Sunday, March 2, 2014

Washington Capitals Trade Deadline Preview

This has been an annoying month for me. That awesomely important thing I'm working on is still not done, and I'm hoping it will be eventually.

For now, we'll have to settle for something a little bit more pressing, the pending NHL trade deadline. The Caps have some obvious holes in their game. Who should they target? What would they need to give up? Let's see, in order of most pressing to least pressing areas of concern.

1. Defensive Help.
The Capitals D has been absolutely atrocious this year, and quite honestly, nothing can or should get better until this does.
Potential Targets: Jake Gardiner, Dmitry Kulikov, Andrew MacDonald
Best Fit: Dmitry Kulikov
The Florida Panthers aren't making the playoffs this year, and while the Caps currently aren't in any reported trade talks for the young defenseman, they should be. The Panthers are reportedly ready to listen to any deal that will bring them young talent or draft picks. Kulikov is young, strong, and relatively inexpensive, maybe around 3-4 million, which the Caps should at least want to pay for an upgrade.
Trade Offer: Stanislav Galiev + 2014 Second Round for Dmitry Kulikov
Galiev is not going to get playing time for the Capitals. With Andre Burakovsky rapidly improving and young star Zach Sanford nipping at his heels, it may be time for Galiev himself to look for a fresh start. Florida may be the best place to do that, with their depth chart looking weaker and weaker. The Panthers may look for a little more than a second rounder, while the Caps would want to give less, but this could be a good starting point.

2. Goaltending Depth.
Michal Neuvirth wants out (maybe), Braden Holtby is struggling (maybe) and Phillip Grubauer is young (maybe). I don't get it, but for some reason the Caps seem to be looking for goaltending help.
Potential Targets: Martin Brodeur, Roberto Luongo, Cam Ward
Best Fit: Cam Ward
Ward is expensive, yes, but he will probably be wanting out, with youngster Anton Khudobin quickly rising up the depth charts. It may be tough to get him, but hey, anything is possible.
Trade Offer: Martin Erat + Michal Neuvirth for Cam Ward
The Hurricanes are looking to shore up their weak right wing position, while Martin Erat wants out. Why not kill two birds with one stone and send Erat and disgruntled goaltender Neuvirth for Ward? This will provide the Caps a bit of a salary dump and give them the goaltending depth they apparently need for some reason.

3. Reliable Top-6 Forward.
The Caps have not had a great Top-6 all year, and could really use some help. Fortunately, there's plenty of options to choose from.
Potential Targets: Thomas Vanek, Ryan Callahan, Brad Boyes
Best Fit: Brad Boyes
As I wrote earlier, the Panthers are willing to sell some of their players for young talent or draft picks. Plus, Boyes is extremely cheap, with a cap hit of just one million. He would fit very well in Washington's Top-6.
Trade Offer: Stanislav Galiev + 2014 Fourth Round for Brad Boyes
Basically the same as the Kulikov trade, except Boyes will be a bit cheaper. Because of his low cap hit, he will be a popular target, but the Caps should find a way to get him if they need him.

Best Possible Trade:
To Florida: Stanislav Galiev, 2014 Second Round, 2014 Fourth Round, 2015 Third Round
To Washington: Dmitry Kulikov, Brad Boyes
Just throw in that third rounder to make this a little more appealing to the Panthers.

To make this more Cap Compliant (Based on Cap-Geek):
To Florida: Stanislav Galiev, Martin Erat, 2014 Second Round
To Washington: Dmitry Kulikov, Brad Boyes
Both teams will receive upgrades and stay under the cap.

The Caps need to make some upgrades this year. Let's hope they can do so without the Filip Forsberg debacle from last year. Anything I missed? Tell me in the comments.


  1. Just wondering, what do you think about the acquisition of Dustin Penner?

    1. He's not a long-term solution (and is a solution to our third problem, not one or two), but for a fourth round pick it's a good deal.