The Caps were expected to be big movers at the trade deadline — their need for depth centers, for example, had been well documented, and several of their veterans have expressed dissatisfaction lately and were caught up in rumors all the way up to 3 PM.
It was to the surprise of more or less everyone, then, that the Caps made no roster moves whatsoever. It was announced through a team spokesman around 3:00 that the Caps did not expect to be making any trades, and this was confirmed by General Manager George McPhee at a 5:00 PM press conference where he addressed the events of the day — or lack thereof.
“We’ve been on the phones for about a week, talked to every club 10-15 times, it seems,” McPhee told WaPo’s Katie Carrera, “[Any move] had to make us better… really there wasn’t anything there that would be the right thing for our club.”
It certainly wasn’t the easiest year to be a buyer in the Eastern conference — with many teams still within reach of playoffs contention, the general feeling was that not many teams were willing to sell, and that the prices would be high. Indeed, just 15 trades were made this deadline day, which per TSN is an all-time low post-lockout.
“Everybody wanted to add and there was no one selling,” said McPhee. “Everyone wants action, everyone wants deals, but you get in there and you see nothing but feathers.”
Caps’ center Nicklas Backstrom was put on Long Term Injured Reserve early this morning in what seemed to be preparation for a move, but that move never materialized. “We can make the playoffs with this team,” McPhee said of his roster at the end of the day, “and if [Backstrom] comes back we can beat anybody in this conference.”
Video of George McPhee’s Full Press Conference