Wow... Merry Christmas in July! Finally a UFA Day that Caps fans can enjoy, too. In addition to snagging two tremendous picks for a goaltender that had reportedly already packed up his bags for the KHL, GM GM did some amazing McGeneral Management to lock up some tremendous talent and also Jeff Halpern for season.
Including Brouwer's acquisition and Laich extension, who was all but on the open market 2 days prior to the start of free agency, that makes for 5 players that were not expected to be on the Caps openning night roster in October, 2011. So, how about them Caps? Please weigh in your suggested new lines in the comments with a little justification and make sure to vote on your take of the day's efforts in the FanPoll below.
Seeing as we have a mere $2.044 million in remainin Salary Cap and that Ted has stated numerous times he likes to keep a few million on reserve, I don't see too many more moves to come. The exception to this would be if we were to ship someone off to create space (of course Semin's name already gets thrown in at this point). Regardless, assuming we only add a 4th line left winger somewhere between $525 - $850k, one may make a relatively safe assumption that we're quickly nearing what the Team may look like next season. That being the case, I offer up these lines:
Ovie - Backstrom - Knuble
Semin - Laich - Brouwer
Chimera - Johansson - Ward/Fehr
Hendricks/Beagle - Halpern/Hendricks - Fehr/Ward
Long-term Injured Reserve:
You'll notice Laich and Semin both moving back to their natural positions: Center and Left Wing, respectively. While Beagle hasn't played a lot of LW, the above assumes he may be able to fill in from time to time if Hendricks is playing Center whilst Halpern isn't.
Regarding defensive pairings, this is where our club is going to continue shining. Due to the
Hannon Hamrlik signing it was tough to decide which one was "top pairing" et cetera, so don't read too much into that. I think one could make a case that any of the three would be more than capable of going up against first line talent. Truly you can see where our priorities have shifted, which is great. Regarding the goaltending, as McPhee has already gone on record stating that we would either be going with the trio or the duo depending on Varlamov's mood de jour, it may be safe to assume we'll be seeing a lot more of Holtby next season.
I look forward to seeing your lines and reading all the great
refutations input from everyone. Don't forget to vote on today's activity, too!