The Washington Capitals have just captured hockey's version of the holy grail, winning the very first Stanley Cup Championship in the over 40 year history of their franchise. As you would expect the Capitals are riding high as a result of their gigantic win and the rumors of the party that they had last night are off the wall, however it sounds like the celebration might be very short lived for one member of their roster.
There hasn't been any kind of official announcement from the Washington Capitals as of yet, but there are already rumors floating around that the Capitals may exercise one of their buyouts as they look to save some cap space next season.According to the rumors the Washington Capitals are seriously considering the possibility of buying out the contract of veteran defenseman Brooks Orpik.
On Friday ESPN's Emily Kaplan touched on the rumors as she broke down what she expects to see from the Washington Capitals during the course of the season.
The NHL's salary cap is going up, which is welcome news for a team like the Capitals. But still, their situation is so tenuous as is, some readjustments must be made. Buying out the remaining year of Brooks Orpik's contract is an option, though with every passing year, we understand just how much Washington values the veteran defenseman (even if fans sometimes don't).
Orpik has been the target of significant criticism among the Washington Capitals fan base for his underwhelming play, especially over the course of the Capitals past two seasons, and that criticism is only amplified by the fact that he carries a relatively large contract that makes the Capitals already tight cap situation even tighter. That being said it's also quite clear that the Capitals place tremendous value on the intagibles that he brings to their organization, but it's fair to wonder if those intangibles have finally carried Orpik as far as he will go with the Caps.
Unlike a lot of buyout candidates Orpik currently only has just a single year left on his deal and while that may make you believe that the Capitals will find a way to make his contract fit under the cap, the reality is that the Capitals are going to have far more important problems this summer than how they can manage to make space for Orpik on their roster. The veteran defenseman is will count for a whopping $5,500,000 against the cap for the 2018-2019 National Hockey League regular season, if the Capitals keep him, and it just seems very unlikely that the Caps will go that route.
The Capitals top priority in the offseason will be signing star defenseman John Carlson, and after the way he played in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs some are expecting that he will command as much as $8 million per season moving forward. The Capitals will need to get very creative if they want to find a way to fit Carlson's new contract under the salary cap, assuming they manage to get him signed, and Orpik is a likely candidate to be a casuality of that creativity.
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