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Clark: 'Skating will be the big test'

While I'm still waiting to hear back from folks who can provide me with an update on the Caps' negotiations with Mike Green and Cristobal Huet, I figured this would be a good time to catch you up on the status of captain Chris Clark.

Clark, of course, already has contract. But he's also got a bum adductor (groin) tendon that forced him to miss virtually all of last season.

He told me this afternoon that his injury continues to improve thanks to rehab and the help of a groin specialist. But he also acknowledged that it's not 100-percent yet.

"There's still a little bit of pain there," said Clark, who played only once after November 28. "I haven't been skating. Skating will be the big test. But off the ice, everything has gotten a lot stronger. I can do almost all the off-ice stuff pain free."

Since the end of the season, Clark has shuttled between his offseason home in upstate New York and Vancouver, where he's been rehabbing with Rick Celebrini, a physiotherapist who helped former Capitals center Brian Sutherby overcome a serious groin injury a few years ago.

All of Clark's rehab - so far - has been off-ice. In fact, with the exception of a couple of public skating sessions, Clark hasn't done anything strenuous on the ice since the April. But that will change next week when he returns to the rink and gradually begins to ramp up his skating, slowly reintroducing starting and stopping, cutting and taking shots.

"There's always something in the back of my mind because of what I went through last year," he said. "There were plenty of times when I thought I was ready, but I clearly wasn't. I'm going to make sure I'm 100 percent ready this time. I've got two-and-a-half months until camp starts."

"I'm not going to push anything this summer," he added. "I'm going to give it plenty of time to heal, and coax it along with rehab."

I'll check in with Clark again in about a month. He ought to know by then whether he'll be completely recovered in time for training camp.

As for the status of the negotiations with Huet, Green and everyone else who needs a contract, tomorrow is obviously a pivotal day (with free agency set to begin Tuesday at 12 p.m.) I hope to have some updates by tomorrow afternoon.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  June 29, 2008; 8:00 PM ET
 
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Next: Laich's Agent: 'We're talking' (Updated)

Comments

I've been wondering about Clark's groin.

Posted by: JSchon | June 29, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad Clark's being smart about this, and taking things nice and slow. Since we're on the subject of injuries, how are things looking for Pothier?

Posted by: DC FURY | June 29, 2008 8:47 PM | Report abuse

A little scary that Clarke still feels some pain. Hopefully he will be better soon ... :-|

JMU (from the previous):
I agree about Huet. I am now convinced that he wants to stay, I just think that he will use other offers as leverage in finalizing his deal here. Not necessarily even that he will want a match, just as much as he can get here. Ya know?

Posted by: Boo! | June 29, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

I've reached out to the Pothier camp. Haven't heard back yet.

Posted by: Tarik | June 29, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Man, can anyone imagine what our playoff run would have been like if Clark was in the lineup? He brings an element to this team that we missed. I know he wouldn't have stood for our goalie getting run in the early games. And when you captain lays down the law that says allot. Lets hope he can get back to the 30 goal player we know he is.

Posted by: TJ | June 29, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Boo!,
Yeah, as much as it pains me to entertain the thought of any of our UFAs going to another team, for them, it makes sense to use other teams' offers as leverage. I don't blame him one bit.
Why does it seem like everybody we could stand to see gone is under contract? Oh the phenomena of the "contract year". 4 & 23's contracts are up next year. Maybe they'll have big seasons to convince us all they deserve to stick around? Ouch, 9 other guys are also FAs next year. Fun!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | June 29, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

jmu_capsgirl-wow i hadn't noticed that with the possible exception of Gordon i would be devastated if any of our free agents left.

Posted by: DC FURY | June 29, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

With Clark on the RW of the 2nd line, the team improves greatly. Semin, Nylander (or Feds), and Clark to compliment OV, Backs, & Kovlov -- very nice. He is also awesome in front of the net on the pp. My prayers go out to Cap'n Clark.

Posted by: JIM | June 29, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Dear Captain Clark,

You groin will be in our thoughts and prayers. Get well soon.

...well ...awkward.

Seriously though. Get well. Rehab in Hershey and well all make the trip to cheer you if that is what it takes.

Posted by: Caps 423 | June 29, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Well since somebody else brought it up...

Say goodbye to Kozlov, Brashear, Johnson, Laing, Erskine and possibly Jurcina...

I'd expect Bourque, Lepisto, Steckel and Schultz to be kept if possible.

Thats my non-expert prediction...

Posted by: JSchon | June 29, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Does this mean we can't ask about Clark's groin for a whole month?

It's a sad day at the Capitals Insider blog.

Posted by: Jordan | June 29, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

@Jschon

I doubt the Caps will be saying goodbye to Kozlov if he has a 50+ point season in 2008-9 as he has had the last two years. OV likes him too much and he clicks on that 1st line. But that is next year.

Posted by: JIM | June 29, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

@JIM

I honestly think keeping Kozlov has a lot to with the development of Fehr. If Fehr breaks out this coming year, Kozlov becomes a salary and contract liability at age 34.

Posted by: JSchon | June 29, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

@JIM

Plus there is a fellow by the name of Mike Komisarek who is dominate S@H defender we could throw Kozlov's salary at him.

Posted by: JSchon | June 29, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to tell somebody in their early-mid 30s tomorrow they're a liability and see what happens... :-D The wonderful world of athletes.
Glad to hear Clark's still recovering. Can't wait for an update!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | June 29, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

@jmu

I was in my athletic prime for about 2 weeks in 1998, I'm now a liability at 36 in co-ed softball games.

However, I'm ranked 4th in the Corn-hole rankings, and 13th in beer pong rankings.

Posted by: JSchon | June 29, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Ahhh, the really important sports in life--tailgate Olympics. I have to confess to being unequivocally bad at Corn-hole, and mediocre at beer pong. I guess I'm like #43 in that I have my days. Mostly its just bad though. I'm pretty uncoordinated, so I'd say I've hit my liability stage for all sports already.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | June 29, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse

I was in my athletic prime in the late 70's. Then they came out with those newfangled digital pinball machines & my game went quickly south.

Posted by: uncatim | June 29, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse

2009/10 Washington Capitals

Ovechkin/Backstrom/Fehr
Semin/Fedorov/Clark
Flash/Laich/Bourque
FA/Steckel/Bradley

Green/Morrisonn
Komisarek/Alzner
Schultz/Lepisto

Huet/Varlamov

Healthy scratchers
A.Gordon/Perrault/Godfrey

Posted by: JSchon | June 29, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

@JSchon:

I hope I'm wrong but I fear, Fehr is a long way from regular 50+ point seasons, also while bigger, and possibly capable of being more physical, he's not as flexible and probably 3-4 years from having the pucksense and playmaking ability of Kozlov. If Kozlov has another 50+point season and gets a little more physical on the RW - Fehr or Flash could easily be the one dealt and Kozy could be in the lineup for 3 more years while the next crop of prospects mature. http://markb2260.blogspot.com/" rel="nofollow"> Can't wait till next season. LETS GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: Usually Frustrated Caps Fan | June 29, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

JSchon: Without Brashear, who is the muscle? While I know they have the spirit, I don't think Borque and Bradley have the size.

Posted by: uncatim | June 29, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

If you need muscle, then find a bruiser to play 4th line LW, they arent expensive.

Kozlov is a 6'4" ninny... He never has and never will use his size as a physical advantage, only as a reach. Kozlov only showed any type of scoring ability when on the 1st line with OV (shocker). When he was on the 2nd line he did very little.

Fehr only played 23 games last season.

Posted by: JSchon | June 29, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

None of our draft picks from this season? Dealing Poti and Nylander yet keeping Flash? I'm assuming we're trading them for Komisarek.
uncatim, http://hockeyfights.com/players/777/fightcard/reg2008
He doesn't seem to fight often, but losing seems to be rarer.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | June 29, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Dealing Nylander and/or Poti is needed to make room to re-sign Semin and entice Komisarek over to us. Plus you have make room for some of the younger cheaper talent we have.

Komisarek led the league in Hits and was top 3 in blocks.

Posted by: JSchon | June 29, 2008 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Keep in mind Fehr is still highly regarded as top tier prospect. 2nd in our system and the Caps are 6th in the league according Hockey Futures.

Posted by: JSchon | June 29, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

JSchon, jmu:

Thanks, I especially enjoyed watching Komisarek bullying Hartnell.

Posted by: uncatim | June 29, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

@JShcon - I agree. Only addition is Osala will crack that lineup IMO. Apparently he'll drop the gloves too.

Posted by: pch49 | June 30, 2008 12:45 AM | Report abuse

@JSchon
Kozlov is an interesting question. One part of the truth is this: when we lose, we lose the physical game first and then we lose the one on the scoreboard. This happened a lot last season, even after Gabby came to town. Koz as a player on the ice, and an element in the locker room isn't a part of the solution.

Another part of the truth is this: He's steady, he's exceptionally disciplined and he doesnt give the puck away. He had 18 PIM in 81 games, and by your (JSchon's) favorite standard he nabbed as many pucks as he surrendered (47-46). He also has really good vision. He plays the game clean and strong and he passes well. I'd take him over Bob Probert.

He's a certain kind of a player with a certain kind of a value. He has instincts for a passive passing game like Nikolishin had instincts for killing penalties. You can wish he had more diverse skills and try making him do other stuff, or you can just accept what you have and benefit from him where you can.

I think he played well with Ovie and I think they have some chemistry. I also think that these young guys could stand to learn something from his patient, steady presence; maybe his aura will reduce moronic penalties and keep the shinny to a minimum. Although if they learn those lessons too well, they will never be able to beat the flyers.

Do I think we should be paying $2.5M for these limited skills? I'm not sure about that. But I appreciate him as a certain kind of an asset.

Also, I think Fehr at his best is going to be a late model Dino Cicarelli. He's never going to have a 100 point season, and 50 might be career high but that's not where his value lies. I disagree that he is rising behind Kozlov. As far as current team roles go, I see him as rising behind Feds/Cooke. From what I've seen, Fehr is a forechecking pest and a screen setter. He and Koz couldn't have more different games.

@uncatim
"Without Brashear, who is the muscle?" you ask?
I ask you: "WITH Brashear who is the muscle?"
He had absolutely nothing to contribute in that flyers series. He was totally ineffective. Nobody was scared of him. He had no law to lay down. He was useless. I hope he's working on his jiu jitsu, because if he cant move bodies a lot better next season he's going to be a big obstacle to progress. He's here to do one job. Just one. And we've seen that he can't do it when it matters most. Ovie puts more fear in chumps than Brashear does. Brashear's a guy we can do without.

Posted by: Defense Wins Championships. | June 30, 2008 1:55 AM | Report abuse

Komisarek leaving Montreal is just unrealistic..

Just to say, Komi was the best friend of Cristobal in Habs' room (with Mark Streit)..

Posted by: CristoWALL | June 30, 2008 1:57 AM | Report abuse

Lest ye all forget, Nylander has a no trade clause in his contract. I don't think he is going anywhere as long as the Caps remain competitive.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | June 30, 2008 2:09 AM | Report abuse

Tarik,
Have you any info concerning whether Victor Dovgan ( Russian Defenseman ) will be in training camp this Sept.? I certainly hope so. IMHO he's as close, or closer to being NHL ready than Alzner.

Posted by: Puckguru | June 30, 2008 2:16 AM | Report abuse

Its 4:46am?

Komisarek becomes a UFA after this year. I'm sure Gainey will dp everything he can to retain him, however, the Habs will have 14 players become FA's that summer including, Tanguay, Koivu, Plakanec, Higgins, Kovalev, Bouillon, Dandenneault. This year they owe raises to Kostitsyn, Grabowski, Brisbois, Gorges, O'Byrne and Halak.

I'm just saying you make Komisarek a 4yr $16M contract, he'll come visit, I dont think MTL will have the money to make it happen. Someone else? Maybe.

Kozlov, has never done a thing in the playoffs. He shrinks up and turns into a 5'4" gutless finesse player, oh wait, he does that during the regular season. What drives me nuts about him is that he is so imposing, he has the things you cant teach, size and strength. 6'4" 235lbs? Are you kidding me? Check somebody, get in front of the net, drop the gloves?

Now, I kid because I love, Kozy does have talent, no question, but we have a team with a bunch of softies for the most part and just as important we have to be salary cap conscience. We owe raises to Semin and Backstrom in 2010/11. Whether anyone wants to hear it or not, thats more than $10M a year for the 2.

If trading Nylander isnt possible then it isnt possible. All I'm saying is that there are younger players coming up and expiring contracts for some veterans and impending contracts of core players that all need to be looked at and need players, like Komiserak, available for the right price. Anyone of us can see Kozlov for what he means to the team by himself, but you have to look at the big picture a couple of years in the future and make tough decisions about personnel that may be unpopular.

Posted by: JSchon | June 30, 2008 5:10 AM | Report abuse

TB is getting really aggressive. LA sending Visnovsky to EDM means no contract offer by EDM for Green.

Posted by: JSchon | June 30, 2008 5:18 AM | Report abuse

I bet something happens today ... at least one of them will probably sign. Mabye Laich or Gordo, but I think someone will sign. If not today, before the deadline tomorrow. Who's with me?!? :-)

Posted by: Boo! | June 30, 2008 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Defense Wins:

I think Brashear was held back against Philly -- I know I was screaming for action from him in that series. But I agree that if he cannot be effective or be used effectively there is no point in putting on skates.

Boo!:

I hope so, they can't all be looking for that much more.

Posted by: uncatim | June 30, 2008 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Tim:
I agree. I knew I could count on you!! ;-) So who's with us?!? :-D (BTW, are you in the DC metro area or NC or ... ???)

Posted by: Boo! | June 30, 2008 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Anybody know of a way to get text message alerts on NHL news, more specifically the signings? I would have class the entire Week of Chaos.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | June 30, 2008 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Boo!:

Frederick, Md for the last 11 years but DC suburbs from kindergarten until late 30's. Not a terrible commute from Frederick to Verizon Center or Giant Center in Hershey.

Posted by: uncatim | June 30, 2008 8:10 AM | Report abuse

@puckguru,

I'll check on Dovgan's status for camp today. email me later.

Posted by: Tarik | June 30, 2008 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Tim:
Sounds like you are living in a happy medium! :-) I don't suppose that you have made it to Bugsy's in Old Town lately, then? We need more hockey bars ...

Posted by: Boo! | June 30, 2008 8:22 AM | Report abuse

@Tarik

Thanks for the updates.

Just a thought here, but wouldnt the Caps front office prefer Nylander, Pothier, Clark stay quiet about their current injury status?

It would be a big deal for a RFA, and a UFA, to know if those three are going to have issues coming back next year. Then again, playing time can be a question as well if they DO know someone may be out next year.

Posted by: SA-Town | June 30, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Seems like TB signed Roberts and Malone pretty quickly... sure seems like some contact was made before PITT transferred their rights. Is this legal or am I just watching too many Oliver Stone movies?

Posted by: Dave in Alexandria | June 30, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

@Dave

Any team can offer to have exclusive rights to sign players before the signing period starts. Teams obviously that have players that other teams want and have no interest in signing them often times will make the initial contact.

Everyone in the NHL knew that Shero wasnt going to be able to keep that team intact.

Posted by: JSchon | June 30, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

With rights to Brian Rolston, TB is really making a play to be most improved. Sounds like we will have some competition in Florida afterall this year.

Posted by: CT Caps Fan | June 30, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

@ SA-Town

I thought Nylander was pretty much recovered in that he could have played in the worlds, but sat out just in case.

Since I brought up Kovlov, I think he fits well with Backs and OV on the top line for next year and maybe beyond. He handles the puck very well, great vision, great hands, great reach, near impossible to knock off the puck. He sets up OV very well & OV really likes Kov for his playmaking abilities. I wish he shot more because he can place the puck very well. His 18 pims and +28 are both very impressive at 2.5 mil. I don't see Fehr or Flash (who seems much more comfortable on the lw than the rw) replacing him adequately. Fehr's game does suit OV's because he can't set up well -- not his game. I see him as a 3rd line pest because Clark is the best rw for the 2nd line.

Posted by: JIM | June 30, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

What's all the hype about Dovgan -- his last year for stats (Caps) was in the ECHL (the basement) with 11 points, 0 +/-, and 95 PIMS. Sounds pretty undisciplined to me. Those are 2006-2007 numbers, so did he really improve last year?

Posted by: JIM | June 30, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

@JIM

Fehr is a goal scorer, period. Thats his game, thats why he was drafted 18th overall. 2 50 goal seasons in juniors. His game isnt close to being Cookes.

Fehr just has never had a chance to play with top talent. Now, I agree he may never develop, but we have better players to fill in at the pesky agitator role.

If he doesnt develop into the player a lot people think or want to think he can (ME), then dont waste your time with him.

Move on.

If Fehr was the RW on the OV/Backstrom line... I could see Fehr doing pretty well this year. 17G 29A +15

Posted by: JSchon | June 30, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

@Jim

Nylander may be ok on the injury front. I guess it's more Clark and Pothier's health that could make a big difference on the look of our team opening day.

Posted by: SA-Town | June 30, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Malone signed a 7 yr deal with TBL worth 31.5M

JSchon

I don't see the Caps trading Kozlov, Brashear, Johnson, Erskine and Jurcina anytime soon. Especially Koz, Brash and Johnson.

Koz is a playmaker. Playmakers aren't usually the physical beasties the team needs, but you need these types of players on the team.

Brash did have 2 points in the playoffs (1-1). He's already under contract for next year, and he is inexpensive. He's also a positive influence in the lockerroom. I think Coach B is learning how to use him, but he is getting older, and there are other younger pugilists out there.

We can't trade Johnson now either. We need a backup for Huet (I hope), and he too is already signed.

Erskine, Jurcina, Laing, Bourque, Lepisto, Steckel and Schultz are very replaceable, but also under contract.

I would hope that we limit our works in progress this year. I don't see a lot of upsides on any of the replaceables. I love what Laing did, but he just doesn't fit in with our needs right now.

I'm more worried about getting a few of the R/UFA's signed. Guys like Laich, Morrison, Huet, possibly Fedorov and Cooke. Fehr I'm ambivalent on. He has a qualifying offer. I'll see what the market asks for him and decide whether to take it or leave it. Then there's Green, see above ad nauseum.

Posted by: Greg S. | June 30, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

@ Jschon

I actually think that having a pest who can score goals on the Caps 3rd line would be an incredible assest. A 3rd line that can score and pester would put the Caps up a rung in trying to get the Cup. I want to see Fehr develop on a 3rd line and fill in for Clark or Kozlov when injuries or slumps occur to see how he'll do. I also think that Fehr can score goals on the 2nd pp unit as the screen/trashman like Clark on the 1st unit. I just think that deciding a line up for the year after next is rather premature. And where do you come up with these numbers???

Posted by: JIM | June 30, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Lightning also signed Rolston away from the Wild after pulling a similar move as they did with Pittsburgh.

Posted by: Greg S. | June 30, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

TB just got a LOT better in a day. I doubt they'll be the chumps they were last year. I see a three way race for the SE -- Caps, Bolts, and Canes. The Kittens and Birdies will be pretty terrible.

Posted by: JIM | June 30, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

@Greg S

Im not trading any of those players you've mentioned, they are all FA's after next season.

@JIM

I pull numbers out of thin air. Hoccus poccus ala kazaam, 17G's...Voila. All we are are arm chair GM's, speculators with opinions.

Do you remember early on and mid way through the season, this board was complaining that we only had 1 scoring line? Kozlov was centering the or playing wing on the second line. He was very ineffective.

I'd rather develop a top of the line prospect at $1M, the future, than play a 34 year old @ $2.5M,not the future.

But thats just how I roll.

Posted by: JSchon | June 30, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Its also very naive to think players arent drafted to take the place of current older more expensive players. Fehr was drafted to eventually be 2nd or 1st line right wing. Alzner was drafted to be a top 2 defensemen. Varlamov was drafted to be a #1 goalie. These players do develop into what you drafted them for by not playing them or playing them in the wrong position. Fehr is only 23, believe it or not.

Posted by: JSchon | June 30, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

btw -- Malone's contract set the market a little high I think -- he's good, but 7 yr/31mil good? I don't know. Thanks TB for screwing up resigns around the league.

Posted by: JIM | June 30, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

If you ask me, Tampa Bay over paid Malone by about a million per season over the life of the contract.

I'm with JSchon on Kozlov. I don't see us retaining him after this season is over.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | June 30, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Hey posters! Still worried! Nervously typing with exclamation points! Go Caps!

Posted by: Jordan | June 30, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

If either Flash or Fehr (or someone else) develop to be a 50 point scorer and mesh well with OV and Backs, great. I haven't seen it yet, so a 50+ point veteran for a relatively cheap 2.5 seems more likely. If Kov goes seriously south next year, then he's UFA bait for some other team. Again, I doubt he will.

Posted by: JIM | June 30, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

@JIM

Kozlov is ours this year, beyond this year you have to look at upcoming contracts, namely Backstrom and Semin. Would you sacrifice not signing either one of those players to re-sign a 34 year old 50 point guy? BTW there were 106 players with 50 points or more last season. 50 point guys arent rare, 80 point guys are.

Posted by: JSchon | June 30, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

By Sam Carchidi Inquirer Staff Writer

Recently acquired Steve Eminger, expected to be one of the Flyers' top six defensemen, signed a one-year contract yesterday, general manager Paul Holmgren announced.

"Steve is a young two-way defenseman that will fit in nicely with our group," Holmgren said.

Eminger, 24, was acquired with a third-round pick - it turned out to be goalie Jacob DeSerres - June 21 during the NHL draft from the Washington Capitals for a first-round choice (defenseman John Carlson).

"I'm happy to get the deal worked out and excited about being part of the organization," Eminger said. "I can't wait for the start of the season."

As for Eminger, the Flyers are hoping a change of scenery will jump-start his career. In 212 regular-season games over parts of five seasons with Washington, Eminger tallied six goals, 37 assists and 221 penalty minutes. He originally was selected by the Capitals in the first round (12th overall) of the 2002 draft.

"Sometimes, you need a change," said Eminger, who excelled in the Ontario Hockey League, "and I'm looking forward to it."

Eminger often was a healthy scratch for Washington last season, but Holmgren said he expects him to be one of the six regular defensemen. "That's pretty encouraging, but after this year, you never take anything for granted," Eminger said. "It doesn't matter what people say. If you don't perform in training camp, the job's not yours. So I'm focused on my training this summer."

Posted by: King Huet | June 30, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Emmie:
The 6-foot-2, 212-pounder, a potential restricted free agent, signed for $1.2 million, a source said.

Posted by: King Huet | June 30, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

This really has no point...that said, let's just pretend that Clark is healthy and that Feds and Laich resign.

OV/Backstrom/Kozlov
Semin/Nylander/Clark
Fehr/Fedorov/Laich
Brash/Steckel/Bradley

Obviously there need to be some major re-signings on the back end of things, but that is an impressive mixture of offense, defensive responsibility, grit and toughness.

Posted by: Jeff | June 30, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

@King Huet

You know why he's going to be on the ice for Philly?

Cause he's cheap.

Posted by: JSchon | June 30, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

@Jeff

I would flip flop Laich and Fehr but those lines look solid to me.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | June 30, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

What I want to know is - all the teams know that McPhee will counter any offer - so, why would those owners even bother with Green?

What if a team offers him 8 mil? I doubt the Caps will match that...

Are the Caps prepared if Green is not signed???

Tomorrow is a pretty big day. I am pretty confident in Huet... Green - if he was smart, he would stay. Laich, I hope he stays! Feds... he seems to want to stay, but will he? And Morrison - I don't see him leaving any time soon.

Posted by: 828 | June 30, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

On Kozlov: I agree with Jschon on this; the guy is an enormous teddy bear. Ovechkin has proved that any semi-decent right wing you put on his line will get some pts. If he doesn't play the 1st 20 games of 0809 like a first line player (see Carolina, Detroit et al) then bump him down in favor of someone who will play physically; they'll still get the pts.

On Fehr: This year is his chance. He's healthy, talented and most importantly a right wing. We have Clark as a talented RW and thats it (so far); Clark's career is in question. Sutherby never bounced back right. Fehr falls on the GM. He opted to not take Getzlaf who was still on the board in favor of 'his man' (Getzlaf was picked by a grinning Burke right after Fehr). Sure thing vs mystery. Mystery had better win. He's got my support till i pull it. Not like that matters...

on Brash: the Flyers series isn't enough to judge on, but he did have a goal and an assist and played rough and tumble all the way. He did not disappoint me. Bradley Stecks and Brash were great together. If you want to blame someone for running the goalie, blame the refs. Philly could bowl ours over, Detroit couldn't touch Fleury's pads with a stick blade.

Either way, teams dont try half the junk with Brash on our team that they would if he wasn't playing, mark my words. There might be guys that will drop em with Brash, like Cote, but not often. THe guys that give it a shot regret it and the next time out I dont see them going after Don. THe guy is freakishly strong. The intimidation is him just being there. Half his fights are won without fighting them. THose that dont understand that will, when he's gone.

Posted by: oo7 | June 30, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Juice is our only physical dman, 3rd on the team behind Ovie and Cooke in hits. If he stops passing the puck to the other team, he should be here for a while. Poti will be more expendable than Juice imo.

Posted by: pch49 | June 30, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I like Brash. He was re-sign to a 1 year extension for this year. Great move. No long term contract, he is old and his skill set can be replaced with a younger goon. If he has a similiar year this year as last, maybe another 1 year contract would be ok.

Posted by: JSchon | June 30, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

@828

"What I want to know is - all the teams know that McPhee will counter any offer - so, why would those owners even bother with Green?"

McPhee also said he wasn't impressed with Anton Gustafson in the pre draft press conference. I am sure McPhee wanted to try and scare some teams off, but if a team is serious about signing Green, they're going to come in as high as possible to force us to walk.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | June 30, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

12 pm i though it was am, oh well, wait wait wait wait wait wait......

Posted by: Anonymous | June 30, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

According to Scott Burnside, ESPN.

"Ryan Malone was expected to garner in excess of $5 million per season on the free-agent market, which opens Tuesday; but after acquiring his signing rights from Pittsburgh on Saturday, the Lightning managed to extend the term to seven years and lower the annual cap hit to $4.5 million annually to lock up the forward."

Posted by: JSchon | June 30, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I haven't been checking the boards lately, so sorry if this has already been discussed.

Do we know who all will be in attendance at the prospect camp next week? Is it everyone in the system? or just the new picks and undrafted FA's?

Posted by: MV Caps Fan | June 30, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Makes sense... I just wish Green would take a deal and stop messing around. It would be interesting to see what McPhee offered him - 3 years... 3 mil? Similar to Semin's contract... 4 mil? I know players are all about the money, but if they were smart, they would suck it up and live off 3 or 4 mil a year (must be hard for them) and have their team be successful by signing other great players.

I guess the story on the Caps website says we have 20 mil left over to pay Green, Huet, Morrison, Feds, and Laich... if Pothier is not physically able to play, that number will increase.

So:

5 mil - Green
5 mil - Huet
2 mil - Feds
1.5 mil - Laich
1.5 mil - Morrison

That leaves 5 mil left for some spending money and some new ice... maybe even a new Credit Card system for the Verizon Center... that 1980 system that always breaks needs to go.

Granted, the Cap is based on the average amount of money paid each year for the entire life of the contract.

Posted by: 828 | June 30, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

We need Huet bad, but 5M? That's too much. I'd rather get Conklin then.

5M for Green... some of you will think it's a bargain, I think it's too much.

We need to save some money for a good D - Commodore or even Orpik.

On the other hand I'd give 3M to Feds w/o thinking about it twice.

Good thing I'm not a GM huh? haha.

Posted by: mauree | June 30, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

828

I would give Feds $3mm to increase the chance to keep him here and if he wants 2 years, have the second year go to $2-2.5mm.

With $4mm left over, you can try to get a good stay at home D.

Just my 2 cents worth.

Posted by: CT Caps Fan | June 30, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

BB won a Calder Cup with his players and his style of play. Are we now re-thinking the hiring of BB? Why are we trying to dictate how he coaches by changing the personnel on the team? His style of coaching requires high risk high reward tolerance, are we no longer tolerant? Let Green go, get Orpik? Conklin? You have to be kidding.

And yes Mauree, thank goodness you're not the GM. Same applies to me.

Posted by: JSchon | June 30, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

The blueline isnt as horrible as everyone thinks. We have young pieces that improved throughout the year. We just barely made the playoffs last year... I have news for everybody, we werent going to win the SC last year even with Orpik on our team. Baby steps people.

Playoffs...
Compete for Conference Championship...
Make it to the Finals...
Win the Cup...

It aint going to happen over night...

Posted by: JSchon | June 30, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Feds... $3M? Thats crazy talk.

Posted by: JSchon | June 30, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

This team under BB wouldve had the 3rd best record in the east if he had started the season as coach, I think 103 points. 103 points, with shaky goaltending for most of the year, a young defense, Nylander out half the year, Clark out most of the year, Pothier out most of the year, the Flash experiment, Semin out 22 of the first games... Am I forgetting anything?

Posted by: JSchon | June 30, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

@JSchon - good posting and great intuitiveness - the one thing you emphasized that is so true about Kozie and I want to say it again is his "Consistency'.....That is something we have always lacked in my opinion, so I think we sacrifice maybe some toughness for a guy who will play the same every game. So what if he doesn't step up in the playoffs, he had point streaks last season whether it be assists or goals when others couldn't get themselves out of the fog. We have to remember that you never have to motivate Kozie and he makes passes no-one in the league could or would even attempt except for maybe Nylander - he makes veteran "D"-men look rookie-ish night in and night out - by playoff time he is so tired from getting us there, that I feel some of the young guys need to step up with their youth and shine. I mean honestly it is tough to be steady Kozie all season and expect even more in the playoffs, that is Ovie, Backie, Greenie, Laich's jobs, to step up and hammer it home. Kozie's job is to pick up a game winner here and there and create the scoring opportunities, not carry the team, even Feds is responsible to score game winners and push the younger guys. We need these pieces of the puzzle to achieve the ultimate goal - don't give up on them just yet. I agree JSchon - he is and always will be a different player, but a good one at that, he will never move mountains but that does not mean we don't need him!

Posted by: Greenie | June 30, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

828

My guess is:

4.5 - 5 mil - Green Target (4.8)
4.5 - 5 mil - Huet (4.6)
2 +bonuses mil - Feds
1.5 mil - Laich
2 - 2.5 mil - Morrison (2.5)

Posted by: Anonymous | June 30, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

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