It's not a secret that the Washington Capitals need a second-line center. They've used guys like Marcus Johansson in that spot this season, but acquiring a bonafide No. 2 could be a huge boost to their chances in the postseason.
According to Katie Carrera at the Washington Post, the Caps are indeed working the phones. Jason Arnott of the New Jersey Devils seems to be their top choice, although she reports that GM George McPhee is also fond of Buffalo's Tim Connolly. Arnott has a no-movement clause and would have to agree to a trade while Connolly might be off the market since the Sabres are making a playoff push.
Carrera also speculates about the possibility of the Caps acquiring Stephen Weiss from the Panthers, but that depends on how McPhee feels about guys like Johansson feeling out that role next season. If they feel confident in guys already with the team, they aren't going to acquire a player with a contract beyond this year. For the record, SB Nation's Litter Box Cats expects a big return for a guy like Weiss, should he be traded.
Cap space and assets aren't a huge issue for Washington in a potential trade, but other competition might be. The Pittsburgh Penguins, without Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, are also in the same market, as are the New York Rangers.
Some other rumor news and speculation on this Thursday...
- The Red Wings are not expected to make any moves at the deadline, according to Ansar Khan at Mlive.com. They are slowly building back up to health, so frankly, they don't need a trade. Getting players off the injured reserve is their deadline.
- SB Nation's Silver Seven sees the likelihood of the Senators trading Alex Kovalev as "high," saying that he's unhappy in Ottawa and that he would likely waive his no-trade clause. ESPN.com's Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun talked about the "tradeability" of Kovalev today, and it's clear that there's no set market value for rental players yet this deadline.
- Broad Street Hockey says the Flyers should trade Nikolay Zherdev while he still has some value.
For all the latest rumors surrounding the 2011 NHL trade deadline, stick with this StoryStream.