As expected, the Capitals did some tinkering before today's 3 p.m. trade deadline, acquiring center Jason Arnott and defenseman Dennis Wideman in separate deals. On Saturday, Washington claimed winger Marco Sturm off waivers.
The Capitals have improved their roster in the past couple of days, but how much exactly?
Arnott, 36, brings with him to Washington a wealth of playoff experience, a Stanley Cup ring from a decade ago and whatever he has left in the tank -- which doesn't appear to be much. Expected to become the Capitals' second-line center, Arnott had just 13 goals and 24 points in 62 games for the Devils.
The Capitals shipped foward David Steckel and a second-round pick to the Devils to acquire Arnott, who isn't your ideal second-line center but is still an upgrade. He is a big-bodied veteran with size and savvy, and maybe playing on a playoff team and skating with Alexander Semin will give him a spark.
Wideman, 27, was acquired from the Panthers for prospect Jake Hauswirth and a third-round pick. He has some puck-moving skills, which is helpful with Mike Green and Tom Poti out, but he's pretty much a depth defenseman. Wideman certainly isn't the kind of big, nasty, physical blueliner that Capitals desperately need, though that kind of defenseman doesn't exactly grow on trees.
Sturm, 32, is a quality find on the waiver wire. He's a two-way winger who will add some skill to a grind line.
That being said, the Capitals fell way short. I'm not sure if it's because they felt pretty comfortable with their roster or because GM George McPhee wasn't able to make something happen before the deadline. The Capitals weren't able to fortify their defense with a top-four defenseman. They didn't bring in a veteran goalie such as Tomas Vokoun or J.S. Giguere. And Arnott might not have the kind of impact fans have been hoping for.
It's now up to Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals on-again, off-again offense to carry the Capitals to a championship. Well, unless one of their young goalies channels his inner Patrick Roy (heck, the Caps would probably settle for someone's inner Jaroslav Halak). It's not impossible, but barring a remarkable turnaround down the stretch, I don't see these Capitals hoisting the Stanley Cup at season's end.