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Green named February's second star

Atlanta sniper Ilya Kovalchuk received top honors, but Caps defenseman Mike Green gets some love from the league, too. St. Louis goalie Chris Mason, meantime, was the third star.

Green led NHL defensemen and ranked second among all scorers with 20 points (nine goals, 11 assists) in 13 games, helping the Capitals post a 9-3-1 record. Green set an NHL record for defensemen with goals in eight consecutive games from Jan. 27 to Feb. 14, breaking the mark previously held by Mike O'Connell of the Boston Bruins (1983-84). It also matched the longest streak by any NHL player since 1997-98. The 23-year-old Calgary native leads all NHL defensemen in scoring with 23-33--56 in 51 games. His 23 goals are a career high and the most by a Capitals defenseman since Sergei Gonchar had 26 in 2001-02.

Read the whole release here.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 2, 2009; 1:57 PM ET
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Awesome for Green, and well-deserved.

Posted by: FedorovCrunch | March 2, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Go Green!!!

Although, he is first star in my books :) (I just think setting an NHL record pushes it a bit more further in the special column than what anyone else did last month!)

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | March 2, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Great Job Greener!


Posted by: ludeman95 | March 2, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

yeah greenie...certainly did not earn it for his defense!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 2, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Niklas Backstrom to us? Crazy rumors floating around and we are still two days away from the trade deadline.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 2, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

According to TSN, ShaMo is "available" for trades.

Posted by: FusilliJerry1 | March 2, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Awesome Greenie :)

Re: Backstrom. Please no. Please let it be a good D-man.

Also, I would begin to start Neuvirth more often these last games. Give a chance to Theo to rest. Resting can do real good to a goalie.

Posted by: mauree | March 2, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Rather the TSN reporting the Ottawa Sun says ShaMo is "available".

Posted by: FusilliJerry1 | March 2, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse


I'd say all the D are available except for Green.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 2, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

TSN reporting Gretzky just got traded to the Kings.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 2, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Good Job Green...well all you have to do is keep it up! So Mo is up for grabs, I sure hope Nylander is too! I would love to have another Backstrom, but we really need a strong D-man!

Posted by: NatyBG | March 2, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse


You are absolutly correct - I didn't fully understand how the cap works. I wish it was more cut and dry - is it even possible to know where a team stands on any given day? I was using but that isn't very useful past the off-season.

Can you add a -3 for screening your own goalie? And a -5 for screaning your own goalie and deflecting the puck in to your own net? He had a very ROUGH game yesterday.

I also think you need to add a -1 for wandering around the defensive zone for the sole reason of looking at all the beautiful people in the stands - but that's just too mean.

I'm now officially on the anti-Schultz band wagon. I'm not checking the spelling of his name - I don't care enough to spell it correctly.

That said, Erscine has had a few decent games in a row. I'm hoping he keeps it up.

Jurcina should be shot for the stupid grins he makes when going to the penelty box. He's there at least once a game at this point - it's not funny. At least feel bad about being too inept to defend your own zone without taking a penalty.

Posted by: patrone | March 2, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Getting Backstrom would make our defense look better by not giving up juicy rebounds all the time like Theo. Also adding a defenseman would obviously be nice as well. It doesn't look like Nylander is going to waive his NMC though so it's going to be hard to add too many players. Morrisonn and his $2 mill contract is likely to go in order to open up some cap room.

Posted by: VegasCapsFan | March 2, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Everyone says don't's a bad game here...bad game there. My concern are the dumb penalties and amount of them per game. I've been saying this for months...if we don't fix the problem, it will be on the golf course in April for the Caps. They spent half...HALF...of the first period on the PK! This has been the trend all year and I'm not sure it can be fixed. People say we are right there in being Stanley Cup Contenders...never when the Caps are a man down for half the game.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 2, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Just a little more explanations here so that everyone understands, there are 3 important factors here to consider other than the players involved for a trade:

1) Salary Cap trade
2) Number of players under contract
3) Team Salary/budgetary Cap

Number 2 is 50 contracts per team and as said earlier, the Caps are at the maximum.

Number 3 is by far the most important one when attempting to make a blockbuster trade. Let me explain, each team has an internal cap set by the owners and budgetary constraint. A GM has to possess the art of figuring out what is an another team internal cap and use it to his advantage when dealing with another team. That explains why it appears that some team have kept cap space all year.

The Caps are really lucky to have one of the brightest mind in the game as their GM. Plus, he is as wily as they come...

Posted by: atybat | March 2, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse


You are wrong; Nyls will wave his NMC but an offer has to come.

Posted by: atybat | March 2, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

not so great goalie that won the cup.
TB 2004 - Khabibulin, playoff record that year was 16-7. without that year his playoff record is 15-18. he stood on his head during the playoffs - 16-7 1.71gaa .933 sv%

it's not very likely but theo has the capability to make a run in the playoffs - with this D and current play the odds of that happening are not very high.
i think brodeur would have a tough time carrying the caps with the way they're playing lately.

we have what we have and i like our chances in a 7 games series with anyone in the east, including philly. NJ looks like they want to start gearing up for the postseason already.

i believe in BB's abilities to provide the right motivation at the right time. anything GMGM can do to imporve the D would be an added bonus - provided he doesn't give away the future

spending less time on the PK could be as big an imporvement as picking up a steady Dman.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 2, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

New post from the Islanders independant coverage website.

Posted by: _LFR | March 2, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

ALL- I gotta believe that Guering is coming here. is claiming that Guerin knows the team and has accepted the trade and the Islanders are ready to pull the trigger but the other team needs to do something before the deal can go through. Sounds a little familiar to me like Nyls to Chicago. So my best guess is that Guerin is coming here and it involves Nylander somehow someway. Just connecting the dots. Think about it, what would any of the other Eastern teams "need to do" before the trade is made "official"?

Posted by: pokerface1208 | March 2, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Me hungry. Need trade news.

Posted by: ThisGuy | March 2, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Greg S,
Excellent use of the term "sticky wicket" :)

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | March 2, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

@atybat "The Caps are really lucky to have one of the brightest mind in the game as their GM. Plus, he is as wily as they com"

This is the sort of thing that used to generate a four page response from Chief regarding how GMGM has cost the Caps the cup for each of the past 10 years, and how he's responsible for the economy and global warming. Trip down memory lane.

Posted by: hook99 | March 2, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Chief doesn't know the guy like I do....

Posted by: atybat | March 2, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Or maybe I just slept at the Holiday Inn last night....

Posted by: atybat | March 2, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: mauree | March 2, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

From two posts before: I really like you, caraveli. You and I think alike. :) To all the people sticking up for Jose and saying it's all the defense, Niklas Backstrom is just an overall better goalie. He can make a difference even with the defense we have right now. He is just a better goaltender than Jose. It's clear, his career stats are better than Jose's.

Career totals: GAA- 2.19, SV%- .924

Career totals: GAA- 2.67 SV%- .908

Posted by: rachel216 | March 2, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Well, Sean Avery's on re-entry waivers........ ;-) <JOKING!!!>

Of course, the Rangers may well be the only team in the NHL willing to touch him with a 12-1/2 foot pole... I sure wouldn't!

Congratulations to Mike Green! A well-deserved honor. :-)

@lylewimbledon - I think the bad penalties tend to get worse when the team is tired, and it looked plain to me last night that they just plain emptied the tanks for the Bruins game. Is it an excuse? No. The penalties last night were horrid, and I can't really blame the officiating like I could a couple of games ago when Ovechkin got called for roughing after someone smacked him in the nose with a high stick and didn't get called for it, and in the same game, Theodore got called for roughing the guy who fell and took him off his feet in the process (goalie interference anyone?)

But last night, I thought the refereeing was *mostly* OK, with one glaring exception that I don't recall clearly, since I've spent the entire afternoon buried in my notes for the CCNA, and I have routing and switching on the brain rather than hockey... :-p

Posted by: irockthered | March 2, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

The Caps gave the whole team off today.

Guess GMcPhee just threw his arms up and decided to trade everybody.


Posted by: austinsteve | March 2, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse


I agree with you, but this is a season long trend. We are killing way too many penalties. You give a team 8-9 PP a game in the playoffs, it will be a very short series...especially with crappy defense and bad goaltending. This team is built to run and gun, but that's just not the case in the playoffs...we will lose if we try to outscore teams because their better defense will always win out.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 2, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

@austinsteve - Thbpppt! Either that, or they decided that the team needed a rest day because they were dead on their feet last night... Beating a dead horse is counterproductive. ;-)

Posted by: irockthered | March 2, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

rachel and others on backstrom the goalie. remind me who the wild coach is? is he an offensive minded coach or does he like to play a stifling (sp?) defensive system (trap anyone)? it matters. not saying theo is better, just saying that just cause someones doing well in one place doesn't mean he will succeed elsewhere.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 2, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Point Blank suggesting another team has requested Weight & Guerin. Who in Bettman's name would want *both* of them??

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 2, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

"Who in Bettman's name would want *both* of them??"

The 1998-99 Oliers?

Posted by: Baildog | March 2, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

lol! Yeah, but I'm talking now. Not historically. Isn't Weight out injured, anyways?

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 2, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

i agree about the better defense - just not the always part. i would say most teams that go deeper into the playoffs have a better than avg defense to begin with and takes it up another notch from there. as a team, you might get past one or two defensive teams but your chances, if you have to go against three or four def teams, drops drastically after that.
i don't think the caps have all the pieces in place this year to complete a cup run - although they do have a shot. i think the odds makers would give philly and NJ a better chance this year.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 2, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse


Agree. Man, a rested Brodeur really scares me and should the rest of the East too.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 2, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

It sounded yesterday like the coaching mantra right now is: "you're in the playoff race, your record says you're elite, you shouldn't need us yelling at you for you to be focused and motivated right now gentlemen."

But I'm not sure I'd be giving em a day to themselves to get all gloom and doomy over the looming trade deadline. BB seems to usually make the right call though.

Posted by: austinsteve | March 2, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

brodeur is a fatso - sean avery

Posted by: _stevo | March 2, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

dcsportsfan1: yeah, you have a good point. But take into consideration that Niklas has faced almost the same amount of shots per game as Jose. (about 29 shots per game) So that so called stifling defense Minnesota plays is giving up the same amount of shots per game as us. Niklas has started 51 games and has faced a total of 1461 shots. Jose has started 41 games and has faced a total of 1177. And Niklas' numbers are still better. Just sayin'. Also, I'm kinda bored... as you can tell.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 2, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

The site is reporting that the Caps GM after consultation with Tarik's bloggers have decided to trade Schultz, Semin and Nylander.

Here is a copy of their headline news:

Monday, 03.02.2009 / 4:08 PM / News
Caps trade Schultz , Semin and Nylander
Monday, 03.02.2009 / 4:08 PM / News
Hurricans forward Jokinen returns to Finland after father's death
Monday, 03.02.2009 / 4:00 PM / Game-Day Skate / By Adam Schwartz
Avs hope to end long trip with win on Long Island
Monday, 03.02.2009 / 3:21 PM / News

Posted by: opita1 | March 2, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

@rachel216 and others

I'm inclined to agree with those who think that the Caps don't need Niklas Backstrom. I'm not saying he isn't better than Theo, but the guy isn't Marty Brodeur, either. His numbers are a product of the Minnesota system. If you look over the past several seasons, Dwayne Roloson and Manny Fernandez put up great numbers with Minnesota, but have struggled elsewhere. Besides, it doesn't matter who is in net if they get screened by Schultz and Poti on the PK, or if they repeatedly face odd-man breaks or layup situations because Erskine and Jurcina don't cover anybody in transition.

Posted by: cainoo7x | March 2, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I don't think we need "Dead Weight" here but he'd be an upgrade from Nyls and his contract expires after THIS year. If it takes "Dead Weight" to get Guerin I'm game. The line of Ovechkin, Backstrom and Guerin would be pretty wicked! Then you got Semin, Feds, Kozlov, and Fleischman, Weight, Fehr as a THIRD LINE! Now lets address the "D" GMGM! Get er done!

Posted by: pokerface1208 | March 2, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

i believe minn def system is geared to have their opp take shots from the point - with some clear site lines for the goalie. i have no info to back this up - but if backstrom faces 29 shots and 20+ come from the point and he sees 18 of those cleanly - he will do just fine - which he is.
if theo faces 29 shots and 15+ come from breakaways/backdoors/point blank range - he might not fair as well - i think theo's numbers reflect not just him - but how his D does in front of him. our D is not very good right now. don't get me wrong - there are better goalies out there than theo (and i'm one of the ones that likes theo) but i'm not sure if any of them (except maybe brodeur) is going to improve this team that much.
i'd much rather see a steady S@H Dman and fewer penaties, then i, as well as most caps fans would feel much better with theo in net

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 2, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Rachel: I don't see how anyone could disagree with us. Everything I read suggests that a consistent, star quality goalie is needed to get to the Stanley Cups. This is an example:

"The role of the goalie at Stanley Cup time can hardly be overstated. Without star-quality goaltending, even a millionaire's row of superstars is naked and vulnerable. At least a couple of times during a championship run the goalie will win a game in which his team mates are vastly outplayed. Conversely, a bad period or soft goal at the wrong time can send a contender into a downward spiral." Which is part of what happened yesterday, by the way.

Maybe being a goalie mom and grandma I focus on goalies more.

And Mauree, yes I do think that if Backstrom was in goal yesterday, and maintained his average 92-93% save percentage, the game could well be saved.

You yourself said: "If we have to wait for Alzner, Carlson, Varly, Neuvirth to fully develop, we're talking about 4-5 years here." I agree. Varly and Neuvy are not ready. Theo, may get into the zone during play offs but he may not. He is very good but not great yet in my book, especially for a team struggling defensively.

I am sold on Rachel's Backstrom now. I've checked into his stats and history and I agree with her that he is the MAN. It is a great opportunity that he is available and I will be very disappointed if GMGM does not jump on it.

Get Backstrom and Pronger and it's a different ball game. I do think the Caps are slipping.

Posted by: caraveli | March 2, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

@ atybat

Do you have some inside information that nobody knows about? I doubt it. All I'm basing my opinion on is Spector this morning saying that Nylander has expressed no desire to waive his NMC. Hopefully he's wrong but right now that's all we have to go on.

Posted by: VegasCapsFan | March 2, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Guerin would be dead Weight

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 2, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

What I'm saying is, give Theo a chance to play behind a good D. I think we can agree to disagree on the priority:

1) Upgrade D
2) See if Theo is much better

1) Upgrade goalie
2) See if we take less goals.

Posted by: mauree | March 2, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

actually, based on past performance, I trust atybat over Spector.

Posted by: Baildog | March 2, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse


Thought you'd enjoy that.


Talk about blowing out the budget! Both Pronger AND Backstrom.

We'd have to give up 2 NHL contracted prospects/players, and probably 2 other prospects.

And if you say Nylander, I'm gonna bopp you on the head. :)

I frankly think that we're stuck with him here.

Posted by: Greg S. | March 2, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

i'm in the 'upgrade' the D camp with you

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 2, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

So since we probably won't get Pronger, what other "Prongeresque" D-man is out there?

Posted by: Greg S. | March 2, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

here's another stat -
while theo has been on the ice: 119 goals allowed - 46 via the PP for just under 39% of all goals against him. i'm too lazy to cross reference for all goalies - but does anyone else think this is kind of a high percentage?

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 2, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I've been preaching the D sermon for the past 2 years. When I'm not, mauree seems to pick up my slack, for which I'm eternally grateful.

One thing I don't see us needing are 2 geriatric forwards. We have good forwards now. We don't need a forward just to have a different forward than Nylander. There's no sense in that.

Posted by: Greg S. | March 2, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Hey, not sure if anyone was planning to go to the Peter Bondra Q & A tonight at the ESPN zone in DC, but just in case, it has been postponed according to the Caps website. (I was there checking on the time for Brashear's Q & A at the Baltimore ESPN Zone this Wednesday)

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | March 2, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Greg S

I agree, but maybe we should define "Prongeresquism" because unlike others IMHO Zee Boumeister does not fit the definition of what we need.

We need order in our D chaos, calm in the D storm, chocolate in our D peanut butter

Posted by: austinsteve | March 2, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

austinsteve, Thank you. My monitor is now covered in milk.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 2, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, you know, I think I'll let someone else touch that JMU!

Posted by: austinsteve | March 2, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I'm done trying to convince everyone that I think Niklas can make a difference. Nobody seems to think he can make a difference. Oh well. Every goalie is going to face "breakaways/backdoors/point blank range" shots. It's just weird cause I thought many here were Theo haters... I remember the Rangers game where we were down 4-0 and our defense sucked, everyone was calling for Jose's head. Times have changed. But nobody disagrees that getting Backstrom couldn't hurt, right?

Posted by: rachel216 | March 2, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

So since we probably won't get Pronger, what other "Prongeresque" D-man is out there?

Posted by: Greg S. | March 2, 2009 4:53 PM

I for one think that we don't necessarily need Pronger, although he would certainly help. The Caps will improve if they can add a top-4, veteran defensman who can move his feet and clear the puck. Adding a top 4 guys improves our D because that will hopefully mean less minutes for Schultz, and less minutes for Jurcina and Erskine while the other is scratched.

Also, it's been mentioned before, but Tom Poti doesn't look right out there. For one, he doesn't look like he's as mobile lately, and I know he doesn't play the most physical game in the NHL, but it really looked like there was nothing he could do to defend the crease on the PK. The guy behind me suggested that Poti is unable to generate any power with his legs because his groin still isn't healthy. Personally, I think we should put him on LTIR and hope he gets better before the playoffs. We'd be able to call up Alzner to fill in for him, and I think that would be an improvement the way Poti has been playing lately.

Posted by: cainoo7x | March 2, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

@ caraveli and Rachel

I don't think anyone is disputing that good goaltending is key to winning the cup. HOWEVER, there are several instances in which outstanding goaltenders were absolutly horrible in the playoffs. There are also tons of situations where absolutly horrible goaltenders were brilliant in the playoffs.

Take Dominik Hasek as an example. He was the number 1 goalie on a team with 100 regular season wins. When the playoffs came around last year - he was a complete clunker.

You can also look at Osgood in the same light. Osgood was a backup going in to the playoffs. Yes, he was an increadibly talented and experienced backup (probably not the best to use for this example - but I don't have the time to research a better example) - but he was still a number 2 goalie. He came off the bench and signle handedly rescued the first series for the Wings. As you know, he went on to win the cup.

Bottom line - great goaltending is completly unpredictable. Great defense is a team effort and has to be pieced together from multiple different role players. Adding a goalie at the deadline is a 50/50 shot. If you add a Dman - you know exactly what you are going to get - whether he fits in with your system or not.

Posted by: patrone | March 2, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Well the XM guys talked about the Wild's Backstrom coming to the Caps.

He's more of a coconut sprinkle though IMO.

Posted by: austinsteve | March 2, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

The problem I see with Theo is that he is usually good at the initial shot, but in doing so he tends to be totally out of position during rebounds. He is also a bit impatient when there is pressure around the net, at times he commits himself way too soon resulting in either some spectacular saves (I think by luck) or some easy goals. A better defense would help him by clearing the rebounds but would not really improve his play. I would play Neuvritch (or however you spell his name) more often to get him ready for the playoffs, I think he is calmer, has better puck control, and overall is a better goalie.

Posted by: hock1 | March 2, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

cainoo7x and others:

Backstrom has posted a 92% with the Wild consistently since 2006. Before this, in Finland and Sweden he had a GAA of under 3.00 since 2001, mostly under 3 since 1997.(Plus, he also looks cute). So it's not just his career with Minnesota.

And Manny Fernandez is still posting a 92.1% with a GAA of 2.24 and Dwayne Roloson's 91.7% and 2.68 GAA are not too shabby either. Wasn't he in goal when Edmonton beat us in January?

Don't get me wrong. I really wanted things to work out for Theo and I will be the first one to jump up and down if he becomes consistently good. But I am looking at the year drawing to a close and I am realistic. We had a very inconsistent goaltender in the first part of the year and a better, more consistent goal tender now but not a phenomenal one. And, what's more, he has a reputation for being "mercurial" and inconsistent now which, I have to assume, must put us at a psychological disadvantage with opponents.

I don't get why people want Neuvy. He had an 87% in his last two games, seems nervous and intimidated. He does not seem ready for the NHL to me.

I am starting a campaign to bring Backstrom here. I know Rachel will join me. Any one else?

Posted by: caraveli | March 2, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

As I posted I came up with a better example - Marc-Andre Fleury. He was hurt much of last year (played only 35 regular season games) and turned in similar numbers to Theo 2.33GA 9.21Sv - yes, slightly better but cut me some slack - it's late on a Monday. He turned in to a beast during the playoffs.

Posted by: patrone | March 2, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Nylander and GMGM both blog here. Did you know that?

Posted by: WhyGo | March 2, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

No need to bring another goalie. Give the new kids more time to get ready for the playoffs.

Posted by: hock1 | March 2, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm not even going to ask.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 2, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

"Nylander and GMGM both blog here. Did you know that?"

Yes. That is why GMGM has been so successful and the reason why Nyls is so depressed.

Posted by: hock1 | March 2, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

under what UserID, you ask?

non! I cannot be persuaded to say.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 2, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

exactly! you and I are one.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 2, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

TSN reports New Jersey just traded for Havlid.

Posted by: ewwsombra | March 2, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, it's probably best.

So is your monitor lactose intolerant? They usually are.

I think I need to go home. I try not to drink soft drinks at work, while I am getting a lot done here, I get the distinct impression there may be a few minor side effects...

Posted by: austinsteve | March 2, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Thrashers just traded Niclas Havelid to the Devils

Posted by: CBT2 | March 2, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

why would the wild trade their number 1 goalie when they are 2 points out of a playoff spot in the wide open west? i know he's a UFA at seasons end, but that would really suck for wild fans.

and why would we do that? i know we traded for a goalie last year and it worked out. but that was a trade for a starting goalie. if we got him, would that make him number 1 or a high priced, allstar backup. and its not like we can keep him next year. dont get it...but hey, i'm not a GM. really, i'm not.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 2, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

first off, 65-49 is a complete clunker? PO save pct of .925 and a GAA of 2.02 is a complete clunker? 6 SO's in ONE freaking run is a complete clunker?
Osgood was not a backup last year, they brought Hasek in to backup Osgood. Osgood sucked ass the first half of the season, so it worked in tandem. After two bad games and after two very good ones, Osgood came back and finished the playoffs.
those were both horrible examples of proving your point.

sure, there's tons of goalies who smoke through the regular season, only to fall asleep during the playoffs and vice-versa. If you picked up a goalie proven in the playoffs, id say you would undoubtedly alter your playoff performance. in the case of Niklas Backstrom, he is unfortunately unproven in playoff play.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

suddenly, the tone and tenor shifts....he starts to post thing like:

"Boy, that GMGM is a genius!"


"I love what Nyls brings to the game"

Posted by: WhyGo | March 2, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Caraveli: Of course I'd join you in your campaign but sadly, I think it's just you and me. :/

Posted by: rachel216 | March 2, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Devils just got better. snicker.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 2, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

wow, they gave salmela for havelid?

salmela is going to be a rock solid d man in a few years.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Check these videos out:

It’s Niklas Backstrom, many saves are "breakaways/backdoors/point blank range" shots. Just watching him he looks better than Jose.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 2, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse


I don't think anyone here is arguing that Niklas Backstrom wouldn't be an improvement over Theo, or the general theory that you need good goaltending to go deep in the playoffs. Rather, I and others are arguing that the Caps would get more bang for their buck if they added a capable defensman.

Posted by: cainoo7x | March 2, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Both, are quite obviously needed. In droves.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 2, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

all my devil friends want Salmela back, haha.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

So's Schultz! (couldn't resist).

Posted by: redlineblue | March 2, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse


Did you see any of Hasek's games in the playoffs? Or are you just going off his numbers? Clunker was a polite description of his play in that series. He was just awful.

Posted by: patrone | March 2, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Offense (said the man with bad breath) I have in abundance.

Defense (said OJ from his new digs) is what is required.

In goal and in front of it.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 2, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

austinsteve, lol. Yeah, it isn't too happy. Neither is my nose.
You might want to lay off the pop. It seems to be doing things to the level your brain is on. :-D

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 2, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone have a link to the Havlid news?

That's not good news - not gonna lie. He can be a game changer on defense when he's on his game.

Posted by: patrone | March 2, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

he played 4 games. he was freaking 43, what the hell do you expect? and he still won 2.

but basically you are discrediting one of the top 3 goaltenders ever to play the sport based on his last 4 playoff games?

kolzig huh.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

pokerface1208 - When asked about the Guerin stuff BB repeated a long list of players we already have that he feels are doing just fine in that role. Those are the dots I am connecting. We do not need any forwards.

As for the other Backs, he may be facing a similar number of shots as Theo. But how many breakaways does he face per game? A lot less than Theo. The quality of shots is the key. Look at the number of scoring chances against each and I think you will see a difference. I am fine with goaltending.

We need defense. Top 4. No bowmeester or any other UFA unless it is cheap.

Posted by: waitingsince75 | March 2, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Tarik is reporting that Beagle was traded to the Hershey Bears. Stand by for more reporting, he is still googling for new links to report.

Posted by: hock1 | March 2, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: CBT2 | March 2, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

backstrom is perfect in the SO.

you want to talk about quality shots...

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Don't get too happy about the Devil's giving up Salmela - he may be good in the future - but Havlid can be a game changer now. If he's on his game he's a top dman still.

Posted by: patrone | March 2, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

the devils take like, what 3 shots against per game? they don't even NEED a defense. Just trap.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 2, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I think the Devils believe that their window is closing. Looks like they are going hard for it all now.

Posted by: CBT2 | March 2, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

some more PP goals against stats:
% of teams goals allowed via the PP:
1. NYR - 18.8
2. MIN - 19.0
3. CAL - 22.5
19. NJ - 29.1
29. VAN - 34.5
30. WAS - 36.3
this is not a teams PK % - caps have 179 goals allowed and 65 came on the opp PP

i'm sure theo has given up some soft goals on the PK (most recent - chara)
but i don't see how even the best goalies in the league would be able to take this kind of abuse from the D in front of them.

i do believe that backstrom would do better than theo has - but he alone can not lead this team to the promise land - IT WILL TAKE A BETTER OVERALL DEFENSIVE EFFORT BY THE WHOLE TEAM

i see no other way - i am right and everyone who thinks otherwise ... well ... could/maybe/possibly be wrong

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 2, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

That is what is so hard to believe. They could be the dark horse in all of this. Messin' with a good thing, we'll see if it works out for them.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 2, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

In 613 career games in the NHL, Havelid has 34 goals and 133 assists with a minus- 29 rating.

real big game changer.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Okay then, nobody say anything important for a couple of hours [insert retort here].
I'm headed out in the blistering cold of 68 degrees with sunny skies.

GMGM, if you could hold that trade announcement til, maybe 9 EST that'd be great too


Posted by: austinsteve | March 2, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

phil - I am not saying that Backs is not better. That is clear. But if the Caps played the type of system the Wild plays I would bet JT's numbers would be much, much better.

I don't want to give up a lot for any rentals. It will take away from the long term plan.

Posted by: waitingsince75 | March 2, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

AZ, I was defending our PK stats, till recently. They do kinda suck, but I think they are not far away from being much better. They work the puck to the guy that can clear it and move well, but they are easily drawn out of position (backdoor?) by good PP units.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 2, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

and if the unit is not in a good frame of mind, plus taking a high number of kills. bad juju.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 2, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse


Okay, we'll sign on for a D man if we can count on your vote for Backstrom. Then in a few hours we can present GMGM with the complete package for a deal, which he will be obliged to go out and negotiate.

I still don't get why some people want Neuvy. He only played nine games this year and posted an 89%. He may be technically sound but it's not enough. I don't see the maturity, confidence and stellar quality that I saw in Varly for example.

Posted by: caraveli | March 2, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

renting a goalie this year would be dumb, unless it came relatively cheap.

did anyone see my comment about frolov for whitney almost going through? LOL for not taking frolov.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

If they tighten it up a notch on the kill (entirely possible) and take a lot less penalties (certainly possible) then our upside is huge. The rewards of keeping this offense running and the PK unit on the bench is logrithmic (saintex, run that will you?)

Posted by: WhyGo | March 2, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Well, we do take a lot of penalties.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 2, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

The anticipation is KILLING ME! What is GM GM gona do????

Posted by: Puckthepens | March 2, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

his email is:

Posted by: WhyGo | March 2, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

itd be hilarious if nothing happens.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse


Again with the stats - I'm beginning to question whether or not you've ever seen an actual hockey game.

Havlid is a good S@H d-man. He's probably one of the top 5 dmen we'll see moved at the deadline. He was a steal for a third-rounder as reported earlier in the day. I wouldn't be supprised if that report didn't have a few GM's calling Atlanta to offer a better deal. Before you tell at me because Salmela wasn't even drafted - he plays better than a third round draft choice and he's a 6 foot 200lbs defenseman. He'll be good - eventually.

Posted by: patrone | March 2, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I thinks it's pretty clear to all of us the Phil has never seen a hockey game.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 2, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Caraveli: That I don't agree with exactly. I must stand up for Neuvy b/c I love him. I think he has shown unbelievable calmness. He has great positioning and he swallows up the rebounds and his confidence is absolutely there. Also, in 2 games and 2 periods he has stopped 66 out of 72 shots. (But that isn't exactly valid because 1 was off of Kronwall and another was off of Shultz.) I think he is going to be a GREAT goaltender for us once Theo is outta here.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 2, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

minus 39 means not stay at home, but go on home.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 2, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

I love all the rumors. I can't even remember who they said we were getting/trading, but I definitely remember none of them happened. And there wasn't a single whisper of what did actually happen before it was official. It would be beyond anti-climatic if nothing happened. But it is always fun to speculate. Its like Christmas!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 2, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

He's OK and all. Helped win the gold, but I don't know if I would be all that concerned with defense for the Devils. Messin with a good thing IMO.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 2, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse


bite our collective butts! :D

Posted by: Greg S. | March 2, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

If I had a dream team backline, it would include Nicklas "game changer" Havelid ,Chris "#1 dream cap" Pronger and Olaf "better than Hasek" Kolzig.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Remember? People were Goggling 'Cooke' like mad to be the first to say 'I know all about this guy'.

Nobody knows nuthin. History says that GMGM has hidden his tracks well and we will all be wrong.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 2, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Re: Havlid for Salmela:

Salmela spent most of the season in Lowell, and was unimpressive on the occasions when he was called up. I think the Devils see real opportunity for the Cup this year, and with Brodeur getting older, want to go for it. They are the most offensively talented Devils team in memory and with Brodeur and a top out!

Salmela's loss doesn't change the team chemistry and Havelid may add something - or perhaps Lou L. has something else up his sleeve and Havlid is part of another deal....with Lou, one never really knows.....

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | March 2, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

@ richmondphil and WhyGo

Please check out the stats before you use plus/minus stats in your arguement. He is a -29 in the NHL. He's been neutral since 03-04. He also plays 20+ minutes a game for the Thrashers who rank second to last in GA.

Posted by: patrone | March 2, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Haha, I was working at a restaurant all day last deadline with no internet access. One of my employees kept browsing on his phone to tell me what was happening. I did get a "FEDOROV!!!!" text message from a friend. And then I remember hearing about Laich's game vs Minnesota, but that was about it. I'm stoked though.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 2, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

taking fewer penalties could improve the overall defense.
logic would say that playing 4 (sometimes 3) against 5 takes more energy. therefore by the third period (penalties in the third are even worse) it is harder to maintain your position/techniques do to that lack of energy.
fla is not a good example of being tired as they got 3 in the first. but it does contribute to making it that much harder to come back from.
expending unnecessary energy is true in all sports, a baseball pitcher will tend to lose their mechanics, a tennis player might be unable to get proper position, a football defensive line starts to get run over.
i contend that taking fewer penalties will make even schultz look better.
better/more consistant goaltending and D are needed on this team - but playing smarter can also make this team better/more competitive without pursuing a rent-a-player or going after an elite goaltender

once again - i am right - everyone else ....

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 2, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I'm done trying to convince everyone that I think Niklas can make a difference. Nobody seems to think he can make a difference.

Who cares what Niklas can do - he is not a Capital. Minn system is much different than the Capitals. The West is completely different than the East... Apples and Oranges comparing Theo and Backstrom.

Theo is the guy, if you don't like it, become a Penguins fan. We may not make any moves... if you don't like our D, then become a Flyers fan. It's pretty simple really. I mean, the Caps are just barely making the playoffs this year. With the way they are playing, who knows if they will even win a playoff game.

Posted by: _828 | March 2, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Ugh SChultz! SCHULTZ! Sorry kittypawz. I really need to not forget the C... but he doesn't deserve to have his name spelled corectly because of the way he plays..

Posted by: rachel216 | March 2, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

I mean, the Caps are just barely making the playoffs this year.


Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Sarcastic... everyone wants the team to change... they did not make it this far with what they got if they all suck. According to this board - Theo sucks and the whole D sucks...
This team is young - they will piss you off and they will wow you. Everyone seems to want to RUSH the whole process.

Posted by: _828 | March 2, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

_828: Wow that's offensive, you telling me to become a Pens fan. You are not good at dealing with people who have different opinions than yours, are you? Anyone who doesn't agree with you is dumb and wrong. And please don't ever tell me to become a Pens or Flyers fan again.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 2, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't Luke Schenn look great in a Caps uniform? Too bad Burke wants him to stay.

Posted by: hockeynightincanada | March 2, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

ah, my sarcasm meter didnt go off.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

i think his point was is that we shouldnt cut our rebuild short for this one year, when we should have a good couple years coming.

schenn rules, but there is no way hes going anywhere.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

also, i think havelid is a stay at home, and pretty solid. i wanted the caps to get him. he is far from a game changer type of player, but he is a solid blue liner who can move the puck around. he is (was) a +4 on a team collectively that is -33. havelid is solid, but far from a blue liner who is going to make or break a game.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

@828: HAHAHAHAHAHA I love you man. So much. Thank you for saying that. (And yes, I did catch the sarcasm.)

@rachel216: As someone whose name is frequently misspelled and mispronounced, it's something of a hot button for me. "Deserving"? Everyone deserves common courtesy.

Thanks for fixing it. :)

I don't know. As much as Pronger could be made of awesome, I'm not convinced we need any changes to the bodies or the names on the roster at all. What needs to change in my eyes is the mindset. There's not enough want there, not enough hunger, to make them focus and buckle down and really kick some tail. They can when they want to, but they very seldom seem to want to, and it's led to some real stinkers. And that may simply be a leadership issue.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 2, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

rachel216 - that comment was entirely directed at you. But, since you responded, its obvious that you can't stand Theo. The funny thing is, he isn't going anywhere. So, you can continue to complain about him or just deal with what we got. It's not my opinion to keep asking this little computer screen for new players nor is it my opinion to bash the ones that I root for every night. So, again, if you don't like who we got, then root for someone else. People complain about the D or complain about the goaltending and never really think it through. "Oh he sucks, he needs to be traded" or "That was a soft goal, he must be bad" - are Bruins fans saying that about Thomas on Semin's shot... I doubt it. This is a young team - THEY WILL MAKE MISTAKES. They are on pace to break the franchise record for points and people want to shake it up. If they don't do well in the playoffs this year, then there is always next year. I'm not going anywhere and neither is Ovechkin. haha, what's the point?

Posted by: _828 | March 2, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

And I personally would dearly, dearly love to see the Penguins in the first round. Seriously, I would.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 2, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

oops - wasn't entirely directed at you.

Posted by: _828 | March 2, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

he was -28 in '04 and -2 when the Thrashers were hot in 06.

He is +4 this year, which is prob what got him picked up. Lies, damn lies and stats will get you in trouble. we will see if he helps.

Had one good year at +9, though.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 2, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

actually, im pretty sure most boston fans would call semin's OT goal soft. some of it is valid, like chara's goal to tie it up was pretty bad on theo's part. but most of the time, it seems she comes down on theo far to hard.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

kittypawz, careful what you wish for. The Caps playoff record vs the Pens aint exactly stellar. But, it's a new team... a new breed...

Posted by: _828 | March 2, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

I agree with phil...there's no reason to sell the farm for a one time shot at the Cup. Our plan almost seems as if it's really going to bloom even after another year or two. The only way this year is a disappointment to me at all is if we get bounced in the 1st round. Anything beyond that and I will most likely be happy with it and see the progression.

Do we have issues? Of course we do. Better and deeper on D...some of that is youth already on the roster, some of it is youth that is still getting seasoned. Theodore has been solid of late, and I think he could be good enough for us to make a deep run. Do I think there are upgrades to be had that would make us a better team? Absolutely. I think we have the long term answer either sitting on our bench or coming back from an injury in Hershey.

A move at the right price that will benefit us this year without hurting our chances over the next 2-3 years is one I would be happy with.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | March 2, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil - they would call the goal soft, but they would not want to get rid of him because of THAT goal... that seems to be the difference here.

Posted by: _828 | March 2, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

I feel a case of 'historical kaspiritis' coming on at just the mention of our history with Pens in the playoffs.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 2, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Dave wants the pens in the playoffs too, but honestly, i dont want them to make it. the less cap killers the better.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil - exactly... less Cap Killers, the better. The only team I am really concerned with is Philly... but, I KNOW we will be ready for them. It will be different this year in the playoffs - I hope!

Posted by: _828 | March 2, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

my only question is will one of them be NHL ready by he time theo's contract is done? goalies usually take a little longer to develop and tend to peak later. are we going to rent a goalie for 1 year after theo? extend theo? or will they indeed be ready?

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

828, more like 'fluke'. It sailed up at a mean curve the last 20 feet, caught some air and just went flat and rose up. very unusual movement.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 2, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

i agree. there is room for improvement on every team at every position (except goalie because there must be one team that already has the best) - and with the caps it happens to be D.
i also do not want them to try and make just any move for this year alone.
i believe ted's plan is to put a competitive team on the ice year after year - that is what will keep the fans coming. i think he would like to model this team after detroit (4 cups in 11 yrs). not that the caps have to win 4 in 11 - but that any given year they could win. i don't want to see this team dismantled every couple of years by bad GM moves. not that he could see it coming but GMGM probably isn't proud of himself about the nyls deal right now. i am not in a panic mode and do not believe they have all the tools needed to win the cup this year - but i still want them too and will root for them every games they play

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 2, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

TSN reports Pronger to NJ.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 2, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

made you look

Posted by: WhyGo | March 2, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Pardon me if someone has already mentioned this but I'm curious if it is possible for a team to renegotiate a player's contract the same way it is commonly done in the NFL. This comes to mind as a potential way for the Caps to get salary cap relief even if they are unable to dump Nylander and his big NT contract, assuming he would be willing to renegotiate.

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | March 2, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

WhyGo -haha... I believed you for a second! Wow, that would be pretty scary.

Posted by: _828 | March 2, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Yes, you are allowed to re negotiate your contract.

nylander will never do it though.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

I am diferently abled.

keyboard Tourettes.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 2, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Do you see many re-negotiated contracts? At the deadline? anybody know?

Good point to put in the mix.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 2, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

i dont know the rules, but i would be guessing that you are not allowed to re-negotiate mid season.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

I didn't think you were allowed to renegotiate. I know they reworked Semin's, but wasn't that an allowance by the league?

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 2, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

you can take pay cuts and the such, so i thought contract re-negotiations would be akin. But like I said, i doubt people are going to be allowed to re-negotiate mid season.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Done Cherry is an idiot.

Posted by: strkfitrsqdrn14ao | March 2, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

On TSN? The Atlanta Thrashers have traded defenceman Niclas Havelid to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for blueliner Anssi Salmela.

Posted by: _828 | March 2, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: opita1 | March 2, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

"In no event shall a Club and a Player negotiate a change in any terms of a Player SPC for the then-current season or for any remaining season of an SPC. This provision shall not prohibit a Player and Club from negotiating an extension to an existing SPC."

However, reading on NMC's, theoretically, if the Caps wanted to buy-out Nyls, he can elect to go on waivers, instead.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 2, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Isles blog reporting the original offer for Guerin isn't 100% intact and now either same team or different one is talking about taking both Guerin and Weight at once? That's an interesting rental pair considering they both come off the books at the end of the season.

I feel like you could really see a TON of fireworks this trade deadline or a lot of the rumored deals could fizzle.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | March 2, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

PHIL - I don't think that is allowed. You can release a player and only pay half. But reneg is not in the CBA (I think).

Posted by: waitingsince75 | March 2, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

but aren't you allowed to take pay cuts?

i think jmu found what we were looking for regarding it.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the legal verbiage on contract renegs.

I suppose a buy out would count against the current year's salary cap which would not be favorable to the Caps. Regardless, I suspect it wouldn't give them cap relief. They need to dump is contract, not pay it.

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | March 2, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

jmu - Semin got a new contract when his old one ran out. They also had to redo his old one (old CBA) since he went home during the lockout and we fined him for every day he did not report to Portland.

Posted by: waitingsince75 | March 2, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

In addition, I believe buying out the contract of a person over a certain age actually keeps that person's salary on the books for the remainder of the contract. It happened the year after the lockout to Andreychuk and the Lightning.

Posted by: FOHS_Marc | March 2, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

waitingsince75, Okay. I knew something was fixed, but I wasn't sure on details.

Reading further on buy-outs, I think they are only available during the off-season. Which wouldn't help us this season, if the Caps would even consider buying him out.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 2, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

he'll be gone by then. He has agreed to waive his NMC. Even a bag of pucks in return will clear cap room for another deal.

Posted by: waitingsince75 | March 2, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

We'd have to pay Nyls 3.25 million (or 2/3 his pay) still with a buy-out. Or it could be as bad as FOHS_Marc points out and we'd still have it all. *sigh* I hate NTCs/NMCs.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 2, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Nyls wasn't 35 yet when he signed his contract, so we'd only be on the hook for two-thirds. Sweet 1.625 million!!!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 2, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

exercise in futility. He is gone as of Wednesday.

Posted by: waitingsince75 | March 2, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

waitingsince75, is that fact or very wishful thinking? lol

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 2, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Can I just say, welcome back 828, you have been missed!

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | March 2, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

we have the best people in here. when I sign off, I simultaneously raise the IQ here and lower it elsewhere.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 2, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

atybat said so.

Posted by: waitingsince75 | March 2, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse


One-Hundred BILLION dollars!


Posted by: WhyGo | March 2, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Kidding. Seen it several places. Could be smoke

Posted by: waitingsince75 | March 2, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

he did say that and also that GMGM fears the sword at seasons end with a cupless caps.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 2, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

DaveUKCapsFan, like I told mauree - I rarely post now days. Too many people complaining about this young team... makes no sense to me when the Caps organization and the players are breaking records this year.

Posted by: _828 | March 2, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

seems like decades since we were the worst team in the league.

actually only a number months, like about 40 something....

Posted by: WhyGo | March 2, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

WhyGo, Try less than 18.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 2, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

828 - agreed. Love being top 3 and having teams predict the SC finals for us.

Whygo - GMGM has nothing to worry about.

Posted by: waitingsince75 | March 2, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: waitingsince75 | March 2, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

@Capt Kirk in Az or wherever....
GMGM probably isn't proud of himself about the nyls deal right now.

You don't know how he operates obviously. The deal was right at the time and would have panned out but for unseen circumstances. Those circumstances brought Fedorov here among other things. GMGM likes Nyls, BB doesn't, plain and simple.

Anyways, as I said before, his NMC doesn't constitute a barrier to him being traded, his contract does.

Posted by: atybat | March 2, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

The New Jersey Devils acquired defenseman Niclas Havelid and winger Myles Stoesz from the Atlanta Thrashers for defenseman Anssi Salmela. (See Details)

Posted by: RichC3 | March 2, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

@_828 I think why people complain is because they sense the urgency for the Caps under this (ridiculous) CBA. Granted we all believe that what is happening to the Pens will not happen to the Caps BUT who knows, really. Semin and Backstrom could both end up demanding 8M+ and then one would have to go. Plus I don't quite understand this talk of being able to get rid of Nylander. Who in the world is going to be dumb enough to take the contract, given how he has been playing (or not That is a 4.875M cap hit for 10/11, the very year no one may have space given the plunging cap. Other GM's are not stupid.

I'm not trying to be negative, just realistic. It's never good to wear red coloured glasses. The Caps do have a ton of young talent in the pipe line (Carlson for sure next year from Knights and in fact have any of you taken a look at how another Knight is playing who is a Caps draft pick, Justin Taylor?...he's one of our A's here and is having a fabulous season. In addition to being able to score though he has toughness and grit, something the Caps need) so they should be ok. But it's just tragic how with this new CBA you're not allowed to really build your team long term. Think of the Sens, keeping their core together for basically a decade. Granted they didn't win anything but they had many chances. The Caps, under the new CBA, are denied that luxury due to the much more liberal UFA (and RFA) rules.

Ah maybe I'm just annoyed that the Leafs have won 4 in a row and are screwing over their shot at a top pick. Although I am of two minds for tomorrow's game. On the one hand I want the Leafs to lose for draft purposes, on the other hand I want the Devils to lose to help the Caps get the #2 spot. Meh. I guess I'll just cheer for lots of injuries.

All I know is that the Caps had bloody well better pound the living you know what out of the Leafs on Thursday night. I've already told my gf that if the Leafs win, there could be trouble in paradise since as she is the one with season tix, I would have no choice but allot some of the blame to her for such a horrific result.

Posted by: DaleDUI | March 2, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Ha ha ha! More rumors about Backstrom and the Caps. Where there is smoke....

"The Washington Capitals have stepped up their search for another goalie, with Minnesota's Backstrom topping the list."


I'll give Neuvy a chance then. I'll watch him more closely next time.


I like your perspective about the Detroit model and your take on the situation.

Posted by: caraveli | March 2, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Caraveli: You know you and I will have a big laugh if Backstrom comes here. We are the only two supporting this. ;)

Posted by: rachel216 | March 2, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

1) Contracts once signed cannot be renegotiated.
2) Players with one year left on their contract can sign an extension.
3) Unlike the NFL, the extension doesn't change the cap value of the exisiting contract. There's basically no changing the cap hit of a contract once signed, unless you put the player on waivers (then you have a bunch of variables of what can happen).
4) Despite earlier postings, there's not enough cap room for Guerin. As I posted yesterday, there's $2.4M in LTIR replacement (prorated, day-for-day) from Clark. Since there's only 1/4 season to go, there's really only $600K of that in total. Guerin is 4.5 with 25% left which is 1.1.

4A) You can fit Guerin if you also move off $2.1M in regular cap space (slightly more than Mo.)

You can't have the replacement player come in prorated and replace a player (Clark) at full season's value. The Caps don't have any cap space available. All they have is replacement space for Clark's contract less the value of Kronwall's. I believe this from my research but am not 100% positive. After Wednesday, I can drop this until next March 4th. Thank God.

If I'm wrong, I'll eat my words. Does anyone care?

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 2, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

No Tom, I don't care if you eat your words. :)

Posted by: _Mark | March 2, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

I bet other people will laugh, too. Especially when someone yells for Ni(c)k Backstrom and two guys turn to look.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 2, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

If Backstrom becomes a Cap, then I will support it. Bottom line, the team has not changed... until then, I will continue to support the players on it. I don't think anyone is arguing that Backstrom would not be a good pick up. He would be a great pick up (depending on what the Caps have to give up), however, he's not on the team yet. What people were trying to say before - even if you have Brodeur in front of this Caps D - it's not going to matter much. Heck, you put Kolzig in front of that Devils D and I'm sure you will see him shine.

Posted by: _828 | March 2, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse


Hmmm... why do all these people writing this stuff think the Caps need a goalie?

jmu_capsgirl: Finnish Nik and Swedish Nick.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 2, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Because the Caps have no REAL backup goalie...

Posted by: _828 | March 2, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

reading comprehension.

we have no problem with backstrom, but it would be retarded to give up half way through our rebuild because we had an unexpected season. giving up to much for a short term goaltender would be stupid.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

I sincerely doubt Backstrom or Semin will demand that much. Call me an optimist, but even Green honestly probably could've asked for more money and gotten it. The expiring veteran big contracts we have all clear out before those 2 come up for new contracts. We have a lot of talent in the pipeline that will help to replace what we might lose. Will it completely replace/be better? Who knows. I'd wager to say if either of our 2 young stud goalies reaches anywhere close what they are expected to it would be an upgrade in net.

The truth about what happened to Pitt really did come down to them not being able to sign Hossa. Not so much the player himself but the process of putting so much effort and "phantom" cap space towards the deal they wanted to make with him. Also injuries severely hurt them early this season. That is a different team with Gonchar back in the lineup, no question about it.

I think Ovie, Semin, Backstrom, and Green all recognize what could be built here if they stay together. I genuinely think all of them enjoy playing with each other and the other young guys who have come up in our system (Laich, Fehr, Flash, etc). Obviously there will always be a sense of "you never know" but I would be willing to bet Semin and Backstrom sign for good but affordable money.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | March 2, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

_Mark: Have you ever eaten your words? What do words taste like? Is it liking eating crow? What does crow taste like? Chicken? Doesn't everything taste like chicken? I just ate two little Hershey's mini-pieces. (One was a Mr. Goodbar and the other was the dark chocolate. I also like Krackel. I won't eat the milk chocolate though. I can eat about 50 of these mini-pieces but none of the milk chocolate.) 1) Does that help the Bears? 2) Do Hershey mini-pieces taste more like words or crow?

All my dreams would come true (not really. not even close. S&P back to 1500 would help) if the puck drops Thursday and Pronger's in a Caps jersey. To me, that increases Caps chance to go to Finals from 20% to about 60%. That's my odds. Maybe Jimmy the Greek has odds too. If they let him make odds anymore.

I have belabored this to no end. I have beaten the horse to death on this so much that the Mister Ed Society of America has me as #1 on the Enemies List. God knows I hope I'm wrong and the Caps can fit Guerin, Pronger, Bouwmeester and even His Son in goal. (Joe B: "Jesus Saves! And there's no rebound!).

The scary thing is there's at least 125 bottles still in the wine cooler.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 2, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Davethecapsfan: Nylander and Clark ($7.5M) and Poti (now $11M) expire the YEAR AFTER Semin and Backstrom are up for their next fra contracts.

That one year is the whole crux of the matter and GMGM's handling of that situation will either condemn the Caps to waddle down the path of Penguindom or put us on the bright and sunny trail that is the Red Wings.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 2, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse


having our star player signed at 9.8 mil/yr aint the red wings.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse


We will most likely save money from Kozlov, whether we re-sign him or not I would expect if we did it would be at a cheaper price. Theodore is done just in time, and if we bring Feds back I can't imagine it to be more than another 1 year deal. As other people have pointed out, it's not like Semin and Backie are playing for 750k right now either, so the pay raises if they both take in the realm of 6-6.5 a year are not that crazy.

Add on top of it Mo and his close to 2m has a good chance of not being back whether we move him or not. I think in the end we will be able to make it work.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | March 2, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

The 125 bottles will help wash the words down, then who cares what they taste like.

G'night everybody!

Posted by: _Mark | March 2, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

6-6.5 mil/yr id be happy with.

8 years each for 6 mil/yr. :)

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

@828: See, that's just it. The Caps, if I understand right, are a completely different team than they were even two years ago. A new style, a new philosophy, new everything including some of the players. It almost seems like some people are still trying to come to grips with that change.

So it's hard to look at it as "same old same old" at least for me. Also, I look at it as, if we face the Pens in the playoffs and win, does that exorcise a few demons maybe? :)

Posted by: kittypawz | March 2, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse


I love the link. And I see the number of sources circulating the Backstrom rumor are growing: "As the Toronto Globe and Mail notes, Backstrom could make the Capitals a more legitimate Cup threat."


It looks like many others think that we need a top-notch goalie to be a legitimate Cup contender.

I really like Theo and the fact that he seems to care for the Caps. He has real brilliance but not enough consistency on the "brilliant" level. And if Backs comes, I hope that we will have two #1 goalies.

But to me, it looks like the Caps have made a big investment in Ovechkin and in a long-term development plan. Unless there is an absolutely extraordinary goalie, this investment will not pay off.

And I am not saying that the defense shouldn't be strengthened. It is just not enough.

If we have the highest number of players with over 50 points, why do we have losses like the 6-2 loss to the Panthers, 7-1 to Philly etc.? Something isn't connecting.
Goal tending should be equal to the offensive fire power so that both ends are balanced.

Remember how the addition of Huet last year somehow fired up and balanced the team?

I am curious to know, though, why you think our D is not that effective. (And please don't talk about Schultz. I am so tired of hearing his name).

My bet is on Backstrom (the goalie)as the big addition to the team by trade deadline.

If nothing dramatic is announced, I will be so disappointed. How long will they take anyway? Will they drag it right up to midnight on March 4? Can't stand it. Someone must know something.

Posted by: caraveli | March 2, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Also, is anyone interested in Guerin? What is he like?

I don't get why we traded Cooke last year.

Posted by: caraveli | March 2, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

I know everything you need to know

Crysby is a BALLSLAPPER!


Posted by: WhyGo | March 2, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who thinks we dont need a goalie is crazy.

I would absolutely love to get Backstrom from the Wild, he is a stud.

The thing with Theo is he isnt good when he gets faced with lots of pressure. He is ok when the Offense gets one shot on him and we clear it out.

Theo lets loose way to many rebounds and he never seems to get into position to stop them.

Posted by: digster1013 | March 2, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

We didn't trade Cooke, he signed with Pitt over the summer. After we re-signed Bradley the statement was made we were not going to try to sign Cooke because we didn't need 2 guys to do the same job.

I like Bradley, Cooke just seems to have that offensive upside in addition to the pest/checking role.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | March 2, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

As you have noticed - those odd games are not happening frequently - maybe once a month. With all the fire power Detroit has, why were they shut out 8-0 against Nashville. It just happens. Florida got their junk rubbed the night before by NJ - they just wanted it more.

As for Huet last year - what did he do? He had a winning record against non playoff teams? Sure, he gave the team a jump start, but at the time, anything was an upgrade over Kolzig.

It's different this year. Theo has the ability to play in those close games. Theo CAN steal us some games. Our offense is not going to score 4+ goals every game - that's just the way it is.

And yes, in a perfect world, the goal tending should be equal to our offensive fire power - but, I'm sure you figured out by now... the world is not perfect. Boston is one of the rare teams that scores a lot of goals and has tremendous goal tending. But, they also have a guy on their team named Chara... he's pretty good! Then again, look at our record against their 'fire power' and their goal tending... Theo has held them in check.

So, again... my point is - why do we need to change our team? Because people are saying we need better goaltending? Don Cherry said Alex should not celebrate like a soccer player (wait, he told the Canadian kids not to do that.) Are the people on the blog listening to him? Nope, so why should we listen to others that say the Caps need to do something about their goaltender situation or the team for that matter.

Caps have a pretty damn good record against the east and we just started playing some games against the SE foes. So, I have no reason to believe that we will not do well in the playoffs.

Our D is sometimes not effective because they are young. The will learn and I can guarantee they will get better. Most of our issues is going to the box. As Jschon, Sombrero, and I learned at the Hershey game this past Saturday. The AHL only uses 1 ref. How in the heck can that ref see the whole ice to call penalties? My guess is that these guys can get away with a lot more down there than they do when they come up here (2 refs). Once we learn to stay out of the box, then we will look much better defensively. Patience is tough, but it's a must it comes to the Caps. Don't tell me this is the first time the Caps have let you down... I'm hoping they are a different breed. We shall see in about a month.

Posted by: _828 | March 2, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: _828 | March 2, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone heard any rumors about morrison being traded? He has regressed this year and will most likely want a pay raise that the team can't afford.

Posted by: bagasome | March 2, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

It would be great if we could get a goalie and a defenseman, but it is going to be either/or in my estimation. We need defenseman first.

I am not that enthralled with Poti. I thought he was going to be a guy that was supposed to QB the power play when he came. All I really see is bad outlet passes across the middle of Caps zone and he never seems to be able to clear the puck, he just tries to lightly bounce out. I don't think he is a toss away though.

I would keep Jurcina, Poti, and Green and find line mates for them. all the toehrs are trade bait and open a spot for Alzner.

Posted by: FusilliJerry1 | March 2, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link _828

You make a good point about Detroit being shut out by Nashville and comparisons with last year.

Posted by: caraveli | March 2, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

So what did we decide to get Alex for his birthday tomorrow?

Here's my vote:

Posted by: austinsteve | March 2, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Tarik/Katie, nice job on the Giant Center stuff, I've never made it to a game but now I *really* want to go!

Posted by: honed | March 3, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

I respectfully believe that you are wrong as Tarik and many others have said that the Caps are 1.5M below the cap right now due to injuries and other things. GMGM has made this possible by not calling up Alzner when others went down with injuries. Yes Guerin would be a hit of 1.1M but he would fit under the 1.5M we have. Regardless Guerin isn't coming here, I heard it from the horse's mouth. Unless he's got his poker face on.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | March 3, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse

As far as this debate do we fix the D or goaltending. IMO everybody is right because if you fix the D you make goaltending better and vice versa. Its no secrect that Theo is a wild card in the playoffs. He played out of his mind in the 1st round last year for Colorado and in the 2nd round he got swept and was pulled in 3 of the 4 games played (he didn't start the other one). So if anybody states that they're comfortable in the playoffs with him then I want what you're smokin for sure (or valium will do). On the other hand, if the Wings can win a Cup with Osgood as their #1 then we should be able to win with Theo as well. As I've stated before, our #1, #2 and #3 needs is to fix our PK. We won't make it out of the conference with our PK being in the bottom 5. The PK can be fixed in many many ways, a defensive forward, a Dman, or a goalie so take your pick. I could care less HOW it gets fixed as long as it gets fixed.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | March 3, 2009 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Please leave comments on this. Thanks!

Posted by: hsk8er6 | March 3, 2009 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Anyone that thinks Semin is taking less than 7-8 mill is crazy...

His agent just need to bring up some other players around the league... (which the biggest tool agents have)

Semin 45GP 25G 34A 1.3PPG Salary: $4.2
OV 62 46 36 1.32PPG Salary:$9.5

If your team leader(OV) didnt take a pay cut,(and please stop saying he did,... he took about 500k less than was the MAX then)
would you????

Backstrom though could easily be in the 5-6 range...

Posted by: hardyboys0 | March 3, 2009 1:59 AM | Report abuse

Wouldn't a trade make a nice March 2 birthday present for Semin?

Okay, probably not. But a new contract after the dust settles on March 4 or 5 would probably go over nicely

Posted by: austinsteve | March 3, 2009 3:22 AM | Report abuse

If we could somehow get Backstrom it would be the biggest upgrade we could possibly make. Goaltending is by far our biggest problem right now. Theo is not even average while Backstrom is one of the top 5 in the league.

I already explained why Backstrom would make us a much better team in yesterday's post. Our D is not nearly as bad as everyone seems to think. They are just made to look bad sometimes because they have to scramble to clean up messes created by Theo's terrible rebound control.

The people who say that he won't do well here must never watch him play. Minnesota's defensive system results in their goalies facing many more shots than ours and also puts tremendous pressure on them. They basically have to limit the opposing team to 2 goals or less if they hope to win.

How important is a goalie that performs at the top level? Just look at what Columbus, Nashville and St.Louis have done recently. Mason, Rinne and Mason have provided the type of goaltending that allowed these overall weak clubs to get back into the playoff picture. These teams win BECAUSE of their #1 goalie. We win DESPITE ours. Put Theo on any of those clubs and they'd be getting killed on most nights.

I don't know how GMGM can swindle Backstrom and what we'd do with Theo (unless he'd be shipped the other way), but I would personally kiss his feet if he managed to pull this off. A great goalie is our #1 priority and unlike some of you GMGM realizes that fact.

We'd be lucky to get past the 1st round with Theo. With Backstrom we have a good chance to go to the finals (I still don't believe we can beat whoever comes out of the West).

Another goalie I've heard was linked with us and wasn't mentioned by anyone here is Atlanta's Kari Lehtonen. He's very talented, still young and needs to be rescued from playing on a bad team.

Other goalies that are available are Clemmensen, Fernandez and possibly Toskala.

Posted by: ranndino | March 3, 2009 3:52 AM | Report abuse

Quickly scanned the posts. Wow, quite a battle about this whole Backstrom deal. Not sure why so many on here insist on defending crappy goalies. Must be the same people who vehemently defended Kolzig last year when he absolutely suuucked. Fortunately, GMGM knows what he's doing so he'll do what's necessary.

Those who defend Theo must really not watch hockey other than the Caps games because it's obvious that they have nothing to compare him to. At least watch NHL on the Fly sometime for a glimpse of what great goalies do night in and night out.

Backstrom constantly wins games by himself. Minnesota sucks, especially with Gaborik being out all year. They can't score if their life depended on it. Their top goal scorer is Owen Nolan with get this... 17 goals.

Backstrom has to make at least 5-7 saves of the "you gotta be kidding me" variety to retain any hope of winning a game for them. He is more athletic than Theo, quicker, has much better rebound control, better glove. If I were to make a car analogy he's a top of the line Mercedes while Theo is a used Corolla. There can be no argument among those who really know hockey that he would greatly improve us as a team.

There can also be no argument that a top flight goalie makes a far bigger impact than any skater. It is said that a goalie is half the team. In the playoffs it's more like 75%.

So yes, ideally I'd love us a Backstrom and a D-man, but if I had to choose I'd pick a goalie over a D-man without any hesitation whatsoever. It's a no brainer. Any hockey coach or veteran player would tell you that.

Posted by: ranndino | March 3, 2009 4:15 AM | Report abuse

Last thing I'm gonna say about it is this. If George manages to pull off the Backstrom trade I'm personally flying to D.C. to kiss his feet.

I'm also very happy that many on here are not working as a Caps GM since they're not being able to see a hole the size of Jupiter on our roster. We NEED a goalie who doesn't suck to get anywhere in the playoffs.

Boudreau knows this too. He's just been very PC lately because we don't have an experienced backup.

Theo has had all year to get his crap together and show consistency. All he has done is go from terrible to barely adequate and everyone somehow has decided that it's good enough. Caps fans seem to have low standards for goalies.

Just remember how good we made Huet look last year. What a difference he made over Kolzig whom many angrily defended on here too. Backstrom is better than Huet. I'm gonna go out on a limb and predict that if we get him his GAA with the Caps will be under 2.00.

Posted by: ranndino | March 3, 2009 4:35 AM | Report abuse

steveaustin, what's your problem with alexander semin? is it personal dislike? that's the only reason you trade someone with the present talent and future potential of a player like semin. you don't like him because he's not a fighter? let's see you go head to head with whichever one of the staal spawn that was back in january. (marc?) there's got to be a compelling reason to want to trade a player like alexander, and i'd love to know what yours is. =)

hopefully the gm knows the value of what we've got, with a core of players who may be young and learning, but are still able to impress as is. semin is among that group who will only get better. semin's current stats are outstanding - he's 21st overall in the league with 59 points and a +28, and he's only played 45 games. what is there that you don't like about his playing, other than his chuckle-headed penalties? do you know something we don't know? the penalties are a problem, and he has clearly been working on that. so while i'm not excusing his stupid hooking and stick infractions, you will admit he's done better?

besides semin's stats, i wouldn't want to go and irritate alex ovechkin by taking away one of his best friends on the team. do you really want to futz with the chemistry that has brought the caps from worst to first in the last 18 months? you might not care what that would do to semin, but i bet you'd care if it made the 'russian machine' malfunction.

Posted by: spinner-33 | March 3, 2009 7:22 AM | Report abuse

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