ARLINGTON, V.A. — The Washington Capitals saw two top prospects leave the organization on Monday, as both Axel Jonsson-Fjallby and Brett Leason were claimed off waivers.
Both had gone on the wire for the purpose of reassignment to the Hershey Bears as two of four final cuts for the Capitals. Jonsson-Fjallby was claimed by the Winnipeg Jets while the Anaheim Ducks picked up Leason.
For head coach Peter Laviolette, it’s bittersweet as a coach. It’s bitter because they lose two pieces that were part of the organizational depth and played with the big club last year. However, it’s sweet to see them get their NHL chance. However, at the end of the day, it was a necessary part of the business to get the opening night roster to where it is.
“When you’re the actual player, everybody’s goal is to play in the NHL. So if those opportunities present themselves, I’m sure players are excited about that,” Laviolette said. “We really liked these players there were a part of our team last year. They were part of the depth of our organization and so it is what it is. We had to make decisions, we had to get to 23 based on training camp.”
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However, when it came to the cuts and claims, Laviolette stood by his decision to make the cuts that he did on the last day. And ultimately, the moves were the right ones for the team and the players who made it.
“The way that the guys played through training camp, this is how we saw it. The guys that are here earned their spot. We’re excited to see them play,” Laviolette added.
Still, it was tough to see them leave the team and see depth pieces and likely call-ups head elsewhere to continue their careers. Still, he wants to see his former players succeed.
“It’s good for them. They’re moving on to work in the league that they want to play in,” Laviolette said. “I guess selfishly we wish they were still part of the organization because they were part of the team last year. Every team had to make decisions yesterday.”