The Capitals have had a quiet offseason after being on the wrong side of one of the biggest upsets in NHL playoff history. When free agency started July 1 -- overshadowed by LeBronMania, of course -- the Caps opted to stand pat while the top players on the market inked deals elsewhere.
Optimists will point out that the Caps won the President's Trophy last season after finishing with the league's best record. Those who aren't wearing scarlet-colored glasses will argue that significant changes -- at least one -- should have been made after the Capitals were knocked out of the first round of the playoffs by the Canadiens.
Me? I think the Capitals needed to upgrade their defense to go on a serious Stanley Cup run. They should have went hard after hard-nosed defenseman Anton Volchenkov and I would have liked to see them sign a veteran goaltender -- Evgeni Nabokov came to mind -- to pair with one of the team's young goalies. But I am not George McPhee, so what do I know?
At the Capitals' development camp Friday, forward Brooks Laich was asked about the Capitals' lack of activity. He said he's not sweating it; he is confident in the team as it is currently constructed (having this guy around is nice, I guess).
"I didn't think we were a long ways off last year," Laich told The Washington Post. "It wasn't like at the trade deadline or after we lost [to Montreal] we were saying, 'Geez, I wish we would have more of this or more of that.' That wasn't the case. I think our team is right on the cusp. I know we've said this for a couple of years, but it takes time to learn how to win.
"I'm sure the young guys coming up are going to come in and do a fantastic job, and it's going to push the older guys a little bit more. I'm not worried one ounce about the lack of movement with our team in free agency."
Laich added that the Capitals have "unfinished business" to take care of in 2010-11.
"I'm [annoyed] with the way the year ended last year," he said. "I thought our team was on the verge last year. Now you add in a year of frustration and disappointment, that should fuel guys even more."
OK, give me some feedback here: This was my first Capitals post on the new blog. I promised to keep the hockey chatter to a minimum, but I'm curious about the interest level in the Capitals in Baltimore. Let's try a little experiment.
On a scale of 1 to 10 -- 1 being as much as the WNBA and 10 being as much as, well, something super freaking captivating -- how interested are you in the Capitals? If no one responds, I'm going to assume they're all 10s. Thanks in advance.