Wed, Mar 5, 2014 at 3:41pm


The Washington Capitals acquired goaltender Jaroslav Halak and a third-round draft pick in 2015 from the Buffalo Sabres for goaltender Michal Neuvirth and defenseman Rostislav Klesla.

What does it give the Washington Capitals
Halak is a somewhat-maligned 'tender after getting moved from St. Louis, but he is a quality veteran who should be motivated to win another big contract (when his deal expires this off-season). The Caps have suffered through a real carousel of goalies this season, in part because of injuries but also because of youthful inexperience. Halak should be able to nail down the starting gig (especially since he's being paid like a starter) and the Caps have to be hoping he'll give them the stability in net they haven't received from the inconsistent {P Braden Holtby}.

What does it give the Buffalo Sabres
Neuvirth has the talent to be an NHL star, although at 25 he may still need a year or two to develop into a true No. 1. That said, Buffy is a very young team so having Neuvirth between the pipes going forward is a great place to start with their rebuild. Klesla has a lot of NHL experience but appears to be included in this deal mostly as a salary throw-in (to help save Washington some money needed to pay Halak's salary the rest of the way).

Fantasy impact
Halak gets a nice fantasy boost here by landing with Washington, although to make the most of it he needs to establish himself as the new No. 1 ahead of Holtby (who takes an obvious hit here, even though he hasn't been very valuable lately in most fantasy leagues this season). Neuvirth as well should see a definite upgrade in fantasy fortunes (especially in keeper leagues), but as with Halak he needs to show he can claim the starting gig (in this case, from {P Jhonas Enroth}, who takes another fantasy hit).

Player focus

Washington Capitals

Jaroslav Halak G

a third-round draft pick in 2015