NHL Free Agents 2011: Washington Capitals Not Done, What Else To Expect

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NHL Free Agents 2011: Washington Capitals Not Done, What Else To Expect
Greg Fiume/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals are not done making significant moves during the 2011 NHL free-agency period. 

I guarantee it.

After trading RW Eric Fehr to the Winnipeg Jets for a draft pick and a prospect not yet ready for NHL play, the Capitals shed salary and dropped back under the salary cap. Unfortunately, DC's hockey club has less than $400,000 in salary cap space.

In other news, Karl Alzner will almost certainly be staying in the District to play hockey for at least the next year. Alzner's agent, J.P. Barry, reported to Brian McNally of the Washington Examiner that no offer sheets have been submitted to Alzner.

So, either Alzner will accept his qualifying offer and play for one year for a salary of $826,875 or his camp and the Caps' front office will chip out the details of the two-year agreement they have reportedly been talking about for months.

With Karl Alzner's future in DC being everything but certain, Caps' general manager George McPhee needs to make another move or two to get comfortably under the cap.

GMGM is not a general manager who has ever been comfortable being right under the cap, especially when a number of critical roster players are set to be free agents the next year—McPhee has to think about resigning Mike Green, John Carlson (due for a large raise) and Alex Semin next offseason, assuming all three are still playing in the Nation's Capital.

Mike Knuble, Jason Chimera, Dennis Wideman, Tomas Vokoun, Jay Beagle, DJ King and Jeff Halpern are also set to become free agents.

George McPhee will make at least one more trade before the season starts in October. 

There may also still be a critical free-agent signing still up McPhee's sleeve.

After trading Fehr, the Caps—by my observation—have a lack of depth down the right side. The way things stand now, one of DJ King or Jay Beagle would have to be a regular player. While I find the former likable and deserving of more ice time than he receives and the latter's ambition and work on the forecheck admirable, a serious Stanley Cup contender needs more depth.

Let's go to the slides to take a look at what moves McPhee will possibly make as well as the state of the roster right now.

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