The Answer

Fact: The Caps are in desperate need of a first-line, play-making center.

Fact: The Caps have a handful of core players who will be due new contracts after the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons, so it's unlikely they can break the bank (in terms of dollars or years) on any one player this coming offseason.

Fact: The Caps have a young stud Swede who hopefully will be playing in the NHL next season, but undoubtedly will have some difficulty transitioning to North America, both on and off the ice.

Fact: The Rangers are having trouble re-signing Michael Nylander, who just so happens to be a legitimate first-line center who is Swedish and won't cost Scott Gomez/Chris Drury money.

Answer: Sign Nylander for two years at $4-4.5 million per year, and he centers Alex Ovechkin, mentors Nicklas Backstrom and is off the books by the time Backstrom's ready to be the number one center and the team has to make big-time salary commitments elsewhere.

Any questions?

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