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Caps recall Carlson

With defensemen Milan Jurcina and Shaone Morrisonn nicked up, the Capitals have recalled first-round pick John Carlson from Hershey. He's here at Kettler skating with Tom Poti during beginning-of-practice drills.

How big of a deal is this? Well, owner Ted Leonsis has joined General Manager George McPhee in the management box perched above the ice here in Arlington for a bit. He's not usually a fixture at practice.

Jurcina, Morrisonn (who was on the ice for a few minutes during warmups, but then left), Alexander Semin and Boyd Gordon are all not practicing today.

By Mark Giannotto  |  November 19, 2009; 10:41 AM ET
 
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Next: Boudreau keeps expectations for Carlson in check

Comments

I've been waiting for this. Good Luck Johnny!

Posted by: PonMan | November 19, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Oh my god, I can't believe I'm first. This is so exciting to me in my small sad life.

Anyway, what were we talking about?

Posted by: large23220 | November 19, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

PonMan, you robbed me of my glory. I challenge you to a duel.

Posted by: large23220 | November 19, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I don't think it's been reported whether or not Knuble has been put on LTIR. If not, they over the cap - at least on a daily basis (incl the Backstrom bonus).

You can exceed the cap by the bonus, but then you get a reduction next year.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 19, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

OK, here we go. Carlson's first chance to prove himself. Hopefully he'll be able to play along enough for his ability to be gauged. If he only plays about 5 games before being sent back down it will be hard to tell. Alzner came up last year and did a bang-up job in his 1st 10 and then started to shows some holes in his game. If Carlson can prove himself worthy just in a few call-ups this season I honestly believe Alzner and Carlson will be on next season's opening day roster and expected to log 18+ minutes a piece every night. In other words, not just lucky to be in DC, but bonified contributers. Good luck Carlson!!!

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 19, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Are the Caps ever going to get a chat on Washingtonpost.com.....I hope Tarik or Lindsey will answer this question eventually.

Also..how are the Caps making this work with the Cap??? Who is going on the LTIR...etc???

Posted by: OVIHtrick8 | November 19, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

How does this work with the salary cap?
What's up with Nyls? Is he close to being off the books?

Posted by: jfk10 | November 19, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I believe this is possible because Laing is going on LTIR.

Posted by: j3rockstar | November 19, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

@tominfl...

I assume Knuble, Laing and maybe even Boyd have all been put on LTIR.

Pure speculation on my part on Gordon, but with the back failing him that fast he might have to go the surgery route to get it fixed.

Posted by: ThePat | November 19, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

What are the lines?

The way I count it, we have 5 centers, who's playing wing?

Backstrom
Morrison
Perreault
Beagle
Steckel

Ovi/Backs/Clark
Flash/Morrison/Laich
Sloan/Perrault/Fehr
Beagle/Steckel/Bradley

Green/Schultz
Poti/Pothier
Erskine/Carlson

Posted by: JSchon | November 19, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

@JSchon

Ovi-Backs-Flash
Laich-BMo-Clark
Perrautl-Steckel-Fehr
Sloan-Beagle-Brads

Carlson is w Poti...thats all i know on D

Posted by: ThePat | November 19, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Beag's will wing it.

Posted by: SA-Town | November 19, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

those are according to Corey's tweets btw.

Posted by: ThePat | November 19, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Knuble is not on LTIR. The reason he is not is that there is a possibility he'll be ready to go in three weeks, which would not be ten games. If we put him on LTIR before we know he'll need to be out for 10 games, we will lose him for 10 games, whether he's ready or not. Not putting him on LTIR until we're sure is a good way to avoid losing him the extra two games if he's ready sooner than expected. If it looks like he'll still be out, we can put him on LTIR retroactively.

Posted by: irockthered | November 19, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

JSchon: No disrespect to Erskine or Erskine backers, but he is probably our weakest blueliner. Even though Carlson is considered a puck moving defenseman I would think he would be paired with Poti rather than Erskine. Erskine likes to deliver big hits, sometimes at the most unopportune times, like at his defensive blueline creating a 2 on 1. I can't see BB putting Carlson in a situation like that. He could probably learn a lot from Poti too. Heck he may end up eventually being Poti's replacement since Poti is deemed a puck moving defenseman.

Anyhow, I seee Poti/Carlson and Erskine/Pothier.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 19, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

@IRTR

3 weeks would be exactly 10 games so I wouldnt be surprised if hes on it. Hes not coming back before that Philly game on the 5th unless they rush him.

Posted by: ThePat | November 19, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

CAPTION CONTEST:

"Three Washington Capitals respond to the fact that Sean Avery is a real A## Hole."

Posted by: SA-Town | November 19, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

You can exceed the cap by the bonus, but then you get a reduction next year.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 19, 2009 10:47 AM |

Can't you balance it out over the year though, so it doesn't cut into next year?

For example if we are over 1 million for 5 days, can't we "fix" that by being under 1 million for 5 days? A crude example, but I think it shows my point.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 19, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

5 games, 7 games or 3 games is just too small a sample size to determine anything about a player. But, having typed this, I am all for playing the kids as much as possible during the long season, playing them where they should be played if possible.

Alzner isn't here because of his salary.

Posted by: JSchon | November 19, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Clark has looked much more like his old self over the last 5-10 games. I'd like to see him get another shot on the top line. Then I'd create a kid line of Flash-Perreault-Fehr and reward Brads by putting him with Laich and BMo.

Posted by: Kirg | November 19, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

JSchon: No disrespect to Erskine or Erskine backers, but he is probably our weakest blueliner. Even though Carlson is considered a puck moving defenseman I would think he would be paired with Poti rather than Erskine. Erskine likes to deliver big hits, sometimes at the most unopportune times, like at his defensive blueline creating a 2 on 1. I can't see BB putting Carlson in a situation like that. He could probably learn a lot from Poti too. Heck he may end up eventually being Poti's replacement since Poti is deemed a puck moving defenseman.

Anyhow, I seee Poti/Carlson and Erskine/Pothier.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 19, 2009 11:01 AM |


Poti has gotten more crap from people this year than any other it seems. While guys like you and me seem to see Poti playing decently enough, others are calling for his head.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 19, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Me an Erskine backer?
I almost flipped out when he was re-signed for 2 years for $2.5M.

@richmondphil, that was crude, very crude.

Posted by: JSchon | November 19, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

irock: OK, I'm not sure, but maybe a retroactive LTIR gives you coverage for the replacement players who were there (in this case, Carlson) during that period. If so, Carlson's cap hit wouldn't count if he's LTIR replacement.

Also, we're really getting thin up front.

As for Boyd Gordon, you have to wonder if this recurring back thing will ultimately end his career.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 19, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Anyone going to hockey 'n heals tonight? My fiancee is going by herself and she's really nice, but a little bit shy, so if you meet her, please be super friendly!! She's a huge budding Caps fan (obviously, since she's attending). Her name is Emily.

Posted by: MarylanDChris | November 19, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Clark and Green involved in shoving/cursing match at practice just a few minutes ago. Looks like Boudreau sent Green off the ice.

Posted by: zeke00 | November 19, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

@tominfl1 - I'm wondering that about Boyd Gordon myself... he only played about 5:55 last game before his back went away on him again. :-(

@Kirg - I think Clark has looked more like himself BECAUSE he's been with Perreault. It ain't broke, so don't fix it.

Posted by: irockthered | November 19, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Not everyone can read the CBA religiously. That's why I rely on you guys. An answer would have been nice though.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 19, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

When Erskine got re-signed, I said it was like paying $12 for a $6 bottle of wine.

Phil: Yes, your example works, but the problem is they started the year at the cap max and have been treading along there since. Now you have Carlson at $850K. If he's here a week, then later you must be under by that much for a week.

All this gets fixed if a certain Swede comes off the books.......IF.

Otherwise, a week here and a week there for extra players and you'll end the year $1M over for a quarter of the season or a $250K reduction for next year.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 19, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Remember, Backstrom technically counts as only $850K cap hit. The rest of his $2.4M is a bonus and counts as "bonus cushion." The team can exceed the cap all year by that much, with the proviso that next year's cap is reduced by this year's overrun.

This is DC after all so why not rob Peter to pay Paul just like the gov't.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 19, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Caption Contest:

Sean Avery is cleared out by three Washington Capitals defenders. "All I did was ask them what the deal was with Nylander," Avery said after the game.
+++
John Erskine of the Washington Capitals provides the finishing touch on Rangers Sean Avery. "Avery said he saw eight Washington Post chats last week on the Redskins and non about us, and we're in first place." an obviously frustrated Erskine said. "When I heard that I had to take it out on him cause Applebaum is too afraid to show her face around us. And tell Tarik to steady that camera or I'll put it somewhere it wont move."

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 19, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Regarding the Avery pic- 2 words:

"Captial Punishment"

Posted by: Fro_ | November 19, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

erskine was the only guy clearing the crease during most of the rangers game. remember the 1st goal when people were standing around vs. erskine knocking avery on his butt for hitting varly?

JSchon: No disrespect to Erskine or Erskine backers, but he is probably our weakest blueliner. Even though Carlson is considered a puck moving defenseman I would think he would be paired with Poti rather than Erskine. Erskine likes to deliver big hits, sometimes at the most unopportune times, like at his defensive blueline creating a 2 on 1. I can't see BB putting Carlson in a situation like that. He could probably learn a lot from Poti too. Heck he may end up eventually being Poti's replacement since Poti is deemed a puck moving defenseman.

Posted by: fanohock1 |

Posted by: jobrie18 | November 19, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Sean Avery is cleared out by three Washington Capitals defenders. "All I did was ask them what the deal was with Nylander," Avery said after the game.
+++
John Erskine of the Washington Capitals provides the finishing touch on Rangers Sean Avery. "Avery said he saw eight Washington Post chats last week on the Redskins and non about us, and we're in first place." an obviously frustrated Erskine said. "When I heard that I had to take it out on him cause Applebaum is too afraid to show her face around us. And tell Tarik to steady that camera or I'll put it somewhere it wont move."

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 19, 2009 11:25 AM |

LOL !

Posted by: richmondphil | November 19, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

One area the Caps will be careful of - Carlson is only 19. If he plays 10 games this year, it counts as one of his 7 years toward UFA status and he would be a UFA at 26 instead of 27.

I know, that's a long way off, but look how Florida lost JayBo at age 25 due to starting him at age 18 in the NHL.

It's something the club will consider, just like the way they sent Aucoin back down before he got to 10 games so he wouldn't later need to clear waivers again.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 19, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Good thing the cost of gas for all of these promotions/demotions from Hershey don't go against the cap too.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | November 19, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse


FAN POLL: TOP TEAM?
Which is the NHL's top team a quarter of the way into the season?
San Jose Sharks:
26.59 %
Washington Capitals:
19.08 %
Colorado Avalanche:
11.85 %
New Jersey Devils:
16.76 %
Pittsburgh Penguins:
19.65 %
Los Angeles Kings:
6.07 %

Posted by: richmondphil | November 19, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Regarding the Avery pic- 2 words:

"Captial Punishment"

Posted by: Fro_ | November 19, 2009 11:27

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

Ding...Ding....Ding: Winner!

Posted by: Redwolf1 | November 19, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

So why Carlson and not Alzner? Cap ramifications? Lefty vs. Righty? Line combinations?

Posted by: BobLHead | November 19, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

So why Carlson and not Alzner? Cap ramifications? Lefty vs. Righty? Line combinations?

Posted by: BobLHead | November 19, 2009 11:51 AM |

I would guess the Cap. And probably because they want to see Carlson at the NHL level.

Him being a righty certainly helps..a rare commodity in the NHL.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 19, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

regarding the carlson/poti/pothier/lumberjack conversation.....i agree. erskine and poti do not play well together at all. When erskine and pothier are together i think they make a very good pair and i would much rather see poti and carlson together. This coming from probably the biggest fan of the sexy lumberjack

Posted by: _stevo | November 19, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Alzner's cap hit is higher than half our defensemen.

Posted by: irockthered | November 19, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I saw Bondra at practice walking around with one of the coaches.

Posted by: MNMNT | November 19, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

the caps are ranked 23rd in PK with only 78.2% with no shorthanded goal... that has to improve considerably.

Posted by: joek443 | November 19, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Nyls for vise-president!

Why?

He is in an undisclosed location. :)

Posted by: CodePoetry | November 19, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like th cap implications favor Carlson over Alzner, but there just seems to be a better buzz about Carlson than Alzner as well. That certainly was the case in camp pre-season.

Posted by: Sonyask | November 19, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

@ So why Carlson and not Alzner?

Umm, maybe because Carlson's better?

No, I like Alzner fine, but Carlson has the chance to become a premier, #1 franchise d-man - that is a rarity.

And the foot-speed and puck-moving abilities don't hurt, either.

Posted by: govtimbo | November 19, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Really hope Carlson is the real deal. On a side note, does anyone know where I can buy a Caps Ovechkin jersey with his name in Russian? I've looked everywhere and the only thing I've found is the T-shirt.

Posted by: gaholtzman | November 19, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but Lumberjack is the only guy on our blueline that REGULARLY brings any kind of physical game. ShaMo, Juice only sometimes.

Posted by: doughless | November 19, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I saw Bondra at practice walking around with one of the coaches.

Posted by: MNMNT | November 19, 2009 12:04 PM |

Scouting Slovaks? Jurcina?

Posted by: richmondphil | November 19, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Remember, Backstrom technically counts as only $850K cap hit. The rest of his $2.4M is a bonus and counts as "bonus cushion." The team can exceed the cap all year by that much, with the proviso that next year's cap is reduced by this year's overrun.

This is DC after all so why not rob Peter to pay Paul just like the gov't.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 19, 2009 11:17 AM

This is incorrect. Bonuses on entry level contracts count against the cap, thus the reason Alzner is not here. The CBA provision you are referring to is only for bonuses issued to players over 35 years of age signing a one year contract.

Posted by: StikSav | November 19, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Duck Duck Goose...

Posted by: nimrodrsp | November 19, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but Lumberjack is the only guy on our blueline that REGULARLY brings any kind of physical game. ShaMo, Juice only sometimes.

Posted by: doughless | November 19, 2009 12:24 PM |

Might want to check the hit count again..

ShaMo is a wrecking ball compared to any other d man.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 19, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I still wonder how Nyls being waived impacts the cap. Does he have to be assigned or agree to play somewhere or does the dollars come off the cap right away?

Posted by: RichC3 | November 19, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Totally agree that Erskine is by far our most physical defenseman. He also looks the most like he's making it up as he goes along. He's a gritty, hard hitting defenseman, but skill wise, he is our weakest. Even Shultz will dig a puck out of a corner and give a stick to stick pass to a fellow D man for an outlet pass or a PK clear. Erskine pretty much smacks the puck around. Again, I am not saying he stinks, he's in the NHL for Pete's sake, but hands, speed, agility, he's 7 out of 7. Oops 8 out of 8 now with Carlson up.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 19, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I still wonder how Nyls being waived impacts the cap. Does he have to be assigned or agree to play somewhere or does the dollars come off the cap right away?

Posted by: RichC3 | November 19, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

He continues to count against the cap as he's still on the roster until he gets assigned.

Posted by: cainoo7x | November 19, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil, I have to agree - ShaMo is a more effective overall hitter, IMO. Also, he mostly just looks the for the hit when it's there.

Erskine, great team guy that he is, really takes himself out of position sometimes, looking for the big hit when it's not there - and then leaves his partner facing an odd-man rush.

Erskine seems like a great guy but his lack of foot-speed is problematic against top forwards.

Posted by: govtimbo | November 19, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Re: Bondra

I have no idea I was eating my food when he walked by and I was like whoa that's Bondra.

Posted by: MNMNT | November 19, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Alzner's cap hit is higher than half our defensemen.

Posted by: irockthered | November 19, 2009 11:57 AM


If Alzner only plays a handful of games, he doesn't get any bonuses and his salary would be $875K prorated per agme I think.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 19, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

@gaholtzman - I don't know if you can get the jerseys customzied in Cyrillic or not, but you might check down at Kettler (Ballston Commons Mall, top floor). If any place has them, they will.

Posted by: irockthered | November 19, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Bondra is in town, in part, because he's scheduled to be at hockey 'n heels tonight!

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | November 19, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

StikSav: Backstrom's contract IS an entry-level. You can check the salary cap sites and you will see he only counts $850K and the rest is bonus cushion:

http://www.nhlnumbers.com/overview.php?team=WAS&season=0910

Don't feel bad - I make mistakes too.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 19, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

StikSav: To clarify, Backstrom's cap hit at the end of the year will be $2.4M because he'll have earned the bonuses. But, during the season, it is put in the bonus cushion. Because the full value will eventually count, we might well exceed the cap when the end of the year calculation is computed. That's specifcally why I put that it would become then a reduction on next year's cap.

What I was answering was some people's question on how it is we could be over the cap with extra players called up and nobody on LTIR. We are and aren't over. We are in the area where they let you be over but to pay the price later.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 19, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Remember, Backstrom technically counts as only $850K cap hit. The rest of his $2.4M is a bonus and counts as "bonus cushion." The team can exceed the cap all year by that much, with the proviso that next year's cap is reduced by this year's overrun.

This is DC after all so why not rob Peter to pay Paul just like the gov't.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 19, 2009 11:17 AM

This is incorrect. Bonuses on entry level contracts count against the cap, thus the reason Alzner is not here. The CBA provision you are referring to is only for bonuses issued to players over 35 years of age signing a one year contract.

Posted by: StikSav | November 19, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

pretty sure tom is correct. backs total cap hit is 2.4M this year assuming he gets his $1.6M bonus. the caps have a projected total cap hit of $57.8 this year, which exceeds the actual cap of $56.8. they are allowed to be over due to the difference being potential performance bonuses. if they dont' figure that out, they will have to reduce next years cap by that amount. that's why when nyls comes off the cap, almost $2M of his salarly will be used to offset the bonus cusion...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 19, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

My dumb salary cap question of the week:

If the Capitals don't have a game until Friday, was it necessary to call up Carlson today. Assuming by doing so that he then counts against the cap for two extra days. Can a player practice with the team without being active? For instance, if some of the Bears just "happen to be visiting Kettler". To paraphrase the great Iverson, we are talking about practice.

I am not a fan the salary cap. Doesn't seem to have had any tangible benefits for anyone.

Posted by: lornemyoung | November 19, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I am not a fan the salary cap. Doesn't seem to have had any tangible benefits for anyone.

Posted by: lornemyoung | November 19, 2009 12:49 PM |

It's supposed to make the league more competitive all-around. No more are the days of the Rangers or Avalanche having double the payroll to some other teams.

It has it's benefits, and I think I like it for the most part. Would not mind seeing two teams collapsing, thus a total of 28.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 19, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Actually, unless Bondra's been in Slovakia for the Olympic preparation, he and his family still reside in Maryland. I believe they live in Annapolis. His son plays for the Washington Junior Nationals hockey team.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 19, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

@fanhock, you're absolutely right - the hands, speed and agility just aren't there, for a top-flight NHL d-man.

That first breakout pass in your own zone - i.e, the most important pass in hockey - I know it ain't easy when you have NHL forwards looking to take your head off, but yikes does Erskine struggle with that pass. And things don't usually end prettily if you can't breakout cleanly.

Posted by: govtimbo | November 19, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Yeah I'm pretty sure it was Bondra. And on top of that he was walking around with one of the coaching staff guys.

Posted by: MNMNT | November 19, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

CAPTION CONTEST: "The first ever meeting of The Sean Avery Fan Club"

Posted by: BaltimoreBerserk | November 19, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I don't think any sports fan likes a salary cap but what's the alternative? I don't think anyone wants to see a team spend like the Yankees except their fans.

but I do prefer the NBA salary cap system which lets the teams go over the cap to sign their own FAs.

Posted by: joek443 | November 19, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Just to elaborate a bit more on how much ShaMo has stepped up to be that hitting d man, he is only two hits behind Ovi. Granted, Ovi missed 6 games, but last year Ovi would be far ahead of ShaMo or anyone else on the team.

ShaMo isn't exactly the most prolific hitter in the league, but he leads the d man by 9 more hits. (The second is Juice) He is also second on the team in blocked shots, a few behind Poti.

In comparison, Erskine has 19 hits with 9 blocked shots.

I like Erskine, and I am not saying I am satisfied with the hitting (though I am thoroughly impressed at how guys have stepped up their physical game without us having to bring any Prongers in), but ShaMo should get the credit for using his body.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 19, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

@irockthered Thanks man

Posted by: gaholtzman | November 19, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Phil: I agree, ShaMo has been better this year. I don't see him blocking the goalie, making giveaways or being the one "making the mistake" when one happens. He also doesn't seem to be the guy getting the wrong penalty at the wrong time.

Lorne: I think they called him up today so he could practice, and I doubt the CBA would let them have guys practice w/o being on the roster and cap. Otherwise, a team with an entry-level guy could only "activate" him on the 82 game days and leave "at Hershey" the other 111 days of the season. It would be unfair to the player (he'd be paid less) and a blatant cap avoidance.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 19, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

In Erskine's defense he's played 7 less games than ShaMo too. IMO ShaMo has done a great job stepping up his physical play (unfortunately he's injured now) and he already had goot speed and quickness. I thought he was definite trade bait prior to the season starting but glad at this point the Caps chose not to trade him...yet.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 19, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

And I am not trying to take any credit from Erskine and what he did for us last year in the playoffs. He is still very physical and still loves to clear the crease.

But his short-comings, as fanohock1 and govtimbo have pointed out, is that he can't really skate worth a lick nor does he possess any great skills. Erskine would be great if he just adjusted his game a little bit, instead of trying to go for that hit (he can make the hit..he just doesn't have the skating ability or skill to make up for it if he gets out of position)

Then again, John is playing in the NHL, and I am dreaming about it. So I guess I can't really be the one telling him how to play.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 19, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I definetely had ShaMo as pegged to be the first to go as well. Maybe all that criticism has lit a fire under him.

As pointed out by Japer's and some other posters, ShaMo and Green seem to be a real good pair.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 19, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Phil: One thing about the ShaMo - Green pair is no matter how long they play together, 26 will always be half of 52.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 19, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

@richmond, you're right - the guy's in the NHL, and NHL D is an extremely tough position to play well - I'm just saying that, relative to the D on other top, SC-contending teams, i.e., Detroit - they can all skate and move the puck [as well as hit], and break the puck out cleanly.

I also like ShaMo and Green together - if Green gets caught up-ice [which happens way less often this season, IMO] ShaMo skates so well he can cover for him. And they can both move the puck.

Posted by: govtimbo | November 19, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Listened to BB and Carlson today--BB said he liked to pair his young guys with a veteran and today Carlson was with Poti. When asked about why Carlson over Alzner he said 1) he's a righty and 2) it's his turn but we love them both. So expect to see Alzner at some point down the road in the season. Last that cap space may have been part of the decision but he's not the capologist. Boils down to a chance to give Carlson a taste of the big show and see how he fares as I heard it. Perreault is still here in large part because he's doing so well. I enjoy listening to BB--he's a direct kind of guy.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | November 19, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

BTW--love the captions and love the pic.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | November 19, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

It has it's benefits, and I think I like it for the most part. Would not mind seeing two teams collapsing, thus a total of 28.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 19, 2009 12:53 PM

--------

+1000 Nashville, Atlanta, Columbus, and one of the Florida teams should go.

Posted by: butcherbaker | November 19, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

@newbiescaps07

Coaches LOVE right handed d-men. We are blessed with two.

Carlson is filling the shoes of big Juice and ShaMo, are two most prolific hitters. I think he's up for it.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 19, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

+1000 Nashville, Atlanta, Columbus, and one of the Florida teams should go.

Posted by: butcherbaker | November 19, 2009 1:43 PM |

I like the idea of having hockey teams in the South and would be saddened if Atlanta lost their team, but I would not lose any sweat over FLA.

As for the West team, I'm not too sure on who it would be. Phoenix would be the obvious choice, but that just proves how much the NHL and Bettman are bent on proving that 30 teams is right.

I mean, if you take 2 teams out and have those players re-drafted into the remaining 28, it would strengthen the teams all around and also get rid of less "fringe" or flat-out non-NHL players from the league.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 19, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Re: Greenie and Cap'n Clark

I haven't been to tons of practices, but I've never seen teammates fighting before like that. I wonder what that's all about.

Posted by: large23220 | November 19, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I haven't been to tons of practices, but I've never seen teammates fighting before like that. I wonder what that's all about.

Posted by: large23220 | November 19, 2009 1:48 PM |
You hear about things like that all the time, but was it really that bad?

Posted by: richmondphil | November 19, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't pass judgement on which team should stay or go... I remember the save the Caps campaign

Posted by: joek443 | November 19, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

My mind has gone blank. Has Carlson played with us before? Was it him whose performance was disappointing when he played with the Caps, or am I thinking of someone else?

What is the significance of having him here and is he better than Azner?

Posted by: caraveli | November 19, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Carlson hasn't played any regular season games with us. Alzer would cost more right now too. I don't know if which they consider better because their styles are different. As far as I know they are both expected to be major contributers to the Caps very soon.

Posted by: fanohock1 | November 19, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

@large23220 - If it was really newsworthy, someone would have posted an interview by now...

Posted by: irockthered | November 19, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

way to pay attention caraveli

Posted by: MNMNT | November 19, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Bondra was in the press box during the Minnesota game as well.

Posted by: southside721 | November 19, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Bondra scouting for Olympics. He was taking notes with another man who looked familiar, but I couldn't place him. They sat high up in the bleachers.

Posted by: Steakum | November 19, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil--sorry if this is a dumb question but I've heard that before, that coaches love right handed d-men. Why?

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | November 19, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Coaches love guys who can play - which way they shoot is a cover, IMHO.

Posted by: govtimbo | November 19, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Right handed defenseman are a somewhat rare commodity in the NHL. Ideally, you would like 3 righties and 3 lefties making up your top 6. It's a positional thing where you can have a better angle to shoot, accept a pass or fend off a forward.

Posted by: Riddler1 | November 19, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

@Riddler That was maybe true 30 years ago, but the game's changed - ever since the old Soviet and Czech teams started putting guys on their off-wing, as a matter of routine, and often dominating world play.

What matters is if a guy can play - not which way he shoots. At that level, they can all handle the puck, even on their off-wing - i.e., Ovie, Flash, Semin, Naslund, Bure, etc.

Posted by: govtimbo | November 19, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

@govtimbo--I think riddler1 was answering my earlier question--why do coaches like defensive righties--in response originally to BB saying that Carlson was a righty in his briefing today. Of course the players can shoot and handle the puck anywhere on the ice.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | November 19, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Oh and thanks Riddler1.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | November 19, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I don't buy into the "Yankees" defense of salary caps. For all the money they spent, they still have only won once since 1996 I believe. Also, for as much as people love to hate the Yankees, a proportinate amount of there roster is home grown when compared to other teams.

I also don't think the cap is the reason that there has been more parity in the league as all or most teams have significantly higher payrolls than prior to the lockout.

The traditional high payroll teams also still are the traditional destination of key free agents. I can't think of one example where a high level player has gone to a small market team due to cap restrictions with the possible exception of Pronger to Edm. by trade and that was over at the first chance.

I'm never going to be rational about this. I just don't like the cap.

Posted by: lornemyoung | November 19, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

lornemyoung First the Yankees won in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2009 and lost in the series in 2001. The last time a small market team won was 2003 when the Marlins won. Before that it was AZ in 2001 who only won because it had Randy Johnson and Curt Shilling. The Marlins won in 2003 and 1997 both times the were horrible the year after because they couldn't afford the players anymore.

As for top FAs still going to big market teams how about Nik Antropov to ATL, Jay Bouwmeester to CAL, Mike Comrie to EDM, Martin Havlat to MIN, Nikolai Khabibulin to EDM, and Alex Tanguay to TB this season.

Without a cap there is no way Atl takes a player from the Rangers or that Khabibulin goes from Chi-town to Edmonton. Also you are starting to see teams like Detroit bringing up AHL players to replace stars like Hossa where if there wasn't a cap they would have either kept Hossa or gotten another established player to replace him. The cap is the reason why there is more parity in the league and it is not the same few teams going for the cup every year. There won't be another dynasty like the Islanders or Oilers because no team like that can be kept together long enough to win over that long of a time.

Posted by: icehammer97 | November 19, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Before the salary cap small market winners 88-95:
Calgary 89.
Edmonton 90.
Pitt 91
Pitt 92. Pitt is a small market, yes?
95- Devils.
2000- Devils.
2003- Devils.
2004- Tampa.

Since the salary cap Stanley Cup Champions:
2006. Carolina- yeaah
2007. Anaheim- big market.
2008. Detroit- big market.
2009. Pitts- don't want to talk about it. Small Market?

I just don't think the salary cap helps.

Posted by: lornemyoung | November 19, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

"If the Capitals don't have a game until Friday, was it necessary to call up Carlson today."
Yes. You want to get a rookie defenseman as much practice time as possible with his defensive partner before playing in his first NHL game. The salary cap is what it is. The NHL/owners wanted it and that's what they got, now everyone has to live with it.

@Riddler1: You answered the question about right handed defensemen correctly. I assume the person(s) who contradicted you aren't taking into account other important aspects of being right handed and playing on the right side, like being on the forehand on your outlet passes in the defensive zone.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | November 20, 2009 7:48 AM | Report abuse

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