That's right, ladies and gentlemen, it's that time of year again. The day when NHL GMs either desperately overpay to acquire aging veterans that they believe to be the "missing piece" that will lead them to the Stanley Cup, or finally realize their season is probably toast and sell off all of their expiring contracts in exchange for crappy draft picks. It's Trade Deadline Day, my second favorite day of the year! Yeah, I like Free Agent Frenzy better because it happens to coincide with my birthday. Sue me.
Unfortunately, the Caps' play of late hasn't really been consistently good or bad enough to firmly entrench them in either the 'buyer' or 'seller' category. As of this morning, they've played badly sit on the outside of the playoff picture looking in, but well enough that they're still hanging around and could make it. Of course, in my humble opinion, whether the Caps actually make the playoffs at this point is pretty much irrelevant. Anyone who believes this Capitals team, given everything that's happened this year, is going to be a serious Stanley Cup threat, is quite frankly deluding themselves. So here's to hoping we sell, sell, sell!
I'll continue to update this post with my oh-so-insightful commentary and news of anything that happens to go down involving the Caps (or whatever else I feel like mentioning) between now and the 3:00pm EST deadline, assuming my job doesn't decide to be stupid and make me do stuff.
11:55AM: Wake up (don't judge me). The only deal that has been made is Montreal's Andrei Kostitsyn to Nashville for a hand full of picks in 2013. #gopreds. (dru)
12:07PM: The noon number over at Japer's Rink was 90. Thought MJ90 had been traded and had a heart attack. False alarm though. (dru)
12:17pm: As Dru mentioned, the only move so far has been Andrei Kostitsyn from Montreal to Nashville for a 2nd and a conditional 5th in 2013. This trade reunites Andrei with brother Sergei, which gives Nashville two Tits instead of one, and two tits are always better than one. Winner: Nashville.
Still all quiet on the Caps front.
12:22pm:Taking a quick look, the Caps have a number of assets that could be of interest to a contending team should George McPhee choose to sell.
First and foremost, Tomas Vokoun:
With a 23-16-6 record, a .917 SV% and 2.52 GAA in 44 games, and a cap-friendly $1.5 million contract that expires at the end of this year, Vokoun is easily the best goaltender to potentially be available at the deadline in years, and could probably fetch a first and/or a solid prospect from an interested team. In particular, Chicago or Detroit out west could use the help in goal, and potentially Toronto or Ottawa (seeing as Craig Anderson just demolished his wrist with a steak knife) in the east. Neither of the latter two would seem to be likely given that the Caps are directly competing with them for a playoff spot, but I can't help but wonder if a Vokoun for Grabovski trade wouldn't be worth it.
Reasons not to trade Vokoun: Easily the best goalie Washington's had in years. Any chance we have in the playoffs is basically going to involve him getting hot and stealing a series or two himself.
Reasons TO trade Vokoun:...Any chance we have in the playoffs basically comes down to him getting hot and stealing a round or two. Which means our odds of winning a cup this season are not very good (duh), and we'd probably be better off flipping him for good value to try to build a team for next year that could win in the playoffs without relying on luck and one guy.
12:45pm: Next up, Dennis Wideman. At 10-28-38, -3 in 62 games, Wideman is a solid offensive threat from the blue line and questionable on defense. He's also 4-14-18 on the power play, and is most definitely at a "sell high" moment after making the All-Star game this season. A UFA this summer, he will most likely be out of the Capitals' price range and therefore they should look to move him, especially with Green back.
Reasons NOT to trade Wideman: Best offensive defenseman the Caps have not named Mike Green. And Mike Green has been fragile lately.
Reasons TO trade Wideman: Sell high, plus he's basically an older, cheaper, less shitty version of Jack Johnson... And if Johnson and a first is worth Jeff Carter... Plus, Green's injuries should hopefully be less of an issue moving forward from his surgery, and no question Green is the better overall defenseman. Best move is to get something for Wideman before we lose him to free agency.
12:53PM: Red Wings send Mike Commodore to Tampa Bay for a conditional 7th round pick. Commodore is a pretty good rank in the navy (the best rank?) so I guess it's a good trade for Tampa. (dru)
1:01PM: The Oilers send Tom Gilbert to the Wild in return for Nick Schutlz. Hell, if the Oilers want another dude named Schutlz on their team I could think of a place they could find one... (dru)
1:03pm: Commodore to TBL is a bit of a head-scratcher for me. Last I checked, Tampa was selling, and roster player for a 7th smacks to me of a salary dump, but Commodore's cap hit is only $1 million. Perhaps Detroit needed the space for a bigger move later on (they now have $4.7 million in cap space). We'll see what happens.
As far as Gilbert for Schultz goes, my guess is Minnesota wanted to add a little bit of scoring from the blue line. All I know about Nick Schultz is he has the same name and number as Jeff Schultz.
1:46PM: Tampa Bay picks up another d-man, this time getting Keith Aulie from Toronto and sending back...something to be announced later. I thought Tampa was going to be selling but so far they are buy, buy, buy. (dru)
1:49PM: That didn't take long. The player Tampa sends to Toronto is forward Carter Ashton. (dru)
2:01PM: Multi-player deal. Sharks acquire forwards Daniel Winnik and TJ Galiardi along with a 7th round pick from Colorado. Still waiting to hear what the Avs got in return. (dru)
2:04PM: Tampa continues to eat up all the defenders by grabbing Brain Lee from the Sens. TBA what Tampa had to part with. (dru)
2:07PM: Vancouver picks up forward Sami Pahlsson from Cbus. They agree to send back a player and draft pick, both TBA. As a rookie covering my first trade deadline let me just say, this is intense. (dru)
2:10PM: Blackhawks get forward Johnny Oduya from the Jets. What the Hawks send back TBA. Also Tampa Bay sent D-man Matt Gilroy back to Ottawa in the deal that brought Brain Lee to the Lightning. (dru)
2:14PM: The Avas receive forwards Jamie Mcginn, Mike Connolly, and Michael Sgarbossa from San Jose. That makes their deal a 5 player +a draft pick deal. That's a lot of dudes! (dru)
2:15PM: Receiving word from my associate blogger that the Pahlsson deal makes Vancouver one of, if not the deepest, teams in the league at the C position. (dru)
2:18PM: Still nothing on the Caps side of things. GMGM still has the better part of this hour to make something happen but I'm getting a bit nervous. (dru)
2:30PM: Only 30mins to go. Caps remain inactive. Somebody has got to want some of our guys right?
In other rumor-related news Nash is still available but it looks like he wont be going to the Rangers or the Preds. It seems like San Jose swept in and stole the Avas pair of forwards from Boston, who was looking to make a deal with Colorado. It also seems like a lot of teams (PHI, TOR, OTT) are in the market for a goalie still. Hear that GMGM? I also keep hearing Steve Ott's named in connection with Vancouver so we will see what happens there. (dru)
2:38PM: Details on the Oduya deal. The Hawks sent a 2nd and 3rd round pick (2013) back to the Jets. In the Pahlsson deal, Vancouver is sending two 4th round picks back to Cbus, with the year of those picks still TBA. (dru)
2:45PM: Last bit of info coming in now about the Van-Cbus trade. Cbus's two 4th round picks are for 2012. Coming into the home stretch now! (dru)
2:48PM: I really don't get putting Nicky on LTIR if GMGM wasn't planning on using up the cap space. My associate blogger tells me Statsny's cap hit is about the same as Nicky's. Hmmmm.... (dru)
2:55PM: UUUUUGGGGHHHHH. That is all. (dru)
3:01PM: And that brings things to a close. Have to wait and see if deals went down that went unreported. Nothing from the Caps at this point in time however. (dru)
3:03PM: That was a pretty fun/exciting experience. Even without the Caps making a deal (as far as we know) I had a lot of fun covering today. Stay tuned for more updates if any news trickles in. Also expect some more in-depth analysis of today's deals once my associate blogger gets free from work! (dru)
3:06PM: Word of a deal between the Boston and NYI. Boston gets defensemen Brian Rolston and Mike Motteau from the Isles. What the Bruins send back TBA. (dru)
3:08PM: Another deal coming in, Preds get forward Paul Gaustad from Buffalo. What Nashville sent back is TBA.
With word of these two deals coming in there is still some hope that the Caps managed to get something done at the last second. (dru)
3:13PM: Boston gets another deal done. Bringing in Greg Zanon from the Wild for a player TBA. (dru)
3:15PM: Wild got D-man Steve Kampfer in the Zanon deal. (dru)
3:20PM: Isles get forward Yannick Riendeau and Dman Marc Cantin in their deal with Boston. (dru)
3:21PM: Preds also get a 5th round pick along with Paul Gaustad and send a 1st round pick back to Buffalo. (dru)
3:22PM: Rangers pick up John Scott from Blackhawks in return for a 5th round pick. (dru)
3:26PM: Leafs acquire D Mark Fraser from the Ducks. Ducks get D Dale Mitchell back in return. (dru)
3:28PM: Gonna leave my desk for the first time today. Be back in a few minutes with more updates. (dru)
3:43PM: Back. Vancouver picks up Zack Kessian and Marc-Andre Gragnani from Buffalo. Buffalo receives Cody Hodgson and Alexander Sulzer back. (dru)
4:04PM: With an hour past the dead coming and going still no news out of the Capitals front office. Vancouver has inked another deal sending Sebastian Erixon to the Ducks in return for Andrew Gordon. This is probably the last live update we will be doing here. At this point it looks like 15 trades were made containing 31 players and 11 draft picks. Check back later today for a new post that will talk about today's deals and non-deals. Thanks for reading! (dru)