When it comes to the trade deadline, there is perhaps no better authority than Daniel Winnik. The veteran forward has been traded four times in his career, three times at the trade deadline including in February 2016 when he was traded from the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Washington Capitals.
As the trade deadline approaches, the Caps are left with the question of whether to add any pieces to bolster their roster, or stand pat.
There are areas of need for Washington, specifically a right-handed defenseman, but for players coming into a new team at the deadline, it can be difficult for them to adjust.
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If any knows about the challenges of joining a new team midseason, it’s Winnik.
“It's tough to see who you mesh with, personalities off the ice and who you play well with on the ice,” Winnik said. “You've got to get used to guys' tendencies pretty quickly and a lot of that happens in games because now at that time of the year you don't really practice at all.”
“I think you're seeing it more where guys are having that hard time adjusting to teams,” Winnik continued. “When I got traded to Pittsburgh that year, a lot of the guys that got traded at the deadline didn't perform very well and I think it's just because of how you're just jammed into the situation.”
Given how well the Caps are playing right now, messing with the team chemistry has to be a concern as well.
“Not too many teams are scoring at the rate that we're scoring at and defending the way we're defending,” Winnik said. “A lot of that's a tribute to chemistry.”
As the March 1 trade deadline moves steadily closer, the debate over whether the Caps should make a move or not is getting more heated. While the decision ultimately sits with team management, Winnik isn’t shy about which way he’s leaning.
“Hopefully we don’t make any trades and someone gets shipped away.”
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