Washington Capitals rumors: Philipp Grubauer could be trade bait

Washington Capitals goaltender Philipp Grubauer was listed on TSN’s latest Trade Bait segment. How realistic is a trade? 

The Washington Capitals are a team who are going to be hit hard at the NHL Expansion Draft. This is the curse of being a great squad. Everyone wants your players. The Capitals will most likely lose Philipp Grubauer to the Vegas Golden Knights. And while he’s a great goalie, the Caps likely prefer he get taken instead of, say, Nate Schmidt.

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In their latest Trade Bait segment, TSN has Grubauer listed 14th out of 30. But would it make sense for the Capitals to trade him? Let’s look at both sides of the debate, because they each have some very strong points.

Why They Should Trade Grubauer

In business, when selling and buying, it is always best to buy low and sell high. This applies to trading players as well. The Capitals could get a huge return for Grubauer because his value likely won’t get higher than it is right now. And how could it get higher in Washington? Grubauer needs to prove himself as a starter and was one of the best backups in the NHL last season.

What would he prove by sticking around in the nation’s capitol? Nothing. His value could perhaps go up slightly, but what’ s more likely is it goes down. Most contenders are set in goal, but there are some teams who would give up a lot to get him. One of them is the Calgary Flames, who must sign two goaltenders this offseason. Another one is the Arizona Coyotes. What if they get rid of Mike Smith? They’ll need another goalie. Grubauer could be that guy.

Why They Shouldn’t Trade Grubauer

Ultimately, it would be surprising to see the Capitals trade their backup goalie. Grubauer has more value to the Caps going to Vegas than elsewhere. Why? Because Grubauer is how the Capitals will keep the Golden Knights away of more important players, such as Schmidt, Lars Eller and Brett Connolly.

Verdict

Unless the Caps can get a lot from the Flames or some other team, trading Grubauer before the expansion draft makes more sense. However, the Capitals should still shop him. Why? Because it might motivate Vegas to accept Grubauer in a trade. Such as, perhaps, one including Brooks Orpik? The Golden Knights will need a franchise goalie to have any success early on. Grubauer undeniably has that potential. Vegas might be willing to take on Orpik’s contract if it means getting him.