Sunday, August 01, 2010

The Deadest Month of the Hockey Year

June has the draft (oh, and a Stanley Cup final), July has free agency.  August?... not so busy.  To give you an idea of just how dead the month of August is, in the entire history of the Washington Capitals franchise only 39 deals have been transacted in the month.  Eleven of those occurred over a three-week period in 2005.

Oh yeah, sure.  There is the odd trade of note, such as the one in 2005 in which the Caps received Chris Clark and a 7th round draft pick in 2007 from Calgary for a 7th rounder in 2006 and a 6th rounder in 2007.  And both Matt Bradley and David Steckel were August free agent signees (both in 2005).  In the curiosity aisle, the Caps obtained the Ferraro brothers (Chris and Peter) in August 2001.

But when it comes to August, it is the month of Miroslav Zalesak and Andrew Cassels (signed a day apart in August 2005), of Steve Shirreffs and Jamie Huscroft (Shirreffs for Benoit Gratton, Huscroft for his signature on a contract in 1999), of Mark Major and Mike O'Neill (1997).

Go back even further.  How many of you Caps fans could pick Graeme Nicolson, Paul Gardner, or Tony Cassolato out of a lineup?  All August signees.  And how many recall with fondness the 1982 trade that brought Ted Bulley and Dave Hutchinson from Chicago for a 6th round draft pick in 1983 and a 5th rounder in 1984?

That's what August is.

So, to keep you entertained, we bring you a few videos, one of which you might have seen before in these parts, another that you probably would have liked to perform yourself a few weeks back, and one to light your way home...