Washington Capitals Players Most Likely to Be Traded in 2013-14
That being said, as we saw over the weekend when longtime fan favorite Mathieu Perreault was dealt (via the Washington Post), it's never too early for general managerGeorge McPhee to begin wheeling and dealing to revamp, re-tool and reshuffle the Caps' roster.
Heading into what should be a very exciting first season as a member of the Metropolitan Division, here's a look at which of the Caps' players are most likely to be dealt before this spring's trade deadline.
It wasn't long ago that Michal Neuvirth was considered to be Washington's goaltender of the future, especially after Semyon Varlamov was shipped to Colorado in 2011.
But since then, Neuvirth's inability to stay healthy, coupled with a healthy dose of unspectacular play, has put the 25-year-old in serious danger of becoming a potential career backup in D.C.
Neuvirth, who has a 27-win season under his belt, has fallen far behind fellow young stopper Braden Holtby in the eyes of head coach Adam Oates and McPhee, and that certainly makes him a possible trade target.
Given his age, track record and superb positional play in net, Neuvirth absolutely has the ability to blossom into a No. 1 goaltender, but it won't be in Washington, so if the right offer comes along, McPhee will have to consider it.
As one of the fastest skaters in the game, Jason Chimera is the type of bottom-six forward coaches love to have, especially given how willing the veteran winger is to mix it up in the corners.
Unfortunately, as speedy and determined as the 34-year-old Edmonton native is, his offensive production wasn't overly impressive during the lockout-shortened season, as Chimera managed just three goals for a Caps team that's become increasingly deep up front.
For now, Chimera unquestionably has a spot in Oates' lineup, but if he's outside the top three lines, his $1.875 million cap hit will be a tad too expensive for a fourth-liner.
Two seasons ago, Dmitry Orlov established himself as one of Washington's most promising young players, as the Russian rearguard surprised many by notching three goals and 19 points in 60 games as a rookie.
However, last season Orlov struggled with injuries, and now the 22-year-old puck-moving defender finds himself on the outside looking in with regards to the Capitals' lineup.
And, with 19-year-old Connor Carrick appearing to be Oates' top choice in terms of young offensive blueliners, it seems that Orlov's time in Washington could be coming to a close.
While the sample size is small, Orlov has demonstrated that he's capable of producing at the NHL level, and with very impressive skating, puck-handling and mobility, another team will take a chance on him if the Caps decide to move him.
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