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350,000 reasons Caps want to win Presidents' Trophy

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350,000 reasons Caps want to win Presidents' Trophy

In addition to earning home ice through all four rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs, there are 350,000 other reasons the Capitals should be excited about the chance to clinch the Presidents’ Trophy.

The Caps are one point away from clinching their second Presidents' Trophy and can claim that distinction Monday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The reward? Home ice and a cool $350,000 to be shared among team personnel and players. How that’s divided is entirely up to each team.

Aside from the money, the debate rages over whether winning the Presidents’ Trophy is a blessing or a curse.

"For me, personally, it’d be just another goal that we put in front of the guys," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said.

"It’d be some fulfillment because we said we wanted to do a couple things this year, and we’ve knocked off most of them. That’s one of the last ones for the regular season that we can knock off.

"When you’re in the NHL for a long time and you’re coaching, you realize how hard it is to win games in this league. To take nothing away from the regular season, but the regular season can be an absolute grind and making the playoffs, you can’t take that for granted. There’s a lot of good teams that are not going to make the playoffs, there’s a lot of teams that expected to make it and didn’t and some teams on the other end who thought they had a chance and are going to get in.

"It’s a hard league, and it’s hard to get in the playoffs year in and year out. When you have a season to this point that we have, it would mean that these guys have been a real committed group and professional for a long period of time and that’s nothing to frown upon. It’s a good achievement. It’s the best achievement really, you can get in the regular season."

Since first being awarded at the conclusion of the 1985-86 season, the Presidents’ Trophy champions have gone on to win the Stanley Cup eight times in 29 seasons, the most recent being the 2012-13 Chicago Blackhawks.

In addition, three other Presidents’ Trophy winners have lost in the Stanley Cup Final, while six, including the 2010 Capitals, have been eliminated in the first round.

In all, 15 different NHL teams have won the Presidents’ Trophy over the past 29 years. The Red Wings have won it six times, the Rangers three times and seven other teams have won it twice (Bruins, Flames, Blackhawks, Avalanche, Stars, Oilers, Canucks).

Below is the complete list of Presidents' Trophy winners and how far they went in the playoffs:

Stanley Cup Winners: 8

Lost Stanley Cup Final: 3

Lost Conference Finals: 7

Lost Second Round: 6

Lost First Round: 6

Presidents' Trophy champions

2014-15 New York Rangers Lost Conference Finals

2013-14 Boston Bruins Lost Second Round

2012-13 Chicago Blackhawks Won Stanley Cup

2011-12 Vancouver Canucks Lost First Round

2010-11Vancouver Canucks Lost Stanley Cup Final

2009-10 Washington Capitals Lost First Round

2008-09 San Jose Sharks Lost First Round

2007-08 Detroit Red Wings Won Stanley Cup

2006-07 Buffalo Sabres Lost Conference Final

2005-06 Detroit Red Wings Lost First Round

2003-04 Detroit Red Wings Lost Second Round

2002-03 Ottawa Senators Lost Conference Final

2001-02 Detroit Red Wings Won Stanley Cup

2000-01 Colorado Avalanche Won Stanley Cup

1999-00 St. Louis Blues Lost First Round

1998-99 Dallas Stars Won Stanley Cup

1997-98 Dallas Stars Lost Stanley Cup Final

1996-97 Colorado Avalanche Lost Conference Final

1995-96 Detroit Red Wings Lost Conference Final

1994-95 Detroit Red Wings Lost Stanley Cup Final

1993-94 New York Rangers Won Stanley Cup

1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins Lost Second round

1991-92New York Rangers Lost Second Round

1990-91Chicago Blackhawks Lost First Round

1989-90 Boston Bruins Lost Stanley Cup Final

1988-89 Calgary Flames Won Stanley Cup

1987-88 Calgary Flames Lost Second Round

1986-87 Edmonton Oilers Won Stanley Cup

1985-86 Edmonton Oilers Lost Second Round

MORE CAPITALS: Caps' celebration on ice after 4-0 shoutout loss to Blues

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: The Caps add two defensemen, problem solved?

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NBC Sports Washington

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: The Caps add two defensemen, problem solved?

The Capitals got their trade deadline started early by trading for defensemen Michal Kempny and Jakub Jerabek. Washington has been struggling of late, but do their new acquisitions address the team's weaknesses?

JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir evaluate the two trades and talk about where they could fit into the lineup.

You can listen to the latest episode here on the Capitals Faceoff page or with the player below.

Want even more great Capitals coverage? Follow @TarikNBCS and @JJReganNBCS on Twitter!

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Caps make second blue line addition, acquire Jakub Jerabek from Montreal

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USA TODAY Sports

Caps make second blue line addition, acquire Jakub Jerabek from Montreal

The Capitals continued to retool their scuffling blue line on Wednesday, acquiring 26-year-old defenseman Jakub Jerabek from Montreal in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2019.

The move comes a couple of days after GM Brian MacLellan dealt a conditional third-round selection to Chicago for swift skating Michal Kempny.

Both Jerabek and Kempny are left shot, puck-moving defensemen who move well and make crisp outlet passes. Both also hail from the Czech Republic.

RELATED: BRADEN HOLTBY BLAMES HIMSELF FOR TAMPA LOSS

The team sees Jerabek as a No. 5 or 6, I’m told.

On Wednesday, the Caps also officially said goodbye to Taylor Chorney, who was claimed off waivers by Columbus. Chorney will report to the Blue Jackets.

The Caps were off on Wednesday as they made their way Florida for Thursday night’s meeting with the Panthers, so it’s unclear how Coach Barry Trotz intends to deploy his new defensemen.

But it’s probably safe to assume that Kempny will move into a spot within the top four with John Carlson, Dmitry Orlov and Matt Niskanen.

MORE CAPITALS: GET TO KNOW MICHAL KEMPNY

That figures to leave Brooks Orpik and Jerabek on the third pair, while rookies Christian Djoos and Madison Bowey jockey for position as the next man up.

Kempny is expected to make his Caps’ debut on Thursday night.

Is the Caps’ D corps better? Well, that remains to be seen. But it had become clear to MacLellan and Co. in recent weeks that the status quo was not going to cut it. This month, in fact, the team has allowed 39 goals in 10 games. Only the Rangers (40) have allowed more in the same span.

With the trade deadline looming next Monday, the Caps now have roughly $617,000 in cap space, according to www.capfriendly.com, and are at the roster maximum of 23 players. So they would need to make a move in order to add another body.