NHL Rumors: Washington Capitals – Coaching search, Tom Wilson and Connor Brown

Tarik El-Bashir of The Athletic: Washington Capitals GM Brian MacLellan said that they’ll do a wide coaching search to replace Peter Laviolette (mutual decision to go in a different direction) and it may involve assistants with teams that are still playing. MacLellan will be looking for someone who can handle star players but also work on developing young players.

NHL Rumors: Washington Capitals – Keys to the offseason and pending free agents

“It’s going to be different in that you want a coach that can work with young guys, and we’re going to have a veteran group at the top that kind of needs a veteran coach. It’s going to be a challenge to find the right guy for that. … I don’t know that we can find it, but we’ll do the best we can.”

29-year-old forward Tom Wilson has a year left on his contract and is eligible for an extension after July 1st. Talks haven’t started yet but both sides want a long-term deal.

“I’d like for Tom to finish up in Washington,” MacLellan said. “He’s been a big part of our culture, our group, he’s consistently gotten better throughout the years. We’re going to do everything we can to sign him.”

MacLellan is interested in re-signing pending UFA Connor Brown, who missed almost the entire season to an injury.

“We’ll talk to his representatives and see what they’re thinking just before free agency and then we’ll examine what we think we can get done — trades, free agents — and put that decision in that group,”

Free agents and salary cap projections

Unrestricted free agents – Connor Brown, Craig Smith, Carl Hagelin, Conor Sheary, Zach Fucale, Bobby Nardella, Michael Sgarbossa, Dylan McIlrath, Hunter Shepard, Mike Vecchione, and Matt Irwin.

Restricted free agents – Garret Pilon (arbitration-eligible), Henrik Borgstrom (arbitration-eligible), Gabriel Carlsson (arbitration-eligible), Alexander Alexeyev, Kody Clark, Martin Fehervary and Riley Sutter.

NHL Injuries: Bergeron, Pavelski, Stone, Jannot, Predators, and Capitals