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Gone Fishin'

Well, not really. But I'll probably see some people who are. I'm on vacation this weekend and next weekend. As always, feel free to discuss any Caps-related topics in the comments section below.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  August 3, 2007; 10:10 AM ET
 
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Comments

Toronto Sun reports Bondra wants to return to Washington.

Do the Caps want him back, at any price?

Posted by: Alex | August 3, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Link?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

http://torontosun.com/Sports/U20/2007/07/08/4322713-sun.html

it's at the very bottom under GROSSLY ABBREVIATED

I'm a Bondra fan as much as anyone else, but I honestly can't see GMGM signing him for any more than a 1 day contract to let him retire. We've got too many young guys looking for the chance to prove themselves at the NHL level in Bondra's right wing spot.

Some people have argued that we need him on the PP and while that may have been true a year ago, the signings of Kozlov, Nylander, and Poti are all indications that the PP is taken care of. Poti is going to play Bondra's point position. Signing an injury plagued 40 year old for second line PP, fourth line even strength and maybe 12 minutes a game isn't in our best interests.

That being said, I'm all for signing him for a day, hoisting a banner to the rafters and retiring his number. But Bondra showed us two years ago when he and the front office couldn't settle on a deal (both sides at fault) that his pride may prevent him from doing that.

We all miss those days, but unless PB can prove to the team that he's fit enough for even half of a season, it's just not going to happen.

Posted by: Raber | August 3, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

here's the best possible way to do the Bondra thing... in my opinion. If he truly wants to retire with Washington, sign him. Sign him to a deal that allows him to be sent here to Hershey if he doesn't keep up with the Caps pace. He signed his last NHL contract for salary minimum, and im sure he'll do the same with this one, so its not a major financial loss, especially compared to a player like Pothier's contract.

Posted by: Dan Nelson | August 3, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunalty I don't think he can be signed for a day. At least that was the explanation Leonsis gave last year (i dont know where to look that up). Leonsis said you have to sign the player for a full year and pay at least the minimum. Though, if the player left to retire mid season - I dont know how thats handled. IF he didnt retire you would be stuck with his salary and roster slot.

If we can do some house cleaning and getting rid of players that take up space and are not realistically part of the future .... I will always remain a Bondra fan and would never turn him away. Before Ovie - he was the capitals.

Posted by: cs | August 3, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Agreed, but if you're PB, would you play in the minors your last season? If GMGM thought Bonzai would be willing to play in Hershey if it came to that then this signing probably would've already happened. There's no harm in signing him if he's willing to go down and be a veteran teacher after he gets hurt.

Don't get me wrong, I probably wouldn't be so against a Bondra year long signing if not for what happened after Brad Stuart almost killed him. Bondra came out of the gates firing in 06-07 with Chicago but after the hit he didn't look the same. His shoulder plagued him the rest of the season.

If he's willing to come back and prove himself in training camp and actually beats out 3 of our 6 other right wings, then put him on the ice.

Posted by: Raber | August 3, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Per TSN through OFB, The Ducks have declined to match Dustin Penner's offer sheet... Thoughts?

Posted by: Murshawursha | August 3, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

What I've heard is that the Caps want nothing to do with Bondra now. They gave him an offer before the 2005=06 season that had salary plus incentives but he chose to take an offer with more guaranteed $$ from Atlanta. If he had chosen the Caps then, he might still be playing for them.

Posted by: Joe | August 3, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I don't see Penner being nearly as effective on the Oilers. Burke is dead on with his comments - I mean Penner was signed at an entry level contract last year. 5 years at 20 million is outrageous. My guess is that Lowe expected Burke to match his offer like they did with Vanek in Buffalo, because honestly Penner alone is not going to solve the problems in Edmonton.

What's worse is that everybody loses here. Penner won't develop because he'll be expected to perform at a top tier level, Burke is out a good power forward, and Edmonton has overpaid for a player that won't help them.

Wow... I just looked at their stats from last season and they had 1 20 goal scorer - Sykora. He's gone. No one on their scoring line was better than -20 +/-

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't this put Edmonton over the cap? Aren't they going to have to drop some salary before the season?

P.S. You got a source on that Joe? it's true the front office and Peter didn't leave on good terms, but I haven't heard anything on the Bondra front from GMGM or Leonsis' side for quite some time.

Posted by: Raber | August 3, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I do agree that Bondra's return to the Capitals is not the best hockey decision for the future of thier franchise, but I want to weigh in on the point that underlies a large part of the issue with the recent relative unpopularity of the nhl. There is an abundant lack of loyalty in the nhl, and franchise players often switch teams, just look at edmonton. Bondra is a cap, and growing up in washington, talking to many non-avid hockey fans about this news, there a definite sense of excitement about the prospect of the return of bonzai. I like the idea of signing him, and retiring him as a cap. In a city where the mci center cant fill its seats, I think there is something to be said for bringing him home. If Ovechkin is the face of the new caps, bonzai is the face of the old (at least for a portion of the ninties, screw jagr), I think there is an intangible profit in showing jaded hometown fans that even though its the new nhl, the old still matters too. I would definitely go to a game this season just to see bondra skate in a caps uniform again, not that I wouldnt already be going. I think there is something to be said on the subject than more than just how good he is. He wants to come back, and most caps fans would love to see him skate again for us.

Posted by: MRM | August 3, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I do agree that Bondra's return to the Capitals is not the best hockey decision for the future of thier franchise, but I want to weigh in on the point that underlies a large part of the issue with the recent relative unpopularity of the nhl. There is an abundant lack of loyalty in the nhl, and franchise players often switch teams, just look at edmonton. Bondra is a cap, and growing up in washington, talking to many non-avid hockey fans about this news, there a definite sense of excitement about the prospect of the return of bonzai. I like the idea of signing him, and retiring him as a cap. In a city where the mci center cant fill its seats, I think there is something to be said for bringing him home. If Ovechkin is the face of the new caps, bonzai is the face of the old (at least for a portion of the ninties, screw jagr), I think there is an intangible profit in showing jaded hometown fans that even though its the new nhl, the old still matters too. I would definitely go to a game this season just to see bondra skate in a caps uniform again, not that I wouldnt already be going. I think there is something to be said on the subject than more than just how good he is. He wants to come back, and most caps fans would love to see him skate again for us.

Posted by: MRM | August 3, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

ABSOLUTELY NOT, the team is going forward and trying to win. you dont do that with nostalgia signings. i loved bondra too, and i will always think of him as a cap, but his TIME IS DONE, and we need our young players to develop, which wont happen if a veteran is taking roster spots. does a player have to retire with that team to have their jersey retired anyway?

Posted by: capman jones | August 3, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I find it interesting that MRM said Bondra would be a good signing and he would go to the games to see him in a Caps jersey...but that he will be going anyway. That is the crux of the issue. How many people who wouldn't be going to games WILL go to games because Bondra is there. My guess is negligible, which makes this a senseless signing.

Ovechkin and crew are the team and a nostalgia signing of Bondra will do no good for the franchise, especially because he is a marginal NHLer at this point and why take a fourth line slot for a guy on the backside of his career for a youngster on the upswing who may develop into more.

Plus, the Caps suffered a huge PR mess when Bondra left the first time. Why risk something like that again. Say they sign him for one year and then he wants to come back for more and the team doesn't want him back for more. More blood in the water. You suffer a PR mess like they did in the first go round and you don't go back and risk a second one.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | August 3, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

"when Bondra left" should probably be rewritten as "when Bondra was forcibly traded" unless you're referring to before the 05-06 season when the two sides couldn't come to an agreement. I'm also fairly sure that Bondra wouldn't play an NHL season after this unless he scored 50 goals and got 25 assists, in which case I'm sure the front office would sign him for one year at a time much like they've been doing with Brash.

As for Caps PR, I think they've got more to lose if Bondra goes public with some sob story about how Ted punched his kid rather than sign him or something. PLUS, if we signed him for one more year, we'd probably quiet the 50% of the Caps fan base which is begging for him back. The other 50% that wants him back so badly will want him to play until he's 80 or crippled, whichever comes second.

We're going to see a "Happy Trails Peter Bondra" from Tony on PTI within the next year guys, I'm surprised we didn't see it after last season.

Posted by: Raber | August 3, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

If Bondra would be a good mentor for our younger players I say go for it. Heck, he doesn't have to play every game.

If he doesn't add much to the team as a player, then maybe keep him on as a coach?

BTW: Where's Bruce Cassidy when you need him? :-)

Posted by: Dezlboy | August 3, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Bondra has always maintained publicly that he wants to be in Washington. I would rather have Bondra than Klepis, Bradley or Clymer. I dont have anything against those guys, but they are never going to be a foundation for the team. If they were to be traded it would not make or break the team.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

the bruce cassidy comment leads me to one of the weirdest feelings ive had at a hockey game. I scored tickets directly behind the Caps bench near the end of that season. Well capitals were losing 4-1 to some team I cant remember and the "Fire Cassidy" chant begun. It was LOUD. Being less than five feet away from him, you could just see the look of a highly pressured, broken man. I think losing was actually more due to Jagr indifference, but still I couldn't help but feel bad for Cassidy in that moment.

I hope the verizon center can create that amount of emotion, good or bad, in the near future.(without Crosby in the building)

Posted by: Hey | August 3, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Geeezzzzzz. Enough with the Peter Bondra already. Let it go. Just let it go. You people remind me of a divorcee who can't get his X out of his mind. Bonzai is gone. L O N G G O N E. Deal with it.

Posted by: Puckguru` | August 3, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

How about bringing Stevens back... to retire as a Cap? Stupid? Well, enough with the Bondra talk!

Posted by: Finn | August 3, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

If Bondra ended up signing with the Caps (not likely, but still)...

Ovechkin-Nylander-Kozlov
Semin-Backstrom-Bondra/Prospect
Pettinger-Gordon-Clark
Brashear-Sutherby/Laich-Bondra/Prospect

Clymer and Bradley traded or scratched

These lines definetely look good; Bondra could bring experience to the second line and mentor prospects while giving up some ice time to the young guys so he doesn't wear down.

Posted by: G'TOWN hoya | August 3, 2007 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, how about starting up your Friday afternoon chats again? I know the season is still a few months away, but I cannot deal with the huge hockey void in my life!

Posted by: 46-31-5 | August 3, 2007 5:32 PM | Report abuse

youre all wasting your time, we might as well be talking about how good pat peake could have been.

Posted by: capman jones | August 3, 2007 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Why are we all still discussing a month old article? What was the point in bringing this up again, when nothing has changed in the intervening month? I seem to recall this all being discussed back when the story was still fresh.

Posted by: norske | August 3, 2007 6:03 PM | Report abuse

05-06 Bondra turned down $2 million for 2 years with a job in the oganization after that to take an offer of $500 thousand with big incentives with Atlanta (If they had WON the cup he would have made $4 million). Bondra was pissed off and burned bridges with management and in the locker room. It will be hard to find anyone who works or plays for the Caps who would want to bring him back. If he wanted to stay he could have stayed and would now be a scout or what ever. Bring him back and I'll wear my Bondra jersey to watch his number be retired but he can't play anyway.

Posted by: Cheapseats Bob | August 3, 2007 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Bondra doesn't fill seats.
Winning does.

See the Blackhawks last season for how well Bondra and winning went together.
Even his picture on nhl.com gives the appearance the league forgot he was a Blackhawk last year.

Posted by: slappy | August 3, 2007 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Did I miss a meeting? Is Bondra considered 'Quite The Locker Room Asset' ? Cause all else being equal I'd rather see a Bondra video from 5 years ago, and some of these hungry question-mark kids on the ice in 2007. Why be nostalgic: we lost PLENTY in the good old Banzai days!

Posted by: redlineblue | August 3, 2007 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Loved MR. Bondra when he was here,but after his leaving say goodbye.yes if he wants to retire a cap,let it be done.heck if Stevens wants to retire a cap,or anyone else for that matter let them.It'll do wonders for my grandchildren somebody actually played hockey here.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 4, 2007 10:20 AM | Report abuse

that was borderline coherent

Posted by: Anonymous | August 4, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

ok,lol. try this one for coherent.Ruth is gonna be a player. I just love his attitude.Not saying he'll be another Stevens but heck to try to emulate him is a real positive in his search to be a Cap. I love that the kid wants to play here, and does what it takes.God speed to him!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 4, 2007 4:46 PM | Report abuse

oops, forgot to tell you who i am.CapsfaninGa.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 4, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

i'm going to start posting the word "bondra" on random stories all across the internet just to see if all you people will jump and scream that we must have him back. 1) he burned the bridge by trying to use us to leverage a better deal elsewhere. 2) he is old and his production has dropped off dramatically. 3) he would take ice time from someone who could use it to improve the team both this year and in future years. 4) bondra, once my favorite athlete of all time, is dead to me.

move on people. nothing to see here.

Posted by: pgreene | August 4, 2007 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Bondra was my favorite player growing up around DC, but to see him come back and not dominate the right side the way he used to would just be disheartening. I loved him while he was here, but, like all good things, it came to an end for him here when he got traded to Ottawa.

Ovechkin, Backstrom, and Semin are the future. Bondra is the fondly remembered past. Let's keep it that way.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | August 4, 2007 10:32 PM | Report abuse

bondra didn't do so well in chicago b/c he started after everyone else. that explains his injury and performance. everyone else had played nhl paced hockey games to get in game shape. he had been exercising- not the same thing. if he had started with everyone else, there would have been no injury & better play.

that said, he still did better than a bunch of people in the nhl who are getting too old to be called prospects.

also, the blackhawks had no center last year.

in short, bondra would benefit from starting the year on time and from being paired with someone who can pass.

if bondra was a cap next year, i would probably at least double the number of games i'd go to next year and i'd buy one of those new shirts (which I am not going to do yet).

as more minor points, a) i caught a lot of those blackhawks games and he got slashed, hooked, and high sticked a bunch without the other team being called b) he got blamed when a play didn't materialize when another player made a mistake (e.g. was offsides). not a lot someone can do in the latter situation.

Posted by: jim | August 4, 2007 11:36 PM | Report abuse

sorry jim, no bondra, deal with it

Posted by: Anonymous | August 5, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

what if semin's knee really is injured and he misses half a season. does bondra fit in then?

Posted by: pepper | August 5, 2007 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Nnnope. Long Gone-dra! Two years left in a five-year plan to be competitive: do you want to spend that time on nostalgia or on R&D? Bondra is over the Capitals' hill.

Posted by: redlineblue | August 5, 2007 10:54 PM | Report abuse

separate of bondra thing, i don't think a) playing some of these guys is r&d and b) we have 2 years left.

point b) i think bringing in this round of players was the upgrade. i'm not sure the following year will bring continutity in the plan to upgrade unless the caps win this year. if they lose, the whole thing gets swept out the door for a new plan. if they win, they are already competitive and it becomes for tweaking or additions to make the next step

point a) some of these players seem to have potential and need room to grow on a winning team with a real system. some don't seem ready to bridge the cap to the real nhl w/in the next 2 years.

if i am right, the issue is how to win this year and not how to hold another development camp and call it an nhl season. bringing guys up who are not ready is not good for the players or the fan base. it's worsened by problems in the group in charge of the caps drafting.

with the bondra thing, it think it's a matter of whether he can help the team win in a crucial year and not whether he takes a younger player's spot. like i said, if they don't win this year, i bet they restart the 5 year plan.

Posted by: jim | August 5, 2007 11:55 PM | Report abuse

If Peter can contribute at right wing, where we are least deep, it might be nice to see Bondra back on a 1 year contract. I didn't see enough 'Hawk hockey last year to know if he is able to contribute. If he comes short term at a relatively low price, it gives us more scoring with 2 solid scoring lines and no risk against the long term cap issues with keeping Alex and Alex paid over the long term. If he can play, and bridges haven't been completely burnt, it could work. My guesses are that bridges have been burnt and our scouts are more excited about some of the other right wings that are still unsigned such as Anson Carter. So, I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by: The Capitalist | August 6, 2007 6:47 AM | Report abuse

Anson Carter?! Man, he's like a bad penny. Is he supposed to retire as a Cap, too? Hey, Bonzai was great but I agree with the "time to move on" camp. I miss Maruk and Scott Stevens, too, but we can't have them back, either. And while we're all getting nostalgic, weren't the Caps supposed to retire Garts #11? Now he was a great Cap...

Posted by: tokyo fan | August 6, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

There is no five year plan.

Posted by: norske | August 6, 2007 6:00 PM | Report abuse

"There is no five year plan."

Not after the original five year plan
reached its 7th year.

Posted by: caphcky | August 6, 2007 7:34 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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