While most NHL teams have narrowed themselves down to their 23-man roster already, the Washington Capitals are one of the final teams to finalize their roster. The Capitals have one of the later opening nights of the season, not playing until Saturday, October 8, giving them more time to make their roster as best as it can be.
The Capitals only had to place one player on injured reserve. The only player that they had to place on IR was Tom Poti. With Poti on the IR, that freed up cap space for the Capitals to have a few more younger players on the team.
The final cuts that the Capitals made from their NHL roster was forwards, Cody Eakin and Mattias Sjorgen, and defenseman Dmitri Orlov. All three players played very well in the preseason, however the Capitals front office and coaching staff believe that they would all benefit from starting the season in the AHL with the Hershey Bears.
A note to be made is defenseman John Erskine will remain on the active roster. However, he is still a few weeks away from being cleared for contact and will be an injured scratch for the opening night game against the Carolina Hurricanes. Along with John Erskine sitting out, Alex Ovechkin may be a healthy scratch as he is in Moscow, Russia this week after learning of a death in his family on Monday. The Capitals have not yet let released if he will play in the opening game or not.
This is what the Washington Capitals opening night roster will look like.
Keith Aucoin, Nicklas Backstrom, Jay Beagle (wing), Jeff Halpern (wing), Marcus Johansson, Mathieu Perrault
Jason Chimera, Matt Hendricks, DJ King, Brooks Laich, Alex Ovechkin,
Troy Brouwer, Mike Knuble, Alexander Semin, Joel Ward
Karl Alzner, John Carlson, Mike Green, Roman Hamrlik, Jeff Schultz, Dennis Wideman
Tomas Vokoun, Michal Neuvirth