They lose: Matt Bradley, Boyd Gordon, Scott Hannan, Jason Arnott, Eric Fehr, Semyon Varlamov, and a solid forward prospect in Andrew Gordon
They retain: Brooks Laich, Matt Hendricks, Sean Collins, Michael Neuvirth, Karl Alzner (not yet, but mcphee basically shipped fehr to the jets for free so this could happen)
And they sign: Jeff Halpern, Troy Brouwer, Roman Hamrlik, Joel Ward, Tomas Vokoun, and Matias Sjogren
Heres my take / predictions:
1) the caps have without question the best 1-3 goalie depth in the NHL, and 31 other teams will pay more for their goalies this season. First they robbed colorado blind by getting a 1st and 2nd rounder for Varlamov when they could have had him for nothing but a compensatory 2nd (and if the avs continue to suck, which they will, that means mcphee gets a lottery pick to play with next year). Then mcphee made hands-down the most cost-effective signing of his career by getting a top 5 goalie in vokoun who will put neuvirth on the bench for at least one year, and he'll actually be making half of what varly makes this season. unbelieveable.
2) Ted said he wanted the team to be tougher, and it is. Joel Ward will be this year's matt hendricks. He plays the exact same grinder role and somehow carried nashville on his back through 2 rounds in the playoffs. Im pumped that halpern is back in town but recognize that hes a penalty-killing 4th line replacement for boyd gordon, basically an even swap there. I think with Brouwer they'll get what they hoped fehr would give them every year, around 20 goals and a lot of hits from a big body, and over 5 years hes shown that hes not made of glass like eric was.
3) My main gripe is that we didnt lock down the 2nd line center position for the 3rd straight year. This means that when the trade deadline comes around we'll be watching the same movie where mcphee signs a veteran pivot and the fans decide he's the most important player on the team all over again. Backstrom, Johansson, Perreault, and Halpern are serviceable but it bothers me that center will be a weakness again this year. Would not be surprised at all if they gave #21 a look at the 2nd line center job full time.
4) Roman Hamrlik was signed specifically to be paired with Mike Green. He's responsible enough in the defensive end to compensate for Green going coast to coast all the time, and he moves the puck much better than schultz or erskine so he wont slow down the rush. He'll also be helpful on the 2nd powerplay.
5) Jason Chimera and Tom Poti wont be on the opening night roster. They need to free up more cap space to get Alzner the 3 mil he deserves and have room to work with during the season (Mcphee will never start a season this close to the cap), so expect another minimal return trade like with fehr to drop chimera's contract. As much as I respect poti, its actually important for the cap situation that he retires before this season, and chances are he will.
6) Alex Semin deserves one more crack at it this year. He showed last year that at his absolute worst, he'll be invisible the majority of the time but literally win 15-20 games per year by himself for the capitals. If thats his basement and they want to trade him after this season then fine, but he's obviously a rare scoring talent and you dont release a guy like that without being sure.
7) Cody Eakin is an exciting prospect who will make the jump to the NHL this year, rookie camp starts on monday and he'll be there with Dimitri Orlov, who will play the year out in hershey and be a top 4 defenseman a year from now.
Long post but whatever, Im taking a week off from the nats after they blew an 8 run lead to the cubs.