Washington Capitals: 5 Deadline Deals That Need To Happen for Stanley Cup Push

Don DiabloContributor IIIFebruary 22, 2011

Washington Capitals: 5 Deadline Deals That Need To Happen for Stanley Cup Push

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    This season has not been what most expected from the Washington Capitals.  After last year's disappointing playoff series loss against Montreal, hopes were still high for a Capitals team that did not have major roster turnover during the offseason.

    With a week and half till the trade deadline the Capitals are wallowing in the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference a couple points behind Tampa for the Southeast Division lead. 

    Going into December, the Capitals were 17-6-2 before hitting the skids with an eight-game losing streak that they haven't actually recovered from. 

    Since the great start the Capitals are a below .500 team as they are 14-13-8 since Dec. 1. 

    To go along with this, the Capitals have issues with scoring goals. They rank 15th in the league and that's a major drop for a team that scored 313 goals last season, the most in the NHL. 

    With just over a month left till the playoffs, there are no guarantees that the Capitals will make it in. They are 12 points ahead of ninth place Buffalo and Atlanta.  These following players could provide a spark for the Capitals and provide the much needed help this team needs.

Rick Nash, RW, Columbus Blue Jackets

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    Of these potential trades, this is the least likely to happen. 

    Rick Nash has been the face of the Columbus Blue Jackets his entire career.  Not to mention he signed an eight-year deal that started this season.  But in Nash's tenure with Columbus, they have only made the playoffs once, and usually are out of the playoff discussion by the deadline. 

    This season, he leads the Blue Jackets with 53 points and has 27 goals and 26 assists. 

    Nash will bring leadership to the Capitals as he is the captain in Columbus for the past three seasons.    With the trade, it will bring another proven star to Washington.  A line of Ovechkin, Backstrom and Nash would be a formidable line in any game.

    Could it be time for a fresh start for the five-time All-Star winger? 

R.J. Umberger, C, Columbus Blue Jackets

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    R.J. Umberger has been steady force from the center position for Columbus since he joined the team in 2008-09 season.  Umberger had a breakout year in 2008-09 with Philadelphia and has been around the 50-point mark the past three seasons.

    On pace to possibly eclipsing his career-high of 55 points from two seasons ago, Umberger could be a good fit in Washington.

    With Columbus on the outside of the playoff picture yet again, could another re-building be in progress for the Blue Jackets?  With Umberger's play, he could be a hot commodity leading into the trade deadline for a team in need of an offense. 

Milan Hejduk, RW, Colorado Avanlanche

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    The Colorado Avalanche are in need of a serious rebuild.  Dropping from fourth in the West to near the bottom in recent months, it is time for a much needed youth movement in Colorado.  Milan Hejduk is one of two left from the glory years of the franchise that once called Quebec home. 

    At the age of 35, Hejduk does not have many chances left to achieve playoff glory and hold the Stanley Cup.  He his now on a team that has a total of five players on the roster above 30 years old showing that the youth movement is on in Denver. 

    With a move to Washington, he brings a winning experience to a team that has floundered in the playoffs the past two seasons.  He could fill the role that Sergei Federov had a few years ago as the Capitals made a drive for the Stanley Cup.

Clarke MacArthur, LW, Toronto Maple Leafs

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    Clarke MacArthur of the Toronto Maple Leafs is having a breakout season.  He already has a career-high in assists (28) and goals (17) this season in Toronto. 

    This season may just be an admiration for the third-round pick for Buffalo in 2003, but Toronto should capitalize on his season as they are truly rebuilding after sending Chris Versteeg to Philadelphia earlier on.

    MacArthur would fit well on either the first or second line for the Capitals and provide some much needed offensive punch. 

Daniel Alfredsson, RW, Ottawa Senators

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    Daniel Alfredsson has played his entire career in Ottawa and only made one Stanley Cup Final with the team.  He has been the face of the franchise since Chara left Ottawa.  However, at age 38, he is definitely does not have too many seasons left. 

    This season has not been quite the year for Alfredsson as his numbers are down, but so are the Sens.  He only has 31 points this season, which is half of his normal output.  In last place in the East, the Senators need youth, and Daniel Alfredsson just is not that.  

    He is probably one of the better players not to win a Stanley Cup and could help the Capitals achieve that goal.