Changes coming for Capitals?

Another early playoff loss at the hands of another lower playoff seed could bring about changes for the Washington Capitals this summer.

WASHINGTON POST: Tarik El-Bashir, Tracee Hamilton, and Katie Carrera reported significant, difficult decisions could be coming for the Washington Capitals in the wake of their four-game sweep out of the post-season at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning. All agreed GM George McPhee and head coach Bruce Boudreau deserve their fair share of criticism but ultimately the bulk of the blame falls upon the players. Hamilton believes only Alexander Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, both on expensive, multi-year contracts, are untouchable. Carrera noted forward Mike Knuble acknowledged changes could come but doubts McPhee will engage in a knee-jerk response like “blowing up” the roster, as that’s not McPhee’s way.

WASHINGTON TIMES: Stephen Whyno reports the Capitals have seven unrestricted free agents heading into this summer, including several veterans like Jason Arnott who aren’t likely to return.

ESPN.COM: Scott Burnside also doubts Arnott will be back, and believes Marco Sturm will also be gone via free agency.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There will likely be calls for Boudreau to be fired but it wouldn’t surprise me if they bring him back for one more season. The decisions regarding most of their UFAs are easy, but they must decide if they’ll retain Brooks Laich, Boyd Gordon and Matt Bradley. Ultimately they could re-sign Laich and cut loose the Gordon and Bradley. Veteran defenseman Scott Hannan might be back but it’s possible they could look at a more affordable, younger option.  As for potential trade bait, expect lots of rumors about Alexander Semin, but given his expensive salary and poor playoff performances, he could prove very difficult to move.

 

12 Comments

  1. I can see a team like Minnesota or Nashville inquiring about Semin. Those two teams might look past his playoff warts and retain him to garner excitment with it’s fan base. He’s a talented forward none the less and should get a hefty return for the caps if they choose to move him.

  2. I could see Semin going to a team like Minnesota.

    Minnesota lacks goalscoring big time and he would provide that.

    I doubt Nashville would be interested.

  3. I could see the Kings being interested in Semin, if they can get the money to work after resigning their Key RFAs. Penner’s presence may keep a deal from being done but it’s clear the Kings need more scoring up front and Semin could provide that, while the KIngs have a healthy stock of assets to offer in return (excluding Schenn).

    As for Boudreau, I’d expect him to return next season but on a very short leash. If the Caps want to keep him as their head coach they had best come out of the gates looking like world-beaters.

  4. Yeah I agree with Durt. Semin for Burns. I am so excited to see this team return to its identity of high-scoring, high skill, freewheelers. I hope they bring up some young talent, like Orlov, and go back to being a team that is actually fun to watch. I bet they kepp Semin too.

  5. I think Durt makes some good points, too. I could also see Columbus being interested – while I’m not sure that Semin will ever be a playoff performer, trading him to a team that could use some extra fans and would be happy to have his 30-40 goals get them *into* the playoffs (even if they lose in the first round) could be a match.

  6. The key moment for me was the go-ahead goal in Game 2, that went in off Green’s skate. He wasn’t covering anyone and Ovie and another player were also in front of the net to either side and neither were covering anyone either. Very poor play in their own zone, and lack of intensity all over the ice, except for Ovie. Green, Backstrom, and Semin, particularly were no-shows against Tampa. I know Green was playing hurt and even missed a game, but his d-zone play is just awful. Can’t imagine how he was a Norris nominee.

  7. I could also see Atlanta making a pitch, and an outside shot St.Louis does as well. One player I would target from Atlanta would be Anthony Stewart. Atl would have to throw something extra (maybe a first or prospect) just throwing it out there anyway. If the Caps do trade semin, they should be recieving player(s) who are big young and gritty with a little offence to man the second line. But what do I know? I’m an armchair gm lol!

  8. if they do trade semin it will be out of confrence and definatly out of their division. no way they trade him to a division rival, Atlanta, seeing as they would have to play them a handfull of times in the reg season

  9. bickleton…I am a huge Kings fan and I agree with you that the Kings would have interest in semin. Their lack of scoring says so. At this point I am not sure the money would work, unless Schenn played in the Ahl all year or they trade away someone back to the caps with a decent cap hit or Doughty and Simmonds sign for less than market value (which I doubt).

  10. Florida could be a player as well, as I’m sure that Dale tallon would be just desperate enough to make a big move. Not sure what they would offer, but it could happen.
    I also like semin to LA. They have the young players and prospects, plus maybe guys like brown and simmonds( just an example) to bring some talent back.
    Either way, the caps have to do something… I thought this might be their year.

  11. Here’s something to build on – Weiss for Semin. I know thats not and even trade, but could serve as the nucleus of one where Washington gets a bit of cap relief and shakes things up while also getting a younger, talented replacement for Arnott. Florida gets a talent to build around. Throw in the draft picks and prospects where they will but I think this certainly could be the beginnings of an interesting deal.

  12. Nails, good point.
    Aj, Weiss has a ntc.