Time to turn to a few of our friends in the Caps blogospehere to get their input on the moves made by GM George McPhee and the Washington Capitals to transform the Capitals roster. We wholeheartedly thank our Caps friends for their participation.
Here are the responses
Peter Hassett, Russian Machine Never Breaks
DCPSR: Were you overall surprised at how active George McPhee was in reshaping the Capitals roster? Hassett: Goodness, yes! I guess we had a feeling that management was unhappy with the status quo, but we haven't seen this level of activity since the great fire sale.
DCPSR: What move did you like the best? Which player did the Caps lose that you most wanted to return? Hassett: The Vokoun signing narrowly edges out the Varlamov trade, but both found the Caps getting the most by giving up the least. Vokoun's eagerness to join a team like Washington and being willing to take a meager wage to perform- well, George McPhee is a shrewd man to make that deal. Losing Matt Bradley may not be reflected in scoresheets, but I'd argue he was an integral piece of the team's personality. He is hardworking and egalitarian, and those traits build winning teams. I'll miss him.
DCPSR: How does you see the signing of Tomas Vokoun effecting Michal Neuvirth and Braden Holtby? What kind of game split do you foresee? Hassett: Winners all around. Neuvirth has a vet to learn from, and Holtby will get the starts he needs- albeit in Hershey- to continue to mature. Both players have bright futures, and there's no reason to rush them. I'd expect Vokoun to get 40-50 starts, and Michal to get almost all of the remainder. Then again, if #brittlegroin strikes all bets are off.
DCPSR: Given the fact the Caps may need to make a trade to get cap space to sign Karl Alzner and Troy Bouwer, who is most likely to be dealt? Hassett: Brouwer. Alzner is bonded to his D-brother John Carlson, and that's incentive to sign. A 2 or 3 year deal for a shutdown expert like Karl will give him time to develop into a player worthy of a big money longterm contract, whereas Brouwer has "journeyman" written all over him.
DCPSR: What's your thoughts on the Varlamov trade? Hassett: Great for Varly, who will have a bright spotlight to prove himself in and ample chances to do so. Great for the Caps, who got maximum value for a player we knew did not want to remain here and could have walked for nothing. Not so great for Colorado, who overspent somewhat and received a player whose nether regions may collapse into dust at any moment.
DCPSR: Give an overall grade for the moves made thus far. Hassett: Sadly, there is still no grade higher than A. So A it is.
Ben, Capitals Outsider, our FanSided Network Partner
DCPSR: Were you overall surprised at how active George McPhee was in reshaping the Capitals roster? Ben: Not surprised at all. Considering all the free agents on the team, this was the right time to shake things up a bit and try something different next season.