Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: kcarrera and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

After Draft, a Sense of Unfinished Business

Here's an early look at my story on the draft for tomorrow's paper:

MONTREAL, June 27 -- The Washington Capitals completed a trade on the second day of the NHL draft. It's just not the one they had hoped to swing when the weekend began.
General Manager George McPhee sent prospect Sami Lepisto to the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday in exchange for a pick in next year's draft. But the Capitals left Bell Centre without making a trade to fill their biggest void: a second-line center.
"There wasn't a lot of [trade talk] that went on here," McPhee said. "There may be more of that next week and closer to camp. We're not going to force anything. The season doesn't start until October."
With the departure of veteran forwards Sergei Fedorov and Viktor Kozlov this month, McPhee said he plans to monitor the free agent market, which opens next Wednesday, and will sign someone "if it makes sense." But he quickly added that he's not feeling intense pressure to do so because he feels there are players on the roster capable of replacing them.

Click here to read the rest.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  June 27, 2009; 4:46 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: NHL Draft Day 2: Live Updates
Next: Caps Make Qualifying Offers

Comments

This doesn't shock me one bit! I have seen this team do this time and time again. They just will not take the necessary risk that is needed to win the cup. But I still love em'!

Posted by: rockinthered1 | June 27, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Agree w rockinthered1. Also, guess we're going to be a team of small guys w/o an enforcer, lol!

Posted by: capsfan01 | June 27, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Small Team?

Laich, Ovechkin, Steckel, Bradley, Fehr,

Alzner, Erskine, Green, Carlson, Poti Jurcina, Shultz, Sloan,

All 6'2 and above. Semin and Backstrom are 6'0

Not exactly a small team.

By the way how did it work out for Detroit past 15 years being built the same way.

Posted by: lightshow | June 27, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

the funny thing is McPhee states that some teams need an enforcer because they need it because some of their players get intimidated. What a load of BS that is. When you look at the teams with enforcers (Philly, Pittsburgh, Anaheim, etc) those teams don't have players who get intimidated any more than anyone on the Caps. That's just a selfserving excuse not to replace Brashear's role.

If the Caps didn't need him, why did we bring him back this past season?

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 27, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

fwiw Mcphee also explained the Lepisto trade - he said they thought they may lose him to Europe for nothing.

also said Orlov can really hit.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 27, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Pitt's enforcer Godard played how many playoff games?


O

Posted by: lightshow | June 27, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

The role of an enforcer isn't as important as it used to be but you need still one during the regular season. I wouldn't spend significant money on an aging player like Brash but as any former NHL player like McPhee knows they still need one.

Posted by: joek443 | June 27, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Lightshow; I guess you couldn't tell from my post that I was making a joke (bec of the small size of the player's we drafted). Either that or you don't have a sense of humor.
I agree w joek443's post that an enforcer is still a necessary part of the team. Still hoping they bring Brash back. I'm sure in this market he will be willing to take a pay cut.

Posted by: capsfan01 | June 27, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Good question CStanton.

Posted by: capsfan01 | June 27, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

During the regular season you certainly have a place for enforcer. Also they are relatively easy to acquire if that is what you are missing. By easy i mean they don't cost much in trade market.

Capsfan01 its all good.

It is pretty funny considering last year Caps were consistently called one of the biggest teams in the league.

By the time all is said and done I think Orlov will be our best pick from this Draft. He excelled at 20u world juniors. But that's just my opinion.

Posted by: lightshow | June 27, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

GMGM is clearly implementing a "Detroit" plan to win a Cup - but I don't have the patience to wait the 5-10 years it's going to take for newbie first-rounder Johansson to turn into Mr. Zetterberg. How about a bold move now? This team is close to winning it all. We can still develop into Red Wings Southeast while bagging a Cup or two next year and beyond.

Posted by: CAP-lanta | June 27, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Here is the solution for a big defenseman. When the Flyers are about to miss the playoffs because they have no goalie, then trade for him. Let them take the cap hit.

Posted by: RichC3 | June 27, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Opps........then trade with the Flyer and get Pronger then...my bad

Posted by: RichC3 | June 27, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

CAP-lanta,

I was about to say same thing "Detroit Plan". Certainly feels that way. Exciting and at the same time will take 3-4 years before the wagon starts circling with these players coming.

I certainly feel we are close but I think GMGM has to be cautious with who he adds. He is hamstrung by Theodore and Nylander contracts and that kind of limits his options. If cap wasn't such a big obstacle then we would certainly see a lot more activity. But he has to be cautious who he brings and how much we spend.

There are some decent free agents available that could certainly help us but like I said we are in tough situation with Theodore and Nylander taking almost $10 mil in cap space.

Posted by: lightshow | June 27, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

It is all good Lightshow. I am just sad to see one of my favorite players not resigned. And it remains to be seen if a Detroit plan will work for the Caps. I think some of what (a few key players) were missing during the playoffs was heart. Detroit and, I hate to admit, Pitt both had heart. Please don't all jump down my back at once for this comment.

Posted by: capsfan01 | June 27, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Could someone tell me how the Detroit plan works and how the Caps are executing it?

Posted by: caraveli | June 27, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Could someone tell me how the Detroit plan works and how the Caps are executing it?

Posted by: caraveli | June 27, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Thats where you pretend Alzner=Lidstrom because of his you know.. Poise and Positioning. And um...oh yeah, speed and skill with the euros. That right there should be enough to get us a few Cups right soon.

Anyone remember a few yrs ago it was the Minnesota Wild plan. Thats the cheap route to a rebuild.

Lets face it. Whatever the successful teams are currently, thats the rebuild du jour plan for the Caps. They point to a recent team whose been successful and they map out a loose imitation of it without taking into account the numerous variables and factors that differentiate both teams.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 27, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Pitt's enforcer Godard played how many playoff games?


O

Posted by: lightshow | June 27, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Well lets see...they obviously saw a reason to play him during the regular season. I'm guessing they saw value in him right? He did a lot to help their star players stay healthy during the reg season and they fed off his toughness and energy. In the playoffs you can afford to restrict your tough guy ice time, even though not all teams necessarily subscribe to that either (see Boston, Vancouver, Chicago, Philly and Anaheim).

so the argument that because Godard didn't play in the playoffs holds no water. The Caps aren't planning on replacing Brashear for the regular season are they? I mean if they did that and then decided their tough guy should sit for the playoffs, well that would be a BETTER option than simply foregoing the entire tough guy role.

When Mcphee brought Brash here, he said "we're not running a Sunday school" and we need to protect our players. Now, he's changed his tune and he's probably using the same lame argument that you just did with regards to Godard not seeing playoff ice time and the Red Wings not having an enforcer. Its not an apples for apples comparison.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 27, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Maybe it is just me, but I think they kept Brash in part because the guys liked him. He did definitely fit in with the young guns. However, I am just not convinced that we need an enforcer. Which teams in the East have that, other than the Flyers? I loved Brash, but am just not sure that his 1 mil could not be used more wisely. Of course Philly getting one of the leagues acknowledged dirties players does not sit well with me either. Glad we only play them four times. Just please keep Mikey away from Pronger this year.

Posted by: Kim-3 | June 27, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

It is all good Lightshow. I am just sad to see one of my favorite players not resigned. And it remains to be seen if a Detroit plan will work for the Caps. I think some of what (a few key players) were missing during the playoffs was heart. Detroit and, I hate to admit, Pitt both had heart. Please don't all jump down my back at once for this comment.

Posted by: capsfan01 | June 27, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

no one should jump down your back for that comment. You are absolutely correct. The Caps lacked grit and heart against the Pens. Their top 6 forwards showed a lot more tenacity that did our top 6. That was the difference in the series since our checking lines vastly outplayed theirs.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 27, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Maybe it is just me, but I think they kept Brash in part because the guys liked him. He did definitely fit in with the young guns. However, I am just not convinced that we need an enforcer. Which teams in the East have that, other than the Flyers? I loved Brash, but am just not sure that his 1 mil could not be used more wisely. Of course Philly getting one of the leagues acknowledged dirties players does not sit well with me either. Glad we only play them four times. Just please keep Mikey away from Pronger this year.

Posted by: Kim-3 | June 27, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Its more than just Philly.

Rangers - Colton Orr
Atlanta - Eric Boulton/Boris Valabik
Tampa - Tocchet will definitely employ one this year, he went thru a couple last year. It'll most likely be David Koci
Pittsburgh - Godard
Boston - Thornton/Lucic chips in also
Buffalo - Andrew Peters
Philly - Riley Cote (and Carcillo as a middleweight)


that was just off the top of my head. I'm sure I'm missing another coupla teams :)

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 27, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

"I think some of what (a few key players) were missing during the playoffs was heart. Detroit and, I hate to admit, Pitt both had heart. Please don't all jump down my back at once for this comment.
Posted by: capsfan01"

You are absolutely right. This is why it getting a good performance out of them was like pulling teeth: a good period here and a period there. There was a fire missing and, you are also right, you could see it present in the Pens and Detroit. This became apparent around the last 6 weeks or so of the season and was so frustrating. A fundamental piece was missing. The "what" and "why" was a mystery to me. They had the youth, the talent and the potential for explosive play.

Posted by: caraveli | June 27, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

funny thing is, if you listen to just the Caps players themselves talk, they constantly praise the deterrent factor that Brashear brings to the ice. Just read between the lines on their comments, they certainly appreciate having his presence. Now it'll be Bradley (who loses every fight bless his heart) and Erskine (who is gunshy after his concussion knockout by Godard)

For the record, I think its a huge mistake to take this element off the team. I'm ok with letting Brash go. He's not good enough to play more than a few shifts a game anymore. I'm not ok with them simply eliminating that postion and role. Its bogus. That role deters teams from taking too many liberties, it creates fan energy and team energy, it creates momentum changes etc etc. Which is why over half the teams in the nhl employ one.

McPhee's comments that his players aren't intimidated so they don't need an enforcer is absolutely the dumbest explanation I've read on this subject. What if teams start going for more knee to knee hits? That has nothing to do with guys like Backstrom not being intimidated on the ice. Thats just another player deciding to take an extra run at our players because big ole Brash isn't sitting on the bench watching the action like a hawk. Deterrence is a huge element, and you don't notice it until its gone. Brashear's role wasn't just to simply fight another team's tough guy. He'd go over and glare or talk to any player he felt was taking liberties. Therefore you need an enforcer type even against teams who perhaps don't have one but who still play a very chippy/dirty style. Last yr Tim Gleason ran over Semin and then took a run at Ovechkin. Not a single Caps player did anything until Brash took a shift, went right over and really finished his check hard on Gleason and then stood over him. I didn't see Gleason take another run the rest of the night. That alone justifies that type of role on a team. Even if it helps just one player stay off the injured list or get timid on the ice, its worth it.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 27, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

These things needed addressing all last season and still need addressing:
1. A forward willing to stand in the crease, get killed, and still score goals.
2. A play controlling, puck moving defenseman with veteran experience.

These two things have not been addressed, and now add to that no Federov or Koslov and also no enforcer (Brashear). It seems pieces of the puzzle are being removed and no key pieces are being added. This is concerning...

Posted by: kcbrichmond | June 27, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

you are also right, you could see it present in the Pens and Detroit. This became apparent around the last 6 weeks or so of the season and was so frustrating. A fundamental piece was missing. The "what" and "why" was a mystery to me. They had the youth, the talent and the potential for explosive play.

Posted by: caraveli | June 27, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

You look at players like Kennedy, Kunitz, Cooke, Talbot running around with a ton of energy..thats what we needed more of from our forwards. We had one stinkin line do it shift after shift, that was it. Bradley-Steckel-Laich.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 27, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

These things needed addressing all last season and still need addressing:
1. A forward willing to stand in the crease, get killed, and still score goals.
2. A play controlling, puck moving defenseman with veteran experience.

These two things have not been addressed, and now add to that no Federov or Koslov and also no enforcer (Brashear). It seems pieces of the puzzle are being removed and no key pieces are being added. This is concerning...

Posted by: kcbrichmond | June 27, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

you know whats MOST concerning? McPhee has basically placed the HEALTH of his team on the shoulders of his PP units. He said that the way they'll respond to liberties taken against them is to score on the PP.

now...
1-- talk about cutting the ballz off your own team when you talk like that
2-- you're at the mercy of a referee's call
3-- if your PP isn't clicking at a high enough efficiency, that places his team at greater risk of being injured because his #1 deterrent factor - the PP - isn't working.

This kind of logic baffles me.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 27, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Way to go GM! You are taking the exact approach you should. Everyone in Washington knows we need someone, but its important to not act to desperate about it. This time of year, it's chess, not checkers. Keep it passive.

Posted by: ejohnsto | June 27, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm. Not completely sure I'd call it heart so much as killer instinct that the Caps lack. The willingness to do what it takes - whatever it takes - to win. That we played the Pens as close as we did says that with that edge, the Caps are actually the better and deeper team. Without it, we fell short.

The thing that GMGM and Boudreau seem to understand that a lot of you guys don't is that you can't buy that quality. Bringing in a high-priced free agent isn't going to bring that quality in, and that is literally all that stands between the Caps and a Cup. That is why Woods was brought down to Washington - if you look at Hershey, they've got that edge, and the Caps front office is looking for Woods to bring out that work ethic. Look at who got drafted - not a single one of our draftees had any questions about their work ethic in their profiles. What does that tell you?

Here's the thing - I don't feel that Brashear did his job as enforcer this past season, because the instigator rule keeps him from doing so. Our guys got run with damn near impunity. You don't want just one guy who's really good, because nobody will go with him willingly, and the instigator rule keeps him from doing his job in that case. What you need is every single guy on the team to stick up for his teammates, and that is what we didn't have until later in the season.

Posted by: kittypawz | June 27, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

With the same team except for a couple Bears added into lineup next year the Caps can easily make the playoffs again. If they want to go all the way, they have to add some toughness and grit. One or two that can play offense in front of the net and one that can clear the net on defense. I don't know if anyone in Hersey fits that mold. We have to sign someone...somehow??? A tall player doesn't mean that you are tough. I'm not talking about fighting, I'm talking about checking on both ends,getting agressive in the corners. If Brash isn't back next year and they don't get another enforcer, it won't be fun.Come on George and Ted let's take it to the next level!!!!!

Posted by: jmcale57 | June 27, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Cammallari, go!

Posted by: richmondphil | June 27, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Most teams employ an enforcer still, though their overall role has diminished since the lockout.

Brash no, another tough guy yes.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 27, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

I also don't understand why you guys are using our #1 draft pick as an excuse against GMGM for not making trades. Criticize him for not making trades yeah, but the draft pick has nothing to do with next year. We are not the Islanders or Bolts.

It really doesn't matter who we drafted 1st, in terms of next year. Hopefully the right trades/signings will come...hopefully...

Posted by: richmondphil | June 27, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

1. this was just second year back in the playoffs for the Caps. some of you people need to remind yourselves of that fact before getting all worked up over the draft or non-moves by GMGM. would you want them to be a one year accident winning the Cup like Tampa and Carolina or a perennial contender like Detroit?

2. If you're gonna copycat any team in the NHL, is there a better example than the Wings right now?

3. the Patriots or the Redskins? the Skins always make flash moves in the offseason just about every year since Snyder's been charge. what have they done?? do you want the Caps to be like them or the Patriots who NEVER make headlines during the offseason or go after flash players. they always go after specific players who can fit in their system like the Red Wings.

Posted by: joek443 | June 27, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

In one of his exit interviews Brooks Laich expressed a desire to play the center position next year, which is his true position, the one he grew up playing. Here's hoping since he did a good job playing center for the 2nd line while Federov was injured, they give him a chance to compete for the position for next season.

Posted by: theresa21 | June 27, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

my god, its not even july and some folks are in mid season whine. did you expect GMGM to draft two NHL ready centers and a dman? did you want to trade the equivalent of 3 first rounders for a one year rental of a mid 30's dman with a huge cap number? how about trading for the "rights" to negotiate w/ a pending UFA.

this team needs pieces, no doubt. but let me pose these questions. is the team, as consituted, good enough to qualify for the eastern conference playoffs (barring you know what)? is the window to win a cup opening or closing on this team?

my answer to one is yes, this team should be favored to win the SE again and should not struggle to make the playoffs. this teams window to win is just opening, not closing. therefore, this team is not "forced" to make moves right now (hello philly).

if they want to make a cup run, they need the center depth and rugged defence. those parts can be added via trade before the season once teams realize what their cap situation. these deals can also be made at the deadline. the spots can also be filled by our own guys.

the good thing about the caps is they have lots of assets to trade. young players draft picks, etc.

and remember, just cause mcphee's mouth is moving, doesnt mean he's saying anything.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | June 27, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Kitty: Hmmm. Not completely sure I'd call it heart so much as killer instinct that the Caps lack. The willingness to do what it takes - whatever it takes - to win. That we played the Pens as close as we did says that with that edge, the Caps are actually the better and deeper team. Without it, we fell short.


Umm, thats called heart. Doing whatever it takes to get the job done requires heart. And thats where we fell short.

and remember, just cause mcphee's mouth is moving, doesnt mean he's saying anything.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | June 27, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

you think McPhee's interviews are non-newsworthy you should listen to the Ross Mahoney clip. Its like he didn't even want to be interviewed. He just pursed his lips and acted annoyed.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 27, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Kitty:Look at who got drafted - not a single one of our draftees had any questions about their work ethic in their profiles. What does that tell you?


That tells me that our brain trust should have had this part figured out a long time ago. It takes them to this year to figure out that every draftee needs to have a strong competitive work ethic? its crazy. Other teams figured that out eons ago.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 27, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

2. If you're gonna copycat any team in the NHL, is there a better example than the Wings right now?

err the penguins maybe?

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 27, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1,

I'm not sure if you're smart enough to understand but let me explain something to you. When you have players like Crosby and Malkin, it really doesn't take a rocket scientist to build your team and run it.

Posted by: joek443 | June 27, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

I hope they go get Koivu for our 2nd line center. That would be amazing.

Posted by: skabizza | June 27, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

skabizza,

I like that idea. Not just because Koivu may help the Caps but if he signs with them, his good friend Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari might visit DC and watch him play. That would be very cool :)

Posted by: joek443 | June 27, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

It seems like most of the potential trades involve unloading Varly or Neuvy. They may never make a trade if those two are the Caps' only bargaining chips. I wouldn't think a gritty D-man (even Chara) would be worth trading either netminder for. Just a thought. I agree that drafting hungry players who have killer instinct ingrained, instead of pulling a Snyder and drafting pricey players that could care less about clubs success, is the slower but more productive strategy.

Posted by: ejohnsto | June 27, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Dale Hunter was only 5'11. How big did he play? It doesn't matter how tall you are.

Posted by: jmurray019 | June 28, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

Dan Snyder has yet to figure out that someone playing FOR a contract is way more valuable than someone playing WITH a contract. McPhee and Ted are smarter than that.

Lets talk about Pittsburgh instead of Detroit. Fleurry, Crosby, Malkin, Staal, Orpik = all first rounders, home growns. We match that with Varlamov, Ovechkin, Backstrom, Semin and Green. I like our core better than theirs. I'd rather take a fireball like Ovechkin than a tip-tap vagina like Crosby. I'd take possibly the best playmaker inside the blue-line in Backstrom than the often MIA (for several shifts) Malkin. Semin blows Staal out of the water, when healthy and not taking stupid penalties. Green and Orpik can't even be compared.

IF Semin and Green were somewhat close their normal, we beat the Penguins and possibly win the cup.

Thats how close we are. Tell me now, what desperate trade should McPhee make today? NONE. None whatsoever. We are going to be good for the next 15-20 years. Likely win 4-5 cups in that span. Just wait.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | June 28, 2009 6:12 AM | Report abuse

@lightshow

On the size of our guys, Semin is now 6'2". He grew a couple of inches since we got him. (Listed as 205 pounds although most people don't believe it.) Tha Caps site has Backstrom listed at 6'0" and 183 lbs but Yahoo has him listed at 6'1" and 210 bls). If that is true, Clark is our littlest forward.

Maybe we need a little quick guy to keep the other team's defense honest (and not only gearing for big guys.) Having AuCoin, a little guy, up at the end of the season definitely gave the team some energy. And some of our draftees could still grow a little. Semin and Backstrom both did.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 28, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse

The Caps have a good core but the issue is the Pens managed to add mid tier players with lower round draft picks. McPhee in his ENTIRE Caps drafting history has not added a quality player to the Caps regular roster past the first round. Not even a 2nd rounder other than Pettinger but where is he now? The Caps do not match up to the Pens and Detroit at all. In no way. Those two teams are of high quality because they add so many good prospects late in the draft. Something I would say the Caps are the worst at. Because of that they have to turn to free agency and trades to add those parts to the team. Problem is those positions are usually the heart and soul type players. But when there is a lot more heart and soul in players you draft yourself. Not guys later in their career that earned that UFA contract. How much heart will they have in the team? On top of that McPhee doesnt have much of a history of pulling off a huge trade for a big name player. On top of that his Free Agent signing history is also not that great. The only thing he has going for him is the ability to draft guys in the first round. Which is not that impressive to me considering his best player fell into his lap. I am very worried but I am going to wait and see what happens until opening day. If McPhee thinks this team will improve internally and does nothing it will be a step back for a team he has never taken past the first round in 12 years but once. Which took an overtime goal in game 7 against the average Rangers from a player that is no longer with the team!

Managment better step up! Lots of new fans. The best player in the world. This is REAL pressure. It's time to just STEP UP and get it done! Excuse time is OVER

Posted by: Mike4169 | June 28, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Political_Stratgst:
You had me until your last paragraph. 15-20 years? 4-5 cups? That's a wee bit optimistic.

Posted by: --Boo-- | June 28, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

I see that the Pens drafted Philip Samuelsson, the son of Ulf in the second round. I sure hope he doesn't turn out to a pest like his old man.

LOL all kidding aside, Ulf Samuelsson was a very good and tough defenseman, the kind of D-man the current Caps could really use.

Posted by: joek443 | June 28, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

joek443 your ulf samuelsson mention made me think of this video I came across recently. I think you will enjoy it.

http://hockeyfights.com/fights/21380

Posted by: caps512 | June 28, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

The draft is exactly what its supposed to be a collection of potential with only rare instances of players making a difference any time soon. As far as I know free agency has even started yet so I am not worried about the holes on our roster. Its not like there isn't a lot down on the farm. I am not worried. GO CAPS!!!!!!!

Posted by: jpt1002 | June 28, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

and the Pens are only good cause they sucked for a lot of years in a row and kept getting the first pick every year. so to say they have a better model then the red wings is just plain wrong

Posted by: jpt1002 | June 28, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Actually, most of GMGM's rationale for standing pat I agree with. Let's see what Laich can give us at center, what Clark has left in the tank and get the needed pieces at the deadline. However, the one exception is probably a crease clearing defender, as they tend to be overpriced at the deadline.

While the team has major questionmarks-
1) Secondline center
2) Crease clearing defender
3) Skilled agitator
4) Consistent puck moving on defender
5) Consistent play at goalie
5) A goon

That said--in my unschooled opinion--the offseason goals should be:

1) Create cap room for late season rentals.
2) Solve situations with Nylander and Theodore....their presence on the team isn't helpful.
3) Trade for a crease clearer
4) Sign a budget goon.

The rest of the deals can be made at the deadline.

I'm not sure we h

Posted by: C-way | June 28, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Mildly interesting discussion on enforcers.

Team Player GP TOI/G Fights
Atlanta Boulton 76 7:32 16
Atlanta Thorburn 82 9:35 12
Atlanta Valabik 50 15:14 6
Boston Thornton 79 10:02 17
Boston Lucic 72 14:56 10
Buffalo Peters 28 4:01 11
Philadelphia Cote 63 4:09 22
Philadelphia Asham 78 8:44 17
Pittsburgh Goddard 71 4:04 21
Rangers Orr 82 6:29 18
Tampa Koci 37 5:57 8
Washington Brashear 63 8:14 11

If you play around with the numbers a bit, you'll find that the guys that fight a lot for the most part sit on the bench. Goddards's average ice time per game is 4:04. Cote is 4:09.

Also, the Caps do not have the best PK team, so why put yourself in the position on having to kill penalties?

In the last 2 months of the season (including playoffs) the team did pretty good fending for itself. While the refs were blind when it came to Pitts vs Caps, they were also blind when Pitts played anyone else, too. Pitts could do no wrong. Everyone else got called.

I would guess that Gordon, Erskine and Bradley will step in to fill the void a bit. Not a Brashear, I know. But I don't see it as a need for an enforcer.

What I do see the need for and will miss from Brashear are his hits against the boards. THAT is what we need these remaining Caps to do. I'd rather have a guy that'll go into the boards hard for 12-14 minutes a game than only do enforcing for 4-6 minutes. That's wasted roster space and money.

Posted by: Greg S. | June 28, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

@Mike4169

Actually we beat the Rangers in Game 7 in regulation time. (It probably felt like an overtime game because it was so tight.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 28, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

skabizza,

I like that idea. Not just because Koivu may help the Caps but if he signs with them, his good friend Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari might visit DC and watch him play. That would be very cool :)

Posted by: joek443 | June 27, 2009 11:15 PM |

So wait...You are a Nascar fan and a Formula One fan?
I miss Schumacher...

Koivu would be nice if he remained un-injured.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 28, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I would guess that Gordon, Erskine and Bradley will step in to fill the void a bit. Not a Brashear, I know. But I don't see it as a need for an enforcer.

What I do see the need for and will miss from Brashear are his hits against the boards. THAT is what we need these remaining Caps to do. I'd rather have a guy that'll go into the boards hard for 12-14 minutes a game than only do enforcing for 4-6 minutes. That's wasted roster space and money.

Posted by: Greg S. | June 28, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse


First of all, you will never find enforcers playing 15-20 mins a game. If you can get them to play 6 to 10 mins then you are still getting mileage out of em. Look at Shawn Thornton's ice time. If he played for the Caps he'd prolly only get 5 shifts a game. In Boston he plays in all situations except the PP. He even kills penalties sometimes or plays on the 2nd line. So nothing in those stats disproves the value of an enforcer. Its only when a team gives a player 3 shifts a game is when its a total waste. Most enforcers get decent ice time in the 1st two periods and then the coach shortens the bench in the 3rd. For any tough guy to get 6 to 10 mins a game is a huge boost.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 28, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

yes richmondphil,

some of us do like both nascar as well as F1. I know most stuck up F1 fans look down on nascar but their attitute should have changed by now watching Juan Pablo Montoya trying to make it in nascar and Jacques Villenueve not making it.

F1 cars are the most amazing cars on earth but their drivers are no better than the top nascar driver drivers. I too miss Schummi and his bold moves even if some of them made you scratch your head saying, "what the heck was he thinking?". What I don't like about F1 is that they don't just let them race and make full use of their amazing cars.

Posted by: joek443 | June 28, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

[[I would guess that Gordon, Erskine and Bradley will step in to fill the void a bit. Not a Brashear, I know. But I don't see it as a need for an enforcer.]]

Did you just say Boyd Gordon's name as a potential step-in for team toughness? Do you watch Caps hockey Greg?

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 28, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

You'll see more subtle changes occur if we don't have some type of a heavyweight presence in the lineup. You'll see players play just a little smaller, especially in intense games, and esp on the road. It will have a ripple effect. Some of our players may get a little extra abuse on the ice. And the simple fact that McPhee expects his PP units to become the great equalizer, that is fraught with potential problems. Are the players going to get angry with our PP units if they don't deliver because now other teams will take more liberties on the ice? Extreme example perhaps but you see the point. When your entire lineup plays with a little less swagger and confidence, it can really be a negative cumulative effect. This team will lack some confidence playing some of the bigger tougher teams. They're not going to want to commit in games like that because they will lack a comfort zone knowing that if things get a little out of control that guys like Bradley and Erskine will be able to handle all the heavy lifting.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 28, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Watching cars drive around an ellipse is boring. Nascar fans are, to put it nicely, boring. No one is talking down on Nascar, I don't like it and that is that. I live in Richmond for gods sake, I deal with Nascar on a daily basis. I do go to the RIR for Indy races sometimes, but never the Nascar race.

You answered why F1 is vastly superior. Better cars, better tracks.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 28, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

no, f1 isn't vastly superior. if you're gonna compare the two and make comparisons, you have to watch the races and actually understand what's it's all about.

well I do watch both nascar and F1 on regular basis for years and f1 is NOT superior as far as the quality of racing because it's almost impossible to pass. if you're into single-file racing or just a parade of cars, then f1 is the thing to watch.

last year was the perfect example. Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikonnen had an epic battle at SPA last year whe it started to rain and towards the end. It was the most exciting race I ever saw then what happened? The frigging stewards f@#$ed it all up by penalizing Hamilton and took his win away. That's something NASCAR would never do because they understand that racing is like any other sport is a form of entertainment.

Now watching indycar races on ovals is the most BORING thing you can watch in racing.

Posted by: joek443 | June 28, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Completely agree w your last post Cstanton. McPhee doesn't want an enforcer bec he's trying to copy Detroit. Detroit doesn't need an enforcer bec most other teams in their division don't have enforcers. We are not Detroit. Most of the teams in our division have enforcers. Without an enforcer our players won't play w confidence. We, also, can not be left at the mercy of the refs. McPhee needs to sign an enforcer. Brashear is as good as any if he will come down in price.
We had a great regular season and were close to winning the Stanley Cup. We didn't win the cup bec we have a bunch of individual superstars who lack heart. Hopefully, GMGM will stop trying to remodel our team and our players will have learned from the playoffs. If not, we will be in the same position or worse.

Posted by: capsfan01 | June 28, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

you should try watching a nascar race at RIR, most drivers absolutely love the track because it's a short track that at 3/4 mile is long enough to let you run fast.

last spring, Denny Hamlin who drives for Joe Gibbs and is from nearby Chesterfield had his heart broken there. most nascar drivers wanna win the daytona 500 but for Hamlin Richmond is his Daytona because he grew up racing and watching races there. he started the race from pole led the first 380 laps outta the 400. then he cut a tire and finished in the 20th. as you would expect he was devastated after the race. you're more likely to see that kinda drama in nascar races than either f1 or indycar races.

Posted by: joek443 | June 28, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

While I don't think Clark is our answer to #1 line RW I love George. He's incredibly smart and makes all the right moves without mortgaging the team's future for a chance at the Cup. Like Opita1 said people who criticize him are simply not as smart as him.

Personally, I can't stand Pronger so I'm glad he's not becoming a Cap and will rather give me yet another reason to hate Philly. Also, the price was way too high. Most neutral fans I know think that this was a very good deal for Anaheim.

I like our first 2 picks. I got a little excited when Kulikov started sliding due to being Russian, but I knew he wasn't gonna slide all the way down to where we were picking. Kulikov is perhaps the 3rd best D in this draft IMO so if Florida signs him they made a great pick at 16th. I'm sure he would have signed for us rather than go to the KHL.

Anyway, good stuff. Let's see what happens during the summer and especially after July 1. The Bruins are shopping Kessel. I would love for us to get him if we could. Ovechkin - Backstrom - Kessel. Good luck defending that line. Could be the fastest in hockey.

Posted by: ranndino | June 28, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Completely agree w your last post Cstanton. McPhee doesn't want an enforcer bec he's trying to copy Detroit. Detroit doesn't need an enforcer bec most other teams in their division don't have enforcers. We are not Detroit. Most of the teams in our division have enforcers. Without an enforcer our players won't play w confidence. We, also, can not be left at the mercy of the refs. McPhee needs to sign an enforcer. Brashear is as good as any if he will come down in price.
We had a great regular season and were close to winning the Stanley Cup. We didn't win the cup bec we have a bunch of individual superstars who lack heart. Hopefully, GMGM will stop trying to remodel our team and our players will have learned from the playoffs. If not, we will be in the same position or worse.

Posted by: capsfan01 | June 28, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

The Caps like to try and reinvent the wheel every few yrs depending on which team is the model du jour. Just last season we re-sign the Donald. Which means, just one year ago George McPhee (who is apparently too smart in every aspect to ever have his decisions questioned) saw it fit to keep that role alive in DC. Now one year later he's changed his tune? What, did the entire NHL change in one year where suddenly the enforcer isn't needed? gimme a break already. He just tries to imitate a successful team because he doesn't have his own firm feelings on the subject. Last yr Donald was apparently necessary, now apparently moving forward our team doesn't need a heavy tough guy anymore.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 28, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

The Sharks are one of the teams aggressively trying to change things up and they have a lot of attractive assets. Ryane Clowe (RFA) is a true stud at wing. I'd love for us to pick him up. He can play both wings. His only issues thus far in his young career are some injuries. But the way he skates, the way he drives the net and finishes his checks, the way he protects his teammates - its hard to find all that in one player.

It'll take some creativity so I don't expect McPhee to jump on this but it would quite a boost if we could get Clowe and perhaps Marleau. Cheechoo is also on the block.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 28, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Yes what I meant to say was pretty much over time. It was close to the end of the game of game 7. Thank you!

Posted by: Mike4169 | June 28, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Brash was seen as a leader in the locker room and more than just an enforcer and was rewarded with this past season's contract. So they did not resign him, yet, and apparently won't. What is the big deal cstanton? It seemed we did not utilize him as much this past year as the year before. Was GMGM supposed to clear it with you if they decided to handle the role of an enforcer differently? You complain that they stay put, then you complain that they make a change, then you complain that they didn't make a change, then you complain, etc.

The Caps were extremely close with the team as was constructed. They may fill some spots internally now and wait for the spring to add pieces. But, the season has not started. We will be good and hopefully good enough to go further.

Posted by: _Mark | June 28, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I think Brash is probably being let go due to:

1) His age, 37

2) He's gotten slower

3) In his last two fights (one against Philthy and the other against Tennessee), he got injured and missed several games afterwards, especially after the latter fight.

4) The suspension where he essentially lost his job. Given that he didn't come back after his suspension expired, I figured that he's as good as gone.


I think he lasted pretty long with the Caps since he got along well with the guys in the locker room and did so much for the community. Brash was the kid from the hard scrabble background who made the NHL.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 28, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I think Brash and, even more so, his role should stay put. He was one of the pieces to the puzzle of success. Not having an enforcer is a terrible idea. For many of the afore mentioned reasons. Many of GM's other decisions, reaching from within the organization to fill spots and not signing UFAs to big long term contracts, are sound. This one, not so good.

Posted by: capsfan01 | June 28, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Brash was seen as a leader in the locker room and more than just an enforcer and was rewarded with this past season's contract. So they did not resign him, yet, and apparently won't. What is the big deal cstanton? It seemed we did not utilize him as much this past year as the year before. Was GMGM supposed to clear it with you if they decided to handle the role of an enforcer differently? You complain that they stay put, then you complain that they make a change, then you complain that they didn't make a change, then you complain, etc.

The Caps were extremely close with the team as was constructed. They may fill some spots internally now and wait for the spring to add pieces. But, the season has not started. We will be good and hopefully good enough to go further.

Posted by: _Mark | June 28, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

yes Mark, the entire point i was making was that McPhee needed to clear it with me first. Excellent reading comprehension skills!

Nowhere in any my posts did I express any reservations (backed by reasons) about the new philosophical shift that this organization is about to embark on with regards to the tough guy role.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 28, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

I think Brash is probably being let go due to:

1) His age, 37

2) He's gotten slower

3) In his last two fights (one against Philthy and the other against Tennessee), he got injured and missed several games afterwards, especially after the latter fight.

4) The suspension where he essentially lost his job. Given that he didn't come back after his suspension expired, I figured that he's as good as gone.


I think he lasted pretty long with the Caps since he got along well with the guys in the locker room and did so much for the community. Brash was the kid from the hard scrabble background who made the NHL.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 28, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Those are all valid reasons to let him go for sure. But there is no reason to simply eliminate that role on this team. If Brash can't play it adequately anymore, fine. Cut him loose. But don't just ignore the value this role brings to a team.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 28, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

I'm not saying Brash's role has no value. The Caps probably feel they can better use the money elsewhere.

Maybe the role of a "pure" enforcer is getting obsolete. But I'll admit that we do need someone who can go after anyone who either "prongs" or "orpiks" one of our guys. My personal preference would be for a gritty type who can play second line minutes. I'm not a big fan of fighting and don't care for fighting as entertainment in hockey but occasionally it's needed.

BTW, I think Pronger is a perfect fit last name. I can just hear the sound "prong" as he applies a hit to an opponent. Orpik seems to be a perfect fit name as well.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 28, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Was Dave Brown, Bob Probert, Tim Hunter, Joe Kocu, Marty McSorley, Chris Nilan, Dave Semenko or Tiger Williams ever a great leader of the teams they played for?

The answer is NO. They had a role to play, yes but guys like them never get enough ice time to play the role of a leader.

Posted by: joek443 | June 28, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

oops, I mean Joey Kocur...

speaking of Joey, congrats to Joey Logano who just got his first win of his career and to his boss Coach Gibbs.. go 20!!!

Posted by: joek443 | June 28, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

I take it that nobody thinks that the new draftees fill the voids we have for a gritty center and a D guy who clears the crease. What do you think of Orlov's contribution to the D, Cody Eakin & Marcus Johansson to center, for example? They are young of course and have no NHL experience, but I am curious to know how they compare with others in the current Caps/Bears roster and how they might contribute.

Posted by: caraveli | June 28, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

caraveli, nobody will know if they can play in the NHL for at least 2 more years. unless you have the top 2 or 3 picks in the draft, you don't know what you're getting.

even if you have one of those picks, it's never a sure thing. there have been plenty of number one overall picks of NHL drafts who have not had a distinguished career - Gord Kluzak, Doug Wickenheiser, Brian Lawton, Joe Murphy and Alexandre Daigle to name a few...

Posted by: joek443 | June 28, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

How about the possibility of acquiring Olli Jokinen? Calgary is supposedly shppoing him now if they are able to sign Bouwmeester. They would be trying to get rid of his salary and would not be looking for lots in return. His salary is $5.5 million but he only has 1 more year on his contract. So his salary shouldn't pose a problem when trying to sign Backstrom and/or Semin to extenstions next year.
It's just one of many options for a 2nd line center but is quite intriguing.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 28, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

For all of you that are missing Brash, the easiest position to fill is enforcer. Getting one that can play is a little harder, getting one that can play priceless.

Posted by: RichC3 | June 28, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Brash can make some plays.

Posted by: capsfan01 | June 28, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

With all the holes the Caps have I cannot believe we are talking this much about Brash! I love the guy but there are bigger holes to fill than his.

Posted by: Mike4169 | June 28, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

@Mike4169

You're probably right. Enforcer is lower on the list of needs than another center and a couple of right wings.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 28, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Agreed but sadly there is another big part of that list. A shut down 25 minute a night D-man to play next to Green. Which could also be an Enforcer type if needed by the way.

For me these are the holes in order for the Caps. I would love to hear how others have this as well.

1st line D-man
1st line right winger
2nd line center

With Nylander I do not see how they could fill all three. If they can get rid of him I think they could. If they could get rid of Nylander and Theo I think they fill all three well.

Posted by: Mike4169 | June 28, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

um...yea it is. When he isn't on our line up and our players are getting pushed around we'll wish we would've made it a priority. Even in the playoffs, when he wasn't in the line-up we lost. When he was we didn't. Just sayin'.

Posted by: capsfan01 | June 28, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm curious: how does a team that falls down to 10th overall (?) in the Eastern Conference because they didn't like playing well for their coach and then decides with a new coach, they'd get off their a$$es and play well with a couple of rental players be a team the Capitals would want to copy? I dunno'. I'd think the Capitals are better than that, that they'd not collectively suck as bad as the Penguins did before the coaching change.

Sorry, cstanton1, I disagree. Even with the Stanley Cup given to them, the Penguins still suck.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | June 28, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

@cap-lanta, others

I think the "Detroit" plan is to build a solid, consistent culture in the Caps and I heartily applaud GMGM. The idea is not to take a run at one Cup but to build a culture in the entire organization that can consistently identify and acquire the best talent available and then can develop that talent within a consistent framework. Detroit's success, imho, is not because they're great talent spotters, but because when they draft or acquire a player, they have a culture in which that player can develop. They don't desperately lunge after cups - they know that year in and year out they'll have teams that can compete. Kudos to Leonsis for sticking with GMGM and allowing him and his scouts and staff the time and space to grow into the job. I think that stability will pay off.


Posted by: RedLitYogi | June 29, 2009 12:31 AM | Report abuse

We don't need the type of Enforcer Brash is. This team, when it wins, it dominates, and it does so by its "run and gun" playstyle. If we need an enforcer we got guys like Bradely and every hater in the world will talk your ear off about how Ovie charges people blindside constantly. If we needed an enforcer it would be another player like Erksine.

I don't think McPhee will go seeking a free agent 2nd center too actively, like Tarik said there are guys on the roster that could do it. Steckel and his line wasn't playing like a 3rd line during the palyoffs. But is he good enough to hand hold semin like bakcstrom can? Doubt it.

But we got a plethora of talent in Hershey to pull from, so I'm really not concerend with free agents or trades since the scouts have already done a wonderful job to rebuild the team so early into its progression.

Posted by: breaklance | June 29, 2009 1:01 AM | Report abuse

@LeftCoastCapsFan

The Pens starting off in 10th since they wouldn't play for Therrien (who had led them to the SC finals last year), firing their coach, trading for rentals, and then winning the Cup this year is one of the things that annoys me about this season. I'd rather not have this as a model for the Caps to follow.

Carolina did something similar (and got to the Conference Finals). Not to mention our first round opponent, the Rangers.

The teams that seemed to have their act together in the regular season (i.e. San Jose and Boston) were dumped in either Round 1 or Round 2. And Detroit could not beat Pitt.

No wonder I'm mad.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 29, 2009 6:39 AM | Report abuse

Was Dave Brown, Bob Probert, Tim Hunter, Joe Kocu, Marty McSorley, Chris Nilan, Dave Semenko or Tiger Williams ever a great leader of the teams they played for?

The answer is NO. They had a role to play, yes but guys like them never get enough ice time to play the role of a leader.

Posted by: joek443 | June 28, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Actually Tim Hunter AND Marty McSorley were both considered to be very strong leaders.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 29, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Caps should sign Kessel to an offer sheet. If they offer him 5.5 they could get him and only lost a 3rd rounder next year.

Posted by: srobert1117 | June 29, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Was it ever said anywhere that we would not sign or find someone to replace Brash? I don't think so. Just because we let him go does not mean we will not try to replace him with someone on the farm or through a cheap pick up.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | June 29, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Um Capsfan01 I am pretty sure the Caps won games while he was suspended lol. Actually more than when he played. I admit it is important but not as important as other roles on the team. If you can fill those three holes with some guys that hit and grind then both problems solved.

Posted by: Mike4169 | June 29, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Obviously I have been preaching (size)," Burke said. "I don't think any of these players will make us bigger immediately. But I think it shows our commitment to size and toughness, and I think I can predict with some confidence that we are going to take similar strides once July 1 comes.

"This won't address our immediate need for size and toughness -- we'll do that later in the summer -- but I think people should read into it that we are not just talking the talk about this. We intend to be bigger and cruder."

July 1 is the opening of the free-agency season and Burke says his team will be very active. Judging by the route Burke took during the past two days at the Bell Centre, the players he'll target in free agency will be big, ornery and, most likely, North American.

"We'll be involved on July 1," Burke said. "I think doors open for business at noon and that's when we will start to get involved."

NHL Entry Draft

Like father, like son
The 2009 Entry Draft was a family affair for a lot of former players who saw their sons selected.
READ MORE›

ALL NHL ENTRY DRAFT STORIES ›Burke selected seven players at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, and all but one was at least 6-foot tall. First-rounder Nazem Kadri, selected at No. 7, was the only one not to weigh at least 190 pounds.

Three of the players -- Kadri, second-round pick Jesse Blacker and third-round pick Jamie Devane -- were from Ontario. The other four players -- second-round pick Kenny Ryan, fifth-round pick Eric Knodel, sixth-round pick Jerry D'Amigo and seventh-rounder Barron Smith -- were all Americans.

There were no Europeans selected by the Maple Leafs this summer after years of relying on European talent.

"That wasn't a big accident either," Burke said. "I think European players are important in our League, they provided an element of skill and no team has won a Cup without European players. They are a vital part of things. But I think the mix has to be right, too.

"If you are going to play the way we are going to play, I think you need some pick-and- shovel men and I think we are looking for that type of player here."

That's because Burke, who took over the Toronto job in late November, believes his team needs to play a physical, in-your-face style to be successful. That was the blueprint Burke followed in Anaheim and it translated into the 2007 Stanley Cup, a five-game victory against the Ottawa Senators.

"In Anaheim, we tried to be in double-digit hits every game and we want to hit in all three zones," Burke explained. "Most teams are content to hit in two zones, but we want to hit in all three zones and I think that is reflected in our draft today."

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 29, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

The time is NOW! GMGM better find some players soon...2nd line center...grinders...defense with balls.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | June 29, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

another reason on the Brash list. the cap only went up 100k. If it had gone up say 1 or 2 million, he could come back at about the same salary. With the upcoming Semin, Backstrom negotiations during next year they need every cent they can save.

Posted by: billd2 | June 29, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

All this talk of "the Detroit plan" has me a little curious. How did Detroit's free-agent signing of Marian Hossa, one of the priciest, high-profile forwards out there, fit the mold of building solely from within? Just wonderin'... in the end, you still have to trade for prospects for talent and sign the free agents that fit your needs to make a legitimate run at the cup.

Posted by: Jumpy66 | June 29, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Everyone, the 5 year plan puts us at the cup next year.

If we make the cup this year, great. But GMGM isn't going to trade away any assets until next year at the earliest.

There will probably be one UFA signed, a trade or two, but all in all if we weren't injured and trying to cover it up, which in the long run hurt us even more (lesson learned) we might have pulled out Game 7.

I doubt this year we are going to see big moves for the cup run. Ted, GMGM and BB are following the 5 year plan. But it's always fun to play the armchair GM game and speculate who we want on the team. In reality though, we should target players who through a trade would have their contracts up within 2 years or less, just my guess though.

Posted by: caps28fan | June 29, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Followng up on the previous comment. If we are down two with federov and kozlov and BB has said that none of the hershey guys are top 6 forwards then we we need help. One could say we have taken two steps back and are further from the cup.

Posted by: samb99 | June 29, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Jumpy66: Agree with what you said as far as adding talent from outside, but at what price. Hossa produced for Pittsburgh last year in the playoffs, but this year he was a $7mil flop for Detroit. He had a good regular season but as everyone knows, the HOF measuring stick begins to take notes come mid April.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 29, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

To everyone hoping the Caps would score Scuderi during free agency, check this out

http://www.thepensblog.com/pensblog/june-2009/the-piece-qi-told-ray-in-our-exit-meeting-that-id-give-pitt-the-last-shotq.html

Posted by: superpaqman | June 29, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I know these two names have been floating on these posts for some time but I will echo them. Oduya and Knuble can prob be signed for a very reasonable price. They are proven reliable performers and fill two important holes for the Caps.

IMO, the regular season can be taken care of with an in-house 2nd line center. Either by giving Nylander another shot, or by bringing a boy up from Hershey. As the season plays out, and the trade deadline comes I would then suggest we go after a 2nd line center that would be more solid in the playoffs if it still seems to be a problem. By the trade deadline hopefully Theodore has solid numbers, but not our number 1. That way he would be attractive as a deadline acquistion borrow, and the Caps could get something for him as far as a pick or a player. There is a lot of talent on the farm that could replace trades or Fehr or Fleishman, or be traded themselves with some picks for SOLID guys like Oduya and Knuble.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 29, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Found this comment on the Avangard Omsk site regarding the prospect of them signing Michael Nylander and figured y'all might enjoy it as much as I did:

Finally, yet another massive sum of money derived from the Omsk tax payers will find its way into the pocket of its rightful owner!

Posted by: ranndino | June 29, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

The Capitals are perpetually in the rebuilding process. GM is setting us back.

Posted by: capsfan01 | June 29, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

capsfan01: With players like Ovi, Backs, Semin, Green, tell me how they are re-building? The loss of Fedorov and Kozlov means they need to fill a couple of spots, at the risk of insulting the two, it shouldn't be too hard, and filling holes that lunch pail guys can fill hardly means the Caps are rebuilding. Now they are taking a step back and seeing what they need to complete the toolbox rather than getting a new set of tools.

The only player I saw moved that I thought could help us was Pronger, but after what I saw the Flyers give up, NO WAY. They gave up Lupul and what bleacher report is calling essentially 4 first round picks in the future. Sounds a lot like what they did to get Lindross, but at least Lindross gave them a few years, Pronger is 39. Anaheim was already closer to a Cup by going 7 with the Red Wings than the Flyers were, and with the high draft picks that would have been the Flyers', they may be sending thank Christmas cards thanking the Flyers like the Avalanche did for years.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 29, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Haven't had time to follow the discussion on here lately so someone probably already posted this link (http://www.sportscity.com/nhl/2009-nhl-unrestricted-free-agents-by-position/), but here's whom I would ideally try to get into a Caps jersey in order of my preference within a position (there are quite a few players available who might be a good fit IMO):

C

Henrik Sedin
Mike Cammalleri
Nik Antropov
Saku Koivu
Stephane Yelle
Michael Zigomanis

The others are either too old or wouldn't bring anything that we don't already have in Hershey. The last 2 on the list are limited players, but are excellent on face-offs. Yelle is also a very good checker.

RW

Marian Gaborik
Marian Hossa
Martin Havlat
Alexei Kovalev
Richard Zednik
Brian Gionta
Tomas Kopecky
Max Afinogenov
Miroslav Satan
Ales Kotalik
Petr Sykora
Mark Parrish

LW

We don't really need one, but if we could sign one of these I'm sure we could find some use for him.

Daniel Sedin
Alex Tanguay

D

Jay Bouwmeester
Michael Komisarek
Dennis Seidenberg
Johnny Oduya
Sergei Zubov
Rob Blake
Robert Scuderi
Filip Kuba
Karlis Skrastins
Dmitri Kalinin
Martin Skoula
Nick Boynton
Rhett Warrener
Ossi Vaananen

G

Don't need one.

Keep in mind that the list at that link might not be completely up to date (a few of these guys may have resigned with their current team). I didn't have time to check so based my list on what's available according to that list.

Also, some may roll their eyes at some of my choices, but those should mostly be my depth picks. That is to say that I would sign him only if we couldn't get our paws on anyone above them.

So try not to jump down my throat for either of these 2 reasons (you know who you are) and just discuss this in a civilized way.

I think with some luck we could really strengthen our team in the free agent market. Just wish we could ship out Theo and Nylander so that we really could have some major cap space to play with (in addition to what freed up with Fedorov and Kozlov leaving).

Posted by: ranndino | June 29, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

FYI fanohock:

I agree with everything you said about Pronger, but he is 35 not 39.

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | June 29, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Knuble would be nice, but he is going to be 37.

There might be a more attractive right winger to be had.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 29, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Call it whatever you want, but with a salary cap, teams are forced to "rebuild" yearly, as they have players that perform and earn bigger, better contracts that can't always be fufilled by their present team. That plus free agency (restricted or otherwise) leaves teams taking one step forward with two steps back too often.

Posted by: superpaqman | June 29, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Nothing freed up with either Feds or Kozlov leaving. They were scheduled to be FAs.
Sedins are not going anywhere unless they are together, and cammalari would be leaps and bounds a better FA choice.
Again, Antropov usually does not play center. he probably isn't that good at it. he is usually playing wing.

I don't want any of those RW's except Kopecky, and neither of those LW's. More skill is not what we need.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 29, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else want to share their Christmas wish lists while we're at it?

Bouwmeester is on his way to Calgary. Let's work on getting over that and maybe finding someone else to put on your wish list instead.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | June 29, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Mikael Samuelsson. Seriously, guys.

Posted by: thiazzi | June 29, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

@DevilsCapsGal: Thanks for the correction on Pronger's age, I was waaaay off. The Caps still would have been dumb to give up so much, and would not be able to afford him after this next season.

Fedorov leaving does free up money. His price tag was $4mil last season (or close to that), now that money isn't being spent on him. It is now free to spend on another player or two. Kozlov is kind of a wash because the Caps will basically apply his salary to Pothier.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 29, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Uhh..no. "Freeing up" implies to me that it reduced our Cap space for next year with them signing elsewhere. Like how Naslund retiring freed up space for the Rangers.

You do not free anything up when they are FAs, because they are not signed for next year. 4 mil is not being spent on him because he wasn't signed.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 29, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

When FA starts I don't see us signing a Center. While Nylander is still on the roster that is his spot basically. With consistent linemates and actual 2nd line minutes and no one pushing him for his spot maybe he will return to form. But I think most of us on here have to come to the realization that its his position.

We will go after a RW and if I had to guess it will be Knuble who can crash the net or Afinogenov that could come cheaply.

Not sure they will do anything on D, unless they can shed a little more payroll.

Posted by: ThePat | June 29, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

One other thing to keep in mind Caps fans, we can still hope that Chris Clark can be a solid 20 goal scorer. His 30+ goal seasons are over, but remember, he was a crash the net, and stand in front of the net guy before he got injured during the 2007-08 season. I was at the game during that season where he almost got his ear ripped off his head because he was creating a screen and Ovi's shot from the point came up and ripped his ear. That was in a game in which the Caps were losing like 5-1, and there was about a minute left and Clark was still willing to sacrifice his body.

He did look sluggish all last season but we ended up finding out he was playing through significant injuries. When he came back for the playoffs he was at the beginning of the season and they rest of the team was turning and burning. If he has a solid camp, and is working out now, he could be that guy that crashes and stands in front of the net again on the PP, and on a line with Ovi or Semin. He's not going to score highlight reel goals, the dirty ones, that the Caps desparately need to be playing in mid June.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 29, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Maxim is worthless.

No want.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 29, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

The Flyers' signing of Pronger is baffling. Here's a team that tried thuggery in the playoffs only to get outskated by the faster, more skilled Penguins. And their plan for catching the Capitals and Penguins this year? Pronger! Brilliant (not).

Posted by: Jumpy66 | June 29, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Richmondphil: That doesn't make sense. That's like saying as a small business owner that if I let someone go that makes $40K a year I won't replace them with someone else making $40K a year. Doesn't matter that Fedorov is gone, the team is writing one less check beginning 1 July that used to be $4mil for Feds, now that money is free to spend on another employee or two. Again, the only reason Kozlov's salary is a wash is because Pothier was out last until just before the playoffs so he wasn't a Cap hit, now he will basically suck up what Koz was getting paid.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 29, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

@ richmondphill

I don't disagree with you on Maxim, I am just saying what I think could happen. He has potential and if its cheap it might be worth the risk. If its a cheap contract and it doesnt work you can waive him.

@fanohock1

Chris Clark is a great guy and a good leader. But he's a 3rd or 4th liner at this point in his career.

Posted by: ThePat | June 29, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

@ThePat: You are probably right. It would certainly be nice if he'd prove us wrong though.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 29, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Is it possible to pay Cammalleri a back heavy contract?

Possibly keep the numbers lower while Nylander is still on the books, then increase in year 3,4, maybe even 5?

Posted by: SA-Town | June 29, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

It makes perfect sense.

If they are not signed to us, why would you say that they "freed up" space? There is no guarantee that either of them would be resigned. The Cap Total for next year is calculated to not include these people, so why would you imply they freed up space on the current roster when it is already calculated without them?

"Freeing up" implies that you somehow got rid of a contract that was ALREADY on your cap hit. It is simple.
Free agents choosing to not resign does not free up anything, unless for some reason people were told it was 100% and for some other reason they calculated the cap total with the expectancy of them resigning AND then for some reason that guy does not resign.

Look, it's really not a big deal. "Freeing up" just implies that you got rid of cap space on your total. FAs are not applied to our total, so unless the above circumstances happen, FAs not signing with us frees up nothing.

I don't know about you, but I did my armchair Gming with the Cap total not including ANY FAs...so these guys not resigning does not change my numbers in any way, nor should it change anyone else's. (unless you expected these guys back and calculated accordingly...which doesnt seem too smart)

Posted by: richmondphil | June 29, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

@SA-Town

That is possible, but it does not matter for the cap hit.

The hit = average of your salary.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 29, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I guess if you mean freeing up in the sense from last season's hit to this season, it makes more sense. But when the season is over, their season and contract is over so you should remove anyone who is not signed thru at least next year off your Cap .

This is a petty issue though, lets focus on the bread and butter here.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 29, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

If we could sign Cammalleri to a long term deal at the expense of losing Semin most likely after this year, which would you guys prefer?

Posted by: ThePat | June 29, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Here's a great site for the draft, detailed page on each player selected from each team.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/draftprospectdetail.htm?csid=618412#&intcmpid=hdr-scrbrd-draft

agreed with fanhock1. We can wait until the season, we probably have enough in the pipeline to function. Whoever we use at center (it could be Laich, it could be someone from Hershey) will probably become a more movable asset should we decide to make a trade later. I don't like trading for vets early - best to get them late, you know who's still got wheels then.

Posted by: WritingLight | June 29, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil: The high end of the Cap for the coming season is 56.8mil, right? Last season it was 56.7mil. We weren't flat against the Cap, but lets just say we were to make it easy. With Feds gone, we would then be at 52.8mil, which means we now have 4mil more to spend. You can call it what you want, but we have money to spend if ownership is willing to do so. Of course if ownership is just happy to see his salary leave the books and don't intend on spending what they did last season then, yes, nothing has been freed up dollar wise. I don't think that is the case though because GMGM has implied he will be looking to acquire someone if it makes sense which means that ownership must be willing to spend money that used to be paid to Feds.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 29, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

@ThePat

Tough question. Semin is 1+ ppg player, who seems to get injured a bit too much.
Cammalarri is a small, but fast center, capable of playing both ends and a good knack for scoring as well.

As much as I love Semin (and don't want my Semin jersey to become useless), just on paper I'd go with Mike. He brings what Semin does, but plays down the middle.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 29, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

McPhee will sign a forward or second-line center during free agency. The Caps have not said it, but I think that Laich would be the 2nd line center if the season were to begin today. Also, it seems the Caps want to give some of the forwards at Hershey like Aucoin and Giroux a chance to make the roster....I'm more concerned about not having a big, physical defenseman who can move players out from the crease and get the puck out of our own end.

Posted by: wizfan89 | June 29, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil: Agreed, I am bored with the conversation too. I guess we will have to wait and see what happens tomorrow and Wednesday. If Theo and/or Nylander aren't moved I don't see us doing too much. I could see a Fehr or Flash and a pick being traded for a Camerelli or something. I do believe new blood injected into a locker room, as long as they are not a cancer, can be good for a team. Shakes things up a bit.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 29, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I have been seeing Brad Richards being thrown around with the Caps.

thoughts?

He can sure hit.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 29, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

If Laich can take on the extra responsibility of playing down the middle, then go for it. He is already one of our more defensively responsible forwards. Him and Semin seem to have good chemistry together as well.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 29, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I'd go with Cammalleri as well for the fact he is a Center. And he can also play wing if necessary. I'd make a major push for him.

Posted by: ThePat | June 29, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

Brad Richards would be a great addition as he has averaged almost a point per game for his career. The question would be what would the Caps have to give up to get him? The great thing about Cammalleri is that he is an UFA.

Posted by: MReilly9 | June 29, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

A name I haven't heard much about is Aaron Voros from NY. He's cheap ($1 mil/yr with a year left on his current contract) and has some physicality to his game and is only 27. Might be worth a look.

Posted by: superpaqman | June 29, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

7 million in Cap Space can come off the books after next year with Theodore and Pothier. That 7 mil will go towards Backstom and Semin being re-upped.

Semin is already making decent money, so his raise isnt as good as Backstrom's will be.

If Semin is hurt all next year again, he might be in for a pay cut...or let him walk.

Posted by: SA-Town | June 29, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Brad Richards' knock has always been that he's not a good two way player. His +/- numbers support that deficiency. The biggest complaint I see on this board about Ovi is that he isn't a strong defensive player (which I don't agree with) but Caps fan are willing to live with it because Ovi is...well...friggin' exciting. I don't think Richards' would get as much love playing a weak defensive game. He has been -50 over the last 5 years. He may score a lot but he's out there for an aweful lot of goals against at even strength. Ovi's +/- has improved as he has gained NHL experience.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 29, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Well, I'm pissed the Caps aren't going to have an enforcer. It will affect their play. I hope McPhee's new system works (atleast for his sake) or else he'll be gone by the All Star game. I didn't think we needed to change much. They need to play w more heart and they need a gritty D-man.

Posted by: capsfan01 | June 29, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

the biggest complaint about Brad Richards should be his $7.8 mill cap hit.

Posted by: ThePat | June 29, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

@ThePat: That too, his numbers don't support that salary. He may have to go the the KHL if he wants to continue to get those kind of paydays. Of course his KHL checks will probably bounce too.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 29, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I wish we could steal Byfuglien from the Blackhawks somehow.

Posted by: ThePat | June 29, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Ended up expanding my post above into a full article for Bleacher Report. Contains more of explanation of my picks, if anyone is interested.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/208884-playing-gm-nhl-free-agents-that-the-capitals-should-be-after?just_published=1

Posted by: ranndino | June 29, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

"McPhee said he plans to monitor the free agent market, which opens next Wednesday, and will sign someone "if it makes sense." But he quickly added that he's not feeling intense pressure to do so because he feels there are players on the roster capable of replacing them."

THIS is why we fail. We don't have the guys capable of replacing them. That's why we lost to the Pens. The Pens went out and made themselves better at the trade deadline and whaddya know....they did better than we did. I am so tired of this organization being lazy and cheap. We have a great chance to make a run for the Cup this season if we bring in a few good players. If prior seasons are any indication, I'm guessing that won't be happening. Makes me disappointed as a Caps fan.

Posted by: wesvenis | June 29, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

@Wesvenis

Completely agree! The rebuild is over...everyone has been waiting too long now. GMGM needs to build a legite contender this year. Hershey replacements will not cut it this year.

Trade deadline - does Guerin ring a bell?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | June 29, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

@wesvenis and lylewimbledon: Serious question. Do you think GMGM needs to make bold moves now, or at the trade deadline next March? The Caps have the players here and in Hershey to have a solid playoff qualifying season. They could then sit back and do what the Pens did and add grit at the trade deadline. What do you guys think?

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 29, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I always understood that getting rental players at the trade deadline, in the long run, wasn't beneficial. Hence, the Capitals not taking a gamble with getting players who are likely too expensive for us to keep afterwards. Of course, I've always been a conservative gambler so I don't find any fault in what McPhee is doing. Oh, and last I checked, I didn't go to college to become a hockey GM so I'm leaving it up to the experts in the Capitals' organizations.

No need to get your panties in a twist. The season hasn't even started yet and some of you are already predicting a s*cky season. Geesh. Chill out!

Either way, I expect us to have another awesome season.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | June 29, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

@fanochock1

I personally think they need to get the 2nd line Center now. Wingers you can bring in much easier at a deadline and not mess with chemistry too much. But bringing in a center and only allowing 15 games to gel to me is not a smart idea. We can wait on a RW or D for the deadline.

Posted by: ThePat | June 29, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

When exactly has McPhee done what he said he was going to do? Doesn't he make a point of saying something different from what he plans?

Posted by: Baildog | June 29, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

There's nothing wrong with wanting improvement. However, efforts to improve are rarely made in this organization and it has now become "the norm" to settle for good and not go for great.

Those rose-colored-glasses-wearing-folk who think the Caps are awesome and don't need to do anything to improve can go over to Japer's Rink and have a lovefest. I'll keep it real here with those fans who are realistic enough to know that we can make ourselves better....not settling for the status quo.

Posted by: wesvenis | June 29, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Lazy and cheap or smart and cap-conscious, just a matter of opinion. The team was close this past season. They can push themselves to the cap limit now by overpaying for a free agent and not having anything available in the spring to add a good player or they can be particular about who they sign. I am comfortable with the fact that GMGM will make a better decision than me when it comes to these things. Be critical if you it makes you feel better, but we will be a good team and a contender and when playoff time comes, hopefully we will see our guys lifting the cup.

Posted by: _Mark | June 29, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I would much rather see moves down now, then at the deadline. Especially the 2nd line center and possibly the defense. Give em all season to gel together. We can always pick up a winger at the deadline, but then there is the concern of chemistry.

Is Richards hit 7.8? That is insane, I thought it was 5 something. Nevermind then.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 29, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Well, the Pens did make themselves better at the trade deadline by adding Guerin and Kunitz. Unless I'm mistaken, both play wing and that's what the Pens needed in order to split #87 and #71 from the same line. The Caps didn't need 1st or 2nd line wingers, right? so neither of the names mean anything. We know have a pretty good idea what the Ducks wanted for Pronger at the deadline and it wasn't a deal I would have made.

This team went to game 7 against the eventual champions and had a strong, strong season. I think there's potential to pull in a few FAs on Wednesday but I'm not about mortgaging everything for one big name, big contract player. I have no illusions that one player - picked up or traded for - is the holy grail. I think the Caps are young enough, with Hershey so strong, that we should find this team moving to the conference finals next season and hopefully winning that series. I want a quality two-way center on line 2 and someone to clear the crease. That's it. We'll see what happens.

I wasn't here when Nylander was signed but I doubt there was a huge uproar over a $4m guy who (I think) was to be the #1 center or #2 at worse when Backs came along. A long-term, big money contract has a ton of baggage involved no matter who the player is unless you've seen that player come up through your organization. GMGM clearly made that mistake once and he's trying not to do it again. For everyone that complains about Nylander's contract - keep that in mind when you suddenly talk about brining in another $4-5M per year player on a long contract.

Posted by: saintex | June 29, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning made qualifying offers to nine players today, Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton announced. Players receiving offers were C Blair Jones, RW Martins Karums, D Lukas Krajicek, D Matt Lashoff, D Mike Lundin, G Karri Ramo, D Matt Smaby, LW Radek Smolenak and RW Lauri Tukonen.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 29, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

@Fan

IMO we need a legit defenseman now - too hard to get at the trade deadline. I think we need a second line center also. Those would be my priorities going into free agency. The trade deadline is a good point to reveiw the season and pick up a player that may help you in the playoffs. I.E. Bill Guerin. GMGM is handcuffed by the cap and crappy contracts- Theo and Nylander...if he can move those guys, then he might have some room to play with...good luck after the BS seasons they had. I'm just tired of hearing about their 5 year plan that always seems to be the following season. I think he is counting on the Hershey guys to step up- especially Carlson and Alzner...I would be more comfortable with at least one angry-nasty top 4 vet D-man.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | June 29, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock1

I think he can definitely make a move or two now and still leave a little something for the deadline. Kozlov and Fedorov's salaries are washed which helps....but if we could only rid ourselves of the cancerous Theo hit, then we'd be on to something.

Posted by: wesvenis | June 29, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Well if Carlson can do it, then he can do it. Problem solved, cheaply.

I am just not too sure he is going to do what we need back there.

Other d men FAs that haven't been discussed much on here:
Spacek. Not the heavy hitter we want, but at least is responsible enough in his zone and has offensive upside.
Zanon. stay at home type of guy. Led the league in blocked shots I think. Will come cheaply.
Montador. Hits, stays in his own one.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 29, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I will say this - i'm very happy we didn't get Pronger for the house that Philly gave away. He is overrated- old and one year left on his contarct.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | June 29, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Forgot to mention the Nylander debacle that saintex brought up as well....

Posted by: wesvenis | June 29, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I will say this - i'm very happy we didn't get Pronger for the house that Philly gave away. He is overrated- old and one year left on his contarct.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | June 29, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Question......has anyone gotten any reports on how Gussy JR. did last year. Is he ready to play in NHL? I know he likes the physical side of the game, is he the answer to the 2nd line center...or moves Backs with Semin and see what Gussy can do with OV....something to watch for in Camp.

Posted by: RichC3 | June 29, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Gus Jr. would start the year in Hershey at BEST.

Would like to see 2nd rounder Orvlik start at Hershey too.

Posted by: carsonspence | June 29, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

The caps always try to improve their roster. Look at the signings of Nylander and Theodore. They had needs and went out and signed the players. Unfortunately now they can't get rid of them. I am sorry but going out and spending money on a 2nd line center or defensemen who may or may not be a good fit is not the right thing to do. The caps have two promising young defensemen in Alzner and Carlson. Alzner is the number 6 overall prospect on Hocky Futures. He is game is exactly what the Caps are lacking. He should be ready for full time duty this year. Carlson may not be up until later in the year but everything you read about him makes you think he is going to be a star. They have a potential 2nd liner in Gutavson who may be ready at the beginning of year or later in the year. I certainly don't want to trade these guys for a veteran guy who may or may not be the missing piece and also brings a big cap hit. If the Caps could shed Theo and Nylander they would be in great shape.

Posted by: srobert1117 | June 29, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Forgot to mention the Nylander debacle that saintex brought up as well....

Posted by: wesvenis | June 29, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

This is the perfect example of why NOT to make any stupid moves right now - just so you can say a move was made.

_Mark was right when he said:
They can push themselves to the cap limit now by overpaying for a free agent and not having anything available in the spring to add a good player or they can be particular about who they sign

i think you promote from within and see where you are at come february. they need to make sure they have an available contract or two (so they not forced to move players) and about 2mil to work with. GMGM did not put himself in a good position for last seasons trade deadline. i don't think they are that far away from getting to the cup finals that they need any high priced FA's.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 29, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

still think we need a "no BS" Top 4 defenseman, instead of relying on rookies.

All I remember in the playoffs is Crosby whacking the puck 10 times in a row next to Varley...we need someone who can clear the crease.

Oh second memory...Jeff Schultz losing his jock strap along the boards against the Rangers.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | June 29, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: srobert1117 | June 29, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I know this is probably a longshot but what about Hauswirth making the big team this year. He is huge and will stand in front of the goal. I loved him at the developmental camp last year. I know it was against lesser talent, but I think that kid can get it done in the near future.

Posted by: ThePat | June 29, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

how about greg de vries as a free agent pick up? he is pretty big, can hit, and drop the gloves if need be

Posted by: _stevo | June 29, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Not that this will happen. But how cool would it be to have hossa sign with the caps and beat the pens in the conf finals and win the cup with the caps...

Posted by: samb99 | June 29, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company