Holtby has high hopes for the season
The Capitals have placed defenseman Tomas Kundratek on waivers today, clearing $550,000 in salary cap space.
If Kundratek is claimed his two-year contract [each at $550,000] will be wiped from the Caps’ books. If he clears waivers he’ll be assigned to the AHL Hershey Bears.
“We’ve got a logjam,” Caps coach Adam Oates aid. “Obviously, it’s a salary era so there are those factors involved. I talked to him this morning. He’s a good hockey player. If he gets picked up I hope he does well. And if he doesn’t hopefully we see him again.”
The move gives the Caps roughly $1.2 million in cap space, enough to fit rookie Tom Wilson on the roster, based on general manager George McPhee’s assessment that $837,000 of Wilson’s $1.3 million rookie salary can count against the cap.
Even with Kundratek gone there are still 10 defensemen in camp.
The top six certainly appears to be Karl Alzner, Mike Green, John Carlson, John Erskine, Jack Hillen and Steve Oleksy, all of whom are expected to play tonight when the Caps host Matt Hendricks and the Nashville Predators in their sixth of eight preseason games.
The other blue liners still in camp are Dmitry Orlov [$900,000 cap hit], Connor Carrick [$636,667,000], Tyson Strachan [$550,000] and Michal Cajkovsky, who does not have an NHL contract.
Oates said the salary cap will determine whether the Caps enter the season with 14 forwards and seven defensemen or 13 forwards and eight defensemen. He confirmed the Caps will start the season at the 23-man roster limit.
For now, however, Oates said he believes Oleksy has done enough to keep his spot as the Caps’ No. 6 defenseman.
“Right now, yes,” he said. “It’s his to lose. He’s only played a couple games. We’ve got three games left and he’s going to play. We like what he brings.”