Tomas Vokoun was only supposed to be in Washington for one season, I get that. I also accept the fact that he was one of the sole reasons that the Caps stayed in playoff contention through Gabby’s firing and into January. He was borderline great at a time when Neuvy and Holtby were struggling, along with every other player on the roster or in the system it seemed. Regardless of how he played immediately leading up to the deadline there were plenty of teams in desperate need of goaltending help. Looking back at the standings we the caps were in 9th place on March 30th. Knowing then that we as currently put together without a certain Swedish center being healthy, we were barely going to make the playoffs, and a very good chance at not making it. Letting the deadline go by yet again without making a major acquisition was a calculated move indicating that there wasn’t a player worth trading multiple pieces for I get that. What I don’t get is knowing full well that it was an almost certainty that two of if not all three of our big Unrestricted free agent trio Semin, Vokoun, Wideman, would not be coming back in 2013. It’s nothing less than a mismanagement of assets to let the deadline pass without moving one of those players.
Vokoun was incredibly useful, but that use had run its course, I hate comparing GMGM to Ray Shero—it’s like comparing silver cup winning apples to really shi**y apples—but the Penguins were in a very similar situation last season, UFA’s to move, uncertain if stars would return, yet still in playoff contention. He said I’m going to improve the team for this season and the next. Moving one asset in this case a young skilled defenseman, a position of depth in the organization, for a player to help out that season and the ones coming after in James Neal. In my humble opinion, Neuvy had proved himself in the playoffs last year and given the chance again would have been just fine. Knowing what you know about the likely hood of all three UFA’s returning I think it behooved GMGM to move Vokoun to any one of the goalie starved teams fighting for the playoffs(Chicago had plenty of scoring and terrible goaltending, just one example). The equation in my mind was simple—Neuvy plus quality centre/forward/dman/whatever the return for Vokoun would have been was greater than Vokoun in net and Neuvy on the bench and no improvement to the skaters.
The series against the Rangers was basically decided by one goal here or one goal there, I’m quite confident that any player that came back in the Vokoun trade would have been worth one freaking goal. Whether it was a defenceman to take the place of Schultz (who was on the ice for what seemed like 80% of the goals against) to an extra center to maybe create one chance for Semin on the second line or heck even someone to take Mojo’s useless ass place. I refuse to believe that whoever it was would not have been worth one extra goal and wouldn’t you know we probably win the series.
The history of GMGM and pulling the trigger on really anything sometimes has me wondering if he has any sort of cahones at all. This team has been damn close for almost five years now yet the biggest addition by trade that has been made was for Scotty Hannan or a half washed up Federov, hell both of those even sort of worked out. Looking at the last few cup winners or those playing for the cup, they have F*ing gone for it. You can go down the list, Hossa all three times worked out pretty well, Guerin was a borderline hall of famer, and Chris Pronger put the Flyers on his back when they went to the cup. GMGM has been hoarding assets and sitting on his hands for five years, and now they are starting to slip away with no return on them in sight. Either make a move for the now or for the future this passive aggressive bulls**t leads me to screaming at you on the TV screen “WE HAVE NEEDED A F**KING SECOND LINE CENTER FOR FIVE YEARS” over and over. In 2009 I went ballistic when Jose Theodore was chosen to backstop the best Caps team I’ve ever seen, what happens if they make a move for Vokoun then? Hindsight is 20/20, but I can still use your head as a dart board GMGM.