How the Capitals were rebuilt
By Tarik El-Bashir, Bonnie Berkowitz and Sisi Wei
The Washington Post
Early in the 2003-04 season, the Capitals found themselves at a critical juncture in franchise history that ultimately led to the construction of this season's Presidents' Trophy-winning team. The roster was made up of older and underachieving players, and the team's place in the standings was not commensurate with a payroll that ranked among the highest in the NHL. General Manager George McPhee, owner Ted Leonsis and team President Dick Patrick had a difficult decision to make: Add another high-priced veteran in hopes of sparking a turnaround or blow up the roster and start from scratch. Taking into account the likelihood of a work stoppage the following season, they boldly chose option No. 2. If the plan succeeded, it could get the Capitals to the Stanley Cup. If it failed, there was no turning back.
*Note: Players are listed chronologically in the order they were acquired.
The Washington Post, April 15, 2010.