**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
Returning: Michal Neuvirth
Arrivals: Tomas Vokoun
Departures: Semyon Varlamov
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.
Returning: Mike Green, Jeff Schultz, John Carlson, Karl Alzner, Dennis Wideman, John Erskine
Arrivals: Roman Hamrlik
Departures: Scott Hannan, Tyler Sloan
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.
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.
OVERALL RATING: +5
2011-12 Prediction: #1 in Eastern Conference
About the Author
Written by Corey Krakower
I am the Director of NHL Content & Habs writer for ProSportsBlogging.com; I have spent 8 seasons behind the bench as a minor hockey coach; and I am the future GM of the Montreal Canadiens (according to my mom). I spend my days managing the Harrow Sports brand in my hometown of Montreal and I moonlight as a Hockey Advisor for Pi Athlete Management. Most importantly, I'll throw anyone under the bus for a laugh.