Capitals trade Perreault; keep Wilson, Carrick

Capitals trade Perreault; keep Wilson, Carrick
September 29, 2013, 7:00 pm
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Washington Capitals center Mathieu Perreault (85) looks for the puck against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center.

(Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports)

Well, now we know how the Washington Capitals are going to make room for Tom Wilson and Connor Carrick.

On Sunday, one day before having to submit their opening night roster to the NHL, the Caps traded center Mathieu Perreault to Bruce Boudreau’s Anaheim Ducks in exchange for minor league forward John Mitchell and a fourth-round pick in the 2014 NHL draft.

The move clears $1.05 million in cap space for the Caps, who spent most of the preseason trying Eric Fehr and Marty Erat in the third-line center role that Perreault held at the end of last season.

With the move, the Caps reduced their roster to the NHL limit of 23 players. Earlier on Sunday the Caps assigned defensemen Dmitry Orlov, Tyson Strachan and Michal Cajkovsky and forward Dane Byers to the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League.

That means the Caps are likely to begin the regular season with 14 forwards, seven defensemen and two goalies, including 19-year-old rookies Wilson and Carrick, and depth center Michael Latta.

If the Caps elect to defer Wilson’s bonuses until next year, they will head into the season slightly below the NHL’s $64.3 million threshold.

Perreault, 25, scored a career-high 16 goals under Dale Hunter two seasons ago, but struggled to find the same ice time under Adam Oates last season, finishing with six goals and 11 assists sin 39 games.

Perreault came into camp 10 pounds lighter, but with a glut of experienced forwards it was clear he was the odd-man out in Oates’ center rotation..

Mitchell, 27, recorded 10 goals and four assists in 61 games with the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL last season and is expected to be assigned to the Bears.

With Sunday’s moves, below is a look at the Capitals’ depth chart heading into Tuesday night’s season opener in Chicago:

Forwards

Marcus Johansson [$2 million] – Nicklas Backstrom [$6.7 million] – Alex Ovechkin [$9.538 mill]

Brooks Laich [$4.5 million] – Mikhail Grabovski [$3 million] – Troy Brouwer [$3.66 million]

Eric Fehr [$1.5 million] – Marty Erat [$4.5 million] – Tom Wilson [$894,200]

Jason Chimera [$1.75 million] – Jay Beagle [$900,000] – Joel Ward [$3 million]

Extras: Aaron Volpatti [$575,000], Michal Latta [$785,833]

Defensemen

Karl Alzner [$2.8 million] - Mike Green [$6.083 million]

John Erskine [$1.962 million] – John Carlson [$3.966 million]

Jack Hillen [$700,000] – Steve Oleksy [$541,667]

Extras: Connor Carrick [$636,667]

Goaltenders

Braden Holtby [$1.85 million] – Michal Neuvirth [$2.5 million]

Thoughts? Opinions?