Michael Grabner: Free Agent Profile

Brian MacLellan has said the Caps intend to upgrade their third line this offseason. This is part of our series looking at free agents who the Caps could potentially target.

What if I told you there was a 28-year-old, former 34-goal scorer available this offseason for third line money or even less? You’d probably snap my hand off at the chance to get him on the Caps roster for next season. That is until you realize that, that marquee season happened six seasons ago and said player hasn’t come close to replicating that kind of success since. This is the curious case of former Maple Leaf, Islander and Canuck, Michael Grabner.

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Trade Deadline Targets: Pick a Maple Leaf

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Photo: Claus Anderson

The NHL trade deadline is coming up on February 29. The Caps have a real chance to win the Stanley Cup this season, so you can bet that Brian MacLellan, though he doesn’t need to make a deal, will certainly try to improve the team if he finds a good deal.

While memories of the Filip Forsberg trade may fill some fans with Sartrean nausea, it must be noted that the Caps are in the midst of a two-year Cup window. The focus has to be on players who can help the team right now. Everything in 2015-16 has been coming up Caps so far, but nothing about future seasons is assured. If MacLellan can improve this club, one that has a very real shot at being the last team standing in June, he needs to strike now.

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Patrick McDermott

Photo credit: Patrick McDermott

As the Washington Capitals returned home to face the New York Islanders, they were likely pondering the 6 points out of a total 8 they earned on their recent road trip. That pondering may have led to some absent-minded play in the first period, but the Caps recovered in the second to put forward one of their strongest possession games of the season. But possession was exactly what Mike Green didn’t have when his goof-up allowed the GWG for John Tavares.

Islanders beat Caps 3-2.

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Alex Ovechkin swings at the puck

Ovi swings with the knob of his stick during the Breakaway Challenge. (Photo credit: Kevin C. Cox)

Alex Ovechkin won his third straight Breakaway Challenge title tonight at the 2010-11 NHL SuperSkills Competition. How did he win it? With an unbelievable series of moves in his second and fourth attempts. In his second breakaway, Ovechkin smoothly juggled the puck in mid-air from center ice. He then knocked the puck up high up to himself, switched the position of his twig, and then swung with butt end of his stick. In his fourth and final attempt, Ovi dribbled the puck down the ice with the knob of his stick, went to his knees, got back up, and then went backhand on Marc-Andre Fleury. After he scored, Ovi sheathed his stick Chi Chi Rodriquez style as players from both benches laughed and banged their sticks against the ice. Ovechkin had a giant smile on his face the entire time.

When asked about his moves, Ovechkin replied, “I’m so excited right now, I can’t remember.” Fair enough.

Ovi and Green’s Team Staal defeated Team Lidstrom tonight 33 to 22. Below the jump, we have video of Ovechkin’s breakaway attempts and the other most noteable Capital moments of the night.

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