The Washington Capitals plan on being a little faster next season, and what that means for veteran center Mike Richards remains up in the air.
Capitals GM Brian MacLellan told local reporters this week that the team's quickness will be evaluated in the off-season as he and his staff looks to retool for the 2016-17 campaign.
"I think speed needs to be a factor for us considering any players," MacLellan said, as quoted by the Washington Post. "Overall, I don't think we’re a slow team, but I think at times, we get exposed with the really fast teams."
The Capitals have three pending unrestricted free agents on their roster and it's unclear if Richards, Jason Chimera and Mike Weber will be back next season.
Richards, a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Los Angeles Kings, signed a one-year, $1 million pro-rated contract with the Capitals this season.
"We'll talk to him and his representative," MacLellan told the Post. "It's probably both ways. I'm happy with what Mike did. I think he added a lot to our locker room. He's a great penalty killer, competitive guy. We really valued his experience. I would have liked to see more offense. He had some good chances, created some good chances for himself and just didn't finish.
"I think he was a little frustrated. The offensive confidence that we thought might get there probably never got there. But everything else about his game I thought was excellent. Just a smart hockey player."
Richards, 31, registered two goals and three assists for five points in 39 games with the Capitals this season.