Being a general manager in the NHL is not an easy position nowadays. What with the salary cap, players retiring then coming back and the log jam that is the Eastern and Western Conference Standings. It's enough to give you a headache. Do you sell or buy, buy or sell, SELL or BUY!!?!!
Well GM George McPhee answered that question after his little meeting with the other GM's around the league that got into a "my goaltender's equipment is bigger than yours" conflict. The Capitals were not going to be sellers come trade deadline time (tell that to Brian Sutherby, but anyway). GMGM seems pretty content with the team he has on the ice, never mind the calls for help on the blue line.
So, if they aren't sellers, are they buyers? Not likely. The Caps do have some room under the cap if they wanted to make a move, but that might mean "selling" off some good talent for a rental. And a rental can be a mixed bag, just ask the Atlanta Thrashers. It seems the Caps will not be making any headlines when February 26 rears its ugly head.
I can imagine GMGM with a big mug of hot chocolate in a log cabin somewhere with big wool socks on, never minding the calendar that is above his desk in the corner. Not a care in the world. What does he have to worry about? If the Capitals don't make the playoffs he can explain that injuries were just too much to overcome, that the young core needed another year, that the "O" in the National Anthem was too much of a distraction (really, is it that big of a deal?)
Even if the Capitals made a move, who do you move? Do you trade draft picks? Who would you want to get? Seems the biggest move for the Capitals is to do nothing. Now pull up your wool socks and a hot cup of hot chocolate and enjoy the rest of the season, playoff bound or not. The best move is to not. For once, I think McPhee has got something right.