Flames Potential Trade Partner: Washington Capitals

Kent Wilson
July 07 2011 02:07PM

 

 

While the UFA market is mostly tapped out, a few other potential avenues of improvement still exist for Feaster and the Calgary Flames. The latest may be the Washington Capitals and their precarious cap position. Washington boasts a number of things the Flames need, so a cap friendly trade for them might be benefical for both clubs.

In a post at the score today, Sean Tomlinson discusses the Caps budget problems

Brouwer’s signing is just the latest of what’s becoming an impressive summer for Washington general manager George McPhee, who added some grit and grind in the form of Jeff Halpern, solved his goaltending leak with the signing of Tomas Vokoun, plucked Joel Ward fresh off of his impressive playoff performance, and slotted in Roman Hamrlik on the blue line.

But there’s a cost to all of that spending that goes beyond the number signed on each players’ dotted line. Brouwer’s two-year deal valued at $4.7 million and at a cap hit of $2.35 million annually puts the Capitals $1,805,128 over the league’s $64.3 million salary cap (thanks for giving me a headache with all of those numbers, Capgeek). Teams are permitted to go over the salary cap by as much as 10 percent during the offseason, extra weight that has to be shed prior to October.

 McPhee's problems extend beyond his current cap crunch. The club has yet to re-sign RFA Karl Alzner, who may come in anywhere between $2 million and $3 million per year. As such, the Caps may be looking to dump up to $5 million in cap space before the season starts.

Washington's desperate position has led to whispers of McPhee shopping Alex Semin. The explosive left winger has just one year left on his deal worth $6.7 million. While obviously injury prone and not the best figher in the world, Semin is a legitimately elite offensive forward. He has never scored less than 26 goals in the NHL, despite never playing more than 77 games in a season. His underlying numbers are frequent amongst the best on the Capitals, meaning he's not simply a Kovalchukian PP specialist who is a black-hole at 5-on-5. Though he has a reputation as soft and one-dimensional, his year-over-year possession rates say the puck stays in the offensive zone when he's on the ice.

As such, Semin would obviously fill the Flames enduring need to add another elite forward to the rotation. He is 27-years old, so right in the meaty part of his career-arc. Obviously Calgary would have to drop further salary to add Semin *cough* Hagman *cough* , but it would be worth the upgrade.

The Capitals have other, slightly less shiny baubles that may be up for sale as well. They could spare themselves the trouble of signing Alzer by dealing him instead. His addition would add another true top-four defender to the Flames stable. Despite being just 22-years old, Alzner faced the toughest competition on the Caps blueline last year and had the most difficult zone start ratio (49%). He's not going to score you many points, but the dude is legit already.

Denis Wideman and Eric Fehr might also be available, although the former is just okay given his $3.875 ticket and the latter would not really address a Flames need since he is more of a middle-rotation forward (albeit a younger one with some upside).

It's impossible to know just what these players would cost to acquire, although we can be sure the Captials would be looking for draft picks and prospects since they can't afford to take on any more salary. If either Semin or Alzner is available, I think the Feaster would do well to at least inquire - both fill legitimate needs and wouldn't cost a valuable roster player.

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Former Nations Overlord. Current FN contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#51 Kevin R
July 08 2011, 10:56AM
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I dont think Semin to Calgary is reality. Too many teams like Detroit with cap space that can give more along the lines of prospects that would appeal to Wash. We need them to eat some of our luggage (Hagman or Stajan) to be in that deal. Just as well. No way Alzner gets away from Wash, especially if they have Semin options, but boy oh boy, Feaster should consider it & pay the price. But if they move Semin & resign Alzner, the guy we should target would be Schultz. We probably could afford him way easier & Wash would be more reasonable to deal with seeing they have some pretty veteran blue liners & now signed Hamrlik. Golfed with him at the Tabbi, good kid I think would relish a shot at a top 4 position & he has the size & tools to do it too.

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#52 Prairie Chicken by-the-Sea
July 08 2011, 11:04AM
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@Kevin R

Totally agree about Schultz. Alzner and Carlson are the core of the Caps blueline for the long term. They'll do anything to make sure Alzner gets re-signed.

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#53 ALL THE WAY IN
July 08 2011, 11:30AM
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Why is the Flames Nation logo up top a pentagram?? If this site is involved in devil worship I'm never comin back here again. jk. but an explanation of sort would be nice.

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#54 Monaertchi Gaudnett
July 08 2011, 11:55AM
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I don't work for FN, but I think I can say that it is a star, not a pentagram.

Also, there are no such things as devils, so stop worrying and enjoy your life. (paraphrasing the Atheist Bus campaign)

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#57 FireOnIce
July 08 2011, 03:33PM
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Somehow I don't think we'll be trading with the Caps now... Eric Fehr lead the league in +/- in 09/10, would've been a decent pickup, especially at that price.

I get the feeling that if the Flames had inquired, it would've cost us a 1st and Backlund/Reinhart/Howse. Nobody wants to help us and all GMs apparently think we're ripe for the picking.

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#58 FireOnIce
July 08 2011, 03:39PM
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Also, pentagrams are upside down. If you want to ruffle our feathers, ask about the fist symbols's relationship to anarchy.

Yes, we here at FN are devil-worshipping anarchists. Our goat sacrifices shall help carry us to a Cup sometime in the next, oh, 10 years.

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#60 ALL THE WAY IN
July 08 2011, 10:57PM
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FireOnIce wrote:

Also, pentagrams are upside down. If you want to ruffle our feathers, ask about the fist symbols's relationship to anarchy.

Yes, we here at FN are devil-worshipping anarchists. Our goat sacrifices shall help carry us to a Cup sometime in the next, oh, 10 years.

I thought the fist thing meant something like power to the people.

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#61 gprime
July 09 2011, 04:46AM
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ALL THE WAY IN wrote:

I thought the fist thing meant something like power to the people.

Anarchy? Bwahahaha. I want Alzner. Damn.

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#62 Prairie Chicken by-the-Sea
July 09 2011, 11:58AM
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Eklund on HockeyBuzz.com is claiming that the Flames are very much in the hunt for Semin. Then again, he tends to throw everything against the wall in the hope that something will stick. Maybe they have a deal and Feaster is talking to Semin about the chances of re-signing him.

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