Washington Capitals reach an agreement to buy CapFriendly site with NHL salary information

The Washington Capitals reached a deal to buy CapFriendly, a popular site that has long been a source of NHL salary information and will soon no longer be available to other teams or fans.

General manager Brian MacLellan confirmed the agreement in a statement Wednesday. The site will continue to operate independently through the draft in late June and start of free agency before the transaction is completed in the middle of the summer.

Assistant GM Don Fishman has been an expert in managing the salary cap for several years, helping Washington win the Stanley Cup in 2018 and reach the playoffs 15 times in the past 17 seasons. The Capitals believe this will give them an even bigger boost in navigating the finances of the game.

“This strategic move will provide the Capitals organization with the ability to digest, present and analyze both our internal and league-supplied data,” MacLellan said. “We anticipate that this acquisition will significantly enhance and integrate the various branches of our hockey operations department, allowing us to strengthen our management, scouting, analytics and player development, in addition to augmenting our salary cap and contractual applications.”

The Capitals were not the only team in conversations with CapFriendly, which started in 2015 as a successor to CapGeek. A message sent to CapFriendly seeking comment on the sale was not immediately returned.

MacLellan said the team is bringing in CapFriendly's Jamie, Ryan and Christopher Davis once the agreement is finalized, saying the Capitals "are excited to add the CapFriendly platform and the team’s related deep industry knowledge to the Capitals front office.” Buying the existing information rather than starting from scratch gives the organization a head start while the league's other 31 teams must now adjust to Washington's competitive advantage.

News of the sale and CapFriendly shuttering as a public entity emerged over the weekend and became a topic of conversation around the Stanley Cup Final between the Florida Panthers and Edmonton Oilers.

Hart Levine, the founder of PuckPedia, another site with NHL salary data and more, congratulated members of CapFriendly for getting rewarded for their work and hopes fans check out some of the tools he has made available, such as one that calculates the value of draft picks in trades and another about cap relief teams can get.

“We were already working on some exciting development, but this obviously will expedite and speed that work up,” Levine told The Associated Press. “We’ve been getting very useful feedback, which we’re taking to move quickly and be responsive to people’s suggestions. It’s an opportunity for us to learn, build and adapt and hopefully become a trusted and important hockey destination.”