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One player who could fill either of the team’s needs at forward is Dainius Zubrus, whom the Caps traded at the deadline in late February. Zubrus had 52 points in 60 games for Washington before compiling eight points in 19 games in a right wing role with Buffalo.

“He prefers center,” Zubrus’ agent, Jerrold Colton, said. “He’s willing to do whatever it takes to help the team, but he prefers to play center.

“Dainius is very open-minded. It was very hard for him to leave and under the right circumstances he would be willing to come back.”

Colton and McPhee tried to work out a contract extension for Zubrus before the deadline. McPhee said he made offers of three and four years, but the two sides could not come to an agreement. Zubrus often was lauded by members of the organization for his mentorship of Ovechkin and Semin. His brother, Audrius, still works for the team.

“They don’t have to sell Dainius on Washington,” Colton said. “He was there for six years. We tried to get something done at the deadline and we just couldn’t get it done. He has a fondness for the organization — from George [McPhee] to [coach] Glen [Hanlon] to the players and the fans. It wasn’t like Dainius wanted to get out of Washington.”