If you haven’t been following the New Jersey Devils, and let’s be honest, why would you? It’s looking more and more like former Capitals’ defensive prospect, noted bench-whistler and Andy Griffith show fan Jonas Siegenthaler is looking like the “real deal”. I say “looking more and more like”, because, as is the case with any trade, the results can fluctuate with time.
Jonas Siegenthaler, traded to NJ**, has barely played this season but put up crazy defensive results in a 3rd pairing role in his previous two seasons with the Capitals. High-upside pickup by a team that could really use one. #NJDevils pic.twitter.com/s7Tbxx2KMt
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) April 11, 2021
The Capitals traded Siegenthaler last April to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for the Arizona Coyotes’ third-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft. The move cleared $800,000 in much-needed cap space for the Capitals.
Here are the top ten defensive defencemen in the NHL in terms of their projected individual impact on even strength defence.
A mix of the usual suspects and a few sneaky analytical darlings. pic.twitter.com/UR4QIcinVr
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) March 3, 2022
There is no doubt the situation reached a crescendo for Siegenthaler on March 11, 2021, against the Flyers, when he was finally added to the lineup but played just 28 seconds in the game. 28 seconds. He was added as a 7th defenseman and didn’t see ice time until the game was secured.
“I wanted to get out of Washington because I didn’t play. Of course, that’s a bit of a shame, because I had it very good with my teammates and found Washington as a city was cool,”added Siegenthaler, looking back on the trade. Siegenthaler said the situation in Washington changed for him when the Capitals signed veteran defenseman Zdeno Chara.
Laviolette told @JunksRadio this morning that because of COVID protocol, Jonas Siegenthaler flew home with team last night. Typically traded players depart for new team right away. Gave players a chance to say goodbyes, and for closure. “He’s been a class act for us”. #ALLCAPS
— NoVa Caps (@NoVa_Caps) April 12, 2021
Jonas wanting out of DC is not the reason for his trade. No, the real reason is the Capitals not trusting and playing a young defenseman enough to the point he wanted out. The team spent years developing a second-round draft pick that is turning out to be a top-tier defenseman.
The Capitals fumbled the handling of Jonas Siegenthaler, there’s no doubt. The lesson now is to figure out where it went wrong and avoid doing it again. Chandler Stephenson is another similar example. He was dealt to the Vegas Knights for a 5th-round draft pick. He now centers their top line and leads the team in points.
The “all in” battle cry the Capitals currently operate under makes some sense during the final years of the Ovechkin and Backstrom era, but moves they make to “reload” for the season could actually diminish their chances. It’s hard to deny the Capitals would be a better team with Siegenthaler, and thus have a better chance for another run for a Cup in the Ovechkin-Backstrom era.
By Jon Sorensen