The Washington Capitals are at a crossroads. Right now, the team is missing its franchise center Nicklas Backstrom, who underwent left hip resurfacing surgery and whose NHL future is in flux. Beyond that, the team also needs someone to help fill in for a recovering Tom Wilson and a number one goaltender.
However, the most glaring need now is to replace Backstrom. The Swede has not only been one of Washington’s most consistent forwards, but a power-play catalyst and elite playmaker who could lead the rush, work wonders with the puck and also play well at both ends of the ice.
Taking all of that into account, there are a number of interesting names hitting free agency on July 13. And one name that stands out is a rather familiar foe in Evgeni Malkin, who — unless the Pittsburgh Penguins re-sign him — will become a UFA.
Given the circumstances, could the Capitals’ longtime rival join them to help fill in for No. 19?