GMGM to Scott Hannan: You. Complete. Us.

The Capitals traded Tomas Fleischmann for Avs Defenseman Scott Hannan

Either the rumors were true, or even a blind squirrel bumps into a nut sometimes. In the end, Tomas Fleischmann is now a mile high, traded to the Colorado Avalanche for blueliner Scott Hannan.

If we look at the trade from Flash’s point of view, it’s a great move. He goes to a team that wants him, most likely to fill a Top 6 spot left vacant when leading scorer Chris Stewart broke his hand in a fight with Minnesota’s Kyle Brodziak. Sometimes a change of scenery is just what a player needs to get back on track. RMNB wishes him the very best.

The move makes sense for the Capitals for a variety of reasons:

1. The price for shutdown defensemen only goes up the closer you get to the trade deadline. We learned this past summer that “shutdown” defensemen are in hot demand like iPads in the holiday season. When you are stacked with blue chippers on the blueline and in goal, it makes sense that other teams would hold your feet to the fire.

2. Chemistry developed earlier is better than chemistry developed later. Hannan has a jump start on this already, having played in the AHL and NHL with Matt Bradley and with Hendricks on Colorado last year. Coach Boudreau has the time he needs to find Hannan the right partner, whether that’s part of the top pair with Mike Green or bottom pair with Poti or Erskine.

3. Clear upgrade on the blueline. Sloan, while good as a fill in, is not dependable enough to get a sweater every night. Plus, this move gets the Caps another step closer to a sustained playoff run, and that’s where Hannan shined last year. Hannan, along with Kyle Quincey, spent 85% of their even strength time against the Sharks’ top two lines, and posted the best chances differential among all Colorado defenders.

4. Everything else remains intact. The Caps keep their draft picks, prospects and players essential to their long term plans (Carlzner, Neuvirth, etc.) without compromising future cap space. Fleischmann, while considered a top six forward by some, just wasn’t. At least not yet. Besides, his linemates do better away from him than they did with him.

5. Maybe Mathieu Perreault gets a shot. To me, the move signifies that Marcus Johannson is going to be given every opportunity to solidify himself in the second center spot. That leaves the third pivot open for Mathieu Perreault, who currently has 8 goals and 16 assists in 16 games played for the Hershey Bears. If we translate that to the NHL level, he would project to have roughly 4 goals and 8 assists in 16 NHL games – an upgrade over Flash’s 10 points in 23 games.

It may have taken months, but it looks like the Caps got the better end of this deal. George McPhee is certainly excited. Leave your thoughts on the trade in the comments below.

  • JDP

    Addressed a weakness at defense and realized our depth is at forward. Great move even if Hannon ends up being a 6th defenseman. At the very least it means less Tyler Sloan.

  • GDUB

    I dont mind losing Flash but where are you gonna put Hanna is the question i have. who you going to take out? everyone has been playing good especially ALZNER and Carlson. i just dont see who you can take out and say Hannan is a upgrade. Erskin, schultz, Alzner , Green , poti , Carlson? take either one and replace him with hannan and i dont see a upside these guys have been great this year. sloan is the only guy id take out for Hannan

  • CDizz

    I’m really curious to see who he’ll be paired with. With Carlzner being used as an effective shutdown pair, I think he would be a good anchor for Green although I doubt Boudreau would be willing to breakup Green and Schultz so quickly. Ahhh God I’m so excited to see how this turns out.

  • dominic

    I’m really excited, I wish flash the best, and will miss the excitement and the cool nickname he brought to this team. I definitely think we got the better end of this deal. And once again, RMNB scooped just about everybody- keep it up guys!- Nic

  • Mark

    I may need to borrow your glasses GDUB, alzner and carlson have nights where they show amazing skill only to be caught out of position at a critical points in the game, to be expected they are young. No doubt They will get better and i’m all for keeping this line together. Erskine plays with the kind of grit that makes us all wish he was born with slightly more cordination. I dont think i will ever feel confident when he is logging critical minutes in a tight game (i’ll admit i used to feel this way about sarge too). Poti and erskine together would make an awesome defensemen because what erskine lacks in natural skill, poti makes up for in his soft stuff ice cream approach to hitting. None of these pairings are set in stone, i’ll trust bruce on this one, does anyone have any doubt at the current rate he’ll be paired with every defensemen on the team at some pt before the start of the offs.

  • CapsFan1975

    I’m happy with the move. I had been asking for a 2nd pairing caliber defenseman in return for Flash all year. With all our injuries, our defense corps was awfully thin.

    Oisk isn’t bad as a 6-7th defenseman but can’t play heavy minutes.

    Still, I figure Poti is the logical partner for him. Green/Schultz seems to be working out. Alzner and Carlson seem to make a good team even if basically rookies. If nothing else, Poti and Hannan together can play enough minutes so that we don’t burn out Green or put too much pressure on the kids (Alzner/Carlson).

    But I’m sure Hannan will play with multiple partners.

  • Tim

    Great move by GMGM. In exchange for a spare part, we get a key piece that we’ve been missing. I feel bad for Erskine, because he is the one who will be sitting – and he’s been playing quite well so far. But Hannan is a clear upgrade over Erskine. Hannan and Poti will become the shutdown pair, which should help.

    As for MP – I don’t think this will help him. I don’t see any need for the Caps to bring him up unless there is an injury. They can play Ovie, Backs and Semin or Knuble on the 1st, Fehr, Laich and Semin or Knuble on the 2nd, Chimera and Johannson on the third, and fill the last spot on the 3rd and the 4th line with Gordon, Steckel, Bradley, and Hendricks, with an occasional appearance by King. I don’t think bringing MP up is going to happen unless Fehr plays poorly or there is an injury.

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  • Sean

    I love love love the trade. I hate hate hate WOWY evaluations that don’t look at alternative linemates.

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  • eichboy96

    this goes out to the last sentance in point number 4: