...and before you repeat them, here are the answers to the common objections when I and others before me posted similar trades:
Those teams wouldn't make those deals: they have to. Edmonton needs a #1 defenseman, Vegas needs fewer defensemen, and Detroit needs salary cap space and, frankly, a rebuild. Check what their fans are posting on CF
Those forward lines are ____: Trotz changes up his lines every week. Any configuration has weaknesses. The whole idea is to have enough guys with enough talent to beat the Penguins.
RNH is too expensive for a 3C: He's a 1cC. If you put a center who gets more than thirty assists with two wingers who get more than twenty goals, you've got yourself a first line on an average NHL team in today's offensively starved league. RNH is the thrd best first-line center on this team, and Marchesault becomes its third best thirty-goal scoring winger, when RNH's experience and average defensive play push Marchesault out of the middle.
That Defense is awful: yep. Until the trade deadline. But Vegas has so many potentially great young guys that it would be a shame not to bid on them, and Hershey has so many talented guys ready, that it would be a shame not to give them some experience.
Why not sign a couple defensemen on two way contracts to call up at the deadline? Why not, indeed. Go for it. I hate to insult anyone by claiming their one-way-deal days are done, but there are a TON of passable, thrd-pairing defensive defensemen unsigned, this August. If any of them want a good chance to win a Stanley Cup, maybe they'll be willing to risk getting stuck in Hershey at 80 grand this year. But for someone used to earning a million bucks, I'm sure that's a bitter pill to swallow, so I'm not naming their names.
But will any defensemen be available at the trade deadline? It's too soon to tell, but it sure looks like there will be a TON of them. Depending who's out of contention by the deadline, teams could be bidding on Chara, Green, Carlson, Enstrom, Emelin, Gorges, Bieksa, Sbisa, Oduya, Cole... (http://www.spotrac.com/nhl/free-agents/2018/defenseman/ufa/
). The Caps can pick up a #4 guy for almost nothing, with so many options, call up Ness and whatever guy they sign two-way, move Chorney up to #6, and start six veterans for the postseason. But they'll have spent the regular season developing their blueline of the future, which everybody on here is obsessed with, even though teams like the Penguins and the Blackhawks seem to win Cups just fine by loading up on offensive defensemen as UFAs and trade deadline bargains.
Will any of the above replace Carlson? No. But do the Caps want to lose the best UFA defensemen two years in a row for nothing? A lot of teams' fans are dreaming of trading players, prospects, and picks for him. The Caps have Niskannen and Orlov ready to go, with Djoos and Bowey just a year away from being credible two-way defensemen in the NHL. Adding some average young defensemen from Vegas gets them through the transition of losing Carlson, and adding RNH makes their incredible forward group even better than before, possibly as good, overall, as Pittsburgh's or Edmonton's.
Will the Caps be as good without Orpik's toughness? No. Not this year, and not next year. But if McNabb and Miller actually develop into second pair guys, they'll get over it.
Will the Caps be as good with Nugent Hopkins instead of Eller? Defensively? No. But it's a question of whether Trotz, with a team that can spend up to the salary cap, believes he needs two checking centers, or whether he'd rather make other teams wish they had three checking centers. Backstrom is as good defensively as Eller and Beagle, so they'll still be good enough, up front, once Vrana, Larkin, and Marchesault learn their roles on a team that values two-way play.
Is this team good enough to win the Cup? Yes and No. First, Pittsburgh and Edmonton have to not win it. If they falter just a little bit, and these guys buy in to Trotz' team game, then it's theirs to lose.