By FCKendrick, Caps West Coast Writer
Ok so the captain is suspended, we all knew that it was coming, and we all knew that its probably deserved (though a full three games might be a bit harsh Shanny.) Let us not bicker and argue about the suspension's merits, and just accept the facts that come along with it: First that George Mcphee's hand has officially been forced. Second the Capitals are a team that has been floundering on offense for the better part of a calender year, a team without any kind of depth down the middle whatsoever, and a team that is now missing its' three best offensive players, two of which might not be back for the foreseeable future.
So considering that GMGM is already on the hottest of hot seats, he is in kind of a pickle. A move has to be made, and it has to be made RIGHT F$(%ING NOW, if the fanbase on Twitter is correct. Let us take a look at what could happen if George were to look at the roster set to face the Bruins tomorrow night, get incredibly drunk on some Russian vodka and start dialing random gm's around the league.
The Caps have a bunch of different trade chips and not a lot of salary cap space to take anyone back (assuming Greeny and Nicky are returning). There are the goalies Neuvy and Holtby, but trading either at the moment would be selling them for fifty-cents on the dollar. Also Colorado's first round pick from next year, hopefully a lottery pick, and an untouchable Russian phenom whom should not even be discussed in trade speculation. There is one more however, an incredibly talented 21 year old swede who has only just started to tap into his potential, yes Marcus Johansson is indeed a giant trade chip. He is also the one that should be traded.
Johansson's development while, not slow or worrisome, is not happening at the same Marchand-ian like pace that both Caps fans and management were so convinced of after his showing in the playoffs last spring. It is because of that faith in his development, that led them to eschew resigning Jason Arnott, or a comparable player to center the 2nd line. That is and was flat out a mistake. 21 year old's coming off there first real exposure to the nhl should not be relied upon to be the magical elixir to a problem that has been haunting the caps for the better part of five years. By November it was clear that the team and Marcus were best suited having him line up as a winger already dropping the facade that he was the 2nd line center they had so desperately hoped he would become. Now, with Nicklas Backstrom out for an extended period of time the team is lacking in a single play making centerman of any kind. It is time to trade Marcus Johansson.
The team and you GMGM (yes the author is narcissistic enough to think you're reading this) are not in any position to be willy nilly about acquiring offensive help, sitting in 8th as this is written there is no wiggle room whatsoever. They could barely score with the captain, now more then ever it is time George, time to stop being the least ballsiest general manager in the NHL, time to move an asset or two, or three even, to help the team right now. Unless your cool with being fired that is.