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Jose Theodore finds his sanctuary on the ice


(Jeff Gross/Getty Images)


Capitals goaltender Jose Theodore continues to cope with the pain from the death of his infant son in August, and somehow finds the focus required to achieve success on the ice:

"Obviously, it's a tough story for anybody," he said. "It's not something people are comfortable talking about. People say to me, 'I can't imagine.' To be honest, they can't imagine. They can try to imagine. But until you are there, you can't put yourself in those people's shoes." | Full story »

*Here's the info on how to make a donation to Saves for Kids.


Morning links:

*Michael Wilbon's not looking to make friends with Caps fans, I gather, based on his latest post about Sidney Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin:

Capitals fans might as well stop with the argument that Ovechkin is a better player; sure he is a bigger scorer and more entertaining player. But he can't get his team past Crosby's teams and they're undeniable rivals and will be for the length of their careers. Right now, Ovechkin would need a telescope to see Crosby, who's that far ahead in this race.

*Shaone Morrisonn on whether he hates Crosby. (Bog)

*GMGM answers some questions (but not really at all):

Q: So you're not inclined to make a trade?
A: We've played really well this season. We have good players and they're well coached and we have good chemistry and I don't want to tinker with that too much. So I don't know if anything will develop. We'll see."

*Ovie is a trooper. He took three flights across the country late Sunday night and still showed up at practice in the morning, even though he didn't have to go. Hear that Wilbon?

*"For all of the individual achievements, ultimate success has escaped Ovechkin's grasp. " (Corey for CSN)

*Ovie back at work after a long journey. (Corey for NHL.com)

*Ovie wants to win. (Alex Ovetjkin)

*By the numbers: March schedule. (Rock the Red)

*See, they've already started hating on Wilbon. And somehow Dan Steinberg comes out the hero. (Russian Machine Never Breaks)

*Miracle on Ice was a WJLA fail. (Bog)

*On Caps tickets. (Bog)

*Crosby is Sid Vicious. (Bog again)

*America likes hockey? (On Frozen Blog)

*Yes! They like it! They really like it! (Ted's Take)

*Caps rested, ready to go. (Homer McFanboy)

*Trade deadline options. (DC Examiner)

*Weekly snapshot. (Storming the Crease)

*More links to Wilbon. (Peerless)

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  March 2, 2010; 5:46 AM ET
 | Tags: Jose Theodore  
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Next: Fehr: 'I don't want to hear my phone ring'

Comments

Michael Wilbon doesn't know (fill in 4 letter word) about hockey!

Posted by: HemmedUp | March 2, 2010 6:00 AM | Report abuse

Tomorrow night can't come soon enough! Back to Caps hockey!

LET'S GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: ludeman95 | March 2, 2010 6:08 AM | Report abuse

Wilbon should shut up. He is one person that I cannot stand, along with Tony Kornheiser. I'll take Mike Wise over Wilbon. He aggravates me. He watched an amazing gold medal game and all of a sudden he wants to talk hockey. Just stick to NBA basketball please idiot.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 2, 2010 6:36 AM | Report abuse

Wilbon is an idiot. And I am soooo sick and tired of him and his race card issues.
Let it go Wilbon. Stick with your thugs in the NBA and NFL and let the real players and gentleman of the sports world alone.

Posted by: jotay131 | March 2, 2010 6:44 AM | Report abuse

I just read the Brian McNally article. He says some of the same tings I've been saying, even that Andy Sutton might be the d-man to make the most sense. I also see his point on not acquiring a forward and leaving BMo as #2 center - from an offensive standpoint. The Caps have enough on offense. My point though all along is they need a centerman who can:

1) lead a checking line
2) anchor the penalty kill
3) be the "shadow" on Crosby like Tikkanen did to Yashin

We don't have that player in the entire Caps organization. Maybe Marcus Johansson in about three years, or some other FA signing, but we don't have him now. RJ Umberger would give you some of that. He's young and a fair cap deal over the next few years. Upgrading the forward lines doesn't mean trying for more scoring, it means trying for some balance. we have great scoring and fair grit (Bradley) but we lack that Kelly Miller or Ulf Dahlen type. And it takes all types to hoist the Cup.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 2, 2010 7:03 AM | Report abuse

Crosby should have given his teammates some credit when Canada won the gold. Cindy scored the winning goal because he got a beautiful pass. The pass should have been the first thing he mentioned to anyone who would listen. Ovi would have said, "sick pass!". Ovi gives credit to others and accepts blame/responsibility for errors. Crosby never does. Crosby is a boy and Ovi is a man.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | March 2, 2010 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Wilbon has gone way, way over the line. If anyone needs to be reined in, it's him. Black or white, Hindu or Muslim, American or Mexican, actor or athlete, most famous person in the world or mr. nobody, everyone has the right IMO to not have a camera put in their face. The law should be, an international law, if someone puts a camera so close that you can touch it, then you can touch it.

People with celebrity need to quit judging others and need to quit preaching to me. I don't need to see in print how Tiger Woods, Ovechkin or any other athlete should behave in their free time unless it has a material impact on their sports performance. I read a Sports Section for sports, not as a gossip column. I hear Dear Abby is about to retire; maybe Wilbon should apply for her job.

"Dear Abby: This is Sidney in Pittsburgh. I don't like it when fans throw hats on the ice when Ovechkin scores. What should I do?"

Wilbon (Abby): You're better than he is. He needs a telescope to see you. You should tell him to like it or lump it.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 2, 2010 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Um, wasn't OV and his team called "eurotrash" on NBC? If Kobe and LeBron were to lose a game (badly) in the Olympics and be called out for bringing their "ghetto game" to the Olympics, what would Wilbon's reaction be? I ask because Wilbon amazingly played the race card by mentioning black basketball players and Tiger but excludes "eurotrash"? Mike... don't you think if Kobe or LeBron was called "ghetto" you'd have factored it into your thinking here?

Posted by: caps1974 | March 2, 2010 7:53 AM | Report abuse

I would like to hear a "Wilbon Sucks" chant at the phone booth...

Seriously, we all understand he doesn't know much about hockey, but the danger in some of his remarks is that the "casual" fan may start believing him. I honestly think he is threatened by Hockey and the stature it is getting in the DC area. Because he doesn't know much about the game, he can make negative remarks so he can be pertinent (in his eyes).

"Wilbon Sucks, Wilbon Sucks"

Posted by: jeets | March 2, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Wilbon shut up? I don't think so. I think he should keep going, just in case there's anyone out there who hasn't figured out that he's a stupid idiot. Really now, idiocy at this level should be appreciated by all.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | March 2, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Mike is in the same mold as Mike & Mike in the Morning at ESPN (which I've given up listening to "many" years ago).

The only time you get conversations from these "hockey neophytes" is when there's an egregious incident on or off the ice. Then you hear them spout their lack of knowledge of the sport and base their comments off of someone's else reporting (as in this case).

Never do they publicly report the pinnacle events of hockey in great detail.

Where did you mention that the USA-Canada game was watched by over 28 million US viewers? Where you one of the 28 mil? You were probably watching some meaningless NBA game at he time.

Wilbon, if you can't appreciate hockey, keep your ignorant reporting out of the paper and tv. You make yourself look like a complete idiot.

Posted by: puckman | March 2, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

To be honest, for me, Wilbon, Kornheiser, and all of ESPN has become obsolete for me. For my hockey info I go to the Caps website, the WaPO Caps insider, NHL.com, and TSN.ca. On TV the NHL Network is on every morning. I cannot even remember the last time we watched Sportscenter, and that used to be the channel of choice in my house full of sports hungry males.

On TV I tune into all of the leagues network channels, NFL, NBA, and MLB channels. Once all of those channels surfaced I found I was wasting entirely too much time on fluff on ESPN.

I won't say I don't miss ESPN's coverage of the NHL. I am also one of those guys that friggin' loved the broadcast team of Gary Thorne and Bill Clement. I also like when the late Tom Mees would get a game here and there and he'd usually get Panger as his expert. Good times.

I haven't heard much on the VS/Directv issue but that needs to get resolved by the second round of the playoffs because that is when exclusive broadcast kick in. Luckily my in-laws (I actually like them) have VS and live 10 minutes away, so I do have options. With OT playoff games running into the wee hours it would stink to have to drive home after a long OT. A fans gotta do what a fans gotta do.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 2, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Also, as far as radio, for any of you that really truly love hockey. You have to get Sirius/XM radio. NHL Home Ice is a hockey fans dream come true. In the morning they replay the NHL networks On the Fly. Then the new info kicks in and you get to hear interviews from players, coaches, and GMs. Then, at night, you get just about every game, crystal clear. The radio even shows the score on the face of the radio. It does cost just under $19 a month to get the expanded package, but if you spend a lot of time on the road it is well worth it. Hey, there is free TV out there too, but you pay for cable or satellite. Just saying, if it's in your budget you WILL NOT regret getting the satellite service so you can have hockey at your fingertips in you vehicle too.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 2, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Wilbon sometimes makes idiot statements. I remember him talking down Roberto Clemente when a list of the greatest baseball players of all time was anounced because he said Roberto had a lower batting avg than others. Well for all of the great hitters that were up against the pitchers decade of the 60s Clemente finished the decade with the best batting avg. Sometimes analysis needed to dig deeper than the surface. Ovechkin will be known as the greatest Hockey player of all time when things are all said and done, and it won't hinge on just a few games. (game 7 last year and the Olymics this year)

So Wilbon says "he can't get his team past Crosby's teams", ha ha

Does he not know other than game 7 of last year the past two years the Caps have owned the Pens during game play. Did he not watch the last time Washington played Pittsburg?

Wilbon is a great writer, but sometimes he just blows it with his research.

Posted by: RongCapsFan | March 2, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Tarik,

Wow. Great article. What a horribly tragic story.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | March 2, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Well, Wilbon is right in this instance. There is not a shred of evidence to refute the idea that Crosby's teams are more successful...none.

Doesn't much matter to me right now because what's done is done and there are years of this left. The team has 20 to get ready for the playoffs and then they have a very deep run in them. A Cup is within reach and then we can talk about that.

Crosby and the Pens have back-to-back conference crowns and they hold the Cup. Dude scored the game-winning goal in OT for the gold medal. Congrats to him and his teams. Done.

Posted by: saintex | March 2, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

fanofhock: I agree 100% about Sirius/XM. With the exception of the the Pitt and Buffalo homers, I like listening to the Caps road games just to hear the home team announcers.

Posted by: Chase4 | March 2, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

so by wilbons count, if you win championships and ahave alower skill set then you are a better player in ateam sport which would make Tim Tebow the best college quaterback to ever play the game. go back to PTI you bonehead!!!!!!!

Or messier is better then gretzky because he won more cups???

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | March 2, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Wilbon is trying to kick Ovi when he's down. Maybe he's pissed at the Washington Post's readers for hating him.

Posted by: ralph4100 | March 2, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Wilbon needs to stick to what he knows, which certainly is NOT hockey.

Better yet, why doesn't he move to Pittsburgh so he can write fluff pieces on Crysby all the time.

Posted by: jwh37 | March 2, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

@Chase4: Oh, I'm not saying that some of the other radio broadcasts are annoying but I enjoy the fact that I can listen in to every game going on in the NHL. I have a 75 min drive home from Caps games. My sons and I start off with the Caps post game and then find the best west coast match-ups to listen to for the rest of our drive. Like I said, a hockey fans dream.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 2, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Wilbon makes his money based on the amount of hits he gets, viewings his articles receive, contreversey he creates.

In short, the worst thing we can do is give him any attention at all. In the end ratings matter in this industry, not how well thought of you are.

Posted by: CapsKnewbie | March 2, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Wilbon is a talking puppet...he should shut his trap!

Posted by: SA-Town | March 2, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Hate to admit it...but Wilbon is correct.

Ovi needs a Cup to start shutting up these hockey outsiders.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 2, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

lylewimbledon

hate to admit it but GMGM and Ted need to get of their ass and make something happen in the next 24 hours to help ovie get a cup. it is a team sport. he can't stop goals or move a player out of the crease

Posted by: samb99 | March 2, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Jackman from the Blues? Vokoun from the Panthers? Good Rumors. GMGM seems to think we are still building for the future-future...the time is now.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 2, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I heard Andy Sutton will likely go for a 2nd round pick.

I'm not saying I agree that he is the guy the Caps should go after, but that sounds like the kind of move GMGM will make since it doesn't cost prospects or a 1st rounder.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 2, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Back to one of the trade rumors that moves Theo out of town and Vokoun to DC. Here's my two cents, especially after reading the story about his son.

Should the Caps keep Theo for the run? The reason I ask that is he was a HUGE reason the Caps set the new franchise winning streak. Jose flat out won about 3 games for us. He is playing some pretty darn good hockey. Every save he makes, every win, and every shut-out, is a donation in to the charity his family set-up in honor of their son. He has so many reasons to be successful. First and foremost he channels his grief into motivation every time he steps on the ice. Second, his reputation is much like Ed Belfour's was before he broke through and won a Stanley Cup in Dallas. Eddie the Eagle was considered by many too fragile, mentally, to win the Cup after playing in front of some Chicago teams that experts thought should have pulled it off. Eddy the Eagle was 32 when he finally won the Cup, Theo is 33 this season and BY FAR has the best chance of his career.

In comparison, even though Theo has never won a championship, he HAS NEVER failed to get out of the first round of the playoffs. Vokoun, even though he has better numbers overall has NEVER gotten out of the first round.

For the Caps, losing a big goaltender salary and finding out who the top dog between Varly and Neuvy is next season will be interesting. If neither are doing well the Caps would have the budget to seek help in goal. IMO, I have a feeling one of them will emerge, and if not, I would be unbelievably shocked if all three, Varly, Neuvy, and Holtby end up being a bust.

So there it is, my opinion. Several reasons why Theo should be given a shot, his best shot at a Stanley Cup.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 2, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I think Varly should and will start in goal when the playoffs start. Assuming he isn't injured.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 2, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

sgm3: What I mean by giving Theo a shot is getting an opportunity to secure the #1 spot with the Caps during these last 20 games. His performance before the Olympic break has at least earned him that right. Varly has played 1 NHL since December, and he didn't look good at all. If Varly can get himself back where he was he will win the spot. If he doesn't and Theo plays the way he did in January down the stretch and into the playoffs our concern will not be goaltending. Again, I am not saying to give Theo the #1 job on a silver platter but rather keep him here to push the pace. If we bring Vokoun in, it will be his spot to lose, it will have to be because we would be bring a new multi-million dollar goaltender here for one reason and one reason only. It's hard to take a 180 from that.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 2, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

@fanhock1

I agree, and going for Vokoun considering the cost of player assets and contract price for next year is probably not a good idea.

I am under the assumption Varly will be back in his November/December(pre-injury) mold by the time the season ends. I like Theo but for me he is just a little too inconsistent. I think Varly has the talent to be great in the playoffs. He was great in the playoffs last year except for the last two games. He saves the Caps on a lot of the defensive breakdowns.

However, I do agree that Theo should be the goalie if Varly struggles.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 2, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I want Sheldon Souray.... if his hand can heal in time for the playoffs

Posted by: griz0615 | March 2, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

@ fanohock1

I completely agree with you in refernce to keeping Theo and giving him a chance. I just wanted to add another point to what you were saying:

Last year BB pulled Theo for the playoffs after game 1 of the opening round. Assuming, as you said, Theo is able to play his way into BB's favour prior to the playoffs starting and gets the nod in game 1, he will know that he has to perform immediately, or the same thing could happen again. He had to watch the start of two game 7's from the bench last spring, something that anyone with a competitive bone in their body would absolutely hate. That being said, he should use last year's benching as motivation to perform at top level if he is between the pipes when the post-season starts.

Posted by: Aldred15 | March 2, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

why do journalists insist on interviewing GMGM?? the guy has and will never give any info. waste of hot air.

Posted by: doughless | March 2, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

@Aldred15: With BB at the helm all of our goaltenders have had to deal with the possibility of not seeing the net for a while after a loss. I didn't disagree with BB's decision but Olie laid a HUGE egg in Chicago (5-0 loss and played horrible) back in March of 2008. Huet was given the net and never watched another game from the bench and Olie never stood between the pipes again as a Cap. BB has always been straight forward with our goaltenders. I don't think I have ever seen an NHL coach put that much on goaltenders publicly. So to make a short story long, the fear of being replaced will be nothing new for Theo, or any of our young guys, that has been BB's MO since he took over in DC. He started calling Olie out for poor play within weeks of taking over.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 2, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Many people, including Wilbon, too often fail to differentiate between individual accomplishments and team accomplishments. It's really not that difficult to do. As an individual, Ovie has done all he was asked to do and more, and has brought home the individual awards, trophies, etc... As far as bringing home the Cup, Ovie is one player out of 20. Sure, he's the captain, leader, leading scorer, etc... but the Cup cannot be won unless each player plays to their own potential. Imagine Ovie in Carolina or Toronto. He would shine individually there as well but that's probably where it ends. All of these Ovie vs Crosby arguements need some context. Individually, I think the arguement leans Ovie's way. What Crosby has been fortunate to bask in is TEAM success. Backstrom, Semin, Knuble, Schultzy, etc... are the key ingredients to allow Ovie the same recognition as Crosby. Like him or not, Crosby is a great hockey player, but the way the Pens played in the final series, they most likely would have won without him. The Pens won the Cup, not Sid.

Posted by: gonchpup | March 2, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Isn't Andy Sutton basically a slightly larger version of Jurcina? Minimal offensive contribution. He is maybe the 3/4th d-man on a bad team.

Posted by: zmega | March 2, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Doesn't the Washington Post (and ESPN, where Wilbon made similar allegations) have the responsibility to do some fact-checking before stories like Wilbon's hit the press? Wilbon makes references to "reports" of bruises and contusions, which have not been substantiated at all. The reason other, respected, reporters haven't jumped on the story is that there isn't any substantiation on the allegations of injury. Yet Wilbon makes these statements as if they are true and bases an entire article on it. It's irresponsible of him, but I think that the media outlets that are running his story have a responsibility as well.

Can't wait for tomorrow's game--I have missed watching the Caps!

Posted by: Steph22 | March 2, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Just read somewhere that the Caps may be interested in a big defenseman from the Western Conference. Some guy named Milan Jurcina?...

Posted by: kcbrichmond | March 2, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

When the Caps finally win a cup, please slap me if all I can talk about is Ovechkin! Hockey is a team sport...No one player can win a Cup for a team!

Posted by: capscoach | March 2, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I have a tech question:

I have a blackberry and can read the CI posts from Tarik but I cannot view or respond to Comments - is there a setting I'm missing?

Conversely, I can read and respond to comments on Japersrink...

Posted by: jeets | March 2, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

@zmega

I think Sutton is okay and is good enough to be in the Caps top 6 defensemen. He isn't a huge impact guy but adds depth since he will be in the top 6 and will push a previous top 6 guy down to 7.

Only trading a 2nd round pick is not too much to give up either (especially since the Caps 2nd round pick will hopefully be #60).

Also, at 6'6" is the crease clearing defenseman some people have been looking for.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 2, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I'd be shocked if Wilbon has watched a single hockey game in the past ten years. His opinion means nothing.

Posted by: butcherbaker | March 2, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

@gonch......you have it right. The only way to compare the 2 is to trade them and see how the other does with that team. Until Ovie wins a championship, he will come out on the short end on the team side of things. Until then he is Dan Marino a hall of famer but missing that last piece.

Posted by: RichC3 | March 2, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

kcbrichmond, I just saw the same rumor about Jurcina coming back on ESPN....that has to be BS, why would we trade a guy two months ago and trade back for him now? Plus, how in the world is he an upgrade when he was seen as expendable two months back?!

Posted by: PhilR | March 2, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

But can Sutton clear Crybaby out of the crease? The Caps need a d-man with a low center of gravity to neutralize Cindy. Let's face it: we can hem and haw but the Cup goes through Ruby Lips. Francis Bouillon or Mark Strei-types would be ideal. Quick, strong, puck moving D. I'm not sure Sutton's the right fit.

Posted by: IceNutz | March 2, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm also one of the people who will never forget or forgive Wilbon for his comments about Sean Taylor's death before knowing all the details. Again, he doesn't have all the facts yet wants to be his judge and jury for the fan's camera incident. What a d-bag...

And since Wilbon knows nothing about hockey he obviously is not up to speed on the fact that the Pens rebuild started 2 years before the Caps...I mean the Pens sucked so bad that they got Fleury as the #1 overall pick in '03, Malkin #2 pick in '04, Crosby #1 in '05 and Staal #2 in '06. Top 2 pick in 4 straight drafts...that's why they won a Cuplast year...as has been mentioned countless times, hockey is a TEAM game.

Posted by: JDintheSD | March 2, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Setting the record straight:
1) Wilbon is obviously not an idiot as he is making a bundle of money writing crap. He is a charlatan and should not be taken seriously.
2) Crosby's teams have been more successful than OV's team - e.g. Gold medals, SC.
3) OV's single stats are much better than Crosby.
4) Crosby and OV are both great players playing different roles for their respective teams. Comparisons are for idiots.

Posted by: nimes1 | March 2, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Someone posted recently some very detailed stats on Sutton. Maybe it was on Japers. It showed that Sutton compared to other NYI defenders and against the quality of opposition (NYI defenders have it tougher than Cap defenders since we are better). The bottom line was the numbers seemed to suggest that Sutton was effective.

The thing about Crosby, why he's so effective, is because he's so sneaky. Look how he got away from Rafalski. I don't think, my point is, that you can necessarily get a defenseman with the idea that he'd be a "Crosby neutralizer." The player to best do that, IMO, is a CENTER. Am I wrong, or isn't it a center's primary defensive responsibility to cover the opposing center?

The reason I've been talking about Esa Tikkanen for months is he's just the kind of player to shadow/pest Crosby as a forward. That said, having Sutton to help in the crease would also benefit. But, just one player won't stop Crosby. You need a team effort and the right personnel.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 2, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

If the deal turns out to be Sutton, I will be disappointed. I don't see that as much of an upgrade. Can he do anything that Erskine can't? But if it happens, I will defer to GMGM and assume that it is the right thing. There is simply no second-guessing his track record on any significant matter throughout the rebuild process.

Posted by: zmega | March 2, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Theo and vokoun wouldn't be bad- Varley may be too fragile.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 2, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1: I have been reading CI for a few months, but I haven't seen you mention Esa Tikkanen before. Just for my clarification--you aren't talking about GETTING Esa Tikkanen, right? Because he's 44 years old. :) Are you just talking about getting a Tikkanen-type player?

Posted by: Steph22 | March 2, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

from the last post:

this "lets hold on to everything we have"..."don't give up the future" stuff is bunk. given the possibilities of injuries and having money to keep ALL of the talent in Caps system, the time is now. I just don't understand people who aren't willing to consider the utility of giving up something to possibly win a Cup THIS YEAR!!! Come on people, as is, the team is one of the best 4 in the league. why not make a move or two to win now. I just don't see the down side. No one is saying to blow up the entire farm system to bring in rentals or overpriced has-beens (ala Jagr).

Posted by: doughless | March 2, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Sutton's better than Erskine. He's been a top 4 guy his entire career. Now you can argue whether he's played a bit above his head since he's played on some lesser teams. But he has more experience playing against better competition than does Erskine.
He's also more aggressive and effective with his hitting.

I just hope our consolation prize doesn't end up being Steve Staios since Edm is looking to dump him also.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 2, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Crosby was held in check the whole game by an American team that played solid defense. Except then when it was 4-on-4 his superior skill was an overmatch for a tired Rafalski. He made a beautiful play, digging the puck out of the corner and then executing a perfect give-n-go. One missed assignment by Rafalski and then puck is in the back of the net. Crosby is at his best when the number of players on the ice is reduced or like 2-on-2 when breaking into the zone. He is a great transition player and then has the unique ability to get open at the net even after 5-on-5 is set up. It can't be a coincidence that we always say, "How did he get open?"

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 2, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1

(earlier thread repost): I'll take credit for the name Fab Five since it was I who invented.

Great tag and thanks for reminding me. Saves me from having to type so many names.

So I also missed your bit in your post on Marcus Johansson, who as you say wouldn't realistically be here sooner than the 2012 season. I saw that he is also part of the trade rumors and wondered what you thought. The little reading I've done sounds as if he's ahead of schedule and the Caps hope to get him over here next season at Hershey I'm assuming. Should he turn our Fab Five into Fab Six (though it doesn't have the same snazzy sound to it)?

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | March 2, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Steph22: Of course, someone of that type. And I mention him every other day, so maybe you missed a few of my 1,000,000 posts over the last year.

The year the Caps went to the Finals, it was Tikkanen who shutdown the opposition's best forwards. Of course, he then missed an empty net in game 2 that would have tied us vs the Wings. Oh well.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 2, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

doughless - mcphee as usual is just covering his a__

If he fails to land anyone of note, he'll say its because they felt they didn't need to blow up their team or farm system. If he lands anyone of note, then he'll look like a genius and a guy who plays things on the d/l. You saw what happened last year. He failed to land anyone and said that its because no one out there was better than Brian Pothier.

There isn't a GM who is more self-serving with his comments than McPhee is. You can say he'd be foolish to tip his hand and you'd be right. But he's also covering himself so if a trade fails to go thru he can act like he was disinterested more than it was a failing on his part to get the deal done.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 2, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

After talking to a few Preds fans, I am not sure I am big on Hamhuis anymore.


Maybe he needs a better partner/new scenery, but even while playing in the 2nd pairing behind Suter/Weber, he isn't exactly getting the best hype from his own fans.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

my personal opinion here: time is not on the Caps side as it relates to Cup win potential. They have been lucky related to injuries. who knows what will happen there. however, the bigger issue is keeping a talent pool as large as is in the Caps system in the era of a salary cap. I just don't see how all of the talent the Caps have accrued can stay in the system given the salaries that our "stars" will garner.

given these assumptions, GMGM needs to get off his self-effacing a** and make the moves to bring the Cup home THIS YEAR. WHAT IS HE WAITING FOR????

Posted by: doughless | March 2, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

YG: I think the expectation with Johansson is for the 2011-2012 season. Unless he's as good as Backstrom, the normal expectation would be a transition year in Hershey. Just one year in North American hockey before joining NHL would still put him in the elite. To expect him next year is unrealistic, very few (Ovi, Backie, Malkin) jump directly. We could use Umberger, idea being he is the bridge until Johansson would be ready.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 2, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Hamhuis is a good tenacious responsible defensive player. I don't know how much Pred fans know about hockey or at least the ones you talked to. Granted, Suter/Weber is better. But Hamhuis can hold his own. I wouldn't turn my nose up at getting him although I'd like someone with a bit more size.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 2, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I just don't understand people who aren't willing to consider the utility of giving up something to possibly win a Cup THIS YEAR!!! Come on people, as is, the team is one of the best 4 in the league. why not make a move or two to win now. I just don't see the down side. No one is saying to blow up the entire farm system to bring in rentals or overpriced has-beens (ala Jagr).

Posted by: doughless | March 2, 2010 12:35 PM |

Well..to be more honest, we got Jagr for basically nothing because the Pens knew they weren't going to re-sign him. We also re-signed him, so it wasn't a rental. (though, it didn't work our either way)

I agree with you though..trading a pick or prospect here and there isn't going to compromise the future.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

how many people usually watch a NHL game on Versus? it's less than a half million.

how many people watched the game on sunday? it was over 27 million... how many of the people who tuned in last sunday were the Wilbons of the world?

whether you like it or not, hockey needs those people or it will forever be stuck on a channel like VS no matter how good Ovie is

Posted by: joek443 | March 2, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

My opinion two trades to consider:

Flash, a pick like 3rd and a marginal prospect (one we likely wouldn't keep next year) for RJ Umberger. I think he can do that defensive role.

#2 pick for Andy Sutton.

And, if Umberger can't be had, you get the best defensive center as a rental.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 2, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1

You are correct about the need to have a defensive center "Shadow" the other team's top center. Dave Poulin did an excellent job containing Mario in the 1994 playoffs, the one year the Caps defeated the Pens in the playoffs. It would be great to see the Caps acquire another Poulin or Tikkanen type player to contain Crosby and other top centers in this year's playoffs.

Posted by: MReilly9 | March 2, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

We don't really have any Tikkanen types in our org. I think the closest is probably Steve Pinizzotto

It takes a special type of player. You need the ability but you also need the right mental makeup. In other words, you have to be a tad mental. Because you'll incur a lot of abuse from other teams who want to make you pay a price for harassing their top players. Tikkanen loved that role and that tension, same way Dale Hunter did.


If you look back at Caps-Pens games, the only defenseman who consistently has had the balls to harass Sid Crosby is Shaone Morrisonn. He's landed big hits on Crosby, he's roughed him up. Same way he did to Jagr with the Rangers.

If I had to pick a current forward to give that role to it'd be Laich. He's got a bit of an edge to his game and he can play well defensively while still putting some pressure on the other end.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 2, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Hamhuis is a good tenacious responsible defensive player. I don't know how much Pred fans know about hockey or at least the ones you talked to. Granted, Suter/Weber is better. But Hamhuis can hold his own. I wouldn't turn my nose up at getting him although I'd like someone with a bit more size.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 2, 2010 12:45 PM |


There's no reason to assume you know more about hockey than them, especially their team. They laid it out in a very non-bias fashion, acknowledging his sound positional play. Plus, you and I don't watch nearly as much Preds hockey as a Preds fan would. I'll re-post what he said, if I can find it.

Also, Sutton will be moved by the deadline. I'm not too big on Sutton as much as others here, but just passing it along.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I'll tell ya, Ethan Moreau would be more than happy to go harass Sid Crosby. He's been used in that role before. He'll finish every check on that guy and he won't be intimidated. I just don't know if he skates well enough anymore to keep up with the Pens top line. He's had a lot of wear and tear over the yrs.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 2, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1

One thing about the Crosby goal is that it never would have happened if the puck didn't bounce off of McCreary's skate.

I haven't seen a replay since I read about this so I do not know exactly when it hit his skate but if you read many of team U.S.A.'s comment about the goal it was along the lines of "they got a lucky bounce, it happens sometimes".

Miller also made a mistake (probably his only mistake during the entire tournament) going for the poke check.

Crosby took advantage of the bounce and scored so he deserves credit for that but I'm a little hesitant to call the entire play a beautiful play.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 2, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Tom, you might be over-valuing Umberger there. How many years does he have/what's his hit?

CBJ already seem like good trading partners for GMGM this year.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Well..to be more honest, we got Jagr for basically nothing

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

Actually at the time, we gave up a lot for Jagr in McPhee's estimation. We gave up 3 of our top prospects - Sivek, Beech, Lupaschuk.

It would be akin to us giving up something like Carlson, MJ, Osala.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 2, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Hammer can be a good defenseman, but he turns the puck over so much and plays with a near-complete lack of physicality that it negates his generally solid positioning. He doesn't really contribute that much in the offensive end, either, so he doesn't have the excuse that many modern offensive defensemen would have for spotty play in his own end.

OK, let's get statistical:

Dan Hamhuis:

This year: 4G 12A 16P 57GP, Giveaways: 39 Takeaways: 34

Last year: 3G 23A 29P 82GP, Giveaways: 52 Takeaways: 63

This year Dan Hamhuis is not even leading the defenseman in giveaways, that would be Kevin Klein and the annointed one Shea Weber. But Hamhuis IS leading the defensemen in takeaways like he did last year. (Frankly, the +/- stat should be for giveaway/takeaway ratio.)

Hamhuis' defense has been taken a hit this year because frankly, he's playing for the contract and thinking of offensive numbers not defensive stats. If he went for defense instead of offense he wouldn't be Nashville's whipping boy this year and Ellis and Rinne would be having better years.

There's no statistic for "times screened your own goalie" or "times idly spent watching someone bang home a rebound while you feebly flailed your stick at the puck.

There's been two periods where Klein and Hamhuis were on the ice for some absurd amount of consecutive goals. I know the number reached 10 earlier in the year. The apologists can say that it's "mostly Klein" or some freak coincidence, but I don't buy that. I've always been a Hamhuis fan, always felt he was overshadowed by "sexier" players like Suter and Weber, but he's been mediocre for two years now, a fact that seems to travel in conjunct with the slow dissolution of his physical game.


Like I said, it could just be playing in the shadow of Suter/Weber or needing a change of scenery. But those comments about him seem pretty straight forward.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Eklund is reporting that Vokoun is going to either Chicago or Philly. I know... it's Eklund, but those definitely seem like 2 top teams that could really use him.

Posted by: Fro_ | March 2, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

If the caps want to swing a package deal with the Preds and get a decent dman and center, something like Hamhuis/Arnott would fit the bill.

It would probably cost the equiv of Alzner/Osala/pick

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 2, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Umberger has two more years at 3.75/yr. He's not overpaid, just about right in terms of pay for his age group/performance. I'd say he's rated just a bit higher than Flash at this point, Flash about ready to get a nice contract.

cstanton: Good poinit. All things to consider, Laich is our best forward for a tough defensive role.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 2, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1

My bad. I meant that I thought he would go to Hershey hopefully next season and then see how he would fare up here. I was just surprised to see his name floating out there in the rumor mill although Carlson's name got a lot more attention not surprisingly. I just don't have a feeling for Johansson other than he has had a good season on an elite European club. I just can't get a handle on how important he is considered to the Caps future. And I recognize that the center position is a weakness now tho' I am rather fond of BMo. The Flash as center experiment is still an experiment.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | March 2, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Actually at the time, we gave up a lot for Jagr in McPhee's estimation. We gave up 3 of our top prospects - Sivek, Beech, Lupaschuk.

It would be akin to us giving up something like Carlson, MJ, Osala.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 2, 2010 12:56 PM |

No, it's not at all.

It would be equivalent to giving away Johansson, Orlov, and like..another pick from this year. And who knows how different Johansson's scouting report is from Beech's.

And actually, isn't the 1999 that draft where everyone thought it would be amazing and it turned out to be one of the worst ever?

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

yeah that's a pretty specific unbiased-sounding analysis of Hamhuis. But come on, they got him paired with Kevin Klein ? You may as well just give him Sami Lepisto as his partner.

again, i wouldn't care if DH went to the Flyers. And I wouldn't be on top of the world if he came here. I've always respected his ability to compete hard despite his stature.

For the Caps I'd like a bigger guy who is willing to play upto that size and bring some leadership coupled w/strong work along the boards/crease area.

No more strictly "positional" players pls. We've exceeded that quota!

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 2, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Eklund is reporting that Vokoun is going to either Chicago or Philly. I know... it's Eklund, but those definitely seem like 2 top teams that could really use him.

Posted by: Fro_ | March 2, 2010 1:01 PM |

Vokoun to Chicago?

God damn, that's scary to think about.

The reports are that Huet and/or Niemi will be out, what with them getting Toivonen. Would have to be Huet to be able to afford Vokoun.

Huet+ a bunch of talent back for Vokoun.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

No, it's not at all.

It would be equivalent to giving away Johansson, Orlov, and like..another pick from this year. And who knows how different Johansson's scouting report is from Beech's.

And actually, isn't the 1999 that draft where everyone thought it would be amazing and it turned out to be one of the worst ever?

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

We're talking about "at the time" right? Well at the time, Beech/Sivek/Lupaschuk were considered hot and heavy can't miss prospects. Beech was supposedly the lynchpin to our rebuild. Lupaschuk looked like a strong two way defenseman who had just played a major part in Red Deer's WHL championship, and Sivek looked like a power forward.

So yeah, it is more or less akin to MJ/Carlson/Osala

In hindsight, those 3 were all busts. But at the time of the trade, those 3 were considered to be the future of the Caps. McPhee certainly thought so, thats why he drafted em high.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 2, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I mean..Kevin Klein is pretty horrible.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

CStanton mentioned Edmonton. Their situation is a total mess - big, long term contracts for under-performing players. How do they get out from under that? Who is going to take an under-performing player who is locked into a high salary for several years. So, basically they are bad today and screwed for the future.

Posted by: zmega | March 2, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

So yeah, it is more or less akin to MJ/Carlson/Osala

In hindsight, those 3 were all busts. But at the time of the trade, those 3 were considered to be the future of the Caps. McPhee certainly thought so, thats why he drafted em high.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 2, 2010 1:08 PM |

I didn't mean it was off in comparison in that aspect. I meant it was moreso the fact that Carlson, and especially Osala has had more time to develop post-draft. MJ..I actually read that wrong. I read it was MP..Perreualt.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

And actually, isn't the 1999 that draft where everyone thought it would be amazing and it turned out to be one of the worst ever?
-------
I'd say. Best pick in that draft was a swede named Doug Murray. I think he was one of the last guys picked or something. I'd kill to have him on the Caps.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 2, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

give credit to chicago for trying. our GMGM seems to be on vacation. I guess Ted approved the request. i guess GMGM got a good deal for once on a vacation spot..

Posted by: samb99 | March 2, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Well, the Oilers just unloaded Grebeshkov to the Preds for a 2nd. Not much of a salary dump, but they got a good pick back for a team that's rebuilding.

Hamhuis HAS to be out with them getting Grebeshkov too. They need offense, or at least I would think.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I'd say. Best pick in that draft was a swede named Doug Murray. I think he was one of the last guys picked or something. I'd kill to have him on the Caps.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 2, 2010 1:11 PM |

I am a huge Douglas Murray fan, but didn't Z-berg go in that draft? Like 9th or 10th round or something ridiculous?

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

thats true, we know a lot more about Carlson and Osala than we did about Beech/Sivek/Lup at the time.

Back then it was all stat-related. Beech looked like a highly skilled center with size who played with an edge. Lupaschuk was racking up all kinds of points as a defenseman and he played a rough and tumble brand of hockey. Sivek looked like a big bruising power forward type with skill.

I'll admit, just via the stats I was pretty smitten.

Now we get better info about these prospects and its not all stat-driven. There were 3 teams ready to kill each other over trying to acquire Kyle Wanwig because of his stats. And he ended up being a bust also. Also a Brent Sutter product from Red Deer.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 2, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

i think u should cut wilbon some slack...he is entitled to his opinion. and he is right about the fact that cindy is ahead of ovie...a cup and a gold medal...you cant argue that...but i also dont agree with him that that means crosby is a better player...

crosby is a more complete player without a doubt. ovie needs to learn to play d if he ever wants to be more complete than crosby...

but that still doesnt mean he is the better player or the one most people would like to have on their team...

i was up in vancouver for both canada usa games...nothing makes me more sick than crosby scoring the overtime winner...now we will have to live with that legend forever...but in talking with alot of canadians up there and heck my candian buddies that live here in seattle and play in my leagues...a lot of them hate crosby and love ovie...they think crosby is a wuss and ovie is a super stud...they love his physicality and intensity...its ovie not crosby that can take over a game with big hits and goals...they would take him over cindy in a heartbeat...

i think the real test of who is a better player is who would you rather have on your team? take a poll of all NHL GMs as to who they would rather have on their team...

there is your answer!!!

i think crosbys success has a lot to do with the fact that its a product of him being on better teams. the caps are a better offensive team but they lag on defense and that will hurt come playoff time...as it has the past 2 years...the pens are more complete and thats why they have been to 2 finals...not because of crosby...crosby being more complete is not why he has a cup and a gold medal...there are 20 guys on a hockey team...this isnt basketball...its a team sport more than any other...all 20 guys count!!!!

btw...whats happening in rumor mill for trades...we need a defensive upgrade to be a more complete team...someone that will lead by example and influence more defensive responsibility...remember good defense leads to more offense!!! we need to become a more complete team...

Posted by: deadskin | March 2, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Chelios, 48, signs with Thrashers

Chris Chelios signed with the Atlanta Thrashers on Tuesday, he told ESPN 1000.

maybe he's trying to be the American Gordie Howe...

Posted by: joek443 | March 2, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

yep, Zetterberg did go fairly late. I had to look that up.

speaking of D, too bad McPhee didn't pursue Bryce Salvador 2 yrs ago. Lou L picked him up for cheap. Nothing less than shocking that Salvador was had for a 4th line grinder like Cam Janssen

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 2, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Chelios, 48, signs with Thrashers

Chris Chelios signed with the Atlanta Thrashers on Tuesday, he told ESPN 1000.
---------------------

dammit! may as well just hand the cup over to the Thrash. First Arthyukin, now Chelios. Don Waddell is a genius!

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 2, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I don't remember much talk of Sivek or Lupascheck, but I remember Beech and how he was supposed to be a serious NHL'r.

Patrik Stefan...yeesh.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

oh and crosbys game winner was a product of a USA defensive lapse...2 players went to play the guy on the boards and left crosby open...it wasnt the pass and it wasnt crosby that created teh opty...and i think miller was out of position if he gave it up short side...

as much as i hate to say it...crosby is a better 1 on 1 finisher against the goalie than ovie...hell score 70% of the time 1 on 1...ovie less than 50%...hell look at their shootout percentages and that will tell you that...you cannot let crosby have those types of chances...but ovie is more dangerous in all other situations...

Posted by: deadskin | March 2, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

how about Pavel Brendl.

When he finally got to the nhl he looked like he was 275 lbs. Looked like Roseanne on skates.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 2, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

fwiw, i think the biggest asset to Crosby's gm over Ovechkin's is that he's not as careless with the puck. If I had one criticism of Ovy is that he can sometimes make some real boneheaded turnovers. Granted he's always hustling back to make up for it but that little drop pass to no one or the risky pass across the middle of the ice has to stop

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 2, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Brendl is/was doing really well in the Elitserien and KHL. Everytime I google search him, the first thing that comes up is that photo of him with the Flyers. He looks like he has goalie pads on under his regular gear.

I've always like Daigle though as my favorite bust. He even led the Wild in scoring one year!

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I know I will be chewed out for this, but I would not mind trading for Vokoun. I am not confident in Varly's health an ability to get back to top for by playoff time. I hope I am wrong, but it is not critical for him to play now...he is young.

Why not let Jose back up Vokoun? I really don't what the CBH to have him and then face him in the finals.

I mean one great goalie would help our D a lot more than 1 good defenseman. I say trade Nuevy and let Varly learn from Vokoun next season? Goalies are the only players that can steal games on a consistent basis...please see Mille in Olympics

Posted by: capscoach | March 2, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

andy sutton gone to ottowa...

Posted by: samb99 | March 2, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Sutton traded from NYI to Ottawa.

One more target off the board - doesn't necessarily make a Volchenkov trade more likely, I think. Depth move.

Posted by: KurtNYC | March 2, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Chelios, 48, signs with Thrashers

Chris Chelios signed with the Atlanta Thrashers on Tuesday, he told ESPN 1000.

maybe he's trying to be the American Gordie Howe...

Posted by: joek443 | March 2, 2010 1:18 PM |


Cue tasteless jokes about Atlanta and their bad drivers...

Posted by: Fro_ | March 2, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I love Vokoun. When I think "under-rated" goalies, I think Vokoun. Well..I guess until this year. He's a great goalie.

How are we going to afford him though? His cap hit is huge.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I've given up on Volchenkov.

Kubina is seeming less likely as well. Jackman is signed through...

Hamhuis, Seidenberg are my two now, I guess.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Do we know the details on the Sutton trade?

Posted by: Fro_ | March 2, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

2nd rounder for sutton

Posted by: _stevo | March 2, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

GMGM better have something lined up because I think 1 2nd round pick would have been worth Sutton (throw in a 5th or 6th if that was needed to get him over Ottawa).

Also, Ottawa gave the Islanders San Jose's 2nd round pick this year, so it will be around where the Caps will be selecting.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 2, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

"crosby is a more complete player without a doubt. ovie needs to learn to play d if he ever wants to be more complete than crosby..."

Please support your argument...Crosby has more responsibility as a center but I'm not buying this BS anymore. You want to point to stats, look at Ovie at +43 and Crysby at +9. I get tired of people pulling the "Crysby more complete, Ovie plays no D" card and then can't support it. Not that the +/- stat is the ultimate stat on being a complete player, but it gives a pretty solid idea.

I'm pretty sure I already know the answer to this question, but is there a place to find unofficial stats for giveaways, takeaways and blocked shots and such?

Posted by: JDintheSD | March 2, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Looks like for San Jose's 2nd rounder.

2nd rounder seems like the standard, whether the d-man is worth it or not.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Sutton for a 2nd rounder

And Boston trades for Steve Kampfer. He was the one who got attacked on the ice by Habs prospect Andrew Conboy after he put a great open ice hit on Conboy's teammate

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fI-sYE1DsMs

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 2, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

So what's everyone's feeling on what GMGM is going to do?

As always, he doesn't give many hints, but I don't really buy his recent statements that he is happy with the team they have as there are a couple of pretty obvious needs.

However, I do believe him when he says he's very reluctant to trade away assets for a quick fix unless it's a really good fit.

That said, IMHO, whether they make a move or not may depend on how many holes GMGM thinks the team needs to fill to reach the promised land. If all he thinks we need is a top 4 D, I hope he makes the move. But if he thinks we need that, a two way center and an upgrade in net, maybe it is better to just hope for the best this season and address those needs in the offseason rather than losing a bunch of assets for a rental who ultimately doesn't get them to the Cup finals.

Posted by: cainoo7x | March 2, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

How are we going to afford him though? His cap hit is huge.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2010 1:41 PM |

I assume they would have to take Theo and at least one of our D-men- no? Now, who do (would) they take/we give up? I'm not sure.

Posted by: Fro_ | March 2, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I think the biggest advantage Crosby has over Ovi is Mario. Sid is being mentored by one of the greatest hockey players of all time, and as much as it hurts to admit, is getting better every year. No one in this Caps organization compares.

I'm not sure the Caps really need to trade for Vokun. He's a great goalie, but I don't think he can steal the cup with the Caps defensive problems. I'd prefer an inexpensive veteran D or center who can light a fire under the boys when they lose focus. Any suggestions?

Posted by: ablake70 | March 2, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

a 2nd rounder would have been worth it for Sutton. Maybe like a 2nd and a 6th.

I don't expect McPhee to make a move like that though, I don't think Sutton fits in with what McPhee is looking for.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 2, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I just don't understand people who aren't willing to consider the utility of giving up something to possibly win a Cup THIS YEAR!!! Come on people, as is, the team is one of the best 4 in the league. why not make a move or two to win now. I just don't see the down side. No one is saying to blow up the entire farm system to bring in rentals or overpriced has-beens (ala Jagr).

Posted by: doughless | March 2, 2010 12:35 PM

it's very important to Ted and GMGM about what they 'give' up to win THIS YEAR.
they've tasked themselves with providing a contending product for years - not year
just my opinion

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 2, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

OV has Fedorov as a mentor though. Granted he doesn't shack up at Fedorov's house like a nutcase, but I'd bet he speaks to Fedorov more than we'd realize.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | March 2, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

a 2nd rounder would have been worth it for Sutton. Maybe like a 2nd and a 6th.

I don't expect McPhee to make a move like that though, I don't think Sutton fits in with what McPhee is looking for.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 2, 2010 1:56 PM |

A 2nd is good enough. Maybe throw in a 2011 pick.

I meant more so towards Leopold. Sutton and Grebeshkov are both worth that 2nd, but Leopold isn't.

2010 2nd rounder setting the standard.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 2, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

"I just don't understand people who aren't willing to consider the utility of giving up something to possibly win a Cup THIS YEAR!!!"

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

It's hard to make that a guarantee ANY year. It's better to continue having a strong team and contend for the next 5 years, than trying to make it a "sure" thing for one year. Bad bounces and freak officiating occurs, you want to be resilient for the next few years.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | March 2, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

If the rumors were true then McPhee was pushing hard to get Sutton but wasn't willing to give up a 2nd round pick.

Sutton would not have been the great answer to all of the Caps problems. But he would've been a top 6 defenseman on the Caps which means they would have upgraded their defense and their defensive depth for the cost of a 2nd (or a 2nd and a 6th).

Unless McPhee has another trade lined up where he trades that 2nd round pick for someone I think McPhee made a mistake not picking up Sutton for that limited cost.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 2, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Too bad Steve Ott is off the market too (inked a 4-year extension with DAL), since he may be the closest thing to a "Tikkanese" player currently active in the NHL.

IMO, Avery is just a DB, so he does not count.

Posted by: Rhino40 | March 2, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

no posts since quarter till 6 this morning? practice was at 10:30 today, and no practice updates yet? is there something brewing trade-wise?

i think something big's going to go down, but it's hard to say whom the particulars will be.

ottawa trading for sutton certainly shores up what is already a pretty good defense.

Posted by: redrocker2 | March 2, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Glad Sutton is gone, we need someone more impactful than that.

I have seen that Ottawa is having a hard time signing Volchenkov. Perhaps they are gonna move him?

Posted by: barney56 | March 2, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

The NHL is running a promo showing the good things that their players do off ice. One of them is Avery signing autographs for kids. I don't think I would feel comfortable having one of my kids near Avery, and I certainly wouldn't want them to treat him as a role model or hero. It seems odd that the NHL would use Avery of all people for a promo of that sort (or really any other sort).

Posted by: zmega | March 2, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

@ LloydChristmas

Feds is a great mentor. Look how much Backstrom and Semin's defensive play improved in his 1 1/2 years here. I also think that Feds is the reason that Ovi has worked on his passing skills. But Feds is in Russia. Sid has had the advantage going over tape and working on drills with Mario after every game. Yes, it is weird that he still lives in Mario's basement, but I think this kid lives and breathes hockey. Might not help much with his post hockey life but it sure helps now.

Posted by: ablake70 | March 2, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I highly doubt Ottawa will trade Volchenkov since they are in the middle of the playoff picture and may even win their division. That would give them a good chance to at least get to the 2nd round.

I couldn't possibly see them getting rid of Volchenkov unless it was for players who can all play immediately.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 2, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Well, I'd like to say we were spot on in predicting a late #2 for Sutton. If it was the SJ pick, McPhee could have pulled the trigger with the Caps #2.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 2, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I am sorry but we could have used Sutton and some of this on our defense

http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Travis-Yost/Andy-Sutton-to-Ottawa-Done/134/26663

Posted by: capsfan5252 | March 2, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

yeah, there are no sure things, Lloyd. given where the team is THIS YEAR, why not add a piece or 2 and have a serious shot at the Cup in 2010?? does attempting to win this year mean you are not going to be a contender over the next 3 to 5?? your logic is not holding up.

why do Caps fans so cherish the UNKNOWN FUTURE?? seems that is all we are capable of talking about.

Posted by: doughless | March 2, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Move Fehr, Pothier and a second for Volchenkov

Then trade some D for Colby Armstrong to replace Fehr. Perhaps Morrison and a propect like Osala. Someone just below the top tier. Armstrong plays with an edge, and can contribute offensively.

Posted by: barney56 | March 2, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

You guys are bemoaning the fact that Andy Sutton didn't get traded to the Caps, it's Andy #$@#%@#$% Sutton! He's 34, doesn't fit the Caps plans, is a UFA and is no better than anyone else currently in the top 6 for the Caps. You're telling me you'd want to ship a 2nd round pick for this guy?!?

Posted by: DaleHunter | March 2, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I guess Mario has more of a vested interested in developing core player(s) of his own team, than someone like Feds who is simply an acquaintance.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | March 2, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

"crosby is a more complete player without a doubt. ovie needs to learn to play d if he ever wants to be more complete than crosby..."

Please support your argument...Crosby has more responsibility as a center but I'm not buying this BS anymore. You want to point to stats, look at Ovie at +43 and Crysby at +9. I get tired of people pulling the "Crysby more complete, Ovie plays no D" card and then can't support it. Not that the +/- stat is the ultimate stat on being a complete player, but it gives a pretty solid idea.

I'm pretty sure I already know the answer to this question, but is there a place to find unofficial stats for giveaways, takeaways and blocked shots and such?

Posted by: JDintheSD | March 2, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse


i dont think this is something you can measure with stats...just watch them play...

if the best player in the world played any defense he would be on the PK...

im not saying crosby is better or that i wuold rather have him...but the fact is ovie doesnt have defensive responsibility and he is careless with the puck...he just need to work on that...

Posted by: deadskin | March 2, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

yeah, there are no sure things, Lloyd. given where the team is THIS YEAR, why not add a piece or 2 and have a serious shot at the Cup in 2010?? does attempting to win this year mean you are not going to be a contender over the next 3 to 5?? your logic is not holding up.

doughless, you're absolutely right. it's not one or the other. you put the right pieces in place this year, and you're still set for the next 5-8 years with the young guns, and young, talented goaltending not just in the wings, but ready now.

Posted by: redrocker2 | March 2, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Volchenkov would be a dream come true for me. I see him play all the time (being Canadian a lot of my friends are Sens fans) and he is EXACTLY what this team needs. He shut down OV very well last game, and he does that night in, night out against other teams' superstars. The problem with him, of course, is his pay demands (which Ottawa are apparently struggling to meet). However, if somehow the Sens would be willing to take on Poti or Pothier as part of a deal, then it should be done. Something similar to even Poti, a first, and a prospect (Osala, Bourque, Giroux) would be amazing in my opinion.

I understand I am looking at this from a hopeful point of view, and in all likelihood the Sens would not want Poti or another high priced player in return, but my point is that if a deal can get done that unloads some salary on the Caps' end (to be used toward Backs, Flash, re-signing Volchenkov, etc.) and lands Volchenkov, then I say do it, even if it involves giving up a first round pick.

(Atlanta picked up Chelios. The fact he is still being moved at age 48 is impressive)

Posted by: Aldred15 | March 2, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

@deadskin

Your argument that if a guy is good at defense he would be playing on the PP is not necessarily true.

A player can generally play only so many minutes in a game. Ovie plays a lot, but putting him on the PK for another 1 to 2 minutes a game could tire him and keep him out of other shifts where his best gifts (his offensive playmaking ability) could be utilized. If a player is only going to see about 22 minutes of ice time you want to put him out for the 22 minutes in which he will be most effective and useful to the team.

In addition, the possibility of getting hit by shots and possibly getting injured is greater.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 2, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Sutton is 2nd in the league in blocked shots among defensemen. Is it just me, or wasnt that something our defense lacked last year in the playoffs?

I dont understand why McPhee wouldnt pull the trigger here. A proven top-4 d-man who hits and kills penalties for a team that can win the cup THIS YEAR is better than any second round pick in my book.

Posted by: zloss126 | March 2, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Why do so many Caps fans think other teams are going to give up their top players for guys we don't want? We got lucky with Feds and Huet because Feds didn't mesh well and was oft injured in Columbus and Montreal wanted to start the Price era. The Caps career minor leaguers aren't going to fetch much. To get a stud like Volchenkov, one of the Fab Five, a high pick and/or a roster player like Fehr or Flash is needed.

Posted by: ablake70 | March 2, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

@zloss126

I agree. Unless GMGM has something else in the making that involves trading his 2nd round pick.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 2, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

It only makes sense not to trade for Sutton if you have a better deal lined up.

Flash, a #1 and Poti for Volchenkov work if you sign Volchenckov to multi-year at like $5M.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 2, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

@deadskin

How does putting the best scorer in the league on the PK make sense...waste of minutes! And I don't care what people say...a +42 is pretty amazing! You can't suck at D and have that high a +/-...no matter how much you and your line mates score!

Posted by: capscoach | March 2, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Flash, a #1 and Poti for Volchenkov work if you sign Volchenckov to multi-year at like $5M.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 2, 2010 2:57 PM

That sounds good. I'm not sure Ottawa would do it even though there has to be a strong fear that he'll go to the KHL next year. I have a strange feeling that either Saku Koivu or Scott Niedermeyer are going to be Caps tomorrow.

Posted by: ablake70 | March 2, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Neither Ovechkin nor Green should ever be on the PK. Waste of assets.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 2, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

i still think a package deal with one team is the easier way to go.

Either Hamhuis/Arnott (Nash) or McDonald/Jackman (StL)

altho i confess i have no idea about salary implications which the Caps will undoubtedly be obsessed about

also don't buy the excuse that most of the deals out there would heavily mortgage the future. Come on, we have plenty of depth. And losing a pick or prospect isn't that big a deal if it leads to a deep postseason run. Even getting to the Finals and not winning it is worth taking a few chances. But if we sit around and get everyone's sloppy 2nds then McPhee isn't doing right by his team. He needs to help them the same way other GMs help their teams bolster their playoff chances. Last yr I thought McPhee had an epic fail as GM at the deadline. He's just not a mover and shaker when it comes to trades.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 2, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

@ablake

Keep in mind that teams won't get the same thing now that they would have got in, say, November. This is because a UFA who a team cannot sign is at risk of just walking away for nothing (JayBo last season). Therefore, a team must decide whether they want to gamble on keeping a UFA who could leave for no return, or take what they can get at the trade deadline. Ultimately, I guess it comes down to how the GM feels contract talks are going, which none of us have exact specifics on.

Flash, a first and Poti/Pothier could be enough to sway Murray, but if that trade happens the Caps will also need to deal for a forward.

Posted by: Aldred15 | March 2, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Is Owen Nolan still a viable player or is he losing it with age? I hear he is available from the Wild but I never have the opportunity to see any of their games.....

Posted by: PhilR | March 2, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

It only makes sense not to trade for Sutton if you have a better deal lined up.

Flash, a #1 and Poti for Volchenkov work if you sign Volchenckov to multi-year at like $5M.

Posted by: tominfl1

Agreed. Improve this team in the next 24 hours. Philly, Pitts will improve their teams, you can bet on that. NJ acquired Kovalchuk. We are a lock for the 1 seed, but that only really helps in round 1. Flyers, Penguins, Devils, Sabres and Senators would be tough in round 2.

Posted by: barney56 | March 2, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

ablake: I remember a picture early in the Olypics of Ovi, Semin and Volchenkov yukking it up at a practice. I can imagine Ovi would have and found out what were V's plans for next year and if he'd be amenable to joining Caps.

It would be bad to trade for him and then have him bolt.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 2, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

actually the worst use of a PK player is Semin. He drives me nuts because he has no idea how to help get that puck out past our blueline. He simply refuses to play along the boards which makes it easy for the point man to hold in the puck. I hate seeing him or Flash on the PK. I'd rather have strong defensive forwards and not give up quality scoring chances than have a bunch of offensive minded forwards trying to score shorties and leaving the D in a bind.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 2, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Who says Canada hates the Caps, not their ranking system, http://tsn.ca/fantasy_news/feature/?ID=10467

Posted by: flee001 | March 2, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

cstanton: McPhee did great two years ago with Cooke, Feds and Huet. Last year, we were both capped out and maxed out on NHL contracts. Couldn't even match the #3 for Billy Guerin, which might have made a significant difference. You can blame McPhee, because it's his job not to get capped out and have your hands tied, or you can just say it was the circumstances.

I'll be surprised and disappointed if no moves this year, but I'd also be disappointed if he overpays for a rental. #2 for Sutton was just what I wanted.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 2, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Semin is good at getting his stick in passing lanes though and creating turnovers. Also, when the puck nears the blue line some defenders back off because the threat of Semin breaking through.

I actually have thought that Semin has played pretty decent on the PK. Not good but decent.

I would be shocked if Ottawa would trade Volchenkov. Yes, Volchenkov is a pending UFA but Ottawa is not in the same position as Florida last year. Ottawa is all but guaranteed to make the playoffs and likely won't be worse than a #5 seed.

They are looking to make a playoff run this year and they need Volchenkov to do it.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 2, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Aldred: If we did move Flash, Poti and a #1 for Volchenkov, we could backfill on Flash by trading a #2 for a rental 2/3 line center. We have plenty of top 3 line wingers in Ovi, Semin, Knuble, Laich, Chimera and Fehr. And, if an injury, Bradley rates at least average as a #3 RW.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 2, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

@flee001: Not sure what this means. You would think that if the Caps really had 4 of the 6 top players in the NHL they would be a mortal lock to win the Cup. I guess this is just another way of showing how far ahead of the league the Caps are as an offensive team. So, we just need to add some D.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 2, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3 and @capscoach

good points and i agree with you on that...

but that doesnt change the fact that ovie needs to be better defensively in our zone and more responsible with the puck (especially on the piont with our power play)...

but there is no arguing that crosby is more complete at both ends...

im not saying crosby is a better player or i would rather have him...but if ovie rounded out his game and the caps rounded out their game...then ovie and the caps would surely get multiple cups at crosby and the pens expense...

i dont know why people are so sensitive to being critical of ovie or complimentary of crosby...

and i guarantee i love ovie and hate crosby as much as you do...

if the caps dont win a cup this year its because they are not built for playoff hockey...they dont have a complete game...missing the defensive and puck responsibility aspects...not to mention sometimes (especially in the playoffs) its important to get it the puck out of our zone and deep in theirs and grind it out instead of being cute and trying to stickhandle out of ours and into theirs...

im not saying they need to be less offensive and more defensive...they need to be more defensive to comliment the offense...

Posted by: deadskin | March 2, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

@ Aldred15

You may be right about the teams that are out of contention, but the teams that have a good shot of winning the Cup are not going to give away vital pieces. For the Sens to give up Volchenkov now I think we'd have to send Semin back.

Posted by: ablake70 | March 2, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

@ tominfl1

I'm sure that Ovi knows Volchenkov's future plans and I would love to see him in a Caps sweater. What worries me is that both he and Kovy have been hard to resign. I understand that Kovy was probably ready to leave Atlanta, but with Russia's reaction to the Olympic failure, I wonder if there isn't more pressure for these guys to come home.

Posted by: ablake70 | March 2, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

@deadskin

I do agree that Ovie needs to be a little more responsible with the puck and have a better defensive presence. By defensive I mean having him be in the right place at the right time. I think sometimes he gets so excited and wants to make a play and he gets himself out of position.

However, while I would like Ovie to be a little more responsible with the puck that is not as easy as it sounds. Because at what point does him becoming extra responsible and therefore cautious hurt his offensive game? No one has an answer to that. So I think that is a tougher aspect to gauge.

For Ovie on the point. I personally think Ovie should play the point the 1st minute of a PP and then move down to the half boards for the 2nd minute. I think he gets a little sloppy on the point during the 2nd half of the PP due to being tired or whatever.

I would put BMo and Green at the points for the 2nd half of the PP with BMo setting up Green for one timers on the point.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 2, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Saw this on ESPN's rumor mill but it makes no sense to me at all.

Milan Jurcina, who will be an unrestricted free agent at season's end, is attracting as much interest as Raffi Torres, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

And the newspaper says the Washington Capitals and Ottawa Senators are interested.

They'll likely have to give up a mid-round pick for him.


Why would we want him after we just traded him a few months ago?

Posted by: icehammer97 | March 2, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I am ready for Mike Green to have a huge finish. Not only is he out to prove he was olympic worthy, but also his name has seldom been uttered for weeks. He is out to prove a point and I am expecting big numbers!!

Posted by: broud0 | March 2, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Well, if nothing else, Caps can make a run at Vochenkov in the offseason. If he wants the KHL, maybe he'd accept the camaraderie of DC.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 2, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

http://espn.go.com/nhl/

i am not sure if this was done on purpose with caps left behind..

Posted by: samb99 | March 2, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Conversely, If you're a russian player in the NHL, why go home to an inferior league, which was proven in the Olymics. I understand if you want to go home for home sake or if you're being offered a big contract, but if all things are equal, stay in the better league...and the US girls are prettier.

Posted by: jeets | March 2, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

i hear ya...

i dont think ovie adn the team being more defensive will hurt his game...it will simply lead to more offense for him and the team...

if were not spending time in our end...were spending time in theres...how can that be anything but good for our offense?

when i play and focus on defense first i find that leads to a lot of offense...we get the puck out and keep it out of our end...

later in the game when i get tired and maybe were down on the scoreboard...i get lazy and start cherry picking and otherwise waiting for someone to get me the puck (like i see ovie adn semin do all the time)...and all that happens is i watch my team struggle in our end...

if i recognize that and go back to defense first...the game starts to go the other way again...i see that in ovie and the rest of the caps style of play...

i got really tired of watching that rangers series last year...they controlled the puck in our end more than we did theres (not something you will see on a stat sheet)...and we were playing a lot of 5 on 5 penalty kill style hockey way too much in our end in that series...and we almost lost in the first round to a very inferrior team because of it...just standing around...

i kept screaming at the TV..."run through the guy", "put a body on him", "force him to move the puck instead of waiting for him to make a play", "quit watching and start playing the game"...

on the opposite end both the rangers and the pens were forcing action in their defensive ends...

if we do that again this year and into the future its going to continue to seriously hurt our chances of getting a cup...

Posted by: deadskin | March 2, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

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