Monday, December 28, 2009

Caps & Jackets Cooking Up Something?

RUMOUR 2009/2010 NHL Statistics2010 Cap Hit
To WashingtonPositionAgeGPGoalsPointsYearsPer Year
Nikita FilatovForward1911223$2.225 million
To ColumbusPositionAgeGPGoalsPointsYearsPer Year
Karl AlznerDefenseman2110042$1.675 million

Now, this is a rumour that really getting some traction on the Twitter feed on this Monday morning. The Blue Jackets and Capitals are supposedly talking blockbuster trade and two of the prominent names floating around the mill is Nikita Filatov, the out-of-place sniper in Columbus, and Karl Alzner, who currently doesn't quite fit the Capitals budget as a balanced blueliner. Of course, there is probably more to this supposed deal, as trading these two prospects may be a bit short on calling it a blockbuster, but it does have some significant ramifications if it does go down.

Filatov, currently in Saskatchewan for the World Junior tournament with Russia, has been playing in the KHL since leaving the Blue Jackets earlier this season. Filatov was not the right fit in Ken Hitchcock's defensive system and Filatov was better suited to go back to Russia to develop his offensive talents a little bit more. I had a feeling that Filatov was not likely to see much more ice-time with Columbus, as long as Hitchcock was coaching.

Alzner, on the other hand, has been a bit of a burden to the Capitals management, but for the right reasons. Alzner is a former 1st round pick and has a cap hit that reflects that in his entry-level deal. The Caps are busting at the cap ceiling, thanks in large part to the Michael Nylander's nuisance of a deal, which the team finally cleared not long ago. Unfortunately, his defensive play isn't quite enough to make Alzner untouchable and he hasn't quite clicked offensively.

On paper, this deal looks like kind of a dud, but when you consider the style of play from each player, it really does have a lot of merit. Filatov could be slotted into a very offensive system, albeit next season for all intensive purposes (and cap reasons) and Alzner would be a great young piece to an already solid (on paper) blueline core in Columbus. Alzner could also be a quick fix for some defensive responsibility that the Jackets so desperately need. I like this deal for its merit.

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