Capitals Acquire Glencross, Gleason Before Deadline


After being just three points out of first place in the Metropolitan Division a mere week ago, the Washington Capitals – losers of three straight and now eight points out of first – knew that some moves had to be made in order to make a run for first.

General Manager Brian MacLellan and the rest of upper management made two trades over the weekend before Monday’s trade deadline to try and improve the team on both ends of the ice.

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Early Sunday afternoon, Washington traded two picks in this year’s upcoming draft to Calgary for forward Curtis Glencross. The day before, the Capitals shipped out defenseman Jack Hillen and a 2015 fourth-round draft pick to Carolina for Tim Gleason.

While neither of the trades are blockbuster moves, both moves help Washington. However, one move made more sense than the other.

Gleason is by far an upgrade over Hillen and there was no question that the Capitals were in need of some more defending from the bottom lines. Hillen has struggled and was constantly in-and-out of the lineup this season.

In Gleason, the Capitals are acquiring a big body who brings a strong mentality to Washington. He’ll likely be paired with Mike Green, and will be counted on during short-handed situations. This season in Carolina, Gleason was ranked No. 3 among the Hurricanes’ blue-liners in shorthanded ice time.

As for the Glencross trade, that move remains questionable the more you look at it.

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At first, it looks like an alright trade because the Capitals are certainly in need of another forward. Barry Trotz had been continually rotating players throughout the lines, trying to find a combination of players, especially with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, that works.

Washington didn’t have to part ways with any players on its current roster and were able to add an experienced forward.

But trading two future players for Glencross may have been too high of a price. His contract is up at the end of the season, so there’s no guarantee that he’ll remain in Washington beyond this season. It also leaves the Capitals with just one first, third and fourth-round picks heading into this year’s upcoming draft.

If anything, this move is letting the rest of the league and fans know that the Caps have tunnel vision and are focused on this season.

And while giving up two picks for a soon-to-be free agent may seem like a lot, that’s not to take away from Glencross. His numbers are solid – nine goals, 16 assists, 16:41 average ice time – but they don’t blow you away. He’d be a better fit in the bottom-six than in one of the top lines, but that’s not to say that he won’t fit well with Ovechkin and Backstrom.

However, Washington needed an upgrade with the top-six, and acquiring a player who fits the bill for the bottom-six doesn’t exactly fill that void.

It will also be telling to see if Glencross takes time away from rookie Andre Burakovsky. Burakovsky has shown flashes all season, and Trotz and the Caps are on the record in saying that Burakovsky needs ice time to fully develop.

Nonetheless, the Washington Capitals are making moves that show that they believe this year can be the year. They still have some remaining trade bait with current players, so there’s still reason to believe they can acquire another forward before Monday’s 2 p.m. deadline.

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