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Caps hopefuls eager to impress in final preseason games

From across the dressing room at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, Mathieu Perreault yelled two words to Andrew Gordon: "Four days."

That's how long until the Washington Capitals likely make some of their last roster cuts and whittle the group of 29 closer to the NHL-mandated roster limit of 23 players.

For players like Perreault, Gordon, Matt Hendricks and Jay Beagle, they're just four days -- and two preseason contests -- away from potentially fulfilling lifelong dreams or narrowly missing out on the chance and being reassigned to the American Hockey League.

"You show up at the rink just praying to God you don't have to go back down," Gordon said. "There are a lot of guys in this position this year and it's tough being on that bubble. You never really know and you can never really get comfortable. Even if you make the team, there are no guarantees. You have to work every single day like you're still in training camp."

The Capitals' final exhibition games, against Columbus Friday at 7 p.m. and Nashville Sunday at 12:30 p.m., both at Verizon Center, present a few more formal opportunities for those players desperately hoping to earn a spot to prove themselves as the coaching staff continues to seek out the right chemistry and combination of players moving forward.

If there's anyone who understands the stresses of being a player on the bubble, though, it's Coach Bruce Boudreau.

"I've been in there where you just dread going in [the dressing room], seeing if your jersey's up, seeing if you have to see the coach and when you go by them and they don't say anything, you know: 'I made it. I passed through another day,' Boudreau said. "It's tough. You don't sleep because you want to be at the highest level you can be in every day and you dream about it every minute of the day."

That there are roster spots still up for grabs at this stage of the preseason, however, is a positive sign for the Capitals' future.

"It means we have a lot of depth in our organization," Brooks Laich said. "The last couple of games, though, I think it will really weed itself out and tough decisions are going to be made, but the regular season's getting close. We're starting to get down to our core group. It's getting to be an exciting time for us."

On another note, Tomas Fleischmann participated in the full practice today for the first time since he was a late scratch for Tuesday's contest against the Bruins. Fleischmann said he felt much better but wouldn't elaborate on what kept him out of the game. Mike Green, who was also a late scratch for the same game, said he expects to play against Columbus on Friday night.

-- If you haven't seen Bruce Boudreau's new commercials, head over to the D.C. Sports Bog.

By Katie Carrera  | September 30, 2010; 6:06 PM ET
Categories:  Andrew Gordon, Jay Beagle, Mathieu Perreault, Matt Hendricks  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Boudreau on Cody Eakin: 'He's very close'
Next: Poll: Do you like the new, tougher Capitals?


no room for the hopefuls, sorry.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 30, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Question for those who know the ins and outs of the CBA better then I do. What exactally is the deal with the 50% cap and pay hit on reentry waivers?

I always thought it only was for the one season and then after that the team who got the player paid 100% the next season but I was reading an article by Bob McKenzie talking about Souray and he made it sound like the 50% rule was for the rest of the contract. This is the quote I am focusing on " I didn't think they would want to use up $2.7 million in cap space this year and next for a player not in the orgnization." It is from the article here

So is McKenzie wrong or I have just heard the wrong information before?

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 30, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Neither Bruce nor Ryan should quit his day job....

Posted by: Thisistheyear | September 30, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

I think it will be either Perrault and Hendricks or Perrault and Johannson.

Posted by: Wemiss21 | September 30, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

As we all know, there are those out there who say the regular season is "meaningless"...

Which of course raises the question of how such folks feel about the pre-season--since, after all, you can't divide by zero...

(yes I am the Math Police, answerable only to the Math Attorney General tominsocal1--hahahaha).

That said, here are my thoughts about things so far:

1) Good to see the new kids--and also the added sandpaper (such as it is) performing well.

2) 4-0 is nice, even if it is "meaningless"

3) Just for S&G's, I did some light research and found that St. Louis (the team, not the player) was the NHL's top PK performer last season. They killed 86.8% of their penalties, and only 12.2% separated them from league-worst Toronto at 74.6%. The Caps--though ranked 25th--were only 8 percentage points off the Blue's mark.

The Caps have so far allowed only one--that's right: one--power play goal-against in 20 PK opportunities this pre-season; that works out to a PK percentage of 95%...not bad at all for a team that is said to be "suspect defensively".

Granted, the Caps performance in this category thus far is an extremely small statistical sample, but still not bad by any standard. So, if the Caps can successfully add a serious penalty kill to their host of other weapons this season, then look out!

4) It seems that--while we did not acquire big-name veterans for the 2C/1D or get rid of the player some say is this season's Nylander (#14), these things may not end up being the crises we once thought they were. Of course, it is too early to say for sure.

5) No Souray, please.

6) I hope Jimi, AGordo and MicrOvechkin ( AKA "The Great .85") get to stay with the big club.

7) MaJo has mad skills, to be sure, but INO he needs to be in Hershey a) to get more used to the North American game, and b) to be available for emergency callup on short notice.

In conclusion, we are seeing a possible hint of where the rubber meets the road--or in this case, where the blade meets the ice heh heh heh...

IMO, There is still much work to do. It won't be easy, and there will be stressful moments, no doubt.

That said, I believe that this year's Caps team may turn out be the best yet--even if we don't score as many goals as last season.

I am starting to feel better and better about our Cup chances.

Posted by: Rhino40 | September 30, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Caps and Vancouver are TSN's top 2 in preseason rankings.

Posted by: zmega | September 30, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

SI has the Caps beating the Wings for the Cup.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 30, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Watching Montreal on NHL Network. Brings back some horrible memories. Horrible.

Who goes where?

A. Gordon
B. Gordon

How many of these guys can we carry? Anyone else think we should waive two of these three: Steckel, Chimera, or Boyd. Do you think any of them would be claimed?
No reason to have all 3 of them.

Posted by: underpants2 | September 30, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Chimera has had a really good camp/preseason. I'd be very surprised to see him not on the team.

Posted by: zmega | September 30, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Rhino40: CAUGHT YOU!!! OK, you didn't think anyone watching, and you were hiding in the corner, snorting lines of red Kool-Aid powder! Next thing you'll be mainlining! Help is available, but YOU must take the first step.

icehammer: The re-entry waiver cost is for the life on the deal. To prove it:

You'll not the cap hit for Dallas of $1.938M this year (and next) for half of Sean Avery's contract.

If (when) Edm tries to bring Souray back up, and they won't do this until at least one team guarantees a claim, they will save half the remaining contract ($9M as of today) and half the cap hit ($10.8M as of today).

Since Edm is way under the cap anyway, no sense for them to bury Souray and pay all that money when he's likely to be claimed and saving half is better than saving none.

sgm though is right on this one - the next CBA should put penalties on this. "Burying" in the minors should come with half a cap hit, same as the re-entry claims.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 30, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Underpants, I would think that at least Chimera and probably Boyd considering his age, low cap hit, and over 300 games in the NHL would be claimed. I also wouldn't be surprised if Steckel got picked up as well considering Manny Malhotra just got $2.5 million a year.

My guess is the lineup looks something like this:

Alexander Ovechkin/Nicklas Backstrom/Mike Knuble

Alexander Semin/Tomas Fleischmann/Brooks Laich

Jason Chimera/Mathieu Perreault/Eric Fehr

Matt Bradley/Dave Steckel/D.J. King

Andrew Gordon / Boyd Gordon

The Gordons would switch in and out with King and Steckel depending on who we are playing. I think Andrew stays up over Hendricks because Hendricks will pass through waivers (no one wanted him a week ago) and I am not as sure Andrew would.

Mike Green/ Jeff Schultz
John Carlson/ Karl Alzner
Tom Poti / John Erskine
Tyler Sloan

Erskine and Sloan also switching depending on if we need speed or grit in the game.

Semyon Varlamov/Michal Neuvirth

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 30, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Tom. I can't imagine that there isn't a team in the NHL would would take him for only $2.7M which is what it would cost on re-entry considering he is only a year removed from having 23 goals. It would be one thing if you only got him for the one year at that price then it got jacked back up but to think that no one wants him when Toni Lydman is making $3m and Sergei Gonchar is making $5.5. Now I think Gonchar is a better player but I don't see him being worth twice Souray which is what it would be on the 50% discount.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 30, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

First, sorry about all my typos. I only have two fingers. Not really, but I only type w/2.

U2 asked: "Who goes where?

A. Gordon
B. Gordon

My response: Caps will carry 14 forwards. Ovi, Backie, Knuble, Semin, Laich and Fehr are given. That's six plus you listed 11. Hmmm. That makes 17. I say King and Bradley are given, so 8 givens and best 6 of the other 9.

Unless Beagle is a clear winner, he can go back to Hershey w/o waivers. Makes it an easy decision there. Perreault and MaJo can also be optioned out (sorry for baseball lingo), so one of those two goes unless Flash is traded. That's my take.

BUT, if MP and MJ both outplay Steckel, he can be odd man out.

I really want homes for Jimi and AGordo.

Boyd Gordon only has one more year before UFA. He's not the "future." (Witness recent comments by the illustrious GMGM on Nylander not being "the future," and you kinda know where that leaves BGordo - hanging.)

How has Steckel looked on PK so far? Caps evidently killed many penalties last night - who were the forwards who did this? I would think last night's PK'ers would have a skate up.

Bottom line is guys who can be sent down have to be clear winners to make the squad. Otherwise they get "Eakined" and sent down.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 30, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

@Tom. Steckel hasn't had anything that really jumped out at me as bad on the PK (like Carlson leaving the zone early against Boston). He played 3:08 of PK time yesterday but was out for the one goal which was more of a goalie falling down issue then any bad play. Of the Caps forwards only Hendricks and B.Gordon had more PK ice time with just under 4 minutes each. The first Boston game he had just over a minute of PK time but we weren't short that much.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 30, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

If Souray goes on re-entry waivers I think a team near the cap floor will grab him because while the Souray cap hit will be $2.7M, his salary will only be $2.25M. That could be useful for cost conscious teams looking to hit the cap floor for this year and next year.

The Islanders and Blue Jackets would be at the top of the list in my mind. Keep in mind that the Caps will have near the last choice(or maybe the last choice) to claim Souray as it goes from worst record to best record.

However, the Caps could also wait(if they are the last team deciding wether to claim Souray) because if no team is willing to claim Souray on re-entry waivers the Oilers will likely buy him out. (Oilers only have to pay half Souray's salary on re-entry waivers, but 2/3 of his salary if he is bought out, so re-entry waivers would be the first direction to go in.)

If the Caps are the last team with the option to claim Souray, they would know that no other team was willing to pay Souray a 2-year $2.7M/yr contract and could then wait until he is bought out and try to negotiate a smaller contract.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 1, 2010 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Sheldon Souray has a 5 o'clock shadow 2.3 seconds after he shaves.

Posted by: jakopz | October 1, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse

"Bottom line is guys who can be sent down have to be clear winners to make the squad. Otherwise they get "Eakined" and sent down."


I agree completely. That's why I think it will difficult for Hendricks to make the opening night roster unless the Caps move another body(Steckel, BGordon, etc.).

If AGordon could be optioned down without going through waivers he may not make the team this year, but I think it is this that separates him from the others trying to make the team as they all seem rather equal at this point(this isn't meant as a negative comment about AGordon so no one overreact).

The need for a 2nd or 3rd line center seems to likely make a spot for either MP or MJ. While Hendricks can play center he seems more fitted for a 4th line role, which is why he needs either Steckel or BGordon to be moved.

I really do think it is possible that GMGM makes a minor trade and sends out a forward for a draft pick in return, and I think it will be either Steckel or BGordon.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 1, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

@sgm. That would be nice but I don't see it as a GMGM move. Also what happens if whichever one you keep gets hurt for a day or so then who do you put in since you don't want to call someone up for such a short time? Hendricks has played a little center but was horrible on faceoffs in the NHL (33 wins and 51 losses) so then the question is what to do with the 4th line center spot if there is a short term injury.

Posted by: icehammer97 | October 1, 2010 1:14 AM | Report abuse

"30 team previews in 30 days"
"NHL 2010-11 Season Preview: Wrestling with Washington Capitals"
puck daddy;_ylt=AiZ0y4NZAdUZKsK8rxSLvix7vLYF?urn=nhl-273769

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 1, 2010 1:35 AM | Report abuse

This whole situation with BB and his "seasoning" of younger players is just dung. After the playoffs Flush had do you really think this guy is going to grow half the backbone Eakin has over the season? Flush will cherry pick his way to a career high in goals and then have us tearing our hair out as he wimps out in the playoffs.
BB you benched the guy and now he's your 2C. When you've got a kid with the heart, skating ability, and hands of Eakin you bring him up now. At this point its an 82 game preseason. He can't look any worse than Nicky B. did at first. Backstrom looked like someone just shot his mother on some nights, but he kept playing. Give Eakin the same chance. Hell the whole EB situation arouse because GMGM could not move Flush. Why ? He stinks in the playoffs. Flush is a one dimensional player. Eakin is not.

The management of this team is just plain weird. No wonder there are so many former big time Caps fans out there. These guys just wear you down. Ted thinks the Cups will come in their own due time. Not if Flush is centering Semin in the playoffs they won't.

Nothing has changed. We lose to Syd in the second round. (And, we get out- hustled after being up in the series.)There will be no finals with the Wings that somebody mentioned. Best player in the world on our team, and we can't get half way there.

No wonder GMGM was nominated for GM of the year.(LL in Jersey is the biggest bag of wind in pro sports. Who are these writers who actually believe him when he puffs about GMGM being the best in the business ? I guess he figures that Ovi isn't really a threat to the Devils if GMGM stays at the helm.)

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | October 1, 2010 1:49 AM | Report abuse

@ Political_Stratgst

Hmm.. that might be the case. But clearly my "spare-players" didn't get us anywhere else last april.
And i would say that the almost 7 mil in capspace would be enough to tweek the roster for the playoffs, if we (they) feel somethings lacking.

I meant it as opening night roster, not 1st playoff game roster. By saving a lot of $ now means like 1.5 times that amount come februari. I think?

Posted by: Walle | October 1, 2010 2:05 AM | Report abuse

Here's the Blue Jackets' projected lineup for Friday's game in Washington.

F1: Filatov-Johansen-Kubalik
F2: Sestito-Wilson-Fritsche
F3: Murray-Guite-Mayorov
F4: Clark-MacKenzie-Blunden
D1: Klesla-Guenin
D2: Moore-Commodore
D3: Holden-Clitsome/Savard
G1: Garon
G2: LeNeveu

...The Caps are gonna put up a 10 spot against this JV lineup

Posted by: chrisclarksucks | October 1, 2010 2:15 AM | Report abuse

Katie, what's up with Varlamov? Until you get an answer that's the only question you should be asking. The team's season very much hinges on his health.

Posted by: binnenreim | October 1, 2010 2:20 AM | Report abuse

Lame...came in to work early today, nobody posting, no new posts. I might have to actually do some work. Bleh.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 1, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse


Please explain how the season hinges on Varly's health. Neuvy is perfectly serviceable and in my opinion will end up having the better NHL career. Holtby is also in the system and is quite serviceable as well. This first 82 games is nothing more than a warm up for the big show, if they had to go with Neuvy and Holtby they would still finish in the top 4 seeds for the playoffs. Would we prefer Varly to be healthy the whole season? Sure, but is it necessary for team success? No way.

Posted by: PhilR | October 1, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Going to the game tonight thanks to fanohock and can't wait!! The only thing I'm not looking forward to are the rat terd filled super dogs!

Posted by: PhilR | October 1, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse


Hmm, does this mean you locked the rest of the family in the basement so you could go? I thought the mentioning of attending tonights game initiated WWIII at your household the other day. :)

Glad to hear things worked out.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 1, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Also, the "rat terd filled super dogs" only are sold to those wearing the black & gold and of course the orange & black. If you rock the red, they make sure to grab from the home team rotisserie, not the visitors.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 1, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse


Actually it was the extreme kindness of fanohock that stopped WWIII. He was able to secure a couple of seats for himself and his wife through another season ticket holder and gave all four of his to us. No one can say anything bad about that guy in my eyes again, heck of a nice guy!

Posted by: PhilR | October 1, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Ahh, 4 tickets = everyone goes...the war is over. If only all cease fires were that easy. :)

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 1, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

And I still say that Steckel and BGordon should be waived. Who cares if another team picks them up, the Caps have the depth now not to worry about that. Let's inject some of that youthful heart and grit into this lineup! These boys can't rot in Hershey forever when they are obviously ready for the big show.

Posted by: PhilR | October 1, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Katie etal at CI,

When do you expect a line-up announcement?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 1, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

I agree with PhilR, for once. (This doesn't happen very often.) Neuvy is very serviceable, and in many ways I prefer him to Varly. Holtby, while green and could use some time in chocolate and white as the starter to adjust, will probably also do well. Both of these kids are very hungry and will jump at the chance.

Besides, it's pre-season. Bruce is taking no chances with anyone who might even be sore (and rightfully so). Why push 'em?

Re: the dogs - according to @eatwonky on Twitter, the Wonky Truck will be in Gallery Place before the home opener on October 9th. I suggest you save your appetite.

Posted by: kittypawz | October 1, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse


Come on now, I'm not that bad!! I know we don't see eye to eye all the time but we both just want to see the team win! I just don't agree with all of mgmt's decisions and voice that in sometimes less that polite forms that some (including yourself) do not agree with. But in the end we all want what is best for the team and this is a blog to voice our feelings........Nice that you agree with me for once though!!

Posted by: PhilR | October 1, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

I prefer watching Varly. Since he isnt as technical (pure athleticism) it makes for thrilling saves.

Neuvy is the technical one, which is why I'd feel a lot more comfortable if he would stop letting a softie in per game (on average). I'd like to see him earn a shut out when he has earned it. 1-0 games can cost in the playoffs. Although he does seem to rebound well from a should have been save.

I'd like to see Holtby in Hershey for the next 2 years, with an occasional call up to play with the big boys.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 1, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

I have never heard of the Wonky Truck but must admit, those dogs sure look good. I would be a little nervous about the gravy though, always been a mustard dog man.

Posted by: PhilR | October 1, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

@PhilR: Haha. That's one reason I don't post much here anymore. I do not like the nasty and hostile tone the comments here have taken - a debate gets ridiculous very, very fast when everyone is calling everyone else names and thinks that that is actually normal in a debate. It's almost become like politics.

See, I'd like to keep one of B. Gordon and Steckel, and I think it has to be Gordon, despite that fact that I'm wearing a Steckel jersey right now :) I think we need one guy who can consistently win draws, especially on the PK, and Gordo is the better PK'er of the two IMO.

Don't knock the importance of draws. Remember that draws are key to the puck-possession game the Caps play - you can't score if you don't have the puck. As such, faceoffs mean a lot to the Caps, and someone who can win them at a disgusting rate is therefore useful. Faceoffs were how we drove Pittsburgh nuts in the first two games against them in the semifinals in '09. They apparently sat down with tape of David Steckel before Game 3 to figure out why he was murdering everyone in the dot. Gordo and Steckel are the only two guys on the team who are consistently better than 50% in the dot. We need at least one of them.

That said, I would like to see Hendricks make the team, but I think the bench guy will be Andrew Gordon, simply because Hendricks is likely to make it through waivers; AG63 is not. Same with MJ90 vs. Pocket Ovi - Pocket Ovi isn't subject to waivers, but MoJo goes back to the SEL if he doesn't make the squad in Washington. I think it's better for his development to stay here in Washington and make a few mistakes. Admittedly, I like MoJo better as Semin's center, just because AS28 needs someone high to cover his butt if and when he loses the puck on the rush and MoJo will do that instinctively. Flash has historically done well on Fehr's opposite wing, no matter who centers them, but dropping Chimmer to the fourth line with his speed would be a sadness. Of course, that kind of speed on a forecheck makes opposing guys crazy - I expect to see a lot of early musical chairs while BB finds something that works for him.

In a perfect world, I'd have Pocket Ovi centering Chimmer and Fehr, but I know that's not possible out of the gate just due to the numbers game. No worries, he'll probably be up after the trade deadline, much like Carlson was last year. I'm ok with that.

Posted by: kittypawz | October 1, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Re: the gravy - fries with cheese curds and gravy is known as poutine in Canada. I had some when I was in Ottawa - a heart attack waiting to happen but very tasty.

Posted by: kittypawz | October 1, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone know if the game will be streaming through the Caps website again tonight? Thanks

Posted by: eorr | October 1, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse


I think your 9:10 am post is dead on. I think that's how the lineup will likely play out also.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 1, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Can't argue with much you have said there kitty, agree with all save the Steck/Gordo thing, I would like to see them both gone. Backs has consistently raised his faceoff percentage and I see no reason that MJ/MP/Beagle/Hendricks can't do the same. I may be wrong but I just see both those guys as expendable.

Hmmmmmmmmm, May have to give the old gravy thing a cholestoral is already through the roof but what could a few more points possibly do to me?? LOL!

Posted by: PhilR | October 1, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Wonky is ok. Im not sold of their gravy, it's rather bland. The grilled cheese using the squeaky cheese though, pretty tasty.

Steckel and B Gordo are both expendable in my book. Granted they do well on faceoffs, but off little much after that. I'd much rather see a slightly worse faceoff guy with much higher energy than a guy that is decent at faceoffs but less energy. Not to mention the money that gets opened up.

We also need Flash to say sbohem and create room for a 2C. Im not sold our kids are ready for the 2C presence we need to progress in the playoffs. Plus, by moving Flash, we can then bounce Fehr to 2RW to pair with Semin. I think Laich would make a great 3C sandwiched between Chimmer and A Gord.

"but MoJo goes back to the SEL if he doesn't make the squad in Washington. "

Pretty sure the option is his and he has been quoted saying he ready to do what it takes to learn the NA game. Meaning, it sounds like he is at least Hershey bound and also would not have to clear waviers. Not to mention available to call up.

So unless there is a clear cut standout in the last couple preseason games, we very well might see Hendricks, A Gord get the initial nods until BB can decide who he wants to be his 2, 3, and 4 Cs. Then again, BB tends to be I wouldnt be stunned to see Flash, MP, Stecks/Gord...bleh.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 1, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

poutine is a staple in Wisc. as well

Maybe Fanohock should give 4 tix to Osama Bin Laden, it may be the begining of a thaw in relations with Al Q.

Posted by: jeets | October 1, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

What are you trying to say there jeets? Are you actually comparing me to a terrorist? Real mature, sorry that you don't agree with my opinions on a BLOG!

Posted by: PhilR | October 1, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

I'm still anxious to see what the Devils well as teams like Calgary, Leafs, etc. There are like 5-6 teams over cap space and needing roster spots filled. These next couple days could be crazy.

It will also be interesting to see if A Train plays tonight. He took a shot off the foot yesterday and left practice. Would be interesting to see if he got injured what people on here would say.

And being that Salvadore is currently out with his thing, Devils may be forced to trade someone they werent planning on if they dont get takers on their D (as they only have like 2-3 options that dont have NMC and help their cap issue).

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 1, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Supposedly Salvador may go on LTIR which would prolong the Devils need to trade somebody.

That gets you to think of whether Salvador is really that hurt of if Lou is using another loophole in the system again to circumvent the cap.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 1, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

That does sound like something Lou would do but do you really think Salvador would go along with that? I mean wouldn't that take his value down for his next contract if he gets the "injury prone" label.

Posted by: PhilR | October 1, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse


You're kidding, right? I was making a joke.
Thought it was funny but humor is subjective.

I have no problems with any opinions on this blog, even when they're mostly wrong! (again, humor)

Posted by: jeets | October 1, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

I feel like the Caps should take a chance on Hendricks. There's a good chance he would be claimed on re-entry waivers so what's the point of having him in Hershey?

As a solution I think they should waive Steckel.

Hendricks seems faster, has better hands, and seems as good as Stecks on PK.

Posted by: congero | October 1, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

MoJo (or Mackan as I call him) has the option of returning to the SEL, a clause that was included when he was presented with his contract last January. But he doesn't have to use that option.

Moreover his SEL team has filled their roster and Mackan has said in recent interviews that all he his focused on is making the team and learning to adjust to the NHL style and ice.

I can easily imagine a scenario where he 1) makes the team or 2) remains here and goes back and forth between Hershey and DC.

His two seasons in the SEL already taught him how to play with men. Now for his development he needs to play here, and I believe Mackan is smart enough to know that. Besides I'm sure that's what Backie is telling him.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | October 1, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse


It's hard to tell in here sometimes, gets a bit over the top. No problems......I am as guilty as anyone of putting some bad jokes in here at times.

Posted by: PhilR | October 1, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

From all I have read, Devils need to clear $4-6 mil. Salvador is only $3.4 of that. They still have to sign x amount of players for their min 21 typical 23 man roster. Plus I have not read a clear answer as to how the rules interpret being over the cap and having LTIR compensation. The talk/questions were, if you are over the cap and a player gets injured, are you still allowed that players salary in overage. For example, lets say the cap is $60 mil and you are at $60 mil and a player worth 1 mil gets injured. Your cap is can now be $61 mil in order to replace the injured player (injured player salary actually still hits the cap). But lets say you are at $63 mil (over the cap), then lose a player to injury worth $1 mil, I havent seen an answer as to how the cap overage for an injured player works in this scenario. Personally I would think $61 would be the cap limit still since they were over to begin with. Being that they still have to replace that player to complete their roster.

Anyone know the exact rules on LTIR when it comes to already be over the cap?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 1, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

No 'lems as they say...

My prediction:

AG and MP here
Majo to SWeden
Beagle, Hendricks to Hershey

not based on wants/desires but just an opinion

Posted by: jeets | October 1, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse


That was my understanding as well. Someone had said that his options were either make the Caps or its back to the SEL. I had said the same thing as you. Although yours sounded more confident. :)

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 1, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

@SeminAllOvertheIce: >

Really? Where'd you hear that? The option is his, but the last I heard he was strongly against going to Hershey. If MoJo is willing to go to Hershey, then it might well be Pocket Ovi that stays. I believe BB said that he was of the two more ready for the NHL, but MoJo has a higher ceiling or something to that effect. I certainly think that one of the centers gets a slot. Who gets the other one is up in the air yet and may come down to asset management.

In the end, it's not how you start, it's how you finish. So, if we start less than ideal, ok. Injuries are going to happen and when they do, we'll see all of these guys again. I don't have a problem with keeping MP at all - the boy is more slippery than a greased fish and can put that puck on a string when he wants to. He deserves a shot. Letting MoJo season in Hershey for a year is not a problem IMO.

One thing I have noticed in the games I've seen (one home game + the Bruins feed of the last game that I was able to find) - the Caps in general are playing with just a tad more nasty than they were last year. Maybe last year's exit had to happen. Guess we'll find out.

Posted by: kittypawz | October 1, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

not what i want to happen but my predictions

MP85 and Hendricks stay here...Agordon gone on waiver wire (sucks but it happens), Majo to hershey for a little bit along with beagle

GMGM i think picks up souray on re-entry waivers and cuts sloan. Not saying I want this to happen, but it is a good possibility in my mind

Posted by: _stevo | October 1, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

My predictions

MP-3rd line C
MJ-starts in Hershey but comes up after about 15-20 games...replaces Flash who we trade
Hendricks:Hershey...b/c I doubt we can get rid of Stecks...too high a contract for a nominal player

Posted by: capscoach | October 1, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse


Here's the way I understand it: When a player is placed on LTIR, they are still on the salary cap for purposes of banking space against the end of the year (meaning you can't bank that space), but the team will not be penalized for exceeding the cap up to the amount of that player's salary, for the number of days that player is on LTIR.

Meaning, for the days that a player is on LTIR, they're allowed to exceed the daily cap up to the amount of that player's daily salary, but the team can't ignore that salary on the yearly total, meaning that that space is not available at the deadline.

Does that help?

Posted by: kittypawz | October 1, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Chimera has had a really good camp/preseason. I'd be very surprised to see him not on the team.

Posted by: zmega

unfortunately he's been around enough to know when to turn it on.
The Caps staff should sit him down, make him watch tape of the Bruins game, and tell him thats how he needs to play in every game. Use his speed to get in deep, finish his checks, esp in those road games where certain players seem to disappear.

and if he does that, he'll be a real asset. The only thing stopping Chimera from being a great 3rd line player is his mental toughness.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 1, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

_stevo: I tend to think that the front office won't make any moves until closer to Christmastime. They'll give the young guys a couple of months to sort out unless the whole thing goes pear-shaped in the fall. In any case, GMGM isn't fool enough to pick up Souray unless it's on re-entry waivers, and maybe not then. Too much cap hit that destroys our flexibility come the deadline.

The UFA class next year is a lot better in terms of quality. I expect GMGM to wait and see what develops.

Posted by: kittypawz | October 1, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

_stevo: I tend to think that the front office won't make any moves until closer to Christmastime. They'll give the young guys a couple of months to sort out unless the whole thing goes pear-shaped in the fall. In any case, GMGM isn't fool enough to pick up Souray unless it's on re-entry waivers, and maybe not then. Too much cap hit that destroys our flexibility come the deadline.

The UFA class next year is a lot better in terms of quality. I expect GMGM to wait and see what develops.

Posted by: kittypawz | October 1, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

This was from ESPN yesterday:

"It's unclear right now how severely Bryce Salvador was injured, the Bergen County Record reports. But, if he's out long-term, this could have a significant bearing on what the Devils do in the next few weeks.

As we know, the Devils need to get under the salary cap and Salvador was a prime candidate to get dealt. However, an long-term injury would prevent that from happening, which means the Devils would have to look elsewhere to get under the cap.

However, this would also mean Salvador's cap hit wouldn't count while he was on the long-term injured reserve, so as Hockey Night In Canada's Elliotte Friedman tweets, "If long-term, Devils cap issues aren't as serious -- for now."

Salvador carries a $2.9 million cap hit so the Devils would still need to dump about $70,000 of cap hits to get under the cap. But we're getting a bit ahead of ourselves, since there's a decent chance Salvador's injury isn't serious."

Posted by: sgm3 | October 1, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse


I was overall very happy with Chimera last season...he created a lot of scoring chances last season, and the only problem I saw was that he needs to work on his shot b/c his speed got him down the ice, but his shots rarely went in.

Posted by: capscoach | October 1, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

I doubt we can get rid of Stecks...too high a contract for a nominal player

Posted by: capscoach

That is why I am suggesting waiving Steckel. Yeah Ted may have to pay him that 1.1 to play in Hershey if no one claims him but I really think some team would pick him up clearing that 1.1 hit which can be replaced by a 500k contract. Steckel is not tradeable due to his contract amount in my opinion, BGordon may get a 6th round pick.


If Souray is placed on re-entry waivers he will get snatched up long before he falls into the Caps lap. Maybe the Caps could swing a trade with Toronto who has first choice of picking him up but I trust Burke about as far as I could throw him.

Posted by: PhilR | October 1, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Today it was reported that Salvador suffered a concussion, but the Devils are not releasing details. Given the public view on concussions now that would be the perfect "injury" type to keep a guy on LTIR as long as Lou wants.

I'm not saying Lou is doing this, but if he was he could then keep Salvador on LTIR until another player of a similar salary gets hurt. Then Salvador magically gets better and gets activated while the newly injured player goes on LTIR. And Lou could just keep on swapping throughout the season.

It's at least a very good way to delay making a trade to try to acquire something of some significance.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 1, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

well good, i have a different set of requirements for a bottom 6 player than simply creating some scoring chances but.

That said, I believe that this year's Caps team may turn out be the best yet--even if we don't score as many goals as last season.

I am starting to feel better and better about our Cup chances.

Posted by: Rhino40 | September 30, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

man imagine if we'd actually done something in the offseason how much rosier your outlook would be ! :)

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 1, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

too bad about Salvador. He got into a scrap in preseason to protect Patrik Elias and got pummeled pretty good. I wonder if he got hurt in the head in that fight that led upto the JVR hit (which I haven't seen yet).

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 1, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

If you like players such as Mike Grier, you'll like a player such as Chimera. I don't like Mike Grier, and I don't like Chimera. Doesn't mean that once in a while you don't get a great game out of either one.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 1, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse


and thats why there is chocolate and vanilla :)

Posted by: capscoach | October 1, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

that sounds racist! lol

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 1, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Yeah the Devils beat reporter hasnt said squat and are keeping it on the hush hush as to what Salvador did. They keep saying an ear issue haha.

That's the way I understand it, but what if they were over the cap before the injury and still over it when the player is place on LTIR but have not yet filled that roster spot with a replacement. You have to carry 21 at least. To me it sounds as if you get cap relief (exceeding the cap up to the injured players cost) to exceed the cap if a player is on LTIR while that player is injured. But makes no mention if you are already over the cap before.

I think this was the reasoning that all reports earlier were saying the Devils needed to clear 4-6 mil, depending on who they have on their opening night roster. With Salvador they are like 3+ over the cap I think and are at 21 or need 1 more roster spot. With him on LTIR, they are still over the cap and now need 1-2 people to fill the roster.

Dont forget, LL is under a microscope too after the Kovy situation. I dont think he wants to attempt cap circumvention via fake injuries. It will be well documented if Salvadore is really injured.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 1, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

an attractive part of acquiring Souray would be enticing Edm to part with a young defensive prospect (i.e. peckham or petry) in order to take on Souray's salary.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 1, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

@kitty and philr

I hope you are both right and we don't get souray. It isn't a terrible move for half his salary, but I think we could do better at the deadline

Posted by: _stevo | October 1, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

As for Souray, in re-entry waivers sure I'll take him. But as someone has mentioned, we wouldnt get a chance at him. 15 or so teams go well before us. Only chance would be to work some sort of deal with one of the bottom clubs. And Toronto is over-cap constrained as well, so not sure how that would factor in with out a lot odd deals.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 1, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse


Technically no one is over the salary cap until October 7, when the cap is applied(yes, there is the 10% overage rule in the offseason but that is seperate than the application of the salary cap).

So if Salvador went on LTIR before October 7, then that wouldn't be an issue.

Posted by: sgm3 | October 1, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

If he goes on LTIR, he is still one of the roster players right? Therefore his salary will be on the books counting towards the cap, but the LTIR cap relief kicks in (money over the cap = to injured players salary). They still have to replace this player and add his salary. So like from my example above:
cap is $60 mil
devils costs with sal = $63.5 mil
sal cap hit = 2.9 = cap relief allowed for replacement
replacement player cap hit = 500k me that means:
devils costs + replacement player = $64 mil
cap + cap relief = $62.9 mil
$64 - 62.9 = $1.1 mil over still

Isnt that how it works?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 1, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

sgm: Edm can't buy out Souray. Buyout period is 45 days I think in summer.

I think kittypawz basically got it with the cap. First off, what SAOTI said, "if you are over to begin with," it can't be that way.. Everyone has to be at 59.4 or whatever it is by opening night.

CBA says with a player on LTIR, you can replace with player or players up to that salary. So let's say Devils get to 59.0 somehow, counting Salvador. Just say. Now he goes on LTIR. They can replace with 2.9M worth of player(s). But, as kittypawz put, if they don't use all 2.9 on a daily basis, it doesn't get you an underrun benefit so you can correspondingly overrun later. So, if a 2.9 player spends half the season on LTIR, replaced with a $500K player, you haven't banked half the difference or $1.2M so you could then run at 60.6 on a daily basis for the other half of the season.

There will be a pop quiz at noon, btw. Get out half a sheet of paper and pen, please. All answers T or F.

BTW, kitty, there's really not THAT MUCH name calling. Every once in a while...but, for the most part, people are pretty civil.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | October 1, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse


I know you said assume they make the cap...but they arent. They have to have 21 on the roster and with 21 including Salvadore and Salmela, they are 3 mil over the cap. This means they need to cut $3mil no matter what does it not?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 1, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

"But makes no mention if you are already over the cap before."

SAOTI: That is the part of your statement that is impossible. By Oct 7, every team must be under. You can never be over. The only confusing part is about players (like Pothier was a few years back) who are on LTIR before Oct 7 and not part of that equation. I would guess though that if Devils get to 59.0 in cap cost with Salvador on LTIR to start the season, they would only be able to add salary up to the 59.3 or 4 (can't remember which) max.

The bottom line: whichever players you dress that day + those scratched + those on IR (short term) can't have more cap usage than the cap maximum divided by 190 days of the season (or whatever exact number of days).

Let's take Caps as example. With full 23 players, they will be $4.1M under (not counting Alzner's bonus). Now let's say they run 4.1 under until March 1st (4/5ths of the season). If a player like Steckel went on LTIR, at 1.1, what could Caps acquire at deadline? Well, the answer, is roughly $17.5M. Why, absent of Steckel, your 4.1 underrun for 80% of the season allows you to run then 16.4 over for the last 20%. On top of that, you get the 1.1 for Steckel now on LTIR = 17.5.

Otherwise, say Steckel goes on LTIR Oct 15th, it's meaningless, because Caps are under cap either way with him or without him. You can simply replace with up to 1.1 and you would still be banking (see kittypawz earlier statement) on a daily basis based on the 4.1.

Now, the only thing the Caps want to do, is accumulate enough "underrun" points so that the Alzner bonus, if paid, doesn't become a hit to next year.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | October 1, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse


I get all that and I understand they cant be over the cap by the 7th. Now, IF Salvador wasnt on LTIR, the Devils cap would be over by $3 mil. Not under like the Capitals. They would have to make moves before the 7th.

So they put him on LTIR right? Well that would drop them to the cap. But now they are short a player and have to sign one. That would put them over the cap. So answer me this, even with Salvador going on LTIR, they still need to clear cap space. AND, to bring him back, they will need to clear even more because they were banking 0 while he was out. Putting him on the LTIR only pushes back any trades/cuts they would have to make until a later date. Correct?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 1, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Putting him on the LTIR only pushes back any trades/cuts they would have to make until a later date. Correct?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce
not trying to be rude and interject but yes, the above pasted statement is correct!

LTIR just allows you to spend up to the amount of the player's salary that is on LTIR.

In your example, the Devils would have to clear salary when Salvador is ready to come off of LTIR or be in violation of the ceiling cap of 59.4

If Salvador cap hit ($2,900,000) is greater than the Devil's cap overage (about $2,968,333), then the Devil's don't have to do squat until he is ready to come off LTIR. Depending on their roster moves, they may not have to do anything until he's ready to come off of LTIR!

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 1, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

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