Elliotte Friedman is one of the most connected and respected journalists in hockey. On Friday morning, Friedman released his latest 30 Thoughts article, in which he expounded on why the Patrick Sharp trade never materialized.
The short answer: Joel Ward.
11. Last week, a few tweeters asked why the Capitals would not be so interested in a potential Patrick Sharp deal if the price was Joel Ward and a first-rounder. Some speculated Barry Trotz’s history with Ward killed that idea. That’s probably a factor, but my guess is this: one of the things Washington is trying to do is build a team that can defeat two different styles of opponents.
You need to play a speed game and a heavy game. We know they can play fast, but Ward is an important piece when they flex their muscle. According to some Eastern opponents, the Capitals do play tougher than they get credit for.
12. That’s also one of the reasons GM Brian MacLellan looked at Roman Polak, then traded for Tim Gleason.
The Islanders’ fourth line — Casey Cizikas, Cal Clutterbuck and Matt Martin — is a dangerous animal, bad news for someone like Mike Green. MacLellan wanted to get a bigger body next to Green, to help him deal with what Don Cherry called the best fourth line in the NHL, if necessary.
Friedman makes it clear that this is just his opinion, but guessing how connected he is, he knows something we don’t.
Most teams, including the Caps, want a shutdown line that can play well against top competition. Without Ward, the Caps would lose one of their best defensive forwards and a proven playoff performer– if you forgive the high sticks. Friedman thinks (or thinks others think) that Ward is the type of player that could put the Caps over the top.
I would have made the trade in a heartbeat, but that’s just me.
4. One exec made an interesting point about Kadri. Three coaches who’ve had short-term success with him are available: Peter DeBoer and Dale Hunter (OHL) and Dallas Eakins (AHL). I’ve written before about my belief that Toronto will talk with Hunter after the season, but it would surprise people who know him much better than I do if he took the job.
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