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Clark Could Be Done For Season

GM George McPhee just said that captain Chris Clark could miss the remainder of the regular season with the wrist injury that has been dogging him since training camp. Clark is at the doctor's office right now. I should know more later, but McPhee said it's looking like Clark will, in fact, need surgery on the wrist.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 2, 2009; 11:48 AM ET
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Next: Boudreau: 'Clark Is Our Captain'


hmm, interesting.

Posted by: 1Amy1 | February 2, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Get well soon, Clarkie.

Posted by: baldinga | February 2, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Clark has no luck...he's given a lot of his body to this team, and he just hasn't been able to play the same way he did in prior seasons.

Hopefully he is alright and doesn't need surgery...if he does, hopefully he can return to 100% quickly.

On the plus side...this means that Alzner can be recalled for the rest of the year.

Posted by: Jeff_ | February 2, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

This should allow Alzner to come back up for the rest of the season hopefully

Posted by: Phishhead311 | February 2, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I really like Clark and feel bad for him, but I gotta think that GMGM said - Hey now would be a great time to get that fixed! Free some space, stop being a health scratch, not have to lose the C...

What do you guys think? Conspriacy theory or likely scenario?

Posted by: jerry2178 | February 2, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Dude can't buy a break, he just gets them.

Heal up big C.

Posted by: Section117 | February 2, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to hear that Clark is not healthy. It also makes sense as his play has really struggled.

From a Salary Cap standpoint, we now have the ability to add a veteran rental player for the playoffs if he is out.

Alzner still wont crack the lineup unless we make a move or have an injury with the six d-men we have now.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 2, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to hear about Clarkie... Now let's get that 'C' where it belongs, on Ovie's jersey!

Posted by: tURBO8 | February 2, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Heal up big C.

Posted by: Section117 | February 2, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Tough break for our captain. Two injury-filled seasons now. I guess that could explain a lack of production.


Any word on how he injured his wrist?? Is there any relation between this injury and the stress fracture he had in his forearm that caused him to miss time??

Posted by: dcox50 | February 2, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Too bad from Clark. I like him as a player and this would certainly explain the tough season he's had.

Posted by: saintex | February 2, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

well that is that.
too bad we can not get timely news from the organization, it leads to speculations, misbehavior, and distrust from the fans. maybe there is good reason for withholding some information.
i have to believe that some of the scratches and his poor play were the result of the injury.

Posted by: superX | February 2, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Yikes! That's rough for him. Would explain the scratches and a lot of other stuff! Poor man can't buy a break. He just gets them.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 2, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

What have you done for me lately? As much as Chris Clark has done on and off the ice. The bottom line is that he hasn't produced. Whether that is due to injury or not we don't know. We do know that even injured players can position themselves and make contributions by doing all the little things right. CCC hasn't done that. Hopefully, by him being on LTIR it will give us room to bring up some quality people or go out get somebody that will help the team in the stretch run. I'm not much for conspiracy theories but this one may have some legs considering CCC would do anything for the team. It makes it plausible that he may be taking one for the team!

Posted by: psugolf | February 2, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

this sucks, i dont think people realize what he brought to the team and how much they will miss his play

Posted by: _stevo | February 2, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse


We just have to be big boys and girls right now and take back the negative things we've said regarding his play this season, if he has infact been hurt the whole time (ala Nyls last year).

And as an organization, you absolutely do not disclose the nature of injuries like that while a guy is trying to play. That stays in-house unless you want to put a giant target on the dude's injured spot.

Posted by: FFSEnough | February 2, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

That really sucks for Clark. Hopefully he can fully recover and be ready to go next year.

Bright side is Alzner can come back up. And if Pothier ever is cleared now we don't have a cap issue.

Posted by: ThePat | February 2, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I guess that explains the scratches this weekend :( I know, I know, he's not playing up to expectations, but I don't wish injuries on anyone (well, ok, not true....) and certainly not chronic, dogging, season-long injuries. And its exceptionally hard to produce with a serious wrist injury.

I think the "C" should go on Bradley's sweater. After all, the Caps don't lose when he's captian :) 31 games=62 points=well, the absurdity of it all has sent my brain into fits!

Actually, the Caps did just fine last seasonw ithout anyone wearing the "C" on the ice, they just added a few more "A" guys. No reason to do it differently this time around, imo.

Posted by: RedBirdie | February 2, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

That actually sounds good. Clark can continue to lead in the room and watch the games from a lux box, best for all concerned. They won't take the C away from him while he is hurt, in fact Ovie would not wear the C under those circumstances. He still has great support in the locker room, but his play has sucked!! That said there were a number of players who needed to get their feet moving the last 2 games!

Posted by: majiksea | February 2, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I feel like the Caps have had multiple "suddenly serious" injuries this year that conveniently have allowed Alzner to find his way to the team.
I'm not against bumping Clark for Karl, by no means, but I feel like it's kind of a cap loop-hole that allows teams to "make space".
Doesn't the CBA have "validity" requirements for this kind of stuff?

Posted by: matucker | February 2, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Kozlov is easily among the least appreciated skaters we've got. Dude is great for what they ask him to do and for what he needs to do on the top line.

Posted by: Zornado | February 2, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Sa Town - I believe you will see Alzner in the line up tomorrow with someone on the d line sitting. Alzner was our 2nd best defenseman when poti was hurt. I think by the number of minutes he was getting, BB agrees.

Not sure what Clarks salary is, but hopefully its enough to get Alzner for Jersey tomorrow.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | February 2, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse


You saying that Clark would have unneeded surgery to take one for the team....?

Posted by: Steve_R | February 2, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Can we get the NHL to make a Clark jersey in hospital gown colors with a "Band-aid" Weagle on the shoulders?

Posted by: FFSEnough | February 2, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Man, he is a constant parade of bad luck, isn't he.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | February 2, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

just an observation from the previous threads RE: Brash-

don't know if some have noticed, but the physicality of NHL teams has ramped up over the past couple of years. while the Red Wings are certainly one model for teams to emulate, I am of the opinion that a team tough guy is a desirable asset in order to be a well rounded NHL team. that said, Brash is one of the best in the league.

i think it ironic that some folks posting here accuse Brash of dumb penalties and then in the next breath say he is not fighting enough. what do you think is going to happen when he is dropping the gloves every other play??

i think Brash has really polished up his game over the course of this season. and when he does NEED to drop the gloves, he generally comes out on top. i will take that any day of the week!!!!

Posted by: doughless | February 2, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

That really bites for Clark. If he didn't have bad luck, he'd have no luck at all.


I am not going to say we should bring up Alzner. In fact, I don't think that's the position we need to fill right now. I think we need to fill Clark's function of net crasher, physical player, not afraid to muck it up in the corners.

I'm thinking of Giroux or Aucoin. I just wish they were physically bigger.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 2, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

It is a tough break for Clarkie, but he hasn't performed since his 30-goal season playing with Ovie. Granted some of that is probably due to his injuries, but there are other players who could've been playing/getting experience.

He is one of the toughest players on the team, when healthy, but I think the Caps have better options. It's good in the sense that it will free up cap space, and good for Alzner. Our D is finally starting to shore up a little.

Posted by: ovys8 | February 2, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Even though Jurcina has been playing decently the last few games with Schultz there's little doubt in my mind that Jurcina and Alzner were a terrific pairing, and Jurcina played even better with Alzner as his D-partner.

The issue with putting Alzner in for Schultz is that we know how much this organization likes Schultz. That means either Erskine would sit and Schultz would get to play with Green, or Schultz gets a couple games off.

I think it'd be nice to have 7 healthy D on the team and rotate a bit. Erskine, when healthy, has been playing extremely well. I'd try to give him a game off now and again, and rotate Alzner through. Also, rather than having guys play with nagging injuries let them heal up. We want as healthy a team as possible come playoff time. (that sounded a bit too windjammersouth, eh?)

Posted by: Jeff_ | February 2, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

@ SteveR

Gives a whole new meaning to giving your all doesn't it! I wonder where they find the team doc who will do on demand surgery so we can knock a guy out of the lineup? What a HUGE loophole! May be Clark is actually having a face lift or lipo on his thighs! Hair transplant?

Posted by: majiksea | February 2, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse


And who do you sit? Because if you sit Jurcina or Shlutz or Morrison, you just lost any trade value for any of them.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 2, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse


I'm with you on this. Brash's play has dramatically improved this year. He's still brutal against the boards, his movements through the crease really clear out the area, and his stick handling is much better.

Some of those penalties he's taken are pretty lame - mostly guilty by reputation. I've been pretty impressed by his play in the past few months. Still gets mental cramps now and again, but I can't hold that against him. I get them too.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 2, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Frankly, I hate to be an a** to a very respectable teammate and captain but as I've been saying Clark's ship has totally sailed vis-a-vis this team. He missed last year's critical leap forward and he's been a TOTAL non-factor this season. Being a non-factor captain is not a good thing as he lacks the leverage to lean on guys like semin when their play is not up to snuff.

I was getting absolutely sick and tired of seeing Fehr scratched for Clark so I see this as a good development for the team on the ice.

All that said, Clark's a stand-up guy and I hope for full recovery.

Now lets call up Alzner and give alternating "rest" to Morrisonn and Erskine, Jurcina or Schultz depending on who's looking "tired" (btw, Jurcina has been a physical BEAST since Alzner came up earlier in the year)

Posted by: MTB7 | February 2, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about Chris, I feel for the guy, and it's a tough break. But it's time to give AO the "C". Nobody should feel sheepish at all, AO has earned it and has shown a long-term committment to the team. And, with much respect to Chris, you have to "be there" to be the "C".

Posted by: r4e11 | February 2, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Brash actually draws a lot of penalties at the end of a long shift because he usually gets drug down by the more skilled player from the other team that is frustrated that they just took a beating from Brash, Brads, and Gordon/Steckel. With that being said there are many many times where that 4th line has a very hard time getting it out of the zone.

IMO, unless BB is going to play Alzner, he won't come up just yet. 25-30 mins in the AHL is better than a healthy scratch in the NHL. I believe he will be used after the trade deadline because barring injury I see Morrison headed out of town. Can't sit a guy you want to move, gotta market him. He's playing pretty well, I just don't think he's in the future plans.

Now, all in all, I am a very happy Caps fan. I was worried about the boys because they started the second 41 in a rough manner. They are now 5-4-1 in the 10 games since the half way point. To draw 5 out of 6 points with two of your opponents being Detroit and Boston is great. The injured returned, and now they are beginning to gel.

Too bad for Clarkie, but I think we have seen who the young net crasher can be. None other the Fehr.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 2, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Too bad for CC. He's a good guy and was playing with a lot of vigor even with that bum wrist. We're going to be better on the wing with Fehr though and I'm hoping he loses his timidity along the boards. Ever since he hurt his shoulder throwing a hit he's stayed away from board battles for the puck. He hasn't however stayed away from the front of the net which is a good thing

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 2, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Been a rough road for el Capitan.

With Alzner up, I expect Erskine, Mo, Jurcina and even King Karl himself once in a while to be the healthy scratches. Mo is gone after this season unless he accepts a paycut. Erskine and Juice are sort of the same guy.

I know someone (or everyone) will want Schultz to sit, but he's our second best PKing defenseman and we simply can't afford to weaken the PK.

Posted by: ThisGuy | February 2, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Too bad for Clarkie, he has had some bad luck with the injuries for sure. When Clarkie goes on it even a possibility for Alzner to come up?

Anybody have access to the actual math?
Post up...

Posted by: pmoravek | February 2, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Alzner is coming up, Mo is getting traded. Mark my words!

Posted by: Leeguru | February 2, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

on the D front, kinda funny. there has been a glaring and noticeable lack of chatter about one Cap in particular: lumberjack! Erskine was taking a beating around here and various Caps blogs, but not som much of late. i think he has been one of the Caps most solid D-men since returning from his concussion.

that said, Juice and Alzner have also been notable. in my book, Schultz and Mo are our trades.

Posted by: doughless | February 2, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I like to see all the positive comments about Clarksie but I think sitting him down for the season is best for both sides. He obviously hasn't been the same guy from last year. And with Fehr showing some recent promise, I would think this opens the opportunity door more for him. Get well CCC and I hope you can come back next year!

Posted by: dsphvywght | February 2, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

As compared with sitting out most of the rest of the season as an active scratch, he may as well get his problem taken care of. I wonder if he'll ever play another game with the Caps though.

Posted by: poguesmahone | February 2, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse


I kind of agree. Mo for a Power fwd, butt in the crease kind of guy?

Posted by: SA-Town | February 2, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse


I'm assuming your comment "i think it ironic that some folks posting here accuse Brash of dumb penalties and then in the next breath say he is not fighting enough." is in response to one of my earlier posts.

I'd like to point out that there is a difference between taking dumb penalties and doing your job as an enforcer.

For example, in the game yesterday, Brashear took a 2 min penalty for holding in the offensive zone. The last thing you want your players doing, and especially your 4th line guys, is taking penalties in the offensive zone. Against Boston the other night, he took a bad cross-checking penalty. Neither holding infraction, and if I remember correctly, the cross-checking infaction, occurred while Brashear was acting in that moment as an enforcer, and with the Caps PK as bad as it is, these penalties hurt even more.

On the flipside, when he actually fights, he does his enforcing and the team doesn't go shorthanded because the other guy is in the box, too.

I'm not saying dude should be a permanent fixture on the pine, rather, he can be strategically scratched from time to time by BB when his skills are less likely to be needed.

That said, I can now picture Brash saying Liam Neeson's line from that new flick, Taken."

"But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career"

Posted by: cainoo7x | February 2, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

@ doughless
Gotta give a guy his props.
I used to be somebody that didn't have a bunch of faith in Erskine. But you nailed it Dude. He has been a force out there since his return.
I he has really played to his strengths and his minimized his mistakes. He is becoming a solid, physical, stay at home defenseman.
Now if we can just get Schultzie to play a little bit more physical, I think we'd have something there.

Posted by: pmoravek | February 2, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

@ cainoo7x

""But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career""

They should play that on the big screen at V-center after every one of his fights.

Posted by: pmoravek | February 2, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

@doughless: Erskine has been OK but he was a spectator on the Red Wings 2nd goal. He was looking below the goal line as a pass went by him to the slot, in turn he looked at the shooter and watched it go in. He was a red pylon rather than orange. Anyhow, no one talks of moving Erskine because the still has at least 2 years on his current contract. Not someone you can move when they are average at best. Morrison can be borrowed by a team that thinks they still have a shot and have no obligation to him if they choose not to sign. Morrison's not a bad defensman, IMO he will just be asking for more than he's worth to the Caps.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 2, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse


Brash is not the only guy guilty of taking dumb penalities or penalties while we are in the offensive zone. i have seen it happen many times this year by players other than Brash. Not excusing his lapses. as Greg S. mentioned earlier, Brash certainly gets some calls "by reputation."

Posted by: doughless | February 2, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Schultz, Mo, Nylander and Gordon are expendable. There are four acquisitions that could help this team:

1) acquire a big stay-at-home defenseman
2) get an Dale Hunter type of agitator (Cooke was that)
3) get a consistent work-horse of a goalie (I don't see this happening)
4) get rid of some of nyl's salary (for draft picks or a starbucks card)

Posted by: C-way | February 2, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Gotta disagree with you about Gordon.
Sure he's not a superstar, but you don't pay a superstar salary either.
He's reliable on the PK and in the faceoff circle.
I'd like to see him get to the front of the net more often but other than that I think he has role on this team.

Posted by: pmoravek | February 2, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse


I would leave Nylander out of your trade talk. He has a no-movement clause, and as long as he can stay in the line-up, this is his best chance of winning the cup.

He wont accept to be dealt.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 2, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

This makes me wonder if he'd be earning his keep if he were completely healthy.

I hate to lose the Clark who can score and play tough, but considering that that Clark hasn't been playing this year (hopefully, simply due to injury), I'd rather him get surgery and come back when completely healthy.

But this frees up some cap space. Alzner probably comes back tomorrow, and we can take on a large salary (if there's a Nyls trade, I mean) for the rest of the year.

I certainly wouldn't mind Kaberle/Bouwmeester for a month or so.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | February 2, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

jerry2178, im with you.

Too much of a coincidence with our salary cap situation and Alzner being down in the AHL. ... but on the flip side, perhaps this 'injury' explains his play of late and the 'healthy' scratches.

Posted by: ThatGuy2 | February 2, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

With the way the lines are currently set up, Nylander isn't expendable. Aside from constant concern of an injury to Fedorov (or Backstrom) and having to use a non-skilled-puck controller as a C, Nylander is actually playing with a couple players who appear to work well together.

It's only been 2 games, but the lines that were used in the game yesterday really called to me. I didn't like Semin and Ovechkin together, but swapping Kozlov for Semin balances the lines and more or less puts a sniper, playmaker, and a bigger body on each line. It's what allowed Clark to score 30 goals 2 years ago, and it allows each player to do what he does best.

Plus, it lets BB role 3 lines (with the occasional Brash line) and it is really going to wear down the opponents.

I hope these lines stay together for at least a few more games so they can continue to build chemistry.

Posted by: Jeff_ | February 2, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Kaberle is out for a month with a broken hand, and we can't afford Bouwmeester.

Posted by: DaleHunter | February 2, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

If we get a decent offer for Nylander he will go, or else he will watch every game from a seat next to Clark. He not much use to us on the ice and GMGM will play hardball with him if need be.

Posted by: majiksea | February 2, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

"Mark my words!"

it's been a while since i've seen this phrase - are you sure you want to go there?
is moving mo a trade deadline thing or do you see it happening sooner?

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 2, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

@doughless: I agree that Brash gets penalties just because he is Brash. From my vantage point at the stadium it looked more like he was being mugged when he was called for holding. Then again, they don't show many replays after the whistle on the jumbo tron. I still think Brash was robbed.

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 2, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

@C-way and SA-Town

I agree that Nylander isn't going anywhere with his NMC. But at the same time, I think the Caps may have found a solution this weekend with the line combinations of 8-91-25, 28-92-21 and 14-19-16? I think all three of those are pretty solid lines.

Posted by: cainoo7x | February 2, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Still don't get the Nylander bashing. He's a freakin' puck possession forward. The first goal against Detroit was his hard work, which ended with him sending it to the point for the blast. If we let Nylander go I hope it is to a team in the West because all of you Nylander bashers are going to realize just how good he is when he's playing against us. Mark my words (just kidding, you don't have to mark my words).

Posted by: fanohock1 | February 2, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

poor clarkie =( feel really bad for him. he just can't catch a break.

get well soon !

Posted by: jogabonito | February 2, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse


You make an interesting point.
If I were him I wouldn't want to go to Toronto or Florida at this point.
This could be the year for us and we are his best shot.

Posted by: pmoravek | February 2, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

That is a shame, but in the long run I think the team will benefit from his absence. Call up one of the Bears, I am not saying which one, but which ever one would fill our current need best. I like Alzner and Jurcina together, but Clark is a RW and I am not sure where management wants to go with the space. We've had to healthy stratch some forwards lately, so at the moment I think we should go for Alzner. And as for the "C" going to someone new...I am just not is not my call!

Posted by: NatyBG | February 2, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Not bashing Nyls...he's not a clear fit on our team, and we can certainly use the cap space. I agree that he shouldn't be traded to a team in-conference.

Nyls can play.....but his contract will cause problems for us down the road.

Posted by: C-way | February 2, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm confused. Why does everyone seem to think Alzner is coming up? Clark is a 3rd/4th line right wing. We need to replace him with a 3rd/4th line right wing. Unless Alzner has been moonlighting as a right wing without telling anyone - he won't be Clark's replacement.

If we can get a cheap (read cheap as Clarks Salary minus new right winger minus Alzner) replacement for Clark we may very well see Alzner up before the playoffs. However, is that the best move? Probably not.

With Clark's salary coming off the books due to LTIR - we have some cap space to play with at the trade deadline. Does anyone think this team couldn't use a proven difference maker in the playoffs? I'm thinking something similar to the Hossa trade made by Pit at the end of last year.

If GMGM really thinks this could be the Caps year - it's time to start looking at who might be available.

On a side note - if we start shopping Morrison - I wouldn't be supprised if start to get in to the Boumiester game. Just a thought - it's all dependent on us shopping Mo.

Posted by: patrone | February 2, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Because Alzner is our 3rd best defender.

Posted by: C-way | February 2, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I would sit any of the defenseman not named poti or green to keep alzner up. They can rotate a scratch between schultz, jurcina, erskine and morrison.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | February 2, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

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