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Plus/Minus – Grading the Washington Capitals Offseason

Posted By Corey Krakower On Jul 22 2011 @ 10:13 am In Washington Capitals | No Comments

**Rating system for “Plus/Minus” Series**
+3 = Major Upgrade
+2 = Upgrade
+1 = Slight Upgrade
0 = Same as prior year
-1 = Slight Dowgrade
-2 = Downgrade
-3 = Major Downgrade

Team: Washington Capitals
2010-11: 107 points, #1 in Eastern Conference

GOALIES

Returning: Michal Neuvirth

Arrivals: Tomas Vokoun
Departures: Semyon Varlamov

Grade: +2

Not that goaltending was a major issue, but it has been a question mark in Washington over the past 2 seasons. This move gives them arguably one of the best goaltending tandems in the NHL.

DEFENSE

Returning: Mike Green, Jeff Schultz, John Carlson, Karl Alzner, Dennis Wideman, John Erskine

Arrivals: Roman Hamrlik
Departures: Scott Hannan, Tyler Sloan

Grade: +1

I’m a Scott Hannan fan, but bringing in Hamrlik and letting him go is a great move. A pair of Hamrlik and Wideman will be the best #3 pair in the league, assuming Green-Schultz and Alzner-Carlson stay together. Tom Poti is not on this list because he is expected to spend the season on LTIR.

FORWARDS

Returning: Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin, Brooks Laich, Mike Knuble, Marcus Johansson, Matt Hendricks, Jason Chimera, Jay Beagle, Mathieu Perreault

Arrivals: Troy Brouwer, Joel Ward, Jeff Halpern
Departures: Jason Arnott, Eric Fehr, Matt Bradley, Boyd Gordon, Marco Sturm

The Capitals added some serious depth scoring this offseason, bringing in Brouwer who is good for 20-25 goals, and Nashville playoff standout Joel Ward. Those are significant pieces that will ease some of the pressure on Ovechkin/Semin. Also worthy of note, top prospect Cody Eakin would be another significant addition if he cracks the lineup out of camp.

Grade: +2

OVERALL RATING: +5
2011-12 Prediction: #1 in Eastern Conference

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