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Boudreau: 'Clark Is Our Captain'

GM George McPhee said Chris Clark suffered the wrist injury in training camp and that he met with the Caps captain a few days ago and explained to him that the team would prefer for him to have surgery instead of continuing to play hurt.

"It has everything to with [his lack of production]," McPhee said, referring to Clark's one goal and five assists in 32 games. "It's not the Chris Clark we know. He's having a tough time handling a pass, making a pass and shooting the puck."

"It just got to the point where he wasn't the player we know he is," he added. "He was hurting himself and hurting his team. So we're probably going to go [the surgery] route instead of playing through it without getting any results."

The injury is to Clark's right wrist and McPhee described it as torn tendon sheath. There is a small possibility that Clark will not require surgery, but it sounds like he's going to miss a significant amount of time either way.

If Clark does go on long term injured reserve, that would free up enough cap space to promote Karl Alzner (or someone else) from Hershey. But McPhee wouldn't commit to a move.

"We've talked about some options in there," McPhee said. "It may be Karl, it may be some other defenseman we bring up. [Sean] Collins has been good [in Hershey], [Tyler] Sloan has been good."

Coach Bruce Boudreau, meantime, said he has no plans to make a switch at captain.

"Clark is our captain," he said. "There's no controversy there. When he gets healthy, he'll come back and be our captain."

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 2, 2009; 12:47 PM ET
 
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Comments

I'm sure that was a tough move by the front office telling a guy, especially the captain, to shut it down for the rest of the year. But it was a smart one, though.

Posted by: dcox50 | February 2, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Who's McPhee kidding? There's no way he's going to call up Collins or Sloan before Alzner.

Posted by: VegasCapsFan | February 2, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I noticed Clark had on a wrist brace after the outdoor practice. I had hoped it was for preventive measures.

Posted by: Love_the_Game | February 2, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

get well soon clark !

Posted by: jogabonito | February 2, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

woah. just.... I'm shocked at how blunt he was with the media.

Posted by: FFSEnough | February 2, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

torn tendon sheath?! isn't that the same injury that did in the equally fragile Nick Johnson of the woefully Nats last season?

Posted by: RedBirdie | February 2, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I love having this problem. Oh no, which NHL-quality D-man should we promote?

Posted by: cao091402 | February 2, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Does the "C" go on injured reserve with him, or can we finally present the "C" to Schultz:)

Posted by: gtydings | February 2, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

...talk about taking one for the team.
You know the dude wants to play too.

Posted by: pmoravek | February 2, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Alzner will be up most likely, this also allows them to know what they can do before the deadline if he is done for the season.

Posted by: MaineCapsFan | February 2, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Brought over from previous thread: Still don't get the Nylander bashing. He's a freakin' puck possession forward. The first goal against Detroit was his hard work, which ended with him sending it to the point for the blast. If we let Nylander go I hope it is to a team in the West because all of you Nylander bashers are going to realize just how good he is when he's playing against us. Mark my words (just kidding, you don't have to mark my words).

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 2, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

This is our captain doing what he can to help the team. Go on LTIR.

If this is true (or if it's not) I wish him a speedy recovery.

Posted by: goskinsgo | February 2, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

This obviously isn't good news but it's somewhat of a relief to hear that there is an injury behind his play. He just hasn't been the same Chris Clark that we are used to and need. I'm used to see him go into a corner and come have the advantage but you could tell something wasn't right. He appeared to have hands of stone and at least this explains why. And while the Caps are better right now without an injured Chris Clark in the lineup they are a much, much better team with a healthy Chris Clark playing.

Posted by: ouvan59 | February 2, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

@vegasCapsFan: Not necessarily. I can see why he might do exactly that.

If Clark does go on LTIR for the rest of the year, that opens up about $2.5M in cap space. We're now a month out from the trade deadline, give or take. That gives us some room to play at the trade deadline, maybe get us that veteran Dman people have been wanting for the playoffs. GMGM may want the room to play at the deadline, for that or something else. Certainly it's worth some wiggle room to think about offers that might come our way. Bringing up Sloan or Collins leaves most of that wiggle room intact. Bringing up Alzner does not.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 2, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Alzner will be brought up if the plan is to have a 7th defender as a healthy scratch. I honestly see Alzner getting 25-30 minutes down in Hershey until the trade deadline in which a every day job in the top 6 will open and then he'll be up and playing every game. He's ready now, but the Caps will want to have all their Vets healthy, and playing solid to market them to see what kind of offers they get for those they think are expendable. He's already a top 6 D-man on this team, top 4 really, but can't move the likes of Jurcina or Morrison for anything worthwhile (even high draft picks) if they aren't actually playing.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 2, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Just saw on John Walton's blog that Ben Boudreau was released by the Stingrays.

Posted by: tess2201 | February 2, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

And while the Caps are better right now without an injured Chris Clark in the lineup they are a much, much better team with a healthy Chris Clark playing.

Posted by: ouvan59 | February 2, 2009 1:08 PM

Agreed.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 2, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

@RedBirdie

Torn tendon sheath is also the injury sustained by David Ortiz that turned him from one of the more feared hitters in the game into an automatic out in the playoffs.

Posted by: cainoo7x | February 2, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Here's a question: Why bring up Alzner? I like the kid and he's great, but we have many healthy defensemen now, and one more (Pothier) possibly coming back soon. What I think the Clark situation does is allow GMGM to trade a lower salary, like Schultz or MO, and still bring him up.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | February 2, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Get well Clark!

Posted by: NatyBG | February 2, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

And is there any contest GMGM...Alzner!

Posted by: NatyBG | February 2, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

This explains a LOT about Clark's ineffectiveness with the puck.

Absent this explanation, I couldn't understand Clark's lackluster play. I wondered if he had somehow forgot how to play, or if his hands were switched off, or switched out. Torn tendon sheath explains it.

Get well soon Captain.

Posted by: dml1077 | February 2, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

if i'm chris clark, i offer to give up the C. a team needs a captain. we've been without one for the better part of two seasons.

give it to Feds. that let's ovie keep rocking like a kid for a little bit and then when Feds retires, give the C to ovie.

i always thought clark was captain by default anyhow.

Posted by: jamebow | February 2, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I was just saw Hershey play and I've got to say that Sloan was looking pretty good.

Posted by: Bohemians1905 | February 2, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

@ kittypawz

It wouldn't surprise me if Alzner is not called up until the playoffs begin. McPhee will likely use that cap space to bring in that veteran D-Man we all want, AND THEN bring Alzner up for the playoffs since the cap does not count in the playoffs, further solidfying our defensive corps.

Posted by: dcox50 | February 2, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I saw Hershey play Scranton on Friday and
Sloan was looking good.

Posted by: Bohemians1905 | February 2, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if it's realistic to think that Pothier might be back before the end of the season.

In that event the Caps would need Clark's cap space for Pothier.

Tarik?

Posted by: dml1077 | February 2, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I agree that Alzner is the best d in Hershey right now, but i don't see them changing the d pairs enless the caps hit another losing streak. someone made a good point on a previous thread that if pothier is cleared before the play-offs he'll be able to be activated with out a move needing to be made. If pothier comes back he will provide a real boost to the back end. and remember the salary cap isn't in effect once the play-offs start

Posted by: andy19 | February 2, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who thinks this Clark injury puts Alzner in the line-up is wrong.

The Caps are not just going to start Healthy scratching D-men.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 2, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't be surprised to leave Karl down until early to mid March, then let him get re acclimated to the NHL in time for the playoffs.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | February 2, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

cainoo7x, thanks. Thankfully, this isn't an injury I'm personally familiar with (outright torn tendon, yes.) Best of luck to Clarkie in the surgery and rehab process.

Posted by: RedBirdie | February 2, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I'm confused. Why does everyone seem to think Alzner is coming up? Clark is a 3rd/4th line right wing. We need to replace him with a 3rd/4th line right wing. Unless Alzner has been moonlighting as a right wing without telling anyone - he won't be Clark's replacement.

If we can get a cheap (read cheap as Clarks Salary minus new right winger minus Alzner) replacement for Clark we may very well see Alzner up before the playoffs. However, is that the best move? Probably not.

With Clark's salary coming off the books due to LTIR - we have some cap space to play with at the trade deadline. Does anyone think this team couldn't use a proven difference maker in the playoffs? I'm thinking something similar to the Hossa trade made by Pit at the end of last year.

If GMGM really thinks this could be the Caps year - it's time to start looking at who might be available.

On a side note - if we start shopping Morrison - I wouldn't be supprised if start to get in to the Boumiester game. Just a thought - it's all dependent on us shopping Mo.

Posted by: patrone | February 2, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

@jamebow - Get it straight - "Clark is the Captain."

A team captain doesn't give up the "C" because he's on LTIR.

The leaders on this team know who they are regardless of what letter is on their jersey, particularly Fedorov.

If Clark gives it up, what should happen when he comes back?

If anything, I could see the Caps naming an interim captain during Clark's extended absence, but there is no way Clark "gives up" the position, either voluntarily or by team mandate. That's silly.

Posted by: dml1077 | February 2, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

patrone, I suppose you can argue whether the Caps need to bring anyone up. Steckel and Gordon are rotating already, Fehr may or may not be breaking out. Not sure we want to call up someone just to sit with Tarik. Fans hate Schultz but the coaches like him, and Erskine is surprising effective paired with Green.

Posted by: koalatek | February 2, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I hear they are going to give the "C" to Semin.

Posted by: cj658 | February 2, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

@patrone: We're healthy scratching two guys a night. Do we need to bring up someone new?

Posted by: kittypawz | February 2, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

We are already scratching forwards, so bringing up another forward doesn't seem to smart. But bringing up a defenseman and getting set to trade one makes sense. to me anyway. but what do I know. like the rest of you, I'M NOT AN NHL GM!

Posted by: Leeguru | February 2, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Section117 | February 2, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

why does anyone need to come up? the caps had a surplus of forwards and still has one more than what they need. why bring a d-men and let someone sit while everyone can be playing at some level?
it reminds me of my ex-wife, who could never understand the idea of saving, every dollar she saw was a mandate to spend.

Posted by: superX | February 2, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Clark has taken some undeserved heat and deserves an apology from a lot of Caps fans.

Id like to see him back on Ovechkins line. He put up 30 goals 2 years ago and he is not afraid to mix it up.

Oh and...SLoan, NO. Alzner, Yes.

Id rather see Helmer than Sloan or Collins.Unlike many though, I'll concede I have no NHL GM experience.

Posted by: jp142 | February 2, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I hear they are going to give the "C" to Semin.

Posted by: cj658 | February 2, 2009 1:28 PM

they are, but it's not going to stand for "Captain".

Posted by: jamebow | February 2, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully there will be no call-up, just keep dressing Fehr and accumulate $$$ under the cap for the trade deadline.

Posted by: CBT2 | February 2, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Any reason why we wouldnt be looking to add Tkachuck, Guerin or Eric Cole at the trade deadline as a rental?

Posted by: SA-Town | February 2, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

@ Tess He was only supposed to be there for about 3 games and ended up playing many more. He knew he was gonna be released sooner or later.

Posted by: capschick52 | February 2, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

@ SA-Town,

If we could get Cole that would be awesome.

Posted by: ThePat | February 2, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Section117

That was pretty sick!

Posted by: dcox50 | February 2, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

We're healthy scratching two guys a night. Do we need to bring up someone new?

Posted by: kittypawz | February 2, 2009 1:28 PM

kittypawz has it right.

Barring unforeseeable disastrous play (e.g. a couple games by Juice last month), the Caps will not make a recall from Hershey simply to continue scratching two healthy regulars already on the roster.

The lack of touch with reality on these boards amazes me sometimes. Any GMGM talk of recalling somebody is a motivational tool only.

Posted by: dml1077 | February 2, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

If not Alzner, then I would think they'd bring up a forward (since Clark is a forward).

Really feel for Clark. It must be frustrating to miss all of this time.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | February 2, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Clark is doing what Charlie Conway did in Mighty Ducks 2....Sacrificing himself for the better of the team. Gordon Bombay's motivational tatics were unreal.

Posted by: CKorps | February 2, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully there will be no call-up, just keep dressing Fehr and accumulate $$$ under the cap for the trade deadline.

Posted by: CBT2 | February 2, 2009 1:36 PM


Assuming a trade can be done, but yeah, +1.

Posted by: Section117 | February 2, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm not the cap guy but I don't see how calling up Alzer helps. I love Alzer but we have six heathly defensemen right now that are playing pretty well - no room for a seventh. If Clark goes to LTIR is saves money and makes for only one healthy scratch each night (did Steckel suffer a minor injury vs. Detroit? I thought TEB menntioned it.) I don't see a need to call up anyone right now just to spend money and have another player sit.

Re: Nylander. That pass on Saturday that lead to Green's goal was a thing of beauty.

BIG game tomorrow night. The NJDs have a game in hand but if we can beat them than that will be negated for now since the lead will be at least two points.

Posted by: saintex | February 2, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

We don't accumulate $$$ under the salary cap just bc the guy goes on LTIR and we don't call anyone up. The Caps have an exemption to bring in a player or players that total make up to Clark's salary. Just bc hes on LTIR and not getting paid, does not mean we accumulate under the salary cap. Sorry guys, at least that is my understanding of it.

Posted by: ThePat | February 2, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and one more thing about tomorrow night: I watched Holik thug it up versus the Pens on Friday night (?). Dude was chopping wood (and he uses a wooden stick) on Fleury as Fleury was down. That guy is Devil .... two ways. The Caps need to do a good job keeping him off the teammates. That's one nasty player.

Posted by: saintex | February 2, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Feel so bad for Clark...I know it had to kill him watching the end of last season from the bench, and now it looks like he's going to be forced to do the same this year.

I'm sure they won't reassign his captain "C"...but I think this means that they can assign an extra alternate "A".

Posted by: PaintDrinkingPete | February 2, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Correction...he is obviously still getting paid, I meant to say not playing.

Posted by: ThePat | February 2, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse


I hear they are going to give the "C" to Semin.

Posted by: cj658 | February 2, 2009 1:28 PM

they are, but it's not going to stand for "Captain".

Posted by: jamebow | February 2, 2009 1:36 PM


Well then what would it stand for? Semin is an all around good guy, who has never gotten into trouble off the ice. Sasha is one of the most talented players in the NHL. Why not give him the C?

Posted by: cj658 | February 2, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

We have 6 NHL D men...with Pothier as an unknown on LTIR.

Alzer wont be coming up unless someone on D gets hurt, or traded. Now the fact that Alzner is there and ready, and Clarks money is off the books, does mean that a trade has some real potential.

Dont forget that Clark is still set to return the next two years, so I dont expect us to get much more then a rental as a fwd.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 2, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe the comment was made to be taken seriously, but the only reason Semin wouldn't get the "C", in my opinion, is because he doesn't speak enough English and he doesn't seem have some of the leadership qualities on and off the ice you want your captain to possess. Other than that, I think he's a great player, I love watching him play (most of the time), and I'm glad he's on the team.

Posted by: PaintDrinkingPete | February 2, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

bobby holik? that guy is an ass, and nothing more than a body on the ice. look how he did in atlanta, haha.

RE: nyls. Yeah, he is a great player. that is why he got the contract he does in the first place. That doesn't change the fact that he is #1 trade bait for us.

RE: semin as captain. Datsyuk has stated numerous times that Semin is a born leader and will actually be the soft-spoken leader of the Caps in a few years. He also said he has the best hands in the NHL.

@SA-Town

Keep Geurin away please. Cole or Tkachuk would be an awesome rental, but there's a few other players who are definetely going to be available come march 4th who I wouldn't mind..

Posted by: richmondphil | February 2, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

In situations like this, I, like GMGM, wonder to myself, "what would the bloggers at CI do?"

Posted by: Leeguru | February 2, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

@SA-Town and others

Do you really think the Caps would trade for another forward right now, barring another injury?

The biggest team weakness is on D and with the PK. I think with Poti back, the Caps are alright on D, and unless somehow they can bring in a Bouwmeester-type without giving too much up from the big club, they'll probably go with what they have.

I could see them moving Mo for picks, though. I think this was destined to be his last season here after he won in arbitration last summer.

Posted by: cainoo7x | February 2, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I guess all of those "Healthy Scratch" nights were really "injury scratch" nights.

Posted by: RongCapsFan | February 2, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

The Caps don't need any rentals, especially at forward. Their line-up is nicely rounded out.

What they need to go far is great goaltending and every last one of them (echem, Alexes) buying into the system and on the same page.

A stout NHL SCP experienced D-man would be a bonus, but only at the right price.

I feel that he pieces on this team are in place...

Posted by: dml1077 | February 2, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

guerin and tkachuk are playing well, but look at their age, do you really want to break the team that has brought the caps to where they are for "maybe" a slight improvement at a position? In my opinion, i think it will be a mistake. I am happy with the team we have, unless a new player is going to improve us now and on the future.

Posted by: superX | February 2, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Who did we bring up last year when Clark was sidelined for a long stretch?

Posted by: wendel2 | February 2, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

JayBo is more like Greenie, meaning he is prone to jump in on the play. I would say JayBo might be a little more defensively responsible as a whole, but I would want to bring in a defensive defense man as opposed to another offensively minded one.

plus, there are a lot of teams going after JayBo and Kaberle...

Posted by: richmondphil | February 2, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

"unless somehow they can bring in a Bouwmeester-type without giving too much up from the big club, they'll probably go with what they have."

I know you're not mentioning him exactly, but figured that it should be said that FLA is 1 point out of the 8 seed with games in hand on CAR and BUF.

Posted by: Section117 | February 2, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

a few of my friends have picked Florida for the upset 8th place Easters. I myself choose Carolina over them, but section117 is right, don't exactly count the panthers out yet.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 2, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the main reason they made Clark captain in the first place, because Ovechkin's English wasn't good enough? His English has improved a lot over the past couple of seasons, and as far as I can tell, he has emerged as one of the team's best leaders, both on and off the ice. I'm sure Clark is a great guy, and it would be a shame for him to have to give up the role because of injury, but I think by the start of next season that "C" should belong to Ovie.

Posted by: capsfan26 | February 2, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

@Section117

Good point. The deadline is still a month away, so I suppose there will be a much clearer picture then of who is in and out, and which players may ultimately be available.

Posted by: cainoo7x | February 2, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

@Leeguru: It gives us an excuse to slack and something to chatter about. Let's face it, all these bytes won't be worth much when a decision is actually made.

Me, I just hope Clark gets better quickly and that we don't stampede into the feel-good solution, but instead sit back and look at what we really -need-.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 2, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

My playoff predictions:

bos
caps
nj
flyers
habs
rags
sabre
carolina

sj
flames
wings
hawks
stars
ducks
wild
canucks

west is going to be awesome to watch. will the canucks get lucky and slip through this year?

Posted by: richmondphil | February 2, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Yay Tarik is back!! :)

Posted by: rachel216 | February 2, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

You guys dont think a solid gritty FWD that will plant in front of the net is needed?

I have heard many times on this board we need a crease cruncher. Who do we have that can really battle with a top D-Man in front of the net to set screens and get garbage goals?

Come playoff time that is crucial.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 2, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

We need more grit and guts up front I would like to a player like Chris Neil up front for the playoffs

Posted by: t-bone67 | February 2, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

So we are now into the 5th month of the season. The first game in three of the five months for the Caps has ended with a score of 7-4. That is kind of weird.

Posted by: ThePat | February 2, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I am not an expert on the Capinomics, but we are scratching two forwards a night. Don't call up anyone unless there is a need. Alzner can be brought up around the trade deadline and carry an extra D or one can be moved. If so, I would say it's probably Mo since he is an 'RFA' at the end of the year (and is 1.975 against the cap).

Things could happen between now and then, but I am sure GMGM is planning for many scenarios. I assume his thoughts are around an elite D or possibly a goalie. I have grown to like Theo's game, but still don't think he is going to be the difference maker needed in a long Cup run. If Minnesota falters this next month, another Backstrom on the team would be nice.

Posted by: 104_CapsFan | February 2, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Clark can be alternate Captain, Ovie is our Captain, can't they change it now? It's clear Ovie is our Captain, everyone knows it.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 2, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

sa-town what forward would you get discard from the current line-up? and by who?

Posted by: superX | February 2, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

You know, a gritty forward to call up would be laing!

Posted by: Leeguru | February 2, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I hear they are going to give the "C" to Semin. Posted by: cj658 | February 2, 2009 1:28 PM

they are, but it's not going to stand for "Captain". Posted by: jamebow | February 2, 2009 1:36 PM

What is this? The second coming of Beevis and Butthead? Semin's made up for some of his faults. Time for you two to catch up with the rest of us who want the team to win, with Semin on it. Get over yourselves.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 2, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

sa-town, i hope you understood my question, my mind and my fingers were not in sync.

Posted by: superX | February 2, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Put the new gritty forward on the third line, scratch whoever isn't performing, and put him on the 1st PP line.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 2, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Amazing to see the chatter on who the team should pick up for a long playoff run. When's the last time as a Caps fan that this was a discussion topic during the first week of February?

btw.. I spoke to someone in the tkt office. Next season's ticket prices to come out next week or two. Expect an increase between $2 and $5/game.

Go Caps!

Posted by: 104_CapsFan | February 2, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

In situations like this, I, like GMGM, wonder to myself, "what would the bloggers at CI do?"

Posted by: Leeguru | February 2, 2009 2:11 PM


*chuckles*

Posted by: pmoravek | February 2, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Well then what would it stand for? Semin is an all around good guy, who has never gotten into trouble off the ice. Sasha is one of the most talented players in the NHL. Why not give him the C?

Posted by: cj658 | February 2, 2009 1:56 PM

My apologies for the earlier comment. Thanks for defending my favorite player. =/ I'll shush now while the adults talk hockey. =X

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 2, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm actually glad that this is true because it would have been even more disappointing if Clark was 100% and still not performing and getting scratched. At least now we know it was a pretty bad injury and hopefully he'll be back to the 07-08 Clark at some point.

Posted by: JSeagull1 | February 2, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Couple comments from this weekend....

The 14-19-16 line was awesome. I really like that line.

Where are all the Erskine haters?

OV and Greenie are beasts.

Although I hate 55, I saw that he was +5 This weekend.....

Anyways, I don't understand why we would bring up someone when we have a totally healthy team.

8-91-25
28-92-21
14-19-16
87-39-10/15

I think that is the best line up we have had.

Defense...


4-52
26-3
23-55

Might as well keep that going until playoff time....

Posted by: numero94 | February 2, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

SA-Town

A gritty fixture in the offensive zone crease is IMHO what we've been lacking for awhile now. I mentioned in the last thread that it may be time to call up a Giroux for instance.

I don't think that Alzner should come up at this time. I know he's capable, but that's not what we need right now. Especially since there is a good D-man wearing #4. Still don't know who that guy is, but it isn't Erskine, is it?

Posted by: Greg S. | February 2, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

One option would be to bring up Quentin Laing and Sloan. Why, you ask? Well, they avoided bringing up Laing all year due to the waivers thing. (They wouldn't have his servcies until he cleared waivers.) Well, that's not an issue now since they aren't short on players. If Laing clears waivers, he becomes your 14th forward for the rest of the year to use as you need. If Laing doesn't clear, well, he's UFA anyway and if you don't bring him up sometime then he's just gone. Second, you can bring up Sloan as 7th D-man. Suppose he sits awhile. What do you lose? He's UFA too so maybe not in long-range plan. Even with these two, you still have $1.5M of Clark LTIR available...trade Mo for a draft pick and bring up Alzner...now you have $1.5M of Clark and another $300K diff between Alzner and Mo...enough maybe to then get a rental come March 4th, when maybe you get that tough D-man and then send Sloan back down.

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

richmondphil
the third line on the last game was laich, nyls, semin. i think laich is playing well around the net and the other two guys, well, someone has to make the play. don't you think?

Posted by: superX | February 2, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm not quite sure if it'll be good for the morale of the team to yank the C off of Clark because he's injured. Maybe give it to one of the alternates for now until Clark comes back and resumes better hockey play than what he's been showing off with this injury. Poor guy. He's been getting a lot of flack for his poor showing on the ice. Never realized we were kicking the poor guy while he was down, only now finding out about his injury. =/ Get better, my Captain.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 2, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

"I don't understand why we would bring up someone when we have a totally healthy team."

numero94,
my sentiments exactly. and not only that, but a winning team to boot.

Posted by: superX | February 2, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Lee you made my day 3 times on this post. Some places you have to pay extra for that...

Posted by: superpaqman | February 2, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Stop hating Alzner numero94...

JK...

Posted by: JSchon | February 2, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I guess a lot of people quickly forgot the last quote of the post.

"Clark is our captain," Boudreau said. "There's no controversy there. When he gets healthy, he'll come back and be our captain."

There are a lot of leaders on this team. No need to slap a "C" on their jersey to make it official.

Posted by: capsrule828 | February 2, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why it is a big deal to have Ovie wear the "C." Back in the day, when Langway was hurt, I remember Scott Stevens wearing C until Langway came back. For 35 years the caps I think always had someone each game with C until Clark got hurt last year. Am I wrong, or is it not common hockey practice to have a temporary captain while Capt is hurt? That said, it really doesn't matter for anything.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 2, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Chris Clark is a dying star. A white dwarf headed for a black hole. That's physics. It's inevitable. The universe is talking to us right now. You just gotta listen.

Posted by: LesGrossman | February 2, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Clark is not our Captain this year obviously!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 2, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

@superx

I dont want to start calling guys out because I think most of lineup is doing a great job..BUT

There is always an upgrade out there, and adding another 20 goal veteran scorer with toughness would be a great thing to throw on the 3rd line. It could mean trading a younger bottom 6 fwd and a prospect.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 2, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

tominfl1, the 'C' thing varies by team. Some teams have alternating captains, some teams always have a C, others do the three A's. If Crosby wasn't given a 'C', I don't think you would see the same outcry for Ovie to get it.

Posted by: koalatek | February 2, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm excited at the fact we have so many viable options. Part of the problem was trying to play Clark when he wasn't healthy and/or productive.

With players like Giroux, Aucoin, and Alzner in the lurches for next year, and tons of talent on our roster.. we are in a great place. However, i'd like to see our current roster continue before bringing people up. Why? The key is to consider next year as well. If we get good production from players that can be backfilled by our AHL stars.. then we get better trade value. I'm not sold that Alzner in the lineup makes us a better cup contender than Schultz, Mo, or Juice.

I do know that next year, we need to clear some cap room.. especially if the salary cap stays the same or shrinks from the economic strains and the Candian to US dollar valuation. Thus, run with what's working, and hope for the maximum value in the offseason for our vast riches of talent.

All in all, it's a great situation to be in. Being too deep in talent isn't that bad of a deal to complain about.

Posted by: fricknoutstandin | February 2, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Mike Green named 3rd star of the week...not too shabby!

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=265563&lid=sublink02&lpos=headlines_nhl

Posted by: ShariLeigh131 | February 2, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

See, that's why injuries are important to remember when slamming players. Clark was out for most of last year, and it not only makes him susceptible to more injuries, but it takes a good while to come back and get into things again. The body has to adjust.

Its obvious that Nylander hasn't put up the points expected of him. Alfredsons first goal yesterday was because Nylander half heartedly poked at the puck carrier (1st assist) with little gusto adn the trailing Alfie had all kinds of time and space. That kind of effort cant be excused, regularly. But the guy is OBVIOUSLY NOT BOUNCING BACK FORM THE SURGERY. I don't care what anyone says about the 3rd line, the attitude. Its the surgery. Hes in his mid thirties and it was his shoulder. Will it get better. DOnt know. Will a change of scenery help? Maybe. Will we get as much for him as a 5 million dollar contract and elite center position should bring back as return? No, we're going to practically give him away if he's dealt.

I'm just saying, shoulder surgery is nothing to wave off. Simon never shot the puck the same way after his shoulder surgeries and was eventually traded. Frustration led to all those suspensions and the like.

Posted by: oo7 | February 2, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I didn't know so many people loved the 3rd letter of the alphabet so much.

Posted by: Section117 | February 2, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

tominfl1:

I believe it is pretty common hockey practice to do that. I can remember that being done in the past. Some teams have even rotated captains based on home/away games or switched captains every other game (Briere and Drury on the Sabres is the last I can recall I think). I think it all depends on the organization, coach, and players. Like you said it is not a big deal. The only function a "C" serves is it allows you to talk to the ref at the scorers table, but an "A" does the same thing.

Posted by: capsrule828 | February 2, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Why do we want to get rid of Mo? I think I missed something.

Posted by: larryn703 | February 2, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Lang suffers season-ending injury in loss to Bruins

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 2, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

>


This has to be the funniest post of the week. Well done!! Born leader lmao!

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 2, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Why do we want to get rid of Mo? I think I missed something.

Posted by: larryn703 | February 2, 2009 3:14 PM

no idea, Mo's one of our better defensemen. But like most of our other defensemen he has room to be more consistent.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 2, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Why do we want to get rid of Mo? I think I missed something.

Posted by: larryn703 | February 2, 2009 3:14 PM


His near-$2m salary might gain some depth (if packaged), or a mid to high pick/prospect, brings Alzner up for good, and leaves money to resign the other 2 RFAs in the process.

For what it's worth.

Posted by: Section117 | February 2, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

What's to be gained by giving Ovi the 'C'? Will he "emerge" as a leader? Think his teammates will *start* to respect his walk and his talk? Maybe opponents will *begin* trying to deflate his game, the C alerting them that we do value him after all?
He's Alex Ovechkin. How--and for whom--is that not NuffSaid?

Posted by: redlineblue | February 2, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Clark may be the Captain, but its been OV's team for a long time now. Its my understanding that before Clark was made captain, they offered it to OV but he turned it down because he didn't speak english well enough. Look at who goes to the refs every time there is an issue these days on the ice. Its ALWAYs OV! If Clark is done for the year, they may as well go ahead and transfer the C to OV. He's up to it.

And lets stop the Nylander trade talk. Feds has maybe one year till retirement if not this being his last year. Its crazy to think we'd give up two experienced centers. We need nylander more than we think.

Posted by: madmax521 | February 2, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Kovalchuk wants to be a rented Capital for the playoff run...I'm pulling that out of my rear..but....

Posted by: SA-Town | February 2, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

JayBo is more like Greenie, meaning he is prone to jump in on the play. I would say JayBo might be a little more defensively responsible as a whole, but I would want to bring in a defensive defense man as opposed to another offensively minded one.

plus, there are a lot of teams going after JayBo and Kaberle...

Posted by: richmondphil | February 2, 2009 2:18 PM


You say some amazing things. First you say that Semin is a born leader so he'll make a good captain someday. That was funny.

Do you even watch JayBo? He is a gazillion times more defensively responsible than Greenie. There's not even a comparison.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 2, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Jackets' G Steve Mason has mononucleosis

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 2, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Add my vote to the two above who think Fehr is going to benefit most from this... in the short term at least

Posted by: austinsteve | February 2, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I too get a kick out of richmondphil. Jaybo is closer to Poti than a Greene and I think we could use another stud on D. We know what's right with the Caps, our shortfalls are on the PK and possibly some consistency around goaltending. We can win with Theo, but if a great goalie is available (which is unlikely) then go for it. Varlamov will be here next year to back Theo up then take over before the end of the season or the following. A 3rd line center who is defensive minded to go up against oppoenents top line and kill some penalties would be a good addition. Unlike most I like Nylander, but he is not a 3rd line center, he has to be moved to the second and there isn't room.

Posted by: tomdchancar | February 2, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why it is a big deal to have Ovie wear the "C." Back in the day, when Langway was hurt, I remember Scott Stevens wearing C until Langway came back. For 35 years the caps I think always had someone each game with C until Clark got hurt last year. Am I wrong, or is it not common hockey practice to have a temporary captain while Capt is hurt? That said, it really doesn't matter for anything.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 2, 2009 3:03 PM

i dont' recall the scott stevens for rod "C" chanage, but these days it's pretty common to not replace the C when he's hurt/scratched. most teams will go w/ three A's (maybe there was a rule change allowing this vs. having to have a C each game). remember when the caps had kono and witt alternate as captain?

but that said, these team doesn't seem to be lacking for leadership on or off the ice, so i think who's the C is really not a big deal for these guys. i also think come playoff time it will be valuable to have a guy like clark, even in a suit. guys been to game 7 of the finals and knows what it's like to go deep in the playoffs. only feds can say the same...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | February 2, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Unrelated to Clark's injury, but I thought this was pretty cool.

I was checking out the most recent entry on Pierre LeBrun's blog where he was discussing Ottawa's lack of a puck-moving d-man.

"Listen, we don't have a Mike Green," Sens GM Bryan Murray told ESPN.com on Monday. "We have to adjust our game plan accordingly in terms of how we play."

Posted by: cainoo7x | February 2, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

@madMax, I follow your reasoning--it's Ovechkin's team--right back to my question: Who cares if Ovechkin wears the C? What iota of difference does it make to anyone but a seamstress?
They'll put it on him when next they enter the Finals. And that will be That.

Posted by: redlineblue | February 2, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Boys and Girls:

Coach Bruce Boudreau, meantime, said he has no plans to make a switch at captain.

"Clark is our captain," he said. "There's no controversy there. When he gets healthy, he'll come back and be our captain."

It doesn't matter if Ovechkin is wearing an "A" or a "C" on his jersey; it will not change his style of play, or what he does on and off the ice. It's a letter! Ovechkin is leading very well with the "A", and I don't see that changing just because he doesn't have a "C" on his sweater.

It's not a big deal! Besides, Ovechkin himself may have refused the "C" again; we don't know. It isn't like him to take it from Clark with Clark down and out for the rest of the season. That's not the Ovi we all love and respect.

Posted by: irockthered | February 2, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm more upset that we cannot trade him now...Clark I mean - who cares who wears the "C."

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 2, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I think since No. 68 came in and flopped, most folks in town are gun-shy about having our top scorer wear the C

Posted by: Sonyask | February 2, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Except Ovi wouldn't have that problem

Posted by: Sonyask | February 2, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

This is a nice way of saying we don't want you on the team anymore. Basically the wrist injury can only explain so much. What about the total lack of any skating speed.

Posted by: atomicfront | February 2, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

@JSchon

(from previous posts) hey, something we agree on: I too am a Fehr fan :D

Posted by: mauree | February 2, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Let's see if the Caps GMGM pulls a "Kolzig" and slowly pushes Clark out the door.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 2, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Kaberle out 4 weeks with hand injury - could hurt his trade value

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 2, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: cj658 | February 2, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

If Im Chris Clark, you have to support this.

The numbers speak for itself. He knows he is not producing, and taking up a big cap hit. He needs to get healthy and play at his potential, otherwise he should take a step back.

That being said he is not going to quit, and McPhee had to make that decision for him today.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 2, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I've never seen a team playing so well with fans so whilling to get rid of players... If anything this is a blessing to know why Clarke hasn't been on his game this season. I'd hate to lose anyone at this point. Sure there's always room to tighten things up but I'd rather see it happen with our team and not a bunch of rentals who haven't been here all year.

Posted by: cappies | February 2, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

The rankings are out for the week on TSN.CA.

This Week 4
Last Week 6
Washington Capitals 32-15-4

After a lacklustre October, Alexander Ovechkin has tallied 34 goals in 41 games and Mike Green is now the rarest of breeds -- a defenceman scoring more than a point-per-game.
Key Injuries: None.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 2, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

@cappies

You think the Penguins cared when Hossa showed up for the playoffs last year? It wasnt a good move looking back, but would of been if they had won the cup.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 2, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

@cj658

Whomever wrote that blog has way too much time on their hands.

Absurd

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 2, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

@atomicfront - I really do think it's all related. If you skate too fast with an aggravating injury, like Clark's wrist, and you lose control (see: Alexander Ovechkin), you run the risk of damaging yourself further, possibly ending your career. I can understand Clark being tentative... A torn tendon sheath would cause him an immense amount of pain any time he tried to use the wrist, and Clark shoots right, so he'd have to use it all the time... :-(

I feel bad for him, personally; hopefully he'll heal up well after his surgery, and be ready to come back next year...

Posted by: irockthered | February 2, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Wishing Clark a successful surgery and a speedy recovery! Think he'll be back in time for the third or fourth round? Or is he completely done til next season?

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | February 2, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

robert lang is done for the year. a skate sliced his achielles tendon, that just sounds gross

Posted by: _stevo | February 2, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

_stevo, Ow! Geez, gotta wish him a speedy recovery as well!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | February 2, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

lylewimbledon:
Kaberle's only out 4 weeks? We could still use him!

Posted by: Boo- | February 2, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Whomever wrote that blog has way too much time on their hands.

Absurd

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 2, 2009 4:48 PM

...and has absolutely no idea how to properly use a comma. The thing is so poorly written it makes you wonder what the author's "native language" is.

Posted by: Baildog | February 2, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Lang was their leader in goals, 2nd in points too. Who do they have in the pipeline to step up?

Posted by: Steve_R | February 2, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Blackhawks SHOULD NOT be in front of us in the power rankings!

Posted by: rachel216 | February 2, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

lylewimbledon, the Caps could not have traded him all year. McPhee knew about this injury way back in training camp. Had he traded him anyway, it'd basically kill any credibility or leverage he'd have in future trades. That kind of move kills a GM's reputation.

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 2, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

I do wish Clark a speedy recovery, but he's probably one of my least favorite players. IMO, the team needs a captain that is playing, give it to Ovi or Feds, they both lead this team. I feel the only reason Ovi hasn't gotten it yet is because of 1) his maturity and being indifferent to being captain in the past and 2) language barrier, which he admitted this year, his English is much better than last year, and he continually feels comfortable with english interviews, even though he hasn't mastered american sarcasm.
And on another note, I sure wouldn't mind seeing Karl again, but I think so long as we have Poti and Green healthy, our D can survive without him.

Posted by: abuddy2004 | February 2, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

just because we want to strengthen our lineup does not necessarily mean we find it weak. like SA-Town said, there is always an upgrade available. we aren't asking for a huge lineup haul, but the fact of the matter is every team makes one trade before the 4th. (and a lot of these are just picks for picks, but its still a trade)

Posted by: richmondphil | February 2, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

I would not be surprised if we stand pat with the line-up and not call anyone up from Hershey. We have a couple extra bodies for right now.

I'd like to see the Panthers and the Canes make the play-offs, maybe we can shake the Southleast name tag. Not sure how everyone else feels, but the Flyers still scare me more than any other team in the east.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | February 2, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

out of all the top East teams, only the Flyers and Devils worry me..

Posted by: richmondphil | February 2, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Devils without Brodeur is -not- supposed to be this daunting. Ugh.

Mauree, JSchon, sign me up: Fehr's got a combination of g--t and hands that you don't see every day. Or even every other day, given his work schedule. Fleischmann Fehr Backstrom is a line to watch.

Posted by: redlineblue | February 2, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Whew, busy Monday huh.

I agree that the "C" isn't that big a deal, more a compliment than anything else, but if it were to be switched I would love to see it on Feds.

No Eric Cole please, not that I don't think he is a great player, but he is my ex's cousin, enough said.

Laing back up here would be awesome, this should be possible now, no?

If picking up another gritty forward, pending the pens continuing downfall, Matt Cooke was a favorite of mine. Probably wouldn't happen though.

LET'S GO ERSKINE!!! Sorry Leeguru, had to let it out.

because I can't figure out this User ID thing (Thanks boo for trying to help), I just don't have time, and am a computer amateur, I will just use this as my screenname. ie no more SUPER.

Steve R, great to see you at the games this weekend and to finally meet your wife. I am having difficulty finding your e-mail, can you send me one at szalach7@gmail.com

Later much

Posted by: SZALACH7 | February 2, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Ovie doesnt want the "C"....give it too Feds till Clark gets back. His resume of Stanley Cups will be looked on heavily by this young team.

Posted by: thd1 | February 2, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

"I've never seen a team playing so well with fans so whilling to get rid of players.." -cappies.

cappies, I am with you on this.

sa-town, I just can't see breaking a team for "maybe" a temporary upgrade. Now if Kovalchuk was available and the Caps could get him, that will be a different story, he is an incredible young player who will fit with what we have and is an upgrade for now and the future of the team. Getting what you call rentals is good for those teams who want to have one good season at the expense of the future. I would love to see Kovalchuk be part of this team, however, i don't think atlanta would let him go.

Posted by: superX | February 2, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

I think the "C" is more important to some fans than the players. why would a fan care so much other than for idolatry? none of the players or coaches are complaining that clark has it while he is not playing.

Posted by: superX | February 2, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

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