One game into the trade that sent the BEARD league into shock and awe, the Washington Capitals look to be in a state of disarray.
With a strong start to the season in Columbus, the two-way forward had gained some interest around the league but there is no question winger Bryan Rust was disappointed with the announcement that he has been traded.
Columbus may have felt like home for Rust but that is one of the attributes the Capitals liked about Rust, his desire to win and loyalty to his teammates and team.
After Ryan Ellis sustained a upper body injury, Capitals GM Shawn Davis felt it was necessary to get help for the defense core. Erik Karlsson comes in with lots to give and adds another dynamic to the score sheet. With his playmaking ability, the Capitals should expect an increase in their Power play percentage and offensive zone time with Karlsson's ability to get the puck up quickly to the forwards.
Once Ellis is back from injury, it will give the Capitals a one-two defense that may be the smallest in the league but packs a punch on the score sheet.
While the new guys tried to get acclimated to their new surroundings, the rest of the team showed their frustration with the first lopsided loss of the season. Perhaps the most frustrated Capitals player was Lars Eller who found himself with 10 penalty minutes, 6 of which were roughing minors.
Tough to win when one of your best Penalty killers and second line center is taking himself out of the game like that.
The following games will tell the tale whether the trade was worth the cost, or a misguided adventure that could cost the team for a couple seasons. Some the GM's can be quoted in saying that this "could and will disturb the team chemistry", or "surprised Karlsson could get that return", or even "WTF?".
The cost was heavy and youth filled: Trevor Zegras, Drake Batherson, Raphael Lavoie, a 1st, and two 2nd round selections. But as for now, as sad as it may be to see these young assets go that may come back to haunt Davis down the road, the chance to take this team on a deep playoff run is well worth the admission.
"I have been looking for this kind top-end depth for a while where I could add and not subtract from the current roster," said Davis "The price may have been high, but i'm confident the these two guys will have their games come around and be steady contributors to our success."
Even with his confidence for the team on the ice, the challenge still remains off the ice, where the Capitals GM will have re-sign both Karlsson and Rust. As of now it does not appear management or agents for the players have had any discussion of extensions.