Fleischmann, 26, has played 23 of the Caps 25 games this season, posting 4 goals and 10 points. He was originally drafted 63rd overall by the Detroit Red Wings in 2002 and was acquired along with the pick used on Mike Green in the deadline day deal that sent Robert Lang to the Wings on February 27, 2004. He has spent the last six seasons in DC, playing 283 games with 60 goals and 138 points, including a career high 23 goals and 51 points last season. Fleischmann has also appeared in 22 playoff games with 3 goals and 5 points. This move was likely sparked by the injury to Avalanche leading goal scorer Chris Stewart, who is expected to miss the next 4-6 weeks with a broken hand, and could be Flash's opportunity to shine on a top line in the NHL. His exodus could also open the door for the speedy and talented Mathieu Perreault to be recalled from Hershey on a more regular basis.
In this trade, the Capitals receive Hannan, a 31-year old veteran of 775 NHL games (30-150-180, +22). More importantly, he is a veteran of 73 playoff games (1-13-14, +12), including a trip to the Western Conference Final in 2004 as a member of the San Jose Sharks. Hannan has played all 23 games this year for the Avs and has posted 6 assists, a +1 rating, and 6 PIM. He is durable, only having missed a total of 7 games over the last 8 seasons. He will bring a veteran presence to a young blueline corps and he is the tough, shotblocking, stay-at-home defenseman the team and its fans have been coveting.
Hannan's $4.5 million cap hit is partially offset by the removal of Fleischmann's $2.6 million. Both players will be unrestricted free agents at the end of the season.
Not to fear, fans, if you want to wish Fleischmann a fond farewell, he will be returning to Verizon Center with the Avs on December 11.