What moves did the Capitals make this offseason?

NHL Free Agency 2023: What moves did the Capitals make this offseason? originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

After missing out on the playoffs this past spring for the first time in nine years, the Washington Capitals entered the 2023 offseason with a long checklist and a handful of question marks.

A new head coach was needed. General manager Brian MacLellan stressed an improvement to the top-six forward group. The organization had a top-10 pick for the first time since 2007.

Fast forward to August and the organization looks a little bit different than it did back in April. Here’s a recap of every move the Capitals made this offseason…

May 1: Washington’s first-round pick in 2022, Ivan Miroschnichenko, signs his three-year entry-level contract with the organization. The 19-year-old will compete for a roster spot with the Capitals but will likely begin his professional career in America with the Hershey Bears.

May 2: Capitals sign defenseman Alex Alexeyev to a two-year, $1.65 million extension. Alexeyev appeared in 32 games for Washington in 2022-23 and totaled five points (zero goals, five assists).

May 31: Capitals hire Spencer Carbery as head coach. Carbery, 41, spent the past two seasons running the highly-effective power play unit in Toronto. Prior to his time with the Maple Leafs, Carbery served as the head coach for Washington’s AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears, and ECHL affiliate, the South Carolina Stingrays. Carbery was MacLellan’s top choice throughout the hiring process.

June 22: Capitals hire Mitch Love as an assistant coach, the first addition to the staff under Carbery. Love, 39, will primarily be responsible for coaching the Capitals’ blue liners. The 39-year-old spent the last two years coaching Calgary’s AHL affiliate and earned the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL’s coach of the year each of the last two seasons.

July 1: Max Pacioretty signs a one-year, $2 million deal with the Capitals. The six-time 30-goal scorer is expected to miss the beginning of the season while recovering from a torn Achilles but should slide into a top-six spot in the Capitals’ lineup once he’s back on the ice.

July 1: Capitals trade for Montreal defenseman Joel Edmundson in exchange for 2024 third- and seventh-round draft picks. Edmundson, 30, spent the past three seasons with the Canadiens and served as the team’s alternate captain last year. His cap hit is just $1.75 million after Montreal retained half of his salary.

July 2: Defenseman Dylan McIlrath and forward Matthew Phillips, two players who spent last season primarily in the AHL, agree to deals with the Capitals. Here’s a better look at the Capitals’ overall organizational depth following free agency.

July 4: Defenseman Martin Fehervary signs a three-year extension with Washington worth $8.025 million. Fehervary, 23, spent the majority of the 2022-23 NHL season playing on the Capitals’ top defensive pair alongside John Carlson. Fehervary totaled 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) in 67 games with the Capitals last year.

July 20: The finishing touches of Carbery’s staff were put together with the hiring of assistants Kirk Muller and Kenny McCudden. Muller has nearly four decades of NHL experience — 19 seasons as a player, 17 years in the coaching ranks — and adds previous NHL head coaching experience to the Capitals’ bench. McCudden, 61, is an expert skills coach who spent the past eight years in that role with Columbus.

Two in-house promotions were announced on July 20, too: Zach Leddon was elevated to head strength coach, while Mike Wagner will fill Leddon’s old role as assistant strength coach.

August 4: In perhaps their biggest move of the offseason, the Capitals sign forward Tom Wilson to a seven-year contract extension that begins in 2024-25. Wilson, 29, is now under contract with Washington through the 2030-31 season. Wilson’s new deal comes with a cap hit of $6.5 million AAV.

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