Washington Capitals: 10 Most Important Players for Next Season

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Washington Capitals: 10 Most Important Players for Next Season

Let's pretend, if only for a little while, that this ridiculous lockout either never happened or was already over.

Let's fantasize for a moment that our hockey fix will be satisfied by something other than NHL 13 this season—which is a great game by the way.

C'mon guys—just go with me here.

Now that you have suspended your disbelief completely, let's take a look at the Washington Capitals. One of the NHL's perennial powerhouses as of late, the Caps had what can best be described as an up-and-down season last year.

Expectations for the Caps this season are all over the place. The predictions have ranged from their once again competing for the Stanley Cup to just completely falling flat and missing the playoffs entirely.

Whether the team rises or falls will depend on, quite obviously, how they perform and gel as a team.

In looking at the current lineup, the Caps have a nice mix of stars, potential stars and role players. With a new coach who holds the promise of making the team more up-tempo, combined with the defensive mentality the team gained from a solid playoff run, it is easy to be optimistic about the Caps' chances this season.

But which players truly hold the keys to the Caps' success or failure for 2012-2013?

Here are the 10 most important players for the Caps this coming season.

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