Capitals Secure Veteran Leadership Washington, DC Introductions, handshake lines, new numbers, new names, new faces. None of these things have been new for Washington Capitals head coach Ron Wilson. "It has been a procession of talent, usually on its way out the door for another team. It's great to see that talent coming in as opposed to going out", said Wilson. In what GM Josh Howell is calling "pre-agency", Washington has been aggressive in trading for rights of unrestricted free agents in hopes that the team will make the playoffs for the first time in five seasons with three of those being with Howell at the helm. "We've been accused of complacency at best and neglect at worse", Howell says. "I would hate to say that there certainly exists an element of truth to those claims. We haven't been on top of man management from the top down. Ron (Wilson), has done a tremendous job with what we've given him to work with..... which is essentially a roster full of players more likely to have success in the American league than up here". Washington has made a run on free agency that may be unprecedented. "We know the folly that exists in attempting to build an entire team via free agency. We have just decided that this year is the year that some of our prospects are ready to step into the lineup and be full time players and we needed to spend to the cap, unlike we've done the previous three years, and put ourselves in position to compete again. I expect there to be some uncertainty, but with the veterans we picked up we think this is going to be the start of something really special here". Washington secured the rights and successfully signed players Jason Arnott, Jean Sebastien Giguere, Jamie Langenbrunner, and Jaroslav Spacek. Rumor has it that negotiations with Olli Jokinen and Vernon Fiddler will be starting in the coming days. These players are expected to join Radim Vrbata, Nik Zherdev, Roman Hamrlik, and Jamie McBain as part of the new core group for the Capitals. "We're happy with our squad. We have a few things to iron out. We've signed a few rookies like Linus Omark, Ryan Stoa, and Zac Dalpe to grow and develop here and we think we have the right mix of veteran leadership and young talent to really make a difference in the Eastern Conference now". The Capitals are said to still have a few lines in the water regarding cost effective maneuvers to avoid playing over the cap. Goaltenders Dan Ellis and Antero Niitymaki are said to be available for a song. Kyle Wellwood and Jim Vandermeer are also rumored to be cheaply had. "We're going to give it our best shot this season", says Howell. "Prospects are nice to have, but winning is the goal here now. We've lived for the future for too long now". Words that Capitals faithful are happy to hear, no doubt.