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Boudreau to Carlson: 'You're Going to be a Great NHL Player'

Perhaps one of the biggest early surprise cuts from training camp came yesterday when defenseman John Carlson was reassigned to Hershey. The 19-year-old Carlson has continued to impress the Capitals staff, but after Monday's preseason contest against Buffalo, Coach Bruce Boudreau said it was apparent that he wasn't going to start the season in Washington.

"I just think he needed more time," Boudreau said. "I told him yesterday, 'You're going to be a great NHL player.' Mike Green, Jeff Schultz, all of our young D have spent considerable time in the minors and the formula has worked. There's no need to rush him with the amount of solid NHL defensemen that we have here."

Because the Capitals have 10 defensemen with NHL experience, the odds weren't in Carlson's favor to make the roster immediately out of camp. So rather than hold on to the young defenseman, Boudreau wanted to give Carlson time to get over the sting of being sent down.

"I just thought he's not going to start the season here so as a young guy who lived in a hotel [in Hershey] for the run for the Calder Cup there, let's get him situated and acclimated," Boudreau said. "And give him enough time to overcome his disappointment of being sent down, so that when they start their season in 10 days that he'll be ready."

*Michael Nylander has not suited up for any of the Capitals' first three preseason games and you won't see him on the ice against the Blackhawks at Verizon Center tonight, either. Boudreau declined to expand on the well-documented Nylander situation, but offered the succinct: "He's here, but we're looking at other guys."

*Chris Bourque did not skate again today, two days after absorbing a hard hit by Buffalo's Patrick Kaleta in Monday's preseason game, but he may return to the ice tomorrow.

"He feels considerably better today," Boudreau said. "He rode the bike today and said he feels fine so we'll see how he feels tomorrow."

By Katie Carrera  |  September 23, 2009; 12:28 PM ET
 
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Next: Kolzig Announces Retirement

Comments

"He's here, but we're looking at other guys."

Why is that BB? Do you think Nyls is not good? You could at other guys while still giving Nyls a chance.

Posted by: hock1 | September 23, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Olie retiring only rates as a footnote in a post on Carlson?

Really?

Not that any of us are surprised, but you'd think you could take 2 minutes and make it a post of its own.

Posted by: fedup34 | September 23, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

"He's here, but we're looking at other guys."

Why is that BB? Do you think Nyls is not good? You could at other guys while still giving Nyls a chance.

Posted by: hock1 | September 23, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

The Caps will do everything to ensure Nyles is not in the lineup. They don't need him at all unless something bad happens to Backs or BMo. And even then they'll at other options (Laich at center) before Nyles. I have to agree with them. The only other option is to let him play, hope he plays well enough to generate some interest and have him waive his NTC so he can play for a team which really wants him. We just don't need him here. We have 2 playmaking centers better than him.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 23, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

BB: "Carlson, you are going to be great. Nyls, you are.... ooh, bundt cake!"

Posted by: oldtimehockey | September 23, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Olie retiring only rates as a footnote in a post on Carlson?

Really?

Not that any of us are surprised, but you'd think you could take 2 minutes and make it a post of its own.
Posted by: fedup34 | September 23, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

The only thing I can think of is there hasn't been time to write a proper story yet. It is not like he said he was going to retire months ago. Give a day or two then if they haven't done a story it might be worth talking about.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 23, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Too bad we couldn't kill 2 birds with one stone.... Trade Nylander to the Leafs for Kolzig. Unload Nylander's contract and have Olie retire as a Cap.

Posted by: griz0615 | September 23, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I am in Tampa on travel this week and have a wonderful view out my hotel room window of the St. Pete Times Forum's parking lot. First, with the newspaper business in shambles, I imagine the St. Pete Times is able to chuck in about $50 a year for naming rights. Second, there is a big display on the side of the building featuring Vinnie Lecavalier and company boldly proclaiming "Together We Will". Prudently, they do not specify what it is Vinnie will do, which is likely to be the cellar dweller in the softest division in the NHL.

Posted by: crooks_c | September 23, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Everything BB says sounds pretty much like what this blogger said last night. And I agree with her, not really sure why this is a surprise to everyone. Let's give the young'uns time to develop, there's no need to rush them!


Posted by: SEvanson | September 23, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

btw anyone who wants to give greenie a free pass by saying its only preseason so veterans never work hard in preseason only has to look at some other teams in the league. There are a ton of veterans playing pretty damn hard on other team, just maybe not on ours. And when rookies see veterans (who are guaranteed a roster spot) playing their butts off, its a great msg to send to the team and the fans. You start the season off on the right note because you've established a tone in the preseason. I've seen the Kings, the Isles, the Leafs etc play this preseason and their veterans are playing with a lot of gusto. I don't necessarily want my vets blocking shots but too often our veterans just coast around while its the young kids who are hustling and checking. There needs to be better leadership shown by our vets.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 23, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

griz,

Nice thought, but I think Olie is technically a UFA, so Toronto has nothing trade us. It might have been classy to sign him to a contract and then have him retire as a Cap. But, my sense is that GMGM and Olie don't much speak now. Which is too bad. Maybe in a few years, when cooler heads prevail, they'll have an Olie night and maybe raise his number. That would be fitting.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | September 23, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I have to admit to being pretty disappointed about Carlson getting sent down - especially given who stayed. I will trust BB, but I am still bummed.

cstanton1, I couldn't agree more about greenie. Complacency isn't a great trait in hockey period - never mind for a d-man in his own zone. No way he plays in vancouver.

Posted by: govtimbo | September 23, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Actually, pre-season is usually a chance for the veterans to get back to form. Green, Ovie, etc..are not veterans. Pre-season is a chance for the kids to show what they got and for the veterans to get back in form/shape. Middle aged players are usually the ones slacking off, and I'm fine with that.

Posted by: richmondphil | September 23, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Katie and Tarik

You've given us the best coverage all summer and into the fall here, but Olie retires deserves better than a foot note..
Olie was better than that. He's not a foot note as a Cap. He represents the greatest in the mist of the worst of Caps' history. We should be taking/debating whether or not to retire his number. I say retire 37 forever. Instead....blah blah blah blah blah blah Olie blah blah blah is blah blah blah blah retired blah blah blah blah...

Come on !!!

Posted by: Berndaddy | September 23, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Too bad we couldn't kill 2 birds with one stone.... Trade Nylander to the Leafs for Kolzig. Unload Nylander's contract and have Olie retire as a Cap.

Posted by: griz0615 | September 23, 2009 12:57 PM |


Kolzig was unsigned after this year and Leafs have about 400K for cap space. No dice. However, there seems to be some buzz around Nylander to TO for Blake or someone like that. We save a little space, but the problem is Blake's contract is 3 years.

Posted by: richmondphil | September 23, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I was never a big Kolzig fan, but I appreciate his brilliant play, however inconsistent it would come. I also thank him for putting the team on his back during our Finals run. I think he has a done enough to potentially retire his number...but not before #12..who retired a few years ago...

Posted by: richmondphil | September 23, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Tarik, for the Giroux piece.

Why do I fear that after being let go sometime down the road by the Caps, Giroux will be a 30 goal scorer somewhere else?

Posted by: Bartolo1 | September 23, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

agreed. bondra should easily be in the stands before kolzig. i know kolzig seems to be a fan favorite, but he was really only an elite goalie for a few years. very inconsistent and drastically faded in his later years.

on a side note, i can't wait to see carlson if/when he's called up. i haven't had a chance to see any of these preseason games yet, but he's gotta be pretty frickin good when there's this much buzz about a 19 year old.

Posted by: nwilson2 | September 23, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Why do I fear that after being let go sometime down the road by the Caps, Giroux will be a 30 goal scorer somewhere else?

Posted by: Bartolo1 | September 23, 2009 1:19 PM |

Tons of prolific AHL scorers never really make it. Granted, Giroux broke all kinds of records last year, but you can't really say that based on just last year alone. I think he has earned a much bigger look at from the big team though, and that much, he is surely getting.

Giroux just needs an injury to happen to get his big break. God forbid, Semin and Ovie go down, we will need scoring guys, and someone like Giroux who can transition from wing and pivot would be nice. Don't really want our team to get injured for him to get his break though.

Posted by: richmondphil | September 23, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1 & govtimbo are right about green. you don't want to see any player get hurt in a preseason (meaningless) game - but you can not loaf out there. what you do in practice and preseason games usually carries over to the real games. any habits you aquire (good or bad) will show when it counts. green is an offensive talent and assest - i wouldn't want to see him get complacent - because he does have room to improve, that is what he should be concentrating on.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 23, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

crooks_c,

Make fun of the Lightning all you want but that organization has names engraved on The Cup. As for us...

It's also silly to overlook teams before the season starts. You never know how it will play out for us or them.

Confidence is cool. Arrogance is foolish.

Posted by: tmac2yao | September 23, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I don't understand the SE Division bashing. In the past 10 years, this Division has two Cups, and the Caps don't have either of em.

Posted by: richmondphil | September 23, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I was never a big Kolzig fan, but I appreciate his brilliant play, however inconsistent it would come. I also thank him for putting the team on his back during our Finals run. I think he has a done enough to potentially retire his number...but not before #12..who retired a few years ago...

Posted by: richmondphil

Phil I was a HUGE Olie fan and was sad that in the later years his game became more spotty but it was not inconsistant when he was in his prime. But I agree that Bondra goes up first and then Olie.

Posted by: pkendrick | September 23, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Ok so what's the deal with Alzner. Any idea of if HE's gonna make this lineup. He's got to get up here at some point and i think we all know who he should replace... a hint, he plays like a traffic cone.

Posted by: blanknerc | September 23, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Is the game going to be broadcast anywhere tonight?

Posted by: blaketus | September 23, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Carlson's cut wasn't really a surprise. He's young, esp for a defenseman plus his contract leans well to shipping him back and forth. Might as well start him in Hershey, get more pro experience for him and bring him up as needed.

Posted by: remain | September 23, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

BB on Carlson: "There's no need to rush him with the amount of solid NHL defensemen that we have here."

Who? Jeff Schultz? ShaMo? Poti? Don't think so.

Posted by: Exile_in_Philly | September 24, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

There may be no 'rush' currently for Carlson or Alzner to be in the starting lineup for the opener, but my wager is one or both of them will factor in on defense for the parent club by the end of the season.

The 10 'seasoned' NHL defensemen that Bruce talks about includes a number of players that are either injury prone (Poti, Pothier), limited in skills (Erskine, Sloan) or are not that strong in their own end (Schultz, Jurcina).

Posted by: leopard09 | September 24, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

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