This man may be the answer to the Capitals Second Line Center Woes.

This man may be the answer to the Capitals Second Line Center Woes.

First, the Montreal Canadiens signed leading scorer Tomas Plekanec to a six-year, $30 million contract on Tuesday. Then, the San Jose Sharks sign Patrick Marleau to a four-year contract a week before he would have become a free agent. This eliminated the two best (albeit pricey) options the Caps had to fulfill a glaring need: second-line center.

So we panic right? I mean, it’s over, Johnny, right?

Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!

Is this Washingtonian photo contest (where my picture “ Taking in the Sights” is in second place and could use some votes) over? Nope. (Mostly because voting ends June 30th. Seriously go vote for me.)

Bet you’re asking, “Then who, hot shot?”

We’ll tell you who.

Because even though this NHL free agent season is sure to be overshadowed by a “scary” NBA Free Agent class, there’s a second-line center available that the Caps should target: Matthew Lombardi.

Don’t believe us? Okay, fine. Keep sitting there, re-reading the Plekanic and Marleau signings and entering numbers on Capgeek trying to figure out how the Caps can make a trade for one of them.

Keep on sitting there, ignoring that Lombardi brings blinding speed to the table and is one of the fastest players in the NHL contributing to a career-high 53 points in 2009-10.

Keep sitting there, ignoring that he plays good two-way hockey and is aces on the power play with 16 power play points while leading PHX skaters with 3:20 of TOI/Gm on the Power Play.

Okay, okay, he’s not a No. 1 center, but you get the point, right? I mean, Caps have a pretty good number one center now.

Speaking of things that should be number one, please go vote for me.

  • kurlNdrag

    preaching to the choir RMNB. I was penciling him in for the No. 2 spot from the time the stanley cup finals started. Course, I was also thinking that we would somehow land Hamhuis….well he hasn’t signed with Philly yet!!! so there’s still hope! HAHA

  • Hittman

    McPhee isn’t going to do a damn thing. He’s content to wait five years for the team to fully develop. Meantime, the Caps literally have one center on the team and a Steckel. The rest are W/C type guys who can’t hold down the middle of the ice. If the Caps had a Jordan Staal equivalent and some big lug to block shots and fight, they’d be Cup bound.

  • Justin

    Alright, I voted for you…

    It’s amazing how many players are out there that we never hear of–especially guys on the west coast. The dude flies and goes at the net with a vengeance. Or maybe his agent is right…Tomas “Plekanec” Fleischmann should be our 2C…

  • I agree with KurlNDrag – been on everyone’s radar. Too bad GM GM’s normally too passive to make those types of moves this time of year. He tends to do most of his work on/just before March 3. I’d be happy if he did anything at this point – wouldn’t mind Koivu, Cullen, or especially Madden in 2nd-line C.

    All we can hope for is that someone puts out an offer sheet on Flash and we get some draft picks in return, which hopefully leads to some fun on July 1 or next spring.

  • @Scoops

    While it is true that Lombardi is on “everyone’s radar,” I think he remains the ONLY viable option via free agency at this point.

    The other centers you mention (Koivu, Cullen & Madden) are not 2nd line centers, IMO. Nor are they significant upgrades to Belanger, who I feel is a perfect #3 center.

    Madden is intriguing because of the street-cred he brings (3 Cups, 2 teams) but even he is not a 2nd line center.

  • Lookout6

    LOL! when did the Germans bomb pearl harbor??