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3 reasons why the Caps should not make a trade deadline move


3 reasons why the Caps should not make a trade deadline move

Now that the All-Star Game has come and gone, the next major date in the calendar is Feb. 26. That day at 3 p.m. is the NHL trade deadline.

It may be hard to believe, but the NHL season is now in full playoff mode. Either you are in a push for the postseason or you are gearing up to sell your assets to the highest bidder.

So what should the Caps do? Should the Caps make a move at this year’s deadline or should they sit this one out?

Earlier Tuesday, we looked at why the Caps should make a move. Now it’s time to look at why they should stand pat.


Most of the time, these moves don’t pan out. Let’s take a walk down memory lane to see what deadline moves the Caps have made during the Alex Ovechkin era:

2008- Sergei Fedorov, Cristobal Huet, Matt Cooke
2010- Eric Belanger, Scott Walker, Joe Corvo, Milan Jurcina
2011- Dennis Wideman, Jason Arnott
2013- Martin Erat, Michael Latta
2014- Dustin Penner, Jaroslav Halak
2015- Tim Gleason, Curtis Glencross
2016- Mike Weber, Daniel Winnik
2017- Kevin Shattenkirk, Tom Gilbert

How many of those deadline deals ended up having a positive impact on the Caps in terms of the postseason? The Caps do not make the playoffs in 2008 without Fedorov and Huet and the Winnik deal was more about shipping out Brooks Laich's contract than anything else, but other than that, none of these moves inspire much confidence. That’s not an indictment of the Caps, that’s just the nature of trade deadline deals.

Hockey is a difficult game. It can be very hard for players to adjust to new teams and they essentially have a month to do it before the playoffs. For most players, that is just not enough time. The Caps should not be in a rush to add more names to this list for us to groan about in the years to come.



Part of the package to bring in Shattenkirk was a first-round draft pick. The Caps lost a first-round draft pick for a player who played in Washington for a month. Mike Weber was a depth pickup and he cost them a third-round draft pick. Glencross? A second and a third.

And let’s not even go into what it cost to get Erat.

The players may be rentals, but the cost of acquiring significant payers at the deadline is still pretty steep, especially when you consider just how brief they will be in Washington. Most teams will know which players are available and that starts a bidding war.

Want Mike Green to return to Washington? He is an all-star defenseman on the final year of his deal on a team with no hope of making the playoffs.Everyone knows he is available and he will end up going to the highest bidder.

If Green does return to the Caps, it will almost certainly be as a bottom-pair defenseman. Is he worth the cost it will take to rent his services for a relatively minor role?

Obviously no one will care what those players cost if Washington wins the Stanley Cup, but, in general, buyers end up overpaying for players who have minimal impacts and who do not stick around for very long. A first-round draft pick is more valuable than a player who will only be on your team for one or two months or perhaps even less.


The Caps do not have many assets to sell

Even if the Caps wanted to go all-in again this season and be major buyers at the trade deadline, they do not have a whole lot of assets to offer.

Ilya Samsonov and Lucas Johansen are the team’s two best prospects and both should be considered untouchable. There are not many other prospects who will net Washington a significant return in a trade.

As for draft picks, even if the window has not yet closed on the Alex Ovechkin era, it won't not last forever. Those draft picks are becoming more and more valuable for the Caps in terms of building up the next core for a post-Ovechkin team.

What about trading players on the roster?

The obvious candidate is Philipp Grubauer, but the goalie market remains cold and it would be hard to move him. Even if they could, they may not want to without clear backup plan in place for this season. They thought they had one at the beginning of the season in Pheonix Copley, but a lackluster season in Hershey may make them rethink that. Jakub Vrana’s ceiling is too high to sell now. Maybe the team could part with Andre Burakovsky, but what would he net them at this point?

Let other teams overpay for rental players. That is a mistake the Caps don't need to make again.

Which way do you lean when it comes to the trade deadline? Tell us what you think!

Check out the latest episode of the Capitals Faceoff Podcast!

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Game 58: Capitals at Blackhawks Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread


Game 58: Capitals at Blackhawks Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Chicago Blackhawks

Where: United Center, Chicago, Ill.

When: 8:30 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Blackhawks will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Blackhawks game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

You can also stream the game online with no cable TV subscription on fuboTV (try for free!).


The Capitals (33-17-7) take on the Blackhawks (24-26-8) Saturday, February 17 at 8:30 p.m. ET in Chicago.


The Capitals-Blackhawks game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 7:30 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 8:00 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 11:30 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 12:30 a.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

7:30 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
8:00 p.m. — Caps GameTime
8:30 p.m. — Capitals at Blackhawks
11:00 p.m. — Caps Extra
11:30 p.m. — Caps Overtime
12:30 a.m. — Caps in 30


Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Blackhawks game:

Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Alex Chiasson - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie
Brett Connolly - Lars Eller - Andre Burakovsky
Chandler Stephenson - Jay Beagle - Devante Smith-Pelly

Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Madison Bowey

Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches: Jakub Vrana, Taylor Chorney


The Capitals-Blackhawks game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.

The game is also available to stream, along with all the pregame and postgame shows, on fuboTV (try for free).


Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

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NHL Awards tracker: How Malkin is helping Ovechkin's case for the Hart


NHL Awards tracker: How Malkin is helping Ovechkin's case for the Hart

A week by week look at where the race for the major individual NHL awards stands and which Caps could be in contention.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have been red-hot as of late and so has Evgeni Malkin. In his last nine games, Malkin has tallied a whopping 11 goals and 17 points. His current run has some people talking about him contending for the Hart Trophy as the league's most valuable player.

But if you want to talk about Malkin for the Hart, you have to talk about Alex Ovechkin as well.

Malkin has 66 points this season, Ovechkin has 65. Even with his impressive goal run of late, Malkin still trails Ovechkin in the goal-scoring race 34-32. What's more, Ovechkin's Capitals still hold a three-point lead over Pittsburgh with two games in hand in the Metropolitan Division.

Granted all of this could change by next week. Perhaps Malkin will pass Ovechkin in goals or the Penguins will pass the Caps in the standings which will change the conversation. Until then, however, there's no way to push Malkin's Hart candidacy without thinking about Ovechkin. What he is doing at the age of 32 with a Capitals team in which no one really knew what to expect is more impressive than what the 31-year-old Malkin is doing with players like Phil Kessel and Sidney Crosby with the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Here are the Caps' hopefuls for awards this season:

John Carlson

In contention for: Norris

Carlson is third among all defensemen with 45 points, but his case goes beyond the numbers. With two rookies on the blue line and an injury to Matt Niskanen, the Caps have asked a lot of Carlson this season and he has always been up to the task.


Braden Holtby

In contention for: Vezina

Holtby is on pace to be a 40-win goalie for the fourth consecutive season. He would be the first goalie in NHL history to accomplish that feat.

Alex Ovechkin

In contention for: Hart

If Malkin is a Hart candidate, so is Ovechkin who has done more with less in Washington this season.

Barry Trotz

In contention for: Jack Adams

The Caps still hold a three-point lead in the Metropolitan Division despite having two rookies on the blue line, dealing with more injuries than they have seen in years and down offensive years for some of its top players. Trotz deserves a lot of credit for that.

Check out who the top candidates are for the league's major individual awards in this week's 2018 NHL Awards Tracker!