Washington has had their fair share of ups and downs over the last few years. They’ve benefited from drafting elite players (Ovechkin, Backstrom, Semin), developing hidden gems from their AHL affiliate (Green, Carlson), bolstering the goalie corps by taking chances on young goalies (Varlamov, Neuvirth), and creating solid energy lines (Bradley, Steckel). They’ve captured the division and conference titles but they’ve yet to win the Stanley Cap. In fact, they’ve yet to make a respectable playoff showing, period. Given the flurry of trades happening well before the trade deadline, one would think GM George McPhee must have something up his sleeve to rectify his team’s off-kilter performance. But in order to acquire a new player, the Caps will have to sacrifice one (or more) of their own. Here are a few players worth considering:
Tyler Sloan, D
Sloan has bounced back and forth from the AHL’s Hershey Bears to the Caps since he was acquired as a free agent in 2008. Never drafted, he was originally signed with Columbus in 2000 but did not see NHL ice until 2008. He’s played in 23 of the team’s 59 games this year. While most of his time is spent on the blue line, he has been played as a forward in the past, both in Hershey and Washington. The Capitals already have depth and, while high energy, Sloan is just not an impact player. Many former Caps found themselves in the same position and found more success with other teams; Sloan could be a good addition to a young team who hasn’t quite developed the rhythm the Capitals have. At nearly 30, it’s doubtful that Sloan will start having breakout seasons and had he been a forward, he could probably find a good home as a 4th line guy. D-men are high in the trade market right now so it’s doubtful the Capitals would get anyone of much use if there aren’t other incentives in the mix.
Alex Semin, LW