Well the news for the Capitals has not gotten any better, yet again. In fact, it's worse. Captain Chris Clark has been put on long term IR again. Apparently, Clark is suffering from a stress fracture in his right forearm. This is just the latest in a rash of injuries that have stuck the Caps in the last two weeks. Originally it looked like it was the Carolina Hurricanes that were so badly hit with injuries, well I think that the Caps have topped that.
The list of injuries now looks like this:
Shultz: Broken Finger (IR)
Clark: Stress Fracture (IR)
Pothier: Post Concussion Syndrome (IR)
The injury bug has caused the Capitals to make a bunch of moves and shake up the lineup. They called up Sami Lepisto and Karl Alzner on defense from Hershey. They also called up Graham Mink and Chris Bourque, forwards, from Hershey. The Caps play the last place Atlanta Thrashers tonight in DC. They will be looking to put an end to their three game losing streak, while looking to remain perfect this season in regulation at home. The line up for tonight will be :
The loss of Clark to IR marks the third time in two seasons he will miss a significant amount of time. Last year he was struck in the ear with an Ovechkin slap shot and missed a bunch of games. Then he battled a nagging groin injury all last year and was out for the remainder of the season. Clark's play this year has had many in DC questioning the ability he once showed as a 20 goal guy. In fact, there are plenty of people who have been calling for him to be traded. Some believed that a Nylander deal might also involve Clark. Well, long term IR is gonna prevent him from going anywhere.
Speaking of Nylander, a deal is apparently in the works for Chicago to send Khabibulin to either Toronto or New Jersey. New Jersey makes the most sense. They have salary cap room, and with future hall of fame goaltender Martin Brodeur going down, the Devils are looking for a solid number one to replace him. The Devils since beating the Caps in a shootout, have gone a scoring spree behind the play of Dainius Zubrus and Patrick Elias. They are once again looking like a playoff team and Khabibulin brings Stanley Cup winning experience. Khabibulin to Toronto just doesn't seem to fit into what Toronto is trying to do as a team. The plan for Toronto is not to be between eighth and twelfth in the east, its to be first or second. That said, I just don't see where a guy like Khabibulin fits into the rebuilding process that is currently going on in Toronto. If Nylander is indeed dealt, it is hard to say who would come back from Chicago although a defenseman or two would be a good bet. Talking to Tarik El-Bashir earlier today, I asked him, "Apparently a deal is in the works for Khabibulin to go to either New Jersey or Toronto. That would make room for Nylander. Who would you see coming back from Chicago if Nylander were dealt? Do you see any other possible moves?" He responded by saying, "Several teams want Nylander according to my sources, with most of the interest coming from Chicago, Vancouver and St. Louis. It's also no secret that the Caps would like to move the veteran center and his $4.875 cap hit. The team did fine without him last season, and he's clearly struggling to fit in this year. But there's a wild card in this equation: He requested, and has, a no trade clause. He confirmed this for me on Monday, and a source in another organization also confirmed this for me. That said, I could see him accepting a deal to Chicago, where he still has a home. Heck, his Benz still has Illinois plates. But then the question becomes which players will be involved? I've studied both rosters, and I can't make it work for either team." So it sounds like, it's possible that more than Chicago maybe involved in the Nylander sweepstakes. It also sounds like, if he is moved, that the most likely destination is Chicago. The rash of injuries at this time maybe enough for the Caps to have to hold off on dealing Nylander anywhere. If Nylander is dealt, what team would you like to see him dealt to and for whom in exchange? Feel free to post your comments.