One of the more interesting observations made by George McPhee during his farewell news conference concerned the changes he thinks are needed for the Capitals to return to prominence.
“This team right now, if nothing’s done, just with the kids we have and the veterans, it’s a playoff team,” McPhee said. “If a couple things are done, it’s a Cup team. There isn’t much to fix. It’s a pretty easy fix.”
That leads to two obvious questions for Caps fans:
1, Do you agree it’s an easy fix, and if so, what are those “couple things” that need to be done?
2, If you don’t agree it’s an easy fix, how far are the Caps from being a Stanley Cup team and what are the major changes that need to be made?
Those are the questions Capitals owner Ted Leonsis and president Dick Patrick will be asking prospective replacements for McPhee.
For the sake of argument, let’s take McPhee’s assessment at face value. If the Caps remained untouched, what would they look like and how much salary space [based on a $70 million cap] would they have to add those “couple things?”
Here’s our current lineup:
Alex Ovechkin – Nicklas Backstrom – Troy Brouwer
Evgeni Kuznetsov – Marcus Johansson – Tom Wilson
Jason Chimera – Brooks Laich – Joel Ward
Andre Burakovaky – Jay Beagle –Eric Fehr
Aaron Volpatti – Michael Latta – Chris Brown
Karl Alzner – John Carlson
Jack Hillen – Mike Green
Dmitry Orlov - Connor Carrick
John Erskine – Patrick Wey
Braden Holtby – Philipp Grubauer
If that proves to be their depth chart, the Caps would have roughly $13 million in cap space. How would you spend it?