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Get Your Fix Next Week

Can't wait for the start of training camp? Well, you don't have to. Get your late summer hockey fix at KCI starting Tuesday as several of the Caps' North American players gather for daily informal skates.

Based on the dressing room stalls that had jerseys hanging in them this morning, it looks like the team's equipment managers are expecting Chris Clark, Boyd Gordon, Brent Johnson, Jose Theodore, Shaone Morrisonn, Donald Brashear, Matt Bradley and possibly another player or two join the skates. This week Clark, Gordon and Johnson skated 10-11:30ish, and I'm guessing that won't change. If it does, I'll post an update.

Also, I noticed that Brian Pothier's equipment was also hanging in a stall, suggesting to me that he might have skated recently. No one I spoke to today had seen him, though, and his agent won't return my phone calls.

On another subject, I've been keeping tabs on the Sergei Fedorov lawsuit. The matter has not been resolved, I'm told, but it's expected that the loans in question will be repaid in full before the start of training camp, thus ending the possibility of a distraction before it ever really becomes one.

Enjoy your holiday weekend.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  August 29, 2008; 2:06 PM ET
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Next: Caps to Retire Gartner's No. 11


Posted by: 100% | August 29, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Did you hear that penguin fans?! No premium pricing for this event! Now only half your welfare check can go to gas, what a deal!. Dont let that meanie ted leonsis get to you.
You can come down starting tuesday and watch some great hockey drills. See and you thought we were trying to keep you out of DC

Posted by: O-V-P | August 29, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

YES SIR O-V-P........GET'EM...

Posted by: #94 | August 29, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Tarik!

I love that the guys are skating so early -- great sign! I probably won't make it to KCI until camp opens on the 20th.

Pothier's agent helping him stay shrouded in mystery. Hmmm...

Posted by: Jill | August 29, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Tarik!

I love that the guys are skating so early -- great sign! I probably won't make it to KCI until camp opens on the 20th.

Pothier's agent helping him stay shrouded in mystery. Hmmm...

Posted by: Jill | August 29, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

@O-V-P I promise not to let any Pengweenies know that Kettler's not in DC...

Posted by: TheCapitalist | August 29, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Tampa continues to build for a run?

Posted by: RobMonroe | August 29, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

The southeast is gonna be tough next year. Caps, Canes and Bolts are all going to be in the hunt. Florida I'm not holding my breath over. And Atlanta is still up in the air. But those are three tough teams in the same division facing each other 6 times. Should be fun to watch.

Posted by: oo7 | August 29, 2008 11:02 PM | Report abuse


Do you have any idea if they will be skating on the holiday on monday?

Posted by: Anthony | August 30, 2008 8:02 AM | Report abuse


I beg to differ, I don't think that this will be much of a race at all. Tampa might fight for the 8th spot but close to winning the division, I think not.

1. Washington 98-104 points 1-3 in Conference
2. Carolina 88-94 points 4-8 in conference
3. Tampa Bay 82-88 points 7-10 in conference
4. Atlanta 78-84 points 9-13 in conference
5. Florida 60-66 points 14-15 in conference

I also think Atlanta might beat Tampa in our division. Adding old names that are 10 yrs past their prime and one 22 yr old Dman whos scored 100 points in 250 so odd games isn't gonna get it done. Did I add that Mike Smith and Olie the 5 Holie are going to be one of the worst GAA tandums in the league. They have to outscore everyone every night and I dont see it.

Posted by: 94 | August 30, 2008 8:44 AM | Report abuse

I agree w/ 94 -- TB will stink up most rinks with their terrible goalies and defense. They aren't built offensively to hold onto the puck, whereas other teams (see Canes and Caps among others) will be able to cycle the puck around TB's anameic defense and pick their shots through Ollie's glaring holes. Kolzig will scream bloody murder, breaking sticks thereby creating enemies on his own team. Melrose is too outta hockey (as an analyst, not a coach or gm) to figure out that hockey has changed alot since the early 90's, the last time he has seen a bench from the working side. Expect Saint Louis to try to draw multiple penalties diving like a Chinease olympian to give the Bolts any chance of success by being a man up. If the refs call a lot of trips instead of dives, then the Bolts may squeek a few wins over legit SE contenders, but straight up hockey -- not a chance.

Posted by: JIM | August 30, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

I generally agree with #94 but the point totals might be a bit low. Last season, the 8th place seed had 94 points and the 4th place seed had 99 points.

In 06-07 it was 92 points for 8th and 105 for 4th.

If Carolina is going to make the playoffs, they'd better aim for 92-98 points.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | August 30, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Great move for Tampa. Looks like no playoffs for the Capitals this season,both Carolina and Tampa have far more gritty type character players on their rosters who have won playoff games and cups.

Posted by: SabresFanInDC | August 30, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse


didnt you say a week ago you had an article about mcphee coming soon, did i miss it? im confused

Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Holy Sh*t.....Coming from a fan whos team didn't even make the playoffs last season, you are making predictions like that?

Do you know anything about hockey? Have you seen our lineup? We are not aiming just to make the playoffs my man, we are looking to make a deep run.

We have 3, count them, 3 #1 centers, the best player on the planet, and some players in the AHL that could probably play on the Sabres second line.

Why don't you write a note to your owners and ask them why they can't keep talent and why they continue to over pay average players?
Vanek for 5 million plus? How many points did he have last year? I'll tell you 64..

Oh but congrats on keeping Ryan Miller.... Lets take a look at the Wash/Buf goalie comparison.

Ryan Miller gave up THE MOST GOALS (197) in the NHL. Mind you he had more shots (2104) against him. He was ranked 24th (2.64) in GAA. He did play 76 games which makes him a work horse but he only won 37 games MEANING, he lost every other game. In those 76 games, 3 shutouts....3!!!!!!And what most people use as to how to judge a goalie, Save %, Ranked 29th.

Now lets take a look at my main man Theeeeeeoooodore!!!!

Ranked 17th in GAA with a 2.44. Better than Miller. Played in 53 games (23 less than Miller) and only had 8 less wins?? My math tells me if they would have played the same amount, No way Jose would have had 40 wins for a mediocre Aves team. In 23 less games, (Alvin, Simon) & Theodore had 3 shutouts as well...Wonder if he would have gotten one with 23 more games? Math tells me yes, brain tells me yes.

And the all important Save % for Theo, you guessed it better than Miller, ranked 21st.

I am just kicking knowledge to ya because it seems since you lost your entire team to free agnecy, you must have lost your minds too.

Posted by: #94 | August 30, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Looks like your playoff picture for Buffalo is exactly like the Annual Classic......Out in the cold....

Posted by: #94 | August 30, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Anonymous | August 30, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

No one cares what you have to say anonyb*tch.......

A bit fiesty this morning it seems...

Posted by: #94 | August 30, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

be nice to Tarik

Posted by: #94 | August 30, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Tarik -- Has Theodore unveiled his new mask yet? Can we get a photo anywhere?

Posted by: Mike in SF | August 30, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

whos not being nice to tarik?

Posted by: anitspaz | August 30, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Mike in SF,

Tarik stated in a few entry's ago that Theo still has his Avs mask and pads while he waits for he new ones to come in from Vaughn i believe

Posted by: capsfan98 | August 30, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Wow #94, we're worked up a bit today! He's just a Sabres fan, the whiniest fans in the league. Even worse than Pens fans.

Posted by: Leeguru | August 30, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

@Sombrero Guy

Yeah I thought about the lowness (is that a word) of the point totals but you have to realize that teams are now playing more Western Conference teams. WC teams seem to be a bit better as a whole so I think that the 5-8 team's point totals will be lower this year. More games against better competition in non conference teams equals lower point totals as a whole.


Posted by: 94949494949494 | August 30, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

So Scabers Fan, Just who are the grit players for the Canes and Bolts who are so much more gritty than OV (stiches and 3 goals -- no grit there), ShaMo (playing to seperated shoulder in the playoffs), Nylander (playing 1/3 the season with a destroyed shoulder), Capt Clark (took an OV shot in the head knocking out teeth and still came back to play in front of the net)? Come on, please let us know. I'm sure you can just right back, especially with those tough guys in Tampa (yeah right). Go crawl back to Buffalo already.

Posted by: JIM | August 30, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse


I don't think you need any help from me in setting up a Capitals Firm. Seems like you are doing pretty well on your own fella.

Go get em 94!

Posted by: Dave UK Caps Fan | August 30, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Just checking some Caps videos on Youtube. This one got me going!!!

Posted by: #94 | August 30, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

good to see that Caps fans do not know that Kettler is not DC, watch out maybe there will be more pens fans there booing then caps fans I know I will be.

Posted by: Pensrule | August 30, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Look a troll from Pissburgh -- who would've thought that was possible? What's next a truly obnoxious fan from Philthadelphia?

Posted by: JIM | August 30, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Why do people here insist on feeding the trolls?

Posted by: Anthony | August 30, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Pensrule why are you even on this board. We all know that kettler is in va and the fact that you are on here shows your inferiority complex. Why do you even care? I thought the caps were garbage to you but you are here because your life is pathetic filled with issues. Go back to your own board and get a job while you are at it so you can afford the premium tickets that you obviously so desparately want.see if you were not such trash maybe you could afford normal things like attending these games. But feel free to come to kettler for free, i do feel bad that you are crying about being deprived of hockey at welfare prices that you can afford

Posted by: O-V-P | August 30, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Tarik or anyone else,

Do you guys know if anyone is going to skate tomorrow (sunday afternoon) I was thinking about making the drive up to KCI and see if I could check out Jose in net. Let me know what the word on the street is and about what time they go up there.


Posted by: Phil9 | August 30, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

@SabresFanInDC - amusing position, but I'm going with The Hockey News editorial staff who picked the Caps to take the Southeast. But perhaps you know more then they do about hockey? (Not Bloody Likely)

Posted by: TheCapitalist | August 30, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

I don't think anyone will be sakting until Tuesday morning.

As far as the feature I'm working on, it's going to run before the open of camp.

Posted by: Tarik | August 31, 2008 7:52 AM | Report abuse

@ 94, Jim, Sombrero

I think you missed the point. Its not what place everyone is going to come in at, its the fact that they are going to play division games with a lot of ferocity. Tampa could finish 9th in the conference but how they play other teams has little to do with how they play the Caps. I think you guys are getting too wrapped up in stats and predictions. I love the Caps too, but I think a free pass is a little over the top. You're counting out a seriously retooled Tampa team with two 40+ goal scorers and a pretty good Carolina team. If you think the SE isn't going to be a tough division, you're kidding yourselves.

Posted by: oo7 | August 31, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I knew there was at least a few Cap fans who could see it's going to be a tougher road to the playoffs than last year.

Posted by: SabresFanInDC | August 31, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Ok Ive held my tongue long enough.... 007, no one said winning the SE would be easy but if think Tampa Bay is the new "Team to Beat" then you are simply ignorant. They had both said 40 goal scorers last year and they were horrible.

And Sabres fan, did you get enough last time you yapped? Who the hell said last year was easy? Did you go to any of the final say 25 games? We played playoff hockey for the last 1/3 of the season. We needed a lose in the final week by Carolina.

"Easy" is not how I would define last year.

Posted by: 94 | August 31, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

*loss that is*

Hey Tarik,

I know you are probably BBQin but can you give me (us) a little information on the players equipment. Do the equipment managers know what eaach player wears? Do the players get all new equipment or do they use the same equipment? What about skates, do they have to break in new skates prior to training camp?

Any info would be great.

Posted by: 94 | August 31, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

*loss that is*

Hey Tarik,

I know you are probably BBQin but can you give me (us) a little information on the players equipment. Do the equipment managers know what eaach player wears? Do the players get all new equipment or do they use the same equipment? What about skates, do they have to break in new skates prior to training camp?

Any info would be great.

Posted by: #94 | August 31, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

94 is holdin' the house down through the holiday weekend... nice.

Tarik... get my fix next week? I need my fix now!

Hope everyone is being safe this weekend, esp. our friends in the gulf.


Posted by: Super | August 31, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

BTW, That loss by Carolina was by far the best game I have ever watched not played by the Capitals. Drinking beer with CAPS fans at Summers during it was especially sweet!

Posted by: Super | August 31, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Hey I never said it was going to be easy, but I also don't but Tampa Bay as being anything near a powerhouse. The Caps are MUCH more balanced and have better Depth. Sure Ryan Malone and Stamkos will give them two solid scoring lines, but their D will be terrible, Olie is a year older and Mike Smith didn't exactly look solid down the stretch last season. I think Tampa might push for 8th, but the only team in the SE i think can give us a run for our money is Carolina.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | August 31, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

I also do not think that TB is a complete joke, esp. regarding their scoring. I however do not see how they will get enough quality time with the puck to score enough, unless the refs call tripping every time St. Louis dives for many pp's. The Bolts dee will not be able to stop the Caps and Canes strong cycling game, and Ollie/Smith will not stop that many shots. Speaking of "many shots", with that dee, those two will see more rubber than a Goodyear assembly line guy:). Carolina will give the Caps a good run for the SE title again -- no doubt. But TB will not be much better than last year with its lack of good leadership and the coaching went down quite a few notches.

Posted by: JIM | August 31, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

I wouldnt worry about Tampa Bay until Vinny can show he's healed up from his surgery. He's one of the best in the league, but he went down hard.

Posted by: Caps 423 | September 1, 2008 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Vinny hasn't been cleared yet for contact from the shoulder surgery. Plus he was supposed to have wrist surgery which was put on hold until the shoulder was repaired. How good is the wrist?

Posted by: Steve R | September 1, 2008 12:57 AM | Report abuse

Sorry I've been MIA - I had an unplanned trip pop up. Anyway, given the roll that you've been on, I don't think that you still want me to tell you to be nice?!? ;-)

Guess what, folks?!? IT'S SEPTEMBER!!! :-D Hockey season is FINALLY just around the corner. How sweet it is ...

Posted by: Boo! | September 1, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

I think ultimately there are three caps teams from last year.

The Glen team, the inital bruce team, and the final play off push team.

Sort of like a chemistry experiment, its just a matter of how much of which team will be there next year. If we have removed the last ghosts of the Hanlon team, then yeah, look out SE division.

Posted by: Anthony | September 1, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse


The equipment managers know every detail about every piece of equipment each player wears. Most players are incredibly particular about their shoulder pads, elbow pads, shin pads, etc. A lot of time, the EMs have to customize equipment (remove or add padding) to get new stuff to fit perfect or to protect an injury.

Many players start the season with some new stuff, but it varies from guy to guy. Brashear, for example, has shoulder pads that are like 10 years old.

As far as skates, eventually players have to break in new ones, but most have a pair they love and will wear until they fall apart (and even then, the E.M. will try to fix them) before they get tossed.

Posted by: Tarik | September 1, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse


Have you heard the latest rumor out of Toronto on Mccabe?

McCabe to Fla
Van Ryn to Tor
Zednik to Tor

Zednik...? How many forwards can Fla dump?

Posted by: Steve R | September 1, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Zednik is being traded?!? Poor guy - he's had a rough few years ...

Posted by: Boo! | September 1, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

pretty sure 94 was being sarcastic in an attempt to make fun of someone (not sure who), but thanks for the info anyway, good stuff.

Posted by: next month | September 1, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse


Read that from a Tor paper. Don't know how true it is.

Posted by: Steve R | September 1, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Nope, I actually didn't really understand how the equipment stuff worked.

Thanks Tarik!!

Posted by: 94 | September 1, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

any update on nylander?? anyone,anyone

Posted by: poser | September 1, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Hey 94, you're getting on my nerves. I didn't say Tampa was the team to beat. I said improved Tampa and Carolina teams were going to make inter division play in SE fun to watch. You're behaving like a loser message board thug. You just seem to interpret as it suits you so you can bash people that don't go along with your one sided views. I never alluded to Tampa as a powerhouse. Learn to read past a 6th grade level.

Posted by: oo7 | September 1, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Let me just say the first Tampa game is going to be chippy.

- Possible Olie in goal
- Retaliation for breaking Vinnie's arm
- Getting even with Melrose for never giving the Caps any kudos for last season. Much of that was directed at BB

Posted by: WhooHoo | September 2, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

You might have seen this already. Caps to retire Gartner number 11:

Posted by: Grape8 | September 2, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

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