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Caps to pursue top d-man (and perhaps aggressively pursue)

Jun 16, 2014, 2:31 PM EDT

From CSN Washington’s Chuck Gormley, after Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan held a conference call earlier today:

It’s that second tweet, about getting aggressive to land a top defenseman, that drew our attention. In unrestricted free agency, the options are limited for MacLellan, with Matt Niskanen, Dan Boyle and Andrei Markov among the top names available. The former is 27 years old and in line for a big contract; the other two are aging blue-liners whose best years are behind them.

MacLellan could also get aggressive in a trade. (I threw out the name Jason Garrison on Twitter, and was promptly rebuffed by Caps fans. Feel free to throw out your own ideas in the comments section.)

CSN Washington has more from MacLellan’s call here.


  1. lowenni - Jun 16, 2014 at 2:40 PM

    As a Caps fan this is good to hear. Contrary to popular belief, the Caps are not one of the worst teams in the NHL and with defensive help could be a real good team a year or two from now. We have two extremely promising top-6 forwards in Kuznetsov (who looked very good coming over after no games of NHL-sized ice experience) and Burakovsky (who lit up the OHL), along with promising defense in Orlov, Schmidt, Bowey, and Carrick. I’m not really sure what top d-men are on the block, but I really like Giordano from Calgary or the idea of Dennis Seidenberg playing next to Mike Green. I don’t think either will be moved though. Wonder what it would take to get Trevor Daley out of Dallas or maybe Brian Campbell out of Florida, although he doesn’t really fit the gritty mold most Caps fans think we need on defense. After watching Duncan Keith and Drew Doughty be defensive rocks in the playoffs the past two years, however, and Chara get beat by speed, I’ve decided that I think skating ability and positioning are more important than physical prowess.

    • Moop - Jun 16, 2014 at 3:51 PM

      Giordano makes a lot more sense than Seidenberg; he just signed an extension this season. With Chara declining, he’s not going anywhere.

    • alexnewca - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:17 PM

      I think Daley would be a great addition to the d-core, but I don’t think Dallas would let him go.

  2. habhaters11 - Jun 16, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    I’m a Bs fan and Id hate to see him go but Adam mcquaid would be a solid 3rd line Dman for this team. Adds some grit.

    • govtminion - Jun 16, 2014 at 3:01 PM

      Couldn’t agree more… if he’s healthy enough to play more than half a season. That hasn’t been the case for him lately.

    • dglelite - Jun 16, 2014 at 3:11 PM

      Agree he would be a nice addition…but the Caps are looking for top line defenseman, not a 3rd line d-man.

    • rsl22 - Jun 16, 2014 at 3:20 PM

      Caps need top pairing D, not 3rd pairing D.

      We have 4 very good 3-6 defenders (Alzner, Carlson, Green, Orlov), but no 1-2 defenders.

    • lowenni - Jun 16, 2014 at 3:44 PM

      If the Caps are looking for a gritty 3rd line defenseman they can just call up Steve Oleksy again. He was really solid before they sent him down this season and he can contribute about 20 points per season too. Very underrated, in the same mold as Adam McQuaid for less cash.

  3. tn16 - Jun 16, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    Alex Edler

  4. jeschatts - Jun 16, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    They should get dion phaneuf

  5. boogknight - Jun 16, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    Seabrook for Backstrom

    • 19to77 - Jun 16, 2014 at 8:18 PM

      Yeah, the ‘Hawks friggin’ wish.

  6. jm31221 - Jun 16, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    I really don’t like Mike Green, his offensive abilities have diminished and his defensive ones well…yeah. I have seasons tickets and watching him the last few years has just been depressing to say the least. He just doesn’t have that fire in him that i’d like to see in a “top” defender, see Drew Doughty for comparison.

    Anyway glad the caps are looking for a “top” d-man, hopefully said top d-man’s agent doesn’t still hate the Capitals from the Mcphee era.

    • therealjr - Jun 16, 2014 at 3:09 PM

      No, we’ll get Mike Green back on track, just in time for is big UFA contact, then sign him to 5 years, $35M. Then he can go back to being Mike Green again. Hooray.

      • jm31221 - Jun 16, 2014 at 3:23 PM

        Exactly, that or we let him go and he ends up on the next Stanley Cup winning team, just like the friendly giant Jeff Schultz #CapsLuck.

  7. dglelite - Jun 16, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    Shea Weber

    Trade Marcus Johanssen, a winger (veteran preferably) and a 1st Rounder for Weber.

    Make it happen!

    • govtminion - Jun 16, 2014 at 3:03 PM

      That assumes the GM staff in Nashville has been eating the special brownies. Why would they trade their best player for a couple of decent forwards and a draft pick when they’ve made it clear they plan to rebuild around Weber?

      • dglelite - Jun 16, 2014 at 3:08 PM

        I didn’t say the GM would want to.

        But if this new/old GM is going to be aggressive Weber is the type of player he needs to go after.

    • dglelite - Jun 16, 2014 at 3:12 PM

      The thumbs down…are they because it would be a bad trade, a bad fit or just never gonna happen?

      • hockey412 - Jun 16, 2014 at 3:18 PM

        It would be one of the worst trades in history. Especially when they’ve almost paid off the front loaded portion of his salary. That would be like paying off your Lexus, then trading it for a Chevy.

    • hockey412 - Jun 16, 2014 at 3:15 PM

      Better off to pull a Holmgren on Subban and submit an offer sheet. That trade is laughably lop-sided.

    • rsl22 - Jun 16, 2014 at 3:23 PM

      I wouldn’t be surprised to see Weber traded, but he’ll get more than that. Preds just won’t be able afford his salary and ice a competitive team.

    • canucks30 - Jun 16, 2014 at 3:25 PM

      The only way your trade happens is of the winger (veteran preferably) is Alex Ovechkin.

      Otherwise, David Poile laughs and hangs up the phone like this:

    • chunkyschoice - Jun 16, 2014 at 7:31 PM

      I’ve been saying Weber for Ovechkin for a while now. It would help both teams and it would rock the whole league. Make it happen!

  8. djshnooks - Jun 16, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    I don’t know who they would send back to Buffalo, but it was reported around the deadline that Washington was high on Tyler Myers AND Christian Ehrhoff. (I think Drew Stafford was mentioned as well.)

    All Tim Murray wants is draft picks and young players who are 2-3 years into their development, but haven’t been able to stick with their respective NHL clubs as of yet. (I thought Brandon Pirri was a perfect example…but they made no effort for him.)

    If McDavid is the goal, and everyone knows he is…Burakovsky is a target for Tim Murray, I could only assume, as he is one of McDavid’s linemates in Erie, I believe. (I think that’s the right guy, not positive.)

    Again, this is gonna be so much fun! Lol.

    You’re gonna get sick of me and my Buffalo rants…but I truly believe they are in great hands and are doing this the right way…build like the Kings, that’s the goal!

    • rsl22 - Jun 16, 2014 at 3:26 PM

      Zero chance Caps trade Burakovsky. Trading Forsberg was the end of GMGM, B-Mac learned his mistake with that one.

    • lowenni - Jun 16, 2014 at 3:46 PM

      Burakovsky is indeed McDavid’s linemate and he’s showing serious promise. But he’s basically untouchable I think from a Caps perspective unless the Caps are getting back a serious top line player back, not Myers or Ehrhoff, and definitely not Stafford. Burakovsky’s development will hopefully make Johansson, who I do like, expendable.

  9. hockey412 - Jun 16, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    Paul Martin or Rob Scuderi would look fabulous in a Caps jersey.

    • lowenni - Jun 16, 2014 at 3:47 PM

      Scuderi is too slow. We already have Erskine. Martin would look really good next to Carlson, but there are better options out there.

      • mwsolomon7 - Jun 17, 2014 at 12:30 PM

        Martin- Carlson
        Erskine- Carrick/Oleksy

        It all depends on Orlov’s wrist to start the season and Erskine’s health throughout the season. I wouldn’t be surprised if we are buyers again at the deadline looking for a 3-6 experienced d-man to take Erskine’s spot. I think without the ridiculous pressure and overly complicated defensive concepts Oates tried to instill this group will be much better than they showed last year. Pairing Greenie with an actual defenseman will help big time. And Big John with one of our smaller inexperienced, but fast guys will keep a nice balance on the ice.

  10. flyboystransport - Jun 16, 2014 at 5:39 PM

    How many top d are available? How many teams want one? Won’t happen

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