Caps figure to be sellers as deadline looms

Disappointing run has Washington on the ropes

The year 2020 will be ominously remembered due to COVID-19. Its impacts are widespread including the hockey world with a shortened NHL season, playoff ice hockey in July and August, and the best participation prize ever (top lottery pick for a playoff loser). The pandemic's mismanagement in Washington D.C. has been well covered on top of existing chaos. In this gloomy backdrop, the shadow is also cast on the WCHL's Washington Capitals.

Winter (Season 30) – 2020 began with the Caps finishing season 30 strong and they entered the playoffs with some jump against the Philadelphia Flyers who had even given Washington the edge. Then the Broad Street Bullies sent the Caps packing with a sweep.

Spring (Off- and new season) – The team had a respectable off-season retooling via the trade market, entry draft, and to a lesser extent free agency. Season 31 started with a bang with the Caps holding on to the third spot in the uber competitive Metropolitan division, and poised for more. Sometime near the half-way mark, the team went off the tracks – an epic derailment.

Summer (Season 31) – From August 15 to August 27, 2020, or from day 48 to day 60 of Season 31, the Caps won one game and lost eleven. This included losses to league basement dwellers the Winnipeg Jets and twice to the lowly Boston Bruins. Moreover, in their previous twelve games, the Caps played .500 hockey winning and losing six, which isn't good enough to contend. Altogether, this downward spiral resulted in a drop to the thirteenth seed in the Eastern Conference.

Outlook  The organization has decided to be sellers at the deadline. Even if they win a few games, the promise of the season is lost. All players will be made available with the exception of Nick Suzuki and those with NMCs. This is not a fire sale. Prominent players in the trade block include: Steven Stamkos, Alex Goligoski, Devon Toews, Ondrej Palat, Brad Richardson (has a NTC, not NMC); Zach Hyman, Madison Bowey, Mattias Janmark, and Michael Del Zotto.

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