Capitals brace themselves for deadline

Capitals brace themselves for deadline
March 4, 2014, 4:30 pm
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The Capitals made a major move on Tuesday by acquiring Dustin Penner, but are more trades in the works before Wednesday’s 3 pm. trade deadline?

Capitals left wing Marty Erat first requested a trade from the Capitals in November but with a $4.5 million cap hit for next season it has been difficult for Caps general manager George McPhee to move the 32-year-old Czech.

“It’s not in my hands,” Erat said Tuesday. “It’s in George’s hands. I don’t want to comment on what’s going to happen.”

Erat practiced on a second line with Marcus Johansson and Troy Brouwer on Tuesday.

“I’m a professional,” he said. “When I’m on the ice I’m thinking about the game. It’s 24 more hours and we’ll see what’s going to happen.”

RELATED: [Capitals acquire Penner from Anaheim]

By acquiring Penner the Caps addressed their need for a top-line left wing to play with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. But with Jack Hillen returning from a fractured right leg, do the Caps feel they are deep enough on the blue line?

There have been reports that Winnipeg defenseman Mark Stuart and Vancouver defenseman Alex Edler may be dealt before Wednesday’s deadline, but it’s unclear if the Caps are involved in any of those trade talks.

“It’s a little eerie,” Brouwer said. “As a player you never expect yourself to be in the talks.

“I hope we’re going to be buyers because we’ve got a good team in here. We know we’re going to make the playoffs and we know we’re going to make a push for the Stanley Cup here.

“Whether it’s one new player or whatever George decides is the best for the team, we’re going into this with the confidence we’re gong to make the playoffs with the guys in this room.”