With just over 20 games remaining for the Washington Capitals to turn things around in order to avoid missing the postseason for the first time in five years, general manager George McPhee faces a difficult decision.
Seeing as the NHL's Trade Deadline is just a week away, McPhee has to decide whether to auction off some of the team's top young assets in order to get some help for the immediate future, or instead deal some veteran players in order to put the Caps in a better position for the 2012-13 NHL Season.
As things stand now, the Capitals' inconsistent efforts have put them in danger of falling out of the playoff race altogether, and it seems clear that if they're serious about even making it out of the first round of the postseason, they'll need reinforcements.
However, even if McPhee acquires a crafty veteran or two, it seems unlikely that a team that has performed so poorly for more than half of the season can suddenly turn the corner and play like the contender they were once labeled to be.
With that in mind, here are seven reasons why the Capitals should retool for next season, and worry less about the team's performance over the next two months.