- Scenes like these are now a thing of the past after Fleischmann (14) was dealt to Colorado. (Photo: Associated Press)
Update-3:45 p.m. Earlier this afternoon, the Capitals held a conference call with the newly acquired defenseman Scott Hannan, who will join the team in St. Louis ahead of tomorrow night's game against the Blues, though whether he will play remains an open question.
"I'm really excited to be going to a team in first place, and a team that has a great chance to make a run for the Stanley Cup," Hannan said.
The 31-year-old, acquired from Colorado for Tomas Fleischmann in a trade earlier this afternoon, has played a total of 775 games as an NHL defenseman, which means he has played the second-most NHL games of anyone on the Caps defensive corps (only Tom Poti, at 795 NHL games, has played more).
The Caps are en route to St. Louis tonight ahead of tomorrow's game, and Hannan said he hadn't yet heard from many of his new teammates. "I talked to Matt Hendricks [a former teammate with the Avalanche] and I had a message from Alex [Ovechkin], but I'll meet the team in St. Louis tonight. I've been packing up some stuff quick and getting ready to fly out there."
Hannan also said that he first heard about a potential trade Monday, when he was asked by the Avalanche if he'd consider waiving the no-trade clause that was a part of the 4-year, $18 million deal signed in 2007. He also discussed what he believes his role will be on the Capitals: "I don't think the game has changed that much. I've been counted on to be a defensive player who can kill penalties and play against other teams' top line ... I expect to be put in a defensive role [in Washington]. I don't think they'll change that up too much."
"We'll just see where I fit in," he added toward the end of the call.
Update- 3:15 p.m.: Here's more from McPhee: "I really don't think our defense failed us last year, either in the regular season or the playoffs. We weren't scoring in the last three games of the playoffs. But it's nice to have this kind of player who does all those little things that make a difference in a game."
"We've been talking since, I think, August, about this deal. We're in good shape [salary cap-wise]. As I've said many times, we've managed our cap really well, and that allows us to do a deal like this. [Hannan] has an expensive contract, but we have the room to do it. I think we had about $3.8 [million] of [cap] room , so there's about a $1.3 [million] difference in this trade between Flash and Hannan, so we have about $2.5 [million] of room, which at the trading deadline is [worth] about $8 million, so we're in good shape."
"[Hannan's] a physically strong guy. He doesn't run over people a lot. He will when he has to, but he's about getting position in front of the net and not letting anybody get to the front of the net for tips and rebounds, that sort of thing, and keeping all the shots to the outside."
On Hannan's no-trade clause, which he waived: "I don't like no-trade clauses. We don't have any on our team. We have a couple that kick in a few years down the road and they're limited, but ... they travel with the player in that kind of trade, so we essentially took it on in order to get the deal done."
On Fleischmann's reaction to the deal: "He was really good. He's a great kid with great character. We've never had one issue with Flash. He's always come to play. He's a great organizational guy, good teammate, and had nothing but good things to say to us. Flash is a good player. He's not playing as well as he can right now, but he will. He'll pick it up again. He's helped get us where we are. He was a big part of the turnaround."
Update-2:30 p.m. Here's what Capitals General Manager George McPhee had to say about the trade this afternoon:
"[Hannan's] got lots of playoff experience and he's played in the league a long time. He's got as much, or more experience on the blue line than anybody on our club with the exception of Tom Poti. He's at a point in his career where he's been in the league a long time and wants to win a [Stanley] Cup. And I think he completes our defense. We're really happy with the way our defense has been playing, but to add one more guy like this helps. Our defense moves the puck pretty well, we can generate offense from back there, but to have one more shutdown guy that can block shots and do all the little things that make a difference, we felt was important to add."
The Capitals have set up a conference call with Hannan that will begin momentarily. Will give you some quotes from that ASAP.
Original Story: The Washington Capitals have just confirmed that they have traded forward Tomas Fleischmann to the Colorado Avalanche for defenseman Scott Hannan. The news was first reported by Bob McKenzie of TSN in Canada.
According to team officials, Hannan will join the Capitals in time for tomorrow night's game at the St. Louis Blues (8:00 p.m.) and will wear the number 23.
Fleischmann participated in practice this morning at the Kettler Iceplex, and news of the trade did not break until after the locker room had been closed to the media and head coach Bruce Boudreau had finished his daily meeting with the press.
The trade is expected to provide some needed defensive insurance for the Capitals, who have had to deal with injuries to defensemen Mike Green, Tom Poti, and Tyler Sloan at various points this year. The 31-year-old Hannan is in the final year of a four-year, $18 million contract with the Avalanche, which he signed in the summer of 2007. Prior to playing his three-plus years in Colorado, the native of Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, spent the first eight seasons of his NHL career with the San Jose Sharks.
This season, Hannan has played 23 games for the Avalance, recording six assists and an overall +1. He has played at least 71 games in each of his 11 professional seasons.
The 26-year-old Fleischmann, acquired by the Capitals in a 2004 trade with the Detroit Red Wings, has recorded four goals and six assists so far this season, though he has not scored a goal since a 5-4 shootout win over the Toronto Maple Leafs November 3. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent at season's end.