Washington Capitals Trade Rumors: Chris Stewart

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Capitals are looking to upgrade and add a top six forward at the trading deadline. With Sean Bergenheim being traded to the Minnesota Wild, Jiri Tlusty traded to the Winnipeg Jets, Daniel Winnik traded to the Penguins, and Jaromir Jagr being traded to the Florida Panthers, the Washington Capitals’ options are starting to get a bit slim. According to a recent CSN Washington article, the Washington Capitals could be interested in trading for Buffalo Sabres forward Chris Stewart.

Age: 27

Goals: 9

Assists: 13

Points: 22

Time on ice: 15:50

Contract status: Pending UFA, $4.15 million

It seems Stewart has been on the trade block in Buffalo since the start of the season. He has been an underachiever since scoring a career-high 28 goals in 2010-11 but his size [6-2, 231 pounds] and strength make him an intriguing option for a top line like the Capitals’. Stewart will probably make less in his next contract than he’s making now, but a strong playoff run could increase his value. – CSN Washington

Chris Stewart’s stats aren’t the best, but keep in mind that he has been playing with the Buffalo Sabres. He’s been struggling the past two seasons, but his 1.6 points/60 at even strength isn’t terrible once you realize that he’s doing that with the Sabres. One would think that would likely go up if he were playing with the Washington Capitals. 

The stats might not be there, but Stewart is a talented power forward. He has above average speed and extremely good power when he’s at his best and he’s a very physical player. The problem that has bothered him for his entire career is that he can be very inconsistent. The Washington Capitals might be interested in trying to catch lightning in a bottle with Stewart and hope that he can be consistent enough to help them win in the playoffs.

Apparently the Sabres have been asking for a second round pick, which probably explains why the Sabres haven’t traded him yet. That is much too high a price for him. I would be willing to give up a third rounder for him assuming the Sabres would eat half of his contract, but that’s about it. The Washington Capitals would have to get rid of someone to create cap space to get him even if the Sabres ate half of his 2014-2015 cap hit.

As far as where he’d fit on the Washington Capitals, honestly, I don’t know. He could be a first line wing because of his size, strength, and willingness to get physical in the crease, but can he do that consistently? Also, he can be prone to penalties and we all know how the first line Tom Wilson experiment ended.

Should the Washington Capitals trade for Stewart? He’s an intriguing player, that’s for sure. Let me know what you think in the comments!