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Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 02/23/2011

We're ridin' on the deadline

By Ryan Cooper

I must admit, I love the NHL trade deadline. I love the speculation, and the rumors (even Eklund's, which are laughably insane), and I love that TSN puts on a studio show for something like 12 consecutive hours. I love seeing faces in unfamiliar jerseys, and I love all the second guessing.

That being said, this deadline feels different from a lot of other deadlines. I feel like more is at stake for the Caps than there ever has been. I look at Pittsburgh and see their young stars, and they have a Cup, and I look at Chicago and see the same thing. Philadelphia went to the Finals last year, and could very well win the whole thing this season (heaven forbid). I want the Caps to get every great player available and move into that upper echelon of the league that they are currently absent from, because frankly, it sucks seeing all these other teams be successful, especially teams I loathe (like the Flyers and Penguins). If I had my druthers, I’d strip the entire farm system and base of prospects completely bare in order to win a Cup right now.

Thinking like this is why I’m not an NHL GM. The recipe, as I see it, is for sustained excellence, and that doesn’t come with trading first and third round picks for Kris Versteeg, while leaving a rookie goaltender between the pipes. It doesn’t come with loading up terrible contracts that would make a sailor (or Glen Sather) blush with shame. It’s making the right deals that benefit your team not only in the short term, but in the long term as well.

I’m sure the Caps will make a deal or two, and at the same time I’m dreading they will give up too much to do so, because I’m not too sure this team, this year has a shot at the Stanley Cup. They’re too thin down the middle, they’re really young, the offense hasn’t really shown up, and they still employ Tyler Sloan. I think it would be a mistake to sell Kuznetsov or Orlov or any of the other highly regarded prospects in order to chase something that just might not be available this year.

I still think the Caps will make the Eastern Conference Finals, and that would not mean this is a “lost season” as some with inevitably think. They came into the season with major holes that couldn’t be filled in one fell swoop at the deadline, because those kinds of deals generally don’t happen any longer.

So I’ll be there on Feb. 28, tweeting, posting on Japers Rink, and watching Pierre Maguire say dumb things, and I know I’ll get my hopes up again when they announce Washington has made a trade. Let’s hope they aren’t dashed then instead of in May.

By Ryan Cooper  | February 23, 2011; 11:30 AM ET
Categories:  Capitals, Ryan Cooper  | Tags:  Capitals, Ryan Cooper  
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Next: Top picks for Caps trades

Comments

FACE FACTS. THEIR AIN'T NO GOOD CENTERS OUT THEIR. EITHER TO OLD OR JUST PLAIN NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

Posted by: duckyjimpond | February 24, 2011 1:25 AM | Report abuse

FACE FACTS. THEIR AIN'T NO GOOD CENTERS OUT THEIR. EITHER TO OLD OR JUST SIMPLY NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

MAYBE BRUCE HARPER CAN PLAY CENTER???

Posted by: duckyjimpond | February 24, 2011 1:28 AM | Report abuse

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