With 20 games left in the season, these are your Washington Capitals. Monday’s trade deadline came and went without a single trade.
A stunning turn of events to say the least.
And George McPhee said he was never close to making a move.
“I don’t think so,” the general manager said. “You talk and you talk and you talk and you feel when something’s getting close and you’re closing in on something and you can do this or that. It never got to that today.”
On Saturday night in Toronto, forward Matt Hendricks wondered if back-to-back victories would lead to McPhee acting like a buyer.
“When it comes to the trade deadline, everyone kind of views it the same way. It’s part of the job, part of the business, and what happens happens,” Hendricks said. “Hopefully we swayed some opinions. We’re playing well and we like our group.”
This is the group, so the Caps better like it. Roman Hamrlik, who blasted coach Dale Hunter for his explanation about making him a healthy scratch, is still here. As is Mike Knuble, who has been a healthy scratch for five games in the past month.
Both veterans are unhappy but remain on the roster. That is surprising, even if the Caps did not make any moves those two figured to be dealt.
Almost two weeks ago, McPhee explained that he wouldn’t just make a trade for the sake of it.
“I don’t know whether we’re going to make a hockey trade or do a rental or do something more permanent or do nothing. I don’t know,” he said Feb. 16. “As I said, you have your own ideas, but they may not develop into anything.”