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Posted at 1:27 PM ET, 01/29/2011

Capitals still waiting to decide on 2011 NHL Premiere offer

By Katie Carrera

The Capitals are still waiting on the NHL to finalize the logistics of the 2011-12 NHL Premiere to decide whether they will start next season in Europe, General Manager George McPhee said Saturday in Raleigh.

Washington is one of six teams, along with the New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings, Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers and Anaheim Ducks that have been invited to take part in what would be the fifth season that the NHL has kicked off overseas. None of the teams have formally accepted or declined the offer while the league irons out specifically how many cities and which ones it chooses to play in.

"It's still a work in progress," McPhee said after attending the NHL Board of Governors meeting Saturday morning. "The league has to work things out on their side, looking at scheduling issues and other things in that respect. Sometime in the next two or three weeks though we should have some answers as to whether it's something we'll participate in."

Rumored to be possible destinations for the Capitals are Russia and Sweden, but it's unclear how many cities the NHL wants to send teams to.

McPhee has expressed his hesitation with the event, particularly the strains put on a team with the added travel in the first month of the season. But on Saturday, McPhee seemed to take a softer stance on the issue.

"That's always a concern," McPhee said about the scheduling. "But the league has learned over the past four years how to integrate teams into the schedule, when we would come back. We're not as concerned about it as we've been, but we just want to make sure if we do this that it's the best possible place to play our games."

By Katie Carrera  | January 29, 2011; 1:27 PM ET
Categories:  George McPhee, NHL Premiere  
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Can't wait to see how our trap defense works against European offensive teams. And is it fair to subject a new coach to opening the season overseas? :-)

Posted by: dezlboy1 | January 29, 2011 1:35 PM | Report abuse

The Caps keep losing to any team that has a chance to get into the playoffs, the coach for next year should have a part of a regular season and the playoffs under his belt. I hope that GMGM is looking for a new coach between meetings.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS2 | January 29, 2011 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Some of you here just baffle the crap out of me. How can anyone question an NHL player's, let me type that again so it can sink in, AN NHL PLAYER'S courage and willingness to hit and get hit. They are in the NHL. Not a contact local league, not one of the many minor leagues, they are in the NHL where stepping on the ice means you WILL get hit. Ridiculous that other people like me are going to sit at a keyboard and question an NHL PLAYER'S willingness to take or give a hit.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 29, 2011 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Of course I am referring to the thousands of entries before this thread because so far this thread only has people launching insults to the team's inability to finish and specifically BB.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 29, 2011 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Some of you here just baffle the crap out of me. How can anyone question the President of the United States, let me type that again so it can sink in, THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES judgement and ability to make tough decisions. He is in the Executive Office. Not a local government post, not one of the many volunteer organizations, he is in the Executive Office where making a decision means he WILL get criticized. Ridiculous that other people like me are going to sit at a keyboard and question the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES willingness to make tough decisions.

Of course I am referring to the thousands of entries before this thread because so far this thread only has people launching insults to the country's inability to cooperate and specifically BO.

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 29, 2011 4:46 PM | Report abuse

oops...sorry, wrong thread. Thought I was in the "politics" section instead of "sports"

Posted by: vermontcaps | January 29, 2011 4:48 PM | Report abuse

fanohock1, when you play sports you can identify the player who avoid contact & the players who do not. Getting hit and/or hitting hard hurts. Some players accept that & some don't like it. Many of these guys step on the ice because they get a hell of a lot of money to play. Just because they step on the ice doesn't mean they like contact. I've seen hundreds of plays at all levels where players don't throw a hard check or don't step into a check to delivery the blow to the checker. Do you know why? Because it HURTS! Why are some guys willing to block shots (and screen the goalie) & some aren't willing? Because getting hit by the puck HURTS.
The same goes for most sports. Who is willing to get hit going across the middle in football, take a charge in basketball or lean into a pitch in baseball?
One other factor (that I learned playing sports in college) when you aren't one of the best players out there, you do all the little things (hard forecheck, blocking shots, screening etc) to remain in the lineup.
As a player I identifed players who didn't like contact & made that day the worst day of their lives. Trust me, getting knocked on your ass 10+ times a game alters your play (I've been on both sides of this). As a fan, I can identify the players who don't want contact. I can & will question their heart & willingness to take or give a hit.

Posted by: chriscaps | January 29, 2011 4:53 PM | Report abuse

fanohock: It's all relative. We see little guys like Ciccarelli take major abuse to play in front of the net. Then we see much larger players like Poti who rarely throw a hit to move an opposing player. All relative.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | January 29, 2011 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone remember the format of the Prem. games? Do they play 4 games against their other NHL teams that count as the first four games of the season, or is it 6 games? Also, do those games count as home games or away games in the schedule? Just wondering because if they are home games, then that means a few less games at do they handle the missed revenue? Will our tickets be cheaper for season ticket holders then next year with fewer games in our package??

Posted by: kmr2r | January 29, 2011 8:00 PM | Report abuse

If history can be an omen, then the Caps opening the season over there might be a positive. When the Caps took that preseason tour of the Soviet Union in 1989, they had their best postseason result to date at the end of the subsequent season (first trip to the Prince of Wales Conference finals). I think all of us would be very happy to see the Caps repeat the feat of "best postseason result to date." :-)

Posted by: 1995hoo | January 30, 2011 8:55 AM | Report abuse

They usually play a 2 game series, one counts as home where the other in away.

Posted by: j3rockstar | January 30, 2011 10:19 AM | Report abuse

The Caps trap will be on full display in Europe! The fans are lucky that the beer there is so good.

Posted by: theAnswerIs42 | January 31, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse

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