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Caps retain three draft picks, cut ties with four others

A little housekeeping from Philly:

The Caps announced earlier that they have extended bona fide offers to three 2009 draft picks ahead of today's deadline and relinquished the rights to four other other picks.

The team has retained the rights to Ds Dmitri Orlov and Brett Flemming and RW Garrett Mitchell. The players have not been signed, the Caps have simply retained their rights.

Meantime, D Oscar Hedman (5th round, 2004), D Eric Mestery (2nd, 2008), C Joel Broda (5th, 2008) and LW Benjamin Casavant (7th, 2009). Hedman is now a free agent while the others return to the pool of eligible players for June's draft.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  June 1, 2010; 7:21 PM ET
 
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Comments

So are any of these a surprise? Were any of them big disappointments?

Posted by: DisgustedinArlington | June 1, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Hedman is last year's #2 overall pick's older brother.

The only guy I ever heard anything about was Joel Broda. Eric Mestery is a bit of a surprise, given that he was a 2nd rounder only 2 years ago. Seems a bit early to cut ties.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 1, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Interesting as this coincides with HF.com article on the Caps 'doozy' of a 2005 draft:

http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/12185/capitals2005_draft_evaluation/

Posted by: Rocc00 | June 1, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

I thought it was a little early too but I guess it is common to cut ties with some picks, even that early. The Pens cut ties with their highest pick in the 2008 draft. I think the limit of having only 50 people under contract forces team to cut ties with some players every year.

According to this website none of them had even a decent grade.

http://www.hockeysfuture.com/teams/washington_capitals

Posted by: sgm3 | June 1, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

@Rocco00

Yeah, that was a bad draft. At least they acquired the pick that later became MP.

If you look at all their picks in that draft, they were basically big guys who grind, hit, and played defense first. They pretty much didn't pay attention to attributes such as skill or speed. That didn't work out too well.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 1, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

If you look at all their picks in that draft, they were basically big guys who grind, hit, and played defense first. They pretty much didn't pay attention to attributes such as skill or speed. That didn't work out too well.
Posted by: sgm3 | June 1, 2010 11:12 PM |

& there are those here who would have you believe those are the ingredients that we are missing for a Cup....nyet.

Posted by: Rocc00 | June 1, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

& there are those here who would have you believe those are the ingredients that we are missing for a Cup....nyet.

Posted by: Rocc00 | June 1, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

have you even watched the finals? it's not the Kanes, the Toews or the Carters who have been lighting it up... most of the goals have been scored by the grinders.

the fact that the Caps can't seem to find those character players is an indictment of their whole scouting system... heck Dave Bolland who's about the best grinder in the finals played for Dale Hunter when he was with the London Knights... why couldn't they draft him??

Posted by: joek443 | June 2, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

they picked chris bouque in the second round of the 2004 draft (33rd overall) and Bolland was picked 32nd overall... darn!

Posted by: joek443 | June 2, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

bolland over bourque is just regular Hawks drafting over Caps drafting

and mestery is another tall pvssy on D, we got enough of that

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 2, 2010 12:30 AM | Report abuse

cstanton, you're saying that like it's somehow the Caps' fault that the Hawks drafted before them.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 2, 2010 12:52 AM | Report abuse

If you look at all their picks in that draft, they were basically big guys who grind, hit, and played defense first. They pretty much didn't pay attention to attributes such as skill or speed. That didn't work out too well.
Posted by: sgm3 | June 1, 2010 11:12 PM |

& there are those here who would have you believe those are the ingredients that we are missing for a Cup....nyet.

Posted by: Rocc00 | June 1, 2010 11:56 PM |

Yeah, as I'm watching the finals, I'm thinking, man, the Caps certainly are a better passing team than either of these two, so why is it that these "bash twins" are here?

Posted by: Ireland2 | June 2, 2010 6:41 AM | Report abuse

You have to get into the playoffs before you win the Cup. Rocco and SGM are merely poining that out. A lot of teams "fine tune" themselves out of the playoffs. No one want's that.

Posted by: adhardwick | June 2, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Alexander Semin, #26th pick and Braden Holtby for Tomas Kaberle and Nazim Kadri.

Holtby is blocked by Neuvirth and Varly. Semin won't be here after this year. Gives us a vet on the defense. Kadri was the 7th overall pick last year and had 25 goals and 53 assists for the London Knights. Said to be ready for the NHL this season. Gives us a 19 year old center to pair with MP and Backstrom.

Just a rumor I saw. Anybody have any thoughts? Yes i know they are just rumors I just wanted to see what people thought about it.

Posted by: capsfan5252 | June 2, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

@capsfan5252

That would be interesting. I think I would be in favor of it if that move was followed up by the Caps acquiring a #2 center (i.e. Plekanec) or still getting Volchenkov or possibly both. So a final grade couldn't be given without seeing the moves that followed.

However, I would be shocked if the Maple Leafs gave up Kadri. I thought Burke was very high on him and with the amount of draft picks the Maple Leafs have given away I would be suprised to see them get rid of such a good young prospect.

But stranger things have happened. and the Maple Leafs are desperate to make the playoffs this coming year to try to show that Kessel move was horrible.

Where did you hear that?

Posted by: sgm3 | June 2, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

"was NOT horrible"

Posted by: sgm3 | June 2, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

I find it amazing that Caps fans want to characterize the Blackhawks as a model organization. The Blackhawks have been in disarray for over a decade until recently. Until the 2009-09 season the Blackhawks attendance was even worse than the Capitals. How do I know? I grew up a Hawks fan, born in Illinois

I completely slid out of Hawks fandom with the Bit$%ing they did about Ovechkin's hit. ESPECIALLY after Hossa did the same thing in the playoffs and they dismissed it as nothing. Hockey players, including Jeremy Roenik, called Hossa's hit much worse than Oveckin's because Hossa's hit appeared to be dirtier due to the time and score at the time of the incident. The hits were similar in their delivery, and Hamhuis was injured as well, but when Ovechkin did it the game was 0-0 in the 1st, when Hossa did it they were down by 1, in the playoffs, late in the 3rd.

Let me throw a few numbers at you. 3, 6, 20, 26, 28, 29, 17, 9, 22, 21. You know what those number represent? That is what place the Hawks finished in the league for the past 10 seasons. Doesn't ooze success does it? I am cheering for the Hawks only because the Pens and Flyers are the two teams I dislike the most. Anyhow, the Madhouse on Madison was the Morgue on Madison just 3 short years ago.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 2, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

IMO Kadri would be a nice pick-up. He was outstanding in last year's preseason. He has phenomenal hands. The Leafs would be crazy to give him up.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 2, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Correction: Until the 2008-09 season the Blackhawks attendance was even worse than the Capitals.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 2, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Fanohock1: I agree with every word you wrote about the Hawks. I am reluctantly rooting for them out of nostalgia for my home state of Illinois, but it is over the objection in my heart to Hossa's hit and the fuss the Blackhawks made about Ovi (and his subsequent suspension). Okay, Hawks, two down and two to go. A four game sweep would be sweet.

My brother still lives in a suburb of Chicago, and he is saying that Chicago really needs this championship because all the other sports teams in town are failing. (Hey, at least the White Sox won the world series in '05.) Ha! Sounds like a lot of cities could use a championship based on that criteria, including DC.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | June 2, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

@dccitizen1

Yeah, the Bulls also won 6 titles in the 90's. I don't feel too bad for the city of Chicago and its sports teams.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 2, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

dccitizen1: My Dad's family still lives in Illinois as well. They live in Palatine and have lake houses up at Wonder Lake. I also still have relatives up in Ingleside, where I lived as a kid. You are right about the city needing a championship. The Sox winning the World Series was OK in my family's eyes but they are Cubbies fans through and through.

Rocky Wirtz, son of much hated Bill, is behind the Hawks getting back on the Chicago map. The Hawks were not even televised in the area when Bill had the team. His nickname was Dollar Bill because he wouldn't spend money on the team.

The Caps will compete for and win the Cup a few times over the next 10 years or so, I feel it. They will probably have to face the teams that have improved during the same time frame to get there. That would be the Pens and Hawks to name just a couple. The Pens, Hawks, and Caps are very lucky in the sense they have landed players like Crosby, Malkin, Staal, Toews, Kane, Ovechkin and Semin. The draft classes over the last two few years just don't seem as strong. Taveres is good, but can't even hold Stamkos' jock. Seguin and Hall are also very talented players but not Ovi, Crosby, Malkin, Backstrom, Teows, Kane types. Stamkos will be in that group if he can have a strong season next year. His 51 goals is awesome but he needs to prove not to be a one hit wonder.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 2, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Yes, that's right, sgm3---how could I leave out the Bulls? The 90's were spectacular for them, but I also loved the team in the 70's when they had Butter Bean Love, Stormin' Norm Van Lier, Chet Walker and the rest, even though they didn't win a championship back then. (They were known as a strong defensive team at the time.)

I still think it's terrific that the Caps have become the team they are and have made the playoffs three years in a row. Still reeling from the first round exit from this season, of course, but I'm in it for the long haul with this team and am especially glad they signed Nicky for 10 years.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | June 2, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Fanohock1: My dad grew up on the South Side, so we were indoctrinated early to root for the Sox. I loved Comisky Park. I have to admire Cubs fans, though, since the team hasn't won a world series since 1908!

Posted by: dccitizen1 | June 2, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I am rooting for the Hawks as I always liked the team. I watched many Hawk games on HNIC in the early 60's. I remember guys like Stan and Bobby, Moose Vasco, a huge D with a very high voice, Pit Martin, Glenn Hall and who could forget "There's none so fair as our Pierre" referring to Pierre Pilote. The Hawks wear the best looking sweater/jersey in pro sports.And like any sane person, I detest the thugs from Philly. Will they let Carcillo out of the home again for another game?

Posted by: chopin224 | June 2, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

fanohock1: chicago is certainly a model franchise for the future, while retaining a link to it's past with names like Mikita and Hull. As you certainly know, it's unfortunate they suffered for years under the direction of Dollar Bill Wirtz (and the NHL should have never allowed it, but that's another discussion), but it's more of an indictment on him, than the team as a whole. Once his son Rocky took over, things began to change immediately. They do have some cap problems going into next year, so they may take a step back, but they're going in the right direction. It's not like the caps were a paradigm for success before OV showed up. This franchise has had some dark days as well.

On the drafting, it's not that Chicago picked before us, it's that we seem to pick the same kind of player each time. Nothing against Chris Bourque, but we don't need any more players like him. We need a few guys who play with some piss and vinegar. Guys who play with some attitude (see Chris Pronger) and get in the other team's face from time to time.

Posted by: Fletch22 | June 2, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

@Fletch22

Look at the linked articles in the comments section that describe the Caps 2005 draft. That's all those players were and they failed miserably.

IMO, at the NHL draft you simply take the best available player. If you have two equally rated players then you choose on need.

Most players don't make it into the NHL until 3 or 4 years after the draft, if at all. The NHL draft is a crapshoot. Sometimes the best player will be a skilled guy with quickness, other times he will be a bigger guy who plays with more strength. You just draft whoever you have rated highest and let the cards fall to see who develops into a good NHL player.

Also, Pronger isn't good just because he plays chippy. He is a great player because he is great in every aspect of the game (skill, size, skating, smarts, physical play, quickness). Every team would love to get a young Pronger, but they don't grow on trees.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 2, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

"fanohock1: chicago is certainly a model franchise for the future"

true, if the future is this year. next year they will be in cap hell due to the signings of guys like hossa and campbell. they will need to shed guys like bufyglien and sharp and perhaps sopel to stay under the cap. now, with kane and toews, they will likely never suck, but they have a short window of opportunity, IMO. if they win the cup this year i suppose it will be worth it. i like the fact that the caps have given themselves the opportunity to win over many years...i just hope they start taking advantage of it..

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | June 2, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Yes, it is too bad the Caps aren't there, not only for us, but for the game! What a series that would be. If grinders win cups, they're still boring.

The coach of Bayern said it best when his team lost the final to Inter last week: it's harder to play attractive football, but it's worth the price. The Islanders are forgotten for a reason - the Penguins, Red Wings, and Oilers are not. I like what the Caps are doing and I think the ambition of the team is very high, as it should be. The Caps are much better than the Flyers right now. The race is not always to the swiftest and knockout tournaments turn on injuries (look at Boston), some luck, and matchups.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | June 2, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

If you guys remember, Kadri is the guy I wanted to go late enough in the draft for the Caps to grab him. Obviously, that didn't happen.
__________________________________

heck Dave Bolland who's about the best grinder in the finals played for Dale Hunter when he was with the London Knights... why couldn't they draft him??

Posted by: joek443 | June 2, 2010 12:10 AM |

No, he is not the best grinder in the Finals. Why are you so obsessed with Bolland?

Posted by: richmondphil | June 2, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Taveres is good, but can't even hold Stamkos' jock.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 2, 2010 9:48 AM |

Are you comparing someone's sophomore year to a rookie? Tavares had more points than Stamkos had in his first year.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 2, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

And anyone from Chicago complaining about their sports team needs a reality check.

It's not like the Sox just won a World Series. It's not like the Bulls just established a dynasty there in the 90s. It's not like the Bulls, Sox, etc STILL make the playoffs every year.

Seriously, if you want to talk about snake-bitten in sports, Seattle and Buffalo come to mind. Chicago??!?! Hahaha...

Posted by: richmondphil | June 2, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

On the drafting, it's not that Chicago picked before us, it's that we seem to pick the same kind of player each time. Nothing against Chris Bourque, but we don't need any more players like him. We need a few guys who play with some piss and vinegar. Guys who play with some attitude (see Chris Pronger) and get in the other team's face from time to time.

______________________
While I agree with your main point, you make it sound like Dave Bolland plays with "piss and vinegar." Which isn't the case.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 2, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Stamkos was scoring regularly at the end of his rookie year. Tavares' production went down. I wasn't comparing rookie to a sophomore either. I was pointing out that the top end talent level is dropping off.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 2, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Whoever pointed out that Kane and Toews are doing nothing is absolutely correct. And, as I've watched, I couldn't help but think of how that relates to the caps skill players.

If (when) the Caps win, it will be guys like Brooks Laich and Fehr who will have to do much of the work. Those two and the 2nd line center who doesn't yet exist. And, despite the failure this year, I think Backie and Ovi have plenty of grit to win the Cup.

A second line center, a third line RW and a top pairing D is what we need. I have zeroed in on Staal, Clutterbuck and Volchenkov as the type of players we need.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 2, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

BTW, I don't want the Caps trading with the Leafs.

Burke always wins.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 2, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

@Tom

The only place I can find where that rumor came from is hockeybuzz anyway...and on top of that, it seems to come from Eklund. So, safe to say, we can disregard that rumor.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 2, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Please Dear God stay away from Kaberle.. You think were soft now.. We'll be softer thats not the d-man I would trade Semin to either.. Call Nashville and ask about Suter please!!!

Posted by: darrylrbaker | June 2, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

i'd take Brouwer ovr Bolland

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 2, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Please Dear God stay away from Kaberle.. You think were soft now.. We'll be softer thats not the d-man I would trade Semin to either.. Call Nashville and ask about Suter please!!!

Posted by: darrylrbaker | June 2, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

lol, but kaberle fits in perfectly!! calm collected soft and doesn't take penalties. I expect the Caps to pursue him furiously!


btw Timmy, no matter where Bolland was picked, it wouldn't matter. Guys like him and Brouwer don't really interest the Caps at forward because they're not speed demons on skates. McPhee and company draft for speed first and foremost, other qualities go out the window for the most part.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 2, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

on a plus note, the Caps are continuing their very recent trend of drafting and signing a bit of grit in the late rounds. Started with SDR and continued last yr with Mitchell. Both are character gritty players who could be depth 3rd/4th line guys in the future. Ross Mahoney touched on this after the last draft.

Flemming is an offensive dman who is undersized but does play with a bit of grit as well. He's just way behind when it comes to nhl-level strength. Gets tossed around pretty easily but he tries.

Glad we wasted a high pick on Mestery. Guess McPhee thought we didn't have enough beanpoles. I think after watching the way he got abused vs the Calgary Hitmen fwds in the WHL finals, the Caps decided to give up on him.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 2, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1- He could also be the shoulder for Green to cry on as well. Or better yet give him what he needs when daddy Boudereau is busy!

I know its a rumor but god that deal would suck and I hope we dont it, but usually where there is smoke there is fire, And Burke has come out and said that there have been teams that are more than just intrested.

Posted by: darrylrbaker | June 2, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

i agree on the need for more grit. those that followed the caps for a long time recognize that we had grit in the past and were low on skill. now we have skill and want more grit. maybe the two top lines are more skill and the bottom two are more grit. i guess when you loose everything is magnified.

Posted by: samb99 | June 2, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

btw Timmy, no matter where Bolland was picked, it wouldn't matter. Guys like him and Brouwer don't really interest the Caps at forward because they're not speed demons on skates. McPhee and company draft for speed first and foremost, other qualities go out the window for the most part.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 2, 2010 12:07 PM

Just curious where you get that idea from, since it has no basis in reality. Recent 1st round picks... Fehr, Schultz, Gordon, Finley, Alzner... none of them have speed as their first quality, or even high up in their list of attributes.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 2, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

@timmyv38

In addition, look at the review of the 2005 draft. All that draft was, was big, slow guys with little skill. That didn't turn out so well.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 2, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

have you even watched the finals? it's not the Kanes, the Toews or the Carters who have been lighting it up... most of the goals have been scored by the grinders.
the fact that the Caps can't seem to find those character players is an indictment of their whole scouting system...
Posted by: joek443 | June 2, 2010 12:10 AM |

I also watched those grinding character Caps teams of the 80's & 90's do nothing either. What's your point?
Playing style doesn't mean squat.

Posted by: Rocc00 | June 2, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

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