Okay, since this seems to be the topic of conversation early this offseason I'll weigh in: What do the Caps do about defenseman Mike Green and right wing Alex Semin? Both players enter 2011-12 in the final year of their contracts. Both have underwhelmed at times in the postseason. A segment of the fan base apparently would love to pack a suitcase for each guy and drive them out to Dulles.

Not saying that couldn't happen. If a trade – or trades - brings back a couple of players who can change the dynamic of a team that can't figure out the Stanley Cup playoffs then maybe you do move one or even both of them. But that's far easier said in the aftermath of another postseason disappointment than actually done.

Let's look at this realistically, starting with Green. I'll write about Semin in a separate post. Washington general manager George McPhee spoke after the season about how a lack of balance on the blueline – namely speed and puck-moving abilities – hurt his team in the playoffs. Does that sound like a man who wants to move one of the league's best skaters off his team? If Green is dealt, Dennis Wideman and John Carlson would be the only two on the roster with those strengths. Can't count on Tom Poti (groin) right now, for obvious reasons, even though he fits the mold.

To the numbers: Per 60 minutes of even strength ice time, Green saw the opposition score 2.11 goals. Only Karl Alzner (1.90) and Carlson (1.93) were better among regular Caps defensemen. Yes, Washington played a more conservative style after Dec. 12. But that 2.11 still ranks 51st among all NHL defensemen who played at least 40 games. Green, remember, was limited to just 49 in the regular season thanks to his back-to-back head injuries in February.

In fact, let's take out the scrubs from that list and look at defensemen who logged at least 13 minutes of even strength ice time per game. That jumps Green to 43rd overall. And there are some pretty good names below him, including Drew Doughty (2.26), Shea Weber (2.34), Chris Pronger (2.28), Marc Staal (2.20), Anton Volchenkov (2.21) and Paul Martin (2.23). Now, Green's quality of competition (112th) was behind all of those players save Volchenkov (135th). That matters. The fact that he played in just 49 matters, too, because he's now missed 66 of 410 possible games in five full seasons. Not terrible injury luck considering 33 of those came this season. But he isn't exactly Doug Jarvis, either.