It’s trade deadline day. The stressful day of the year where fans and players alike constantly check Twitter for the news and rumors surrounding their team. Who’s gonna stay? Who’s gonna go? In the middle of all the chaos, the Washington Capitals held an optional skate at Nationwide Arena. The Capitals were already mentioned in the early morning rumors. Oh and there’s still a hockey game taking place tonight between the Caps and the Columbus Blue Jackets.
One such rumor before the team took the ice was the possibility of a homecoming for former Capitals defenseman Mike Green. Green reportedly gave the Detroit Red Wings clearance for a potential trade to either the Tampa Bay Lightning or the Capitals. An NHL source relayed this information to Craig Custance of The Athletic. Green’s contract includes a full no-trade clause, which means he has control of where he could end up before the 3 p.m. deadline.
Another rumor was reported by AJ Jakubec of TSN that mentioned that the Capitals are making a push for Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators. In order for this to happen, they would need to move unrestricted free agent John Carlson elsewhere to get something done.
League sources say Washington is making a push for Erik Karlsson. They would have to move UFA D John Carlson elsewhere to get something done. VGK, TB, SJ also in the mix. Vegas would take Bobby Ryan. Tampa Bay can’t take Ryan.
— AJ Jakubec (@AJonSports) February 26, 2018
On the other side the Blue Jackets were active early on trade deadline day, acquiring Ian Cole from the Senators in exchange for a third round pick and Nick Moutrey. Cole just joined the Senators on Friday after the Penguins traded him for Derick Brassard.
WHO WAS ABSENT?
With today being deadline day and today’s skate being an optional, we paid close attention to who wasn’t on the ice.
Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Tom Wilson, Jay Beagle, Lars Eller
Brooks Orpik, Matt Niskanen, John Carlson
That means the players who came out to the ice were:
Andre Burakovsky, Alex Chiasson, Brett Connolly, Lars Eller, Evgeny Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie, Devante Smith-Pelly, Chandler Stephenson
Madison Bowey, Christian Djoos, Jakub Jerabek, Michal Kempny, Dmitry Orlov
Goalie in the starter’s net:
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 26, 2018
The Jakubs will be out of the lineup tonight. Vrana will be a healthy scratch for the second straight game while Jerabek continues to work out visa issues.
When Capitals head coach Barry Trotz addressed the media he stated, “As we talk, I don’t think there’s anything imminent with us. But you never know, in this business we it changes very rapidly.”
The Capitals will go with Braden Holtby tonight in the first game of the back-to-back and will most likely start Philipp Grubauer in Tuesday night’s home game against Ottawa. Holtby looks to end a five-game winless drought. He and T.J. Oshie chimed in on the trade deadline and what the experience is like for him as a player.
“You can’t control anything that happens on a day like this. This year is a little different because we’re not real sure on what’s gonna happen but our job is to just block that out. It’s gonna be over by the time we get here for the game,” said Holtby.
“I don’t think it’s too hard to stay focused, it’s just kind of an extra thing going on to pay attention to. Deadline is over before game time so this morning is obviously a bit of entertainment, obviously a little bit of fear of possibly getting traded depending on what situation you’re in. We like everyone that’s in here but in the back of your mind you never know what could happen. It’s business so it’s a little odd in that sense. Once you get to 3:00 you see what happens around the league and we’ll go about our business tonight,” added Oshie.
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) February 26, 2018
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) February 25, 2018
- Alex Ovechkin will pass Calle Johansson for first place in the franchise games played list tonight as he’ll play in his 984th Capitals game.
- Since Ovechkin’s 2005-06 rookie season, he has missed 29 total games, ranking eighth in games played in the NHL and fourth in hits (2,600).
- Ovechkin has never missed more than six consecutive games in his career.
- Nicklas Backstrom is one assist shy of passing Shane Down and Frank Mahovlich to rank 100th all-time in NHL history.
- Washington holds an 11-5-0-2 record all-time at Nationwide Arena and a 22-7-1-4 record all time against Columbus.
- In his last 13 games, which dates back to Jan. 25 against the Florida Panthers, Andre Burakovsky has nine points (5 goals, 4 assists, six of which are at even strength.
- Burakovsky has posted four goals in his last seven games after scoring just four goals in his first 25 games.
- The Capitals have earned a point i 12 of their last 13 games played against the Blue Jackets (10-1-2) and in 21 of their last 25 games against Columbus (17-4-4).
By Michael Marzzacco