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End of an Era (Updated)

I'm sure you've heard by now that Olie Kolzig has decided not to return to the Caps next season after nearly two decades with the organization. If you haven't, read about it here.

There's really not much more I can add to the story - all of his best quotes are in today's article. He's disappointed with the way things ended. (I'm sure lots of other folks are, too). But I got the sense during the interview that he's at peace with an extremely difficult decision and is looking forward to the next chapter in his career/life.

Update:I'm told that Comcast SportsNet's Jill Sorenson spoke to Kolzig this morning and parts of the emotional interview will shown on Washington Post Live this afternoon. I'll also be in studio with Al Koken to discuss Kolzig's decision.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 9, 2008; 8:58 AM ET
 
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Next: Team Officials React to the Kolzig News

Comments

Damn....

Posted by: Locknar | May 9, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Surprised that he seems to be leaving the area, I thought he was pretty entrenched here. I was hoping he would retire, have a nice ceremony next year, and replace Reekie as the pre-post game guy on CSN.

Posted by: MadCap | May 9, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Olie-Mr. Capital.

Posted by: dave | May 9, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Here's to you, Olie.

*raises glass*

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | May 9, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

With my head hung low all I can say is...

Thanks Olie for an awesome time! Ive never known another Caps starter. It was a great ride thru ups and downs. Good Luck and I'll be there when 37 gets lifted to the rafters!

Posted by: MetalCap | May 9, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

replace who????

Posted by: reekie | May 9, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Peace out!

He has enough dough to live the rest of his life nicely and comfortably. What's next? His jersey on the rafters...

The King is dead. Long live the King!

Sign Huet!!!

Posted by: King Huet | May 9, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

For all the Olie bashers from this past year, this is a sad day. Albeit, not unexpected.

For a man that wore a mask, he was the strongest face and frontman on the Caps team for many years. Fantastic for the community and for the team. If you do not believe that, then you are too young of a Caps fan.

I do not know what to think of management on this because from what I can see, they have not spoken to anyone face to face since the season ended. Maybe they are just letting the wounds of the season heal. I dunno.

Huet is not the future of this team, rather he is the bridge to our future. We should not make him the savior many think he is.

Huet should have played in every game he did, up until Game 4 that is. I still believe Olie should have been in Game #5 and nothing else will convince me otherwise because it is just my opinion.

Thank you Olie for all the great years on this team and giving us a sturdy wall of support both in goal and out.

Posted by: CT Caps Fan | May 9, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Goodbye Olie you've been overpaid for your services. Your history, the 4 and out finals was the one time you got the CAPS beyond the first playoff round. Time to sign Huet, or someone who can make this team elite in the net. BJ can go too, a third rate goalie.

Posted by: dossier | May 9, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Obviously he lived here during the season but in the offseason he lived out in Arizona so he wasn't as entrenched as a Reekie is or the other retired players that still live here year round. At least I think it was Arizona. Anyway he definately handled himself like a professional these last few months but he wouldn't have helped being down 3-1. The Flyers would have ran him even more than Huett knowing Zilla's temper would have gotten them at least a handfull of retalliation calls. He is a Hall of Famer in my book as a Cap and I will miss watching him play.

Posted by: Caps73 | May 9, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

unfortunately, the visitors to this blog have been more than disrespectful to the guy who led us through so many seasons-- both good and bad. in the world of professional sports, loyalty and humanity like Olie's is rare. those of you who cannot appreciate him now will certainly miss him when he's gone.

this is an incredibly sad day for everyone who, like me, became a hockey fan because of Olie. he's been a great player-- and an even better person. washington will not be the same without him in net.

Posted by: suzanne | May 9, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure why Olie is still upset about Game 4. If we had lost that game and gone out 4-1, he would have a point. The fact is Huet played and won. Therefore the coaching staff were fully justified in their decision to go with Cristo. End of.

It's sad he's leaving, it always is when fan favourites leave. It won't be the last time we are in the situation, such is life.

We have to look to the future. As was pointed out on the previous thread, Olie isn't good enough to be a starter elsewhere, certainly not with a contender. Why can't he accept he's a back-up and stay and fight for his jersey in relief of Huet or whoever is the starter here in 08/09.

Posted by: Dave UK Caps Fan | May 9, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Best of luck to Olie in whatever he decides to do.

It will be interesting to see if he's willing to sign for back up money with another team.

Posted by: Steve R | May 9, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Shame on the Caps management for treating their franchise goaltender the way they have. He deserved so much better from the team that he carried on his back for so long. Bruce and George should have handled this differently. Olie doesn't have to play every game, but he should have been treated with more respect.

Posted by: Chris | May 9, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

End of an era is a fitting way to put it. It really is a new team now, the last bridge to the old Caps teams is gone.

If the Caps aren't the ones winning it, I hope Olie gets a Cup somewhere. I thought he got better when his workload was reduced later in the season, it will be interesting to see where he ends up.

Posted by: Stormblue | May 9, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

It will be the height of irony if Olie signs on as a back up in Detroit. And we beat the Wings to win the cup....

Posted by: Steve R | May 9, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

look at Olie's numbers from the All-Star game to the Chicago loss. you'll find he has plenty of gas in the tank. when he's rested, he's still a number 1. the wins were up, GAA was up, everything was clicking. he lost one game in the middle of that run and they benched him.

you can't judge a guy by a single effort. the score in CHI was 5-0. how's any goaltender supposed to steal a game if the team doesn't score at all?

Posted by: @Dave UK | May 9, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Tarik,

You do an absolutely terrific job - but I must say, I'm hopeful for a little bit more than this in days to come.

Certainly, it would be nice, if one of the Post's columnists could write a column on what Olie has done for the city and for the Capitals - or if not that, then if perhaps you could craft a longer, more detailed story on your own.

There was nothing at all wrong with your initial article, and I'm actually very relieved that Olie didn't choose to go nuclear on the Caps, but I'm just not quite sure that ending the coverage here at this point, is a respectful, professional way to handle the departure of such a Washington sports legend. This man is the closest thing that the Capitals have ever had to a hockey Darrell Green.

Will you be following up with management's perspective?

Is there is any possibility at all that Olie changes his mind after a conversation with McPhee?

Could we please know a little bit more about the charity work that Olie plans to continue in the future?

I mean, I think that there is a little more meat still left to be picked off the carcass before we leave it behind for good.

That said, as I mentioned previously, this is not in any way meant to be considered an indictment of your work - you're terrific on the Caps.

Thanks.

Posted by: NoCountryForCapsFans | May 9, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

I just have to agree with everything Suzanne said. Olie made a great contribution to the Caps over the years and all we should do is salute him and look forward to the day his number is retired.

Posted by: Ken M. | May 9, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I first heard the news on Elliot in the Morning around 6:15 a.m., while I was still lying in bed. It was pouring rain outside, perfectly befitting this sad news. I wanted to pull the covers over my head and stay there.

This really was not surprising, but I had held out hope that Olie would remain a part of the Caps and a chersihed member of the DC community to which he has given so much over the years. But, while I am saddened at the true end of an era, I am happy for Olie that he has made peace with this decision as what is best for him and his family. He has handled this situation with grace. Having met him a few times, I was always impressed. I thank him for his years of service to the Caps and the DC area community.

Tarik, kudos on a very sensitive treatment of this matter in your article. It was very enlightening in terms of how Olie feels about the team and how he arrived at this decision. I also commend you for not blogging about this before your story came out.

I will be drinking at least one toast to Olie this weekend.

Posted by: Jill | May 9, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

hey guys, I hate to break it to you. I loved Olie as much as anybody else did, and respect him for being such a great person...but what are you blaming GMGM and the front office for. If he had played and not done well, you would be criticizing Bruce, GMGM, and Ted for their decisions. The playoffs and a must win stretch at the end are not time to get sentimental, Huet was the one we needed. Any other thoughts are just pure hindsight and based on sentimentality not reason. So thank you Kolzig for the years, but lets be honest with ourselves here.

Posted by: reekie | May 9, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Olie.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 9, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Well we knew he had a temper. And now we don't have to look forward to that softie a game he was famous for letting in.

Posted by: Awesome | May 9, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Olie's off-season home is in Washington state.

Posted by: Jill | May 9, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Suzanne is right-Olie is going to be missed terribly.

Posted by: dave | May 9, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Here's wishing Olie long straight drives in the celebrity golf tour.

Looking at the currently signed depth chart for next year... Meet your new #1 goalie, Brent Johnson!

Posted by: old time hockey | May 9, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

@ Dave UK Caps Fan - The Caps lost Game 4 in OT and went down 3-1 in the series. That is the point at which Olie said he expected he might get the nod. But instead they stuck with Huet in Game 5.

Posted by: Jill | May 9, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Suzanne and Chris you folks are right on!

I too have been reading the blogs here and majority of the fans really were out of line with what have you done for me lately attitudes.

Ollie may have slipped a little but he was LOYAL, when players like WITT demanded trades to get out of the rebuilding. Mr. Kolzig stayed around and played in front a very very bad team.

I say this is what is wrong with sports and our society, No loyalty for good people and players.

As to the comment that he is overpaid, he signed that contract and stuck to it. Also people do not forget that this is not exactly the best defense playing in front of our goalie.

Ollie if you have happen to read this, thank you for a great run and i actually can remember when you came up and how good you have been!

I do not know the inner details of management (reasons) but you desereved better at the end!!

Posted by: CRSCK32 | May 9, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Wow, you knew it was coming, but still, I'm really sad to see him go. I can't imagine him playing for any other team. Olie, if you play in the NHL next year, make sure it's for a Western Conference team. I don't want to see you play against the Caps!

Posted by: ultra | May 9, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

raise 37 to the roof of the Phone Booth!!! Ted, how about a little more class in dealing with franchise players. McPhee, what is you record over 10 years?? Not very spectacular.

Posted by: doughless | May 9, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

While the article refers to game 5, I still think Olie should've been in for game 4. Yes, Huet played okay in that game, but the Flyers were in his head. Gabby needed to go to Olie just to give Huet a mental break.

Dave, I think Olie doesn't want to take away Johnny's job.

NoCountry, what, and waste precious space they could fill with Redskins offseason "news"? I'm surprised we actually got an Olie article.

Posted by: tallbear | May 9, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Loyalty is great, but reality is that Huet was the better goalie. The goal is to win, and playing the better goalie helps in that effort, no?

Posted by: Steve R | May 9, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Yes, I especially love the quote where he explains he's "not a save percentage guy"

Posted by: Chris | May 9, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Olie is not owed anything by this team than his number is the rafters. He was given a chance, like Huet, to battle for the #1 spot, he lost 0-5 to CHI. That was the end of Olie as Huet put together a stretch of games that propelled us into the play-offs.

Had we not made the move for Huet, this blog would have headlines from Tarik like.

*The Capitals watch the playoffs on TV again.

*Fedorov likely not to stay, wants to play for a contender.

*Different year, same old story.

*Capitals struggle to attract free agents

Olie had some great years and he has been a pillar in the community, but there is time when you can no longer do what you did when you were younger, that time for Olie was 2 years ago. Can he play still? Yes. Can he be a #1 somewhere? Yes, if you have Listrom, Chelios, Rafalski and Kronwall in front of you, but we dont... Thats why you need a goalie who's skills havent eroded and can steal games for you.

Thanks Olie for being a pro, thanks for sticking around during the rebuild, thanks for all the good things you did in DC... but timing sucks doesnt it?

Posted by: JSchon | May 9, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone else remember the commercial that he did back when the Caps commercials were good? The one where he takes a sip of wine, then pours it all over his face at the dinner table?

That was an awesome commercial.

That was an awesome goaltender.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | May 9, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Those of you who say Olie's old must not be Federov fans either. If anyone proved that raw passion and drive can change a game, it's Federov down the stretch. They're both 38, and they both share a love for the game so strong it can lift an entire team.

Olie, like Federov, will be invaluable for any team because of what he does on-- and off-- the ice. I hope he finds a home where his character is appreciated.

Posted by: alex | May 9, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

As for the Caps of today I say we stay as is. We cut Nylander because even though he created points he was a defensive liability. We cut loose Flash because he sucks and that's all I got to say about that. We can replace Cooke with Clarke as the RW on the second line and Flash with Fehr as they did the final games as the LW on the third line. We keep Laing as a healthy scratch and pop him in the lineup when we rest Feds because we will have to rest him during the season to keep him fresh for the playoffs. How good did we play the second half of the season and imagine how good we will be the first half of next season.

Posted by: Caps73 | May 9, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Someone said that he can still be a # 1 if his playing time is cut?

Isnt that being a # 2?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 9, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone else realize that both Bondra and Kolzig played there last game with the Caps in Chicago. Last time we played the hawks, Bondra was on the roster.. Who will be next?

Posted by: Sam | May 9, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

@ Sam

Its gonna be Ovie

Next year. Kane gets credit for the first hit of his NHL career when he catches Ove with his head down and he goes all Lindros on us.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 9, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

@Caps73

You're saying we should cut Nylander?

Where do these people come from? Look at his stats throughout his career and not 1 year where he played with 1 shoulder the entire season.

Posted by: JSchon | May 9, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

@Alex

Fifteen (15) times! Type the man's name correctly!

Fed-OR-ov.

Let's see it!

Posted by: Greg S. | May 9, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for your time Olie and best of luck to you. Caps fans won't forget what you have done and what you have meant here.

Posted by: Jimmy | May 9, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Apologies. Where I said "upset about Game 4" I meant "upset after Game 4".

As Huet won Games 5 and 6 the coaching staff were right to stick with Huet.

To the posted named "@ Dave UK" (maybe next time include your name eh?) I don't think there is anything in my post that could be construed as judging Olie for a single effort. I agree its sad he's leaving but this things happen in sport, in life.

Yes his numbers improved for that period as he got more rest but that not the definition of a starter to me. How many games did Broudeur play this season? Starters start.

As for him not wanting to stay and fight for his place because of BJ. If that is his motive for not staying, management can hardly be blamed for his departure.

Posted by: Dave UK Caps Fan | May 9, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

For all of you saying he should not have played every game but should have been treated with respect - what would you have done differently?

You don't know what was said/discussed behind the scenes.

As far as we can tell, a hot tender came in, usurped Kolzig's spot and Olie became the back-up. He wasn't in the press box, he was on the bench. They had faith in him but obviously not as much as they had in Huet.

WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY?

Could Olie have won the last 7 straight? Could he have won 9 starts in a row?

We won't know but history shows that the probability is he wouldn't.

Posted by: keef | May 9, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

All I know is I sat in section 118 from 1999-2003 and watched Olie steal a ton of games for the franchise when we a very average team. That's right - section 118 is where the opposition shoots twice, so I had plenty of action to watch.

I believe he earned every penny as a player for the Caps, and quite frankly, after watching all the bungled contract negotiations that McPhail has mis-managed over the years, I can't say I'm surprised this is how Olie is going out.

He's right about the fact they could have went to him when they were down 3-1 - but we'll never know if it would have mattered...other than respect for a proven netminder who could do the job.

It will be interesting to see where Olie goes, but I'm willing to bet someone like Detroit picks him up and he splits time w/ Ozzie etc.

I wish Olie nothing but the best, and thank him for all the years, hard work and contributions he's made to this franchise. He deserved better than this.

Posted by: Jaymagz | May 9, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I am sorry, but we need to debunk some mythology here. There is a notion floating around that Olie chose to stay here through the bad times, and thus deserved better when the good times arrived. As I recall it, the Caps tried to dump Olie back when they were getting rid of Jagr, Lang, Gonchar, and Bondra. There was talk that Vancouver might be interested. Problem was, the Caps had overpaid Olie, and nobody was willing to pay such a price for him. So let's not make him some kind of martyr. Nice guy, sure. Decent -- sometimes very good -- NHL goaltender back in his day. But when you watch the saves Turco and Osgood and Fleury and Biron make, you know Olie is not good enough to make them. And exactly what does it mean when he says "I was never a save percentage guy. I just win"? Come on.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 9, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Hockey franchises are just that; franchises. It's a business. If the pieces to make you compete at the highest levels is not there, you move the ones you have out and get new ones. It's heartless, but it's what makes the franchise consistenly a top-flight entity.

Consider:

Detroit traded Fedorov after he won the cup. They traded quite a few from that team. Was it disrespectful? Fedorov defected from the USSR to the Detroit Red Wings, not the USA.

On your fave TV show, actors come and go. They are killed, move, leave on the next transport to the newest galaxy, there are spin-offs. Olie carries a German passport with an ENTERTAINER's visa. This is an election year. There will be a new president (IMHO, thank God!). Now, there will be a new net minder.

Yes, it's a sad time for us as Caps fans. He did us all proud. He hung in through the blow-up. Stuck with us when we really stunk up the place. He did great things in this community and it is all the richer for all of his efforts. We all wish him only the best, and look forward to the day that we can proudly hang #37 from the rafters of the phone booth.

Posted by: Greg S. | May 9, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I am sorry, but we need to debunk some mythology here. There is a notion floating around that Olie chose to stay here through the bad times, and thus deserved better when the good times arrived. As I recall it, the Caps tried to dump Olie back when they were getting rid of Jagr, Lang, Gonchar, and Bondra. There was talk that Vancouver might be interested. Problem was, the Caps had overpaid Olie, and nobody was willing to pay such a price for him. So let's not make him some kind of martyr. Nice guy, sure. Decent -- sometimes very good -- NHL goaltender back in his day. But when you watch the saves Turco and Osgood and Fleury and Biron make, you know Olie is not good enough to make them. And exactly what does it mean when he says "I was never a save percentage guy. I just win"? Come on.

Posted by: Bill Nussbaum | May 9, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Thank you Olie. You will be missed.

Posted by: uncatim | May 9, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

"Those of you who say Olie's old must not be Federov fans either. If anyone proved that raw passion and drive can change a game, it's Federov down the stretch. They're both 38, and they both share a love for the game so strong it can lift an entire team. "

Posted by: alex

Except Fedorov isn't slow as a snail and have the lateral movement of an elevator! Feds still has a POSITIVE impact on the game. I know it hurts, but it is time to move on people. I don't understand the "Olie used to be great and he hung around here, so we OWE it to him blah, blah, blah" stuff.

Posted by: Elevator | May 9, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I am a lifelong Capitals fan. I know how much Olie has meant to this franchise. So the following is written with all due to respect to the Capital's netminder.

I don't understand the voices on this board who think that the situation could have been handled differently.

Let's be honest about what Olie is: An above average goaltender who played his entire career with an underachieving team. Despite a few seasons (and one playoff run) where he played exceptionally well, he was never seriously considered as one of the league's elite. Good yes. Vezina winner, yes. But never seriously part of the discussion the way that contemporaries like Brodeur, Hasek, Belfour, or even Cujo, were.

As an organization, how are you supposed to handle an aging institution who's skills are diminishing? No one disputes the fact that Olie stuck around through tough times. The fans will always remember him for that, and revere him.

But what is an organization committed to winning supposed to do? In the face of a surging Capitals team, playing their best hockey in years, Kolzig became the weak link. He was no longer the only thing keeping the Capitals competitive; in many instances he was the reason for defeat. (the Toronto debacle)

And to put a finer point on it, McPhee's acquisition of Huet was completely and utterly 100% vindicated by Huet's play down the stretch. Do the Capitals make the playoffs without Huet? I think we all know the answer to that.

Olie should be commended for wanting to stick around and wait out the bad times, but...and this is the hard truth: He didn't keep up his end of the bargain. His skills eroded during the time it took for the Capitals to rebuild.

In all honesty, Brent Johnson was playing better than Olie at times this season. For those people who think the Capitals handled this poorly, consider this final point:

After the acquisition of Huet, had it only been about production - and not about some deep seated loyalty to Kolzig - McPhee and Boudreau may have been justified in dressing Johnson for the remainder of the season and making Kolzig the healthy scratch.

As a Capitals fan, I am glad they didn't. But, Kolzig is a professional athlete, and in light of his actual play, is not being treated as badly as some perceive.

Posted by: Ben | May 9, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

@Jschon
I think you are being one of the few reasonable people here. I couldn't agree with your post any more. It sucks that it ended this way, but thats what happens. If the Caps don't try to improve themselves then people will cry and complain. I dont know where the claims about disrespect are coming in. THe Caps offered to trade Kolzig previously to a contender, but he refused. Kolzig was a hell of a goalie and hell of a person, but lets be honest here. YOU PLAY THE GAME TO WIN. Kolzig did not give the Caps the best chance to win this year after Huet got here, and her certainly wouldn't next year. Would I love to have had him as a backup? Of course, but not everybody is accepting of that role.

Posted by: reekie | May 9, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Jschon..I come from the land of OZ! Oh and I played Hockey all my life and in College and I say this to relay to you I am not new to the game although not an expert necessarily. He is a defensive liability even though his numbers don't indicate it. He is good and has always put up numbers ever since he played for the Whale. However, the guys that were on this team since the second half of the season have gelled and I don't see who you bump for Nylander. Look if we keep him I'll be fine with it or if we cut him I'll be fine. I guess it depends on the contract.

Posted by: Caps73 | May 9, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

those of you who came here to talk smack about Olie, give us a break! he's gone-- you got your wish! if you care at all about the team, give the people who liked him a chance to reflect. your comments aren't welcome today.

Posted by: suzanne | May 9, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Suzanne
Tough! Get over it!

Posted by: Smack talker | May 9, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Pretty classless. Kolzig talks to the media without even calling the Caps first (see Leonsis' blog). As far as I'm concerned, don't let the door his your butt on the way out Kolzig. You're a loser.

Posted by: Joe | May 9, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Olie. But everyone else needs get over it. This is a professional sports franchise whose stated goal is to WIN. Olie wasnt winning games for us. It is sad that it ended... but thats life. As a fan I couldnt be happier with the team and its future.

Olie has made a nice living and lots of money. Dont feel too bad for him. The Caps will retire his number and hang his banner at Verizon. it is deserved. What else can you do for an athlete of his stature.

Ok... enough. Lets move on.

Posted by: CapsFan | May 9, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

"Just win baby"

Posted by: Steve R | May 9, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

@10:11

a #1 with less time is essentially a 1A situation, a sharing situation. Its not ideal for a goalie, because usually it involves a vet and a rookie. The problem for the vet is that if the rookie shines, he becomes the #1 and the vet becomes expendable. Ask Huet about his end at Montreal. If the rookie stinks, then the vet has to pick up the slack, and can crumble under the work load.

Teams that need a vet to bring up a kid include LA, maybe PHX depending on Brtwyrwjlov's contract status (yeah, I didn't even try to get that right.) and maybe a few others that will be apparent come spring. I doubt any of those end up as contenders. Ottawa needs a goalie, but I could see that being Huet.

Posted by: old time hockey | May 9, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

think Ted talked to Olie about Huet before acquiring him? what's fair for management is fair for Olie.

Posted by: @Joe | May 9, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

OFB had this yesterday, before the news of Olie's decision. It was well thought out and well worded.

http://www.onfrozenblog.com/2008/05/08/farewell-to-our-all-time-best-netminder/

Posted by: Well Said by OFB | May 9, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

"think Ted talked to Olie about Huet before acquiring him? what's fair for management is fair for Olie."

That just doesn't make ANY sense at all! Are you suggesting that Olie's ego is so massive that management should have discussed all personnel issues with him? If that is the case, then it really is time for him to go!

Posted by: CH | May 9, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I don't know how you guys can hate on Kolzig. He was a Hall of Fame goaltender who had the misfortune of playing for a team that was bad a lot more often than it was good, especially defensively.

He didn't play well for a significant part of this year, but there were also stretches where he didn't at all play poorly. I totally disagree with the guy who said the Caps would have been justified dressing Johnson over Kolzig at the end of the season, dude let in fewer than 3 goals (ie 0-2 goals) in 10 of his final 14 games.

I'm not surprised that Kolzig's leaving and I think Huet should be the clear #1 going forward (assuming we sign him), but don't exaggerate his poor play this last season.

Posted by: ultra | May 9, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

It's a given that Olie wants to be a #1 or he will retire right?

I dont see him being a #2.

Agree?

Posted by: SA-Town | May 9, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Bye, Olie. Wish you would have stayed. Thanks for all the autographs and performances over the years..

This sucks, guys.

Posted by: Jordan | May 9, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Bottom line, Huet lost to a better goalie in the playoffs, there is NO reason to think it will not happen again next year, one and done with Huet. Personally I have no doubt that Olie should have been in the net after Huet put us in a deep hole we did not dig out of, Olie would not have let Philly push him around. But my final hope is that Huet signs with Ottawa and the Caps are left with Johnny, it would in the end serve them right. I have already told Ted that one and done will not do it next year, if winning is the only thing and it seems to be, I will not renew my season tickets unless we win and win big next year. Why have loyalty to a team that shows none?

Posted by: Bob | May 9, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I have to agree with JSchon and Reekie on this one. Noone is disputing what Olie has meant to this team in the years he has played on and off the ice but the biggest mistake a GM can make is to decide to keep or release a player based on emotion and "loyalty". This is a business and winning makes the most amount of money. Huet gave the Caps a better chance to make the playoffs and possibly advance. Having said that, I loved Olie with the Caps and will miss him. But it will make me feel better when I look up in the rafters and see his jersey proudly displayed for many years to come.

Posted by: Moose33 | May 9, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Some of you act/feel as if this is a family affair. It is not! It is a business. I followed Ollie's career from the day he was drafted and I cheered for him until the last whistle was blown for the Caps. But, all good things must come to an end, it was time, he can not compete at the level he wants or he thinks he can. He was rewarded well financially and socially from the point of the fan. The Caps do not owe him anything; I go further, and say that he owes the Capitals' organization a big thanks.
Stop feeling sorry for this guy. He made a great living playing a game he loves. How many of you wish you had that opportunity. Most likely - financially - he is set for life; I would bet some of you are probably struggling ... LOL and you feel sorry for this guy?

Posted by: x | May 9, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

A lot of sentiment today. Who's really surprised? I would have liked Olie to get the Cup, and if the Refs hadn't screwed the pooch in game 7, that might still be a possibility... naw, too many injuries and a thin defense. no match for the Pens, certainly not detroit. Zetterberg, Franzen and Datsyuk would have skated circles around the D. Mo out, Green injured.. no way. Thats the sad fact. Much like the sad fact that Olie just wasn't what he used to be. But lets remember the best times, like the Vezina and the 2-1 victories he was known for, instead of the softies, 5 holes and lost shutout bids. He was a trooper. And he did right by us.


Posted by: oo7 | May 9, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

@Bob,
As I stated earlier, if they were to have put Olie in down 3-1 I have no doubt he would have represented himself well. However because of his well known temper, Philly would have ran him twice as much as Huett and we would have been killing twice as many PK's to one of the top PP teams and would have lost in 6 at the most. Huet gave up one week goal that I can remember in the whole series, five hole in game 7. Huett stunk his way to OT in game 7 if I follow your logic. He will be an incredible addition to our club and has the potential to take a team far. He is also a great stop gap for the two teen phemons that we have in our system. In 5 years we will have that #1 goalie we had with Zilla

Posted by: Caps73 | May 9, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Too all of the people that are blabbing about this being a business and not about sentimentality.. shut up. You're stupid. We like the team because of the players. If you went out and got the highest scoring player ever, and it turns out he was a murderer, would you not care because it's good for the team? Give me a frigging break and stop bothering people.

Posted by: Jordan | May 9, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Bob is right on: all you jerks out there saying this is just a business are surely the bandwagon fans we hear so much about in the Philly press. Highly likely that you "business" only types are the ones who weren't around during the lean times for the Caps. Olie stuck around, as did many of the fans sending messages today. That is a big part of why he is so revered.

If it is a business only approach, seems there would hardly be a real fan base at all. Sure we all want to win, but if it is at the expense of having players on the team that fans connect with, what is the point? How many people are going to want to buy season tix if the team is nothing more than a rotating cast of bit players....here today, gone tomorrow??

Posted by: doughless | May 9, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Some people need to morn. Some people need to move on. There is no right or wrong.

Posted by: last | May 9, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I think Olie's decision to give Tarik this scoop (before even telling management!) speaks volumes about Olie's respect for our favorite hockey writer's outstanding skills as a journalist. So, rock on, Tarik. (just don't leave us like Svrluga left the Nats for the 'Skins!)

Posted by: Birdie | May 9, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

"Some of you act/feel as if this is a family affair. It is not! It is a business."

Yeah, and that's why I spend money to go to Caps games. So that I can feel like I'm sitting behind my desk at work.

Idiot.

Posted by: NoCountryForCapsFans | May 9, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Alot of people saying how loyal Olie was - well of course he's loyal when he's overpaid at 5 million a year. Guy was a great Capital, class act and great in the community, but his time has passed. We had to go with Huet in the stretch and no way you start Olie in any playoff game the way Huet played.

Best of luck Olie - I'll be there when they hang your jersey from the roof at Verizon.

Posted by: fansince74 | May 9, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Management treated Olie fine! They let him get 300 wins, and gave hime chance down the stretch against Chicago. Every game was a must win and he got shelled 5-0! He lost his skills. That is not a knock, it is facts. God love Olie, but it is time to move on.

Posted by: Brian | May 9, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Management treated Olie fine! They let him get 300 wins, and gave hime chance down the stretch against Chicago. Every game was a must win and he got shelled 5-0! He lost his skills. That is not a knock, it is facts. God love Olie, but it is time to move on.

Posted by: Brian | May 9, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Management treated Olie fine! They let him get 300 wins, and gave hime chance down the stretch against Chicago. Every game was a must win and he got shelled 5-0! He lost his skills. That is not a knock, it is facts. God love Olie, but it is time to move on.

Posted by: Brian | May 9, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Yes it does suck that Olie is done with the Caps.

But I have to ask this, and please think it through and answer without emotion dictating the answer: would Olie have been able to rattle off 7 wins in a row to get into the post season? Who gave the team the better chance to win, Huet or Olie? Is the goal of professional sports to win and isn't it logical to field your best players to aid in that effort?

Jordan, as I'm a wisea@@ I have to point out that Baltimore loves Ray Lewis.

Posted by: Steve R | May 9, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for everything, Olaf Kolzig.

You were a good goaltender, a great man, and a lousy decorator.

Posted by: Scott in Shaw | May 9, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

@Drinking Partner

Here's Olie enjoying some wine:)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OCnDrab3dk

Posted by: Megan | May 9, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I think people are taking this "business" thing a little too far. No one said the team should be run strictly as a business model without considering what the players mean to the team but you have to make prudent financial decisions to improve your team. There is almost noone that didn't like Kolzig or appreciated what he has done but you people need to relax.

Posted by: Moose33 | May 9, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Back when I played pickup in Reston a while back, guys would come up to me and start calling me Olie the Goalie after some stops I made. Actually it happened at a bunch of different pick up games. I wore the compliments like a badge of honor back then. It was better then being called Swiss Cheese.

Ever since I started watching/playing hockey, I've always been a Caps fan, and a fan of a few goalies, so I always watched them play whenever I could, Roy, Irbe, Felix... The first time I saw Kolzig play in person, he looked like a monster in the net. He was in that group too that I mentioned above. But this past season, he just was inconsistent. Granted a lot of the goals I noticed were just unlucky bounces, deflections, bad luck, defensive breakdowns... but he was just inconsistent, the Chicago game sealed his fate with the Caps. Just wished he could have finished out on top but that's how the industry works.

I think Huet will do just fine here in DC.

Posted by: MNMNT | May 9, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

@Caps73

No one says they watch and follow hockey would say lets "cut" Nylander. That's crazy. You just dont "cut" you're BEST set-up man, no offense to Backstrom (you need a couple more years before I call you that).

Basically you are saying we should get rid of Nylander, because we are a better team without him. Which is completely an unintelligent comment.

How about we "trade" Nylander and not "cut" him. Come to the blog with a plan that makes sense, instead of cutting players willy nilly. Or just lumped in the pile of nonsensical posters like wendel, chief and someoneelsewhoknows.

Posted by: JSchon | May 9, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Olie=0 SC rings

Posted by: Just make a save | May 9, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Steve R.

I'm a Baltimore native. It's a stupid town.

And I'm not saying Olie would or could have won 7 straight. I'm just saying that as a fan of 21 years of age, Olie leaving really really sucks. Nothing about numbers, nothing about attitude, nothing about business.

It just sucks.

Posted by: Jordan | May 9, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

So what are clueless Bob, stupid Jordan and the rest of you sentimental saps saying? We should have let Olie hang around as long as he wanted, no matter how poorly he played? That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard. So he didn't leave here when he was offered a huge sum of money to stay. Yeah we get it, you like the guy, we all do. But it is time to let it go and move on. He was a fan favorite and a decent goalie, but the pasuter is calling and it's time for him to go out to it. No one is telling him that he must leave. That is his decision because he is too proud to admit that he is no longer a number one goalie.

Posted by: LONG TIME FAN | May 9, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Tired of hearin about how he got shelled 5-0 in Chicago. The Caps stunk the joint up that night. Nobody would have had a chance to win that game with the players in front of him and the energy from the crowd that night after they honored Esposito.

Also, for all those who say going with Huet in Game 5 was right because we won Game 5 and 6. guess what, we lost game 7 and the series which means we were 0-1 in the playoffs. Does not matter if you lose 4-1 or 4-3. We still lost.

Hockey is one of the last sports to have loyalty and it is a shame to see this happen to a classy guy who did stay longer than he should have. He should have gone to a contender a few years ago, but chose not to. He would have been paid more than 5m a year 3 years ago on a contending team so this BS about being overpaid at 5m to stay here is ridiculous. He took a discount to stay here.

It is time to mourn, to remember the good times and then to move on. But for the short sighted folks who think Huet or whomever else is "THE ANSWER", wake up people!

Posted by: CT Caps Fan | May 9, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm stupid and you're the one that can't spell "pasture." Ok.

Posted by: Jordan | May 9, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I have watched Caps hockey since they were first created. I remember going to games with my father and only 3,000 people were in the building. I say this for a reason. As much as we love Olie he is not the future any more. This is a team that will compete for many years to come, they now need a young net minder to grow with this team. Retire his number-raise it to the rafters, offer him a front office position when he is no longer active but remember the off years and what we currently have brewing and you'll know that it was time for us to look in another direction. Because of his history in Washington, Olie could never be our #2. And that is sad but undeniable-Olie is making his decision to go look elsewhere. Good luck to Olie and his family.

Posted by: Caps fan in Washington State | May 9, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

@bob

Bob, you think by posting about the loss to Philly now that we actually forgot how the goals were scored on Huet? That somehow our memory of Jurcina passing the puck to Hartnell in front of the net would somehow escape us? Or maybe how Schultz was caught flat footed on almost 4 line pass allowing a clear breakaway to the net would not register 3 weeks later? Or maybe how M.Green was partying it up the night before and tried to skate between 2 Flyers and got pinched and left Huet on a 2 on nothing?

Sorry it hasnt, try again in 5 years.

Posted by: JSchon | May 9, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

My post on Apr. 25... This pretty much sums up everything...

http://pheadsthoughts.blogspot.com/2008/04/kolzig-baby.html

He was never comfortable when Glen Hanlon left. He was called out by the new coach that never coached a day in the NHL, suddenly his workload was much more and the back up, Brent Johnson, was getting better numbers. Kolzig was caught in a situation where he wasn't "the man" anymore.

Kolzig was entitled to that starting position, after all that he did for the organization. But, to be honest, all he did was lose for the last 5 years. Everyone assumed is numbers dropped because of the what was in front of him, a young inexperienced defensive core. But with Johnson performing better, it made it hard to justify what was going on with him.

Then the biggest insult. On the last year of his contract, a contract he signed knowing full well they may not get to the playoffs for another two years beyond it, they traded a pick for a goaltender with better numbers. Three's Company.

Kolzig improved when the trade happened, he's no dummy, he had to. He knew he would be sharing time with Huet and if he didn't produce he would sit. He was doing alright, he raised his goals against average up almost a full percentage point. He was big in net, just like the old days. There was always a part of me though that saw him try too hard, his competitive spirit was getting in the way of getting the job done. When an opponent against him, his negative attitude radiated amongst the team.

That's when Chicago happened. 5-0. It was the nail in the coffin. He couldn't compete with Huet's goal a game. He just let 5 goals past, and 3 of them seemed soft. Kolzig never got another start in net. Not that the fans or the coaches or management wanted it to end that way.

Removing the nameplate, walking out of the building silent and just going home. That was his response to an incredible Capitals' season. I am sure if he had talk to reporters, what he had to say couldn't be repeated in civilized conversation. He's upset, hurt, and bitter.

But what he fails to realize is the fans still love him. There were more Kolzig jerseys at game seven than Huet. There was more sympathy for him in this town, Kolzig was still King?

Posted by: King Huet | April 25, 2008 10:55 AM

----

Posted by: King Huet | May 9, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

My post on Apr. 25... This pretty much sums up everything...

http://pheadsthoughts.blogspot.com/2008/04/kolzig-baby.html

He was never comfortable when Glen Hanlon left. He was called out by the new coach that never coached a day in the NHL, suddenly his workload was much more and the back up, Brent Johnson, was getting better numbers. Kolzig was caught in a situation where he wasn't "the man" anymore.

Kolzig was entitled to that starting position, after all that he did for the organization. But, to be honest, all he did was lose for the last 5 years. Everyone assumed is numbers dropped because of the what was in front of him, a young inexperienced defensive core. But with Johnson performing better, it made it hard to justify what was going on with him.

Then the biggest insult. On the last year of his contract, a contract he signed knowing full well they may not get to the playoffs for another two years beyond it, they traded a pick for a goaltender with better numbers. Three's Company.

Kolzig improved when the trade happened, he's no dummy, he had to. He knew he would be sharing time with Huet and if he didn't produce he would sit. He was doing alright, he raised his goals against average up almost a full percentage point. He was big in net, just like the old days. There was always a part of me though that saw him try too hard, his competitive spirit was getting in the way of getting the job done. When an opponent against him, his negative attitude radiated amongst the team.

That's when Chicago happened. 5-0. It was the nail in the coffin. He couldn't compete with Huet's goal a game. He just let 5 goals past, and 3 of them seemed soft. Kolzig never got another start in net. Not that the fans or the coaches or management wanted it to end that way.

Removing the nameplate, walking out of the building silent and just going home. That was his response to an incredible Capitals' season. I am sure if he had talk to reporters, what he had to say couldn't be repeated in civilized conversation. He's upset, hurt, and bitter.

But what he fails to realize is the fans still love him. There were more Kolzig jerseys at game seven than Huet. There was more sympathy for him in this town, Kolzig was still King?

Posted by: King Huet | April 25, 2008 10:55 AM

----

Posted by: King Huet | May 9, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Whoever made the comment a while ago about the playing time that Brodeur gets now being so high. What happened to him at the end of the year and the playoffs? Very very poor play and letting in a lot of goals.

Posted by: CT Caps Fan | May 9, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Just to clarify a point I made eariler about dressing Johnson:

Had it been any other goalie besides Olaf Kolzig, I don't think Kolzig would have been the defacto starter as long as he was this season, even prior to the acquisition of Huet. He was given deference despite poor play because of who he was.

Johnson, while not the goaltender of the future, played very well at times, and Kolzig played very poorly at times. The case was not as cut and dry as some would like it to be.

It's easy to forget, but prior to Huet's arrival, Johnson began starting a lot more games. The official line was "to give Olie more rest" but in reality, it was tacit admission that Olie's was not getting the job done.

Do I love Kolzig for what he means to this franchise? Absolutely. But I don't understand the voices out there who think that there was some other way to handle this situation. Or that the franchise owes him something, other than the millions they have already given him.

The fans, we owe Olie something; he will always be in our hearts...but the organization owes us, the fanbase, and that means putting the best team on the ice. Not a sentimental tribute team. Olie was no longer the best goalie.

And once more...everything Huet did in net completely justified the move. He was dominant down the stretch, and only lost in the playoffs because the inexperienced bunch of Capitals, didn't show up for games two, three, and four.

Posted by: Ben | May 9, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

From Japers' Rink

Over the full season, only one goalie (Jean-Sebastien Giguere) had both a better GAA and SV% than Huet. Read that again and let it sink in. Here's another jaw-dropper for you - Huet won the highest percentage of games played of any goalie in the League with more than 43 appearances (and only the two Detroit goalies had a better percentage if you lowered the games played requirement to two). Over the course of the season, Huet never lost more than three straight games (he only did that twice), only gave up more than three goals in back-to-back starts once and was 10-1-1 in games in which he faced fewer than 25 shots on goal (5-0-0 with the Caps). He became the first Caps goalie with nine straight wins since Pete Peeters won nine in a row from January 28 to March 3, 1987, and set personal career highs in games played, minutes and wins (and points, with two).

Posted by: For the Sentimental Fools | May 9, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

@Jschon,
You are correct I should rephrase, I got ahead of myself. Obviously trade him for picks if that is what we choose. Also as I said before if they choose to keep him I am fine with that. We were in last place with him and ended up with the Championship without him. I guess I am getting too willy nilly for you now...really Jschon "willy nilly"..okay?! We didn't win jack with him here before when he had Jagr either. He is good but I didn't like the pick up when it happened. To everyone else in blog land I apologize for coming to the blog ,according to Jschon, without a plan that makes sense. I forgot my Blog Etiquette Manual at home. Damn me!

Posted by: Caps73 | May 9, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,
I would just like to commend you for the obvious respect that Olie has for you by granting you his interview, and over lunch to boot. It speaks volumes that someone who we all respect so much respects you in turn. I think it is obvious that he appreciates your fair coverage of him over the past year, as tough a year as it was for him. I hope you both remain friendly, as I see a lot of respect between the 2 of you. Kudos to you, once again.

Posted by: on ice | May 9, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Sorry folks, didn't mean to confuse the "we owe Olie" crowd with the facts!

Posted by: For the Sentimental Fools | May 9, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

To all,

Some of you clearly have not either played or coached hockey before, as I have. While Olie did play somewhat better from the all-star break to the game in Chicago, he clearly was not the goalie he once was. He was giving up 1-2 weak goals a game. How many times did Olie get beat "five-hole" this past season? The number was extremely high. For those of you who are saying that Olie should have started Games 4 or 5 versus the Flyers, you simply do not know what you are talking about. Huet did not play badly in Games 3 or 4 in Philly. Remember the 2 amazing saves he made going side-to-side. If olie would have been in goal, forget about it, 2 goals there for the Flyers. Boudreau made the right call by going with Huet down the stretch and in the playoffs. He was clearly the better goalie. and I do agree with some of the statements in here, that out of the 3 goalies to have played for the Caps this season, Huet and Johnson were the top 2 goalies.

Olie, thanks for the last 18 years (he was drafted in 1990 by the Caps to be exact). You have been a model citizen, a good NHL goaltender, and we appreciate all of your efforts. However, your time has come and gone now, and it is time the Caps looked ahead to the future.

Posted by: Matt | May 9, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Our Mr. Blocker is skipped :-(

NEW YORK -- Left wing Jason Blake of the Toronto Maple Leafs, defenseman Chris Chelios of the Detroit Red Wings and right wing Fernando Pisani of the Edmonton Oilers are the finalists for the 2008 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy...

Posted by: King Huet | May 9, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

i will look forward to being there when they hang the #37 to the rafters at verizon center. he should also be inducted into the washington hall of stars or whatever they call that now.

it was time for him to go, but sad none the less. there is no easy way of doing this, but i think he let the team off the hook by announcing it himself. i think he realized his actions at the end of the season were rash and un-ollie like and i think he showed some class by making this announcement now.

he belongs with all the other greats in washington sports for his on and off the ice exploits.

Posted by: Cap Fan 1 | May 9, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Kolzig was a great part of the Caps, and got us closer to a cup than any other single player we've ever had. He gets much respect for that... the retirement of his number and insane applause he receives when it's hoisted into the rafters will attest to that. In terms of right now he is just another athlete who doesn't know when to hang em up. He is going to go for starting goalie money, and good for him if he gets it. It's a business decision. The Caps aren't going to pay it. Unfortunately for him he underperformed in a contract year and let another goalie take his job. It's just the risk pro-athletes live with. It's no sign of disrespect that the GMGM or Bruce decided against playing him down the stretch. Everyone knew that it was time to move on. Huet is a perfect stop-gap to the future.

Posted by: Bonzai | May 9, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Ted Lindsay is 82 years old, still a fan favorite in Detroit, has a stall in the dressing room and still skates with the team, BUT THEY DON"T LET HIM DRESS FOR GAMES!!!!!!!! Did you folks actually think Olie would play forever?

Posted by: Time to Move on | May 9, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for everything Olie!!!

Posted by: Eric | May 9, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Good luck, Olie, and thanks.

Posted by: Baildog | May 9, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

@dossier

Earlier in the season you made some classless comments regarding Olie as if you were in the locker room and knew him. Once again, you have proven yourself to be classless and clueless... If you think that it is only the goaltender that carries a team in the playoffs then you believe in a myth. The Caps got to the finals with Olie because of his play and great team play. They lost to Tampa in 2003 because a team underachieved around him - all players (Olie included at times). But show the guy some respect - he deserves it. Oh by the way - he did win the Vezina Trophy as well, which has some pretty great names on it.

Posted by: Roose | May 9, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

@Capsfan

I was really trying hard not to get offensive . I was trying to use elementary words that you'd understand since you wanted to "cut" players. You're right we didnt win anything with Nylander, and you know what we haven't won anything without him either. We didn't win anything with Hunter, we didn't win anything with Langway, Bondra, Witt, Berube, Peeters, Johanssen, Hatcher... Kolzig.

Posted by: JSchon | May 9, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I really am going to miss Olie and am most dissapointed about the way his Capitals career ended. I feel this would have been like Cal Ripken Jr. going off to play one more year outside of Baltimore.

Posted by: 8b4Ovie | May 9, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

@Matt

You can coach, but can you read? Olie was drafted in 89.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 9, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

My two cents, which in a $75+ million a year industry, doesn't even make a ripple.
As a Caps fan, Olie leaving makes my heart ache. It may be selfish, but I'd rather him retire from the NHL than don anyone else's sweater. As a hockey fan, I can appreciate how much it meant that he played 18 years for the same franchise; not many players in the NHL can say that, past and present. However, as someone with common sense, its hard to see why he would stay. If being a #1 goalie means that much to him, he's been shown (rightly or wrongly) that it will no longer happen here. Regardless of how it happened, he has made his decision and I can respect that. I will always have respect for him. As someone who pays money to watch the Capitals (whether ticket or part of my cable bill), I respect the decisions that the front office made. I'll be a fan for a long time, but an exciting game or season, with the SC in sight, makes the fact that I eat Ramen noodles regularly so I can afford to watch games, easier.
As much as it hurts a lot of people to hear that this is a business, that's what it is. These guys are playing NHL, not just for the love of the game and because they're good at it, but to make money. The front office is doing what they do to make money for ownership, so they will have jobs. That's why you pay for tickets to games, because they have to pay people. With a young, exciting, highly competitive team, its easier to get fans in the building, paying for their tickets.
If Olie had stayed, how much longer would he have been here? Realistically? Another two years or so? Doing what? Professional athletes' bodies deteriorate much faster than average. What happens if we signed him to another deal and he got hurt? People would be saying that GMGM should have known better than to sign an old goalie, etc, etc.
Yes, it hurts now. Its going to hurt for awhile. Some people will never get over what they see as a betrayal, either by Olie or management. But given time, most folks are going to see that it had to happen. Now, or later, it would have happened. With or without Olie, folks, for the next 13 years or so, its good to be a Caps fan.
Raise your glasses to Olie and remember the good times. Personally and professionaly, we'll miss the heck out of him.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | May 9, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Comparing Fedorov and Kolzig cause they're the same age is silly: The team will never need 60 minutes from Fedorov.

Kolzig telling Tarik before telling Ted is Tacky. You think Kolzig found out in the paper that Huet was coming to DC? Hilarious.

Olaf Kolzig has done all he could do for the Caps and their fans. I admire and appreciate what he gave (sold!) to the organization. But he got slower and Hockey didn't. That's hardly a 'screwing' from Ted, GMGM, or Boudreau. Matter of fact, it's the same s#!^^y way Father Time treats everybody, give or take fifty million bucks and some fan adulation.


Posted by: redlineblue | May 9, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

We're going to argue semantics now? What are you 5. Okay lets play then we won in the toughest division title back in the day the Patrick Division title in 88-89 with Langway and Hunter and we won the SouthEast Division in 99-00, 00-01, 07-08. We have won with all of the players that you mentioned except one..hmmmm? Oh yeah and that little thing called the Wales Trophy with Hunter, with Bondra, with Johanson, the Chief and Kolzig. There's you semantics Deusche!

Posted by: Caps73 | May 9, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

This could not, under any circumstance, be called a surprise. Washington has all the parts to win and win now; a 38-year old backup that sees himself as the starter does not always bode well in the dressing room. You had Philadelphia dead to rights in the 3rd period of game 7 and couldn't score the knockout goal. You'll learn from that.

I know a lot of you hate McPhee, but his trade deadline moves all panned out, and he didn't give away the future to do it. Keep in mind that GM's are usually making the financial decisions based on the framework given to them by the owner. He's actually a very competent GM (and viewed as such in hockey circles) who has drafted fairly well (speaking well to the scouting department, an often overlooked part of an organisation).

The team has salary cap dollars to spend, a plethora of young talent any team would kill for, and an emerging fanbase. An aging goaltender with declining skills and a high level of personal pride do not always equate.

Huet is a solid #1 goaltender. Kolzig might accept a #2 position on a new team where he'll be forced to accept his role.

The comments about the NHL being a business...as crass as that sounds, it's a cold reality. You can say that Boudreau didn't 'do right' by him, but come June, when Boudreau is accepting the Jack Adams Award...ask him if he'd do anything different.

Geographically, Vancouver might make sense (Luongo struggled down the stretch, and the Canucks need a backup who can play 25-30 quality games); plus he owns a stake in Tri-City of the WHL.

Posted by: Patrick | May 9, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

The bottom line is age and diminished returns. Even more so when there is a salary cap in place. The team is committed to winning, not sentiment. While Kolzig was good and at times great, his time has past.

I tire of people complaining about "disrespecting" Kolzig. Stating the obvious is not disrespectful. This team is not a contender with him as the goaltender.

I wish him no ill will and have no issue with him looking for work on another team. However, with the exception of maybe the LA Kings, I don't think there will be much of a market for him.

Kolzig is not a victim of anything other than time and aging.

Posted by: Caps 423 | May 9, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

@for the sentimental fools...

Now let me ask you something... Where is Huet today? ON HIS COUCH. The Caps aren't playing for the conference tonight-- but I would argue that isn't Huet's fault... for the same reason that the start of the season isn't Olie's. No goaltender is the sole reason for the team's success or failure. Huet hasn't won Washington anything, despite those statistics, unless you're content winning the division-- something Olie did more than once.

Posted by: suzanne | May 9, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Zilla is by far the best Caps goalie ever and I didn't like how it was handled but I am excited about the future especially those two young goalies we have in the system. Olie's problem in not age it is size. The Dominator and Eddie the Eagle and several others have played well when the hit 40 but none of them were 6'3" 240lbs. If he were Huett's size or smaller he might have a lot of years left but that big frame held up as long as it could and it carried a Franchise for 15 plus years. Not a lot of goalies can say that period!

Posted by: Caps73 | May 9, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the poster who said he hopes the Post will provide some more coverage of this over the coming days. It kills me that they ran, front page, a story with solely Olie's point of view that suggests he was somehow run out of town and treated unfairly. The fact is, his skills had eroded (he gave up the worst rebounds I have ever seen from an NHL goalie) and they had to bring someone in to at least put pressure on him. As it turned out, that guy won 9 straight and got them in the playoffs, and "loyalty" or not, the job is to win games, and that guy gave them the best chance to win in the playoffs.

Unfortunately, we don't know if the Caps wanted to keep him in the organization as a backup, or maybe a scout or a coach or in some other capacity - the Post ran the story without giving the management, it appears, time to respond.

By the way, when the other franchises in this town have run guys out of town (the Nationals' horrible dismissal of Frank Robinson comes to mind, as well as the Redskins dispatching Brian Mitchell), where were the front page articles maligning those organizations? I don't get it - the Caps need to start getting some credit for being the best-run sports franchise in this town, and being about the only that gives a crap about the fans.

Posted by: Southside FFX | May 9, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I'm listening to Olie on 980-Very, very, very sad......

Posted by: dave | May 9, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

@suzanne

Actually Huet is representing his country in the World Championships. Not quite to his couch yet. Olie should be fresh and well rested. Why isn't he between the pipes for the Germans? I don't hold it against him, but simply see no reason why he couldn't/shouldn't be.

Posted by: Caps 423 | May 9, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Time to win some Cups! Sorry Olie.

Posted by: fishman | May 9, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

@ Suzanne

Amen, until Huet at least gets us to the SC Finals, he will not measure up to Olie.

Posted by: CT Caps Fan | May 9, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

tyou guys might not like it bu im going to be honest, im mad at olie for bailing on his team. hes not going to be a starter anywhere and if he is it wont last long. so why not be a backup here. just another example of an old athlete that cant com to grips with the fact that hes just not that good anymore. sad.

Posted by: sheesh | May 9, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

oh yea and if his excuse is that hes going to a contender, ive got news for him, THE CAPS ARE CONTENDERS!! no excuse.

Posted by: sheesh | May 9, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

suzanne

You are right. He is on the couch, the same place Olie has been every spring for the past 5 seasons. Without Huet, Olie and the rest of the Caps would have been on the couch a month earlier! Olie USED to be a great goalie, but there comes a time when athletes must realize that their body isn't what it used to be. Sure, it's sad to see a great player's career come to a close, but he can't play forever. He cannot finish his career as a no. 1 goalie. Every goalie will experience the "passing of the torch" to the next generation. Some goalies accept this role and do it with grace and class. Others will pout, deny the facts and refuse to accept the inevitable. I guess we see which of these two things Olie chose.

Posted by: For the Sentimental Fools | | May 9, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Dave, can you give us a summary of what Olie said of 980? some of us are at work where they frown upon listening to the radio....grrrrrrr.

Posted by: Birdie | May 9, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

@Suzanne,
I wouldn't compare him to Olie ever but the guy had a lot to do with winning the SE Division and for the way we have sucked these past 6 plus years that is an accomplishment. Going 11-1 or whatever he was is an amazing thing giving that every game was a game 7 basically. Now the goalie that took us from last to contention was Olie and that should not be lost no matter what his save percentage was. He has earned his place with Langway, Bondra and Hunter in the Caps History no doubt!

Posted by: Caps73 | May 9, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

you're right-- he's with France. And how many games has he won for them? Last I looked, none!

Posted by: suzanne | May 9, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, France is known for their great hockey players you moron

Posted by: Anonymous | May 9, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Olie can sign with NJ and be Marty's backup. He might even get to play a game in pre-season.

Posted by: Kevin Weeks | May 9, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for everything Olie. I sure thought I would see you raise the cup and skate around the phone booth too. All the best to you and yours.

Posted by: Kolzigrocks | May 9, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Hey anon moron, I thought Huet was so good he could win all our games and France's by himself!

Posted by: CT Caps Fan | May 9, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Oh boo hoo.... All you people saying he should have been treated differently? How so? The Caps are trying to win and were trying get in the playoffs, not make a bad old VET happy. Yes he had some great years but its about winning. They only job he is getting is as a back up... and if he truly was a team player why wouldn't he be a back up here? Because he is an old goalie who wont face facts and blames the team for his short comings. To many Kolzig smokers speak of this what have you done for me lately and say the fans were not fair to Kolzig. I was a Kolzig fan because he was a Cap not the other way around. The team comes first an winning comes first. The trade fell into GMGM's lap and he made the right move. Plain and simple. He is gone now...and that is a good thing for the team. Sad that he got old and bad yes. To bad he had to steal his name plate and stomp off. Sign Huet and lets move on.

Posted by: SZ | May 9, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

john thompson is lauding olie for restraining himself in answering his questions, though he's sure olie would like to say more. he says that for as much as olie meant to the city, it's just wrong to rob him of his dignity. thompson wants to talk to mcphee, whom he respects, about what could have possibly happened. "i identify with loyalty and class," says thompson. he has that. thompson almost cried saying that he feels hurt on olie's behalf and says it's wrong to do to him what's been done.

Posted by: 980 | May 9, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Wow suzanne what a brilliant argument. You need to move your emotions aside and look at the facts. If Olie really wants to remain a starting goaltender, then he needs to stay and earn his spot back by outplaying Huet. If he can do it Great! If not then accept it. Apparently he already knows that he can't do that but his ego prevents him from assuming the no. 2 spot. He has been declining for the past couple of seasons and he has been upstaged by a youger, quicker goalie. It happens to everyone. It is a fact of life. To deny it and pretend that it can't/won't happen to Olie is just unrealistic. Sorry...

Posted by: For the Sentimental Fools | May 9, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

by your estimation-- goalies are responsible for everything. if that's the case, then france should be top of the heap! you can't apply one standard to olie and another to huet.

Posted by: suzanne | May 9, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Looks like a lot of people having been drinking the Olie Kolzig Kool Aid!

Posted by: CH | May 9, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

for us, the caps fans, i really hope olie re-signs with another team that is scheduled to play in DC next yr, only so that he can skate onto the ice at verizon and get a HUGE ovation.

down the stretch, it seemed pretty obvious that olie's career in DC was done... one of the sad parts of the game 7 defeat was that he didn't get (even close to) a proper send-off. hopefully a return trip to DC and a standing O from the loving fans will reaffirm for him (and us) the mutual feeling of appreciation for the years of great performances on the ice & great community work olie has done.

Posted by: la/md | May 9, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

John Thompson identifies with winning. Why do you think that token white boy, that could have started at other schools, never played when he coached at Georgetown?

Posted by: Caps73 | May 9, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

@sentimental fools,

yeah, i'm emotional. isn't that what being a fan is about? i spend more nights in the verizon center as a season ticket holder than i do with some of my friends. i'm connected to the team.

to you point about huet... olie didn't have a chance to play after chicago, so how is he supposed to earn back his spot? he should have played Game 4. if he'd won, the discussion's brand new. olie never had that chance.

Posted by: suzanne | May 9, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

On 980:

Olie said that 5 days before the trading deadline, George approached him and said that it was up to him what he wanted to do. From the time Huet got here though, there was zero communication between George/Bruce/Ted and Olie regarding his status.
Olie said that he would have felt better if they came to him and said what the deal was. That's his biggest regret.
He said he does not see himself as a backup anywhere but realizes that he needs to improve his training regiment.

Also, he said that George called him a few days after the season was over and Olie didn't return the call. He said "he had 6 weeks to call me and I already made my decision"

Olie said he does not want to sever ties with the team and leaves with no other ill feelings besides what he mentions above.

Posted by: dave | May 9, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

He didn't deserver the chance... Huet was the better goalie period.

Posted by: sz | May 9, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

@caps73

?????

Posted by: dave | May 9, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Everyone keeps talking about if Olie would have gotten in game 4 it would have been different but nobody has been listening. It was obvious that the Flyers game plan was to run Huett. If Olie was in net the Flyers would have ran Olie twice as much because the Achiles heal of Olie has always been his temper. They would have had twice as many retaliation calls for their PP.

Posted by: Caps73 | May 9, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

No one here ever said that goalies are responsible for EVERYTHING. But they ARE responsible for stopping puck. Huet has proven that he is better at doing that than Olie. If Olie is still a No.1, then why doesn't he prove it? Why doesn't he play for the starter's job? HE IS OLD AND SLOW AND HIS GLOVE HAND IS PATHETIC THAT'S WHY!! He has been outplayed - end of story. Now he says he has been disrepected?!?! BB went with the hot hand. That is what EVERY single NHL team does at playoff time. The go with the goalie that has proven himself down the stretch. ACCEPT IT AND DEAL WITH IT. By the way, how many medals did Olie win home for Germany?

Posted by: For the Sentimental Fools | May 9, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

"From the time Huet got here though, there was zero communication between George/Bruce/Ted and Olie regarding his status."

That would anger me too.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 9, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

olie says management didn't tell him why they brought in huet. so i can't really blame him for not talking to Ted or George before talking to the Post.

Posted by: on 980 | May 9, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

@Dave,
Was responding to what 980 said about Thompson louding Olie and how he identifies with loyalty and class, so I was just busting Coach's chops, that's all nothing more..........

Posted by: Caps73 | May 9, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

olie won more games for germany than huet. period. just quit trying.

Posted by: @sentimental | May 9, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for everything Olie. The passion you brought to the game was all I ever needed to see to know that my time and money was not being wasted on the team. Life isn't measured in the number of playoff games won, or even Stanley Cups for that matter. Your loyalty and hard work will always be appreciated.

Posted by: First Time Poster | May 9, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

@Suzanne...

YOU GO GIRL!!!

Posted by: #37 | May 9, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

On Kolzig not being at the Worlds...

If he isn't better than Robert Muller (oddly also drafted by the Caps way back when), then who really believes he is a better option than Cristobal Huet.

My favorite quote from a recent Huet Interview:

Let's talk about the future. You were just a short time under contract in Washington. What are your plans for next season?

Cristobal Huet: I don't know yet. We'll have to wait for July 1 to talk about it. But I would like to stay in Washington.

source: www.iihf.com

Posted by: Caps 423 | May 9, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

@For the Sentimental Fools

It's useless to argue with those die-hard Kolzig fans. No matter what, even if Huet or Johnson will win the Cup with Caps, they'll find another excuse for Olie.

They are not clueless or moronic, Olie is a religion for people like Bob, Suzanne, CT Caps fan...

It's like to argue with Osama bin Laden about which religion is better, chistianity or islam.

I gave up a while ago and feel much better. :-)

Posted by: King Huet | May 9, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Kolzig should reconsider selling his house, I'm certain it can be used as a rental for some of the guys on the team.
With the market being so terrible and given his temper, which may have triggered the listing, he should really keep the house, not to mention it leaves a door open for his return.
After the MIDGET GETS FIRED.

Posted by: Chief | May 9, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

someone ask John Thompson to name 5 players on the current Caps team - bet he cant.

Posted by: fansince74 | May 9, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

olie won more games for germany than huet. period. just quit trying.

bahaha

Un-freaking-belivable... And Germany occupied France during second World war, so there, Mr. Huet :))

Posted by: Anonymous | May 9, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

"It's like to argue with Osama bin Laden about which religion is better, chistianity or islam."

Wow. You just lost all credibility with that analogy.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 9, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

@suzanne

going undercover? hehehe

Posted by: Anonymous | May 9, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Another dude got axed...

The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that Joel Quenneville will not return to coach the team next season.

Posted by: King Huet | May 9, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I know I should know who the MIDGET is-who is it???

Posted by: stupid question | May 9, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, thanks for the update about the interview on WaPo Live. Thanks to DIRECTV remote DVR scheduling I will be able to watch it later on tonight.

Posted by: Jill | May 9, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

really - who is surprised by the latest actions of the front office of the Washington Capitals? Cluelesss.

Let's all remember since 1998 Cup Run:
It's been either:
1. Not qualified for play-off's
2. Exit in the first round.

Thanks McPhail!!!!!!

Posted by: The B.O.D. | May 9, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

listen to olie yourself, if you want. the interview is available in its entirety here.

http://www.sportstalk980.com/pages/jthompson.html

Posted by: suzanne | May 9, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

You can also call us loyal to a team at least I have rooted for and paid money to see for 34 years.

He does not deserve to be based on blogs like this, although I understand it is everyone's right to have their own opinion on the matter.

Huet did well, but we are still done for the year. That line where he says he likes it in Washington is just a negotiating ploy. I do not buy it. I would bet a dollar to a doughnut he will not be here next year.

Do I think the Caps have a chance to win Olie as their #1 next year. Nope, I don't. But I do think they would have a chance with him as a backup. I also do not think they will win with Huet, but that would be the best tandem we could hope for. Unfortunately, it won't happen. I doubt we will have either one.

Posted by: CT Caps Fan | May 9, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I can't think of another GM causing a 3 goalie controversy, at least in a similar manner as what transpired here in DC.

Everybody always wants to know why I advocate the Firing of the Midget, well it stems from years ago when it became crystal clear that this guy does not treat people correctly, does not handle the affairs of the team like a Manager should.

It has caused more problems with this team over the years than anyone can possibly imagine.

Thanks MIDGET, not for getting rid of Kolzig, but for making sure that ANOTHER Long Time Veteran will BASH the Caps at every opportunity to any and all potential Free Agents considering the "future".

Posted by: Chief | May 9, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

i always post with my name. i don't need to go undercover.

Posted by: suzanne | May 9, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

I just heard on 980 that after Olie got his 300th win, Ted came in to the locker room to apologize to Olie-basically saying that if he hadn't stayed with the Caps he would have had his 300th win sooner. Olie basically responed with a "get outta here" and a smile.

That is why all this miscommunication doesn't add up.

My guess is that Bruce had control over this team and had zero loyalty to Olie. DO you think Hanlon would have let this happen??

Posted by: dave | May 9, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, "based" should have been "bashed"

Posted by: CT Caps Fan | May 9, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

In regard to Olie's comment that from the time Huet arrived there was zero communication between Ted/Bruce/George about Olie's status, that conflicts with Bruce's statements after Huet arrived. Bruce stated in televised interviews that he sat down with each goalie and talked about the situation and how he would deal with it. As Bruce has proven to be a genuine, honest person in his tenure as Caps coach and had no axe to grind at the time he made those statements, I tend to not put any credibility in Olie's statement today that Bruce never discussed Olie's status after Huet was acquired.

In addition, I don't know why Olie includes Ted in his comment. I don't get the sense that generally team owners talk regularly with individual players about recent player transactions by the GM and how that will affect another player's status. That's the coach's prerogative and to a lesser extent the general manager's.

Posted by: Monty | May 9, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

@ Chief,

Serious question. I am not being condescending or mean by asking this. Are you a Caps fan?

Posted by: CT Caps Fan | May 9, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

@For the Sentimental Fools,

Despite those stats, Montreal was satisfied to let Huet go for a second round pick.

I'm not saying he didn't deserve to start over Kolzig. But, as some have pointed out, Huet is likely not the future of this franchise between the pipes.

Heck, Jim Carey won a Vezina once for his regular season play. How were his playoff numbers?

Posted by: John in Mpls | May 9, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

@ dave,

i totally agree. boudreau didn't have a history with olie and had no reason to give him the benefit of the doubt. i do think george knew better and should have sat with olie and at least explained, which the john thompson interview suggests never happened.

Posted by: suzanne | May 9, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Personally I am happy that Kolzig is gone. He took Caps to the finals, but he's not a top goalie like he was. If GMGM wouldn't hang on Kolzig too long, we could've gotten Bryzgalov, which is much better and younger goalie than Huet.

Yes, we might end up with Johnson as #1, but at least we got rid of Kolzig. It is painful, but it had to be done.

A chemo therapy, so to speak...

Posted by: King Huet | May 9, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Is that really you Chief?

Posted by: Don | May 9, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

chief, did you read the part about mcphee giving olie the option of being traded before the trade deadline? i think that's the second time he's made that offer. he didn't have to do that, he could have shipped him off to columbus or someother backwater team for a draft pick or prospect, but he didn't.

i like olie but he needs to face it, he wasn't making it happen this year and at his age and salary, makes no sense to bring him back. those are the cold hard facts that players and teams need to face up to.

since we can't imagine what problems mcphee's management style has created, why don't you enlighten us? the floor is yours.

Posted by: Cap Fan 1 | May 9, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Isn't the midget the same guy who traded Dale Hunter to Colorado for the chance at a Cup, and isn't he the same guy who offered to trade Olie to a contender before the season and also during the salary dump a few years back. David Poile was a nice guy and we made the playoffs a lot and we also lost in the first round a lot. Should it have been handled differently sure, but if I am there and that deal for Huett comes over the phone from Montreal I take it in a heart beat!

Posted by: Caps73 | May 9, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

JESUS this is blown WAY out of proportion. The guy isn't dead. He had a good run. He's respected by the team and the organization - MOVE ON.

The coach is trying to WIN GAMES here and he wouldn't be doing it with his best goaltender if Huet was sitting and Olie playing. The facts of life. Thanks Olie for your service. If you choose to play again, best of luck and if you retire, you certainly will enjoy that too. (eye roll)

Posted by: caphcky | May 9, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Chief,

Return in what capacity? Goalie coach?

Posted by: Steve R | May 9, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

CT caps

YES, player fan and now a fan of the Coach.

I've been 100% certain since 2000-2001 that MIDGET is terrible, he has demonstrated he's never going succeed.

If ANY poster on this blog had the most First Round picks of all teams since 2000, I guarantee you will be in the same or better position as the team is in now.
OV & BB were to be had if my Dog was running the team.

Posted by: Chief | May 9, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I will miss "the big fella"
I wish I could say thanks to him personally.
Thanks for the great saves,the passion,the drive and the leadership.
Thanks also for posing with us on our trips to the US, and always having the time to stop and chat to us crazy English fans.
Thanks Olie.

Posted by: Johnny Drum England | May 9, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

OV & BB were to be had if my Dog was running the team.

@Chief

That really depends on what kind of Dog you have...

German shepherd or chihuahua?

Posted by: King Huet | May 9, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

@Chief

Player? Craig Berube? Our first celebrity!!!

Posted by: dave | May 9, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

> he should have been treated with more respect.

What is a better respect than to pay a good salary for such a long time? He was respected, he was treated as a veteran. However, he played no good this season and Huet demonstrated this very well. It would not be fair to us, fans, to not make playoffs again. This team deserves more than just average AHL level goalie as Olie now. This is very unfortunate of course but true.

He is not professional if he behaves this way. Do you really admit he played well this year? Many AHL goalies are better than him now. He was good and sometimes even great in the past. However, this season he did not do well at all. He either should accept the position of second/third goalie he deserves or quit with honor. Not like a loser as he doing now.

It is sad for a Caps fan to see how such an icon as Olie behaves in this situation. If he would just retire or accept that his playing is just not good enough and stay as a backup, he deserves his number to be retired in Caps for sure. However, now I doubt he is a good example for future players. SAD, nothing else.

Posted by: Piligvinn | May 9, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

so given that the Habs dumped Huet like a hot potato, does that mean Price is a better goalie than Huet, hands down??

Posted by: doughless | May 9, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Chief,

My Lab is pretty sharp. He says that GMGM did good by drafting Varlamov and Neuvirth.

Posted by: Steve R | May 9, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

It's now absolutely imperative that McPhee re-signs Huet, and Huet's asking price probably just went up significantly (at least compared to what Ted probably wants to spend). If Huet goes somewhere else, the list of UFA #1s is basically Jose Theodore and Dan Ellis from Nashville. At that point you may as well just make Johnny the starter and hope that one of the two goalies of the future gets real good real fast.

Posted by: zamboni | May 9, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

chief, still waiting on your examples...

while were waiting, lets review all the #1 picks that mcphee has made since 2000. there have been 13. 8 are still on the team. 1 (sutherby) was traded. 4 are still in the system as they were drafted in 2005 or later. alzner may contribute next year. pokuluk looks like a bust. finley is still in college. varlamov just turned 20. so of the 9 picks that could have reasonably been expected to contribute so far, 8 are still on the team. not bad. not all home run picks. look at some of the guys picked in 2004 BEFORE schultz and green and tell me that was bad drafting.

but again, dont let facts get in the way.

Posted by: Cap Fan 1 | May 9, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Funny, I wonder how Huey will take this. The French are sensitive.

Posted by: Chief | May 9, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

McPhee sucks!!

Posted by: doughless | May 9, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

capfan1

13 first round picks and no tangible results. How's that for a fact ?
Where are the Caps today ? Playing golf.
There's another tidbit.
How do you justify Philly going from 30 to the Conference finals ? Save the "spending" speach for your wife or kids.

This is a business that is based on results, with 8 (according to you) first round players playing on one team, they have not produced.

Don't forget firing Wilson with a phone call, Real Classy.
Hiring Keanu, to coach Jagr ?? Real smart.

MIDGET obviously has no class and no brains.

Posted by: Chief | May 9, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

someone else who doesnt know. yeah, this team really screws over it's top guys. like trading hunter to colorado to play for a cup. or bonzai to ottawa to play for a contender. i think langway retired as a cap, no? when they signed 36 year kolzig to a $10M extension a couple of years ago, was that "screwing" him? calle johanssen retired as a cap (came out of it briefly though). kono, witt, all guys traded to contenders when the team was obviously rebuilding.
given the teams current situation, are you suggesting that the team should resign ollie?
you have the same affliction as chief, unrequieted man love for dick patrick that causes you to ignore facts to serve your own twisted view of things. how's you boy sluggo doing?
Posted by: Cap Fan 1 | May 9, 2008 8:20 AM

Cap fan1
You are still trying I see.
Two points.
#1) Let's start with Kolzig's extension. Kolzig actually took less money to stay in Washington. He could have gone out West (like Colorado) and made more money and like you point out, played for a cup contending team. At that time, Olie's loyalty and love for the organization was the main reason for staying through the so called REBUILD. It cost him monetarily, it cost him statistically, and it is now what is being used to run him out of town. If Olie left Washington back then, as bad as ticket sales were, how bad would they have been without a FACE. Olie did the Capitals a Favor and made them money by staying.
#2) If gmgm and Dick (the Lesser) Patrick did their jobs correctly they would have been acquiring talent to make WASHINGTON a cup contender rather than the 10 year demolition. This whole trade as a favor is BS. If these guys you mentioned meant so much to the Capitals, why aren't any of them working in the front office? You say they took care of Dale Hunter, when Dale's son Dillon was eligible for the draft why did Wayne Gretzky have to get Dale down on the draft floor when the Capitals front office denied Dale the proper credentials to do so? Witt and Kono left because they saw the way the team was being run by the front office. Johansson was run out of here too, and went on to Toronto.
As far as Sluggo, you mean the guy that was wrongly accused of being a thief by the Capitals front office, only to be hired by Brian Burke (former head of the NHL disciplinary committee and the most sought after and respected General Manager) and Randy Carlyle, (former Capital asst coach, who recognized the fact this teams management is filled with more people worried about covering their ass than winning Hockey Games so he demoted himself to the minors only to be hired as an NHL head coach who won the cup) I guess he's doing well in Anaheim.

Posted by: someone else who knows | May 9, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

That's better Chief.

Posted by: Don | May 9, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

@Chief,
"This is a business that is based on results" Is this a tea party, did you want him to hold Wilson hand and then give him a hug afterwards. The Flyers mortgage their future for this year and we took them to 7. We won't need 7 next season, but they won't be in the playoffs next season because they chose to pay Daniel Baggins $10 million for the first couple years of his contract among others and they will be dumping salary this offseason. The Caps will be adding and getting better and will be in contention for more than just one year!

Posted by: Caps73 | May 9, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

no tangible results?? dude, do you forget the whole rebuilding thing? it was in all the papers. the team clearly has been rebuilding since 2003. so you can harp on all the playoff losses in the last 10 years (which is a fact) but you need to put it in the context that this team made a choice to tear itself down and rebuild. the team won a division title this year. they were in overtime in game 7 against the flyers. they improved 24 points in one year and still have one of the lowest payrolls in the league.

you can choose to ignore the spending part of the flyers rebuild (which is impressive no doubt) but the fact remains that they are barely below the cap this year and in 2-3 years will be in cap hell. thats a fact.

so keep harping on GMGM. but keep in mind what hand he's been dealt over the past few years. hold down payroll, dump salary etc. what has he done since the wallet has been opened, added huet, federov, signed ov and semin, etc.

and two examples of poor behavior is all you can come up with...and both relating to coaches? way to back up your argument.

Posted by: Cap Fan 1 | May 9, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

someone else who knows,
What's your deal. Have a woody for Sluggo?

Jilted lover by the Caps?

Give it up already.

(I know people who bought plenty of equipment ... game used at that... from Sluggo... dirt cheap... so your angel has a dented halo)

Posted by: give it up | May 9, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

someone else who knows

Congratulations, you're hired !!

Posted by: Chief | May 9, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

When the Caps win the cup within the next few years, will you please just kill yourself, Chief?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 9, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of terrible decisions by a GM, here's a trivia question for you all:

Who did the Quebec Nordiques select with the pick that they obtained from the Capitals in the Dale Hunter deal?

Here's a hint: he's a thousand times better than the highly-overrated Hunter ever was.

Posted by: zamboni | May 9, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

"10 Year Demolition" Classic

Posted by: Chief | May 9, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Joe freakin' Sakic. Hunter was not overrated, he was properly rated = aweseomely.

Posted by: Ben | May 9, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

give it up and Cap Fan1,
I didn't bring up Sluggo, you did.

That money was always turned into accouting, I'm sure you could walk down the hall to check.
Got a lot of fires to put out today, huh Boys.

Posted by: someone else who knows | May 9, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

someone else, thanks for providing some examples.
#1) kolzig was paid well for his extension. he had the opportunity to sign elsewhere and didn't he had the option to be traded and chose not to take it. sounds like he was treated fairly to me. we would all love to see him retire on top w/ a stanley cup in dc. its not in the cards. not sure how else the team can handle it other than to say thanks. happens all the time. not sure it constitutes screwing someone over.
#2) this team blew it when they went the way of the high price free agent/jagr deals. tell me you didn't think it was the right move at the time. perhaps dale hunter isnt in the front office cause he wants to run his minor league team in canada. not providing credentials on the floor of the draft. not sure what the caps had to do with that since he wasnt a player at the time. again, not sure it rises to the level of a screw job. i think trading him to colorado trumps that.
3) did sluggo sue the team? if he was wrongly dismissed then sure he would have sued for that, correct?

Posted by: Cap Fan 1 | May 9, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Just a point, sure the team sucked in Olie's last game, and in the first three games against the Flyers, but frankly no way I play Olie over the better goalie. Hey, if Olie had started Game 4 (after not having played for several weeks) I would not have had a problem with that. But I have no problem with Huet having played that game or how he played over the course of the whole series and as well as if not better than Olie has played in the playoffs after the 1998 run.

Posted by: Novaron | May 9, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

re: sluggo. what money?

Posted by: Cap Fan 1 | May 9, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Cap Fan1
Pending

Posted by: someone else who knows | May 9, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

novaron

You're 100% wrong, here's why.
Kolzig's biggest strength ? Stealing a game. While he bailed the Caps out on a regular basis in the past and not so much over the past two seasons, it was still in the cards for him to steal one in the Post Season.

Posted by: Chief | May 9, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Chief,
Thank You. Our 10 year plan would take 2 years and we would be in the playoffs!

Posted by: someone else who knows | May 9, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

capfan 1

What about the team with the fewest First Round picks since 2000 ?
Detroit with 3.
Kenny Holland is too busy winning to "Rebuild" for 10+ years.

That organization is a TRUE Family.
AZAMAT & MIDGET are like gypsy's compared to Ilitch & Holland.

Posted by: Chief | May 9, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

2 Years and winning, rather than "showing up"

Posted by: Chief | May 9, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

10 year demolition. including 1 conference title and 3 division titles...

seriously guys, read the papers. team has been rebuilding since 2003-04. you can choose to ignore that fact if you'd like, but it is a fact.

see penquins, pittsburgh; hurricanes, carolina, lightning, tampa bay for teams who have gone through the same process and come out pretty good...or you could look at rangers, new york for examples of overpaying for players with nothing to show for it...

division title and $13M under the cap (including OV's deal)...more facts.

Posted by: Cap Fan 1 | May 9, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Olie's crying media tour is in full force. Fact is, he's been way overpaid for years now and it is now clear the he was pampered too much too. Don't let the door hit you pal.

Posted by: Jim Boy | May 9, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Conference Title and brief Cup appearance are 100% connected to Polin & Poile NOT AZAMAT & MIDGET.

Seriously capfan 1, using teams that have WON Cups as an example, only lessens your already pathetic spin on this franchise.

Posted by: Chief | May 9, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

chief, detroit is awesome. can't argue with you there. one of the only examples i can think of a team that has sustained itself throughout. new jersey maybe, but they may be done. of course, detroit didn't exactly have much playoff success for 20 years before this run over the last 14 years or so. i think the point is sometimes you have to be bad before you get good. the red wings were really bad before they got good and have been able to sustain it throughout. thats hopefully where the caps will be. you don't believe it, i do.

Posted by: Cap Fan 1 | May 9, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Olie was the man for a long time here, he was the player that inspired me to play goalie, and my favorite one at that. That being said, he obviously lost a step or two this season, not playing like he used to, letting up more soft goals than in years past. The team in front of him was better too.

To say he deserved better... maybe so he's done a lot for this franchise but we were in a MUST win situation and literally every game mattered. If we start Olie in one of those last games after the 5-0 Chicago shllacking (which I do not blame on Olie at all, the team was awful that night) and he loses, we're out. Simple as that. Instead BB made his firm choice, stuck with Huet and he played great and won out. There's no way we could ever find out what would happen if Olie played down the stretch.

After game 4 I felt a bit of tugging towards wanting Olie to start, but there's no guarantee he'd even take us to the game 7 Huet did. I'm proud of the season the Caps had, and Olie was indeed a big part of it.

At however suggested Hanlon would never have done this to Olie... consider this: If Hanlon was still here, the Caps would NEVER have made the playoffs and we'd be complaining a hell of a lot more about how poorly the team performed rather than how poorly they (allegedly) treated a player on the team. I don't think we'll ever get the full story, and both sides have blame for sure.

I support the CAPS first and players second. I was sad when Bonzai left, and I'm sad Olie had to go, but both were given opportunity to pursue championships elsewhere. Olie will one day have his number in the rafters and deservedly so. I will be there to chant "O-lie" one last time with everyone else.

Huet may not be the future but he's the best available bridge for the gap, and being in his prime now means he's got a lot to give us and may take us further than Olie ever did, will people still complain then? Probably.

I'll never understand "fans" like wendel and chief that comlpain no matter how the team plays. Hopefully next season they'll be shut up by the Caps performance.

Posted by: CapsCorndog | May 9, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

chief, did abe have a hand in this years division title? i think mcphee was on board for a few years when the won the division in 00-01....

forgive me for using cup winning teams as examples of how to build a franchise. that is so obviously a bad comparison...

Posted by: Cap Fan 1 | May 9, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure I am in the minority on this... but does anyone get the sense that this orchestrated PR campaign by Olie and his pepple? I mean why now? What decision have the Caps made? They havent signed anyone... there is still time... they may have not talked to anyone yet on an official level. I mean Olie take a month off... go on vacation... I really question the timing and its sincerity... I really do. This seems to pl;anned... and if thats the case than Olie brought this on not the Caps.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 9, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

capfan 1.

I applaude your commitment to Justify everything.
Unfortunately you're Detroit comments are a prime example of denial.

The Caps are not a NEW ERA franchise, they have been around FAR longer than Tampa & Carolina, which is why the examples you use are so far off base.

The Caps have been without a Cup since day 1, and since 97-98 have gone in the wrong direction.

Posted by: Chief | May 9, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

chief, your right, the canes have been in the nhl since 1979 and a professional team since 1971. truely a new era team.

not that i follow your logic one bit. flyers have been without a cup since 1975 and haven't been to the final since 1997...you seem to love them.

Posted by: Cap Fan 1 | May 9, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

ps. detroit comments? like the fact that they sucked and rarely made the playoffs for 20 years from the mid 60-mid 80's. again, these are facts, not opinions.

Posted by: Cap Fan 1 | May 9, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

capfan (jerk off)
If you want to claim Hartford since 1971, then here's DC.

Washington Eagles (Washington, DC) EHL 1939-42
Washington Lions (Washington, DC) AHL 1941-43
Washington Lions (Washington, DC) EHL 1944-47
Washington Lions (Washington, DC) AHL 1947-49
Washington Lions (Washington, DC) EHL 1951-57
Washington Presidents (Washington, DC) EHL 1957-60
Washington Chiefs (Washington, DC) Ind 1971-74
Washington Capitals (Washington, DC) NHL 1974-08

Considering DP on a couple of those teams makes it even more laughable.
Not sure what makes you think I "love" Philly, just like the FACT that they went from 30 to Conference finals in ONE year.

Posted by: Chief | May 9, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

capfan

You're ridiculous trying to bash the Wings for the "mid 60s-80s"

How Convenient to leave out 4 CUP Finals in the early 60s.
AZAMAT & MIDGET can't begin to envision what it must be like to win based on your TALENT & Front Office.

Posted by: Chief | May 9, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

chief, more facts for you. washington has had 1 major league professional franchise established in 1974. the other franchise you mentioned were NOT the washington capitals nor were they major league teams. the carolina hurricanes were in the WHL (a major professional league) and have continued to be a major league team since then. your point that the caps have been around FAR longer than them is laughable an simple not true. even if you consider just their NHL time, its 34 years vs. 29 years...wouldn't call that FAR longer.

Posted by: Cap Fan 1 | May 9, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

FYI,
The Wings have missed the playoffs 2 times since the 83-84 season.

I advise the Caps should begin the REBUILD by trading Ovechkin.

Posted by: Detcup 08 | May 9, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

They OWN a CUP. Enough said.

Posted by: Chief | May 9, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

again chief, facts. the red wings, since the MID 60's, not the early 60's, the MID 60's barely qualified for the playoffs through the mid 80's. from 66-86 they mad the playoffs 4 times and won 1 round during that time. i'm sure back then there was someone named chief in detroit who said they were going in the wrong direction and the gm is an idiot...

Posted by: Cap Fan 1 | May 9, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

@ Detcup 08

To whom? The Red Wings?

I think even you realize that this team will be good for a long time.

Posted by: CT Caps Fan | May 9, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Enjoy defending a LOSER. Because as of this moment, that's exactly what he has been since joining the Caps.

A giant loser with some divisional wins to help him justify his pathetic presence.

Keep on believing

Posted by: Chief | May 9, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Ct cap

Sorry, but I can't imagine anything in DC getting better with the same GM.
He has managed to screw up almost everything he comes in contact with.

You can't help but wonder why this organization has no former players backing them publicly or privately, in a working capacity or otherwise. It's plain and simple that when a veteran hears Caps, he thinks NO CLASS.

Today just added to that reputation, at a time when it looked like they managed to work themselves into a reputable position among potential free agents.

Sure, GM will always sign guys, there will be some that will "need a job", Friesen as an example, but the overall ability to really sign and build is not there with george.

Posted by: Detcup 08 | May 9, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

chief, i will keep believing. and we'll all see what happens on the ice next year. i believe because of what i see and know. you don't believe because you have something against the GM and the way he has handled the team over the past 10 years. you have no ability to comprehend what the team has been doing over the past 5 years and so you cling to the notion that because they havent won a playoff series in 10 years they are not on the way up. keep thinking that and we'll all see what happens.

ps. if perhaps some of your postings didn't include the MIDGET bashing, they would make more sense. otherwise you sound like a guy with a grudge and a broken record.

Posted by: Cap Fan 1 | May 9, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

capfan1

You're blinded by "spin" from AZAMAT & MIDGET, almost to the point where I would not be surprised if they were your bosses in some way.
Only subordinates carry on to a fault, you're mistaken if you think the current roster is any better than 02-03.
That roster with Ron Wilson (Not Keanu) as coach, may have done something a little better than another first round exit.

In any event, I do have a grudge with AZAMAT & MIDGET.
AZAMAT for not having the balls to FIRE an IGNORANT excuse for a manager.

Posted by: Chief | May 9, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Tarik:

Thanks for getting the interview with Kolzig. I thought the writing was on the wall after Kolzig's interview with Mike Wise earlier this year and then learning that his house was up for sale. I appreciate what Kolzig has done for the team and the community and wish him well. This year, however, I thought that the decline in his play was more noticeable from my perch in the 400s at VC. I was heartbroken when the Caps traded Bondra, but I learned then that this is a business and GMGM has to do what is best for the team even if some of the fans may disagree. Getting Huet were the right move for the team. I also think Bruce made the right decision to go with Huet at the end of the season and in the playoffs as I don't think the Caps would have made the playoffs with Kolzig in net. Thanks for getting the story.

Posted by: Cathy W | May 9, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

chief, as a full season ticket holder, i'm the boss of ted and gmgm. i don't look at spin, i look at results, from the last year not 10 years ago. why do you insist on living in the past? nobody is disputing that this team was a failure until they broke them up.

bruce cassiday, a disaster..no argument there. jagr, a disaster (apparantly gmgm was against bringing him in. but of course, that could just be spin, right). seemed like a good idea at the time though.

you can keep the 02-03 team if you'd like. jagr, lang, etc. i'll take a young ov, backstrom, semin, green etc. i'll take a team with cap room vs. a team overloaded with past thier prime players with high salaries.

Posted by: Cap Fan 1 | May 9, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for confirming that Keanu, JJ, & past team was overloaded with past their prime players.

Who was GM ??

I also think JJ has demonstrated he's fully capable of being an elite player right up until this past week, so tell me why he could not perform in DC ??

Because MIDGET MISMANAGED at EVERY turn, with coaching and players.
Please don't point to Kucera & Lang as example to "please" JJ. A three year old could have tossed money to bring in friends, it's far deeper than that

Posted by: Chief | May 9, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

chief's been bashing the caps all especially hen they lose yet never around when they win....... what a frickin loser

Posted by: Chief basher | May 10, 2008 4:44 AM | Report abuse

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