Capitals GM Brian MacLellan on the difficulties of this year's trade deadline

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Ryan Wormeli
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Caps GM on the difficulties of this year's NHL trade deadline originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Tune in to NBC Sports Washington Saturday at 6 p.m. to watch the full interview with Alan May and Capitals GM Brian MacLellan on Caps Pregame Live.

The Capitals are on a hot streak, having won 10 of their last 13 games and seven of their past eight, but they are still looking up at the Islanders in the NHL's East Division.

New York has 38 points entering Saturday, with the Caps sitting at 36 on the season. Washington has a strong roster that the coaching staff can work with, but in their race for the division crown and a spot in the postseason they may ultimately have to look outside the organization for more help.

With about a month left ahead of the NHL's April 12 trade deadline, NBC Sports Washington's Alan Mays interviewed Capitals GM Brian MacLellan this week and asked about the team's plans for making moves in an unusual year. The Caps are typically active buyers at the deadline, but will they be able to make the same moves given the coronavirus pandemic and its restrictions?

"I'm uncertain on the COVID-19 effect on the trade deadline," MacLellan told May. "I think it's going to be a little tougher crossing the border from US to Canada with the quarantine requirements unless they get loosened up by then."

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As far as actual needs go, MacLellan knows he has a reputation for targeting defensemen depth, but that may not be the case this season.

"You know I'm always paranoid about having enough defensemen, but this year I think we've got a well-rounded group," MacLellan said. "We've got eight guys that I think can play, and play well. So we're satisfied in that area. You know I think we'll just see what the market is going to be, what the cost is going to be, and then just try to make some decisions based on that."

Not only is it a unique season in terms of travel and scheduling, but it's also been difficult for the Caps to get into a rhythm until recent weeks given a chunk of their players have missed time due to COVID-19, in addition to games getting canceled.

Now that the team is winning games and moving up in the standings, MacLellan will have a better chance to evaluate the roster's needs with a few weeks left before the deadline.