|Tuesday, March 19
Oates brings offensive help to Philadelphia
Oates, 39, recorded 11 goals and 57 assists in 66 games this season. He has 327 goals and 1,020 assists in his 16-year career, which began with Detroit in 1985.
The trade came as the Flyers were evaluating the status of leading scorer Jeremy Roenick, who suffered a knee injury Monday night, and No. 2 center, Keith Primeau, who suffered bruised ribs the same game in a hit from Tampa Bay's Shane Willis.
Roenick is expected to miss two to four weeks, but return for the playoffs. Primeau is likely to be back next week.
Flyers general manager Bob Clarke said Oates will fill the injury gap, add scoring power and help on faceoffs.
"Obviously he's a tremendous playmaker. He'll help our power play which has been very anemic. He's going to help whoever he plays with because some of our better scorers have had trouble scoring recently," Clarke said. "We've been a good team this year, but like all good teams, it was our responsibility to identify the needs of this team had to try and get better."
Ouellet, 20, was 16-13-8 with a 2.72 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage for the AHL Phantoms this season.
The deal was announced before the 3 p.m. ET trade deadline.
The Capitals had expected to contend for the Stanley Cup this year with the acquisition of five-time NHL scoring champion Jaromir Jagr, but have struggled to a record of 27-31-10-1 and are unlikely to make the playoffs.
Oates asked to be traded last summer, but the Capitals didn't oblige. When Oates returned for training camp in the fall, he was stripped of his captaincy.
However, Oates mended his fences with coach Ron Wilson this season and said he wanted to play two or three more seasons in Washington and then retire. He said he didn't want to be dealt at the trading deadline just to have a chance to win a Stanley Cup.
"We didn't plan on trading Adam Oates 24 hours ago," Capitals general manager George McPhee said in a statement. "But when Philadelphia lost Jeremy Roenick to an injury last night, they had a need for a playmaking center. Given Adam's unrestricted free-agent status, it was uncertain if he was going be a Capital next year."
In Oates, the Flyers, who lead the Atlantic Division at 37-20-8-3, get another veteran to lead the team's playoff run. Team doctors were still evaluating an MRI exam on Roenick's knee Tuesday, though Roenick said he expects to return in time for the playoffs.