Network News

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

Boudreau, McPhee discuss Nylander's departure

The big topic at KCI today was, of course, the departure of Michael Nylander and what it means for the Caps.

Coach Bruce Boudreau started off his interview session by saying that he's happy Nylander is playing somewhere.

Then he cut to the chase.

"We played the first 33 games with a 22-man roster instead of a 23-man roster," Boudreau said. "This gives us more room to do stuff and it obviously frees up cap space."

Millions of dollars in cap space, to be more specific. But Boudreau quickly added that there are no plans to make an immediate addition.

"If it ain't broke don't fix it," he said. "At this stage, today, we're still No. 1 in the league. So it's not, 'Okay, I've got some money for Christmas, I'm going to go out and buy everything. That's not the case. We're very happy with the team we have."

McPhee was more cryptic when discussing The Nylander Situation.

"I don't know if it changes anything," he said. "There are lots of ways to work with the cap. If you really want to do some things, you can. There's more flexibility in the cap than we were led to believe. ...We're not going to do anything right now anyway. We like our team, we like the way they've been playing."

That said, the moment they were relatively certain they were going to gain a roster spot and cap flexibility they called up Karl Alzner, who practiced this morning and will likely be in the lineup this week, including Friday against his hometown Canucks.

McPhee also did not divulge many details about what led to the standoff between the team and its second highest paid player. He did, however, hint that the veteran center was told during exit interviews last spring that he would not have a spot on the Caps this season and that he needed to make alternative plans.

"He was never told to leave," McPhee said when asked why Nylander has not practiced with the team for two months. "We just made it clear last spring that the year didn't go the way he wanted or we wanted and maybe it was time to look at something else. With the way our team had developed, maybe it wasn't a good fit. That happens in that business."

Asked if Nylander was told that he needed to find somewhere else to play, McPhee added: "Yeah, if we couldn't make a trade. It was something we should consider. It has been considered."

As for why it took so long to find somewhere for Nylander to play, McPhee said various complications prevented other deals from being completed. He also said he considered Hershey as a possible destination, but decided against it because it would have taken away from ice time for prospects.

"There were a lot of different teams and federations we talked to, but there seemed to be issues at different times, whether it be tax issues for Mike and that sort of thing, that complicated things," McPhee said. "So in the end, we thought this would be the best situation for now."

The bottom line, according to McPhee, was the fact that Nylander's style of play did not mesh with Boudreau's.

"It was just playing style," McPhee said. "It just didn't work out. For lots of reasons, players excel in one place and don't in another. It just wasn't working for him or us last year."

Pressed on whether a clash of personalities -- or something else -- had anything to do with Nylander's departure, McPhee said: "There were no issues like that. None whatsoever."

I'll have a little more in tomorrow's paper. (I should also add that I have reached out to Nylander on a number of occasions and he's never called back.)

Some other notes and quotes from practice:

*The player The Nylander Situation affected most - Alzner - said he'll be able to sleep a little better at night knowing that his destiny's in his hands and won't be determined by a calculator.

"I'm happy something did work out because now I can just focus on doing my best and hopefully my best will be enough," Alzner said. "It will be my fault [if I get sent down]. That's the way I like it, to have everything in my hands."

*Mathieu Perreault, who had one point in his previous 10 games, was sent down today because he was struggling offensively and wasn't showing enough energy, Boudreau said.

"We just thought he was slipping," Boudreau said. "[He] wasn't bringing the energy he could bring."

*Boudreau also said that Semyon Varlamov, who is nursing a groin muscle strain, will travel with the team. But it doesn't sound like he's going to play - unless he improves quicker than expected.

*Alex Ovechkin left practice with an undisclosed "sore body part" after about 15 minutes. When asked if he expects the two-time MVP to play tomorrow in Denver, Boudreau said, "He better."

*Boyd Gordon (back injury) also returned to practice today. He said the problem has been diagnosed as muscular in nature and that he's making improvement. But the checking line center also doesn't know when he's going to return.


By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 14, 2009; 1:10 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Alzner and Wilson up, Perreault down
Next: Theodore to start vs. Colorado

Comments

No need to lie about it. It certainly did not stem from just "playing styles", but oh well. Glad it's over. (at least for this season)

Posted by: richmondphil | December 14, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Is anybody else surprised by the Perrault move? ALong with him being told he lacked energy from Boudreau? I thought he was making plays all the time and his energy was terrific. I guess that's why he's the coach and I'm not.

Posted by: ZMANN84 | December 14, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Ek says the Caps want Filatov. lol...

Start the trail of "Caps want (insert Russian player)" since we have cap space now.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 14, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I don't think it would've been professional for Bruce to say, "Every time 'Circles' started circling last year I wanted to leap out on the ice and throttle him!" :) It's probably closer to the truth, though, right?

Posted by: blackjack65 | December 14, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Mathieu Perreault not showing enough energy? I love BB, but I have to disagree here. Perreault has made a strong showing, he deserves a spot. I know BB likes Gordon but come on, dont make it sound like Perreault screwed up.

Glad to see Alzner finally will get the spot he deserves.

Posted by: theAnswerIs42 | December 14, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I am too surprised about Matty's demotion. I expected he'd at least stay up here until Boyd Gordon was healthy again. But he's only 21. I venture if you'd asked Caps fans when the season opened if Perreault would play this many NHL games this season, most would've said, "Who's he?" :)

Posted by: blackjack65 | December 14, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't think it would've been professional for Bruce to say, "Every time 'Circles' started circling last year I wanted to leap out on the ice and throttle him!" :) It's probably closer to the truth, though, right?

Posted by: blackjack65 | December 14, 2009 2:37 PM |

You're right. They took the diplomatic, politically correct approach.

But it's pretty obvious that internal issues that we'll never know of guided this situation. I think it all started with Hanlon and Nyl's shoulder surgery, to be honest, but that's getting speculative.

Lets just all be happy it's over for this year.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 14, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil: Do you find it ironic that a player known for skating in circles injured his rotator cuff?

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 14, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm totally surprised by Perreault's move. I thought he had more energy than most of the guys, including the veterans. That's really a bummer.

Posted by: cfrazier91 | December 14, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Santa came early!!

How long before Forsberg gets here?...lol

Posted by: jfwil | December 14, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

@tom

+1 for that one. I laughed.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 14, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised by perreault being sent down...he certainly seemed to have energy to me...fast as hell too...maybe defensive play and lack of size hurt him in the end. IMO I'd rather have him than Gordon.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 14, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

They should feel fortunate that Nylander finally went along with this. They told him they didn't want him back. He probably said, "Well, I have a contract and an NMC, so what do you suggest?" And GMGM stared blankly at him. "Well," said, Nyles, "keep sending the checks."

Its great he can go to a team (GR) that could use a decent playmaking center, but that GMGM didn't want to send him to Hershey because of the "prospects", is a little silly, especially if he can be loaned to their own affiliate (not sure on that). We're an SC-caliber team, not a development program. GMGM is a great drafter and developer of talent, but is he the kind of GM who can win (NHL) Championships? I'm not so sure.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | December 14, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I don't think Forsberg can come at all. Didn't the league make a ruling that you can no longer sign guys totally out of the league unless you do so before Dec 1st? I thought the league got tired of guys like Niedermayer skipping the first half of the season and then signing and stating play around the All-Star break. Maybe I am wrong and they just talked about making a rule, but I thought it had passed.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 14, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad this situation is working out, but something doesn't add up. Nylander was told last spring "to make other plans"? Well if I was making 4.75 million, my "plan" would be to show up in Arlington on Day 1 of training camp, like he did. Furthermore, if his style didn't mesh with BB, then did anyone say "Hey Mike, we'd prefer you to skate north/south not east/west, and by the way no circling around, just pretend Ovechkin is Jagr and pass him the puck like you used to do! Thanks!

Posted by: kcbrichmond | December 14, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Beg to differ about Perreault. When he was first called up Boudreau was quoted as saying that when guys get called up from Hershey the first time they play like its the Stanley Cup finals for the first three games and then the level drops off.

When he was called up his name was called ever 30 seconds it seemed. Lately I didn't know he was playing.

Posted by: MKadyman | December 14, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Its great he can go to a team (GR) that could use a decent playmaking center, but that GMGM didn't want to send him to Hershey because of the "prospects", is a little silly, especially if he can be loaned to their own affiliate (not sure on that). We're an SC-caliber team, not a development program. GMGM is a great drafter and developer of talent, but is he the kind of GM who can win (NHL) Championships? I'm not so sure.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | December 14, 2009 3:10 PM |

This doesn't make much sense to me. So if you're a SC-caliber team, you should ignore your farm team?

Posted by: richmondphil | December 14, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Is it possible Nylnaders move to Grand Rapids will give the Wings an opportunity to take long look at him and maybe even make a deal if they like what they see? I know they have some injuries over there.

Posted by: bhouse | December 14, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Looking at the play of Perreault, it is clear that he has everything you need to be a player on the Caps - except size - and that is what will likely keep him from taking a full time roster spot this year. Damm shame too, I think GMGM likes him and so does BB (he kinda plays a bit like BB did and he is about GMGM's size) but size does matter in the NHL. He sometimes gets put out of the play by bigger, stronger players. However, I think he MORE than makes up for his body size by the size of his play. Him and Bourque ought to take hormone shots or something. Being a man of limited size and unlimited stature myself, I love those guys.

Posted by: WhyGo | December 14, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

kcb - you squarely hit the nail on the head. There's more to this than what has been reported. There still will be another chapter to this saga after the season and the loan agreement expires at the end of the season. All contracts come to an end eventually.

Posted by: puckman | December 14, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

85 had energy, but only one point means his passing was not resulting in goals. Also, he was getting knocked off the puck, which Gordon is better at not doing.

Posted by: Bartolo1 | December 14, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I agree about Perreault's size being his only limiting factor. Reading between the lines, what they are probably saying is he needs to bring 120% all the time to compete. It was nerve wracking watching him and Pronger go into the corner after a puck. I was a little afraid for the guy!

Posted by: LouLewis | December 14, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

You realllllllly don't understand why Nylander didn't return YOUR calls Tarik?

Posted by: CapsandRavens | December 14, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Be hilarious if Grand Rapids gets in the playoffs and goes against Hershey.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 14, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Damn!

I just bought a Nylander Jersey for my dad as a Christmas present....

Posted by: SA-Town | December 14, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

If Perreault works on increasing his bulk and balance while maintaining his speed and energy, he will be hard to demote the next time. He also reminds me of a young Dennis Maruk.

Posted by: JohnWWW | December 14, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

By the way, for everybody, I read your posts every day, but I rarely post now because I have a conflict of interest. I see GMGM and/or BB several times a week and I participate in friendly conversations. Sometimes stuff that might shed light on this or that talking point comes out in the course of chit chat. So, since I never really had much more than just happy/jokey stuff to contribute anyway, no harm done by keeping quite.

Posted by: WhyGo | December 14, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I'll sell the TRUE SAGA OF NYLANDER to the highest bidder, however....

Posted by: WhyGo | December 14, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I'll sell the TRUE SAGA OF NYLANDER to the highest bidder, however....

Posted by: WhyGo | December 14, 2009 3:46 PM

I'll start the bidding at a dollar.

I'll gladly pay you on Tuesday.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 14, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I guess a perk of ruling the division is that the team can call up many different players to get NHL experience.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 14, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

WhyGo, why not sell "the true saga" on eBay along with SA-Town's Nylander sweater.

Posted by: greggwiggins | December 14, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I spit my damm Pepsi on the screen!

Posted by: WhyGo | December 14, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Ovechkin's sore body part is his knee.

I was shocked that, according to Lindsay, they decided not to even do a precautionary MRI after that knee-on-knee hit with Gleason.

You can only do so much superficial testing for an ACL injury and a player can go weeks without knowing there is real damage.

Did you see Mark Sanchez fall on his knee a few weeks ago? It looked harmless but the Jets immediately stated they would do an MRI for precautionary reasons. It's pretty much standard with any kind of hit to the knee area in the NFL.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 14, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Buy the book for a dollar and get the sweater FREE!

But wait, there's MORE

Posted by: WhyGo | December 14, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

the long lost "WhyGo" - good to know you're still out there

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 14, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

So any guesses as to what Ovi's sore body part is?

Posted by: dfe1 | December 14, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Perreault is getting sent down I think due his contract. I think they want to keep his games down. Looking at his performance versus Gordon it looks like this in the numbers game...

Perreault
18 games played
2 goals
5 assists
+4

Gordon
7 games played
0 goals
3 assists
-1

I think alot of you guys are way too hung up on size. You can play being smaller as long as you can outskate your bigger opponent.

Posted by: theAnswerIs42 | December 14, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I read every post, every day. Kinda sad in a way. But I don't have either Tigers money or his sex drive, so you all will do for now.

Posted by: WhyGo | December 14, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

why go

yes I to have a friend that supposedly talks to GMGM pretty frequently. Some of the things hes told me in the past that GMGM has said seems like BS at the time but all have come true. Ive never stated those thing because I dont want to break eithers trust and I never wanted to be jr. Eklund.

Its just hard to believe that as close as GM holds his cards to his chest with the press he would open up about senetive internal stuff with an almost stranger.

Oh well bring on the Sarich to Caps rumors now

Posted by: BLUELINER34 | December 14, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

@kcbrichmond -
Your comment is spot on.
To organizationally shun the 2nd highest-paid player for 8 months without attempting to leverage his talent makes no sense. He had to have some utility to the Caps. Nyls and Backstrom are very close; I wonder how this affects NB's future as a Cap.
I'm a Caps fan, but I hope Nyls gets every dollar owed him.
Does anyone have a precedent for another team sending a top talent to the Gulag?

Posted by: beeman | December 14, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Be hilarious if Grand Rapids gets in the playoffs and goes against Hershey.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 14, 2009 3:36 PM
-----------------------
I said something similar to a friend last night when I heard the news, though "hilarious" wasn't the word I used. I think I said "it would s*ck if...". If it happens it wouldn't be till the finals since they're in the West.

Posted by: tess2201 | December 14, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

@bhouse - I think you hit the nail on the head.

Re: Nylander - I wish him all the best on his new team, and hope they do well against everyone but Hershey. :-)

Re: Perreault - When he was first up, he was playing like a million bucks. He will be back. I was a little surprised by the move... Wilson's numbers have been fairly consistent over the last couple of seasons, though they have slipped a bit each year... With his 25th birthday tomorrow, he's a bit older than most of the forwards to make their NHL debut for the Caps this year, but it's a great birthday present for him.

2006-07: 54 GP, 24G, 30A = 54 Points = 1.0 PPG; 26 PIM = .481 PIM/G

2007-08: 80 GP, 30G, 31A = 61 Points = .7625 PPG; 26 PIM = .325 PIM/g

2008-09: 80 GP, 28G, 30A = 58 Points = .725 PPG; 31 PIM = .3875 PIM/g

2009-10: 28 GP, 9G, 10A = 19 Points = .678 PPG; 13 PIM = .464 PIM/g


Posted by: irockthered | December 14, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

@WhyGo - Keeping quite what?

Posted by: irockthered | December 14, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I think OV's hurting body part is his D**K as he has all that sex before and after games.

So now that Nylander is loan to GR can he be called up to the big club and what ramifications would that mean?

Posted by: Iceman10 | December 14, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

@beeman - Nyls and Backstrom are very close...

Source?

Posted by: irockthered | December 14, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone have a precedent for another team sending a top talent to the Gulag?

Posted by: beeman | December 14, 2009 4:05 PM

McCabe in Toronto...some people have compared it to Bobby Carpenter a while back here with the Caps.

It happens, but Nylander's is certainly unique.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 14, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

@Iceman10 - Which "big club" do you mean?

If you mean the Capitals - not gonna happen. Ever. (But if it did, reverse waivers would rear their ugly head, and we'd be stuck with half his salary when the Penguins claimed him...)

If you mean the Red Wings? Unlikely, as he is still Capitals' property.

Posted by: irockthered | December 14, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Stat from Tim Leone after Hershey's game on Friday:

Hershey's Kyle Wilson played his 204th consecutive game. It's the longest current consecutive games streak in the AHL.

So make that 205 consecutive because he played Saturday too. Does call-up break the streak, or does the streak resume when he comes back down?

Posted by: tess2201 | December 14, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

If you mean the Red Wings? Unlikely, as he is still Capitals' property.

Posted by: irockthered | December 14, 2009 4:16 PM |

Correct. Red Wings cannot use Nylander..unless we trade him. This proposal is solely between the Caps and GR.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 14, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I'll say this much: If Ovechkin's knee is still hurting at this point, it's a really bad sign.

To my knowledge, there is no way of knowing with 100% certainty that there is no ligament damage without an MRI and according to Lindsay, for some bizarre reason, they chose not to do an MRI.

I can't find one good reason why they wouldn't do an MRI. Even if they were 98% sure he was okay, why not go the extra mile and find out definitively?

Somehow I think they must've done the MRI and Lindsay is just unaware of it. That is more plausible to me than them not doing it at all.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 14, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

"Damn!
I just bought a Nylander Jersey for my dad as a Christmas present....
Posted by: SA-Town | December 14, 2009"

Now THAT is funny!

Posted by: Wiley_One1 | December 14, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Just when I was beginning to think that "upper body injury" and "lower body injury" were about as vague as possible. Now we have the mysterious "sore body part".

Posted by: Wiley_One1 | December 14, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

GMGM cryptic?? who would have guessed. Ted is putting together a world class hockey team. time for management to learn how to handle these situations in a world class manner. this thing was drawn out too long.

as for Alzner, yawn.

Posted by: doughless | December 14, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Also, re: Kyle Wilson, in case anyone is wondering, his nickname in Hershey is "Willy". Not very original...

Posted by: tess2201 | December 14, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

I realize that the Nylander saga is the topic de jour but honestly who cares about the backstory. There are always TWO sides to every story and both parties share in the responsibility. What DOES matter is that both GMGM/management and Nyls/agent have taken the high road and played this affair out in public. Kudos to both parties for keeping it professional. And now we have flexibility to tweak this team as needed with callups and/or "rental" players as well as re-sign key players. We all know who they are. I really hope that that Alzner is here to stay (and that he keeps on earning that spot) and I look forward to a parade of Hershey prospects getting a taste of the NHL. BTW I personally expect to see Matty again much like we saw Alzner come and go last season. We have breathing room in the cap now and that is really all I care about. I'd be just as happy if we never found out anything more regarding the saga.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 14, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I was not surprised by the Perreault move. He has shown some promise, but he is not ready for the NHL. Gordon is much more important to the team at this time. He will have an immediate impact on face offs and penalty killing.

Posted by: FLDave | December 14, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I meant NOT played out the saga in public--I commend both sides for not making it a messy public affair.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 14, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Take your time getting back Gordo.... no rush.... take all season (and the playoffs) if you need to :)

Posted by: chombie13 | December 14, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

doughless

Drawn out too long? Nylander had a NTC, I am amazed he accepted a role with an AHL team. He could have easily stayed in DC and sat out all season.

As far as Alzner... I don't see him as anything special at this point in his career, however he is steady. On this teams blue line steady is special for the time being.

Posted by: FLDave | December 14, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

@irockthered:

this, that and the other. I could say I heard this and I heard that, but hearing things and repeating them is gossip. I thought what we were doing here is much more important than that. It's not fair to contribute gossip (even if it is firsthand) to our serious blog effort. Plus, I get the feeling they are just using me to spread disinformation.

Posted by: WhyGo | December 14, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I absolutely believe an MRI was done. Maybe not immediately as for example that night but there is no way that Ovi's long-term health and career would be placed at risk. Simply not plausible.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 14, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Anybody have a hit-count for Ovi since the suspension ended? Seems to my unofficial eye he as reigned things in quite a bit. As if there is some lingering issue from the knee contact....

Posted by: LouLewis | December 14, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

tess2201

I believe his streak will continue. He is being called up to the bigs and not missing a game due to health, being scratched or personal issues.

Posted by: FLDave | December 14, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

@WhyGo

NO GOSSIP PLEASE. I abhor gossip. Let's stick to hockey.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 14, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Ovi had 5 hits, I believe, in his first game back, but I don't know after that.

Posted by: dfe1 | December 14, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Any Caps fans in Denver going to the game tomorrow night? I've got two extra seats on the glass that I'd much rather give to a Caps fan than an Avs fan.

Posted by: glb8p | December 14, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Also, re: Kyle Wilson, in case anyone is wondering, his nickname in Hershey is "Willy". Not very original...

Posted by: tess2201 | December 14, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

" FREE WILLY" ....


This whole Nylander thing sorta of feels like getting a car paid off.....like a breath of frest air.

I applaud Nylander for being decent in this whole bizzarre situation. I also think the CAPS management handed it as good as possible under the circustances. Just glad it is all over and its a good divorce.......so far.......

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | December 14, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Capsfannmiss

Agreed. It was handled with a great deal of class. Say what you want to about the new ownership and management, but they have shown a great deal of class.

I am still peeved at the way a legend like Langway was treated in his later years in Washington.

Posted by: FLDave | December 14, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm in agreement with alot of people here on Perrealt, I thought he had great energy and never took a shift off. Granted he's only had 1 point in 10 games but it sure didn't appear to be due to lack of effort. I remember a specific shift in TO when his line spent the entire shift in TO's zone and drew a penalty. What more do you want? I think it may be due to points more than effort. I'd hate for this kid to be told it's due to effort when he's out there bustin his @ss every shift.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | December 14, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Nylander- like the rest of us I'm not a CBA expert although I've probably looked up more than I care to admit. This is temporary folks and it is not gone until the end of next year, he's traded or waived at some point. Right now it's cap relief because he's cleared waivers and is "on loan". It's no different than being sent to the KHL. The problem is (and I don't know the answer to this), if Grand Rapids season ends before ours are we hit with any type of salary owed to him? This could impact any deadline deals GMGM is able to make. I realize there is no cap come playoffs but there is a cap come deadline time and GR season won't end before that. Secondly what does this mean for next year if Nyls isn't traded or waived? I know it's next yr but in case you didn't know we have some big contracts to sign at the end of this yr so that money will be in high demand. So I guess it's good news for this year as for the next several months at least we get some relief to make some moves but I just have a feeling we havne't seen the end of this yet.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | December 14, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Here's another question that I don't know the answer to, does anybody know if Nyls has to clear "re-entry waivers" in order to be traded? This is very significant because if that is the case then we have to eat 1/2 of his contract and I doubt very seriously that'll happen so in that case he won't be traded this year either.

If he doesn't have to clear "re-entry waivers" and can be traded "as is" so to say then he could be dealt at the deadline and his salary would be permanently gone.

Just curiosity is all. Focus on the positive as usual in life, we've got much needed cap relief and it's nice to be dealing with the same cap as every other team instead of $5M less. If we're the best team with $5M less in salary then imagine what we could be if we're dealing with the same cap!

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | December 14, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Anybody here live in Colorado and going to the game tomorrow night? For those of you not here I can tell you that we all always well represented here in Colorado. Can't wsit! I'm trying to find out where the boys are staying or if they'll be skating at Pepsi Center or where the Avs practice. The only other place I've seen as many Caps fan to in Boston when were were in Portland. At least that's the only reason I could think of to have so many fans up north.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | December 14, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

im gonna cut and paste what another poster explained it to me not sure if its correct but made sense. I was asking similar questions."

"For the Wings or any other team to have any option to do so, they would have to claim Nylander off waivers from the Caps, or consummate a trade with the Caps. There is no provision in the CBA for a NHL team to NHL team loan... and in all scenarios, Nylander would appear on the Detroit (or other team) roster when they recalled him from the minors. That NHL team would assume the $4.875M cap hit for this year and next when he was on the NHL roster, and have to pay the rest of his $5.5M salary this year and $3M salary next year regardless of whether he was in the NHL or AHL.

There is no way for him to appear in the NHL without his cap hit coming into play.
"There is no provision for contract renegotiation under the current CBA.

He could not "sign" with a team, because he is still going to be under contract. Yet a trade or waivers is again an option.

The kicker under the cap is that there are very few moves midseason, until the trade deadline, because by October, teams have already spent their money. They are all either capped out; capped out save for $2M-$4M or so they deliberately leave for injury fill-in space and recalls and pickups at the trade deadline; or they have maxed out their internal budget, which is independent of the salary cap but rarely any more flexible, based on an ownership determination.

What does that mean? In the summer, everyone starts over. Not from scratch, since many players are on multi-year contracts, but that is when teams can re-evaluate where they are spending their money, trade superfluous players, even abandon RFAs who have stopped producing and who are no longer worth their qualifiers. No one makes trades in the season under a cap, but there is a ton of movement in the summer.

So it is much more likely in the summer, with one year left, that Nylander could find a taker, as opposed to now. It's still a big cap hit, but it's a bit more feasible.

If there is none, I imagine the Caps bury him again (he has no veto anymore), either in Hershey, or in Grand Rapids or some other AHL destination, if a loan is another option.

Yet if the Caps have no alternative, they send him to AHL Hershey or ECHL South Carolina again in the Fall."

Posted by: BLUELINER34 | December 14, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

HALLE-LUJAH for a resolution to the Nylander saga!

Posted by: gebster | December 14, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

pokerfaceI208

I believe he would have to clear waivers. I can't imagine any team picking his huge contract though. I believe he is destined for the AHL or Europe.

Colorado is one place I would love to live. If I were there I would join you Rocking The Red in hostile territory!

Posted by: FLDave | December 14, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

It could be as simple as Nylander having embarassing photos of GMGM and BB at last years Christmas Party.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | December 14, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

@pokerfaceI208

Caps website says skating 11:30 a.m. at Pepsi Center Tues.

Posted by: Steakum | December 14, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

If a team grabbed him off re-entry, it would not be good for us and our cap. For that reason, I don't see him ever being brought back up.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 14, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Here's another question that I don't know the answer to, does anybody know if Nyls has to clear "re-entry waivers" in order to be traded?

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | December 14, 2009 5:27 PM

players being traded don't need to clear waivers. if this were true - a lot of trades would get screwed up by some team wanting to claim the player being traded.
clearing waivers only occurs when assigning a player to the ahl or calling them up (if they qualify for waivers under the cba)

if the caps had found another nhl team that wanted nyls in a trade - then no waivers.

to loan nyls to a team outside of the nhl - then he must clear waivers

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 14, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

@irockthered

"@beeman - Nyls and Backstrom are very close...
Source?"

Nyls lived several blocks from me in 2007-09. He and NB were both new to the Caps and were country-mates. A 19 year kid, NB either live with, or spent much of his time with the Nylander family. I would regularly run across the two of them at the local grocery store. Nyls was open and engaging; NB was very reserved (shy?). Both were surprised to actually be recognized. I assume their friendship continues.

Posted by: beeman | December 14, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

@beeman, I highly doubt that the Nyls situation will affect how Backstrom thinks in his negotiation.

I would think at this point, he is much closer to OV than anyone else.

As many players say, "it's part of the business."

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | December 14, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Farewell Michael, and best of luck. I mean it. Your skills, experience and leadership will be sorely missed. The drama surrounding your status, however, will not.

That said, I very much believe the front office could have handled this much better than it did. I just cannot see the rationale in the long-term benching of a skilled, healthy player who earns $4.5M/season. Especially when doing so forces the team to make injury callups based on who fits under the salary cap, rather than by who best fills the needs of the moment.

Call it what you will, folks, but--without assigning blame--what happened here ended up degenerating into nothing more than a p!$$1n6 contest, plain and simple.

And everyone loses those.

Hockey is a sport that is very, very big on Karma--note that some of Bettman's biggest debacles as commissioner have come from interfering with the natural Karmic flow of the game (e.g., instigator rule, misconducts for "staged" fights, uneven application of supplementary discipline, etc.).

While I am releived that this sorry, wretched saga will soon be behind us, It just plain reeks of really, really Bad Karma™.

So, I can't help worrying what the Karmic consequences might be for my beloved Caps. I only hope that this whole thing doesn't come back to bite us on the collective @$$ come playoff time.

'nuff said!

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 14, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

So, what do we think of this Nikita Filatov rumor? Do we need another Russian winger? We would need to give up a lot to get someone considered a phenom.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | December 14, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

@glb8p:
Going to the game, but would love to be on the glass. E-mail?

Posted by: johndulin | December 14, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Capt-Kirk - I realize that. You missed my point. Since Nyls has cleared waivers and is now on loan, in order for us to trade him does he have to be placed on "re-entry" waivers? I'm thinking he does like when the Rangers got Avery back. That's how the Rangers and Stars worked the deal essentially and both split his contract. I don't see GMGM willing to split Nyls salary. My main point was IF he does have to clear "re-entry" waivers then he probably won't be traded until after this year.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | December 14, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to see Perrault go. He is a dynamic player who gives himself 100% to the game. Maybe a break will make him more confident and give him a better perspective so he will not be too tense trying to prove himself.

I am more concerned with the game tomorrow and the two after this. I haven't heard anyone comment about it.

Of course my main concern is goaltending and defense. I feel the team dynamics change if they don't have confidence in the goalie, especially once the second goal against us has been scored.

Capsfan75: I am afraid I have lost confidence in Theo. His unpredictability makes him at best a mediocre goalie. This may be fine if we had an established, stellar goalie and he was the back-up. But Varly is still new and we don't know if health problems or something else will be in any way obstacles to him being a stable #1 goalie.

With Neuvy it's different. I do think that his problem is nerves when he plays on the NHL level. I do believe that in time, as he builds confidence and experience, he may be a great goalie. But right now he is not on Varly's level and I am not sure if he can even be a strong back up.

And our defense has been playing a lot better but, apparently, they still have meltdowns and inconsistencies.

Does anyone think that Azner is a game-difference-maker? I know he is good, but how much difference would he have made had he been on the team on Saturday?

I am in pain thinking of these 3 games ahead, especially Colorado. Any comforting thoughts?

Posted by: caraveli | December 14, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

@CTCapsPhan

My own theory on Back/Nylander.

Nicky probably regards Nylander as a mentor figure, an elder statesman. (But I'm sure there's great affection).

For friends, he's, of course, turning to the younger guys closer to his age; i.e. Green and Ovi.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 14, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli

I share your pain. I'll admit I've posted some pretty pessimistic posts on their chances for the next 3 games due to the goal tending situation.

Theo (while certainly not doing good) hasn't been totally horrible. He's been giving up 3 per game. If our offense can get their act together, we have a chance with him.

Neuvy had "noives". I hope he does better in his next game. He has had better games at the NHL level but when he's bad, he's horrid.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 14, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75,

I agree with you on that, but I do not think he would let a contract situation with a mentor get in his way of signing a good contract on a team he is successful with and probably wants to stay on for a while.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | December 14, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I want to hear the Nylander backstory. His involvement in Area 54, his role in fixing the 1960 and 2000 Presidential elections, the Lincoln assassination, his tawdry affair with BB's doberman.

The fact that he is old, injured, slow, unwilling/unable to fit in with a young run-and-gun team, that other NHL teams wouldn't take him at the cost of a bag of pucks - all irrelevant!

Sheesh - talk about your doofus brigade.

Posted by: zmega | December 14, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

pokerface: With Avery, he was assigned by Dallas to Hartford and then they tried to bring him back up to Dallas (re-entry waivers). NY claimed him and they have a 50/50 split this year and two more on the contract.

The Caps requested waivers on Nyles and he went unclaimed. He was assigned per the rules (and with his consent). I am assuming he can still be traded to any NHL franchise within 30 days of the most recent waiver request (last Thursday?). After 30 days, if he's still with GR, and the Caps want to trade him, he'd need waivers again? That's what I think. Once he's traded, whether or not the new team can bring him up is their problem. That's what I think I think.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 14, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Caps fan, but I hope Nyls gets every dollar owed him.
Does anyone have a precedent for another team sending a top talent to the Gulag?

Posted by: beeman | December 14, 2009 4:05 PM

1944. Berlin, Germany. Hitler ordered the execution of Field Marshall Erwin Rommel.

You can debate all day which of Rommel, Patton, van Manstein or Zhukov was the best tactician in the European Theater. Needless to say, however, he was "Top Talent."

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 14, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Love to see them acquire a 3rd line center. Someone who is a free agent next year. Someone with playoffs experience. Tkachuk maybe. His salary is low. Should be able to fit he and Alzner under Nylander number. Plus, he's gone in the summer. I feel like with Varlamov and Alzner, a gritty, experienced, North American might get this team over the hump. They are so close.

Posted by: underpants2 | December 14, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

It could be as simple as Nylander having embarassing photos of GMGM and BB at last years Christmas Party.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | December 14, 2009 5:40 PM

Yes, in the picture, McPhee is smiling.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 14, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli: Does anyone think that Azner is a game-difference-maker? I know he is good, but how much difference would he have made had he been on the team on Saturday?

I don't. The whole team looked pooped, I'm told. And based on my Twitter feed, I don't think GMGM does either. His quote: "If we wanted to keep Karl all last year and this year we could have. There are things we could have done to do it." (source @cmasisak22)

If you put a gun to my head and made me guess, I'd say that the reason why Alzner was called up was to scare the life and maybe the sloppiness out of the existing D, because it sets the stage for a brutal ice-time competition. Consider: The move leaves the Caps with 9 D on the roster (8 if you leave the injured Pothier out for now). That means two or three guys are going to be watching from the pressbox on any given night and ice time is going to be hard to come by. Those who perform will see the ice; those who do not will not. When it's time to trim for the run to the playoffs, those who are consistent non-performers will be headed out as trades or waived players or down to Hershey for the rest of the season. In short, get up and dance, gentlemen, or get kicked out of the club.

I suspect that they'll get a month or two to shake themselves out and see who gets a sweater and who doesn't, and after that, we start thinking about trades.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 14, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

the wisest thing for them to do right now is to do NOTHING and wait till the trade deadline unless an injury to a key player forces them to make a move.

the only move I would think about making is adding a player who could help them with the PK because that is by far the WEAKEST link on this team.

Posted by: joek443 | December 14, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

@joek: the wisest thing for them to do right now is to do NOTHING and wait till the trade deadline unless an injury to a key player forces them to make a move.

I agree, although I do like the Alzner call-up, not because I think he'll save the D so much as scare them into saving themselves (with any luck). I don't see a need or a good reason to go shopping right now - let the D competition shake itself out and look around at the deadline to see if there's anything this team needs or wants and go from there.

Another good reason to take it slow is that right now, I'd bet on several GM's looking at their stables and wondering what they might be able to talk McPhee into taking off their hands. The Caps are expected to contend and therefore are expected to be potential buyers come the deadline. They're thought to be in the market for a veteran shut-down D and potentially an enforcer-type. Can you think of any of those around the league that are overpaid and underperforming? I can too. A GM looking to clear some cap space might be thinking of trying to pull one over on GMGM, and it will behoove GMGM to tread carefully.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 14, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

pokerfaceI208:
i understood the first question - i just didn't do a good job of getting my thoughts through.
i don't believe there is a requirement to have a player go through re-entry waivers when a trade is made for that player, once he has already clear waivers.
if the caps were to send sloan down to hershey and he clears waivers, then they trade him - he should not have to clear 're-entry' waivers

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 14, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

kittypawz:

Your thoughts echo mine but everyone thought so highly of Azner I thought maybe I was missing something. So we are back to needing a solid, gritty, experienced D-man, right? You are probably right. ("I suspect that they'll get a month or two to shake themselves out and see who gets a sweater and who doesn't, and after that, we start thinking about trades.") I guess there will still be time to remedy the situation before nearing playoffs. When is the trade deadline?


CapsFan75:

You are right. Theo is not absolutely horrible, provided he has good defense. But since we have shaky defense, stellar goaltending tends to motivate them and shaky goaltending can unravel them and reinforce some of our horrible habits and lack of killer instincts.

Still, Theo has a few outstanding games a year when, even with everything collapsing around him, he holds down the fort and wins games. He is probably due for another one soon. Maybe it will be the one against Colorado.

At least our boy, Ovie, did well at the last game and came closer to his rightful place at the top of the player rankings.


Posted by: kittypawz

Posted by: caraveli | December 14, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

It is a good question for the CBA readers to determine if Nylander requires re-entry waivers in order that he might be traded.

First point is that he went through waivers last week and went unclaimed. When after this event a player is "assigned" to the team's AHL franchise, and then that team trties to bring that player back up to the NHL team (Leafs and Kronwall last year), the player can be claimed on re-entry waivers with the 50/50 share ratio.

Nylander though wasn't assigned (as in, to Hershey) - he was loaned. This seems to me, as a non-CBA expert, that he's still on the NHL level but just some other non-NHL franchise is borrowing his services. My thought is if the loan ended tomorrow he'd be back on Caps roster sans these R-E waivers. Therefore I assume he can be traded and that team can put him right on their NHL roster w/o any waivers (if this were to ahppen within 30 days of last waiver request).

Maybe someone who gets paid to do this can figure out the real answer.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 14, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

@CTCapsPhan

I doubt if the contract situation with a mentor would really affect whether Backstrom wants to stay with the team or not.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 14, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

I hope Ovi's okay tomorrow and that the "injured body part" won't keep him out. Or we're short of forwards.

Who do we have?

Semin, Backstrom, Laich Flash, BMo, Fehr, Clark, Wilson, Knuble, Stecks, and Bradley. I count 11 unless Sloan plays as forward.

B Gordon and Laing are not ready to come back yet.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 14, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli

Yes, glad Ovi's getting back to the top. I hope he's not too hurt to play tomorrow. (But we wouldn't want him to play if he were not in good condition anyhow.)

Glad to see both my boys back (Ovi and Semin). November was a rough month, in that regard. Now, we need some scoring from one of the other lines, besides the first.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 14, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

the only move I would think about making is adding a player who could help them with the PK because that is by far the WEAKEST link on this team.

Posted by: joek443 | December 14, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

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

If we can get Boyd Gordon back ("back", get it? haha), that should help the PK. Otherwise we could certainly use a tough veteran 3rd line center.

Posted by: butcherbaker | December 14, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

if the caps were to send sloan down to hershey and he clears waivers, then they trade him - he should not have to clear 're-entry' waivers

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 14, 2009 7:24 PM

Capt Kirk: See, I disagree on what you wrote. If Caps sent Sloan down, and he cleared, and then they tried to bring him back, well, "Hold it there, Pilgrim, but you'll need some re-entry waivers to come through the canyon."

Now, I can't accept that a player can be traded to circumvent that (otherwise TOR would have traded us Kronwall and gotten something). The difference to what I can see is that Nylander was not ASSIGNED to Hershey. No, very clearly, in the press release yesterday, and what was written today, is he was LOANED to GR. That means, to me, a cost estimator ("I'm a cost estimator, Jim, not a capologist"), since he didn't go through the assigning, is that he doesn't have to go through REW.

And, if this were not true, they wouldn't have invented "assigned" and "loaned" as two different things.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 14, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

tominfl1,

Your analogy goes a step farther if you consider that he was ordered to commit suicide because he was accused of wanting to overthrow the chemistry of the Reich.

Posted by: trunkenmath | December 14, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why any of you are surprised by Perreaults demotion. He produced 1 point in ten games after playing great when he first got called up. He tailed off because its his first call up, the excitement wore off and the reality of the NHL reared its ugly head. He'll be better the next time.

And I take exception to those of you comparing Boyd Gordon and Perreault. 2 totally different players! Gordon is a defensive guru who is probably the most underrated defensive forward in the league. Gordon isnt a scorer. He plays against the other teams best line, is great on the PK and as a 3rd or 4th line checking forward.

Perrault is the opposite. He's supposed to create offense. His size had nothing to so do with his demotion. He had options. He got a taste of the bigs. He'll be better next time. Lots of guys go thru that.

Posted by: jmurray019 | December 14, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Once again, I'm going to agree with joek443.

Let's say GMGM croaks tonight (on the cheap food he's been forcing his wife to buy) and, by some miracle, tominfl1 is elevated to GM! First, tominfl1 has to ensure that this new job pays more than he gets now...ok, it probably does...Now, what does gmtominfl1 do first with this new-found cap wealth?

1) As joek443 suggests, I want to bolster the PK. And how to do that? With that snarling, STH Mark Tinordi type D man? NO!!! The first player I want is a forward!

"But...but...but...surely you've been drinking tominfl1. Another forward!?"

OK, so I've been drinking. It's my daughter's 29th birthday! (A man always needs a good excuse - "Lookie there, the sun done rose, let's have a drink.") BUT, what about a Kelly Miller type forward? Yes, I feel the biggest weakness on the club is and has been a shutdown forward.

2) Now, kittypawz says let them play and I agree! If we still need that snarling D on March 1st, get one. Alzner or Carlson might just fill the bill though. Meanwhile, there's no one remotely like Kelly Miller at any level of the organization. We need a shutdown forward now and for next year and the year after.

3) 6 yrs/$36M on the table this instant to Semin and 3 yrs/$7.5M on the table to Flash. I follow that up with 11 yrs/$71.5M to Backie and and 2 yrs/$3M to both Fehr and Schulz.

After that, it's been a long day, really long, and I'll be wanting to sleep. There's always tomorrow to fix everything else.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 14, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

trunkenmath: Well, you probably have me on the exact history on this one, and I am going by some reading and, embarrassingly, a 1952 movie staring James Mason as Rommel.

From the movie, and from other movies, and from reading, I am to understand that Rommel was recruited into the group that tried to assassinate Hitler, by the one-armed colonel, 19 July 1944. My understanding is Rommel did little or nothing to assist the effort other than nod, "OK." Once the plot failed, however, and Hitler learned the names of all who were involved, executions were swift and merciless.

Hitler, though, ever the politician, realized that Rommel held considerable respect throughout Germany. So, Rommel was given the choice, both for political reasons and out of some respect for his grand accomplishments: Commit quiet suicide and it will be reported that you succomed of wounds suffered in Normandy (he was, in fact, wounded in his staff car). Your family, meanwhile, will be left unharmed and your reputation would be untarnished.

Rommel of course chose discretion as the bettor part of valor and his memory lives on through great respect in people like me and millions of others throughout the free world. He was a hero, in every sense of the word.

Beeman's original point was (comparing to Nylander) "Show me a case of a bigger asset being thrown to the gulag."

I realize beeman meant hockey, but I just couldn't help myself. I apologize for indulging myself and ask your forgiveness. History 101 is hereby concluded.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 14, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Pressed on whether a clash of personalities -- or something else -- had anything to do with Nylander's departure, McPhee said: "There were no issues like that. None whatsoever."

+++++++++++++++++

In the spirit of the season: Bah Humbug!

Nylander is another hockey "lifer" who has the class to keep his mouth shut rather than wax fancy to the media. Nyls deservedly commanded a multi-million salary in the NHL for many years.

Take that to your used car dealer, BB.

Posted by: washingtonpost31 | December 14, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

I think Alzner will be terrific. He is exactly the type of D we need. He's great at tying up his man without taking penalties. Now that he doesn't have to worry about being sent down because of salary cap, we will see a great Alzner. We definitely need to trade one or two of our D because the chemistry is starting to suffer with guys getting healthy scratched. Right now I would trade Jurcina and Erskine. We could possibly have Carlson in the lineup as well if we make the trade.

Posted by: mpalmer4 | December 14, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

glb8p - I am a Caps fan in Denver and was thinking about going to the game. If you get this email me at BDWitz@hotmail.com

------------------------------------------
Any Caps fans in Denver going to the game tomorrow night? I've got two extra seats on the glass that I'd much rather give to a Caps fan than an Avs fan.

Posted by: glb8p

Posted by: derk45 | December 14, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

One correction: Rommel wasn't wounded I seem to recall. He had an ear infection and had to be brought back to Germany to convelesce. He didn't buy into the notion that the "paper" army that Ike created in Northern England, under the command of Patton, would be landing in Belgium. No, Rommel wanted the vast majority of the German forces concentrated near Normany. Rommel was still sick on June 6th and his plan HAD NOT been implemented. Instead, German forces were held further back, in reserve, under command of Field Marshall von Runsted, CiC Western Front, but not to be moved forward unless Hitler approved. By the time Hitler was contacted and told of the invasion (he was sleeping late that morning ), it was too late and the Allies had established a beachhead.

Rommel's ear infection, perhaps, changed the world.

If there's a lesson to be learned - DON'T CALL IN SICK!

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 14, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Tom, I wonder whether Semin would accept less $ than Backstrom. Certainly, you can point to the number of injury days that Semin misses every year to justify the difference, among other factors. But I wonder if ego might come into play, and Semin might resent the young guy leap-frogging him on the company pay scale. It wouldn't be the first time that someone quit a job over such a perceived slight.

Posted by: zmega | December 14, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75,

Yep, that is my point.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | December 14, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli: I'm not sure. It's usually around the middle of March, and they come back from break March 1. So figure that the D has until the Olympic break to get their heads out of their butts so to speak.

@tominfl1: I'm not in favor of making any moves before then - as for that shutdown forward - what happens if and when Gordo comes back? What does that do to/for the PK? Time enough come the deadline to make any acquisitions - you've seen all you need to to know who you want to take into the playoffs with you, and most teams know by then whether they'll buy or sell at that time. A lot more options open then, b/c a lot of teams aren't sure if they're buying or selling yet.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 14, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

@mpalmer4: Carlson isn't ready yet. I was down in Hershey last weekend. Trust me, he's not ready for the NHL yet. Too many oddball decisions and picked off passes, like we need more of those. Give him more time to season.

As for Alzner, I'm not convinced that he's a savior yet. Good? Absolutely. An upgrade? Most likely. Trading? Yup, eventually, but not yet. Let the guys duke it out so you take the best with you into the playoffs. I wouldn't trade Jurcina - look at the chemistry that he and Alzner have. Erskine, possibly, but I don't think the time to make the final decision is yet. We'll know soon enough. Chemistry isn't a big deal - keep the same pairings as much as possible and if you scratch one part of the pairing, scratch the other too.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 14, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

zmega: Somewhere back in the archives here there are a million posts by me (well, maybe a million and one). One might ask:

"Hey, tominfl1, don't you have anything better to do with your time?"

:(

Well, I guess I must not (meanwhile, my house needs painting), cuz I went through all the players salaries in the WHOLE NHL and I came up with some conclusions:

Backstrom is unique. Of all the players alive, the only three with better numbers after three years (assuming Backie stays on course) are named Ovechkin, Crosby and Malkin.

1A) Anze Kopitar is a great talent, but his three-year numbers are lowert han what Backie will have. And Anze gets $6.8M per annum. Kane and Toews are also great players, but, at $6.3M yearly, their numbers are not up to par with Backie's. Statsny on Colorado at $6.6M is not up to Backie for two years, but doing great this year. And, Kessel signed for $5.4M and he is a huge bargain - but not Backie numbers. All these players you'll note are early 20s coming off three-year, entry-level deal.

Semin though is 26 in March (if recall) and therefore in a different class. In some respects he gets less money (accomplished less at the early age), but in some respects he gets more (one year from UFA). You must compare Semin (as though you were arbitration judge) to those in his class. The best examples at 26 are players who signed as FA at 27 or players who signed long-term to avoid UFA. I came up with Vanek 7.1, Cammalleri 6.0 and Daniel Sedin at 6.1 as the best comparables. I concluded Vanek was an outlier due to circumstances re: Edm offer sheet and Buffalo matching. Vanek is overpaid. I have watched Cammalleri often over the past few weeks and he seems to be a Semin type. Sedin I've hardly ever watched but his numbers match to Semin per year. Backie is 4 yrs younger. Toews and Kane matching salaries are two guys same age. All this bull stuff aside, it simply comes down IMO to a reasonable offer ($6M) and then Sasha wanting to be with Ovi or not. Seeing how they get along so well, I am thinking that it will happen more likely than not.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 14, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Just because some of us were interested to know the real Nylander saga, zmega commented earlier that we were all part of a doofus brigade... However I suggest doofus division has a better ring.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | December 14, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

"He was a hero, in every sense of the word."

I don't know if I would go quite that far. While he may not have been a Nazi, he was still a member of the Wehrmacht. He was indisputably an outstanding commander, he did not mistreat his POW's. and he ignored the SS's directive to kill Jewish POW's. He also supported Hitler's arrest (as opposed to assassinating him). I still don't think I would give him the hero tag - I think the families of the thousand's of british and american casualties in Africa would also disagree with you.

Posted by: hook99 | December 14, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

comment 1 - there is no reason to start the Sloan talk of being sent to hershey or as a trade piece. what I see of this kid is that he needs to play regularly at defenseman to develop his rythym - then we will see the type of hit that he put on Langkow last year in his first call-up game. He had timing and rythym then because he played regularly as a defenseman just prior to call up. I've only seen it on u-tube about 20 times -what a thing of beauty - like a peregrine falcon lining up his prey and boom!

comment 2 - protecting the prospects playing time by not sending Nyls to hershey is fluffed-up bull and a cover up. Affiliate's role by definition is associate & partner - something up in hershey isn't right with Nyls or his agent. Or is GMGM signaling his next affiliate as the Griffs?

Posted by: rockdaredlangely | December 14, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

I think Perrault was playing fine. He hasn't had a point in 10 games? Well I can think of other players (Bradley, Steckel, etc) that have had pointless streaks longer than ten games. Heck, Steckel had a 37 game (or wahever) goal drought streak but wasn't demoted.

I think he was an exciting player, on the verge of scoring several times in many gaems. It is because Kyle has 4 inches and 35 pounds on Perrault is why it really happened. I love Matthew's style and loved watching him play, but he lacks about 25 pounds, what a shame.

Posted by: craigjtmp | December 14, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

I find the talk of trading Erskine et al and so on hilarious. If they are so maligned, then what is expected to be the return for them. What team would need their services? Unfortunately in trades (except for Sergei Fedorov) you have to give to get. Where is Theo Ruth?

Posted by: goalpost | December 14, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

kittypawz: You mentioned my perceived need for a shutdown forward and how that relates to Boyd Gordon's return.

In a word, (two, actually) it doesn't.

To paraphrase that old man who ran as VP against Dan Quayle (Sen Bentson?), "I knew Kelly Miller, sah, and Boyd Gordon ain't no Kelly Miller."

kitty: When I say the team is short a shutdown F for mostly PK (and also last minute up by one goal), the players I think are Miller, Kono, Ulf Dahlen and Bobby Gould. Well, Gordo isn't there yet and I don't know if he ever will be (doubt it). My point was, maybe to echo joek443, is that a Selke candidate was our BIGGEST weakness. We have some fair defensive forwards, but the lack in that group IMO is a more glaring weakness than the need for a crease-clearing D. That, I will agree, can be bought at the deadline.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 14, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

@washingtonpost31, didn't Nyls over the summer to a Swedish reporter say that Bruce told him he wasn't any good anymore and other things like that? So I wouldn't say he kept his mouth shut. In fact, I wonder if that had something to do with them trying to hurry him out the door even more.

Posted by: dfe1 | December 14, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

hook99: To some extend we must, as a nation, extend to the men and women in the military an exemption, if they conduct themselves properly, from the mores and values we in our particular society hold.

This is way off topic, but the subject was Rommel. Field Marshall Erwin Rommel, like many in the Wehrmacht during WWII, was an anachronism from the Prussian era of the Kaiser. As you pointed out, and has history presents the data, Rommel was exemplary as far as his military record. And yet he served under as evil a dictator as modern history knows.

The best comparison to Rommel, in American history, is Confederate Gen'l Robert E. Lee. To withhold hero status from either of these two great men, both of whom served so nobly, due to the particular platforms of their respective governments, both of which were evil (the Nazi being so much worse), when both men served within their profession with great distinction and without prejudice, would be unjust.

I will call Rommel and Lee heroes just like I will call Scotty Bowman a great coach. Just cuz he didn't coach my team doesn't mean he wasn't great.

One day I will climb down off my pedestal and cease my pontificating; today, sir, is not that day.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 14, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1

Great post on the salary offers for the guys. Yes, let's hope that Sasha wants to stay with Ovi rather than start over somewhere new (even if Backstrom leaps over him in salary).

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 14, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

@kittypawz

On our defense.

1) I figure Alzner is an upgrade for us.

2) I'd keep Juice also, since he has great chemistry with Alzner

3) Schultz and Green seem to be a reasonably good pairing.

4) I know that sooner or later we'll have to deal some defensemen since 9 is too many. And that's when counting Brian Pothier who's out with injury.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 14, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

comment 2 - protecting the prospects playing time by not sending Nyls to hershey is fluffed-up bull and a cover up. Affiliate's role by definition is associate & partner - something up in hershey isn't right with Nyls or his agent. Or is GMGM signaling his next affiliate as the Griffs?

Posted by: rockdaredlangely | December 14, 2009 9:36 PM
----------------------------
Seems pretty simple to me. Washington, Hershey and S.Carolina strive to all play the EXACT same system so that there is continuity as players move from one level to another. If Nyls didn't fit into BB's system/style in Washington, he wouldn't have fit in Hershey either. I don't see any big cover-up going on as you are implying.

Posted by: tess2201 | December 14, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

One thing we have to watch is we get burned on two-on-ones alot (especially on the PP) because we play 4 forwards on the PP, we need one more great D guy like Green. I hope Alzner is it. I think he can be.

Posted by: craigjtmp | December 14, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I come to check on how Varly is doing (also because he's on my fantasy team and is IR stashed now) and huge news here about Nylander. Totally didn't expect that to be resolved. So excited!

I'm also in the camp of people who are surprised by the demotion of Perreault. What he lacks in size he makes up in speed, skill and energy. I thought he tried as hard as he could the whole time. To fault him for not getting points is a bit silly because until the last couple of games he played with guys who couldn't put a beach ball in the ocean.

Anyway, back to Nylander. Very exciting and unexpected news. This will allow us to make decisions solely based on performance instead of salaries. Alzner should be able to stay up now. I thought he really settled our D down when he was up for a few games.

Posted by: ranndino | December 14, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

@ranndino

I'm also glad the situation with Nylander is resolved. At least for this year.

I was surprised to see Perreault demoted. I wouldn't be surprised if the food poisoning had sapped his energy to some degree although he appeared to be trying at least. On his line mates: Flash and Fehr have produced this year. They were doing wonderful on a line with B. Morrison. When Knuble came back, I wonder if breaking up the Flash/B Morrison/Fehr combination was the best thing to do. I might have been more inclined to have eased Knuble in on Line 3 (with Perreault) and left FMF together. (Of course, we would have eventually restored MK to one of the top two lines.)

No matter how we arrange the lines, we are going to have two pretty talented wingers on the third line, when everybody's healthy.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 14, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

@johndulin: you can reach me at 3glb8p3@gmail.com. Go Caps!

Posted by: glb8p | December 14, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

@tess2201 - Exactly so. Nylander would not have been able to play anywhere in the Capitals' organization, all the way down to the Stingrays, because we are playing a plug-n-play North-South game, and he is an East-West player.

I wish him all the best of luck with his new team, and hope something good can be worked out for him at the trade deadline to get him back into the NHL with a more suitable team.

Posted by: irockthered | December 14, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

@ CapsFan75

Yeah, that's what I meant when I said that Perreault only played with skilled players the last couple of games. By skilled players I meant Fehr and Flash. Before that he was used a lot with Sloan, Clark, Steckel, Bradley... With all due respect to those guys playing with them makes it very hard to get points. They have hands made of wood. There were a lot of plays when Matty made a great play to set someone up and they screwed it up. I hope to see him back up soon. IMO he plays hockey the way it was meant to be played. It's not all about size, mocking and grinding.

BTW, to get myself even more pumped for the Olympics I'm watching some games from my collection of great games between USSR and Canada. I watched the 1991 WJC game tonight. It's absolutely crazy to watch hockey from back then from today's perspective. The stuff they used to get away with back then (especially the Canadians) was nuts! It was like NFL on skates. Forget the constant hooking, slashing, hitting and picking players off the puck. Even major stuff wasn't called. When the Russians tried tying the game at the end, for example. Zholtok came flying down the wing with way more speed than the Canadian D. The guy just grabbed him by the head, put him in a headlock and threw him to the ice! Then sat on him as they slid into the boards. NO PENALTY!!! I'm very glad the changed the rules because that was just ridiculous. They called nothing back then. I don't even know why they bothered to have rules. Offensive, skilled players just got abused back then.

Posted by: ranndino | December 14, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

So, what do we think of this Nikita Filatov rumor? Do we need another Russian winger? We would need to give up a lot to get someone considered a phenom.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | December 14, 2009 6:15 PM |

Phenom?

More like unproven scoring winger who we have already. No thanks to Nikita.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 14, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

As far as Nylander I wouldn't be surprised if he were told that if he does well he'll end up with Detroit. God knows they need forward help this year and they love Swedes. I think that's probably why he agreed to this, to have a chance to play for the Wings.

Posted by: ranndino | December 14, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

@ richmondphil

Filatov is a great talent. He was extremely highly rated by all the scouts. Just because Hitchcock is clueless and has no idea what to do with offensive talent doesn't mean Filatov sucks. If we could get him it would be awesome.

Hitch is one of those old school, clueless coaches who are slowly, but surely getting pushed out of the NHL. CBJ is not doing well, so hopefully he won't last too much longer.

I'm very familiar with Filatov because I'm a huge fan of his. Like he said in a recent interview when you score a hat trick in an NHL game at 18 and the next game the coach plays you for 4 min what can you do? You can't score on the bench unless it's with some of those ice girls after the arena closes.

So a big, huge YES to Nikita from me.

Posted by: ranndino | December 14, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse

@ranndino

On Russian vs Canada hockey. I'm also a Star Trek fan and I wrote a story where Chekov was talking about the time the Russians made a great comeback against the Canadians in the Olympics. I had the Russians down 5-0 after two periods and make an incredible comeback to tie it up with a few seconds left in the 3rd and win in OT. (A "future" Olympics to us; i.e. Sochi.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 14, 2009 11:52 PM | Report abuse

@ranndino

I'm no fan of Columbus. After that infamous game on Nov 1, I have rooted against Columbus ever since.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 14, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

I never said Filatov sucks. I am familiar with him and his scouting report. He is exactly what I said he was. An unproven scoring talent.

Why do we need another Semin/Flash scoring winger when we have a ton of that already?

No to Filatov.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 14, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

tominfl,

Basically right. I just think you had inadvertently made a good analogy. Rommel was a talent who did not "fit into the system" and was dealt with accordingly. Much like Mr. Nylander's saga.

hook99,
Spoken like the stereotypical North American. Go to a German household where the pictures of dead relatives in nazi uniforms, or go to Afganistan or Iraq and talk about the heroics of our troops to a family who has lost many loved ones to drone bombings. There is always another side to the story.
Rommel took up arms for his country, fought hard and courteously, and died to protect his loved ones. No matter the outcome or side, history should not discount his heroics.

Posted by: trunkenmath | December 14, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Besides, can he even come back to NA this year? It might be a moot point.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 14, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

I heard Ovie has a sore schmeckle from all the ho, ho ho's he has been sharing his yule log with. I haven't been able to got confirmation on this yet though :)

Posted by: biggamehuntr32 | December 15, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse

i hate the cba!! (kinda makes me hate lawyers too - sorry if i offended any lawyers that read CI)

tominfl1:

i could not find any articles that would seem to cover the nyls situation
the closest i could find was:

13.18 The request for Regular, Re-Entry and Unconditional Waivers to Central
Registry will be processed every day at 12:00 noon New York time. The following
specifies the schedule within which a Waiver claim must be made:
DISPATCHED
(At Noon New York time) WAIVER PERIOD EXPIRY DAY
(At Noon New York time)
Monday 24 hours Tuesday
Tuesday 24 hours Wednesday
Wednesday 24 hours Thursday
Thursday 24 hours Friday
Friday 24 hours Saturday
Saturday 48 hours Monday
Sunday 48 hours Tuesday
(a) A Player on Regular, Re-Entry or Unconditional Waivers cannot be
Traded or Loaned until after the expiration of the Waiver period.
(b) If no Club has claimed the Player within the time specified in the request
for Waivers the requesting Club may Loan such Player to a club of another league.

13.18 covers three waiver conditions
nyls falls under regular
(a) covers all three waiver types and specifies players can not be loaned or traded during the waiver period
(b) specifically address unclaimed players may be loaned to a club of another league (meaning a club NOT in the nhl)

it does not address the trading of a player once he has cleared regular waivers - but since (a) talks of not trade or loan and (b) allows a loan if the player is not claimed - i think it could be concluded that nyls CAN be traded without involving waivers again

if ANYBODY is willing to research this better than i have been able to - it is still an interesting situation - as the best possible case would be for the caps to find any nhl team that would take his current contract

WhyGo:
maybe while you're chatting up GMGM on day - you could ask him to clarify what can and can't be done with nyls now that he has been loaned to GR

p.s. my head hurts :)

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 15, 2009 12:17 AM | Report abuse

biggamehuntr32:
now thats funny!!

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 15, 2009 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Forsberg would be awesome. He could show Ovie his ankles, and maybe get him to be a hair less reckless. Pick your spots sir, we want to see you play a long, long time. Be a Messier, not a Neely or Forsberg.

Posted by: biggamehuntr32 | December 15, 2009 12:20 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Capt, I try.

Posted by: biggamehuntr32 | December 15, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Is it any wonder his best bud is named Semin?

Posted by: biggamehuntr32 | December 15, 2009 12:22 AM | Report abuse

biggamehuntr32:
i still can't believe that bradley referred to him as jizz during an intermission interview

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 15, 2009 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Kings lose, we stay #1 in the league.

Poor Kings..would've been the first time in over 10 years they are on on top of the league.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 15, 2009 12:33 AM | Report abuse

How about Semin and Poti for Dustin Brown and a bag of practice pucks?

Posted by: biggamehuntr32 | December 15, 2009 12:56 AM | Report abuse

@richmondphil,

I don't see much reason for pity.

If you are talking about being on top after a significant portion of the season has elapsed, I am sure most teams in the league haven't been there in much longer than 10 years, esp. considering all the years where the Wings dominated the regular season.

BTW, how did you become a Kings fan?

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 15, 2009 1:22 AM | Report abuse

You realllllllly don't understand why Nylander didn't return YOUR calls Tarik?

Posted by: CapsandRavens | December 14, 2009 3:34 PM

LOL. Best post of the day.

Posted by: hock1 | December 15, 2009 1:45 AM | Report abuse

@capsfan75: I think that likely but without guarantees. Based on his comments on Twitter, I don't think GMGM sees him as the savior that many Caps fans do. Rather, he is here to challenge the D that are already here and serve as a wakeup call of sorts. "You've got competition who can and will take your slot, now get up and dance or get out of the club." I think that the competition for ice time will improve the entire defense as a unit, and will tell us who stays with the club and who goes come spring.

Decreeing the outcome of the competition now and deciding that Alzner should be in the top 6 based on what has already happened is arrogant, premature, and unfair to the existing guys. Give 'em a kick, remind 'em that they can be replaced if they don't shape up, and see who answers the bell and who doesn't. Go from there. That's the best way to ensure you have the best team you can get and still be fair to everyone.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 15, 2009 7:30 AM | Report abuse

Ugh. I came here for hockey updates and I'm welcomed by debates about Nazis.... Not a good way to wake up people!!! Can we keep it ice hockey related? Jokes about "Springtime for Hitler" on ice are allowed otherwise let's move on...

Are you all that bored now that the nyls fiasco is settled :)

Posted by: mrszilla | December 15, 2009 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Did Giroux get called up again? He's in Denver with the team but I don't see anything on their website or here about a recall! Maybe I missed it?

Posted by: CapsSighting | December 15, 2009 8:06 AM | Report abuse

"sore body part"...."bad sushi"....didn't we use those on our moms in HS when we were too hungover to go to school? I think they underestimate the intelligence of the fan base.

Posted by: jerseygirl15 | December 15, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

@jerseygirl15: I didn't. You ever had food poisoning from sushi? It's no fun and it's no joke.

The reason why injuries are not disclosed is to protect the players. Opposing teams have been known to explicitly target injured areas to attempt to knock the player out of the game. Is it dirty? Sure. Do they do it anyway? Sometimes.

@mrszilla: Most of Capsnation is debating fiercely on what they should do with the money. Far from boredom :) Good job the guys who control the purse strings aren't running a fantasy hockey team.

@CapsSighting: Where did you see that Giroux was in Denver?

Posted by: kittypawz | December 15, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe Giroux will get another shot for a long while, i.e., multiple injury imperative only.

Posted by: Sonyask | December 15, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

@CapsSighting - Nothing on the Bears website - are you sure it's Giroux?

Posted by: irockthered | December 15, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Does Wilson look like Giroux?

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | December 15, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Sorry Kitty Pawz. Didn't realize you were so virtuous. And after 42 years of a hockey life and a first cousin retired from the NHL I pretty much know the reason they don't disclose injuries. But thanks for the primer!

Posted by: jerseygirl15 | December 15, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

@jerseygirl15 - And since when was that common knowledge? Lose the sarcasm; you'll get more respect on this blog.

Posted by: irockthered | December 15, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

@jerseygirl15: No worries :) I think you're selling the guys short if you're claiming they're making spurious excuses, though.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 15, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

@CTCapsPhan - Not particularly; Giroux has dark (almost black) hair and is scruffy-lookin', and Wilson has lighter hair and (I believe) is clean-shaven, more-or-less. You might mix up Giroux and Helmer from half a mile away, but probably not Giroux and Wilson.

That said, there are no announcements anywhere about Giroux getting called up, and given the trouble the Canadiens are in for playing a player they didn't tell the NHL they had... I don't expect we'll see him on the ice until an announcement is made. Playing an ineligible player = forfeit the game, if Bettman says so. And we ALL know how that would go, if it were the Caps involved...

Posted by: irockthered | December 15, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I wondering when a game roster will be posted. I was hoping to see who is a scratch and who Alzner is paired with after some of the outright lousy defense in the last game. I also am wondering who will be the goalie; I doubt Neuvy will be between the pipes

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | December 15, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

I agree with BB about sending down Perreault. As a small guy, if he does not score he does not have much else to offer. One point in ten games is even worse then Boyd Gordon usual does.

Posted by: hockeypuck1 | December 15, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

@JIMALLCAPS1 - Probably not for at least another couple of hours... it's only... 7:30 in the morning in Denver, right? Denver's on Mountain Time, I believe... the guys are probably just eating breakfast...

Neuvirth had the misfortune of having to backstop a team that had been through travel hell, and was on the third game in four nights. That's never fun, and when you add in plane trouble that kept them in DC overnight, plus no time for a morning skate, plus hockey player quirkiness...

The defense looked bad Saturday night, by all counts. By all counts that I've heard, the team looked gassed. I have not seen the game, nor any high(low)lights, so I can't speak to that, but I know this team historically has problems when playing a condensed schedule, and they have done so frequently of late.

Posted by: irockthered | December 15, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

@hockeypuck1 - The thing that Perreault was offering the team was energy... and it was great, for a while. He started out looking like a miniaturized Alex Ovechkin out there, but I did see his speed and bounce taper off in recent games... probably the bad sushi had something to do with that.

Note to Self: Do not eat sushi in Buffalo.

Posted by: irockthered | December 15, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

@ irock -- true enough on early times in Denver and on the dee letting down Neuvy. Then again, Neuvy did not look super sharp either, some of which can be attributed to the lack of a morning skate. Even given the extenuating circumstances, BB is not a coach to turn a blind eye to sloppy play, so I imagine he'll shake up the line a bit on the blueline, esp with Alzner up. The mentality of playing like an exhibtion/allstar game (all offense) was not attributable to being tired so much as playing down to the Leafs.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | December 15, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

@irockthered - Plus Matty really really needed a haircut.

Posted by: hockeypuck1 | December 15, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

@hockeypuck1 - That's default for Matty, though. The extra hair makes him look more fierce, I think. ;-) He needs to take Ovechkin's advice and go to the Hair Cuttery once a year for form's sake. ;-)

@JIMALLCAPS1 - As I said, I didn't watch the game, so I can't really speak to it... I was up in Hershey watching Aucoin net a hat trick against the Rochester Americans (sans Mink, who went down injured in his 3rd shift and did not return).

Posted by: irockthered | December 15, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

As for Alzner, I expect that is why he was brought up: to shake the blue line up and let them know that there are hungry young men right behind them who want their jobs... and they better shape up or be prepared to be shipped out come the trade deadline.

Posted by: irockthered | December 15, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

TheAnswer is right about Perreault. He's been nothing but constant energy in games. It shouldn't be points that govern these things. The kid made plenty of plays that didn't result in points because somebody else didn't finish or a goalie made a great save. I have a feeling that small players like Mathieu have a hard time keeping Bruce happy. Of course, if you listen to Laughlin, Perreault's problem is his hair. Boyd can skate and he is great on the PK, but this kid is bringing something special. Let Gordon take his time and strengthen his back and let this kid keep looking like a miniature GR8 with the big club.

Posted by: JoeTink | December 15, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

i think alzner was called up because he is one of our top six defensemen. but for the salary cap, he would have been with the team out of camp.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | December 15, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

@tominfl1 - Please bring out your knowledge. Is there a reason, pertaining perhaps to when Perreault loses entry-level status, that might have to do with why they sent him down? Isn't there a maximum number of games a guy can play before the year counts?

The boy's what, 21? We'd like to keep him long-term, right? Let him play in Hershey a bit, so we don't kill his entry-level status a year early. :)

Posted by: irockthered | December 15, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

irockthered,

FYI, the bad sushi was in Tampa, not Buffalo.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | December 15, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Tarik,

Really interesting article in the dead tree version today. It sounds like you were giving the players info, even Nicky. I guess Nyles really was isolated (physically and mentally) from everyone else. Pretty crappy situation all around.

Do you think he'll ever talk to the press about this? If so, will it be English press, or will I have to re-up my subscription to Aftenbladet?

Posted by: oldtimehockey | December 15, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I don't take anything a girl from Jersey says. I mean, it's New Jersey. Nothing new about it. Aren't they like the armpit of the United States? If all she can think of is that our players make lame excuses for their play, well then by jiminy, someone make her a Lieutenant in the Doofus Brigade! We haven't issued any stars and chevrons lately, have we?

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | December 15, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

irockthered

Agreed...maybe the D will step it up when they are reminded that Alzner, Carlson, and many others are more than willing to play 60 minute games to take their spots.

Posted by: capscoach | December 15, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

irock: We talked about this yesterday. I think the consensus it takes 40 games to count as a season toward UFA. Perreault, a 2006 draftee, has played 15 games this year. The three-year, entry-level deal expires after three years, whether they play in the NHL or not. Since Perreault didn't play as a 18 or 19 year-old, in NHL, he has UFA status anyway when he turns 27 (assuming he has 4 yrs then in NHL).

The bottom line is there seems to be nothing CBA related about this. SEEMS to be.

The only players in the system right now who can be UFA before age 27 (like Bouwmeester did) are those drafted in 2008 (Carlson, if he plays 40 games this year, would be UFA at 26) and anyone drafted in 2009 (if Johansson plays in NHL next year). Also, I forgot, I think Backie can be UFA at 26 because he played a full year as a 19-year-old. Hopefully he signs shortly and that point is moot.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 15, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Topic: The Winter Classic. Now that it is around the corner we hear about it on a daily basis. I know it was discussed on this board this past summer after it was announced it would be Philly and Boston at Fenway, but I have to get something off my chest.

SHAME ON THE NHL for not showcasing Ovi, Backstrom, Green, and Semin. Before the season there were not really any question marks regarding whether or not the Caps would be a good team. As for Philly and Boston, there were a lot of question marks. For Philly, is Emery finally the answer in goal (so far no), will the addition of Pronger make them a championship team (doesn't look like it so far)? As for Boston, their big question was how much will a potential Kessel departure (which is now a reality because he is in Toronto) effect this team? Even though injuries are partly to blame, the loss of Kessel is looming large.

Back to our Caps. They are playing as adverstised, heck, even better than advertised, because so far they have been able to keep winning even with injuries to key players. The NHL showcased Crosby and Malkin in the first annual winter classic. Last season they showcased Kane, Toews, Zetterberg, and Dats. Why in the heck would they want to pass on Ovi and the Caps again? I simply don't get it.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 15, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I think there's more than one side to the Perreault debate.

Yes, he did have a drop-off in energy after his bout with bad sushi. I was surprised he was back as fast as he was, having eaten of the bad sushi myself. It's miserable, and without going into too many details... well, it's just miserable.

But who says it's all about Perreault?

Let's look at the other side. We have a guy here, Kyle Wilson, who is celebrating his 25th birthday today with his NHL debut. We are on the top of the league. Who's to say that this isn't about calling Wilson up and seeing what HE can do, rather than being about sending Perreault down because of what he didn't do?

Look at the top end of the Hershey Bears team.

We have:

1) Andrew Gordon (#2 in the AHL for scoring) - RW

Gordon has seen time with the Caps, and did not stand out. Aside from that, we don't currently need a right wing.

2) Alexandre Giroux (#5 in the AHL for scoring) - LW

Current rumor set notwithstanding, Giroux has proven that he cannot play at the NHL level. There is nothing whatsoever wrong with this; it's just the way it is.

3) Keith Aucoin (#7 in the AHL for scoring) - C

Again, as with Giroux, Aucoin simply does not shine at the NHL level. Yet, he scored a hat trick against Rochester Saturday night in Hershey.

4) Kyle Wilson (#56 in the AHL for scoring) - C

Wilson has never played at the NHL level, but his numbers are 4th-best on the Bears' team. Let's see what he can do NOW, *before* we absolutely have to have a call-up due to some unforseen circumstance. He needs to get some NHL ice time under his belt, so that we can see what he can do, and, more importanly, so that HE can see what he can do, so that if we have to call him up at the end of the season, he does not look like a deer in the headlights.

Posted by: irockthered | December 15, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

big hockey market teams

carlson is posting pretty sick numbers in hershey 20 pts +15 in a little over 20 games

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | December 15, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

MN has been waived and placed in the AHL properly. Any of the other 29 teams who wanted him could have claimed him for nothing. We gained a roster spot and his salary came off our cap. If the Caps recall him he would go through re-entry waivers and the Caps would be responsible for half his salary the rest of this year and next and it would count against the cap both years. The Caps will not recall MN for ovbvious reasons. MN can be traded to any team in the NHL, he can be traded directly from GR to the NHL without being waived or put on re-entry waivers. The Caps would obviously give him to any team who wanted him to get rid of his salary (they are already rid of the cap hit). Next year MN has nothing on his contract that prevents the Caps from moving him wherever and whenever they want. If MN is still with the Caps next year he will be sent to the AHL or ECHL the first day of training camp and again his salary will not count on the Caps cap again next year.

Posted by: majiksea | December 15, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

@LeftCoast lighten up on New Jersey, or California may slide into the ocean. I grew up there and there are many fine people and beautiful places. Just saying

Posted by: billd2 | December 15, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

First, I will say I am new to posting comments, although reading them throughout the day provides a great deal of entertainment during a slow day at work. So please, go easy on me.
Secondly, I am a huge Alzner fan, for several reasons. One, he rarely takes penalties, which is important because our PK isn't that great right now. Two, he rarely makes mistakes that lead to goals, ie. Bad passes, and giveaways . Three, he makes Jurcina a better player somehow. Alzner might not be the big, bad blue liner the Caps probably need, but he is consistent, steady and clean and that makes him pretty damn good.
I was also wondering if anyone else feels like the defense plays better in front of Varly than in front of Theo. I don't have an explanation for it, but it seems like they are more protective of him (getting guys out of the crease) and seem more energetic in front of him.

Posted by: rockred4ever | December 15, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

If the team does clear the crease more for Varly, it may have to do with his rebound control. He tends to kick out more than Jose, who tends to catch or squeeze more. So the dee has to clear the crease due to juicy rebounds. That said, Varly is improving greatly on his positioning and catching glove. He still overplays a bit due to his athleticism.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | December 15, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

But I prefer Varly due to his consistency. He will be better than Jose once he takes to his coaching more. He is super instinctive, and relies on this aspect a bit much. The best goalies are super athletes who can play consistently and have honed their skills. Ray Emery is also a very athlectic goalie, but consistent and plays positionally sound, not so much.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | December 15, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

yesterdays news. Alzner = yawn.

Posted by: doughless | December 15, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

@JIMALLCAPS1 - Carlson looks great in Hershey. I'm really glad we have him on the team. His stint in DC did not go as well as I would have hoped, though. He looked very much like a boy playing with the men. And, at 19 years old, I wouldn't expect anything more than that. The Victor Hedmans and Nicklas Backstroms of the world are very rare indeed. I'm hoping that a year or so in Hershey will have him ready to go next fall.

Pothier, Morrisonn, Jurcina, and Sloan all go UFA on July 1st... it's not impossible that one or more of the above will be traded prior to the deadline, so that we get something of value, even if it's picks.

Green, Schultz, Poti, and Erskine all have longer contracts; of the four, the latter two are more likely trade bait, but Erskine has not played as well as he did last season. Schultz has turned into a BEAST out there! And Green, with a bit less ice time, does very well, but with Pothier on the shelf with that rib injury, he's not getting less ice time... and we all know where that road leads. Green and Schultz aren't going anywhere any time soon, and that makes me happy. The rest are going to have to fight for their slot.

And I hope Alzner gives them a solid run for their money.

Posted by: irockthered | December 15, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

No updates yet? It's 11 and a game day!

I guess this means I have to actually work...

Posted by: JD09 | December 15, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Perrault will be back. if nothing else, we are seeing that the "depth" in Hershey ain't so deep.

Posted by: doughless | December 15, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

so, we expect an almost entirely new defensive corps between now and next summer?? i have my doubts about that.

Posted by: doughless | December 15, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

@rockred4ever - Welcome!

Excellent commentary on Alzner. My opinion is that he will one day take home the Lady Byng trophy. The man is a true gentleman, both on and off the ice, and I hope my daughter finds a guy just like him to date. He's a good man, and a damnfine hockey player.

Varlamov does tend to kick out the puck more than Theodore, though that has changed slightly since he got a different catching glove. The one he had early in the season was - someone help me out - a 60 degree glove, or something like that, and the new one's a 90 degree glove? More like a catcher's mitt? I don't know anything about goalie equipment, except to say that the new glove has made his glove hand control MUCH better. That will continue to improve as he gets used to the new glove. Hiring Arturs Irbe to coach the goalies was a stroke of absolute genius. Varlamov is learning the technique now that will make his career longer. Some of those "spectacular saves" you see him make are due to positioning mistakes that can and should have been avoided. He will need the technique when his athleticism runs out as he gets older. He will need the technique to avoid further hip injuries like the one that has sidelined him now.

Neuvirth, OTOH, is a very good positional goaltender. He's young still, but his technique is superb. He did backstop the Bears to the Calder last year, and his numbers were MAD. Two or three shutouts during the playoffs... I don't recall the exact numbers. Anyway, he needs more NHL ice time to become the goalie that I know he can become, and that will be a thing for next season, once Theodore has moved on. He'll do well as an injury callup this season, but he's not yet ready for full time NHL duties. I do not see us trading him away, though; he's too good for that, and it would leave us needing a second goalie next year.

Jason Bacashihua (or however he spells it) is a career AHL goaltender, and probably will never see NHL ice time. He is in Hershey as Neuvirth's backup, but he's seen more ice time than he normally would have, due to Neuvirth having been hurt at the start of the season.

Braden Holtby, who has been playing well in the ECHL, is currently backing Bacashihua up in Hershey while Neuvirth is here, but, again, he's not ready for the NHL yet. He did back up Neuvirth for the Calder run last season.

Posted by: irockthered | December 15, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I forget - is doughless in the Doofus Brigade? What is is rank and MOS or job? If he isn't he needs to be.

Posted by: MReilly9 | December 15, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

@Left cost,

Nice analysis of the prospects. Aucoin is the most NHL ready, but with limited upside. Giroux should buy a house in Hershey, he'll never be permanent part of the Caps. Perrault isn't bad despite his stature, but long run he's the kind and size of player who will get hurt or worn down much faster. I'm curious to see Wilson; jury is out. On the rear guard, Carlson probably could be a 5 or 6 now, but he's really a next year player.

As someone above pointed out, the Kings are legit this year. I have this hope/fear of a Caps-Kings final. I may have to take my Kings jersey and my Caps jersey and cut them in half and sew them together to express my internal conflict if the possibility actually happens (doubtful).

Posted by: oldtimehockey | December 15, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

@doughless - No, that was not what I was saying.

I was giving options for who MIGHT be used as trade bait, not who absolutely would be traded away.

We no longer need to trade someone to make space for Alzner; that was taken care of when we sent Nylander down. But having NINE defensemen (counting Pothier) is an untenable position. We cannot keep all nine of them. So someone (or someones) will have to go.

With Carlson also waiting in the wings, the possibility of a shakeup on the blueline is pretty high, IMO.

The first four on the block will be Pothier, Morrisonn, Jurcina, and Sloan, but we have to find a buyer before we can make a trade. These things aren't always easy. The upside/downside to each of these guys has to be taken into consideration, and there needs to be a team who could benefit from having one or more of them. A trade won't happen out of thin air, or just because some folks wish it would.

Posted by: irockthered | December 15, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

We don't need an entirely different defensive corps to win the Cup. Just a tweak. The Pens won last year with the likes of Gill and Scuderi, we don't need to change much. Scuderi certainly isn't earning 3.4mil a year in LA. He played above his head in the playoffs which allowed him to sign a lucrative deal in the off-season. Schultz is having a much better year than Scuderi (Kings are 2nd in the league so he is on a good team too), so if Scuderi is the stud some of have said he is, Schultz should make at least 3+mil next season. I'm just being sarcastic because I think Scuderi and Schultz are 1.5mil-2 mil a year defensemen. Gill has been a total bust so far in Montreal. He's been injured but when he does play he looks bad. BTW someone called Schultz the slowest D in the league the other day. I'd put money on Schultz in a raise against Gill.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 15, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

BTW, how did you become a Kings fan?

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 15, 2009 1:22 AM |

The simple answer is Luc Robitaille. I have always sort of considered the Kings my "west" team. They had a good team in the 90s, making the playoffs all but 1 or 2 years, but I guess a large part of that can be accredited to Gretzky. For a long time I stopped caring about the Kings. That was until they drafted Dustin Brown and I've been heavy into the Kings since.

That being said, I have never been to LA or even California. I have been a Caps fan since I came out of my mother's womb, that's for sure, but always had a soft spot for the Kings. (I get far more crap for this too, but I was somewhat of a fan of the 90s Pens which beat us all the time. Well, at least Straka and Jagr. This is a big reason why I defend Jagr whenever I can, however hard that is for a pt/game player making 11 mil./yr and doing nothing for us.)

Interestingly, there are quite a handful of Kings/Caps fans on here. Thiazzi, LACapsFan, and a few more. LeftCoastCapsFan seems to not like the Kings very much though, and he lives in LA, haha.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 15, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

JD09

I know! I need Tarik to help me stay off task and distracted!

Posted by: capscoach | December 15, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Hal Gill is god-awful. Scuderi is a good defender, but you're right, he isn't worth his price tag. (But he only got it because of his strong playoff showing)
The first four on the block will be Pothier, Morrisonn, Jurcina, and Sloan, but we have to find a buyer before we can make a trade. These things aren't always easy. The upside/downside to each of these guys has to be taken into consideration, and there needs to be a team who could benefit from having one or more of them. A trade won't happen out of thin air, or just because some folks wish it would.

Posted by: irockthered | December 15, 2009 11:13 AM |

I gotta say I'm putting Poti up first.

You're following claims are on point though. Lots of people love to call for a trade without actually fleshing out the details. You can't just "trade" someone.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 15, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I was also wondering if anyone else feels like the defense plays better in front of Varly than in front of Theo. I don't have an explanation for it, but it seems like they are more protective of him (getting guys out of the crease) and seem more energetic in front of him.

Posted by: rockred4ever | December 15, 2009 10:49 AM |

If that is the case, then these "professional" hockey players we have need a serious reality check.

I again, point to Perry's and other Duck's comments regarding Hiller/Jiggy. To summarize, it should not matter who is in net. Your play should not be affected in any way whatsoever by who is in net for you.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 15, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

rockred4ever, Count me among those who feel the TEAM (not just the defense) plays better in frony of Varly. Don't have any stats or anything to back that up, just a gut feeling.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | December 15, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

@irockthered:

I'm sure you noticed that Metallurg has moved back in to 1st place. KHL is off this week for a tourney in Moscow between Russia, Finland, Sweden and Czech. Our boy is playing for Team Russia.

Posted by: tess2201 | December 15, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

MReilly:

whatever. don't agree with people here on everything. if you do, YOU are the doofus.

as for D-corps, we'll see. Potsy and ShaMO, however, would not be the first on my list to shop.

Posted by: doughless | December 15, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

@oldtimehockey - The Kings are pretty damn good this year; I was definitely cheering for the Canucks last night (and glad to see that they won!) They sure missed Daniel Sedin while he was out... he and his twin are SCARY when they play together. I think they're telepathic. ;-)

The trouble with Aucoin is that he is 31 years old. He's been playing professionally since he graduated university (and played four years at university, too). He's an excellent injury callup, but no longer a "prospect" per se. He played three partial seasons with the Hurricanes before coming here, and never scored more than 5 goals in 38 games (in 2007-08). Aucoin is, at this point, very likely going to be career AHL, but there's nothing wrong with that.

Personally, I am grateful to the Penguins for stealing Bourque from us early on this year, because if they had not, we would not have gotten a chance to see Perreault in action this soon, and we wouldn't know that we have a future miniature Ovechkin in him. Because Bourque got snagged, we were able to look at Perreault and see what a gem he truly is. I can't wait for him to be with the big club for good!

Posted by: irockthered | December 15, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Bourque = AHL

Posted by: doughless | December 15, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

was also wondering if anyone else feels like the defense plays better in front of Varly than in front of Theo. I don't have an explanation for it, but it seems like they are more protective of him (getting guys out of the crease) and seem more energetic in front of him.

Posted by: rockred4ever | December 15, 2009 10:49 AM |

I think lately the problem has been that Theo has let in a lot of goals on very few shots, and it is a natural response to kinda feel low after that. Varly usually manages to make so pretty nifty saves in the games, which uplifts the team and keep them energized.

Posted by: capscoach | December 15, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

@tess2201 - Yep! Glad to see it, too. :-)

@richmondphil - Yeah, but his contract is longer; if the other four go UFA, we could lose them for nothing. That's the big consideration I have to put them further up the list.

We won't trade Pothier; he's too valuable as a breakout guy, plus, he's a good story. :-)

Posted by: irockthered | December 15, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

@doughless - I agree with you on Pothier and ShaMo, but probably for different reasons.

I would keep Pothier, because of his skills at breaking out of the zone.

Re: Bourque - At the very least, he is not a Penguin. But I stand by my statement that I'm glad they stole him from us for the start of the season, because if they hadn't, we would never have gotten to see Perreault in action.

Posted by: irockthered | December 15, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

richmondphil, Agreed, it shouldn't make any difference as to who is in net.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | December 15, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

@capscoach - Varlamov has UNHOLY luck. A lot of those spectacular saves of his are because he was out of position, but is still faster than lightning to get back to grab the save. That will go away if he doesn't learn to back it with technique. Irbe is teaching him well, though, so I have fewer doubts than I did at the start of the year. :-)

Posted by: irockthered | December 15, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

@richmondphil: I too have my Robitaille #20 Kings jersey hanging along side my various Caps jerseys over the years. Only non-Caps jersey I own. Just a great player back in the day. That being said, if it's a Caps/Kings series, I'm definitely Rocking the Red, even if I were to attend a game in LA.

Posted by: glb8p | December 15, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I have a feeling that Pothier may be a Caps lifer for the rest of his career. Call it a hunch. He does tons of PR, and he's been solid at his cap hit. (I know doing PR stuff for the team isn't a good way to tell if the guy is staying or not, but I'm just saying)

I don't want ShaMo to go, because before his injury he was one of the most consistent, physical d-man we had.


All that said, I think ShaMo probably has a bit more value than all 4 of them. However, Pothier is a righty d-man, which is HUGE for Gms and Coaches.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 15, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

irockthered

I think his positioning has gotten a lot better this season! It still could use improvements, but he is REALLY young. Not many 21 year old net minders playing this much in the NHL. The point of my post though was that his big saves (whether out of position or not) get the team going...maybe because it gets the crowd going. I must add that although he still has some maturing to do...that save% and GAA is nothing to cry about.

Posted by: capscoach | December 15, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

@richmondphil: I too have my Robitaille #20 Kings jersey hanging along side my various Caps jerseys over the years. Only non-Caps jersey I own. Just a great player back in the day. That being said, if it's a Caps/Kings series, I'm definitely Rocking the Red, even if I were to attend a game in LA.

Posted by: glb8p | December 15, 2009 11:36 AM |

How can a hockey fan not like Robitaille? Class-act hockey player all the way!

Of course though, if the Kings and Caps ever find themselves in the Finals, it's Caps all the way for me too!

Posted by: richmondphil | December 15, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

i keep Lumberjack, too (at least for now). i had heard all of the downside, but he is our ONLY truly bruiser d-man right now.

Posted by: doughless | December 15, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Erskine clears the crease. The problem is he is sooooooooooo sloooooooooooooow. If he's out of position, or if a slick 1on1 player is bearing down on him, ooof...

Keep Erskine though, he'll provide the Caps WAY more value than he wold on any other team. Erskine was great for us in the playoffs last year, and I can see him repeating the effort.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 15, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

richmondphil

I agree to an extent, but odd man breaks have been a problem for us as of late and as you said before...he is REALLY slow

Posted by: capscoach | December 15, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I'm a Kings fan because I'm from there. I may live here and be a Caps fan 100% for 81 games a year (sometimes 80), but the Kings are my first team. I think part of it is being the weird kid who played hockey while everyone else played baseball (thanks, dad), I have a special affinity for the Kings as my team.

It will be interesting to see if Doughty, Green, neither or both, play on the iron-clad lock gold medal Canadian team.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | December 15, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

he doesn't have to be leaidng the breakout; as long as he makes decent feeding passes to the fast skaters, who cares.

Posted by: doughless | December 15, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Also, I'm a big, big, big Rob Blake fan. Everytime I see him wear that idiotic teal jersey, I die a little inside.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | December 15, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

If MN is still with the Caps next year he will be sent to the AHL or ECHL the first day of training camp and again his salary will not count on the Caps cap again next year.

Posted by: majiksea | December 15, 2009 10:46 AM

i was reading the cba yesterday and player can not be assigned to the ECHL without their approval - as i read it, this is for all players not just those with NTC or NMC

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 15, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I agree with RichmondPhil - hate to see ShaMo go if it comes to that, but he probably brings the most on our blueline.

anyone notice that Schultz has a +14? 2nd best on team behind Ovie....

Posted by: pch49 | December 15, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Hi, all--

Can anyone tell me the LAST time (precisely) that Nylander skated for the Caps (I know in the playoffs last year, but which game)? I have a theory about the moment he irrevocably alienated BB, and this could corroborate or disprove my hunch.

Thanks!

Posted by: jhershb | December 15, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

fanohock1: The only reason Scuderi gets so much more than Schultz is that Scuderi was a UFA after last season. Schultz might well get a similar contract whenever he's a UFA, which I think is after three more seasons.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 15, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

he doesn't have to be leaidng the breakout; as long as he makes decent feeding passes to the fast skaters, who cares.

Posted by: doughless | December 15, 2009 11:54 AM |

You miss my point completely. The complaints about his speed have nothing to do with wanting him to join the rush.

Erskine's not very good at making the first-pass anyway, though he certainly has worked on that.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 15, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

oldtimehockey - what about when SJ wears their black third jersey?

Posted by: superpaqman | December 15, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

If I remember from last year, Theo struggled mightily at the start of the year and then did much better the first time the Caps went out West. There were 2-1 losses to Calgary (the game with Sloan drawing a 9-min penalty on the Flames) and Phoenix, but his play was much better. Avs are his old team, so hopefully we get a good performance.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 15, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Also, I'm a big, big, big Rob Blake fan. Everytime I see him wear that idiotic teal jersey, I die a little inside.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | December 15, 2009 11:55 AM |

Haha. A year or two ago I was calling for Blake to get picked up by the Caps.

Now..not so much.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 15, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

@jhershb

May 6 against Pit.

Posted by: JD09 | December 15, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

oops. sorry, i am only playing one way

Posted by: doughless | December 15, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

pch49 - Sarge is also top 10 in the league, but as someone will say +/- isn't a good stat

Posted by: superpaqman | December 15, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Also, good thing it starts tonight at 9:30 instead of 9:00 (7:00 MST). The Avs normally start their games at 7:00 MT but have this one at 7:30 MT to avoid being "Versused."

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 15, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Only top 10 now? A few days ago he was top 5.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 15, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

@oldtimehockey
"We're an SC-caliber team, not a development program."

I hope we are both.

Posted by: kimsumo | December 15, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

A frequent criticism of McPhee is that he doesn't take risks in springtime -- risks that could put the Capitals over the top as a Cup contender. His remarks here seem to indicate that he would have the cap space to rent a top-notch defenseman for the final weeks of the season and the playoffs. We'll see if he has the stones in a few months.

Posted by: Jumpy66 | December 15, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

JD09--

Thanks. I remembered a playoff game vs NYR where, with half a minute or so left on a power-play, MN came on the ice and--with the score tied or close--lazily dumped the puck in from behind center ice, causing an icing. If BB were as infuriated as I, that could have been the last straw--but I guess he played again afterwards, so much for that theory.

Posted by: jhershb | December 15, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

jhershb: Nylander's demise started loooooooong before the playoffs. His ice time tapered as the season came to an end. He was even a healthy scratch for a couple down the stretch and for most of the Rangers series. The situation must've been something huge because I cannot see Ted sitting back and letting a coach and GM piss away millions of dollars on a trivial issue. Just not quite fitting in with the system doesn't make sense either. Nylander was better, and is still better, than some of the call-ups we have seen. Even if Nyls was used as a 4th liner.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 15, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

@irockthered - Alzner does seem like a stand up guy, it’s hard to imagine that he is so young but has a great attitude about him. I love his comments about the Nylander situation and how he knows it’s all on him to stay up now. Then again, seems like most hockey players are stand up guys, except your occasional Avery or Carcillo who are the exception.
I think the Caps are in a very good situation in regards to their depth and future. Varly is 21! He is only going to get better and better, and it’s not like the core of the team is old and run down. The Caps are a young, very exciting and very talented team and will only get better as a group. They have plenty of trade bait, between too many decent defensemen and the one of the top AHL teams. Other teams would love our “too many d-man” situation. It will be interesting to see what GMGM and company do before the trade deadline.

Posted by: rockred4ever | December 15, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

wow, almost 130 and no new posts?

Posted by: superpaqman | December 15, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Word on the street is that the Caps are practicing at 11:30a out here in Denver. Tarik will have something in an hour or two I'm sure.

Posted by: glb8p | December 15, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

varly not on the ice as caps take ice at pepsi center. not good i thought he was suppose to skate today.

Posted by: samb99 | December 15, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

say it with me now class, "Scott Niedermayer"

Posted by: ThatGuy2 | December 15, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Scott Niedermayer would be a nice rental but if NJ wants him for a Cup run, which there have already been rumors, he will go to NJ. With his brother playing in NJ, a suspected sentimental attachment, it seems like a no-brainer. If I remember right there wasn't any bad blood when he headed west.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 15, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

JUMPY- fairly confident GMGM has already shown the ability to make moves at the deadline that make sense. I seem to remember Feds, Huet and Cooke coming here without giving up much at all. Huet and Feds were intrigal parts of our success for the rest of that year and it was Feds shot that got us in the 2nd round last yr. He'll pull the trigger if it makes sense. I'm very OK with him not pulling the trigger on Pronger last yr knowing what Anaheim wanted in return.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | December 15, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Any Caps fans in CO have extra tickets to the game tonight?

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | December 15, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Poker: I've got 2 on the glass b/c some other Caps fans bailed on me. Willing to part with them for half price. 200 pucks for them total. geoffballard@gmail.com

Posted by: glb8p | December 15, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

@rockred4ever - Exactly so. :-)

Posted by: irockthered | December 15, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

This is really turning into a slow news day.

Posted by: capscoach | December 15, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

First year McPhee was in DC, didn't he get Jeff Brown, Brian Bellows and Esa Tikkanen at the deadline? Few recall that Jeff Brown got hurt in the Wings series and that contributed to the collapse. That and Tik missing the empty net. Geez, I thought we had the Wings in game 2 when Oates intercepted a pass and scored short-handed to go up 3-1 in that game. Oh well.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 15, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I dunno why there are so many GMGM haters. I really can't blame him for Nyls...u all were excited when we first got him...the current situation could never have been forseen. He has also done really well with the draft picks, and he did rebuild our team from scratch when we got rid of everybody. I wouldn't want to see him go.

Posted by: capscoach | December 15, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Tarik - any idea what the lines/d pairings will look like tonight?

will be one of the few comrades at the Pepsi Center tonight.

GO CAPS!

Posted by: pch49 | December 15, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

1. Hard to believe that Nylander and Boudreau could not work out their differences and be creative together. The fact this went on this long doesn't make either party look particularly good.

2. Alzner was one of the team's top 5 defensemen in preseason and should have been on the team regardless of Nylander's status. How? Well, McPhee could have chosen to deal Shaone Morrisonn or Milan Jurcina who are working on relatively modest deals and created cap room for him weeks ago.

3. All of that said the Caps are now in good position to be able to resign Backstrom and Semin in the offseason:

Nylander's 2010 salary of $5M goes away as he can be reassigned to Hershey now with the expiration of the no movement clause.

Jose Theodore's $4.5M salary comes off the books.

Other free agents will include Morrisonn ($1.9M) and Pothier ($2.5M plus).

The Caps can jettison these salaries and not compromise the competitiveness of thet team.

Posted by: leopard09 | December 15, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I don't think we should re-sign Theo, but do you think Varly and Neuvy are ready? Sometimes I wish we still had Brent Johnson...he was a solid back up.

Posted by: capscoach | December 15, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

"McPhee could have chosen to deal Shaone Morrisonn or Milan Jurcina who are working on relatively modest deals and created cap room for him weeks ago."


Deal them to whom? I didn't realize there were teams just begging to get them. A trade involves more than 1 team. I thought this was well-known.

Posted by: Fro_ | December 15, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

@capscoach - Srsly. We should have had SOMETHING from the morning skate by now, FFS! I mean, jeez. What's going on in Denver?!

Posted by: irockthered | December 15, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

@Fro_ - THANK you.

Trades are not born out of the head of Zeus. They can't happen without a trading partner.

@leopard09 - To whom should McPhee have dealt Morrisonn and Jurcina? What team would take them on, even with their modest contracts? And for what would we trade? Prospects and/or picks? We'd need to trade for something of zero cost to make salary cap room...

Posted by: irockthered | December 15, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Okay, really? It's 3pm and we've got nothing! It's a game day. At least reassure us that Ovie's early departure from practice yesterday was nothing. Oh, and maybe a Varly update. Or, maybe an update on lines. Plenty to talk about.

Posted by: JD09 | December 15, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

What Fro_ said. You gotta have someone to tade with to make a trade, man. And GMGM has said that if they had wanted to keep Alzner up all last year and this year, they could have worked the cap to do so. (see Corey Masisak's twitter, it was in an interview a couple of days ago.)

Alzner is not intended as the savior you guys seem to think he is. He is here to challenge the existing D (appropriate), but he understands, the Caps understand, and I understand that his position is not guaranteed and will be earned through solid play. What is so hard to understand about that?

Posted by: kittypawz | December 15, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

If I recall from a previous post, the morning skate was set for 1:30pm eastern so they should be wrapping up things. I predict a new post within 15 minutes.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | December 15, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

@capscoach - Johnson will be a UFA again after this season. :-) We can snag him right back from the Penguins, unless they offer him something obscene to stay on.

@leopard09 - I would not jettison Pothier or his salary; he's one of our best breakout men, and as has been pointed out, he's doing very well this season (rib injury notwithstanding), especially for a guy who, this time last year, we were wondering if he would ever play hockey - or chase his kids and play catch - again without being violently ill.

Posted by: irockthered | December 15, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I think Tarik has the cushiest job in the world: writes an article or two a week for the paper; updates this blog whenever he feels like it (and apparently doesn't feel like doing it today). Oh, and follow the Caps like a groupie for 6 months a year.

How do I apply to become a sports beat writer?

Posted by: DannyBoy1975 | December 15, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

@DannyBoy1975 - SRSLY!

Posted by: irockthered | December 15, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

from Corey Tweet at the WTimes:
Caps are on the ice here at Pepsi Center. Forward lines were same as yesterday (8-19-22, 21-9-28, 14-57-16, 17-39-10, 15-53).

Varly skated a little after practice. Theo starting. Neuvy may start some game on weekend.

Posted by: Steakum | December 15, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

It's sad that we are now posting information from the Washington Times in this bulletin board so that we have updated information. Sloan and Jurcina are the healthy scratches.

Posted by: capsfan5 | December 15, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

It's sad because Tarik is lazy.

Posted by: DannyBoy1975 | December 15, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I love that Alzner is happy to have his fate in his own hands, and that he's ready to work his butt off to keep his slot up here. He's come out and said that he knows that if he's sent back down now, it will be on his own head, and he likes it that way.

I think his presence will be VERY good for the defense, if only because of his extremely solid work ethic, and the fact he *wants* this team so very, very badly.

Posted by: irockthered | December 15, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Cushy if you don't mind being away from your family for extended periods of time for half the year, living in hotels and taking red-eyes constantly. Having said that, sign me up.

Posted by: Moose33 | December 15, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

I am getting a bad vibe about Ovechkin's knee.

Again, I'm shocked that, according to Lindsay, they never even did a precautionary MRI.

You can have ligament damage and not know it for weeks and the only way to know with certainty that there is no ligament damage is to do an MRI.

Even if they were 95% sure he was OK from superficial testing, it made no sense not to do the MRI.

As depressing as it would be to find out Ovehckin was done for the season, it would be in the best interest of everybody to repair the damage as soon as possible.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 15, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

@capsfan5 - It's doubly sad, because Corey's job is at stake over at the Times. There's talk that their entire sports team will be laid off soonish. :-( I hope he lands on his feet.

Posted by: irockthered | December 15, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Tarik's posts, consider that he is on the road, 2 hour time differential, and the team is apparently still in their morning skate. So, chill.

Posted by: zmega | December 15, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Alzner is not intended as the savior you guys seem to think he is. He is here to challenge the existing D (appropriate), but he understands, the Caps understand, and I understand that his position is not guaranteed and will be earned through solid play. What is so hard to understand about that?

Posted by: kittypawz

I agree regarding Alzner. He will have to earn his spot. What I do like about him this season is that IMHO he has been playing a nicely disciplined and more consistent game. He has shown maturity and confidence in his game. All of that ice time at Hershey last season really did help him, and this is in large part why IMHO Perreault was sent back--to get more ice time.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 15, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

It's sad because Tarik is lazy.

Posted by: DannyBoy1975 | December 15, 2009 3:09 PM

Get your rifle and start marching. You'll be issued a Don Cherry jacket in the morning, Private. And don't forget your beret.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 15, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao - Other than a general feeling, anything to base these vibes on? If it's a real bad tear that would require surgery, you *can* usually tell without an MRI. Anything else, Ovechkin himself would probably insist on waiting for the off-season...

Posted by: irockthered | December 15, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

zmega: You're right. Expecting an update by 1:20pm Colorado time when we know the morning skate is over by looking at the Washington Times is a lot to ask.

Posted by: capsfan5 | December 15, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1 - Is DannyBoy1975 our very first recruit for the newly-formed T-battalion (or whatever term we're using?)

Posted by: irockthered | December 15, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Wait - can't be T- that's already taken.

B-Company... is B taken? Or E-Company?

Posted by: irockthered | December 15, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao

Why are you so sure that he hasn't had an MRI? It's inconceivable to me that Ovi hasn't been thoroughly checked out. Or are you just worrying as we Caps fans are wont to do. The Avs are really surging and I'm not sure about the game tonight at all. I hope that they have a great game tonight just to take the bad taste out of my mouth from the past few games. I hate losses even though i know they are inevitable over the course of a season.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 15, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

It's sad because Tarik is lazy.

Posted by: DannyBoy1975 | December 15, 2009 3:09 PM

then you should look elsewhere for your caps info

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 15, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

@Capsyoungguns - Totally agreed on all points. Alzner benefited mightily from his time in Hershey last season, and so will Perreault, where he'll get more ice time per game by playing one of the top lines, rather than being relegated to a 3rd or 4th line role in Washington.

Perreault, for all his tiny stature, is gonna be a BEAST when he comes up for good!

Posted by: irockthered | December 15, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

@Capsyoungguns - They're rested, at least. The last three games-in-four nights run was brutal, not only because of the schedule, but because of the travel required, and the plane trouble that kept them grounded in DC overnight - and we're still #1 in the league (thank you, Vancouver!)

I think we'll see a good game tonight.

Love Alzner's work ethic. He's gonna be a great big shot in the butt for our struggling defensemen. :-)

@capsfan5 - Corey is usually faster on the tweet than Tarik is... there's nothing new there.

Posted by: irockthered | December 15, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Good news for everyone living in the NY area. We can actually watch 11 games on TV for the remainder of the year on a combination of MSG, Versus and NBC. That's 11 games where I don't have to go nuts and try to find an online feed. I'm psyched.

Posted by: Moose33 | December 15, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

@Capt_Kirk_in_AZ - I actually do look to multiple sources for my Caps news, and Corey is one of them. The unfortunate truth is that his blog doesn't see as much traffic as this one, probably in part because it's a pain in the butt if you don't have / can't get the most recent version of Internet Explorer, or can't use Firefox at work.

I'm surprised there was no morning reading list, but that isn't Tarik's fault, as he doesn't write them, typically... Lindsay? Where are you???

Posted by: irockthered | December 15, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Tarik has an update.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 15, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

irock: DannyBoy1975 has been assigned to 2nd Battalion, the Trolls.

Anyone who responds to him is "feeding the trolls."

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 15, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

irock: 1st Battalion is:

Sugar Company (Semin/Schultz bashers)
George Company (Green bashers)
Oscar Company (Ovechkin bashers, led by Lt. Jim Kelley)

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 15, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company