Washington Capitals General Manager George McPhee may have gotten under the skin of some NHL teams as he, well, found some guys to get under other NHL teams’ skin.
C Eric Belanger, RW Scott Walker and D Joe Corvo were the big moves of the day (the team also re-acquired D Milan Jurcina). On paper, and in experience, this trio appears to give the Caps an edginess they had been lacking.
GMGM stayed true to his word that he was happy with the roster he had Tuesday evening. Only D Brian Pothier was moved off the active team (to Carolina), meaning depth was added, and maybe a sense of urgency for guys that want to keep their ice time. I love these moves and what they represent. McPhee just challenged every forward on the team to get a little tougher and produce a little more to stay in the game, or step aside and let someone else get their hands dirty.
Flashes of stardom and a nifty goal may get a guy headlines or create buzz, but the playoffs are about production now, not potential down the road.
Words I’ve seen in different articles have used words like “experience,” “grit,” “soldier,” “penalty kill,” “character,” and “toughness.” I’m a big fan of most of the guys who were already on the team, but these adjectives were missing in such a glaring way, until now.
It has to be exciting for captain Alex Ovechkin that the team now has an energy guy that isn’t also the NHL’s points and +/- leader. Wonder what happens when Ovi gets excited by a teammate’s big hit at a critical time of a playoff game. I’m looking forward to seeing it.
I won’t go much further because none of them has suited up for the Caps yet, but I can say thank you to GMGM. I appreciate the effort off-the-ice and hope to see these guys contribute to a memorable post-season on it.