Caps working the phones


Trying to stave off unemployment, Washington Capitals GM George McPhee is working the phones. Three names to watch are wingers Troy Brouwer ($2.35 million cap hit through 2015-16), Joel Ward ($3 million, 2014-15) and Jason Chimera ($1.75 million, 2013-14). All are available because the Caps want to clear cash. McPhee would like to free up money and then reap the rewards of futility with a high draft pick …

There is talk a decision on the future of holdout Colorado centre Ryan O’Reilly will be made soon. The two sides have reached an impasse and GM Greg Sherman could finally be ready to make a trade. Several teams — including the Rangers, Flyers, Leafs and Hurricanes — are involved in the talks. Carolina GM Jim Rutherford is sneaky. His club has moved up the standings and I wouldn’t be surprised if O’Reilly landed there … Philadelphia Flyers GM Paul Holmgren has been working the phones looking for a blueliner. There aren’t many available, but it should be noted the Flyers could find a fit in San Jose, where the Sharks have depth on defence and GM Doug Wilson is listening to all offers. Wilson hasn’t been shopping any names, however there are no untouchables. I don’t think coach Todd McLellan is in trouble. He’s one of the NHL’s best. “If you’ve got a good coach, keep him. That is why I’m surprised Lindy Ruff was fired,” said a league executive.