The Caps have traded center Mathieu Perreault to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Anaheim’s fourth-round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft and minor league left wing John Mitchell (not to be confused with the other John Mitchell, a center with the Colorado Avalanche).
Perreault was Washington’s sixth-round choice (177th overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. After a stellar career in the QMJHL, Perreault was a key cog on two Calder Cup championship teams for the AHL Hershey Bears in 2009 and 2010.
The 25-year-old native of Drummondville, Quebec split the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons between Washington and Hershey but was a full-time member of the Capitals for each of the last two seasons. Perreault is a crafty playmaker with offensive talent, but he was never able to quite crack the top six of the forward corps in Washington. He may get that opportunity in Anaheim, where he’ll be reunited with ex-Caps bench boss Bruce Boudreau.
Perreault’s fate was apparently sealed when the Caps opted to experiment with veteran wingers Eric Fehr and Martin Erat in what had been his third line center position during the team’s just-completed training camp.
Mitchell played collegiate hockey at U. of Wisconsin and signed with the Ducks as a free agent in 2012. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound native of Neenah, Wisc. is a fourth-year pro who has spent the last three seasons toiling in the AHL. He has 27 goals and 24 assists for 51 points to go along with 135 penalty minutes in 171 AHL games.
The deal leaves the Washington roster at 23 players and enables the Caps to come in under the mandated $64.3 million NHL salary cap for the upcoming season. As it stands now, the Caps have a pair of teenaged rookies – right wing Tom Wilson and defenseman Connor Carrick – on their roster.
Here is Washington’s 2013-14 Opening Night roster, as it stands now:
FORWARDS (14): Nicklas Backstrom, Jay Beagle, Troy Brouwer, Jason Chimera, Martin Erat, Eric Fehr, Michal Grabovski, Marcus Johansson, Brooks Laich, Michael Latta, Alex Ovechkin, Aaron Volpatti, Joel Ward and Tom Wilson.
DEFENSEMEN (7): Karl Alzner, John Carlson, Connor Carrick, John Erskine, Mike Green, Jack Hillen and Steve Oleksy.
GOALTENDERS (2): Braden Holtby and Michal Neuvirth.