The Washington Capitals have traded Michal Neuvirth and defenseman Rostislav Klesla to the Buffalo Sabres in return for Jaroslav Halak and a 3rd-round pick in 2015. Klesla was acquired in the deal that brought prospect Chris Brown and a 2015 fourth-round pick to Washington and sent Martin Erat with AHL forward John Mitchell to the Phoenix Coyotes.
I’m told Washington’s 6th-round pick also going to Buffalo in Halak trade. #CapitalsTalk
— Chuck Gormley (@ChuckGormleyCSN) March 5, 2014
Halak had been traded to Buffalo from the St. Louis Blues and is well-known for his performance against the Caps, who were infamously upset by the Habs in the 2010 playoffs. Halak will be a UFA at the end of the season and has a $3.75M cap hit. Between this trade and the Dustin Penner deal, the Caps now have enough cap space to accommodate Evgeny Kuznetsov.
Goalie Michal Neuvirth is heading back to the Sabres in the Jaroslav Halak deal.
— John Vogl (@BuffNewsVogl) March 5, 2014
Klesla also part of Neuvirth trade to BUF. Time to take him back off #HBH roster.
— Scott Stuccio (@ScottStuccio) March 5, 2014
Halak and Penner presumably are rentals, while increasing cap space and acquiring prospects and picks were moves taken with the future in mind. Will the Caps make the playoffs this year? Possibly, with the additions of Halak and Penner–but their future is arguably brighter, particularly with the likelihood of Kuznetsov joining the ranks.
Stay tuned for updates, and feel free to share your opinion in the comments or on Twitter.