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Leonsis on Ice, Playoffs, Draft and More

Caps majority owner Ted Leonsis was online today to answer reader questions. Here's an excerpt:

Washington, D.C.: Ted:
I have to tell you that the way Detroit is manhandling Pittsburgh so far (even with Datsyuk out) depresses me. Not because I like Pittsburgh, far from it. But because I realize that the Caps are much much farther away from being in Detroit's class than I had thought. I think there is still a long way to go. Comments?
Ted Leonsis: Sorry we arent best team in NHL yet-- that is our goal though.. and we will keep working it--all to meet your specifications as a fan.
Germantown, Md.: Hi Ted,
There was talk last year of bringing the Bears down for a weekend game maybe sometime when the Caps are on the road...any possibility of this occurring?
Ted Leonsis: I dont know yet-- George and the scouts are hard at work; they take teh draft very seriously-- we have two high picks in Alzner and Gustafsson that still need to play--we have lots of prospects in Hershey-- maybe we use the pick-- maybe George trades it-- it is up to him!

Check out the complete transcript here.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  June 3, 2009; 2:11 PM ET
 
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Comments

I think Ted misunderstood the question posed by Germantown, MD.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | June 3, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I think so, too. Although the question has come up before, but I don't remember if it was with Ted or GMGM during a Q&A. But they said they'd lvoe to get the Bears down here for a game or two, but Hershey fans are there every game year in and year out supporting their team and they understandably are a little wary of giving up home games for the bears to play in DC.

So, we shall see.

Posted by: RedBirdie | June 3, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

http://deadspin.com/5277120/i-guess-pittsburgh-isnt-laying-down-quietly

Highlight:

"Personally, I think it was Pittsburgh's innovative "six men on the ice" strategy that turned the tide."

Posted by: mrszilla | June 3, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: mrszilla | June 3, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

On Ted's "group think" statement about whether the Caps need a marquis defensive defenseman: I would offer that just because "everyone" is saying something doesn't mean it's not true and we should cover our ears and run the other way. I will presume it is undisputed that a blue chip defensive D-man could very well help the Caps achieve their goal.

My assumption then in understanding Mr. Leonsis' statement is that he meant that this is not the only route to making the team better. I would absolutely agree with this assessment.

Posted by: austinsteve | June 3, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Interesting...

The Hockey News reports that Emery is close to signing with Philly.

There's a certain synergy there, isn't there?

Posted by: Greg S. | June 3, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Antropov is big and young and pretty mobile when he's motivated.. Lock him up!

Posted by: _jordan | June 3, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

oh, I so want to see the insanity that will occur with Crazy Ray Emery in Philly. Its got "Meltdown of Epic Proportions" written all oevr it.

Posted by: RedBirdie | June 3, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

My assumption then in understanding Mr. Leonsis' statement is that he meant that this is not the only route to making the team better. I would absolutely agree with this assessment.
Posted by: austinsteve | June 3, 2009 3:27 PM |

Very well put as you can see, there is more than 1 way to get to the Cup finals as Det & pinz have shown how to build.

Posted by: Rocc00 | June 3, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

austinsteve, I took the "group think" comment more of a "what team doesn't need a super defensive defenseman" reaction. Sure the Caps could use one, but it wouldn't solve all the Caps' issues and they're not easy to come by.

Posted by: koalatek | June 3, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

On Ted's "group think" statement about whether the Caps need a marquis defensive defenseman: I would offer that just because "everyone" is saying something doesn't mean it's not true and we should cover our ears and run the other way. I will presume it is undisputed that a blue chip defensive D-man could very well help the Caps achieve their goal.
_________________________________________
Huh? Why do we need another blue-chip defense man prospect? I am failing to see why we need another blue chip d man when we have Carlson and Alzner.

Maybe you think blue chip = good player, and not a highly touted prospect? I guess that would account for the misunderstanding.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 3, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

@Rocc00 & koalatek

I will stick with that as what he meant then.
:)

Posted by: austinsteve | June 3, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

We're not talking about prospects, well you are, I'm not. :)

Posted by: austinsteve | June 3, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Antropov is big and young and pretty mobile when he's motivated.. Lock him up!

Posted by: _jordan | June 3, 2009 3:40 PM |

He is big. and fairly young. but lets be serious...dude can't skate worth beans.

Wouldn't mind seeing him in a Caps jersey for a fair price though.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 3, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

We're not talking about prospects, well you are, I'm not. :)

Posted by: austinsteve | June 3, 2009 4:04 PM |

Well, no. I am saying that "blue chip" in sports means prospects. It refers to the cream of the crop for young guys coming in. A "blue chip" d man would mean bringing/trading/drafting for another touted prospect; like Alzner or Carlson. I am saying that I think you used the term blue chip to refer to any good player. That is sort of misusing the term, hence my misunderstanding.

It's not a big deal, I was just confused.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 3, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

oh, I so want to see the insanity that will occur with Crazy Ray Emery in Philly. Its got "Meltdown of Epic Proportions" written all oevr it.

Posted by: RedBirdie | June 3, 2009 3:48 PM

http://www.csnphilly.com/pages/landing_09?Panaccio-Flyers-to-Sign-G-Emery=1&blockID=56999&feedID=695

:)

Posted by: richmondphil | June 3, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

@austinsteve

Petty semantics aside, I don't necessarily think bringing in that 6 mil+ d man will be the missing piece. I'd rather see us go after cheaper, affordable d men who play their position. The Scuderi's, Stuart's, Eaton's...solid top 6 men. I would just like to maybe see instead of us spending 6 mil on 1 d man, aggregating it across 2 or 3 d men.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 3, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

I was going to disagree about your definition of "blue chip" but I looked it up and you are right that by definition it means younger or prospect athlete. So sorry for the confusion, that was not my meaning.

My meaning was a top 1-2 rated defenseman who would then be the Caps undisputed #1 defensive defenseman.

I have to get back to work, but yes, I definitely think the complications of getting such a person given the Caps cap/personnel situation make it unlikely given people seem to agree there are other avenues to pursue.

Posted by: austinsteve | June 3, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

That being said, I would not be opposed to bringing in a Pronger-like free agent or trading for one. But that will be even more stress on our limited cap space. Which is one of the big reasons I would like to see us aggregate that money around.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 3, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

//I don't necessarily think bringing in that 6 mil+ d man will be the missing piece. I'd rather see us go after cheaper, affordable d men...
//That being said, I would not be opposed to bringing in a Pronger-like free agent or trading for one.
---
I think you're covering all the possible bases here. Either we need a 6million d-man like pronger or we don't. You're for it, or you're against it.

I'm not really sure a top d-man is what we need either, but you can't play both sides of the fence.

Posted by: nowanna1 | June 3, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

http://www.csnphilly.com/pages/landing_09?Panaccio-Flyers-to-Sign-G-Emery=1&blockID=56999&feedID=695

:)

Posted by: richmondphil | June 3, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Oh, bring on the insanity! I cannot wait.

Posted by: RedBirdie | June 3, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

No more Marty Biron on the Flyers?

Ray Emery is a punk and I hate him and I think he sucks so I'm glad the Flyers are getting him. =) Didn't he fight with Biron when he was on the Senators?

Posted by: rachel216 | June 3, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

oh, yes, I forgot: Lindsay, Tarik, whoever managed to arrange to get Ted to chat, THANK YOU!

Posted by: RedBirdie | June 3, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

If the Caps are going to spend $6 Mil on a "Pronger-like free agaent," he pretty much has to BE Pronger (or Steve Austin :).

Sometime between now and next year's trade deadline, it would be good to bring in a dependable defensive-defenseman to complement what they already have (depending on exactly how the current prospects develop between now and then), but I don't think busting the bank is worth it. Given what they have and what they can afford, dependable and solid at a reaosnable price is better than super-stud at super-stud price.

Posted by: Baildog | June 3, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

...oh one other thought. We as fans and maybe the org are used to free agents not wanting to come here/being high priced.

The Caps have some street cred now, I wouldn't be so quick to reject out-of-hand that someone wouldn't want to come here as a free agent at a good price (for the Caps) to be a part of the Caps getting over the top this coming season.

Yes, I know, wishful thinking.

Posted by: austinsteve | June 3, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

The Epic Ottawa Vs. Buffalo Fight:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuBZmyJLcVE

Ray Emery comes out ready to fight Marty Biron at about 1:22. Check out that crazy grin on his face. He can't wait to slug Biron.

Posted by: RedBirdie | June 3, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

@ johnatlanta, Sorry if you already got an answer to your question, but I do not have Leffler or Taylor down as signed. I'm not positive when their reserved status runs out.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | June 3, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Ovie will play charity poker at the NHL awards on June 17.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=424791

Posted by: pstenigma | June 3, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Crosby and sensing/avoiding oncoming contact: I know most of you just discovered hockey two months ago, so I guess you never saw Gretzky play? Go watch some old video and see how hard it was to nail No. 99 to the boards. It's called skill. Yet another skill your one-dimensional Russian retard doesn't possess.

Posted by: Jumpy66 | June 3, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

I didn't discover hockey two months ago, or in the 90's. I was at Chicago Stadium watching the Blackhawks and the old Amphitheater watching the WHA Chicago Cougars long before the "old" video that was shot of Gretzky. I didn't say anything about Crosby not getting hit I said he goes down to draw penalties when the play is a lost cause when he feels contact. The Pens will lose and they will be just like the other 29 teams that ended their season wishing they would have won the Stanley Cup.

Pensnotrivalry, or whatever your goofy name is...ask Crosby if it's a rivalry.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 3, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised he thinks the Caps need for a stout D man is a cliche and group think? Maybe he didn't want to address it. It seems the most glaring need on the team. But,I do think Ted is great. He's the best owner in town,by a mile.

Posted by: ridgely1 | June 3, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Say no to Antropov. As a UFA, he'll get more money than he is worth. A player like that can be traded for without giving up too much while he's still on a relatively cheap contract. Caps can't afford to overpay anything for anybody anymore. Anyhow..

If we add a forward, I want to see someone very fast, fairly gritty, legitimate skills.

Go Red Wings.

Posted by: VladG | June 3, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

OT, but if you're going up to Hershey this Saturday and can come up a little early, I'm pulling togheter a tailgate. Details are here - please let me know by Friday morning if you're interested.

Posted by: kittypawz | June 3, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

@RedBirdie: ROTGDFLMMFAO...Goalies fighting each other is like two exhausted hermit crabs trying to have sex....LOL XD

Posted by: Rhino40 | June 3, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Comment on previous article:

If Eric Fehr didn't have bad luck, he'd have no luck at all. Sorry to hear the news he had surgery on BOTH shoulders. Wish him a speedy recovery.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 3, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

//I don't necessarily think bringing in that 6 mil+ d man will be the missing piece. I'd rather see us go after cheaper, affordable d men...
//That being said, I would not be opposed to bringing in a Pronger-like free agent or trading for one.
---
I think you're covering all the possible bases here. Either we need a 6million d-man like pronger or we don't. You're for it, or you're against it.

I'm not really sure a top d-man is what we need either, but you can't play both sides of the fence.

Posted by: nowanna1 | June 3, 2009 4:40 PM |

Is this a serious post?

I am a fan, not the Caps GM. I will say anything I want.

I have stated over and over again I wanted to see us aggregate across to more men. I then said, "I would not be opposed to." Can you grasp what this entails? It means that obviously my choice would be to get 2-3 men, but if they (read: the Caps organization, meaning not you and me) choose to go after some over-priced guy, then I would not be opposed to it. Reading comprehension; get into it.

This isn't a question of morality here kid, why don't you calm it down. No one has a gun to your head.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 3, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised he thinks the Caps need for a stout D man is a cliche and group think? Maybe he didn't want to address it. It seems the most glaring need on the team. But,I do think Ted is great. He's the best owner in town,by a mile.

Posted by: ridgely1 | June 3, 2009 6:18 PM |

It's really not.

Our defensive play, as a whole, is our glaring issue. Leach is already gone. Getting 1 guy will not fix our most glaring problem.

Eatons, Scuderis, Stuarts, etc are your solid defense man, who are more than affordable. We don't need Komi, Pronger, etc

Posted by: richmondphil | June 3, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Look how bitter Pens fans are. Taken from Zetterberg's wiki:

"Henrik Zetterberg (born October 9, 1980) is a Swedish professional ice hockey center and alternate captain currently playing for the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League.He really sucks, all he knows how to do in hockey is to score empty net goals."

Posted by: richmondphil | June 3, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Check this out as it happened to the CAPS as well!

http://freep.com/article/20090602/BLOG2401/90602068

Thanks from my daughter for sending me this!


Posted by: _LFR | June 3, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

_LFR: True, so true!

Posted by: uncatim | June 3, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm getting to the party late, but show me one team that went deep in the playoffs or won the Cup without a number # defenseman.
I agree with Leonsis that the Caps are in need of Strength at center down the lineup, but thats what fedorov, kozlov and Nylander were brought in for, at the cost of not getting a number 1 D. Now, those 3 haven't worked out and the issue is still getting top centers, at the cost of a number 1 D again. As for "group think', I'm not sure what Ted is seeing if he isn't seeing that. Caps have been passing on solid centers for years in favor of positions that STILL have vacancies. There comes a time when some vacancies must be filled.

Posted by: oo7 | June 3, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

thank you LFR for the great laugh http://freep.com/article/20090602/BLOG2401/90602068


Posted by: oo7 | June 3, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Look how bitter Pens fans are. Taken from Zetterberg's wiki:

"Henrik Zetterberg (born October 9, 1980) is a Swedish professional ice hockey center and alternate captain currently playing for the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League.He really sucks, all he knows how to do in hockey is to score empty net goals."

Stay classy, pens fans!

They also missed the most important aspects of Henrik Zetterberg: hottest player in hockey, and hands down has the best fan-made slow jam tribute. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JW8o65kzVdw
SNIPE SNIPE!
(I dare you to get that song out of your head.)

Sidney doesn't have his own insta-classic slow jam. They're just jealous.

Posted by: RedBirdie | June 3, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm getting to the party late, but show me one team that went deep in the playoffs or won the Cup without a number # defenseman.

____________________________________

Clearly we are working around what we define as "#1-2 defenseman", but I can provide you with many teams that went deep/won a Cup without one of "those" d man.

Honestly, what d man from the FA pool are you expecting to bring in? The only one I would want that fits your guy's bill is Neidermayer. He won't ever play here. No other d men from the FA pool this year around that price are anywhere near their value, including that Komisarek guy who keeps getting brought up here.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 3, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Now, if we are talking trades, then we are talking about a whole new plate of possibilities, but if we are talking strictly free agents, then I don't see who this guy all you guys thing is our savior is coming in.

It is pretty obvious its our system that is at fault. Sure, our personnel back there isn't the greatest, but the small things they need to do can be taught, or you can just bring in an FA who commands the same price and WILL do the things we need them to do. You don't bring in a 6 mil/yr+ guy and say that's your solution to our defense.

Jay Leach is gone, so that's one hump we are over....

Posted by: richmondphil | June 3, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

I think that the Caps decision makers look at this way, Schultz is 23, Green is 23, Jurcina is 25, Alzner is 20, even Erskine is only 28. Most if not all the defensemen played with injuries during the playoffs and we were 1 game away from beating the team that is down 2-1 to the best team in hockey. We aren't that far away with the KIDS we play now.

Posted by: JSchon | June 4, 2009 4:53 AM | Report abuse

@JSchon

By my calculations, the following D-Men were injured during the playoffs: Morrisonn, Erskine (broken foot), Poti (broken foot), Green (shoulder and probably ill, too), and Schultz (broken ribs). That's 5 out of our 7 starters. Not a very good percentage and I assume it's higher than any other team in the playoffs. (Pothier and Jurcina were the only healthy ones.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 4, 2009 6:36 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: uncatim | June 4, 2009 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Hope Flyers bring back Ray Emery! Then the NHL will have a proper reason to hand out 6 game suspensions.

Posted by: capsfan01 | June 4, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I still think we need to add at least one piece of the puzzle through a trade or FA. The cap stuff isn't pretty, so a trade may be the only route.

Posted by: JSchon | June 4, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

"I think Ted misunderstood the question posed by Germantown, MD."

I think it was more of a technical glitch where the answer he gave was meant for a different question. The answer doesn't even come close to answering the questioned posed. There were a couple more like that and I've seen it quite a bit during chats, here and in other forums. The answer he gave was clearly to a question about what we are going to do in the draft.

Posted by: ouvan59 | June 4, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

richmondphil, FA, trades, whatever. I don't care what gets it done, as long as it gets done. Trades are the likeliest route as the FA pool is thin. But again, show me a team thats won the cup without a number 1-2 D. I'm pretty sure it aint gonna happen, especially if you look at the last 10-12 years. then all you have to do is look at the Ducks, Avs, Wings and Devils. Neidermeyer, Pronger, Foote, Stevens, Lidstrom. Its a necessary component. Caps have Poti. Green was great this year but banged up, and though his numbers are awesome statistically, he needs some help.

Posted by: oo7 | June 4, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Loved this quote on Emery:

"It was reported in Russia that Emery has cleaned up his act. The Flyers, others say, have done thorough research on Emery while he was in Russia and believe the worst is behind him."

Emery cleaned up his act? Or was it that he couldn't get into trouble because he didn't speak the language, no one understood him so no trouble ensued?

On the D. I've said for 3 years that we need a stronger D presence. Looks like I'm going for a 4th.

I don't want to pay $6M for one guy. We really need to keep part of the D we have, lose the rest and build from Hershey and outside 1-2M players that play D first.

On forwards, I'm really wishing we could find a Helm, but am also a bit peturbed that we let Cooke go to PIT. Helm's having a hell of a series. That PK he was on in game 2 was amazing.

Posted by: Greg S. | June 4, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

big, young, mobile center, hmmm.... I wonder if Ted was talking about Nyles, hmmm

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | June 4, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm feeling deprived....where's the morning reading list?!

Posted by: RedBirdie | June 4, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Bruce will throw out the first pitch at Nats Park next Tuesday! (assuming, of course, there's no 4 hour rain delay that turns into a postponment, but, hey, didn't you like our overprices beer and hot dogs served with surly service?!)

Posted by: RedBirdie | June 4, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

The way the Nats are playing the Nats should just name Bruce the starter next week. I'm just kidding of course. He probably is only good enough for the bullpen.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 4, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

If Leonsis and/or McPhee doesn't think that the biggest need on the Caps right now is improving their defensive corp, it's no wonder that they have NOT won a darn thing since they've been in charge and till last year, the whole decade had been the worst period of the team since the 1970's.

Actually on second thought, their biggest need right now is a new owner and/or a new GM!!!

Posted by: joek443 | June 4, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan75,

Notwithstanding the injuries they suffered, the problem is that Erskine is a good 5th or 6th defenseman at best. When he's your best or second best defensive defenseman, you got PROBLEMS.

I'm not in favor of them signing a high priced FA. If they're really high on Alzner then he should be with the team next year. Let him play and let's see what he's got. They didn't let Scott Stevens or Kevin Hatcher waste any time in the minors in the 1980's. They were playing with the big boys when they were 18 and 19.

When I see a high defenseman draft pick like Alzner spend a couple years in the minors, especially when the Caps NEED a defenseman right now, all I can think about is previous such draft picks like John Slaney who never really became much of a player.

The fact of the matter is that the only first round defensemen that paid off for the Caps in the last 20 years or so were Brendan Witt and Sergei Gonchar both picked in 1992.

Posted by: joek443 | June 4, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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