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Posted at 10:58 AM ET, 02/21/2011

Amid flurry of trades, Caps have yet to make a move

By Katie Carrera

There have been a lot of moves already made, some expected and some complete surprises, by teams prior to the NHL's 3 p.m. trade deadline on Feb. 28. So many so that NHL pundits and national reporters spent part of the last three days joking about what there would be left to talk about once the deadline day arrived.

Whether the early deals are because teams are making sure they get the top players on their wish list, they want more time for new players to integrate into the preexisting team, that those selling off assets are driving to make moves faster or combinations of all three, it's made for an interesting stretch.

There were several trades that took place between Feb. 9 and Feb. 18, some of which were listed here. But that all paled in comparison to the volume of significant moves made on Feb. 18 and into the wee hours on Feb. 19.

--Ottawa and Colorado swapped goaltenders, sending Brian Elliott to the Avalanche and Craig Anderson to the Senators. In his debut in Ottawa Saturday night, Anderson posted a 1-0 shutout.

--The Tomas Kaberle saga came to a close as the Maple Leafs dealt their longest-tenured player to Boston for Joe Colborne, a first-round pick in 2011 and a conditional second-round pick in 2012. Some think Toronto General Manager Brian Burke pulled of a great move, but then there are those who realize the Bruins are trying to get things in order for a strong push in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

--Along with acquiring Kaberle, the Bruins picked up forward Rich Peverly and defenseman Boris Valabik from Atlanta in exchange for forward Blake Wheeler and defenseman Mark Stuart. Could this be the year for the big bad Bruins?

--In separate transactions, Carolina acquired defenseman Derek Joslin from the Sharks for future considerations while San Jose picked up the well-traveled Ian White from the Hurricanes for a second-round pick in 2012. There is speculation that there is another shoe to drop from the Hurricanes before the trade deadline and General Manager Jim Rutherford wouldn't rule out the possibility after trading for Joslin.

--Tampa Bay helped shore up its defense by picking up veteran defenseman Eric Brewer, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent, from St. Louis in exchange for prospect Brock Beukeboom and a third-round pick.

--Then there was the late-night surprise of this year's trade deadline season thus far. Typically rental players, those set to become unrestricted free agents at the end of a season, are the players that are generally sought after and dealt at the deadline. Trades involving significant parts of a current roster are often called "hockey moves" and they don't always occur at this time of year, which is why the four-player trade between Colorado and St. Louis caught so many off guard.

The Blues sent former No. 1 overall pick defenseman Erik Johnson and forward Jay McClement along with a conditional first round pick in either 2011 or 2012 to the Avalanche for forward Chris Stewart, rookie standout defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and a conditional second round pick in 2011 or 2012. Here is trade reaction from the Denver Post and St. Louis Post Dispatch, where beat writer Jeremy Rutherford writes that Johnson's inconsistencies had made him expendable.

--The Capitals have yet to make any moves, and given his tight-lipped nature when it comes to discussing his trade-deadline plans it's hard to know precisely what General Manager George McPhee has in store. There were scouts from 20 NHL teams at the Capitals' game in Buffalo on Sunday, though. Rumors surfaced this weekend that McPhee was shopping Alexander Semin and discussing Ales Hemsky with the Edmonton Oilers.

So, Caps fans, are you growing impatient for a deal?

By Katie Carrera  | February 21, 2011; 10:58 AM ET
Categories:  Trade deadline  
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Comments

Noticed on some other hockey boards that people who are "not caps fans" were impressed at how the Caps D has been consistently collapsing back and forwards are coming back to help out - eerily like playoff hockey...

Found this MacLeans Magazine link to a story about Sidney Crosby's concussion - the science of it...note they refer to David Steckel's "cold shoulder" in their analogy...like Steckel is that type of player?

http://sports.ca.msn.com/nhl/news/cp-article.aspx?cp-documentid=27715302

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | February 21, 2011 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Noticed on some other hockey boards that people who are "not caps fans" were impressed at how the Caps D has been consistently collapsing back and forwards are coming back to help out - eerily like playoff hockey...

Found this MacLeans Magazine link to a story about Sidney Crosby's concussion - the science of it...note they refer to David Steckel's "cold shoulder" in their analogy...like Steckel is that type of player?

http://sports.ca.msn.com/nhl/news/cp-article.aspx?cp-documentid=27715302

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | February 21, 2011 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Also the price for players out there is very high right now. So while GMGM is still actively talking, he is going to have to really have to ante up to make things happen.

Posted by: ThePat | February 21, 2011 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Complicating things for GMGM is the up-and-down play of the team, making it risky to go all-in on a big trade.

Posted by: zmega | February 21, 2011 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Alexander Semin is not a playoff player. I repeat, Alexander Semin is not a playoff player. He is too soft and takes a ton of frustration penalties. And even more importantly, you can't keep a guy that makes no effort to learn the English language. That impacts the locker room dynamic. It's kind of hard to respect a guy that makes no effort that will allow him to communicate more effectively with his teammates. Has to go. They might as well trade him while his stick is high.

Posted by: Matt252 | February 21, 2011 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Alex Semin speaks and understands English well. Just because he speaks only to the press in Russian does not make him unable to communicate with teammates.
March 1 can't come fast enough.

Posted by: nicety251 | February 21, 2011 11:34 AM | Report abuse

The second line center is a mandatory issue if the Caps are going to seriously go for the Cup.

I don't believe the Caps will trade Semin, but if they do - hopefully it will be Semin and a third liner (as we have too many) and Poti for a second line center and another tough defenseman.

Knowing McPhail, it will be bringing back Franticek Kucera out of retirement and making Aucoin the second line center.

It must have taken some big stones for St. Louis to completely rebuild their defense, but they're doing it. Kudos to them - they have a plan.

Posted by: Jaymagz | February 21, 2011 11:36 AM | Report abuse

T Connolly to Was rumors are gaining steam. He would be the #2 Center but is almost the American version of Semin. Would be fascinating to see them on the same line and who disappears first.

Posted by: bukaki23 | February 21, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Yes, from all indications, Semin now grasps English well enough to communicate with coaches and teammates, however he uses the language excuse to weasel out of the obligations with the North American media that all of his teammates participate in. I'm sure there are times that a player would rather not have to do an intermission interview with Locker, but they do it anyway, because they understand that it's part of being a member of the TEAM.

Semin's refusal to do his share in this regard only highlights that he's not a TRUE team player.

Posted by: chombie13 | February 21, 2011 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I'm not the biggest Connolly fan but this is the best "rental" available.

Posted by: Cayugalaker | February 21, 2011 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Matt252: Thank you for your expert opinion. It is as insightful as your assessment that Semin doesn't know english. I guess Bradley, Steckel, Backstrom, Carlson, Alzer and every non-Russian player has made the effort to learn Russian because they hold conversations with Semin. He CHOOSES not to speak to the media. Did you see the interview he did prior to the Winter Classic? All of the questions were in English, without an interpreter, but he responded in Russian and the interviewer (Larinov's daughter I think) translated. He doesn't trust the english speaking media. I wouldn't either. English speaking athletes don't really trust them either which is why we hear the same quotes across the league, not just in Washington. Phrases like, "60-minute effor"t, that's a great team over there", "go hard to the net", etc.

Also, some of you are already putting Orlov on our roster next year, and I hope he makes it if he is NHL ready. Others are complaining that too many young players are filling critical (2nd line center, top defensive pair) roster spots was GMGM's mistake this year. There are not only goat's blood drinkers and Kool-aid drinkers. There are experts that are goat's blood drinkers that want to put their assessment out as gospel but they differ greatly from other goat's blood drinkers.

The Capitals played a solid road game against a team that is on the outside looking in but has closed the gap to the 8th spot significantly over the last few weeks. They worked hard and although it was stressful, I'm not going to trash their effort.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 21, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

With Ovechkin and Backstrom now playing closer to their customary level, the glaring issue continues to be the lack of a 2nd line center. Although I agree that teams have given up a lot in terms of draft picks, the Caps have a lot of depth in their system and should be able to part with a No. 1 draft pick like Philly or Boston did to contend for the cup.

Sadly, I think McPhee will result to the same "rent a player" mentality and accept some aging vets at the trade deadline who may be of little help. The contenders have made bold moves even if meant giving up future picks. If the Caps are to have a chance, a 2nd line center and another veteran defenseman is needed as Poti will not be back this season.

Posted by: wizfan89 | February 21, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Per Bob McKenzie the Pens are targeting Kovalve and James Neal

Posted by: ThePat | February 21, 2011 11:50 AM | Report abuse

The Pens have more salary cap space without having to move anyone right now because Malkin is on the LTIR. They can "rent" a high priced player without having to move anyone which makes the deal much easier for Shero.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 21, 2011 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Jaymagz: Don't rule out a Sylvain Cote return.

Only 171 hrs and 4 mins until the deadline.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 21, 2011 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Chimera is one of our best PK'ers (that means defense) and is always first in on the dump and chase due to his speed and mucks it in the corners (that means he is physical and hits alot)....It amazes me what some of you actually type on here without thinking or watching games.

Posted by: jmurray019 | February 21, 2011 8:23 AM | Report abuse

jmurray, you really are clueless and that's why I love the last sentence so much. Chimera physical and hits a lot? Oh wait, your favorite player was none other than John Druce so go figure

Posted by: vermontcaps | February 21, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Totally off topic (except it concerns the Pens) did anyone notice that the Flames and Habs lined up and shook hands last night at the end of the Heritage Classic? Oh - wasn't that just another 'regular season game'?

Another piece of evidence of the Pens' lack of class for not doing the same with the Caps after the Winter Classic.

Posted by: Thisistheyear | February 21, 2011 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Souray cleared waivers

Posted by: ThePat | February 21, 2011 12:02 PM | Report abuse

fanohock1 --- You can't tell me that the Caps aren't a segmented team with cliques. The closest you and I will ever get to that team was the HBO 24/7 show. That and the internet. Both show(ed) a Pittsburgh team that blew the Caps away in terms of team chemistry. It wasn't even close. When you a team Captain that can barely get out a line of fluent English when he's upset, you made a bad choice for Captain. Mike Knuble has to step up and do the pep talking because our Captain can only get out "Fing F F F!!! C'mon guys!" when upset. That's a pick based on money and offensive output, not on leadership. Sorry man, my career field is organizational/individual assessment... great players don't always make great leaders. Bad choice. Now back to Semin. He might have been able to rattle off a few phrases in an interview, but the guy is clearly a hermit that doesn't make much of an effort to build chemistry with many of his teammates. The most I've seen of him is him and OV S-faced in clubs together. That's productive. As for his on-ice performance, he's clearly a huge talent. But he's also clearly missing playoff attributes --- toughness/grinding, clutch, not taking bad penalties, backchecking, puck control, etc. He's not a playoff player. And we'd be better apt to trade him now and pick up a guy or two with those attributes.

Posted by: Matt252 | February 21, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Let's get Hemsky and Penner. You know the Pens will want one.

Connolly sucks. We all know that. If McPhee acquires him, he is basically telling us, the fans, that we are all stupid. If Connolly is the best center out there, upgrade the wings and let's go. Put a new winger on lines 1 and 2.

Ovy-Backs-Hemsky
Penner-MaJo-Semin
Fehr-Laich-Knuble
Bradley-Steckel-Hendricks

Green-Hannan
Alzner-Carlson
Erskine-New???

-Assuming Poti LTIR
-Using Schultz, Perrault, Chimera(ha), Holtby, Kuznetsov, plus anything else not nailed down.
-Hold Eakin and Orlov. Since no center was acquired, Eakin jumps in next year.

Just my thoughts. Trade deadline 1 week from TODAY.

No excuses Georgie! Not anymore.

Posted by: underpants2 | February 21, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Souray cleared waivers

Posted by: ThePat

Thank god we didn't claim him. That would have been desperation.

Posted by: underpants2 | February 21, 2011 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Hemsky, one year left @ 5M. Penner, one year left @ 4M. Leaves a question of how to free up 9M cap space? We have 9 UFA/RFA's on the roster for next year so I suppose it could work. However, I can't believe GMGM would part with Kuznetsov and a lot of NHL teams are wary of Russians.

Posted by: Cayugalaker | February 21, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Matt252: It is easy to be cordial and bond when the team is winning. The Pens were in the midst of a long winning streak. In contrast the Capitals were in the midst of their worst stretch under BB. The last episode had even the mild mannered Crosby dropping F bombs. Bylsma wasn't looking too relaxed either.

There have been two outdoor games that a handshake did not take place at the end. The Sabres vs Pens and Pens vs Caps. There is a common denominator.

For those that don't know Crosby, the ultimate Captain of the Pens, also skated off without shaking hands when the Senators eliminated the Pens in the 1st round of the 2006-07 playoffs.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 21, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

the Capitals need a change in chemistry.

there is a current of inconsistent performances that resonates on this team as several of the top players fail to lead game to game.

while Ovechkin and Backstrom are signed long term and do other things for the club when they aren't scoring, Semin is a player whose value comes almost singly from his goal totals.

So, if he is not going to consistently be on the ice and produce goals then the club needs to trade him for maximum potential value.

What do they need to bring in?

Well, talent of course. But also talent that plays hard every night and hopefully someone who exhibits leadership.

The Caps have far too much talent to be losing so many games in overtime and the shootout.

In other words, the Caps need a player or two who can be clutch at the end of a game.

Some players in the NHL only score 20 or 25 goals a year and never reach the level that Semin or Ovechkin have in total points.

BUT, for them many of those 20 goals are scored at CRITICAL TIMES when it means the outcomes of games.

There's a big difference between a goal scored in overtime to win a close game and an empty netter or hat trick scored in a 9-3 game where the club was sailing along to an easy victory.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | February 21, 2011 12:33 PM | Report abuse

So....are they holding out Green because they are going to trade him or for health reasons????????

Posted by: CB28031 | February 21, 2011 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps not making a trade, and keeping any talented young players or highly touted prospects is the way to go this season. Afterall, no matter who they might trade for, do you really see the Caps beating the likes of a team like Philly or the other more talented teams? Sure, the Caps could crank it up at the right time, and who knows, but from what I've seen this year, they just don't measure up. And as noted by some other commenters, the trend seems to trade for the older, cheaper rent a vets.

Posted by: coastallp74 | February 21, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Matt252 | February 21, 2011 11:24 AM | Report abuse

go kill your self. Tired of bashing of some players like Semin that they are not play off players and other bs. 40 goals season is not enough for some of you to prove that he can play. 4 hat-tricks in one season being injured for awhile, still not enough. Instead of blaming players, gotta start blaming BB, he is not a play-off coach, he didn't win a single play off series since being a coach of the caps! zero, Sergei Fedorov won the Rangers series, not BB

Posted by: beforeitstoolate | February 21, 2011 1:13 PM | Report abuse

btw, if Caps trade Semin for the 2nd line center, who he will be centering? hopefully not 3rd liner for life Laich and Fehr(omg, he scored 21 goals once).

Posted by: beforeitstoolate | February 21, 2011 1:17 PM | Report abuse

coastallp74,
I almost think you're right. This team has the players to make an impact. If they're not doing it (bad luck, motivation, whatever it is) then bringing in a piece or two at the deadline won't change much. This isn't a get out of free card for GMGM, I'm just saying that I understand if he is quiet at the deadline with the players talked about as being available.

Posted by: j3rockstar | February 21, 2011 1:24 PM | Report abuse

GMGM said he was going to wait until after this roadtrip. might see stuff go down tomorrow. I think you can kiss Semin goodbye.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 21, 2011 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Semin disappers in the playoffs?
28 career playoff games; 8 goals and 16 assists for 24 points; almost a point a game...Before last seasons Montreal series, he had 22 points in 21 games, more than a point a game...in 14 games in the 2009 playoffs, he had 14 points, and in the 2008 playoffs, he had 8 points in 7 games... I don't see how he disappears...Maybe he struggled with points last season, but he still had 44 shots on goal, which led the team...all he needs is a center...it can be argued that he has not had a consistent center since Fedorov left
Unlike many people who post who seem to hang out in the locker room everyday with the players and know the dynamics, I can only go off from what I read in different publications, I understand Semin is shy, but likes to play practical joes on his teammates, and has no problems according to the coaches ordering meals in English. Who would want to speak to the media and have everything they say twised around. Last interview he gave, he was accused of slamming Cindy Crosby because he said he liked watching other players who he found to be more exciting on the ice.

If Semin goes, this team is left with only two playes that have the skill level to be a top six forward on a consistent basis...MJ may be there some day

Posted by: Unknown19 | February 21, 2011 1:29 PM | Report abuse

@Unknown

If Semin is traded -obviously they will get something in return and may not just have 2 players with that skill level.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 21, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

During the NBC broadcast, they mentioned that Green was expected to miss Sunday and Monday's games. The team wants him to get a few symptom-free practices in before participating in a game.

-----

So....are they holding out Green because they are going to trade him or for health reasons????????

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 21, 2011 1:35 PM | Report abuse

i'm growing impatient for a hockey team that actually makes it past the first round of the playoffs. i don't care how they do it - i want them to win a cup. i don't care if that means trading semin, ovechkin and green and selling their soul to the devil. i'm bored of the same predictable caps. nothing short of a cup finals appearance will satisfy me.

Posted by: dingram3 | February 21, 2011 1:37 PM | Report abuse


Ciccarelli is available

Posted by: ninatotenburg | February 21, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

@ lylewimbledon
Since Semin is only signed for one more year; I doubt a team would give up a top 6 forward for him, let alone more than one NHL ready player..IMO, this is why Semin only signs one year contracts...if he were to get traded to a team he does not like, he can leave fairly quicky, and my guess is the other gm's have the same concerns..

Posted by: Unknown19 | February 21, 2011 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Matt252 is why the "ugly American" stereotype exists today. When you can't find anything else to dislike, attack their language and cultural background I guess.

Posted by: trunkenmath | February 21, 2011 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Do NOT trade Kuzy. Kid is going to be spectacular in the future. I'd trade Eakin before I'd trade him. Matty P & Sasha Minor can go. If Semin can yield a good return of course. The D should be good if Greenie & Poti come back healthy for the whole playoffs.
Green-Hannan
Alzner-Carlson
Poti-Schultz
Should be the pairings with Erskine filling in at any needed time.
The lines look good when Fehrsie comes back and if we get that 2LC.
Ovi-Nicky-Knoobs
Sasha?-?-Laich
Chimera-MoJo-Fehr
Hendy-Steckel-Bradley/Gordon

Maybe a Semin/Matty P/Eakin/Pick for Hemsky & Penner would do? Or replace Eakin with Orlov.
A Hemsky-Penner-Laich 2nd line would be great.


Posted by: ovie0812 | February 21, 2011 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Matt252: It is easy to be cordial and bond when the team is winning. The Pens were in the midst of a long winning streak. In contrast the Capitals were in the midst of their worst stretch under BB. The last episode had even the mild mannered Crosby dropping F bombs. Bylsma wasn't looking too relaxed either.

There have been two outdoor games that a handshake did not take place at the end. The Sabres vs Pens and Pens vs Caps. There is a common denominator.

For those that don't know Crosby, the ultimate Captain of the Pens, also skated off without shaking hands when the Senators eliminated the Pens in the 1st round of the 2006-07 playoffs.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 21, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

the Capitals need a change in chemistry.

there is a current of inconsistent performances that resonates on this team as several of the top players fail to lead game to game.

while Ovechkin and Backstrom are signed long term and do other things for the club when they aren't scoring, Semin is a player whose value comes almost singly from his goal totals.

So, if he is not going to consistently be on the ice and produce goals then the club needs to trade him for maximum potential value.

What do they need to bring in?

Well, talent of course. But also talent that plays hard every night and hopefully someone who exhibits leadership.

The Caps have far too much talent to be losing so many games in overtime and the shootout.

In other words, the Caps need a player or two who can be clutch at the end of a game.

Some players in the NHL only score 20 or 25 goals a year and never reach the level that Semin or Ovechkin have in total points.

BUT, for them many of those 20 goals are scored at CRITICAL TIMES when it means the outcomes of games.

There's a big difference between a goal scored in overtime to win a close game and an empty netter or hat trick scored in a 9-3 game where the club was sailing


Leave Ovechkin out, he is tied for the leage IN GWG, and has been very good in the playoffs as far as goal total.

Whoever brought up the idea of getting a winger, I'm with you Brooks Laich is a natural center.

OVI-BACKSTROM-KNUBLE
PENNER-LAICH-SEMIN
CHIMERA-MOJO-FEHR
BRADLEY-STECKS/GORDON-HENDRICKS

COME PLAYOFF TIME THATS 4 LINES THAT WILL SCARE.

Posted by: Bricucci1 | February 21, 2011 4:26 PM | Report abuse

@ vermont caps

Haha! You remember that Druce was my favorite player?! That's awesome! I feel like Julia Roberts...You like me! You really like me!

And just for the record, DJ King and Erskine haven't been playoff heros for a woebegone franchise, have they?

As for Chimera, yes, he is physical and hits. Don't know what games you are watching. He can't score to save his life, which is why he is considered a bust as a first round pick. He's fast as the wind and throws his body around, but has no hands. He's Todd Krieger with a physical game. :)

Say what you want about Chimera, but he creates room with his size and speed. That's one of the reasons Ovie started to break out of his slump when they were togther. Its why Fehr has room to shoot when he and Chimera are together. You can't argue with results. You under value the guy

Posted by: jmurray019 | February 21, 2011 4:36 PM | Report abuse

DAL trades James Neal and Matt Niskanen to PIT for Alex Goligoski

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 21, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Unknown19 8 goals in that many games IS dissapearing for Semin. While he does add some playmaking ability a 6 million dollar sniper should have way way more goals then that. He needs to step it up. Look at the points and goals Ovechkin has in the playoff's. That's showing up. Laich has almost as many goals in the same amount of games for lords sake lol

Posted by: Mike4169 | February 21, 2011 5:48 PM | Report abuse

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