For the second straight winter, Capitals general manager George McPhee made a trade. Last year, he acquired Jason Chimera from the Columbus Blue Jackets for Chris Clark and Milan Jurcina. Tuesday, he sent Tomas Fleischmann to the Colorado Avalanche for defenseman Scott Hannan. There has already been much chatter regarding the subject (this blog included), but do Caps fans really know what they are getting from Hannan? That is what we plan to do right here.
This is Scott Hannan. Hannan is an 11-year veteran of the NHL, drafted by the San Jose Sharks with the 23rd overall selection in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. He spent eight seasons with the Sharks before signing a four-year, $18 million contract in 2007 with the Colorado Avalanche.
That takes care of the biography portion. Here’s what you should expect from Hannan.
- The Hockey News describes Hannan as a “veteran defensive defenseman,” which happens to complete the sentence “The Capitals cannot win the Stanley Cup until they acquire a…” for several years. He has 775 career NHL games to his name, making him the third-most experienced Capital behind Mike Knuble and Tom Poti.
- Don’t expect Hannan to score much; he has 30 career NHL goals. To put that into perspective, Mike Green scored 31 goals in 2008-09.
- What you should expect for Hannan, however, is an incredibly high defensive acumen. He’s huge (6’1. 225 pounds), quite disciplined (6 PIM in 23 games this season) and blocks shots like it’s his job, which it is (36 blocked shots this season). In fact, according to Nate Ewell, Hannan would have led the Caps in blocked shots in each of the last four seasons.
The pluses and minuses have been hammered out all over the blogosphere, so here’s the short version: The Caps get rid of Flash, who is a great talent, but one that they had more than enough of, and got the defenseman that they think will help build a Cup-winning team. Unlike last year’s Joe Corvo disaster (AKA getting the same defenseman that the Caps already had several of), Hannan is something that Washington hasn’t seen since the days of Brendan Witt (who is looking for work…). And if all else fails, Hannan’s contract expires at the end of the season. On first glance, a win for the Capitals.