Will the Capitals find a new home for Anthony Mantha?

Published August 30, 2023 at 3:39 PM

In the role of a general manager, it is their responsibility to determine the appropriate term and amount of money that align with a player's needs and provide balance to the team in terms of affordability for signing other players to complete the roster.

At times, signing players is straightforward, especially with perennial stars like Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews, and Alexander Ovechkin. Regardless of the contract's length and value, it logically makes sense, as these players are the cornerstone of their respective organizations.

In Anthony Mantha's case, he inked a four-year, $22.8 million deal with the Detroit Red Wings in the 2020-2021 season. As the Red Wings continued their rebuilding phase, they traded him to the Washington Capitals for Jakub Vrana, Richard Panik, a first-round, and a second-round pick in 2021 and 2022. This exchange proved to be highly favourable for the Red Wings, given Mantha's reputation as a top-six forward.

Fast forward to the present day, and after three years with the Washington Capitals, there is a sense of buyer's remorse. Mantha's performance dwindled, rendering his contract unfavourable. With his contract entering its final year at an average annual value of $5.7 million, there's a growing belief that the Capitals might explore finding him a new team—two potential destinations come to mind.

Firstly, the Chicago Blackhawks could be a fit. As numerous players have been linked to the Blackhawks amid their rebuilding phase, Mantha could potentially revive his career with them. The Blackhawks have drafted Connor Bedard and begun assembling a supporting cast to nurture his development. Mantha's physical presence, standing at 6 feet 5 inches and 234 pounds, could offer Bedard added protection.

Another option is the Anaheim Ducks. Since both the Blackhawks and the Ducks belong to the Western Conference, it's prudent for a general manager to relocate a player to the opposite conference, reducing the chances of facing them until the Stanley Cup final or regular season matchups. The Ducks are also in a rebuilding phase and could benefit from a player like Mantha, especially if he regains his form. With the Ducks constructing a new core, they require veteran leadership to complement the roster.

Considering the trend of NHL teams assisting each other with contract retention, it is likely that the Capitals would need to retain some money to facilitate Mantha's move, given his prolonged performance decline.

If he were to recapture his prior performance levels, the deal could become more appealing, potentially allowing the Capitals to recoup assets. This aligns with their ongoing process of retooling and rebuilding.
August 30   |   61 answers
Will the Capitals find a new home for Anthony Mantha?

Will the Blackhawks look at Anthony Mantha to add to the team?

Yes2845.9 %
No3354.1 %
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