McPhee: Caps Won't Be Sellers
Sorry for the late update today, but practice was cancelled. Coach Bruce Boudreau said he felt the players needed some rest after a busy father-son road trip over the weekend.
Defenseman Jeff Schultz, who suffered a strained left knee last night, is not as bad as originally thought. He was walking around KCI without much of a limp, and General Manager George McPhee said that Schultz will likely test out the knee tomorrow in practice.
McPhee spoke to the media for about 20 minutes today on a range of subjects from injuries to the Caps' strategy leading up to Feb. 26 trade deadline. As usual, he played his card close the vest. But McPhee did say the Capitals -- regardless of how things go this weekend -- won't be sellers.
In recent weeks, it's become obvious that the Capitals would benefit from the addition of a second line center to replace the injured Michael Nylander. A veteran defenseman wouldn't hurt, either. But McPhee also reiterated his plan of not giving up an asset (or draft picks) in order to make a deal.
"If there's something that would help, that isn't too expensive, then we would talk about it," he said. "But we like what we have. We like the players we have and the people they are."
"We've done a very good job of developing this team," McPhee added. "And to start trading things out, that could be a part of the future makes no sense. We had a power play late in the game last night and five kids jumped over the boards, with an average of 21 or 22. We've got to keep playing them if we're going to be going for a Cup."
Asked if he anticipated a lot of moves in the coming days, McPhee said: "There are a lot of teams on the bubble right now, so they don't know whether they are selling or buying. You have to be careful when you're selling. But if you're three points out of a playoff spot, that's not a good message for your fans. We did it the past few years because we were far enough out of it that I made sense."
This year, though, "We're not selling," he said.
Asked about the team's plans for veteran goaltender Olie Kolzig, who will be a unrestricted free agent this summer, McPhee declined to comment. But it's believed that the Caps are not talking about an extension with Kolzig at the moment, and that any such talks likely wouldn't happen until the offseason.
I'll have more of the interview in tomorrow's paper.
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