Wednesday, March 4, 2009

No Rabbits at the Deadline for Washington

Last year, Caps fans raved about George McPhee's deadline masterpieces: trading Ted Ruth to Columbus for future Hall-of-Famer Sergei Fedorov, moving a second-round pick (acquired from another team) to Montreal for Cristobal Huet, and swapping agitators with Vancouver, sending Matt Pettinger away for Matt Cooke.

With the Capitals on pace to break 100 points and leading the Southeast by a landslide; many thought McPhee would once again pull rabbits from a hat, acquiring the tools necessary for a deep playoff run.

The Capitals stayed dormant instead, not even trading draft picks or swapping for AHL depth players. Now we are left to wonder if McPhee’s latest magic trick of a deadline is a shrewd move or a bone-headed mistake.

We won’t be able to grade McPhee’s deadline inaction until we see how the team plays in April, but don’t be so quick to jump on the “McPhee was terrible” bandwagon.

The logic is simple. Making trades just because is like spending money on things you don’t need. It’s wasteful, and while it may provide cheap thrills now, you’ll be cursing yourself for it later.

Luxury players such as Chris Pronger and Derek Morris would have required blockbuster trades featuring many of the Caps' young prospects. Would you rather have Chris Pronger for one postseason or Karl Alzner and John Carlson for multiple seasons?

McPhee’s deadline dud may be disappointing but sometimes the best deal is no deal.


  1. Was Pronger really going to add that much to the defense that they would all of a sudden been thought of as Stanley Cup favorites? This team has managed to win the games with the team they have...why would that stop?

    I like not moving anyone. Maybe a small deal would have been okay but there is NO WAY you part with Alzner OR Carlson at this point.

  2. Leonsis committed a few years ago to building a team the right way -- by developing prospects rather than buying big-name talent (which is the Dan Synder way, and we know how that works out. We're looking at you, Jason Taylor!)

    The Caps have good depth here and in Hershey. (Think of all the Hershey guys who carried us through the part of the season when the Caps became a M*A*S*H unit.) Why trade those guys away for someone who, like Huet, comes in for the playoffs, then leaves?

    Particularly if Johnson can get back for the playoffs, I like playing the hand we have.

  3. This all comes down to wants and needs, and what the Capitals may have wanted (Pronger) isn't what they needed.


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