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Posted at 2:16 PM ET, 01/11/2011

Versatile forward Brian Willsie looking forward to playing with Caps

By Katie Carrera

Brian Willsie hasn't played a game in a Capitals uniform since the 2005-06 season, back when he was Alex Ovechkin's first roommate in the NHL, but the veteran forward is ready to step in against the Panthers tonight.

With Alexander Semin not on the trip and Boyd Gordon not quite able to return to the lineup after missing 10 games with a staph infection in his toe, Washington recalled Willsie, a natural right wing. Recently, though, because of Mathieu Perreault and Jay Beagle are in Washington, Willsie has played center with Kyle Greentree and Steve Pinizotto in Hershey.

At this stage of his career though, the 32-year-old can play any position. And although he hasn't dressed for Washington in several years, Willsie is familiar with quite a few players in the locker room, from Beagle and Perreault to Ovechkin along with Scott Hannan and Matt Hendricks, with whom he played when he was part of the Avalanche organization the past two seasons.

They're "all great guys and I'm excited to be here," said Willsie, who will likely skate with Hendricks and David Steckel. "I think you rely on your experience a little bit just to be calm. Getting called up, you can try to do a little too much and be a little bit nervous, but just to be calm and rely on that. I think part of my game is working hard and if I can bring that, just work hard every shift, I'll be alright."

--With Tom Poti staying out for extra work along with Boyd Gordon, Tyler Sloan and D.J. King this morning, it looks like John Erskine will be back in the lineup after serving as a healthy scratch the past two games. Erskine skated with Jeff Schultz in practice on Monday.

By Katie Carrera  | January 11, 2011; 2:16 PM ET
Categories:  Brian Willsie  
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Comments

Why do we pay DJ King?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 11, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

The Lumberjack is back! Why is he the odd man out? He played a great game at the Winter Classic.

Posted by: dsterp931 | January 11, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see Erskine back on the ice.

I think Willsie's a good pick to come up for tonight. Though he hasn't been in a Caps uniform for some time, he has played lots of NHL gmes in the interim (hough few in the last year). Interested in seeing how he's doing.

Posted by: Justafan | January 11, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Katie, are you married? :)

Posted by: dsterp931 | January 11, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse

They should not take Beagle away from that line, those three have a lot of chemistry going. I would rather see Willsie play on the line they moved Beagle to.

Posted by: PhilR | January 11, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse

@lyle, DJK's been on IR. Unless you've got info that he's healthy, I'm not sure the question's relevant.

Posted by: Justafan | January 11, 2011 2:41 PM | Report abuse

They should not take Beagle away from that line, those three have a lot of chemistry going. I would rather see Willsie play on the line they moved Beagle to.

Posted by: PhilR

I agree.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 11, 2011 2:45 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR

I agree with you for the most part. But I think its more a sign that they see Beagle sticking around when everyones healthy. They feel comfortable playing him anywhere on 3rd or 4th line. This also helps that line for faceoffs and gives Beagle more ice time you'd think.

Posted by: ThePat | January 11, 2011 2:56 PM | Report abuse

@lyle, DJK's been on IR. Unless you've got info that he's healthy, I'm not sure the question's relevant.

Posted by: Justafan | January 11, 2011 2:41 PM | Report abuse

DJK isn't injured, he's been buried there and we'll never see him play in a Caps jersey again. He's been on the IR for over a month, yet nobody knows the nature or severity of the injury?? He's healthy enough to practice but BB has not once acknowledged DJK, his health or status, since he was placed on IR. I think BB has chosen to ignore any discussion of DJK because, deep down, he's ashamed at how awful he's treated and handled DJK.

BB is a loser who treats everyone but his chosen ones like crap...

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 11, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

@Justafan

Ha...I think that question is especially relevant.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 11, 2011 3:08 PM | Report abuse

@lyle, DJK's been on IR. Unless you've got info that he's healthy, I'm not sure the question's relevant.

Posted by: Justafan | January 11, 2011 2:41 PM | Report abuse

DJK isn't injured, he's been buried there and we'll never see him play in a Caps jersey again. He's been on the IR for over a month, yet nobody knows the nature or severity of the injury?? He's healthy enough to practice but BB has not once acknowledged DJK, his health or status, since he was placed on IR. I think BB has chosen to ignore any discussion of DJK because, deep down, he's ashamed at how awful he's treated and handled DJK.

BB is a loser who treats everyone but his chosen ones like crap...

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 11, 2011 3:08 PM | Report abuse

He has played 21 games in 3 years - he is irrelevant- not the question

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 11, 2011 3:12 PM | Report abuse

"I think BB has chosen to ignore any discussion of DJK because, deep down, he's ashamed at how awful he's treated and handled DJK."

Yeah, I'm sure that's it and not the fact that players such as Hendricks and Beagle have earned their 4th line spots with their good overall play.

If BB wants to play DJK some, that is fine with me, but quit whining about guys not earning their spots. The guys playing ahead of DJK right now earned those spots with good play. DJK doesn't deserve a spot just because he can fight, he has to earn it also by outplaying his competition. He hasn't done that yet.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 11, 2011 3:15 PM | Report abuse

DJ King stinks. People need to quit crying about him. He's lucky he is on an NHL roster. The Caps should put him on waivers, no one will claim him and let him go to Hershey.

Posted by: ThePat | January 11, 2011 3:20 PM | Report abuse

vermontcaps should be singing the Erskine song today instead of bashing BB for DJK. I guess he is too busy posting on the Bruins blogs about the amazing win last night. vermontcaps is a traitor in Caps clothing.
I would much rather have Beagle on the roster than DJK. If the Caps are hiding DJK on IR and King is ok with getting his salary on IR, I'm okay with it. Joe Gibbs was a master at hiding players on IR during his 1st stint. I have no problem if BB and GMGM are doing the same.

Posted by: chriscaps | January 11, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

The Flyers are hiding Ian Laperierre on IR instead of him retiring because if Laperierre retired his salary would count against the salary cap this year and next year since his contract was a 35+ contract(meaning Lap signed it when he was 35 or older).

Since Laperierre remains on long term IR his contract does not count towards the salary cap and will not count toward the salary cap next year.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 11, 2011 3:55 PM | Report abuse

From previous thread:
Regarding Semin. My guess is that he may opt for the KHL next year since he doesn't like to talk in english and hasn't tried to learn it much. Although he does speak a little, but not in public.
I agree, the Caps can't afford to sign him for any length over 2 or 3 years with so many of the young stars coming off their entry level contracts. Here's a list of the UFA's and RFA's for 2011 and 2012 per CapGeek.

Alzner - RFA 2011 (EL)
Perreault - RFA 2011 (EL)
Varlamov - RFA 2011 (EL)
Gordon - UFA 2011
Hannon - UFA 2011
Hendricks - UFA 2011
Knuble - UFA 2011 (35+)
Laich - UFA 2011
Chimera - UFA 2012
Beagle - RFA 2012
Carlson - RFA 2012 (EL)
Fehr - RFA 2012

Some food for thought and reminder; GMGM made one mistake with Nylander's contract and he doesn't want to repeat that mistake again.

Posted by: JMinVA | January 11, 2011 4:09 PM | Report abuse

DJK isn't injured, he's been buried there and we'll never see him play in a Caps jersey again. He's been on the IR for over a month, yet nobody knows the nature or severity of the injury?? He's healthy enough to practice but BB has not once acknowledged DJK, his health or status, since he was placed on IR. I think BB has chosen to ignore any discussion of DJK because, deep down, he's ashamed at how awful he's treated and handled DJK...

Posted by: vermontcaps

All determinations that a player has suffered an injury warranting injured reserve status must be made by the Caps' medical staff. I'm paraphrasing, but is basically what the NHL specifies. So, it doesn't have anything to do with BB.

Most of the rest of your post is gobbledygook not worthy of debate or discussion.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | January 11, 2011 4:40 PM | Report abuse

My previous post should read ...is basically what the NHL rule specifies.

Here is a link to the wiki article that cites the rule:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Injured_reserve_list


Quite a slam by vermontcaps on the Caps' medical staff. If I were them I'd be offended. :)

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | January 11, 2011 4:49 PM | Report abuse

@sgme

The Laperierre situation sounds like it's win-win for player and the organization, as a true warrior was forced from the game due to his health. Because the Flyers assuredly have insurance protections against contracts/injuries, my guess is that the Flyers are going above and beyond their organizational responsibilities in seeing to it that one of their own is taken care of.

I wish I could say I had the same feelings about the Caps. I'm not sure how the DJK situation is win-win for either he or the team. I've seen more players demeaned and disrespected in BB's tenure than any other coach I can remember, and I don't see how this is any different than the rest. I would feel a whole lot better if it turned out the Caps are merely taking care of DJK the way the Flyers are Lappy. I guess only time will tell.

GO CAPS, KICK PANTHER A@@

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 11, 2011 4:52 PM | Report abuse

If I were them I'd be offended. :)

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | January 11, 2011 4:49 PM

that shouldn't also be the case.
if a child were to ask "why are you in a wheelchair?" or "do you always have to wear that helment to protect your head?" - you shouldn't be offended :D

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 11, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse

I think Vermontcaps calls a spade a spade and is right way more often than he is wrong.

If I were on the mediacl staff I'd just be pissed I was working under the supervison of a bona fide advertsing pimp whose sideline appears to be coaching.

24/7 showed just how little the troops pay attention to him.

Posted by: capper3 | January 11, 2011 4:57 PM | Report abuse

"The Laperierre situation sounds like it's win-win for player and the organization"

Maybe, but it would be averting the salary cap by breaking (or at least bending) the rules. Sort of like what the Devils did with the Kovalchuk signing, just a different way of averting the salary cap. This was done by avoiding the salary cap hit that the 35+ penalty was put in place for.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 11, 2011 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Because the Flyers assuredly have insurance protections against contracts/injuries, my guess is that the Flyers are going above and beyond their organizational responsibilities in seeing to it that one of their own is taken care of.

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 11, 2011 4:52 PM

having insurance to protect the player/org have nothing to do with how a team manages their cap space.
you'll need to come up with a better argument as to how the caps treat their players.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 11, 2011 4:59 PM | Report abuse

My wife won Willsie's jersey in the end-of-season "shirts off our back" giveaway his last time here. Smelled to high heaven like he never had it laundered.

Posted by: atoms5 | January 11, 2011 4:59 PM | Report abuse

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