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Changes on the Capitals beat

I've never liked August much. The lull in the NHL's offseason combined with rising temperatures and humidity make this month seem the most removed from hockey. For those who enjoy the sport, it can result in a restless time waiting for the start of training camp, a fresh sheet of ice and the buzz of a new season. Are we there yet?

As most of you know by now, I'll be taking over the Capitals beat at the Post as the tireless Tarik El-Bashir moves on to other reporting ventures. Now that there's a new banner on Capitals Insider, I wanted to introduce myself.

Some of you may remember me from my cameo appearances on the blog and in the paper as I helped Tarik over the past few seasons. I'm lucky to have had the opportunity to learn from someone who covered the Caps and NHL so thoroughly and I'm excited for the opportunity to grow into my new role as lead reporter during such a critical time in Capitals history.

I've spent the past two and a half years at the Post covering high school sports in suburban Maryland, the Mystics and whatever beat needed an extra hand. I grew up in Greensburg, Pa., -- something I hope you won't hold against me, at least not for long -- with a feverish passion for hockey. It's a game I've never been able to get enough of, regardless of whether mini-mites or NHLers are playing. I've known I wanted to be a sportswriter since high school and I'm humbled by the privilege to cover my favorite sport for the Post.

As the season progresses, I think you'll get to know me. There is an impressive community here on Capitals Insider and I want to do everything I can to further its success. If you don't already, follow me on Twitter where I will have plenty of updates once training camp begins.

Thank you to everyone who has welcomed me to the Caps beat in the past few weeks. I'm anxious to get started.

By Katie Carrera  |  August 12, 2010; 9:37 AM ET
 
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Next: Report: Eric Belanger to sign with Capitals, possible trade in the works

Comments

Welcome, Katie :)

Posted by: shadowlurker1121 | August 12, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

You were already part of the gang with your cameos, but welcome aboard to your full-time gig. Congrats & good luck. If this is "the year" you can certainly take credit.

Posted by: pachanga74 | August 12, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Welcome Katie!

We Capitals fans have been fortunate to have pretty stellar coverage of the Caps by Tarik and are quite happy for him spending more time with his son.

Good luck!

Posted by: FrankM73 | August 12, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: saintex | August 12, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Uh Oh! So we have a Pens fan covering the Caps!!? This should be interesting! Welcome :).

Posted by: tvn22 | August 12, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Uh Oh! So we have a Pens fan covering the Caps!!? This should be interesting! Welcome :).

Posted by: tvn22 | August 12, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

WELCOME 'KATIE CARRERA' TO THE STAGE! kinda sounds like a rockstar name! fits perfect for the team shes covering.Good Luck Katie,sure youll do fine as you always have.But you are in for a ride with all the characters on here.Good Luck and GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: gratefuldid | August 12, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Welcome Katie!!
We are a fair and knowledgeable group of fans. However...if you want acceptance into our little family, you have to pass a test.
For your initiation, you will be required to pimp slap Maxime Talbot on the first interview you are granted with him.
I know you can do this, and I look forward to having you as part of the family.
Godspeed Katie. :)

Posted by: j3rockstar | August 12, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Good luck Katie.

We will miss Tarik. But as a start, your picture at the top of the blog is a nice change. Nothing against Tarik or anything. He did a great job for us Caps fans.

Bottom line, I hope your writing matches your hotness.

Posted by: RongCapsFan | August 12, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Katie:

Welcome! We look forward to your efforts in helping the caps to raise the Cup. How is your defence?

Posted by: Leeguru | August 12, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Katie, Please remove yourself of your Penguin Love and then you'll be excepted!!

Posted by: darrylrbaker | August 12, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I hope the fact that you are a Penguins fan will mean that you are more aggressive in terms of questioning management than El Bashir was.

Posted by: poguesmahone | August 12, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Welcome! The honeymoon was about 6 replies long before someone questioned your loyalty and another told you how to do your job. As you are probably already aware, this board is not unlike any other sports (or politics or religion) board; a wide-range of knowledge, passion, and courtesy. Keeping The Insider updated with news bits, inside info, sprinkled with some insight will satisfy the majority of fans. Tarik's best quality; professionalism and never getting involved in some of the ridiculous banter that ensued on this site. Best of luck.

Posted by: ccape1 | August 12, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

congrats on the new gig and we'll see you at VC and KCI.

Posted by: bottomfeeders10 | August 12, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Welcome aboard! It's an exciting time to be following the Caps!

Posted by: Bagher | August 12, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

As long as you don't post photos of Crosby all the time we will get along just fine! Welcome!!

Posted by: PhilR | August 12, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Covering a team shouldn't require being a fan... Katie loves hockey, that's good enough. I love how multiple posts claim a knowledgable crowd in here, that's debatable. More GM bashing and haters than anything. Maybe change the introduction to: "We're homers with wildly biased opinions who think we know more than GMGM."

Posted by: Chad8 | August 12, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Katie - rumor has it that Greensburg rhymes with Pittsburgh and therefore you grew up a Penguins/Steelers fan. We all have our past transgressions, but it is time for you to burn the black/gold sweaters and stock up on the red/white. :)

Welcome aboard - GO CAPS!

Posted by: pch49 | August 12, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Give her a break. I'm from Philadelphia and I grew to hate the Flyers because of my Caps loyalty.

Posted by: joepar703 | August 12, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

@ccape1: if she can't stand the heat, she should get out of the kitchen NOW.........

Posted by: poguesmahone | August 12, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations, Katie!! I've always enjoyed reading your coverage and look forward to doing so for seasons to come!!! :-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | August 12, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 12, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Chad8

Truer words were never spoken than at the bottom of your post. I am waiting for a "blame/credit GMGM for Katie covering the Caps debate" to breakout amongst the regulars. That will be followed by a challenge to fistfight at a game and 2 week flame war where a number of people say, "stop quoting me" while still quoting each other. Katie, can you confrim that you were not part of deal for a 7th round draft pick from 6 years ago?

Posted by: brasidas422 | August 12, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Rumor has it Belanger has signed with the Leafs. They can't announce it yet because Toronto already has 50 contracts. So Belanger has signed with Toronto but will only play for them if they are able to trade Kaberle.

This is interesting on a couple of fronts. If Toronto is unable to trade Kaberle then Belanger becomes an UFA again. Secondly it must mean that Toronto is only looking for picks in return or are adding other players and getting 1 less in return. Lastly I would think that Burke believes he will move Kaberle by the 15th when his NTC kicks back in or why even bother signing Belanger in the 1st place. There are certainly plenty of rumors out there stating that the Caps are heavily involved. Things that make you go hmmmmm......

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 12, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Wow...where did all these new posters come from? Only recognize a couple of them. If a Penguins fan can bring a wider variety of posters, I am all for it. Welcome Katie. Are you seeing anyone? Just kidding.

Posted by: nimrodrsp | August 12, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Kaberle does not make go hmmmmm.

Posted by: nimrodrsp | August 12, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

As a Caps fan I am glad the Kovalchuk deal didn't stick. I assume Kovalchuk will still play there but I am not interested in cutting any breaks for NJ,CHI,PHA or anyone else that really can't manage their salary cap. These teams are fighting for the same Stanley Cup that we are and should have the same player salary headaches.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | August 11, 2010 9:31 AM

That's one way of looking at it.

On the other hand, Kovalchuck may end up signing a Hossa-like contract and NJ will still create an advantage, just a smaller one.

It's too early to tell until we see how everything plays out with Kovalchuck and the other existing loophole contracts.

The reality is that if the NHL is somehow able to clamp down on future cap-circumventing contracts until the next CBA while allowing the existing ones to stand, you could argue that we are in even worse shape.

The reason being that we will have no chance to level the playing field by creating our own loophole contract(s), effectively increasing the advantage of the teams who already got there's in place, several of which are cup-contending teams.

Look at the names of the teams that have used this loophole: Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Vancouver, Boston, maybe NJ...

Lots of real good teams there, including recent SC finalists and winners.

I still say that McPhee should have used this loophole in some way to keep up with the Joneses. Even if it was hard to get done with Ovechkin and Backstrom given their ages, he should've been aggressively looking to create the advantage with another FA, like Chicago did with Hossa.

The likelihood is that the existing contracts stick and the Caps get stuck.

Posted by: tmac2yao | August 12, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

@pokerface

Im so happy you are wrong on Belanger...Hes coming back to the Caps...goodbye Flash

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/globe-on-hockey/belanger-to-sign-with-capitals/article1670370/

Posted by: ThePat | August 12, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Katie, We look forward to your intrepid reporting. Please start by getting GMGM to deny the Kaberle-Flash and Belanger rumors.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | August 12, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I would've preferred Halpern but they give you about the same thing.

Not sure how much Halpern will get though.

Posted by: tmac2yao | August 12, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

@ThePat

What is interesting is that it has been rumored that Belanger hasn't announced his signing because the team he signed with wants to open up cap space.

This would likely mean trying to trade a person with a significant salary. Flash would qualify.

But the Caps have enough cap space to fit Belanger in, unless another deal is also in the making (maybe Willie Mitchell).

Posted by: sgm3 | August 12, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Well, it does pain me that the Post has given the Caps beat to a Penguins fan. That's not right.

But, Katie, we welcome you dispite your flaws! I've enjoyed your reporting and congrats on the new beat. We're glad to have you.

Posted by: Avar | August 12, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

that was based on rumors from websites that basically just create rumors. Real reason was someone else is being dealt, Flash. And they didnt want to potentially crush the deal.

Posted by: ThePat | August 12, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Yep I have heard he's (Belanger) signing with the Caps and Flash is being shopped. The day could get interesting. Where is nostrathomas to make predictions...what a slacker.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | August 12, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

O man Pat, I sure hope that source is correct and Flush is on his way out. Maybe going to Vancouver for Bieska and then they also sign Mitchell?

That would be outstanding if there is enough cap space!!

Posted by: PhilR | August 12, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Also we might trade Flash for a 2C and not a D-men. And then sign Mitchell. At least we can all hope I guess.

Posted by: ThePat | August 12, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I guess I missed the part where Katie stated that she's a Penguins fan.

Posted by: JillC | August 12, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR

James Mirtle normally doesnt report stuff until he has firm confirmation from people. He'll talk about rumors on twitter but rarely would put a rumor into writing an article.

Posted by: ThePat | August 12, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I've said all along that I would love to see two Dmen signed and get that 2C at the trade deadline if you don't have enough cap space. Especially if you can sign two guys that have played together in the past as a D pairing. I know 2C is probably the biggest need but tough, stay at home dmen run a very close second.

God, we need a snitch in GMGM's scouting department that can give us the scoop!

Posted by: PhilR | August 12, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

@ThePat

The funny thing is I wrote my last post right before reading the article you posted.

Burke says the Caps aren't interested in Kaberle so it is probably moot, but why are so many people here down on Kaberle?

I know he isn't the big defensive defenseman everyone wants. But he is a clear top pairing defenseman as he was an All-Star in 2007, 2008, 2009 and is a very talented overall defenseman. He would be a major upgrade.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 12, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

http://capitals.nhl.com/club/roster.htm

Look at their roster...oh no Flash is already missing.....maybe pure coincidence but...

Posted by: ThePat | August 12, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

http://capitals.nhl.com/club/roster.htm

Look at their roster...oh no Flash is already missing.....maybe pure coincidence but...

Posted by: ThePat | August 12, 2010 12:52 PM

That is great. If it is just a coincidence then the timing couldn't be more perfect.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 12, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Look at their roster...oh no Flash is already missing.....maybe pure coincidence but...

Posted by: ThePat | August 12, 2010 12:52 PM

That is great. If it is just a coincidence then the timing couldn't be more perfect.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 12, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I am not going to get too excited until I hear it announced. Heard these rumors before and then the deal suddenly fall through but man it sure is nice to dream!

Posted by: PhilR | August 12, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

and of course they fixed the roster already.... not good

Posted by: ThePat | August 12, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I see him on the roster still. Hmm

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | August 12, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!

Posted by: PhilR | August 12, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

ThePat:
he's right below fehr
was this roster link a trick? i fell for it. :)

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 12, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Mirtle got a "no comment" from GMGM when asked about Belanger. He didn't deny it which he does do when something is completely false.

It makes sense for both parties for Belanger to re-sign for $1.85 for 1 year. That is a good deal for a pretty solid 3rd line center. Malhotra got $2.5M/yr for 3 years.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 12, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

No guys he was definitely off the roster for over an hour apparently. My guess is the trade is happening. But then people started posting him missing on twitter. People for the Caps saw it and put him back until the trade call is complete. That is my guess.

Posted by: ThePat | August 12, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse


No guys he was definitely off the roster for over an hour apparently. My guess is the trade is happening. But then people started posting him missing on twitter. People for the Caps saw it and put him back until the trade call is complete. That is my guess.

Posted by: ThePat | August 12, 2010 1:08 PM

I'd agree with that.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 12, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

i actually enjoyed flash on the ice - but i won't miss him if the team gets better

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 12, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

@Capt_Kirk

My thoughts exactly.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 12, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

@ThePat

I clicked on the link pretty soon after you sent it, but after I clicked on it the webpage froze for a little bit.

But it finally went through and Flash is absolutely not listed on the roster. They obviously corrected it soon after, but it does make you wonder. Especially when combined with all the other news today.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 12, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Welcome, Katie! Looking forward to reading your columns.

Good to see everyone is back and ready for hockey!

Hub-unit and I look forward to following the games with all of your this season. LET'S GO CAPS!

Posted by: Section416akatheAlps | August 12, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Heard you on the Japers, I am excited about more video blogs!

FYI the Post site doesn't list your twitter yet.....

Posted by: mmbrennan | August 12, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

You've done alot hereit seems like for ages. It'll be great.

Posted by: ridgely1 | August 12, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

You're def better looking then Tarik :)

Posted by: matthewrayman | August 12, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Loved Tarik, but Katie is easier to look at everyday!!!!! Katie...welcome back!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | August 12, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Hi Katie, it seems like you've been part of Tarik's reporting & blogging, for quite a while, now. I'm looking forward to reading your posts every day. Kudos on taking over for Tarik!

Posted by: Hattrik | August 12, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

I am totally against a penguins fan covering my team. I agree that she can be objective. Her job depends on it. But I know for a fact that there were enough great writers available and in NO WAY should the Post have chosen her. Has she written any Caps insider updates? Any front page post stories? What a joke.

Posted by: Leeale | August 13, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Welcome aboard Katie and good luck.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | August 16, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

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