A few weeks ago, NoVa Caps posed the question as to whether or not the Capitals should pursue a reunion with longtime defenseman Mike Green, who is likely to be a hot commodity come the trade deadline in two weeks, given the Caps’ somewhat inexperienced and, at times, unstable blueline. But is acquiring a veteran blueliner in the best interest of the team’s two young rearguards, Madison Bowey and Christian Djoos’, development?
In a recent interview with Caps Senior Writer Mike Vogel, Capitals General Manager Brian MacLellan said that he did not foresee giving up any substantial or important assets in order to bolster the roster. That means that a veteran blueliner such as Green would seemingly be off the table, and that a less-expensive, cheaper rearguard would be more likely, should MacLellan decide to acquire one. But would acquiring another defender (when the team already has an extra blueliner in Taylor Chorney) inhibit the development of Bowey and/or Djoos?
Overall, both Djoos and Bowey have fared well this season: in 46 games played, Djoos has scored three goals and 10 assists for 13 points, with a plus-8 rating, while Bowey has 12 assists and a plus-1 rating in 47 games played. As one might expect, both have experienced their fair share of struggles this season as they have adapted to the rigors of the NHL. While these struggles were expected, come playoff time, the two youngsters won’t be able to afford making mistakes such as turnovers or bad defensive plays/reads. Adding a veteran defenseman may bolster the blueline, but the question now becomes whether or not it is better for the Caps to let Djoos and Bowey play their way through these rookie struggles, which in the long run, would arguably be better for their long-term development. Adding a veteran blueliner would most likely cost the Capitals some sort of asset, while letting their budding blueliners play through their mistakes would not cost them anything and could ultimately benefit them going forward. What do you think Caps fans? Should the Capitals go after a veteran defenseman or should they let Djoos and Bowey learn from their mistakes?
By Michael Fleetwood