"GM George McPhee just said that captain Chris Clark could miss the remainder of the regular season with the wrist injury that has been dogging him since training camp. Clark is at the doctor's office right now. I should know more later, but McPhee said it's looking like Clark will, in fact, need surgery on the wrist."
We've suspected there had to be something wrong with Clark. A player that scored 50 goals in two seasons, even if it was as the opposite winger from a guy scoring almost 100 of his own, doesn't just forget how to play hockey, even if he spent most of last year on the shelf with an injury.
But the timing of this has a fortuitous aspect to it as well (not for Clark, but for the roster). Clark hasn't been playing, and now we have the reason why and why his production has been down as much as it has been. Meanwhile, the Caps have the kinds of roster needs a contender has -- not major reworkings of the roster, but the kinds of tweaking a team might need to prepare for what amounts to a whole different season that starts in April. We are now 30 days from the trading deadline (March 4th, 3:00 EST).
The Caps have a wish list that might include a stay-at-home defenseman or some more grit among the forwards. The timing of Clark's surgery might give the Capitals the cap wherewithal to pursue such a move. Until now, it seemed unlikely the Caps would do much at the deadline other than see what return a Michael Nylander might fetch. This changes the game.