Report: Capitals “will entertain” trade offer for Eller “if it can get help on defense”

According to The AthleticEric Duhatschek, Pierre LeBrun, and Michael Rousseau, the Washington Capitals will “entertain” offers for center Lars Eller if they “can find help on defense” before the NHL trade deadline Friday, March 3 at 3 PM ET.

Duhatshek wrote:”Washington, I’m told, would entertain offers for him if he can get help on defense, where John Carlson’s injuries have really thinned the ranks. The Athletic notes that the Los Angeles Kings are deep at right tackle and could move either Matt Roy or Sean Walker.

As center Nicklas Backstrom and right wing Tom Wilson made their season debuts after respective surgeries in the offseason, Washington found its forward lineup overflowing as they had to assign center Aliaksei Protus to the AHL on Jan. 7, the day before the duo played. Their first game, and every game they played with both available, had to scratch a regular forward from the first half of the season.

Eller, center Dylan Strome and left wing Anthony Mantha (scratched in four of the last six games before subbing in for injured captain Alex Ovechkin in the team’s 6-2 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday) all took turns. Backstrom and Wilson have been sitting in the press box since returning.

Eller can become an unrestricted free agent after this season and comes under a $3.5 million salary cap charge.

The 33-year-old has gone scoreless in his last nine games and has just seven goals, 15 points and a 54.8% faceoff winning percentage in 47 outings overall this season. Eller averaged 1:48 per game on the penalty kill, second most in Washington behind right wing Connor Brown.

The team could use help on the blueline after John Carlson was out indefinitely in their 4-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Dec. 23. The Athletic is among several sources who say the 32-year-old is not expected to return until at least late in the regular season. If he doesn’t play another regular-season game, Washington could have an additional $8 million in salary cap space to use before the trade deadline.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fan with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at the age of 8 and was a season ticket holder from the 2010–2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, photography and hanging out with her two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077

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