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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 11:01 am 
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I think it's an interesting enough topic it deserves it's own thread. It's possible as Ovie has only a limited 10 team "no trade" clause.

I also think, perhaps unlike in years past, it's a realistic discussion at this point. As a franchise, how long can you wait? The Caps have largely done things the "right way": patiently developing draft picks, adding some pieces here and there, growing through the draft. For most championship teams in a salary cap world that's how it works and develops success. They're clearly a phenomenal team, their regular season record speaks for itself.

So what do you do with an immensely talented regular season team that CANNOT get out of the 2nd round?

Last offseason the Caps decided to stand pat and try again. They only added Eller. Went all in at the deadline for Shattenkirk. Doesn't work again. Clearly I think you have to have some dramatic changes this go around. What do you do?

(1) Trade Ovechkin, or
(2) Trade several others, or
(3) Tweaks, add a few pieces, try again?

I frankly don't think #3 should be an option for them at this point and I think they're running out of time.

Barry Melrose last night on ESPN at Night, after thinking long and hard, thinks the answer is yes to whether or not to trade Ovechkin.

Quote:
"For his sake, not for the Washington Capitals sake. Look at what we’re talking about now, where it’s ‘Alex Ovechkin let the team down.’ He can’t win in Washington right now."


I agree with him. The pressure is SO insane at this point you either blow up a substantial part of what's around him or trade the guy himself. It's about the only time I can imagine where trading a generational talent makes sense and COULD be a win win trade.

Thoughts?

What would they get? In my mind it'd have to be a proven scorer (a la Tarasenko, Kucherov, Marchand maybe, others?) and probably significant compensation on top of that going the Caps way.

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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 12:47 pm 
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My thoughts are Trotz blew it.

The off-season changes the Caps made were to add some depth to have 4 lines to roll against the Penguins. In the first 4 games, the Caps only dressed 11 forwards and found themselves down 3 games to 1. When the Caps finally went back to 12 forwards and rolled 4 lines, they won two games in a row. Game 7 was lost on two turnovers, which is a hard way to lose a hard fought game. The series, IMO, was lost in those first 4 games by the head coach for not trusting the depth specifically acquired to compete against the Penguins.

Blowing up the roster isn't the answer when the head coach made the tactical mistake. Unfortunately, for the Caps, that roster is going to get torn apart - 5 UFAs, 5 RFAs, 25M in cap space. No idea how their depth talent looks, but they are already in the position of the Penguins to start 2015 and Blackhawks to start 2016 - being forced to pick and choose who to sign while filling out the roster with guys on ELCs.

Caps are going to be a different team next year. Good luck trading a 10M per year player in the salary cap era. The fan backlash would be immense.

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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 3:23 pm 
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theohall wrote:
My thoughts are Trotz blew it.

The off-season changes the Caps made were to add some depth to have 4 lines to roll against the Penguins. In the first 4 games, the Caps only dressed 11 forwards and found themselves down 3 games to 1. When the Caps finally went back to 12 forwards and rolled 4 lines, they won two games in a row. Game 7 was lost on two turnovers, which is a hard way to lose a hard fought game. The series, IMO, was lost in those first 4 games by the head coach for not trusting the depth specifically acquired to compete against the Penguins.

Blowing up the roster isn't the answer when the head coach made the tactical mistake. Unfortunately, for the Caps, that roster is going to get torn apart - 5 UFAs, 5 RFAs, 25M in cap space. No idea how their depth talent looks, but they are already in the position of the Penguins to start 2015 and Blackhawks to start 2016 - being forced to pick and choose who to sign while filling out the roster with guys on ELCs.

Caps are going to be a different team next year. Good luck trading a 10M per year player in the salary cap era. The fan backlash would be immense.


I saw very little of the early games of the series but the "experts" were also quick to say that the Caps were frequently the better team but couldn't get the puck in the net. Which is basically what happened through 2 periods in Game 7.

I don't think the Caps SHOULD trade Ovie or that it'll happen but I think it's a realistic conversation at this point whereas a year or two ago it wasn't.

Agreed on their current cap situation. Whether the GM even wants to or not there's going to be some big changes coming to that roster anyway.

Also: first quiet game 7 Justin Williams ever has had. THAT'S WHY THEY SIGNED YOU!!! :lol: :P

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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 3:36 pm 
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The Caps are as big a playoff choke artist franchise as the Blues. Now I'm not 100% on the exact details of the 1967 expansion but didn't the 1974 expansion adding Washington basically avenge for nearby Baltimore not getting the franchise that was eventually awarded to St. Louis?

Anyway, the main question.

I think Washington would have a hard time justifying trading Ovechkin to the fans. You can't pin a career of playoff failures on one guy, and Ovechkin is the least of the teams problems, though trading him could easily net them the pieces necessary to get the team over the hump. It's similar, and it pains me to say this, to the Rangers situation with Henrik Lundqvist. Dude is clearly the most important player on the team, and he alone has kept them in many games. If the Rangers traded him, their fans would riot, though trading him for help at center and defense may have been the answer to their Cup drought when Cam Talbot was proving perfectly capable of being a #1. He hasn't won them a thing, but he gives their fans hope. I think that the prospect of a vicious public backlash, even if the trade is best for the team, is enough to scare off some GM's from trading the superstar.

Given that, we should assume Shattenkirk isn't going to stay with Washington. He's going to be on the Rangers next season. If they were inclined to trade Ovechkin, they may as well just blow up the whole thing and rebuild because Shatty was supposed to get them over the hump and he didn't, so now they're back to square one once he's gone, plus everyone is a year older.

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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 8:09 pm 
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Agreed that he could use a change of scenery. Timing could be ideal for both sides--he's on the wrong side of 30 and the organization just suffered what was arguably their most devastating playoff defeat.

Although it was revealed today he played hurt, he is most certainly carrying the burden of this loss. Such is life as a superstar athlete, fair or foul.

As you all touched on, the challenges would be the money, replacing his production, and alienating an already beleaguered fanbase.

I have no idea how they could put a better team around him. Some things just aren't meant to be.

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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 10:39 am 
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Toasted Oates wrote:
Agreed that he could use a change of scenery. Timing could be ideal for both sides--he's on the wrong side of 30 and the organization just suffered what was arguably their most devastating playoff defeat.

Although it was revealed today he played hurt, he is most certainly carrying the burden of this loss. Such is life as a superstar athlete, fair or foul.

As you all touched on, the challenges would be the money, replacing his production, and alienating an already beleaguered fanbase.

I have no idea how they could put a better team around him. Some things just aren't meant to be.


He's often been referenced with Steve Yzerman, who, as you may or may not recall, took 14 seasons before hoisting the cup. Ovie is at 12. Same question though, at what point is enough, enough?

Caps need an "ah-ha!" moment like the Blues had last year beating the Hawks. It'll almost have to be the Penguins again I would think for that to happen.

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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 7:15 pm 
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Some dip called into Mike Francesca this afternoon and suggested the Rangers trade Kreider and a couple of 3rd/4th liners for Ovechkin. Those are some pretty strong drugs that guy must be snorting.

The conversation for any trade involving Ovechkin would require a top forward and a top defenseman, I'd assume... and that's only the starting point. Picks and prospects would be involved too.

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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 7:07 am 
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WaukeeBlues wrote:
He's often been referenced with Steve Yzerman, who, as you may or may not recall, took 14 seasons before hoisting the cup. Ovie is at 12. Same question though, at what point is enough, enough?

Caps need an "ah-ha!" moment like the Blues had last year beating the Hawks. It'll almost have to be the Penguins again I would think for that to happen.

Great point referencing Yzerman needing years to finally win. He was aboutthisclose to being dealt to Ottawa, but the Red Wings decided to be patient and it paid off both for them and him.

The other similarities are that the Caps still have a relatively young and talented team and there's still time for that to gel into a squad that learns how to battle through the playoffs. Plus, the Red Wings had to take a few lumps ('94 vs. San Jose; '96 war vs. us / losing to Colorado) before they finally got over the top. Unfortunately, Barry Trotz isn't Scotty Bowman and the Red Wings had the easy path to the Finals in '95 before they got routed by New Jersey.

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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 9:27 am 
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Yzerman had much more of a well oiled machine behind him, but I get the comparison. The Ovie Caps don't have Final or Conference Final appearances to build off of, either.

One thing Washington hasn't given him is a minutes eating, steady, stud 1st pairing defenseman. A player like that could help relieve some of the pressure on him.

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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 10:00 am 
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Irish Blues wrote:
The other similarities are that the Caps still have a relatively young and talented team and there's still time for that to gel into a squad that learns how to battle through the playoffs.


A young and talented team which is about to be gutted due to having 10 free agents to sign with their 25M in cap space. That "time to gel" is gone. The players under contract are the older players who've been there for most of these 2nd round playoff losses. There is one skater under 26 currently under contract.

5 RFAs and 5 UFAs to handle.

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