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Caps Preview '09: Is This the Year?


Alex Ovechkin is surrounded by what could be the best supporting cast in the Washington Capitals' 36-year history. If the 24-year-old Russian superstar is going to lead his team to a Stanley Cup, what better time than now?

Sincerely hoping this Caps extravaganza will make up for a long offseason with often no more than a shoddily compiled Morning Reading List to pass the time. Aaanyway, buckle up for the rest of our 2009-10 season preview:

* A personal favorite: Ovechkin talks, in great detail, about three of his most memorable goals.

* Columnist Tracee Hamilton writes that while expectations of Coach Bruce Boudreau have never been higher, he's keeping it real. (Okay, she put it a little bit more eloquently.)

* The 2009-10 schedule, roster and player bios.

* A graphic breaking down the Caps' ever-changing lines. (And yes, Chris Bourque is on there even though he was put on waivers yesterday. Hey, we had to send this stuff to the presses on Monday. Insert hilarious joke about the demise of print media here.)

* Tarik breaks down the Caps' three keys to a winning season: goaltending, special teams and net presence.

* From the Winter Classic at Fenway Park to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, here are Tarik's league-wide story lines this season. Plus, projected order of finish for both conferences.

* Video: The Caps talk to Dan Steinberg about what they do in the offseason to get the adrenaline flowing. Mike Green's answer is priceless.

* Plus, from the Ovechkin Zone: A graphic comparing No 8's first four years to the first four years of some other hockey greats.

* Ovie-friendly photo galleries: A look through the years and those signature celebrations.

Here's some of our non-special section content, in case you missed it:

* The Caps don't necessarily mind stepping up as the dominant D.C. sports team.

* Notebook on yesterday's Chris Bourque saga and more.

* Ovechkin wants to be a reporter when he grows up.

That's it for now. More on the Caps, if you can handle it, from practice at 10:30 a.m.

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  September 30, 2009; 5:28 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Video: Bourque Put on Waivers
Next: Bourque Claimed by Pens

Comments

what an amazingly great picture of ovie. here's hoping Bourque gets what is best for him today. ovie wouldn't be a bad reporter, definately has the charisma

Posted by: capsfan387 | September 30, 2009 5:53 AM | Report abuse

I FEEL LIKE TOMORROW IS X-MAS!! WHO'S WITH ME?!?! LETS GO CAPS!

Posted by: gratefuldid | September 30, 2009 5:57 AM | Report abuse

Great collection of stuff, Lindsay, thanks.

WHATEVER is going on with the Nyls and Borque situations, you can be sure that we don't have the full story. Simply put, much is happening and we don't know. You can speculate until you're blue in the face and the only thing you'll know for sure is that you don't have the full story.

So, I'll just wait and see what happens; hope it has Borque in DC and Nyls in the KHL.

Posted by: Sonyask | September 30, 2009 5:57 AM | Report abuse

haha Lindsay you crack me up, keep it up.

That's it for now. More on the Caps, if you can handle it, from practice at 10:30 a.m. *cute*

Posted by: capsfan387 | September 30, 2009 6:10 AM | Report abuse

gratefuldid- I think it's even BETTER than Christmas!!! So excited!!! GO CAPS!! HOCKEY IS BACKKKKKKKK!! =)

I HATE VERSUS THOUGH!!

Posted by: rachel216 | September 30, 2009 6:31 AM | Report abuse

No.

Posted by: Section117 | September 30, 2009 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Sonyask--Agree. Read everybody's comments over the last few days but really without any true insider information it was all rampant speculation. So I stayed out of the discussion. Would like to see it resolved though.

Now I can't wait--yippee--it's finally here.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | September 30, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

I'm not going to be able to relax until noon today. I'm feeling a lot of stress over the Nylander-Bourque situation...

I can understand the KHL being reluctant to take Nylander. He's not Russian, and the majority of teams are already at or over their limit of foreign-born players. There simply is no room in the KHL for him, and this isn't the first time I've made this remark.

But the fact that we can't find a team for him - ANY team - in his native Sweden is rather telling... and sad for him.

I feel bad for Bourque as an innocent bystander in this mess. Poor kid! :-( I hope things work out for the best.

Posted by: irockthered | September 30, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Section117: Is that your response to the question? Pretty sad. You know if the Caps pull it off this season it most likely won't be with the entire team we are starting with. There will be a few pieces moved in March to assist it making it happen.

Anyhow. Please, no Chicken Littles in here if things start off slow. Caps are starting with Boston, in Boston, they will be good and will come out with unbelievable energy. They are considered an elite team as well, and we have to play them in their home opener. Our 2nd road game is against Philly, considered to be another elite team, in guess what...their home opener.

The Caps begin the season with a very tough schedule with two of our contributers (Flash and Fehr) on the shelf. Remember the 1st game of the season last year was a loss at Atlanta, yup, Atlanta.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 30, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

@IRTR

Especially with the KHL turning down guys like Forsberg recently, it seems they are only willing to spend big money on returning Russian superstars, like Feds and Yashin. Don't see how or why a KHL would want to pay a guy that much money if they seem to already be frugal, unless some deal was worked out between that club and the NHL club but don't know how CBA-friendly that is.

Posted by: richmondphil | September 30, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Section117: Is that your response to the question? Pretty sad. You know if the Caps pull it off this season it most likely won't be with the entire team we are starting with. There will be a few pieces moved in March to assist it making it happen.

Anyhow. Please, no Chicken Littles in here if things start off slow. Caps are starting with Boston, in Boston, they will be good and will come out with unbelievable energy. They are considered an elite team as well, and we have to play them in their home opener. Our 2nd road game is against Philly, considered to be another elite team, in guess what...their home opener.

The Caps begin the season with a very tough schedule with two of our contributers (Flash and Fehr) on the shelf. Remember the 1st game of the season last year was a loss at Atlanta, yup, Atlanta.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 30, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse


What can I say, I'm not feeling it. As to the latter part of your post, last November's hysteria is proof positive that people will irrationally freak out.

Posted by: Section117 | September 30, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

I was looking forward to finding out what Ovie's 3 favorite goals were, but it quickly became apparent that it was Tarik's. Still interesting to have Ovie walk through them, though. When you limit yourself to just 3, it's really tough!

Posted by: hockeyweasel | September 30, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

@richmondphil - It isn't just "do not want" with the KHL. It's literally "can not sign," because Nylander is not a Russian.

There is supposedly a 3-non-native-born player limit per team this season. I say supposedly, because of the 24 teams in the KHL:

Dinamo Minsk has a ton (more than 6).
Dinamo Moscow has 6.

Atlant, Barys, Lokomotiv, Severstal, Sibir, SKA, Spartak, Torpedo and Traktor have 5 each.

Ak Bars, Amur, Avangard, Dinamo Riga, HK MVD, Metallurg Magnitogorsk, and Metallurg Novokuznetsk have 4 each.

Avtomobilist, CSKA, and Neftekhimik have 3.

-----------------------

Salavat Yulaev (3rd place) and Vityaz (7th place) have 2.

Lada (20th place) has 1.

So the only two real options, by the KHL's own rules, if Nylander doesn't want to go to a team with a 2-0 0-1 1-3 record (W-L, OTW-OTL, SOW-SOL) - which I have got to assume he doesn't! - are Salavat Yulaev and Vityaz.

The KHL isn't following its own rules very well, either, but still... not cool.

Posted by: irockthered | September 30, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

As a side note, Metallurg Magnitogorsk, home of the Fedorov Brothers, is currently in first place in the KHL! Go Fedorovs!

Posted by: irockthered | September 30, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Home of Malkin as well.

Just sayin...

Posted by: richmondphil | September 30, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

best morning reading list in months, can't wait for tomorrow night!

Posted by: Bagher | September 30, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

it's not so much that the KHL doesn;t want Nylander, it's that they wanted him before the season started and propositioned him over the summer, but he waited around to hear from washington and they found another center to take his spot, so they don't need him anymore.

Posted by: capsfan387 | September 30, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

That would be PREVIOUS home of Malkin, and CURRENT home of the Fedorov brothers, though. :-)

Posted by: irockthered | September 30, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

@capsfan387 - What's your source for this bit of information?

Posted by: irockthered | September 30, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

This section is amazing! I'm not going to get any work done until at least 10AM!

Posted by: nicko | September 30, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Backstrom will win Hart this year. Mark my words.

30/70

Posted by: richmondphil | September 30, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Capsfan387 said:
"it's not so much that the KHL doesn;t want Nylander, it's that they wanted him before the season started and propositioned him over the summer, but he waited around to hear from washington and they found another center to take his spot, so they don't need him anymore."

Complete lie.

Posted by: atybat | September 30, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Can we get true definitive info on the cap situation? There seems to be more to the Borque waiver move. Borque is not a guy with a big cap hit.

Tarik has been trying to stoke any controversy he can regarding Nyls over the last couple of weeks, in my observation. Framing this as a Nyls v. Borque situation, as Tarik did, is an attempt to stir up feelings and I'd just as soon not buy into it. Nyls' $4.875 Mil just isn't in the ballpark of Borque's $577K.

Posted by: Sonyask | September 30, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-7375-Washington-Capitals-Examiner~y2009m9d20-KHL-lost-interest-in-Nylander

and i quote "He is not interesting [to us] anymore. We do have money for new contracts. We are monitoring the market and are always ready to do a good transfer [to sign a new player]. But you have to join Avangard at the time when you are asked to join. We signed another center - Eric Perrin - in Nylander's place. And we are very happy with him. Why should anything be changed?"

Posted by: capsfan387 | September 30, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

@sonyask

it's not that bourque for nyls is an even cap hit trade because duh we can all do math and we know they'renot even close. its that nyls can;t be moved, so with fehr and flash also adding to our cap along with everyone else on the caps we are currently over the cap by a small margin, and guess who's salary is low enough to get us under that cap...?

Posted by: capsfan387 | September 30, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

It's not true anyways. That is not the team he was looking at plus, he never received an offer.

Posted by: atybat | September 30, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

call me a liar will you, haha. i don't just shoot out words for the sake of hearing my own keystrokes.

I don't blame Nylander, I don;t blame bourque, and I don;t blame anyone else on the Caps, it's just a poor and needless to say sucky situation and bourque is the victim. and bourque is my favorite player 2nd only to ovie, so yes my emotions are running high, but... what can you do, what's done is done...

Posted by: capsfan387 | September 30, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Correction. Avangard Omsk is the team that he was looking at. He did not receive an offer though.

Posted by: atybat | September 30, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

@atybat

well i showed my source, where is yours. what KHL team was looking at Nyls then?

Posted by: capsfan387 | September 30, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

capsfan387 put up.

Can't we just all get along?

Posted by: Sonyask | September 30, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

OK, the source on that is Dmitry Chesnokov?

So atybat, you're calling Chesnokov a liar? Or are you calling the KHL liars?

What motivation would Dmitry Chesnokov have for lying on this? He's known around here; he's the only journalist that Semin will give an interview to, because Semin trusts him to do translations correctly... why would he destroy his journalistic integrity over this?

Now, the KHL being liars? That, I'd almost believe.

But what are they lying about?

Posted by: irockthered | September 30, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Only 2 hours and 20 minutes until Bourque clears waivers.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 30, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

"I FEEL LIKE TOMORROW IS X-MAS!! WHO'S WITH ME?!?! LETS GO CAPS!"

--------------------------------------------------------------

YES!

Posted by: ejohnsto | September 30, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Im not being mean, i was asked to defend my statements and I did, I read a lot about the Caps, and their prospects and I use hundred upon hundreds of different sources, so I was just making it clear where my statements came from. also wanted to help you with your question. plus i thre in the obligatory "haha" i mean that counts for something right. lol. no but seriously

Posted by: capsfan387 | September 30, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

I don't blame Nylander, I don't blame bourque, and I don't blame anyone else on the Caps, it's just a poor and needless to say sucky situation and Bourque is the victim.

Agreed. It sucks.

Posted by: irockthered | September 30, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

@capsfan387 - atybat is notorious for making vast, sweeping claims of insider knowledge and never backing them up with real sources.

@atybat - Prove me wrong.

Posted by: irockthered | September 30, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Off to the airport. By the time I get home, the 3 pm deadline will be well past. As I recall, Caps are still +$1M over the cap with the roster they have listed. So, something has to give.

Posted by: tominfl1 | September 30, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

@tominfl1 - Safe journey!

Posted by: irockthered | September 30, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Hey Washington Post, your Caps and NHL RSS feeds haven't updated since the spring. Mysteriously the Skins and NFL feeds seem fine. Could you fix that please? Thanks!

Posted by: sjshanno | September 30, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I still wouldn't be shocked if ShaMo was moved. Besides Nylander probably the most expendable player with a healthy salary, 1.9 mil I think.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 30, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

I have a feeling Nylander will be booed pretty bad on Saturday night.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | September 30, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

33 hours out from the start of the what may be the greatest season. Ready. Steady. Go.

Posted by: saintex | September 30, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

i agree i wouldnt be surprised if either morrison or jurcina get traded. plus it would solve that pesky little problem of fans getting confused with having to morrison's on the ice ;) lol

Posted by: capsfan387 | September 30, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

No reason to boo Nylander. Really? Opening night, a new banner, and you want to boo. Nice.

Posted by: saintex | September 30, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I have a feeling Nylander will be booed pretty bad on Saturday night.

Posted by: capsfansince74

Please no Booing. If he is on the ice then he is a member of our team and deserves our support.

Posted by: pkendrick | September 30, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Jurcina's salary cap hit is 1.375M, so that isn't outside the realm of possibility...

I would sincerely hope that Caps fans are classy enough NOT to boo Nylander if he takes the ice, but I have a bad feeling that they aren't, especially if this lack of a move costs us Chris Bourque.


Posted by: irockthered | September 30, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Why boo Nylander? Tasteless and infantile. He has been nothing but professional in this situation. PLus, I bet you he won't be in the line-up.

@irockthered: I will reverse the question to you, prove me wrong. Did I not stated, at the opening of the pre-season camp that Nylander would not see a single minute of game ice-time? Did I not provide some reasons?

Posted by: atybat | September 30, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

fanohock1: I agree. A ShaMo move makes sense.

capsfansince74: I hope not. First, I doubt Nyls is playing. Second, there's no reason to boo. If he plays, I hope he plays his heart out and that we appreciate it.

Posted by: Sonyask | September 30, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

From Storming the Crease:

GM George McPhee was a guest on NHL Home Ice this afternoon and, among other things, addressed the Michael Nylander sitution. GMGM stated that the Caps had a deal with another NHL club last season (and Nylander agreed to it) but the deal fell through at the last second. He also stated the Caps are still trying to send Nylander overseas, but if they fail, Nyls will play for the Caps (something he didn't do during the preseason).

In the meantime, Chris Bourque -- who was set to suit up for the Caps in Boston Thursday night -- has been waived to make room under the salary cap (presumably because of Nylander).

GMGM also stated that the Caps have three good goalies and that Jose Theodore looks better now than he did most of last season.

Posted by: CodePoetry | September 30, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Why boo your own team? and why boo Nylander specifically? It is a crappy situation and I feel really bad for Bourque. He has been put on a really bad roller coaster ride.

Blaming Nylander or taking it out on him acomplishes nothing. Perhaps the Caps do make a move that somehow gets Bourque back on for us. That is if he is still with us in an hour and a half.

Posted by: _Mark | September 30, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

i wont boo him, but i wish he would go away.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | September 30, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

@atybat - Reasons, yes. Sources, No. I asked for sources. You have yet to provide a legitimate source other than your own vast insider knowledge. I like sources. I believe I called you out earlier in this thread on who you're calling a liar on the Nylander-KHL situation.

Where's my response?

You may have missed it, since I neglected to boldface your name, so here it is again:

So atybat, you're calling Dmitry Chesnokov a liar? Or are you calling the KHL liars?

What motivation would Dmitry Chesnokov have for lying on this? He's known around here; he's the only journalist that Semin will give an interview to, because Semin trusts him to do translations correctly... why would he destroy his journalistic integrity over this?

Now, the KHL being liars? That, I'd almost believe.

But what are they lying about?

Posted by: irockthered | September 30, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

What motivation would Dmitry Chesnokov have for lying on this? He's known around here; he's the only journalist that Semin will give an interview to, because Semin trusts him to do translations correctly...

haha... What about Slava Malamud? Semin gives him interviews too...

Correct translations? How about that famous "What so special about Crosby?"

Semin had to call Crosby and apologize for something lost in translation...

Posted by: CodePoetry | September 30, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

If Nyls is dressed and actually sees the ice. He'll quiet the boos with a goal or a nice assist. It doesn't take much to turn Caps fans, on your side or not. Case and point, many many fans were sad that Brash departed, especially after his personal story last season. Tell you what though, the boos were loud and clear when he scored the goal to make it 4-3 last Sunday. He didn't deserve the boos, but he got 'em.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 30, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I don't see Nylander being booed simply because I'm ot sure many of the peope in the arena are aware there is even a situation going on with Nyles anyway. What I mean is, aside from the 100(?) people that pose here and maybe another 100(?) more who read but don't post- I just don't think there are that many people follow the in depth goings-on within the Caps.

This is not to say that they haven't heard a few things about the situation, but I'm sure they're overly concerned enough to boo, or for that matter, cheer him.

I could be wrong however, but I say this because in trying to chat Caps-hockey with some people I know that have season tickets, some of them don't even really know who Michael Nylander is.

Posted by: Fro_ | September 30, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I know it's been mentioned before but it's pretty clear that Nylander was held out of preseason games to make sure he stayed healthy in the event that a deal popped up.

In other words, it wasn't Boudreau choosing not to use Nylander simply because he didn't think he deserved to be out there.

Posted by: tmac2yao | September 30, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

^^^^ POST not POSE

Posted by: Fro_ | September 30, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

and *NOT overly concerned. Need. Coffee.

Posted by: Fro_ | September 30, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

@CodePoetry - That was not DChesnokov, or Semin wouldn't have agreed to use him for translations this year.

Posted by: irockthered | September 30, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah?

Posted by: CodePoetry | September 30, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Chesnokov was banned from a locker room last year, SovSport had to hire another guy to get in... Why? Ted didn't like his translations of Semin.

Posted by: CodePoetry | September 30, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Wow, I actually have twitter at work now. Anyway, Bourque is on the ice practicing with the team right now.

Posted by: pkendrick | September 30, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

@CodePoetry - Source?

Posted by: irockthered | September 30, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I know it's been mentioned before but it's pretty clear that Nylander was held out of preseason games to make sure he stayed healthy in the event that a deal popped up.

In other words, it wasn't Boudreau choosing not to use Nylander simply because he didn't think he deserved to be out there.


Posted by: tmac2yao | September 30, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse


We'll see what happens tomorrow night. Personally, I think Nyls is subject to a club lockout until he accepts/finds another place to play (not simply BB, but BB, GM, Ted). Depriving scouts of a chance to see him also doesn't make sense. Plus, LTIR wouldn't be such a bad thing if he were to get hurt. I'm thinking "healthy scratch" tomorrow and thereafter.

I may be totally wrong. If Nyls suits I hope he plays. I'm one who believes that if he plays he can contribute meaningfully and that he will work hard to adapt to a more hard-charging style. Plus, he's a better possession player than most members of the team (please hold the circles jokes).

Posted by: Sonyask | September 30, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

As a general comment, you will find that I am very skeptical of off-the-cuff commentary that claims actual knowledge without providing sources for that knowledge.

Opinion is one thing; knowledge is another. If I post something as a fact, I have that fact backed up by a source. Statistics are readily obtainable from either hockeydb.com, nhl.com, the player's page on capitals.nhl.com, or any one of a number of other sources. Salary facts come from nhlnumbers.com.

I do have a source for the quote from Semin about letting Chesnokov translate for him this year, but I cannot get at the source from work due to firewall restrictions. As soon as I get home, I will post said source.

As for who mistranslated the infamous Crosby quote, I've been trying for a year to put that thing out of my mind, so I don't remember; if you can post a source a year later that proves it was Chesnokov, great.

But I was asking atybat to provide sources - legitimate media sources - for why he says either Chesnokov or the KHL is lying... I haven't seen those sources yet........ So cough 'em up, or shut up, atybatty. I'm not in the mood to play today.

Posted by: irockthered | September 30, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

@Sonyask - Unless I miscounted Nyls will have to be in the line-up tomorrow night if he is still here unless we dress 7 D. With Bourque on waivers we only have 11 other forwards on the roster right now.

Posted by: pkendrick | September 30, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

@pkendrick: Good point, unless Borque clears. Or maybe I'm just wrong. As I say, I'd be glad to see Nyls play.

Posted by: Sonyask | September 30, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

@Sonyask - True that Nylander is good at puck possession; it's his game. But he really does need to watch where that blue line comes into play, because if he crosses it, it's back to the dot, and he was infamous for either corssing the blue line or being stripped of the puck all season last year.

I am not saying, mind, that Semin didn't get stripped of the puck too - he did, maddeningly so - but at least if Semin had a clear shot on net, usually he took it.

If Nylander does play, I hope he shoots the puck more this season. Last year, he put up 87 shots in 72 games. That means he spent a whole lot more time possessing the puck than he did actually trying to put it in the net.

"If you want goals, you go to the net." Still true.

Posted by: irockthered | September 30, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

IRTR: In those 72 games he spent a whole lot of time watching the game from the bench. Before being a healthy scratch he was lucky to log 7 minutes of ice time a game.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 30, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Looking at the boxscores for April it looks like Nyls average about 10 mins a game. Still not enough time to really put up good numbers. Top 6 guys were logging 15 minutes of more a game.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 30, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Let Nylander play!

Posted by: griz0615 | September 30, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I've been reading rather than posting recently, but I'm rather excited about this season, and felt the need to express it to all of you.

WOOOOO!

Posted by: SmallZ827 | September 30, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

buying out nylander would have cost us some of his salary...having him sit for the whole year costs us all his salary.someone please explain how the second option is a better one. Are we going to be limited by poor cap planning all year long like we were a lot of last year?

Posted by: wendel2 | September 30, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Chris Bourque is nothing special. If his last name wasn't Bourque this wouldn't even be much of a story. I prefer to remain optimistic and hope that Nylander is actually healthy this season and returns to the form he had a few years ago. If his skills are not diminished, he can only add to the team. We will all forget this when/if Nylander starts putting up points. Plus if he does return to form, he'd be that much easier to move.

Posted by: lornemyoung | September 30, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I believe that the stats show that Nylander averaged over 14 minutes in his 72 games, so I'm not sure that's a good excuse. Still, I'm an optimist and hope he could produce IF he plays.

If there's a buyout I'm not sure it's cheaper. After all he's got 2 years left on his contract.

Posted by: Sonyask | September 30, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Nylander's TOI/G according to NHL.com last season was 14:02. He played an average of 15.6 shifts per game. His S% when he shot was only just below Ovechkin's, at 10.3%.

That's not too shabby, if you ask me.

By contrast, both David Steckel and Boyd Gordon's S% were lower than Nylander's. Matt Bradley's was lower still. None of them had as much ice time as Nylander, according to the stats posted, but the successful shot percentage is telling, too. Steckel and Bradley put more shots towards the net than Nylander, with less ice time. Boyd Gordon didn't shoot much at all.

My point remains that Nylander needs to shoot more with the time on ice he's given, which isn't as low as you state.

Skating around in a circle with the puck and waiting for the play to develop doesn't get goals. Firing the puck at the net gets goals. Goals win games. Winning games is what we want.

Posted by: irockthered | September 30, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

@Sonyask - I believe there are two problems with buying out Nylander's contract, and their names are Alexander Semin and Nicklas Backstrom.

The buyout doesn't affect this year, but it will affect next year, if I understand the CBA correctly. If we buy out Nylander this year, we will not have the money we will need to resign Semin and Backstrom next year when we need it most.

Also, the deadline, IIRC, for buying Nylander out has already passed. I do not remember when it was, but I am pretty sure it's come and gone; I can look it up if necessary.

Posted by: irockthered | September 30, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

IRTR -- I agree with you re: buyout. It's not happening.

Posted by: Sonyask | September 30, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Buying out Nylander this year would have been utterly stupid, and people would refer to it as GMGM's worst move for years to come. Buying him out next year MAY be an option, but why...we can waive him next year if need be.

Just punch in the numbers on a buyout calculator, it would be a pretty big hit for years to come.

Posted by: richmondphil | September 30, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

if you can't move Nyls or his contract then you might as well play him and get something for that 4.5 mil. Wish someone would pay me 4.5 mil to do a job, and then when I showed up to do that job, told me I don't have to do it... but they would pay me anyway!!!! Make him earn his check if he's gonna be here. We want to be a puck possession team and you gotta admit, he's a puck possession guy, ha ha ha!

Posted by: griz0615 | September 30, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

@lornemyoung - It seems that Chris Bourque has become a fan favorite, in part because of his dad, and in part because he's a sparkplug, a little guy who plays good hockey.

The story has become a story because Bourque is well-liked, and people believe he deserves a shot. Plus, the "do you want to have dinner with your Dad on Thursday night" is a big feelgood story, and the "you're on waivers" an equally big letdown.

Nylander has been a pariah since last season, and this situation is just making that worse, even if he didn't turn down an offer, or anything like that, because people seem to believe that GMGM could have forseen all this when he signed Nylander to that NMC contract several years ago.

They don't pay GMGM enough to use his psychic powers that way. :-p

The situation has polarized people into "I hate you, GMGM," "I hate you, Nylander," and "Jeez, calm down!" camps, and I am counting the seconds until noon now. My head's ready to explode over all this!!!

If life hands you lemons, you have two choices: 1) make lemonade, or 2) let the lemons rot in the crisper.

I prefer lemonade.

I hope that if Nylander DOES go out there and skate that he will be an asset rather than a liability.

Posted by: irockthered | September 30, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Three poles.

Posted by: thiazzi | September 30, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Below are the cap hit buyout numbers according to capgeek.com if we had bought out Nyls' contract this past summer.

09/10 - $791,667
10/11 - $3,291,667
11/12 - $1,416,667
12/13 - $1,416,667

Posted by: pkendrick | September 30, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

No one is going to grab Bourque, and we all knew that. No team is going to upset their roster balance/cap situation by taking in some 23 year old prospect.

The only team I heard was even remotely interested was the Rags, and it is probably just because they drafted his brother this year. Nothing more.

Posted by: richmondphil | September 30, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Three poles.

Posted by: thiazzi | September 30, 2009 11:47 AM |

Haha, I laughed.

Posted by: richmondphil | September 30, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

nylander aside, the GM has to find a way to still improve the defense. If they plan to wait until Carlson/Alzner develop their game, then the Stanley Cup thang won't be happening this year or even next. We gotta get one if not two solid defenseman (i.e. who can play DEFENSE) into this team. Thats eventually what wins. Not Mike Green's 30+ goals in the reg season. Great defensive teams usually stonewall great offensive teams.
In ANY sport

for my money -- I see Poti as the guy I'd like to see replaced. For a "veteran" he just ain't that good. And if they want to dump Mo's salary, then they better replace him with someone also instead of thinking Schultz or Sloan can fill that void. This is just not a Cup kind of a defense.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 30, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

The best news story possible, but in the FIRMLY not going to happen realm would be if Chris Bourque were claimed by Boston. I would at least chuckle. More realistically maybe the Rangers to play with his brother.

Posted by: lornemyoung | September 30, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton1 - I believe that the coaching change over the summer may have an effect of a positive nature on the defense. If not, that is what the trade deadline is for.

Give Bob Woods a chance before you start spending money we don't have to buy things we may or may not need.

Posted by: irockthered | September 30, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Just like how Boston stonewalled Caroli

oh wait.

Posted by: thiazzi | September 30, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Also, for you numbers guys, if we buy out Nyls after this year we only save 2M for 10/11 and get another 1M hit for 11/12. Thankfully his NMC is gone after this year so if we keep him then we can waive him or trade him anywhere we want.

Posted by: pkendrick | September 30, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: armonroe | September 30, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Just play Nylander...send Bourque back to Hershey or let another team claim him. Nylander can do more in 10 games then Bourque will do in a whole NHL season right now. The kid just isn't that good. Whether you fans love him or not, just realize because he plays with energy and has a certain last name does not make him an NHL player right now. You'll notice that if no team has claimed him, that means 29 other GM's don't think he's ready becuase they could have had him for free.

Posted by: ThePat | September 30, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

While we may move a defenseman to make some room, I don't believe we will add anyone until the deadline. We have a few months to see how our defense plays before that decision has to be made to prepare for the second season.

Whether the defense we have now can carry us to a Cup is debatable, but it is likely that it will look a little different after the trade deadline.

Posted by: _Mark | September 30, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Just like how Boston stonewalled Caroli

oh wait.

Posted by: thiazzi | September 30, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

the exception always proves the rule

oh wait..

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 30, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I may not be happy if this is our roster come April, but for September I think it works. I obviously hope another defenseman lands in our laps around trade deadline time, but, for now, I'm excited. (And for maybe the first time in my sports-watching history, a little confident. Guess that's what happens when you're a Skins and O's fan, too.)

Posted by: SmallZ827 | September 30, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

For October, rather. Although I suppose we've got 12 hours of September left.

Posted by: SmallZ827 | September 30, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

theo starts tomorrow - saw it on twitter. not huge news, but it was news to me.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | September 30, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

There's another reason not to buy out Nylander (no movement clause). It can't be done. Buyouts can only happen between June 15 and 30th or within 48 hours after arbitration (not applicable).

Expectations were pretty high that he'd be moved before July 1, so buying him out would have been a waste of money and effort.

The only way to get him off the books is to move him now. I still think there's a good chance at that. Remember too that there's a lot of "gamesmanship" that goes on in the media. The KHL teams may be saying there's no interest in order to bolster their negotiating position.

Posted by: Greg S. | September 30, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

It's noon, and I see no evidence that Bourque was claimed, so I expect to see him in the lineup for tomorrow night's game.

Posted by: SmallZ827 | September 30, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I expect to see him in Hershey, we are over the cap.

Posted by: PhilR | September 30, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't count until the drop of the puck. I expect to see LTIR's come out. That'll put us under the wire.

Posted by: Greg S. | September 30, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Bourque claimed by the Penguins apparently.

Posted by: ThePat | September 30, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I am not 100% sure, but I think the=is chain of events means that Fehr and Flash are not LTIR elkigible yet. I seem to recall vaguely that going on LTIR was not immediate.

Posted by: _Mark | September 30, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Bourque claimed by the Penguins apparently.

Posted by: ThePat

Source?

Posted by: pkendrick | September 30, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

GOD I HATE YOU NYLS

Posted by: Dizzy1205 | September 30, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Caps reported just droped it PKendrick

Posted by: Dizzy1205 | September 30, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Nate Ewell Wash Caps PR is the source.

Posted by: ThePat | September 30, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

and everywhere on Twitter...the Caps recalled Boyd Kane from Hershey.

Posted by: ThePat | September 30, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

CRAP!!!!

Posted by: pkendrick | September 30, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Full.Of.Rage. GAH!! Of all the teams!

Posted by: CapsKH | September 30, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

THE PENGUINS??! THE ***PENGUINS??!***

NOOOOOOO!!!! $%!^(#!@&(%!@*()$^!$!@!!

Posted by: irockthered | September 30, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

CRAP. CRAP, CRAP, CRAP.

Posted by: irockthered | September 30, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

TarikElBashir
Chris Bourque has been claimed by Pittsburgh.
6 minutes ago from web

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 30, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

From Tarik's Twitter

Michal Neuvirth has been assigned to Hershey, according to Bruce Boudreau. "He said he would be back," Boudreau said Neuvy told him.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 30, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

unbelievable - hope they dont ask him if he wants to have dinner with his Dad Friday night in the Burgh.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | September 30, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

well that is the end of a pretty sad joke!Bourque must be exststic to be wanted not dicked aroung by an inempt GM

Posted by: wendel2 | September 30, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Of all the freaking teams to claim Bourque why did it have to be the Pens? Grr! I was developing affection for the kid. (Well, he did briefly overlap at the same educational institution as my first born and his younger brother is the same age as my younger daughter.)

He'll probably be VERY motivated against the Caps.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | September 30, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

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