Brian MacLellan is up for an NHL GM of the Year Award for a reason. The Washington Capitals may have suffered another early exit from the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs, but MacLellan's moves over the past two years probably can't be faulted for a team that showed signs of peaking in the regular season.
After the surprisingly effective signings of Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen in 2014 and Justin Williams in 2015, plus the headline-grabbing trade for St. Louis Blues winger and Sochi superstar T.J. Oshie, you may well ask what Mac's next move will be.
And a recent Chuck Gormley piece at CSN Mid-Atlantic suggests he might want a do-over with former Caps prospect Cody Eakin. Washington has a need for speed in its forward corps and a vacancy at third-line center. Both of these requirements might – just might – hold the shape of a Ginger Ninja:
Dallas Stars center Cody Eakin is signed through the 2019-20 season at $3.85 million and could be a perfect third-line fit in Washington.
The advents of rookie knockouts Mattias Janmark and Radek Faksa have left the Stars with a sudden logjam at center. If the Stars and the Caps found a trade-back involving Eakin, which current Caps might it involve?
Would Jim Nill be interested in 24-year-old backup G Philipp Grubauer, who had a .918 save percentage in 22 games played in 2015-16? Could he make a deal for 21-year-old LW and 2013 first-rounder Andre Burakovsky? Or is there another package you'd like to see – maybe a multi-team deal involving another possible Caps target, Loui Eriksson?
Go ahead, play armchair GM in the comments.