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Should The Washington Capitals Be Buyers Or Sellers At The NHL Trade Deadline?

With less than a week left before the NHL Trade Deadline, and the Capitals losers of five of their last six, the question needs to be asked:

Should General Manager George McPhee be a buyer or a seller?

At the beginning of the season you would have been laughed at by the entire Capitals fan base, because this was the year, wasn’t it? After a season of ups and downs, lefts and rights that nobody saw coming, it appears to be clear that the Washington Capitals are not only a player or two away from making a run through the playoffs towards the elusive Stanley Cup. Quite frankly, they don’t even look like a team that could piece together three, let alone five or six games that could propel them to the top of the Southeast Division.

So then McPhee must ask the question: Are the “(Regular Seasons) Dynasty Capitals” over and done with? And if so, is it time to let go of the soon-to-be unrestricted free agents Mike Knuble, Alexander Semin, and Dennis Wideman before they run off somewhere else on July 1? Or does McPhee keep what he has built, pray to God that Nicklas Backstrom returns from his concussion and the Capitals go on an amazing end-of-the-season run that extends deep into the playoffs?

McPhee, as recently as last week, told reporters that he wants to hold onto the Capitals future assets, in both Russian forwards Evgeny Kuznetsov and Stanislav Galiev and extending to their two first-round draft picks in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, that could potentially be two top ten draft picks if the Capitals and the Avalanche continue on their respective downward spirals.

As of right now, the Capitals are just under $1 million in cap space. They could clear another $6.7 million if they deem Backstrom unable to come back in the regular season (he would be able to return in the playoffs, salary cap is lifted for the postseason).

So what will McPhee do?

I personally believe he needs to sell at this year’s trade deadline. I also think if they are sellers, they strip Alex Ovechkin of the captaincy in the off-season and give it to a player who deserves it, like Brooks Laich. What do you think?

Comment with what you think the Capitals should do and who they should either trade away or bring in to make a strong playoff run.