Monday, February 28, 2011

Caps make 2 moves

The Washington Capitals sat quietly most of the day but did pull off two trades before the deadline today.

1.  Acquired Dennis Wideman from Florida for a 2011 3rd round pick and Jake Hauswirth.
2.  Acquired Jason Arnott from New Jersey for a 2012 2nd round pick and David Steckel.

First let me offer my opinion of the moves.

Apparently the Caps are more concerned about the injuries to Tom Poti and Mike Green then most people thought.  Wideman is an offensive defenseman who is a -26 this season for the struggling Panthers.  I don't mind this deal though as Hauswirth was a project at best and a 3rd pick is about the same.

The Arnott deal bugs me a bit more though.  As a Bears fan this is great news (more on that in a minute) but as a Caps fan I feel that this is yet again a move that isn't quite enough to get them to where they want to go.  Maybe I am wrong but Arnott has not done much in New Jersey this year (13g, 11a in 60+ games) and is 36. 

The one thing he does bring is significant playoff experience which will surely help.  But is he really going to become a productive 2nd line center?  Who knows.  Maybe the Caps will let Johansson stay on the 2nd line and place Arnott on the third line.

Either way I think the price was a little steep although picks are definite question marks and it isn't like Steckel was improving lately. 

I do feel like they upgraded from Steckel to Arnott but that wasn't the move that needed to be made in my opinion.  Hopefully I am wrong and the Caps have a long playoff run ahead of them.

But now on to more important things...

How will these moves affect the Bears?

First the Wideman trade. 

The odds of another defensemen getting recalled to Washington are slim now.  Which is good.  Wideman gives the Caps plenty of bodies which should allow them to manage injuries without recalls.

It could actually result in Tyler Sloan being sent to Hershey permanently but I am not sure that will happen.  It won't right now as with Sloan they only have 7 healthy defensemen but once Green and Poti get healthy they won't need the 9th guy. 

Whether you see that as a good thing or not I don't know.  I think Sloan is about on par with everything else the Bears have at this point.

Now the Arnott trade.

This is great news for Hershey and bad news for Mathieu Perreault.  More than likely Perry will be rejoining the Bears permanently.  Obviously not what he wants to hear but definitely something Bears fans will be happy to see as far as on-ice results.

I just don't see any room for Perry on the Caps roster anymore.  The addition of Marco Sturm earlier this weekend via waivers already clouded his future there.  Now with the addition of Arnott it closes that door. 

Nicklas Backstrom is #1 center, Arnott/Johansson #2, Johansson/Arnott #3, and Boyd Gordon/Jay Beagle #4 most nights.  You could also see Brooks Laich slide to 4th line center if necessary.

Obviously the #4 center position is still open but I don't think Perry fits that role. 

Currently the Caps roster stands at 15 forwards, 9 defensemen, 2 goalies including injured players Poti, Green, and Eric Fehr.    That means they have 26 players with 3 23.  That is the limit and that number does NOT include Perreault.  And Fehr is closer to returning as he has been cleared for contact during practice. 

Basically the Caps added 3 players over the past 3 days and only lost 1.  Someone has to leave and Perry wasn't exactly lighting the world on fire with the Caps lately.

The only other options for the Caps would be to send DJ King to Hershey (he cleared waivers today) and move Perreault or Johansson to wing.  I wouldn't expect that though.  They have already stated that King won't be coming to Hershey and technically Perreault is a Bear right now as he was sent down on Saturday. 

So to recap...the Bears lost no one and likely gained Perreault and while Beagle may not return any time soon (if ever) it has to be considered a gain for the Bears if Perry does in fact report to Hershey.  He is more of an offensive threat which is the main area Hershey has struggled with of late.

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