More on Oates including trade rumors
It is reported on ESPN.COM that disgruntled Washington Capitals center Adam Oates will report for training camp. He is still demanding a trade from Caps management. He says he won’t violate his contract by not reporting and risk being suspended. George McPhee will not comment, but a source claims the Caps will not not grant Oates’s trade demands, and may possibly renegotiate the one year remaining on his contract into a two-year deal. In addition, Oates will apparently be stripped of his captaincy.
This does not boad well for the Caps. They should grant his trade demands and avoid any locker room problems going into the season. With newly acquired Jaromir Jagr the Caps should be focused on a marketing scheme to sell more tickets. The Oates situation could create a problem there. They can deal him and get a good return. Even at 37 he is still one of the best set-up men in the NHL. Deal him while he is still of value. He will not be 100% dedeicated to Ron Wilson and, unless the Caps plan a coaching change, that will mean he will not be dedicated to the organization. If that is the case and the Caps sit on it his value will only drop.
Rumored interest is coming from Montreal, Chicago, Ottawa and the Rangers. The Rangers, as I see it, do not need him since they are already deep at center. Montreal, with the recent illness to Koivu, is in desperate need of a center and could be a player. Ottawa is rumored to be leaning more to youngster Martin Havlat. Chicago is, however, in need of some veteran leadership and Oates could be a key there.
Note: The Hrdina for Zubrus deal is rumored to be in the works again. Look for more on this in the near future. Jagr really likes Hrdina as his center and the Caps desparately need someone to skate with him. This deal could also change the Caps no-trade status with Oates.