Throughout Coach Bruce Boudreau's tenure, critics have often cited the Capitals' need for a veteran, shut-down type of defenseman. By acquiring Scott Hannan in a trade that sent Tomas Fleischmann to the Colorado Avalanche, General Manager George McPhee said the Capitals have made "the perfect addition" to the already existing defensive group.
"He's at the point in his career where he's been in the league a long time and wants to win a [Stanley] Cup, and I think it completes our defense," McPhee said. "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 shut-down guy that can block shots, that can do all the little things that would make a difference, we thought was important to add."
Hannan, 31, brings added experience to the Washington blueline, having played 775 career NHL regular season games to trail only Tom Poti (795) on the Capitals roster. He also has plenty of playoff experience both with the Avalanche and in his previous tenure with the San Jose Sharks.
Hannan is in the final season of a four-year, $18 million contract and the Capitals will have a salary cap hit of $3,193,548 for the remainder of his deal this season, according to capgeek, which also lists the Capitals' remaining space under the salary cap at $2,372,859 -- plenty of room to make a deal before or at the trade deadline if necessary.
"We're in good shape" with the salary cap, said McPhee, who added that the Capitals have been in discussions about acquiring Hannan since August.. "As I've said many times, we've managed our cap really well and it allows us to do a deal like this. He has an expensive contract but we have the room to do it."
Hannan waived a no-trade clause in order for the move to take place. While that condition moves with him to Washington, McPhee said that with this being the final year of Hannan's contract, it wasn't an issue.
More to come.