5 Teams That Should Talk to the Washington Capitals About Filip Forsberg
To put it lightly, things have not gone according to plan for the Washington Capitals this season. They currently sit dead last in the Eastern Conference. They have given up the most power-play goals in the league. The goaltending situation is unstable.
General manager George McPhee and first-year head coach Adam Oates are both on the hot seat. Built around Alex Ovechkin's prime years, the team feels like it is still in win-now mode.
The problem is that the Caps need a lot of help. They do, however, have a valuable trade chip in Swedish prospect Filip Forsberg. According to the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch, they would be willing to part with him for the right price.
Forsberg is only 18 and still plays in the Swedish league, where he has tallied 32 points in 37 games. He has all of the tools, passing, finishing, speed and size. Once he gets stronger, there is no reason why he cannot star in the NHL for many years.
So the type of teams whose ears must perk up when they hear a guy like this is available are those in rebuilding mode, as Forsberg will not have any immediate impact.
Here are five clubs who should pick up the phone and make a call to Washington.
And, of course, they have Jarome Iginla.
Iginla is one of the greatest all-around players that has yet to win a championship. Heck, he deserves one. At 35, how many more chances does he have left? I'll tell you right now that he won't get to kiss the cup this year in Calgary.
He plays both ends of the ice extremely well. Plus, he is one of those "character" guys with the intangibles necessary to be a locker room leader. That is something the Capitals are lacking.
They have firepower and a hot goaltender that can create a playoff surge. Taking Iginla's no-movement clause (per CapGeek) into consideration, though, I'm just not sure Washington is the team he would agree to go to.
Columbus Blue Jackets
The lockout might have affected the Columbus Blue Jackets more than any other team. After trading the face of the franchise away, a full training camp—and season, for that matter—was crucial to establishing chemistry and a new team identity.
Forsberg would be the perfect guy to start over with. Maybe the Jackets can benefit from the Rick Nash trade and send a few pieces like Artem Anisimov and Brandon Dubinsky to Washington, which needs depth at the forward position.
San Jose Sharks
Okay, so the San Jose Sharks are not exactly in rebuilding mode.
But after a hot start, they have cooled down with just two wins their last 10 games. They are currently outside of the top eight playoff seeds in the West. Sharks fans have waited many years for the core of this team to deliver a championship and the expectations have never been met.
Maybe it is finally time for Patrick Marleau to get a new start. He is having a good year, but then again he has had many good years and it just never seems to come together in the playoffs.
San Jose has defensive depth as well. Dan Boyle is a guy in the back end of his career who could provide a huge boost to Washington.
The Sabres sit just above the Capitals in the conference and are last in the Northeast Division.
They just fired Lindy Ruff, who had been the longest-tenured coach in the NHL. Why not continue to shake the branches? It doesn't seem like a resurgence is coming in this short season.
The big piece in the deal? Ryan Miller. He has not played to his abilities over the past few seasons and a change of scenery may serve him well. We know how hot he can get after his unbelievable Olympic performance in 2010.
Thomas Vanek is having a monster year and getting up there in age as well.
Stephen Weiss is an unrestricted free agent after this year and the Panthers may not be willing to pay him market value.
Last year's playoff appearance may have been a fluke. Florida played a lot of overtime and really benefited from three-point games. Maybe package Weiss and Brian Campbell? Washington would have to be willing to take on the latter's cap hit, which exceeds $7 million.