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Bourque (and Three Others?) En Route To Hershey

Chris Bourque, as expected, was assigned to Hershey this morning. But I've got a feeling we'll see him again this season. It's the last year of his entry level deal, which means he can be called up and sent down without having to clear waivers. So why wouldn't the Caps want to see him face NHL competition?

So that leaves 17 forwards (not including Eric Fehr), 10 defensemen and goalies Brent Johnson and Olie Kolzig officially still in camp. The Caps have until 3 p.m. Tuesday to get down to the 23-man roster maximum.

Update:Josef Boumedienne, Jame Pollock and Joe Motzko did not practice today. Everyone else did. Reading between the lines, that would seem to suggest that they, too, are en route to Hershey after clearing waivers. That would be noon tomorrow.

Update:Here's the lineup for tonight's game against the Flyers.

Forwards:Brashear, Nylander, Gordon, Pettinger, Backstrom, Ovechkin, Kozlov, Steckel, Clark, Semin, Fleischmann and Laich.

Defensmen:Schultz, Morrisonn, Jurcina, Poti, Pothier and Green.

Goalies:Kolzig and Johnson.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  September 28, 2007; 10:41 AM ET
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Next: Flyers' Downie Gets 20 Games


I believe Bourque should have been kept around and Klepis should have been sent back to Hershey or placed on waivers. Klepis has done nothing for the Caps and the probability of him turning it around this season is very slim.

Posted by: Mitch | September 28, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Don't worry Mitch -- they have more cuts to make, and Klepis is going to be one of them. The upshot of this is that Bourque was pretty much guaranteed to go to Hershey this season. Klepis, if he doesn't make the team, will likely leave the organization, given that he doesn't have a contract and earlier this summer said he would not play in the AHL.

Posted by: Bret | September 28, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I think the right way to look at this is that GMGM is planning on keeping Borque in the organization, which I think is the right thing to do. There might not be a place in the lineup for him just this second, but he's going to be good call-up material later in the season for injured players or underachievers.

There's still plenty of time for Klepis and Sutherby to be waived or traded before opening night.

Posted by: HolyOlie | September 28, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Chris should do well in Hershey but if the Caps really want to keep him motivated they have to give him a taste of the NHL this season. It's always going to be tough sledding for him given his size, but the kid shows a lot of heart and hockey sense. I don't know if he can be a star but he should be able to contribute in this league.

Posted by: b.orr4 | September 28, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

And I know I've said it before, but man, that is a tiny little guy. I really hope he turns into a good scrappy 3rd or 4th liner.

(yes, Dale Hunter is one of my favorite players ever)

Posted by: HolyOlie | September 28, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Klepis doesnt have a contract so its not an issue of getting sent down anywhere.

Posted by: TJ | September 28, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Mitch - Klepis can't be sent to Hershey or placed on waivers right now; he is in camp as an RFA without a contract.

Tarik - Confirmation would be appreciated about this... I believe Bourque's contract "slid" and an extra year was added to his entry-level contract as a result of his playing pro hockey on an entry-level deal at 19yo without playing 11 NHL games.

If I am correct, he has a 4th year on his entry-level contract to play out next season. About waivers next season, he signed and played his first pro season starting at age 19; if I am interpreting the CBA info correctly, he also will be waiver exempt to start next season - looking at the criteria in table in section 13.4 of the CBA.

Posted by: sk84fun | September 28, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse


Any word on the expected lineup tonight? Ringers or wannabes?

Posted by: Vlad | September 28, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Come to think of it, after the latest trims, almost everybody will be playing, so I guess my question is irrelevant..

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse




thats pretty damn close to what were going to see oct.5 if you ask me, but i would swap sutherby for laich. looks good

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey Tarik, Did Klepis ever appear to you that he was really trying to land a job? You've seen tons of him so far this camp. Do you expect him to return to Europe? Do you think he can make the NHL with another team?

Thanks for all the great work. Its sincerely appreciated!

Posted by: 007 | September 28, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Cool - Caps in full battle formation. Thanks Tarik.

The only surprise for me is not seeing Eminger - I thought the Caps would put him in the remaining preseason games to evaluate him, since he's missed time.
Or maybe they already made up their mind about him, and now are just trying to decide which of Green/Schultz to keep, with Erskine/Eminger splitting #6/extra-D duty..?

Posted by: Vlad | September 28, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Just how small is Bourque actually? Is he smaller than St. Louis? That's a small guy too but he's made a huge splash in the league. Maybe they play a different game but the point is some undersize guys can thrive in the NHL.

Posted by: tokyo fan | September 28, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

St. Louis: 5'9" 185 (
Bourque: 5'8" 181 (Caps Training Camp Roster)

Posted by: PuckMan93 | September 28, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Steckel's going to make it...I'm a little surprised by Boumer but I guess he wasnt a lock to make the club out of camp. Good depth again in Hershey.

Posted by: Shaggy | September 28, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

If Boomer has to go through waivers, I wouldn't be shocked to see Tampa Bay claim him with Boyle being out for for 4-6 weeks.

Posted by: b.orr4 | September 28, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised that Schultz seems to be getting such a long and hard look. I haven't been impressed with his play in the preseason, and this seems to be the consensus among people outside the team's front office and coaching staff.

Do the Caps see something here that we don't? The kid has potential, but I'd prefer to see him in Hershey.

If Boumedienne and Pollock are in fact on waivers now, and Schultz gets sent down this weekend, then it would appear that the D is set for the season.

Posted by: billy | September 28, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Damn looks like Emmy is out of the picture already...unless his injury flared up.

Posted by: TJ | September 28, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

If Boumer makes your NHL squad there is no chance the team makes the playoffs

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse


Has Emmy been traded? I thought he was going to get a chance to play all the games.

Ramadan Mubarak.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse


Has Emmy been traded? I thought he was going to get a chance to play the remainder of the preseason games.

Ramadan Mubarak.

Posted by: SeminSecretion | September 28, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Thank you.

No, Eminger is still here. He's pretty much snagged a spot on the roster.

Posted by: Tarik | September 28, 2007 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Looks like a pretty solid lineup tonight.

To the questions/comments about Schultz...after a pretty good chunk of time with the Caps last season management more or less knows what they are going to get. A reliable stay at home defenseman who plays safe and doesn't play the body as much as he probably should given his size. Compare that to Eminger, who has a lot more upside to his game but has/had a tendency to take bad penalties and have mental mistakes to his game.

To me I think management is under the belief that it'll be difficult to have both Eminger and Green as the 5th and 6th defensemen (no matter what the matchups actually are). Until they both mature to the point where they are less of a questionmark in their own end they need to be matched with very responsible defensemen. If Pothier and Poti are not playing together there's no way to make that happen. I wouldn't be surprised if Green and Eminger both make the team, but on any given night one of them is in the press box paired with the winner of the Schultz/Erskine battle for the 6th spot.

I hope I'm wrong, tho, and Eminger and Green both make the top 6, because I think they need the ice time to mature and work out the weaknesses to their games. The real question is how much risk does management want to put on the blue-line.

Posted by: Jeff | September 28, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Boumer won't be going to Hershey. McPhee already has said that if he doesn't make the roster, he'll go back to Europe.

As others pointed out, Klepis, who was/is in the same position as Fleichmann, is without a contract and most likely will got to Europe as well (and I think the Caps will still own his rights). Bourque has a future with the organization--it's just not today. He's a bit of a project, and he doesn't have the offensive upside that St. Louis has (who didn't start really producing in this league until he was 27; Bourque is 21).

Posted by: exwhaler | September 28, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

wow eminger staying..i didnt see that coming but thats why I am not a coach...looks like the def might be

Morr Jurchina
Poti Green
Pothier Eminger

Schultz/Boum Hershey
I guess Erskine could be sent through waivers and schultz stay but why when schultz could be playing each night in hershey and developing even more. That way we can hang on to erskine if we want.

Posted by: mike s | September 28, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I hope this is the roster for 10/5. I would be one happy fan if that's the case.

Posted by: Tracy | September 28, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm guessing, even if the team has already decided that Schultz is not going to be on the opening night roster, the Caps want him to play as much as possible before sending him down to Hershey. The crowds in Hershey have evolved an unreasonable hatred of Schultz because of his poor play early last season, which seemed to be present even after being returned following a fairly successful stint up with the Caps last season.

His confidence seems to be a little lower than it was when he was playing his best hockey last season, and returning him to that environment too soon might rock it even further. So, even if we want to send him down, he'll likely be the 'last cut' in an effort to keep his confidence from falling even further.

Posted by: I like Laich and Fehr is Fair | September 28, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

tarik, is the philly lineup equally stacked for tonight?

Posted by: noonan | September 28, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I have no idea about Philly's lineup. Teams don't generally announce that until game time.

Posted by: Tarik | September 28, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I haven't seen him play recently, but I have to say I'm surprised about Boumedienne not making the team. I remember him being an okay defenseman when he was here last, and, compared to some of the remaining D battling for the 6 spot, being pretty good.

Obviously, it's not definite, yet, but that's still too bad.

And, frankly, I think Bourque will eventually be a very good player for the Caps. He's really quick and he's got greased lightning hands -- he's just got to adapt to the NHL. But, then again, Backstrom will also be adjusting to the NHL sooner, and Nylander is here for a while...

Hmm. He may just not get the chance he deserves.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | September 28, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I don't think we'll have a handle on the true starting roster for the season until after Sunday's game against Ottawa. There is a specification in the CBA that prevents players from playing in more than 3 pre-season games in a row. The Caps are going to have to juggle some people in and out of the line-up in order to comply with CBA requirement through Sunday. Roster cut down is Noon Tuesday.

Posted by: NHL Observer | September 28, 2007 2:33 PM | Report abuse

nhl observ...I agree with the comment about the final 23 not being 100% clear until some time Sunday, but I believe that CBA rule is a player cannot play in preseason games on 3 consecutive dates; also, Backstrom and Fleischmann have dressed for every preseason game to date and are scheduled to play tonight.

Posted by: sk84fun | September 28, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I stand corrected. I misunderstood the 3 consecutive dates to be 3 consecutive games.

Posted by: NHL Observer | September 28, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

nhl obs...the language is confusing, which is why I gave a few examples; always helps to have examples, when trying to understand the convoluted wording of the CBA.

Back to the roster discussion...

Posted by: sk84fun | September 28, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I think Mike S has the defense down pretty good. The top 4 could switch around a little during the start of the season, but this is generally what I see too.

Posted by: Caps Fan in MD | September 28, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

PuckMan, it's true that Martin St. Louis is listed at 5'9", but personally I don't believe it for a minute. My guess is that he's closer to 5'6".

Posted by: norske | September 28, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

If the lineup on D were as Mike S suggested, man, Caps just might have one of the league's very best... 3rd defense pairings!

And thats in addition to projecting to have one of the league's very best 3rd lines in Pettinger/Gordon/Clark!

Coincidence? I think NOT! Be vigilant, ye Caps fans, an evil plot is brewing.. When Varlamov/Neuvirth start dominating the AHL as the Caps' 3rd string goalies, we're doomed..

Posted by: Vlad | September 28, 2007 5:49 PM | Report abuse

scoresheet says fehr played w/ a goal and an assist. is that true or a screwup?

Posted by: jim | September 28, 2007 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Jim, that's for you. Flash was the one with a goal and assist. And wow, what a comeback! Five unanswered goals by the Caps in the third. Ovie with four points. Let's hope we see more of this type of play during the regular season.

Posted by: Alisa | September 28, 2007 10:42 PM | Report abuse

it's the scoresheet on caps website which i imagine is linked. thanks for the info. i thought that was odd.

Posted by: jim | September 29, 2007 12:30 AM | Report abuse

I missed the game last night, but ESPN boxscore has Fehr with an assist on OVs first goal....did Fehr play or is that ESPN confusing Fehr and Flash?

Posted by: Rob | September 29, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

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