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Why Are Washington Capitals Buying CapFriendly? – Hockey Writers – Washington Capitals

According to Elliotte Friedman, the Washington Capitals will be purchasing professional hockey website CapFriendly. He wrote in his article, “It won't happen until July, but according to multiple sources, the Washington Capitals have reached an agreement to purchase the prominent website CapFriendly.

The reason is that the official sale of the website to the franchise will not be done until sometime in July, so that the public can use the website for the 2024 NHL Entry Draft, and free agency. Friedman pointed out how important that is to both sides of the deal. He wrote, “These same sources emphasized that both the Capitals and CapFriendly want the site to be publicly available and operating independently by the 2024 NHL Draft and the start of free agency, so the sale is not expected to be official until at least July 5.” The 2024 draft takes place between June 28 and 29, while the start of free agency takes place on July 1. It will be the last time hockey fans and teams have access.

Ted Leonsis, Washington Capitals Owner (Keith Allison of Hanover, MD, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

The site has been used by many people during its time on the Internet. It was a way to keep track of the teams' salary cap situation, as well as being a great resource for knowing what NHL players were earning and whether they had certain benefits in their contracts such as no-trade clauses (NTC) and no-movement clauses (NMC). For example, anyone can use CapFriendly to see what Alex Ovechkin's contract looks like. It's the same with Sidney Crosby, Nathan MacKinnon, and every player in the league. People can see how much cap space is available to think about possible additions via trade or free agency. It was a useful tool.

The writing was on the wall with this, as Friedman said, “NHL teams that had API/Application Programming Interface (API) agreements recently received notice that these contracts will be terminated. This led to speculation that one club was buying the site, and all the information pointed to the Capitals…After the operation is officially closed, the website will go dark.”

Caps Buying Profits

The goal, as stated in Sports Illustrated titled, “CapFriendly Website Purchase Fees After 2024 NHL Draft, Per Report,” to prevent other clubs from using the various information provided by CapFriendly. The article, written by Karl Rasmussen, says, “Once the purchase is legalized, it is expected that Washington will bring the site offline, preventing other parties from using its extensive information.”

There has already been talk of finding alternatives to CapFriendly, which has been around for almost a decade, and at least one site has been mentioned as a possible replacement if CapFriendly closes. It's called PuckPedia and would be the perfect website to take over if CapFriendly isn't around. The hockey world will adapt as it always does. CapFriendly itself was a replacement for another hockey cap website called CapGeek. Friedman explains that, when CapGeek was gone, CapFriendly became the place to go and get contract information. He wrote, “CapFriendly arrived in 2015, after its predecessor, CapGeek, was shut down. CapGeek's founder, Matthew Wuest, who built the site, passed away from prostate cancer in March 2015. CapFriendly has been a great replacement for fans and the media.”

While this is surprising news that an NHL team is buying a site like CapFriendly, it is a strategy the organization is using to their advantage. Hockey fans may not like it, and disappointment is an appropriate way to feel after being able to use their skills for so long, but the Capitals are making a smart move on their part to improve their hockey performance. Caps fans will likely see the benefits of the franchise owners having those skills put to use before everyone else. They try to give themselves a unique advantage, and with how much CapFriendly is valued, they make a valuable purchase. Rob Rossi from The New York Times explains the details of how this will work in the DC group. He wrote, “CapFriendly will remain internally within the Capitals, expecting to grow in the same capacity to improve statistics, evaluation and player development” (From 'Capitals to buy popular salary cap website CapFriendly: The Source,' The New York TimesJune 9, 2024).

Related: NHL Sets 2024-25 Salary Cap at $88 Million

Rossi also wrote, “As part of the agreement, CapFriendly tools and services will become part of the Capitals' intramural hockey operations in early or mid-July.” The Caps weren't the only NHL team interested in buying the website. In the end, however, Washington is the organization that leaves the winner of the purchase. It's a smart move that should do wonders for the hockey department at Capital One Arena. It's just one asset the team can use to try to get back to the top of the mountain and raise the Stanley Cup again.

Until the time comes, CapFriendly continues to exist to be accessible to the public. As mentioned before, PuckPedia seems to be the next hockey salary site. Time will tell on that. Then, in July, Capitals will have special tools to try to make the frozen product better. It will be interesting to see how they use it to their advantage.

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