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Posted at 3:32 PM ET, 02/10/2011

What makes David Steckel so good at faceoffs?

By Lindsay Applebaum

Capitals center David Steckel has won 64.5 percent of his faceoffs, the best rate in the NHL. How did he become so dominant?

Check out Dan Steinberg's story to learn more -- but not too much, because "If I gave away my techniques then everyone else would know," Steckel said -- and then explore an interactive graphic on faceoff techniques, as explained by assistant coach Dean Evason.

By Lindsay Applebaum  | February 10, 2011; 3:32 PM ET
Categories:  David Steckel  
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Next: Capitals reinforcing their need to go to the net

Comments

I do not want Jason Spezza.

1) He has missed 12 or more games in 4 or the last 6 seasons.

2) In order to get him we would have to ship Semin somewhere and unless we can find someone who will give back a second line winger who is cheaper then we will have Laich, Fehr, Chimmy, and Knuble as 3 of our top 4 wings.

3) Jason Spezza has always been a top line guy, how will he play with Laich and Fehr or similar as his wings. He has put up numbers with guys like Marian Hossa, Alfredsson, Havlat, and Heatley. I don't think his numbers will be very good if he is with our second line wings without Semin and if Backstrom get moved down he also has not been as good on lower lines so we hurt his value even more then his bad season has.

Looking at 4th Periods list of who is still available at Center I would rather have in order: Jason Arnott (only one year left and has playoff experience), Stephen Weiss (has contract until 12-13 but cap hit is only 3.1M), Tim Connolly (last year of his deal), Dave Bolland (just won cup only issue here is his contact, would have to take Poti).

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 10, 2011 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I remember seeing a bunch of recent articles with very detailed arguments as to why winning faceoffs is completely overrated. If that is your one and only legit NHL skill, I say you're not an NHL player.

I quickly tried to dig up those articles (there were like 5 or 6 of them that went into all kinds of numbers and details) but couldn't find them. I'll keep looking and post them if I find them at some point.

I found this piece from several years ago that just touches on the topic but the other pieces I'm looking for made far more detailed and substantive arguments:

http://puckstopshere.blogspot.com/2005/12/faceoffs_08.html

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 10, 2011 3:58 PM | Report abuse

the folks who want Arnott. Have you watched him play over the past 3 or 4 yrs? or are you just going by what he did with the Devils (1st time around) and the Stars?
He was a legit power forward in those days. He's not that anymore. He's about as physical as Steckel is, if that. You can never discount what an old tired guy can give you for a playoff run, but he'd have to change the way he plays and I for one would never trade for a guy who needs to change how he currently plays just to make him effective.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 10, 2011 4:06 PM | Report abuse

on this team, you need BOTH Brads and Beags in the lineup.

Now if we had thought AHEAD and perhaps drafted and developed a bigger stronger younger cheaper version of Bradley, this wouldn't be an issue.

Without making another deal the rest of the way, the only way to maximize our roster strength is by bringing up Beags, waiting for Fehr to get healthy, and then replacing MP and Gordo in the lineup.

Then you'd have

Ovy-Backs-Fehr
Semin-Laich-Knuble
Hendricks-MaJo-Beags
Chimera-Steck-Brads


That would be my lineup with some flexibility on the lines. And I still wouldn't expect to get out of the 1st round with that. I think the 1st and 3rd lines would be decent. The 2nd line would be up in the air. And the 4th line would hit once every 2 or 3 games.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 10, 2011 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I didn't think this team had a chance of contending when McPhee got younger at key positions and otherwise sat on his hands in the offseason. There are too many needs to address at this point to make us a legit contender this season, regardless of where we end up in the standings.

Anything we do should be for next season and beyond. If you can make deals that address some of our pressing core needs (2C, 1D, etc...), get them done. Try to do the best you can this season obviously but there are too many minor changes that need to be made in addition to the big things.

Address anything you can for future needs but don't waste any key assets on players that will only be useful for this season due to age, contract, etc...

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 10, 2011 4:13 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1 The main reason I had Arnott on that list and at the top is 1 his contract is up after the season and 2 he has a ring and can do something no one on this team right now can do and that is stand up in the locker room and tell the team what it takes and call out those who aren't doing it. That is worth much more to me then what any available center can do on the ice. Now if somehow we can get another player who can do that in another trade then Arnott's value to us goes down big time. I see Arnott as our version of Bill Guerin going to the Pens.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 10, 2011 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Beyond the faceoff circle, Steckel really doesn't do anything at a clear cut NHL caliber, at even strength or on the PK. On the PK, specifically, he's a total liability if he's out there while the puck is in our end. His lack of speed, most importantly when it comes to changing directions, completely negates his long reach. Add that his hands aren't good and that he is slow with his stick and you don't know if he'll be able to clear a puck that he should be able to clear. Then add in that he gets knocked off the puck too easily due to a lack of core strength or something and you can't expect much from him along the walls in puck battles. The techniques used along the walls are clearly very different than those used in the faceoff circle, where he obviously excels.

If we end up sticking with Semin, I keep arguing that he needs to be made one of our key PKers. Yes, he has weaknesses, too, but he has more potential in that area than any other player currently on the team. His combination of quickness, length, great hands, great anticipation and takeaway skills give him many of the tools to be key in that role. He can consistently apply pressure on the points in a way that few others can when he is focused and determined. Among the risks are that he tries to get too cute with the puck when he wins it instead of making the simple play or that he takes a frustration penalty and puts us another man down. Still, I think you try to reduce those issues and take advantage of his natural skills in that area.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 10, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

@tmac. I really don't think that we still need a #1 D. I think by next year Carlson and Alzner will be a good top pair, they already are getting played against the other teams top lines and shutting them down for the most part and this in their first real full season. The second pair with Green and Schultz is very good for a number 2 pair. What we really could use is another physical type defender to pair up with Erskine who actually has a little speed and get rid of Poti.

I am not saying #2 C is our only problem we could really use a true top 6 winger (Fehr, Chimmy, Knuble are not that). We really only have 3 wings (Ovechkin, Semin, and Laich) who are true top two line guys and even Laich is not there with how he is playing this year which is why our second line as a whole is struggling not just the center position.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 10, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

CStanton, I agree with icehammer on Arnott. The options for centers who will be FA's are not great - they all have warts on them. I can't see paying a lot to get a higher quality center with a long term contract at this point because of what the team would have to give up and how it would block the chance to work in Kuznetsov and Eakin. To make the salary cap work, the Caps need to continue to work in cheap younger players with talent.

Moving Laich to 2C for the playoffs makes sense IMO if they can't bring in a 2C and moving Fehr up to the first line makes sense too.

Does Madden have anything left in the tank? I'm not talking as a 2C, but as a checking line/PK veteran with Cup experience.

Posted by: zmega | February 10, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse

I see Arnott as our version of Bill Guerin going to the Pens.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 10, 2011 4:14 PM

The problem is that the Pens had all the other things in place needed to be a legit contender.

We aren't even close.

I hope McPhee doesn't waste any valuable assets on a player(s) that will only be serviceable this season. We have too many holes to fill.

Address a longer term need so there are less things to fix this coming offseason and before next year's trade deadline.

This season became a developing season when he went so young at so many key positions and failed to start shaking things up after the epic failure of a 3rd consecutive year ending with a Gm7 loss on home ice.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 10, 2011 4:30 PM | Report abuse

@tmac. I think Steckel does has a skill other then faceoffs and that is shotblocking. Among our forwards only Backstrom has more blocks per game. Also Steckel is 3rd on or forwards in SH TOI per game and our PK is #2 in the league. Yes, he does not have great speed but with his reach he takes away passing and shooting lanes and also has the ability to take the puck like he did against SJ which led to a failed breakaway. He didn't score but his reach helped him knock the puck down at the offensive blue line in mid air. There are many other times the does something similar but that was the most recent example.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 10, 2011 4:32 PM | Report abuse

GMGM will never do anything significant to actually win the Cup, he already thinks he has all the talent in the world on this team.

Also another reason he won't do anything is that apparently his job is as secure as that of the supreme court justices.

Posted by: joek443 | February 10, 2011 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Someone made a good point on Fisher not being worth a #1 pick in the 20s.

Since 2004 we have picked Green, Schultz, Finley (oops), Varly, Carlson, Johansson and Kuznetzov in that range of selections.

Posted by: tominsocal1
-----

this would be why 1st round picks are so valuable to the Caps now! They are drafting well, so a 1st to the caps could be a top 15 talent like Kunetsov or Johansson whereas if they don't have the 1st AND no 2nd, they have very little return on that season's draft class!

For Fisher I would have given the 1st and 3rd but don't fool yourselves, if he went to Nashville, it was arrange for his wife to be happier! we had no chance I bet!

Posted by: FrankM73 | February 10, 2011 4:37 PM | Report abuse

There are rumors(maybe baseless) that if the Dallas Stars continue to slide(they are only 5 points above 9th now) that they might look at possibly moving Richards.

Just saying.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 10, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

icehammer,

I like a lot about both Carlson and Alzner and think they both have plenty of potential. Alzner has particularly impressed me over the last couple of months even though Carlson gets most of the hype.

Regardless, they will both still be extremely young next season. Carlson just turned 21 and Alzner is 22.

Keith and Seabrook were considered very young for d-men at 26 and 25 but they both had 4 full seasons of experience under their belts.

Carlson-Alzner have a lot to learn at this level. It takes years for d-men to really figure things out and become consistent.

Sorry but Schultz is an overrated slow and soft oaf. I don't care how good he is positionally or with his stick. I'd love to move on from him. His value was probably at an all-time after last season. Should've tried to move him, imo.

Here's an exercise: Go team to team across the NHL and see how many teams would even use him in their Top 4. There are a lot of cellar dwellers that wouldn't even use him in that role. There are a bunch of teams where he may not even crack the top 6. Look at Philly or Vancouver or a bunch of other elite teams. It's crazy that he was considered a top line d-man for us.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 10, 2011 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Frank,

It's not all roses when it comes to Caps drafting.

Yes, Kuz and Mackan look to be ok picks. What about Finley, Sasha P and Gus? Two busts and a third that sure looks that way.

If there is a way to package up a deal to get Weiss, why not go for it? Not worrying about 2C would be nice for a change.

Posted by: Steve_R | February 10, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I see Arnott as our version of Bill Guerin going to the Pens.

Posted by: icehammer97

that's my point. He's NOT Bill Guerin. Guerin had more left in his tank when he went to the Pens. And he has ALWAYS been a very gritty player, something Arnott has not been. Guerin imo was on a much higher plane of leadership and grit than Arnott ever was. Arnott's always been more of a follower, Guerin's a born leader ala Brendan Shanahan. I've watched these guys play their entire careers and there are distinct differences between the 2. When Arnott was motivated to play to his full potential and he felt comfortable in a lineup, and he had youth on his side, he was a dominant force. The Caps almost got him several yrs ago right before the draft in a deal that involved Mike Grier. But Dallas balked at the last min and the deal got scrapped. So it wouldn't surprise me if Arnott was on our radar.

But I wouldn't give up anything but a mid round pick for him. He's a pure consolation prize type of player at this point. Certainly not worth a 2nd rounder or a good prospect. And I wouldn't be excited about having him in our lineup. The locker room speech stuff is way overrated. If you can't do it on the ice, no one will listen. And he's not the fiery player/leader that Guerin was.

Its going to be disgusting to hear all the hockey "experts" once again proclaim what a genius McPhee is when he overpays and lands Jason Arnott. Again, there's no guarantee that he'll be a bust. Just that based on how he's played over the past few years, he's on the decline and his competitive nature has certainly been on the decline. He'd have to really dig deep and make a committment to this team and give it all he has, otherwise he'll be useless.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 10, 2011 4:45 PM | Report abuse

If there is a way to package up a deal to get Weiss, why not go for it? Not worrying about 2C would be nice for a change.

Posted by: Steve_R

I would absolutely give up a 1st round pick as part of a deal for Weiss. Weiss is a good, young center who is relatively inexpensive.

I don't see the Caps getting him, but I would love it if they did.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 10, 2011 4:48 PM | Report abuse

We will get the token "we are going to go with the players we have," from GMGM or he will tweak it with the likes of Corvo and Walker or other crappy players that will help us choke in the first round.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 10, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I think we are a lot closer then many think. Call me what you want and say what you will but I think if our players can start playing up to their potential, something a vet like Arnott could help do, we are a better team then last year team in the playoffs.

Look at what we lost and gained from last year.

Lost Corvo gained Hannan. I don't think there is anyone here that won't call that a gain.

Lost Flash, Theo, S. Morrisonn, Walker, Belanger, and B. Morrison.

Gained (assuming we get Arnott for a pick such as a 3rd that got Langenbrunner) Arnott, MJ, Alzner (for more then just one playoff game), Hendricks, and Neuvy.

So looking piece by piece
Flash v. Arnott - Flash probably scores more but Arnott knows how to play in the playoffs and is a leader

Belenger v. MJ - Both struggle on offense but ok defensivle Belenger wins in a close race because of PK ability

B. Mo v. Hendricks - Hendricks wins hands down

S. Mo v. Alzner - Alzner doesn't hit as much but is amazing playing with Carlson.

Theo v. Neuvy - Theo didn't do much in the playoffs as a Cap (not all his fault) so we are really just talking about backup goalies anyway.

There are guys who are losing a step being old (Knuble) but it is balenced out by the gains of the younger guys getting NHL time (Carlson).

So unless someone thinks that I am way off on my compairing of players it looks to me that team wise we are one player away from being at least as good as we were last year only this time we play a more defensive game more suited for the playoffs. I am not saying we are a player away from being the team to beat for the Cup but we are a player away from being a tough team to take out especially if our top guys play like our top guys which a guy with Arnott's experience can help bring to the locker room.

As for tmac saying "The problem is that the Pens had all the other things in place needed to be a legit contender." At the time the Pens made that trade they were around the playoff bubble (forget were on that exact date) made only two real moves during the season (also traded Ryan Whitney for Kuntiz) and were doubted for losing Hossa and having no good wings to play with Crosby or Malkin.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 10, 2011 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I would take Weiss over any of the other mentioned players now that Fisher's off the list.

Weiss has youth, he's more competitive now than he was when he first entered the league (remember how Sutherby abused him?)


As for Brad Richards, no thanks. For what it would cost to get him, no thanks.

He's playing in a very protective lineup in Dallas. He can afford to dipsy doodle around and let his wingers crash the boards and do all the dirty work. He has space in that lineup. We need a center who can do a lot of the dirty work himself in our lineup. You don't just pluck a Brad Richards out of the Dallas lineup and expect him to have the same impact with the kind of linemates he'll have in Washington. Stephen Weiss competes harder on the ice to make things happen and for our needs, he'd be my guy if I had a choice between him and Richards. I've seen Brad Richards look pretty damn bad on the ice in the past. He's heavily reliant on who he plays with. Weiss is more well rounded and consistent in his game regardless of his linemates.

A team like the Rangers would benefit more if they had a Brad Richards because their wingers are better suited to create some room and pick up loose pucks along the boards than are our guys.

now if you wanted to also bring in James Neal to play with Richards, then its a different story. In lieu of that, no thanks.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 10, 2011 4:55 PM | Report abuse

There are not many other times where Steckel does somehting similar to the play where he intercepted that bad pass and went in on goal. That's a once in a blue moon type of thing. He made that other nice play along the boards in Calgary but overall, he doesn't have the hands or anticipation skills to do those things on the regular. I could go on and on about why I think Steckel is overrated but I've done it too much already.

Beyond that, I see more kool-aid drinkers buying into McPhee being an awesome drafter. How good he's been is a relative thing. Unless you compare what he's done to what other teams have done, meaning you have a knowledge of the drafting of all 29 other teams to make a comparison, it's impossible to know how good or bad McPhee is in that area. Citing Mike Green and 1 or 2 other players is meaningless unless it's compared to what other teams have done.

I know for a fact that I read an article about a year ago that said the Caps had more 1st rd draft picks than any other team in the league over the prev. 10 years from the time of that study. They evaluated the picks of every team using metrics like NHL games played and other stuff by draft round.

Number one, the study showed that we'd been dreadful from the 2nd round and on.

It also showed that we really didn't do all that well even in the 1st rd given all the picks we had due to the rebuild.

Scouting may be one of McPhee's better areas but that doesn't mean much when he goes after Joe Corvos and extends Tom Potis. When it comes to trading, roster construction, contract decisions, etc..., he sucks.

As far as the recent draft picks (since the time of that study) like Eakin, Kuznetsov and even the young guys currently on the team in Johansson, the goalies, Carlson, Alzner, etc..., we really can't draw conclusions about those players until several years from now. Hype is just hype. Let's see what they do over time, particularly in the case of propsects who haven't even played a single NHL game.

I've been looking for the draft analysis piece for a while but I definitely read it. If I or anybody else can find it, it is an interesting read that helps debunk yet another myth about McPhake.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 10, 2011 4:55 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton. It looks like we both are thinking about the same thing for Arnott as I have him being gotten for a 3rd rounder at most we just were saying it in two differnt ways. I will make sure I am clear in saying I would not give up anything more then a 3rd for Arnott. I would love to trade them a 3rd, MP, and Poti for him (yes I am willing to give someone MP for taking Poti off our hands) but I don't think they would take it.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 10, 2011 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Why do people keep on saying that Alzner doesn't hit much?

He is 3rd on the Caps in terms of defensemen in hits with 81, only behind Erskine and Mike Green. He is 6th on the team overall.

Only 4 Flyers(and only 2 Flyers D-men) have more hits this year than Alzner.

He is not a crushing hitter or anything, but the guy does hit decently.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 10, 2011 5:04 PM | Report abuse

In all honesty, I think GMGM has done an incredible job. If you think about how he has changed this franchise, and will run through a wall(literally) for his players. My only critcism, and I think it may be shared by many of us, is he hesitant to pull off that blockbuster trade or free agent that may sacrifice some future, but gives you a better chance to win today.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 10, 2011 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Yea, but the significant change that season was bringing in a new coach. They took off from that point and didn't look back.

In general, the point is that Shero and his staff are infinitely better when it comes to roster construction than McPhee.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 10, 2011 5:06 PM | Report abuse

He is not a crushing hitter or anything, but the guy does hit decently.

Posted by: sgm3 |

no doubt that Alzner raised his physicality this year esp during the losing streak. He kinda grew a pair during that streak and that does speak to his character. He didn't like losing and he added an edge to his game. And he's had one or two games this year where he was clearly a physical presence on the ice, something I didn't expect to see this year from him.

Lately however, his physicality has been very poor. He was downright timid in the Pens game until one shift in the 3rd when he finally had enough of getting drilled by Kunitz so he paid him back on a hit.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 10, 2011 5:08 PM | Report abuse

He is 3rd on the Caps in terms of defensemen in hits with 81

---sgm

He should be fifth on our team with that many hits, not 3rd. Teams like Dallas, the Rags, and quite a few others have 3 or 4 dmen over 100 hits already. Erskine's our only guy with over a 100 and he's on his way back out of the lineup once Potty gets healthy. What a coddled little bunny he is.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 10, 2011 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Frank,

It's not all roses when it comes to Caps drafting.

Yes, Kuz and Mackan look to be ok picks. What about Finley, Sasha P and Gus? Two busts and a third that sure looks that way.

If there is a way to package up a deal to get Weiss, why not go for it? Not worrying about 2C would be nice for a change.

Posted by: Steve_R
----
that 2005 draft class was pretty pathetic wasn't it? lol

my point with their late 1st round drafting is that if you match the caps up against all the other pick in the last third of the draft and compare, the caps are doing very very well... that fact makes the caps first more valuable to us when weighing trades!

Posted by: FrankM73 | February 10, 2011 5:17 PM | Report abuse

lyle,

Add in that he seems to totally underestimate the impact of the greater parity in the hard cap era.

We saee the GMs of the last 2 cup winners consistently being extremely active and willing to make sacrificies when that small window is open.

Just look at how different the league is right now this season that it was at this time last season. Teams will be rising and falling much more often because of the greater parity created by the financial constraints.

Leonsis and McPhee's plan to be "good for a decade" is foolish. They seem to think this conservative approach will lead to multiple cups and maybe even a dynasty.

Think again.

Anything is possible but in the hard cap era, the likelihood of seeing dynasties is less than ever before. There will be more risers and fallers year after year than ever before because of that parity.

If McPhee is still our GM in 5 to 7 years, my guess is that we will be a team than never got close to a final but was consistently above average during the regular season. My belief is that he doesn't have the vision or feel to finish off this rebuilding process. Even if Leonsis is expecting long-term success, a good GM that understodd the current state of the league under the hard cap would convince him that they needed to be all in the last few years. The window hasn't closed yet but McPhee is letting it get smaller and smaller by the day. Before long, there will be a whole new set of elite teams that started rebuilding in recent years and we'll end up being like Ottawa and maybe San Jose in terms of real success. We'll be pretty good but never good enough.

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 10, 2011 5:17 PM | Report abuse

In all honesty, I think GMGM has done an incredible job. If you think about how he has changed this franchise, and will run through a wall (literally) for his players. My only criticism, and I think it may be shared by many of us, is he hesitant to pull off that blockbuster trade or free agent that may sacrifice some future, but gives you a better chance to win today.

Posted by: lylewimbledon
----
THIS! Agree 100%

Posted by: FrankM73 | February 10, 2011 5:19 PM | Report abuse

In general, the point is that Shero and his staff are infinitely better when it comes to roster construction than McPhee.

Posted by: tmac2yao

I think the biggest difference between the Pens and the Caps is that the players on the Pens know that even if they win a game, if they don't play the right way their coach will not let em off the hook. That prevents bad habits from creeping in. The Caps otoh can play a lousy game and if they pull it out, all is good. Coach is crackin jokes, players are out gettin laid, fans are giddy. No one sees the locomotive comin around the corner.

The Pens don't have a real dropoff in their play from game to game regardless of wins or losses. They can roll with some injuries (even though they're being really tested right now) that would cause other teams to fold. They don't mind going into Philly and trading shot for shot, jab for jab. I've never seen the Pens get pushed around in the last few yrs. And its that swagger and confidence that has allowed them to maximize their talent level.

Their work ethic is quite simply astounding. Many other teams given the Pens' recent successes would be slacking off bigtime. Part of it is they've got so many good role players like Kennedy, Talbot, Kunitz, Asham, etc. And the rest of it is Shero and Bylsma. They won't allow that team to go thru the motions.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 10, 2011 5:21 PM | Report abuse

If you think about how he has changed this franchise, and will run through a wall (literally) for his players
----------

lets see. GM created a mess that he was then allowed to try and fix. Has he fixed much? Not if you go by his playoff records. What he's done is taken this franchise into the gutter for a while, then raised it back up. So compared to his own record, he's done a lot of fixing. Does that make me wanna kneel and blow the guy? no.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 10, 2011 5:25 PM | Report abuse

He should be fifth on our team with that many hits, not 3rd. Teams like Dallas, the Rags, and quite a few others have 3 or 4 dmen over 100 hits already. Erskine's our only guy with over a 100 and he's on his way back out of the lineup once Potty gets healthy. What a coddled little bunny he is.

Posted by: cstanton1

Philly only has 2 D with over 100 hits. (3rd D on Philly has 61)
Detroit has NO D with over 100 hits. (3rd D on Detroint has 77)
Pitt has 2 D with over 100 hits. (3rd D on Pitt has 85)
Boston has 2 D with over 100 hits. (3rd D on Boston has 82)
Chicao has 1 D with over 100 hits. (3rd D on Chicago has 38)
Vancouver has 1 D with over 100 hits. (3rd D on Vancouver has 78)

Posted by: sgm3 | February 10, 2011 5:29 PM | Report abuse

@CStanton

He took us to the Finals his first year, with some very good moves I might add - Esa! Then he had to deal with the Jagr situation, which may have been Ted's fault, mostly...who knows? Given the constraints placed on him by a new owner that wanted to rebuild in order to build a brand, he has done well. I'm not sure you will find a smarter GM in the business, whether that translates in short term and championship moves has yet to be determined.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 10, 2011 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Does Madden have anything left in the tank? I'm not talking as a 2C, but as a checking line/PK veteran with Cup experience.

Posted by: zmega

i don't think so. Again, lets look at who he got to play with in Chicago and compare that to who he would play with in DC.

Madden played with a lot of bottom 6 wingers. Troy Brouwer, Versteeg, Buff at times, Eager, Kopecky.

How does that compare to our checking line wingers?

There isn't a checking line forward with Troy Brouwer's strength and power on the Caps. Not to mention his versatility.

Versteeg's tenacity/ability is maybe matched by Hendricks. But Gordo/Steckel/Chimera etc don't stack up to what the Hawks fielded as their bottom 6 forwards. Bradley barely measures up.

I don't think bringin in older vets like Arnott and Madden will end up doing much for our team. It'll make us older and push a guy like Beagle out of the lineup permanently. You need strong legs to push thru every playoff shift. You don't want guys who 'pace' themselves.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 10, 2011 5:43 PM | Report abuse

@CStanton

He took us to the Finals his first year, with some very good moves I might add - Esa!
------------------------------

I don't want to take the Finals appearance away from McPhee but we had a lot of things go our way that year as well in the playoffs. I don't want to rehash it all. But even if McPhee did a great job in his debut, he did a lot of other bad things that had NOTHING to do with the Jagr trade. That's a nice giant smokescreen set up to excuse 7 yrs of bad hockey. From the Mironov signing, to the Cassidy hiring, and a slew of non-Jagr related things inbetween.

ok, so how do you think our team would've looked without Jagr? The prospects we gave up for Jags were all busts. So they wouldn't have helped us. The only other help we could've gotten was via free agency then without Jagr's big contract, right?

how has McPhee done in free agency so far?

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 10, 2011 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Arnott has size. I'd rather get a player who is 100% dedicated and willing to USE his size. Arnott isn't that player. He'd be a very very very slight improvement to our team. He'd be another big guy who doesn't use his size effectively. Isn't that pretty much the insignia of this squad? A big shy team?

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 10, 2011 3:38 PM | Report abuse
-------------------------------------------
Taking a puck to the head will do that. It definately changed his career because he used to be that type of player before he got a puck implanted in his skull in Edmonton. Probably would change the way I play the game too. LOL!

Posted by: pokerface1208 | February 10, 2011 5:52 PM | Report abuse

In all honesty, I think GMGM has done an incredible job. If you think about how he has changed this franchise, and will run through a wall (literally) for his players. My only criticism, and I think it may be shared by many of us, is he hesitant to pull off that blockbuster trade or free agent that may sacrifice some future, but gives you a better chance to win today.

Posted by: lylewimbledon

Very true.

If you are always preparing for the "future" you will NEVER win today.

The defacto problem with solely building through the draft is the economics with regard to salary cap space. As your youths continue to develop and mature, your salary cap space will decrease and you'll have to trade away players (or lose to them to free agency) that you invested years into and won't be able to afford anything in return. Just my perspective. I could be wrong.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | February 10, 2011 5:53 PM | Report abuse

In all honesty, I think GMGM has done an incredible job.
---lyle----

if by "incredible" you mean he made it incredibly hard for us to make the playoffs for several years and then made it incredibly hard to get out of the 1st round, I won't argue with you there.

"If you think about how he has changed this franchise"

Yes, he certainly changed the franchise. Lets hope someone else changes it for the better.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 10, 2011 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Free Agency over regularly overpays players cstanton, you know this! it's a bidding war and you rarely get what you pay for, it's usually less!

Posted by: FrankM73 | February 10, 2011 5:54 PM | Report abuse

...in addition to losing your players, you'll have to fill those roles with rookies, which is sort of the problem that we're in at the moment. What do we have 7 rookies? Our "core" has an average age of 25. It just seems like the more they build through the draft, the younger the team gets.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | February 10, 2011 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Taking a puck to the head will do that
-----------------------------------------

Gary Roberts broke his neck. It didn't change his game. Look at an Erik Cole and what he's been thru.

Some players are just harder than others. Arnott was never a tough hardnosed player. He just became one at certain times in his career, but that was never part of his nature. And when its not part of your inherent nature, you naturally revert back to your comfort zone at some point. Either when you get older, or you get less hungry, or you end up on teams who don't espouse a certain kind of hockey or who lack the overall character to drive you to do your best, etc etc.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 10, 2011 5:57 PM | Report abuse

For the Caps not to be able to outdo that deal tells me

1) McPhee doesn't value Fisher that much

*Cstanton*
-----------------------------------------
Let me say this, it's not so much that he doesn't think Fisher isn't worth a 1st & a 3rd (or 2nd), it's that 2 more years of a "Center" contract @ $4M/yr isn't worth it to him.

With Eakin & Kuzzy comin in the mix bringing in that contract at that position at that cap hit may not make sense.

Like it or lump it but that is the thinking.

And hey, who knows maybe that will change before the deadline? Doubtful though.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | February 10, 2011 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Free Agency over regularly overpays players cstanton, you know this! it's a bidding war and you rarely get what you pay for, it's usually less!

Posted by: FrankM73 |

whats yer point Frank? I mentioned free agency only because I wanted to dispel this notion that the Jagr deal (allegedly pushed for hard by Ted) somehow tied McPhee's hands for several yrs and prevented him from improving our team in other ways.

Again, we gave up 3 prospects for Jags, all of whom were busts. Sure made McPhee's draft record look pretty miserable for several yrs in a row that contributed to some lean yrs for the team COMPLETELY INDEPENDENT OF THE JAGR TRADE

And to circumvent anyone saying that the Jagr trade and subsequent contract somehow prevented McPhee from improving this team via free agency, i pointed to McPhee's free agency record over the years after we got out from under the big contract. Not that great is it? That's why I mentioned it. Just to show that the Jagr deal did not tie McPhee's hands up in such a way that he couldn't improve the team in other ways.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 10, 2011 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Arnott did have an OT SC GWG in a game 6. That is pretty clutch. He definitely had the stones to step up and perform in that high pressured situation.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 10, 2011 6:06 PM | Report abuse

•Pierre LeBrun of ESPN: More Maple Leafs could be on their way out, with Tomas Kaberle’s name at the front again this year,

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 10, 2011 6:09 PM | Report abuse

I don't think anyone selected in McPhee's first 4 drafts (98-01) has contributed in any meaningful way in the NHL.

Sutherby I think is the best of the bunch. Did anyone else get more than a few games?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 10, 2011 6:09 PM | Report abuse

btw, i'm not arguing that a team should be dramatically improved via free agency. I like the more subtle free agent deals myself although I would still have liked to have gotten a Chara.

If you can get guys like Asham or Nystrom to fill out your bottom 2 lines, that's the kind of deal that makes sense to me in FA. Or you find a budding young power forward the way Calgary did when they signed Rene Bourque.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 10, 2011 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Let me say this, it's not so much that he doesn't think Fisher isn't worth a 1st & a 3rd (or 2nd), it's that 2 more years of a "Center" contract @ $4M/yr isn't worth it to him.

With Eakin & Kuzzy comin in the mix bringing in that contract at that position at that cap hit may not make sense.

Like it or lump it but that is the thinking.

And hey, who knows maybe that will change before the deadline? Doubtful though.

Posted by: pokerface1208

I am pretty sure he lumps it. I think he lumps everything.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 10, 2011 6:10 PM | Report abuse

pokerface:

my point is i don't think McPhee has a clue what he wants. He seems afraid to actually go out and get the "right" pieces. Poile made a good move. i guess you appreciate the comments GMGM made during the Della Rovere/DJK move. yeah, that is some good stuff!!

Posted by: doughless | February 10, 2011 3:59 PM | Report abuse
------------------------------------------
Trust me, McPhee knows exactly what he wants, he knows exactly what he feels he needs and he knows exactly what value those pieces have to him and that will dictate whatever move he makes doesn't make. I don't think that's the argument to be made though. The argument to be made is, is he right?

Anybody who knows GMGM his reputation is of a very deliberate, close to the vest & incredibly knowledgable hockey mind. So he knows what he wants you just may not agree with it is all. I don't agree with it at times either. I don't know that I agree with him about Fisher not being worth a 1st and 3rd (or 2nd).

But make no mistake, he knows what he wants. Lets just hope he's right.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | February 10, 2011 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Sutherby I think is the best of the bunch. Did anyone else get more than a few games?

Posted by: tominsocal1

krys barch :)

ironically, he's currently providing some 4th line toughness for Dallas. He was a middle of the road player in the juniors, the Caps didn't sign him. He reinvented his game in the minors to become a very physical player. And he's now gotten a chance to provide 4th line toughness in the NHL with the Stars. He's not a great fighter but he's a gamer. And he's not a loose cannon. Just a solid hitting guy who plays a simple game, and adds to the team toughness.

for my money, the best player in those early yrs who got drafted was Pettinger. He added the most.

I guess you can count Oduya now as well. But Pettinger was a very good player for us for quite a few years.

The backstory there is, he almost got cut by the Caps when he was in Portland. He was underperforming and they couldn't figure out why. My Portland contact at the time was a female reporter who hung out a lot with the players and she kinda told me once that Pettinger was drinkin his azz off all the time and was headed to ruin. I passed that tidbit along to the Caps, they then made him room with a veteran player who took him under his wing, and the rest is history :)

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 10, 2011 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Anybody who knows GMGM his reputation is of a very deliberate, close to the vest & incredibly knowledgable hockey mind
----------------------------------------

whoa there!

deliberate yes, i used the same word
close to the vest ? absolutely. That way he covers himself at every junction.

Incredibly knowledgable? You lost me at inc

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 10, 2011 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I am pretty sure he lumps it. I think he lumps everything.

Posted by: sgm3 |

when are your lumps gonna drop?

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 10, 2011 6:25 PM | Report abuse

George McFee is the WORST GM in hockey !!

He's a complete fake, has no class (most recently Belanger) and will always get what's coming to him, NOTHING !!

Had ZERO part in their trip to the finals, Failed miserably only to be rewarded with drafting Ovechkin, then after numerous coaches, has Boudreau save his job.

Look at him on HBO, arrogant is an understatement. It's utterly disgusting that he's employed as an NHL GM.

Posted by: LarryDavid | February 10, 2011 6:27 PM | Report abuse

I forgot about Oduya.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 10, 2011 6:27 PM | Report abuse

i pointed to McPhee's free agency record over the years after we got out from under the big contract. Not that great is it? That's why I mentioned it.
*Cstanton*
-----------------------------------------
Why would you want to make big FA acquisitions when you're in complete rebuild mode?

This criticism I think holds no merit like the (how many yrs has McPhee made the playoffs) criticism. If you're in complete, and I mean complete rebuild mode you're not going after prized FA's, you're not looking for Scotty Bowman as your coach and you're not lookin to make blockbuster trades. So how can you say he's a terrible GM for not doing those things (at that time) when you said you're not gonna do it and your plan was the complete opposite? Key words "at that time"!

He certainly is responsible now and that's not where my argument lies. AT THAT TIME he just purged ALL of his assets and got what he could for them so their mindset wasn't on making playoffs and hiring Stanley Cup winning coaches etc is all I'm saying.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | February 10, 2011 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and wasn't there a Kris Beech and a Krys Barch? Wasn't Beech in the Jagr deal, then we got him back a few years later?

Another guy in the Jagr deal was Charlie Stephens? I think McPhee had 4 out of the first 37 or so in 99.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 10, 2011 6:30 PM | Report abuse

so did McPhee apparently.

Its funny that Barch and Oduya are two mid to later round draft picks that have made it to the nhl with someone besides the Caps. Funny in the sense that McPhee has a hard time finding guys outside the 1st round.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 10, 2011 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Incredibly knowledgable? You lost me at inc

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 10, 2011 6:23 PM | Report abuse
----------------------------------------
LMAO! I'm glad I didn't have a drink in my mouth. Yes he is Cstanton and you know he is. Like I'm saying tho, you may not agree with his thoughts, beliefs, and assessments but he is very deliberate and knowledgable. LMAO!

Posted by: pokerface1208 | February 10, 2011 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Another guy in the Jagr deal was Charlie Stephens? I think McPhee had 4 out of the first 37 or so in 99.

Posted by: tominsocal1


nope. We gave up Beech, Lupaschuk, and Sivek.

I think we let Stephens just go without signing him. The Avs redrafted him but nothing came of it. He had some 'mental' issues. Was a classic underachiever and didn't play upto his size.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 10, 2011 6:34 PM | Report abuse

@poker

you are missing the entire point. I'm not arguing that McPhee should have landed big free agents during the early part of this century.

I'm saying that the Jagr trade did not hamstring McPhee from improving this team. That's it. I only brought up FA because Jagr got a big money deal from Ted and somoene could have argued that having such a large contract on the team could have prevented McPhee from offering a large FA contract to someone else.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 10, 2011 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Yep I missed the point then b/c Jagr's contract in no way shape or form should've prevented him from doing anything. Other than make the team better of course! LMAO!

Posted by: pokerface1208 | February 10, 2011 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Like I'm saying tho, you may not agree with his thoughts, beliefs, and assessments but he is very deliberate and knowledgable
--poker--

poker

how can i agree that he's extremely knowledgable when i don't agree with how he assesses certain things? He overvalues certain traits and undervalues others. Based on those 2 things, I find his hockey acumen to be a little questionable.


Posted by: cstanton1 | February 10, 2011 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Yep I missed the point then b/c Jagr's contract in no way shape or form should've prevented him from doing anything. Other than make the team better of course! LMAO!

Posted by: pokerface1208 |

sorry, you're speaking in tongues again.

How did Jagr's contract prevent McPhee from improving the team? Please articulate and dumb it down so I can follow your thought process.

Are you suggesting FREE AGENCY? Yeah, maybe without Jagr's contract to tie us down, McPhee could've landed another 2 Dimitri Mironovs.
l
m
a
o

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 10, 2011 6:41 PM | Report abuse

how has McPhee done in free agency so far?

Posted by: cstanton1
----
Free Agency regularly overpays players cstanton, you know this! it's a bidding war and you rarely get what you pay for, it's usually less!

Posted by: FrankM73
-------
whats yer point Frank? I mentioned free agency only because I wanted to dispel this notion that the Jagr deal (allegedly pushed for hard by Ted) somehow tied McPhee's hands for several yrs and prevented him from improving our team in other ways...

Posted by: cstanton1
----
My point is that you asked a question, and I stated that teams end up overpaying for players via free agent. Perhaps I should have been clearer.

GMGM is not a risk taker, he prefers to sign mid level players that 'fit' the system at a reasonable cost. He has not done a big trade or big UFA signing in his history. This is his MO and an org phil. Anyone that expects him to make a big trade or UFA signing and overpay has obviously not comprehended the org philosophy that they will always be prudent with all player transactions with respect to short and long term benefit and money.

To expect GMGM to do anything otherwise is like buying a lottery ticket and thinking to yourself "I've got a GOOD chance!"... it just ain't happening.

I agree with you that the Jagr trade didn't hamper GMGM's ability to draft, develop, hire coaches and such. But the orgs track record and statement on development has been draft, develop, add mid-level pieces along the way.

From a business perspective, would you buy a 100 stock for 125 knowing that maybe in the long-run it might be worth 135 or more? No, and so do the Caps brass

I, for one, am very happy GMGM and crew is running the show, not less-minions or armchair GM's! If you don't like what he did, write Ted... personally, I'd just like to see some love around here! So much bloody fighting!

Posted by: FrankM73 | February 10, 2011 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Cstanton

fair. this whole "knowledgable" thing has the great potential to open up a can of worms and mixing words I don't really care to get in to. I think we both understand where each other stands though.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | February 10, 2011 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Anybody who knows GMGM his reputation is of a very deliberate, close to the vest & incredibly knowledgable hockey mind. So he knows what he wants you just may not agree with it is all.
--------------------------

yes, yes, yes, he's a legend in his own mind.

Posted by: joek443 | February 10, 2011 6:45 PM | Report abuse

LMAO! Sounds like there's a scouting party at the Tor/NJ game! LOL. I've heard anywhere from 8 to "a scout representing each team"! LMAO! Gotta love this time of year.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | February 10, 2011 6:46 PM | Report abuse

yes, yes, yes, he's a legend in his own mind.

Posted by: joek443 | February 10, 2011 6:45 PM | Report abuse
--------------------------------------
LMAO! He is isn't he?

Posted by: pokerface1208 | February 10, 2011 6:48 PM | Report abuse

TheFourthPeriod David Pagnotta
Scouts here tonight are from: BOS, MTL, NAS, PHI, PIT (2), STL & WAS

The game he is talking about is the Leafs/NJ game. Don't know what this means if anything just relaying info.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 10, 2011 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Where is the proof that given MONEY and a smaller team payroll, that McPhee has proven he can add the right pieces via trade or FA?

seriously, where's the proof? I haven't seen him add anyone except Knuble. Where's the proof that he's capable of taking on big contracts for good players via trades to improve our team?.

His FA acquisitions ONCE HE HAD TED's MONEY TO PLAY WITH HAVE BEEN BRIAN POTHIER, TOM POTI, MIKE KNUBLE. Oh, and Mironov. 3 offensive dmen who can't play defense, and one older but solid nonspectacular veteran winger.

Quite the coup!

So where's this ridiculous notion come from that Ted somehow screwed the team for yrs by forcing McPhee to acquire Jagr?

Its total BS. But someone said it, so it must be true.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 10, 2011 6:50 PM | Report abuse

With respect to the gambler:

He gets voted "Best Player" by his peers the year after he gets traded to New York.

No better statement to let the Caps know it had nothing to do with him but instead the organization, especially the idiot that hired a buffoon coach to tell the best player in the world what to do.

Posted by: LarryDavid | February 10, 2011 6:50 PM | Report abuse

We have scouts at the Toronto vs NJ game tonight.

Posted by: ThePat | February 10, 2011 6:50 PM | Report abuse

I should say scout at that game....Pitt has two there, 5 other teams as well.

Posted by: ThePat | February 10, 2011 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Yep I missed the point then b/c Jagr's contract in no way shape or form should've prevented him from doing anything. Other than make the team better of course! LMAO!

Posted by: pokerface1208 |

sorry, you're speaking in tongues again.

How did Jagr's contract prevent McPhee from improving the team? Please articulate and dumb it down so I can follow your thought process.

Are you suggesting FREE AGENCY? Yeah, maybe without Jagr's contract to tie us down, McPhee could've landed another 2 Dimitri Mironovs.
l
m
a
o

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 10, 2011 6:41 PM | Report abuse
-----------------------------------------
Dude lay down the crack. I'm agreeing with you and you don't even know it. Why should I try to explain how Jagr's contract hampered the organization when it didn't?

Posted by: pokerface1208 | February 10, 2011 6:54 PM | Report abuse

George "the defense is complete" and "the imbecile that hired Cassidy" McFee

Ted "5 year plan" Leonass

Real knowledgeable, especially on how to screw people over and over again.

See Belanger

Posted by: LarryDavid | February 10, 2011 6:54 PM | Report abuse

@ThePat

I'm guessing Versteeg, Kaberle, and Arnott would be the guys to get a look at.

Although there is always hope that the Devils will trade Zajac(I know they won't).

@pokerface/@ThePat

Is GMGM considering acquiring a D-man, even just a depth D-man, because of the possible long-term injury problem of Poti? I'm guessing he doesn't want to have Sloan as the 7th D-man for the playoffs.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 10, 2011 6:56 PM | Report abuse

I agree with you that the Jagr trade didn't hamper GMGM's ability to draft, develop, hire coaches and such. But the orgs track record and statement on development has been draft, develop, add mid-level pieces along the way.
---frank--

thank you. You don't win Cups or become dynasties without making the RIGHT acquisitions. And McPhee hasn't made enough of em. Prudent or otherwise

There have been plenty of mid-level acquisitions made by other GMs that McPhee SHOULD have been involved in but was not.


"From a business perspective, would you buy a 100 stock for 125 knowing that maybe in the long-run it might be worth 135 or more? No, and so do the Caps brass"

It makes me sad when analogies fail to come across. This one doesn't make sense to me because hockey trades and valuations don't quite work in the way you laid it out.

Whats keeping the Caps from the Cup isn't a big hit or miss player. Its players who have a proven track record of providing a certain type of play. Those are the guys we should be pursuing. Not the Corvos and Potis of the hckey world. Who aren't even big hit or miss guys. They're midpriced players who suck.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 10, 2011 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Dude lay down the crack. I'm agreeing with you and you don't even know it. Why should I try to explain how Jagr's contract hampered the organization when it didn't?

Posted by: pokerface1208

how are you agreeing with me when you sarcastically dished out an LMAO and implied that Jagr's contract did prevent the org from "making the team better"?

did i just misread what you wrote?

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 10, 2011 6:59 PM | Report abuse

LarryDavid - I'm not a GMGM apologist and never said he never did anything right/wrong or even shrewd but there's 2 sides to every story. I would think if you want to critisize his handling of somebody wouldn't your 1st target be Nyls? He's far more innocent in the Belanger case than Nyls.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | February 10, 2011 7:00 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

Id swap out Kaberle and put Zajac and you have your 3 guys.

And they werent as of 10 days ago, but wouldnt surprise me now if they are starting to the longer and longer Poti is out. If we do look at D it would be a depth move and think of a guy of the caliber of Martinek from the Isles. Not saying it would be him, but that caliber and salary.

Posted by: ThePat | February 10, 2011 7:02 PM | Report abuse

We have scouts at the Toronto vs NJ game tonight.

Posted by: ThePat |

Kaberle? gross
Can't imagine we're after Versteeg or Colby.

It'd be nice to land Clarkson.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 10, 2011 7:02 PM | Report abuse

No way, Belanger is a clear example of a "man" going against his word.

Leased home, kids enrolled in school and then Boom, no deal.

Really a classless, cowardly move.

Posted by: LarryDavid | February 10, 2011 7:03 PM | Report abuse

See Belanger

Posted by: LarryDavid | February 10, 2011 6:54 PM | Report abuse

You mean the guy whose agent screwed him then when coming out to the media and trying to make the Caps looked bad just made himself look even worse by looking like a person who just believed whatever he was "told" and showing no actualy proof that GMGM actually said anything, his proof was an email sent by the agent claiming GMGM said things he never actually provided any evidence from GMGM himself. The same agent who one his website claimed to have played two years in the minors, on the same team that BB was playing on at the time, only to have it found out that he never played a game for them and he was just lying.

Yep, clearly GMGM is the bad person in that deal and not the agent. Belenger got screwed but it was by his agent not the Caps.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 10, 2011 7:04 PM | Report abuse

If the Caps can't get a legit 2C, let's not settle for a broken down POS like Arnott.
It wouldn't kill us to pick up Kaberle & get a left handed point for the PP. But, I don't think that is going to happen.

If nothing else, this makes some good conversation on an off day.

Posted by: chriscaps | February 10, 2011 7:06 PM | Report abuse

No way, Belanger is a clear example of a "man" going against his word.

Leased home, kids enrolled in school and then Boom, no deal.

Really a classless, cowardly move.

Posted by: LarryDavid | February 10, 2011 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Never told him to get home in fact several times told the moving company he was not a member of the Caps. In fact several times canceled the moving date because he was not a member of the Caps.

They also never told him to enroll anyone in schools and never did anything to do it for him.

Posted by: icehammer97 | February 10, 2011 7:07 PM | Report abuse

did i just misread what you wrote?
---------------------------------------
yes you completely misread. Here's what I said.

"b/c Jagr's contract in no way shape or form should've prevented him from doing anything. Other than make the team better of course! LMAO!"

I'm laughing at the notion of "your job is to make the team better". Imagine that.

Wow bro, you feelin alright tonight? Picture drawing class will be held at 8pm EST! :)

Posted by: pokerface1208 | February 10, 2011 7:08 PM | Report abuse

only problem with having scouts at the Leafs-Devils game is that we generally don't compete with other teams for the same player. Because that would take having to bid a little higher.

I don't think anyone was really after Joe Corvo last year. So we got him. That's how we also landed Pothier and Poti. Knuble prolly had some suitors but he was a better fit for us since we needed a veteran grinding RW to play on a top line. Not many teams have that need to where a Knuble would ended up being heavily sought after.

overall point being, if there are more than 2 teams competing for a certain player and we're one of those teams, we're probably not going to get that player.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 10, 2011 7:08 PM | Report abuse

And they werent as of 10 days ago, but wouldnt surprise me now if they are starting to the longer and longer Poti is out. If we do look at D it would be a depth move and think of a guy of the caliber of Martinek from the Isles. Not saying it would be him, but that caliber and salary.

Posted by: ThePat |

Yeah, that would make the most sense. My guess would be the Caps wait until February 28th to acquire a depth D-man since there is no need for him now and they can wait as long as possible to see what happens with Poti. In addition, depth D-men are sort of interchangeable at the deadline. But I think they will have to grab someone with Poti's injuries this year.

However, I could see them acquiring the forward before the deadline if they are able to work out a deal as there are probably only a few they want and if they are able to grab one they want it would be better to get him sooner rather than later.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 10, 2011 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Wow bro, you feelin alright tonight? Picture drawing class will be held at 8pm EST! :)


Posted by: pokerface1208

yeah i'm feelin great!

sorry dude, my bad for gettin all blustery.

Maybe I need to borrow some of sgm's crampy meds.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 10, 2011 7:13 PM | Report abuse

@icehammer97

David is a great guy. Do you know him? How'd you find out about his deal? He does a pretty bang up job too.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | February 10, 2011 7:14 PM | Report abuse

yes, yes, yes, he's a legend in his own mind.

Posted by: joek443 | February 10, 2011 6:45 PM |

lol... bingo!

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 10, 2011 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Anyone want to buy my season tickets?

Posted by: SOMDHockeyCoach | February 10, 2011 3:11 PM


Based on your earlier post, you seem to feel that the entire Caps organization (except perhaps one or two players) is worthless, So maybe you'd like to part with those tickets for, say, $20.00...

...for all of your Washington Capitals tickets.
...for the remainder of the regular season.

Seriously, since you feel the team is so worthless, then the tickets must also be worthless. Thus, can you really expect anyone else to pay you face value for them?

I repeat: I offer $20.00 cash money for all your remaining Washington Capitals tickets for the 2010-2011 NHL season.

Email me at Rhino401@verizon.net

I mean it.

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 10, 2011 7:16 PM | Report abuse

If the Caps can't get a legit 2C, let's not settle for a broken down POS like Arnott
---chriscaps---


This leads me to my last point of the day.

This is something that never gets talked about but is an important philsophical view on how to improve an organization. So thanks to chriscaps for articulating this.

You don't go for a booby prize (unless they're actual boobies) just because you miss out on your top 3 targets.

I have no doubt that Corvo for ex was NOT our top target no matter what McPhee felt compelled to say. But in lieu of not landing other players, you don't go after a Corvo. For one, it forces you to take another more deserving player out of the lineup. Two, it cost us a 2nd and a prospect.

If you miss out on your top targets, you bite the bullet and move on. We did the same thing going after Nylander. We tried to arrange a trade for a couple of players (I think Jeff Carter was one of them), it didn't work out. So we went after an old finesse dying center instead. Those kinds of moves end up prolonging how quickly you can get better.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 10, 2011 7:17 PM | Report abuse

I repeat: I offer $20.00 cash money for all your remaining Washington Capitals tickets for the 2010-2011 NHL season.

Email me at Rhino401@verizon.net

I mean it.

Posted by: Rhino40 |


leave it to Rhino to try and swindle a hardworking but disgrunted Caps fan out of his overpaid season tix

lmao, just kiddin. I respect a good swindle when I see it! Anyone see The Sting lately?

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 10, 2011 7:20 PM | Report abuse

He has not done a big trade or big UFA signing in his history
----------------------

I considered the Linden/Zubrus moves to be fairly big because we gave up 2 young "core" players at the time in Bulis and Zed. That trade also involved 2 high draft picks.

He's capable of it. But maybe his age is precluding him from pulling the trigger, if you know what I mean winky wink


courage and vision. That's what a good GM needs. I don't see that in the way McPhee runs his operations. He's ultraconservative and fairly blind.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 10, 2011 7:28 PM | Report abuse

He's ultraconservative and fairly blind.
----------------------------------------
LMFAO! Is that kinda like being blind in 1 eye and can't see out the other?

Posted by: pokerface1208 | February 10, 2011 7:38 PM | Report abuse

"What makes David Steckel so good at faceoffs"?
------------------------------------------
I don't know but he better thank God he can otherwise he'd never sniff the NHL.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | February 10, 2011 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Steckel's a bum. So's Boyd Gordon.

Zenon Konopka has been near the top of the league in faceoff percentage all year. Last year as well. While the rest of Steckel's skills are AHL level, Konopka can fight, hit, and provide leadership. I'd take him over Steckel any day. If a player has only one NHL level skill, why aren't the articles pointing that out?

There is no way McPhee has a higher level of intelligence than any other GM. A GM who utters the phrase 'when you get "a Tom Poti" back in the lineup' is subject to criticism. Tom Poti belongs on a bottom feeder team, not one with Cup aspirations.

Posted by: Fletch22 | February 10, 2011 7:54 PM | Report abuse

also have a scout at the Kings vs Pens game

Posted by: ThePat | February 10, 2011 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Very disappointing to see a team like the Predators get Fisher for draft picks. I realize he has a pretty large salary and cap space may be an issue, but he'd be a major upgrade as a 2nd line center. He's a legit 20-goal scorer, good on PP and PK, and has playoff experience. Essentially, the Caps would have had to give up their 1st next year and a fringe player like MP or Jay Beagle. It just doesn't seem like GMGM really cares about getting better this season and is content to get into the playoffs with the current roster.

It seems that GMGM and Leonsis are content gto let BB sink or swim with the current roster and then move on after the season if the team goes out in the first round. Very sad to see a team that was close to contending a year ago not doing anything to get any better.

Posted by: wizfan89 | February 10, 2011 8:13 PM | Report abuse

They will never pull the trigger and make meaningful moves to win the Cup. GMGM will make some moves to throw those who rock the red a bone and create an illusion that he's doing something.

But when it comes down to it, their number one priority is fill the seats and everything else comes second. Their plan is to have a team good enough to make the playoffs every year and whatever happens in the playoffs is gravy to them. They will NEVER "go for it" like Philly, PItt or Det goes for it every year.

The fact that he's still the GM of this team after all these years is quite fitting actually. His team plays in DC after all, a city full of people who are gainfully employed for doing next to nothing.

Posted by: joek443 | February 10, 2011 8:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to disagree with probably everyone on the Jagr deal. It set us back greatly.

First we signed Jagr at $11M/yr. Then we turned around and signed Lang at $5M year (actually not that bad of a deal) and some Czech d-man for $2.5M. So we had $18.5M, half the payroll, tied up in three goofy Czechs.

We also still had Oates and this was about the time we traded for Linden and Zubrus. And we had Gonchar, Kono still and Nylander maybe. Plus Bondra. Sheesh, a lot of talent. Oh, and Olie! And Witt, when he was good, and maybe still Calle Jo.

Jagr destroys the chemistry. We actually get a half decent player for him in Carter, but we traded him to LA for what? Lang got us Flash (Hannan) and Green.

The big problem with Jagr is we were paying $4.5M for like 4 yrs after he was gone (thankfully he missed an option yr on his contract by finishing 2nd in scoring not 1st in the 7th year) and that really hosed the payroll. Along with there was no attendance because team interest went way down the final Jagr year (I for instance hated him so much I didn't order Center Ice that year).

Having Jagr essentially made the team have small pox, the plague and VD all wrapped up in one for like 7 years.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 10, 2011 8:42 PM | Report abuse

I see above Pittsburgh has 2 scouts at the Tor/NJ game. I guess one is watching Toronto, and the other one New Jersey.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 10, 2011 8:43 PM | Report abuse

also have a scout at the Kings vs Pens game

Posted by: ThePat

Handzus?

Posted by: zmega | February 10, 2011 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Also the reason why Leonsis and GMGM can get away with the BS is that this is still not a big hockey town.

There is really no reason for them to mortgage the future and win the Cup. They already tried that and failed. What they have apparently learned is that they don't have to go for it like that again.

Again their plan is be good enough to make the playoffs every year and see what happens.

Posted by: joek443 | February 10, 2011 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Skinner just got manhandled by "Jimmy" Coburn.

How come we don't have anyone like Coburn on D?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 10, 2011 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Don't know if any folks here get SI, but there's an article about the Flyers rookie goalie Bobrovsky. There's a quote in there from Bob Clarke regarding Roman Cechmanek's time as their netminder. The quote is 'He was an outstanding goalie, he just s**t the bed in the playoffs. He wanted to go home. He had no commitment to winning the Stanley Cup.'

While this quote may not necessarily apply to our goalies, it may very well apply to some of our soft forwrds. I really don't see the same commitment from a few of these guys come April when the paychecks stop.

Posted by: Fletch22 | February 10, 2011 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Skinner just got manhandled by "Jimmy" Coburn.

How come we don't have anyone like Coburn on D?


Because we have 'a Tammy Poti'.

Signed,
George

Posted by: Fletch22 | February 10, 2011 9:08 PM | Report abuse

And a Brenda Gordon.

And a Jessica Schultz


Jimmy Coburn, great reference. Last movie of his I saw was Affliction. Role of his life. First movie of his I saw was SkyRiders. He hang-glides into a mountain fortress and saves someone, his daughter maybe? She was being held hostage for ransom.

you're still a little off the mark on the Jagr deal. You can always mitigate a Jagr moved forced upon you by making other moves. It didn't help that we traded Kono for Bates Battaglia and Jonas Johanssen. Was Alan Alda not avail to throw into that deal?

I can point to about a dozen bad moves McPhee made which exacerbated that Jagr trade. And I can point to another dozen moves he DIDN'T make that he could've.

So lets get off this 'McPhee got screwed' notion. He didn't get screwed. He got a huge gift. Because he was able to surreptitiously blame the owner (by letting Ted take the blame) for those lean years. If there was a bad move to be made in the early 2000s, McPhee made it.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 10, 2011 9:29 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if the following moves were also forced upon McPhee. Blame Ted for these too? And don't give me that they're "cheap". there's other guys who made similar bucks who were better options.

James Black
Ivan Ciernik
Jason Doig
Kiwi
Ivan Majesky
Mathieu Biron
Kip Miller
Sergei Berezin
Joe Sacco (i liked his effort overall but you can't have Sacco as one of your top role players)

When you give Jagr that type of surrounding cast, in essence you put him out on a limb. How many cheap shots did Jagr take in his first 2 seasons with the Caps? McPhee offered him virtually no team toughness protection after Jagr had basically enjoyed it his entire career.

You can't have Jagr LEAD the team and put it on his shoulders. He needs other guys to give him that cushion on the ice so he could be successful. The GM should have constructed a better supporting cast around him, and it wouldn't have taken millions of dollars to do it.

Posted by: cstanton1 | February 10, 2011 9:42 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1:

I was only half-kidding. More than anything else, my post was meant as an object lesson to those who are always bashing GMGM because he fails to trade away the players they don't like for the players the Caps probably can't get.

Many think we should get rid of this player or that whom they perceive as "soft" or "useless", and yet expect to receive a gritty, high-powered blue-chip roster player in return.

Seemingly absent from the discussion are the following vital components of NHL trade-craft:

1) You as a GM must offer value to receive value in return.

2) Except for salary-dumps. (The Devils need to dump salary. The Caps, not so much)

3) NTC/NMC or not, the trade pays off better if the player feels motivated to play for the acquiring team.

4) The wise General Manager is trying to do what's best for his team, but in an insular community like the NHL, it isn't good business to burn your bridges: It doesn't help you in the long run to go out of your way to screw the other guys, because you really don't know what the next season will bring.

Would I like to see guys like Richards or Saint-Louis or Iginla or Byfuglien in a Caps sweater? Sure! But would they fit? Would they want to come to DC? Would their current teams part with them, and if so would it be worth the price asked?


Then again, I haven't been able to afford to go to a live game in some time, and if there was the smallest chance that a "swindle" might work...well, let's just say I had to try XD

Posted by: Rhino40 | February 10, 2011 10:34 PM | Report abuse

also have a scout at the Kings vs Pens game

Posted by: ThePat

Handzus?

Posted by: zmega

Probably because the Caps play the Kings on Saturday and then in Pittsburgh a little bit afterwards (they may want to get a better look at some of the players the Pens are playing now because of injuries).

But most likely because the Kings are coming to town and the scouts don't get to see them as often.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 10, 2011 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Too bad our scouts didn't watch the Sharks before they came to town because obviously our players had no clue what to do.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 10, 2011 11:41 PM | Report abuse

@Frank M73
@lyle wimbledon
@pokerface
@cStanton
@pkme
@icehammer
@sgm3
@Loyd Christmas
@joek
@tmac

What hockey are these GMGM fans watching ? Do they truly watch the play offs past are ALWAYS early exit. If they did, it would become very obvious that GMGM has collected a team full of pu**ies. The idea is to win the Cup, not fill the building with upset Redskin fans(Take note Ted: Wiz return to prominence, and Caps continue to piss their pants in the playoffs, you'll lose all those $$$$$ folks from Montgomery and Fairfax in a New York minute. Wall becomes the next Ovi, and there will be 3,500 people in the building for the Caps on Wednesday nights AGAIN.)

Guy next to me at the Sharks game didn't know that we used to wear black when I wore my old Kolzig jersey ? No wonder GMGM gets away with this for so many years. His counterpart in Pen's land has run circles around him. This town is so Redskin oriented that people don't even realize how bad this guy's performance has been as a GM. It's MIND NUMBING. You can't win the Stanley cup with half the team wearing panties.

Cstanton touched on another area other than draft and FA disasters. This team does not have the work ethic of the Pens.
The ENTIRE NHL KNOWS THIS !

What exactly is GMGM so knowledgeable about ? He's great at convincing the fan base and owner that a guy like Corvo, who beats up women in bars, is gonna' hoist. Come on! Enough already! Corvo is a jerk. AGAIN, the entire NHL knows this !

Our owner is a nerdy Georgetown Alum who wanted to buy the Bullets, but got hit with a "bait and switch" by a shrewd con artist : Abe Pollin. Yea, that's really all he was. His product sucked 90% of the time!

Even after 36 years ,we still have a fan base that is just "out to lunch". I think some of you guys buy your panties from the same Georgetown Boutique as Stecks, Gordo, Semin, Poti, Sarge, Fehr, and Chimy. You're all in the same "club". Next it will be GMGM "power scarfs". What a fruit cake !

As my cousin in Chicago says, "Boy your GM has really built a "play off beast" with all those high draft picks"

Lastly the Zed for Zubrus trade was a disaster. Zed played hockey. Zubrus is in the "panty club"

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 11, 2011 1:26 AM | Report abuse

@Lylewimbldon
@Frank M73

Get off our site ! This is site is for hockey fans !

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 11, 2011 1:31 AM | Report abuse

What is amazing is that GMGM thinks that a Cup contender can have room for a "one trick pony" like Stecks. Stecks had an open net against Pens in playoffs two years ago and missed. I guess he was mentally getting ready for the next face off. Stecks = panty club.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | February 11, 2011 1:36 AM | Report abuse

Leaving for Costa Rica in 1 hour....GO CAPS, KICK SOME A@@ THE NEXT WEEK!! I wanna return and see ya sitting ontop of the division standings

Posted by: vermontcaps | February 11, 2011 4:12 AM | Report abuse

No MORE LAZY EUROS/Russians!!!!!

We have too many right now...


Posted by: SoaringCaps | February 11, 2011 7:52 AM | Report abuse

@Hunterforcoach

I'm only addressing you because you addressed me, but what in gods name are you babbling about? I can't tell if you like building through the draft, like GMGM, hate the Caps fan base, don't like building for the draft, want to buy panties at a Georgetown Boutique, or what?

Yes the fan base is ignorant but thats because this area has almost no roots. The people that grow up around here leave and the people that live here aren't from here (they're usually from Pittsburgh it seems). If the Caps orginated in some place like Richmond VA, you would see a totally different fan base that would rival Detroit or Chicago, but this area is just too transient.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | February 11, 2011 7:54 AM | Report abuse

We have scouts at the kings game...

I think we are looking at moving Poti and Semin for Doughty...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | February 11, 2011 7:55 AM | Report abuse

You guys are funny!!!!!!!

Posted by: koppleschloss | February 11, 2011 8:12 AM | Report abuse

@Lylewimbldon
@Frank M73

Get off our site ! This is site is for hockey fans !

Posted by: Hunterforcoach
----
@Hunter:

are you actually being serious telling me to leave? or was that some type of sarcasm that I missed?

Posted by: FrankM73 | February 11, 2011 12:21 PM | Report abuse

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