Even though the NHL trade deadline is still five days away, a flurry of deals have already been made. The Devils dumped Jaromir Jagr to the Panthers; the Hurricanes traded Jiri Tlusty to the Jets and Andrej Sekera to the Kings; the Penguins acquired Daniel Winnik from the Leafs; and the Blue Jackets took David Clarkson from the Leafs for some ungodly reason.
The already small group of rentals and useful players has gotten even smaller.
“You need two to dance and we’re going to the dance and there’s 30 guys and there’s only about eight girls at the dance,” Barry Trotz said to The Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt Thursday, essentially calling the 2015 trade deadline a sausage fest. “That’s what it is. There’s only going to be like eight or nine guys dancing.”
Early Thursday, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reported that Brian MacLellan has been burning the phone lines pursuing another top-nine forward.
Among the names on their radar are believed to be Erik Cole, Curtis Glencross and, to some degree, Joffrey Lupul.
Cole and Glencross are straight-up rentals and I think that Cole in particular with his skating ability is seen as a guy that the Caps feel would be a good fit.
Lupul is an interesting proposition given that he’s got three more seasons after this year left on his deal at a $5.25 million salary cap hit. That’s a lot for a guy with a history of injuries. On the other hand, when he’s healthy and on his game, he can be a very productive player.
Prewitt corroborated the Capitals’ potential interest in Cole by pointing out that the Stars have been scouting the heck out of the them lately.
To @Real_ESPNLeBrun's note suggesting Erik Cole to the Caps, Dallas scouts have been at 4 of the past 6 games. AGM Les Jackson came vs. PIT.
— Alex Prewitt (@alex_prewitt) February 26, 2015
While the Caps could potentially use a potent veteran player to go on the first line along with Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin, none of these guys would be a clear upgrade over the glut of veteran players they already have. On top of that, Andre Burakovsky has played well lately on the top line.
“[A trade] may make us that much better, but if you’re taking out a guy who’s been totally invested all year to get that much better, maybe you’re not getting as good as you think, or someone’s who’s been invested all the time, they’re going to give you everything they have,” Trotz said. “We’ve talked about that, because they can jam things up when you have too many of the same guys if you will, in terms of the same types of roles. It can jam things up. When you add a player it affects two others, because someone is either going to get moved down or out. It affects your team chemistry a little bit, but if you get the right fit, it’s pretty seamless sometimes.”
In other organizational news, The Patriot News’ Tim Leone reports that Nate Schmidt has been cleared to play again. Sidelined with a broken shoulder blade, Schmidt will suit up tomorrow for the first time since January 11th. Schmidt’s quick recovery may make a trade for a veteran defenseman unnecessary, or in Peter’s words– THE SCHMIDTUATION’S CHANGED.
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