Just about no one has a clue on what GM George McPhee has up his sleeve as the NHL draft day arrives. While chatter about possible early trades just hours before the draft starts seems to overwhelm both media and general managers alike, GMGM seems content on keeping what ever trades or picks under a cloak of silence.
While it may just look like they may load up on young talent again, trades are not outside the realm of possibilities for the Washington Capitals. But any analysis of what the Caps have in mind as the draft draws near could be as accurate calling the dial a psychic for advice on your love life. "I sense the letter N is important..."
There are several lose ends that need attending to. Remember a Stanley Cup winner that squandered the entire season in Hershey? Ben Clymer's contract ramps up to $1.1 million for next season. Attempts to put the fiesty forward on waivers put him in limbo. An early trade to try to clean up his contract could help McPhee and Clymer clean the slate.
McPhee has to deal with a defense core that seems to be getting a tad too crowded. Steve Eminger was held in reserve for most of the season. While he got his chance late in the season and into the playoffs, he could also be a trade fall out to make room for budding D-man Karl Alzner who looks to make the squad in summer training camp.
But none of these players could warrant a higher pick. In that case, McPhee will just go through the draft picking the best players he and his scouts can get their hands on. While the top picks will elude the Caps, they do own three picks in the second round. More than enough to pull some good talent and start to develop them with cultivation about 3 years out.
Some good news, GMGM and Cris Huet seem to be having some good talks. A positive note as if Huet decided to move on it would make the goaltending a sensitive issue for the Caps as they would have lost both Huet and Olie Kolzig. It will still be pretty interesting to see where Kolzig will end up, while most think he will be in Ottawa when all is said and done.