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Eric Belanger signs with Phoenix

The Phoenix Coyotes announced today that they have signed center Eric Belanger to a one-year contract reportedly worth $750,000.

The announcement comes after several weeks after a report in The Globe and Mail stated that Belanger could be returning to Washington, where he played 17 games last season after being acquired from the Minnesota Wild at the trade deadline. On Aug. 12, an NHL source with knowledge of the situation said Belanger had agreed in principle to a one-year deal with the Capitals but that it was contingent on the team completing a trade. Apparently that trade never happened.

By Katie Carrera  |  September 14, 2010; 4:41 PM ET
 
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Comments

"For the record, the Washington Capitals never pursued Eric Belanger. We resent any implication to the contrary. If we had wanted him, we would have begotten him. All the centers we need are right here. We actually have too many centers, ergo no need to go looking for one outside the organization. We draft so well we don't even understand free agency. In fact, when free agency begins, we go on vaca, okay?!"

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 14, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1in re Souray (repost from end of last thread):

OK, so maybe I was over the top in using the word "cancer" regarding Souray...it's just I've seen the Caps fare badly with expensive free-agent signings and blockbuster trades before...

I can explain in one word why GMGM has been reticent about pulling the trigger on that Big-Deal-That-Everyone-Says-Will-Clear-Out-The-Dead-Weight-And-Bring-In-The-Elite-SAH-Blue-Liner-And-Great-2C-That-Everyone-Says-The-Caps-Need:


Jagr.


Need more proof? Here's perhaps an even more apt parallel:


Nylander.


Yes, yes, I know that Nyls' refusal to waive his NMC certainly played a part in that wretched squabble. Still, it was a matter of the Caps' being saddled with an onerous contract they no longer wanted.

Knowing that Souray's contract for the remaining 2 years exceeds $4 million, do we want to (potentially) be in that situation again?

I'm not saying GMGM's methodology is right or wrong. I'm just saying that it sort of follows given previous outcomes; that it is understandable.

Given the challenges the Caps have faced recently with their PK (and given how much Ø love Ø the Caps get from NHL officials), are you sure you want to add a d-man whose mere reputation could cause the team's aggregate PIM to spike without a corresponding improvement in PK percentage?

Don't get me wrong, I agree with you that we could certainly do with a Real Beast on the Back Line. There's (almost) nothing I'd love better than to see Crosby and his ilk face dire consequences for taking liberties in our zone. Sort of like the stinky glove that Dale Hunter gave Steve Yzerman in '98, only better.

That said, I still think that Souray is too expensive, too injury-prone, and that--if big dollars must be spent--the Caps would get more value spending those dollars acquiring Bieksa and/or Regehr than from picking up Souray...with perhaps less downside as well.


Just saying...

Posted by: Rhino40 | September 14, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Re: Belanger gone

Dammit!

Posted by: Rhino40 | September 14, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Okay I have been in Europe for about 2 months and got back 2 days, so forgive me if I'm not up to date on everything but....

Was Belager not supposed to center the third line? Does this now mean that the team is without a 2nd and 3rd line center, which they will probably get from Hershey? A Perreault, Johansson duo perhaps? Unless I am missing something (which is possible as hockey coverage in Spain is about zero), I don't like this development one bit

Posted by: Aldred15 | September 14, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

belanger for 750K or steckel for $1M. i guess the trade never happened. far more value from belanger. upgrade in scoring/pk and skating.

Posted by: samb99 | September 14, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton last thread. While I don't think Belenger is a great third line guy I think he better fits the role then Mathieu Perreault, Marcus Johansson, Tomas Fleischmann, B. Gordon, or Stecks one of whom is almost certain to be our third line center. While I think we do have several players who probably shouldn't be on the team we are short on centers even on the third line and Belenger would have been a good fit on the 3rd line and on the third PK unit. He is not Jordan Staal or even Daren Helm but he is a better 3rd line center choice then any of our current options.

I also think that GMGM will say something along those lines. The interesting thing will be if Belenger ever says anything about there being a deal at some point or if he will stay quite and we have to decide if the rumor was ever true.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 14, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1in re Souray (repost from end of last thread):

OK, so maybe I was over the top in using the word "cancer" regarding Souray...it's just I've seen the Caps fare badly with expensive free-agent signings and blockbuster trades before...
---

hey bro, i responded to you in the last thread. I've lost track. But its in there somewhere, i directed it at icehammer instead of you accidentally. I'll flog myself later by making myself watch video of Tomas Fleischman's playoff shifts.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 14, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

If Boyd G. is healthy...is it possible he could serve as 3rd line center? He is respnsible defensively...or MJ and MP could share 2nd and 3rd line duty?

Posted by: capscoach | September 14, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

cstanton last thread. While I don't think Belenger is a great third line guy I think he better fits the role then Mathieu Perreault, Marcus Johansson, Tomas Fleischmann, B. Gordon, or Stecks one of whom is almost certain to be our third line center.
------

can't disagree there. I just hate throwing money at and eating up a roster spot on a guy I don't think really adds a whole lot to this team. My hope is that we somehow go find a better player for that position (i.e. either STeckel steps up this yr, or Beagle surprises us, or we get a better player via trade).

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 14, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

If Boyd G. is healthy...is it possible he could serve as 3rd line center? He is respnsible defensively...or MJ and MP could share 2nd and 3rd line duty?

Posted by: capscoach | September 14, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

they need to change up the chemistry on this team. And shake things up on our PK units. I don't really want Gordo skating between Chimera and whoever. A lot of speed without tangible results. I mean compare that to a 3rd line of Staal or Talbot centering Tyler Kennedy and Matt Cooke and you see the world of difference.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 14, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Caps projected lineup for 2010. The Cup year.

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble
Flash-MaJo-Semin
Chimera-MP-BGordon
Bradley-Steckel-DJK

Green-Schultz
Carlson-Poti
Sloan-Alzner


If that doesn't scare you nothing will. Did someone leave their dirty socks lying around because it smells a little stale around here.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 14, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

oops, forgot about the beefed up Fehr. He goes on the 3rd line RW and Gordo and DJK rotate out on the 4th line wing.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 14, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

cstanton

where did laich go? We also have 5 million in cap space

Posted by: samb99 | September 14, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1--sorry düüüüde!

Ok, with this latest (defection? bungling? whatever), I now find myslf starting to question GMGM's planning.

However, I still can't buy into the idea that his tenure precludes the Caps winning a Cup. That's just too depressing.

Posted by: Rhino40 | September 14, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

laich left to go change a tire. not coming back.
dammit, we got too many forwards.

ok revamped lineup

Ovy-Backs-Knuble
Laich-Flash-Semin
Chimmychoochoo-MP-Fehr
King-Steck-Brads/Gordo

no Beags, no AGordo, no Pinner

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 14, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Adding Laich and Fehr to that lineup changes things a bit...

Ovechkin/Backstrom/Knuble
Laich/Flash/Semin
Chimera/MP/Fehr
Bradley/Steckel/Gordon|King

Definitely weak down the middle compared to some other teams, but there is still a good amount of cap space available. The above should win the division and hopefully come trade deadline time we'll add pieces that fit better than Corvo/Belanger/Walker/etc.

Posted by: Jeff_ | September 14, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

no truth to the rumor that the Caps attempted to trade a 4th round pick to the Yotes in exchange for a heavily delayed announcement on the Belanger signing.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 14, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Adding Laich and Fehr to that lineup changes things a bit...

Ovechkin/Backstrom/Knuble
Laich/Flash/Semin
Chimera/MP/Fehr
Bradley/Steckel/Gordon|King

Definitely weak down the middle compared to some other teams, but there is still a good amount of cap space available. The above should win the division and hopefully come trade deadline time we'll add pieces that fit better than Corvo/Belanger/Walker/etc.

Posted by: Jeff_ | September 14, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

and seriously, is this really the guy you wanted as your 3rd line center? You can't get less gritty than this. Don't look down..

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_O8HQppxwvq4/SS_7OgkwpbI/AAAAAAAAHLo/EmKBRxMayyE/s640/GEricBelanger01.jpg

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 14, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Given the challenges the Caps have faced recently with their PK (and given how much Ø love Ø the Caps get from NHL officials), are you sure you want to add a d-man whose mere reputation could cause the team's aggregate PIM to spike without a corresponding improvement in PK percentage?

-----------------------


you can't hamstring your team because you're afraid to take penalties. The answer is to fix your PK unit, not to play a tentative style of hockey out of some real or imagined fear of the refereeing. Tentative teams don't win Cups. So yeah, I'd bring Souray in here and not worry about his PIMs. He gets away with a lot anyway since he's a tough veteran. The guy who'll likely get targeted is DJ King, not Souray. Young enforcer types are the ones who refs look at very closely when they're on the ice.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 14, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

I would like to point out that every team had the chance to pick up Souray without having to give up anything. All they had to do was pick up his contract.

EVERY team chose not too. That says something about the combination of Souray in relation to the size of his contract. None of the 30 NHL teams want him at that price. That is a fact.

The only way he gets traded to the Caps is if the Oilers include Taylor Hall or their young Swedish prospect.

The only possibility of him coming to the Caps is if he is bought out of Edmonton and then signs a deal in Washington at about $1M/yr.

That is a good deal for the Coyotes. I don't understand why the Caps didn't sign him for 1-year at $900k. He is a better option than eitehr Steckel(can barely move) or Gordon(back is made of glass).

I will wait to see what happens in the next few weeks but I don't understand this one. Unless they have supreme confidence in the young centers.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 14, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

i think next yr is already a wash. Not that there isn't enough time to amp up the roster, but really no reason to think that GM will make the right moves. I say, dump semin and flash, pick up some young talent and a #1 pick from a team like Columbus, hopefully get the #1 overall pick next season, draft the swedish sensation that is Adam Larsson, and then you'll truly be able to make a run in 2012. 2012 baby! And have Rush do the national anthem on opening day.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 14, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

During a depression, cash is king.
Under a salary cap, space is king.
GMGM is in a great position.
Wait for NJ to implode and pick up the pieces at deep discounts.

Posted by: Wiley_One1 | September 14, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

WAY too much concern over who's on the opening night roster. The team is going to be in the playoffs. Why the push to try and sign over priced FAs? Belanger at $750 isn't overpriced, but really, what did he do other than win face offs, lose teeth, and degrade overall team speed? Oh I forgot, he screwed the pooch every time he had the puck on his stick. I'd love to find the BB quote about when he coached Belanger in the King's system. Something to the effect of, "Yeah, he was real creative. he generated a lot of chances. I could never figure out why he didn't collect more points." Hilarious. Belanger's fine to round out the roster, but the loss is inconsequential. We need to find out if the players we have in the organization can step up and play. If they can't, we then have the cap space to bolster the team in April. Be it at center, defense, or in goal. All 3 are question marks. We have until March to get the answers. If we don't like what we have then we'll make a deal. But for the love of all that is holy....this was an AWFUL FA year. Thank God GMGM didn't blow $$$ on any of the bums who got rich for being average players in a below average FA year. I would love to know what deal (if any) fell through.

Posted by: DisgustedinArlington | September 14, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

I will wait to see what happens in the next few weeks but I don't understand this one. Unless they have supreme confidence in the young centers.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 14, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

note date and time. At 6:31 pm on Sept 14 2010, SGM3 came oh so close to criticizing named defendant in capsfans v GeorgeMcPhee class action lawsuit.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 14, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

I really doubt flash will play center for more than the first month or so...he is just too defensively weak...my lineup barring any trades or aquisitions...which could still happen people

Ovie/backs/knuble
Laich/MP or MJ/Semin
Fehr/MP or MJ/Chimera or Flash
Bradley/Stecks/Gordo or King

We really do have too many fowards...even if Laich could play C effectively, then we are giving up his net prescence which I don't like...someone has to re-direct Semins shots in! I think Flash is good, but we have no spave for him, and I like Fehr and Chimera together to form a nice energy line too much to change it....gosh dangit this is annoying!

Posted by: capscoach | September 14, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

I mean I LOVE Laich...but can he put up 20+ goals a season? If the answer to that is yes, then I say move Flash now.

Posted by: capscoach | September 14, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1:
i can't believe you found a picture like that - and then took the time to post it

i qoute you:
"Wonderwoman was plump. In the face. And not sexy. She was like Jaclyn Smith, pretty but unsexy. Xena looks like a freakin linebacker. The girl standing next to her looks like Garth from Wayne's World or Nigel from Spinal Tap."

that's two strikes now
your walking a slippery slope :D

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 14, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

"We really do have too many fowards...even if Laich could play C effectively, then we are giving up his net prescence which I don't like...someone has to re-direct Semins shots in! I think Flash is good, but we have no space for him, and I like Fehr and Chimera together to form a nice energy line too much to change it....gosh dangit this is annoying!"
.
-BB
.
.
.

Posted by: Wiley_One1 | September 14, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

I mean I LOVE Laich...but can he put up 20+ goals a season?
--------------

he put up 25 last season. I think its safe to call him a 20+ goal/55 point per season player.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 14, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

hey, i have an obligation to my fellow fans to remind them that any player we are pursuing for a gritty 3rd line checking role should at the very least not be posing for shaved nude pics on the 'net.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 14, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

We need another center, no doubt. But trading Flash isn't a good move. He's a lot better than most posters on here give him credit for and is one of the better goal scorers on the team. I would prefer trading Mike Green over Flash; Green was just as bad if not worse in the playoffs and an offensively strong lineup of forwards doesn't necessarily need a defensively challenged #1 D-man to go along with it.

Posted by: landocalrissian | September 14, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

now this is the guy we need patroling the blueline. Notice, he's got his junk well hidden.

http://img363.imageshack.us/img363/1232/sport03s10souray1553681dd.jpg

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 14, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Ok...we could keep Flash if...

Ovi/Backs/Knuble
Laich/MP or MJ/Semin
Flash/MP or MJ/ Fehr
Chimera/Gordo/King or Stecks

then it is bye bye Brads...whoever centers that 3rd line though would have to be REALLY responisble on D! Chimera and King together on that 4th line would pretty gritty and we would have 3 high scoring lines and a wth line that could chip in sometimes too.

Posted by: capscoach | September 14, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

#1 - Green improved his attention to his own zone, so the anti-Green blather is a bit behind the times. His effort was more commendable the latter half of the season.

#2- he improved his physicality by a large amount. He used to go 3 or 4 games without a single hit. In the 2nd half of the season it wasn't uncommon to see him getting 3-5 hits in a single game.

Does that mean he's a better defenseman than he was? Not necessarily, but he's more aware of his defensive responsibilities and gives a more honest effort. If you trade him, then all the pressure comes down on Carlson to be the offensive guy back there.

Flash is quite simply, overkill. This team doesn't need him and we can trade from a position of strength, which is having some depth at skill positions at forward.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 14, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1:
ok - but next time give a little more warning (my retina's are still burning) or find a pic of laich changing a tire or anything a bit more manly than that

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 14, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

@landocalrissian

I am not opposed to trading Green...but we would have to get A LOT back!

I get it that he dissapointed in the playoffs...but he was overplayed all season, and we did not lose b/c of the D. He has been nominated 2X now for Norris...lets stop pretending he sucks.

Posted by: capscoach | September 14, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Notice, he's got his junk well hidden.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 14, 2010 6:48 PM

thats funny

but now i think these are just revolving wallpaper pics you look at all day long

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 14, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Chimera got credited with 7 hits in 7 playoff games against an undersized opponent. I'm guessing if we played the Flyers or Penguins, he'd have racked up half that #. He's not gritty unless you compare him to Flash.

Chimera is a classic spot picker. You can predict who he finishes his checks on based on their jersey #. Unlike Bradley who plays a more honest game and is a more equal opportunity hitter. The fact that Chimera couldn't even muster up the energy to hit double digits in hits over a 7 game playoff series shows me his level of commitment. He's in an energy role, he hasn't exactly tasted playoff hockey over his career so you'd think he'd be hungrier, he should want to impress his new team and fans, and yet he still manages to avoid contact whenever possible. He got tagged as "gritty" because of his run-ins with the goalie. Big whoop. That's a miniscule part of what his role should be. He should be using his speed and size to skate down the wing and crash and bang the boards and create turnovers and disrupt the flow.

Brads> Chimmychanga

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 14, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

but now i think these are just revolving wallpaper pics you look at all day long

-----------------------------

slanderous kirk! i'll retaliate sometime in the future by posting a link entitled "xena's manly shoulders". That should cause you to spill your coffee all over your keyboard in your haste to click on it. Only to find something a bit different in its place.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 14, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

"Chimera got credited with 7 hits in 7 playoff games against an undersized opponent. I'm guessing if we played the Flyers or Penguins, he'd have racked up half that #. He's not gritty unless you compare him to Flash."

I think we can all agree that for 95% of the Caps...the last playoff series was not a great showing of their skills and natural talent set. He is bigger that Brads, his skin is not paper thin, and he can SCORE... i LOVE brads, but we won't be able to move Stecks so that makes him the odd man out. Find a taker for Stecks and maybe you are smarter that GM

Posted by: capscoach | September 14, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't care less what photo shoots a player does off the ice. I am sure there are some very similar with Ovechkin and I don't think anyone would call him soft. Belenger filled a need this team has. Others can fill that need but GMGM has to actually go out and fill it. The reason why it is so disappointing to have Belenger with another team is it opens a third hole, 2nd line center and at least a better 5/6 defenseman, and a fourth hole to those who still don't think our goaltending is going to be solid this season.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 14, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

i'm setting myself up for some retaliation - but i can't resist

more wallpaper for cstanton1

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 14, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Good job GMGM and BB. I can hear the call from GMGM's intern to Belanger's agent now: "Uh..about that deal...forget it...gotta go, bye!"

Look nothing against M. Perreault, he added a spark, but by mid-season I think due to his size he's gonna be worn out from the NHL grind, similar to B. Morrison slowing down due to age/size last season.

Does anyone have a clue what they're thinking over there? After Game 7 of the Montreal series, you could see the writing on the wall, hear it shouted from the rooftops: Team needs a veteran Center and a tough Defenseman. I mean I'm no NHL GM, I just play one in my mind, but am I missing something?!!

Posted by: kcbrichmond | September 14, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: ThePat | September 14, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Another episode of "Make Room for Daddy McPhee."

"Dad, I read that Belanger signed with Phoenix."

"I can neither confirm nor deny that."

"And for a measley $750K, Dad. Couldn't we have offered $751K?"

"Listen, Junior, none of the players out there are better than any of the players we have."

"I know, Dad, you always say that. And, well, Joe Corvo kinda proved it."

"That's enough out of you, Junior. You'll do well to remember where your allowance comes from."

"Oh, that's right, Dad. When do I get my allowance raised? It's been three bucks for eight years now."

"And you're lucky to get that. There are poor kids in Africa, you know."

"Dad?"

"What?"

"Where's Mom been for the last three months?"

"I can neither confirm nor deny."

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 14, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Well, let's see, Belanger gave McPhee eight teeth, and McPhee gave him back one finger.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 14, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Actually, to be serious, I think there's a fair chance of a grievance against the Caps. The players lost on the Kovy thing and they might be wanting a little revenge. I'm sure Bettman wouldn't mind at all sticking it to the Caps.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 14, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

once again - mcphee does nothing. this is the team's mindset: we have stars. we were good in the regular season. we will be better with time, not with the addition of the kind of players we need.

here's the deal: no one cares about the regular season. and this team is now even worse as a playoff team. belanger is better than gordon or steckel...yet we let him get scooped up for peanuts.

mcphee should be fired. now. immediately.

Posted by: dingram3 | September 14, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

"Oh, that's right, Dad. When do I get my allowance raised? It's been three bucks for eight years now."

"And you're lucky to get that. There are poor kids in Africa, you know."

or

"junior, watch yourself! i know a great little place in grand rapids that you would just love - and please, stop running around in cicles"

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 14, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Ok CStanton.

Usually I have thought you were over the top in your criticism of GMGM. While I dont think Belanger is anything great that will make or break the season, I am coming around to your position. I can't believe I am writing this.

There does not appear to be any plan in place. I think Carlson and Alzner getting their chance is nice, but where is the shutdown D? And where is the depth at C? And good grief, trade Semin and Flash when they have value. Last year's trade deadline was a total bomb. Terrible. This free agency period has been a joke. Has he not noticed what other teams are doing within the division? Frustrating. Hard to see the Caps going deep in the playoffs.

Posted by: jackstraaw | September 15, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

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