Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Capitals Stand Pat; Backstrom on Ir

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Capitals Stand Pat; Backstrom on Ir

Article excerpt

The Washington Capitals pulled a surprise at the NHL trade deadline -- by making no moves at all.

The Capitals opted to stay put Monday, even though they could use a center while Nicklas Backstrom is out long term with a concussion - - and even though they have two veterans who have been deemed dispensable in the last week.

The four-time Southeast Division champions, who were expected to contend for a Stanley Cup this season, are in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with 20 games to play. Alex Ovechkin is having a career-worst season, and coach Dale Hunter has failed to rally the players into any kind of sustained momentum since replacing Bruce Boudreau in late November.

General manager George McPhee appeared to set the stage for some deals early Monday when he placed Backstrom on the long-term injured list, a move that could net about $7.6 million in salary cap space. The move is retroactive to Jan. 4, the day after Backstrom was elbowed by Rene Bourque in a win against Calgary. …

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