The 2011 offseason has been one of the most active in franchise history, and the Washington Capitals team heading into the new season looks stronger than ever.
Why not make it even better?
Over the past few seasons, the Caps have made a habit of being active at the trade deadline. They have for the most part made improvement to their team, adding players to try to prepare for a deep playoff run.
This year is different. Anything other than a Stanley Cup triumph will be a disappointment. They will be active in the trade market.
Here are five players who could be used as bait.
When they acquired Colorado's 2012 first-round pick in exchange for Semyon Varlamov, the Caps built on their stock for the strong 2012 draft class. They also picked up a second first-rounder.
That said, it wouldn't at all be surprising to see them send their own away for reinforcements at the deadline.
Granted, the pick is no player, but it is a valuable asset to have in trade negotiations. Several pending free agents will be available, and the Caps could use their pick to pounce.
With the emergence of Jay Beagle and the signings of Mattias Sjögren, Joel Ward and Chris Bourque, Jason Chimera's role on the third line may have become expendable. He will have to have a big season to keep his spot on the team.
Chimera wouldn't bring in much at the deadline by himself, but could be a valuable addition for a rebuilding team looking for a bottom-line veteran leader. The Capitals have players ready to step up and take his place.
Chimera has fallen out of favour with the Capitals' brass over the past half-season. It wouldn't at all be surprising to see him sent out of the nation's capital before the deadline.
With the exception of one season in which he put up a plus/minus rating of plus-50, Jeff Schultz has never truly endeared himself in the hearts and minds of Capitals fans. He has been criticized a lot, and it has always seemed inevitable that he would be traded sooner or later.
Dmitry Orlov is ready for the NHL, and there is a good chance that he will force Schultz out of the lineup.
The defenseman is still young and with a lot of potential could be targeted by a number of teams at the deadline.
The one reason the Caps might have for possibly dealing Mike Green at any point would be to try to change up the core of the team. They have looked somewhat stale these past few seasons, and a big trade would send a significant message to the teammates.
Mike Green would bring in a solid asset. With the abundance of elite players on the market, the Caps could look to send him away for an improvement to the team.
Rumours have been swirling around Alexander Semin this past season. In light of accusations that he doesn't "care" enough, fans have been crying out for a deal.
If Semin is to be dealt, it would likely be as the center of a blockbuster deal. The Caps would want to get a lot more in return than they would be giving up.
It's unlikely that a deal would happen at the deadline, however.
The Caps could look to trade him around the turn of the year to try to get maximum value. They would want as much time as possible to integrate whichever players came in return into the team.
Follow Jake Ware on Twitter at @JacobWare95