Now that the NHL lockout is over and a new CBA just needs to be ratified by the Board of Governors and Players’ Association, plenty of questions remain about the 2013 season.
For the Washington Capitals, the biggest ones surround center Nicklas Backstrom and defenseman Dmitry Orlov.
Backstrom suffered a neck injury during a recent Kontinental Hockey League game. It’s uncertain if he’ll be ready for the start of training camp or the season. His agent, Marc Levine, recently declined comment on Backstrom’s situation.
Orlov suffered what the Hershey Bears called an upper-body injury during the team’s game Dec. 6 at Verizon Center. He has not played since, and his status is also unclear.
Other questions include, how soon will players in Europe like captain Alex Ovechkin be able to get back to Washington and what kind of reception Roman Hamrlik and Michael Neuvirth will get back in the locker room after their lockout comments.
The Caps solved one possible problem just before the lockout began, signing restricted free agent defenseman John Carlson to a six-year, $23.8 million contract. They also extended Troy Brouwer (three years, $11 million) and signed Mike Green (three years, $18.25 million).
With teams allowed to spend up to $70.2 million for the shortened season, the Caps have plenty of room. According to CapGeek, they have $6,605,428 left under that limit.
Given that the 2013-14 cap is set to drop to $64.3 million, general manager George McPhee appeared to set his team up well. Washington only has $44,805,128 committed for that season, also according to CapGeek.