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Jurcina Files for Arbitration

Defenseman Milan Jurcina is the only Cap who has filed for salary arbitration, I'm told.

Jurcina led Washington's defensemen in hits (157), the team in blocked shots (131) and raised his level of play in the playoffs. He earned $912,500 last season, the third-lowest salary among the regulars on the blueline.

Jurcina can negotiate an extension with the Caps up until the date of his hearing, which will be held between July 20-Aug. 4 (an exact date will be set soon). The deadline for rulings is Aug. 6.

Defenseman Shaone Morrisonn and forwards Eric Fehr and Boyd Gordon were also eligible for arbitration but did not file. They have until July 15 to accept their qualifying offers.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  July 5, 2009; 5:48 PM ET
 
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Comments

First
Let him go!

Posted by: Tondi | July 5, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Dammit Jurcina. Take a cue from Crombeen, and take your qualifying offer!

@Tarik

Does that mean that Fehr, ShaMo, and Gordon re-signed? Or that it is eminent?

Posted by: richmondphil | July 5, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

I hope they bring a video of the last 10 seconds of the game in Montreal to the table.

Not that it mattered in the long run, but that's one of the times I can remember screaming 'Dammit Juice!!' at the TV.

@ Richmondphil: Today was the deadline for player-elected arbitration. Tomorrow is the deadline for Team elected arbitration. Because the other players are RFA's, they need to have had qualifying offers made to them so they will be listed as RFA's. (Those guys in Chicago did not get qualifying offers, so, they may end up being unrestricted free agents). Since Fehr, ShaMo and Gordon are now considered RFA's, if another team makes an offer, the Caps have an opportunity to match it. If the Caps don't, they will get compensated. The players can either sign their qualifying offers or try the Free Agent Market. Now, if I'm not mistaken, the players have until July 10th to elect to try the free agent market.

Posted by: DrCapsFan11 | July 5, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

I'd rather keep Juice than Mo.

Posted by: lornemyoung | July 5, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil: No, it just means they didn't go for arbitration. They have until 7/15 to sign.

My guess is ShaMo, just like the rest of us, knew perfectly well that he's got plenty of company on that blueline coming up from Hershey, all of whom are cheaper than he is. He didn't have a great year last year, and he's got to know that McPhee will let him walk if he tries to go to arbitration. So, given the situation, if he wants to rock the red next year, he takes his QO and keeps his mouth shut.

Posted by: kittypawz | July 5, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

I understand that Jurcina has limited skills but there is something about his attitude that I like. He plays hard and understands his role. I have no problem with him signing for around $1 mil to be a 3rd line D-man.

Posted by: tmac2yao | July 5, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

@kitty and DrCaps

So it basically is eminent that Fehr, Gordon, and Mo will all be here, right?


With that said, lets go sign Ben Eager tomorrow.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 5, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

@DrCaps Fan
@Kitty

Thanks for the insight...had the same question as richmondphil.

SHould be interesting what transpires...what do we think Juice is going to be asking? $1.25..same as Erskine

Posted by: ralCapsFan | July 5, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

@ralCapsfan

Even with 2 explanations, I still am a bit confused. Haha. Ah well, the CBA is a tough thing to crack.


Posted by: richmondphil | July 5, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: spacecadetkid | July 5, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil: I ask you again - with what for cap space? We'll have less with Mo than we would were Alzner brought up. Also, I'm not in favor of buying anything else until we see what our in-house talent's got. Not doing that is what got us into the Nylander and Theodore fix.

Posted by: kittypawz | July 5, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Jurcina just feels like his playoff contribution warrants more, but that being said its not kind of hard to say "i was one of the best on a bad defense" Erksine and Poti played better than Juice but I don't want to see Juice go either.

But all in all I don't see this being a good move on Jurcina's part because the administration knows they got guys down in Hershey who could play, and play much cheaper

Posted by: breaklance | July 5, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Jurcina may end up with less than his QO if he goes this route....

The Caps can file a salary figure that is less than the QO for Jurcina. If Mr. Arbitrator (you really call him or her that in the hearing) decides heavily for the Caps, he might award a salary less than the QO.

Posted by: MikeL-Caps91 | July 5, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil: I ask you again - with what for cap space? We'll have less with Mo than we would were Alzner brought up. Also, I'm not in favor of buying anything else until we see what our in-house talent's got. Not doing that is what got us into the Nylander and Theodore fix.

Posted by: kittypawz | July 5, 2009 7:22 PM |

It was a joke.


@spacecadet

Oh, okay. Go outside or something. Sorry for making, as your link implies, one of the most common Grammar mistakes.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 5, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm. Hershey doesn't have too many guys who paste the boards like Jurcina does. ShaMo is more easily replaceable out of Hershey, IMO, and Jurcina's cap hit is much more reasonable than ShaMo's. Jurcina's got a better case, I think, thank ShaMo, and he won't walk as easily as ShaMo would have. I don't think the Caps should let him walk if they don't have to.

Posted by: kittypawz | July 5, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil: Oh.

Duh.

Now I see it.

I'm sorry, dude. :) Missed that.

Posted by: kittypawz | July 5, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Let him go!

Posted by: washcaps | July 5, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm not getting all this Juice hate.

He was a pylon the first few months of the season last year, but he significantly picked up his game. Even before the playoffs.

Jurcina has a lot to to work on, but I can think of at least 3 (maybe 4 ) other d men I would rather see magically let go if possible. I'd rather keep Juice over Schultz, Mo, Poti, or Pothier.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 5, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

*Poti is better. But his 3.5 cap relief would be awesome.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 5, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

In the new CBA, during arbitration the player sets the requested salary and the team sets a requested salary. The judge must choose between the two. No more middle ground.

So caps could set the level at the QO or a bit higer, while Jurcina will set it at what he thinks worth and should recieve.

Posted by: hardyboys0 | July 5, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

I don't know, Pothier was pretty solid in the playoffs as well, and maybe have been one of our best D-men in the playoffs. I don't know that I'd get rid of him.

Posted by: kittypawz | July 5, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

I think the caps need to sign him. He and Erskine are the only two d-men they have who can play tough and physical (the only mobile one of the two since Erskine is about as mobile as Hal Gil) so until they find someone better, they're stuck with them.

Posted by: joek443 | July 5, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Juice arbitration hearing...

Caps: $1.1 million

Juice: $9 million... Justification: I hit like Ovi!

Mr. Arbitrator: *laughing* The Caps offer it is.

Posted by: tmac2yao | July 5, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

I always liked Pothier, and defended him fervently when he returned. Cstanton1 was especially hard on him, but no surprise there.

I don't want to get rid of him, but just wanted to express how much I think Jurcina will be valued next year. I think he is capable of being a true shutdown defender in the future. (hopefully near future)

Posted by: richmondphil | July 5, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1, hard on someone? I'll drop my teeth if there's ever someone he doesn't ride like a two-bit wh***.

And I agree with you. I think we need to keep Jurcina, and I think the Caps will. But, that brings up a question ... what do we do with Alzner / Carlson? Leave them in Hershey another year?

Posted by: kittypawz | July 5, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

if either Alzner or Carlson can play at the NHL level right now, they should make the team.

this current group of d-men isn't gonna make us forget the '86 Caps with Langway, Murphy, Stevens and Hatcher.

Posted by: joek443 | July 5, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Is Alzner ready for the big leagues full-time? If he is not, it is probably good then that we have a NHL-seasoned 6. Guess we will see Alzner and Carlson get the call as needed.

Ideally, One of the three with the big hits would be traded and Alzner will be ready. But, I don't know how realistic that ideal is.

And then there is Sloan, who might be pegged a career AHL'r, but still saw ice time over Alzner in the playoffs. That makes you wonder if Sloan is also being given a serious look as well.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 5, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

I used to be a huge Juice critic but honestly he was solid in the playoffs. I have to say after everything in the playoffs, the season ended with me really loving him. That said I want him to stay, along with the Pot/Poth/Lumberjack with the addition of a couple Hershey folks. If Juice can commit to play the way he did in the playoffs in the regular season, he would really be an asset to us.

Hopefully we can keep him and cut those who couldn't take their play to the next level (which I think Poti, Pothier, Erskine and Jurcina were able to, despite broken bones etc etc).

Posted by: mrszilla | July 5, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Looks like McPhee's going to regret signing Erskine to that two year extension. That is, if he wants to keep Jurcina.

The only significant stat Erskine led Juice in was TOI, but Juice has missed only 10 games over the past two years. Erskine's missed over 60. No way Juice gets less than $1.8M/yr if they use Erskine as a comparable.

Posted by: pga6 | July 5, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

With Carlson coming up, I think with can part with either Poti or Pothier in a trade. Mo is gone. Right now it looks like:
Green Juice
Poti Alzner
Pothier Erskine

With Sloan as the 7th.

They toyed with Erskine at wing as an enforcer last year, I wonder if they try that again.

Posted by: C-way | July 5, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

We do have something of a dilemma on D. I think we see Alzner up with Carlson down for the majority of the year. I think Jurcina became more of what we needed as the season went on and I look for him to continue to improve. I hope Schultz finally blooms as this could be his last year/chance to show more. I like him and his potential, but we need him to realize some of that potential.

Posted by: _Mark | July 5, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

LOL what dilemma? don't make it sound like this team is loaded with defenseman.

the only dilemma I see is that they don't have ENOUGH proven NHL playoff tough d-men.

Posted by: joek443 | July 5, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Mo is not gone. We offered him a qualifier.

We let him walk to another team and take the compensation, sign him and trade him, or play him.

You also forgot to include Schultz.

Green, Mo, Schultz, Poti, Poths, Erskine, Juice, Sloan, Carlson, Alzner.

that is 10 potential NHL-ready d men to work with.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 5, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

And what about Dovgan?

He is like our Bure... stolen late a year early due to weird circumstances.

He sat in the Stingray cellar most of last year, it seems.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 5, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

I want Juice back but not a fan of Sloan playing anything more than the occasional fill-in role. He strikes me as highly mistake prone.

Posted by: tmac2yao | July 5, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Sloan is ready either, but him being given ice time over Alzner in the playoffs has me seriously thinking that the front end is looking at Sloan more seriously than we think.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 5, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

@joek44: We;re a little short on the ones that hit like freight trains, yes, but the days of Rod Langway are gone. Get over it. We are not going to have six Chris Prongers on defense, and that's how it is.

We do, actually, have more NHL-capable Dmen than we know what to do with, and buying another one right is just plain stupid given how much cap space we don't have. We just have a lot more puck-movers than shut-down guys.

@richmondphil: I don't know much about Viktor Dovgan, but him being in the ECHL is kind of proof of how deep the defense is, isn't it?

Posted by: kittypawz | July 5, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Alzner and Carlson may become star blueliners for the Caps in the future but till they prove themselves at the NHL level, they also could turn out to be just another Nolan Baumgartner, John Slaney or Jason Wolley.

Posted by: joek443 | July 5, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Wooley turned out okay. Slaney was also a very good AHL'r. lol.

I would say lets not see them turn out to be a Baumgartner or Yonkman.

Guess we need to stay away from drafting Nolan's.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 5, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Did Alzner's concussion have anything to do with him not getting a chance during the playoffs?

I don't recall exactly when the concussion occurred but I believe it kept him out of quite a few Hershey games.

Posted by: tmac2yao | July 5, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

@tmac

You are right, I forgot about that.

They still kept Sloan in over Schultz. Maybe we will see a reverse in where these two guys start on which roster next year.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 5, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao: No, the concussion was suffered shortly after he returned from his Washington call-up; Alzner and Sloan were called up together (remember the 12-hour flu flap?), and Sloan played while Alzner did not. Now, who played might have had something to do with who best fit the position of who couldn't go, but at the same time, we know that the front office thinks more highly of Sloan than a lot of people here do, and he was pretty decent in the playoffs.

Posted by: kittypawz | July 5, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Jurcina stepped it up this season. I hope this comes to a good resolution for both sides.

Posted by: freeid | July 5, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, kitty.

If they see something in Sloan, then I hope it works out. He just didn't strike me as an NHL-caliber player when watching him last season.

Posted by: tmac2yao | July 5, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

BTW richmondphil, have you heard what F1 chief Bernie Eccelstone said about Hitler?

LOL don't know how he and his Nazi buddy Max Mosley still keep their jobs.. can you imagine what would become of Brian France, the head of NASCAR if he expressed similar admirations for any dictator... things must be different over there in europe

Posted by: joek443 | July 5, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

@pga6

You really think Juice will get upwards of 1.8M per year? I think that would be a 100% pay increase. Seems kinda steep to me but who knows...

Posted by: ralCapsFan | July 5, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao: He did to me, but then I don't consider myself an expert. His stat line speaks for itself.

Posted by: kittypawz | July 5, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

BTW richmondphil, have you heard what F1 chief Bernie Eccelstone said about Hitler?

LOL don't know how he and his Nazi buddy Max Mosley still keep their jobs.. can you imagine what would become of Brian France, the head of NASCAR if he expressed similar admirations for any dictator... things must be different over there in europe

Posted by: joek443 | July 5, 2009 9:17 PM |

Must be?

Posted by: richmondphil | July 5, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

they can say stuff like that in public and very few people seem to give a damn in europe... black soccer players get harrassed quite often by the fans, get bananas thrown at them and stuff, Lewis Hamilton got harassed by a few spanish fans last year.. the head of the biggest motorsport league in the world says, "Hitler got things done" and there's little uproar for him to resign... I thought they were supposed to be more sensitive and sophisticated about these things...

Posted by: joek443 | July 5, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Joe, Our much maligned D is young and gaining experience. Pothier back in for a full season will help. We may not be as strong as other teams D, but our D is not as bad as many claim. The injuryies that our guys suffered at the end of the season and during the playoffs made them look less effective, but they were much improved over the start of the season. This year they will be better yet. With Alzner waiting in the wings, they certainly have a dilemma.

Posted by: _Mark | July 5, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

imagine what would happen if Bettman got caught doing something like this... LOL

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQf9MmRE5L4

Posted by: joek443 | July 5, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, you follow racing now?

Posted by: richmondphil | July 5, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Did Caps Insider get replaced by F1 Insider?

Posted by: ralCapsFan | July 5, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

We have plenty of NHL ready defensemen. Just not too many great ones.

Green is our great offensive defenseman.

I'd prefer to keep Juice. Hopefully, he and the Caps will settle before his arbitration date but I have no idea what he's asking for.

Schultz -- give him at least another year.

I had assumed that ShaMo was history but he hadn't filed for arbitration.

During our hot streak in Dec and January, guess who was on the blue line most of that time: Alzner, Juice, ShaMo, Sean Collins, Lepisto, Sloan. Green had gotten reinjured but had come back for the end of the streak. Poti had gotten reinjured. (We had Schultz and Oisk injured for a while during that time frame too.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 5, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: jobrie18 | July 5, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

@jobrie18

Hope Bill Clement is right on the Caps. BTW the story is now out of date on many of the facts. Knuble, who he felt the Flyers needed, is now a Cap. Hossa is not with Detroit any longer but Chicago. Khabby is no longer with Chi.

Personal opinion. I think Chicago will win the West next year.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 5, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75

Don't forget Helmer as well.

I think we all assumed Mo would file arbitration. He put a real kink in our armchair GMing by not, haha.

CHI huh? That is a bold prediction, especially for a team that has Huet as their #1. ;)

Posted by: richmondphil | July 5, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

Whoops, forgot about Helmer.

If Chicago doesn't win it, it will probably be either Calgary or Vancouver.

Glad the Caps didn't sign Huet for the term he wanted. In spite of Theodore's deficiencies, we only signed him for 2 years and one year is over. He was the lesser evil, so to speak. I assume Theo will be backup goalie but get alot of playing time. He may get traded this year if some other team loses a goaltender to injury and needs one in a hurry.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 5, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Who doesn't love Juice? If I were GMGM, I'd keep him just because he's so damn funny and he's Flash's best friend.

Also, I hate Mo for doing this. I just wanted him to file for arbitration and be let go. I don't even know why we gave him a QO in the first place.

Posted by: wis193 | July 6, 2009 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Calgary looks strong again, but I said that this year too and looked what happened. Elite shutdown guy and 2 elite offensive puck movers on the blue line (all who are known for their hits) = glad we are not in their conference.


Looks like 20 guys filed arbitration. We also find out tomorrow if CHI loses all their RFAs.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 6, 2009 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Also, I hate Mo for doing this. I just wanted him to file for arbitration and be let go. I don't even know why we gave him a QO in the first place.

Posted by: wis193 | July 6, 2009 12:04 AM |

Hopefully for a sign-and-trade.

Being hopeful here...

Posted by: richmondphil | July 6, 2009 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Chicago is gonna lose their RFA's AND Kane, Toews, or Keith, who are all RFA's next year and will all want big expensive extensions. They should really try to trade Duncan Keith and re-sign Cam Barker if possible.

Posted by: wis193 | July 6, 2009 2:01 AM | Report abuse

Chicago is gonna lose their RFA's, which is really a potential blessing in disguise... Next summer, the young gun trio of Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and Duncan Keith are all RFAs, with Byfuglien and Seabrook's deals expiring the following summer. Given the amount of money they've invested in Hossa, Campbell, and Huet, they will almost certainly not be able to re-sign all three, especially if they have to spend money on all of these current RFA's. IMO, they should look to deal Duncan Keith and try to re-sign Cam Barker as well as Versteeg. (Only Barker if they have to choose) And with the salary cap projected to go down next summer, GM Dave Tallon has really made this franchise a mess and frankly, if they don't in the cup this year, we can bid them farewell until the 3 deals they're locked into expire. (assuming that they even find a goaltender, not to mention that he would have to be cheaper and at least as good as Huet)

Goodbye, Chicago Blackhawks.

You heard it here first.

Posted by: wis193 | July 6, 2009 2:10 AM | Report abuse

disregard the first post.

Posted by: wis193 | July 6, 2009 2:11 AM | Report abuse

Morrisonn actually did the best thing for the team. Now, if he signs an offer sheet, Caps can take the compensation. A #2 pick would be better thasn nothing.

Erskine cannot be a comparable for Jurcina as someone suggested - Ersk was a UFA.

Erskine, Jurcina and Sloan are all quality #6 defensemen. Hopefully at least one steps up to a #5 or 4 this year. Poti and Pothier are #4 defensemen, leaning toward #3. Green is clearly a #1. Problem is the team really doesn't have a #2, which would be Green's equivalent but defensively. The cap is full, so likely you can't get that player unless you could somehow move say Theo and Mo (or Erskine) for a Knuble-type defenseman who has maybe one year left on his current deal. I still think they can move Theo if they can match salaries with another cap-pressured team that has extra defensemen.

Posted by: tominfl1 | July 6, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Jurcina has some real natural tools in his bag such as size, a hard shot and strength. He obviously needs to use this better, and coaching can be a big part of it moving forward.

I am hoping good things for him here, but I wonder if he is in the position to sign a one year deal with the club, and really see what he has to offer next summer.

Im all for it, but I cant blame him for wanting to stack up against other players.

Posted by: SA-Town | July 6, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

SA-Town:
I agree that he has some natural tools in his bag, but he needs to use him. He didn't earn a big increase last season. Sad too because he played really well when he first came to the Caps, but went limp his first full season here and has been a shadow of his potential since. If he pulled it all out, he would be a great asset.

Posted by: --Boo-- | July 6, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

@tominfl1: Theoretically, it's possible. Realistically, it's really unlikely.

I also think that Woods is going to have something to say about how defense is played this year. I'm hoping to see a bigger commitment to defense from a lot of the forwards (what I saw from Backstrom was really encouraging) and that may take some of the pressure off. If we really still need that player, it'll come closer to the trade deadline. We've still got several months - we'll make it through the season on what we've got, and who knows, something might come out of the woodwork that we hadn't planned for. Better to leave ourselves some wiggle room to deal with the unexpected.

Posted by: kittypawz | July 6, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

@Sa-Town: Isn't a deal signed as a result of arbitration always for one year?

Posted by: kittypawz | July 6, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

What are the chances the CAPS could make a run at Ben Eager or Cam Barker if Chicago loses them

Posted by: carsonspence | July 6, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

kittypawz:

Sometimes the arbitration judge issues a two-year award. I don't know what criteria decide when he does the two-year contract.

As for Jurcina, he has a really great slapshot that he almost never unleashes. Remember how well he played with Alzner for a few games when Alzner first came up? Then he kind of disappeared until the playoffs, making a few bonehead plays (the infamous fumble in Montreal costing a game) along the way. His problem has always been in making split-second decisions in the heat of battle. I almost hate to say it, but I really think he's short in the gray matter dept. Not all players are equally bright (see: Brendan Witt).

Posted by: tominfl1 | July 6, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

@kittypawz

Yes..Im just stating that a one year deal for him makes sense on both sides.

Posted by: SA-Town | July 6, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Ah, okay.

Ben Eager or Cam Barker? Heck no :)

  • They'd be UFA's, and with room needed for callups and to put a little in the piggybank for the trade deadline, we really cannot afford to sign anyone else without trading some bodies. We're done in free agency; GMGM is now looking towards the trade block.
  • I suspect GMGM is waiting to see what happens with the RFA's who have QO's before doing anything further right now. The RFA's are the next question.
  • Neither of those two fit the Caps' needs right now. Eager's a LW; Barker's a D (and with a -6 last season on a good team). The team is actually deep at D and may consider some of our D to be trade assets. They need a second-line center more than anything else, and will probably wait to see if one of the existing D steps up to pair with Green before looking for more D.
  • I have to think that GMGM is going to be looking for age/experience/maturity in his trades, not young guys. Young guys we have (boy howdy do we).
  • No, I wouldn't go after those. I wouldn't actually do a whole lot of anything until QO's have been signed and any arbitration has been done.

Posted by: kittypawz | July 6, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

@SA-Town: definitely.

Posted by: kittypawz | July 6, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

get off of a few bucks Ted and GMGM and sign Juice. no brainer here. and with a new coach to emphasize more defense, only good things can happen. seriously, if you need room I can think of at least 2 players that you made initial offers 2 that can hit the road. i am not the GM, but given where Juice sarted and ended last season you have to think the guy is on the verge of something big.

Posted by: doughless | July 6, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

doughless, I appreciate your point, but you have to wonder (like I'm sure GMGM does), was this year Juice's "something big"? Did he peak already, or will he continue to put the pieces together.

Posted by: superpaqman | July 6, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I'm going to assume that Fehr will accept his offer. He hasn't developed the way it was hoped, and there can't be a big market for him. Gordo is more valuable now that the Caps don't have Feds, but replacable. Maybe he accepts, maybe he tests free agency. I'm thinking he signs. I'm going to be that ShaMo tests free agency. He did arbitration last year and my memory is that he had some negative memories of it, so maybe he's willing to walk.

Next year's blueline is very crowded, so the Caps would probably take the compensation pick without much fuss.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | July 6, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Qualifying offer aside, I'd be shocked if Mo returns to the Caps...I don't think they can afford to resign him. Plus, I think he's ready to move on.

I accidentally left out Schultz, who, might be the 7th man (with Sloan staying in Hershey). Either way, it appears that we will be sellers, not buyers, at defense this year. I think GMGM will move heaven and earth to trade either Poti or Pothier to free up salary and pave the way for Carlson.

From the little I saw of Carlson in rookie camp, he's more ready than Alzner and could be, by season's end, an upgrade to Poti/Pothier.

Any word on Erskine being moved to wing?

Posted by: C-way | July 6, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Juice is looking at 2 things. First is Erskine's 1.25M/yr. He's worth all of that and the QO wouldn't get him there.

The second is ShaMo's 1.9+M from last year and he's saying, "Damn!"

Posted by: Greg S. | July 6, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

If ShaMo, Gordon and Fehr are smart, they'll take the QO on the 15th. There's no way ShaMo will make more than he is here so UFA is out for him. Gordo isn't going to make big bucks anywhere, but he could try the field this way and see if there's any interest in him. Fehr's pretty much in the same boat as Gordo. Lack-luster, inconsistent year. Maybe he'll do better with another team if an offer comes along. If not, he's got the QO to fall back on.

Posted by: Greg S. | July 6, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Juice wants Erskine money...that sounds strange doesnt it?

Posted by: SA-Town | July 6, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

IMO there will be no more signing etc until all the RFA issues and the Nylander issues are settled. As someone mentioned above you have to leave room under the cap for any trades you may want to make in March. Last season I think a good part of the reason no trades were made were that Pothier did come back and helped and once he did there was no cap room left to take on any salary. They were so close all year that the team was hand tied to make any moves unless someone was on IR. I am beginning to believe the best thing to do is cruise through the season and make the playoffs, but add any players you need at the deadline for the push. That appears to be the new rule in the Salary cap era.

Posted by: RichC3 | July 6, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

funny how of the 3, really the only guy who deserved the arbitration hearing is Juice.

The other 2 didn't play well enough to warrant a substantial raise but they also wouldn't mind staying with the most dynamic organization in the NHL.

Another vote for Juice here.

Posted by: Rocc00 | July 6, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I expect a trade at some point, veteran puck moving d-men (poti & pothier) are hard to find the in one of the bubble bears and or one of our RFA players and we could find a #2 center. GMGM has the chips to play in this game

Posted by: t-bone67 | July 6, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Alzner will be in the CAPS line-up from day 1. Last season they had to keep him unde r30 games so they retain his RFA status for 1 year longer, otherwise he would be frre one year earler.

Then in the play-offs he was re-covering from a concussion while in Hershey, so he was not one of the first to get back into the line-up.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | July 6, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

the trouble with the Caps is they have a deep blueline in average talent.

other than Green, whose talents are more balanced to the offensive zone, the Caps defense is devoid of any players (before Alzner or Carlson get to Washington) that other teams would want in a trade.

Poti is solid but has been injured for stretches in both of his seasons in Washington and at age 31/32 that's not a good sign.

Pothier is a question mark. He was an average blueliner before the concussion and his long layoff. He was no better than a #4 or #5 in Ottawa before being signed by the Capitals.

Morrisonn and Schultz I think you have seen their strengths and weaknesses. Neither player uses his size to real advantage and their turnovers trying to exit the defensive zone were very costly at times last season.

Erskine is the only defenseman that uses his size and strength to protect the net. His lack of footspeed and puckhandling are exposed at times but he is a guy you can win with in a complementary role.

In my mind the club needs to not only bring Alzner up to the parent club but acquire a veteran blueliner that has been playoff tested and can add the same kind of chippy rugged play that Knuble brings up front.

The combined salaries of Jurcina and Morrisonn to me could be used as part of the slot for that player.

Posted by: leopard09 | July 6, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Dammit Juice. Anyway, Caps should resign him. He is way better than Schultz and ShaMo. I hope they trade both of those guys to make room for Carlson and Alzner next year. Pothier can go also, makes way too much money for what he contributes.

Posted by: madflava | July 6, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Hi Everyone -
A lot of these comments list Carlson as a likely member of the D Unit. I think he's the least likely to be a factor given how Alzner was handled last year. Remember, that if Carlson plays a certain number of games in the NHL he becomes a free agent one year sooner. Add to that the fact that the Caps preach developing the D in Hershey and using how Alzner was handled as support and I think it's very unlikely that we have a full time Carlson next year regardless of how well he performs in camp. I think he'll get some time as a call up if it fits within the cap but he's not going to be a full time NHLer. So, if you ask me, cross him off the list. He is slated for Hershey. I don't know how anything else will shake out with the RFAs, Salary Cap, potential trades, etc., but I'd bet the house Carlson is not a full time Capital in 2009-2010.

Posted by: DisgustedinArlington | July 6, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

@DisgustedinArlington

The difference between Alzner last year and Carlson this year is very simple. Alnzer, has a lot of talent but wasnt strong enough last year, which made his game comparable to those we had in the lineup already.

Carlson has the talent and strength. He is a better player than Alzner and some of the other d-men in the lineup. If they are going to put their best 6 d-men out there everynight, then he will be here in DC.

Posted by: ThePat | July 6, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

"We need a veteran blueliner." This meme's getting really ^@#$*!#^% old and anyone still spouting it is so busy chattering that they haven't stopped to think.

Filling a perceived need out of free agency is how we got ourselves into the Nylander mess. It's how Theodore is part of the club. It's how we ended up with Jagr way back when. Free agents don't buy cups - just ask Glen Sather - and can get you in a lot of trouble - ask Dale Tallon.

With as many defensemen as we've got either here or in the AHL that can play on an NHL blueline, it's a much smarter use of cap space to see if someone steps up during the season, leaving us the flexibility to move at the deadline for whatever our need really is for the playoffs. More often than not, the need isn't what you thought it would be in the off-season.

I also wouldn't move Jurcina. He's got a lot of good natural tools and is more physical than most of our other D-men. Near the end of last season, a really good D-man started coming out. I think there's more to that package, so I wouldn't move him yet.

madflava: We have absolutely no idea what Pothier contributes right now, dude. We haven't had enough time with him healthy in Boudreau's system to get more than a hint, and from what I saw of him in the playoffs, he and Erskine were rock-solid. I'd let Pothier's contract run through the end and let this season determine whether he gets brought back. Also, one thing our blueline doesn't have a lot of is experience, and that's something he brings more of than most to the table.

Posted by: kittypawz | July 6, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I see Carlson being used as an injury call-up throughout and then I think he'll be called up for good around the trade deadline.

Posted by: wis193 | July 6, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Very good post Leopard. I agree with that all. This team has 1 true top line D-man and the rest are really 3rd pairing guys (other than maybe Poti who could be a 2nd pairing guy).

The Caps could not clear their own zone. There defense was terrible. It has to improve. That can be done with one player that gets 20+ minutes a night and the fresh young Alzner. They need someone to play next to Green though because him having to sit back and play defense in the playoffs was a failure by this team. One that could have cost them the cup. That was all on McPhee because he did not give BB the tools to do otherwise.

Posted by: Mike4169 | July 6, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

It's official: Alex Kovalev is not returning to the Habs. Please go to the KHL and not Pittsburgh.

Posted by: wis193 | July 6, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

@kittypawz

You can't say that about free agency and filling perceived needs. That is exactly what free agency is for and if you don't use it you won't ever win a cup. Nylander was a good fit in Hanlon's system. He was averaging close to a point a game till he got hurt. Does he fit in BB's system? Not yet, but 18 months ago who knew that would be the case?

Theodore won 30 games last year for us, when the rookies weren't ready to play. They still might not be ready for a 50 game load. So despite the $4.5 million per year and giving up questionable goals, he has still done the job.

A preceived need was a first line RW. We got Mike Knuble, he will be a bust by your don't use FA to fill a need logic. So like you told everyone else, stop and think about things before you write them. Review the whole picture, don't just spout things off.

Posted by: ThePat | July 6, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

It's official: Alex Kovalev is not returning to the Habs. Please go to the KHL and not Pittsburgh.

Posted by: wis193 | July 6, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Just do not think of coming here to Washington.

Posted by: opus1m | July 6, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

BTW, who wouldn't love to have Francois Beauchemin on this team? He's not gonna get his asking price and the ducks shot down a rumor that they had offered him a very reasonable 4 year, $16M deal.

Posted by: wis193 | July 6, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I am looking at the team next year and I think we look pretty good. This is my line up as I look at it. I dont necessarily think that the line combos will be this way but I bet that it might look something like this:

OV-Backs-Knuble

Might be one of the best lines in hockey.

Flash-Nyls-Semin

Although I hate Nylander, you have to play a guy making 5 mil a year. I think he will be better this year and hopefully Flash shows up and Semin stays healthy. Either way, with a player like Semin on this line, its gonna be dangerous. I also thought of putting Laich on LW.

Fehr-Laich-Clark

I really like Brooksie and think he should stay at C. I think Fehr is set up for a break out year. Clark is the biggest question mark. As the Capt and making 2.5 mil, you cant afford to have him sitting.

Gordo-Stecks-Bradley

This line has Defence written all over it. I loved Brads and Stecks in the playoffs. Gordo is solid as well.

Another line up that intrigued me:

OV-Backs-Fehr
Semin-Nyls-Knuble
Flash-Laich-Bradley
Gordo-Stecks-Clark


Heres my D and this is a toss up.

Green-Juice
Alzner-Poti
Pothier-Erskine

The only one I dont like is Juice at #2. I read someone say earlier that the biggest problem is we don't have a shutdown Dman to compliment Greener and Mo isn't the answer. I think that is dead on. I really wish we could trade Theo for on but that aint happening.

Comments?

Posted by: numero94 | July 6, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Schultz has a QO pending too, right? I didn't miss where he accpeted it, did I?

Posted by: oldtimehockey | July 6, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

@ThePat: I never said never use it. I said think hard and don't rush in to buy every damn thing in sight like this board seems to want to do. Small, key pieces. Not everything. The organization has D-men. It does not have a lot of RW's, and one was available within the Caps' budget. The move makes sense at the time - time will tell if it's truly worth it. But moving for a D-man is a dream and does not make monetary or organizational sense given what we have.

Needs do change - and that's my point here. We'll know at the deadline whether we need a D-man, and move then, not now, so we don't handcuff ourselves if one of our Dmen steps up.

Posted by: kittypawz | July 6, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

For those of you saying we need to buy defense, read this post and think about it. There's a lot of good points in it.

Throwing more bodies and money at a problem does not work, because the Caps are not the federal government and the supply of money is not endless.

Posted by: kittypawz | July 6, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I don't see a point in adding another "veteran blueline defensemen" blah-blah-blah. I agree with kittypawz because we still don't know what kind of impact Woods will have on the defensemen once he starts implementing his system/training/game plan. Why stick another variable in there, your "veteran blueline defensemen", if we end up with another guy who can't work/play in Woods' untested system?

So, no, ThePat, I agree with kittypawz, which addresses people's constant chittering about "veteran blueline defensemen" when it completely overlooks the likelihood that we've already got a new Assistant Coach that can effectuate change in the way the defensemen perform and yet, here we go again, let's throw another player who would have addressed the problems we had under the previous defense coach who was a holdover from Hanlon's (?) style of game, and watch him totally be ineffective and odd-looking in the way Woods does defense next season.

All the chittering "let's get a veteran blueline defenseman" have itchy trigger fingers. I suppose I'd rather have you guys on here than out there with a gun. Let's wait a bit and see what Woods can accomplish with our current defensemen and anyone from Hershey who breaks into the big club.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | July 6, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Ovie-Backy-Knuble
Semin-Nyles-Laich
Flash-Stecks-Clark
Bourque-Gordon-Bradley
*I know I dont have Fehr, but is he completely healthy?

Green-Schultz
Erskine-Poti
Juice-Alzner

Varly
Theo

Posted by: digster1013 | July 6, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Kittypawz, you are not alone on your thoughts about our D. They will be better to start this year than last and they will continue to improve.

Numero94, I agree about Nyls. If we can unload him, then fine. If he is still on the team, we need to make him work and I am not ready to give up on him. He is a good enough player that we can still use him as a second line center.

Posted by: _Mark | July 6, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Seems like a lot of commenters watched the playoffs...and only the playoffs. Juice wasn't what I'd call physical in the regular season. That was one of his biggest problems. He had the body to be a rough body taking defender and he often didn't hit anyone.

If he plays like he did in the playoffs all the time - our D isn't that bad. If he plays like he did last regular season - we need to let him walk.

He just doesn't add enough to warrant a roster spot. We have kids in Hershey who can do exactly what he did in the regular season. The guys in Hershey have more upside potential, but they won't take the next step in their development until they get some solid and continuous NHL level experience.

Bottom line - if Juice will be a physical presence for us on the blue line we should keep him. If he's going to play like he did last regular season - let him walk.

Posted by: patrone | July 6, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Juice needs to unleash that friggin cannon more often.

Posted by: thiazzi | July 6, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

@numero94

I like your second line better than your first and here's why.

Ovie/Backs/Knuble probably won't work as well as people think. Bordreau knows this and that is why he has been less than committal on line combos.

Ovie and Backs are playmakers. Sustained pressure really isn't their thing. They use sweet passing plays and the transition game to score goals. It's rare that you will find them pinning an opposing D in the zone or cycling in the corners. Knuble works very well in front of the net - yes. However, in order for him to score goals in front of the net he needs time to get there. His style is most condusive to a line with Nyles and Semin or Nyles and Flash. They play a puck control game and will give Knuble ample time to be a net pressence.

Knuble will also do very well on the PP with Ovie, Semin, Green and Backs.

For those that care - here are my lines.

OV-Backs-Semin/Fehr/Flash
Fehr/Semin/Flash-Nyls-Knuble
Flash/Fehr/Semin-Laich-Clark
Gordo-Stecks-Bradley

Yes - I really think that Semin, Fehr, and Flash can be used as inter-changable parts on the first 3 lines. It's really going to depend on the situation. If we need a goal it's going to be OV-BACKS-SEMIN. If we need D it's going to be OV-BACKS-FEHR. If we want razzle-dazzle deek you out of your skates it will be OV-BACKS-FLASH.

Posted by: patrone | July 6, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Juice can't unleash the cannon if GMGM doesn't pull the trigger on the re-sign. With Knuble in front of the net, I expect to see more finding their way behind the opposing goalie.

Posted by: doughless | July 6, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Are there going to be people predicting a breakout year for Fehr every year?

Posted by: thiazzi | July 6, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

i think fehr is a third liner, at best

Posted by: doughless | July 6, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Caps fans need to come to term that Fehr is a busted draft pick just like Pokulok. He will never score 20 or more goals in a season. Caps should have traded up one spot to get Parise and still could have had Getzlaf or Mike Richards. GMGM really got this pick completely wrong.

Posted by: madflava | July 6, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Not that Fehr is more than a 3rd line winger, but let's not forget that he played last year with TWO shoulders that had labrum tears and needed surgery after the season. Maybe this contributed a little to his not developing as Caps fans had hoped last year. I agree that this year is put up or shut up time for him and he should receive a good amount of ice time to show off his skills.

I think the Caps were hoping Shane Mo would ask for arbitration so that they could have let him go. Jurcina won't ask for nearly as much as we're paying Morrisson and will probably stay here another year since only Alzner appears ready to make the jump. Looks like another year of mediocre D unless Alzner has a big impact and Pothier shows he can be a top 4 defenseman again.

Posted by: wizfan89 | July 6, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

How about Phil Kessel coming to DC? He was rumored to be going to the Leafs for Kaberle, but couldn't we send a prospect and/or a pick plus an everyday player to Boston? Nylander, Fleischman and/or Schultz forKessel works for me.

Posted by: jmurray019 | July 6, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Juice just turned 26. He still has upside. He isn't a prospect anymore, but he certainly could round out to be a solid pro.
Something to think about at least.

Posted by: jmurray019 | July 6, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

I could see us trading Nylander to Boston. (probably because we already traded him there once lol) but we won't get Kessel at that price and I'm not ready to give up on Flash. He has shown flashes (no pun intended) of brilliance that make him look like he could easily have 30 goal seasons further down the road.

Posted by: wis193 | July 6, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

No real mention about the possibility of Gustaffson making the team this year. Everything I've read about him places him as a fit for 2nd or 3rd center... big, hard-hitting, fast. Backstrom held out from the NHL for a year and came ready to play. I have a feeling Gus JR. doesn't have as much "pro-level" experience in Sweden but maybe enough to crack the line up. Could we be that lucky? As for the D, I think there is too much pessimism. I say give the young kids a chance to develop... no more expensive signings for now. Too many feel the only good defender is one who tries to put somebody through the boards at all cost. Another year under their belts, perhaps different pairings, attention to coaching, and I think we'll see a much better defensive core next yet.

Posted by: gonchpup | July 6, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

So Toronto's defensive core now includes Luke Schenn, Tomas Kaberle, Mike Komisarek, and Francois Beauchemin. Good thing Gerber/Toskala is all they've got in net...

Posted by: wis193 | July 6, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

*corps

Posted by: wis193 | July 6, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

To add to the blueline confusion, no one has brought up Kip Brennan - ejected from the Bears playoff run in 2007 after tussling with an unruly fan. His name popped up during the season as a possible replacement for Brashear and has spent time with the Bears and Stingrays this season past.

Last I heard, he was to be invited to summer camp. We'll see if he shows up next week -

Posted by: dogdaze | July 7, 2009 6:49 AM | Report abuse

... And right on cue, the Toronto Maple Leafs sign Jonas "The Monster" Gustavsson.

The problem with Brennan is that he never had enough skill to be an NHL player and he's past his prime now as well

Posted by: wis193 | July 7, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

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