The Rod Langway Trophy is awarded annually to the Washington Capitals player who was acquired in trade and most benefitted the Caps the throughout the season. “Most benefitted” is determined by tangible output (goals, faceoffs won), intangible factors (leadership, energy), and cost versus reward. The winner of trophy is determined by the bloggers of Rock the Red through bickering, bribing, voting, and several games of rock/paper/scissors. There is no current holder of the trophy, as it was conceived the same time as the The Bengt Gustafsson Award.
In alphabetical order:
Eric Belanger: acquired from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for a 2010 second round draft pick.
Initially brought on to increase the Capitals’ depth at center, Belanger’s acquistion paid dividends in the playoffs when he took 66.7% percent of his face offs. He embodied the term ‘playoff hockey’, fighting and pushing every second of every shift- and losing eight teeth in the process. Sure, he didn’t light up the scoresheet in a Capitals sweater, but he did add depth at the center position and experience at a lower cost.
Jason Chimera: acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Chris Clark and Milan Jurcina.
A speedy replacement for the oft-injured Chris Clark, Chimera’s grit and determination were well welcomed in the Nation’s Capital. His ability to force turnovers, draw penalties, and disrupt plays with strong checking is a rare skill set – and his willingness to drop his gloves raises his stock even more. However, every bit of Chimmer’s praise comes with the critism that he lacks the passing and shooting abilities to truly benefit the Caps. Additionally, his aptitude on the penalty kill needs to be enhanced if he is to continue to benefit this team as a grinder.
Scott Walker: acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for a 2010 seventh round draft pick.
For the price, the Capitals’ trade for Walker reaped immediate dividends as he managed to light the lamp twice in his first game. Although his play time was limited through the rest of the season due to a knee injury (and the health of the rest of the forwards on the depth chart), he benefitted the team when he did play – adding 12 hits, 3 blocked shots, and 5 takeaways in his 9 regular season games. Walker added a positive boost of energy on the ice, and experience in the locker room for the Caps.
Honorable Mention: Joe Corvo: acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Brian Pother, Oskar Osala and a 2011 second round draft pick.
And the winner of the inaugural Rod Langway Trophy, for the player which most benefitted the Capitals post-acquisition in a trade: Jason Chimera!