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Boudreau on Cody Eakin: 'He's very close'

10046081H21937912.JPG(Photo by Joel Richardson/The Washington Post)

Cody Eakin may have had a terrific training camp and pushed some veterans for roster spots, but because the Capitals are currently a team with a lot of depth at forward, it only made sense for the team to return the 19-year-old center to the WHL's Swift Current Broncos.

"He's very close," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "If this was a different team and different circumstances he wouldn't be gone, but he's of junior age and with the world juniors and everything that he should be a part of we didn't think it was fair to him or to us."

While Eakin might be prepared to take the jump to a professional career, Boudreau pointed out that there's little harm that can come from him having another year while serving as the captain for Swift Current. He'll have the chance to join Hershey once the Broncos' season concludes.

"He played in the finals last year; if you can play in the finals of the Calder Cup you should be able to play in the regular season in the American Hockey League," Boudreau said. "We probably in a selfish way wish he could be in Hershey, but at the same time, from my experience, when you have a chance to play your last year junior -- and this is totally from me -- and I had a chance to turn pro and they said, 'Play your last year junior,' and you're a captain and you win the Memorial Cup, it's a memory that will last forever."

Eakin's situation is much like what happened to defenseman John Carlson two years ago when he impressed during training camp but was ultimately returned to the OHL for another year with the London Knights. Returning to juniors certainly didn't hamper Carlson's development.

"I think they do things for a reason," Carlson said. "They're the decision makers and it's out of your hands. If it goes your way, great, and if it doesn't, just go do whatever you have to do to better prepare yourself for that next chance."

By Katie Carrera  | September 30, 2010; 5:13 PM ET
Categories:  Cody Eakin  
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I gotta think Perrault makes the team. So the big question is whether or not Johannson stays in Washington or goes to Hershey.

If he stays in Washington, you gotta figure he will plan, you don't keep him in the show just to put him on the bench. So you'll have 2 forwards sitting each game out of the following guys: Bradley, Steckel, King, Gordon.

Posted by: Wemiss21 | September 30, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

MJ has it in his contract to have the option to play in Sweden versus Hershey. I think the language may even be stronger. He does not want to play in Hershey. He would go back to Sweden.

Posted by: pkme | September 30, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Katie missed an oppotunity for the title of this thread, but she can use it in the future:

"Speakin' of Eakin."

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 30, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Think MP will be in as well, with MJ going to Hershey for a bit. If we trade Flash for D both MP and MJ could be in. NJ might have some D?

Posted by: mvbee27 | September 30, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

@pkme - agreed for the most part. I'm getting that he would be amenable to brief stretches in Hershey but not long ones. It may not be simply dissing the AHL but an active support for his domestic league, which he makes better by playing in. The Russians and other euro leagues were unhappy in the 90s when the NHL snapped up many top prospects, then parked them in the minors when they would've greatly helped the domestic leagues.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | September 30, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Good for Eakin in the long term. I hope he is a Cap for 10+ years, but there is no need to rush him.

Does GMGM tell MJ that they want him to go to Hershey, but promise him that he will be the first call-up? If he starts in Hershey, it could be difficult to go back to Sweden once his Swedish team starts their season. Does MJ's agent believe GMGM? Even if he doesn't trust GMGM, can MJ risk getting crosswise with the boss?

Posted by: zmega | September 30, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

some more info on Wes O'Neill who I mentioned as one of the interesting roster invites for the Bears.

I think he's bigger than 6ft4. Thats what he was when he got drafted a few yrs ago. From looking at tape, he's as big as guys listed at 6ft5. Anyway, hope he does something with his career. He's running out of options. He took some heavy licks in fights last yr where he just crumbled (fighting's not his thing but he was trying to add that to his game to make himself more valuable I guess). But he hung in there and became a better fighter as he got into more and more scraps. Anytime a skill player can add that toughness dimension to his game is a real bonus. He was one of the top 5 or 6 listed prospects in his draft yr but fell to the 4th round. I remember as each round by, there was a little buzz that no one had picked him up yet. He did have a rep for being a little weak for his size and not much tenacity.

The 6-4, 215-pound O’Neill, who has played 159 games for Lake Erie the past three seasons, would add experienced depth to Hershey’s blue line if he’s ultimately signed for 2010-11.

“He’s a bigger guy,” Bears head coach Mark French said. “He’s got a big stick. He seems to be somewhat eager to play a physical game which, being a 6-4 defenseman, he needs to do. He seems to move all right.

“With guys like that, you just really look forward to watching him in games. I’m sure he’ll play a substantial amount this weekend and we’ll see what he brings in a game.”

O’Neill has the endorsement of Lake Erie teammate Willsie.

“Great guy in the locker room, good character,” Willsie said. “A solid D-man. He’ll stick up for his teammates when needed to. He makes that great first pass, which is key, and a real solid penalty killer.”

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 30, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Here is the expected Bears lineup for the WBS game (barring any injury changes):

G. McNeill-Gustafsson-de Kastrozza

Finley (game-day decision on groin)/Yeo (if Finley is scratched)-Godfrey

grant mcneill on the 1st line? woo hooo! That's a big lineup Hershey's dressing. 6 forwards with substantial size and a total of 4 fighters upfront (Bruess, Schrock, McNeill, Recker). Those Hershey goons! lol

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 30, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

That's fine. I thought that Eakin could use a bit more muscle and could stand to physically mature a tad more, but he's got mad skillz and when his body catches up, look out NHL. I'll probably pick up his jersey if he makes it up here.

We don't have to rush him, and why should we? We've got some nice young depth coming up at center (and to think we were worried coming into training camp).

Posted by: kittypawz | September 30, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Energetic and physical winger Trevor Bruess, who sent Tomas Fleischmann flying into a bench with a check at Washington’s training camp, struck again. He laid out Dustin Stevenson when they accidentally collided in neutral ice during warmup skating, but Stevenson emerged unscathed.

“For sure, it was inadvertent,” French said. “It was big hit. It was a big hit.”

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 30, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

@RedLit - I also mostly agree with you and pkme, no disrespect to the A but the SEL is a terrific league. The situation in the 90's was exactly as you describe, and I think the Czech league in particular has yet to fully recover, to name just one example.

@zmega - I think you nailed it. MJ's in a tough spot if he doesn't make the big club; you either 1) tick off your domestic hockey federation, along with the club [and hometown fans] who nurtured your development or 2) your boss, assuming GMGM pressures him to go to Hershey, which I'd think likely.

I just hope, for both MJ's and the Caps' sake, if he doesn't make the big team, GMGM can put his pride aside, swallow his pride and let MJ do what he truly feels is best for his development.

Of course, maybe MJ makes this whole discussion moot by making the team.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | September 30, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

I am 99% sure I have seen something that said if MJ didn't make the Caps he was going to the Bears to get used to the NA game with where the Caps want centers to play which is different then what they use in Sweden. That is why it is important that MJ stay in North America. The big reason (other then the roster crunch) that he might not make the team is he has a tendency to stay back on the fore-check and play high. BB wants him going in but his former team wants him up high. Going back and sticking with that style for another year is just going to but him in the same place next year trying to change how he plays the game in camp. If he goes to the AHL he learns the style since they use a very similar style and if nothing else is 100% ready for next season.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 30, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

i wish we drafted Euros like Doug Murray.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 30, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

So O'Neill and Miskovic are the 1st pairing, for now at least? That seems like a pretty good match, I'd think they complement each other's skills. And I like that 2nd line, as well.

Just wondering, but is Kashirsky the one who's Ovie's buddy who played at Norwich, by any chance?

Posted by: Timbo_1 | September 30, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

@icehammer -
Yeah, I realize that's what BB said; personally, I wouldn't mind seeing a little defensively responsibility and accountability out of [some] of the Caps forwards. And that doesn't seem like a huge adjustment for a player of MJ's caliber.

I lived over there for a couple years - the SEL is a pretty damn good league. My point is more though, I'd want MJ to do what he truly feels is best for his development, and GMGM to put his ego aside.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | September 30, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand why MJ and his agent would insist on including in his contract the option to play in Sweden and then waive that option before final roster decisions are made. It seems to me that they wanted the provision in his contract either as leverage to encourage the Caps to put him on the big club or because he would just be more comfortable playing in his home country rather than in Hershey.

Posted by: zmega | September 30, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

anyone have any thoughts on Souray? Worth considering? Big, big cap hit, probably bad for the moe-rale on the team...

Posted by: RedLitYogi | September 30, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

there is absolutely nothing about Souray that makes him a bad fit for any locker room. He was a popular choice as the guy to replace Moreau as captain but ended up being an alternate.

I can't tell you how many different players have been in Souray's situation who have never had their leadership or character questioned. He's not by any stretch some type of locker room cancer. No more than Linden or Oates or Pronger or Kono or any of the other players who have been stuck in awkward situations with their organization at the time.

his on-ice play has been debated here (mostly by folks I'm assuming who have never really watched him play).

I think he'd be a worthwhile acquisition for a yr or two depending on what we give up to get him. He's not my first choice by any stretch but he'd definitely be a strong veteran presence on our blueline and offer us something we've lacked since the days of Mark Tinordi.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 30, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse


Yes indeed, Kashirsky is Ovi's buddy, along with being an alum of Georgetown Prep.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | September 30, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

and kashirsky is damn strong on his skates. In the Flyers scrimmage he really stood some guys up when he ran into em. He's like the anti-Flash

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 30, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Regarding MaJo, i'm not even sure if his former SEL-team, Färjestad, has a roster spot left for him, seeing that they're already 6 games in to the season.
I really think he can be a good fit Semin and Fehr, two rightshots for his good hands to set up.

I'd like to see

Getting rid of Flash, Steckel, Chimera. Leaving us with an extra 2,8 mil to our already 4+ mil. That gives us plenty of room to fix our D.

Posted by: Walle | September 30, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse


Reality check: Practically speaking 100% Rookie Goalies; 33% Rookie D; and your plan -- 33% Rookie Forwards.

Are you trying to win the Calder Cup or the Stanley Cup?

I LOVE our young talent more than anyone, but it is going to get SMOKED come April/May.

GET REAL FOLKS -- lets end the freaking Camps...we are smoking our own and drinking too much of McPhee-Aid.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | September 30, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Capsfan and cstanton - thanks for the Kashirsky info, very cool. Not positive but think he's the same guy a couple buddies skated with at Kettler awhile back, if it is they said he's a great guy. And I'm presdisposed to like anybody who runs into Flyers players, in any case.

Walle - I like that lineup, a lot. And if BB thinks MAJO plays a little too defensively, well, if he's paired with those two - gifted as they both are offensively, I'll be the first to admit - he'd better prepared to help out the two D.

Political Strategist - I've been pretty tough on GMGM in the past [well, relatively speaking I s'pose] but I think the drafting has improved 100 percent the last couple years - granted there was plenty of room to improve. I also don't think you can really peg Varly as a rookie goalie, at this point.

Posted by: govtimbo | October 1, 2010 6:10 AM | Report abuse

Also, re-reading Walle's post, I think he was saying that with that lineup, there's plenty of cash to help on the D end, when needed. Not only Varly, but I think Carlson's not truly a rookie, at this point - not after the way he played in the playoffs and homestretch last spring, anyway. He and Poti were terrific together, I hope BB at least lets them start out together again, why mess with a good thing.

Posted by: govtimbo | October 1, 2010 6:14 AM | Report abuse

@Wemiss21 - Cody Eakin is 19 years old.

He will not be 20 years old until next May.

He is eligible to play in the NHL, but NOT in the AHL, because of age restrictions.

Next season, he goes to Hershey full time if he doesn't come here; this year, he cannot go to Hershey until his season with the Swift Current Broncos is over.

Them's the rules.

Posted by: irockthered | October 1, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse


Carlson was not returned for "another year" with the London Knights. He played there 1 year after he was drafted out of the USHL. He had an offer to play in college but chose to go play for Dale Hunter. Yes the Caps sent him there rather than Hershey, as he had already committed to London, but he was also eligible to play at Hershey as the "under 20" restriction in the AHL applies only if you are drafted out of the Canadian JRs. That is why Chris Bourque was allowed to join them at 19 after he left college (He also never played in Jrs).

Posted by: Varly | October 1, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

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