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Agent: Caps, Tomas Fleischmann talking but 'not close'

The agent for Tomas Fleischmann said he's been engaged in negotiations with the Caps but that the sides are "not close".

Rich Evans told me from his Vancouver office that Fleischmann, a pending restricted free agent, received his qualifying offer today (it includes a collective bargaining agreement-mandated 5 percent raise because he earned an extremely cap-friendly $725,000 last year). But the agent said he plans to pursue a multi-year agreement with the Caps "assuming the numbers are right."

"We would like to make progress, but we're not there yet," Evans added. "Keep in mind any contract that goes beyond one year takes into account [unrestricted] free agency and trying to value what free agency is worth a year away from it."

Assessing a value for Fleischmann is tricky considering his uneven season. After missing the first 11 games while recovering from a blood clot in his leg, the 26-year-old Czech was one of the most productive Caps, tallying 14 goals in his first 25 games. But he slowed in mid-December and notched only nine goals in the team's final 44 contests. Those struggles continued in the playoffs, where he had one point in Games 1-6 against the Canadiens before being scratched for Game 7.

"In my mind, he was one of their top guys when [Alex Ovechkin] was out [hurt]," Evans said. "But coming in without a summer of training is going to impact you negatively at some point. He didn't have a break at the Olympics, either."

Fleischmann can line up at wing or center (though he'll need to do better than 43.1-percent on draws if he wants to play there full-time). He's also a favorite of Coach Bruce Boudreau's, very popular with his teammates, and given his age and experience, probably is only going to get better.

Evans believes Fleischmann, given the time to learn the intricacies of playing center, could be the second-line pivot the Caps covet.

"It will be interesting to see what the Caps do with Flash next year," Evans said. "When he was scoring all those goals he was playing center. They may have their second line center right there. ...If they leave him at center and give him a couple of wingers, he'll adjust to those guys and he'll figure it out. He's got the right skillset to do it. It's just a question of getting some experience."

As far as comparables, Evans mentioned Montreal center Tomas Plekanec, who jumped from 39 points (20 goals, 19 assists) in 80 games in 2008-09 to 70 points (25 goals, 45 assists) in 82 games last season. Plekanec earned $2.75 million last season.

"Look at Plekanec, the Canadiens gave him a bigger role and he scored 70 points," Evans said. "I think Tomas Fleischmann can score 70 points."

If the sides aren't able to reach a deal, Evans also said his client will use arbitration to reach a one-year contract.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  June 21, 2010; 1:42 PM ET
 
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Next: Caps to open regular season in Atlanta

Comments

Does anyone know when the regular season schedule will be announced?

Posted by: Willy6 | June 21, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, no thank you. He is invisible when it matters. If his agent is throwing around $2.75 million as a talking point, he can talk to someone else about it...

Posted by: aybee27 | June 21, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

@ Willy6 - I believe it comes out tomorrow.

I think I would be ok with a 1 year arbitration contract for Flash. Give him a chance to continue his development (he has improved every year so far) and actually having the summer to fully train will also help.

That being said, my preference would be to sign and trade him as I think he is (at best) #8 on our top 6 depth chart and we have better bottom 6 guys in Hershey.

Posted by: pkendrick | June 21, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

2.75 is not going to work.

He's a passenger.

Posted by: Jordan_Kitts | June 21, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I rather see the Caps trade Semin and keep Flash and sign him to a 3 year contract that avgs about 2.5- 2.7 mil a year.. Trading Semin could land the Caps a more valuable assets we need to win the cup. While Semin can score he will never show up for every game he plays. You need guys who give 110% every game not just when they feel like it..

Posted by: CapsBaby | June 21, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

ok, so tomas has a blood clot issue that hurt his conditioning plus he played through the olympic break so that was why he was invisible in the playoffs. so what was the excuse the year before when he played all 14 playoff games w/ 4 points or the year before that when he was scratched for most of the philly playoffs?

i think tomas has some skills and a good scoring touch, but i just question whether he can put together a full season much less a decent playoffs. the team is beyond needing guys to help win in the regular season and need to focus on guys who will help them win the big prize. he was on a 30 goal pace this year so should have some value to another team.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | June 21, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully it stays "not close." Farther apart would be even more preferred.

Posted by: 37thandK | June 21, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Ha! I have been throwing out 2.75 for some time and now his agent says 2.75. Of course, McPhee can find comparables much lower. Don't you love the agent's reasoning? He should eb paid like Plekanec because if the caps make him a center he'll give you a Plekanec season.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 21, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I rather see the Caps trade Semin and keep Flash and sign him to a 3 year contract that avgs about 2.5- 2.7 mil a year..

Posted by: CapsBaby | June 21, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Waaaahuh? $2.5 million per for a guy who thinks the corners are no-skate zones is about $1.6 more than he's worth. There's no way any arbitrator not named B. Boudreau awards Flash more than $1 million. He is what he is--pretty good in the regular season but, when the time comes to put on the big hockey player pants and take some abuse/sacrifice to make the play, he vanishes like Nats fans at a non-Strasburg game.

I'll take arbitration; if Flash leaves after next season, I'm pretty sure one of Bourque/Bouchard/Perreault/timid lil' AnGus can fill the "solid regular season, fall into a black hole during the playoffs" slot.

Posted by: RightWinger2 | June 21, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

the sheer balls to compare him to plekanec. One goes into the tough areas, one does not. End of story. Flash needs to go back to playing in a Euro league where he's most comfortable.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 21, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

@Capsbaby

Thank goodness you are not the GM.

Posted by: LukasWP | June 21, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

If it goes to arbitration Flash will get at least $2.5M and maybe more.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 21, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

and i just saw the Hamhuis trade. wow, too bad our GM has no creative ideas as to how to engineer trades with soon-to-be FAs. This is the 2nd time Holmgren has pulled this off. First with Hartnell and Timmonen, and now Hamhuis. McPhee is such a plodding dull GM.

To give up just Ryan Parent (who stinks anyway) is a steal.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 21, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

"Amid speculation the Hawks and Caps have a deal in place. Not true."

From Darren Dreger's twitter 2 hours ago. Nothing more

Posted by: underpants2 | June 21, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Dear Mr. Evans:

Your client sucks on face-offs...he disappeared in the playoffs....absolutely no grit in the corners and god forbid anybody decides to push him around and thus out of the way.

Frankly, I'd like to trade your client and open up a roster spot for one of the boys from Hershey....nothin personal.

Posted by: outrbnksm | June 21, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

FLASH! Aah-aah! He'll save every one of us!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | June 21, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

almost sounds like his agent wished Flash would have sat out the Olympics, so he'd have a better chance of performing in the playoffs.

Posted by: Hattrik | June 21, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

@underpants2

I saw that too. Has to make you wonder if there was some substantial trade talk going on between the two teams.

Many different possible trades could make sense between the Caps and Blackhawks (Sharp, Hjmarlasson(sp.?), for picks/prospects=cap space). Maybe even for rights to talk to Madden. I'm purely speculating though.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 21, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I saw that too. Has to make you wonder if there was some substantial trade talk going on between the two teams.

Many different possible trades could make sense between the Caps and Blackhawks (Sharp, Hjmarlasson(sp.?), for picks/prospects=cap space). Maybe even for rights to talk to Madden. I'm purely speculating though.

Posted by: sgm3

Wouldn't it be great if we could get Sharp?

Posted by: underpants2 | June 21, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Let him go 2.27 is crazy money for a guy that has been asleep the last couple of years in the play offs. As has been pointed out there are outstand winger/centers in Hershey more than willing to play the full season and the playoffs. Any of the Caps wanting or thinking their should get more money this coming year should take a road trip to Giant Center and see how hard those kids work dayin and day out. Do I need to point out the fact that they have 3 championships in the last 5 years with the last 2 back to back, add to that back to back play off MVP's. Some of the caps as coach said a couple of time are just along for the ride. Well Flash your ticket is punched time to get off. C YA LATER !!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: bqts | June 21, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

@underpants

I think Sharp would be a perfect get for #2 center. $3.9M/yr isn't too much either.

I'm hoping the Hawks are willing to deal him, but I have my doubts. I would guess the Hawks are more likely to keep him and trade others.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 21, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I've watched Flash ever since his first year in Hershey, and even though he had a lot of points at that level, I was never sold on him. Time for a change. Trade him for a prospect or draft picks.

Posted by: tess2201 | June 21, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Rich Evans is sucking his own exhaust -- Flash is no Plekanic, not even close. He's had plenty of time to grow and develop in recent years, and simply has shown 1) he's not physical, 2) he's very easy to wrestle the puck from, 3) doesn't produce when it counts (see: playoffs). So what if he's popular in the locker room! So is winning.

Let. Him. Go.

Posted by: Exile_in_Philly | June 21, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

i know dustin byfuglien plays wing. i would rather have him as a cap. he single handedly beat vancouver. he and RJ umberger are the best playoff performers.

Posted by: samb99 | June 21, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse


Cut him loose, please!!!!!!!

Posted by: hessone | June 21, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

@RightWinger2 - Little Gus is not timid. He is not afraid to stick his head in and mix it up. The only problem is that when he plays like that he comes out with a concussion almost immediately.

Posted by: zmega | June 21, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

@RightWinger2 - Little Gus is not timid. He is not afraid to stick his head in and mix it up. The only problem is that when he plays like that he comes out with a concussion almost immediately.

Posted by: zmega | June 21, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

@RightWinger2 - Little Gus is not timid. He is not afraid to stick his head in and mix it up. The only problem is that when he plays like that he comes out with a concussion almost immediately.

Posted by: zmega | June 21, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Sorry - either my computer or the website is malfunctioning.

Posted by: zmega | June 21, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

zmega: That's three concussions for little Gus, just like that.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 21, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

If GMGM signs anyone to $2.75/yr, sign Plekanic. Another option, trade for Sharp.

Let Flash fade into the horizon. He'll never be a 2nd center on any premier team.

This guy is so soft that he's easier to squeeze than a roll of Charmin toilet paper.

Gets pushed off the puck with a breath of air that he should have a Staples "That Was Easy" button sewn on his shirt.

Wasn't he also invisible in the Olympics?

Posted by: puckman | June 21, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Put me in the pro-Flash camp. When he was center, that light (him and Semin) was dominant. But, as his agent says, Flash lacked experience, esp at faceoffs. I wouldn't mind them giving him a longer shot at it. But 2.25 mil, tops. We'd overpay to get Plekanic or even Lombardi, in any event.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | June 21, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rostislav_Olesz

Check this out. Cap hit 3.125M/yr. The problem is, if he goes to arbitration, every bad deal by every idiot GM comes back against the Caps. Flash will get more than he's worth, that's the problem. Like it or lump it, he'd get close to $3M in arbitration, and his agent knows it.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 21, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Another thing some people should remember on most GMs being patient is that the Player's Association votes tonight on whether to employ the escalator clause.

If the PA votes to implement it then the cap will rise about $2M to $58.8M, if they do not then the cap will remain close to the same. While most do believe the escalator clause will be implemented, it is not a given. Therefore, it is probably wise to hold off on making deals until the vote is decided.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 21, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

sign and trade for someone who shows up when it matters or is able to use his body to check people or win pucks along the boards in the NHL

Posted by: lylewimbledon | June 21, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

We need playoff bangers for the postseason...We can dance and dangle to another Presidents Trophy....but thats not good enough...show him the door and add size up front..

Posted by: SA-Town | June 21, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Best thing to do would be to just let this guy get an offer sheet. We would probably benefit more from a competitor over paying for him then getting him at a good price.

Posted by: LesGrossman | June 21, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Hamhuis would have been great- oh well - set em up to be choking dogs again.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | June 21, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

According to a Thrashers blog:

Thrashers will open 2010-11 season at home against the Capitals on Friday, Oct. 8th.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 21, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Caps home opener Sat Oct 9th against NJ.

Posted by: ThePat | June 21, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Caps home opener is on the 9th against the Devils.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 21, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

comments from mike modano. wonder if he is a good fit for the caps.

"It depends what kind of interest and what teams," Modano said. "I'd probably take two or three weeks in that month and see who comes calling and if there's connection with those teams that call. I'd want to play for a competitive team, someone that might have a legitimate shot at it."

Posted by: samb99 | June 21, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Question - Why would GM GM even think of giving that kind of money to a 26 year old that can't or won't try when he wouldn't give it to a 39 year old a year a go that is sure to be a first time hall of fame entry ????? Don't remember any goals like a certain goal against the blue shirts, anyone ??? 91

Posted by: bqts | June 21, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Lots of not so knowledgeable Caps fans ou there today.
1. Flash is one of the best ande more aggressive forecheckers on the team. Blame the coaches for adopting a passive left wing lock forecheck against Montreal, not Flash. (By the way, you don't have to crash heads to be an aggressive forechecker. You need to be smart and anticipate the play, which Flash excels at.)
2. Flash is only a third-year regular and still learning. Semin doesn't know how to spell learn. Flash will get better and better; Semin is what he is. End of story.
3. Flash is a first-line penalty killer and power play forward. Not too many guys on any team can claim that.
4. When Semin picked up his game, it was because Flash was playing Center and knew how to get him the puck in an advantageous position. He is a very good passer and reads the play well.
5. Flash spells team without an "I."

That said, he plays better when he is angry, and he doesn't get angry often enough. My guess is that he will become more physical, in a Federov sense, as he gets more mature and confident, as Backstrom did this year.

At the end of the day, you don't get rid of really young players with his kind of skill, who show improvement year in and year out. That is, you don't do that unless you're dumb.

Posted by: davieglove34 | June 21, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Well-put, davieglove34. You beat me to it. I think it's the obvious case where some fans simply don't like a guy and will point out only some obvious downsides to a player. I thought Flash handled his first stint at center very well if you consider the entire role. So his face off work was lacking... that is not the tell all, and certainly something that can be addressed and improved. He is an aggressive skater and puck seeker. What he lacks in head-banging he makes up for in relentless pursuit. I think he could easily develop into a 2nd line center.

Posted by: gonchpup | June 21, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

I hate it when people start out their post by saying that everyone else is an idiot and then proceed to impart their "wisdom."

Posted by: zmega | June 21, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

I disagree on that semin can't learn. He is one of the best penalty killers. He was taking less penalties and drawing power plays from the other teams penalties. Both have been from maturity. Semin also is always a league leader in points per games year after year. I also think that Ovie may potentially have a year scoring less goals without Semin on the second line. They could put all the top defenders against the first line every night. Just my opinion.

Posted by: Caps4Life1 | June 21, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

davieglove, that's all well and good that Flash is all of those things you mention, but I think at this point, a lot of folks are bitter about his disappearing act in the playoffs. He's not so special that we couldn't find another player get some of what Flash provides, in addition to some other things like grit, leadership and solid playoff experience. Think Patrick Sharp. In hockey particularly, it's never good to be labeled a playoff non-performer, and Flash was most certainly a passenger.

like zmega said, no reason to come on here and throw insults around and then act like you know everything.

Posted by: Fletch22 | June 21, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Modano would be an awesome addition. 2nd line center role and killing penalties. Always liked the guy and always wanted him to be a Cap. According to reports we wanted him at the deadline last yr but he wouldn't waive his NTC as he wanted to finish the season in Dallas. Sounds to me like he'll consider going to a "contender" now and I'd still like to think we fall in that category.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | June 21, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Lots of not so knowledgeable Caps fans ou there today.
1. Flash is one of the best ande more aggressive forecheckers on the team. Blame the coaches for adopting a passive left wing lock forecheck against Montreal, not Flash. (By the way, you don't have to crash heads to be an aggressive forechecker. You need to be smart and anticipate the play, which Flash excels at.)
2. Flash is only a third-year regular and still learning. Semin doesn't know how to spell learn. Flash will get better and better; Semin is what he is. End of story.
3. Flash is a first-line penalty killer and power play forward. Not too many guys on any team can claim that.
4. When Semin picked up his game, it was because Flash was playing Center and knew how to get him the puck in an advantageous position. He is a very good passer and reads the play well.
5. Flash spells team without an "I."

That said, he plays better when he is angry, and he doesn't get angry often enough. My guess is that he will become more physical, in a Federov sense, as he gets more mature and confident, as Backstrom did this year.

At the end of the day, you don't get rid of really young players with his kind of skill, who show improvement year in and year out. That is, you don't do that unless you're dumb.


Posted by: davieglove34

This is supposed to be funny, right? Flash is nothing like he was described. He hurts this team more than he helps.

Trade him. No one here is saying cut him loose. Get what you can. End of story.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 21, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Everybody thank Rich Evans for stopping by the comments today.

Posted by: Zornado | June 21, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

@ underpants2, thanks for taking a well written and thoughtful post and retorting with the equivalent of throwing poo. Hows about anything to back up your assertions...

Fact is he put up great numbers for a 3rd line guy who occasionally played 2nd and he was highly productive during his time at center, though it also coincided with The Streak. His main flaw of centering was face offs which is expected of a guy who never centers going up regularly against centers who have been taking face offs for a dozen years.

With his size and skill set after posting numbers like he did would be a great 2nd line winger on most teams in the nhl. Here he gets pushed to 3rd cause the caps this last year essentially had 2.5 - second lines in terms of scoring and skill set. Plekanec is a decent comparison but should be closer to 1.75-2.2 mil IMO

Posted by: breaklance | June 21, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Flash is one of the best ande more aggressive forecheckers on the team.

-------------------------------------

yes he is. If forechecking means to avoid body contact at all times. Also, John Erskine needs to take lessons from Schultzie on how to clear a crease.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 21, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Describe "not close." If by "not close" you mean "as close as Flash has been to having an impact in the playoffs" then yeah, they're worlds apart.

Posted by: ChoppinBroccoli | June 21, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

While it's true that Flash centered Semin when the Caps were on that 15-game (?) win streak, I don't look at that as a positive: I felt the Caps won a lot of games by out-scoring the opposition, and escaping with too many improbable victories. I think that was indicative of the mental approach the Caps took into playoffs. We just expected to win, and expected that it would always be easy to come back from multiple-goal deficits.

When Montreal refused to allow skating room to the more 'finesse' style players, such as Flash, they simply had no idea how else to play, and were glaringly ineffective. I don't think that Flash is going to re-invent his game over the summer. He's had plenty of opportunity to realize that the majority of even his own goals come within bleeding distance of the crease, and that if he's going to be a productive and reliable contributor on a championship team, he's going to have to be willing to pay a bigger price for his goals.

I'm no Don Cherry, and I don't think the solution for the Caps is necessarily a xenophobic change of course towards an all North-American team, there is plenty of grit in European players (particulary the Fins and Swedes).

But if our goal is to get through playoff rounds, I don't think Flash should be part of our future plans.

If I could get a Jarko Ruttu-type player for Flash, I'd do that in a heartbeat. If I could get David Backes for Semin, I'd do that without blinking, too.

Posted by: twogirlsdad | June 22, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Yes Flash didn't have a great playoffs - but other than 5 guys, who did [Backs, Carlson, Poti, Varly and Ovie - that's it].

If we're going to hammer Flash, fine - but what did Laich really do, other than change a tire and give good interviews? Mike Green? Oh yeah, he was great all series. But don't hammer MG too hard, his partner was Jeff "Mr. Nasty" Schultz [why I'll never take Pierre Maguire seriously again]. Our PK looked horrific the whole series. Our vaunted "team speed" was nowhere to be found. Steckel? Completely.Overmatched.

Yeah, Flash could have played better - but so could a whole hell of a lot of other Caps, as well.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | June 22, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

The closest comparable on the CAPS for Flash in terms of numbers would be Brooks Laich (yes, I know, Brooks does many things in front of the net and in the corners that Flash would never do but let's just go with the numbers - Caps can't use them at arbitration anyway).

Brooks played 78 games, 24g, 34a, 59 pts. Flash played 69 games, 23g, 38a, 51 pts. At .74 points/gm, Flash might have closed in on 59 points with 9 more games. So based on what Laich got last year (the age Flash would be this year) and based soley on the numbers, $2.1 mil (+ cost of living increase for inflation, which is close to zero the past year) should be the no greater than range for Flash for a one-year.

Some keep reminding us that Flash is a bit "younger" and still learning and should be given some latitude. I'll agree with that, however until he works a little harder defensively and shows up in the playoffs, I put forth that he certainly should NOT pull down the $2.4 mil Brooks will make this coming year.

Posted by: Varly | June 22, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I have no problem keeping Flash, but It shouldn't keep us from signing or trading for a second line center.

Lombardi would be great and so would trading for Sharp.

I love Byfuglien. I know he's not a center but he is the perfect fit for this team.

Modano is finished I wouldn't sign him.

Flash is definitely getting better but he is a third line player and should not be making brooks laich money. I would look to see what you can get for him but I wouldn't be in a rush to trade him.

Posted by: digster1013 | June 22, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Flash is a nice regular season player but is not physical or gritty enough to be an effective playoff performer. Sign him to a one-year deal and have him prove himself. If he's having a decent season, there should be interest in him by the trade deadline. No point in tying up cap space with a 2 or 3-year deal for a player who may not even be on your first tw lines.

Posted by: wizfan89 | June 22, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

If the agent thinks uses Plekanec as a comprable in the arbitration for Flash, he will lose... and lose big. They're similar in stature and how they play the physical game (meaning they don't play it at all), but Plekanec is a better player right now the Fleischmann....

Posted by: MikeL-Caps911 | June 23, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

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