According to a source close to the Washington Capitals, Michael Nylander is buried so deeply in coach Bruce Boudreau's doghouse, playing on the fourth line after being a healthy scratch the other night, that the team might be ready to part with the veteran center for a draft pick.
The Hawks remain very interested in Nylander, but even if they were able to get him for a draft pick they couldn't fit his $4.875 cap hit under their salary cap without clearing some big money.
The Caps are believed to have brought up Dustin Byfuglien and Cam Barker in discussions with the Hawks about Nylander, but it's hard to believe GM Dale Tallon would give up either young player in such a deal even if Byfuglien has been inconsistent and is way overpaid at $3 million a year.
As for Barker, he has played a lot better, although there are some in the Hawks' front office who view him and his $2.7 million cap hit expendable with James Wisniewski set to return from his knee injury in a few weeks.
How's this for a potential scenario: Would the Hawks consider putting Cristobal Huet on waivers for the purpose of sending him to the minors in order to free up cap space for Nylander? It's certainly an option.