The NHL trade deadline came and went on Monday and the Capitals stood pat, but they did reportedly kick the tires on two big-name defensemen in Erik Karlsson and Ryan McDonagh. Both players would have obviously provided a big boost to the defense, but they both also have something else in common that's worth noting: term. Both Karlsson and McDonagh are signed through the 2018-19 season. That is significant because one of Washington's own top defenseman, John Carlson, is on the final year of his contract. Given Washington's cap constraints, adding Karlsson's $6.5 million cap hit or McDonagh's $4.7 million would have made it that much more difficult to keep Carlson. But don't take that to mean that the Caps have suddenly decided that they are ready to move on.
John Carlson extension talks on hold until after the season despite mutual interest from player, team
NBC Sports Washington | Feb 27