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Caps Move Up Two Spots, Take Gustafsson

General Manager George McPhee has dealt the 23rd and 54th pick to New Jersey for the 21st, which he promptly used to take Anton Gustafsson, the son of former Washington great Bengt.

I find it interesting that McPhee almost went out of his way to downplay Gustafsson when reporters asked about him the other day, saying he hadn't seen him much because he was hurt so often and that when he did, "he wasn't very good." That was obviously a ploy throw the dogs off the scent, since he moved up to get Anton.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  June 20, 2008; 9:53 PM ET
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What a terrible waste.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

yeah pr move. Did Bengt spend a lot of time in Hershey in his career? No? Not such a great move.

Posted by: yawn | June 20, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Could be something good if he is actually healthy. I like it. If they did take him the Capitals could have been burnt like the Islanders when they passed on Zach Parise.

Posted by: Caps 423 | June 20, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: King Gus | June 20, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

I don't mind taking Gustafsson, but giving up our highest 2nd rounder in the process??? I think GMGM should have waited. Anton would likely have still been there, or someone like Deschamps would have been adequate if not.

Posted by: Thomas | June 20, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

rated 30th by central scouting
has a bad back (herniated disc) and gmgm scoops him 21
lol even tsn analysts are questioning this one

Posted by: wendel | June 20, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Maybe load up on Swedes and get Tedenby if he falls that far.

Posted by: Caps 423 | June 20, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Don't know much about him except he's Gus's son. Will be interesting to see how he plays when he's healthy.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | June 20, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm willing to see how this plays out, but drafting a potential injury problem above his "slot" while also giving up a second rounder is not a promising start. Even if I loved watching his father play.

Posted by: Caps fan in NJ | June 20, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Have we picked Lou Franceschetti's kid yet? How about Bobby Goulds boy?


Posted by: Impatient | June 20, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

I was a big fan of Bengt Gustafsson. He was very fine player- a big guy who could score and pass.

I remember Bengt had a huge game against the Flyers while I was high school. Five goals in one game!

All of this might explain why the Caps traded up for his son, Anton. GMGM must've felt some sort of obligation to the Caps lifer.

I hope George didn't give up too much. I hear Anton has been injured. Perhaps he could consult with Eric Fehr's osteopath?

What do you think about the move Tarik? Sentimental pick, solid pick- or both?

Posted by: Terptwin | June 20, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

That George McPhee is a slippery one. Recently, when asked about Anton Gustafsson, his response was, "Geezz, I don't have much of a read on him. He was injured for a considerable portion of the season. The one time I saw him play, he wasn't very good. So..." So, what does George do? He drafts Anton Gustafsson! In fact, he wanted him so bad he was willing to give up his best 2nd round pick ( along with our 1st. rounder )in order to make sure he got his man. Wow!
First of all, I'm not the least bit surprised. This is classic George McPhee behavior. You simply can't believe anything the man says. And, he has a history of drafting the son of a former OUTSTANDING NHL'er. Hopefully the kid's back will be ok. That's the greatest concern. If it is, I feel confident Anton will be a big contributor two or three years down the road. My fingers will remain crossed. LET'S GO CAPS

Posted by: Puckguru | June 20, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Does Peter Zezel have a son? How about Enrico Ciccone's kid named Gisseppe? WE Will TAKE HIM!!!


Posted by: IM CRAZY!!!! | June 20, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

I thought I remember reading right here on this blog how much people wanted the Caps to draft Anton. Bengt was a very good player which means Anton could be even better because he can learn from his father. He is already said to be a mature player for his age which makes sense for being a former NHLers son. Bengt was crafty, smart and a good puck handler. Same things said about Anton. Difference is, Anton will throw checks at people. Don't remember that from Bengt too much.

That last part is compliment of the NHL Network.

I don't mind this pick at all today. In 3 years if it was a waste, then I will show my displeasure.

Hey, Impatient. Bengt was a much better player than Lou and Gould.

I am worried that the Caps and Fedorov are so far off.

Posted by: CT Caps Fan | June 20, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

I think the player picked is a solid one, but I question why GMGM would trade a second round pick to move up two spaces. Didn't Ottawa move up to 15th from 18th for less?

There is risk involved in every pick, especially with a player who might have injury problems, and I think keeping the extra second rounder would have been the wiser course of action.

Posted by: noptov52 | June 20, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Preds signed Ellis.

Now we HAVE to get Huet. I hope we don't end up with that Emery loser.

Posted by: Danny | June 20, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Eminger and a pick to Philly for a pick.

Posted by: Erika | June 20, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

There are not words in my extensive college educated vocabulary to describe how sad and pissed off I am. I love Steve!!!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | June 20, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: honed | June 20, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Me too, jmu. I dunno if it was just bc he seemed so much better than what the caps thought of him or what, but it going to suck seeing him in a flyers jersey. oh well, at least maybe he'll get a jersey.

Posted by: honed | June 20, 2008 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Bengt was one my favorites in the 80's, great player until he broke his leg.

I know absolutely nothing about his son. :(

Definately a PR move until the kid can show he can play. The Caps really need defense however.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | June 20, 2008 10:43 PM | Report abuse

yeah, but now I'm going to be depressed when I move tomorrow. Goof luck Emi! Some of us will miss you!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | June 20, 2008 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Good luck*

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 10:45 PM | Report abuse

What did the Caps get for Eminger? I'm glad he's gone because he hardly ever got on the bench, much less the ice. I felt sorry for him rotting in the pressbox, and at least the Caps may get a player down the road. I doubt he'll play that much for the Flyers. He turned out to be a bust.

Posted by: JIM | June 20, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Where do you guys get all your info on Anton Gustaffason? Have you seen him play? How much video have you seen? Did you get a copy of MRI that was sent to all the NHL teams on the partially herniated back issue?

I will stick with GMGM. He hasn't done bad. As a matter of fact, I think he has constructed a pretty good team.

Posted by: Muddapucker | June 20, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

new thread.
but...Pick 27 (Philadelphia to Washington): Philadelphia traded Pick 27 to Washington for Steve Eminger and Pick 84 (June 20, 2008).

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 10:52 PM | Report abuse

I think GMGM could have waited to pick Anton, but then again, maybe he knew or strongly suspected Edmonton would take him, although the entire Edmonton staff was standing around with S***-eating grins when they went up to pick Eberle.

As far as sentimentality goes, I tend to doubt it. GMGM looks about as sentimental as a toilet seat (Yeah, I know the original phrase was "as sensitive as a toilet seat").

Posted by: Old Bob | June 20, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse

If Anton is one half as good as his dad, then he will be playing this year with the Caps. Bengt was one of the premier players in the league during his relatively short career in the NHL.

Posted by: x | June 20, 2008 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Just wow. Somebody actually put Bengt G. on a par with Ciccone and Zezel.

That shows an astonishing level of cluelessness of all 3 players.

Posted by: Mercy | June 21, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Mercy for putting that poster's ignorance into clear view!

Posted by: Victor | June 21, 2008 12:39 AM | Report abuse

It's a great pick. And, in case you've forgotten, Edmonton owned the rights the Bengt when the WHA folded but somehow he was able to join the Caps (Edmonton even had to re-issue its media guide that season that had featured Gus and Gretzky on the cover). Edmonton was picking before us - who knows, maybe they secretly coveted Anton as a way of payback. Smart move to leap frog them.

Posted by: tokyo fan | June 21, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

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