December 31, 2016, 12:35 PM ET [13 Comments]
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The Washington Capitals need a kick in the butt - and fast.
A few days ago, I was reading a suggestion from 4th Period's Patrick Greissing that the Caps go after Colorado's Matt Duchene.
In return for Duchene and defenseman Fydor Tyutin and a second-round pick, the Capitals would send Marcus Johansson, Dmitry Orlov, Daniel Winnik and a first-round pick.
The move would jump start, according to Greissing, both teams and give the Caps a little over a million dollars at the trade deadline for any other improvements.
The idea of Washington getting another A-lister like Duchene seems like just the 'umph' this offense needs, and a nice change of scenery for Duchene wouldn't hurt either.
Duchene has 13 goals and 11 assists in 31 games this season and is on pace for his average of around 70 points, but the Avalanche are in the midst of completely tanking this year and GM Joe Sakic has to inject some new blood into his lineup.
The Caps sit 4th in the Metro and are riding a three game losing streak. Their offense just isn't getting it done and that has lead to some major hiccups in the defensive zone. Too many missed opportunities and overly-cute plays have frustrated this team for the last month.
So, the big question is: Would it work?
The Caps and Avs have had a good relationship the past few years, and even with two newer GM's, they may just look to each other again to try and fix their issues.
The move would be a good one for both teams - a kick in the butt that the players need and new blood for some new chemistry.
The first issue that I see is the absence of Daniel Winnik. He's a great role player for the Capitals and has been playing well with Jay Beagle. In my opinion, you can't replace that kind of chemistry. He's a UFA this summer, but he's a player the Caps should be interested in bringing back.
The other issue involves the cap hit the Caps would take - not this year, but next year.
Washington has 5 RFA's this summer (not including Orlov) and 4 UFA's. The Capitals will need to re-sign Evgeny Kuznetsov (RFA), Karl Alzner (UFA) and (hopefully) T.J. Oshie (UFA)
All three players would grab between $5M-$6M each on the open market, and it is doubtful any of them would take a hometown discount.
Would the addition of Duchene, who would have two years left on his contract at $6M a season, through a wrench into the Caps future?
Maybe. It's a gamble, but it also depends on what direction the Caps would take going into next season.
Washington has a bevy of talent in Hershey and a lot of prospects throughout various leagues. The holes in the lineup will be filled where necessary. The future of the Caps is in the hands of players like Vrana, Sanford, Bowey, Barber and Siegenhaler.
The two year window to go all in and win a cup will slam closed at the conclusion of this season.
My verdict: If the Caps want to make a dent in the standings and, more importantly, in the playoffs this season then they need to do something drastic.
Orlov is a good player that makes too many mistakes, and Johansson has taken too long to become the player he is now, so I am afraid he has peaked.
If Duchene and Tyutin's presence can lift this club to the next level, then by all means go 'all-in' and see what happens.
It certainly is an interesting and realistic thought.
Chime in: What do you guys think? Would Duchene and Tyutin be the right kind of move for Washington? Would the absence of Winnik make a difference on the bottom six?