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Caps Make Qualifying Offers

The Caps have extended qualifying offers to forwards Eric Fehr and Boyd Gordon, defensemen Milan Jurcina, Shaone Morrisonn and Jeff Schultz and prospects Chris Bourque, Kyle Wilson and Steve Pinizzotto, thus retaining the players' rights.

The team also severed ties with prospects Andrew Joudrey, Daren Machesney, Travis Morin and Sasha Pokulok. They become unrestricted free agents.

By making a qualifying offer, the Caps retain the player's negotiating rights and the opportunity to match any offer from another team. It also entitles the Caps to draft pick compensation should one of the players sign an offer sheet with another team.

Each player who received a qualifying offer has until July 15 to accept or decline the one-year tender.

Fehr, Gordon, Morrisonn, Jurcina, Pinizzotto and Wilson have salary arbitration rights, and if they chose to go that route, must notify the Capitals by July 5.

Among the players cut loose, Pokulok stands out since he was the 14th overall pick in 2005. He never played an NHL game, and in fact, played almost as many games in the ECHL as the AHL.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  June 29, 2009; 5:02 PM ET
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Next: Golfing With Bruce Boudreau


The only reason to provide offers to ShaMo and Schultz is to trade them for a player that can really help the Caps next season. Especially Schultz, who has proven that he cannot.

Posted by: Exile_in_Philly | June 29, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

@steve.........I think Devries has one year left, but if he is available....he would be perfect. I was in favor if picking him up at the tread deadline last spring. Big, mean, nasty guy that clears the crease.

Posted by: RichC3 | June 29, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

If ShaMo opts for arbitration again this year, I hope they let him walk. He can play well sometimes but real bad other times. As for Schultz, my opinion hasn't changed since last year -- too soft for a player his size. Unfortunately, his misstep during the playoffs will live on in infamy. :) I agree that if it's possible to trade him, have him pack his bags.

Posted by: Puckdawg69 | June 29, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Keep Schultz. He's young and will get better. Plus he is inexpensive. Mo must go. Alzner need a spot and I want Jurcina on the team.

Posted by: lornemyoung | June 29, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

On the Defense.

I'm expecting Alzner and Carlson to make the team this year.

If Morrisonn wants too much money (in arbitration), let him walk.

I'm not ready to give up on Schultz yet given that he's only 23. Many defensemen take awhile to mature.

I'd still keep Jurcina for this year. If he doesn't improve in the next year or two, then trade him or let him walk.

I figure if anyone's trade bait, it's probably Poti. While he's a good veteran leader, he will soon be getting to the downside of his career. He's had quite a few injury issues this past year.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 29, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Pokulok hurts. Imagine if that was a pick that pans out as a physically dominating 30 goal scoring Center this year. One of the 3 missing pieces right there.

Still think we need to:

1. Unload Theodore (erratic), Johnson (health) for a proven playoff hero in Khabibulin. Let him mentor Varly and Neuvirth.

2. Physically bruising defenseman: Komarisek is the answer on that one. Wonder if we will pull that one. Unload Shane Mo. I think that both Alzner and Carlson will crack the final line-up. So Green-Komarisek; Poti-Erskine; Alzner-Jurcina; and, Sloan/Pothier-Carlson is good enough D. Don't be surprised if Carlson scores 10+ even with limited ice-time.

3. Second Line Center: Buyout Nylander. No point in trying that experiment again. No good FAs except maybe for Koivu. He migh tbe too expensive though. Trade for this one. Take Shane Mo., Pothier, possibly Fleishmann and move 'em for D-hungry team with a 30 goal scoring Center. That can wait till the trading deadline. Clark, Laich are capable fill-ins.

So net-net: Khabibulin and Komarisek are the game-changers, and we are legit Cup contenders with them in the fold.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | June 29, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Jay Mckee just got bought out by the blues. He blocked 180 shots last year. He also is good at clearing the crease. I would take him at 2 million (was getting 4) which Mckee might take seeing as he would be getting two paychecks.

I like devries as well but only to a 2 year deal max.

Posted by: caps512 | June 29, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

@Puckdwag, you mean if ShaMo chooses arbitration and wins. I believe the qualifying offer is based on last year's salary which if memory serves was ShaMo's number. Presumably the Caps are ok with that number again. If they go to arbitration and ShaMo gets $4 million or something they can't/won't pay, then you let him walk. No obligation for the team to sign if you lose the arbitration. (And technically, the player could bolt to Russia, too.)

Posted by: oldtimehockey | June 29, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Political_Stratgst how much would you pay Komarisek? 4 million? thats how much he will probably get. We are stuck with Theo, he has one year left and isnt worth the buyout and there are 5 goalies I would take in free agency ahead of him so no one will take him in a trade.

Nylander needs to go to Europe or retire, thats the only way we will get rid of him. Nobody in the NHL is going to want him.

Posted by: caps512 | June 29, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Tarik what are the chances that our Caps will end up with Komisarek? He is the type of rugged stay-at-home defenseman we are desperate for and who I think will be that missing piece to a championship puzzle.

Posted by: jakles | June 29, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Is Pokulok really bad? Don't know much about him..

Posted by: rachel216 | June 29, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Political_Stratgst: I agree with your strategy. I do believe that, even with Varly in goal, we still need a proven leader with successful playoff experience to mentor him and Neuvy. I am not 100% convinced yet that Varly can take the pressure of playing 70-80% of the games through the playoffs.

The Caps must cut their losses and get rid of Nylander and Theo. It might make sense to hold on to them (especially Nyls) if Boudreau had a plan for integrating him with his style and getting him to produce. He does not appear to have any. As for Theo, he has lost credibility with the players as well as the fans. Everyone will cringe whenever he is in goal.

It is bad for the team's morale to hold on to people in whom there is no confidence and for whom there is no development plan. And, if they are barely used, they are bound to fail--certainly not to progress. So at this point, it is not even a matter of what makes sense financially. I think they are liabilities.

What does everyone think is the lesson to be learned from Nylander and even Theo? I mean Nylander produced for the Rangers but his production fell off under Hanlon and almost came to a stop under Boudreau. What is to say that the same would not happen with Pronger or Komarisek . What should they be looking for?

Posted by: caraveli | June 29, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

soooo lets get this straight, with the first pick in 2005 the penguins get sidney crosby and we get sasha pokulok, after having been the worst team in the league the previous season. granted, the previous season was 2004, and we had since been compensated for that miserable season by aquiring ovechkin, i still call absolute horsesiht

Posted by: ahbest3 | June 29, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

just out of curiousity, does anyone know what players were taken directly before and after pokulok?
all i can say is that im praying that fehr actually turns in to something, because passing over getzlaf and richards for him if he doesnt pan out, coupled with this pokulok mess would almost cancels out the green and carlson picks as "steals", and move them in to the category of "a$$ saving" picks.

Posted by: ahbest3 | June 29, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

2005 was not a good first round at all (at least not yet):

The concern about signing a big name like Komisarek is that when our young guys are up in one or two years (Backstrom, Semin, Alzner, Varly, Carlson), we may not be able to afford them. Though Komisarek is a stud. I think signing (or trading for) a veteran second line center to a two year deal would be ideal since we don't have that player right now (maybe Gustaffson in a year or two).

Posted by: jsaltman | June 29, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

I like the thought of Khabibulin to replace Theo. Only problem is that we won't be able to afford him, a 2nd line center, a physical d-man, and a Backstrom extension.

Khabibulin would be an ideal mentor for Varly, being Russian. However, if you ask me, he's far too good and far too experienced to be a backup in this league and I don't think we'd want him ahead of Varly for more than a year.

Signing Nick Backstrom to an extension of at least 4-5 years is the most crucial job to be done this year. Next in line is at least one top 6 forward. I'd be happy to ink Mike Knuble to a 2 year deal and have Laich be the 2nd line center.

That would make our lines:
Fleischmann-Laich-Semin (possible chemistry issue for Sasha)

There are many questions I ask myself about this team:
1. What are Nylander and Theo's futures in DC?
2. Who will our top 6 D be?
3. Which of our AHLers make the team next season? (I'd love to have an Andrew Gordon, Jay Beagle, Quintin Laing, or Steve Pinnizotto on the team but there just isn't room for them)
4. Will Alexandre Giroux ever develop into a goalscorer at the NHL level?
5. How long until we have three 100 point scorers in one season and shut up the Penguins faithful? Ovechkin is a shoe-in if he plays 70+ games, Semin played at a 100+ pace in his 62 games this year. It will certainly not be long before Backstrom reaches the century mark. And if the top six forwards produce like that who knows how many apples Mike Green will pick up in addition to 20-30 goals?
6. How long until we win the cup? (I'd say at least once in the next 5 years)

Posted by: wis193 | June 29, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

"2005 was not a good first round at all (at least not yet):"

I see TJ Oshie, Marc Edouard Vlasic, Paul Stastny, Kris Letang, Darren Helm, and Sergei Kostitsyn among others.

Posted by: wis193 | June 29, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget that Theo was the only fallback available after Huet misled the CAPS and signed with Chicago at the last minute. So, maybe we are stuck with him, but.....

And, heck who knows....he may be good this least after Christmas. (and if he says he isn't good till after Christmas, can't we pay him half salary!? :-)

Posted by: dezlboy1 | June 29, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

This isn't a political campaign where your party can drop a candidate that's been in the stable for awhile in favor of a "better" one. We can't just "cut our losses" like that. We can't just "buy out" a player.

Buying out a player has a cap hit issue attached to it. So you're getting penalized for not having a player on your team.

Cutting a loss takes another team. Who wants Nylander? Who would want Theo? Think it out a bit more.

Posted by: Greg S. | June 29, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

2005 seems like a pretty nice draft to me..

Crosby, Kopitar, Bobby, Ryan, Jack Johnson, Setoguchi, Marc Staal, Oshie

All NHL regulars and Crosby, Setoguchi, and Kopitar are big time players. Others maybe on their way.

Darren helm in Rd. 5?? How do they find those guys. He was a beast in the playoffs.

Slightly surprising was Montreal's Kostitsyn in Round 7! He was a solid depth guy last year.

Let's face it, Caps just made a bad pick. Jury still out on Finley.

Posted by: hardyboys0 | June 29, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Political_Stratgst, your assessment is so wildly off base and ridiculous I'm not even sure it deserves a response.

Just off the top, a Komisarek and Khabibulin combo would run somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 million. Where are they going to get the money for that?

Plus, Khabibulin would want a multi-year deal and 50 or 60 starts a season, which will set back the development of Varly and/or Neuvirth.

You can't buy out Nylander. It is to expensive and with his NMC gone after next season and his salary down to $3million, no team in their right mind would hamstring their cap for the next 4 years with Nylanders buy-out deadweight.

Lastly, what team is going to trade a 30 goal scoring center? Which one would you want to trade for. The 31 goals of Zetterberg or Ryan. How about the 30 of Mike Richards? I'm sure those teams will part with those talents for a guy you think should be off the team (Mo), a guy coming off an extended head injury, and a forward who has yet to crack 20 goals in his NHL career.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | June 29, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm so glad we offered Chris Bourque a deal. I LOVE IT! I'm still pulling for a Bourque, Beagle, Brads line. seriously it'd be amazing.

Posted by: capsfan387 | June 29, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Aucoin and Giroux need to be with the team next year...

Posted by: sargeantmofo | June 29, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

First of all it's Mike Komisarek, NOT Komarisek. If Montreal can't keep him, the Isles will probably go hard after him or Rob Scuderi, both natives of Long Island. they can spend a lot more on either of them than the Caps.

anyway yes on Komisarek and Mike Knuble and NO on Khabibulin. yes he led tampa to the cup but he's not the same goalie. If anyone wants Theo, they should just go ahead and trade him and go with Varly and Neuvy. They can be our version of Grant Fuhr and Andy Moog of the Oilers.

Posted by: joek443 | June 29, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Problem is lot..there are a lot of goalies out there.. No one will want Theo.

Just look at the top ten UFA's.(from mirtle)


Posted by: hardyboys0 | June 29, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

On Theodore. At least we only signed him for 2 years as opposed to signing up Huet for 3 years. Given the type of year Huet had last year, we made the right choice, regardless of Theo's shortcomings.

I assume Theo will be our backup (to Simeon V.) but will get plenty of playing time (about 35 games or so). Maybe we'd be able to trade Theo to a team who gets a goaltender injured in mid season and needs help pronto. As good as Khabby sounds, he is old and expensive.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 29, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Pens got Geurin back at 2 mil. 2.5 year discount from last year.

Posted by: hardyboys0 | June 29, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse


Your analysis of the situation is pretty good. Interesting choice of Knuble as a right winger for us. It seems that Semin has had Laich and Fleischmann on his line at different times but not at the same time. He's scored with both of them. (Then again, Semin had a varying cast of characters on his line last year. He's been paired up with just about every one of our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd line wingers except Fehr and Kozlov.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 29, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse


Interesting news on Guerin. I suspect the Pens' free agents will sign back with them at a discount. You know, the World Champions' discount. Everyone wants to be with a winner.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 29, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse


Look dude, I am talking strategy. Thats what I do when I run reelection campaigns. How we pay for it and all that is not my problem. Maybe GMGM can call Snyder to find out how that is done.

What do we need to do to win? Answer that question for me. Can we affoard to:

a. Have another playoff run with a "on a wing and a prayer" goalie...hope for the Son of Varly 2009, or Son of Huet 2008 , or some such freaky outcome (agreed we sort of had two streakers back-to-back). Speaking of Varly 2009, as good as it was, it hyperventilated in the game that mattered the most. As athletic as he is, as good as he can be, as @caraveli points out, we have no idea about his durability in a 82 game season and upto 28 game playoff run. Neuv is still a year too early. So, we are back to Theo, and Rags Game 1 pretty much answered that one. Now we can go back and get a confirmation on that one again. WE NEED A VETERAN GOALIE AMONGST THE FA LOT. I think Khabibulin being a proven playoff guy, and being a Rooskie is the answer. I will be happy with another one.

b. Oh,and feature a finesse D that believes a shot on goal is something of a goalie's problem. WE NEED A, MAYBE TWO GRITTY D-MEN. Is that Pronger, Komasirek (however you say his name)...I don't know.

Rest is not an issue. We have enough goal scorers, here and in Hershey. We can work around the 2nd Line Center issue.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | June 29, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Keep Schultz. He's young and will get better. Plus he is inexpensive. Mo must go. Alzner need a spot and I want Jurcina on the team.

Posted by: lornemyoung | June 29, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Mo is 10x better than Schultz. At some point you pay more for a drastically better player. If you go back and watch the workmanlike effort that ShaMo pulled off against the Rangers you'll see how important he was to our success. He set the tone every time we got a lead in the series trying to establish a work ethic and toughness in the defensive zone. That guy takes too much crap from Caps fans and he's underappreciated. I don't think beanpole Schultz has the ballz to play with a broken jaw and separated shoulder the way Mo did vs the Flyers the year prior. Schultz has no mental or physical toughness. If he has an injury, he nurses it and is highly ineffective.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 29, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

I predict that in the end of all things, or in a couple years....Neuvirth! not Varlamov will be the Caps starting goaltender for many years. For now, I hope to see a Varlamov-Johnson tandem next season.

By the way, take it from a person who has watched Komisarek play oh so many times.
You can get a defenseman who is twice as good as him for 3/4 less than what Komisarek made this season. Most free agents often fail, especially BIG DEFENSEMAN!

Posted by: hockeynightincanada | June 29, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Aucoin and Giroux need to be with the team next year...

Posted by: sargeantmofo | June 29, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

The Caps are looking for centers with size and wingers with speed. Neither of which describe Aucoin or Giroux. Giroux would have to crack the team as a top 6 forward to be effective and he just doesn't skate well enough unfortunately to do that at the NHL level. He's not a good fit as a checking forward on the bottom 2 lines. Thats where a player like Osala or Pinizotto will probably crack the lineup at some point.

Aucoin is good in small doses but he's not better than Laich, Steckel, Beagle or even Gordon (I guess) at the center position.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 29, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Is Pokulok really bad? Don't know much about him..

Posted by: rachel216 | June 29, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

He doesn't play upto his size, his skating isn't great, and he's concussion-prone. I think the caps finally bit the bullet and cut ties now that they have players like Godfrey moving up the depth chart.

The prospect who's suddenly been pushed aside is Dovgan. Whats his status?

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 29, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

I don't think beanpole Schultz has the ballz to play with a broken jaw and separated shoulder the way Mo did vs the Flyers the year prior. Schultz has no mental or physical toughness. If he has an injury, he nurses it and is highly ineffective.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 29, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Like the broken rib suffered at some point near the end of the regular season. What a goldbricker.

Posted by: Section117 | June 29, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse


you can come up with any idea you want but there's this thing called a SALARY CAP which is different from the NFL salary cap as far as I know because I don't see crazy signing bonuses in hockey as you see with the NFL free agents.

I'm sure you have to live under a BUDGET when you run a campaign.. or do you just get to print more money like the Feds??

Posted by: joek443 | June 29, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Also I'd take Schultz over Morrison if the Caps could only keep one. he's more than 3 years younger and there aren't that many 6'6" NHL defensemen who can play.

Posted by: joek443 | June 29, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

it's true that there arn't many 6'6" NHL def the only diff is that Schultz CAN NOT PLAY HOCKEY!!!

Posted by: Tondi | June 29, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Morrisonn is gonna ask for more money again and the caps should just let him walk.

as for Schultz BIG MISTAKE to take him back. He cant play. period. he doesn't hit, he trips over his own feet, and his positioning sucks.

the Caps really need to find some stronger defensemen for this year. I still don't think Alzner is ready. Sloan could be a good addition the roster this year.

Posted by: ILikeLaich | June 29, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse


Yes - look at budgets. I know this much -
We just had two guys leave who made a pretty penny, or was it a rouble. Whatever. With Khabi in, means Theo and Johnson out -- thats more money there (after a buyout of Theo). And, maybe we can find a way to dump Nyles and get some of that if not in its entirety.

This is my problem with Caps fans. You can't think big without this that and the other. The Penguins have like 2 Ovie-types out of their 6 first rounders (incl. Orpik), sorta expensive FAs like Satan, Kunitz, Fedatenko (throw Hal Gill in there too)...and they can make their budgets work. Yet all we have is homegrown lowly paid bunch except for Ovechkin. Yet, we can't sign 2 FAs when we just had 2 leave???

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | June 29, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

for whatever reason some Caps fans in this town have always picked on a defenseman over the years.

first it was Darren Veitch, then Larry Murphy, Kevin Hatcher, Sergei Gonchar and now Shultz. Veitch was a pretty good player, Murphy is a hall of famer and Hatcher and Gonchar were allstar caliber players. Schultz is only 23, I wouldn't give up on him just yet.

Posted by: joek443 | June 29, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Theo out, how? you gotta find a team that WANTS him first.

Posted by: joek443 | June 29, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

if you want an example of what could happen if one of us fans actually got to run a team, all you have to look at is the redskins.. how have they done so far??

Posted by: joek443 | June 29, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Solution to the Nylander problem: bring JAGR back! Just kidding!

Here's how we get rid of Nylander: trade him back to the Rangers (where he had his last success) for Gomez. The Rangers are desperate to dump Gomez' salary. We can throw in JT as a freebie. If the Nyls + JT salaries are more than Gomez (I don't have the figures), we pay the difference. They get two players for one. We get the 2nd line center we need. They don't save on salary but lose the (longer) term from Gomez.

Posted by: CAP-lanta | June 29, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse


I agree with you about the D-haters in DC. I never understood the A-holes who would consistently "whoop" Murphy and later Hatcher. Why you'd do that to your OWN team never made any sense to me.

Posted by: CAP-lanta | June 29, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

CAP-lanta is on to something. I love the Gomez = MNyls + JT trade. I know the Rags specialize in being the pit-stop for NHL geezers for a quick buck before retiring, but even they are not THIS dumb.

Unfortunately, while we are busy thinking this stuff, the guy who will do any deal for "our" team - the Caps, is right now busy watching film on a 17 year old Swedish center from . I hear this kid will be a hot property at the next draft. :-)

Btw, I wrote to Poile in 1986 (after the Islanders LaFontained us) to change the team name to Washington Americans, and keep "The Caps" as the team nickname. What the hell is a Capital anyways? -- like our team is a collection of seats of governments??? Geez, no wonder even a freaking bird who can't fly from the Antartic has won a couple of cups by now. Thats our real problem, the team name. :-)

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | June 29, 2009 11:48 PM | Report abuse

I love how a pick back in '05 suddenly becomes a lightning rod for how "horrible" GMGM is again.


You do realize that every guy you listed save for Oshie was drafted before we drafted Pokulok right? Ryan Parent was a solid guy who went 4 picks after we took Pokulok but most of the rest of that first round AFTER our pick isn't anything special. Whoever else is pointing out guys like Helm (yes, an absolute monster but hell EVERYONE else missed him until Detroit pulled their usual rabbit out of the hat so how that is relevant I don't know) as reasons for us "failing" in that draft needs to wake up a little.


I agree that Mo is under-appreciated, and he was a monster for us in the Rangers series especially, my only problem was with his somewhat inconsistent play the rest of the year. I did like how much he picked up his physical play but he never seemed to capture that same chemistry with Green like he did the year before. I know at some point you're going to have to pay guys some cash but I can't see us wanting to give him any more than 2.5 mil.

Any money we can not lock up further will only help come next summer. People have to accept that unless Nylander goes to Europe or the KHL in some kind of deal we're stuck with him for now. Also there is no reason to get rid of Theo when his contract runs out when we need it to anyways.

I hope some of these guys see some of the Pens taking a little less money to stay with a team that's worth playing for.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | June 29, 2009 11:49 PM | Report abuse


I like the name "Capitals" but I agree it's not exactly a traditional team name (but it beats anything in the singular: "Avalanche" "Wild" "Heat" (NBA) - I can't stand those). Our name is so unusual, the team has a hard time depicting it: in the blue uniform period it featured an eagle - were we suddenly the Washington Eagles? The best match was the black uniform with the dome (but then we should be the "Capitols")

sorry, it's getting late...

Posted by: CAP-lanta | June 29, 2009 11:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry I love the caps and their management to death, but not retaining Joudrey raises some serious WTF's. Don't get me wrong I didn't see the guy making the team, but why the hell did we call him up during the Stanley Cup playoffs instead of Acoin if he wasn't even worth a qualifying offer?

Posted by: dcfury | June 30, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

The prospect who's suddenly been pushed aside is Dovgan. Whats his status?

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 29, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Last I heard of Dovgan he was watching the Bears play up in Hershey after he finished his season earlier than expected. I do not know if he was hanging around when the Stingrays went to the finals or not. He struggled all year with the rays, and in sharing words with Smokin' Al, seemed like he was struggling with homelife and hockey. The Mrs. was wanting the raise their kid back in Russia and wanted him around more. I can only assume he's back in Russia training with the same trainer as Ovie like he's done in the past. Whether he's returning next year I haven't heard.

Posted by: abuddy2004 | June 30, 2009 12:41 AM | Report abuse

I want mike knuble really badly! He would be a great replacement for kozy. Komisarek would be a good replacement for shamo. The BIG problem is nicklas backstrom's contract. I say at least 4.5 million. And komisarik is at least 3.5 and knuble betweend 2-3 million. How are we going to keep nicky and get those 2. Mo and nylander need to go NoW . That might be just enough to keep nicky and get mike an mike. I think knuble and komisarik are perfect for the caps. Knuble will ACTUALY stand in front of the net, and komisarik will bring physical presence and so will knuble since alot of our players are more finnese.

Posted by: samrosen8 | June 30, 2009 12:43 AM | Report abuse

Pokulok hurts. Imagine if that was a pick that pans out as a physically dominating 30 goal scoring Center this year. Posted by: Political_Stratgst | June 29, 2009

Just to straighten out your point a little - Sasha Polulok was a 6-5 230 D-Man who could move the puck. :)
bad luck on our part.

Posted by: Rocc00 | June 30, 2009 12:50 AM | Report abuse

for whatever reason some Caps fans in this town have always picked on a defenseman over the years.first it was Darren Veitch, then Larry Murphy, Kevin Hatcher, Sergei Gonchar and now Shultz. Veitch was a pretty good player, Murphy is a hall of famer and Hatcher and Gonchar were allstar caliber players. Schultz is only 23, I wouldn't give up on him just yet.
Posted by: joek443 | June 29, 2009 10:46 PM |

Been saying this all year against the Greenie bashers.
Just don't understand how you can call yourself a Caps fan when there is nothing else on the farm that's even close.

Posted by: Rocc00 | June 30, 2009 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Forget Knuble. He's not leaving the Flyers. They will find a way to sign him. He's a fan favorite and Snyder loves him.

As far as a center for the Caps, my vote is for Robert Lang. He could be very good as our second line center with the enigmatic Semin. He also has experience and is a career plus. His speed is questionable but he will get you 50-60 points and would probably sign a 1 year deal that would be the bridge for our two young swedish centers little Gus and Johansson.

The Flyers got their stud D and now we should respond with adding someone on the backline. Komaserik would be nice but he will be too expensive. Mathais Ohlund would be a lesser expensive fit.

Posted by: diner99 | June 30, 2009 1:00 AM | Report abuse

PLEASE let schultz go!! dude is a putz. and wouldn't mind seeing jurcina go. a few less loose pucks in front of the goal never hurt anyone...

Posted by: 4shosho | June 30, 2009 1:39 AM | Report abuse

I think we can stick to Ovie-Backs-Semin line to make room for some experiments in 2nd line (Laich as center).

Building from that base makes sure that we'll have plenty ways to be better next season not mortgaging anything now.

Still, if we will not find any good decisions for the 2nd line till deadline - we can try some moves at that time.

No Gomez (for crazy money/longterm) or any other moves required. Conservative strategy. More Bears will have their chances also. Any enforcer could be taken from FA/trade easily enough.

PS: I do believe Olympics make our chances to get SC this year slightly worse. Our best russian guys will prepare for Olympics and will run out of fuel after it (mentally and physically). And also they will try not to get injured before OG which is bad for regular season.

In Woods we should trust =)

Posted by: Rambutan_ru | June 30, 2009 5:24 AM | Report abuse

Schultz, had the best stats on the blueline by anyone not named Green.
Best TKA/GVA ratio. Best penalty to minutes played ratio, +13. Better on the PK than Poti, Alzner and Mo. Schultz was 2nd on the team GFON/60 GAON/60 ratio behind Green. The Schultz clubbing is ridiculous.

Komisarek is going to get Orpik money. Can we afford him? Yes, but do we really need him? Not really. (And I have been talking about Komisarek for almost 2 years now on this blog)

Our biggest concern is 2nd line C. There is no one qualified, other than Nylander, on this roster or in Hershey. Aucoin is too small, horrible on the faceoff and plays insignificant defense.

That should be our concern.

I think RW is our next biggest concern. Although when Fehr is healthy he should be given a long look at 1st line RW.

Backstrom will get Jeff Carter money or Mike Green money, around $5 to $5.5 per year.

Posted by: JSchon | June 30, 2009 6:46 AM | Report abuse

@Political Strategist

The penguins also realize their time is now. They will have trouble keeping their current roster for years. Malkin and Crosby are just too expensive.

GMGM is trying to make a team that doesn't peak early and can play at a high level. I have been watching the Capitals since I could walk, and I would rather this team become a perennial power franchise (wings) than being a 1 cup wonder(Tampa).

People need to understand, this new era of caps hockey only began a year and a half ago and it has the potential to last a very long time. People need to relax and stop panicking.

Posted by: trunkenmath | June 30, 2009 6:59 AM | Report abuse

I would add to my christmass wishlist trading someone (Poti+?) to Los Angeles for Frolov (4M & 1 year left). Any mentions?

Posted by: Rambutan_ru | June 30, 2009 7:08 AM | Report abuse


I am old and my memory isn't what it used to be, but I do not recall Joudrey being called up. Maybe I missed something.

Posted by: _Mark | June 30, 2009 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Anybody see that the Devils are gonna let Gionta and Madden walk. Gionta wouldn't be so bad. Though he's 5'7" he still scored 60 points last season and had 20 goals. That's about what Kozlov did.

Posted by: blanknerc | June 30, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

@diner99: Didn't Robert Lang used to play for the Caps? If I remember correctly, he was great on a Caps team that wasn't so great.

@Davethecapsfan: good to read your comments. I'd like your opinion (and anyone else who cares to comment) on whether or not Nylander can make a "come back". I thought the original reason he didn't play was a (near?) career ending injury. Is he completely healed? And could he adapt to a new system?

Posted by: dccitizen1 | June 30, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

I like the Mike and Mike scenario - that adds the toughness we lack.

Forget Lang - he's old, injured and would become next year's "Nylander."

Good point about the impact the Olympics could have on our team. Russian machine don't break but you can't ignore the fatigue factor foe all our Olympic squad members.

Posted by: CAP-lanta | June 30, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

How we pay for it and all that is not my problem.

Ah ha! The national debt, cogently explained! Let's do whatever I want to do and never mind the financials. Politicians really do live in a different reality from the rest of us.


If you think that this is an acceptable way of thinking about the Caps' strategy, please go join a fantasy league and leave reality alone for a while. The salary cap is at the heart of the answer to the problem of how to fill the Caps' needs. Where the money comes from and how much you have to spend will narrow down your options a lot.

Maybe GMGM can call Snyder to find out how that is done.

So the Caps should follow the Redskins' example of how to build a winning team? Lord and Lady Bright, you make my brain hurt.

Let's see.

ShaMo's replaceable, within the organization, by someone who's got a third of his cap hit. TYLER SLOAN's got better stats than he does, game for game. He was QO'ed so that the Caps could get the compensation when he walks, because he's just about guaranteed to go to arbitration.

Jeff Schultz had the third-best +/- on the team, and he's younger than Ovechkin or Green or Semin at 23. He has yet to learn to use his size, but I think it's too early to give up on him.

Varlamov / Neuvirth as a tandem, while I explored this idea, really isn't a smart move on a team that plans to contend for the Cup. Two rookies, one of whom has fatigue issues? That's too much pressure all at once, and remember the game where Neuvirth just froze? I wouldn't go there. I know you guys don't like Theodore, but Varlamov still has conditioning/fatigue question marks as a knock on him. He needs a veteran backup who is a workhorse that can take lots and lots of starts and keep him fresh for the playoffs. That workhorse is Theodore. Johnny can't handle enough starts. Sorry, folks, it is what it is.

Nylander. Give over, already, guys. It'd be nice to move him, but he's not going to consent to waivers or trades or anything else. He's got six kids, most of whom are in school, and he's a father first and a hockey player second. GMGM's already said that buying him out doesn't make cap sense. He will be a Cap come October whether you guys like it or not.

Needs. We've got eight D who can play at the NHL level. (26, 4, 3, 52, 55, 2, 27, 89) Carlson probably needs another year in Hershey. D is something we're not likely to spend on, and the coaching change is intended to address the toughness issue (note that Hershey doesn't share it). I'd look for second-line C first and then an RW, bearing in mind that we've got a couple of Hershey guys who may be ready for the big-time as well. If they're ready, you've got to fledge them or they'll rot - and walk with nothing gained for the Caps.

Posted by: kittypawz | June 30, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Lang was fantastic for the Caps... ten years ago. He was leading the league in points when we traded him to Detroit - the first time the current NHL points leader was ever traded away during a season. Note he did not go one to win the scoring title that year.

Posted by: CAP-lanta | June 30, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Isn't the schedule for Development Camp going to come out soon?!

Posted by: rachel216 | June 30, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Alzner should be a given to break the top 6 on D next year, but seriously question the Caps rushing Carlson into the lineup. Sloan may be equal to Morrisson, but is not an upgrade. The Caps are likely hoping that someone signs Morrisson and/or Jurcina so the Caps can get draft picks as compensation. I can't see both of them back with the Caps next year at their salaries. We need an upgrade on the blue line and both would tie up a lot of cap space if resigned. Schultz is a total waste and don't see any reason to tender him if the team has no plans for him.

I think we'll some more activity once the contracts resolve themselves over the summer and GMGM knows how much cap space is available. Unfortunately, I think we're stuck with Theo's deal for another year and Nylander as well. If we go into camp with Nylander as our No. 2 center, we've taken a step back from last year IMO.

Posted by: wizfan89 | June 30, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Caps are stuck with Nylander & Theodore. There is no way to unload these guys, unless you send them to the minors. Very bad signings for the Caps. If they try to buy them out, they still need to pay 2/3 of their salary against the cap, plus you have to replace them with additional players/salaries. The Caps need to sign a few one year deals and lock up Backstrom & Semin. Both of these young players will require about 6 - 7 mil to re-sign. Caps would not have that kind of money, unless they only sign Free Agents to one year deals. Forget about signing the big guns, you already have them in place. Fill out the roster with one year veterans and Heshey call-ups. You can't sell the future for a one year run (Flyers). The Caps are still young. I see them and the Pens batteling it out in the conference finals for the next 5 - 6 years.

Posted by: bullyboy | June 30, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

pol_strat - obviously you ran the republicans campaign in 2008. Your think big strategy isn't completely useless but you also have to remain in reality. You cannot just buy players out. St. Louis just bought out Jay McKee and they will still be responsible for 2/3 of his remaining salary. Maybe in the pol world you can pay people to go away but not in the NHL. Khabibulin is NOT the answer, he will be expensive ($5-6 M per) and will want at least 3 yrs. Komiserik is a possibility but not if we have to out bid other teams and over pay. McKee sounds like a better fit since we would only have to pay 1/3 of his ($4M) salary. So go rest up for your next campaign before you start suggesting we bring S. Palin in as GM.

BTW - it is Ruble , not "rouble".

Posted by: ds_kelly | June 30, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Having been at Cornell when Pokuluk was there, I was shocked they drafted him. He wasnt even a Top-10 player on the team, and on defense he was 2nd line at best, with a few injury problems.
Have to admit though, McPhee's drafting has been too good for me to dwell on this one.

Posted by: jesstyr | June 30, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse


Looks like Pokulok showed real promise until he got a bad concussion in his first game with Hershey. Recovered and was with the Stingrays and got another concussion. To top it all off, he survived an apartment building fire, too.

Just a bad luck player finding out how bad luck can be. GMGM can't be blamed for this, but people will try.

Posted by: hockeyweasel | June 30, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Kittypawz said ... "Jeff Schultz had the third-best +/- on the team, and he's younger than Ovechkin or Green or Semin at 23. He has yet to learn to use his size, but I think it's too early to give up on him"

I agree completely. Almost nobody becomes good or great at the defenseman position by age 23, and the Caps could well come to regret letting him go.

Anyone want to stake odds on whether he stays vs whether he goes. I'm leaning decidedly toward him being a Cap this season.


Posted by: PensFan98 | June 30, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

IMHO -- Schultz stays along with Jurnica, ShaMo asks for the sky and bye-bye. Alzner, Sloan, Carlson, and Seabrook can all come up (the last two on short try-out, injury replacement stints). A gritty blueliner for a year or two, may help, maybe. 2nd line centers are out there to be had, but not slow as molasses Lang -- he'd be worse than Nylander. If Detriot let him go, then that's the smart move. Between Nylander, Laich, and a possible FA signing, the Caps should have a servicable 2nd line center (Gustaffason may even enter the mix). Among Semin, Clark, Fehr, Bourque (he can switch as did Semin) and Osala, the Caps have first and second and third line RW's. Let the development plan continue.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | June 30, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

There is 0% chance Gustaffson enters the mix to be on the Caps roster this year. He is probably in Sweden for another year.

Posted by: ThePat | June 30, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

With all the Hershey Dmen's names being thrown around right now as players possibly able to crack the line-up next year (alzner, carlson, sloan...) I was wondering what people think about adding Kronwall to that list. I have only seen him in a handful of games up in Hershey (and a few with the Caps), and he left a pretty good impression on me, not to mention he gave one of the best, bone crunching checks I have ever seen in person at a game.

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | June 30, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

"Schultz is a total waste and don't see any reason to tender him if the team has no plans for him"- Wizfan89

Ahh, but the team does have plans for him. They still see value in a young defenseman with size. I think that he will get better and we will be better with him on the team.

Posted by: _Mark | June 30, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Chris Chelios is available at a cap friendly price. He's looking to play as the 5th or 6th defenseman. Can't think of a better player to help the young blue liners, and he wants to play in the eastern conference. (I don't see him wanting to play with cindy crosby's gang)

Posted by: kenemerc | June 30, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Chelios? Gee, isn't he about 147 years old? how much can he really help us????

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | June 30, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse


How we pay for it and all that is not my problem.

The only way to put this nicely is you're a complete tool.

In today's environment, you're not worried about money? Thank God I'm not in politics and you're running my re-election campaign!

Even though the Caps lost two people, there is still a salary cap that only increased by 100K to worry about. Buyouts won't work for this team right now becasue of the hit of half the salary. the only way to get rid of people is to trade them and right now, no one wants the players that the team wants to get rid of.

Posted by: jwash4472 | June 30, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

The CBJ have 4 centers who are UFA's (if I'm reading Mirtle's board correctly). They may want to trade rights for one of their young and maturing centers for Nylander (yes, a veryu long shot). Even if a trade can't be done, one of their centers may be plucked for a cap friendly price. What kid wouldn't want to get out of the CBJ's boring system and play alongside of OV, Semin, Flash, Fehr, Laich, Clark on a team with an exciting system that has a chance at the cup? If I were GMGM, I wouldn't go for Comerie or Antropov (big names, big salaries) or an lod guy like Lang or Marchant who are too old. I'd go for young and unknown for 2-3 years at 1.2-1.7 mil. Radek Bonk is also a UFA who would like to get out of Nashville and return to an offensive minded team like his old team in Ottawa:

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | June 30, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

CBJ centers:

11 MALHOTRA, MANNY C CBJ 29.1 1.200 77 35 18:01
32 WILLIAMS, JASON C CBJ 28.9 2.200 80 47 15:51
52 PECA, MICHAEL C CBJ 35.3 1.315 71 22 14:06
72 GRATTON, CHRIS C CBJ 34.0 1.250 24 3 10:32

I think that the top two are worth trying to steal for fairly friendly cap hit.

Here is Bonk also for s's and giggles:

38 BONK, RADEK C NSH 33.5 1.475 66 25 15:27

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | June 30, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

For those bashing Nylander as a mistake, he was producing before he was injured. In the 40 games he played for us in 07/08 before going out with the shoulder injury, he had 11 goals and 26 assists. Some of those games he was playing one handed because of the shoulder. He was and still is a good player. It is unlikely that we will be able to trade him away, so we need to use him.

Posted by: _Mark | June 30, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

@ Chelios? Gee, isn't he about 147 years old? how much can he really help us????

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal

Chelios may be old but he's still could be a good defenseman/teacher during the regular season AND this defense needs a playoff tested defender if they want to get past the 2nd round. Plus he can be signed to a cap friendly contract.

Posted by: kenemerc | June 30, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Schultz isn't going anywhere. He not a flashy player but he gets the job done. His fall against the Rangers will hardly live in infamy, we won the series. He was in BB's line-up almost every night. He wasn't held out because of his mistake against the Rangers BB said he broke a rib during the fall. BB wouldn't flat out lie that someone broke a rib. Teams hide when there are injuries, they don't make up injuries. The Caps will pay what the NHL says Schultz is worth, it will still not be much.

IMO Jurcina may have earned another year with his playoff performace (less the stupid hand pass to the slot against the Pens).

I agree with most of you that ShaMo is done as a Cap.

I also agree with most of you that a 2nd line Center and a hard nosed winger are the needs that should and probably will be addressed prior to the season.

The D-man to help shut things down in the playoffs can be acquired at the March deadline next season. During that time there are a lot more quality players available that teams think they will lose at the end of the season and want to get something for them.

Many of you are all over GMGM for the Nylander and Theodore salaries but in the same breath want him to land some big name guy to fill a hole. Remember, Nylander was playing very very good hockey when we got him and seemed like a great deal at the time. The entire organization is probably apprehensive to add another older player that costs a lot even if he seems to fill a hole because you never really know when these guys are sliding down hill.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 30, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

at the risk of incredible backlash, the JT deal isn't terrible. At the time, the Caps needed a short-term starting goalie who could 30+ games. JT did that. Is he a great goalie any longer, no. Is he good enough for one more year while Varly and Neuvy get more experience, yes. I don't like the Nylander deal now, but he was very good when we signed him and he has helped out Backis. Do I wish he were as good as when the Caps signed him and he was fast enough to play in BB's system, yeah. Do I wish he wasn't signed for two more years, absolutely. Do I wish that Gustafson was ready this year, oh yeah.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | June 30, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

You are completely correct about Kronwall. He was a steady valuable D for Hershey in his end and on the PP point. He also chipped in some timely goals. He is more NHL ready than Alzner or Carlson because of his consistency.

Posted by: ekays | June 30, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

You are completely correct about Kronwall. He was a steady valuable D for Hershey in his end and on the PP point. He also chipped in some timely goals. He is more NHL ready than Alzner or Carlson because of his consistency.

Posted by: ekays | June 30, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

unfortunately he's not a stereotypical "puckmoving defenseman" so he'll have a harder time cracking the lineup.

For Hershey he was great at both ends of the ice. imo he was their top player on the blueline for the playoffs. He'd made the aggressive pinch-in, hold the puck in, get it to the net, clean up his own end, throw big hits, whats not to like right?

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Imagine if we had Huet right now for 5.5 and 4 more years...Varlamov/Nuevirth would be an afterthought...

Posted by: SA-Town | June 30, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Baumgartner, Fortin, Yonkman, Eminger... add Schultz to the list. (Did I miss anybody?)

Posted by: CAP-lanta | June 30, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Chelios? Yes, his playoff experience is so valuable that the Red Wings benched him through the finals for two years in a row.

That geezer needs to hang up the skates.

Posted by: CAP-lanta | June 30, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

If we're looking for a big center who can play right wing as well, what about trading Theodore plus a prospect - Chris Bourque, perhaps - for David Backes? He scored 31 goals in 82 games for St. Louis last year, he's 6'3" and 200 lbs, and he's willing to drop the gloves from time to time. Plus, his cap hit is $2.5 mil/yr compared to Theo's 4.5, which frees up a little space for us.

The trade makes sense for St. Louis because they probably need a goaltender who can split time with Chris Mason (who played admirably in the playoffs, but I don't think has the endurance or consistency for 65 games in a season) and some depth at the wing position in case Paul Kariya or Keith Tkachuk go down again. That, and they have barely anyone to resign this year, so they can use up some of their cap room to build a bridge to future years. Theo's contract is also short enough that they don't have to resign him next year if they need the cap room.

Posted by: DC_BCF | June 30, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Jeff Schultz? Fail.

Posted by: wesvenis | June 30, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

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