The Anaheim Ducks acquired center Mathieu Perreault from the Washington Capitals on Sunday, sending John Mitchell (not the same John Mitchell who is in Colorado) and a fourth-round pick back to DC in return.
Perreault going to Anaheim allows him to rekindle with his old coach, Bruce Boudreau. Not only did they have time together in DC when Boudreau led the Caps, but Perreault also played for Boudreau in the AHL in Washington's system. Boudreau obviously has a familiarity with Perreault and he could get a relatively big role in Anaheim, something he wasn't likely to get in Washington.
Perreault seemed to have the inside track on the third-line center job in Washington coming into camp but it wasn't trending that way. So instead of simply waiving Perreault, the Capitals found a willing partner in a trade in Anaheim. It's not too hard to see why; Perreault is cheap and is a very good possession player. He's not really a big name but you could do worse, especially at that price.
"Adding a young, quality center to the mix makes us that much deeper," Ducks GM Bob Murray said. "I thought we needed some additional speed and scoring, and he is a feisty competitor."
By trading Perreault, the Capitals free up a little bit of room on the roster and on the salary cap to keep physical rookie and former first-round pick Tom Wilson. Wilson made his debut in the playoffs last season but it wasn't clear if he was going to be able to keep a spot despite impressing the coaches. Now they found a way to keep him around and he'll add plenty of those "grit" intangibles to the bottom-six in Washington.