NHL Rumors: Capitals Listening To Offers For Forward In Exchange For Defenceman

Due to the incredible forward depth the Washington Capitals now have and the injury to John Carlson, the team is looking at moving a forward in order to acquire more defensive help. They are in a tight race for a playoff spot. They currently hold a wildcard spot, but have the Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres hot on their tail.

The Athletic said that the Capitals would entertain trade offers for Lars Eller if they got a defenceman back. The forward group is so deep that Eller has been pushed to the fourth line. Ahead of him on the depth chart is now Dylan Strome, Evgeni Kuznetsov, and Nicklas Backstrom.

Eller is seen as a third line centre and is paid like one. His cap hit is $3.5 million and his contract expires at the end of the season. Eller is a good piece to keep around if Backstrom or another centre experiences more injury problems, but is also a good trade chip. The Capitals have a lot of players on the roster on expiring contracts. It would help them save assets and also clear things up a bit for a decision in the summer.

Eller has seven goals and 15 points in 49 games, but is very good in the faceoff circle and trusted heavily in his own end. He kills penalties and starts significantly more plays in his own end than the offensive zone. He could be used as a cap dump back to a team when acquiring defensive help, or as a player the Capitals can swap to help the other team's needs.

Photo credit: © Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports