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Kozlov and Kronwall in, Nylander and Erskine out (Updated)

Here's the latest from KCI:

Looks like Viktor Kozlov will indeed return tonight against Carolina after a one-game absence due to his lingering groin muscle strain. Coach Bruce Boudreau has also given his defense a little jolt in the aftermath of Sunday's 6-2 loss to the Panthers by putting Staffan Kronwall in and removing John Erskine. This will be Kronwall's third game in the lineup since the Caps claimed him about a month ago.

The starting goaltender against the 'Canes will be Jose Theodore.

The bigger story, though, is that veteran Michael Nylander will be scratched for the fourth straight game. With the trade deadline looming in 24 hours, it certainly raises questions. Would he be willing to approve a trade now that it looks like he might not play much, if at all? Is there anyone out there who would be willing to take on his contract?

This certainly bears watching.

Also, the forward combos looked like this:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Kozlov
Fleischmann-Fedorov-Semin
Laich-Steckel-Fehr
Brashear-Gordon-Bradley

Update:A couple of notes I forgot: Alex Ovechkin smeared a shaving cream pie in the face of Alex Semin in "celebration" of Semin's birthday today. The funniest thing to me was that Boudreau was in on the prank. Boudreau walked into the room, called Semin into the hallway, which allowed Ovechkin to race over and get him undetected.

Also, I failed to mention that there was a Phoenix pro scout watching Sunday's game at Verizon Center. He could have been looking at the Panthers, but he was more than likely looking at the Caps, who are believed to have interest in defenseman Derek Morris.

I'll hope to have a little more later.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 3, 2009; 11:21 AM ET
 
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Next: The other Backstrom re-signs in Minnesota

Comments

Nylander has to be gone - 4th game in a row that he is scratched...I think that message is clear.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 3, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

He better waive that NMC...

Posted by: Hatfield223 | March 3, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Other than Nylander, it is hard to read much tradewise into that lineup.

Posted by: uncatim | March 3, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Not being too familiar w/ the numbers side of hockey, can anyone tell me if it is possible to buy out Nyls contract now to make roster space? And how would that effect salary cap?

Posted by: griffin13 | March 3, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

griffin13,
I don't think you can do a buy-out during the season. It would have to take place over the summer. And since he wasn't yet 35 when he signed his contract, the Caps would be responsible for 2/3 or 3.25 million. Or, he is allowed to request waivers if the Caps inform him they are buying him out. Not sure what the numbers would be for waivers.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 3, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

The Big Swede is prone to injuries. Maybe BB GMGM are trying to make sure he makes it to the trade deadline healthy - who'd want an injured & expensive non-performing forward?

Posted by: condalator | March 3, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

If you look at the line-up you can see a need for a Billy Guerin type. A rugged winger to go along with Federov and Semin. You could put Laich into that role but then you move Flash to 3rd line duty. In the playoffs we need more grit than regular season. Flash is not there yet.

Posted by: diner99 | March 3, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Scratch a tough guy like Erskine and leave in pretty-boy, no-contact Schultz. I know Erskine is slow-footed, but I like the grit he brings. But it can't hurt to give Kronwall a shot, I guess.

Posted by: CDon | March 3, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

And again I ask why Erskine was signed to an extension at the beginning of the season? Let alone an extension with a substantial pay raise?

Posted by: cainoo7x | March 3, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Please,let Nylander be gone. It's the only way we can deal.

Posted by: ridgely1 | March 3, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Thanks jmu_capsgirl

Posted by: griffin13 | March 3, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Guerin would be a pretty good pickup but they really need someone like Pronger.

Posted by: Stu_c | March 3, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

> Would he be willing to approve a trade now that it looks like he might not play much, if at all?

Who needs this no trade class. If GM wants you to be traded, there are ways, like water boarding, riding the pine... water boarding maybe better for a hockey player :-)

Posted by: CodePoetry | March 3, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Lets not forget, this team has a pretty darn impressive record against Eastern Conference teams that would currently qualify for the playoffs.

3-0-1 against Boston
2-0-2 against New Jersey
1-2 against Philly
3-1 against Montreal
2-2 against Florida
3-0-1 against Rangers
3-0 against Pittsburgh

only a losing record against Philly. 17-5-4 overall against Eastern Conference Playoff teams. And some of you want to press the panic button?

Posted by: SombreroGuy | March 3, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Eeeenterestink.

@828: A stick that Alex can't break? You've got to trade for something that exists, man! :D

@opita: I guess my problem is that I can see both sides of the argument to trade or not to trade, but ultimately the real fix we need is mental, and major shuffling of bodies isn't going to do a lot for that and could hurt. Trade speculations are fun and entertaining, but ultimately meaningless.

Also, yes, it's good, but it could be better. Excellence, sure, but striving for perfection is how you get there. Nothing wrong with aiming higher, and a lot wrong with not doing so. That's what we're running into.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 3, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

From previous thread:

007 - Haven't thought about picking up two lower priced dmen.

HMMMM....

All comes down to cost. Can we make that happen without giving up much? We can't lose sight that improving for this year could hurt us over the next two or three. Rentals will be gone by then and the young guys who were traded for those rentals are gone as well.

Rentals for picks and marginal prospects only. That's why I like the idea of a Kaberle or Pronger since they both have some time on their contracts. However, the price may be too steep.

Posted by: waitingsince75 | March 3, 2009 11:44 AM


LOVE the lines! Laich Steckel Fehr is my dream third line.

Posted by: waitingsince75 | March 3, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I don't think we can read much into this. Typically players are not kept out of practice unless a deal has been finalized.

Posted by: FLDave | March 3, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Trying to connect the dots between the current situation and the trade rumors, have the Caps and Islanders agreed to a trade that will have Guerin coming to the Caps and Nylander going to Long Island, with the holdup being Nylander's NMC?

Posted by: cainoo7x | March 3, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Tarik,

Help me understand this... Schultz is on the ice for 5 goals against against the Panthers and Erskine gets benched. What is Boudreau's love afair with this guy. He may as well be a big orange cone out there. I keep hearing he's a good positional defenseman but he doesn't make any plays. All I see him do is screen his own goalie.

Posted by: honker | March 3, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Just weighing in because I can here, but I'm much less opposed to the Pronger or Backstrom trades than I am to the crazy Bouwmeester (?) talk, not because of they way any of them play or the salary cap implications, but rather because Pronger and Backstrom are from the West and whoever we sent away we wouldn't have to face. If we sent someone to FLA we'd play against them 6 times a year includng a game or two (possibly a playoff series) this year. Just some food for thought.

Posted by: superpaqman | March 3, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Wild signed Backstrom to 4 year extension.

Posted by: feyd991 | March 3, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

@cainoo7x

I highly doubt that would be the trade. The Isles are trying to get younger. If Guerin actually comes here, which at this point I doubt, it will be for someone playing with the Bears and a 3rd rounder or something.

Posted by: ThePat | March 3, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

@diner99 - is Bieska rumored to be in play? He's in the first year of a 3 year extension. Not sure why they would trade him.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | March 3, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Phoenix scouts also at Bears game Sunday

Posted by: ekays | March 3, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

@feyd991

Yup!

Posted by: Dizzy1205 | March 3, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Kronwall in the top 6? God I hope tonight is the last time we see that.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 3, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Why scratch Erskine instead of Schultz?? Schultz was on ice for FIVE FLA goals. He is terrible!!! I like playing Kronwall, but not in place of Erskine! Come on Caps, get your act together. Nylander apparently is gone. That's OK by me. I actually like Nylander, he just doesn't fit on this team. No hard feelings and good luck. Thanks for your service! How 'bout we trade Nyls, a young star(maybe Bourque) and a draft pick for Pronger! Any thoughts?

Posted by: BPTUCKER71 | March 3, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

FLDave - Not this year. There are several players being held out knowing that a trade will be happening, but with no deal in place.

cainoo7x - I am connecting different dots. If Guerin is coming here that means that we are trading a top forward and Nylander. Perhaps we are waiting for Chicago to move someone so we can give them Nyls, then another forward goes in a Pronger type deal and then Guerin can come in here.

Posted by: waitingsince75 | March 3, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Erskine is ranked the 30th best defensive defenseman in the NHL by CBS Sportsline. $1.1 million is cheap for that.

http://www.cbssports.com/nhl/players/playerpage/152213

Posted by: fehrrocks | March 3, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Tarik strikes again...

From last post

This is why we have this blog - to mess around with the combinations - both lines and players. Yeah, it's fun to say, "oh man we could have... and we could get rid of..." I just don't really see the need to move players for the sake of moving them. We still have a young squad.

Average age of D is 26. Leave out Poti at 31 and it drops to 25. As a squad, they're better this year than last. I'm pretty sure they'll be better next than this.

We need a presence in front of the opponent's goal. We have that in Hershey under development. We get plenty of scoring opportunities from at least 3 lines. That's pretty darn good. Again, next year will be better than this.

I just don't think we're quite there yet.

Getting another player in here as a rental means we have to give up a player. We can't do a deal for picks. There has to be aplayer involved in the deal. While we all have our pet dogs we'd love to chop, realistically who would it be? And what happens next year?

Posted by: Greg S. | March 3, 2009 11:42 AM

Posted by: Greg S. | March 3, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I think the one area we really want to upgrade is at Erskine's position of a stay home defender. He may be trade bait. While I dont think his new contract helps the situation, you can always fatten the deal with some picks and prospects to make it happen.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 3, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I would just like to see BB scratch Schultz for a game to see how the D does without his...uuhhh...well, what really does he bring to the team? I want to see how the D performs sans the big, slow guy. If they prove me wrong, so be it, maybe I can finally say "Oh, maybe Schultz DOES do something for the team." Although I doubt that will happen.

Posted by: CapsKH | March 3, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

@SA-Town - Why? What's wrong with Kronwall? I thought he's played well in the couple of games he's played...

Posted by: irockthered | March 3, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Why Erskine? Schultz has been downright awful. Erskine has shown some promise in recent games - he's really been turning it around!

Posted by: patrone | March 3, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

CapsKH

The Caps played without Schultz earlier this season while he was injured and did great with Alzner.

Posted by: honker | March 3, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Thank goodness Minnesota signed him. Puts to rest all that speculation.

Posted by: ThePat | March 3, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

honker,

Thank you for saying exactly what I was thinking. Erskine might not be all that great, but Schultz was the most useless tool in the box on Sunday. There was one point in the 3rd where Neuvirth had to take the initiative to give a Florida attacker who had set up shop in the crease a shove while Schultz was standing not even a foot to the guy's right, doing nothing.

Posted by: ModestProposal | March 3, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

The hold up with Nyls is not the NMC. I can tell you that he would waive it right away to go almost anywhere. The issue is that there are 3 teams involved and the dominos have to fall. He is not the key to the transaction but he needs to be packaged properly.
My guees is that it won't happen but for all parties, I hope it does.

Posted by: atybat | March 3, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

@honker

Yeah, I remember that...I was so very not happy when he returned. I guess I meant...try it again. He underperformed the last game by a landslide, therefore he should get the boot, not Erskine.

Posted by: CapsKH | March 3, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

@feyd991: TSN confirms that but doesn't have details yet. Waiting for a link when they do.

Phoenix having scouts in Hershey does not surprise me in the least. Lends more fire to the Morris rumor. Frankly, of all the Dmen that have been thrown out here, Morris seems like the best option to me if we grab one and can swing his cap hit.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 3, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

hey, tarik, how about a few photos to semin BD?

Posted by: beldelo | March 3, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=269560

Caps appear to be deep in the running for Morris.

Posted by: ModestProposal | March 3, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

IMO - we need...

A good SAH defensemen...someone to clear the crease.

A power forward...someone to sit in the crease.

A goalie would be nice...back-up Theo or have Theo as back-up.

Wishful thinking.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 3, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if we can work out a deal with Dan Synder. Overpaid, non-producing, on the downside of their career. That spells 5 years, 30 million guanrantee to Danny boy.

Posted by: NFeKPo | March 3, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget that Schultz was abused by Aaron Asham out of all people in the Philly game. The guy is a goon. I'm surprised he knows which end of the stick goes on the ice. Asham went around Schultz like he wasn't there.

Posted by: honker | March 3, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Oh man. I can only imagine what was going through Semin's mind as BB calls him into the hallway the day before the trade deadline. His heart was probably running at 160 BPM.

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | March 3, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Schultz is fragile - scratching him will just make him worse. He was booed in hershey because the fans weren't patient with him and it just made him worse.

What happened to the plan of pairing young D with experienced vets? Unless they trade him, that seems to be the best thing to do with him.

Posted by: stormblue | March 3, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

@ThePat and waitingsince75

First, I'm not saying that the trade would be Nylander for Guerin straight up. Obviously, the Caps would be adding something to sweeten the deal, I just don't know that that would be. Could be Chris Borque, or it could be a draft pick.

Second, I don't think a third team would necessarily have to be involved. The Caps certainly have some assets which would be of interest to Islanders, be it young players or draft picks. At the same time, Nylander isn't devoid of talent, he just hasn't meshed with anyone on the Caps. Last, while the Islanders are going with the youth movement, they still need to reach the salary floor, and Nylander can help them do that.

For the Caps, Guerin would be replacing what they'd already have if Chris Clark were healthy.

Posted by: cainoo7x | March 3, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Anybody who gets Guerin will not have to spend more than a third round pick.

A pick and a prospect? No way.

Posted by: waitingsince75 | March 3, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

The Wild just signed Backstrom....
http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=3948480

Posted by: caps28fan | March 3, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Rags just claimed Avery.

http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=269559

Posted by: ModestProposal | March 3, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

"Why Erskine? Schultz has been downright awful. Erskine has shown some promise in recent games - he's really been turning it around!"

Agreed! I watched the NESN feed of the Bruins vs. Caps game on Sat. The announcers were commenting on how far Erskine has come, this is the best they've seen from him. Erskine may be slow footed, but plays well positionally and has an edge the Caps desperately need on the backline.

Posted by: FLDave | March 3, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Erskine is sitting because he is going bye-bye??

Posted by: PhilR | March 3, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

The Rags and Avery deserve each other. I hope that the cancer in that locker room finishes their fall out of the playoffs.

Posted by: _Mark | March 3, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Avery back with the Rangers just makes me chuckle. In that "Man, you guys are idiots" sort of way. I just can't wait to see what Torts does with him.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 3, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Seems like I'm the only one who plays "They Sit They're Sold"

By the rules of that (very unscientific) game Erskine is leaving as part of the deal for Morris.

It's well-documented the Coyotes are in cost-saving mode.

Posted by: austinsteve | March 3, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

@jmucapsgirl: Idiots, or masochistic.

Posted by: kittypawz | March 3, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Torts, invite Sean over to meet the W&K's. Only, keep yer eye on the wife.

Posted by: WhyGo | March 3, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

cainoo7x - Are you crazy?? Nylander and Bourque for Guerin? Are you Guerin's agent or something?

Third round pick and that is all. Besides, Guerin would be replacing Chris Clark who we don't really need anyway. It makes no sense unless we are trading two fwds off the NHL roster.

BTW - what about going out and getting a backup for Theo? I am not advocating it, but somone like Weeks is available and cheap.

Posted by: waitingsince75 | March 3, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

kittypawz, Why not both?? It works in Tampa!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 3, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

austinsteve - You could be right. But can we really have two Mo's on D?

Posted by: waitingsince75 | March 3, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

weekes isnt available.

they will send Clem down.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 3, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

"The hold up with Nyls is not the NMC. I can tell you that he would waive it right away to go almost anywhere."

I may be the only one, but this makes me feel sorry for Nyls.

Posted by: Baildog | March 3, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I would say Erskine has got to be a part of that Phoenix deal. TSN is reporting that offers are on the table from all parties involved. Can't afford for a piece to get injured the night before the deal. Is Hershey playing this evening?? I would be interested to see who they sit if so.

Posted by: PhilR | March 3, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

welcome to MO's!!!

Posted by: WhyGo | March 3, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm almost starting to not like Boudreau. Why can't Schultz be touched?! He has been horrible; Erskine has been good. What message does that send, play good and we'll still sit you over someone playing like crap. I'm starting to think there's more to this.

Posted by: OviToSemin | March 3, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

@ waitingsince75

I think it's a 3-way deal that will also bring us Schultz and Backstrom from the Wild

;)

Posted by: austinsteve | March 3, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

It's going to be fun to watch the Rangers self-implode some more.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 3, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Erskin Scratched....Shultz had a terrible game. He should be down in Hershey.

Posted by: TJ2008 | March 3, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I still don't think the Caps have any cap space except the LTIR replacement for Clark. You can add salary making up to what Clark is making (2.675) less Kronwall. You can't bring in Pronger, Guerin or Morris prorated and use them against Clark unprorated. The 1.7 cap figure you are seeing on that website, IMO, is wrong. The Caps haven't had any space except LTIR replacement space since last Oct 1st. I will eat my words if wrong and be happy about it. You can get Morris though if you move about 1.5 (Mo).

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 3, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Minnesota just extended Backstrom's contract 4 years.

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | March 3, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

If there's a place that can absorb the wacked out, it's NYC. Also, if he's in any way rehabbed...he's still a good enough hockey player to be a thorn.

I'm not an Avery fan and I'm glad that he's not a Cap.

Posted by: Greg S. | March 3, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Morrison and Nylander for Witt. Why not? It will never happen, but it would be fun. Maybe free up enough cap to bring back Alzner too.

Posted by: lornemyoung | March 3, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

@austinsteve: Except Backstrom re-signed with the Wild :)

Posted by: kittypawz | March 3, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

@waitingsince75

If the Caps want to move Nylander, they are going to have to give up something of value. The guy has one point in his last 8 games played, has been a healthy scratch for 4 straight games, and is set to make $5.5 mil next season and $3 mil the year after that. The other teams in the NHL know the Caps are in a tough spot with him, so the Caps don't have a ton of negotiating leverage. Sure, the Caps might be overpaying by including Borque, but sometimes that's what has to be done.

Posted by: cainoo7x | March 3, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Avery from the Rangers to the Stars and then back to the Rangers...Stars still have to pay some of his salary...so who is the "sloppy second?"

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 3, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Well kttypawz I guess we'll have to settle for Kozlov from ATL then

Posted by: austinsteve | March 3, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm almost starting to not like Boudreau.

Posted by: OviToSemin | March 3, 2009 12:23 PM

yeah, you hate the coach who has the best/second best season in caps history. edgy.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 3, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Why are they sitting Erskine...SHULTZ is the one that deserves to sit...he was horrible the other day!

Posted by: NatyBG | March 3, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

What happens to all the Coyotes players when Phoenix Pholds after next season?

Will Erskine cut Ovie in half at center ice?

And who will we get to haul lumber in Washington?

Posted by: austinsteve | March 3, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Oh no! The Wild signed Backstrom? We are doomed. Well, I guess I can live with this year of a huge turn around for the team, though limitations will prevent us from going as far as we could.

I wonder if the Caps ever had a stellar goalie--the kind that consistently rates among the top five. This may be a blind spot in their team-building strategy. The only games that were not frustrating in terms of goal-keeping to me where those with Huet in goal.

Is there another top goalie on the market? What does everybody think of Manny Fernandez? Isn't Nikolai Khabibulin available also?

I am heartbroken about Backs.

Posted by: caraveli | March 3, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

austinsteve, Finley looks a bit lumberjack-ish. Maybe him?

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 3, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Tarik's on point again today! New post!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | March 3, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Phil, Hershey is off untill the weekend with an optional practice this am
http://blog.pennlive.com/patriotnewssports/2009/03/bears_reassign_mayotte.html

Posted by: ekays | March 3, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

"Only a losing record against Philly. 17-5-4 overall against Eastern Conference Playoff teams. And some of you want to press the panic button?"

--Excellent post SombreroGuy. I just don't get the mindsets of way too many Caps fans. Obviously a lot of them haven't been around long, if they're agonizing over this season, one of the best in franchise history.

40 wins, one of the best records in hockey, a loaded lineup and an award winning coach, and many fans are convinced we're going nowhere unless we trade for so-and-so or unless this improves, or that changes.

Sure, the team has areas that could use improvement. Sure, they have bad games and off nights. But all NHL teams have issues like that. Amazing how despite how awful the Caps are in some areas, they've still managed to somehow stumble their way to 40 wins so far!!!??

GO CAPS!

Posted by: jollyroger2 | March 3, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

@jmu

Maybe Club Scarlet can have a lumberjack pose-off [fingers crossed]

Ooh, and I hope Morris makes it in time to compete for the 08-09 Club Scarlet centerfold!

now how did my tongue get stuck in my cheek like that?

Posted by: austinsteve | March 3, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil - Clem got sent down because he didn't have to clear waivers, Sutter said as much. I think NJ would trade whichever goalie gets them the best return, especially the way MB has played in his 3 games back. I think Weekes is a very real possibility unless NJ just doesn't want to help someone they may well play in round 2.

Posted by: ds_kelly | March 3, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

The Caps are probably still a year or two away from going deep in the playoffs. You are what you are, and the Caps aren't all of a sudden going to swill some magic potion that will stop them from taking so many undisciplined penalties. Their season ended last spring as they were trying to kill a penalty against the Flyers. I hope the Caps prove me wrong, but it's seems to be the way it is.

Posted by: djdavew2002 | March 3, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Scratch a tough guy like Erskine and leave in pretty-boy, no-contact Schultz. I know Erskine is slow-footed, but I like the grit he brings. But it can't hurt to give Kronwall a shot, I guess.

Posted by: CDon | March 3, 2009 11:44 AM

Another proof positive that Boudreau can sometimes make some real boneheaded moves. He's in love with Schultz and for him to publicly call out our defensive corps after the last game and then continue to play the godawful Schultz makes no sense at all. Erskine certainly hasn't looked as bad as #55

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 3, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I wish we had just let Kevin Lowe have Nyls when he wanted him.

Posted by: Beggarsandthieves | March 3, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Well, a trade's in the offing to be sure. Agreed that we don't want to give away too much for a rental - we have prospects now, doesn't mean we always will have them. Guys who deserve a chance to play now: Giroux, Lepisto, Sloan. We can probably trade them and a goalie prospect. I'd prefer Pronger if he really was just a rental - we'd be stuck with that 6 mil contract next year. I'd like Guerin or Ryan Smyth here, or Pronger.

Posted by: WritingLight | March 3, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Why aren't they looking at scratching Jeff Schultz?? He has been so bad recently and was on the ice for, I think 5 of the 6 goals on Sunday as well as a bunch of opponents goals the last few weeks! The Caps should sit him down and bring back Alzner!!

Posted by: larmur57 | March 3, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

about the lines:
I prefer Backstrom with Semin, Federov with Ovie. Backs and Semin have great chemistry.

Posted by: WritingLight | March 3, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

fehrrocks,

Thanks for the link on Erskine. He is ranked 30th in defensive defensemen while Schultz is ranked 122.

http://www.cbssports.com/nhl/players/playerpage/565258

Schultz in and Erskine out. What is wrong with this picture? I've been dissatisfied with Schultz all along, notwithstanding his numbers. For someone that big to be soft on other players is impossible for me to understand. I had hopes during the off-season when I read he put on 20 pounds of muscle. All those were quickly dashed early in the season when he was checked and out-muscled by Martin St. Louis.

Tarik -- any insight as to why Schultz is not being sat out? BTW, does Boudreau read your blog?

Posted by: Puckdawg69 | March 3, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Schultz is absolutely horrible. Always have been, always will be. You could see that Green was going to be good even before he broke out. There was never even a glimpse of hope for Schultz. We need to trade him (GIVE AWAY!) before it's too late.

Posted by: jlivsics | March 3, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

@griffin13 & jmu_capsgirl

You can cut a player anytime you want as you are seeing today and the CBA reads that when a player is cut the salary cap hit is 1/2 of the money owed on the remaining contract and extended for double the time. So for example with Nylander, I believe he has 2 years left and the remainder of his contract is $8M, so if we cut him today then our cap hit would be $4M (1/2 the money) over 4 yrs (double the term left) which is $1M a year. The problem with doing this though is that if somebody picks him up off waivers then we have to pay 1/2 his contract for the remaining term so then we're on the hook for $2.5M next year and $1.5M the following year. Somebody would certainly pick him up off waivers knowing that THEY only have to pay him 1/2 as well. $2.5M sucks for us as it's dead money but is great for the team picking him up b/c while he isn't working out here, Nylander is a good pickup at $2.5M and $1.5M for the next 2 years. I think if we knew that nobody would pick him up we would have already cut him but somebody will get him at those numbers for sure. Hope that clears it up for you guys.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | March 3, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Happy birthday, Semin!

He's gonna' collect goals as presents tonight!!!!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 3, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Pronger and Alzner in....Nylander, Schultz out.

we got Finley and Carlile coming up in a couple of years, and a shot to win it this year...go for it.

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

Look at Morris Plus/minus, he is a career minus 27. (inlcuding Juniors and AHL) only couple of yeard (Colorado) where he was a PLUS player. Do not know much about him but GM GM knows better

Posted by: hunter32 | March 3, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

An observation, Great season, so far, but those of you are not so young and look back at some of the earlier teams; the caps had some good to great season's. We just could not score in the playoffs. Hence, Gartner for Dino trade. But as you can tell by my Hunter 32, i have been a fan loong time. Great regular seaon does not = a long play off run. See CAPS vs. Devils, couple of year after Gretzky called them a "Mickey Mouse Team". Anyway, one does not have to go that far back, One VS. Eight, few years back, was it not SJ / RW and SJ knowed them out! Enjoy we may still be couple of years away. HMMM. but no CAPS team had OV before.

Enjoy the regular season and come mid april it starts all over again!

Posted by: hunter32 | March 3, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully Semin gets his 100th goal tonight as a Bday present.

He also only needs 4 assists for 200 and 5 points for 300.

Posted by: wis193 | March 3, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

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