Less than 24 hours after acquiring Matt Hunwick in a trade with Boston, Greg Sherman made another move by sending defenceman Scott Hannan to Washington in exchange for Tomas Fleischmann. The move makes a lot of sense for both sides; the Capitals were looking for a shutdown type defender while Fleischmann can help pick up some of the offensive slack left by injuries to Chris Stewart and Peter Mueller.
Capitals’ general manager George McPhee had good things to say about Hannan, as Katie Carrera of Capitals Insider reports:
“He’s at the point in his career where he’s been in the league a long time and wants to win a [Stanley] Cup, and I think it completes our defense…”
Fleischmann was a skilled forward on a club that was stocked full of skilled forwards, and his name had been floated in trade rumours since July. He should see increased ice time in Colorado, where he could skate on one of the club’s top two lines.
Speaking of Mueller, who has not played this season due to lingering problems from concussions, the Avalanche have to be hoping that Fleischmann will provide a jolt to their lineup - similar to the aforementioned ex-Coyotes when he was acquired late last season. The knock on Fleischmann has been his two-way play and struggles with consistency, although, sometimes a change of scenery is all a player needs.
Hannan should step into a good situation and see lots of ice time in Washington. He’s a quality shot blocker and can play with a physical edge when he’s on. We really wish he still had the long hair that helped him resemble Captain Caveman, but we’ll settle for a good playoff beard when the time comes.
Fleischmann will not be in the lineup tonight when the Avalanche host the Thrashers. Matt Hunwick is set to join the team for tonight’s game.