Capitals

Quick Links

Columbus goes all-in on a playoff run, acquires Matt Duchene in first major trade of the deadline

Columbus goes all-in on a playoff run, acquires Matt Duchene in first major trade of the deadline

The Columbus Blue Jackets had a tough choice to make at the NHL trade deadline. It appears they made that decision Friday with a big-time trade for forward Matt Duchene.

Columbus acquired Duchene and prospect Julius Bergman from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for prospects Vitaly Abramov and Jonathan Davidsson, a lotter-protected first round pick in 2019 and a conditional first-round pick in 2020. If Columbus does not get a top-three draft pick and if Duchene re-signs with the Blue Jackets, this deal will end up netting Ottawa two first round picks.



To add to the drama, Duchene is expected to be in the lineup for the Blue Jackets on Friday when they play…the Senators.



With Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky both on the last year of their contracts and unlikely to re-sign, the Blue Jackets faced a decision over whether they should keep their top two players and go all-in for a Stanley Cup run, or if they should trade them to collect what they can and not risk losing them for nothing in the offseason.

Clearly, general manager Jarmo Kekalainen has chosen to do the former.

Duchene has 27 goals and 58 points this season and looks well on his way to a career year. He is a top forward and his addition gives Columbus a formidable offense. This most likely shuts the door on any possible Panarin/Bobrovsky trade. They simply paid too steep a price to get Duchene just to turn around and trade away two of its top players.

But does it make sense for a team that has never won a playoff series in franchise history to risk losing two superstar players for nothing just for one more run? Run at what? Can a team really go from zero playoff success to a Cup contender with one trade?

That seems doubtful, but the Blue Jackets did themselves no favors by sitting on their hands in the offseason after it became clear both Panarin and Bobrovsky were likely on their way out. Now in the thick of the playoff race, Columbus was unwilling to throw in the towel, but also unlikely to go very far in the postseason without doing something.

The Blue Jackets currently sit one point out of a wild card spot with 69 points. The Metropolitan Division standings, however, are very crowded and Columbus has two games in hand over the Carolina Hurricanes (70 Points), Pittsburgh Penguins (71 points) and the Capitals (75 points).

At the very least, the Blue Jackets are going to make some noise in the division standings and look poised to make a real push at a top-three spot. That could very well mean a Caps-Blue Jackets rematch in the postseason.

But at what cost? The worst-case scenario is that they could miss the playoffs or lose in the first round yet again and then lose Panarin, Bobrovsky, Duchene and be left without a first round pick in the draft. The best-case scenario obviously is going all the way to win the Cup, but even with the acquisition of Duchene, how likely a scenario is that really with a team that has never won a series, a goalie under chronically underperforms in the playoffs and a team that could quite possibly end up playing a juggernaut Tampa Bay Lightning team in the first round?

Realistically, the acquisition of Duchene will be enough to get Columbus into the playoffs and it may be enough to even get them their first series win. Looking back on the trade, however, will one series win be enough to justify the huge step back this team is now poised to make in the offseason? That seems unlikely.

MORE CAPITALS NEWS: 

Quick Links

T.J. Oshie likes his chances if given the opportunity to hit a penalty shot to win the Stanley Cup

T.J. Oshie likes his chances if given the opportunity to hit a penalty shot to win the Stanley Cup

T..J Oshie has some experience in clutch moments when the game is on the line and his name is called.

Thursday, his name wasn't listed in a hypothetical poll on Twitter on which player fans would want to take the final shot if the Stanley Cup was on the line. A shocking omission of one of the most legendary shootout players of all-time.

Even with options such as Alex Ovechkin, Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby, and Patrick Kane, No. 77 insinuated he had a different player in mind.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE CAPITALS TALK PODCAST

Oshie single-handedly defeated Russia at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi over six years ago.

Six times Oshie was sent to the ice in a shootout in a preliminary round match against Russia. He answered the bell four times for another legendary U.S. win over Russia.

Oshie has the fourth-most shootout goals (45) in NHL history, only trailing Kane, (47), Frans Nielsen (49), and Jonathan Toews (50).

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE CAPITALS NEWS:

Quick Links

Alex Ovechkin among players contributing to CCM Hockey's donation of surgical masks

Alex Ovechkin among players contributing to CCM Hockey's donation of surgical masks

With surgical masks in short supply because of the coronavirus pandemic, different companies are stepping up to provide masks to the people who need them the most, the healthcare workers. CCM Hockey is among those companies and announced on Wednesday that they will be donating 500,000 surgical masks to healthcare workers.

Several NHL stars are contributing to the donation including Alex Ovechkin.

“By teaming up with our roster of CCM athletes, we will be able to play a role in the collaborative effort to get past this crisis,” CCM CEO Rick Blackshaw said in a statement on their website. “We focused on the best use of our network and our resources to have the quickest impact. Sourcing greatly needed equipment through our established supply chain partners in Asia is the most efficient way for us to support and keep our real heroes safe."

Ovechkin is listed among the players who contributed to the CCM donation.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE CAPITALS TALK PODCAST

The other players listed are Mat Barzal, Patrice Bergeron, Brock Boeser, Dani Cameranesi, Brandon Carlo, Thomas Chabot, Kendall Coyne Schofield, Sidney Crosby, Melodie Daoust, Alex Debrincat, Brianna Decker, Matt Duchene, Matt Dumba, Marc-Andre Fleury, Filip Forsberg, Jake Gardiner, Miro Heiskanen, Filip Hronek, Jonathan Huberdeau, Seth Jones, Nathan Mackinnon, Charlie McAvoy, Connor McDavid, Artemi Panarin, Carey Price, Vladimir Tarasenko, and John Tavares.

“The CCM Pros are men and women of action," Blackshaw said. "It troubles them to feel helpless as they witness the devastating effects of this pandemic. At the core of this great sport, hockey is about courage, commitment to a higher goal, as well as to one another. It is exactly these player qualities and beliefs that will allow us to emerge stronger from this challenge.”

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE CAPITALS NEWS: