Trade Deadline Rearview Mirror
Well, that was eventful. The Great Capitals Selloff of 2023 has, for now, ended with the passage of today's trade deadline.
Some short-term pain is inevitable; the roster certainly isn't as deep as it was before Dmitry Orlov, Garnet Hathaway, Lars Eller, Erik Gustafsson, Marcus Johansson, and...Jesus, am I missing anyone? Anyway, it's definitely gonna be harder to win hockey games in March and April than it was in January and February (which is saying something!).
I'm bullish on the 2023-24 season, though. The Capitals will enter the offseason with tons of salary cap flexibility (for the first time in my brief tenure as a fan), a healthy team (hopefully!), maybe a new coach (hopefully!), and perhaps a top-10 draft pick.
I'm still of the belief that Washington's core group of players can be part of a team that wins playoff series. Granted, the Eastern Conference is suddenly a pretty daunting place to live. Also granted that some parts of this core (i.e., T.J. Oshie and Nick Backstrom) will play third line on any team with respectable depth. But Oshie, when healthy, is still a force; Backstrom probably never will be any better than serviceable, but judgment probably should be reserved until he's had a full healthy offseason to get in playing shape.
At the end of the day, this team's window is still almost closed. But it's probably a bit wider today than it was a month ago.