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The Hannan Trade–My Take December 1, 2010

Posted by CapitalSpirit in Uncategorized.

Quite a big move by the Caps, as Tomas Fleischmann gets sent to Colorado in exchange for Scott Hannan. There’s been quite a bit of instant reaction to it, so here’s my take.

For reference, I’m looking at Jason Chimera. We gave up Milan Jurcina and Chris Clark to get him–Mr. Clark being our then-captain, a major stroke–and it was a very good move. Chimera has more wheels than a Peterbilt, quite frankly, and unfamiliarity with a Western Conference player may have led to some instant over-reactions then. I suspect that’s the case now.

That Mr. Hannan volunteered to come here tells me that effort will not be a problem. He wants a Cup, he wants it badly, and he thinks we’ve got a shot at it. When you play that many seasons in this league, you know who the good teams are. So this is both a vote of confidence by our newest teammate, and an implicit promise of good performance (it being a contract year). So I like what we got.

Mr. Fleischmann’s departure is, admittedly, quite a down note on a personal level. He is a good character, and he did a lot of good work for us over the years. He was here from the bad times to the good times, and I’m admittedly sad to see him go. Sadder for him more than anything else: if we win the Stanley Cup this year, how deep will his sorrow be? But, realistically, less than half a point a game isn’t top-six performance, the left wing is overloaded, and Mr. Fleischmann didn’t quite work out at center. If he had been on the score sheet every night, I’d have more objections. As it is, I can understand why he was movable. He’ll do well in Colorado, I should think. The Avalanche were hyping him as an instant top-six man in their statement, so he’ll have a good home on that squad. He may not have been top-six material here, but if he can blossom in Colorado, it’s only fair to give him that chance.

And in the end, you do have to consider what’s best for the player, as player. Had Mr. Fleischmann stayed, and kept up his sub-half-point-per-game pace, he might eventually have ended up in the press box so much that he could have become a small paper’s beat reporter. That’s conjecture, admittedly, but thank goodness we’ll never find out. That wouldn’t be fair to him, to develop him so much and then banish him to the press box night after night. If he’s not doing well here, but could do better somewhere else, he deserves a chance to do better somewhere else.

It will be interesting to see how much ice time he gets in Colorado: if he ends up getting more there than he would have gotten here, then the trade ultimately works out for his professional benefit, if perhaps not his championship aspirations.

So Mr. Hannan seems happy to be playing for a contender; Mr. Fleischmann should be happy if he gets more ice time; Colorado is happy to have a top-six forward; and the Capitals are happy to have a defensive defenseman. Lots of happy all around, if perhaps not so much outside the glass.

For Mr. Hannan, welcome to Washington, and I hope to see you do well. For Mr. Fleischmann, I’m sorry it didn’t work out; good luck in Colorado, and Godspeed.

Only one way to go now from here–onwards.




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