The rumored trade of Washington Capitals forward Tomas Fleischmann has happened. The Caps sent Fleisch to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for defenseman Scott Hannan, a 31-year-old veteran of 775 NHL games, second only to Thomas Poti on the Caps roster. Capitals General Manager George McPhee is enthusiastic about the trade: "He's at the point in his career where he's been in the league a long time and wants to win a [Stanley] Cup, and I think it completes our defense," McPhee said. "We're really happy with the way our defense has been playing, but to add one more guy like this helps. Our defense moves the puck pretty well -- we can generate offense from back there -- but to have one more shut-down guy that can block shots, that can do all the little things that would make a difference, we thought was important to add." Hannan is in the final season of an $18 million contract he signed back in 2007, so the Caps will absorb a hit of about $3.2 million this season before Hannan's salary comes off the books at the end of the regular season.
The 6'1", 225-pound Hannan was selected with the 23rd pick of the first round in the NHL Draft in 1997 by the San Jose Sharks. He was named to the Western Conference All Star team in 2004. During his 11-year career in the NHL, Hannan has compiled 30 goals, 150 assists, 456 penalty minutes and a +22 rating. This season he has recorded six assists and a +1 rating while playing all 23 games for the Avalanche. Hannan has never played less than 71 games in an NHL season and this year he is averaging just over 18 minutes of ice time per game.