February 28, 2018 | 10:15am ET



Brian MacLellan, GM


The Washington Capitals had a rather uneventful Monday at the trade deadline, failing to add the high-end defenseman they wanted. 

Last week, Capitals GM Brian MacLellan made some smaller acquisitions by adding depth players Michal Kempny and Jakub Jerabek, but no major headliner was added to the roster ahead of the trade deadline.

Ultimately it was the cost that prevented MacLellan from adding a marquee name to the roster, as he told NBC Sports.

“There are a couple of players that we would have liked to have had, but the cost of acquiring those players was pretty high,” MacLellan said. “Are we willing to give up our young forwards and some of our first round picks to possibly be a little deeper? At some point the tradeoff was not worth it for us.

“New York had some players that they were shopping, and they were quality players that drove the price up. It was hard to pay that price at the end.”

As we saw with the New York/Tampa Bay trade, the asking price is quite high for players like Ryan McDonagh, and were even higher for a player like Erik Karlsson, and at the end of the day the cons outweighed the pros and MacLellan stood pat.

The Capitals were among the teams interested in McDonagh, but failed to come to terms on a deal with the Rangers, who shipped him in a blockbuster trade to the Lightning.

Sitting fifth in the Eastern Conference’s overall standings with 77 points, the Capitals are still in a good spot; solid up front, good goaltending, the issue seems to be defense as of now. Perhaps adding those depth players in Kempny and Jerabek will prove to be just the boost they needed.