Pressed against the salary cap all season, the Washington Capitals traded forward Chandler Stephenson to the Vegas Golden Knights for a 2021 fifth-round draft pick Monday night.
The move cleared $1.05 million off Washington’s books and illustrated the team’s trust in other bottom-six forwards such as Travis Boyd and newcomers Brendan Leipsic and Garnet Hathaway.
Stephenson had a good training camp and started the year on the 23-man roster, unlike Boyd, but was squeezed out of a roster spot at the end of the day. The Capitals needed to make a move before activating Carl Hagelin from long-term injured reserve Tuesday.
He won a Stanley Cup with the Capitals over the Golden Knights in 2018; now he becomes the first player from Washington to join Vegas since that Cup final. Vegas general manager George McPhee was the Capitals’ GM when they drafted Stephenson in the third round in 2012.
The Capitals play the Golden Knights once more this season: Feb. 17 in Las Vegas.
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