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Boudreau: 'Vacation Is Over'

I was just clearing out my notebook and recorder from Day 1 of rookie camp and wanted to pass along some additional items of interest:

*The hometown for Ryan Jasinsky on the Caps' roster is, in fact, correct. The rugged forward is from Richmond, Va. (not Richmond, B.C.) In fact, he spent a couple of years at Manchester High, the same school that produced NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin.

So how did Jasinsky get from Richmond to Washington's rookie camp? The short answer is that, having never been drafted at any level, he's had to fight his way to this point.

Literally.

Jasinsky said he plans to spend next season playing for the Youngstown of the USHL. But he's here this week because Steve Richmond, the Caps' director of player development, spotted him last season when he was playing for Victoriaville of the QJMHL and was impressed enough to invite the 19-year-old to Arlington for the week.

Jasinsky, who's listed at 6-2, 205, racked up 96 PIMs in 64 games with Victoriaville. He said he considers himself a heavyweight, but quickly added that he doesn't want to be just an enforcer.

"You can't just be a straight-up enforcer anymore in the NHL," said Jasinsky, who bounced around when he was younger, spending time in Richmond, Virginia Beach and Michigan. "You have to be able to play hockey, as well."

Based on what I saw today, Jasinsky looked pretty raw. But I am anxious to see what he does when the Caps' rookies face the Flyers' rookies Friday in Voorhees, N.J.

And if you like rough stuff, you should be looking forward to his performance in the scrimmage, too.

* Coach Bruce Boudreau on getting back to work: "It's what we do. Vacation is over. Throwing out pitches is done, so let's get back to work."

* Boudreau on agitator Stefan Della Rovere's mild concussion: "Last week, he got his bell rung. So we wanted to make sure that he takes the week off to make sure that it's fine. We're just holding him out. If you know Stef, he went to hit a guy that was 6 foot 6 and banged his head right into his chest and got his bell rung. He wants to be out there."

Sounds like Della Rovere will miss rookie camp, but could return and participate in main camp.

* Boudreau on his expectations for main camp: "The Hershey guys that won the Cup last year are going to push these guys really hard. They've won a Cup and now they want to make the next step and go to the NHL. If you look at the history of teams that win the Calder Cup, they always have four or five guys that are playing in the NHL the next year. They're going to push some of these guys who think they are safe, for years, to make sure they play their best hockey."

Boudreau also said he sees intense battles at every position.

"We've got three good goalies," Boudreau said. "We've got 11 NHL defensemen. We've got a multitude of forwards that are ready to make the next step. I think there are battles all over the ice. It will make for good stories everywhere."

As a reporter, I'm banking on it.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  September 7, 2009; 6:01 PM ET
 
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Comments

I've never liked the rookie game vs. the Flyers because Flyer rookies know that they only way they'll get any attention from the goon squad Flyer organization is to try to injure our rookies. Happens every year. Too bad Della Rovere can't play.

Posted by: CAP-lanta | September 7, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

RVA represent! House some chumps, Jasinsky!

I'm pretty hopeful about where this is all going. We've got the prospective tools to go all the way.

And here's to SDR getting back on the attack!

Posted by: large23220 | September 7, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

What I'm worried about is that these kids keep getting concussed. That's NOT a good thing.

Posted by: Greg S. | September 7, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Wow, GMGM does so bad at drafting that according to BB, "We've got three good goalies. We've got 11 NHL defensemen. We've got a multitude of forwards that are ready to make the next step."

Yeah that GMGM sure doesn't know how to find good players does he? We're only a "CUP" contending team (not playoff contending team) in the NHL and our minor affiliate just won their championship title.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | September 7, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

I sure have missed Freakinandpeakin and all his negativity. Without him the roses wouldn't be as red. Must of been on vacation or something huh FNP? Or were you getting tired because everybody on the board had you figured out? Think about this man, every single thing you've posted applies to just about every other GM in the league. I know I know, there's so much talent in the later rounds that there has been serious discussions as to retracting the league due to lack of support and diluted talent. So while you're so on task with GMGM's misses in rounds 2+, why don't you show that same enthusiasm and look up other teams drafting errors. Trust me I have. I'll educate you if you want but I'll allow you to save face a little and look it up yourself.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | September 7, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

I will believe they will have enough good defensemen next time Crosby parks himself in front of the net and his butt actually gets pushed out of the crease.

Posted by: joek443 | September 7, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

pokerface,
actually, go back and look at GMGM's draft history. only one...one, player drafted outside the first round has scored more than 10 goals for the caps so far. ONE. matt pettinger. that does not include johhny oduya, who never played for the caps.

only 1 player drafted in rounds 2 or higher in the past five years has even scored an NHL goal. chris bourque and he has 1.

i like GMGM, but his draft history outside the first round is horrible.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | September 7, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Jacinsky should certainly get a fan club on this board. We have several posters from Richmond, VA including Richmond Phil. (My husband used to live in Richmond.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | September 7, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

George McPhee has WASTED YEARS while learning on the job, can't support what he has "done" and wish a PROVEN winner was at the helm.

1 post season series victory in 11 years does NOT make the Caps Cup contenders.

Oh well, sales are strong, why bother with details.

Posted by: LarryDavid | September 7, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, thanks so much for all the updates lately. Can't get enough! Keep 'em coming.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | September 7, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

funny he mentioned Denny Hamlin.. he and his boss, Coach Gibbs are next door neighbors in a Charlotte surburb and Hamlin sometimes plays late night basketball with his buddies on the outdoor court at his house. the court I've heard is located just below Coach Gibbs bedroom next door and I've heard Mrs. Gibbs doesn't like to have the bright light shining late at night when they play basketball...

Posted by: joek443 | September 7, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Larry David strikes again! Curb your enthusiasm, bud. ;)

@kitty pawz

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b372/amandaglavas/6af35bbd65ed3fe5c7cd13d0507ec599744.jpg

In case you cannot tell what this is, it is Emery on stage with Ice Cube. Putting the "ho" back in hockey! Emery Baby!

@Capsfan75

I was actually raised in Nova, I just live here now. Either way, Richmond fully supports this kid! Go Jacinsky or whatever.

Posted by: richmondphil | September 7, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

@LarryDavid

False. He was our GM in '98. So he was the fastest GM in Caps history to 3 playoff series wins. Can a Stanley Cup finalist team really claim that the work of a brand new GM seriously contributed to their success? Arguable, especially since Esa Tikkannen was the only move he made that year. But at least GMGM saw the opportunity and exploited it, and of course, Tiks was a critical part of our success.

As for the dismal years after that, I'm not sure that sort of rebuilding phase is unusual in pro sports today. We've certainly not had it worse than the 49ers. Sometimes you just get stretches of hard luck.

And I can't say I really fault him for the Jagr experiment, or the fire sale. While it seemed like an excessive salary, I (and I wasn't alone) thought Jagr would be motivated to perform at an even higher level because the team was being built for him. We were very wrong there, but its all a gamble. And the fire sale was bad for season ticket holders at the time, but it was a reasonable way of dealing with the facts when we were scraping bottom anyway.

Bottom line, the firesale got us where we are now. Without the draftpicks from sucking so bad, we dont have this team.

So, really, all that venom must be coming from some other place in your life, because this is pretty normal stuff in sports.

GMGM is doing a fine job.

How about a list of GMs you'd rather see in Washington?

Posted by: large23220 | September 7, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Okay I see lots of opinions flying about but very little analysis. A lot of y'all go years back with the Caps and have followed the draft long before GMGM even came on board.

From a previous thread I wrote:

I have only two points. First when analyzing GMGM's success, I would separate his drafting results into two groups--pre-"blow-up of the team" and post-"blow-up of the team." I say this because he is on record stating that he and his team of scouts completely reorganized and revamped their drafting strategy and analysis. He has stated quite clearly that they were not successful with the drafts in his early years with the Caps.

Second, it strikes me that this argument should be about more than whether we find that rare superstar in a late round draft. It should also be about GMGM's ability to make trades and other types of negotiations to acquire as many as possible first and second round draft picks. That increases the odds for success.

So comment please--but don't just throw out late round draft names around. Analyze the decisions building up this team within the larger context, including trades etc. I am not expecting those who don't like GMGM to suddenly see the light, but I am interested in a cogent analysis or report card broken down by years. It often seems to me that some of you can't see the forest for the trees. And some of you are just plain negative--that kind of commentary I just ignore.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | September 7, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

I'll just add that I think it takes chutzpah to tear apart a mediocre but functional team and completely rebuild it. Given that history I think the current team is great. I've read much to try to catch up on the history of the Caps, and I am shocked by how dismal the fan base was and how poorly the team did just in 2006. Hats off to all you die-hard Caps fans, but we have really come a long way from 2006.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | September 7, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

As a sometimes Islanders fan (though I prefer their past to there present), I can state that the past means nothing. If the Capitals win this year and go all the way, then who the heck cares who they drafted in 2005.

It is touch to go from being an Islanders fan to following the Capitals (Dale Hunter/Pierre Turgeon) as well, but the team grew on us. The past doesn't matter. Just win now. So, short version: leave GMGM alone. The team has built toward success following a good plan.

Posted by: lornemyoung | September 7, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

damn spell checker. touch = tough

Posted by: lornemyoung | September 7, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

@lornemyoung

I'm glad you converted from being an Islander fan. Good choice. I must admit I really hated the Islanders back in the 70's and 80's.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | September 7, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

@RichmondPhil

You did the opposite of my husband. He lived in Richmond as a teenager and now is here.

Oops, I misspelled Jasinsky, the boy from Richmond. Seems that several of the Caps prospects came into the world in January of 1990: Jasinsky, Kugryshev, and Carlson.

It's a scary thought -- the prospects at camp are the age of my kids, with the eldest the age of my first born and the youngest the age of my last born.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | September 7, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, we owe everything to McPhee. He's the genius behind the curtain. How quickly we forget - Ciernik, Gruden & the boys. Oh, how about Stephane Richer's comeback...or Petr Sykora...no, not that Sykora! The younger, stronger version of Kono (Kono traded for Bates Battaglia)...and on and on it goes.

The four year plan was a disaster, and here we are 11 years later, still waiting for a sniff of the cup. Meanwhile, the Pens won a few cups in the early 90's, almost were sold / filed for bankruptcy, and have just won the Cup! Not to mention the Lightning and Canes within our division.

Yet, yes - George McPhee is really building something special here. Just think - we were only down 3-1 last year to the RANGERS, but luckily, McPhee had drafted Varlamov and instructed BB to play him and voila...we win a play-off series over a team we should have dominated.

Then, after a hard fought six games with the Pens, we fold like a cheap tent in the 7th game.

We're now Cup contenders?? Seriously?

Thanks George!!! ppffffffft.

Posted by: Jaymagz | September 7, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

@gaymagz

Sophomoric attempt at sarcasm; pedestrian at best. Next time with more zealous indignance.

So last year we sewed up the best regular season tally THIS CLUB HAS EVER HAD.

WITHOUT A REAL NHL STARTING GOALTENDER.

AND WITH THE NHL'S WORST TOP-3 DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS.

AND WITH ALL KINDS OF BUSTED JOINTS AND BONES ALL OVER THE PLACE.

We had the third best regular season record in the National Hockey League last year and were knocked out of the playoffs by the eventual champion. What do you want from this guy?

Posted by: large23220 | September 8, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse

How can you praise the same guy/GM that hired Bruce "keanu" Cassidy to tell Jagr how to play the game ?

And people wonder why the Gambler won NHLPA best player award 05/06 with NY, because a real coach knew how to use him.


Posted by: LarryDavid | September 8, 2009 1:12 AM | Report abuse

Poor "Large"

Bellows was added in 97/98 and McPhee gets ZERO credit for a team already in place.

Funny you mention Esa Tikkanen, he missed a wide open net that may have at least allowed for one win in the finals, nevermind details, keep on believin.....

McPhee is the worst GM in hockey today, at any level.

Posted by: LarryDavid | September 8, 2009 1:39 AM | Report abuse

LOL at the GMGM basher's - never mind that the Caps lost more combined starter games than any other team in the beginning of the year, but kept right on winning because the Caps just plugged in one Hershey Bear after another into the line up. The depth from top to bottom in this organization is excellent. GMGM Did that.

The Caps took the Stanley Cup Champion to 7 games, despite 14 fewer power plays, significant injuries to key players and a rookie goal tender. We have the best, most exciting player in the world, he is surrounded by superb young talent. This is a bonafide Stanley Cup Contender for years to come. Seriously, this is the VERY BEST Caps team this town has ever had.

It's absolutely absurd to whine because they didn't go from the worst team in Hockey to Cup winners in less than 2 years. But look how far they have come. And could the games be any more fun and exciting?

Seriously, quit the damn whining and enjoy yourselves for a change.

Posted by: Terpsrule | September 8, 2009 2:31 AM | Report abuse

Wow Larry - you Cheef, Freakinand.. whatever, and some others on here should go start your own "Crapitals" blog. It's funny how you guys state "Mcphee is the worst Gm in hockey today" yet nobody else who can spell puck would agree with you. There is a bit of a difference in some of your personalities though. You and Cheef just say outlandish stuff like "GMGM is the worst ever" and "Caps won't even make the playoffs next year". Then there's Freakinandwhatever who can help but to type "war and peace" of negative crap. So if GMGM is the worst, how is it that we are legitimately considered a Cup contender, we just won the Calder Cup and we have 8-9 legitamite NHL Dmen?

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | September 8, 2009 2:37 AM | Report abuse

DCsports - so you're looking at GMGM's draft history past the first round, ok. Wouldn't you say that players he got in trades count a little towards this? While he didn't draft them himself, he did acquire them before they ever made it to the NHL (Flash, Laich, etc). Also you're talking about 2nd round picks and deeper. Rarely is ever a player picked in the 2nd round and later that is ready to make it to the NHL in the first 3 years. We just finished year 4 so we should start to see this coming to fruition. Now an argument can be made that it's taken longer because he team has less spots to allow such a transition. That's my only point. I'm not arguing against your facts as they are facts and can't be disputed but I think there are factORS that need to be considered in that statement. Plus look at other franchises and see who they were pickin in the 2nd rounds +. Most of those guys never make it. In the NHL you're drafting at such a young age it's a crap shoot past the first round anyway. You're not always gonna find the Zetterberg's, Bondra's and Datsyuk's but they'll pop up here and there. Do you really think Kenny Holland though Datsyuk and Zetterberg were gonna be THIS good? Doubtful.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | September 8, 2009 3:41 AM | Report abuse

Wow it's late. I'm a grammatical pro at 1:43AM mountain time! Whew! Look at that spelling baby! My mom would be proud! Oh brother!

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | September 8, 2009 3:44 AM | Report abuse

McPhee's 1st year as GM 97-98.

Deadline deals: Acquires Esa Tikkanen, Brian Bellows and Jeff Brown. Tik plays major role as "shadow" in keeping Yashin off game as Caps streak by Ottawa. Bellows scores timely goals. Jeff Brown was a top-flight offensive defenseman, but an injury cut him down in Playoffs. These were great moves that led to Cup Final. He struggled for a few years after that, but engineered the Fire sale quite well. His long-term grade is "average," but he's like the student whose second half was B+ after first half year was C-. Anyone calling him "worst in NHL" is way off base.

Posted by: tominfl1 | September 8, 2009 7:11 AM | Report abuse

jaymagz, larrydavid, and anyone else that comes on here and bashes this team: If you do not like the Capitals, GMGM, or owner, why in the heck are you a "fan" of this team? I am sick and tired of "fans" that want to question whether or not "we" (please stop using that word) are contenders. Listen to the experts on NHL Home Ice, The Hockey News, and the NHL Network, they all say the Caps are contenders. The biggest hurdle they need to get over is winning the big game. which is the hurdle that all young teams have to get over. That is not up to GMGM or BB. The players need to perform in those big games. There can only be 1 Champion a season. The Caps lost to those Champions in Game 7. Game 7 didn't play out like I had hoped but they were not supposed to get to Game 7. They won Game 6 on the road and against rediculous opposition. There were many things that happened in the last 2 minutes of that game that make the fact that the Caps won that game amazing. All the way from the penalty that should not have been called to the extra 2 seconds put on the clock at the end of regulation so the Pens got one last offensive zone face-off. This team is good. If you think otherwise you are an idiot, yes an idiot. This team was assembled through draft picks and trades, not purchased by buying a bunch of veterans so they are in place for a few years.

I am not claiming that everying on here should be marshmallows and lollipops but enough is enough. The Pens winning the Cup last year might just be what helps our young guys believe that it is their time.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 8, 2009 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, fanohock1. I've been wondering that myself, but I've been thinking for a while now that at the root of the problem is change. The simple fact is that this is a very, very different Caps team in style of play, in makeup, and in attitude from the teams of the 1980's and 1990's. Gone is the limited talent, big heart lunchpail team from that era; this team is young, fast, and just a little wild. It's a completely different style of play - the saying "these aren't your father's Caps" is nothing more than the sober truth.

Unfortunately, not everyone responds well to change, and I think and have thought for a while that the people here who are bashing GMGM and the team and whining about how bad all the players are are doing so because they can't accept the team's new direction. To those of you who hate the team's new direction and think McPhee is a joke - please go find another team to root for. The days you're pining for are gone. Get over it, and if you can't get over it, please go root for the New Jersey Devils.

Posted by: kittypawz | September 8, 2009 7:45 AM | Report abuse

I think it's fair to say that player development within the organization has been less than satisfactory. You can throw all the Calder Cups in the world to defend it, but you can't win Cups on 1st round draft picks and trades alone. The Caps lost to the eventual Cup winners who had a homegrown draft picks from the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 8th round on their rosters.

Posted by: Section117 | September 8, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Section117: BS. Luck plays a role, too, and without several bounces going their way, I don't think the Pens series would have gone to that disastrous Game 7. I don't think it's lack of talent that cost us that series, not by a long shot. Injuries, refereeing, and one or two balance issues.

Is it perfect? No. Nothing's perfect. If we don't get there this year, then we can complain. The fact is that drafting is a crapshoot, and there's a certain element of good fortune involved. I still say that the Pens' luck had a little help, and that contributed to last year. Some guys take longer to develop than others, and it is what it is. I think saying it's "less than satisfactory" is unreasonable - not everyone develops at the same speed, and it's easy to ruin guys by trying to push them too fast (Steve Eminger, anyone?). Chill out, sheesh.

Posted by: kittypawz | September 8, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

DCsports - so you're looking at GMGM's draft history past the first round, ok. Wouldn't you say that players he got in trades count a little towards this? While he didn't draft them himself, he did acquire them before they ever made it to the NHL (Flash, Laich, etc). Also you're talking about 2nd round picks and deeper. Rarely is ever a player picked in the 2nd round and later that is ready to make it to the NHL in the first 3 years. We just finished year 4 so we should start to see this coming to fruition. Now an argument can be made that it's taken longer because he team has less spots to allow such a transition. That's my only point. I'm not arguing against your facts as they are facts and can't be disputed but I think there are factORS that need to be considered in that statement. Plus look at other franchises and see who they were pickin in the 2nd rounds +. Most of those guys never make it. In the NHL you're drafting at such a young age it's a crap shoot past the first round anyway. You're not always gonna find the Zetterberg's, Bondra's and Datsyuk's but they'll pop up here and there. Do you really think Kenny Holland though Datsyuk and Zetterberg were gonna be THIS good? Doubtful.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | September 8, 2009 3:41 AM | Report abuse

hey, i agree with most of what you are saying. and the reason i like GMGM is that he has made some very very good trades in order to put together this team. and i agree that in the NHL, like baseball, when you draft it is a total crap shoot given the ages of the players and add in the fact that alot of these guys play in different continents. i just think we should have seen more value in the second plus round after 12 years or so of drafting.

look at our pals in pittsburgh.
letang - 3rd round '05
kennedy - 4th round '04
talbot - 8th round '02
scuderi - 5th round '98

all these guys have contributed for them.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | September 8, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

GMGM must be measured by the overall results of the team - not by discrete aspects that in part can make him look particularly good/bad. The discussion on his draft picks after some certain round is an example of this.

I am a fan of GMGM for putting together a very exciting, and pretty good team. Yes, we are only pretty good - losing in the first round one year and the second round the next (even if the loss was to the eventual Cup champs) makes us only above-average.

I have been a Caps fan since 1974 (family had season tickets and attended Game 1). However, I am sick to death of season upon season of futility, while our peers (NJ Devils) and our juniors (Lightning, Hurricanes) manage to win it all.

No one in the Caps organization gets a break from me until they earn a championship. They have had 30+ years to do it, and GMGM has had a decade to break the streak. When they do win a Cup, they will have my unending loyalty, much like Gary Williams has earned by breaking decades of futility by the U of Maryland men's basketball team.

This is a little old but is the only third party ranking of NHL GMs I could find. Anyone have a better source?

http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/14786-The-Hockey-News-GM-rankings.html

I cannot wait for the season to start - go Caps!!!

Posted by: crooks_c | September 8, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

GMGM must be measured by the overall results of the team - not by discrete aspects that in part can make him look particularly good/bad. The discussion on his draft picks after some certain round is an example of this.

Posted by: crooks_c | September 8, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

All of the post-lockout teams have won Cups with some homegrown talent from the mid to late rounds, so I fail to see how player development within an organization is a "discrete aspect."

Posted by: Section117 | September 8, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of GMGM's "poor" draft picks... Here's the "proof" of that (not):

http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/27762-THNcom-Blog-Did-you-know.html

Posted by: Greg S. | September 8, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Just in case you can't get to the site, here's what the article said about Caps players:

"Everyone knows Alex Ovechkin led the NHL last season with 56 goals in 79 games.
But did you know that Ovechkin’s teammate in Washington, Alexander Semin (aka ‘The Other Alex’) scored 34 times in 62 contests? Pro-rated over 82 games, that translates to 45 goals, which would’ve tied for third overall in the NHL. Could there be two 50-goal-scoring Alexes in Washington this season?

"And did you know Ovechkin had the most assists among non-centers in the NHL in 2008-09? It’s true. He finished 10th overall with 54; the nine guys ahead of him, from Evgeni Malkin’s league-leading 78 to Mike Ribeiro’s ninth-place 56, all play the pivot position. (Truth be told, Ovechkin tied for 10th with fellow goal-scoring winger Jarome Iginla, but the Flames power forward played three more games.)

"And while Ovechkin’s teammate, Mike Green, easily led all NHL defensemen in goals (31; eight more than Edmonton’s Sheldon Souray and Nashville’s Shea Weber), it was Montreal’s Andrei Markov who led all blueliners in assists, with 52. Green also led all D-men in points (73), with Markov second (64). Don’t forget, though, that Green only played 68 games; if he’d stayed healthy and continued scoring at the same clip, he’d be looking at an 88-point season. To put it in perspective, the last defenseman to record 88 or more points in a single season was Boston’s Ray Bourque back in 1993-94. Only 10 NHLers last season had a better points-per-game rate than Green’s 1.07 (among NHLers who played in at least 20 games)."

Posted by: Greg S. | September 8, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

crooks_c: Your post is good. See I don't expect marshmallows and lollipops, just a good exchange of information. However, the link to the rankings of GMs is from March of 2008, before the Caps had secured a 2008 playoff bid, and of course before last season. I'd be interested to see if he has improved his ranking since April 2008.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 8, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Talbot was an 8th rounder is 2002, and Scuderi a 5th rounder is 1998...Caps fans don't give our guys that long to develop. We have deep round guys starting to surface, and they are in camp as we speak.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 8, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

GMGM moved up to #18 from #21 in the 2009 rankings. This was prior to advancing to the 2nd round and losing in Game 7. The new rankings will not be out until March of 2010. http://www.andrewsstarspage.com/index.php/ADSPblog/comments/hockey_news_gm_rankings/

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 8, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

People can point to the Pens late rounders as the reason they won the Cup, but the real reason is because they got truly lucky in the 2005 lottery. Sure, the Caps were lucky to go #1 in 2004, but getting Crosby was pure, true luck.

The Caps also have late round contributors. Guys like Chris Clark (3rd Rounder) and Jurcina (Caps gave up a 4th) came via trade. So if you criticize McPhee for failing to get late rounders via draft, you should equally condemn other GMs who didn't get later rounders via trade or lower paid FAs (Pothier, Erskine) or guys we picked up that nobody wanted (Bradley, Sloan), etc.

McPhee struggled for the first five years, but since the Fire Sale began, he has done well enough. I'd say, despite that THN article, he rates Top 10 for recent performance.

Posted by: tominfl1 | September 8, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

tom,
lucky to get crosby in 05. but four-leaf-clover, horseshoe-up-your-know-where, hit the powerball lucky to also have had the #2 in 04. two generational players in two years thanks to the ping pong balls. not to mention a #2 in 06...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | September 8, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I also think that a contributor to the poor early showing of GMGM's tenure was an owner that was too involved in operations. I think that Leonsis has restrained himself admirably since the decision to have the firesale and rebuild. Prior to that, it was Leonsis' influence that brought us Jagr and Cassidy and the firing of Wilson.

Posted by: Greg S. | September 8, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Talbot was an 8th rounder is 2002, and Scuderi a 5th rounder is 1998...Caps fans don't give our guys that long to develop. We have deep round guys starting to surface, and they are in camp as we speak.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 8, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse


Kris Letang (3rd rounder in '05) and Tyler Kennedy (4th rounder in '04) were also on their playoff roster.

Posted by: Section117 | September 8, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Section117: I will give you this much: If the Caps had taken Letang IN THE 1ST ROUND of 2005, rather than Pokulok, we might well have bested the Pens.

But some of you guys would still be saying McPhee can't draft.

Posted by: tominfl1 | September 8, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

The Caps also have late round contributors. Guys like Chris Clark (3rd Rounder) and Jurcina (Caps gave up a 4th) came via trade. So if you criticize McPhee for failing to get late rounders via draft, you should equally condemn other GMs who didn't get later rounders via trade or lower paid FAs (Pothier, Erskine) or guys we picked up that nobody wanted (Bradley, Sloan), etc.

Posted by: tominfl1 | September 8, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I'm not condemning the other GMs who've done nothing with other lower round failures, I'm simply suggesting that the teams you want to compare the Caps to have all won Cups with some homegrown talent on their roster which they developed into solid contributors. I'll trade Letang for Clark or Talbot for Bradley.

That said, I look forward to the day that any of Osala, Della Rovere, Bouchard and Broda can both crack and be contributors to the lineup each night.

Posted by: Section117 | September 8, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Section117: Ok, let's play a game. Who would Osla, Della Rovere, Bouchard, and Broda replace? The guys they would replace like Bradley and Fehr, are still better than them, and not very expensive. That is the biggest problem right now, our team is young, and the guys that are closest to being replaceable, are not that expensive in the first place.

Let's be realistic about the Pens too, without all of their 1st round superstars, Crosby, Malkin, Fleury, and Stahl, there 3rd, 4th, and 8th rounders don't get a sniff at the Cup or the playoffs.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 8, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I know, should have typed "their" instead of "there" my bad. Also, Osla should read Osala.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 8, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

The glass is 99% full of the best beer you can buy, but there are those people who can only see that 1% empty space and would never, ever, taste that delicious beer served to them.

Posted by: hock1 | September 8, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

117: Well, I will agree with you 100% on one thing - the best example over the years for finding lower round jems has been the Red Wings, which is why they've been the best in the business since 97. I agree that the best way to get to the top and stay near the top, for a generation, is shrewd drafting. It works especially well since those guys come cheaply payroll-wise (same like that in football with the Ravens). Any team can win once (or even twice - see Florida Marlins) based on perfect alignment of the stars. But, your point, and I grant you, for the Caps to remain in the elite for the duration of Ovechkin's contract, due to we will have several top dollar guys, is McPhee absolutely, positively must connect on some lower picks that will provide cheap labor.

It also helps that Philly gave us the Carlson pick for Emmy and a #3.

Posted by: tominfl1 | September 8, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I can see the point, and this is why Ozzie Newsome has been so effective for the Ravens. First, he got lucky with Ray Lewis as the last pick in the first round. But, year after year, he gets guys like Adalius Thomas in the late rounds (or undrafted FAs) who turn into All Stars on defense. In any sport, you can only do so much with trades and UFAs because they generally cost more. Filling the pipeline with lower round picks who provide contributing roles (or lead roles like with Detroit) ensures long-lasting success. We have some guys now (add Holtby to above list) who might soon do that. McPhee has still built a solid team. We can judge him in 5-10 years if it lasts.

Posted by: tominfl1 | September 8, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Oh, add Perrault to list of "maybes," he was a #6 pick.

Posted by: tominfl1 | September 8, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Let's be realistic about the Pens too, without all of their 1st round superstars, Crosby, Malkin, Fleury, and Stahl, there 3rd, 4th, and 8th rounders don't get a sniff at the Cup or the playoffs.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 8, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

So the Pens have 1st round superstars and I guess AO, Semin, Backstrom and Green are chopped liver (Never mind that Varlamov, Alzner and Carlson are on the cusp of regular playing time).

Look, most GMs do well drafting in the first round. Some do better than others. But I'd suggest that you're supposed to do well when you draft in the first round, let alone have multiple picks to do so. It's what you do after the first that makes an average GM good or even great.

And I'd suggest while you're right about the supporting cast not getting a whiff of the playoffs without the superstars, by the same token, the superstars need to have contribution from the supporting cast to help them push through.

Posted by: Section117 | September 8, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

"So the Pens have 1st round superstars and I guess AO, Semin, Backstrom and Green are chopped liver (Never mind that Varlamov, Alzner and Carlson are on the cusp of regular playing time)."

Fleury 1st overall 2003, Crosby 1st overall 2005, Malkin 2nd overall 2004, and Stahl 2nd overall 2006. As compared to the Caps 1st rounders, Ovi 1st overall 2004, Backstrom 4th overall 2006, Semin 13th overall 2002, and Green 29th overall in 2004. Which GM had more work to do to insure 1st round success?

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 8, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Fleury 1st overall 2003, Crosby 1st overall 2005, Malkin 2nd overall 2004, and Stahl 2nd overall 2006. As compared to the Caps 1st rounders, Ovi 1st overall 2004, Backstrom 4th overall 2006, Semin 13th overall 2002, and Green 29th overall in 2004. Which GM had more work to do to insure 1st round success?

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 8, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse


As the Caps have had more than double the 1st rounders the Pens have had in the last 5 or 6 years, I'd say Patrick/Shero have done more with less to work with.

Posted by: Section117 | September 8, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I have no idea what's going on here, but the Pens had 4 top-5 overall picks. We had 2.

How is that in anyway comparable? top-5 overall is a whole different world compared to #25-30.

Posted by: richmondphil | September 8, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

OK, ALL YOU GMGM HATERS.
YOU'R RIGHT,
HE'S THE WORST,
NOW GO AWAY AND LET THE REST OF US ENJOY THE BEST CAPS TEAM EVER.

Posted by: billd2 | September 8, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

How so? The Pens were in position to select 4 of the top 6 prospects from 2003-2006. The draft experts always say after the top 10 it's anyone's guess. Numbers 1-5 are considered easy. We'll just have to agree to disagree on GMGM, no big deal. I truly believe that some of GMGM's deep picks would make it on lesser teams. Players like Bouchard, Bourque, Andrew Gordon, Perrault and Pinizzotto are exciting and show great potential. Again, drafted by a team other than the Caps, they probably would have more of a shot.

I'm just looking forward to seeing the Caps back on the ice. The NHL Network in the US will be broadcasting games as soon as 15 September. The Caps will have preseason games on MSG when they play the Rangers too. I caught that on the NHL.com schedule.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 8, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

We are considered to have one of the deepest pipelines in the League right now. Behind St Louis, LA, etc. The difference is is that we are also a contending team.

You guys can use ambiguous stats and point to certain things, but until that changes I am not going to be too worried about how we are filling in those holes, as long as they are filled. Seriously, what's the difference from drafting an 8th round Jurcina and trading for an 8th round Jurcina because the other team gave up on him? In the end, there really is none.

I am not the biggest GMGM fan, but a year and a half ago we were 15th in the East. Calm down.

And use last year playoffs all you want, we lost for 1 single reason and 1 reason only. Hopefully he fixes his glove hand by next March.

Posted by: richmondphil | September 8, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

PS; Along with the firing of Hanlon and Backstrom arriving, GMGM was the one who engineered those certain trades that pushed us to the cusp and into the playoffs. Cooke....Huet...Fedorov... all reasons we were even there last year after an abysmal start.

Who cares about 98?

Posted by: richmondphil | September 8, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I have no idea what's going on here, but the Pens had 4 top-5 overall picks. We had 2.

How is that in anyway comparable? top-5 overall is a whole different world compared to #25-30.

Posted by: richmondphil | September 8, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

The Pens also had Mike Kennedy and his 3 GWG during their championship run. They also had Maxime Talbot and the Carcillo fight which arguably turned the tide for them.

In '07 the Wings had Johan Franzen and his 13 goals help them in their Cup run. That's not even including all of their late round picks.

In '05 the Canes had Wallin, Cole and Vasicek help land them a Cup.

Take a look at last year's Bruins, with Lucic, Krejci and Bergeron, not to mention drafting Versteeg back in the day.

If the argument is now GMGM works harder because he's had a couple drafts that started lower than the Pens, then you should also be madder at GMGM for having more picks and producing less with them, no?

Posted by: Section117 | September 8, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Is that my argument?

Posted by: richmondphil | September 8, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Yours in the collective sense, not the individual one.

Posted by: Section117 | September 8, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

phil: I'm going to disagree w/you there. Caps didn't lose to the Pens due to Varly; they lost due to having 19 PP chances if I recall vs Pens had like 39. Whether it was bad officiating or the Caps players were truly so foul crazy, it was those 20 extra PPs that made the series go 7 in the 1st place.

As for NHL Network, I just noticed yesterday they have now put it in HD (along with MLB, NBA, ESPNU and some others) on my cable company. Before I was paying but those channels were only std def. Now if they would just put the Center Ice games in HD, because in std def they are the blurriest programs I get. I've called and complained and evidently it's a problem on all the sports packages.

Posted by: tominfl1 | September 8, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

BTW, who's counting, but Alzner was also a #5 overall. That gives THEM 4 and US 3.

We got Semin though at #13 and Green at #29 and they both play like Top 5. Varly might turn out better than MAF, but first he has to make a last-second save to win the Cup. And Carlson might well turn out better than any other defender on either team (he was #27 I think).

Finally, I'd really like to see what Fehr can do if he stays healthy. He was a major force in the WHL for several years.

Posted by: tominfl1 | September 8, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

The Canes won the Stanley Cup because of 1 player, Cam Ward, he's not there, they don't win, period. I'm not sold on the Bruins, why would they be used as an example? They lost in the 2nd round to a team that got swept in the 3rd, hardly an organization we want to identify with. The Wings are, heck, the Wings, who knows how they do it.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 8, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I am absolutely not sold on GMGM. Yes, the Caps are a fast, fun, exciting team - but they've had a plethora of extremely high draft picks in recent years, and a blind man would have picked Ovechkin. They're also coached by one of the most innovative minds in hockey since Herb Brooks.

Look at how many low picks the Wings have had who've become extremely productive - can GMGM say anything close to that?

And, for the 3rd offseason in a row, he neglected to address the Caps' most glaring need - reliable, puck-moving d-men.

Posted by: govtimbo | September 8, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

@govtimbo

A few observations...

GM hired the most innovative mind...

If you compare any GM to the RedWings, they will look bad.

And on D..I dont think he is done yet...We have to make some changes on the back..so give him a few more weeks.

Posted by: SA-Town | September 8, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm not comparing GMGM to Ken Holland, but you can't even compare him to Darcy Regier at this point.

Posted by: Section117 | September 8, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

The Canes won the Stanley Cup because of 1 player, Cam Ward, he's not there, they don't win, period. I'm not sold on the Bruins, why would they be used as an example? They lost in the 2nd round to a team that got swept in the 3rd, hardly an organization we want to identify with. The Wings are, heck, the Wings, who knows how they do it.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 8, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse


Again, point being is that they won, and parts of those teams included cheaper talent that was drafted in later rounds and raised in-house.

Posted by: Section117 | September 8, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Here's a novel idea: how about we all wait and see what the actual Coach and General Manager do with regards to defense when the season starts? With a new defensive coach and the results of training camp, maybe these moves you who doubt McPhee and Boudreau, will come to fruition and surprise, you won't have to b*tch and complain to the rest of us who're patient enough to wait for things to happen instead of trying to out-guess the next person on what's going to happen.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | September 8, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Luv the depth.

Posted by: Rocc00 | September 8, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

With the start of the school year and life, I had no chance to check in until now. Good thread. Lots of analysis that I am mulling over. I am not a rose-colored glasses person but try to be positive and logical when I mull.

Given that I don't think it is fair to compare GMGM's results of the past five years (post-blow-up-of-the-team) to the Wings or the Pens as far back as the 90s. And I'm not interested in how well he did before the team fire sale. I already know the answer from GMGM himself--not well.

I am interested in, however, in how well he's done over the past five or so years--the build-up of the current team.

Overall I think our current team is good verging on great. And I think more tinkering with the team lineup will come. We have depth (some say too much depth) with the Caps lineup, we have great depth on the Bears lineup with a number of promising players just itching to break into the Caps lineup. And we have depth on the Stingrays lineup. We are trying to build up the farm system--much like Wings. It takes time to do this.

I was listening to Woods and BB being quoted the other day--they both said that part of a player's and team's development is learning how to win, as well as how to learn from a big loss.

The Bears have done that on both fronts. And I think this is the Caps year to do that. This past season the Caps had an underdog mentality, a holdover I believe from the previous season.

This upcoming season I expect our team to learn how to win as the favored team. And in the playoffs I believe the Caps will capitalize on that game 7 loss and do much better. I expect them to be contenders to get to the SC finals. And I hope they will be ready to win the SC. I hope that the puck bounces our way for a change.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | September 8, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

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