Thursday, January 24, 2008

Replacing Nylander

As you may know, Kris Beech was claimed off waivers from the Vancouver Canucks. This was done to "bolster" the Hershey Bears lineup (uh, okay). And being a center, if anything should happen to the already fragile position, he will most likely see some action in a Capitals' jersey. Beech was set to make $585,000 in the two year deal he signed with Columbus Blue Jackets. But the Caps are just looking to keep Beech in the minors for half price.

The best part of trade deadlines and off season moves is always the speculation and rumors that go on with fans. So I am taking this opportunity to speculate a little myself. Alex Ovechkin's contract will not hit the salary cap until next season which still gives the Capitals some room to play with for the rest of this season. Since the Caps may be looking for a Micheal Nylander replacement, here are a couple interesting names to throw out there.

Peter Forsberg still wants to play in the NHL. While still recovering from injuries, Forsberg could start his recovery in a Caps sweater. He would cost around $5.75 million (what he made when he left the league) and his Swedish countrymen on the Caps could help convince him to make a return to "bolster" the Capitals' line up. Just how recovered the playmaker is from his injuries remains to be seen, but the Caps could sign the dynamic center to a one year contract to fill an empty slot.

If the Captials are looking for temporary help, why not trade? Mats Sundin's future in Toronto seems to be on the rocks as new management takes over there. It would cost the Caps a few first rounders and maybe some prospect talent (Fehr, Beech?) but the Caps could take Sundin's $5.5 million contract then he is a unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Sundin would be a grinder of a center with the skills to both be a playmaker and the ability to score.

Those are just two of the possibilities the Caps could take. I am not saying that they would, but the Caps can afford it since they are still $14 million shy of the Cap ceiling. If the Capitals do want to make a playoff push it might be wise to get some proven talent like Sundin or Forsberg to help out for the rest of the season. Then next year, Micheal Nylander will be able to return and both Forsberg and Sundin are free to sign with who they want in the off season.


Melvisdog said...

I can't tell if you're serious or would like to generate some discussion, but I'll play :)

I don't see us spending any picks or personnel beyond a 3rd or 4th line winger and a single pick to get better which pretty much keeps us out of the Sundin Sweepstakes. Plus his long-term possibility is nil as we have a #1 & 2 center for the foreseable future.

Forsberg's price is too high and I don't see him coming to DC.

I don't see the Caps shopping for anybody besides inexpensive depth (i.e. Beech) as their start of the season mantra was, "We're going to be competitive and push for a playoff spot" ... not "We think we're going compete for the Cup".

DMG said...

I agree.

If Forsberg is in good enough health to come back he's going to have more than his fair share of suitors and at least a couple that would be better Cup contenders than the Capitals.

If Sundin becomes available there will be plenty of teams looking to trade for him and whatever the Leafs get will be a king's ransom and it'd be a mistake for the Capitals to mortgage any significant portion of their future for a rental when they aren't even guaranteed to be in the playoffs, let alone a Cup contender.

Beech was acquired, I think, for depth. After all if Backstrom, Gordon, Laich or Steckel goes down who's next in line to play center? Wilson? Kozlov? Neither of those are particularly appearing options, so I think the Caps wanted to shore up their depth down the middle.

Garrett said...

The Caps are just looking for something temporary. I mean Nylander would be back next season so we only need some talent to shore up the rest of the season. The Caps can afford (cap wise) to spend 5 mill on a half of season for some part time help. Besides it's fun to think about what the Caps could get.

Sure this is all food for thought, but if the Canadians can ponder about landing Ovechkin, then I can propose that Mark Messier coming out of retirement to center for the Caps.

Melvisdog said...

I think that we still lack a solid 20 min stay-at-home d-man with grit. Erskine and Eminger are getting a chance to fill that roll. Also a serious agitator in the Jarrku Ruutu/Ville Niemenen (sp?) category would be helpful. (But don't even think about Tucker, I hate that guy). I would be hesitant to break up the chemistry for a marginal improvement.