An inside look at the Capitals' frantic trade deadline frenzy


Capitals center Nic Dowd is trying to keep his head down and focus on winning, the only thing he can do as he watches teammate after teammate shuffled around the league.

"It's been tough for sure," Dowd said during his weekly appearance with 106.7 The Fan's Grant & Danny, presented by our partners at MainStreet Bank — Cheer Local. Bank Local. Put Our Team in Your Office.

"I think guys get a little bit blindsided when that type of stuff happens and it's tough to see guys go, especially guys that you battle with all season," Dowd continued. "I think we're still trying to get to where we want to get. It's tough to see guys leave, too. I mean you have relationships with them and their families and you see them every single day. And then it's tough to see guys leave and the disappointment on their face, too, right? I mean they have to pick up and move their family and that's a challenging time."

In the past week alone, Caps players have seen five of their teammates traded away, losing Dmitry Orlov, Garnet Hathaway, Erik Gustafsson, Marcus Johansson and Lars Eller to a fire sale that's been unlike any Washington fans have seen in the past decade.

Dowd was asked, as a player watching it all happen, if he's able to wrap his mind around the bigger picture, that a re-tooling such as this may be necessary for the long-term health of the franchise.

"I think we all understand that it is a business and in the end, we're all gonna not be playing one day and kids will come from under us and fill our spots and then so on," he said. "In the end, management has to make decisions that they believe is best for the organization and sometimes that doesn't line up with our personal opinions, whatever that may be."

"I think anybody and everybody on our team stays away from trying to figure out what's going on and justify those decisions," he said. "Honestly, we're all just really focused on the present. We have San Jose coming up. And yeah, we put ourselves in a tough spot, but in no means are we out of this by any chance and I think we're still pushing. Just keep winning games, gathering points and you just have no clue what can happen."

So what exactly does the past week look like from a player's perspective?

"It's tough. I mean no question," Dowd said. "When you're, every for the last 48 hours or 72 hours, every time you get on the bus or show up to the rink, there's someone missing or someone's getting pulled off the bus. You're walking in on guys in the stick room that are on the phone for the first time realizing that they've been traded. It's tough, man."

"It's a realization that maybe as players, as a group, we haven't gotten to where we needed to get," he said. "But I think we still have a really good core group of guys here that we've been with for a while and I think it's very possible for us to go on a good run here, and that's what we're gonna attempt to put together and just see where things go."

The Caps have two games left on this four-game road trip, which resumes Saturday against the San Jose Sharks and wraps up Monday in Los Angeles.

And there's still one day left — for those who remain on the team — for Capitals players to sweat out before Friday's 3 p.m. ET trade deadline.

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