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Caps return to practice Wednesday

The Caps' non-Olympians will return to practice Wednesday at 2 p.m., which is right after the mandatory hiatus for the Games is lifted.

The team will also get in some much needed work beginning at 10:30 at KCI on Thursday, Friday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Then, next Wednesday, just three days after the gold medals are handed out in Vancouver, the Caps return to action in Buffalo -- hours after the trade deadline expires.

In other words, the next 10 days could be just as exciting as the past week.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 22, 2010; 10:33 AM ET
 
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Comments

Can't wait for Caps to pick back up. Lets start another winning streak? here's hoping that we would pick up a solid stay-home Defenseman before the deadline.

Posted by: ttn703 | February 22, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I think the Caps could beat team Canada straight up...

Posted by: SA-Town | February 22, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Here's hoping that Ryan Miller is all tuckered out after the Olympics!

A funny thing is happening to me on the way to the Olympics. I was definitely rooting for Russia to go all the way to the gold because of Alex, Alex and Simeon, but after watching the USA team beat Canada, now I'm not so sure. I still detest Brooks Orpick and grimace every time he is on the screen during a game, but I'm very impressed with the talent and heart of the USA team.

Bottom line: I'm still hoping for no injuries to Caps players and a good return to the regular NHL season.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | February 22, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Tarik,

If you were GMGM what realistic trades would you make next week?

Do you go for Souray?

Do you bring in a center?

Who could be traded off the roster without destroying the chemistry the Caps seem to have worked so hard to create?

Posted by: TARobeck | February 22, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Last night while watching Crosby lose I was thinking it would be nice to have a USA jersey. They look nice. But, of course, there's no Caps on the team. So, the question, would you order a USA jersey and if so what player (or blank). I was thinking I wouldn't mind a Ryan Miller, even if it would give appearance of being a Sabres fan. Then I told my daughter I'd wait until next time when John Carlson makes the team and order one of those.

Alternative would be a Carlson jersey from the WJC. I don't know though if you can buy those. But, if so, wasn't he an assitant captain there? Also, was he number 11?

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 22, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Team U.S.A Jersey with 'Crosby Suck's on the back is probably your best bet.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 22, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Backstrom has a 3 point night, first Olympic goal, and there is no post about it? But 345834584 posts about Russia?

That's a shame...


Posted by: richmondphil | February 22, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Yesterday was great hockey, from Ovechkin leveling Jagr, to the USA whipping Sidney, Don Cherry & Co. However the news of the Caps getting ready to crank things up again is wonderful! Hopefully no one got too sunburned on the beach or ran off with a cute senorita, and they all return ready to claim the Cup!

Posted by: kcbrichmond | February 22, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Do you go for Souray?

______________________

Go look up how much Souray makes and for how many years. Trading for him would absolutely kill our salary situation without moving significant salary back. And why would Edmonton, a re builder, want salary back?

Hamhuis or Kubina if their available.
I'd prefer a center.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 22, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Buffalo will play their backup goalie that first game back giving Miller a rest. Those medal round goalies will need a break at some point.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | February 22, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Miller should seriously have at least one Whopper everyday, probably should have two.

Posted by: joek443 | February 22, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil: I can't comment on Backstrom from last night I didn't see the game.

I did post plenty (equal space) vis-a-vis Russia, Sweden, US and Canada with regards to the bracket as it stands now.

My only worry on Backstrom is the price keeps going up. Last we discussed this, I assumed Kopitar, Kane and Towes averaged (6.5) would get it done. Now I'm getting afraid that Backie's agent will put Staal on the table ($8.2M). Guess what - Backie wins that one hands down. And, it isn't even too much of a stretch for the agent to play the M card (Malkin).

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 22, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Backstrom was awesome last night. He was involved in most of the major plays for Sweden, including all 3 goals. Only real problem I saw is a lingering one - he's still not that good on faceoffs.

Posted by: timmyv38 | February 22, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Backstrom will not make Staal's salary. Eric Staal is the franchise player for Carolina, won a Cup with them, etc, etc, etc. He also did not make 8.2 mil/yr after his entry-level, if im not mistaken. Didn't he get like a 4.5 mil/yr contract?
Backstrom hasn't done anything what Malkin has done either.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 22, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

And honestly, if Backstrom tells his agent he wants top dollar, then let the guy walk. He's my favorite Cap, but screw it..get the dozen first round picks and move on. Signing him to 8 mil/yr+ right now would be stupid.

Sedins only make 6.1 mil/yr...

Posted by: richmondphil | February 22, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I think Backstrom is still a 6 - 6.5M deal. You can't compare him to Staal because he is Carolina's Ovi, in that he is the face of the team and the cornerstone of their rebuilding. Stall and Ward are really the only 2 untouchables the 'Canes have. My question is the length of the deal. Will he want a long term deal to tie himself to Ovi for as long as possible or will he want a shorter (2 - 3 yrs) to see how good he really becomes and then come looking for $8M?

Posted by: ds_kelly | February 22, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Bacstrom might be up to $6.5 M/yr, but not much more than that. The Caps have a huge negotiating advantage since Backstrom is only coming out of his entry level contract.

I still think he ends up signing a deal similar to Kane and Toews. However, like Kane and Toews, it will only be a 5 year deal or so, so Backstrom can cash in again a few years later when he would be an UFA.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 22, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

5 year deal for Backstrom...he will take a home team discount as well as long as we throw in unlimited Chinese take-out as a bonus.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 22, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

What tom brings up is something to think about though. I just don't see Backstrom's price going above 7 mil/yr, despite him being worth more.

Toews and Kanes contracts are good pointing signs I think, as well as the Sedins.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 22, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

This is what I would do if I was GMGM:

Hamhuis for Pothier, 3rd rd pick
Kaberle for Morrison, 1st rd pick
Price for couple of prospects + a mid pick

-------

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | February 22, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Well, thank god you aren't GMGM.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 22, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Sedins were UFA deals (as was Cammalleri) and they are actually very good comparables for Semin.

The problem some of you might overlook is the agent can and will put any comparable on the table. Backstrom is a better player than Staal, pure and simple. Staal is only 24, so this must be his out of entry-level deal. It goes out about 6 yrs and ends at 9.5 (Ovi salary). Don't know why they gave him that much, but overpayments like that give agents power. The clubs use the lower paid players and the agents use the higher paid players. And, no, I would not accept the 4 first-rounders for Backstrom. It would take 5 years for payback and who's to say you'd ever get fair value (see Scott Stevens).

I think they will sign him very long term in the 6s, but I wish they'd do it soon.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 22, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Backis is most definitely worth more than $6 mil/year, but to him it's not about the money and he will stay in D.C. guaranteed.

I stayed up late to watch the game and he played absolutely AWESOME last night! His goal was incredible! And, sorry Timmy, I could be mistaken, but I thought he won most of his faceoffs last night too.

Posted by: capswench | February 22, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Eric is 25, and no, the 8.2 mil/yr is not after his entry-level. Like I said, he received a 4.5 mil/yr contract before his new one. I beleive it was 3 years for 13.5 mil.

Staal was a vital part of them winning the Cup, and I don't necessarily agree that Backstrom is the better player. Staal is a franchise player, who turns it on in the playoffs.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 22, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil - Kubina and Hamhuis are the names I have heard that make some sense as a d-acqquisition. Kubina is big, physical, and can move the puck. It would be a clean, rental deal and might not cost that much. Hamhuis seems more difficult and the approach might be to keep him long term. Nashville is still solidly in the playoff hunt, and they have ample cap space, so it makes more sense to me that they resign him. In any case, the price could be higher than for Kubina (since Hamhuis is potentially long-term signable) and fitting him into our salary cap long term would be tricky.

For a center, how about Saku Koivu? Also a short term option given his age, but he is still a solid 2-way player.

Posted by: zmega | February 22, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

His goal was incredible! And, sorry Timmy, I could be mistaken, but I thought he won most of his faceoffs last night too.

Posted by: capswench | February 22, 2010 1:36 PM |

Such a perfectly placed shot. You can definetely see him trying to make plays by himself, without having superstars flanked at his side.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 22, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

When did Staal sign that contract? I know he isn't putting up great numbers this year but Staal is a good player and was considered even better when he signed the contract.

He is a Canadian Olympian(was he in 2006 as well?). He also won a Stanley Cup when he signed his contract (was it just after?). Carolina also went to the conference finals last year with far less talent surrounding Staal. I don't think we should downgrade him so much just because Carolina is having a terrible year. Staal is still a great player and is very physical too.

Remember, while the player's agent will make every argument in support of their player, the team will make every argument against him.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 22, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Let me just say, not to belabor it, and I am always a big GMGM supporter, but it seems the more backstrom plays, the better he gets, and the price is going up. Right now you have to admit he's worth more than at the start of the season. He's up to third in NHL scoring, and now we have from those who watched that he was "best skater on the ice" in Sweden vs Finland. He's beginning to put some distance between himself and Kopitar, Kane and Towes. Yes, the Sedins are a good "come back," but they are a unique circumstance. There are some teams with cap space (Atlanta) who could make the Caps life miserable by upping the ante by a million or so. And, face it, would you rather have Kovalchuk or Backstrom if you were in their skates?

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 22, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

For a center, how about Saku Koivu? Also a short term option given his age, but he is still a solid 2-way player.

Posted by: zmega | February 22, 2010 1:39 PM |

Short-term is what I want. In fact, I don't want for them to go after anyone signed thru next year and on, unless salary is moved out.

I've seen Koivu get mentioned here a few times, and he's definetely top of my list for centers. Steve Ott is there as well, but I hardly doubt he is available.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 22, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Dan Hamhuis vs. Brian PothierHamhuis Statistic Pothier

Dan Hamhuis D Position D
Brian Pothier
16 Points 11
4 Goals 4
12 Assists 7
+1 +/- +12
0 Power play goals 1
1 PPA 1
1 PPP 3
0.3 PTS/G 0.3
0 SHG 0
0 GWG 1
40 Penalty mins. 10
83 Shots 57

PLUS Hamhuis does not get flug around like a rag doll. Infact, thats what he does to others. That little bit did not make it into these stats Richmondphil!

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | February 22, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Phil: You're right. Staal got a three-year after entry-level and then signed a 7-yr when that one expired. Put them together and you have ten years and $71M. So, Backstrom could ask for Staal money at 10 yrs/$71M or he could go for 5 and the mid-6s. Maybe I'm judging Staal harshly from what I've seen lately, but he's definitely dropped off this year.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 22, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I know how Hamhuis plays.

What you are suggesting, trading a pending UFA and a pick to a playoff team for a better d-man, doesn't make sense for Nashville. Plus, do you really think other teams can't offer Nashville something better than that??!?! This isn't a video game, trades just don't "work" by being equal in perceived value.

As for the Kaberle suggestion, first I want to point out that Kaberle is NOT, I repeat, NOT, a pending free agent. Meaning, if you want to fit in Semin and Backstrom's raises with taking in salary like Kaberle, salary thru next year has to be moved out. ShaMo, along with Pothier, are both pending free agents...thus not helping the cause in fitting Kaberle's contract in under the cap. Kaberle could work...but salary better be moved out, and not pending free agents salaries. Second of all, why the hell would Toronto, a non-playoff team, want a pending free agent and a crappy pick for Kaberle? They could EASILY be offered a far better deal, acquiring a much better 1st rounder in the process.

As for the Price suggestion..do I have to?

Posted by: richmondphil | February 22, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I just don't see Backstrom being worth more than Toews or Kane, maybe a little bit more.

Backstrom will give you more points, but Toews and Kane are both two-way players. Toews and Kane also led their team to the West Finals last year.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 22, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Actually, if Nashville knows they won't resign him and if feel they don't need him for the playoffs, I could see them trading him for Pothier+ a 3rd.

But, that's a lot of ifs.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 22, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Are you nuts Price isn't worth all that Political Stratgst, maybe a 4th round pick, but no prospects. Caps are overloaded at goalie, we don't need Price or anybody elses goalie for that matter. Price should go to the Flyers a team that needs goalie help.

Posted by: zcxnissan | February 22, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

But if you acquire Kaberle you do not have to figure out what contract to move out until the offseason when it is much easier to do and would not disrupt this years team.

In addition, the Caps could trade their 1st round pick and a prospect for Kaberle (not the big 5) but then turn around in the offseason and deal Kaberle to another club for a prospect or 1st round pick if the Caps wanted to keep everyone on their roster. That would decrease the overall trade loss and would probably end up costing less overall, in terms of player value, than an equal player who is a pending free agent.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 22, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Nashville is not going to trade Hamuis for Pothier and a 3rd round pick. Other teams will offer much more than that.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 22, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Last night, I thought Backs did a good job of taking the shot when he could and passing the puck when he couldn't. His 3-point night was no surprise, well-deserved and worthy of praise, yet Kenny Albert was pretty silent on him, in my opinion. Commentary for all games has been pretty locked on to one or two players from each team.

Posted by: hockeyweasel | February 22, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Um...I hate to rain on everyone's Trade parade here, but doesn't Kaberle have a No Trade clause in his deal with the Leafs? Why are we bantering about something that is very unlikely to happen?

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 22, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

In addition, the Caps could trade their 1st round pick and a prospect for Kaberle (not the big 5) but then turn around in the offseason and deal Kaberle to another club for a prospect or 1st round pick if the Caps wanted to keep everyone on their roster.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 22, 2010 2:00 PM |
Again, why on Earth would Toronto even consider that trade?

They could get a prospect and a better 1st rounder from a crappier team. Or they can do what they are probably going to do, and just hold onto him until next deadline, when his value would be even more.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 22, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

sgm3: I think Kaberle has a no-trade that lets Toronto trade him after this year, if they don't make the playoffs. Now, if he waived the no-trade to go to DC, and then Caps of course make the playoffs, that might prohibit them from trading him again in the offseason.

You could always trade Poti instead, but you'd still be $1M in the hole and the space is very tight.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 22, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

yet Kenny Albert was pretty silent on him, in my opinion. Commentary for all games has been pretty locked on to one or two players from each team.

Posted by: hockeyweasel | February 22, 2010 2:04 PM |

How many freakin times did they mention Toumo freakin Ruutu?!?!?!

I mean, the idiot picked Ruutu and Kiprusoff as the two stars of the game...two players from the losing team.

And I love Douglas Murray, but get off his package, Kenny Alberts.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 22, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

What's the story with Douglas Murray? What kind of Swedish name is that? Don't we need to put an umlaut somewhere?

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 22, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Backstrom was awesome last night. He was involved in most of the major plays for Sweden, including all 3 goals. Only real problem I saw is a lingering one - he's still not that good on faceoffs.

Posted by: timmyv38 | February 22, 2010 1:06 PM |


1 KESLER Ryan 76.00
2 BACKSTROM Nicklas 71.05
3 PAVELSKI Joe 69.44
4 VASICEK Josef 68.75
5 FILPPULA Valterri 66.67

...from http://www.ctvolympics.ca/hockey/statistics/gender=m/index.html

not too shabby

Posted by: real_wtf_fehr | February 22, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

If Backstrom is our 2nd best player...was is he not worth 8.5M per year?

Seriously, would you rather have Backstrom or Malkin?

How about Backstrom & Crosby?

Backstrom is the prototypical good Swede guy killer.

Posted by: Rocc00 | February 22, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

Yes, if Toronto got a better offer they will not deal Kaberle for a 1st and a prospect. But Toronto is desperate for a 1st rounder this year or next year as a 1st rounder next year will enable them to make offers to restricted free agents.

A 1st and a good prospect is a pretty good price. I'm not sure if they will get more than that in the offseason, especially if they wait until after the draft, since a 2011 1st is worth less than a 2010.

@tominfl1

The no trade clause would have to be waived to come to DC. First, if he does waive it does that mean it is completely waived for good (surely depends on contract language). If it wasn't completely waived the Caps could demand he waive the no trade clause for the remaining part of the contract if they were willing to accept a trade.

I'm not saying this will happen, and maybe Toronto won't be on board. But I think Kaberle has to be considered an option, depending on the price.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 22, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

You cannot help noticing that Crosby looks diminished at these Olympics. He does not have his Penguins teammate Evgeni Malkin with him, either on the same line or waiting on the bench to provide the second half of that club’s one-two punch.
Malkin looks powerful and dangerous for Russia, where he is paired with Ovechkin. But with Canada, Crosby seems to be alone, and manageable.

NYTimes:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/23/sports/olympics/23hockey.html

Posted by: Rocc00 | February 22, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I still want to see a package put together that would bring Niedermayer/Koivu back to the Caps from Anaheim! Make it happen GMGM....I can't imagine how much that package would be however....but those two pieces would put us over the hump I think as long as it didn't cost selling the farm.

Posted by: PhilR | February 22, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR:

Why would you want Niedermayer? Have you watched him in the Olympics?

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | February 22, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

For the same reason some on here want Forsberg....leadership....and the man can still play and would be highly motivated to win one more cup prior to retiring. He would be a mentor just like Federov was in his final year here, he had lost something in his play as well but would not have traded him for the world for the effect he had on Semin.....Neidermayer would have that same effect on our young D-core....especially Green! That's my opinion for what its worth.

Posted by: PhilR | February 22, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Neidermayer would be awesome, but I think his price is going to be through the roof.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 22, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Buffalo will play their backup goalie that first game back giving Miller a rest. Those medal round goalies will need a break at some point.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | February 22, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

From your keyboard to Lindy Ruff's ear. Unfortunately, with 3 days' rest between the Olympics and Caps-Sabres, and the top scoring team in the league coming to town, I'm thinking that Ruff will want his no. 1 guy between the pipes.

Posted by: rbpalmer | February 22, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm still waiting to see something from Niedermeyer to convince me he is still worth what so many people say. He's had a great career, but how is he playing today? The leadership part is a 2-edged sword. Do we lack leaders on the Caps? Does bringing in a new "leader" undermine Ovi and potentially split the team? I say bring in a guy like Kubina, let him do his thing through the playoffs, then send him on his way and make room for Alzner and Carlson.

Posted by: zmega | February 22, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: richmondphil | February 22, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Forsberg has said himself, he is not coming back to the NHL, and that he is 99% retiring from competition at the end of the Swedish season. He wants to get into player development for the National team and eventually he will coach...

Niedermeyer is getting old, fast. He looks terrible so far at the Olympics...

Hamhuis is one of 2-3 possibles for GMGM to target...but Nahsville wants a scorer in return, NOT a Pothier or ShaMo plus pick.

Are any one of you willing to part with Tomas Fleischmann for a rental? I doubt it...the Caps can and will resign him to a more affordable deal than other emerging forwards...

If GMGM has to stand pat, then do so, rather than take on constraining salary cap, or a very aging player that cannot contribute...

Hamhuis or Sutton would be a huge boost to the blue line, but at what cost?? Kaberle too, but he is too pricey in years/dollars and has an NTC he'd have to waive.

Posted by: netminder71 | February 22, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil
Exactly. For Sweden, I felt like Alfredson got most of the love, but maybe that's because I knew Backstrom was out there at the same time and barely getting mentioned.

Posted by: hockeyweasel | February 22, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

What's the story with Douglas Murray? What kind of Swedish name is that? Don't we need to put an umlaut somewhere?

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 22, 2010 2:24 PM


Actually, it might work out if he used a Ø instead (returning the "Sarcasmé" to its original usage). I think "æ" is also used in some Nordic tongues.

Thus, "Døuglas Murræ" would qualify to play for Team Sweden, but "Douglas Murray" would not.

:-/


Cancel that. I dug deeper, and it looks like the bestway to give this name more Swedoid authenticity would be to parse it as follows:

Döugläs Murräy


...and so you are correct...again.

Ø Damn Ø.

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 22, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I'd suggest to read that article on Bobby Ryan. Great story, glad he turned out okay.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 22, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Neids had a great year just last year folks....

So he's playing bad in the Olympics..what does that mean?

Posted by: richmondphil | February 22, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Kaberle has a no trade clause in Toronto and their GM Brian Burke has already stated he will not ask him to waive it.

The Caps signed Semin to a one year deal and this is why. As long as the Backstrom situation is unsettled it creates a benchmark for a one year deal. We know Backstrom will want a longer deal and security comes at a price. He will not average more in a multi-year deal than Semin gets for one year unless they do 2 deals like with OV and merge them together into one. Backstrom's agent knows that a good season like he is having will give him more bark at the table in the spring. It will get done but unless he is going to take a one or two year deal it will not be north of $7 million.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | February 22, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

"Murray also is the co-founder and managing partner of Uber Dispensing Company. The company produces the UberTap, a hands-free three-sprout keg tap invented by Murray and several friends from Cornell University..."

http://www.uberdispensing.com/

Yet another reason to gush over Douglas Murray

Posted by: Fro_ | February 22, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Cindy Crosby and the "entitled" Canadiens lost..love it!

Posted by: DCFanatic | February 22, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I have read elsewhere such as Japers that the issue with Backstrom's contract is not as much about money as it is about length--GMGM wants longer and his agent wants something shorter. Can't say how accurate the report is but it sounds logical to me. Nicky's worth will only be higher at that point. I am just passing on rumors!! No insider knowledge!!

Finally watched the Swedes/Fins. Our Nicky sure did look good as did a number of his teammates. He had a lot of energy to go along with his 3 points. And boy was he hard to dislodge from the puck. I definitely don't want Ovi to be knocking down Nicky should the teams meet.

I am now rooting for Germany to upset Canada. Wouldn't that be sweet. Not expecting it but I can hope. Loved the USA beating them.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | February 22, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

We are in agreement Richmondphil, Niedermayer will turn it on come payoff time...he may look bad at the Olympics but so what?? Most of the Canadian blueline has looked sketchy in my opinion so it may very well be who he is paired with....the guy has one more playoff run in him and the Caps would benefit greatly from his leadership....and not, I do not believe he would undermine Ovie's leadership as was pointed out earlier...the man is a mentor to many D-men in this league, Green, Schultz, and even Alzner and Carlson who will be up here come playoff time would be greatly influenced by his presence....and with the addition of Koivu as well you have the two missing links in my opinion....the problem is what would that cost??

Posted by: PhilR | February 22, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

In my book, Backstrom is the second most important player on the current Caps roster next to Ovie. GMGM would be best advised to spend what is necessary to keep him on the top line with Ovie.

Posted by: doughless | February 22, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Pavel Kubina or Barret Jackman would be a nice add on the blueline.

Posted by: doughless | February 22, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

For those talking about Miller playing the Caps on March 3rd. Buffalo plays the Pens the day before at Pittsburgh so I am sure Miller will start one of those games but probably only one. The question will be does he start on the road at Pittsburgh or at home against the Caps.

Unfortunately, I think Ruff will have him starting at home against the Caps so he will get an ovation from the home crowd if the U.S. win a gold or even a silver.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 22, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

I want to root against Canada against Germany but a part of me really wants to watch Candada play Russia. Especially if Russia ends up winning. That would create a much greater story for the rest of the year and every time an announcer talks about Crosby and Ovie he will have to mention how Ovie led Russia to beat Canada in the Olympics.

The flip side is if Canada beat Russia then we would have to listen to the Crosby being a winner more than Ovie speech for the next 3 months.

Either way, the back drop of that game would be huge and the game would likely be amazing.

But part of me still would like to see Canada fail miserably and lose to Germany.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 22, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Last year everyone was saying the Caps should make a trade to get Niedermayer or Pronger from Anaheim. GMGM did not do that because they wanted all our young guys to make the deal. I was just listening to Canadian sports radio and they are saying Pronger and Niedermayer have played as the worst pair of D in the Olympics for Canada. I still think the Caps will not go after much older players if they are looking for D because older players tend to regress and their value goes down.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | February 22, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Wow what a great day of hockey yesterday, being on the west coast allowed me to see every game. I was thinking the other day how much I would love for Ovi to light up Jagr but to actually see it happen had me jumping out of my seat after years of seeing Jagr under-perform in DC. So sweet. And what else can be said about the US beating Canada, one of the best games I've ever witnessed. Backstrom then was amazing last night. Good day to be an American and a Caps fan!

So now Canada more than likely would have to go through Russia, Sweden and perhaps the US to get a gold medal? They are so screwed...here's to Ovi/Malkin/Semin and company taking Canada out of any medal possibility.

Lastly, I hear Zidlicky could be a possibility at the trade deadline via ESPN's newest rumors today. I still like Hamhuis, Jackman or Sutton. Also intrigued by Niedermeyer...

Posted by: JDintheSD | February 22, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3 - I think this is not a problem. I hope Germany gives Canada a tough, physical game, softening them up, but Canada eventually prevailing. Then I hope that the Russians finish them off. That would be more satisfying personally than having them lose to Germany.

Posted by: zmega | February 22, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse


Richmondphil wrote:

"http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/02/us_olympic_hockey_player_bobby.html

Whoa..Makes me love the kid even more."

I thank you very much for providing this link, Richmondphil. Amazing what this kid has dealt with, and it's a nice redemption story of the family. Sad that the lessons were so tough, but the character building aspect was there for young Bobby Ryan.

On a different topic, so, maybe even if Buffalo plays Miller in the game against the Caps, he might have a "medal hangover"? And maybe our Russians will have Stanley Cup fever?

Posted by: dccitizen1 | February 22, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

They can give us Niedermayer & Pronger for free & I would point to the tape from last night as the young speedy US team skated around those guys.

Pronger falling over his own buffoons.
& Niedermayer repeatedly getting hammered against the boards vs. the USA are my takeways from the Canadians up to this point.

Posted by: Rocc00 | February 22, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

One thing about Niedermayer...ok, so maybe he doesn't look so hot in the Olympics. Neither does Crosby. But, anyone got the Caps and Ducks from late December recorded? On one play, I remember Ovechkin went to check Niedermayer but bounced off. That's, Ovechkin bounced off.

I don't think he's washed up, but I also don't think he's worth a first rounder, one of the Fab Five and another prospect. That was Pronger's price last year, but then again Pronger had another year to go on his deal. Now it looks like Filthy got fleeced.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 22, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Tom, I'm not saying Niedermayer is not a tough guy, but individual collisions can sometimes produce unexpected results, depending on a whole variety of circumstances. You saw what Ovi did to a 250# guy yesterday. Niedermayer is listed at 194#. If there is a collision on Wednesday night between the two, my money is on Ovi and the laws of physics.

Posted by: zmega | February 22, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

My daughter is watching women's curling, Canada Vs Sweden. I'd watch, too, but they scream so much. Watching people go through marriage counseling is probably more pleasant.

Anyway, she's rooting for Sweden. mrstominfl1 says, "Why?" "I don't know! I like them better!"

I think Caps fans root for Sweden some because of Backstrom. And fans of many cities root against Canada because of Crosby. Just think - a whole country defined by one whiny brat. I'm even liking Malkin some because of the way he handled that pass from Semin. And I'm remembering fondly that I used to like Gonchar. And Rafalski, how can you not like him? Langenbrunner too. Orpik, though, you can't help but hate. And it was the great the way the Czechs folded up for like ten minutes after Jagr got hit. They have one player I'd love to have - Plekanec.

As for Slovakians, how can you help but not like Chara after all the nice things he said about Ovechkin. Crosby, though, he won't say nice things about Ovechkin. Milbury told him not to. And, like it lump it, we're stuck with Milbury.

Big losers so far in the Olympics:

Canada
Milbury
Steve Yzerman

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 22, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

zmega: I guess I'm saying a #1 for Niedermayer might be a good deal. Maybe you don't want him even for free. Green idolized him though and that should be worth something. We'll see. At least the deadline is over SOON. Come next Wednesday, and all the speculation since last August is over. The playoff roster will be set.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 22, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

@RichmondPhil

Hear hear on the link you provided on Ryan...never knew this. Will always remember this when watching him play. Thanks dude.

Posted by: ralCapsFan | February 22, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1

Would you trade Flash and either a prospect and/or a #1 for Dan Hamhuis?

Posted by: MReilly9 | February 22, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Another Olympic loser - the Canadian luge officials, including the designers of the track and the officials that limited access to the track for practice for non-Canadian competitors. Smells like a nasty lawsuit to me.

Kubina, Koivu, and on the the Kup!

Posted by: zmega | February 22, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

@JDintheSD

Yes, I would also love it if Russia can dump Canada on Wednesday evening. Russia playing a tired Canada, who played the night before (Germany).

It would serve them right.

If incentive is needed, all they have to do is Remember the World Junior games of December 2004 through Jan 2005. The Canadian players (including Mike Richards) were making runs at Ovi during the game between Canada and Russia and eventually "pronged" Ovi in the shoulder, resulting in Ovi being injured and out of action for a few weeks. There were pictures taken of a dejected Ovi (with his arm in a sling).

Note: Crosby also played in that game too.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 22, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1

Here's the story on Douglas Murray, the Swedish player. His paternal ancestors were Scottish even though his mother is Swedish (and is the daughter of a Swedish hockey player named Lars Gunnar Raldo "Lasse" Björn). The kids in the family ended up names that were atypical for Swedes but more typical in Anglo-Saxon countries.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 22, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1

On Niedermayer, I understand that Karl Alzner took #27 as a tribute to him. (There had been some rumors floating around that Alzner would yield his #27 if Niedermayer came to the team.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 22, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1

On the three losers in the Olympics:

1) There's been a lot of depressing headlines in the Canada newspapers for their loss yesterday.

2) Yzerman, the Icer man, did not choose the right men to be on the ice by leaving off Green.

3) As for Milbury, I keep wanting to sing:

Here we go round the Milbury bush
The Milbury Bush, the Milbury bush
Here we go round the Milbury bush
So early in the morning.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 22, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

MReilly: I can't remember watching Hamhuis play this year at all, so I don't know about that deal. I would think though that Flash and a #1 would get you a really super rental, someone who is All-Star or Olympic squad worthy. We have guys like Beagle, McNeil, Kyle Wilson and Miskovic anyway who are RFAs after this year and must either make the Caps, sign a minor league deal or go through waivers next year. You'd really like to dangle them first. After that, Osala and Godfrey might need a change of scenery. Finally, trading a #1 might not hurt since we already have so many #1s in the system. You'd like to exhaust all those possibilities before moving a proven NHL player like Flash just for a rental. He could otherwise get you an equivalent in age and talent to himself but a blueliner.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 22, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

tominfl1: What if the Caps were to sign or resign (not sure what his contract status is) to keep Hamhuis on the team in the future, with the intend to off-load Pothier or Poti at the end of the season, or even in another trade this year? Would trading Flash give the Caps enough room to keep Hamhuis? I do know that David Poile is willing to trade Hamhuis, but wants an NHL scorer in return.

Posted by: MReilly9 | February 22, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

On Niedermayer, I understand that Karl Alzner took #27 as a tribute to him. (There had been some rumors floating around that Alzner would yield his #27 if Niedermayer came to the team.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | February 22, 2010 7:50 PM |

Green also idolizes him.

@MReilly9

A first and Flash for Dan Hamhuis? Are you high? The team who gets him would probably have to overpay, but ..are you high?

Posted by: richmondphil | February 22, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Even if Hamhuis intended to re-sign with the Caps and we unloaded Poti, a first and Flash for him is ridiculous.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 22, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

CF75: Thanks for info on Murray. I was thinking to re-name him Doglaus Murraysson.

MReilly: I have Flash penciled in next year for $3.3M based on average of about ten players his age and comparable stats. What is Hamhuis worth? Better than Komisarek who got like 4.5? Is Hamhuis worth $5M? Let's just say that, $5M. If you trade Flash for Hamhuis, you can then trade Poti. You have moved off 3.3 + 3.5 = 6.8 amd brought back 5.0 + whatever you pay Flash's replacement at forward. Bouchard makes $900K next year. Are you a better team with Bouchard and Hamhuis than Flash and Poti? You decide. Or you could use the full $1.8M to maybe bring back BMo. The other issue to deal with is if you have signed Hamhuis long term, you might have issues year after next.

Bottom line - if you bring in a UFA defenseman, since the team is capped out, you must offset by jettisoning an equal amount from the forwards. It kinda makes logical sense though because we are really top-heavy in forward salary. Very important though is if you don't keep Semin, after next year, Flash might well be needed to give you two Cup worthy scoring lines. It might make more sense to wait and see on Semin. If he leaves, you keep Flash and use the money earmarked for Semin to buy a UFA blueliner for 2011-12.

If I were in hockey, I'd want to be capologist. I'd have a big room with white boards and the Caps roster and salaries projected out like five years. Yes, I would drive people crazy.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 22, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Backstrom isn't going anywhere as long as OV is in Washington, that's just a fact of life.

Posted by: zcxnissan | February 22, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Thanks tominfl1!

richmondphil: Not sure if it is a trade the Caps should make - but the asking price for Dan Hamhuis is a scoring forward and a low 1st round or high 2nd round pick. Again, it really depends on which way the Caps want to go. The Pens, Bruins and Sabres are all believed to be interested in Dan Hamhuis - per James Murphy of NESN.com (not that that is a reason for the Caps to be interested in any deal).

Posted by: MReilly9 | February 22, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Actually, if I were capologist, I'd get the scouts to give a numerical rating to each player in the league - 0.0 being the worst player, 10.0 being Ovi and 5.0 being a totally average player, and then I'd calculate the total salaries of all the teams (some are capped out, most not) and put the grand total salary and the grand total player weighting and therefore arrive at a "projected worth" (a price tag) for each player. Then, I'd encourage GMGM to try and acquire players paid less than their estimated worth.

I'll bet someone in the Caps organization does exactly that. Lucky dude. Probably gets free tickets too.

30 teams x $50-55M/year is about what I estimate yearly for the rocket factory. Hey, if you can estimate missiles, you can estimate people.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 22, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

History of Caps on WETA right NOW! IT is a PBS Washington in the 70' show!

Posted by: MReilly9 | February 22, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

but the asking price for Dan Hamhuis is a scoring forward and a low 1st round or high 2nd round pick.

________________

Ca you link me to where it's been reported that Poile wants an NHL scoring forward and a 1st/2nd round pick?

If that's seriously his "price", then forget him. Look to Kubina or Jackman or something.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 22, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Here is some Caps related news per Jeremy Rutherford, a St. Louis Blues reporter:

"Cam Janssen will find out tomorrow whether the NHL is going to suspend him for his hit on Washington's Matt Bradley on Feb. 13". Hopefully, there will be a suspension of 3 games or more...

Posted by: MReilly9 | February 22, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil, see link:

http://www.nesn.com/2010/02/sources-dan-hamhuis-raffi-torres-alexander-frolov-on-bruins-trade-radar.html

Again, this is probably not a deal for the Caps to make and it is based on "reliable sources", there is no way of knowing how reliable this source really is.

Posted by: MReilly9 | February 22, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

If Boston gave up any more scorers, they'd have negative goals.

I don't buy that price at all. That is far too much for a guy like Hamhuis. A first rounder alone is too much for him, unless he agrees to re-sign with whatever team that trades for him.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 22, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

But the problem with rating players is that your rating is subjective. What makes a player the best player in the league? That is why it isn't easy to be a capologist. You have to be good at math AND know the nuances of each player and team to make an educated guess at who to acquire.

Missiles have a bill of materials and set requirements. You also know that your estimate can be mathematically correct within a set of tolerances. Diff things.

Posted by: trunkenmath | February 22, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Last night 8.2 Million watched USA vs. Canada Hockey on MSNBC. That is the third highest rated program in their history. It will almost certainly be the highest rated cable program for the week as the NBA All Star Game was last week at 6.8 Million. It also explains why the Olympic numbers were down somewhat last night. Will this be the first time a hockey game was the #1 rated program for the week?

Posted by: croftonpost | February 22, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Cam Janssen now has set up a Twitter account and just minutes ago he mentioned that "There might be a suspention involved" in reference to the Bradley hit.

http://twitter.com/camjanssen55

Posted by: MReilly9 | February 22, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Hamhuis is a second pairing d-man in Nashville, behind Weber and Suter. He is 27, so probably starting to reach his peak. You could argue that Flash even up is a fair trade, if you can sign Hamhuis for similar dollars as Flash. At $4 mill. a year or higher, I'd say no way, and if it took a first round pick in addition to Flash I would also say no way. You also would need a center if you trade Flash, especially if you aren't going to bring back Morrison. There's probably a need for a center regardless of any trades.

Posted by: zmega | February 22, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

I still contend that the Caps need a true third line center, a guy that can win faceoffs, kill penalties, and shut down the opposition's first line scorers. He does not need to be a scorer, especially with the offense that the Caps already have. I would also prefer this center to have significant Stanley Cup playoff experience. The Caps have very little experience in the Stanley Cup playoffs ... well, I should say experience in WINNING in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

I stated this two weeks ago here, but I think that John Madden of the Blackhawks is that guy. He has plenty of Cups on his resume. His faceoff numbers are great this year, especially on the penalty kill when he is facing off against the opposition's best centers. His cap hit is 2.75M, but he is a UFA after the season.

Now, the Blackhawks probably want to keep Madden for all of the above reasons, especially because of his UFA status and their impending cap issues. He won't be in Chicago after this season. Still, this is the exact kind of guy the Caps need to play against the Crosbys and Malkins, the Zajacs and Richards and the Spezzas, etc. Especially over 7-game playoff series.

I would offer the Blackhawks some of our Hershey talent for him (since they are unable to pay any incoming veterans), possibly a goaltender prospect like Holtby. I do not believe the Hawks have a potential "goaltender of the future" in the minors. They might make this trade.

Any thoughts on this, folks? If you don't agree, what third line center might you recommend in place of Madden who brings his list of talents into the mix? Thanks for your thoughts.

Posted by: coveredwithhisdust | February 22, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

To all of you slamming Canada and the Canadian team--I wonder what Mike Green, Brooks Laich, Eric Fehr, Bruce Boudreau...and many other Caps...would think of your rants? And would you be still ranting if Mike Green was on the Canadian team (which I think he should have been)?

Posted by: RogerNoVa | February 22, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

@coveredwithhisdust:

I really like Madden for the special things he does - when he was with the Devils in the past few years, there was no one better at taking defensive zone faceoffs during the PK. That said, he has slowed and I do not think he can log heavy minutes - and I also see no logical reason why Chicago would trade him.

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | February 22, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

I agree that the Caps need a defensive center like Madden but Chicago is trying to win the Cup this year, probably even more so than the Caps so I can't see them trading him to the Caps... they'll need him in the playoffs

Posted by: joek443 | February 22, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Madden isn't going anywhere, but I agree with the sentiments. I would prefer a checking line center who can kill penalties over a d man.


Posted by: richmondphil | February 22, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

@DevilsCapsGal:

Thanks for your response and the points that you make. Madden has averaged 15:36 per game this season. This is more than our third line centers have usually skated each game this season. I agree, he is a little older and has probably lost a step from his 2000 and 2003 Cup days. But in the playoffs, we need defense from our third line center. On home ice, when we have the last change, he is the perfect guy to take key defensive zone faceoffs against the other teams top lines. If he can continue to skate 15 minutes per night, I think he will be fine.

I will admit that Madden is on IR right now during the Olympics Break. He is due back on the ice at the beginning of next week.

Posted by: coveredwithhisdust | February 22, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

I do not believe the Hawks have a potential "goaltender of the future" in the minors.

_________

You're right. But they have one backing up Huet, and soon to take his spot in Anti Niemi.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 22, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Any thoughts on this, folks? If you don't agree, what third line center might you recommend in place of Madden who brings his list of talents into the mix? Thanks for your thoughts.

Posted by: coveredwithhisdust | February 22, 2010 10:13 PM |

I have proposed Steve Ott. Others have proposed Saku Koivu.

I like the idea of Koivu. He can be an excellent role player and he can potentially get some minutes on the 2nd line.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 22, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

In fact, I think it was zmega who has been pushing for Koivu, if i'm not mistaken.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 22, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

I could be wrong, but isn't Niemi like 27 or 28 years old? I know that's not ancient, but still, most teams like to find and develop young goaltenders who are between 20-23 yrs. old. Just a thought ...

Posted by: coveredwithhisdust | February 22, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Niemi is 26.

Most teams could very well like to do that, but goalies have the longest learning curve in the NHL. Some don't reach their platform until upper 20s.

Also, I don't see the problem anyway. Lundy, Backstrom...just some goalies who didn't get an NHL starting job until later.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 22, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Hiller...Thomas...

Posted by: richmondphil | February 22, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

I do not think Holtby should be considered in the "untouchables" of trade prospects.

While he is good and should only be traded for a good return, he is the #3 goalie in the Caps system and I'm not sure where he ranks compared to all goalie prospects but I don't think he is in the top 10. He ranks nowhere near Hodgson of Vancouver and there is talk of him getting sent to St. Louis.

This doesn't mean he won't end up being good, but lets not put the "untouchable" tag on him.

Please do not post his AHL numbers. I know they have been great but so were all Hershey goaltenders the past 4 years. Wasn't a guy Mechesney or something and where did he end up.

Again, I am not saying he won't be good and his good play in the AHL definitely shows promise, but lets not get carried away.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 22, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil:

Good points. Thanks.

In regards to Steve Ott: great physicality, great energy, great antagonizer. I fear that in the playoffs he would be a "minor penalty" just waiting to happen every shift. If he could antagonize like Tikkanen without making all of those trips to the box, I would feel better about him.

In regards to Koivu: good center all-around; good on faceoffs; some offensive capability as you mention. An overcomer. Has never moved past the second round in the playoffs in many, many trips. Of the three, I would choose Madden, then Koivu, then Ott.

But, you guys are right ... Madden would probably be the least likely of the three to move before the deadline.

Posted by: coveredwithhisdust | February 22, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

What? Hodgson is a center, first of all. Second, Holtby is definetely up there as being a top goalie prospect. Probably not top 20, but guys like Rask and Varlamov are still considered "prospects" as well.

Plus, if Hodgson was a goalie, what's the big deal about Vancouver trading him? They have Luongo...

Posted by: richmondphil | February 22, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Madden is the epitome of the perfect "shadow" player. He is the definition of a hard-nosed checking forward. Honestly, when I think of "checking line centers who can kill penalties" in the modern era, I think of Madden.

I just don't see him going anywhere.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 22, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

As far as Ott taking penalties, that's the price you pay for having a gritty pest like him in your lineup. Cooke, Ruutu(s), Burrows, Avery..all still employed in the playoffs.

As long as they don't get too maverick in their antics (see; Avery), a pest could be vital for changing the pace of a game.

Interestingly, one of the biggest knocks against Knuble was that he takes dumb penalties all the time. I am glad we haven't seen much of that.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 22, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, I got confused with my Canuck prospects, I meant Cory Schneider.

But what you stated was my point. He isn't in the top 20! There are only 30 starting goalie positions available overall and there are 20 guys considered better who are prospects. All I'm saying is that it is absurd to consider him untradeable.

And you mention about the Canucks trading him. True, they can because of Loungo. But if the Canucks can trade a higher rated prospect goalie than Holtby when they have only 1 goalie, who is 30, who is ahead of him. Then how can Holtby be considered untradeable if he has two 21 year olds ahead of him?

Posted by: sgm3 | February 22, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps I am over-sensitive to taking penalties during the playoffs. But until the Caps demonstrate that they can kill penalties at a better rate than they have, my jitters will remain. Now, Burrows ... there is a pest I would love to have. A pest with considerable skill and a nose for the net. But we would probably have more success prying Luongo off of Vancouver than Burrows.

Posted by: coveredwithhisdust | February 22, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Wait..you honestly think Schnieder is ranked above Holtby?

I doubt that. I said he probably wasn't in the top 20, because I am including undrafted goalies, and like I said, guys who really aren't prospects anymore like Rask and Varlamov.

Holtby's scouting report is nothing to write home about, but he definetely has that "blue chip" title to him now.


Anyways, I agree that he isn't "untouchable", but I disagree that he isn't looked at as the potential real deal by other teams.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 22, 2010 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Now, Burrows ... there is a pest I would love to have. A pest with considerable skill and a nose for the net. But we would probably have more success prying Luongo off of Vancouver than Burrows.

Posted by: coveredwithhisdust | February 22, 2010 11:53 PM |

All the love for Burrows, yet a bit reserved about Ott?

Ott has just as much offensive upside as Burrows...and he doesn't have two ESP communicating wizards on his line...haha.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 23, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Here is the book on Schneider as of last year. These things change yearly, but he is thought pretty highly of:

http://www.hockeysfuture.com/prospects/cory_schneider

Here is the book on Holtby as of November:

http://www.hockeysfuture.com/prospects/cory_schneider

Posted by: sgm3 | February 23, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Schnieder = Raycroft, but to a lesser extent.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 23, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

This is from a highly regarded source so I believe that a good amount of scouts and such rankings are probably similar.

I think Holtby definitely has value on the trade market and probably pretty good value with his play this year. But if the right deal came across I think it would be worthwhile to consider it.

Would you do a Holtby for Niedermeyer trade?

If the Caps scouts and coaches think Holtby is going to be an All-Star then no, but if not then it may be worth doing.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 23, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Ott has just as much offensive upside as Burrows...and he doesn't have two ESP communicating wizards on his line...haha.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 23, 2010 12:00 AM

Ha! Now that's funny.

True, Ott doesn't have Frick and Frack skating with him. Still, I just don't sense the same offensive skill in Ott as I do in Burrows.

Posted by: coveredwithhisdust | February 23, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Schneider is just one example. And if the NHL community agrees with you and they think Schneider=Raycroft then they think Holtby is worse than Raycroft.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 23, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse

soooo ready for the Olympics to be over. I want our CAPS back!!!

Posted by: Bondra2Ovie | February 23, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Well... yeah, maybe "just as much" isn't accurate.

I have this saved photo of Burrows while in like the Pee Wee league. His hair is funny.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 23, 2010 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Again, I already said that I agree with you that Holtby isn't "untradeable". However, have you watched Schnieder play? He was HIGHLY touted...a few years ago up until last year. Not so much anymore.

On the flip side, Holtby didn't have ANY AHL experience when that book was written. Now he does.

I bet by the end of this year, Holtby will be higher than Schnieder.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 23, 2010 12:13 AM | Report abuse

And Holtby is probably worse than Raycroft right now.


What does that have to do with their potential?

Posted by: richmondphil | February 23, 2010 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Other examples of high rated goalie prospects not counting the very young ones like Pavelec and Rask in the NHL or Varly or Neuvy:

http://www.hockeysfuture.com/prospects/jonathan_bernier

http://www.hockeysfuture.com/prospects/jacob_markstrom

http://www.hockeysfuture.com/prospects/jhonas_enroth

Posted by: sgm3 | February 23, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

So, what's your point with all these links?

Bernier..haha....Remember, I am a Kings fan, so I watch a lot of Kings...

Posted by: richmondphil | February 23, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

No I haven't seen Schneider play. All I am trying to do is put Holtby's value in perspective.

His play this year has definitely increased his value but he is still not yet considered to be a top goaltending prospect in the NHL. But that could make this the perfect time to trade him as his value but the highest it ever reaches.

I'm not saying to trade him, all I am saying is that he is tradeable if they right deal came along. Carlson is not tradeable, Varly is not tradeable. I just don't like it when people put Holtby in the same group as them.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 23, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

I'm not saying to trade him, all I am saying is that he is tradeable if they right deal came along. Carlson is not tradeable, Varly is not tradeable. I just don't like it when people put Holtby in the same group as them.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 23, 2010 12:20 AM |


I agree with all of this.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 23, 2010 12:22 AM | Report abuse

It could be that guys like Schnieder and Bernier need more time to develop, however, they have both received solid chances in the NHL and failed miserably.

Of course, playing on a team with Luongo certainly doesn't help Schnieder's natural development take it's course. I just don't see why he is rated so highly, but then again, his profile hasn't been updated since the end of last season.

I can think of quite a few goalies, including some you posted, who I would put over Schnieder.

Posted by: richmondphil | February 23, 2010 12:26 AM | Report abuse

I think goalies have the highest failure rates for prospects. So if Schneider failed this year he will drop. Schneider was a 1st round pick so he had high expectations.

I noticed that that site is coming out with its new prospect ratings. In the last ratings it had Holtby rated as the 16th best Caps prospect. I'm sure he will move up, but it is also indicative of the Caps prospect depth.

I haven't seen any of those goalies, who aren't in the NHL, so I'm not ranking them by my personal view but just from what I've read. But in their ratings, the highest rated goalie prospect was Varly (but he has played enough time in the NHL that he won't be considered a prospect next year). So the ratings definitely thinks well of the Caps goalies.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 23, 2010 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Getting back to Madden I had seen some rumors a month or so ago that he was being shopped. I don't remember where but I remember the rumors because I couldn't figure out why they would trade him. IF he is available he would be someone I think the Caps would be going after but who knows what they would want in return. All I hear them looking for is a starting goalie for THIS YEAR so unless they think Theo is that player I don't see it happening.

Here are some guys I think the Caps should look at

Jay McClement STL Current leader in PK time per game among C's and wins 50% of his faceoffs. The downside is 3 years left on his contract (only 1.45 million) and is 26 so STL might want to keep him

Todd Marchant ANA Second in PK time per game for C's 50.5% on faceoffs. Down side is another year left of contract but it is only 1.125 million.

Jim Slater ATL Winning 61.4% of his faceoffs and is killing 1:31 a game on the PK and is a UFA after this season. Atlanta may want to keep him or not trade him within the division.

Rod Brind'Amour CAR. Less likely becasue of having another year on his deal and it being 3.6 million. But if they could make the money work he is third in faceoffs winning % and is the kind of grinder we could really use.

Here is one thing I was looking at as a possibility. Darren Helm for either Flash or Fehr. Detroit needs scoring big time and either of those guys will be a big help. Helm is a RFA after this season and is averaging 2:33 in PK time per game and is at 52% in faceoffs. He is also the fastest player in Detroit so he will fit in well with the Caps team. The only issue is I do not know if Detroit is willing to trade him.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 23, 2010 1:55 AM | Report abuse

The way some people talk about this clown we could easily make this trade right:
Schultz for Lidstrom and Rafalfski
Schultz for Chara and Morris

Caps are top 5 in faceoffs what do we need another center for?

Posted by: velo_matt | February 23, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I'd also like to add a first round draft pick to both of those trade deals also...

Posted by: velo_matt | February 23, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

A bigger omission than Green was Steven Stamkos.

Amazing that Jeff Carter was the backup to Getzlaf, and Stamkos was not even in that conversation.

Of all the players I have seen this year, Steven Stamkos is the closest to reminding me of Crosby and Ovie in their first years. He has shifted gears big time - and, thats a SUPERSTAR in the making.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | February 23, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

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