McKenzie on potentially looming Capitals trade

The defending Stanley Cup champions may be poised to bolster their lineup for another spring run.

Bob McKenzie had a Wednesday evening pregame TV hit on NBCSN.

The Insider was asked about the Capitals having looked like they were going to waive Dmitrij Jaskin earlier in the day, but instead placing Devante Smith-Pelly on waivers.

“This was a bizarre one,” remarked McKenzie. “Because the Caps basically announced while practice was on Dmitrij Jaskin is going to be put on waivers at noon. And then all of the sudden in the middle of practice, Devante Smith-Pelly got called off the ice, went in, and was told, ‘You’re going on waivers. Jaskin is not on waivers.’

“And it’s pretty obvious, and the Caps basically admitted, ‘Yeah, we’ve got a lot of irons in the fire. We’ve got something cooking here.’

“There’s all sorts of speculation that they do have a deal pending, but they’ve got to wait for Devante Smith-Pelly to either clear waivers tomorrow, so they can send him to the minors and bury most of his $1 million salary and have most of it come off off the cap, or have him claimed and lose it entirely. But in any case, they need that to happen before the trade can be facilitated.

“Now, we don’t know specifically what the trade is, but there is lots of speculation today that the trading partner potentially is the Los Angeles Kings, and that the goal from the Washington Capitals side is to move Devante Smith-Pelly out of the lineup and upgrade with a depth, veteran forward.

“So as you look through the veteran forwards on the L.A. Kings, you’ve got Carl Hagelin, who’s on an expiring contract, but has a $3.5 million cap hit. And then you’ve got guys who have a year remaining on their contract after this year - Kyle Clifford and Trevor Lewis - both guys who have won Stanley Cups and would fit the profile of the kind of players the Washington Capitals are looking to deal with.

“Although someone is going to point out Devante Smith-Pelly also won a Cup, very recently, for that team. And there are a lot of Caps fans that are upset because they saw what Smith-Pelly meant in the playoffs. And now he’s potentially gone.”

Hagelin is winding down a four-year, $16 million contract, and he can become a UFA this summer.

Trevor Lewis is in the third season of a four-year, $8 million pact.

Kyle Clifford is in the fourth season of a five-year, $8 million deal.

Contract-related info via CapFriendly