The Washington Times - February 2, 2012, 05:20PM

The Washington Capitals learned a hard lesson about how important it is to have depth on defense when injuries piled up there last season. Without Dennis Wideman, Tom Poti and even Mike Green for their final playoff game and with John Carlson banged-up, the Caps were very short-handed on the blue line.

It was the most prominent excuse the organization had for getting swept by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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On Thursday, the Caps made a couple American Hockey League trades that seem minor, but in acquiring defenseman Kevin Marshall from the Philadelphia Flyers, they bolstered their depth on the back end. Marshall is 6-foot-1 and 207 pounds and has some bite to his game.

It cost Matthew Ford, a right wing with 28 points in 39 games with the Hershey Bears.

Elsewhere, they dealt minor league defenseman Danny Richmond to the Colorado Avalanche for 23-year-old center Mike Carman.

Both Marshall, 22, and Carman will report to the Bears. 

But Marshall provides yet another option as a defensive call-up, which could be valuable if the team decides to trade oft-healthy-scratched veteran Jeff Schultz. Marshall played 10 games with the Flyers this season, perhaps well before anyone expected him to make his NHL debut.

“The best way to get experience is to be thrown right into the fire, I believe, to be honest with you, and to be thrown into situations,” Philadelphia defenseman Braydon Coburn said of Marshall in December.

Marshall’s cap hit is $845,833 but he does not need to go through waivers to be recalled.