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Posted at 2:33 PM ET, 03/ 1/2011

McPheerless

By Ryan Cooper

Well, that deadline day sure turned out to be a dud. Seriously, the two most entertaining things that happened were when the inimitable Down Goes Brown got his followers to all wish Joffrey Lupul well on Long Island at the exact same time, and when a bunch of Canadian outlets RT’d a fake Nick Kypreos making up a story about Dustin Penner heading to Montreal, prompting a level 5 nuclear meltdown from Pierre LeBrun. In that sense I was pleasantly surprised to see the Caps come out of the deadline on a good note.

Dennis Wideman adds some pop to the power play that had about as much pop as wine and cheese party. More importantly, he adds depth to a position that was really lacking (see the employment of Sloan, Tyler), and will help fill the gap created by Mike Green’s injury. On the downside, he’s still owed another year at $3.9 million on his contract, which will make it really difficult for the Caps to re-sign Scott Hannan (more in part to Tom Poti’s contract). It will be tough for the Caps to lose Hannan, because he’s been really solid on all fronts since he came here from Colorado.

It’s true that Jason Arnott isn’t the player he once was, but after the Brad Richards thing fell on its ass yesterday (partially because Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk was seeking roughly half the GDP of a small country in exchange for him), McPhee went out and got the best center available, which will ease up the burden on Marcus Johansson and give the Caps more depth down the middle to compete with what the Flyers and Bruins and some of the other top teams in the conference have assembled.

So basically, he’s turned Tomas Fleischmann, David Steckel, a low-level prospect (Jake Hauswirth) and a couple of draft picks into Scott Hannan, Dennis Wideman and Jason Arnott. That’s three solid NHL assets he’s acquired without giving up much in return, and he also added Marco Sturm via waivers. You can’t ask for much more from your GM.

I’m not saying McPhee hit a home run here. But he did hit a double and knocked in a couple of runs. The Caps aren’t as deep as the Flyers and Bruins are now, but they went out yesterday and did about as well as they could under the circumstances. For all the flak he gets (sometimes deserved), GMGM should get a lot of credit for his performance yesterday.

By Ryan Cooper  | March 1, 2011; 2:33 PM ET
Categories:  Capitals, Ryan Cooper  | Tags:  Capitals, Ryan Cooper  
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Comments

I'm curious as to where all the Flyers love and Bruins fear is coming from...

The Flyers are still very much questionable in goal. If you don't think goaltending matters in the NHL Playoffs think again.

The Bruins last year did something that not even the Caps have ever done in the playoffs, blow a 3-0 lead in a series and a 3-0 lead in Game 7 of that series. Boston is a good team in a crummy division that is actually sitting behind Tampa in the Eastern Conference.

East is wide open.

Posted by: CapsNut | March 1, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

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