As though the clock on the Washington Capitals’ offseason had been turned back, forward Marcus Johansson stepped onto the ice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex Monday morning wearing a Washington practice jersey, as he had so many times during his seven-year career here. The only change: Johansson’s new gloves, sent to him by the New Jersey Devils after the Capitals traded him in July. Dealing Johansson for two draft picks was Washington’s most surprising move of an offseason in which the team ran into salary cap constraints. Big contracts for Evgeny Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie and Dmitry Orlov, totaling $136 million overall and $18.65 million in cap space for the upcoming season, necessitated the Capitals shed salary and Johansson was the casualty. As he returned to Washington to pack up his home and move his family to New Jersey, he didn’t think he’d find himself back at the Capitals’ practice facility. But Washington defenseman John Carlson invited his old teammate to join the informal skates there on weekday mornings, and with Johansson’s new Devils gear still in Sweden, he found himself in a Capitals jersey once again. “It feels weird,” Johansson said on Monday morning. “I wasn’t sure if I was going to come in first or not. This has been home for seven years and now it’s not anymore, so it feels a little different. But it seems like there’s a lot of changes going on around here and it’s not just me that’s leaving. So it’s a little different and I think it’s going to take a little while for me too to get used to it. This going to be somewhat of a different team than it’s been in the past here.” Defensemen Karl Alzner, Kevin Shattenkirk and Nate Schmidt and forwards Justin Williams and Daniel Winnik also departed Washington after a third straight second-round exit in the playoffs. Changes were expected, but with two years left on his contract, Johansson didn’t expect he’d be one of them. He was asleep in Sweden when the trade went down.
After being traded this summer, Marcus Johansson making transition from Caps to Devils
Washington Post | Sep 2