VANCOUVER CANADA - OCTOBER 26: Tanner Glass #15 of the Vancouver Canucks gets tied up along the boards by Scott Hannan #22 of the Colorado Avalanche during the second period in NHL action on October 26 2010 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver British Columbia Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)

Capitals Acquire Defensemen Scott Hannan From Avalanche In Exchange For Tomas Fleischmann

The Capitals have been looking for help on the blue line, and it looks like they have found it. The team has acquired defensemen Scott Hannan from Colorado for forward Tomas Fleischmann.

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Capitals GM George McPhee On Scott Hannan: 'He Completes Our Defense'

The reported trade between the Washington Capitals and Colorado Avalanche is now official. Defensemen Scott Hannan is heading to Washington D.C. in exchange for forward Tomas Fleischmann. In a conference call with reporters earlier this afternoon, Capitals GM George McPhee said Hannan "completes our defense" and was a target of the team since August.

Via Samuel Chamberlain of TBD:

"I think he completes our defense. 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 shutdown guy that can block shots and do all the little things that make a difference, we felt was important to add."    

McPhee said defense wasn't a huge concern, but felt the chance to add a player like Hannan who can "do all the little things" was too good an opportunity to pass up. In fact, McPhee admitted that the Capitals have needed a player like Hannan for the last three or four years. That may explain why the Capitals set up their salary-cap situation where they could afford to take on Hannan's $4.5 million salary for this season. Corey Masisak of CSN Washington goes into more depth on that here.

There were several circumstances that had to break right for the Capitals for this trade to work. It starts with McPhee's cap management - Washington was nearly $4 million below the league's salary ceiling, so absorbing a hefty contract like Hannan's (a $4.5 million cap hit) was not an issue and still leaves room for another move in the future.

It also points to the relative success the franchise had with Fleischmann's arbitration decision this summer - had he been awarded a larger contract a budget-conscious team like the Avalanche may not have been interested.    

The question now is where Hannan will fit in with this mix of players. That's something SB Nation's Capitals blog Japers Rink posed to its followers on Twitter, and there have been many different kind of responses. For his part, Hannan had this to say, via Katie Carrera of the Washington Post:

"You like being on a team where you know you can fit in right away with something the team wants," Hannan said of his skill set. "I've played that [defensive] role on many other teams, I look forward and relish the fact that I get a chance to do that on a team like Washington."    

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Report: Washington Capitals Trade Tomas Fleischmann To Colorado Avalanche For Scott Hannan

There were tons of rumors over the weekend that the Washington Capitals would make a move for a defensemen. Now, it looks like that has happened. The team has acquired defensemen Scott Hannan from the Colorado Avalanche, in exchange for forward Tomas  Fleischmann, according to a report by Adrian Dater of the Denver Post.

The move makes sense considering Washington's need for some help on the blue line and their surplus of depth at forward. The team hoped that Fleischmann would emerge as the second-line center, but it hasn't really happened. He has just four goals and six assists in 23 games this season.

In return, the Capitals get a solid veteran defensemen in Hannan. The 31-year old blue liner has six points this season, with a +/- of +1. Last year, he had two goals and 14 assists in 81 games, with a +/- of +2. He has played in at least 75 games in every season since 2000, and is exactly the kind of player the Capitals were hoping to acquire this summer. In fact, as Russian Machine Never Breaks notes, Alex Ovechkin said back in 2007 that Hannan is the toughest defensemen he's faced in the NHL.

The Capitals will take on additional salary with the move. Hannan is making $4.5 million this year, while Fleischmann is making just $2.6 million, according to Ted Starkey of the Washington Times

For more, visit Japers Rink.

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Capitals Trade Rumors: Washington Seeking Defenseman In Exchange For Forward

For years, fans and commentators alike have opined that the Washington Capitals don't have enough solid defensemen to win in the playoffs. If today's speculation is correct, that could soon be addressed.

According to Dmitry Chesnokov, the Capitals are close to a deal that would allow them to acquire a defenseman in exchange for a forward. Chesnokov also coyly speculated that the trade was likely to involve a forward who was a healthy scratch in Washington's last game. That would narrow it down to Tomas Fleischmann and D.J. King.

Since King has played in only six games this season and is unlikely to hold much value on the trade market, Fleishmann seems to be the most likely to depart.

Raihan Hussain of Sportshaze.com is also reporting that the Capitals are close to a deal involving Kevin Bieksa of the Vancouver Canucks. Bieksa has one goal and three assists in 21 games for the Canucks. Bieksa has been playing on Vancouver's second defensive line, but may step up to the top line with Mike Green if the Capitals are able to close the deal.

Fleischmann has four goals and six assists this season. He is in the lineup for Washington tonight. Time will tell if he will remain with the team afterwards though.

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