Capitals general manager George McPhee met with members of the media on Friday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex to discuss, among other things, the upcoming NHL trade deadline, the expectations on his team, and the recent criticism heaped on Alex Ovechkin.
In Part One, McPhee discusses the April 3 NHL trade deadline:
On how to balance the team’s need to make the playoffs and Mike Ribeiro’s request for a long-term contract:
Well, that’s the job. You have to balance these things. And I simply make decisions based on what’s best for the organization, and the individual comes a close second. Other than that I’m not gonna talk about individuals. I don’t think that’s fair. But that’s how we approach things. That’s how we approach the deadline.
On if this deadline is any different because so many teams are in the playoff race:
Yeah. It’s sort of been like the season. It’s a strange – it just doesn’t have a great feel to it. But we’ll go in with a plan and decide what’s best for the organization. We have some ideas. There may be nothing happening, there may be a lot happening. I don’t know until we get in there and people start deciding what they really want to do.
On the importance of the three games leading up to the April 3 deadline:
I think there’s still a lot of hockey to be played. And we want to make the playoffs and we’re gonna continue to push for the playoffs.
On the balance between doing what’s right for the long-term future of the team and sending a message to fans:
We want to make the playoffs. And that’s the plan going into the trading deadline. What can we do what’s best for the organization that helps us make the playoffs.
On whether there are fewer players available in this year’s trade market:
A little bit smaller [pool] than usual. But that doesn’t mean that it won’t open up. And it doesn’t mean that you can’t make hockey trades. A lot of people are reluctant to do rentals because it’s sometimes hard to re-sign those players and you do have to put a team on the ice next year. So you have to be careful. But there may be more hockey trades than the types that we’re used to.
On whether hockey trades [as opposed to contract trades] still exist:
I hope there are a few out there. We’ll see.