremely lucky to have the best job in the world for many years, but my body is telling me it is time to move on to something new,” said the two-time Cup winner.

Burakovsky’s salary last season was $3.25 million, so his qualifying offer has to match that. It’s considered a slight overpay for a player whose production has leveled off over the past two seasons.

The 18-year-old Canadian center isn’t expected in Washington for a few years, but is “really excited to be a Capital.”

“I don’t know that we’re ever not in an all-in situation," GM Brian MacLellan said Thursday of the team's approach to the offseason. "We view ourselves as a contender for the Cup and we want to put the best team forward and make the best decisions to do that."

“I was pretty happy that I got traded to a team that’s well known for their winning and their will to win every game they play,” the defenseman said.

“I stayed with Washington to have a chance to win," Hagelin said after he landed a four-year, $11 million extension.

Washington traded for Hagelin in February and quickly became enamored with his versatility, from playing on a top penalty-kill unit to his ability to slot in anywhere in the lineup.

In the first big move of its offseason, Washington sends a top-four defenseman to a division foe in a move designed to create salary cap space.

The NHL found "no basis to question" Kuznetsov's account of a social media post that showed him in a hotel room with what appeared to be illegal drugs. Kuznetsov has maintained he did not use the substance shown in the video and has never done drugs.

"You want to be in this position to have a chance to win," Johansson said. "Obviously, I didn’t know it was going to be here, but I couldn’t be with a better group, couldn’t be with a better team.”

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