Using the VUKOTA projection system of Hockey Prospectus, Insider is taking the temperature of key players on every NHL team, continuing with the Washington Capitals. For a detailed explanation of Prospectus' proprietary GVT value metric, read more here.
Note: Because of the lockout, GVT scores for the 2013 season are prorated from 48 to 82 games.
Summer Skate: Washington Capitals
Alex Ovechkin's return to league dominance was the story in America's capital city, as the Russian superstar captured the Hart Trophy for the third time. Although his play was a large part of the team's success, credit also has to be given to Ovechkin's teammates, who provided solid support. Mike Green was healthy and producing, Braden Holtby was reliable in net, and Mike Ribeiro's one-season tenure in Washington was successful, especially on the power play.
Ribeiro played the free-agency game this offseason and landed in Phoenix; nevertheless, with Ovechkin back to his old self, this team has the potential to make noise in the Metropolitan Division, where an increased number of games against the likes of the Penguins, Flyers and Rangers will be one of the most exciting elements of realignment. The late addition of Mikhail Grabovski this offseason may also provide early dividends if he clicks in Adam Oates' system.
Trending up: F Mikhail Grabovski
Last season: -2.2 GVT | VUKOTA projection: 3.2