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Washington Capitals

Washington Capitals Trade Options

Washington CapitalsWith less than 48 hours until what is really the first of two trade deadlines, one on Friday ahead of the Olympic trade freeze, and then the deadline on March 3rd. So ahead of this first deadline, I thought I’d take a look at the Capital’s options.

As far as cap space goes, the Caps have some space with about 3 million to work with. George McPhee’s policy of not handing out big, lengthy contracts seems to be paying off.

Given that the team is on form, and showing real potential for a shot at the cup, I doubt there will be much change. Especially in offense. I stated before that I was not happy with the Chimera trade, and although I still miss Chris Clark, and Jurcina to some extent, it’s hard to argue with a 14-game winning streak (and counting) whilst he’s been here. I can see that Chimera has slotted in well to fill the left wing position on the third line, and this is the top offense in the league, so the forward combos seem set for the year (barring injury).

Defensively there have been frailties. The Pittsburgh game highlighted the poor defense, with a lot of giveaways and poor positioning. The Caps cannot always rely on the offense, or the goalie, to bail them out. So what’s missing? A big top line d-man. Jeff Schultz is turning into a great shut-down defenseman alongside Mike Green, but I don’t think he is good enough to be playing top line deep in the playoffs yet. Sheldon Souray’s name was being mentioned, but his injury seems to have quietened those rumours somewhat. I would have loved Dion Phaneuf in Washington, but the Leafs got him. But that move may open up the possibility of Tomas Kaberle being traded. Although, Kaberle is not the biggest, he could partner Mike Green well on the blue-line. Scott Niedermayer was a suggestion as well, although those rumours seem to be fizzling out as it looks more likely he’ll stay in Anaheim. Someone like Niedermayer, though, would be almost perfect for the Caps. Lots of playoff experience and very stable defensively to help partner Green’s offensive prowess.

Goaltending was an area that I had previously thought was going to be a real problem down the stretch unless a trade was made. I got very excited when Turco’s name was being mentioned concerning being traded, as I thought the Capitals needed a consistent experienced goalie to help Varlamov, as Theodore just wasn’t doing it. But as I said in my last post, goaltending is no longer a problem. Jose Theodore has been outstanding throughout this streak and Neuvirth has shown he can be a good backup if one of the top two is injured.

If a trade were to be made, what would the Caps give up? Well, after making the Chimera trade, McPhee said that the team had excess defenseman. So it would seem that at least one defenseman would most likely be involved in any trade, especially if Washington is acquiring a defenseman. I suspect the Capitals may well look to move at least one of Brian Pothier and Shaone Morrisonn, who are both UFAs at the end of the season. However neither’s salary is small and neither is having a great year. So to meet any value, the Caps may need to give up a prospect, such as Karl Alzner or John Carlson. I would not be disappointed with this, though, as we have a real chance at winning the Stanley Cup this year, and the Caps have plenty of promising prospects.

It will be an interesting couple of days, and then an interesting couple of weeks, before the trade deadlines. But even if there are no trades in Washington, this team is going to challenge for the cup.

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2 comments for “Washington Capitals Trade Options”

  1. Timing is everything. If the Capitals were NOT in the middle of a 14-game win streak, the conversation might be completely different. I’m interested to see what happens during those 3 (or so) days after the Olympics are over.

    Posted by sharksfanNo Gravatar | February 10, 2010, 2:49 pm
  2. i think if the caps win the both tonight’s game in montreal and tomorrow’s in ottawa, then there will probably not be any movement until after the olympic break, but if we do lose (as i think we may well against the sens), then a trade will come through if the management have one in the works.
    having said that, if we are looking to bring in the d-man, then consider that the defense has looked frail during the streak, so bolstering the defense isn’t off the table even if the streak continues

    Posted by colonelbagpussNo Gravatar | February 10, 2010, 3:09 pm

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