The Washington Capitals are not expected to be as busy as last year's trade deadline this time around. After all, last February, they managed to spend loads of rental defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who ended signing in the summer with the New York Rangers.
They ended up losing more than just Shattenkirk, as Justin Williams, Marcus Johansson, Karl Alzner and Nate Schmidt also walked away, but one void remains to be filled.
Though the need for a veteran defender remains a priority, NHL insider Pierre LeBrun doubts Caps general manager Brian McLellan will be as willing to spend for this addition prior to the trade deadline. He believes the Caps will be moderate buyers and may already have a target in mind to land more experience on the blue line.
"Their No. 1 need this year is indeed a veteran defenceman but at a moderate price this time around. Would pending UFA Johnny Oduya in Ottawa make sense?" LeBrun writes in The Athletic.
The Senators have pulled off the biggest trade of the week so far, ahead of the deadline, by moving Dion Phaneuf and Nate Thompson to the Los Angeles Kings. While they are freeing up some salary space to build a stronger future, they could simply accept a pick or a prospect for Oduya, who turned 36 at the beginning of the season.
The Capitals could then remain moderate buyers, as LeBrun reports, and managed to gain experience, leadership and a boost on their back end for a playoff run.
The Caps have never been very successful during the postseason, only reaching the second round in the last three years. They hope to move to the Eastern Finals and more this time around, and an addition like Oduya could be the right solution.
Would you pull the trigger on this trade pitch?