With the trade deadline approaching and Andre Burakovsky struggling to stay in the lineup, it is not hard to connect the dots and wonder if Burakovsky could be on the trading block.
A 23-year-old winger with top-six potential still has value on the trade market even if he has struggled with the Caps this season. Considering Washington is in first place in the Metropolitan Division and are still very much in the hunt for the Stanley Cup, Burakovsky could be a valuable chip for Washington to offer other teams in order to address any weaknesses in the lineup, such as defense.
But it certainly does not sound like that is an option general manager Brian MacLellan is considering.
"[Burakovsky] got off track with his injury and missed some time and got out of sync," MacLellan told reporters on Saturday. "I'm really confident that he's going to be a good player here. He'll find it down the stretch for us."
Barry Trotz has remained adamant in recent days that Burakovsky is still important to the team, but that "Now it’s really on Andre. He’s not a first [or] second-year player. He’s a fourth-year player now. We need him down the stretch here.”
MacLellan's comments on Saturday seem to further cement the team's belief in his ability to bounce back this season.
With both the general manager and head coach on the same page when it comes to Burakovsky and his importance to the team, it seems unlikely that he would be shopped at the trade deadline.