Okay, so it’s after lunch on Tuesday now. Things have a way of getting away from you on the road. Time is short and the travel takes its toll, too. But I took good notes and I have a good memory, so I will get around to compiling a recap of what I witnessed on and off the ice over the last week. First, off to the streets with the kids for some candy.
Quickly, it was a very satisfying trip. That always makes for a quick and pleasant plane ride home, and the D.C. area weather was a nice treat too. I was on my way back to Baltimore when I learned that the Caps waived Rico Fata today. I’m a little surprised, because I thought he had played well enough in the early going. On the other hand, everything I’m hearing from my friends in Hershey, everything I saw during last spring’s Stanley Cup playoffs, and everything I read between the lines of what’s going on behind the scenes in Capsland tells me that Tomas Fleischmann will be wearing the blue, black and bronze very soon.
If he comes to Washington and the coaching staff can carve out a meaningful spot/role for him, the Capitals could find themselves with three scoring lines of varying degrees of potency. Last night the Caps had one line with Dainius Zubrus between Chris Clark and Alex Ovechkin, another with Kris Beech centering Alexander Semin and Matt Pettinger, and a third with Donald Brashear and Richard Zednik flanking Boyd Gordon. That last one might not throw much fear into opponents on paper, but it was a pretty effective trio in Calgary last night.
If you add Fleischmann to the mix, there is even more potential for offense. Finding a role and a regular spot for Flash could be the tricky part, and it may take a deal to ease the logjam on the wings (which would be even worse if Ben Clymer was still among the forwards on the depth chart). In the pre-lockout days, November was a somewhat busy month for the trade business. Bobby Gould came to the Caps in November. Chris Simon joined the Caps in November and left in November. Ditto Andrei Nikolishin. It’s a time when general managers have seen their team play a dozen or more games. That’s enough time to get a handle on what kind of team they’ve got, what kind of holes they’ve got, and how they might best fill them.
Before anyone starts with the “Vogel says the Caps are gonna make a trade” stuff, here’s the fine print: I know absolutely nothing here; I have no inside info of a pending deal nor whiffs of any actual trade winds blowing. I’m just saying.