Now THAT is what people want when the trade deadline rolls around.
None of this waffling about should they make a move, or tinker, or ride it out with what they have and hope it works out.
The Washington Capitals, the best team in the NHL, went out and got the best player available this trade deadline season, and are going balls out to try and finally win the Stanley Cup.
I love it.
To recap, the Capitals get Kevin Shattenkirk and some goalie you’ve never heard of, while the Blues get a 1st round pick, a conditional pick, and two prospects. For a player that has 11 goals and 31 assists this year, that’s a steal.
There’s so many reasons this is awesome. First, this isn’t a depth move where they hope some 5th or 6th defenseman will eat a few minutes in the playoffs and maybe chip in with a couple of points here and there.
No, no, they went out and got a premier offensive-defenseman, a pretty solid defender, and again, the best player available right now to shore-up their team. And it didn’t cost them that much.
I love this deal because so often teams are afraid to shake things up, and you could really understand it if the Capitals did this, after all, they’re 41-13-7, and have an astounding goal differential of +70, nine better than the next closest team in Minnesota.
But the Capitals said fuck it, and decided that even though they have the best team in the NHL, why not get better? And if you have a chance (and salary cap space) to do that without sacrificing a ton, you make that deal 10 times out of 10.
This is the type of trade you and I dream about when playing NHL 17 or something like that. You already have a completely stacked team, now figure out a way to make them even better at the most important time of the year. Awesome.
My favorite part of this trade, and this sounds really mean, but is the gigantic target it now puts on the Capitals to win it all this year.
To be clear, I like the Capitals, they don’t bother me at all, they’re fun to watch and I think Alex Ovechkin deserves to win the Cup someday so he isn’t hockey’s version Dan Marino.
There was already that pressure, and plenty of it, after their many flameouts in the postseason during the Ovechkin era, including last year. And now that pressure gets ramped up even more.
Again, this isn’t a small move that contenders (see Blackhawks acquiring Tomas Jurco) so often make where TV pundits sit around and say something along the lines of, “Oh well, he could be a nice piece, he brings grit, and leadership and blah blah blah.” Again, this is an actual asset, and a player that numerous teams were in on and brings actual skills and results that show up both on the stat sheet and in whatever place it is coaches and fans try to quantify things like grit and leadership.
When you make a trade like this, there is no way to fly under the radar or lie about what your goals are after making the trade.
There’s one way describing this trade for Washington: Cup or bust.
And let’s be honest, if you’re the fan of a rival of the Capitals, boy do you really want to see them go bust. Usually in the Stanley Cup Playoffs there’s one or two teams that fans want to see get ousted, the defending champions, and any sort of team with an extended run of success.
Now there’s the Capitals, who have made their expectations for the season very clear since it started, and who just turned the focus on them up to 11. A team that, should they fail to win it all, will be the butt of every hockey joke from now until they finally do something of note in the playoffs.
This is what you want in a trade deadline. A big-time deal involving the biggest team and the best player. I can’t wait for the playoffs.