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Agent: Nyls to Russia Is News to Him

If Michael Nylander is close to agreeing to play next season in the Kontinental Hockey League, as a recent report out of Russia has suggested, that's news to Nylander's agent.

"For a year I've been hearing the [rumors]," Bill Zito told me earlier today. "Michael called me a couple times and asked, 'Have you talked to these guys?' In the past it's been Yaroslavl, then it was Moscow, then it was St. Pete. We haven't spoken to them, and anyway, he has a contract with Washington."

Zito was limited in what he could say about his client's sticky situation in Washington, but added that he expects Nylander, who is set to earn $5.5 million, to report to Kettler Capitals Iceplex in September in shape and ready to play.

"He has to," Zito said. "Unless he gets moved, he has to."

Remember, Nylander has a no-movement clause in his contract this season. So he must sign off on any trade or assignment.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  July 28, 2009; 3:24 PM ET
 
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Next: Catching Up with B. Morrison

Comments

Rumors will fly around Nyls until he lands on his feet.

Posted by: Greg S. | July 28, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

So be it. let him and Brendan Morrison battle it out for second line center slot. maybe Bouds could be a coach and figure out how to utilize the talent that Nylander possesses. i mean the Caps are going to be paying him $5.5 MILLION. lets make some adjustments to the infamous "system" that many here loves to talk about and get the freakin job done this coming season.

Posted by: doughless | July 28, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I hope Nylander just blows us all away with a great bounceback year.

Nylander and Jose coming off the books is going to give us so much flexibility when it happens, though.

Posted by: thiazzi | July 28, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Fedorov rumored to go to Russia. He went to Russia.

Kozlov rumored to go to Russia. He went to Russia.

Brashear rumored to go to Russia. He went to New York. We'll a lot of Russians live in the NY metro area.

So, Nylander will be somewhere between Vancouver, Washington, and Russia next year. I feel pretty certain he isn't going anywhere.

Posted by: lornemyoung | July 28, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl (on a side note I hope the family is doing ok, certainly in my prayers).

As far as Jurcina, I'm pretty sure that because the Caps gave him a QO that's why we would get compensated if we do walk away. The compensation part I talked about is based on RFA's so you're right there. Oh, I know what it is, if we walk away and somebody signs him within "x" percent of what the arbitrator awarded him we don't get compensation but if somebody signs him below "x" percent then we do get compensated. Basically its stating that if the arbitrator is right then we lose out. If the market shows we were right then we do get compensated. Pretty sure that's how it works. In other words (for round numbers) lets say his QO was 1M and the arbitrator awarded him 1.75M. We walk as we feel that's too high. Another team signs him for say 1.5M then we don't receive compensation as it's deemed the arbitrator awarded fair market value. If another team signs him for say 1.25M then we do receive compensation as it is deemed we offered fair market value from the beginning. Does that make sense?

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | July 28, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Regardless I think it's a mute point. I don't see us walking from Juice as I don't see an arbitrator being too crazy on this one. A Dman or 2 has to be moved though. We can't keep Alzner down in Hershey another year. Carlson and Finley could use another year but both could also be productive quick learners in the big league as well. 1 or 2 D have to go but what do we get in return? No further need up front, in net and not really in D unless it's a stud Pronger type so I don't see that happening. My guess is that a D or 2 are moved for picks.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | July 28, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

@pokerface - not trying to be critical,just helpful. It's "moot" not "mute"

Posted by: christrice | July 28, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Nylander was a very successful NHL player for a long time, including in his previous time with the Caps, and regardless of his recent difficulties there is no reason to believe he can't have some success again in the future. He is very talented - he can be a magician in controlling the puck and is an excellent passer. We have never been given any reason to believe he doesn't work hard or isn't a team player. The idea that he is an albatross or lacks the talent to be an effective player once again is just silly. Given his recent production, is he paid more money than he would get in the current market? Of course. But that doesn't mean he can't be a veteran contributor to a mostly young team. I think Caps fans, and maybe Coach Boudreau, are too down on him.

Posted by: thereds | July 28, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only person that remembers the plague of D injuries last year? If they can make the numbers work, they're probably going to keep all of these defensemen.

Posted by: thiazzi | July 28, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

I can't imagine Nylander going to Russia. He apparently is very family oriented with alot of kids, the moving to Russia thing doesn't seem to fit. Anyway, if he is here this fall I hope the Caps will stand up, give the guy a vote of confidence, and let him play. He can't stay on the trade rumor wire year after year. Prior to his injury he was a heck of an NHL player, maybe there is still some life left in the guy! Go Caps!

Posted by: kcbrichmond | July 28, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

His curl and patient play will never mesh with the Caps run and gun offense.

Get rid of him...but that will be next to impossible.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | July 28, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Lyle:

maybe the run and gun offense at the answer for the Caps. I am sure you have heard the joke about the young bull and the old bull........

Posted by: doughless | July 28, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

i meant "ain't" the answer

Posted by: doughless | July 28, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

especially with Knuble ready to post up in front of the opposing goalie

Posted by: doughless | July 28, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm guessing he shows up for training camp, and tries to win beat out Morrison and if that doesn't happen he'll go to Russia for at least one season.

Posted by: dcfury | July 28, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

is it october, YET!?!?!?!?

Posted by: doughless | July 28, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

If you keep your lines stable instead of shuffling them around multiple times a game as the Caps seem to do, there is no reason why a particular line could have a different system than another. Let Ovechkin, Backstrom, and Knuble run and gun and say maybe have Knuble, Nylander, and Semin use the patient puck control approach with Nylander the pivot, Semin the shooter, and Knuble the "post" player.

I'm by no means a hockey coach, but I've coached in other team sports if 8 year olds count. I don't understand why set lines can't have different systems. It would make it harder to coach if guys get hurt and you need to shuffle, but that is why coached get paid yeah?

So, short version... I'm not down on Nylander. He needs to be given a chance.

Posted by: lornemyoung | July 28, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I didnt mean to say Knuble twice. The second Knuble could be Clark, Laich, or Flash.

Posted by: lornemyoung | July 28, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Swedish papers are reporting that he has signed a 6 year, 150 million euro deal to return to the Elite league. At least, that's what I think the papers are saying, based on the pretty pictures, since I don't read the language...

Seriously, these Nyls rumors are ridiculous. The only way he moves to another NHL team is 1) if we pay part of his salary or give the team a good prospect for their trouble or 2) he plays enough and well enough in the first month or two of the season to be of interest to the another team.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | July 28, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Did we sign Juice?

Posted by: richmondphil | July 28, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Did we sign Juice?

Posted by: richmondphil | July 28, 2009 5:40 PM


Won't know until next week.

Posted by: Greg S. | July 28, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I thought it said in the last post we'd know today if we let him walk or not.

Oh wait, nevermind. It says that just the hearing is tomorrow.

In other hockey news, TOR traded Stralman, Stuart (extra from ATL for Kubina deal), and a 7th rounder for Primeau and a 2nd rounder.
Vinny Prospal and Frantisek Kaberle were bought out by their respected club.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 28, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

@capsfan01 (from previous thread)

That makes you about the same age as Semin and Ovi. (Great guys for you to identify with.) My elder daughter is 24 years old. (I always felt that Semin reminds me of her in many ways.) She actually met some Russians when going to Boston University. My younger daughter (age 18) is a competitive swimmer and her main rival in summer league is a Russian.

Did you mainly grow up in the Wash area after coming here from Russia?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 28, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

@dcfury -

1) Nylander has a no movement clause. That means (once more, in stereo) that he has to AGREE to *ANY* move the Caps want to make with him. Trade, waivers, sending him to Hershey... fill in the blank: Nylander must agree.

2) Nobody in the Capitals' organization has said word one to Nylander about any of the above.

3) Nylander is under contract with the Capitals; ergo, he must agree to be WAIVED (at which point ANY other NHL team can snag him) in order to be LOANED to a Russian team. He can't just break his contract and go.

4) Nylander has SIX CHILDREN, five of them in school, one in diapers, in this area. If you think he's going to rip his family up and go to Russia, think again. You don't have that many children and then just drag them all to a foreign country, or worse, leave them here with the wife and go off to a foreign country to play hockey.

5) Nylander HIMSELF has heard nothing from the KHL about being offered a deal, or anything like that.

6) The KHL has a limit this year of three foreign-born players per team. Nylander is not a Russian; Fedorov and Kozlov (duh) both are.

7) Even though Nylander's brother plays for the KHL, he plays for a team that is 3000 miles away from the latest team our Nylander's been rumored to be of interest to (and if that was ungrammatical, sorry!)

Should I keep going? Michael. Nylander. Is. Not. Going. ANYWHERE. Until. His. Contract. Or. NMC. Expires. PERIOD!

Posted by: irockthered | July 28, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Lets cut Nyls some slack and give him another chance. He was a great center and could be again. I couldn't tell if last year's performance was due to injuries or lack of passion. He did seem disinterested at times but lets root for him to return to the old Nylander that made many defensemen look silly.

Posted by: dsphvywght | July 28, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

(From previous thread)

Clark had started out healthy last year (after being injured most of the previous year). Then, after much ineffective play, he went out in November with a hairline fracture of his forearm. (He had a cast on for about a month.) I recall seeing him at practice and actually signed autographs for the fans despite the cast.

Then he came back. Effective for a little while but then was no longer effective. In late Jan, he was scratched for the Detroit game. I assumed it was a healthy scratch. While I was glad that some of my other favorites were getting a chance, I felt sad at his absence. I figured he'd be back in his customary spot as 3rd line right wing the next day (Ottawa game) but that didn't happen. The very next day, we learned that he had scheduled surgery for his tendon problem. So, not a healthy scratch at all. So, he seemed to be dealing with both a tendon problem and a broken forearm. The broken arm was addressed back in November but the tendon problem wasn't.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 28, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

In other news:

* The Hurricanes bought out Frantisek Kaberle as part of their effort to "restructure the Hurricanes’ defense to become bigger and more physical" (according to GM Jim Rutherford).

* The Rangers agreed to terms with Sam Klassen.

* The Blue Jackets have re-signed G Dan LaCosta to a one-year, two-way NHL-AHL contract.

* The Red Wings Red signed Defenseman Andy Delmore.

Posted by: irockthered | July 28, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Capsfan75, are you big into astrology or something? You are always correlating things to birthdays. Not that it's a bad thing, but I am just wondering.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 28, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

@dsphvywght - I'm willing to do so, considering we have little to no choice in the matter. Might as well play him, since he's not going anywhere. $5.5 million is a big salary to sit in the press box for a year. :-)

Posted by: irockthered | July 28, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Hey, IRTR!

I didn't get that about Nylander. Why don't we just trade him?

Posted by: Greg S. | July 28, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and Phil. The hearing was today. We should have a decision next week at the latest. I thinkn the 6th is the big day.

Posted by: Greg S. | July 28, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Lets cut Nyls some slack and give him another chance. He was a great center and could be again. I couldn't tell if last year's performance was due to injuries or lack of passion. He did seem disinterested at times but lets root for him to return to the old Nylander that made many defensemen look silly.

Posted by: dsphvywght | July 28, 2009 6:08 PM |

Everyone deserves to start with a clan plate for the new season. Fehr, Theo, Schultz, and other usual suspects included.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 28, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

IRTR

Actually, you may want to cut and paste that somewhere and save it. We'll need it about 200 times this year, I'm sure.

Phil

Do fans get a clean slate too?

Posted by: Greg S. | July 28, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

maybe nlys and knuble should be on the same line, knuble will have ample time to setup camp in from of the goalie while nlys circles around and around, then passes to semin for the onetimer that deflects off of or is screen by knuble. semin could pot 50 this way, nlys gets to remain the assist guy he's always been and knuble gets to ice various parts of his body that puck bounce off. this could be a win win situation for both the caps and nlys - showcase him for the trade deadline.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | July 28, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and Phil. The hearing was today. We should have a decision next week at the latest. I thinkn the 6th is the big day.

Posted by: Greg S. | July 28, 2009 6:25 PM

Yeah, by tomorrow I meant today, since I was reading it off yesterday's post.

6th is a long time. I think this highlights how slow summer is for us hockey fanatics, haha.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 28, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Phil

Do fans get a clean slate too?

Posted by: Greg S. | July 28, 2009 6:31 PM |

Sure. If windjammer or sc1907 ever come back, we treat them as brothers. That is, until they start trolling again.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 28, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

maybe nlys and knuble should be on the same line, knuble will have ample time to setup camp in from of the goalie while nlys circles around and around, then passes to semin for the onetimer that deflects off of or is screen by knuble. semin could pot 50 this way, nlys gets to remain the assist guy he's always been and knuble gets to ice various parts of his body that puck bounce off. this could be a win win situation for both the caps and nlys - showcase him for the trade deadline.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | July 28, 2009 6:33 PM |

Who is Backs and Ovie's RW then?

Posted by: richmondphil | July 28, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil/Greg S.:
phil - based on your example of 'fans'
no - fans do not get a clean slate

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | July 28, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil:
i'll catch a lot of sh*t for this - but either flash or fehr has the legs to keep up with these two. i also think either would benefit by being on the ice with ovi. there is always just a little more room on the other side of the ice when ovi has the puck. maybe green could teach them both how to cut to the net and look for the backdoor pass - i'll admit that it's a little harder to teach how to bury the puck when you get the pass though

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | July 28, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Flash deserves the chance for sure, but I think he is more comfortable on the LW. But he is a left-handed shot, and playing on your off-wing is a great benefit, as it gives you that extra half-second to shoot the pick.

Fehr, I'm not too sure about. I think he definetely deserves a look with playing with Ovie, but I dont know if he is ready for that. He is a natural RW though, so he is more comfortable on that side compared to Flash.

I think Flash is the better fit by far, but either way, that puts whoever is not on the 1st line on the 3rd. With B-mo that creates quite a dynamic 3rd line easily capable of goals.

Knowing BB, we will probably see a million different line combinations.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 28, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil:
as we are all aware, BB and GMGM sometimes don't have a clue as to what they are doing (i know this because i read it here all the time) - so my plan is just as good as any.

BB:
give this line a chance to work. there is no charge for my input, nor will i demand any recognition for my brilliance

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | July 28, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

I don't see why you would catch sh*t for them two though. I mean, if you put Knuble and Semin on the 2nd line, then that leaves the two most obvious choices out. I would put Flash there myself. If Flash can learn RW, he benefits from the off-wing. He's a bit more defensively responsible than Fehr as well.

I am just not the biggest Fehr fan. And I think Flash, although seemed to lose steam as the season went on, had some signs of brilliance last season.

Ovi-Backs-Flash
Semin-Nyls-Knuble
Bourque-BMo-Fehr
Gordon-Stecks-bradley

don't know if that works under the cap or not, but looks good to me.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 28, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Crap, I forgot Laich and Clark.


Posted by: richmondphil | July 28, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil:
i like those lines - you're an f'n genius. when the GMGM haters get him fired, you should set up a meeting w/ ted

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | July 28, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Crap, I forgot Laich and Clark
bourque and gordon might be the ones to replace

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | July 28, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Latest Rumor: Schultz to Russia to play with his brother, Chevy Chase.

Posted by: Willy6 | July 28, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

While most of the talk centers around Knuble being up with Ovie and Backstrom, it might be interesting to see Clark back with Ovie and see what happens. The Caps are fortunate to have a wealth of offensive talent/possibilities. Many possible combos and either the lines can be stacked for 2 awesome lines or spread it out some so the 3rd and 4th lines have some serious scoring possibilities. Just about anything looks good if you keep an open mind and think out of the box:

Ovie - Backstrom - Clark
Semin - Laich - Knuble
Fleischmann - Nylander - Fehr
Steckel -Morrison - Bradley

On top of this, you've still got Gordo to fit in there along with Beagle, Bourque, etc....

Clark and Knuble could be interchanged on the wing, Laich could play either center or wing, it will be interesting to see how B-Mo plays out, and whether Nyls can put last year aside and play up at his best level - then, I would love to be in Bruce's shoes. He's got to be salivating over the potential.

Posted by: gonchpup | July 28, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

I think Bourque deserves a shot, but with the tie-up up front, who knows how GMGM is going to resolve it. A trade has to be coming. Whether it be a guy we all like or not, there is definetely a tie-up upfront, as well as at the blue line. Unless we want to risk them on the waiver wires. A good problem to have though, nevertheless.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 28, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

We could spin these a million ways, and knowing BB we will probably see all all of our suggestions. Clark with Ovie could turn out great. He had his best years offensively with him, and then only time he came close to 30+ goals. I just hope he, along with Nylander, won't lose a step from their injuries.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 28, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Ovie - Backstrom - Clark
Semin - Laich - Knuble
Fleischmann - Nylander - Fehr
Steckel -Morrison - Bradley

Posted by: gonchpup | July 28, 2009 7:35 PM |

Only suggestion from this model is maybe switch Steckel and B-mo. If he is playing on the 4th line, he might as well just be playing wing. Steckel is much better in the faceoff circle.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 28, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil -

You point out the luxurious place we seem to find ourselves in. The depth is the best we have seen in years. I agree with Stecks being great on face offs. I do not know how Morrison measures up there. He is the one I know least about and not sure how he fits best.

Posted by: gonchpup | July 28, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

I say good riddance to SC1907 and windjammer. Their posts were getting downright annoying.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 28, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Re: Jurcina

http://www.washingtontimes.com/weblogs/in-the-room/2009/jul/28/jurcina-hearing-very-professional/

Tarik...hope you're not offended that I linked to Corey's blog :-)

Posted by: tess2201 | July 28, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

I read "Ted's Take" today and he (Ted) pointed out all the "hate" that's been spewed about Mike Green on the Caps fans boards despite being 1st team NHL All Star and 2nd in the Norris Trophy voting.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 28, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

those people should really get a life. Is Mike Green perfect? No, he needs to improve his defense but he's not the worst defensive defenseman in the NHL like these people seem to think he is.

I've seen Rod Langway and Scott Stevens make plenty of mistakes in their own zone. they weren't perfect either. But somehow when guys like Mike Green or Larry Murphy makes mistakes these people get all bent outta shape.

Posted by: joek443 | July 28, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

Amen to your last comment, Joe. And, of course, once Murphy got traded, he became a Hall of Famer.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 28, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

The odd thing is that the two guys with the highest Plus/Minus rating on our team are the ones most criticized for their defense. What does that tell us? 1) Do the fans expect too much out of them in the defense department? 2) Is the rest of our team really that sucky at defense? 3) Do they have a great upside but when they screw up, they look pretty bad.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 28, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

those people who would "whoop whoop" their own players only want them to play a certain style. They don't really care what guys like Murphy or Green do in other areas to contribute. If they don't play the rock'em/sock'em style in their own zone, they have to be mistake-free perfect or they're bums in their eyes.

If Nick Lidstrom played for the Caps, he would received the same treatment from these people.

Posted by: joek443 | July 28, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

i hope nyl's comes in next year and puts all you nylander bashers to shame and shut up.he's a capital.face it!! if your a true fan your supposed to support your team and who you have on it.not bash every guy that has 1 or maybe 2 bad years.give the guy a chance,be a caps fan,if ovi has a bad yr next yr are you gonna bash him.cause it could happen.it could happen to any great player.lets see what nyls has this year and if then he still doesnt perform than maybe try to buy his contract out or trade or whatever HE wants to do.but dont bash him.hes a cap,always be true to a capital.thats all i got to say!GO CAPS!!

Posted by: gratefuldid | July 28, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

I don't see why you would catch sh*t for them two though. I mean, if you put Knuble and Semin on the 2nd line, then that leaves the two most obvious choices out. I would put Flash there myself. If Flash can learn RW, he benefits from the off-wing. He's a bit more defensively responsible than Fehr as well.

I am just not the biggest Fehr fan. And I think Flash, although seemed to lose steam as the season went on, had some signs of brilliance last season.

Ovi-Backs-Flash
Semin-Nyls-Knuble
Bourque-BMo-Fehr
Gordon-Stecks-bradley

don't know if that works under the cap or not, but looks good to me.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 28, 2009 7:19 PM

My forward lines would look like so:

Ovi...Backs....Clark
Semin...Nyls...Knuble
Laich...BMo....Fehr
Gordon...Steckel...Bradley

Flash and Osala would be my extras as I am not really sold on either Bourque or Aucoin. You can switch Clark and Flash, but I think Clark is a better mucker than Flash will ever be.

Posted by: realoldcapsfan | July 28, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Haven't really decided on my D pairings, though I am leaning towards:

Green...Jurcina
Shultz...Pothier
Mo...Poti

I would probably keep Alzner as the 7th
D and keep Carlson in Hershey for at least another year, though he would probably be first injury callup

Goalies would be Jose and Varly with Jose starting the year but Varly having about 25-30 starts and if Jose falters I would not hesitate to bench him and make Varly the starter.

Posted by: realoldcapsfan | July 28, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of the D, from E.J. Hradek of espn...

After a heartbreaking second-round loss to the rival Penguins, the Capitals will be looking to make amends for that defeat in 2009-10. Having lost Viktor Kozlov and Sergei Fedorov and having added Mike Knuble, the Capitals really don't have many holes at forward. Defense, on the other hand, is another story. So unless the team's young defenders, like Karl Alzner and John Carlson, come along quickly, the Capitals may be spinning their wheels next season.

It will be very interesting to see how Varlamov responds to his new challenge and the lofty expectations he created during his spring fling. It also will be worth monitoring how opposing teams attack the Caps' kid goalie. In the latter part of the second round, Varlamov's glove hand was exposed by Penguin sharpshooters. I figure he must be spending a good portion of his summer vacation working on improving that hole in his game.

Posted by: joek443 | July 28, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

personally I don't think that's really a major hole in Varly's game. I think he just got tired towards the end and the glove hand got slow. the Caps did the same to Lundqvist in the Ranger series. When goalies get tired, they tend to have a hard time keeping their glove hand up.

Posted by: joek443 | July 28, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Joek we get it. You like chickensh_ts.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 29, 2009 1:11 AM | Report abuse

Some of you people simply amaze me. You seem to think that the addition of one physical player ( Knuble ) who stations himself in front of the net has solved that particular problem. How so? Adding Knuble was a good first step. That's all. They need at least two or three more guys with a similar mentality. And, don't even mention Bruce Laich to me. Every once in a while he'll go to the net. But, he's certainly not the type of stud who "PARKS HIMSELF THERE" and refuses to be moved, as Knuble does.
And, what happens if the graybeard ( Knuble ) gets hurt? which, at his age, I almost EXPECT to happen. What then? Of course, many are still fooling themselves by insisting that Eric Fehr is somehow going to "Morph" into being that sort of player. Stop dreaming! It ain't gonna happen. He simply doesn't have the necessary courage for that particular job description. Never has. Never will.
To my way of thinking, Chris Clark is the X Factor this season. He'd look real good opposite Sasha and Morrison. They need his grit real bad.
I'm certainly not looking forward to another year of Flash. Jesus!! For my money, he's a total waste. Sure, he'll probably net 15 - 20 goals over the course of the season. BIG DEAL. My problem with him is that when the REAL SEASON begins ( Playoffs ) he'll be a wasted spot once again. Talk about timid. If you look in Webster's Dictionary, his picture is adjacent.
The most serious problems are AGAIN BEING UNADDRESSED. They are ( Obviously ) goaltending and defense. Only the delusional could possibly believe that any combination of our current goalies gives us even the slightest chance of winning The Cup. George has got to unass some of his coveted "Assets" if he EVER INTENDS to make a serious run. Unfortunately, I don't think he has either the smarts, OR THE BALLS to pull the trigger. And really, why should he? Ted has allowed this abysmal failure to hang around for eleven years ( and counting ) selling dreams and lies to the Phone Booth faithful. So, WHY SHOULD HE CHANGE? Man, that's some disgusting crap. You suckers!!

Posted by: Puckguru | July 29, 2009 1:34 AM | Report abuse

@puckguru - good to hear from ya again, NOT! Should I start 1st with, "who's Bruce Laich?" Did we get a new player? So giving the BOTD we all know who you're talking about. You state that GMGM isn't starting to address the problem yet you also state that Knuble is a nice start. So which is it. You EXPECT Knuble to get hurt? Have you seen how many games he's played over the past few years? He doesn't have ANY injury history throughout his career. Matter of fact he's got less road wear on him than most 3X yr olds.

Something else to keep in mind, what team has ever gone into a season without question marks? Even the Detroits, San Jose's and Pitt's of the world have question marks. I'm not saying that none of your points aren't valid some are and some aren't. That's why they play the games. Yes I agree that GMGM will have to pull the trigger on a big deal and unload some of his beloved prospects but I differ in that I think he will at the right time. Our core is all still under 25. I'm also not saying hey we can wait another 5yrs to do something but I don't understand the panic. We are a better team today than we were at June 30th. I say we stick with what we have unless we can unload Nyls or Theo and see what the season brings. The answers might already be here.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | July 29, 2009 2:02 AM | Report abuse

pokerface: I did not know about compensation on walk away.

2) I think you are wasting your time with puckguru. He has an unknown personal agenda. However, what he says about Chris Clark being the X-factor might be true. I posted yesterday we need like 50-60 pts from the Clark of old. Knuble and Clark could make a very nice RW tandem. Of course, Varly or Theo could also be the X-Factor; Pothier could be the X-Factor; Carlson could be the X-Factor; and God knows Nylander could be the X-Factor.

I will reiterate the problem I saw last year with nylander, and why I feel BB has soured on him - whenever an poosing player approaches Nyles, he immediately coughed up the puck. It was immediate, he'd just center the puck to no one in particular. I hate to suggest he looked like he was afraid of contact, but maybe it's a lingering injury or lingering injury concern. You just can't have a guy on your team playing like that.

Posted by: tominfl1 | July 29, 2009 7:08 AM | Report abuse

someone please remind puckguru that is still july. from his basement, it might be hard to notice.

love that the "guru" mentions the goalie sitution not being "addressed". hmmm, what does that mean? did the "guru" miss the playoffs last year when varalmov showed his potential? oh, perhaps he was talking about trading theo and his big salary. wow, thats genius. who would have thought about that. perhaps someone should tell george and he will magically make it so. what? you need someone on the other side to agree to that trade. oh.

i'm guessing the "guru" would have liked us to trade our assest for 50 year old chris pronger and then sign him to a longer deal like philly. oh, what? backs and semin need new deals next year? i see. this is complicated. hmmm...i suppose it is easier to ramble on nonsensically two months prior to the season then actually offer up some real ideas.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | July 29, 2009 8:11 AM | Report abuse

puckguru -

Go back to sleep. You obviously don't think straight at 1:30am. Sounds like you think the Caps have major concerns about needing 2-3 players ala Knuble. We can all wish for the world, but are you overlooking the fact that the Caps were the 2nd highest scoring team in the league? Something's working. Perhaps you listen to too many TV commentators. I guarantee, there is plenty of grit in many forwards... it's just not exposed all the time. The Caps play more of a speed and flow style with forwards rotating. There are times you need somebody in front, and I'd be willing to bet that if Bruce instructed Semin to do it, he would. And blasting GMGM about goalies? He's working with 2 of the top prospects, brought in Huet, brought in Theo, considered Johnson, and because nothing is yet in stone it's his fault? Sounds like you just don't like it here in DC. Too bad we can't trade you to a team where all is perfect. I like it here. Let's keep the faith and support our boys. Let's go Caps!!!

Posted by: gonchpup | July 29, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

puckguru:

By the way, I promise to never, ever mention "Bruce Laich" to you.

Posted by: tominfl1 | July 29, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

I agree with realoldcapsfan roster setup.

Posted by: ImWithStupid | July 29, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

I agree with realoldcapsfan's roster setup.

Posted by: ImWithStupid | July 29, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

@puckguru

tl;dr

Posted by: thiazzi | July 29, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Wow, strong statements from IRTR! Do I need to give my 'stranger things have happened' speech again? :-) Not to say that they will, just that I have learned to never say never. Should be interesting to see how it plays out ...

Oh and welcome back, puckguru! Nice to see that the off-season has not soured you.

Posted by: Boo- | July 29, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, nobody thought the Rangers could get out from under the Gomez contract, and look what happened there.

Posted by: thiazzi | July 29, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I'm disgusted with how Caps players are constantly trashed by fans too. Before anyone in here gets on their high horse and turns this into labeling me a zombie homer fan that accepts a mediocre effort from my team's management and players because I'm ignorant to the ways of hockey, save it, I'm tired of of 3-4 posters peeing on everything in here.

I have even seen OV trashed in here, so no Caps are immune to the scrutiny of the experts that lurk on this board.

These guys, even Schultz, are logging ice time, and in Schultz's case, a regular shift on a team that earned 108 pts last year, so they don't "suck." Just like employees at any company, everyone brings something to the table. You can't have 3 OVs, 3 Backies, 3 Semins, 3 Knubles, 3 Greens, 3 strong S@H D, and 2 seasoned 93% goaltenders. First, they wouldn't stay under the Salary Cap, and second, you'd need more than 1 puck.

Every team has superstars, and everyone else, who essentially are expendable and replaceable. I, for one, am excited as hell because we've had one of the best teams in NHL right here in DC since January of 2008, and we're only getting better. I am going to sit back and enjoy the team we have.

Keep in mind, the Red Wings team and farm system are what most teams want to emulate because they have been a legitimate contender for the Stanley Cup in each of the last 14 years. They obviuosly have not won 14 in a row, but they've been in the discussion. When asked about why his young players become key members of the Red Wings when they come up Babcock responded that it's because they are kept in the farm system until they are ripe. When they are brought up and don a Red Wings jersey the organization does hope they are ready, they KNOW they are ready. The Caps need to do the same with Carlson and a few others. They'll get their chance. When the Caps make some moves, and they will have to, they will most likely get some draft picks rather than players in exchange. The youngsters already in the system will move up the food chain and get their shot.

Posted by: fanohock1 | July 29, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

wow, tampa is buying out prospal. gonna be a $1.2M cap hit for the next 6 years. ouch. talk about clueless. that team is going nowhere with their current disfunctional ownership. if i were vinny or st. louis i'd want out asap.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | July 29, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

fanohock:

Abe Lincoln couldn't have said it better.

(Although maybe it would have been a bit different - "Four score and seven posts ago..." and "Today we sit on the precipice of the Stanley Cup..." and "To show that Steve Eminger, Bryan Muir and Cristobel Huet did not toil in vain...")

Posted by: tominfl1 | July 29, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

fanohock:

Abe Lincoln couldn't have said it better.

(Although maybe it would have been a bit different - "Four score and seven posts ago..." and "Today we sit on the precipice of the Stanley Cup..." and "To show that Jeff Halpern, Bryan Muir and Cristobal Huet did not toil in vain...")

Posted by: tominfl1 | July 29, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

@fanohock1: Couldn't have said it better myself. *standing ovation*

Anyone from the peanut gallery ready with their rebuttal or does that finally shut people up about poo-pooing on our team? I'd proudly sit next to a fanohock1 kind of fan than one who wants to complain on the boards but wear a Caps jersey at Verizon mildly cheering on the team. Seems hypocritical.

Oh, and I hope we could keep Jurcina. It would be just our luck that he explodes into awesomeness if he's lost to another team. =/

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | July 29, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

@irockthered
Oh trust me I know all that, but mindless speculation is kind of how we are forced to entertain ourselves during July/August. I don't see Nylander being okay with sitting in the press box all season, so my guess is if he doesn't make the team he'll ask to be loaned out, sign one of those nice cushy KHL deals for one season, and try to prove his worth over there Ray Emery style. Also, I just don't see the caps signing Morrison without a deal like this in the fold because it assures them at least one proven NHLer in the press box. As for the fact that WE haven't heard anything abut this; well when's the last time GMGM tipped his hand on any of the team's goings on?

Again this is just mindless speculation; I'm not trying to answer your post in any kind of attacking way, just a means of dumb entertainment before the puck drops.

Posted by: dcfury | July 29, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

why trash puckguru?? aside from astringent language, he raises some valid points.

Posted by: doughless | July 29, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

dcfury:
Amen! Anything can happen and stranger things have. Only time will tell ...

doughless:
It's not what you say it's how you say it ... ;-)

Glad to see Pete Peeters has landed on his feet with the Ducks - I have always liked him.

Posted by: Boo- | July 29, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Joek we get it. You like chickensh_ts.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 29, 2009 1:11 AM

Tempting to comment, but I'm just going to let the comment speak for itself and joek443 is more than capable of replying.

Like it or lump it, I don't like it.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | July 29, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I don't know what Varlamov has to do with that anyway.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 29, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

My forward lines would look like so:

Ovi...Backs....Clark
Semin...Nyls...Knuble
Laich...BMo....Fehr
Gordon...Steckel...Bradley

Flash and Osala would be my extras as I am not really sold on either Bourque or Aucoin. You can switch Clark and Flash, but I think Clark is a better mucker than Flash will ever be.

Posted by: realoldcapsfan | July 28, 2009 10:43 PM |

Really? You like Fehr over Flash? I also think Bourque is more than NHL ready. Yeah, he is tiny, but he is going to work for his spot.

Other than that, I like em.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 29, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

puckguru -

Go back to sleep. You obviously don't think straight at 1:30am.
----

I don't think he thinks straight at 10 AM either. Or 2:30 PM. Or...

Posted by: Greg S. | July 29, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

why trash puckguru?? aside from astringent language, he raises some valid points.

Posted by: doughless | July 29, 2009 10:50 AM |

In the past 2 seasons he's made a handful of valid points - like 3 or 4. The rest is bile hatred of GMGM and Leonsis.

In his latest rant, there wasn't anything new that he's posted, he doesn't offer any alternatives than get rid of GMGM and Leonsis, and to keep his precious Sasha.

I mean, jeez! What happens if Knuble gets hurt? Well what happens if Sasha gets hurt? His Sasha has been hurt more this year than Knuble has his whole career.

Clark is the key, according to him. Key? Really?

Our major weaknesses are defense and goal. Gee. I never would have known. Lets see what's been said over the past YEAR about the high quality of D and Goal on this board. How original. And it is an issue, and GMGM can't get it fixed because of the cap.

So it all comes down to Nylander and GMGM bringing him in to DC. And that's why Puckhuru is miffed at GMGM. That's the most stale discussion on this board.

There are no valid points in his note.

Posted by: Greg S. | July 29, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

does anyone agree on this board that defense and goalie situation are questionable for the Caps this coming season??? also, i think players like Flash and Fehr have a lot to prove. again, aside from how it was said, these are both valid points.

Posted by: doughless | July 29, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Joek we get it. You like chickensh_ts.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 29, 2009 1:11 AM


I don't know which "we" you are referring to but don't ever think that you represent anyone other than yourself.

Posted by: joek443 | July 29, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Joek we get it. You like chickensh_ts.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 29, 2009 1:11 AM


I don't know which "we" you are referring to but don't ever think that you represent anyone other than yourself.

Posted by: joek443 | July 29, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I think Greg was saying it was not original. I personally am not satisfied with our D (although GMGM and BB seem to be), but I am feeling much better about our goaltending than I have in a long time. Don't get me wrong, we will not have the best duo in the league this season, but we are finally on our way.

Posted by: Boo- | July 29, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I agree that defense and goaltending are our question marks going into the season. However unlike other teams we have the ability to sort that out with players we have secured for the season. The Caps need to find out who their top 6 D are, when training camp opens they will be able to choose from:

Green, Poti, Pothier, Erskine, Morrison, Schultz, Alzner, Sloan, Carlson, and probably Jurcina. Between the D kept and the D sent down, even if players are traded, the defensemen here in DC will have to maintain their level of play or fear being moved.

In net they get to choose between Varlamov, Neuvirth, and even Holtby, as the youngster that stays with the Caps. All of them can be moved down without having to clear waivers if they aren't doing well. Plus, with the competition Theo will have, whether it is Varlamov or Neuvirth, Theo will play well because he wants his net, and he is in a contract year. Better yet, if Varlamov or Neuvirth prove through the season that they are ready to take over even if Theo is having a good year, we can move Theo at the trade deadline and get something for him because he will be gone after next season no matter what, would be nice to get something if moving him makes sense. If it doesn't make sense and Theo is the man maybe he can bring us a Cup. Win-win for Theo, win his first cup, and also land one more big contract.

Lot's of things to look forward to this upcoming season.

Posted by: fanohock1 | July 29, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I know there's a school of thought that the Caps can win the Cup if they only get adequate goaltending - I heard Barry Melrose say that before the playoffs started. But can anyone think of a team that has won the cup with average goaltending? I can't think of any. You might say MAF wasn't that great for the pens last year but he was when he had to be.

Contract year or no contract year, Theo has never been great in the playoffs and I don't think this upcoming year will be any different for him. All you can hope for is a decent regular season outta him and maybe some team in needs of a goalie will ask to make a trade.

Posted by: joek443 | July 29, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

does anyone agree on this board that defense and goalie situation are questionable for the Caps this coming season??? also, i think players like Flash and Fehr have a lot to prove. again, aside from how it was said, these are both valid points.

Posted by: doughless | July 29, 2009 11:54 AM

Have we, or have we not been advocating the need for at least one SAH defenseman? I know mauree and I have been harping on it for over 2 years now.

Goal has been another sore spot. JT has been like swiss cheese a lot of the time. Other times he's solid. Which one will show? Who's behind him now? Children barely 20 years old.

There's nothing new there.

The question is whether the breakout occurs this year or not. GMGM and Leonsis think they're poised to do so. Other than Poti and Erskine, this is still a young D corps. Still, nothing new there, either.

Bring in a vet? Like Pronger? Not that discussion again!

Please! Give me a break!

Posted by: Greg S. | July 29, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Capsfan75. this reply may be a little late. I just had the time to check this board. My parents and I spent the first year in N.Y., but we have distant relatives in the D.C. metro area and my parents could easily find work. So here I am!
And I am more than ready for this season to begin!! Caps hockey has helped me get thru some challenging times.

Posted by: capsfan01 | July 29, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

The Caps didn't lose last year because of the goaltending. Varly was plenty good enough to beat Pittsburgh.

The problem was Crysby put a picnic table next to the goalie's left goalpost and just sat there, eating snacks, until the puck came right to him so he could tap it in.

After 12 games, Varly cracked. Who wouldn't?

Actually, to amend a post I put earlier, the real X-Factor on the team this year is the new asst coach.

Posted by: tominfl1 | July 29, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

joek443, regarding cup winning average goalies. some would suggest that osgood is very average. khabibulin has been good in his career, but i wouldnt call him a hall of famer. giguere won for anaheim but he didnt play at all in this years playoffs.

i think the key is solid defence in the playoffs, and that includes the goalie, dmen and forwards. a hot goalie certainly help (where would we have been w/out varly in this years playoffs?). but i think an average goalie can win if the team is playing good team defense infront of him. thats where the caps need to improve in the playoffs if they want to advance.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | July 29, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I think another year of experience plus a new defensive coach will do wonders for our defense. Caps defense allowed about 35 goals more than Detroit or Boston. That is not alot to correct. If the Caps can reduce that number they could be looking at #1 in the east or even the Presidents trophy. Neither is out of the question. This is going to be fun.

Posted by: nimrodrsp | July 29, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Any line combination involving Nylander playing center for Semin makes me groan.

Posted by: Cerealman | July 29, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Pronger?? i have never said I want him on our blueline. let Philthy have him.

Posted by: doughless | July 29, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorta' with Cerealman though I'll be the first to hope that Nylander has a great year before wishing we sit him out. *crosses fingers*

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | July 29, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Capsfan75 said: The odd thing is that the two guys with the highest Plus/Minus rating on our team are the ones most criticized for their defense. What does that tell us? 1) Do the fans expect too much out of them in the defense department? 2) Is the rest of our team really that sucky at defense? 3) Do they have a great upside but when they screw up, they look pretty bad.

I choose #3. It's like when your significant other, whom you adore, suddenly does something really stupid. It's a bitter disappointment when you know how wonderful he/she can be. When someone you know is a jerk, it doesn't feel so bad when they disappoint. Green was sick and injured in the playoffs, and some people, much to their discredit, will never accept or forgive him for that.

And Gratefuldid (and others), I think it's okay for fans to question (not the same as trashing) Nyls and be somewhat down on a guy who is making a heck of a lot of money sitting on the bench. I thought his shoulder injury/surgery was recovered. Tominfl1 made an interesting observation of Nyls giving up the puck whenever an opponent came near him and that might be why BB wasn't thrilled with playing him.

Of course, we all hope that Nyls comes through in the coming year and that he earns some of that salary-cap-eating money.


Posted by: dccitizen1 | July 29, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Amen, Tominfl1. SC's history button on his computer revealed: www.PicnicTableSource.com

Posted by: dccitizen1 | July 29, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

The key is a balance between goaltending, defense, and offense. You must have all 3 clicking to go all the way. there is no point in employing a trap system and keeping them out of your zone if you cant score one yourself. And when I say offense and defense, I mean in general, not just positions. Too much blame and praise usually falls on the goalie and d-men, but thats not really the case. If your forwards are not backchecking, then it really doesn't matter how good your blue line and goalie are playing, odd-man breaks will happen eventually.

Usually too much praise/blame gets put on the blue line and goalie because they are the most obvious "answers", but you need a consorted effort from your whole team.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 29, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

phil: I think you mean a "concerted" effort.

A consorted effort is when one attempts to employ a consort.

Such a situtaion may or may not involve a limo.

Posted by: tominfl1 | July 29, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

"Such a situtaion may or may not involve a limo."

Subsequently followed by a trade

Posted by: Redwolf1 | July 29, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

"Too much blame and praise usually falls on the goalie and d-men, but thats not really the case. If your forwards are not backchecking, then it really doesn't matter how good your blue line and goalie are playing, odd-man breaks will happen eventually.

Usually too much praise/blame gets put on the blue line and goalie because they are the most obvious "answers", but you need a consorted effort from your whole team. "

I agree 100% with this. There were times last year in the playoffs (and in regular season) where you hardly saw any great backchecking effort amongst the forwards, especially the offensively minded forwards. If I remember correctly Ovechkin even mentioned that a goal or two (at least) was scored in the playoffs because of his lack of backcheck (but boy, when he does backcheck he can and does give it his all sometimes!).

My theory on this (and I do not ever claim to be an expert), just like the D take a couple of years to mature in their games, perhaps that defensive part to everyone's game takes a bit more time to develop? If that makes any sense. What I am trying to say is that a lot of our D is under 25....lets say it takes them a bunch of seasons to really find their game, they might be 25-27 by the time they peak. Well, perhaps some of that id the same with forwards...they have to learn how to play a defensive minded (backchecking) game at the NHL level as well..well, maybe that is something that develops with time...a lot of our players are under 25...they are still learning....they got the offense down (if not the full gritty play), but with time their defensive play will mature?

That said, I am excited about how Backstrom has been developing into more of a complete/2-way player...I did see flashes of that in others games last year (Semin, Flash, Laich...)

Go Caps!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | July 29, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Either works.

Consorted;
2. To be in accord or agreement.
1. To unite in company; as in a musical ensemble.

I meant concerted though.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 29, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Either works.

Consorted;
2. To be in accord or agreement.
1. To unite in company; as in a musical ensemble.

I meant concerted though.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 29, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Now that we've talked about the blue line a little bit, what is going to happen to this team's PK? Could use a little tweaking I think, although I'm still a little intrigued by the thought of having Semin on the PK.

Posted by: superpaqman | July 29, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

That said, I am excited about how Backstrom has been developing into more of a complete/2-way player...I did see flashes of that in others games last year (Semin, Flash, Laich...)

Go Caps!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | July 29, 2009 1:56 PM |

Definitely Backstrom should get the award for most improved 2-way player. Most improved player period maybe. Flash has shown genius sometimes, forcing me to describe him nothing short of "Datsyukin-like", he just is not consistent. Ovechkin of course had that great play against the Rangers, but it can be said that it was his own mistake, so he compensated.

But with Feds gone, hopefully these guys can learn from Backstrom's example, and solidfy solid play in both ends.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 29, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I thought Semin was very creative on the PK, a little like Jagr out there due to having exceptional skills and often being one-on-one with a less skilled d-man.

BUT...I worry about both he and Ovechkin with regards to injury and I especially worry about Ovechkin builging up too much ice time.

I also wish BB would get comfortable enough with the other 5 defensemen so he could leave Green off the PK and save him for ES and PP, also reducing then his minutes a bit from 25+.

Posted by: tominfl1 | July 29, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

The_Stanley_Caps/richmondphil:
RE: Backs, I would agree. I think that's true for a lot of the guys - as they physically mature and get stronger, both sides of their game improve. Look at Ovi - he started as a primarily offensive threat (frankly sometimes looking like he was not even trying defensively) and then BAM! his overall game has developed significantly! He's bigger, stronger, more prone to hit, willing to chase an opposing breakaway and even willing to dive in front of pucks or to try to stop them with his hand. He was great his first season, but he didn't do those things. Part of that development is a "concerted" effort, but part of it is probably just confidence - confidence that comes with increased strength and experience.

Posted by: Boo- | July 29, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Tom:
Yup, I've never been a fan of Ovi or Semin on the PK ... even Green. Those guys are far too valuable to risk injury. I get why it happens, I've just never agreed with it.

Posted by: Boo- | July 29, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Who replaces Kozlov in the shootout?

Posted by: thiazzi | July 29, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Who replaces Kozlov in the shootout?

Posted by: thiazzi | July 29, 2009 2:45 PM


Brads.

Posted by: tominfl1 | July 29, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I was at that Oilers game.. awesome ending.

Posted by: thiazzi | July 29, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

i hear Knuble is good on the PK

Posted by: doughless | July 29, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Michael. Nylander. Is. Not. Going. ANYWHERE. Until. His. Contract. Or. NMC. Expires. PERIOD!

Posted by: irockthered | July 28, 2009 6:06 PM


@IRTR:

I agree. Let's all stop beating this dead--no, mummified--no, fossilized horse, and let the Nyls situation unfold as it may.

You. Slay. Me. R.O.T.G.D.F.L.M.M.F.A.O.

Posted by: Rhino40 | July 29, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

PK - I hate Schultz on the PK, yet he always seems to be the first one BB calls to go out there (go figure). Gordon is fantastic, enough said there. I don't necessarily mind Semin on the PK (though i do hate the injury risk) because I want to be a team that is feared on the PK and can always score (i.e - Flyers). The Sens Alfredsson is another player who is scary on the PK because of his offensive threat. Hate playing against those guys.

Posted by: Grape8 | July 29, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

i know they are having this conversation over at japers, so wanted to get some peole's opinion over here.

with Fedorov gone, who gets the other "A" besides Ovie. In my opinion, i give it back to bradley

Posted by: _stevo | July 29, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Should I keep going? Michael. Nylander. Is. Not. Going. ANYWHERE. Until. His. Contract. Or. NMC. Expires. PERIOD!

Posted by: irockthered | July 28, 2009 6:06 PM | Report

irtr

Could you stop waffling on Nyls.

Posted by: realoldcapsfan | July 29, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I am a Bradley fan, so would support him being an alternate captain. as much as he gets banged up, he is deserving of the designation.

Posted by: doughless | July 29, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Tom Poti.

Posted by: thiazzi | July 29, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

@dcfury - Mindless speculation is fun, but the "let's get rid of Nylander" theme has really gotten quite old on here, and there are enough new readers on occasion that someone might buy it as possible when it is way not if Nyls himself doesn't know anything about any trade/loan rumors....

I *do* see him being willing to sit for the season, if only to provide stability for his children.

Posted by: irockthered | July 29, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

@realoldcapsfan - Flash's season wasn't the same after he was so ill with pneumonia. He lost 30 pounds to that illness, and it does take time to come back from... :-( But I agree; he'd be great on RW if he can play the position.

Posted by: irockthered | July 29, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

We've mentioned Brooks Laich as being Captain some day, why not start him off as Alternate? Unless this might prove a problem since he's that union representative for the Caps?

Or if Brooks isn't available maybe we can get this Bruce Laich character that puckguru mentioned earlier. =P

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | July 29, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I second Brooks Laich! But Bradley would be a good choice too. And, Poti has worn the A in past games, if I am not mistaken. I could see them passing Fed's "A" to Knuble or B.Morison, if indeed they were brought in for experience and leadership. Not sure Backstrom is vocal enough, but I could see him wearing one in the future...

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | July 29, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

LeftCoastCapsFan; ROFL...
Laich would make a good Alternate. If this conflicts w his position as the Caps' union spokesman we could always make Semin the union spokesman :-)

Posted by: capsfan01 | July 29, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

IRTR:
With all due respect, it's pretty idealistic to think that professional athletes are always going to make decisions that are best for their families. History has shown that sometimes they make selfish decisions (for lack of a better term). Frankly, much of a professional athlete's life is very selfish, given their schedules, travel, etc.. The reality is that they have a limited shelf life and they know it so many of their decisions are made with that in mind. Just another perspective to consider ...

Posted by: Boo- | July 29, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

About our guys doing PK:

Ovi: It's not that he's bad there but it is not the best use of his time. We need him to score which is more likely to happen on either even strength or the PP. His minutes are already high as it is

Semin: He's decent and effective there. When used on PK, better on the 2nd unit (i.e. the later unit so he can be in a position to break away and get a scoring opportunity when the guy in the box gets released.

Schultz: Don't have a problem with him on PK.

Green: Would like to see his PK time reduced since he plays way too many minutes as it is.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 29, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

@irockthered

Agree with you that Flash wasn't the same since his pneumonia. Don't know if he lost 30 pounds.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 29, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

@dccitizen1

Yes, my third choice (on our criticized guys) is actually the one I agree with. The others were sarcasm.

It did hurt to see Green and Semin playing less effectively against Pittsburgh due to injury. Green didn't look like the same guy. So many of our D were hurt. I realized Gonchar was injured but I doubt if Pitt's injury situation was anywhere as bad as ours. We had 66% of our D playing with injuries (Green, Poti, Morrisonn, and Erskine) and that doesn't include Schultz who went out with injury against the Rangers. We had 2 guys with broken feet -- no wonder we had no speed on the D.

Can guys play with injuries? It depends on the nature of the injury. (How can we keep Green and Semin healthier?)

One note: outside of Pothier, Green is our smallest Defenseman at only 6'1".

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 29, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

I am of the opinion that your best players have to be on the power plays as well as penalty kills because they can determine the outcome of the games especially in the playoffs. It has never made any sense to me that during a major penalty kill in the third period of a playoff game, some of your best players sit on the bench. If they're your best players, they have to be best in all situations.

You never see great basketball players like Bird, Jordan, Magic, Kobe, or Lebron take a seat during the last possesion of a playoff game when they need a defensive stop.

Lastly the Maestro is BACK!!! Michael Schumacher will make a come back for Scuderia Ferrari while his former teammate and friend Felipe Massa recovers from the freaky accident which nearly took his life.

Posted by: joek443 | July 29, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

I posted the day after his signing that Knuble was a strong candidate for the "A."

I still believe that, as it would tend to show team support for his style of play.

Brooks Laich will have his day. So will Green. I like it when they give it to the guys who have been through the trenches.

Posted by: tominfl1 | July 29, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

I've never had a ton of respect for Mike Vogel. Historically, he's been nothing more than a parrot for the incompetent gmgm. But, recently The Parrot has sunk to an even lower level of "Journalism." Amazingly, he's recently adopted one of George's more annoying social no - nos. SUCKING HIS TEETH! Holy Mary! What next, Mike? How far down the A - kissing slime tunnel can you descend? Truly pathetic....

Posted by: Puckguru | July 29, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

@capsfan01: I didn't find that funny. *giggle* Semin as the spokesperson? =P The guy barely speaks unless it's a hot chick he's trying to get the attention of or a fellow Russian or a fellow Cap, I suppose. *snicker* Otherwise, eep!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | July 29, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

joek443:
basketball is nothing like hockey when it comes to having your best players on the ice. in bball there are many more timeouts, the ball can be 'walked' up the court, you can have one player dribble off 15 seconds or so on the clock, etc. in hockey you can last on the ice a full speed for about a minute, without the proper 'rest period' you can not just keep your best players on the ice will your opponent is putting 'fresh legs' out there. keeping your best players on the ice just because they are the best is not going to make things better. i'm pretty sure coaches would have figured this out by now. leave a tired 'best' player on the ice and you're asking for bad things to happen to your team.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | July 29, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Yep, I've looked everywhere and I can't find any Bruce Laich's in hockey...though there's one in Hoboken, New Jersey who owns a dog grooming service and there's the 10 year old who has a myspace account and talked about his newspaper route in Fielding, Nebraska. =P J/K.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | July 29, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

You totally misunderstood what I said. I never said they should be on the ice even when they're tired.

My point is your best players have to be on the ice when the game is on the line, such as an important penalty kill in the third period of a playoff game. If they can only contribue on offense and can't be of any use in crucial moments like that, are they really your BEST players??

Posted by: joek443 | July 29, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Da LeftCoast; I guess we've all got jokes today... October can't come soon enough.

Posted by: capsfan01 | July 29, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

joek443:
i guess my point was they are on the bench because they have to 'get some rest' before they can go out and be effective for their next shift. i'm sure bb would/does do this when it makes sense. bb pretty much does this by going with only three forward lines in the 3rd period of close games. but it can only be done within reason.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | July 29, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

I want to see OV out there in situations like that. I'm not saying he should be a regular penalty killer during the regular season but I want him to be capable of being out there during an important kill in the playoffs.

you know the saying, the best defense is offense - his presence alone would keep the other team honest and keep an eye on him for shorthanded breakaway chances. The best penalty killing forward I've ever seen to this date was Mario Lemieux.

Posted by: joek443 | July 29, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

joek443:
i don't really like bb's PK system - i think it is too passive. it allows the other team to control the puck too long - this actually causes some of the tired legs that end up on the ice for the full 2 minutes sometimes. unless woods changes the PK to be more aggressive - then i wouldn't want ovi on the ice at all - PKers usually come off the ice more tired than they would on a even strength shift. i'm not sure if the caps have the personel to be aggressive on the PK - but it would be nice to see some shorties like the flyers get.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | July 29, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

I completely agree, they are way too passive on the PK.

where are Ridley and Miller when you need them?? LOL

Posted by: joek443 | July 29, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

i hear Knuble is good on the PK

Posted by: doughless | July 29, 2009 2:52 PM |
Not really. Yeah sure, he can kill penalties, but usually it's him in the box anyway.
The one reserve I have about Knuble is that he has an uncanny ability to get called for a penalty in the worst situation ever. But sometimes you have to battle for that coveted ice-space right outside the other team's crease.
______________________________
Re: PK

They ran a passive box last year, and it was freaking horrible. I don't even have to point out the Rags series. Letting Antropov and others just walk into the slot with the puck. It was bad. PK needs to change, and I think Woods will probably make some changes to it.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 29, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

You never see great basketball players like Bird, Jordan, Magic, Kobe, or Lebron take a seat during the last possesion of a playoff game when they need a defensive stop.

Posted by: joek443 | July 29, 2009 6:57 PM |

That's because comparing a PK in hockey and comparing the last possession in b-ball are completely different. Again, apples and oranges.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 29, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Maybe there's no news on Nyls going to Russia but there's been plenty of news from Russia on our Caps (and former Caps). The Alex Ovetjkin blog has been showing all kinds of pictures of Ovi from various functions: from the party to honor him; a Miss Russia ceremony, and then an interview with Semin the day after the party for Ovechkin.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 29, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Those two recent ones up there are real interesting. They ask Ovie if the series proved if Crosby or if he was the better player, and he said Malkin.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 29, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

this is summer and OV should enjoy life like everyone else. God knows he doesn't need any help in that area.. LOL

I remember a tv interview of Ted in which he says he asked OV on their flight back from the NHL awards, "do you wanna be like Michael Jordan or Charles Barkley?" two alltime greats in basketball but Sir Charles never won a title and has always been known to enjoy life to the fullest.

MJ on the other hand has been known to push everyone around him, getting into numerous fights with his teammates during practice.

Posted by: joek443 | July 29, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

@Joek -"The best penalty killing forward I've ever seen to this date was Mario Lemieux."
-------------------------------------------
That's a joke right? I'm really giving you the BOTD on this one.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | July 30, 2009 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Somebody was mentioning earlier about our PK being better. I KNOW our PK will be better. It's not just a hunch. It WILL be better b/c both BMo & Knuble kill penalties and kill them better than what we've got to this point. Secondly we fired our Defense and PK coach and promoted Woods and that is a huge improvement as well. That's why I'm so in favor of GMGM signings so far they address more needs than just the offensive end. They are both great 2 way players and they both kill penalties so I love the moves.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | July 30, 2009 12:46 AM | Report abuse

pokerfaceI208:
BOTD? Ah, benefit of the doubt ... so many acronyms, so little time. OK, so save me from myself (I'm BTT - bored to tears ;-)). Who do you think is the best PKing fwd?

Posted by: Boo- | July 30, 2009 12:49 AM | Report abuse

The "C", my opinion is that it's OV's time. No disrespect to Clark as he is a great leader and deserved it for the time he's had it. There is no doubt who is the true leader on this team both vocally and by example. Certainly can give an "A" to Clark and give the other to whomever. I would think Laich is a great pick for the other "A" but there are a handful of guys that deserve it. The big one to me is turning the "C" over to OV.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | July 30, 2009 12:50 AM | Report abuse

Ovie won't get the C till Clark leaves the team. I don't think an NHL team captain has ever been stripped of that title, and if it ever has happened, it's most likely been for bad behavior behind the scenes.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | July 30, 2009 2:37 AM | Report abuse

Nylander and Jose coming off the books is going to give us so much flexibility when it happens, though.

Nylander's got this year and the next.

Posted by: wis193 | July 30, 2009 4:27 AM | Report abuse

Glad to see Pete Peeters has landed on his feet with the Ducks - I have always liked him.

Posted by: Boo
yeah me too boo.i became a goalie in ice hockey because he was my favorite player.my first jersey was a peeters jersey.thats cool he'still around and doin good.GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: gratefuldid | July 30, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Malkin and Backstrom are so similar to me in regards to cornerstones on a cup win in the salary cap era.

It can be very hard to win the cup without an elite player at a bargain. For a team to win the cup in the future, you better have some studs playing for cheap...

If Nylander and or Theodore can get moved off the booked before playoff time, we will be a lean mean machine going into it...That all changes next year though, as Backstrom's contract changes the dynamics.

Posted by: SA-Town | July 30, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Hatfield223:
Actually, guys have been stripped of the C before without major cause ... even on the Caps (i.e. I believe it even happened to Hatcher and Langway, among others). Having said that, I agree with you that it should stay with Clark until he leaves, especially since Ovi was on the team when CC got it but said at that point the he was not ready for it (so surely he can wait for it to become available again). Ovi has a loooong time to sport the C and as soon as Clark leaves he will certainly get it. I disagree with anyone who says that guys need the C to lead - leaders will step up and lead regardless of what's on their sweaters. I think it is disrespectful to take that honor from someone unless they have done something to warrant it. Besides, at the end of last season Clark was asked about it and was pretty clear that he didn't want to give it up ... why force the issue(especially when he won't be around long, anyway)? Frankly, I think people make far too big of a deal out of it. I can't imagine that it consumes Ovi, so why should it consume us?

Posted by: Boo- | July 30, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

wis193:
There's no way Nyls makes it two years. If nothing happens to him this year, surely he will get moved or bought out next season (his NMC expires after this season).

gratefuldid:
He was my favorite when I first became a Caps fan, too. I was not happy to hear that he was booted from the Oilers - they really shafted him for no good reason. Too bad, too - I think he is from that area so he probably would have gladly retired there. Oh well ... hopefully he will like the change of scenery!

Posted by: Boo- | July 30, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

the best way to improve the pk is to stop taking so many undiscipined penalties...........

Posted by: wendel2 | July 30, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

It WILL be better b/c both BMo & Knuble kill penalties and kill them better than what we've got to this point. Secondly we fired our Defense and PK coach and promoted Woods and that is a huge improvement as well. That's why I'm so in favor of GMGM signings so far they address more needs than just the offensive end. They are both great 2 way players and they both kill penalties so I love the moves.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | July 30, 2009 12:46 AM |

BMo isn't that great, and Knuble takes more dumb penalties than he kills.

Our PK will be better, but I dont think it's because of either of these guys.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 30, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Very soon you'll fly back to the States. By the way, how's your life there?
"I fell in love with Washington. Nice, quiet town. My Dad and sister visit me often. My Mom lives with me. So I have no problems at home..."

Can you do this one day? (Referring to Kozlov and Fedorov playing for KHL)
Honestly I didn't think about it. Every player dreams to play in the NHL. And I had this wish since childhood. And it is certainly hasn't been lost. I have a contract with Washington for another year. And I know how it goes in the KHL, more or less. I phone Zhmakin all the time, talk with other guys. I've heard that the league is getting better. There are people who are interested in its success.

With Sasha you are like twins. Do you help each other?
Of course! Can't live without that. We have played together from the very young age. And it's just so awesome that he was drafted to my team. He is my greatest friend. I would say he is like a brother already. We constantly communicate, always together on the road. We had an awesome team, four Russians! The most Russian team in the NHL! And it really was giving some additional force.

Do you feel more like one of the Capitals leaders?
Yes. Along with Sasha Ovechkin (smiles). You know how people over the ocean like hockey. The fans know all the players in person. In any place you go they can approach you, welcome you. It takes a while to get used to it. Of course it is nice to see people wearing jerseys with my name. But there are more Ovechkin's jerseys (smiles).


Maybe this will disperse all those completely unfouned rumors that Semin is going back to Russia next year. Look guys a quiet guy, he definetely hates his life and wont be re-signing!

Posted by: richmondphil | July 30, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Sasha better be staying or I'm gonna' be p*ssed that I gotta' buy another dang sweater for another player. >=P

69 more days until the Capitals game against the Rangers. =/ Looking forward to flying back to my second home (Verizon Center). =)

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | July 30, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

All you Nyls fans will see what he's made of this year -- he won't be in the majority of games and he probably wont be with the team by the end of the year. They've been trying to make him leave, they don't want him or his salary.

@Joek -"The best penalty killing forward I've ever seen to this date was Mario Lemieux."
-------------------------------------------
That's a joke right? I'm really giving you the BOTD on this one.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | July 30, 2009 12:44 AM | Report abuse

hell todd marchant is better than Mario was.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 30, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Is it October yet?

This is hockey hell!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | July 30, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I am right there with you Lyle..... :( I am dying. I will be happy when camp come around, just to have new stuff to talk about..

Posted by: hbcapsfan | July 30, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Boo-

I should have added, it used to be that the C used to fall to one of the alternates whenever the captain was out. This is what happened with Langway, who was in and out of the lineup in his last NHL season.

I don't know why this isn't the case anymore, but I actually thought it would have been a good idea to give someone else the temporary C while Clark was out for substantial parts of the last 2 seasons.

Bottom line is, these days it seems that you have to really work to lose the captaincy once you've got it. It's an honor to the player when he receives it, but it's an insult to take it away.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | July 30, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

@Hatfield223 & Boo: During last season, I thought I saw Ovi on one occasion with the C when Clark was out?

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | July 30, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

LCCF,

He wore it in the preseason.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | July 30, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

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