With the Caps suddenly dealing with multiple injuries, could the Caps be considering making a big trade? As Chuck Gormley reported, the team has at least discussed whether they need to bring in someone to shore up their depth at center because of the injury to Jay Beagle. But what about the defense?
While John Carlson is expected to return during the Caps' current road trip, Brooks Orpik has yet to resume skating. As he is one of the team's top defensemen, he leaves on obvious hole on the blue line.
According to TSN's Elliotte Friedman, the Caps at least have interest in a big name defenseman to take his place. In his 30 Thoughts column, Friedman writes, "With Brooks Orpik’s health situation uncertain, a couple of sources indicated to check Washington’s interest in Dustin Byfuglien. There’s logic to this, as their cap hits are within $300,000 of each other."
Friedman also notes that this is unlikely to happen given that Orpik's injury is not expected to be season ending. Therein lies the rub. According to General Fanager, Orpik's cap hit is $5,500,000 while Byfuglien's cap hit is $5,200,000. That's a lot of money to try and fit into the caps and far too much if Orpik returns. Byfuglien is set to become a free agent at the end of this season, making him an ideal rental for the Caps if and only if Orpik and his salary remain off the books.
This isn't a move the Caps are going to make anytime soon, but file Byfuglien's name away for future reference if something should happen to Orpik.
Orpik is traveling with the Caps on their road trip and is expected to begin skating soon, meaning he is finally making progress. Should he regress or suffer another injury later that knocks him out for the season, look for these rumors to spring up again.