This offseason has gone just about the worst it could realistically go. It started with Vegas taking Schmidt, then the contracts, then trading Johansson, just a complete nightmare.
The entire issue with our offseason revolves around the Kuznetsov contract, and of course Brooks Orpik. For starters, Brian Maclellan should have had him extended long before now. He, along with everyone else, knew that this offseason was going to be a headache financially. The players he knew he needed back (Burakovsky, Orlov, Kuznetsov) all should have had contracts before the season ended. That would have given him and the rest of his staff more time to develop a better plan. I understand that some of these players wanted to wait in order to improve their value, which they all did as the season progressed. But if they started the conversation, they at least would have had an idea of the asking prices for their RFA's, which would give them a better plan.
Even if the RFA deals aren't done until the offseason, he should have for sure had them done before July 1. That way he can make a couple of transactions to really help us. It's one trade, and one UFA signing. The trade would be trading Brooks Orpik to New Jersey. Many people think that his contract is untradable, but people said the same thing about Dave Bolland. Plus Orpik's contract is only two more years, and he can actually contribute to the Devil's lineup. We still have to offer them a sweetener in order to do it. Vitek Vanecek (an extremely underrated goalie prospect who could be a solid starter, but is expendable because of Samsonov) and Tyler Lewington (defense prospect with third pairing potential) should have been enough to entice the Devils into taking Orpik. Then we sign Brian Campbell to be the same mentor that Brooks Orpik was, but for 4 million dollars cheaper. There's the money that we shipped out with Johansson. This way we save the same amount of money, and improve our team right now without sacrificing too much of our future. Also we keep MOJO, which is even better.
So to wrap it up, the transactions made are
Future Considerations (or another way to put it, nothing)
Capitals sign Brian Campbell to a 1 year, $1.5 million contract
Real life lineup projections
Alternative Offseason Lineup Projection
The forward group looks a lot better, and the defense is slightly better with Campbell instead of Orpik. But most importantly, the depth in the forward group is a lot better, plus we got out of Orpik's contract, freeing up enough money to resign Carlson after this season. I do think that entering this offseason, the plan that I just displayed was realistic and executable. Is this a better offseason than the one that actually occurred?