The Capitals are in danger of missing the playoffs, as they currently sit in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 31-26-5 with 67 points. Although they fired Bruce Boudreau back in November, they have not made significant progress with Dale Hunter in charge, either.
The Caps have under-performing players such as Alexander Semin, who will be a UFA this year. After playing only 65 games last year and finishing with 54 points, he has 41 points this year. He could finish with 55 points, but that is not enough for a $6.7 million salary.
Alexander Ovechkin will probably never be traded, but that doesn't excuse the downward trend in his performance. He is on pace for 65 points, the lowest total of his career, and has yet to put up another season like his 109-point campaign in 2009-10.
On defense, Mike Green has missed significant time due to injuries in three of the last four seasons. He has played in just 15 games this year and has six points.
Furthermore, players such as Mike Knuble, John Erskine and Jeff Schultz were rumored to be unhappy in Washington. A move could have been made solely to work towards culture changes in the organization if not to help out a team mired in a poor February. The Capitals are just 5-7-1 this month and have lost to several playoff contending teams such as the Boston Bruins and Florida Panthers.
If the Caps indeed miss the postseason, it will be a low point of George McPhee's tenure as general manager, and it will show his unwillingness to make changes when the team needed them most.