The Capitals Should Not Be Big Buyers This Off-Season

Buy smart not hard
2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7
2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7 / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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When you're working on a project it's very important to know where you are in the process. When you forget where you are mistakes can happen. Hopefully small mistakes, but annoying mistakes nonetheless. Mistakes that make things more painful down the road. Mistakes that make a project take longer than it should.

In sports that what building a team is. It's a project. It's a group of people putting together another group of people, at different ages, different skillsets, different personalities, different salaries, and hoping you got the right combination to have a nice final result. It's one of the reasons why sports are so fascinating to watch. There's no one way to put this project together, and we all can have an opinion and see if it works or if it doesn't work.

Every team needs to know where they are in their process. For some teams it's easier than others. Florida, the Rangers, Dallas, Vegas, even though they lost in the first round, Colorado. For these teams it's easy. We're good. We're very good. Time to buy and go for Stanley Cups.

Then you have the other side of that coin. The Sharks, the Ducks, the Blackhawks. We're bad. Very bad. Lets get picks, lets get prospects, lets think about the future.

Then you potentially have a team like the Washington Capitals where I think it may be very easy to make a mistake or two this off-season. And based on what I've seen some fans say, are hoping they make a mistake for some reason.

The Capitals are not a bad team, despite what you might hear some people say about them and their performance in the playoffs this past season. They don't need to be doing what the bad teams I mentioned before are doing. They don't need to sell and get as many prospects as possible.

But the Capitals are not good either. Just look at some facts. Last season they won 40 games, they lost 42. Does that sound like a good team? As much as I think this next fact is way, WAY overblown by the national or international media, they were a -37 in goal differential. If you're still trying to convince yourself this is a good team stop looking past the obvious things we look at to decide if teams are good or not.

The Capitals are not a good team, but they're not a bad team. Unfortunately this kind of puts them in that tricky middle category. It can be really hard to get out of this middle without doing something stupid that makes life really difficult down the road. The Capitals being a middle team is what makes this off-season really important.

This is an average team. An average team with a mix of pretty old and pretty young. An average team with a lot of cap space to use. An average team that snuck into the playoffs this season. And boy do fans love a couple of things. They love a young team that shows promise with cap space. I'm not sure you can make a sports fan drool faster than combing young with cap space.

But just because you have it, doesn't mean you should use it.