Could the Capitals have interest in Mikhail Grabovski? Are Kyle Clifford’s days with the Kings numbered? Read on to find out.
CSNWASHINGTON.COM: Chuck Gormley reports Brooks Laich is slotted to be the Capitals second-line center, but he could be moved over to left wing (where the Capitals are weaker) if they opt to add a center. Gormley noted former Leafs center Mikhail Grabovski remains available, and apparently three teams are interested in the 29-year-old. Capitals GM George McPhee earlier this month claimed he had little interest in this summer’s UFAs, preferring to see his team in training camp before making any further roster decisions.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Once the Capitals re-sign Marcus Johansson, they could have nearly $4 million in available cap space. Grabovski was bought out of a $5.5 million per season contract, and could be an affordable signing (perhaps between $2 – $3 million), though other interested teams could push up his price. Grabovski could be a good fit with the Capitals, but if McPhee remains uninterested, he could be passing up a good, affordable opportunity to bolster his depth at center.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Mike Halford speculates the LA Kings re-signing of Trevor Lewis to a one-year, $1.325 million contract could spell the end of teammate Kyle Clifford’s time with the Kings. Clifford is also a restricted free agent but unlike Lewis lacked arbitration rights. Halford notes the Kings are pressed for cap space and Clifford is likely seeking a raise over the $870K he earned last season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings now have just over $250K in cap space and 24 players under contract for next season. Something’s gotta give, and it could be Clifford. Still, it’s possible they could re-sign him, or wait for further word on Willie Mitchell’s injury status. If he’s still plagued by a knee injury, they’ll place Mitchell on LTIR, allowing them to be over the cap if they decide to re-sign Clifford. Another option is demotion, as center Tyler Toffoli is on a two-way contract. The other option, of course, could be trading Clifford.