Washington Capitals commerce Lars Eller to Colorado Avalanche


ANAHEIM, Calif. — Already within the thick of a sell-off with the NHL commerce deadline looming, the Washington Capitals made one other transfer Wednesday, buying and selling heart Lars Eller to the Colorado Avalanche for a second-round decide in 2025.

Eller turns into the fifth Capitals veteran to be moved earlier than Friday’s deadline — Washington traded defenseman Dmitry Orlov and ahead Garnet Hathaway to the Boston Bruins final week and on Tuesday dealt defenseman Erik Gustaffson to the Toronto Maple Leafs and ahead Marcus Johansson to the Minnesota Wild. All of these gamers had been set to change into unrestricted free brokers on the finish of this season.

This marks the primary time in Brian MacLellan’s nine-year tenure as normal supervisor that he has been a vendor on the deadline — and he’s been aggressive over the previous week in rebuilding the group’s defensive personnel and including future draft capital.

The Capitals landed three picks within the deal for Orlov and Hathaway, together with a 2023 first-round decide, which MacLellan flipped within the take care of the Maple Leafs, sending that choice and Gustaffson in change for 22-year-old defenseman Rasmus Sandin. Later within the night, the Capitals shored up their blue line additional by resigning defenseman Nick Jensen to a three-year deal.

The Capitals, who will retain 31 p.c of Eller’s wage, have stockpiled picks of their three offers — they nonetheless personal a 2025 second rounder and 2024 third rounder within the deal for Orlov and Hathaway, and bought Minnesota’s 2024 third-round decide within the commerce for Johansson.

The acquisition of Eller will bolster Colorado’s lineup with a veteran that has deep playoff expertise and has proven a knack to attain well timed postseason targets. Eller, 33, is flexible backside six-forward adept at enjoying on the penalty kill — and he’s inexpensive, with simply one-year left on his contract at a $3.5 million cap hit.

A former first-round decide of the St. Louis Blues in 2007, Eller had established himself as a revered chief within the Capitals locker room throughout his tenure in Washington. He was a key contributor through the Capitals’ Stanley Cup run in 2018 and scored arguably the most important purpose in Capitals historical past, the game-winner late in Game 5 in opposition to the Vegas Golden Knights to clinch the group’s first Stanley Cup title.

But accidents and well being points mounted in recent times as his manufacturing had waned, includin­g this season; Eller has posted seven targets and 9 assists via his first 60 video games. He has scored only one purpose in 30 video games, and none in his previous 26.

The Eller commerce took place an hour earlier than the Capitals had been due on the ice for his or her morning skate forward of Wednesday night time’s sport in opposition to the Anaheim Ducks.

Even as his title swirled with commerce hypothesis, Eller had stated final week that he was targeted on remaining skilled and serving to the Capitals pull out of their midseason hunch. He was emotional in describing the lack of Orlov and Hathaway after they grew to become the primary chips to fall amid Washington’s roster revamp.

“Emotional goodbyes … It’s not fun, right?” he stated after they left, and now, after seven years with the franchise, will probably be his flip to say goodbye.

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