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Fehr-ly Impressive Return

Caps prospect Eric Fehr made up for lost time in Hershey last night, scoring on his first shift in more than 10 months, just 40 seconds into the Bears' 2-1 win over Norfolk, according to this report in The Patriot News.

The goal was later given to Chris Bourque, but that's beside the point. What really mattered was that Fehr, an important cog in the Caps' future who had been sidelined since February with a mysterious back and hip ailment, was back on the ice.

Now the big question is when will the 6 foot 4, 212-pound right wing find his way into the lineup in Washington? Coach Bruce Boudreau, who called Fehr before the last night's game to wish him luck, said it's possible the former 18th overall pick (2003) could join the Caps this season. But the coach also cautioned that it's not guaranteed.

"It's been almost a year since he's played," Boudreau said. "He's got to get acclimated to playing again. He hasn't had training camp."

"It's not going to happen overnight," he said. "But hopefully he comes through it and if he's got no pain and he plays the way he's supposed to play and capable of playing, I'm sure the Capitals would love to see him up here at some point."

Boudreau gushed about Fehr's potential.

"He's got an unbelievable release," he added. "He's also got a nose for the net and he likes to score. If the puck is loose there, he'll dive for it. He loves to score. There are not too many teams in the NHL that can afford not to want a top goal scorer who is 6 foo4 and 220-pounds."

Speaking of the Caps, last night's 2-1 win over Colorado at Verizon Center has moved them into a tie with Florida for 12th place in the Eastern Conference.

The team is taking today off to rest up for a busy stretch that's going to be especially busy for Alex Ovechkin (and possibly Mike Green and Nicklas Backstrom) and everyone else (like me) who doesn't actually get a break during All-Star weekend.

Update: Goaltender Brent Johnson, who has been sidelined the past two weeks with a sprained left knee, has been assigned to Hershey on a conditioning stint. Johnson is expected to make his debut with the Bears on Friday at Wilkes-Barre Scranton. I'm told if all goes well, Johnson's stint down there will last only one game.

Update:The NHL has announced the rest of the Western Conference team. The remainder of the East roster will be announced tomorrow.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 10, 2008; 9:52 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Tonight's Lineup vs. Colorado
Next: Ovechkin Extension Close?

Comments

First!

Posted by: First | January 10, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

How are Clark, Poti, and Pothier? Any chance they will be back on Sunday?

Posted by: Travis | January 10, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I won't know their status until tomorrow's practice. Sorry.

Posted by: Tarik | January 10, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

In a previous post, Jill wrote:

"If there was any lingering doubt that the "injury excuse" for the team's record in the first 2 months of the season was totally bogus, these past few weeks should take care of it. This team CAN win with key injuries, under the right coach. It's a damn shame he wasn't brought in a lot sooner."

Amen, sister! And now I'm worried about Hanlon coming back to scout. I think that's a real mistake. Nice guy, but there's a reason you fired him. Leave him fired.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 10, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Tarik - Thanks for the great update!

We were talking during the game last night about who should sit when Clark returns and if Fehr eventually joins the lineup. I think Laing has earned a roster spot but I suspect he might be on the short list. I'd rather see Petty or "Flash" sit. But I suppose it all depends on who returns when and what positions they play, etc.

Also, Bradley always comes up in these conversations but he adds a lot to the team and should definitely not be the odd man out.

Posted by: Jill | January 10, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I see the merry-go-round keeps turning. Oy.


Great news that Fehr is playing again in any capacity and that the Bears won the game. B-E-A-R-S BEAR BEARS BEARS WOOOOOOOO!

Posted by: EricS | January 10, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Greg, just because he can't coach at this level doesn't mean he can't scout. In fact, it is commonly known that those who can't do, coach and those who can't coach, scout.

Posted by: kenwood | January 10, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

And those who can't scoout, blog??

Posted by: marksman | January 10, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Nah, those that can't scout become TV analysts and make up wacky Mats Sundin rumors.

Posted by: tallbear | January 10, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I don't know that I am on this whole bash Hanlon train. I thought he did a very good job up until this year with what he was given player wise. Once we had some more offensive minded players here his system just didn't work and he didn't seem to want to adjust. That doesn't mean his system wouldn't work somewhere else, but lets not forget how the past seasons he made really a minor league team at least respectable.

Posted by: Mike | January 10, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Tarik,

Since you are in dire need of a weekend off, I will take one for the team and volunteer to handle your duties All-Star weekend. I can not promise to deliver the outstanding service you provide, but I can promise to give it my best shot. :)

Keep up the good work!

Posted by: Honored Caps Fan | January 10, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Boo-hoo, Tarik doesn't get a break during the All-Star weekend. Poor guy. Dude, you have a great job. No sympathy here!

Just kidding, man. Thanks for the great Caps coverage. I really enjoy the blog. I give it 1&1/2 thumbs up, since one is broken.

Posted by: Pothier's Thumb | January 10, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I love how things are finally coming together. You can really see how the whole team is meshing and and playing for a purpose. I just hope that we don't make any last minute trades, or bring some one that ruins the chemistry is starting to flourish.

Go GABBY!!!!!!!!!! He should have been here last year.

Posted by: digis | January 10, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I think the evidence trail starts in last year. His system wasn't working then, and it didn't work this year with more Offense. But this is history.

The issue remains one of what he's looking for when he scouts. If it's talent, we're in trouble. What system is the basis for his evaluation? Does he understand what Coach B's system is about?

If he's scouting teams we'll play, he might be OK, but there again, which system? Is he thinking a strategy based upon HIS system?

Posted by: Greg S. | January 10, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

@Honored Caps Fan - your dream is only $1201 away! Check out http://nhlfa.com.

Posted by: Jill | January 10, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

It's not really a complaint. I love what I do. But if you look at the schedule, it gets pretty hairy at the end of the month. I think I come home from Atlanta for like 12 hours before heading to Montreal.

Posted by: Tarik | January 10, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

System doesn't need to come into play. He can do the basic stuff, can a guy skate? what's his shooting tendencies? Does he see the ice well? Does a team play a trapping style? Do they like to overload on the left? Etc. None of this requires a specific system to evaluate against.

Posted by: tallbear | January 10, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

@Jill

Yeah, i was wondering the same thing, actually. Though, i'm figuring that it's going to be Flash that sits, unless Pettinger gets hurt or really just plays terribly.

But then again, Flash has looked really good these last few games. If he continues to look this good, it just may be Pettinger who gets the bench. I really like Pettinger, but he's not playing very well right now.

I don't think we have to worry for a while, though. Fehr most likely won't have a chance to come up until late February or March. Plenty of time for Flash and Pettinger to strut what stuff they have.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | January 10, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Tarik- How long do conditioning stints last? Is this pretty typical for a goaltending injury?

Posted by: K | January 10, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Great to see Brash get credit for the goal, inadvertent or not.

I like the idea Johnny will be getting on his feet again sooner then later with Hershey.

Oh to ponder, where will BB insert Fehr when he is available?

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 10, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Has Johnson ever played in Hershey before? Just wondering.

Posted by: bb23 | January 10, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Fehr did not light up the lamp during his first couple stints with the club, but I wouldn't but too much stock in that. I think Bruce will give Fehr a better chance to succees, much like Backstrom has been given more opportunity since Bruce took over. I think BB's history of being an offensive minded guy who kept getting stuck in non offesnive minded situations as an NHL player gives him a better chance at developing offesnive minded talent. Backstrom is averaging just under a point per game since BB took over.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | January 10, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

When Clark, Poti and Pothier return to the lineup the Caps will be at 24 players. Fehr would make 25.

Even without Fehr being called up, one player needs to be removed from the roster altogether and three get scratched.

Add Fehr and another player must be cut.

Its not a question of sitting.

Posted by: Rob | January 10, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Tarik,
We're heading down to Atlanta for the ASG and really looking forward to it. We'll know tomorrow about the rest of the East--keeping my fingers crossed for Green! I'm assuming Backstrom is on the young studs, so it'll be great to have a trifecta!


Posted by: 3vafan | January 10, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Remember that when Clark comes off IR the Caps will have 24 on the roster. One player will have to be cut or demoted.

Two players if you add Fehr to the healthy roster.
Its not a matter of sitting, but cutting.

Are Petty and Flash still your choices to get packed out?

Posted by: Rob | January 10, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Eric Fehr for Flash/Pettinger in February baby here he comes watch out boys... you guys better start playing better or the Fehr will get the call up for your spot!!!

Green/Ovechkin 4 All-Star Team
Backstrom 4 Young Gunz Game

GO CAPS GO!

Posted by: ZackAttack | January 10, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Isn't this a terrible problem to have? Who do we CUT? :D

Posted by: Greg S. | January 10, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone else think that the news about Johnny is BIG?!?

Posted by: Boo! | January 10, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

- pothiersthumb

please leave tarik alone. he does a great job!

Posted by: fehrs hip | January 10, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Kolzig 4 All-Oldies Team.

Posted by: Thetruth | January 10, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

No mention in Bryzlagov in this post? WHat's going on????

Posted by: dave | January 10, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Who would you cut? Why not start with 4th and 3rd liners rather than 1st and 2nd liners.

Posted by: Thetruth | January 10, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

@ Greg S. -- bringing back Hanlon as a scout may not be all bad. He developed some young players fairly well, but could not take the step to be a good coach. He could make a good scout as a good evaluator of potential and he is a good bud with BB. Look at some coaches who are good assistants but bad head coaches: Norv Turner and Joe Bugel come to mind.

Posted by: JIM | January 10, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

you make me dizzy, hafta shove you up my ... hehe just kidding

Posted by: Pothier's brain | January 10, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

@dave
GMGM is working in a deal to bring Bryzlagov to Washington, although, it is unclear if it is as a player.

Posted by: Thetruth | January 10, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Yup, I currently see Petty and Flash as the two forwards who contribute the least to the team.

Posted by: Jill | January 10, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

@ fehrs hip,

Dude/dudette...chill out, it was a joke. I thought my post was abundantly clear about that.

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

I know that its the unofficial policy of many posters on this forum (and others) to engage in mass speculation about everything....from the AO contract situation to what kind of toothpaste Dean Evason uses. Having said that, why don't we worry about Fehr and who will sit or be cut when the time is right? The dude is quite a bit of time away from being up here this year (barring a monster performance in Hershey), IF he shows up here this season at all.

I'm as excited for his upside as anyone and also am curious to see him play, but lets be pragmatic. Many things like injuries, improved/declining performances, trades or any unforeseen happenings by or to the existing roster can occur between now and when Fehr is ready to be called up. Again, thats assuming that its even this season.

The shape and makeup of the team could be quite different then. I'd prefer to focus on the push for a playoff spot, catching Carolina.....and getting back to the usual speculation about AO's contract. :-D

Posted by: Pothier's Thumb | January 10, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

@Boo! - I don't think the Johnny news is "BIG" per se. It's good that he's recovering enough to play, and conditioning stints are fairly routine when a player's coming back from an injury, depending on the nature of it. Most likely we'll see him back in DC soon.

Posted by: Jill | January 10, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

BTW- I have it from good sources that Evason is a big Aquafresh fan.

Posted by: Pothier's Thumb | January 10, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for taking a shot at the Caps fans last night on COMCAST's Washington Post Live. That's really classy.

Posted by: Jim | January 10, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

@ Pothier's Thumb - regarding your comments about who will sit/be cut when Fehr returns, I'll assume they are directed at me, since I am the one who initially posted about that. We were discussing it during the game last night because we spend most of the games talking about the players - who's playing well, who isn't, which line combos work well together, etc. (now that it's actually enjoyable to talk about such matters instead of how much the team sucks).

With news of Fehr's return finally beginning to break, and Clark hopefully returning from injury soon -- and BB bringing out the best in many of our more-or-less unheralded players -- the topic was bound to come up for discussion. Sure it might be a ways away, but it's natural for any good Caps fan to start thinking about it. As speculation goes, it's more legitimate fodder than AO's contract status.

Any more questions, you know where to find me...

Posted by: Jill | January 10, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Re Fehr and roster space:

Fehr won't be ready for at least another 3 weeks; who knows what the injury situation will be then or who might step things up?

But for the sake of discussion: another option would be to move a defenseman, as the Caps carry 8 while most teams carry 7. If they can trade Eminger for someone who isn't waiver eligible they could open up another roster spot for a forward and keep their #8 defenseman in Hershey until needed.

In terms of forwards I'd rather seem them move Flash than Pettinger. Pettinger who proven over the last two seasons that he can be productive in the NHL, plus he's a better checker while Flash hasn't really even been that productive in the NHL. Also Flash and Fehr play more similar styles - they're primarily offensive players, whereas Pettinger plays better defense and grinds more.

Posted by: dmg | January 10, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

SCARF NIGHT...SCARF NIGHT...SCARF NIGHT!...SCARF NIGHT!!!

You can use it on the Flyers Fan sitting in front of you that keeps getting up...Catch em right under the chin for best results..

Posted by: SA-Town | January 10, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

@Jill

You forgot a reason.

It's fun.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 10, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

@Jim- I didn't see Washington Post Live...what happened? What are you refering too?

Posted by: K | January 10, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunetly I was painfully aware of the roster limits and thought about it on my lunch. Hopefully Hershey will have a better shot at The Calder this year. If not, GMGM can start upping the draft I guess.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 10, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I didn't hear anyone singing last night. Was it because they preempted it with the scoreboard birthday message in the first period?

Posted by: Scott in Shaw | January 10, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

@Jim

That wasn't a shot. Fans in this town should have done a better job of getting A.O. into the starting lineup. And I'll stand by that assessment.

I mean if Detroit fans can vote THREE of their own into the starting lineup ...

Posted by: Tarik | January 10, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

QUESTION: I am going to the Season Ticket holder thingy tonite - do they limit the number of items a player can sign at one time? Thanks.

Posted by: on ice | January 10, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Tarik -Seems like several fans will be at the ASG.

I'm sure between all of us, we would be happy to take on your duties - well at least give it out best shot :-) - to give you a much deserved break.

Thanks for the great coverage!

Posted by: Tracy | January 10, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I dont expect to see Fehr this season.
If it happens because he is lighting it up and not because of injuries, I would expect that Fleischmann would be the first to go.

They fill the same role on the team.

I would not start with 3rd and 4th lines as those players have defined roles that they are doing well. Steckel, Gordon, Laich provide what Pettinger does and do it better. Bradley and Brashear do things that Pettinger does not do.

Laing is....well...he is Laing.

Posted by: Rob | January 10, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

@ Jill,

Ummm...no, they weren't directed at you. I would have specifically said so and wouldn't have used the term "posters" if they were.

Just kind of (trying) to poke fun at the rampant speculation that goes on here about darn near everything. Now, in this case I suppose its more warranted than the AO thing...since it involves something tangible like a player's performance. I still stand by what I said though, about us getting ahead of ourselves. Fehr may not even make it up here this season, if at all. And it may be awhile if he does.

Boudreau's quote above has a few "ifs" in it and I think thats key. And again, we don't know where this roster will be when Fehr is even ready to enter the equation. Who knows? Maybe Pettinger would have bagged 20+ by then. ***Clear sarcasm***

No malice intended.

Posted by: Pothier's Thumb | January 10, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Brent Johnson is going to the team he belongs with - Hershey.

Fehr is a very interesting twist in this season. I would like to see him play and see what he can contribute.

Posted by: Jaymagz | January 10, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

Although I didn't hear your comments, I agree that the fans let AO down. People don't go to games, wheras in Pitt & Detoit they do. It's an unfortunate fact. Hopefully this is the last season that AO is not a starter.

Posted by: Lee | January 10, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

It seems that Laing has advanced Pettinger on the dept chart. I think as of right now, he brings more to the table than Pettinger. I love the way he sacrafices himself and blocks shots.

Posted by: red dragon | January 10, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

@jaymagz,
Do you think Cassivi should stay and play as #2?

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 10, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,
Are you going to the STH event tonight?

What story are you working on now that there is a break in games?

Posted by: inquiring minds | January 10, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Well if the insult to fans was about not voting AO into the starting line up I have to agree with Tarik on this one. I know I got on nearly everyday a few times a day to no avail...I wish there was something we could do to inspire people to become hockey fans. It truly is a great game. I just became a fan last year and even though I grew up in Chicago I had never been to a hockey game before. Never heard much about it, never had an oppurtunity to go to a game. I decided on a whim to go with a friend who asked me and was hooked after about 2 games. Since then I've slowly being trying to figure out the ins and outs. So I definately think that getting people to the games helps my problem is I can never get my girlfriends to go b/c it's a sports thing and they claim they aren't into sports. I try to convince them that there are a ton of men around but apparently they would rather sit around their apartments and complain about how they don't know where to meet men :). I even try to offer them FREE tickets. I have 2 tickets on the weekend in the lower bowl and have such a hard time finding people to go with me!!! It's crazy...

Posted by: K | January 10, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

@on ice

You are limited to one item signed per player, and no photos. Although if you are waiting to see Flash or Cassivi, you can probably get your whole wardrobe signed.

Posted by: alpca3877 | January 10, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

@inquiring minds

I was going to do a big story on the turnaround for Wednesday's paper, since that marked 21 games under each coach, but Joe Gibbs messed up those plans.

Now I'm hoping to do a big Mike Green feature. That kinda depends on what happens tomorrow, though.

Posted by: Tarik | January 10, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

@K - Well, there aren't any quality men at hockey games, but I hear what you're saying. :) I know there are female fans out there, I have a pair of season tickets myself.

Posted by: Jill | January 10, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

@Tarik
Tomorrow? Is something happening that we don't know about? Or do you mean if something like the Gibbs situation happens again?

Will we see you tonight?

Posted by: inquiring minds | January 10, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I meant if Green is named an all star. We won't know until tomorrow AM.

I can't make it tonight, unfortunately.

Posted by: Tarik | January 10, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Duh,... I should have figured that out.

Thanks

Posted by: inquiring minds | January 10, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

@K,
I feel ya. I give away some of my seats to prospective fans and find it tough at times. Schedules, previous plans, etc, and these seats are in the 4th row! We can only keep trying because there are plenty of "K" types out there who will soon get it.
Hopefully more people will want to know who this Ovechkin guy is as we keep winning.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 10, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

@alpca3877

thank you. sorry to be a pain but can I still get 3 things signed by one player if I stand in his line 3 separate times? thanks again for the reply.

Posted by: on ice | January 10, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

For all of you who think that Tarik's job is easy, you've never been a road warrior. With a season as long as hockey, you're almost never home and always in some airport fighting for connections. And don't even start me on weather in Chicago.

When I travelled the US and Canada for 6 years, I gained 50 lbs (I had some room but went about 20 over), slept in a different bed every other or every third night, and had to work during the days and nights. That's why I've gotten use to sleeping only 4-6 hrs a night. And you're not staying at the Ritz-Carlton, either.

From what I see about Tarik's professional life that's easy, is that he doesn't get a lot of column inches to fill on a nightly basis. The rest of it is a personal grind.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 10, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

Great work, I was watching the NHL Network last night and on the show "On The Fly" there was a big discusion on Ovie and getting him signed, They mentioned alot of things like how this could turn out to be another Scott Stevens situation, and they mentioned that the Caps are at 40 mil to the salary cap and that the salary cap is set a 50 mil. So they think that the Caps may have a hard time giving Ovie what he wants and that he's rejected a 5 yr 7 mil contract already...

I know the Canadian Media can blow things up but I dont really look at them like HockeyBuzz either... Is there any concern with Ted on why this isnt getting done??? and If Ted dealt out so much money for that Prima Donna called Jagr, why not step up and do this for Ovie???????

What concerns do you know of and are the Caps hands tied at this moment????

Thanks!

Posted by: Darryl | January 10, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

@on ice

Yes, if you wait in line 3* you can get 3 items signed. I've had to do that in the past for the 'big' names.

For the not so known, they are happy to sign all in one shot. Really depends on the line.

Posted by: Tracy | January 10, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

sigh

Posted by: keef | January 10, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

From what I can tell, there's plenty of room for all of the significant signings - UFA and RFA.

I was going to look at this tonight just for fun. I was impressed by Ted's comments on XM (see yesterday's posts for the link). His plan is very specific, and they're sticking to it pretty tightly. It also makes a lot of sense to me as a businessman.

Having said that, the execution of the plan may leave something to be desired (to wit, gmgm's picks and trades).

I think I just found a glass of Kool-Aide in my hands...

Posted by: Greg S. | January 10, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Darryl,
Jagrs salary was a continuation of his contract and most of his bonuses were already paid before we got him. Not defending Ted at this point but initiating a deal takes more money. Regardless, I agree it should have been done already.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 10, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

@ Darryl - please step away from the question mark button on your keyboard...

Posted by: Jill | January 10, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Yesterday, the Columbus Blue Jackets put Kris Beech on waivers. This morning, the Vancouver Canucks have claimed the center.

Beech who?

Posted by: Finn | January 10, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Beech to Vancouver, Suts to Anaheim. One of those two could have a ring come summer.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 10, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

BernieWolfeFan -- if one of them gets a ring it would be in spite of them, not because of them.

Some people were pretty upset about Sutherby being moved, and how he got a raw deal of no ice time here. Well, there's a reason why he wasn't getting ice time. Look at these spectacular stats he's put up in Anaheim, where he is averaging over 8 minutes a game:

14 games, 0 points, +/- of even, and 31 PIM's.

Compare that to Laing (who essentially "stole" his spot):

16 games, 1 goal, 2 assists, +4, and obviously contributes a lot with the shot blocks (I will admit these stats come from getting 11 minutes a game to Sutherby's 8).

I said it before, but getting a 2nd round pick for Sutherby was a steal (even if the initial drafting of him was a "bust").

Posted by: Jeff | January 10, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

@Jill

???????????????????????????????????????
?????????????????????????????????????????
?????????????????????????????????????????
????????????????????????????????????????

Can you reply with something better... WTF????

Posted by: Darryl | January 10, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

@Finn,

This just in: Beech really isn't that good.

Posted by: old time hockey | January 10, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Sutherby's contributing a lot more in Anaheim than numbers are going to show (just like Quintin Laing brings a lot more to this team than numbers show). And if winning in Anaheim is in spite of Sutherby, he would be sitting out there like he was here, but he gets more ice time almost every game. Besides, it wasn't Laing who took Sutherby's spot, it was Steckel. It's still early to say if that was a good or a bad move. But as of right now, I think Randy Carlyle and Brian Burke have a bit more to show for their ability to evaluate players than Hanlon and McPhee do.

Posted by: LP | January 10, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

@Darryl

Can you ask questions that haven't been asked/posed one hundred times earlier in the week?

Posted by: keef | January 10, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

mauree - speak now or forever hold your peace ... do you want anything signed at the STH party? if so i need to know by 4pm! :-)

Posted by: Boo! | January 10, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

LP, I realize that Sutherby didn't really lose his spot to Laing, but I meant more that he would have gotten that spot if he hadn't been traded right before the injuries. Laing got his chance mostly because Sutherby wasn't on the team any longer. That's why I decided to compare those two guys.

Sutherby has seen his ice time go up the last couple of games, yet he has only been over 10 minutes a game once in his last 6 where he had over 10 minutes in 3 of his first 8 games with Anaheim. He had the groin problem, so that is likely why he had a number of games in a row under 7 minutes.

All that said, given the choice of Laing and a 2nd round pick vs. Sutherby, I know what my choice would be.

Posted by: Jeff | January 10, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Jeff, LP,
My only point about Beech and Suts was that they went to contenders, nothing else. I have no clue how either are "doing" at their spots. Switch to decaf bloggers...

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 10, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

BernieWolfeFan, while I said your name at the top of my post, it really was just about Sutherby in general. I was simply pointing out to some of the people on here that while GMGM took (yet again) a lot of heat for that trade it deserved another look.

Posted by: Jeff | January 10, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

@Jeff,
Ok, more informed. I've always said to use Hershey more vertically anyway.
Any insight as to why Hanlon was so endeared to GMGM? I gotta ask and you have to answer :)

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 10, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

What do ya'll think? Is Mike Green a lock to make the All-Star game?

Posted by: Caps fan in TN | January 10, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

@Caps fan in TN

He should be. Who knows? We'll have to wait until tomorrow morning when they issue the final listing.

Personally, I doubt it. I think any alternates will come from Canadian clubs, but I have no basis for that statement. Just a hunch.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 10, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

I heard you on CBC radio yesterday - great job. Just one question, is it Ter'ick' or Ter'eek'? Thanks for shutting down the AO rumors. They were getting a little crazy up north.

Posted by: Steve | January 10, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

BWF -- a few things about Hanlon.

First, after 20 games (right about the time Sutherby was traded) I said that I thought Hanlon deserved another 10 games with a healthy roster to get things together. That was a day or two before the game against Atlanta where the Caps probably played their worst game of the season. Thank goodness he was gone after 21 games, because like some other posters said making a change after 30 games probably would have been too late.

I believe that Hanlon & GMGM worked together in Vancouver in the 90's? Not 100% sure of that tho.

I think Hanlon did an admirable job the first 2 post-lockout seasons with the team he had. Many people around the league agree with that assessment, but clearly he was overmatched this season.

To me, it sure seemed like GMGM wanted to give Hanlon every opportunity to succeed after keeping a minor league team (other than OV, essentially) somewhat competative on a nightly basis for two seasons. The injuries perhaps gave him a reason to let Hanlon continue to flounder the first 20 games this season.

I realize that loyalty may not be a great way to run a team, but to me, I think GMGM felt he owed Hanlon at least a chance to make things work with a bit more skill on his roster. And clearly it didn't work out.

Posted by: Jeff | January 10, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Deal Done!!!!!!! | January 10, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Jeff,
That could be applied to Ted and GMGM. I thought you had some real dirt...lol.
So why did you think Hanlon should have gone to 30 gms? I saw enough by then. You might recall I posted for Muckler and Quinn to be hired.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 10, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I know this Ovie contract thing has been beaten to death... so here's a long story...

I go to http://babelfish.altavista.com/ and translate the site rds.ca from French to English quite regularly... to be honest Max Talbot from the Penguins writes a column there, and if you go through that site to translate you can read it in English (although its roughly translated) and its pretty entertaining (Max is a really funny guy). Today I went to check his column and the headline was "Ovechkin does not go nowhere" the article is saying that today he signed a 54 million dollar extension with the Caps today, Thursday, January 10th. Can someone else look at this and tell me that I really did see that? I know that the Canadian media speculates a lot... but this is presented as facts...

Posted by: Kale | January 10, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

According to Sovetsky Sport he is signed!
http://www.onfrozenblog.com/

Posted by: Anonymous | January 10, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

K, you still need someone to use those seats? Heck, I'd even pay something them. Full fare is a bit outside by spending range, but I can pay at least a decent portion.

Wow, tickets for a matinee against Philly on a Sunday? I never thought I see that. I was figuring the game would be dang near sold out from Flyers fans coming down 95.

Posted by: EricS | January 10, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

@Kale,
It's a blog ya know, like this? I JUST TYPED A FEW LETTERS. Fun.

I'd wait for something else. Just a hunch.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 10, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Tarik:
Is it true about Ovie signing an extension? I cannot validate it anywhere ... not even WashCaps.com (unless they are going to announce it tonight?).

Posted by: Boo! | January 10, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Holy smokes Tarik, I think the guys over at On Frozen Blog just broke the biggest Caps story ever! Ovechkin just signed his extension contract! Holy Olie I am excited!

Posted by: Puddin_an_Semin | January 10, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

@ Darryl,

Yeah dude, do you have a twitch or something when it comes to the question mark button? (?????????????????????????)

@ Jill,

There may not be any quality men at the games, but I hear there is a quality thumb or two....even if a bit broken. :-/

Posted by: Pothier's Thumb | January 10, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I don't know Onfrozenblog is usually pretty good about not blowing things out of porportion...
EricS- if you are interested in tickets give me your email and I'll email you...

Posted by: K | January 10, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

@ Kate

Your right, RDS is anouncing that Ovechkin has signed a 6 year extension for $54 million: www.rds.ca

It's in french but the numbers don't lie.

BTW RDS has a strong connection with a Canadian based Russian sports journalist. In other words, this may have been leaked.


Posted by: red dragon | January 10, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

BWF -- perhaps I am too loyal as well. :-)

I think I bought into the same thing that GMGM saw -- a few games here and there they were world beaters. The rest they played poorly. The beginning of the season they had a very good GAA, but couldn't put the puck in the net. You'll remember that Clark and Semin were both out, which is almost 70 goals from last year.

Obviously BB has shown that injuries don't have to prevent a team from playing good hockey.

It was clear after the Atlanta game (or maybe I should say during the game) that the players had the look of not wanting to be there. In the past they might lose, but they'd play their hearts out. That game made it clear that Hanlon had to go. And while I realize sometimes a big name is the way to go, I'm glad that GMGM gave Gabby the chance to show he was ready for the NHL.

Posted by: Jeff | January 10, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I definately think Gabby has earned a place here. The team looks so inspired now. Somehow he was able to take this team that had a bunch of talent and actually get them to start playing together. He's been great for the team!

Posted by: K | January 10, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

http://www.rds.ca/

They cite Sovetsky Sport

Posted by: Finn | January 10, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Again Fans, I've seen it only on the blogs.
No one wants this more than I do but I'd like to see something from the news wire. Nothing against On Frozen Blog but it is just a Web Log folks.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 10, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I guess this means we'll be seeing an article on AO tomorrow instead of Green huh?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 10, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't have put weight in it if it was just on a blog... its a legit sports news site for the French Canadian Market... like their version of ESPN (except they care about hockey).

Posted by: Kale | January 10, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I believe the Canadians

Posted by: Seminfan | January 10, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

TSN.ca has the story too...of course, they are all kind of just referencing one another.

Posted by: Jeff | January 10, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

@ bernie wolfe fan

rds.ca has it on its front page.... not on blog. they are the french canadian equivalent of espn..... though they have been known to get it wrong and not validate their news from time to time

Posted by: red dragon | January 10, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

the ovie signing makes sense. ted gets to announce it at the sth party. i may just go now!!! if not, i may print up a contract and slip it to him tonight for signature...

Posted by: Cap Fan 1 | January 10, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

@Keef,

Im not on here 24 7 like you and others.. And I'll ask whatever the hell I want to ask, If you dont like dont read it.. Got It!

Posted by: Darryl | January 10, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

easy killer

Posted by: Anonymous | January 10, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

now tsn is reporting as well

http://www.tsn.ca

Posted by: red dragon | January 10, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

TSN sites their source as "TSN staff"
It's looking more and more credible.

If this is true, I would say that he took less money to stay here. He could have pulled in more money playing for a large market team surely.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 10, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

@Red,
I know about RDS lol. I laugh because I remember these. Anyway, I believe TSN now.

It was founded by John Labatt Ltd., the brewing company. It began broadcasting on September 1, 1989, modelled on the relatively successful TSN. However, it began with a relatively low budget and struggled to obtain rights to major professional sporting events. It gained infamy when it began showing weekly miniature golf tournaments under the name "Défi Mini-Putt". The shows energetic announcer, Serge Vleminckx, was renowned for his enthusiastic cries of "Birdie!" when a miniature golfer got a hole in one.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 10, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Unbelievable !!!

TSN is now saying that a deal is NOT yet done. WTF !!!!

Posted by: red dragon | January 10, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Is it really possible that the Canadian press was wrong and Ovie actually does care about playing with the Caps!?!?!!? Say it ain't so!

Posted by: Ovie_Cares | January 10, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

6 yrs @ 9 mil per via Toronto's FAN sports radio

Posted by: Anonymous | January 10, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

TSN is now saying their source says it isn't a done deal.

Posted by: tallbear | January 10, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Actually, TSN has changed their headline to "Not Done Yet."

Posted by: Jill | January 10, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

TSN is now reporting that negotiations are not done.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | January 10, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

@ bernie wolfe fan

"Defi mini-put" LOL, I nearly fell off my chair !

Posted by: Red Dragon | January 10, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

@Red,
Yeah, I guess I'm dating myself but we did have to listen to those during french class as "lessons". Cracks me up!

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 10, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Just read on TSN

Ovechkin traded to Minnesota and signed ext. w/them 6 yrs. 54 mil

No word on other players involved

Posted by: Anonymous | January 10, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Got keep something in mind when speculating about Fehr.
Whenever possible, they won't want to waive/cut anybody. They will look at the contracts. If somebody has a two-way contract, they'll send them down to Hershey.
If there isn't somebody we can send down without exposing them to the waiver wire, then they will probably leave Fehr right where he is.
Gotta think big picture.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 10, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Are we the signing is for Ovie and not Brizgaloff?

Posted by: dave | January 10, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

980 just reported it!!!!!!!

Posted by: dave | January 10, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

OV 6 Yr $54M reported on 980

Posted by: dc caps | January 10, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

TSN said OV has agred but not final YET

Posted by: mj | January 10, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Ted has gotta be fuming that this leaked before tonight's big announcement at the STH event....

Posted by: bbeers | January 10, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Signing could be the dumbest thing he ever would do. He could make so much more money and actually make the playoffs elsewhere.

Caps suck
Go Pens
Go Rangers
Go Flyers
Go everyone but the caps

Bunch of fair weather fans.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 10, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

@bbeers,
Let Ted fume. Like we haven't been over the years?

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 10, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Mon-ray-el fan 3:51?

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 10, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I think it's funny that TSN is now siting rds.ca as their source. Now if it turns out to be false, they can point the finger.

I hope it's true, but now seeing that everything goes back one source, it could just be another rumour.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 10, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I really HATE anonymous posters... They're such wussies.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 10, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

my guess, deal is done. it was leaked, so they said no its not done so that ted can announce it right after he shows the trailer for "Nanking 2- Electic Bugaloo"...

Posted by: Cap Fan 1 | January 10, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

oh I agree, was just sayin'.

Posted by: bbeers | January 10, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

No not Montreal..I live here in the heart of DC

Ive never seen more fair weather fans of any sport as I have seen for this team.

Choose..do you like the team or do you hate them. If you like them, show up and watch when they suck and when they are good(when was the last time that happened?)

Posted by: Anonymous | January 10, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

@3:51pm

Oohhhhh, tough guy.
You really showed us.
I really like they way you signed your name too.

(rolls his eyes)

Posted by: pmoravek | January 10, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

...heart of DC, eh?
Wouldn't care to give a name & address would ya?

Posted by: pmoravek | January 10, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Well, boys and girls, I'll tell ya'. I'm going to wait for the announcement from Uncle Ted before I believe anything.

Posted by: Greg S. | January 10, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

@pmoravek

please leave emmy alone. he is still trying to "worth through things"

Posted by: bbeers | January 10, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

@3:51
Ha, nice temper tantrum. If anything we Caps fans are the opposite of fair weather fans. Youre team wont get OV now - too bad, so sad....for you that is :)

Posted by: captnclark | January 10, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

@ #:51/3:55 -

Please explain which teams Ovie would have an opportunity to make more money for, and how each team would make room for more than $9M under the cap (i.e. which players would they dump?).

And not that I feel the need to defend my fandom to you or anyone else, but I have been a Caps season ticket holder since 2001-2002, along with many who have been around far longer. So before you sling around accusations of fair-weathered fandom, consider that you may very well just be talking out your ass. The Caps fan base may not be large, but it is strong and loyal.

And my final point: we have Ovie and you don't! Nanny-nanny-boo-boo! :-P

Posted by: Jill | January 10, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

So, lifelong DC chick. Show up tonight at the STH meeting and tell that to Ovie in person. His english is gettin' better everyday so he'll understand you just fine. Isn't this what you said?:

"Signing could be the dumbest thing he ever would do. He could make so much more money and actually make the playoffs elsewhere."

Again, Ovies english is just fine.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 10, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

oops, "work"

Posted by: bbeers | January 10, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, get us some info please on Ovie!!. I know you're hard at work.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 10, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I am sure that Tarik will respect the team and not post until during or after the party.

Posted by: bbeers | January 10, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

980 just reported that the news they received may not be correct-they are working on it..but andy and steve just came on so you know they won't say anything..

Posted by: dave | January 10, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

@bbeers

You made me chuckle.

I actually thought Emmy played okay last nite. If he keeps playing physically like that, he might see a few more games.

Posted by: pmoravek | January 10, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

@pmoravek

Agree.

Posted by: bbeers | January 10, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Hey K

Zap it to weatherman2111@gmail.com I will not be able to respond until after I get home tonight, some time after 6, but I will DEFINATELY get back to you about this.

Posted by: EricS | January 10, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

TARE-ick is how it's pronounced. At least that's the way he said it to me when I asked him the same questions a few years back.

Posted by: Jarrod | January 10, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

@ the undentified poster,

You must be a fan of one of those teams that was rumored to snag AO. You know, because we don't "deserve him". Well, tough sh*t buddy. Take a hike and enjoy the relative anonymity your players must have. And a sh*tty hockey team instead of one on the rise like ours.

And if you are a Pens fan, then may you contract the same venereal diseases that I wish on Cindy Criesby.

That is all.

Wait, LETS GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: Pothier's Thumb | January 10, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

At the 3:51 wimp:
"No not Montreal..I live here in the heart of DC

Ive never seen more fair weather fans of any sport as I have seen for this team.

Choose..do you like the team or do you hate them. If you like them, show up and watch when they suck and when they are good(when was the last time that happened?)"

Are you sure you're not talking about the Penguins fans when you talk about fairweather fans? You know, the guys who were dead last in the league in attendance just four years ago with an average of only 11,000 people per game? The fairweather Caps fans have never even approached those depths.

And yet, you praise the Penguins. So you're not just a troll, you're an ignorant, hypocritical troll. What a shock.

Posted by: norske | January 10, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

I think that that is the best pun you have made.

Posted by: Pun Man | January 10, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

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