That fateful season: was it worth it?
By Nicole Weissman
Caps fans, you already know which season I’m talking about. With the prospect of a lockout looming, whispers of a salary cap, and the Caps struggling even with a star-filled and pricey roster, we should have seen it coming. Of course hindsight is 20/20, but here’s my take on which of these trades ended up being worthwhile.
October 5, 2003
Caps give: Denis Hamel to Ottawa Senators
Caps get: Future considerations
Was it worth it? Hamel now plays for the Binghamton Senators of the AHL. Because we don’t know what “future considerations” amounted to, this is a toss up.
October 22, 2003
Caps give: Steve Konowalchuk and 2004 3rd round pick (used to select Denis Parshin) to Colorado Avalanche
Caps get: Bates Battaglia and Jonas Johansson
Was it worth it? Konowalchuk’s career ended early after he was diagnosed with Long QT Syndrome in 2006, so his seasons were numbered. However, in my book trading your team captain is a morale-killing faux-pas, so I’m saying not worth it.
January 23, 2004
Caps give: Jaromir Jagr to New York Rangers
Caps get: Anson Carter
Was it worth it? Worth it. I’ll never understand why Jagr crashed and burned quite as badly in D.C. as he did, even after we brought in Robert Lang. We swallowed our medicine, and we moved on.
February 18, 2004
Caps give: Peter Bondra to Ottawa Senators
Caps get: Brooks Laich and 2004 2nd round pick (used to select either Chris Bourque or Mikhail Yunkov)
Was it worth it? By far the hardest call. Not only was Mr. Capital traded, but he was sent to Ottawa, not even a likely Cup contender. We traded an extraordinary player late in his career for a very good player early in his. The trade turns out to have been worth it, but should never have been made in the first place because sometimes intangibles like loyalty ought to outweigh pragmatic calculations.
February 27, 2004
Caps give: Robert Lang to Detroit Red Wings
Caps get: Tomas Fleischmann, 2004 1st round pick (used to select Mike Green), and 2006 4th round pick (used to select Luke Lynes)
Was it worth it? The greatest trade of the season. The Caps gave Lang a shot at a Stanley Cup playing for a team that was a great fit for him, and at the same time acquired Fleischmann, whom I like, and the pick that would become Mike Green, the eventual face of post-lockout Caps defense. Absolutely worth it.
March 3, 2004
Caps give: Sergei Gonchar to Boston Bruins
Caps get: Shaone Morrisonn, 2004 1st round pick (used to select Jeff Schultz), 2004 2nd round pick (used to select either Chris Bourque or Mikhail Yunkov)
Was it worth it? As great as Gonchar is, he was at the end of his contract. Shaone Morrisonn played well here, and Jeff Schultz, for all his 6’6” awkwardness, led our team in +/- last year while anchoring the penalty kill. Worth it, though it sure does sting to see Gonchar in a Penguins uniform.
March 4, 2004
Caps give: Michael Nylander to Boston Bruins
Caps get: 2006 2nd round pick (used to select Francois Bouchard)
Was it worth it? Nylander’s veteran presence would have been a positive influence during the rebuilding period, and Bouchard is a long shot to end up playing here. You have to play the draft, and McPhee does it well, but this particular one was not worth it.
March 8, 2004
Caps give: Anson Carter to LA Kings
Caps get: Jared Aulin
Was it worth it? Neither Carter nor Aulin is playing in the NHL now. This one is a toss up.
March 9, 2004
Caps give: Mike Grier to Buffalo Sabres
Caps get: Jakub Klepis
Was it worth it? Mike Grier was a reliable contributor both before and after this trade, while Klepis no longer plays in the NHL. Not worth it.
Box Seats blogger
| October 20, 2010; 9:40 AM ET
Categories: Capitals, Nicole Weissman | Tags: Capitals, Nicole Weissman
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