The NHL Trade Deadline has come and gone and I must admit, I like what George McPhee has done, especially at the price he paid. McPhee obtained a second line center that this team needed, in Jason Arnott. Arnott is a veteran who has Stanley Cup experience. He is also 6'5", a big addition to the Caps offense. Arnott will mesh it up in front of the net and contribute to special teams. I like the price as well. Giving up draft picks sucks, but it is also the price for improvement. It was either give up already existent prospects or shuffle a pick in the trade. Caps can recoup the pick or picks in later subsequent moves.
The acquisition of Dennis Wideman was also masterful on McPhee's part. It is even a better move now that it has been clarified that D Mike Green will likely miss a 'few weeks'. Wideman is tough, plays hard, and provides more leadership[ and veteran presence. He will likely take over the point of the power play, something that has been lacking without Green. Wideman has 9 goals on the season. 8 of those 9 have come on the power play. That is production Washington desperately needs. The Capitals lack of offensive production can be largely put at the feel of a faltered power play. The past two season, the Caps finished #1 in the NHL in power play percentage. This season they have fallen dramatically to #20 overall. Wideman will help that unit tremendously.
Here is the tracker on what they got, what they gave up
|NEW CAPS||WHAT THEY GAVE UP|
|Marco Sturm||Nothing, claimed off waivers|
|Dennis Wideman||Jake Hauswirth, 2011 3rd round pick|
|Jason Arnott||Dave Steckel, 2012 2nd round pick|
Up for good: Because of contracts, the Caps announced that Jay Beagle and Tyler Sloan will remain on the Capitals roster the rest of the season. Good for Beagle. Sloan though?
Fehr and Poti: Tom Poti and Eric Fehr have been placed on the long term injured reserve. Before you flip out, it is retroactive and they can be removed at anytime. It is a cap space maneuver.
What they had to say ...
Jason Arnott ... "This was the hardest decision I've had to make I think in my career. It took me a while. It's hard to leave."
More from the Star Ledger "In Boston I always hated to play against them. They're such a talented group and you never knew which way they would come at you. To have a chance to play with guys like [Alex] Ovechkin and [Nicklas] Backstrom and all those guys is a great thing. It doesn't matter who I play with; I think it's a solid team and every line can do good things. There are a lot of good hockey players for me to find my game rhythm around again. It was definitely a big change for me when I came to Los Angeles. What a difference from Boston, from a veteran team, coming to L.A. with mostly young guys. The guys were great. They showed a lot of respect, they were listening, but I think Washington is even a little different situation from that, too. They have plenty of young guys, but although they're young they've been around for a good bit, too. I think I'll be able to bring something leadership-wise, though." Here is an interview of Wideman on his move to Washington