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Erskine Re-Signs

The Caps have re-signed restricted free agent defenseman John Erskine to a two-year, one-way contract that will pay him $525,000 in 2007-08 and $550,000 in 2008-09, according to my sources.

I guess the Caps believe that the rugged 27-year-old still has some upside. I tend to agree, as long as he continues to work hard at becoming a better skater.

Wow. Is it just me or does it seem like the Caps' blue line is getting awfully crowded? Should be a very interesting training camp.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  August 27, 2007; 6:11 PM ET
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I'm glad we got this out of the way, Erskine is a good guy to have on the team for a rainy day. Hopefully Schultz will fill in that 6th spot full time (and GMGM's interview makes me think he's penciled in there; notice he didn't list Schultz as one of the Hershey kids who'd be called up), leaving Erskine as the 7th or 8th depending on Boumer. 2 years verses 1 is an interesting point to ponder, though with a contract this small it probably doesn't make all that much difference.

Posted by: Brad | August 27, 2007 6:51 PM | Report abuse

So who's getting traded? Poti, Pothier, Morissonn, Jurcina, Boumedienne are all on one-ways, though Boumer has an out to Sweden clause, but then there's Eminger, Green, Schultz who have played at the NHL level. Plus, there's Alzner, Lepisto, McNeill, Pokulok. Not to mention Finley and Seabrook at college. Where do they fit? Even with Hershey and SC, there's not enough room because of their own signings. And, we still need a stay at home, crease clearing dman. That's Erskine's game, but he's not that good at it. He's good for 20-30 games a year as a physical presence.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2007 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Awesome. D-line is never crowded. I wish it was like that last season. Erskine got a fracture last year and it costs the team a playoff spot.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2007 7:20 PM | Report abuse

These problems, like "too many D-men who could fill a role in the NHL" are what most teams wish they had. I just wish one or two of the guys we had on the roster rose up to the cream of the crop and earned a true #1 pair or #1 D status. We have a lot of "Top 4" and 2nd pair D and not a single "#1D" guy on the roster (as of now).

Patience only goes so far, one of these so called "kids" will need to assert themselves, or be traded to get someone who's stronger and more ready.

I do like this signing. Though I think its a long way from procuring or developing a top pairing guy, which I think is our biggest void. I think guys like Alzner and Godfrey might step up, but that does nothing for the 07-08 season.

Posted by: CCCP11 | August 27, 2007 8:39 PM | Report abuse

"He's good for 20-30 games a year as a physical presence"
And then what? What was the crushing void on last seasons Capitals is no longer the case. Their six will be Poti, Jurcina, Morrisonn, Pothier, Eminger, and Erskine. Boumedienne will be the seventh defenseman. Green and Schultz both have NHL experience, are destined for Hershey, and they can pass through waivers without a problem, so it wont be like a complete dropoff if someone gets injured. Lepisto can be recalled if he shows he can compete. There's actually a choice of skill sets, vs looking for a warm body like last year. While there's certainly a logjam at Hershey, that's a problem that usually works itself out over the course of the season. At least it did last year.

Posted by: pga3 | August 27, 2007 9:32 PM | Report abuse

green can pass thru waivers? are you nutz?

Posted by: green | August 27, 2007 10:16 PM | Report abuse

It's not that he can pass through; he would of course get picked up. It's that he's exempt right now, so he doesn't have to pass through. That alone will likely put him and Schultz in Hershey if Erskine, Boumer, or whoever is ready to start the season.

Posted by: Brad | August 28, 2007 1:42 AM | Report abuse

If the Caps are in it in late Feb, a defensive prospect or 2 could be some nice nice trade bait...

Posted by: dave | August 28, 2007 5:58 AM | Report abuse

Oh, jeez! All he does is gets penalties!

Posted by: Greg S. | August 28, 2007 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Tarik, As a fan, it's great to see a young guy like Greeny of Schultz crack the lineup and make an impact. But we also don't want to force them along. Also, at their ages, isn't it better to keep them at Hershey when we are able to send them down without risking losing them to waivers? I do think that Eminger may be the first to go.

BTW, When did Josef Boumeddiene become so good? Hasn't he been with the club since around 02? I must have missed something.....

Posted by: dave | August 28, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Like pitchers in baseball, you can never have too many good defensemen. Erskine offers a physical style of play that they need on the blueline. It is a good signing.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Erskine is not just a physical presence by himself. The entire team plays better (espcially Eminger) when he is on the ice. His play gives the rest of the team, well, ok mainly the defense, confidence (like Brasher for obvious reasons).

Posted by: CaptnClark | August 28, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I remember seeing Erskine's first game last season and he seemed to make a difference right away. He was all over the place working his can off and making the other team's offense work that much harder to hold the puck or get position. When he got injured they slipped immediately on D and then it just got worse as others fell. I think the guy makes a big difference and hope he improves as the rest of the team does.

Posted by: The Capitalist | August 28, 2007 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Erskine showed the team how to play like men last year. Before he got called up, it was like watching a swedish all star game. We were the last team to get a fighting major last year.

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