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Posted at 11:32 AM ET, 02/27/2011

Marco Sturm 'always hated to play against' Capitals

By Katie Carrera

After the Capitals acquired Marco Sturm on Saturday, the veteran left wing discussed his health and how he believes it won't limit his availability to be in the Washington lineup on a nightly basis.

One of the first things Sturm said about his impression of the Capitals, though, was that he's happy to no longer have to face them.

"In Boston I always hated to play against them," Sturm said. "They're such a talented group and you never knew which way they would come at you. To have a chance to play with guys like [Alex] Ovechkin and [Nicklas] Backstrom and all those guys is a great thing. It doesn't matter who I play with; I think it's a solid team and every line can do good things. There are a lot of good hockey players for me to find my game rhythm around again."

Sturm, 32, will be one of only four Capitals forwards over the age of 30, along with Mike Knuble (38), Matt Bradley (32) and Jason Chimera (31). And with 872 regular season NHL games to his credit over 14 seasons, he has the second most experience among the forward group as well, trailing only Knuble's 949 games.

While it will take some time for Sturm to get adjusted, as it would for any player, it's possible the additional veteran presence could help bring more steadiness to the Capitals in this roller coaster-esque season. Sturm played on a rather veteran-laden roster in Boston before being sent this past December to Los Angeles, where the Kings have a significantly younger team than even the Capitals.

"It was definitely a big change for me when I came to Los Angeles. What a difference from Boston, from a veteran team, coming to L.A. with mostly young guys," Sturm said. "The guys were great. They showed a lot of respect, they were listening, but I think Washington is even a little different situation from that, too. They have plenty of young guys, but although they're young they've been around for a good bit, too. I think I'll be able to bring something leadership-wise, though."

By Katie Carrera  | February 27, 2011; 11:32 AM ET
Categories:  Marco Sturm  
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Comments

To be honest, I'd rather gets guys like Umberger who "liked" playing against us.

Geez, I had forgotten about my Richard Burton and Godfather skits from last night. Never know what you'll find in the bottom of a bottle of wine.

Please note that I did not rock the white last night but rocked the red.

Sturm's quotes worry me because it seems like the effective players around the league these days enjoy playing the Caps.

Since he's a LW, and we are in dire need of a C, this surely can't be the "big move."

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 27, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I've pretty much come to the conclusion we are not winning the Cup this year and to mortgage our future would be a HUGE mistake.

Any trade involving Eakin or the 2 Russian prospects for someone like Richards who is a UFA in July would be a really bad move for us.

I'm fine tinkering with the lineup with trading guys like Chimera, Shultz, Gordo, MP, Fehr, etc, but let's not go for broke when I don't think I Cup is gonna happen this year.

Posted by: MattBradley10 | February 27, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

This is just a typical GMGM " I did something now get off my back" kinda move...

Posted by: joek443 | February 27, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Sturm's quotes worry me because it seems like the effective players around the league these days enjoy playing the Caps. . ..

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 27, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't worry, @tomin, he's talking about the 09-10 version of the Caps, not the current team.

Posted by: Justafan | February 27, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I've pretty much come to the conclusion we are not winning the Cup this year and to mortgage our future would be a HUGE mistake.

Any trade involving Eakin or the 2 Russian prospects for someone like Richards who is a UFA in July would be a really bad move for us.
---------------------------------------------------------------

Right, I have a feeling that you'll be saying that for years to come.

Posted by: joek443 | February 27, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

So who sits when Fehr and Sturm both join the lineup??

Assuming more moves aren't made, I gotta think it would be Beagle and Gordo.

Also, just leave 8, 19, 28 on the same line from now on (assuming 28 is still with us). At this point with absolutely no offense what do we have to loose??

Posted by: MattBradley10 | February 27, 2011 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Katie,
Thanks for the insight.........I guess.

Posted by: Cayugalaker | February 27, 2011 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Typo....meant LOSE, not LOOSE

Posted by: MattBradley10 | February 27, 2011 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Matt Bradley, I have come to pretty much the same conclusion. At the start of the year, I would have predicted that the Caps would now be in the position of a legitimate contender, looking to make a move to push the team over the top (maybe with a rental). Now I see the team as a real long-shot to have any impact in the playoffs. In that circumstance, I think the potential trades would have to be evaluated for long-term benefit, not so much for this year. So I think that anyone they bring in as a short-timer, like Sturm, would have to come in at truly minimal cost. Other trades would involve current regulars on the team in exchange for players who will be regulars here for several years.

Posted by: zmega | February 27, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

What jersey number is Sturm wearing? Anybody. He wore 16 with the B's and 10 with Kings and I think 19 with San Jose.

Posted by: Cayugalaker | February 27, 2011 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I just got around to checking the box score on Friday night's debacle (it was truly painful at VC) in order to check on something that pleasantly surprised me during the game. Semin's credited with having landed 4 hits against the Rags. I don't know if it was noted here, since I stayed far away from any recap of that game, but these were not light hits; he landed some large checks.

This is not just a sign of Semin being more in the game, but a sign of health. Flame away, but if Sasha can start playing again like he did during the first third of the season, if he's still a Cap he can do us much good.

Posted by: Justafan | February 27, 2011 12:03 PM | Report abuse

folks keep forgetting that Semin has be somewhat injured.

Posted by: pkme | February 27, 2011 12:07 PM | Report abuse

@justafan:

Thank you very much for the insight and I hope, Sasha will stay ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | February 27, 2011 12:07 PM | Report abuse

@MattBradley10 - singing my tune, with you all the way on not wasting prospects. A lot of other teams (Flyers, Pens) apparently feel the same way.

@tominsocal - yes, last year's team was feared. Ironically, that team - with no "enforcers" - was far more successful than this year's team and came within a glove save or two of going deep in the playoffs.


Posted by: RedLitYogi | February 27, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

The Sturm move is intriguing: I'm thinking it does two things: 1) drives down the price on whoever it is the Caps have radar lock on for a trade and 2) is the kind of veteran pickup that has been very valuable in Cup runs.

This last is a contradiction - I don't think this team is strong enough to make a run, but neither were the Flyers last year. He's a veteran of the wars and can steady the nerves of some of our other Euros. In some ways analogous to the Pens pickup of Guerin a few years back.

Hemsky is a much better choice than the cement-footed Arnott if he can be gotten for a reasonable price. It does look like Poti's LTIR bound, doesn't it? The team can use a puck moving d-man and a good, fast, willing checking forward, someone who plays an intelligent, effective defensive game. Not too many out there, but it's what we lack. Our checking lines aren't.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | February 27, 2011 12:15 PM | Report abuse

The Semin bashing gets really old. BTW, he was the best player taken in the 2002 draft and was 13th. I guess Mcphee knew what he was doing that year.

Posted by: pkme | February 27, 2011 12:17 PM | Report abuse

What jersey number is Sturm wearing? Anybody. He wore 16 with the B's and 10 with Kings and I think 19 with San Jose.

Posted by: Cayugalaker | February 27, 2011 12:02 PM

The numerical pattern is 19-16-10-1.

So, if he keeps his pattern, he will be #1.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 27, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

BTW, MrsFloridaCapsFan calls me butterball and I like it.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | February 27, 2011 12:20 PM | Report abuse

My only knock on Semin is the stupid offensive zone penalties. He just can't help himself for some reason.

Posted by: Cayugalaker | February 27, 2011 12:21 PM | Report abuse

he was the best player taken in the 2002 draft and was 13th. I guess Mcphee knew what he was doing that year.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Right Semin is better than Nash, only in your dreams.

The same GM picked Eminger 12th and passed on Cam Ward.

Posted by: joek443 | February 27, 2011 12:22 PM | Report abuse

And Boyd Gordon 17th.

He was 1 for 3 that year.

Good for Tony Gwynn, but not for NHL 1st round picks in the teens.

Then Fehr in 03 and Pokulok in 05.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 27, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

"The numerical pattern is 19-16-10-1."

... and why not 19-16-10-4 ? ;-)

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | February 27, 2011 12:39 PM | Report abuse

He had a heck of a year in 2004, not just Ovi but drafting something like 6 guys who have seen time in the NHL, including Green, and Sarge.

Posted by: Justafan | February 27, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2002_NHL_Entry_Draft

Actually, the 2002 draft was pretty weak. Very few players contributing. It's hard to knock him for Emmy and Gordo when you compare what was picked around those slots.

Yes, he missed Ward, but so did many other GMs.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 27, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Joe,

I stand corrected. Some areas Semin is a better player but you are right. Overall Nash is a more complete player, a strong leader and is tougher. Still a pretty good pick by George. Nash was the number 1 pick overall though. You would hope that the 1st overall would be the best player in the draft.

Posted by: pkme | February 27, 2011 12:48 PM | Report abuse

You can always pick out individual misses in a draft situation. My hometown Syracuse basketball passed on Jimmer Fredette and Steve Nash. Duke passed on Steph Curry. You have to look over a longer time frame, as well as recent trends. The recent trend for the Caps has been pretty good, with some exceptions. Notably Little Gus, who just didn't seem to want to be a hockey player.

Posted by: zmega | February 27, 2011 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I am a big fan os Nash but I am also a fan of Semin. That being said I would trade Semin for Nash along with our 1st pick this year and future consideration (maybe a 2nd).

Posted by: pkme | February 27, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

"The numerical pattern is 19-16-10-1."

... and why not 19-16-10-4 ? ;-)


19 to 16 is less 3

16 to 10 is less 6

pattern would be:

10 to 1 less 9.

3-6-9

If he picks "1," you can call me nostrathomas.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 27, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

the bigger questions in my mind are will they resign Hannan and Laich after this year. If Laich is looking for big bucks, he unfortunately will be gone. I think resigning Hannan would be a better move at anywhere between 3-4 million a year. Poti shouldn't be back, and they already invested way too much money with Schultz, so they are stuck with that "talent"....what a joke.

Posted by: erico31us | February 27, 2011 12:54 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

that's right

however, the scheme has not to be linear

pattern could also be

10 to 4 is less 6
4 to 1 is less 3

;-)

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | February 27, 2011 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Little Gus was taken because his old man had great stock and anyone who watched The Caps in the 80's loved him. Emotional maybe and can you imagine if he could play like his old man. Too many head shots and clearly did not have the make-up of Dad. I was hoping he would make it. Kind of an emotional pick. Same with Chris Bourque. I was hoping but we all know how that worked out. Some of the legacy thing turns out poorly. Sometimes it works. Like Hull, Statsny, Staals, Hunters, Sutters and so on.

Posted by: pkme | February 27, 2011 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Nash was the only "plum" to be picked that year. Getting Semin with the 13th pick was a coup. That was before OV and there were military duty problems. Many NHL teams were fearful of Russians back then and some still are. Eminger wasn't a bad pick at all. We needed D-men at the time. He played pretty well for a number of years and is still a top 4 NHL D-man.

Posted by: Cayugalaker | February 27, 2011 12:58 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton from last evenings thread,

If you ever compare me to BGordo ever again I swear I will hunt your a$$ down and treat you worse than Konopka treated Hendricks last night.

Now on to hockey related banter.

Posted by: PhilR | February 27, 2011 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Hendricks has guts!!! There's no way he thought he'd kick Konopka's ass. He took one for the team like Brad does on occasion.

Posted by: Cayugalaker | February 27, 2011 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Good effort by Hendricks taking one for the team, but Konopka did administer a beat-down.

Posted by: zmega | February 27, 2011 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Cayugalaker,

Nothing against Hendricks whatsoever, you are right....it did take guts but he got his a$$ handed to him in that one.

Posted by: PhilR | February 27, 2011 1:09 PM | Report abuse

So a half-point/game player who is as soft as anyone on the Caps (not to mention damaged goods) "hated" playing against the Caps because we were "such a talented group"? He should fit in perfectly on the Caps.

And when Fehr and Sturm get into the lineup, that should bump Hendricks and Bradley out. Add the depth dman we need, and it'll be just a matter of time before Johnny Rock Star joins them in the pressbox.

Rock on, DJK, and be sure to spread the word in your travels how awful it is to play in a city where a caste system and favoritism rule the day. Who in the league wouldn't want to play in DC with the current coach and management? Jeezum....yet another player treated like crap and then kicked to the curb under this regime.

BB AND GMGM MUST GO!! (two....I've avoided GMGM thus far, but I've been sold on his incompetence, too, and therefore he must go as well)

Posted by: vermontcaps | February 27, 2011 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I can't remember Brad actually winning a fight either but that doesn't stop him.

Posted by: Cayugalaker | February 27, 2011 1:14 PM | Report abuse

An older clone of Fehr, Sturm should provide just the kind of veteran savvy we need. It's good to have that kind of role-model, a real playoff-hardened warrior, for the young guys to look up to and try to emulate.

Stanley Cup in 2020??

Posted by: vermontcaps | February 27, 2011 1:16 PM | Report abuse


Every team can get better - at least on paper - by adding better players (with better statistics, more hits etc.)
... however to find the right mix for a successful team isn't that easy ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | February 27, 2011 11:25 AM |

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

excellent comment and i agree.

there's still 24 hrs before the trade deadline is toast and some of these so called fans are ready to call it a year.

do your health a favor today. relax and enjoy the fact that the caps won last night and are in the playoff race.

better yet, be thankful we have a hockey team here in washington.


Posted by: hessone | February 27, 2011 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Let's give the guy a chance. How about 2-3 games worth of initiation, hunh guys?

Posted by: Cayugalaker | February 27, 2011 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Cayugalaker,

Please re-read my post....I was using that fight as an example of what I would do to cstanton if he ever compared me with BGordo again. I never said anything BAD about Hendricks......

Posted by: PhilR | February 27, 2011 1:19 PM | Report abuse

@ PhilR
No problem. I got it the first time. Just stickin' up for him is all. I like the banter I'm not messin' w/ya. We're good,..........I think.

Posted by: Cayugalaker | February 27, 2011 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I can't remember Brad actually winning a fight either but that doesn't stop him.

Posted by: Cayugalaker | February 27, 2011 1:14 PM | Report abuse

C'mon, Brads won his last fight just the other night. Because it doesn't happen that often, it should be fresh in your memory.

I bet if the Caps got in a bench brawl with Division III Castleton State, we'd emerge the losers because Erskine wouldn't be able to fight everyone.

Posted by: vermontcaps | February 27, 2011 1:22 PM | Report abuse

new thread

Posted by: PhilR | February 27, 2011 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Every team can get better - at least on paper - by adding better players (with better statistics, more hits etc.)
... however to find the right mix for a successful team isn't that easy ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | February 27, 2011 11:25 AM |

That's why we need to find soft players who will kiss BB and GMGM's ass at every opportunity. We can't afford to compromise locker room chemistry this late in the season. I mean, just ask Brooks. He's the de facto captain anyway, and I'm sure he'll confirm how great the coach and management are.

Posted by: vermontcaps | February 27, 2011 1:25 PM | Report abuse

@Cayugalaker

we agreed yesterday on 10 games - are you with us?

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | February 27, 2011 1:26 PM | Report abuse

@ vermontcaps

Holy crap, my wife went to Castleton State. She's from Rutland. But, I'm just sayin'......fighting isn't always about kickin' somebody's ass. Messages have to be sent and we finally have somebody, other than the DJK's and Brashear's of the world to do it. Erskine, Brad, Hendricks, maybe even Hannan. That's just another thing that makes me crazy about Schultz. 6'7" and seems like he'd feel more at home netting butterflies for cryin' out loud!!

Posted by: Cayugalaker | February 27, 2011 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I love the Sturm move because it comes at relatively little cost. It may or may not pan out but in the end it is only costing the Caps $800K. They get a veteran who has scored 20 goals for seven consecutive seasons and they gave up nothing in return to get him. Whether you like GMGM or not this was a good gamble. I don't see the Caps doing anything major tomorrow but if they do then Poti will certainly see LTIR.

Posted by: croftonpost | February 27, 2011 1:28 PM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps

once and again: fighting won't win Stanley Cups, you have to be able to play hockey ...

... this is the regular season and it would be good if all players are healthy for the so called second season ... you need a complete and almost healthy team to win ... and when I remember correctly this was not the case with the Caps ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | February 27, 2011 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Any trade involving Eakin or the 2 Russian prospects for someone like Richards who is a UFA in July would be a really bad move for us.
----------

I tend to agree in principle - Kuznetzov in particular is the kind of prospect who, if he gets moved, potentially gets talked about for years as in, 'how'd they let X go' - but I don't see GMGM taking that kind of risk anyway. Sort of like when Quebec held onto Lindros, taking a ton of heat along the way - but then when they finally moved him, got a player everybody in the hockey world [outside Canada anyway] knew was potentially one of the all-time greats. Philly's GM still gets talked about for that trade, and not in a good way.

On the complete opposite end, and from what I've seen, Holtby's lateral movement is simply not #1 starter quality, at the NHL level. Hard work can overcome a lot of things, but slow feet are usually fatal - for a goalie anyway. Eventually, he'll get exposed [Jim Carrey].

Posted by: Timbo_1 | February 27, 2011 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Whether you like GMGM or not this was a good gamble.
------------

Agreed re: Sturm. He didn't cost a lot, which was key. And for a supposed "skill / finesse" team, we actually don't have that much overall team speed - shocking to say with a team with Ovie on it, I know. But we got exposed by MTL last year, at least in our own end. And I know Chimera can fly, but the end result doesn't always seem to match what you'd expect, IMHO.

Sturm's teammates in Boston were bummed when he left, which i take as a good sign. And a lot of fans were stunned Chia held onto Ryder [and Wheeler, for that matter] instead. Certainly not TMP [the missing piece], but a good pickup.


Posted by: Timbo_1 | February 27, 2011 1:51 PM | Report abuse

@Timbo_1

I agree and Sturms comment
"I always hated to play against them (the Caps)"
has not necessarily to do with the other team having some cheap shot artists or fighters - every player hates to lose and get outplayed ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | February 27, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I mean, just ask Brooks. He's the de facto captain anyway, and I'm sure he'll confirm how great the coach and management are.
--------------

That was pretty good, I have to admit. Caw-Caw loves him some Brooks Laich, in return.

I really can't get a handle on Laich - he sometimes disappears for shifts at at time [seemingly], then he puts on a display like last night [disclaimer: I didn't see the whole game just the highlights but I loved the 2nd-effort on both those goals].

Posted by: Timbo_1 | February 27, 2011 2:13 PM | Report abuse

"If he picks "1," you can call me nostrathomas.

Posted by: tominsocal1"

Um, tominsocal1, maybe Varley might not like this? Or does this mean Varley is getting traded?

Posted by: dccitizen1 | February 27, 2011 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I forgot Varly changed, since we still have a Varly #40 jersey.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | February 27, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

No. You are under no obligation to remain with your current lender. But it is a good idea to let them know what you're planning to do so they'll offer you their best rate. If you need quotes from other companies search "123 Mortgage Refinance" they found me the lowest refinance rate i could get.

Posted by: margole567 | February 28, 2011 2:58 AM | Report abuse

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