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Hanlon Fired

Coach Glen Hanlon was fired this morning with the Caps off to their worst start in 26 years and mired in last place in the NHL with 13 points in 21 games.

The final straw, it seems, was last night's wretched 5-1 loss to Atlanta at Verizon Center, where the Thrashers scored five consecutive goals and the Caps appeared incapable of doing anything about it. The defeat was Washington's fifth straight and ninth in 10 games.

Hershey Coach Bruce Boudreau will replace Hanlon on an interim basis.

Boudreau, who coached seven of the current Capitals when they were members of the Bears, is on the ice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, presiding over his first practice. He'll make his NHL debut tomorrow afternoon in Philadelphia against the Flyers at Wachovia Center.

No timetable has been set for naming a coach beyond Boudreau's interim status.

The 52-year-old Toronto native led the Bears to back-to-back championship round appearances in the American Hockey League, winning the Calder Cup in 2005-06. He coached nine seasons in the AHL and played parts of eight seasons with the Maple Leafs and Blackhawks, recording 70 points in 141 games as a forward.

Hanlon, meantime, leaves with a record of 78-123-9-29. His assistant coaches, Jay Leach and Dean Evason, have been retained.

The players found out about the change this morning. But anyone who attended Hanlon's postgame press conference last night knew something was coming down.

GM George McPhee said he made the decision late last night during a phone call with Owner Ted Leonsis and Team President Dick Patrick. He informed Hanlon early this morning and called Boudreau around 7 a.m.

Update:Boudreau has only been on the ice for about 40 minutes, but I can already point out some major differences in how he deals with players. First of all, he's a yeller. He's barks encouragement and instructions constantly during drills -- something you rarely heard from Hanlon, who was more reserved on the ice.

The players also have to race over to the eraser board when Boudreau blows his whistle. The last player to the huddle is forced to skate a lap. Just saw Erskine do one.

Update:Here are some quotes for you to digest before digging into that turkey:

Ovechkin said: "Of course I am surprised. I really like him, he give me a lot. It's hard for him, hard for the team. It's life. I've never been in this situation in my life, with coach getting fired. If team lose, guy who will be fired is coach. If we win, nobody talking about coach. If we lose, everyone talks about coach."

Of Boudreau, Ovechkin said: "He's more offensive coach. He tell us shoot the puck more, move quickly."

Clark said: "I'm disappointed, I take a lot of the responsibility on myself as one of the older guys on the team to come through for a great guy like Glennie. I'm taking this really hard."

As for Boudreau's style: "Everything is to try to force the other team to make a mistake. You don't give them time, the liberty of skating with the puck. You want to make them make a bad pass."

Kolzig said: "I left Glen a message and told him I was sorry, sorry that we weren't successful. Everyone's got to look themselves in the mirror and get it done.

"We had a meeting about all the mistakes we made against Florida the other day. It was pretty evident what we were doing wrong, and we went right back out in the second period yesterday and did the exactly the same thing."

Update:Here are my favorite quotes from Boudreau and McPhee:

Boudreau said: "It's a new voice. I'm fairly demanding. I may smile and joke with them, but if they don't do what's needed and what's necessary, they are going to have to pay the price. From the top player to the bottom player, you've got to be accountable."

McPhee said: "For the most part this year, I thought we were a team that played hard but wasn't getting rewarded. But the last few games, it looked like we had lost the team, and you can't ignore that.

"He knew as soon as he saw me this morning," he added, referring to Hanlon. "He said, 'I wouldn't have known what to do today.'"

Update: Here's Boudreau's first shot at the forward line combos:


The key here, obviously, is that Backstrom is sharing time on the fourth line. Also, Semin started practice but left the ice early, presumably because of an issue related to his wonky right ankle.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 22, 2007; 10:32 AM ET
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Next: Semin Out Against Flyers


holy f-ing schit, this probably should have happened before the season was HOPELESS!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | November 22, 2007 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Okay, but I still think the long-term replacement should be selected by The Donald on the next edition of 'The Apprentice: Hockey Edition.'

Posted by: Kurt | November 22, 2007 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Wow. I have mixed feelings...thrilled that the Caps have finally done it, worried about how the Bears will handle losing Bruce.

Posted by: Tess | November 22, 2007 10:37 AM | Report abuse

I feel sorry for him, but it's a part of their job. I hope he'll get a new job soon. He IS a nice guy.

Posted by: alexovetjkin | November 22, 2007 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad, but Boudrdeau?

Another AHL coach... *sigh*

Posted by: HolyOlie | November 22, 2007 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Some disgruntled fans booed and chanted "Fire Hanlon" during the game.

If Washington management opted to make a coaching change, Boudreau would be considered a logical candidate for promotion to the job. Thus, he's in an uncomfortable situation.

"I don't even want to think about it," Boudreau said. "Glen is a good friend of mine. I told my wife last night, I want them to turn it around so bad. George [McPhee] has been tremendous to me.

"I'm a team person. We're a team, and Glen's always said we're a team. I wish them the best."

Posted by: alexovetjkin | November 22, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Finally! Too bad it's 2-3 weeks too late.

Hanlon seemed like a nice enough guy, but he showed no emotion and apparently had no clue how to right the ship other than pulling linemates out of a hat.

I was waiting for 6 7/8 to play right wing on the first line.

I would've preferred an NHL coach as replacement and don't see much upside of Boudreau changing the team's perception of itself or getting many wins.

Now replace the GM with someone who has a clue.

Posted by: Joe B. | November 22, 2007 10:46 AM | Report abuse

About 30 games to late, mealing should have been done before the end of last season....but better late than it to late or are the playoff out of the question?

Posted by: Ri ch | November 22, 2007 10:46 AM | Report abuse

About 30 games to late, meaning should have been done before the end of last season....but better late than it to late or are the playoff out of the question?

Posted by: Ri ch | November 22, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Interim coach ... please no permanent AHL coach. Happy Thanksgiving and good riddance Hanlon! McFailure, do DC a service and get lost too!

Posted by: dossier | November 22, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

To everyone complaining about Boudreau, he's just an interim coach at this point. He could stick around for 2 weeks or for the rest of the season. I think a lot of it will rest on whether McPhee sticks around (hopefully not as he's the real architect of this mess). If a new GM comes in, he'll probably want to pick his own guy anyway, so I wouldn't be too upset with Bruce as coach on an interim basis.

Posted by: OgieOgelthorpe | November 22, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

It is bittersweet. As one of those aforementioned disgruntled season ticket holding fans, and a person who has talked with Hanlon numerous times and felt like he was a real quality human being, ultimately November's slide proved too much to bear.

Sorry Glen, but the team comes first. Best of luck to you. Go Caps!

Posted by: Eugene Firsow | November 22, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

1/2 right. Now get rid of the bigger problem holding them back, gmgm. Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by: PA Caps Fan | November 22, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I feel for him, but he will be OK. He's got a contract that will keep him in curry for awhile.

I hope they make a concerted effort to find the RIGHT coach, not just the one most available. Boudreau has never had to deal with an elite player, let alone 6 or so. This is why I don't like them coming straight from AHL into NHL without first passing through an Assistanceship first.

OK, guys. Expect more of the same - ie. losses - until Boudreau has this figured out.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 22, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Caps FAILED at addressing the REAL problem.

Could have easily left "hugs" in place and FIRED McPhee, players are waiting for that

Posted by: Chief | November 22, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Ri ch...

The Caps probably have to hit 95-odd points to make the playoffs. There are 61 games left, and we have 13 points, so let's say they need 82 points from the rest of the season in those 61 games.

They'll have to go on a tear, that's for sure. I won't say it's entirely too late, but it'd take something like the Rangers picking up Avery last year (and their insane tear for the rest of the season).

Posted by: Kurt | November 22, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Why are we the only NHL team that doesn't hire NHL coaches? Hasn't Ted learned that coaching is not the place to be frugal. One can only HOPE that GMGM gets canned tomorrow and the new NHL level GM brings in a real NHL coach

Posted by: sean | November 22, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Too late.....this is GM/GM's mess that even the coach Scotty Bowman could fix !!
He should have the 1st to go
Good Luck Glen

Posted by: wade | November 22, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse



Posted by: Chief | November 22, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

One down, one to go. McPhee's time is up as well. Get him out of here and let's start over. Another rebuild, whatever it takes. McPhee is the biggest reason this team sucks so bad, so how much longer of him do we have to deal with? Another 10 years?

Posted by: n..n | November 22, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Best of Luck Hanlon!
Here's hoping you land on your feet in a hockey town.

You were NOT the problem, but the owner (fat man in a bathtub) had to do something.

Just another one of his plans....I think we're on 8 now!

Posted by: caphcky | November 22, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

"Mass hysteria" indeed, Mr. Leonsis. Mass hysteria indeed.

Posted by: Netsy | November 22, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

WTF? Couldn't GMGM have asked Waddell for Hartley's phone number after last night's game? I guess GMGM wanted another puppet, grateful to have an NHL job coach, eh?

Posted by: leetee1955 | November 22, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

They had to do it. Noone on the team was listening to anything Hanlon said anymore. But this is just what the team does. Fire one coach bring in another minor leaguer to take over and under pay him and let him go. I know there isn't much out there right now, but this just shows they really didn't have a plan.
The scary thing is that GM is the one that probably called the shot which means he is still in control. Ted doesn't know the first thing about Hockey so he has to rely on someone and unfortunately it's GM.

Posted by: capfan1 | November 22, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

So they fired hanlon on thanksgiving??? PR fiasco. Reason the organization stinks because even whey they should make a move they do it at the wrong time. Why not do it last week or wait til this weekend?Unreal. Reporters that cover the team must be so happy. Caps you are crap.

Posted by: Stick | November 22, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Good Luck Glenn, in your future endeavors.
It's always sad to see a coach leave that you've spent so much time pulling4.

I'm glad the word "interm" is being used, so that the organization doesn't make any rash coaching decisions.

It also crossed my mind that McPhee would do a Waddell impersonation, and jump behind the bench. And why not, they are HIS players.

Posted by: Hattrick23 | November 22, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I don't know Bruce Boudreau well, but a shake was needed, and I'm willing to give him some rope.
A coach with NHL and especially playoff experience maybe was better. But coaches aren't born that way, they become that way, and hopefully Bruce will turn things around.

Well... it was a little too late, but at last it happened. I can't help but be optimistic, at least something has been done.


And happy thanksgiving all :)

Posted by: mauree | November 22, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I wanted Hanlon gone as well, but on Thanksgiving?!?! Bad form.....

Pulheeezze hire a real experienced coach who can lead, teach and game plan.....

Posted by: chris laRRy | November 22, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Ted's a turkey.

Ok, not really, but it seemed fitting given the day. I was trying to get my section to chant "Fire Hanlon" at the Tampa Bay game two weekends ago. If only that had caught on then, maybe we could have turned things around earlier. (In all seriousness, I hope Ted didn't decide to 86 Hanlon after hearing the crowd demand his head. Pretty weak if that was a factor, but I am starting to wonder about the guy.) Let's hope this isn't TL, TL.

Posted by: old time hockey | November 22, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Let's give thanx for Tarik! In a town whose print and broadcast outlets consistantly marginalize hockey and its fans we are truly blessed to have such an intrepid NHL reporter. This is the only place where the voice of the fan is heard and where we can communally commisserate. Without Tarik, the Capitals Community would be reduced to screaming at our televisions or radios.

Posted by: leetee1955 | November 22, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Canadians don't celebrate thanksgiving, so I really don't think that's an issue. They couldn't afford to give away 4 more points over the weekend.I would assume the search is on for a GM now and then that GM will pick a coach.

Posted by: sean | November 22, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

This is clearly Ted's way of giving McPhee one more chance. If Boudreau rights the ship George gets to say "See the players weren't the problem" and if Boudreau fails McPhee gets axed and the new GM gets to pick his own guy. I agree with everyone else. Fire McPhee today and let the new guy pick his coach. As we've seen Ted is a slow learner.

Posted by: eric | November 22, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Not all of the blame can be laid on GMGM, although he is more to blame than Hanlon, since he was under orders from Ted to get rid of Jagr, Lang, Gonchar, etc. The NHL is a skills league and the Caps just don't have enough skilled players. Guys like Pettinger just don't get it done; getting rid of Suts was a baby step in the right direction. Backstrom will continue to improve, but all NHL teams are looking for skilled skaters and scorers so it's going to be a while before the Caps will be a serious contender.

Posted by: Ted's Blame | November 22, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I forgot to say "Happy Thanksgiving!" Tarik & fellow Caps brethren & brethrenettes!

Posted by: Hattrick23 | November 22, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I know Cannucks dont't celebrate TDay, but the team is in US, Ted is from US, its about PR. And when its been obvie they needed to can Hanlon for 4 weeks (or earlier...) doing it today is just bad.....

Posted by: chris laRRy | November 22, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Hanlon is Canadian. His Thanksgiving was in October.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 22, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I think the reason GMGM still has his job is because he is working on some trades. Word around the league (Pierre Maguire)is that the trade talks have picked up significantly in the last few weeks.

On the other hand, I'm a Cap fan, and I'm nut sure I want GMGM to be the one pulling the trigger on any deals right now.

Posted by: Red Dragon | November 22, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I was in the "fire Hanlon" camp as well.
But the timing is indeed questionable.
Unless they are really trying to make a statement. That's the only reason I can think of for doing it on Thanksgiving.
(and it's a stretch at that)

By the way...Canadians will celebrate pretty much anything if given the opportunity ;-)

Posted by: pmoravek | November 22, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Hallelujah!!! Happy Thanksgiving, indeed!

Couldn't have gotten better news this morning. Thank you, Tarik! (And Teddy Bear!)

Posted by: SLM | November 22, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

even though it didn't work out, it was always neat having a guy around, who will go down in NHL history as allowing Gretz's first NHL goal.

Posted by: Hattrick23 | November 22, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse


Any response from the players? What was the mood after the announcement? Did it happen before today's practice? Who conducted practice, if so, and was there any enthusiasm from the team, at all? Will you be giving any of your personal opinions?

Happy Thanksgiving to you. Please enjoy your day!

Posted by: olemiss84 | November 22, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Now McPhee & Patrick need to go. I hope Ted is searching for replacements for these two. As I stated before, these guys had their chance and are just as responsible, if not more, as Hanlon was. The organization needs new leadership from the top down. Otherwise, NHL players will start looking at Caps like the baseball players look at the O's - free agents will take less money to go to the better organizations/teams.

A reporter needs to interview Bobby Holik and ask him what the players think of the GMGM. Here's his quote from last night, "They played like they wanted to get their coach fired," Holik told members of the visiting media. "But that"s another story."

I hope Ted realizes that letting Hanlon go is ONLY part of the solution to make the Caps very competitive.

The Caps draft picks and trades have not been as good as advertised. This is Patrick's & McPhee's territory not Hanlon's. Past blogs have detailed the lack of sucess. Some selections/trades have panned out, most have not. Their draft/trade rate is equal to the Caps penalty killing percentage.

Let the new president hire the new gm, & let the new gm hire the permanent coach. The Caps will not be in the playoffs this year but lets do this "RIGHT" and rebuild "The Front Office" NOW.

Glen, I wish you well in the search for your new job. I'm sure you'll land one soon. You're a good man and I'm sure you have heard that from many people. Unfortunately, you hit a wall go couldn't get the team to climb over. Happy Trails & Good Luck!

Posted by: Comcast Sux | November 22, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I wanna second the earlier post that gave thanks to Tarik! Great work man, my fave beat writer in the sports section hands down!

Have a great day!!!

Posted by: chrislarry | November 22, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Took long I can devote my wishbone wish to something else.

Posted by: keef | November 22, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I agree firing Hanlon on Thanksgiving was not ideal. But the team plays Friday and Saturday and with the way thing have gone I'm sure they wanted a new coach before those games.

Posted by: dmg | November 22, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Best of luck to you coach Hanlon.

Hopefully our guys start playing like their as@@s are on fire.


Posted by: Steve R | November 22, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Crap...just realized that wish needs to go to keeping Juice on Phone Booth ice.

Posted by: keef | November 22, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Hanlon seems like a nice guy and I wish him well but this move had to be done.

Posted by: Brandon | November 22, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Beautifully said:

"So they fired hanlon on thanksgiving??? PR fiasco. Reason the organization stinks because even whey they should make a move they do it at the wrong time. Why not do it last week or wait til this weekend?Unreal. Reporters that cover the team must be so happy. Caps you are crap."

The Caps lack of class and poor decision-making show up one more time....

Posted by: sj9096 | November 22, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Let's not be too hasty in undermining what Boudreau's potential is with these guys. After all, Gordon, Laich, Steckel, Fleischman, Green and Schultz (and Fehr who singlehandedly tied and won game 7 in OT against the Pirates to send the Bears on to the Calder cup finals) have all played for him before. For 7 or 8 of them, it will be like coming home.

Bruce's resume is not unlike Hartley's with Calder wins etc, and was let go by the Monarchs only to take the Bears all the way in his first year with the Bears.

I wish Bruce all the best to right this ship and restore our faith in our team!

Posted by: dogdaze | November 22, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone name a trade where the Caps got the better end of the Deal? You dont win them all, but you should win some once in a while. None of the players the caps traded away for what ever reason, what came back for all that talent. One last question, who in Juniors is available as the first pick in the draft, as it appears the team is well on the way there now. I wonder how Dale Hunter would do as a GM. He owns a junior team that has to draft and appraise talent. It appears he can coach as well as his team turns out NHL players on a regular basis.

Posted by: Ri ch | November 22, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm definitely anxious to see what Bruce can do here...I agree that it would have been nice to get a proven veteran behind the bench (and we may) but any change is a good change right now.

His AHL accomplishments speak well and he apparently can get talent to work together...let's see if he can do it at the next level.

Go Caps!

Posted by: keef | November 22, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Backstrom is sharing time on the fourth line shows that another clueless idiot was hired. Fire the AHL coach Boudreau!

Posted by: dossier | November 22, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Well that simply had to happen, Thanksgiving or not.

McPhee needs to be asked whether this was his decision, or whether Ted told him to do it.

Boudreau (sp?) has had a lot of success with Hershey, and from what I've seen he seems like quite a character. I'd love it if he can string together some wins, but I still think there needs to be a change to the "system" -- we need a more aggressive, offensive-minded style. Robbie Ftorek is still out there.

Oh and if the team doesn't win with Boudreau or some other coach, that would HAVE to be the final straw for GM.


Posted by: Oneal | November 22, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

bench Backstrom and keep the other lines the same?!?! What a joke.

Flash sucks. Get over it Bruce. Move on

Posted by: sean | November 22, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone calling Pat Quinn? How about Larry Robinson? Bengt Gustafsson?

Posted by: AGP1962 | November 22, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I can name trades where the Caps got the better end of the deal:

- the trade for Jagr. It wasn't the trade that was the problem, it was the extension. The Caps got the best offensive player in the NHL (at the time) for 3 guys who did nothing in the long term

- Adam Oates to Philly for 1st, 2nd, 3rd round picks and Ouellet. Ouellet didn't pan out, but Oates player 14 games for the Flyers

-Jurcina for a 4th round pick. We'll see how Jurcina does but the reality is that a 4th round pick almost never amounts to anything.

- In the fire sale the Caps picked up Jared Aulin, Kris Beech, Shaone Morrisonn, Brooks Laich, Tomas Fleischmann, three first round picks, three second round picks and a fourth round pick, which is pretty good given the big contacts Jagr and Lang had (heading in labor uncertainty) and the fact that it had to be done mid-season so the Caps had less time to try and squeeze as much as they could out of trade partners

Posted by: dmg | November 22, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Steck's been playing well but he should be on the fourth with Nick manning the third (or second).

Someone needs to teach Nylander to shoot so he can pass that knowledge down to Nick.

Posted by: keef | November 22, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse


You are dead on. GMGM is now singing "Under Pressure"

Posted by: Steve R | November 22, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

It was high time. Who cares if it's Thanksgiving or some other holiday. No way Hanlon could have enjoyed any holiday with the team's performance and record anyway.
Boudreau's a proven winner. His AHL record is unbelievable (winning percentag of .666 in Hershey!), he has won a Cup at every level he's coached. He knows our players, knows the organization. To me it's an almost ideal situation where you have a great coach within the organization that probably would be picked up in the coming months by another NHL-team.
I for one hope that Boudreau and the boys get this thing turned around. I like the team that McPhee has assembled, hope they stay together and have a succesfull season.

Posted by: Scai | November 22, 2007 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Very strange line combos to me, but I'm glad someone finally has the stones to yell and holler and insert some discipline. I enjoyed that bit about Erskine taking that lap. It's the type of stuff this team needs.

Posted by: Trevor | November 22, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Good to see that Boudreau is more demonstrative. I was shocked when I started going to practices at KCI by how low-energy they were.

Another decent trade was the one that brought in Nylander the first time. Niko and Simon I think. Even so I can't believe McPhee still has a job.

Posted by: Cpl Cespod | November 22, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Update:Boudreau has only been on the ice for about 40 minutes, but I can already point out some major differences in how he deals with his players. First of all, he's a yeller. He's barks encouragement and instructions constantly during drills -- something you rarely heard from Hanlon, who was more reserved on the ice.

The players also have to race over to the eraser board when Boudreau blows his whistle. The last player to the huddle is forced to skate a lap. Just saw Erskine do a lap.

I like that :D

Guys I don't agree with already criticizing Bruce. He obviously started with the idea of getting to know the players, not taking anything for granted and that's good. I think after a couple of games the lines will be settled. The real judge will be the results. For now we should be supportive. If I was in VA right now I'd been getting a ticket for the Carolina game. I'll go once I get back.

Posted by: mauree | November 22, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Bryan Murray was an interim coach.

I doubt GMGM will make it to the draft party. The team has too many problems for even Scotty Bowman to straighten out. Goaltending has gone south and bad giveaways have been multiplying. I also think as others have mentioned, GMGM values his own players too highly. That and the way the salery cap has essentially frozen rosters on many teams makes a meaningful trade unlikely.

Pure economics will force Ted's hand, especially if we are drafting in the first half hour again. He cannot afford upteen lottery picks four years down the road.

Posted by: Old Bob | November 22, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse


now that you're here: Thanks man. Big time.

Posted by: mauree | November 22, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

im going to be seriously Fukcing pissed if he thinks he can just come in here and bench backstrom for hius hershey hacks

Posted by: Anonymous | November 22, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

McPhee probably canned Hanlon to save his own job, at least temporarily. If Boudreau doesn't win, it's not the's the groceries that have spoiled. And we know who is buying the groceries. (Thanks Tuna)

But you-know-what does roll downhill, and a change was needed. Too bad for Hanlon, he seemed a little over his head (not Cassidy-depth, but still....) but also seemed to be ultimately a nice guy and it would be good to see him get an assistant job somewhere?

Posted by: inBoston | November 22, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse


Thanks for the updates !!! greatly appreciated
Now get back to your family and enjoy your Thanksgiving

Posted by: wade | November 22, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the sentiments of OgieOgelthorpe expressed above. Boudreau carries an 'interim' tag. I do believe that Ted cares deeply about the Caps and is not simply relaxing on his vacation in Florida. Thanksgiving is about family and I'm sure that he and McPhee were simply trying to get through the holiday. Unfortunately last night's performance prevented Hanlon from lasting the weekend.

I think the key will be Ted's decision on GMGM. I'm of the opinion that Ted will make a replacement to the GM position and will allow his new GM to make the head coach decision. Things usually work better when the coach is hired by the GM. Replacing Dick Patrick is a silly suggestion as he is not charged with day-to-day responsibilities. It is much harder to hire a General Manager than a Head Coach. While there are a few former GM's out there, it will be

important for Ted and Dick to interview each candidate to discuss the position. Names to be considered could include Neil Smith, Doug Armstrong, Mark Messier, or even Tod Button (Calgary Flames scouting director and son of former Caps chief scout Jack Button). Problem with the Caps front office is that they do not have an Assistant GM that can show a newcomer the ropes. For a coaching position, it should be the new GM making the call. Interesting names with former Caps ties include Dale Hunter and Bengt Gustafsson, but while neither has NHL experience, there is not much to lose with the current team. I don't think Al Arbour or Scotty Bowman could right this ship quickly. The number of coaches available to choose from is limited during the Regular Season as current assistant coaches working for other teams may be off limits at present time.

Most of the other coaches under consideration (without current ties to NHL teams) are those guys you see on tv like Barry Melrose or Bob Hartley. I doubt he is ready to accept an NHL Head Coaching job, but I think an interesting person to consider would be former Caps defenseman Scott Stevens. While he has never officially been an Assistant Coach, Scott has always been a student of the game, knows the league well, is very well liked around the league and still here in Washington. I remember numerous times during his playing career when he was injured (not in uniform) and teams did not normally have 2 assistant coaches behind the bench, Scott would dress in a suit a 'coach' the Caps defenseman during games. Scott is currently living in New Jersey and decided not to assume any coaching responsibilities this season with the Devils so that he could spend time with his wife and 3 kids.

Just my initial thoughts on the front office changes.

Posted by: Jacob | November 22, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Hunter is the man. If he is willing and they don't eventually hire him, they are idiots, The knowledge and passion this man has for the game is unmatched. The old captain is a natural leader and teacher, and will be well respected by veterans.

Posted by: Oldfan | November 22, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

sucky thing about the termination on thanksgiving was not the holiday, but that they let it go on so long to make him look worse as a coach and make it harder to get an assistant coach job somewhere. if they had switched everything over the summer or early fall, he wouldn't have looked so bad.

correcting/ praising behaviors as they happen and asking players to have some pep are good things.

one more lap and no turkey for you, erskine! lol

Posted by: jim* | November 22, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Yippee!!!! Scratch my earlier comment from the previous post. Maybe I will use some of my tickets now. GMGM just saved his job, as far as I'm concerned!

Posted by: alpca3877 | November 22, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

One down, one to go.

You know - if Ted really wanted to stick it to McPhee, he'd have fired Hanlon and told McPhee to get behind the bench or he's gone as well.
ie - you brought in these players, you make them successful - a la Don Waddell.

Ted should have been interviewing new GM candidates for the past two weeks, selected one, fired Hanlon, promoted Boudreau on interim basis until new GM selected a coach by X-Mas.

For those crying about the timing at Thanksgiving - everyone know's you're usually fired on a Friday or right before a holiday - gives you time off to put things into perspective.

Posted by: 'bout time | November 22, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Canadians DO have Thanksgiving, just not today. They've already had theirs.

This is a needed move. I'm really glad they didn't pick a major holiday to do it on. that would be totally classless, wouldn't it? Sheesh. I was expecting it either before today, or 12/2.

Now the team needs to work on Thanksgiving to prepare for tomorrow's matinee.

Boudreau as an interim is fine. He has a chance to show what he's got, but I won't hold my breath.

I'd really love to see Tarik do a hard nosed interview with Hanlon, and corner gmgm. I'd also love to see more on Holik's interview last night. I think that could spell the end of GMGM.

Real class act, Ted. You ingratiate yourself to us on a daily basis.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 22, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I don't want to say I told you so, but I told you so. People who are bashing this coach don't know jack. This is the only logical choice. What are you going to do, hire someone from the outside who doesn't know any of the player strengths and weaknesses. Bruce B. knows half these guys, he coached them. We will see what happens.

Posted by: Pete Peeters | November 22, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Well - Boudreau has the kid on the 4th line sharing duties w/ Laich.

That's a far cry from 1st line center under Hanlon. LOL!

I said all along that Backstrom isn't ready for NHL yet. He's not physically capable - needs to add about 15 lbs of pure mass before he can take the 82 game schedule. But - b/c of the Zubrus trade, and lack of quality centers, the Caps rush him over and into the lineup.

Until the Caps can McPhee - expect more average results.

Posted by: Sexy Back | November 22, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

PR? Press? Are you kidding? We're talking about the NHL, and beyond that we're talking about one of the least important teams in the NHL. Look at the sports section on the Post website, the Caps are listed below DC United. Do you really think people at ESPN are going HOLD EVERYTHING!!! THE CAPS FIRED HANLON ON THANKSGIVING!!!

Good riddance, and thank god they didn't wait another day. Hanlon's probably a nice guy, but they paid him to win and he didn't... see ya!

Posted by: Danny | November 22, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

1. Thanks for working on Thanksgiving Day - wow!!!
2. Thanks for your "honest and direct" approach to reporting on the Caps.

You tell it like you see it, and don't mince words - I like it!

Keep up the good work and please try to get whatever scoop possible from Ted on any other front office changes - ie - the firing of McPhee.

PS - I believe that Ted told Hanlon he had until Thanksgiving to turn this ship around, otherwise he was gone, and hence, after loss, after loss - he was done.

Good first step Ted - now get a REAL GENERAL MANAGER IN HERE !!!!

You rock Tarik!!

Posted by: Double Down | November 22, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

also, hunter knows how to hit, fight for the puck along the boards, and go into traffic.

i think ted cares.

joining a chorus of others, i will be ticked if they trade semin. i don't know where that rumor started. semin has only shown some of his potential. i think he is going to get better & better while already being great. he seems to be a real smart guy.

Posted by: jim* | November 22, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

PR? Press? Are you kidding? We're talking about the NHL, and beyond that we're talking about one of the least important teams in the NHL. Look at the sports section on the Post website, the Caps are listed below DC United. Do you really think people at ESPN are going HOLD EVERYTHING!!! THE CAPS FIRED HANLON ON THANKSGIVING!!!

Good riddance, and thank god they didn't wait another day. Hanlon's probably a nice guy, but they paid him to win and he didn't... see ya!

Posted by: Danny | November 22, 2007 01:01 PM

Yeah, that's because DC Unitd constantly have a winning record, make the playoffs on a regular basis, have played in various international tournaments, and have won the MLS CHAMPIONSHIP 4 times.

That's more than can be said for any/all other DC sports teams. Vamos United.

Posted by: Chief Clancy Wiggum | November 22, 2007 1:06 PM | Report abuse

The B.O.D. is gaining in strength and numbers. This firing is just the first step.

McPhee - you are next!!!

Posted by: The B.O.D. | November 22, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Tarik. You should take the rest of the day off and enjoy some turkey.

Skating laps? Man, worse than my bantam coach.

Posted by: old time hockey | November 22, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Per GMGM: If the CAPS would have been winning, the GMGM would be a hero. Let's give Boudreau a chance to bring out the very best in the players. If the team plays up to their real potential, then GMGM looks pretty good.

Posted by: Dezlboy | November 22, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I continue to like McLellan. I also like Doug Jarvis. Both have NHL exposure as Assistance with quality coaches on quality teams.

We do need a new GM to make the choice, though. I can accept Boudreau as an interim, but I'm not sure that he'd make a good permanent coach. Of course, it's his to win or lose. Either way, Boudreau's a winner. The expectations on him are as placeholder. If he has some success, it's all good for him. If he's really successful, he's shown that he's NHL-ready. There will be nothing negative against him. He can let it all hang out.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 22, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I still don't get it.... Brash is STILL on a line. HELLO he should be a healthy scratch! Com'on Boudreau - make the change. Brads, Backs, Brooksy -There's your line.

Posted by: Tracy | November 22, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

While Dale could be a good coach someday, he does need to clean himself up off of the ice. He got off again this time, but apparently it is not the first time for this type of issue with him.


Posted by: Jacob | November 22, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Tracy you are correct about Brashear!! GET RID OF HIM!! The guy has zero talent and Hanlon used him at times on the power play. It was ridiculous. All Brashear does is start unnecessary fights at inopportune times. He should not be on the team....this is the NHL, not the WWE.

Posted by: Sec 116 | November 22, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

1) Thank God Hanlon's been fired. Hopefully GMGM is next.

2) Brashear's an enforcer. Just because Bradley scraps, they aren't the same player. I'd rather have Brash skating to keep other teams honest, because Brads ain't gonna do it.

Posted by: Kip | November 22, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Goodbye Lassie...hello 'Ol Yeller!

Posted by: curunduraj | November 22, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

yeah thanks Tarik.

I agree with Greg S. Let's just be optimistic and see what he'll do. Honestly... I'm tired of bellyaching.

Posted by: mauree | November 22, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, What is the deal with Backstrom on the 4th line? Has he really looked overhwlemed lately or something? Or is Bruce already playing favorites towards the players he has coached?

Posted by: Pat | November 22, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

dmg - if that is the best trades that Washington can come up with the GM position has been absent without leave for a long, long time. None of those trades made the Capitals an appreciably better team.

Posted by: westcoastjim | November 22, 2007 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Look at the sports section on the Post website, the Caps are listed below DC United.

That's because there's more interest in United than the Caps. Look at attendance, look at championships, look at Comcast TV ratings, look at blog numbers (well, from what I've read in Washingtonian and elsewhere). It's no contest.

Posted by: Objectively | November 22, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse


Any word on when the Caps will fire Hanl.....wait....yippee!!

Posted by: Fire Hanlon | November 22, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

That's exactly my point....

Any town (in the US) where soccer is more important than hockey, doesn't deserve an NHL franchise.

If people in DC don't care about the Caps, why should the national audience?

Posted by: Danny | November 22, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Butch Cassidy didn't last too long this season either.....

24 Oct 2007: KINGSTON, Ont. - The slumping Kingston Frontenacs have fired head coach Bruce Cassidy.

The 2-9-0-1 OHL team has lost six straight games. "After the start to the season, along with six consecutive losses, we felt a change had to be made," Larry Mavety, Kington's director of hockey operations, said in a statement Tuesday.

Only 15 months into his tenure as coach of the OHL's Kingston Frontenacs, Bruce Cassidy has been fired. "Am I surprised? Yes," Cassidy, 42, said by phone from Sudbury, Ont., where the Frontenacs were set to play the Wolves. "I'm disappointed. I thought we were moving in the right direction."

Posted by: Dezlboy | November 22, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: jump on the bandwaggon | November 22, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

@Kip: We need POINTS right now. What has Brash contributed to the team (except starting a fight at the worse possible moment)? Or do you consider taking a stupid penalty a contribution? Granted, however, playing Philly - he is needed as an enforcer because they are a physical team. Other than that - nope - he needs to sit in the press box. We have guys who will step up. No, wait a minute - yes, that's right Laich hit Richard so hard he needed stitches! Thus, I retract that last statement - Brash IS NOT needed.

Posted by: Tracy | November 22, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Are they actually playing hockey this year? I didn't even notice with the other REAL sports on TV... Please get rid of the CAPS so that I can watch my Zards on CSN...

Posted by: sportsfan2k7 | November 22, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse


I really think all the trades I listed (I forgot about the one for Clark as well) were ones where the Caps got the better end of the deal and the Oates and Jagr ones were very lopsided.

If you want to make the case the McPhee has been unable to make trades to fill holes that is one situation (and it's an argument I have not considered so I don't think I can comment on it reasonably). But in general the trade McPhee has made have either favored the Capitals or been even.

Posted by: dmg | November 22, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I just don't see all the anger about the AHL coach. First off, he's interim! That leaves the possibilities open. Second, all coaches had to start somewhere - you never know when a great AHL coach is going to be just as good in the NHL. Nothing is guaranteed, and there just isnt anyone worth investing in that is on the market right now. Third, and most importantly I think, is that Boudreau is a vastly different style of coach than Hanlon, and that may be the key here. In a season that is pretty much over, what's the hurt in having a quick & easy replacement give it a try. I know we are all caps fans therefore we complain but come on...

baby steps people, baby steps

Posted by: Scott | November 22, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse


Yeah I think there's some stomach-acidity left over. Hopefully a big turkey will wash that out :D

We're too hurt to "believe" again right now. Nothing a couple of wins can't cure :D ... ok, maybe more than a couple

Posted by: mauree | November 22, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

"First off, he's interim!"

Come on people. Ted won't fire 2 coaches that quickly. Bruce is here to stay until the end of the year.

Posted by: Tom | November 22, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

@sexyback - you know the Caps organization (and all of us fans for that matter) were just hoping that Backstrom would be another Ovie/Crosby/Malkin who was ready.

Everyone is so miserable because we had such high hopes. 3-0 didn't help.

Posted by: Scott | November 22, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Tom, do you know what the word interim means? You can't fire an interim coach. You just don't retain him. If they decide to hire a different coach, he would just go back to Hershey

Posted by: Jim | November 22, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

thanks TEB, nice work and have a happy thanksgiving.

firing hanlon was the only option and it should have happened after the road loss to tampa.

The caps are going to need to start Donnie Brash against the flyers cause they have a bunch of goons. after that i say skate kid borque.

Posted by: pch49 | November 22, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I think most of you guys are schizophrenic.
1) Do you really think that Hanlon (a class act and good coach but apparently given the recent reults - the wrong guy at this point in time) had no idea this was coming - he looked almost exactly like Lloyd Carr did after the last U of Michigan loss. - You want a coaching change then complain and throw mud about the date it was done, which is after another game the Caps broke down in the second period. You can't have it both ways but if you want to try all you need to do is figure out how to amass a couple hundred million of personal wealth, decide that one way you want to give back to the community is buy the Caps instead of T-Bills or some other less risky investment that makes a better after tax return, and then avail yourself to the two sided abuse of a bunch of puckheads like ourselves. Give it a rest - the season wasn't getting any longer, I'm glad the decision was made sooner rather than later.
2) Backstrom on the fourth line today - do you really think he's going to stay there - I don't. What I do think is the team hasn't been playing in any sort of system and BB is planning on having lines 3 & 4 play the same system they know and he knows work with them tommarrow and Saturday. That said Backstrom doesn't know that system and isn't a seasoned NHL vet who can shift gears on what's a smaller sheet of ice than he played in Europe, without some time to practice it. So after they have some time to practice the system and Backstrom gets a fair chance to learn it I'd be shocked if he isn't at least the regular third line center for the next few months. I've previously posted that I feel first or second line NHL center is like being a starting NFL quaterback and I've never been a fan of starting NFL rookies at QB - how often do they even usually cover the spread let alone win and they're usually 23 or 24 not 19 - it just goes to show how awesome Ovie and Crosby are.
3) As for firing Patrick that would just be dumb on a lot of fronts. First he knows Hockey, second he's a minority owner so it's not that easy.
4) As for firing McPhee, I'm sure he's feeling heat but the types of things we've all been watching the past couple of weeks aren't rooted in GM issues - the basic personnel by & large aren't the problem IMHO.

Let's see where things are headed in the next couple of weeks and LET'S GO CAPS! For more of my musings come on by at:

Posted by: Mark | November 22, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

What a possibility to bring Beng-Ake Gustafsson(the former Capitals player), he´s now coach for Team Sweden and I´ve read that his dream is to coach a NHL team, also heard that he has been invited to come to the Senators for a couple of weeks to learn more about the NHL-kinda way to coach...

He took the Swedish team last year to bring home the gold in the Olympics and the World Championships (and there was only a few players that played both tournaments.)

He´s really popular with the Swedish players and maybe he can bring with him some swedish top-players next season...
and if Forsberg get his foot toghter Beng-Ake can be his reason to join the caps....

Posted by: Mike | November 22, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

too little too late

Posted by: too little too late | November 22, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

2 little 2 late

Posted by: 2 little 2 late | November 22, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

It was pointed out in a few posts that Hanlon is a nice guy. I don't want a nice guy coaching this hockey team. Get Dale Hunter behind the bench.

The problem is McPhee, who should have been fired after the Caps blew a 2 games to 0 lead against Tampa Bay in their last playoff appearance in 2003!

If Ted keeps screwing around he'll lose Ovechkin. I think he is a restricted FA after this season. And if that happens, pack up the bags because no one will give a rats ass about this team anymore.

Posted by: Adios Glen | November 22, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Does Ted have any clue at all? I feel for his investors because Ted is a total baffoon!

Posted by: Fred | November 22, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Tarik - Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for the coverage on a holiday.

Posted by: Jill | November 22, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

@Mark -
Heave Ho! My Lads, Heave Ho!
It's a long, long way to go.
It's a long, long pull with our hatches full,
Braving the wind, braving the sea,
Fighting the treacherous foe;
Heave Ho! My lads, Heave Ho!
Let the sea roll high or low,
We can cross any ocean, sail any river.
Give us the goods and we'll deliver,
Damn the submarine!
We're the men of the Merchant Marine!

Posted by: Comcast Sux | November 22, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

You know the drill, you can't fire 20 players, so fire the coach. Hope the Caps can get an established NHL coach, maybe more of an SOB who will get the players attention, obviously the nice guy treatment hasn't worked. It may look bad to some to fire Hanlon on turkey day, but he's got a contract, he will pulling down a paycheck for a while. Too bad McPhee wasn't axed, like the idea of bringing Dale Hunter aboard, at least Craig Laughlin would have his old drinking buddy around.

Posted by: Jim | November 22, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse


Thanks? Why?

Posted by: Scai | November 22, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Mark: you're a sane voice of reason. Thanks for putting the Backstrom move into perspective.

Posted by: keef | November 22, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse


Thanks to you I can watch games while abroad (in Japan).

Posted by: mauree | November 22, 2007 2:33 PM | Report abuse

A passionate piece about Bruce Boudreau directed at Capsfans by someone who should know:

A must read!

Posted by: Scai | November 22, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse


You're welcome. We Italian guys should pull together ;)

Go Caps!

Posted by: Scai | November 22, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Hanlon is a scapegoat. He worked with the tools that McPhee and Leonsis gave him-which weren't much. He did the best with what he had.

Sorry to say it Ted, but until you put down the chili-cheese dogs and get out of your chair and pry open your wallet to get a couple more big name offensive players, we'll keep seeing perfomances such as last nights'.

Posted by: Digitalman08 | November 22, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

This is probably the most informed group of "Comments" I've heard since '03/'04. I've been saying 'til blue in the face that GMGM IS the problem. I applaud all of you who understand the world is not flat, and McPhee is 10 years into Ted's 5 year plan. If Leonsis insists on keeping George, then make him sole VP like his title dictates and find a marquee GM! If we had Muckler, I assure you he would have a Pat Quinn or some other seasoned HC ready to go. Baggage you ask? That can be dealt with by WINNING.

The current player/personnel can make post season but we have been so weaned on next year, draft, etc., that there is no demand for hockey excellence here in DC. That HAS to change. If not, we will keep reading about Leonsis and his next business venture rather than as a Cup winning owner. No real change has occurred Caps Fans. Sigh...

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | November 22, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse


Thanks for the info on BB. Hopefully the ship will be righted with this move..

Posted by: Steve R | November 22, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

"A passionate piece about Bruce Boudreau directed at Capsfans by someone who should know:

A must read!"

I can't read it passed where it says
"Caps Nation!"
ROFLMAO, Caps Community maybe......

Posted by: caphcky | November 22, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm bringing a Fire McPhee sign to Saturday's game. Anyone have paper bags to spare?

Posted by: Cristiano | November 22, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

And the cattle continue to moo, moo, moo, even after the hateful cowboy was killed


A thought:
A yeller, and a pusher with overpaid athletes? mmm ... dangerous combination.

A puzzle:
All lines seem to be the same, except for ... mmmm ... it seems that the new sheriff in town has determine the problem to had been Backstrom.

Happy Thankgivins!! enjoy your new turkey.

Posted by: Joe | November 22, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Joe: I think that Mark nailed the Backstrom puzzle on the head if you read a little further up. I agree that it's safe to say he won't be skating fourth for long.

...and about your "thought": No one cares that they're yelled at when they're winning. And I have a feeling that this team wants to be punished right now.

Posted by: keef | November 22, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Ah Tarik came back with interviews. Thanks!

I don't agree with OV:
If we win, nobody talking about coach. If we lose, everyone talks about coach.

Sorry but the caps never won anything. You can't praise the coach after a few wins, you need to look at the whole season.
Win something, and everybody will be a hero. Including the coach.

Posted by: mauree | November 22, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Also, where is all this Brashear bashing coming from? Brash has done everything asked of him and more. He did not go marching up Capitol Hill demanding time on the PP. That was Hanlon and his doing!

Brash fills a role, which assures our guys any liberties will be dealt with. If Boudreau's style is fast 'n furious offense, that "role" will be needed more than ever. Come on Caps Fans, let's stick to the real issues.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | November 22, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I hope you are right about the players not minding the yelling and they give the new coach a chance. It seems to me that system is good in college, semi-pros, but not at this level. I don't know that they want to be punished, but they need it.
Mark's peace is one of the few in this blog that makes sense, however, I am not in agreement with his assesment of Backstrom as a third-liner. At this point, although, I don't think he is above Nylander, I would play him with OV and Semin; the season is almost lost the way we are playing and i would rather start developing the number one line of the future for this team. I think Backstrom is a great player and diminishing minutes or playing him with sub-players is not going to help.
Anyway, will see. I am willing to give this guy time to coach the team, I just hope he does not destroy Backstrom.

Posted by: Joe | November 22, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Watching the interviews from last night, it's pretty apparent that Hanlon was already let go, it just hadn't been announced. Kovalchuk pretty much plays the scenario out...

Posted by: keef | November 22, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I emailed a friend early this morning that if it were not Thanksgiving Day, Caps would have a new coach in Philly on Friday. I am glad I was wrong. I know it must have been a tough move to do this today but with 2 games this weekend we can't afford not to be competitive any longer. We are not that far from the 8th spot and the playoffs are still a possibility.

I have never seen a more obvious situation to make a coaching change. Hanlon had completely lost the team. No energy out there at all. They really quit last night. Apparently BB is a lot more vocal and it should be positive for the players to hear a new voice. There is too much talent to have the record we have. I have a feeling that management wanted to see what would happen after Semin returned. Obviously, results were just as bad as before.

As far GMGM, his job is on the line but you must remember he is working within the fiscal restraints of the owner. We still have one of the lowest payrolls in the league.

I hope the fans reading this blog contact the Post, 980 radio, etc and demand more hockey coverage and more knowledgable reporting ( Tarik excluded of course). I find it both amazing and disgusting that not one Post columnist has written a column about the Caps. Wonder if we will see one in tomorrow's paper. The 980 guys are idiots who don't like hockey and make no bones about it. Their trashing it is just an excuse for having no knowledge. I was in Dallas last week ( I think they love the 'Boys as much as D.C. loves the Skins) but they give 5 times the ink to hockey as the Post.

Posted by: Danderoo | November 22, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

hey sports fan, FUKC your 'Zards'

Posted by: fist yourself | November 22, 2007 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm already tired of Hunter this and Hunter that.

Look, the guy's probably doing wonders in the ONTARIO hockey league, but that's 2 or 3 steps BELOW NHL. Yes, he's an ex-Cap. But there are others that are now in the NHL doing coaching at Assistants levels.

What was the name of the last Ovechkin-type player that Hunter coached? AND the last Semin-type? AND the last Backstrom-type? I doubt seriously if he's had but maybe one over the years.

We were moaning and groaning about Hanlon being an AHL'er. OHL isn't even that.

Now come on, folks! You want NHL calibre, bring in an NHL coach.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 22, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Is hockey still around? I haven't met anyone who cares.

Posted by: MLB | November 22, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

hmm Tarik when you're done with that big piece of turkey, please remove the offending post 4:08 PM.

@Danderoo: I bet Tarik will work on the post article. After all give them a break, it's Thanksgiving.

I liked the Bruce Boudreau mentioned above.

Posted by: mauree | November 22, 2007 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Too little, too late and not enough experience brought in. When is GMGM going to learn that we need a NHL experience coach not an AHL coach??

Posted by: Mitch | November 22, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Of Boudreau, Ovechkin said: "He's more offensive coach. He tell us shoot the puck more, move quickly."


If Bruce flames out I'm still calling for Ftorek. But I'm beginning to like this guy -- laps for dogging it at practice and a more aggressive, style.


Caps 5
Flyers 2


Posted by: Oneal | November 22, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I've been bashing Brashear from the day he arrived -- just haven't posted here before. It was a horrible signing. Having a guy on the ice that has no business in the league because he can't skate, shoot or carry the puck is not a good move. I'd love to see a stat on puck possession time when he is on the ice. I bet its under 10 percent. Its like skating a man down. Get rid of him -- Ovechkin is tough, he can take care of himself without a talent-less goon starting unnecessary fights and getting stupid penalties that add up to losses.

Posted by: Sec 116 | November 22, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

hey mauree, youre a big pussy, what are you six?

Posted by: grow a pair | November 22, 2007 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Mauree- I know Tarik will have an article in Friday's Post. I am wondering if a columnist ( Wilbon, Boswell, Wise ) will write. If there was a similar story about the 'Zards Wilbon and Wise would leave their turkey in a split second and be all over that story. We probably won't hear a peep from them and if so I serously doubt if their insights will even be worth reading since they obviously do not keep up with the hockey team.

Posted by: Danderoo | November 22, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Hey Tarik-

What's the word on Semin? Vogel says he left practice early today, and that McPhee says it was the ankle again.

Posted by: jak | November 22, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Don't look now. Semin's wonky ankle is back!!!!!!Arrggg.
Tarik say it aint so.....

Posted by: Brad | November 22, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

wow, ill take back hanlon for a healthy semin. when it rains it pours.

Posted by: sheesh | November 22, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse


Like I said before:
Where is all this Brashear bashing coming from? Brash has done everything asked of him and more. He did not go marching up Capitol Hill demanding time on the PP. That was Hanlon and his doing!

Brash fills a role, which assures our guys any liberties will be dealt with. If Boudreau's style is fast 'n furious offense, that "role" will be needed more than ever. Come on Caps Fans, let's stick to the real issues.

I've been venting alot lately too but Brash is not the reason the Caps are dead last in the league Sec116, and you know that!

New gloves: $120
New stick: $60
New skates: $300
Pummeling and opponent for hacking at Semin's ankle: Pricless

Posted by: Anonymous | November 22, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Greg S,

So 19 years as an NHL player and effectively coach on the ice the last few don't count for anything? If you want a winning team, you need a winner as your leader; if your team's too soft, you want someone who's going to kick 'em in the rear; if you want someone the players will respect, pick someone who's been through it and then some; if you want a "winning" tradition, how about someone who's had one losing season, EVER, and helped get us past the 1st round of the playoffs; the argument could just as easily be made as to why you would want a re-tread who's been kicked out by someone else. Would Ovechkin respond well to Hartley after the job he did on Kovalchuk?

Posted by: Anonymous | November 22, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

what is the point of insulting people here?that is no way to talk to a lady (especially one who has done nothing to you). pair (4:19 pm), if you can't play with women, maybe you should stick to playing with yourself. maybe fist (4:08 pm) will help you also.

anyway, i hope the rush back semin group will now be quiet and let the man heal properly.

Posted by: jim* | November 22, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse


lol I'm not a woman :D I'm a DUDE, dude.

Name's Maurizio = italian, my GF calls me Mauree so thats my nick.

But yeah, insults should not belong to this forum.

Posted by: mauree | November 22, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Now we are unbeatable.

Posted by: Vlad | November 22, 2007 5:03 PM | Report abuse

@Mauree, @Jim,

Oh $#!t, that is funny.
I concur, you can vent but why insult a fellow glutten for punishement.

I reiterate, Brash is needed now more than ever.

p.s. My typo, Pummeling an oponent for hacking at Semin's ankle: Priceless

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | November 22, 2007 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Brashear's here to do a very specific job, a job he does well. Do we really need to see OV squaring off with the Boogards of the NHL? If you agree in the affirmative, go back to your Thanksgiving merlot. As has been said, putting Brashear on the PP was a joke and a mistake, a COACHING mistake. I doubt we'll see that again this season - at least I hope not.

And for those of you who don't see the point of fighting in hockey... you just don't know the history of the game well enough yet.

Posted by: Kip | November 22, 2007 5:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm thankful to read about some renewed energy with the practices and Boudreau's style. I'm interested to see how he handles whatever time is given to him, which may be the balance of the season. I don't know of many interim coaches who are replaced with a permanent find in mid-season.

People have wrote in support of getting Robbie Ftorek as a permanent head coach, but I'm not sure if that would be possible. He just took over this season for the Erie Otters of the OHL after their dismal performance under Peter Sidorkiewicz who only coached one full season. Not sure how coaches contracts in major juniors are structured if an offer comes along from the NHL.

Hopefully Bruce can prove he can be the guy and take this team to the playoffs next year. This year? It'll take a miracle worker. And a couple trades.

Posted by: charles | November 22, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse


Do all you Brashear bashers hear this? Do yoos? Kip, I could not agree more. If Boudreau's style is flying through the neutral zone, liberties are bound to happen. We will need Brash's very specific 4 mins of ice time nightly.

New gloves: $120
New stick: $60
New skates: $300
Pummeling and opponent for hacking at Semin's ankle: Priceless

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | November 22, 2007 5:35 PM | Report abuse


Crap...just realized that wish needs to go to keeping Juice on Phone Booth ice.

Posted by: keef | November 22, 2007 11:59 AM

My Thanksgiving wish on the wishbone will be going to the same cause! Strength in numbers, strength in numbers!

Posted by: Jurcina Junkie | November 22, 2007 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Fire that fat turd Leonsis and I might think about buying a Caps ticket again.

I hope the striking Writer's Guild pay attention to hockey. The lesson is that when you're off the ice there is no gurantee that the fans will come back. This is certainly the case with Caps.

Posted by: Frmr Season Ticket Holder | November 22, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse

No coach has a chance with the Caps as long as McPhee is still in charge. Good luck to you Bruce Boudreau, you're going to need it.

Posted by: zamboni | November 22, 2007 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Obviously Semin was rushed back again to help save Hanlon's head. Hopefully now they will finally take the time for his ankle to fully heal.

Posted by: Scai | November 22, 2007 6:01 PM | Report abuse

well, that explains your atrocious grammar. oh, and go caps, or something like that.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 22, 2007 6:16 PM | Report abuse

@_ 4:55PM

The same people moaning about getting another AHL coach are the ones proposing we get Hunter. This makes NO sense whatsoever.

Yes, Hunter did wonders in his 19 years in the NHL. He's doing a good job for the team he owns with his brother in Ontario Hockey League. But that's not coaching in the NHL.

Look at Gretzky. Phenominal player, owns the NHL record book. His record as a coach?

Just being an NHL player doesn't make you a coach. Hanlon was an NHL player.

If you've read any of my posts, I have not been a proponent of Hartley, either. In fact, the opposite. Like GMGM, the only reason Hartley had the successes he had was the teams he had under him. He had dream teams in Colorado.

Ask yourself this. Is it the same coaching kids that may or may not get to the big dance that is the NHL, as it is to coach the guys that never had to spend a nanosecond in the OHL, ECHL, or AHL? You're asking the next coach to take on three (3) players like that.

From my previous posts:

"I continue to like McLellan. I also like Doug Jarvis. Both have NHL exposure as Assistance with quality coaches on quality teams."

If you're a Caps fan, you know Jarvis. Why not him? Long time NHL'er, CURRENTLY in the NHL, not Ohl.

McLellan created the offense and power play systems for the RED WINGS and is in the NHL.

So, anonymous person, tell me again why I should think of Hunter? What's he done coaching-wise in the NHL?

Posted by: Greg S. | November 22, 2007 6:25 PM | Report abuse

MLB - then what the **** are you doing on a hockey blog? get the **** out!!

Posted by: baseballisboring | November 22, 2007 6:27 PM | Report abuse

You never want to see a situation like this happen to a nice guy like Hanlon but it had to be done. Good Luck in the future Hanlon.

As for the Caps, something had to be done to turn the season around and this might work. Remeber, there are still over four months of play left in the season and the Capitals are only 9 points out of the 8th playoff spot.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 22, 2007 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Correct! Why we fans have not bum rushed Leonsis and demand GMGM's release is beyond me. Boudreau is only a band-aid if he doesn't get mngt support. With McPhee, he'll get $#!t. Next game the chants need to be "Fire McPhee". If not, it will just be the same old song and dance. Geez.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | November 22, 2007 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, your reporting is lacking. Sound bits are not good enough. How about getting something out of Mcphee and Leonsis and Hanlon. Feeding the piranhas more bloody meat might make you popular among them, but it is lousy reporting.

As I have said it many times, and Clark said it, and now Kolzig: "Until guys all decide to buy in and realize it's a team and not an individual game, then we're not going to go anywhere".

And yes, Kolzig is old, and his reflexes are not what they used to be. I Love Kolzig, but it is time to get new blood at that position.

Posted by: Joe | November 22, 2007 6:34 PM | Report abuse


How does baseball qualify as a sport? Let's see, it's 9 on 1 with 8 guys just standing around scratching themselves in front of 80 people because they have nothing else to do than scratch themselves. They trot a little, every once in awhile they run, but they're so doped up on steroids that they can hit homers and just walk around the bases.

You know, the NHL has steroid testing. No one has ever failed it.

Lemme know when MLB becomes a sport.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 22, 2007 6:36 PM | Report abuse

wow GregS getting testy lol

You forgot something though, they not only scratch themselves, they spit and eat peanuts too while on the bench. And there's drama somehow. So it's more of a monkey drama contest than a sport.

Ok I exaggerated just to back you up, I don't think baseball is THAT bad... but no doubt that it can't compare with Hockey.

Hockey >>>>>>>>>>>>>> Baseball

Posted by: mauree | November 22, 2007 6:44 PM | Report abuse

@ mauree

Happy Thanksgiving!

BTW, glad we cleared up that whole gender thing up above!

If I ever need to fall asleep, I turn on a baseball game. I swear, it's a real sleeping aide for me. My father was a HUGE baseball fan and a player. He was scouted by the Brooklyn Dodgers after the war as a catcher. NONE of it rubbed off on me. Except a hatred of the Yankees.

I'm not sure what frosted my shorts this evening, but something sure did!

Posted by: Greg S. | November 22, 2007 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, Joe has a point. As a former member of the press, I can tell you that you are just preaching to the choir. We know you can do better, and have.

In Tarik's defense, it is Thanksgiving remember.

Also, we do have Varlamov and Neuvirth in the system but as always, GMGM went after goalies two years behind reality. Either one is not the MA Fleury type and are at least two seasons away. Good luck Bruce, you'll need it.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | November 22, 2007 6:54 PM | Report abuse

The real problem is the owner....Sell the team if you don't have the capital to invest! No coach can do this job.

Posted by: Hocky Puck | November 22, 2007 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Yes! Ask Ted THAT question Tarik! Does he or doesn't he? But Puck, Leonsis did spend lavishly on the Jagr/lang roster but of course GMGM had Cassidy along with them. As a business mind, Leonsis needs to bleed enough cash to realize it. As usual, all this will happen at our expense.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | November 22, 2007 7:06 PM | Report abuse

GMGM is more than likely in for the rest of the season. Coaches tend to be judged in the short term, and when the team is underachieving, they're going to be the first off-ice guys to go. Changing them out has a much more immediate impact on the team.

GMs are judged in the long term, and as much as I'd like to see McPhee get shown the door before the puck drops tomorrow, I don't expect that it'll happen until the Caps fail to get out of the basement this season, if they fail to get out of the basement.

As for Boudreau, give the guy a shot. He has a much more old school style than Hanlon, and he's not somebody who plays Mr. Nice Guy with the players. Given what I've heard about him, he's a guy who will get in people's faces, who will get visibly angry on the bench, who will not make excuses and will own up to his teams shortcomings and try to fix them. He's not a career goalie like Hanlon - he's a goal scorer, and from what I've heard, his style of coaching is very offensive and very high speed. It's everything good that the Caps haven't been doing apart from the first two games of the season and the routs of the Ontario teams. He's considered one of the best coaches in hockey not behind the bench of an NHL team (well, he was).

Every great NHL coach was once a minor league coach. Let's see how he does before we fire up the Fire and Brimstone Bandwagon again.

And hey, he's an interim coach. It's not like this is written in stone. I, like most of you, still cringe to know that George still has his name on the office door at Kettler, but I for one am also very interested to see how Boudreau pans out.

Posted by: HolyOlie | November 22, 2007 7:19 PM | Report abuse

@Greg S,

Well, you got me there. Unfortunately, I can't fall asleep watching hockey because you can't even find it on TV... If hockey was a REAL sport, us brothas would be all over it...

Posted by: MLB | November 22, 2007 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Greg S,

No question, Jarvis on Special Teams/Faceoffs and a Defense Specialist (Stevens/Langway/Tinordi) would be great Assistants for Hunter. There is also a reason some folks are Head Coaches and others are Assistants; Jarvis is a great hockey mind and great guy, but hasn't demonstrated the type of leadership this particular squad appears to need (that is, too similar to Hanlon). Gretzky's probably not a fair comparison as he can't relate to any but the elite player because he saw/sees the game on a different plane and didn't pay his dues coaching anywhere else. This team has a lot a players under 24 who need further development, so that does qualify Hunter moreover (as with Boudreau as well, nice article by Vogs on Dump and Chase). It's all speculation and great fodder for message board discussion at this point anyway - we may not have struck the magic bullet, but let's hope this squad is at least "entertaining" to watch tomorrow!

Posted by: Anonymous | November 22, 2007 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Bengt Gustaffson could right this ship. Does anyone know if he would be willing to move back to the States-- which was how we lost him prematurely as a player (pressure from his family to return to Sweden). He was arguably the smartest Capital ever, and he sure hasn't done badly in international competition. If his family can let us have him, let's get it done.

Posted by: Joe T. | November 22, 2007 7:28 PM | Report abuse

The new forward lines look like crap.

Why is Semin skating on the right? That doesn't make sense.

Why is Backstrom on the fourth line? He's been playing better than most of the team. Certainly better than the below:

Why is Kozlov on the first line? What has he ever done on this team that proven his worth to even be in the NHL still?

Why is Nylander still skating? I don't understand why no one willing to admit how much of a cancer Nylander is on this team.

Why is Brashear... well, still on the team? I guess Boudreau doesn't want him screwing up his Bears, but what I said for Kozlov stands for Brash.

Fleischmann... hasn't sucked outright, but he does a damn sight less that Backstrom on a nightly basis.

Posted by: MikeZ | November 22, 2007 7:31 PM | Report abuse

What great and difficult news about Hanlon. To add on to what jim* wrote near the top, the Caps organeyezation apparently needed the writing on the wall to be in flashing neon with alarm bells (Fire Hanlon chants) before they got a clue. If Leonsis, Patrick, and gmgm really were the businessmen and "hockey people" that they profess to be, they would have let Hanlon go at the respectful intersession known as "off season". Goodness gracious, the Caps really haven't had much success in the entire year. They were atrocious at the end of the season. That was the appropriate time to let Hanlon go. But no, "he's our guy." This was a rickdickulous experience for everyone associated with the team to go through. Especially the timing.

and to those who think that Patrick is some great hockey guy, I don't recall learning how he grew up playing the game, and worked his way up in the front offices of hockey teams. He is an attorney who lived in the area. From my understanding, his great uncle was Lester Patrick and that family connection is it. If you want a Patrick with some bone fides, then we could discuss cousin Craig.

Posted by: Clarendon | November 22, 2007 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Hehe... From Boudreau's Wikipedia entry:

"Boudreau had a minor role in the hit hockey movie "SlapShot", appearing briefly wearing the green sweater (#7) of the opposing Presidents against the Hanson brothers' Chiefs."

I might just have to pop that in the DVD player tonight.

Posted by: HolyOlie | November 22, 2007 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Why are you here? The TeleTubbies are on. Go, go!

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | November 22, 2007 7:38 PM | Report abuse


LOL! Ouch!

Hockey has a lot of problems, starting with our Comish on down.

We need more brothas in NHL! There's only a few currently active (Brashear on the Caps is one, Anson Carter another). Black Americans look to basketball and football more than hockey, which is understandable. In Canada, everyone skates, but there aren't many blacks up there. There surely aren't many in europe and russia.

Bettman's done some (woefully inadequate IMHO) to draw more people into the NHL and hockey in general. So it's mostly a regional sport. It's a shame. There's something for everyone in hockey. Grace, physicality, boxing (on ice on a couple of millimeters wide steel blades), constant movement, playing offense and defense, no huddle, on the fly action. Kids generally love it.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 22, 2007 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Still noname @7:25PM

Why not put a Pee Wee coach in that's won his divisions for the past 3 years? They teach, too.

We're talking the top league in the sport. you don't put a high school coach in the NFL, do you? You rearely see a college coach make it to the pros. How on earth can you expect an OHL coach to make it in the NHL? You'd be taking the Caps backwards!

Sign your name.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 22, 2007 7:49 PM | Report abuse

this team is the pits......Ovechkin is going to flee this team as fast as he can when he is eligible..........once that happens, we are toast......we are the laughing stock of the league...even the Blues are better than us.....the Sabres who got destroyed in the off season are better than us........only one thing can turn this around....Ted needs to clean house with the entire front office....bring back Dale Hunter and Craig Berube to whip this team back into being a tough hard-nosed team that nobody wants to play....

Posted by: Caps Fan in VA | November 22, 2007 8:08 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't go so far as to say we are the laughing stock of the league. Arguably worse, we are a non-entity in the league.

Posted by: Dinger | November 22, 2007 8:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad you mentioned Berube. I've thought about him as well. Unlike some of the other coaching names mentioned, he has done it at the NHL level. Given the right team, he could be a perfect asst, or higher. Apparently it was Ron Wilson's recommendation which solidified his final interview with Philly. Tomorrow should be interesting.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | November 22, 2007 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Oh my god could you people get any more negative? Lets give the new coach a chance. Did it ever occur to you that he has the lines the way he does so he can see how everyone plays. It's highly unlikely that they will stay that way. I wouldn't get my panties all in a bunch about Backstrom. He'll be back in his rightful place once Boudreau sees how he plays. A change has been made, I think it will be a good one and we should just see how it pans out. Does McPhee need to go? Yes. But lets not call for Boudreau to be fired yet...

Posted by: K | November 22, 2007 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Everyone needs to stop talking about Dale Hunter. He is a coach with no NHL expierience and that's the exact reason you guys don't want Bruce.

Posted by: Trevor | November 22, 2007 8:25 PM | Report abuse

I love the Caps and I love the sport of baseball. Yes my team is the Orioles. Whatever we traded for Mike Ridley and Kelly Miller I think we got the better deal there. Hanlon had to go. We have a game tomorrow so it had to be today (sorry Glen) and if guys don't listen i.e. extend their shifts, lose discipline, fail to hustle etc. they need to lose ice time no matter who they are. DO NOT TRADE SEMIN. He will be fantastic someday. These guys are just kids. They need a good coach. These players are good enough. They are not playing to their potential and that IS a coaching problem. Bruce is interim. See if they can win with him B4 we throw him under the bus. If not get somebody else. GMGm will be outta here soon enough.

Posted by: kevbpgc | November 22, 2007 8:28 PM | Report abuse

From Dump and Chase :

From what I could tell -- and remember, this was after Semin left the ice -- the first power play unit had Nylander, Backstrom and Ovechkin up front with Green and Poti on the points. The second unit was comprised of Kozlov with Clark and Fleischmann up front, and Pothier and Green on the points. My guess is that Semin would be on the point on the first unit, but time will tell.

I always thought Green would be good at the point in the PP. He could be/become Pronger-like. We'll see tomorrow.

Semin should have played less last game.

I'm for chee

Posted by: mauree | November 22, 2007 8:33 PM | Report abuse

@kevbpcg er wahtever,
I'm just trying to work off the tryptaphan but Semin just signed for 2 years...must loosen belt.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | November 22, 2007 8:36 PM | Report abuse

cheese? cheer the new coach? cheerleaders? I forgot, and the browser submit already.

Posted by: mauree | November 22, 2007 8:38 PM | Report abuse

@ Trevor

Thank you.

I have stated above that Boudreau has a wonderful opportunity to show that he belongs up in the NHL. He's interim which is fine. If he can show that he can handle these guys, fantastic. If not, he lost nothing but the time. Right now, Washington is his oyster. He could find the pearl. I'm hoping that he does simply because I want the Caps to win. He's basically on a long-term job interview.

If we get a new GM (please!!!), he may take the team in a different direction (mostly up. Can't really get any lower, can we?). I think that we need an NHL coach. NOT HARTLEY!

Posted by: Greg S. | November 22, 2007 8:40 PM | Report abuse

It seems like Ted Lonsis is getting his ownership tips and firing his coaches antics from cross town owner, Dan Snyder. We now have 2 owners that know very little about running teams. The skins need a GM and the Caps need to fire theirs. Leonsis was so publicly enthusiastic before the start of the season and now we are pretty much done for the year, already. Does George McPhee have an ownership interest in the team....Why is he still here?

Posted by: Austin | November 22, 2007 8:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad that we at least have a team to whine about. At the end of the day, I'm still a fan.

Posted by: Thanksgiving | November 22, 2007 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Ted: Get off of the Thanksgiving buffet line & get this team back on track! We need your involvement and a new GM. How about an early Christmas present for the fans???

Posted by: Rick | November 22, 2007 8:47 PM | Report abuse

I like Green on point. He's got a really nice hard shot from there. Should generate lots of chances for deflections and rebounds.

I'm really liking what I see from Green. Maybe Boudreau can kick some Poti butt and move him, too.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 22, 2007 8:48 PM | Report abuse

@Greg S.

Sean Hill of the Islanders failed a steroid last spring and was suspended. The Islanders let him go and he resigned with Minnesota. Hockey's drug testing is weaker than the three major sports...yes even baseball.

You forgot that Georges Laraque, Mike Grier, and Jerome Iginla are all brothers.

Posted by: Juiced | November 22, 2007 8:48 PM | Report abuse


Agree on Green on the PP, the kid has some huge offensive upside. Still making youngster mental mistakes though.

Posted by: Steve R | November 22, 2007 8:49 PM | Report abuse


I agree with you on Green, but I'm even more happy to see that he's got AO up front on the PP, where he belongs. I could never figure out why Hanlon liked to use him on the point so much when he's a natural net-crasher.

Oh, and for what it's worth, I've been called out by people who didn't realize that I'm a guy too ;) At least you didn't get propositioned.

Posted by: HolyOlie | November 22, 2007 8:49 PM | Report abuse

@Greg S,
I'm working off the Tryptophan but Hartley has a Ring. Does that scare you? For whatever reason Ted fears all those that have hoisted. I say embrace them. But who am I, just a questioning season ticket holder. Christ...

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | November 22, 2007 8:51 PM | Report abuse

The etymology of "Fan" is from the word "Fanatic".

I think this board proves we have fans! We all want the team to succeed. We all just have different ways of getting us there, which can make the board fun. I could change my mind. It's been known to happen - once. :)

Posted by: Greg S. | November 22, 2007 8:55 PM | Report abuse

I still say that GMGM needs to go as well and TL should take over behind the bench.

Posted by: Mike13 | November 22, 2007 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Greg S,

I don't think anyone really believes there's one formula for a successful head coach, you need the right match for that team's needs. A few of us think Hunter fits the bill and that the jump from OHL to NHL after a 19-year career based upon maximizing his limited talent is not a great leap. A random sample of coaches and pedigree follows (check out

Scott Bowman, Ted Nolan, Tom Renney (1st stint), Brent Sutter, and Jacques Martin coached in the Canadian Junior Leagues (OHL,WHL,QMJHL, excluding Pee Wee) directly before becoming NHL head coaches

Jacques Lemaire and Al Arbour went directly from playing to head coach

Ron Wilson, Lindy Ruff and Guy Carbonneau were NHL assistants before head coach

John Stevens, Bryan Murray went directly from the AHL

Dave Tippet went from the IHL

There are successful precedents to support Hunter, Jarvis, Boudreau, and many others.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 22, 2007 9:04 PM | Report abuse


I'm cold on Hartley. He had a gifted team in Colorado. Atlanta didn't do so much. One post season visit and out in 4?

I think we can do much better.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 22, 2007 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see the new coach is willing to kick a little tail to push people to play to their ability. He has done a great job in Hershey, so I hope he can work his magic in DC. Hershey has a great fan base, so he'll have to contend with the lukewarm DC crowd (deal with it, it's true -- I live near Philly and they support the Flyers a lot better than DC does the Caps). If he can maximize the talent he has, he may start a run towards legitimacy.

Posted by: Jim | November 22, 2007 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Hartley was/is just an option, better than the staus quo. Pat Quinn, Larry Robinson, Craig Berube, on and on dude...

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | November 22, 2007 9:29 PM | Report abuse

For the record, those Caps "fans" who booed the team and chanted "Fire Hanlon" last night are an embarrassment. You NEVER boo your own team. You can vent on message boards, e-mail Leonsis, organize boycotts, whatever. BUT YOU NEVER TRASH YOUR OWN TEAM IN THAT WAY. Those of you who did that are a disgrace and embarrassed the organIzation more than any player, coach or loss could.

Posted by: Jim | November 22, 2007 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Okay, here's how I feel... Its a new day. Bruce Boudreau is my man and he has my support one hundred percent. I may not agree with GMGM, but at this point its counterproductive to b*tch anymore.

Lets get behind this team! Lets cheer for them and give them our support 100%. I have a feeling we're going to see a new Caps team.

Boudreau is going to coach an offensive team. You're going to see some guys scoring that you never knew could score.

I look forward to it! Lets leave the negatives behind and get behind Bruce and the Caps!

Posted by: Muddapucker | November 22, 2007 10:06 PM | Report abuse

I've NEVER booed, like I have never shouted "OH" during OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM! I hear you loud and clear but it seems Ted does not. Has he ever posted on his blog here in Washington of all places, that we should respect our anthem? Unfortunately Ted needed to hear it. In more ways than one...... $#!t.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | November 22, 2007 10:07 PM | Report abuse

I want to share your enthusiasm but the Thanksgiving Giving tryptophan is getting the better of you right now. Leonsis does not understand we need 95 points total (41 more wins) to reach postseason. Oh yeah, GMGM has that role to pass along to ownership.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | November 22, 2007 10:18 PM | Report abuse


So I take it that the people in the stands in Montreal, Toronto, Philly, NY, and pretty much every other big hockey town that let their team have an earful when they're sucking on ice aren't real fans?

Posted by: asdf | November 22, 2007 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Maybe now this will become a "big hockey town". Oh wait, GMGM is still here. Crap.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | November 22, 2007 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Damn, U people act like Backstrom is top 5 in the league in points. 1 goal! A fluke! Give the kid some time to develop and learn what it takes to play in the NHL. Much Much different then the game in Swedan.

Posted by: PaCapfan | November 22, 2007 10:44 PM | Report abuse

As someone who has seen Boudreau coach in Hershey the past few years, let me tell you that this guy doesn't give any of his players a free ride. You either earn your ice team or you don't play. He's tough, but he's fair.

Believe me, the Caps have been thinking about this move for awhile. They didn't just wake up this morning and decide to fire Hanlon. They could have very well brought in an NHL re-tread. But Bruce has earned this chance. There is nothing more for him to prove at the AHL level.

It's not going to happen overnight, but he can improve this team. Just give him a little time.

If you've seen any of Hershey at their best the past couple of seasons, the team could simply overwhelm their opponents. The special teams were great (Steckel, Green and Fleischmann were huge parts of that success), they were hard hitting and very agressive in the offensive zone.

I'm not saying he's going to be a miracle worker, but the guy has paid his dues and deserves a chance to improve this team. Bruce works very well with young players and that's what the Caps have right now. He'll get them all on the same page and I think you might be surprised at how the players respond to him.

Posted by: eels | November 22, 2007 10:51 PM | Report abuse


Last one after whistle routine is used by many coaches, Going from "hugs" to "hitler" is par for the course.

CAPS need to FIRE McPheee
Players will NEVER respond

Posted by: Chief | November 22, 2007 10:55 PM | Report abuse

i don't know about this booing thing. lots of sports have teams that get booed by their fans. in few sports, do fans have the chance to present a reasoned position to the players directly in the form of extensive discourse. maybe you could make that argument in the piner orchard days (people could talk directly to the players).

i can't say i've booed my team before. however, i certainly would if a player got involved in a cheap hit or something like that.

it seemed a message needed to be sent. emails to the organization do not always work (e.g. w/ keeping players etc.).

Posted by: jim* | November 22, 2007 10:55 PM | Report abuse

@ eels,

I agree that Boudreau has paid his dues, So did Hanlon & Carlyle.

GM plays an integral part into the "delopment" of an NHL coach.
George sucks and is incapable as compared to Burke, just another prospect Coach going down the drain, as are many of the players.

Posted by: Chief | November 22, 2007 10:59 PM | Report abuse

The move to fire Hanlon was inevitable. The search for a new head coach begins today. I'm just not convinced that another AHL coach is the answer.

Posted by: | November 22, 2007 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Boudreau was a good coach before he got to the caps organization look at his numbers with manchester.

Posted by: Dan L | November 22, 2007 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Everyone is kinda freaking out about "give Bruce a chance" or "go get Hartley"

I think the Caps org has left their options wide open by using the term "interim"...if the boys respond and pull off a few wins, maybe Bruce hangs out for a while. If things continue to go south, maybe Hartly or Quinn gets a phone call. Let's just see how things go for the next few games, eh?

Posted by: pmoravek | November 22, 2007 11:46 PM | Report abuse


amen man.

First impression of Bruce (from the interview): hard to resist the guy lol. And victories speaks for him.

Posted by: mauree | November 22, 2007 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Jim | November 22, 2007 09:54 PM about booing the Caps---

Pay these kind of prices for a crap product on the ice, and the Caps are crap, the fan who shells out the $$$ can boo as long and loud as he or she wants. Just keep the profanity out of your rant.

Face it, Leonsis is a buffoon. He may know about computers and running a business but he's clueless about owning and running a sports team. This team is hemorraging money. He's just another pompous rich guy with a list of things he wants to do before he checks out. Abe fleeced him when he sold the Caps.

Speaking of Abe, I never thought I'd say this but I miss the Pollin owned Caps.

Posted by: Boooooooooooooooo! | November 23, 2007 12:00 AM | Report abuse

He's a two time loser. Why bring him in here?

Get a kick ass former player in there who won't take any crap like Berube or how's this...Marty McSorley!

Posted by: No Hartley | November 23, 2007 12:02 AM | Report abuse

I've been without internet until just now.

i'm glad that they named him "interim."

I'm glad that he's got them working hard again.

I have to go as my internet is expensive. i won't even get to watch the game tomorrow.

Well, here's hoping.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | November 23, 2007 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Is Gary Green still involved in hockey broadcasting? Bring him back. So he hasn't coached a team since '81, what have they got to lose.

Posted by: Gary Green, part two | November 23, 2007 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Yvon Labre. He got his number retired under dubious conditions. Give him the coaching reins and make him earn that banner because as a player for the Caps, he sure as hell didn't deserve the honor.

Posted by: My coach choice | November 23, 2007 12:05 AM | Report abuse

And actually, I understand the Flash thing, even if i disagree with it.

Boudreau has gotten great things out of Flash, maybe he can do it again. If so, hell, there's another 30-goal getter.

I just hope he doesn't misuse Backstrom: he's way to valuable.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | November 23, 2007 12:13 AM | Report abuse


You never boo your own team? These people are professionals. They play like crap, they will hear it.

Come to a hockey town, anywhere in Canada for that matter. They would never tolerate this nonsense from their team.

Come to any sporting event in New York and listen to the crowd when the team is sucking it up.

It sucks to boo your own team, you obviously want to cheer them on. But to say those fans are an embarrassment is off the mark. The booing should have started long again.

Posted by: Tom | November 23, 2007 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Jim - AMEN!! :-)

Posted by: Boo! | November 23, 2007 12:21 AM | Report abuse


Sue me, I'm a Philly boy I express what I feel. The effort stunk, I wasn't at last nights game (see my blog at: but if I was I would've boo'ed just like the Maple Leaf fans did after their game with the Caps. As a fan when you see something you like it's okay to cheer; for example I'd have been cheering my head off when Ovie broke up that breakaway after Green got caught up ice and got the hooking penalty. Why not boo when the majority of the team decides to space out for two periods, get down on themselves and let in 4 unanswered goals? As for the "Fire Hanlon" chants - it needed to be done so why not say it? It's not profane. And I like the guy but the team wasn't playing for him or listening to him re: shift lengths, etc.

I admit the first time I attended a Caps game and the "Oh" was shouted I was surprised but it doesn't seem disrespectful or unpatriotic in tone to me. it's not like flying the flag in the rain like some fast food joints do, IMHO.

Posted by: Mark | November 23, 2007 12:36 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Chief | November 23, 2007 12:43 AM | Report abuse

I just noticed something:

New Coach, still no Eminger.


Posted by: DrinkingPartner | November 23, 2007 1:26 AM | Report abuse

When Olie says the following:

"Until guys all decide to buy in and realize it's a team and not an individual game, then we're not going to go anywhere"

Who exactly is he referring to? Ovechkin? We have seen the boy skate in on a 1 on 3 or whatnot. Granted, he has nobody to pass to so why bother, but I hope there is not any rift between these two players.

It's just strikes me as interesting that Olie would say that, obviously not calling out the players by name. Who is he referring to when he says that?

Posted by: Justin | November 23, 2007 1:29 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who has a beef with Yvon's number being retired doesn't understand what it means to be a Caps fan. Those were some lean years in the early days and Yvon brought some grit and pride through all of it. How refreshing that for once a regular guy gets some glory - who says you can only retire the number of future hall of famers? Dale Hunter was a much greater talent but his #32 was retired for essentialy the same reasons as Yvon's. You gotta problem with that too?

Posted by: tokyo fan | November 23, 2007 6:11 AM | Report abuse

@ BernieWolfeFan

You know, things may not evolved the way I would have liked but its the best we are going to get right now.

Ted, apparently, has no immediate plans to fire GMGM. We got a coach that is proven in the AHL. He might be one heck of a hockey coach even on the NHL level. Who knows at this point?

All I know is this is as good as it gets for now. Bruce Boudreau comes in clean, he deserves a chance. We can piss and moan about him not being an NHL "name", but its not going to change a thing. For all we know he may be coaching phenom.

I just think we need to give the guy a chance and rally behind the team. My personal opinion is that we are going to like what we see. He can hardly screw the season up.

Actually, this is a great spot for him to come in. You never want to follow a Scotty Bowman. By comparison it would be very tough to succeed. All this coach has to do is turn around a team that we all thought could make the playoffs back in August and make a decent run at them.

Its going to be tough, but not impossible.

Posted by: Muddapucker | November 23, 2007 6:41 AM | Report abuse

There are two Jims here. I want to see Bruce do well. I've watched the Bears for the last three years after moving to PA from DC. I love the Hershey crowd and miss watching the Caps. I do boo when the Caps play very poorly as they have of late. I'd much rather cheer for goals, saves, and wins. I think that BB has helped young players progress as team players. Listen to his interview -- he is a straight-shooter, no bs. The Bears press to score and can change a game in two minutes with forechecking. I hope the Caps can do this too.

Posted by: JIM | November 23, 2007 7:48 AM | Report abuse

I know that Dale Hunter is beloved in these parts, but his work in London is a joke; he's got a goon squad up there along with a few studs; it's Slap Shot stuff. He won a Memorial Cup a couple years ago, but with an absolutely loaded team full of overage players. He's quite good at the bush league stuff, and it happens a lot more than it needs to.
Washington needs adults running things (i.e. a proven NHL GM running the show and an experienced NHL coach). Larry Robinson is a proven NHL coach. So is Pat Quinn. Quinn as a GM would be less than ideal; not sure he's adjusted to the post-lockout game as well as some other folks, but he'd be a good coach to bring in.

Posted by: Patrick | November 23, 2007 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Well said Muddapacker.... Bruce Boudreau has been a winner at every level so why not give him a chance?

Posted by: Jleftwing97 | November 23, 2007 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Tarik, thanks for the great coverage over Thanksgiving! Four or five games ago, the Caps needed to win 6 out of 10 games for the remainder of the season to reach 92 points, the minimum total to qualify for the playoffs in the Eastern Conference over the last 2 seasons. Now they have to win 2 out of 3 between now and April. Frankly, is the front office kidding when GMGM says that he first recognized this team was slipping away two games ago? In fairness to Boudreau, I doubt Scotty Bowman could win 41 games over the rest of this season, but the Caps might as well give him his shot for the rest of this year to see what he can do. Trying once again to make the playoffs on the cheap, no depth as a result, a thin front office that doesn't seem to be in touch with reality have likely cost us the playoffs this year already.

Posted by: Fred | November 23, 2007 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Bruce is a great coach who has proven himself at every level he has coached. He has already proven that he can win with many of the players on the current Caps roster. He WILL make them work hard, or they won't's that simple. He makes his guys work. NHL coaches come through the minors just like the plyers and the refs. Many of today's NHL coaches started in the minors, including Hartley. Give coach Boudreau a fair chance to prove himself. As much as I hate to lose him in Hershey, I am happy for him and am confident that he can turn things around in Washington. I hope they decimate the filthadelphia flyers today! GO CAPS!

Posted by: Bears Woooo | November 23, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

For Boudreau to keep a job... he needs to win the next 10 games, like Alex promissed in his interview to SovSport:

"The season is long, we have only passed a quarter of the distance. Everything can still change. Watch us to win 10 games in a row..."

Actually Boudreau needs to win today. One more loss and his interim status will become permanent. :-)

Frankly sounds almost impossible plus Semin injured his wonky ankle again. Boudreau has no room for mistakes, very tough task for him or any coach.

Posted by: alexovetjkin | November 23, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Hunter was the Captain who helped lead the Caps to the Cup finals. Yvon Labre was some pug who got his nose broken a lot and would win the occasional fight for what will always be the worst NHL team in its history. Big difference there Tokyo.

Posted by: Hunter | November 23, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Jim is right. Booing your own team is classless and an embarrassment. Good fans don't do it. And I'm FROM a hockey town, as if that somehow made a difference.

Posted by: Putting on the Foil | November 23, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Great, if you and Jim want to pay to see what is a crap product on the ice, go right ahead. Me, if I'm in attendance and the product stinks, I have a right to boo no matter what pro sport it is.

Meanwhile, I'm glad I gave up spending a pile of money to watch this mess of a franchise. They suck.

Posted by: Putting on the Foil | November 23, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

"Jim is right. Booing your own team is classless and an embarrassment. Good fans don't do it. And I'm FROM a hockey town, as if that somehow made a difference.

Posted by: Putting on the Foil | November 23, 2007 12:59 PM

Great, if you and Jim want to pay to see what is a crap product on the ice, go right ahead. Me, if I'm in attendance and the product stinks, I have a right to boo no matter what pro sport it is.

Meanwhile, I'm glad I gave up spending a pile of money to watch this mess of a franchise. They suck.

Posted by: Putting on the Foil | November 23, 2007 03:18 PM"

Please remember to change characters when conversing with yourself.
I really hate internet message boards...

Posted by: Master of Sockpuppets | November 25, 2007 3:11 PM | Report abuse

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