I didn't get into hockey until 1994 when I bought NHL '94 on the Sega Genesis. I used the Wings and became a fan of them and of the great Steve Yzerman. Once he retired, I kinda became much more casual a fan. Because of my extreme distaste for all sports relating to Pittsburgh, it was only natural that I started following the Caps as their rivalry with the Pens grew more heated. I'm still a rather casual hockey fan, but I'm starting to follow a little closer. All this leads to a few questions:
How well did the Caps do in off season acquisitions?
What's the situation like with the minors and the recent drafts?
Are they good enough to finally break through and make it to the finals?
I'm really looking for objectivity folks. No homers allowed
According to Yahho, the GM George McPhee is "cold running" the league. He signed a former #1 overall pick and solid d-man in Hamrlik, acquired a solid forward who fills a need in Troy Brouwer, traded an extra goalie in Varlamov for a 1st and 2nd round pick ( to a likely bad team in the Avalanche, at that), and signed a top 10 goalie in Vokoun for $1.5 million. The vast majority of writers and "experts" will say the Caps had the best offseason of any team.
The Caps have a very top heavy farm- Kuznetsov is very good, Eakin could be a good 3rd line player, Orlov has great ptotential as an offensive d-man (though his defense itself leaves something to be desired), and goalie Braden Holtby has already experienced success in the NHL. overall, however, their system is not deep- I saw a site that ranked it 21. That's not so important though, as tey are a younf team and many of their recent top prospects graduated to the team.
They're good enough. They have been good enough. They just need to be motivated and/or get that extra kick, which they may have gotten this offseason.