Capitals get defensive - 11-30-10

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

The Capitals finally get their defensive defenseman.

Washington sent forward Tomas Fleischmann to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for defenseman Scott Hannan (above).

Hannan, 6-foot-1, 225 pounds, has appeared in 23 games this season and has recorded six assists. Hannan, a defensive player, has a salary cap hit of $4.5 million. Since 2000-01, Hannan, 31, has not played in fewer than 75 games with either the Sharks or the Avalanche. According to Adrian Dater of the Denver Post, Hannan waived a no-trade clause for this deal.

Fleischmann (right), 6-foot-1, 192 pounds, has appeared in 23 games this season and has scored 10 point (four goals, six assists). He has been something of a disappointement this season after scoring 23 goals and 51 points. With a salary cap hit of $2.6 million, Fleischmann, 26, is scheduled to become an unrestircted free agent after this season.

EN Says: We love this move for the Capitals. They have a lot of youth and talent on the blue line, but not a ton of maturity. Hannan bring durability, discpline, maturity and most importantly, defense.

We're assuming he's going to be paired with Mike Green. Green logs upwards of 25 minutes per game, mostly with defenseman Jeff Schultz. Green takes a lot of chances offensively and is prone to mistakes. Frankly, Schultz isn't good enough to make up for Green's miscues, especially for all the minutes he logs. A player like Hannan is.

And despite playing a rough and tumble style of defense, Hannan is pretty durable.

Is this move enough to give the Capitals a definite edge over the Penguins and/or Flyers for control of the Eastern Conference? We wouldn't go that far, but it's a big step in the right direction.

For the Avalanche, this appears to be nothing more than a salary dump. Fleischmann has been an underachiever throughout his career. He had one good season in 2009-10 and now appears to be back to his normal rate of poor production.

(Photos: Hannan-Rich Lam/Getty Images; Fleischmann-Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

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