- Bill Clinton to endorse Charlie Rangel for re-election
- Pfc. Bradley Manning is now Pfc. Chelsea Manning: Court says so
- Secret base U.S. special forces used to train Libyans now under terrorist control: report
- 9th suspect in N.C. kidnapping turns self in to FBI
- L.A. sheriff admits to testing flyover spy program without notifying residents
- Foreign minister vows response if Russians are attacked in Ukraine
- Robert Griffin III to drive pace car before Richmond NASCAR race
- Material on Australian shore examined in jet hunt
- Bomb, shooting in Egypt kills 2 police officers
- Tenn. woman receives two-year sentence for stealing $364K meant for homeless veterans
After ‘great weekend,’ Caps’ McPhee weighs wading into free agent pool
PITTSBURGH — George McPhee had conversations, but the NHL draft wasn’t quite the trade bonanza many expected. Jordan Staal joined his brother with the Carolina Hurricanes, and naturally the Washington Capitals weren’t consulted by the rival Pittsburgh Penguins.
“They wouldn’t talk to us,” the Caps’ GM said with a smile.
Even though the Caps weren’t involved in a blockbuster deal over the weekend, McPhee was satisfied with the trade for second-line center Mike Ribeiro and the selection of Filip Forsberg with the 11th overall pick.
“I thought we had a great weekend. We’re really delighted with the way things went,” he said. “We got an elite talent [Friday] in Forsberg, and picking up Ribeiro makes us a much better team.”
The Caps filled a void at center that has existed since the departure of Sergei Fedorov three years ago. And while McPhee’s retooling project may not be complete, he indicated he’s not planning on doing much.
“I don’t mind where we are,” he said Saturday at the conclusion of the draft at Consol Energy Center. “We’ll explore some things in free agency, but I don’t think we’re desperate to do anything.”
Of course, there’s the possibility McPhee simply is not showing his hand with unrestricted free agency starting July 1. But with veteran forwards Mike Knuble and Jeff Halpern leaving and right wing Alexander Semin and defenseman Dennis Wideman likely departing as well, the roster appears to have holes.
Ribeiro filled one, with Cody Eakin and a second-round pick going to the Dallas Stars.
“I’ve been after this player for a while, so we got it done. We gave up a real good kid in Cody, who’s going to play a long time in this league. But obviously, Ribeiro will come in and play much higher in our lineup right away,” McPhee said. “He’s got skill and makes plays, 60, 70 points a year and a pretty good shootout player, too.”
That was the Caps’ biggest splash of the weekend, and McPhee said he didn’t have any trades in the works for this week. As far as improving through free agent signings, he said “there’s no urgency to have to do anything.”
Part of that might be the long-term realization of buyer’s remorse from some good deals gone bad.
“I prefer to make a trade than sign free agents. That other process is expensive and usually more term than you want,” McPhee said after trading for Ribeiro. “Sometimes you get it done and then by the end of November you’re asking yourself, ‘What’d I do here?’ You win the battle for the player and then you’re trying to trade him two months later. Somehow, this is a better way to do it.”
Even factoring in Ribeiro’s $5 million cap hit and what it will cost to lock up restricted free agents Mike Green, John Carlson, Jay Beagle and Mathieu Perreault, the Caps should have in the neighborhood of $10 million to spend. But free agency is a crapshoot.
What shouldn’t be is the search for a coach, something that McPhee said “might” be wrapped up this week though he refused to promise a speedy resolution to the process. Ex-Chicago Blackhawks assistant Mike Haviland, Norfolk Admirals coach Jon Cooper and New Jersey Devils assistant Adam Oates seem to be the finalists.
“I might be leaning one way, but we’ll see,” said McPhee, who has not discussed candidates’ names but has interviewed at least seven. “I’ve got a few more questions to ask next week, not of these people but of people who know them.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- WHYNO: Tomas Vokoun gets unexpected Stanley Cup shot with Penguins
- Brandon Meriweather, Redskins' secondary ready for bounceback year
- Kirk Cousins embraces role as Redskins' offseason starter as RG3 rehabs from injury
- Capitals notes: Realignment won't prompt roster remake
- Despite Caps' first-round playoff exit, Adam Oates' first season as coach left a positive taste
Latest Blog Entries
- Redskins injury updates (5/23): WR Pierre Garcon, CB Josh Wilson each had labrum surgery
- Capitals 'love' Matt Hendricks, but how much?
- Wojtek Wolski signs in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League
- Tom Poti won't return to Capitals, plans to continue his NHL career
- Is Tom Wilson ready to be a regular for Capitals?
Feds who send arms against ranch families betray American values
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with 'full-time' robots
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- IRS revokes conservative group's tax-exempt status over anti-Clinton statements: report
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- Justice Dept.'s new clemency guidelines: Crack offenders most obvious candidates
- Ukraine claims torture by pro-Russian forces on the heels of Biden's stern warning to Moscow
- EDITORIAL: Voting with one's feet shows folly of liberal economic policies
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014