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McPhee: Caps to proceed prudently in free agency

George McPhee said he'll be "involved" when free agency opens tomorrow, but the GM also issued his annual caution to Capitals fans: Don't expect any splashy signings.

"We'll be involved but I don't expect to do a whole lot," he told me late yesterday. "We're in a great position right now where we have a good team. So rather than getting seduced into signing three- or four-year deals, we believe we have young people who are ready to go."

The Caps' biggest need is a second-line center to replace the departing Brendan Morrison and serve as Alexander Semin's setup man. Whether that void is filled from within, or from the outside, remains to be seen.

"We think we have centers that are ready to go," McPhee said. "There's Mathieu Perreault who's fairly close, if not ready to go. We like what we've seen from [Marcus] Johansson. A year from now [first-round draft pick Evgeny] Kuznetsov might be ready to play. Cody Eakin might be ready to go in a year. So we want to be really careful not get drawn into any long-term deals at that position. The issue is, are they ready this year or next?

"Rather than do a deal we don't like and come to regret it six months from now, we would probably be more inclined to go with our drafted players," he added. "And, in fact, they look a lot better than what's out there right now. Why wouldn't you play Perreault? He's a really talented young player."

That said, I still think the Caps will go shopping for a veteran center who's willing to sign a short term deal in exchange for a shot at contending for the Cup.

Saku Koivu ($3.25 million last season) would seem to fit that description, as would Matt Cullen ($2.8 million). Cullen, an NHL source told me, had hoped to be dealt here at the deadline.

McPhee wouldn't discuss specific players or potential targets. But he did say that before he makes an offer, he'll ask himself, "If they're not better than Perreault or [Tomas] Fleischmann, why do it?"

Here are some other need-to-know nuggets to get you ready for the free agent frenzy, which begins at noon tomorrow:

*By my calculations (and later confirmed by McPhee), the Caps are about $4.5 million under the salary cap ceiling of $59.4 million. That figure takes into account the 16 players currently on the roster and the estimated earnings of restricted free agents Fleischmann, Eric Fehr, Jeff Schultz and Boyd Gordon.

So there's definitely some room to flesh out the roster. But, as McPhee cautioned, the team plans to allow some breathing room for call-ups and in-season additions -- just in case.

"We don't have to spend it," he said. "You don't ever want to go into the season right up against the cap. Ideally, you put a good team on the ice and you have room."

*McPhee's assessment of this year's free agent class? "There's not much out there," he said bluntly.

*After sidestepping the issue for months, McPhee confirmed that Semyon Varlamov and Michal Neuvirth will be the Caps' No. 1 and No. 1a goaltenders next season.

"We're going with our young goaltenders," he said. "They're both 22 years old now and they've got a couple of years of pro under their belts. Varly's played two years at the NHL level and Neuvirth has won two Calder Cups and got an MVP. They're blue-chip prospects. It could become a real strength of our team and our organization.

"We actually think this is going to be good for both of them because there isn't going to be the pressure on either one of them to play 65 games," McPhee added. "It's an opportunity for both of them to play more games at the NHL level without the pressure of trying to carry the team. We think it's a great situation to be able to platoon a couple of very good young goaltenders."

*When I asked if he planned to shop for a defenseman, McPhee said, "We probably won't make any changes to our defense. We've got seven guys ready to go."

I took that to mean Shaone Morrisonn is out and John Carlson and Karl Alzner will be stepping into full-time roles along with Mike Green, Schultz, Tom Poti, John Erskine and Tyler Sloan.

*McPhee also confirmed that he doesn't plan to buy out the contract of Michael Nylander. The veteran center's no-movement clause is set to expire and his contract drops to $3 million next season.

*The Caps also are not close to re-signing RFAs Fleischmann, Fehr, Boyd Gordon and Schultz, according to McPhee. They have until July 15 to accept the offers and July 5 to file for arbitration. "I don't think any deals are imminent," he said.

*McPhee also said the team planned to speak to the representatives for UFA Eric Belanger "in the next 24 hours." Sporting News writer Craig Custance, however, tweeted this yesterday: "Looks like Caps center Eric Belanger will hit July 1. He's looking for a three- or four-year deal, which doesn't interest Washington."

Now, it's time to sit back and enjoy every hockey fan's most anticipated day of the summer.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  June 30, 2010; 6:46 AM ET
 
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Next: NHL free agency begins

Comments

"We'll be involved but I don't expect to do a whole lot,"........... Shocking!

Posted by: eorr | June 30, 2010 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Saku Koivu made $32.5 mil last year?

Posted by: dc_homer | June 30, 2010 7:27 AM | Report abuse

Well, what does everyone think the Capitals will do tomorrow? The biggest rumor, which was even mentioned during the NHL Awards show, is that Semin might be traded. I don't want to see him go, but if he does, GMGM will definitely get a lot for him. Hopefully it will be for a top blueliner. That way we could trade salary for salary for an obvious need the Capitals have to make a difference in the post season. Replacing 40 goals, and someone who has averaged 30+ goals a season before that will be hard to replace though. Even if the Caps try to do it by comittee on the second line, it still means they need to have a consistent 2nd line center. Well, I know I'll be nervous tomorrow.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 30, 2010 7:30 AM | Report abuse

"Saku Koivu made $32.5 mil last year?"

I see $3.25 mil, maybe he fixed it before I read over it again.

Posted by: eorr | June 30, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

"We probably won't make any changes to our defense. We've got seven guys ready to go."

Me say trade GMGM for a stay at home d-man. Not that I am trying to get ahead of myself, but I hope this is not going to be another heartbroken playoff.

Posted by: instinct227 | June 30, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

instinct,
The team we have by next April may not necessarily be the same one that skates out on opening night. No need to worry just yet.

Better to go with what we have and save the cap space for aquiring what we need late in the season.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | June 30, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

On defense I count 5 guys and 2 bench warmers. Ersk I can see keeping around to put in against the more physical (and slow) teams but Sloan is an injury replacement at best. I'd be happier if we added one more real NHLer on defense.

Posted by: psujohn | June 30, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

I will wait to pass judgement, but this is troubling. We need a defensemen from outside this organization, period. We need a center from outside this organization, period.

Since it appears Belanger is gone, MP can center line 3. Mackan can play LW on line 3. Neither can play on line 2 right now.

Can we really go into this season with Semin and Flash on this team? If so, we learned absolutely nothing from our latest playoff debacle, which is also troubling.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 30, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

@ DaveUKCapsFan

You make a great point, I think if we go into the season with what we have we could acquire some help at the trade deadline and only pay the prorated salary for the remainder of the year. No reason to give out big contracts when every year at the trade deadline you can always find the player that you need.. We have so much talen in the AHL I think we will be good to go this year..
I would however would not mind seeing Semin go via trade, you have to figure this is his last season with the Caps, he could bring back alot of talent and while his 40 goal would be hard to replace, I think it would benefit the Caps..

Posted by: CapsBaby | June 30, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

I don't mind going into the season with Flash and Semin, they are great regular season players. I will be worried if they are still on the roster when the playoffs start.

Posted by: chatton | June 30, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Good god, I feel bad for the guy who's getting paired with Erskine.

Posted by: HenryRollins | June 30, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

I think once again look at who went deep in the playoffs....Philly - Pronger, Chicago - Keith (not as much a physical presence as Pronger but still a big guy who is stong on his skates...), Gill in Montreal....we don't possess this. After watching Mike Green the last two playoffs seasons vanish i really hope the Caps address this need now or at the deadline later in the season. Joe Corvo was nice but not what we needed. And with the two young net minders....every bit of D will be important this season especially.

Posted by: rdiehljr | June 30, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I'm starting to think GMGM is a bit deluded here, or that the goal here isn't directly to win a Cup but rather to have a really good team over the next five to ten years with the hopes that a Cup will happen once or twice in that span. Why are Eakin and Kuznetsov in ANY discussion right now about improving the current team?

We get it, George. You've done a great job bringing in talent and building a strong organization from top to bottom. But you have to win a Cup. Perreault is not the answer for 2C this year or any year.

It's almost as if there is a sense of complacency that the window for this team, while very much open now, will be open for years and years to come. It's somewhat troubling.

Posted by: 37thandK | June 30, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Do you really think GMGM is going to tell the media what his plans are in free agency? He keeps his cards close to his vest, and has made moves the past 2 - 3 years in FA and at the trade deadline, and every time said he wasn't going to make any moves. Do they always pan out, no, but it's not like he sits at his desk twiddling his thumbs while others make moves. We'll have to see what he does this year....

Posted by: DaleHunter | June 30, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't be too concerned about what GMGM says publicly. If you appear to be in a panic the agents will try to get even more. With the Capitals needing just a couple of tweaks it may draw players to 1 or maybe 2 year deals so they can shoot into town, win a Cup, and then go out for the HUGE dollars and multi-year deal. GMGM was acting the same way last year and snagged Knuble.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 30, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I will wait to pass judgement, but this is troubling. We need a defensemen from outside this organization, period. We need a center from outside this organization, period.

Since it appears Belanger is gone, MP can center line 3. Mackan can play LW on line 3. Neither can play on line 2 right now.

Can we really go into this season with Semin and Flash on this team? If so, we learned absolutely nothing from our latest playoff debacle, which is also troubling.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 30, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Agreed on the first two point. I'm not sure how you got to the last one, though. I hope Flash isn't back, but there's no reason to get rid of Semin. If an outstanding offer comes up, let's go for it, but I like our chances if he is on the team.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | June 30, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

sign madano and mitchell

Posted by: gocaps01 | June 30, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I actually don't mind this approach. The real deadline is the trade deadline.

That would be a good time to get a rental d-man -- which we will definitely need.

One of the young guns, might convince us they'd make a 2nd line center by then.

But, if GMGM needs to upgrade at the trade deadline, but doesn't -- time to let him go......

Posted by: CF11555 | June 30, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

@37thandK ...Eakin & Kuznetsov were mentioned by McPhee in reference to signing a center to a 3 or 4 year contract, he wants to stay away from a lengthy contract with a center who is on the downhill slope of his career, why be under a large contract 3 years from now when we may have a couple of centers ready for 2nd or 3rd line duty in the NHL. Most players are looking for multi-year contracts, especially if it may be the last one they get in the league, it is rare to get a Brendan Morrison type for one year at 1.5 million, so that is why that was a no brainer last year.

Posted by: boomer44 | June 30, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Sweet - sit back and choke again. It's getting stale...the same song and dance.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | June 30, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

@boomer44 - I get that and I'm fine with that. I'm interested, as GMGM is, in the long-term vitality of the organization with respect to the cap and the young talent. It's just this idea that we're always keeping the powder dry. It doesn't have to be tomorrow or next March, but tangible steps must be taken at some point to advance to the next level. I want ECFs and SCFs, not Presidents' Trophies and first round exits.

Anyways, I'm not sure why my impulse reaction got the better of me. This is just typical GMGM posturing. Something will happen this weekend.

Posted by: 37thandK | June 30, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

I will agree with most of you that this team currently a player or two from a Stanley Cup, however I am not sure why everyone wants the Caps to go sign a big free agent, why not wait until the trade deadline, and get a rental? Nobody in the FA market is worth the asking price.. I just don't get peoples thinking... I agree we need a 2nd line center, I think Flash COULD serve as that role, I know everyone says he didn't show up for the playoffs, but the guy had no training camp, or conditioning.. He ran out of gas! Would happen to the best of players. I have not given up on Flash yet, I would like to give him 1 more year with the Caps.. With that said I think we go into the season with our current roster and add at the trade deadline... We could get more bang for out buck.. Just my opinion....

Posted by: CapsBaby | June 30, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Rules to live by:

- Never get involved in a land war in Asia
- Never go in with a Sicilian when death is on the line
- Never play poker with George McPhee

Posted by: MikeL-Caps911 | June 30, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

As long as he isnt banking on the young kids come playoff time. His statement doesnt hold water in April.

Semin will need a decent 2nd line center come playoff time that has EXPERIENCE..

Get it now or get it then...just get it...

I would prefer now, because a guy like Semin needs to work on Chemistry.

Posted by: SA-Town | June 30, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Modano for one year 2 mil could be a good thing in my opinion. He can teach our dressing room how to win and be a team.

Posted by: SA-Town | June 30, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

lol

no surprises there. The most boring dullest ploddingest GM continues to amble down his own path.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

El Bashir doesn't even mention Brendan Morrison's comments to a Vancouver paper where he noted that no adjustments were made to the power play during the entire Montreal series notwithstanding the lack of success. That is a terrible indictment of Boudreau.

Posted by: poguesmahone | June 30, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I'd prefer our captain teach our dressing room how to win and be a team. The grizzled veteran angle is played out at this point. The core of this team is entering its fourth year together, and many have ties that go back even further.

Posted by: 37thandK | June 30, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

GMGM always says this, but then ends up making one big move - so I'm not worried at all. I wouldn't expect the Caps to be very active, seeing how the team is mostly set. I could even see them starting the season with one of their prospects at #2C - but unless one of them does surprisingly well, I think the Caps will need to get a more experienced center during the season.

Personally, I hope Flash tries to get more money and doesn't get re-signed. You could get a good, experienced, CONSISTENT #2C for the same money he is likely going to want.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't be too concerned about what GMGM says publicly. If you appear to be in a panic the agents will try to get even more
---------

doctor, your spin cycle is on high.

There's a whole lot of ocean between McPhee's comments and saying something that shows you to be in panic mode. I guess any other GM who doesn't come out and say what McPhee said must be plain dumb then.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Wow, this is like GMGM telling every detail of his life story.

Goalies, love that we are going young.

Free Agents, love the short term vet comment. It shows a lesson learned from Nylander and the direct comments about youth ...

Young guys, talking about three young centers, all being 1-2 years to be ready or possibly ready now. Who knows, after all most thought Backs would take a bit longer to develop (btw, look at Backs draft class, WOW).

I LOVE IT, getting so excited. I still think a mid-level UFA D and C will be signed to 1-2 year deals with a shot at the cup and limited tie-down by the Caps. Lets do this thing!!!!

Posted by: flee001 | June 30, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Saw this in on mynhltraderumores.com

"The NY Islanders have about $6-8 million to spend to reach the salary cap floor. They’d like to add: a top-4 defenseman, a tough experienced 5th - 6th defenseman, a potential top-6 forward, a reliable-penalty killing bottom-6 forward, and a backup goalie."

I don't think we could help them with top-4 Dman (unless we trade Sarge/Alzner) or backup goalie but...

Tough, experienced 5th-6th Dman = Erskine
Potential top-6 foward = Flash
Reliable-penalty killing bottom-6 forward = Gordo (although I would prefer to keep him)

I don't think they really have anything we would want to send back this way. But I wouldn't argue with trading them for draft picks.

The trades would allow us to move Flash, free up space to promote a couple cheaper Hershey guys (Beags/A. Gordo/Pinner), and open a D spot for the big, shutdown Dman we all want.

Posted by: pkendrick | June 30, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

El Bashir doesn't even mention Brendan Morrison's comments to a Vancouver paper where he noted that no adjustments were made to the power play during the entire Montreal series notwithstanding the lack of success. That is a terrible indictment of Boudreau.

Posted by: poguesmahone | June 30, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

That's an ignorant statement. Did you actually watch the playoffs? Boudreau made numerous changes to the PP throughout the series against Montreal.

Posted by: thomas20 | June 30, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

@DaleHunter

You hit the nail on the head. I agree completely.

When people on here were throwing around possible ideas on what moves to make, it was thrown out to have MP center the 2nd line or even the Ovie/Knuble line with Backstrom centerin Semin and Laich for two evenly balanced lines. IN addition Ovie's and Knuble's size would more than make up for MP's small stature and Ovie rarely faces a teams top scoring line (so MP doesn't have to face the opposing #1 offensive center)

The thinking in that is that MP has good skill and has shown good flashes and is cheap. No one absolutely knows how good he will turn out to be. He could turn out very good and be a perfect fit. He could turn out not so good. Either way, the Caps will have saved salary cap room to pursue a center at the trade deadline.

Would I do this if a top quality center could be had right now? No. But there aren't too many top centers available. Lombardi is the best one but he is likely to want to sign a large and long contract since he is in his prime right now.

Koivu at a one or two year contract could be a very good option.

I am hoping the desire to keep MP would enable the Caps to acquire a very good shut down defenseman. To me it sounds like GMGM is stating it won't be Volchenkov or Martin but he could be going after Micahlek or Willie Mitchell.

Mitchell seems to be the perfect guy to sign to a short term contract. He has lost a good amount of money because of the questions surrounding his concussions. But if he signs a short term contract (1 or 2 years) and comes out and looks like his old self then he could turn that into big money later.

The Caps definitely need to make a few moves. The first, IMO, being a shutdown defensiveman(Mitchell would seem like a good fit). Acquiring a UFA center may not be the way to go this year with who is available. In addition, I see no problem trying some young guys from Hershey. That is good for the organization in the short and long term, IMO.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 30, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

poguesmahone,

BB made adjustments. Reading between the lines, what Morrison was referring to was the fact that we continued to go with one unit, not two as some teams do-- and of course that 2nd unit would have included BM. After January, BM was not someone we would have wanted to lay our fortunes with.

Sour grapes for the disposed-of BM.

Posted by: capsfan7 | June 30, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

@pkendrick

You make some good points there. I think all the possible moves you mentioned could be a good option and I could see the Caps getting low round draft picks in return (i.e. 7th round for Erskine, 4th or 5th for Gordon).

Posted by: sgm3 | June 30, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

The guy that didnt make adjustments in the playoffs was Ovie. I saw too many left to right, try to do it all moves that series.

Posted by: SA-Town | June 30, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

GMGM doesn't sound any differently than every other GM right now.

lylewimbledon said: "Sweet - sit back and choke again. It's getting stale...the same song and dance."

This is not in any way taking a jab at new Caps fans and lyle may not be a new fan but for those that have been cheering for the Caps a long time have seen this organization do things drastically different since the late 80's. So to claim that he Capitals are doing the "same song and dance" doesn't really make much sense.

For example, in the late 80's early 90's the Caps never paid to bring in super-skilled players from outside the organization. They had some through drafts, and lucked out during trades and had some skilled guys on the team, but for the most part the Caps played what was called Caps hockey. Basically, hockey that the Canadiens played during the playoffs. Try to hang with a much more skilled team by playing tight checking, at times very boring hockey, and steal the game at the end.

Then we got into the buy the player era. The last being the Nylander deal that bit the heck out of us. Then the money spent on Jagr even after he went to the NYR, which isn't allowed under the current CBA, a team cannot sweeten a trade by paying a portion of the salary anymore, GMGM is apprehensive to pay big bucks over a long term now. I also seriously doubt we see no trade or no moverment clauses granted in Washington.

So, the organization has done things very differently over the years. Some are saying go get the big fish. The problem is the big fish want guaranteed big money for multiple years. Some of the same folks saying to go after the big fish point to the Nylander deal as a monumental failure, which at the time of the signing, actually looked brilliant. So now GMGM is trying to draw free agents here for a reasonable price tag, or 1-2 years. That will be tough. Trade dead-line deals work better because then you can rent players.

When interviewed it is best for GMGM not to look eager, even if he is.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 30, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

GMGM is funny at draft how he just goes up and announces name when all other GM's do the whole thanking thing. It's like he hates the spotlight.

Also when do the Caps get a little Wang of their own?

Posted by: flee001 | June 30, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

This is a quote from Steve Yzerman, it sounds rather similar:

Yzerman tells the St. Petersburg Times, "To pay a huge premium on July 1, we're not in a position to do that. We have more flexibility in shorter-term deals to keep us competitive, to make us more competitive for a year or two going out. But we have to be prepared with some of the contracts we have coming up with some of our younger guys."

Posted by: sgm3 | June 30, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

cstanton1: How about we just agree to disagree? You stop taking my comments and in a round about way saying I have Caps glasses on, and I will leave your comments alone. We are Caps fans on the exact opposite side of the spectrum both on how we critique the team and view the team as a whole.

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 30, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has sent goaltender Dan Ellis and forward Dustin Boyd to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for forward Sergei Kostitsyn (SAIR-gay kaws-TIHT-sihn). All three players’ current contracts expire on Thursday, July 1.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Tarkik,

Great article - thank you.

Posted by: nativedc | June 30, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

What? BB hardly made any adjustments to the PP. I think it was after Game 5 when the question finally came up, having been obscured to that point because the Caps were up 3-1 in the series. 1-for-33 is not just a hot goalie. That's a complete beakdown.

Posted by: 37thandK | June 30, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Yesterday, I heard Flip Saunders speak about their recent draft picks and trades "we need to toughen up".I said to myself, I which the Caps had that philosophy. Most of the descriptions I've seen on our draft picks had..lacks physical presence or lacks physicality. All things, I think the Caps need to improve on.

Posted by: jmcale57 | June 30, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

PP did not work, Semin and Flash were non-factors and we needed more grit ... this horse is not just dead but decayed so stop beating it. Like the phoenix I died with the playoffs and am being reborn from ashes now that free agency and summer is here. Caps fans get excited and geeked for rookie developmental camp and for the destruction this team will bring next year.

I'm just saying ...

Posted by: flee001 | June 30, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Tarik said $4.5M of space with 20 players accounted for (16 signed + the 4 RFAs). My cap has 22 players accounted for and shows $4M of space. Since my extra two players I have as placeholders (MP and Laing) are worth 1.3, it means the Tarik/McPhee projection for the RFAs is about $8M and I have $7.2M for those 4 (Flash, Fehr, Schultz & Gordo). Hopefully soon we can get these guys signed.

Ovechkin (2008-2021) 9.538
Backstrom (2010-2020) 6.700
Semin (impending UFA) 6.000
Knuble (impending UFA) 2.800
Flash (signs 2010-2013) 2.750
Laich (impending UFA) 2.067
Fehr (signs 2010-2012) 2.250
Chimera (2009-2012) 1.875
Steckel (2010-2013) 1.100
Bradley (impending UFA) 1.000
Gordon (impending UFA) 0.900
Perreault (w/bonus; impending RFA) 0.792
Laing (re-signs yearly) 0.550
S/T 13 Forwards 38.322
Green (2008-2012) 5.250
Poti (impending UFA) 3.500
Schultz (signs 2010-2012) 2.250
Alzner (w/bonus; impending RFA) 1.675
Erskine (impending UFA) 1.250
Carlson (EL 2009-2012) 0.846
Sloan (2010-2012) 0.700
S/T 7 Defensemen 15.471
Varlamov (impending RFA) 0.822
Neuvirth (impending RFA) 0.822
S/T 2 Goalies 1.644
Total 22 Players 55.437
Cap Space (Estimated) 59.400
Available 3.963

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 30, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Is the FA center better than Flash? That's the question they'll be asking themselves?

Posted by: oo7 | June 30, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

What? BB hardly made any adjustments to the PP. I think it was after Game 5 when the question finally came up, having been obscured to that point because the Caps were up 3-1 in the series. 1-for-33 is not just a hot goalie. That's a complete beakdown.

Posted by: 37thandK | June 30, 2010 10:46 AM

1-for-33 is a mix of a hot goalie and a very good PK system. It also doesn't help that Laich rarely did his job, which was getting in front of the goalie. Personally, I'd like to see Fehr or Knuble replace Laich on the 1st PP line.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

@jmcale5
ever since McPhee bombed out on the early WHL drafts in drafting for size/toughness (Suts, Beech, Cutta, Yonkman, Lupaschuk, DeSautels etc), he's stayed away from drafting ruggedness with the very odd exception. He just doesn't really know how to draft guys who are big and tough and can still play decent minutes as an NHLer. I was hoping once Brian MacLellan came into the org that things would change, both from the pro scouting dept (for FA and trades) and their junior scouts.

But McPhee's lack of understanding on how to draft certain types and his unwillingness to do so puts the Caps in the same boat every season - there's always some chatter about needing more grit on D or more size/grit on our top 2 lines etc. Since we don't draft and develop those types from within, the price tag for acquiring that gets high since it'll either take more money or a trade package to get a deal done.
Thus, every year Caps fans identify players we'd like to see who fill this void, and every year other teams snatch them up.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

"Is the FA center better than Flash? That's the question they'll be asking themselves?"

the question is, is Flash better than any FA center out there? The answer is clearly no. Flash has got to be the worst center in hockey. If they try and force him into that position this year, they're dumber than I thought.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

QUESTION: Which is harder, drafting skilled players who thrive in NHL or gritty/tough players who thrive?

Posted by: flee001 | June 30, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Eric Nystrom's a FA. Solid young checking forward who can probably pot 15-20 goals if he gets the opportunity. He's a bigger faster Pettinger-type.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Thomas20: the only ignorance is from one who thinks they know more than a player who was actually on the team and watched Boudreau coach. This was Morrison's comment to the Vancouver Province paper:


“You can say what you like about how our season ended, how Montreal played, officiating, anything but we were one for 34 on the power play and we went the whole series without making any adjustments,” said Morrison. “That's just not going to work.”

http://www.theprovince.com/sports/Brendan+Morrison+would+love+Canuck+again/3197862/story.html

Posted by: poguesmahone | June 30, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

QUESTION: Which is harder, drafting skilled players who thrive in NHL or gritty/tough players who thrive?

Posted by: flee001 | June 30, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

i don't completely understand the question. But I think unless you're talking about players at the very top of their draft class, its harder to count on your one-dimensional skilled prospects to crack your NHL lineup because those guys have to crack a very specific spot or they can't really play anywhere else in the lineup. Whereas you can find a physically-ready checking forward who scores some goals at the junior level who brings many other tools to the table. And if a player like that can skate to a certain degree, at worst you've found yourself a 3rd or 4th line quality grinder. And the upside may be that he can play on a higher line. This type of player has more versatility than just a stereotypical one-dimensional skilled forward.

Take someone like Flash - he's shown he can score goals and contribute on the scoresheet in the reg season. But he's a very one-dimensional player who stinks when he's in a checking capacity. And he's shown little ability to be able to be an asset when space gets tighter (i.e. playoff hockey). But obviously, the fact that he can score goals in the reg season shows he has some value. But usually, when you draft those Flash types, most of em can't even score at the NHL level and despite their superior skill-set they can't unseat a less-skilled NHL checking forward.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

My issue with this philosophy is that is not working. Our Eastern Conference rivals are loading up with proven veteran talent, and we keep waiting for the young kids to grow up. He went and got vets at the trade deadline, because he did not feel this team was deep enough to make a run. What has changed since then? Nothing. Mike Green hasn't gotten any better at defense. Flash is not a second line center. 3 years the city has seen what this team needs and GMGM keeps ignoring the issue. Sorry, but the Hershey Bears are not going to win the Stanley Cup next year.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | June 30, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

obviously Boudreau made some adjustments but they came too late and they were largely ineffective and it went way beyond what Laich did or didn't do in the crease. And I don't dismiss BMo's comments as sour grapes. That's an easy out. Same way fans were ready to jump on Umberger by trying to find some hidden agenda to his comments. You won't get any real truth from current players, any truth you're hoping to find will only come from someone outside the organization. And if you choose to always dismiss those comments as "sour grapes", then good luck finding any truth anywhere.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

poguesmahone - some of what Morrison says may be true, but you have to attribute some to 1) sour grapes by not being brought back and potentially not having a job and 2) he didn't play much in the playoffs and was quite useless actually, 1 whole point to show for his efforts.

The truth I'm sure lies somewhere in between

Posted by: DaleHunter | June 30, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I'm going to say this and its not directed at fanock per se. But this sentiment that we got "bitten" in FA by big contracts and Nylander's name comes up - well jesus h christ! that's the craziest circular reasoning I've ever heard. So because our GM chooses to make a clearly BAD FA selection, that somehow proves that signing a name player is a bad move? Its like getting burned on both ends. First we have to sit here and suffer thru a bad contract, then we have sit here and suffer thru hearing that because he made a bad move or two that it proves we shouldn't pursue any more "attractive" FAs because they require more money and a longer term deal.

the problem isn't the player or the contract, the problem is the fact that our GM when he does make a "splash" clearly makes the wrong move. I'd rather he just come out and say, I suck at FA signings so I don't trust myself to make the right move. That would closer to the damn truth instead of pretending that any FA contract worth a bit of money and a few years is a bad deal.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

My issue with this philosophy is that is not working. Our Eastern Conference rivals are loading up with proven veteran talent, and we keep waiting for the young kids to grow up. He went and got vets at the trade deadline, because he did not feel this team was deep enough to make a run. What has changed since then? Nothing. Mike Green hasn't gotten any better at defense. Flash is not a second line center. 3 years the city has seen what this team needs and GMGM keeps ignoring the issue. Sorry, but the Hershey Bears are not going to win the Stanley Cup next year.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | June 30, 2010 11:13 AM

The philosophy that the Caps have used that isn't working is getting veterans for key roles. Last season, the Caps went and got a bunch of veterans, and only 2 of them were much help - Knuble and Chimera. The young players the Caps have are the ones who make this team so good. Ovie, Backs, Fehr, Semin, Laich, Green, Schultz - those are the players who will lead the Caps to a Cup. Maybe a few veterans who are role players (like Knuble) will be involved, but the young core of the team is what everything will be built on.

That said, I do agree with something that a few posters have said - Flash is no #2C. If the Caps are going to make one move this off-season, they should get a veteran center for a 1-2 year deal. That is one reason I like Koivu - he'd be willing to take a short term deal, where Lombardi wouldn't.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

The NHL Network replayed a few of the Caps/Habs games a few weeks ago and while watching the PP it had many glorious chances to score.

All a coach can do is put his players in a position to succeed. It is up to the players to actually do it. The Caps stopped passing to Ovie at the point (adjustment) because of the Habs overplaying him. So the Caps set up Semin and Knuble in the slot many times, dead center and about 6 feet from the goalie.
They were amazingly wide open and let go many shots.

Unfortunately, most of those shots seemed to not even hit the net as they were missed wide and/or high, and Halak made a few nice saves too.

If Knuble and Semin did a better job of shooting wide open shots from dead center and 6 feet away from the goalie the Caps PP would have been ok.

Those are shots those guys have to score on and they didn't. BB set up the PP and put those guys in a glorious position to score and they failed. BB did not fail in that aspect. (I do think he failed in how he set up his lines in the playoffs though)

Posted by: sgm3 | June 30, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

For those people saying adjustments were made on the PP. Moving people to different spots but keeping the same PP system is not an adjustment. I love this team and have been a fan for almost 30 years. BB made mistakes, people need to admit that rather than think he is a perfect coach who doesnt screw up. Our team isn't perfect, it needs help.

If the question GMGM is asking is if that Center would be better than Flash? We all should know the answer is YES, any C out there is better than Flash, who isnt a C, playing C.

Posted by: ThePat | June 30, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Ovechkin lead the Caps in hits last year (by a WIDE margin). That is ridiculous!!!! Green was second among the D. Again, ridiculous!!
If GMGM doesn't address grit... forwards that hit and defense that hit and block shots, the Caps will once again fall short. The Flyers getting to the finals was not a fluke. The Caps need Pronger and Carcillo type players. Volchenkov should be one of many players on GMGM's radar.

Posted by: mdmtnbiker | June 30, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

the problem isn't the player or the contract, the problem is the fact that our GM when he does make a "splash" clearly makes the wrong move. I'd rather he just come out and say, I suck at FA signings so I don't trust myself to make the right move. That would closer to the damn truth instead of pretending that any FA contract worth a bit of money and a few years is a bad deal.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 11:24 AM

McPhee has actually made quite a few good FA signings - just not to long contracts. Federov, Theodore and Knuble are recent ones that come to mind right away. I don't know how someone as knowledgable about hockey as you can be so blindly biased towards McPhee.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

Signing a free agent to big contract isn't a bad move it is just a risky move since contracts in hockey are guaranteed.

This is true in all sports with guaranteed contract, but especially hockey since they have a hard cap. If a guy gets a contract for 5 years or more you are stuck with him no matter how he performs. This is true for any long term contract. The Islanders with Yahsin and DiPietro are two example of that.

The longer the contract the more risk is involved. But just because it is risky does not necessarily mean it is bad.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 30, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports at least ten teams are expected to try to sign defenseman Anton Volchenkov. Garrioch lists the Capitals, Sharks, Thrashers, Ducks, Blues and Rangers as possible suitors.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | June 30, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

GMGM has done a really good job and FA is always hit and miss for every team. This team did not work for Hanlon but did for BB and now it may be time to moveon from BB. Only a Cup makes sense for BB to stay.

Nylander was signed to help convince Ovie's agent of direction of team, that they would spend, who knew BB would come in and hate him so much.

Posted by: flee001 | June 30, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

No Movement Again. Another early exit in the playoffs if we make it that far. I'm gonna start preparing myself now.

Posted by: CapsFan44 | June 30, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I love speculation on where players will go. GMGM, it would be foolish to pay a defensive d-man 5m+ over 3-4 years. 2-3m over 2-3 years makes more sense, who can be had for that cost?

Posted by: flee001 | June 30, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Ovechkin lead the Caps in hits last year (by a WIDE margin). That is ridiculous!!!! Green was second among the D. Again, ridiculous!!
If GMGM doesn't address grit... forwards that hit and defense that hit and block shots, the Caps will once again fall short. The Flyers getting to the finals was not a fluke. The Caps need Pronger and Carcillo type players. Volchenkov should be one of many players on GMGM's radar.

Posted by: mdmtnbiker | June 30, 2010 11:31 AM

Ovechkin was 29th in the NHL in hits. Him leading the Caps is more about his physical style than anything else. Green gets significantly more minutes than any other Cap, and is an effective checker when he needs to be. What is so ridiculous about those two being high in the Caps hit list?

Philly making the Finals was not entirely a fluke, but luck was a huge part of it. If they had come up against either the Caps or the Pens during the playoffs, they'd have been out.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

@flee001

I think Willie Mitchell might be the best bargain because of his reduced cost and term due to his concussions. I'm thinking he signs a 1 or 2 year deal around $3M-$3.5M. I think he would be worth going after.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 30, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

The problem with free agency is that teams are by definition over-paying. The only way to sign a player is to offer more than every other interested team. It takes some luck for those situations to work out - to have all the other GMs be wrong in undervaluing the free agent. Trades can work better.

Posted by: zmega | June 30, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Philly was picked by man in pre-season to make it to Cup finals yet now many say it's a fluke ... odd.

Posted by: flee001 | June 30, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I love speculation on where players will go. GMGM, it would be foolish to pay a defensive d-man 5m+ over 3-4 years. 2-3m over 2-3 years makes more sense, who can be had for that cost?

Posted by: flee001 | June 30, 2010 11:41 AM

I think Michalek is in that range, at least in terms of salary. Mitchell might be, although he did make $3.5M last season.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

@mdmtnbiker

FYI: Chicago was 25th in the league in hits last year and had less hits than the Caps.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 30, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

The problem with free agency is that teams are by definition over-paying. The only way to sign a player is to offer more than every other interested team. It takes some luck for those situations to work out - to have all the other GMs be wrong in undervaluing the free agent. Trades can work better.

Posted by: zmega | June 30, 2010 11:45 AM

Depends on who you are going after. If you go for players who are under the radar (like Knuble was last offseason), then you can get a steal. This offseason, a player like Michalek might be like that - since everyone is focusing on Volchenkov.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Philly making the finals wasnt a fluke. They were finally healthy. They have great depth down the middle, solid hard working scoring wings, and good young talent. And 2 of the top 10 Dmen in the whole league on their team.

Where do the Caps differ from that....no depth down the middle and 1 top 10 Dmen who really isnt a defensive Dmen.

Posted by: ThePat | June 30, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

sorry fanock, i have to respond.

I've watched caps hockey since I was a tyke in the early 80s and I don't agree that we consistently played a "boring" style that always got beat by more skilled teams. We got outworked in most of the series that we lost. We lost many playoff series with names like Iafrate, Gonchar, Bondra, Zednik, Khristich, Calle, Pivonka, Cote, Ridley, Elynuik, Hatcher, Oates, even Huntsy had skill. We lost to a Devils team that didn't have much skill. We lost to the Flyers, ditto. We lost a few times to the Pens AFTER they acquired Tocchet, Ulf, Francis.
The 91 Pens had only 5 very skilled players (Jagr, Mario, Mullen, Coffey, Murphy) and the rest were guys who excelled in grinding on their active Cup roster. They beat us the following year too and it wasn't like they skated circles around us. The next yr we lost to the Turgeon's Isles who certainly didn't outskill our team if you do a roster by roster comparision. The yr after that we lost to the Rangers. So 3 of these 4 yrs we lost to the eventual Cup champs and prior to that some of our 1st/2nd round playoff losses were to bruising teams that lacked topshelf skill (Devils, Flyers) Its not like we were some lame plodding team that could barely skate to where we had to hold and grab everyone just to keep up. We had skill. And who we lost to weren't necessarily just teams with an abundance of skill compared to us.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Green being second on the D in hits is ridiculous. Green is an outstanding OFFENSIVE defenseman. He should not be expected to play 25-26 minutes and be second in hits on D. That's just asking too much. GMGM must get him some help.

Posted by: mdmtnbiker | June 30, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Timmy - grant you Knuble.

But re-signing Fedorov was a great FA move? Please. He was out of gas against the Flyers in games 5, 6 and 7. He was clearly on the downswing of his career and to expect him to be a contributor. That was not a great FA signing and I publicly lobbied against it. He could not have been expected to be an impact player the following season after we acquired him for our playoff run (in which he was very good)

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Green being second on the D in hits is ridiculous. Green is an outstanding OFFENSIVE defenseman. He should not be expected to play 25-26 minutes and be second in hits on D. That's just asking too much. GMGM must get him some help.

Posted by: mdmtnbiker | June 30, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

of course he needs help but that doesn't mean he shouldn't finish a check when it is necessary. Where this notion came about that only strictly defensive dmen need to be prolific hitters is overly simplistic. If that was the case, no one on our team would hit since Carlson and Green (our most physical dmen) are considered offensive dmen and Sarge/Alzner (our defensive dmen types) don't like to hit.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Green being second on the D in hits is ridiculous. Green is an outstanding OFFENSIVE defenseman. He should not be expected to play 25-26 minutes and be second in hits on D. That's just asking too much. GMGM must get him some help.

Posted by: mdmtnbiker | June 30, 2010 11:57 AM

He is also a better defensive dman than many of you give him credit for. He does still needs to improve on it - which he did last season.

As for hitting and blocking shots, those can be overrated. Look at the teams who were high in those categories. Only 5 of the teams who were among the top 10 in hits in the regular season made it into the playoffs, and none made it past the 2nd round. 3 of the 4 teams who made it to the conference finals were 25th or worse. In blocked shots, only 4 of the top 10 regular season teams made it to the playoffs - but two of them did make the Eastern Conference Finals. Having a lot of hits and blocked shots is nice, but it is far from necessary.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

McPhee is a delusional moron. On defense = "We have 7 guys ready to go." To go where?? To the golf course in May?? On 2nd line center = Matthieu Perault or Flash???? WTF!?!?! Earth to McMoron, both those guys are 3rd line centers at best.

What planet is this guy living on???

Posted by: doughless | June 30, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

cstanton: You forgot Kevin Stevens in your list of skilled Pens. There was another guy, maybe named Brown, too.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 30, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Philly making the Finals was not entirely a fluke, but luck was a huge part of it. If they had come up against either the Caps or the Pens during the playoffs, they'd have been out.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

quite an assumption to make. I feel fairly comfortable saying that we'd probably have lost to the Flyers in LESS than 7 games. Their unrelenting forecheck would have caused us a ton of problems on D, and our top 6 forwards seemed very unwilling to do the dirty work required to get around the Flyers D which would have presented us with more issues than Montreal's D did.

The Pens had a better chance of beating Philly than we did.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Dear GMGM:

Please sign Volchenkov and Jokinen. Thanks in advance.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | June 30, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

ThePat:

you nailed it.

Posted by: doughless | June 30, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

cstanton: You forgot Kevin Stevens in your list of skilled Pens. There was another guy, maybe named Brown, too.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 30, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I didn't include Kevin Stevens because his primary attribute was that of a power forward. Rick Tocchet was another type who if you looked at simply his offensive stats you'd consider him "skilled" but we know thats not true. Kevin Stevens didn't fit my definition of the point I was trying to get across - that we didn't simply lose to teams who could skate circles around us. A player like Stevens (at least prior to his gruesome facial injury) was a guy who would run you thru vs outfancying you.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

If the Caps want to bolster the D at a reasonable price, sign Michalek.

as we all know, this will not happen because McMoron is: 1) delusional and thinks he has quality D already, or 2) doesn't give a flip about defense.

Posted by: doughless | June 30, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Timmy - grant you Knuble.

But re-signing Fedorov was a great FA move? Please. He was out of gas against the Flyers in games 5, 6 and 7. He was clearly on the downswing of his career and to expect him to be a contributor. That was not a great FA signing and I publicly lobbied against it. He could not have been expected to be an impact player the following season after we acquired him for our playoff run (in which he was very good)

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 12:02 PM

Yes, getting Feds was a good move. His on-ice contributions weren't the best, but he helped some of the younger players(especially Semin) improve their games. I'm not saying it was the best move of the offseason, but it was good.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

The more I think about it, I think the team should bring back ShaMorrison. The guy hits and plays responsibly in his own end. He's a steady 2nd or 3rd pair dman, but I think the "fans" sell him short. Is he worth $2.5 million per year, I don't know. Is he better than Erskine or Sloan, yes. Just my 2 cents...

Posted by: DaleHunter | June 30, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

On 2nd line center = Matthieu Perault or Flash???? WTF!?!?! Earth to McMoron, both those guys are 3rd line centers at best.
------------------------------------------

well, remember the reason McPhee gave for not pulling the trigger on a deadline move 2 yrs ago was because he said that the at-the-time-concussed Brian Pothier was better than any available dman on the trade market.

Hopefully he doesn't really believe his own spin. We can always hope he's just posturing. But you never know.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Lemieux, Stevens, Muller, Murphy, Recchi, Jagr, Coffey and Francis.

That's 8 guys in the HoF or going there.

Plus Trottier, that's 9.

My guess is there are very few teams ever that had 9 HoFers as skaters. Habs of course, many years in 60s, 70s and 80s might have. Maybe the Oilers from the late 80s but I don't think 9 on one roster.

91-92 Pens was one of the most talented ever. And the Caps almost beat them that year I think.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 30, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

capsfansince74 ... Volchenkov for right price, yes, but dear lord no to Jokinen ... his head is sooooooooo big. (Yes, that is my reason)

Posted by: flee001 | June 30, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

oilers got so lucky the jackets picked up ethan moreau off waivers so they don't have to buy him out

Posted by: _stevo | June 30, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Where is Milan Jurcina? Is he included in the salary cap?

Posted by: dccitizen1 | June 30, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

Mark Recchi was on those Penguins teams too. He was also very skilled.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 30, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Juice is done with Caps _stev

Posted by: flee001 | June 30, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

OK, cstanton, I see what you are saying.

I was watching when Stevens got hurt. I think it was vs Isles in 93 playoffs? He got kind of tripped up and then it was like a cartoon when the character was suspended in mid-air. He was sideways, suspended, and then just went straight down in a bellyflop with his face flush against the ice. I think they said he broke most the bones in his face. That was a brutal injury.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 30, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

"McPhee is a delusional moron" ? Well, he's a GM and you are...? Come on folks, if you want to make comments and be taken seriously lets use a grown-up approach. I for one will never know if there was a useful comment after the part I quoted since that person had hung out the "The Troll Is In" sign.

Posted by: TheCapitalist1 | June 30, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

91-92 Pens was one of the most talented ever. And the Caps almost beat them that year I think.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 30, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

and what really kicked off that run? It was adding
1) Great Defensive Center -- Ron Francis
2) Great aggressive defensive dman - Ulf

and then bringing in
3) Premier nasty power forward - Tocchet

And of course, bringin in a young Jagr.

That team was full of guys who excelled at being grinders including Trottier etc.

If you're making an argument for the Caps to bring in more skill, if those same players are also excellent grinders by all means lets add them. But that's not how McPhee has really built this team. The skill guys he pursues aren't usually high quality grinders.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

quite an assumption to make. I feel fairly comfortable saying that we'd probably have lost to the Flyers in LESS than 7 games. Their unrelenting forecheck would have caused us a ton of problems on D, and our top 6 forwards seemed very unwilling to do the dirty work required to get around the Flyers D which would have presented us with more issues than Montreal's D did.

The Pens had a better chance of beating Philly than we did.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 12:10 PM

Not really much of an assumption. It's based off of regular season stats. The Caps showed during the regular season that they had the tools to beat the Flyers. They took 3 of 4 against the Flyers, and all 3 wins were by at least 2 goals. The 1 game the Flyers took was in OT. The Pens took 5 out of 6 against the Flyers, but one was in OT, two were 1 goal games that didn't go OT, and they got stomped in the 1 loss.

The Flyers' defensive system wouldn't have worked as well against the Caps as Montreal's did, because Montreal's system was based around denying space - which they did quite effectively. If the Caps or Pens had played the Flyers, they'd have won in 6.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

Mark Recchi was on those Penguins teams too. He was also very skilled.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 30, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

he was a hardnosed forward who had skill. Big difference between the description you just gave of him which would more closely resemble a Tomas Flash.

Recchi was like a Kunitz. Hit everything that moved, would occasionally fight, would bullrush the crease. He was not primarily a skill player but a grinder who had a quick release and worked his butt off on every shift. He was like a more skilled version of Matt Cooke.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I was watching when Stevens got hurt. I think it was vs Isles in 93 playoffs? He got kind of tripped up and then it was like a cartoon when the character was suspended in mid-air. He was sideways, suspended, and then just went straight down in a bellyflop with his face flush against the ice. I think they said he broke most the bones in his face. That was a brutal injury.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 30, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

good mem recall, i think he went in to make a hit on Rich Pilon and missed...and he was never the same player again until his last yr with the Rangers where he came out of his shell.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Paul Martin not likely to remain in NJ - I just don't think he's an upgrade to our defense. I think some team is going to overpay for him, big-time!

http://blogs.northjersey.com/blogs/fireice/comments/paul_martin_nervous._excited_as_he_approaches_unrestricted_free_agency_devi/P25/

Posted by: Thisistheyear | June 30, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Not really much of an assumption. It's based off of regular season stats. The Caps showed during the regular season that they had the tools to beat the Flyers. They took 3 of 4 against the Flyers, and all 3 wins were by at least 2 goals. The 1 game the Flyers took was in OT. The Pens took 5 out of 6 against the Flyers, but one was in OT, two were 1 goal games that didn't go OT, and they got stomped in the 1 loss.

The Flyers' defensive system wouldn't have worked as well against the Caps as Montreal's did, because Montreal's system was based around denying space - which they did quite effectively. If the Caps or Pens had played the Flyers, they'd have won in 6.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

respectfully timmy, a reg season meeting is very different than a series. There are many more dynamics at play that carry over game to game that occurs in a series v a string of individually spaced games.

Also, the Flyers were a different team system-wise in the playoffs with their coaching change and some players coming back into the lineup.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

just for the sake of clarity before sgm starts rattling off every Penguin on the early 90s team with "skill"

No one here who has a problem with McPhee would be anything but ecstatic if we had a team full of skill players who also brought grit. We don't. That's why we bi__h and moan so much. Its not the "skill" we object to. Its the fact that most of the skill isn't also accompanied by hardnosed play. McPhee is more than welcome to bring in all the skill he wants. But when almost every draft pick is tagged with the proverbial "shies away from physical play, questionable work ethic, needs to get much stronger etc", it gets old. We already have a guy like that in Flash who actually made it to the NHL and we collectively wouldn't shed a tear if he never played another shift for us.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

Was Recchi very skilled? If he was then my comment is correct because all I said is that he was very skilled.

His 40 goals and 73 assists during the 90-91 season with 10 goals and 24 assists in the playoffs indicate that too. As does his 53 goal 70 assist season with the Flyers, which is the Flyers single season point scoring record.

He was significantly more skilled than Matt Cooke or Kunitz. Not even close.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 30, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I agree with cstanton1 on the Flyers being a different team. Sorry timmy, but once in the playoffs the regular season games dont really mean too much. Philly was finally healthy. There was a reason that many predicted them to win the East prior to the season started and you saw it in the playoffs. Depth at every position(other than goalie) and physical forecheck.

Posted by: ThePat | June 30, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Was Recchi very skilled? If he was then my comment is correct because all I said is that he was very skilled.
--------------------------------

pls read my above post detailing the debate at hand. thx

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

cstandton1, you just hit it, the secret to success. Philly was different team in playoffs due to system and coach change. Caps don't need new players just a less bubbly coach.

BB's days are numbered, just like very NHL coach. Caps start strong but make coaching change late in season (Iron Mike anyone?). Caps bring in not gritty/grizzled players but rather a coach who beats the hell out of players.

Posted by: flee001 | June 30, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

TEB, where are you getting $4.5M? Generous salaries for Fehr, Schultz and Fleischmann ($2M) plus Gordo at $1M - I see 21 players signed and almost $7M cap space - and that's without trading anyone.

Posted by: TCJR2000 | June 30, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

understood

Posted by: sgm3 | June 30, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

@flee01

Highly risky because what if the players revolt to the coaching change and quit at the end of the season?

Posted by: sgm3 | June 30, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

tom, I'll look for a clip but here's the blow-by-blow:

"Early in the first period of Game 7 of the Pens-Islanders 2nd round series, the puck went into the Islanders corner. Penguins' star forward Kevin Stevens skated in hard and attempted to hit Pilon but instead was met by Pilon's visor which knocked Stevens unconscious in mid-air. The unprotected fall left Stevens to smash his face on the ice upon impact. Stevens laid motionless on the ice for several seconds with the referee and Penguin teammates concerned, a pool of blood forming around Stevens' head, before the team trainer attended to his side. Stevens would be carted off the ice in a stretcher with a neck brace around his head. He required immediate surgery on his crushed face, injuries that ended up being a broken sinus bone and nose, as well as many facial lacerations and bruises. Stevens' face would require over a hundred stitches that left him unrecognizable, even toward his own family, for the next few weeks until the swelling went down"

Stevens got so depressed over the injury and his eventual career decline, he tailspinned downwards and eventually bottomed out getting busted with a hooker and some crack marion-barry style at a motel in IL.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

understood

Posted by: sgm3 | June 30, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

thank you buddy, if you hadn't understood what the crux of my point was I would've been at wit's end :)

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Paul Martin and Volchenkov want will be expensive. Michalek is much more affordable.

and for you "The Capitalist", sorry you get stuck on hyperbole, but if McPhee really thinks he has the pieces in place, I strongly disagree. This team, by and large, is the one that has underachieved 3 years in a row in the playoffs. I am a season ticket holder and have every right to voice an opinion that runs COUNTER to the BS that Mr. McPhee espouses. If you can't or won't see past his smokescreen, well then enjoy your stay in LaLa Land.

Posted by: doughless | June 30, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Philly making the finals was a bona fide fluke. They got into the playoffs on a shootout after the 82nd game, after blowing it in earlier must-wins. They get through Boston only after Bs lose Krejci and Sturm, with a weakened Savard. Halak was shot in the finals, he sucked against them. And no goalie will ever see the luck Halak saw against the Caps in games 6-7.

So for those who say look what signing Pronger did, Caps must follow that-- BS. The Flyers were a total fluke and the Pronger singing was a hair's breath from being the laughing-stock move of 09, if the Flyers miss in their last-game shootout.

Posted by: capsfan7 | June 30, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

1-for-33 is a mix of a hot goalie and a very good PK system. It also doesn't help that Laich rarely did his job, which was getting in front of the goalie. Personally, I'd like to see Fehr or Knuble replace Laich on the 1st PP line.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

LOL if he's so hot, how come they decided to dump him and go with Price instead??

Posted by: joek443 | June 30, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=167X7PjO6oo

here ya go

man, can you imagine having to go against a top line of Mario Lemieux centering Rick Tocchet and Kevin Stevens? ouch!

I remember that first yr Tocchet got traded to Pittsburgh, they played the Caps in the playoffs and the Caps were at home and were winning game 1. And it was Tocchet's first game back from a broken jaw that was still wired shut and he tried to spark his team by dropping the gloves with Hatcher at the end of that game. That took a ton of courage and I really believe that one play had a real impact on the series because the Penguins were a different team after that fight. They lost that game but they came back to win the series and showed a lot more tenacity than we did. That's courage - coming back from a broken jaw and trying to fight arguably the Caps best fighter at the end of a playoff game you've already lost. The Caps lost the next 4 games.

Ironically, Tocchet did the same thing in his 2nd stint w/the Flyers to spark a huge series comeback against his old team - the Pens. The Pens were just about to go home up 2-zip in the series, everything was going their way. Flyer fans were booing the Flyers who looked like they'd get swept in 4. And Tocchet instigated a linebrawl at the end of game 2. This was in 1999-00.

The Flyers went on to win the next 4 games. Crazy huh

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

sgm3, risky yes, but looking at Knuble, Ovie, Backs, Laich and expecting them to revolt, not realistic. BB has a certain shelf life which is going to expire with a Cup this year. Players of this calibur know it's a business.

What put the glass of haterade in my hand with BB is listening to him defend a style that did not change or work in the playoffs and then talk about hwo he does not get the voting system that did not make Ovie a three time MVP. He showed me he's an @$$ that should have congradulated

Posted by: flee001 | June 30, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

"Philly making the finals was a bona fide fluke"

George, you gotta quit posting here. FA is about to kick off, seriously!

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Yzerman tells the St. Petersburg Times, "To pay a huge premium on July 1, we're not in a position to do that. We have more flexibility in shorter-term deals to keep us competitive, to make us more competitive for a year or two going out. But we have to be prepared with some of the contracts we have coming up with some of our younger guys."

Posted by: sgm3 | June 30, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

you gonna compare the game plans of a team that didn't even make the playoffs to those of a team that won the Prez trophy last year?

Posted by: joek443 | June 30, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

damn i love youtube and the fine fine people who spend time uploading valuable memories from the past

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YGKQae4K-o&feature=player_embedded

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

you gonna compare the game plans of a team that didn't even make the playoffs to those of a team that won the Prez trophy last year?

Posted by: joek443 | June 30, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

not to mention, Brian Burke seems to have no issues in discussing his team's needs and what positions he intends to fill via trades and which ones he fills via FA.

If McPhee had a history of signing the right players or acquiring the right players at the right time I could care less what he says or doesn't say publicly. Its the fact that his comments actually align themselves with his actions that scares me

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

"prudent approaces" are for the teams that are not expected to compete for the Cup... for teams like the Caps, the management should feel obligated to do what's necessary to win the Cup RIGHT NOW.

I don't wanna hear this "prudent" approach crap, GMGM sounds like George Bush the elder.

Posted by: joek443 | June 30, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

and it isn't like McPhee keeps ALL his comments to himself. Right after the season ended he said that it wasn't defense that lost them the series, it was their PP.

now we all know this in essence may be an accurate statement. But the implications are very troubling.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Burke is like the basketball player who tells you what he is going to do to you and does it as you walk down the court. GMGM is that quiet guy with shifty eyes who you just never know.

or

Burke is like a drink with Big Ben, you know what he's going to do and you can't stop it.

Posted by: flee001 | June 30, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

@timmyv38:

Too true. All too often, many of us make a mistaken linkage of cause-and-effect between FA signings (or lack thereof) and playoff success (or lack thereof).

There are some out there who would say that any FA signing by GMGM was an Epic Fail because it did not lead directly to a Stanley Cup. Ironically, some of those same voices are clamoring for GMGM to make a bigger splash in the FA marketplace (e.g. Volchenkov, Hamhuis, Lombardi).

The Red Jesus teaches us that even He cannot deliver a Stanley Cup by Himself--we should therefore not expect this of any one player, no matter how legendary his reputation or skills. Nor should we base our judgement of a player on this flawed criterion.

As for the above named players, would I like to see some or all of them in Caps sweaters? Of course I would. Do I think they could bring us a Cup? No, not by themselves, but I think they could be a significant enhancement to what we already have, which in turn could lead to a Cup. Should they be considered "bad" signings if we get them and we still fail to win the Cup? I don't know--it depends on how they perform individually.

'Just saying...

Posted by: Rhino40 | June 30, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

There are some out there who would say that any FA signing by GMGM was an Epic Fail because it did not lead directly to a Stanley Cup. Ironically, some of those same voices are clamoring for GMGM to make a bigger splash in the FA marketplace (e.g. Volchenkov, Hamhuis, Lombardi).
------------------------------

No one has ever criticized the Knuble signing. That was clearly a good one from the outset and that feeling has since been reinforced.

Its not our fault that the majority of his moves are ineffective or clearly bad decisions from the outset. And since he tends not to make many moves to begin with, there's little chance he can overcome a bad move with a good one.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I prefer a well thought out approach that analyzes every detail of every possible deal and every possible consequence of said possible deal.

Then using statistics and probabilities you weigh which possible deal has the highest probability of success. You do not make moves based only on recent activity or what is popular at the time.

Pretty much it is MoneyBall, but now used for hockey.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 30, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

cstanton: thanks for link on Stevens. I had forgotten he got dazed by the visor, which is why he didn't protect himself when he fell.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 30, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, Tarik doesn't even need to interview George. Its the same story every year prior to FA. He publicly stems any optimism about the Caps making any big moves, and then once in a while he goes and gets a player thats old or finesse or both. MK being the exception.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

joek: The Habs went with Price for one very obviuos reason. When you compare the regular season stats the gap wasn't that big between Halak and Price. Halak had a 2.44 GAA and 92.4 Sv Pctg. Price has a respectable 2.77 GAA with a 91.2 Sv Pctg. Although Halak won many more games he also benefitted because the Habs were getting healthy during that stretch, very healthy. For example Markov and Cammaleri returned. Now Halak can demand, and will get BIG BIG money based on his playoff performance. With the Habs willing to let him go, that indicates his performance was probably a fluke and that Price can put up just about the same numbers with the same results and a much much lower cost because Price doesn't really have much to throw at the Habs at the negotiation table. Halak finished the playoffs with the best save percentage and in the top five for GAA. He started letting him some really soft goals against the Flyers though. The Habs would know better than anyone else, fan or GM, what the reason for the breakdown in the Conference Finals was. Was it fatigue, or was it simply Halak coming back to earth?

Posted by: fanohock1 | June 30, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

The two players that Id target tomorrow are Saku Koivu for our vacant Center position and Kurtis Foster to add size and a hard shot on D.

Posted by: ThePat | June 30, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

This sounds familiar...

One defenseman and a center, please.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 30, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Foster, interesting, did not think about him

Posted by: flee001 | June 30, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

"Rather than do a deal we don't like and come to regret it six months from now, we would probably be more inclined to go with our drafted players," he added. "And, in fact, they look a lot better than what's out there right now. Why wouldn't you play Perreault? He's a really talented young player."
---------------

I guess as long as we don't need any strong defensive dmen or proven 2 way centers, all the players we've drafted are automatically better than every FA. Good to know this. Just shows how astute and competent he is.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock1

Actually, those save %'s aren't anywhere close to eachother. A 10+ point spread in save % would indicate one is a much better goalie. And to be honest with you, a 30-point spread in GAA is also not similar.

The obvious reason the Habs went with Price is because they have invested far more time and money into Price. It should be painstakingly clear that Halak is the better goaltender.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 30, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

GMGM has a few Boardwalks, couple Marvin Gardens and 2 of the four Railroads but he is still missing a few properties and only has so many Get Out of Jail Free cards left. The purple properties are not popular but needed to build a winning game (Love Monopoly).

Posted by: flee001 | June 30, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't Jokinnen (sp?) have a reputation for biting?...oh wait that's one of the Ruutu Bros.

Posted by: Rhino40 | June 30, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Michalek on blueline; Stephen Weiss = center

Posted by: doughless | June 30, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Kevin Stevens is really good.

At smoking crack.

Posted by: 37thandK | June 30, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

wouldn't frown on a Foster type. He's grittier than Schultz is. Did have a badly broken leg 2 yrs ago though.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

For the people saying Caps should wait till the trade deadline:

1) You have to give up something good to GET something good in a trade. We all know that GMGM does not like to do that.
2) Even if McPhee were willing to make deals, who's to say the right guys will be available?
3) Late season rentals don't have the benefit of getting a lot of time to adjust to a new system and develop chemistry with their new teammates. It's not an ideal situation.

I don't want to see a repeat of last season's trade deadline. 4 players were added and the improvement to the lineup was exactly nil.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | June 30, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Let's forget UFA's for a minute. How about trades? How about trading some of the assets this organization has obtained the last 5 years? These guys aren't cutting it. They have had their chance, and we continue to lose when it counts.

They don't need to sign any UFA's as far as I am concerned, but they do need to improve this lineup. We should trade any of the following assets if their respective positions can be upgraded:
Holtby, Flash, Semin, Perrault, Gustaffson, Schultz, SDR, Bouchard

Going into the season with the same team is madness. It says nothing to the players that losing in the first round is unacceptable. It says nothing to the fans either. All McPhee has done so far is say that all guys on this team that are UFA's will not be resigned. That is the easy part, we all knew that already. He now needs to do the hard work.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 30, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

too bad we can't see a list of offered trades to the Caps that we turned down. Besides the well-publicized Pronger trade which I wouldn't have done if Carlson was one of the pieces. Too bad Ana wasn't satisfied with just Alzner.

But it would nice to see if McPhee truly overvalues some of his own players. Or other teams just don't want most of our players that much.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Anyways, I sort of agree. Stay away from free agency. But GMGM better be calling 29 other guys trying to find some trades.

2C and 1D.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 30, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

McPhee seems to understand exactly what he needs to do, as a GM, to keep his job till the end of time. To that end he embraces one aspect of effective management -- which is to not make any dumb moves -- and avoids the other, which is to actually assume some risk and go out of your way to make smart moves that actually improve the team.

Trying to improve only through the draft will only work as long as you're getting high picks, or, as in the case of the Wings, you have a superlative ability to find those diamonds in the rough. McPhee hasn't shown that ability in 12 years.

It's actually kind of arrogant for him to assume that his team can't be improved upon by adding players he himself didn't draft.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | June 30, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Jokinen. Thanks in advance.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | June 30, 2010 12:11 PM |

Are you serious?

Posted by: richmondphil | June 30, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

drumroll........Ladies and Gents I present you with Hatfield!

that's a well-written point alluding to how he's able to maintain job security. He doesn't take risks. Granted, it doesn't hurt showing an upward trend in the reg season record and the fact he's been able to wrangle some homegrown offensive talent that has probably attracted quite a few new fans.

But in the grand scheme of being a hockey GM, his play-it-safe attitude is probably more of a detriment. As is his philosophy that having an offense-heavy teeth-lacking team is the secret to success.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Very disappointing comments from McPhee - lets see if this is just playing poker or being out in the open honest truth.

SE Division is going to get VERY competitve - Hurricanes are stacked with prospects, Tallon has the Cats purring and Stevie Y. will bring a piece of Detroit's front office to the Lightening. If prospects are our best bets, the window on this team will close so fast, it will be 2003 all over again.

Semin will turn into a KHL pumpkin after 1 more year - convert him into picks/prospects/physical D-man PLUS replace his 40 goals with a multi-year Kovalchuck. Money-wise, we are taking 2-2.5 MM additional on the cap with this.

Why am I the only one who thinks this is a no-brainer.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | June 30, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

actually Jokinen may not be a bad move if we keep Semin. I'll take Olli as our 2nd line center over MP or Flash anyday of the week. He can still clog up the middle and dish the puck and that's all Semin needs. The key is, what do you do with Laich. Do you play him on the LW on the 2nd line with Semin on the right? Do you leave Semin as a natural LW? Then what happens to Fehr. Do you play him on a checking line with some PP time here and there?

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I still like the idea of MP coming up and centering the Ovie/Knuble line and having Backstrom center the Semin/Fehr.

Ovie and Knuble make up for MP's small size and lack of hitting. Ovie's line rarely faces a team's top offensive line so MP would rarely have to cover the top center on an opposing team.

Backstrom brings a good sized center who is talented defesnively (as well as offensively) to the 2nd line with Semin and Fehr. Semin does need to be paired with a bigger center(not MP).

1)Ovie/MP/Knuble
2)Semin/Backstrom/Fehr
3)Laich/Steckel (or J Madden if signed)/Bradley
4)Chimera/Pinzotto(or signed UFA who is an energy center who can forecheck and play D)/A Gordon

Lines 1 and 2 are basically lines 1 and 1A. I know people will be scared of playing MP on the top line. No, he is not a #1 center(Backstrom is), but with the type of wingers Ovie and Knuble are I think he would fit best on that line. He brings energy, he likes playing behind the net(good for Ovie) and is very skilled with the puck.

The 3rd line would be the defensive checking line and the 4th line would be the energy line that has speed (Chimera) and energy and can chip in more goals than expected.

I think this could be worth a shot. In addition, it would leave the Caps with plenty of cap room to acquire a top notch shut down defenseman.

If MP just didn't pan out then the Caps would have to start looking for a #2 center, likely through a trade.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 30, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

LOL if he's so hot, how come they decided to dump him and go with Price instead??

Posted by: joek443 | June 30, 2010 12:59 PM

It's simple, joke. So simple even you should be able to see it. They have been saying ever since they drafted Price that he is their future, and they're sticking to that.

And are you honestly going to say that he wasn't hot against the Caps and Pens?

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

actually Jokinen may not be a bad move if we keep Semin. I'll take Olli as our 2nd line center over MP or Flash anyday of the week. He can still clog up the middle and dish the puck and that's all Semin needs. The key is, what do you do with Laich. Do you play him on the LW on the 2nd line with Semin on the right? Do you leave Semin as a natural LW? Then what happens to Fehr. Do you play him on a checking line with some PP time here and there?

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 2:01 PM |

No effn' way. In no way, shape, or form, should Olli Jokinen even be thought about being given a contract here.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 30, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

MP cannot be on line 1 or 2. Steckel cannot be on line 3. You cannot seperate OV and Backs.

Don't take this personally, but I do not think anything you suggested would be beneficial for this team next year. IMO, we need more.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 30, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

wait,wait.....i have just read the most ridiculous thing I think i have ever seen on this blog (and that includes my rants). Matthieu Perrault on the TOP LINE over Backstrom?!?!?! OH MY GOD!!

Posted by: doughless | June 30, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm hoping GMGM is throwing up smoke and mirrors....if not, I'm REALLY worried as a fan about this organization and it's seriousness.

For one thing: EVERYONE STOP RELIVING THE HABS SERIES. Our problems have been the same as a team the last several years, and only became more glaring last year.

The Caps DESPERATELY need a shutdown D-man. And contrary to McPhee, this is a GOOD year for such types at a reasonably young age: Volchenkov, Hamhuis, etc.

We all know GMGM hate free agency deals with "splash,"...and guess what: my Dad hates the cost of a BMW compared to a Ford. Sure, they both get from A to B, but anyone that drives them KNOWS they aren't the same.

Shutdown D men take time to mature and develop, and these 27-28 year olds are at a good age to cover several years for us and do their job. Unlike offensive FA efforts, D guys tend to be more reliable. And WHY, oh WHY would we wait to see how the season is going, when we KNOW we lack this type of player and we've KNOWN it for several years??????????????

The cynic in me says they want a competitive team for 5-10 years to keep the revenues up and MAYBE win a Cup, without truly going for this thing. If we sit tight and watch the Pens and others move around us AGAIN, I will be furious!!!!

Having said that, we do have good young talent in the other positions. But we don't have the D-guy we need...not by a country mile...

Posted by: squirrel1991 | June 30, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Semin will turn into a KHL pumpkin after 1 more year - convert him into picks/prospects/physical D-man PLUS replace his 40 goals with a multi-year Kovalchuck. Money-wise, we are taking 2-2.5 MM additional on the cap with this.

Why am I the only one who thinks this is a no-brainer.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | June 30, 2010 1:57 PM

Because getting Kovalchuk is a really dumb move. He has no defensive ability, or desire to play defense. He's a slightly better goal scorer than Semin, but without any of the other uses that Semin brings.

I don't understand why so many people here are so sure Semin is going back to the KHL. He likes it here with the Caps, so unless he gets traded, he's not going anywhere.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

and what "other uses" does Semin bring? dragging and curling enough for the entire team??? giving 2 to 3 lazy penalties in a game?? drawing attention from Ovie in post game interviews??

Posted by: doughless | June 30, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

@timmyv38

Semin is gone after this year....look at our FA list for next season.

UFA: Semin, Laich, Knuble, Bradley, Poti, Erskine.

RFA: Varly, Neuvy, Alzner, Perrault.

Add the possibility of Fehr, Schultz, and Flash being UFA if they only sign a 1 year deal. You quickly see why Semin will be gone next season as he wont be taking a $2 million pay cut.

Posted by: ThePat | June 30, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I'll take Jokinen over Belanger, Flash, MP, Morrison - any of the centers weve tried the last year. He can center Laich and Semin and wed have a nice 2nd line.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | June 30, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Jokinen sucks, and brings bad luck to whatever GM is stupid enough to take a risk on him.

I'd take him over all the guys you listed to, but why go after him when there are more attractive FA options at C ?

Posted by: richmondphil | June 30, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

on that i agree with Timmy, say no to Kovy. But I still don't see Semin as a well-rounded player even compared to Kovy.


"No effn' way. In no way, shape, or form, should Olli Jokinen even be thought about being given a contract here. "

don't worry, they won't. They didn't show much interest in when he was in Fl and his stock was much higher than. Read something somewhere about the Caps front office not thinking too highly of Jokinen as a leader.

I don't know if he has character issues. But unless he pulled a Cheechoo and his speed and skills completely dropped off the edge of the cliff from the type of player he was even 2 yrs ago, he's better than anything we have at 2nd line center. And he played pretty damn hard for the Rangers down the stretch. He was physical, he got involved down low in battles for the puck, he showed an intensity that we could use. He doesn't need to be a 30 goal-80 point guy to turn into a good acquisition.

again, i have no idea if he's got character/locker room issues.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

The lack of a D-man didn't cost us the first round last year? it was lacking scoring. You aren't gonna win too many goesl scoring 1 or 0 goals. Our D and goal tending while not spectacular in the playoffs did its part. A stay at home D and C are still needed to bolster the team.

Posted by: Shiba-fussa | June 30, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

@doughless

See, this is why people do not believe you are very intelligent.

When you form lines it is NOT a ranking of who is the top player at each position. You form lines to get you the best OVERALL product. A lot of this comes from how certain players and their styles will match with others.

In this context you have Ovie and Knuble as the wings for one line and you have Fehr and Semin as the wings for the other line(if you want Laich instead of Fehr then go ahead).

If you stick Backstrom with Ovie and Knuble, that line is great, no doubt. But then that leaves MP playing with Semin and Fehr. Unfortunately MP is not very good defensively now and is quite small so he can be pushed around. Pairing him with Semin, who doesn't hit too much, and Fehr(who is big and is hitting more but not nearly than before but nearly the equivalent of Ovie and Knuble) would not be getting the most out of that line.

By putting MP with Ovie and Knuble and Backstrom with Semin and Fehr you match the centers, and their talents, with the appropriate wingers in the organization to get the best overall result.

For a simplistic view I will rate each line in terms of quality from 1-10.

Ovie/Backstrom/Knuble= 10
Semin/MP/Fehr= 6
Total= 16

Ovie/MP/Knuble= 9
Semin/Backstrom/Feher=9
Total=18

Posted by: sgm3 | June 30, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

ALL....

All this talk about offensive players and Semin confuses me. We have HEAPS of offensive players on the team and in Hershey. We don't need to worry over Semin if we can get something for him. And BB can coach offense and has a system that works with the young players.

I am worried about DEFENSE. The dumbest quote GMGM made is "we have 7 guys ready to go...." Go where? Mars? Jupiter??

We're gonna have two young goalies in the net ALL season next year and expect them to carry us to a Cup. And I'm behind them both, and like that idea. But MY GOD, get them protection at the NET! And BB needs help there too, I'm not sure he knows D well....

Posted by: squirrel1991 | June 30, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

To call out McPhee, Semin should have been moved last offseason. He would have been an RFA now, instead of a UFA next year.

There is no money for Alex Semin on the Washington Capitals beyond this year. Quite frankly, his $6m contract this year is hurting this team.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 30, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Most of the rumors seem to have been based on what fans and columnists want (crease-clearing gritty defensemen, flashy centers), not on anything that McPhee and Co. have indicated.

gmgm talks about Matty and Flash like they're amazing, but Flash is inconsistent and a horror show in the face off circle; Matty P. has great energy, but he's 174 lbs. sopping wet. I guess he's a giant compared to Keith Aucoin, but it's fair to ask how he'd hold up over a full NHL season of getting banged around.

Posted by: blackjack65 | June 30, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

doughless, attempt to find facts before putting up stupid posts. Semin is quite good defensively - he had more takeaways than giveaways this season, and more takeaways than any Cap except Ovechkin. He is a good PKer - the Caps scored 3 of their 4 SH goals when he was on the ice. He scored 2 of them and assisted on 1. He averages less than 1 penalty every 2 games, not the "2 to 3 lazy penalties in a game" you so ignorantly claim. He draws defensive attention away from Ovie - Ovie's numbers dropped this season when Semin was out. I wish Semin would hit more, but he does his job well as is.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

MP isnt a number 1 center on any team between any players. Hes not even a number 2 center. So that is why doughless and others think your idea of putting him between Ovi and Knuble is crazy. He is a 3rd line center. He wasnt even the number 1 in Hershey, and you are going to throw him onto a first line in the NHL. Think about it a little buddy. MP isnt strong enough, he loses puck battles. Part of the reason Ovi is so good is bc both Backstrom and Knuble are big enough and create space.

Posted by: ThePat | June 30, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I'd take him over all the guys you listed to, but why go after him when there are more attractive FA options at C ?
------------

more attractive=more expensive

Jokinen has some risk attached to him, and not all teams need what we need. Some are looking for more out of a center than you'll get from Jokinen. For us, we need a strong two way center who can skate but who doesn't have to be a goal machine. He fits the bill better than Steckel does. He's a big body that doesn't mind playing close to the crease, he's been involved in many hardfought battles over his career, he's a veteran who is stronger on his skates than most of the prospects we have at center. Semin needs someone who can dish him the puck, win some battles for the puck and jam up the crease. He doesn't need a Backstrom type.

yes, i have convinced myself. The answer to our 2nd line is Olli Jokinen!

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

sorry sgm3 for failing to recognize your brilliance. i just think you are plain wrong. Perrault = 3rd/4th line center. the Caps are loaded with guys at his talent level. that is their problem. McPhee won't part with middlin players to pick up the pieces the Caps need.

Posted by: doughless | June 30, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

The lack of a D-man didn't cost us the first round last year? it was lacking scoring. You aren't gonna win too many goesl scoring 1 or 0 goals. Our D and goal tending while not spectacular in the playoffs did its part.
-----------------------------

this is why losing to the Habs was probably the single-worst thing that could've happened. We'll take the wrong lessons away from it and probably address the wrong needs.

Which is why I was praying we'd face the Bruins or Flyers. A better test of how we fare against bigger teams with better forechecks and esp more physical defensemen. To lose against another finesse team is frankly just sad.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

@ThePat

I agree that MP is not a #1 center. Backstrom is clearly a #1 center. But naming lines #1 and #2 doesn't matter. Those are just names of lines. Then fine, call the Semin/Backstrom/Fehr line the #1 line and then the MP line is the #2 line. Then people start crying about how Ovie in on the #2 line. Remember, Malkin plays on the #2 line and he is clearly a #1 center. It is about evening up line strength between the top two lines to get the best overall product.

Ovie has been successful no matter who his center is. I like MP's style and think that it will fit well with wingers such as Ovie and Knuble. I don't think MP should be on a checking line because of his poor defensive play.

MP clearly has to prove a lot, just like any yong player. I beleive he does have the talent and skill to be a #2 center in the NHL just like Briere. Does that mean he will? Of course not, but the team is clearly high on him and I think it could be worth a shot.

One of the main reasons of doing this too is that MP is cheap and would allow the Caps to pursue a top notch UFA defenseman. There is only so much cap space and I think these lines would score more than enough goals while allowing the Caps to improve their D so they can give up less goals.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 30, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

"but it's fair to ask how he'd hold up over a full NHL season of getting banged around."

maybe the kind of question I wish a certain Post reporter would ask our GM.

Every team has MP types in their system. He's nothing special. He's just a prospect who can come up and offer us depth minutes without embarassing himself. To even pencil him in at the 3rd line center is premature imo. By all means give him a fair shake at camp. But if this is their Plan A, ugh. MP should be a plan C.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

"this is why losing to the Habs was probably the single-worst thing that could've happened. We'll take the wrong lessons away from it and probably address the wrong needs.

Which is why I was praying we'd face the Bruins or Flyers. A better test of how we fare against bigger teams with better forechecks and esp more physical defensemen. To lose against another finesse team is frankly just sad."

VERY GOOD POINTS CSTANTON....IF WE THINK OUR DEFENSE IS UP TO SNUFF FOR POST-SEASON PLAY, SHAME ON THIS ORGANIZATION. EVEN WHEN WE LOST 1-0, WE HAD DUMB DEFENSIVE BREAKDOWNS TO ALLOW THE 1. AND THE FACT THAT WE LACK PHYSICALITY ALLOWS OTHER TEAMS TO PLAY US DIFFERENTLY, BECAUSE THERE IS LITTLE FEAR AT OUR NET...

Posted by: squirrel1991 | June 30, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

by the way, i am convinced that sgm3 and timmy38 are the same person. espouse the same party line.

timmy, sorry I don't write posts that meet with your desired strict adherence to stats and "facts" (as you see them). but here is a fact, Semin stunk in the playoffs this year. how many goals did he score against the Habs?? i am sure you have that stat tucked away in your bear-trap of a memory. and one more fact, please; hom much is he making this year? did the Caps get their moneys worth from him?? that is arguable. in closing timmy, you are just another goof with an opinion (just like me).

Posted by: doughless | June 30, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

*McPhee's assessment of this year's free agent class? "There's not much out there," he said bluntly.


isn't that what he says every offseason post-Chara? And every trade deadline?

then if he acquires someone he says "this guy was at the top of our hit list, our scouts love him and we were pleasantly surprised to get him"

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

I know you dont thinks hes a number 1 but hes not a number 2 either. They arent going to get a top notch D-man, so stop thinking that. D-men they might get are Mitchell, Foster, Michaelek, or Tallinder.

Posted by: ThePat | June 30, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

McPhee seems to understand exactly what he needs to do, as a GM, to keep his job till the end of time. To that end he embraces one aspect of effective management -- which is to not make any dumb moves -- and avoids the other, which is to actually assume some risk and go out of your way to make smart moves that actually improve the team.

Trying to improve only through the draft will only work as long as you're getting high picks, or, as in the case of the Wings, you have a superlative ability to find those diamonds in the rough. McPhee hasn't shown that ability in 12 years.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | June 30, 2010 1:50 PM |
---------

What do you call Mike Green (29th), Jeff Schultz (27th), John Carlson (27th), Simeon Varlamov (23rd), and Michal Neuvirth (34th)?

...because last time I checked, Green was a PPG D, Schultz just led the NHL in +/-, Carlson is being touted as a hockey god for the alst 2 years, and Varlamov and Neuvirth are going to split duties as our tenders next year... AT 22... Goalies usually take until 25yo to become solid #1's that can handle 60+ games, yet we have 2 that are well ahead of the curve.

...and that doesn't count Perreault (177th), Gordon (197th), Lepisto (66th w/Yotes), Della Rovere (204th), Johansson (24th)., Orlov (55th), and Eakin (85th)... all of whom are either highly touted, steals at their spot, or ready to contribute this year...

if you are going to flame GMGM for his drafting failures (Finley, Pokulok, etc) then you have to give his credit for the successes. not doing so show extreme bias and negativity.

Personally, I'll take our prospects since the 2002 draft over any other teams!

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 30, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

doughless, the problem is that very few of your posts even have a nodding acquaintance with facts - and not "as I see them", but as they clearly are.

Did the Caps get their money's worth from Semin? Yes. 40 goals and 44 assists paired with Semin's defensive ability is worth $6M. For a few years now, the Caps have failed him, in that they have not gotten a decent #2C for his line. While Semin didn't score against the Habs, he was producing the most offense after Ovie. And his line didn't do ANYTHING to help him in that. BMo was playing horribly and Laich wasn't doing his job in going to the net - which meant that Halak saw every shot that Semin made. If the Caps get a good center to play between Semin and either Fehr or Laich, then they will get the best out of Semin.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Another star just announced retirement - Brind'Amour. That's a few this offseason already.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

MP clearly has to prove a lot, just like any yong player. I beleive he does have the talent and skill to be a #2 center in the NHL just like Briere. Does that mean he will? Of course not, but the team is clearly high on him and I think it could be worth a shot.
--------------------------------

Briere also plays with guys like Hartnell and Leino at the end there- two very tenacious wingers. Briere himself is an edgy player. Also about 15 lbs heavier than MP. You're not comparing apples to apples. Just because one smaller skilled center is successful in one system, it doesn't equate to how MP will do with the Caps. Granted you play him between Ovy and MK and you're giving him some more size on the wing. But one minor difference also- remember, MK is not like Hartnell or Leino. He doesn't forecheck the corners and get the puck back to his line. His main asset is to be a bull in the crease and hustle on the backcheck. Frankly he's not even good at cycling the puck along the boards and controling the puck that way.

If we had a Scotty Hartnell type of beast winger to play on a 2nd line, maybe an MP scenario could work. Assuming his body holds up. He is a shifty player so that works in his favor. He avoids a lot of direct hits unlike a Chris Bourque who skates more squarely.

I'm not ready to completely dismiss him. But he should not be anywhere near a Plan A for this team.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

@ThePat

You are right, I am not sure that MP is a sure fire 2nd line center. But from what I've seen, IMO, I think he has the talent and ability to be one. Clearly, I will heed my ability to rate him to the Caps coaches and scouts who get to see him practice and play every day.

If they truly feel he has top 2 line ability (from what I've read I think they do) then I think he is worth a shot. My thinking was just that if you are going to put MP on the top 2 lines he (and the Caps) would be better served having him play with Ovie and Knuble for the reasons previously stated.

If MP gets to play the first 50 games of the season and fails then you look to make a deadline deal or make a Hershey call-up.

I think signing Micahlek or Mitchell would be good signings.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 30, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

From the little I saw from MP he did seem to be tenacious and more than willing to throw his body in there and take a hit.

IMO, he actually looked to be very good on the boards behind the goal. He seemed very aggressive and knew how to win puck battles even with his small size.

In no way am I saying he is Briere, he has a long, long ways to go before getting anywhere near to that point.

I did like the style he played and actually I thought he would be a player you would have liked because of his aggressiveness, tenacity, and willings to get hit and play hard along the boards(everything except for his lack of size).

Posted by: sgm3 | June 30, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

sgm: The Caps have Backstrom, a top echelon #1 center. Beyond that, no player currently in the system is better than a 4th line center.

MP - not good enough offensively for #2C, not good enough defensively for #3C and not tough enough for #4C. He MIGHT be able to do the #3 job.

Steckel and Gordon - not talented enough for #2 or 3, OK for #4. Aucoin - an older version of MP.

MaJo - as of this point, not yet experienced enough.

My believe is the team lacks #2 and 3C (unless they keep belanger at #3), a #3RW and a #1D. We have both been saying this, except we disagree that MP is one of them. He might be, #3 maybe, but I don't think so.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 30, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I'll take our prospects since the 2002 draft over any other teams!

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 30, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

part of that is that we svcked and had some high draft picks. Has he drafted well for skill? sure

has he drafted for solid role players with nhl-calibre size/strength? no

and those types do play a critical role on any team.

Another gripe-- he also ignored the center position for too long. After he bombed out with Beech/Sutherby he drafted about 9 centers out of the next 60 draft picks even though the only real young prospect we had at center was Suts (who hadn't officially bombed out yet). And of the few centers he did draft, they were smallish skilled centers that really never had a chance to be on the top 2 lines at a pro level until he got to Backstrom.

Yunkov
Havel
Joudrey
Lucky
MP
Gwidt
Morin
Krestanovich (he was kinda gritty but his upside was a checker at best)

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: capsfansince74 | June 30, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

actually I thought he would be a player you would have liked because of his aggressiveness, tenacity, and willings to get hit
=---------

i do like those qualities and i do agree he's no shrinking violet. But he's limited in what he can do because he's not as gritty as he needs to be and he's not as strong as he needs to be. He definitely is a bit fearless and thats his main chance of making it at this level.

tomsincal broke down our centers pretty effectively

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

So now MP is not good enough to be a 2C??? Says who? If you try to pull out 'he did xyz in Hershey' as reasoning then Giroux and Aucoin should be top line players in NHL. Some guys are just better in NHL and don't count out size as little guys willing to pay price in traffic with tree trunk legs draw penalties from bigger guys, called leverage folks. MP deserves a chance and he will get it.

As for experience for MaJo, well how do you get it? By playing so if he proves in camp he deserves a shot then he gets it.

This regular season is not about best record or goals, it needs to be about testing these young players, seeing what we have on the NHL (not AHL) level and then decide is trades are needed. Why overpay just to have a roster to satisfy us board geeks in July/August???

Posted by: flee001 | June 30, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Frank: You are right. McPhee has done a great job of trading for #1 picks and has chosen well. Trading Eminger and a #3 for the Carlson pick was a great move. Beyond 1st round though no players since like '00 draft have contributed on the Caps. Neuvirth looks like he will break that spell. Some of the other guys you mention might also crack the line-up, but the track record has been with #2s is they look great but flame out. Forget beyond #2 round, they don't even look great. Maybe though MP, Holtby and others, Eakins being a #3 I think. And Lepisto played decently I think as a #4 pick but only after leaving. AGordo, too, looks like he might be worth his selection.

I say you draft talent on the first round and pretty much draft based on a player's desire and heart after that. As cstanton points out, McPhee's excellent first round picks haven't been matched by his other rounds.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 30, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

Clearly I think better of MP than others on this board which is fine.

I think he has the ability to be a #2 center, but I could very easily be wrong and maybe he will not end up being good enough to be a #2 center.

That is always the problem with calling up prospects is that no one knows how succesful they will be when called up.

I will say, as per my first post today, I was only suggesting this as an option if the Caps were unable to acquire a good 2nd line center in a trade or as a UFA.

Other than Lombardi(who will likely be overpaid) and Koivu the free agent class is pretty thin on 2nd line centers. The others are basically 3's and 4's and at that point I would rather just give MP a shot of winning the #2 job and seeing how successful he can be.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 30, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

"I say you draft talent on the first round and pretty much draft based on a player's desire and heart after that."

before anyone jumps all over that statement, we know what he means. You obviously have to have SOME level of nhl potential, but where McPhee has failed is to stock up on character role players who do a lot of the dirty work and behind the scenes stuff that holds teams together. The ones whose accomplishments aren't as easily measurable as 40 goals from Semin.

And it really comes down to draft strategy. There are a lot of teams out there who devote 3 picks or more in the middle rounds to guys like were described above. And if you do that consistently you'll find more "gems" or just players who can effectively and cheaply fill out your 3rd and 4th lines and maybe half your defense. Then you can trade them away and let younger guys take their place, getting back decent return if other teams need that type of element.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

cstanton: Another interesting point you made is relative to this "blind spot" as it were in McPhee's judgment of players. You pointed I believe, and I apologize if I misquote, but that he just doesn't see the qualities in the feisty guys but goes ga-ga over the skill guys. It's like a moth being attracted to the lamp, with McPhee and flashy forwards. And what is so funny about that is McPhee was the opposite as a player I believe, undersized but playing with all kinds of heart, even dropping the gloves.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/player.htm?id=8449513

Check it out. In 83-84, he had a 100% shooting percentage. Not even Gretzy could match that. And check out PIMs in the playoffs. We could use old George right now on our 4th line.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 30, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

So now MP is not good enough to be a 2C??? Says who? If you try to pull out 'he did xyz in Hershey' as reasoning then Giroux and Aucoin should be top line players in NHL. Some guys are just better in NHL and don't count out size as little guys willing to pay price in traffic with tree trunk legs draw penalties from bigger guys, called leverage folks. MP deserves a chance and he will get it.

As for experience for MaJo, well how do you get it? By playing so if he proves in camp he deserves a shot then he gets it.

This regular season is not about best record or goals, it needs to be about testing these young players, seeing what we have on the NHL (not AHL) level and then decide is trades are needed. Why overpay just to have a roster to satisfy us board geeks in July/August???

Posted by: flee001

Test them on the 3rd and 4th lines, not 1st or 2nd.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 30, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Other than Lombardi(who will likely be overpaid) and Koivu the free agent class is pretty thin on 2nd line centers. The others are basically 3's and 4's and at that point I would rather just give MP a shot of winning the #2 job and seeing how successful he can be.


Posted by: sgm3

Overpay for Lombardi. If you don't get him, make a trade. If we go into this season with MP as our 2nd line center, McPhee should be canned. We are a cup favorite, and we have cap space.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 30, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Probably the best draft technician I've ever followed closely is Ozzie Newsome with the Ravens. He keeps picking the same kind of player in the middle rounds and they keep turning into overachieving NFL players. What they do specifically is fit within the Ravens framework. They give them tests to determine characteristics like "don't give up," things like that. Newsome though, like McPhee, has a blind spot - wide receiver. He is like the anti-McPhee because he finds all the toughness and grit but generally isn't as good at finding the flash, especially on offense. He did get Ed Reed late in Round 1, and Ed brings flash along with everything else.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 30, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

@underpants2

The worry about overpaying for Lomardi is that it is going to have to be for at least 5 years (likely).

Another reason for trying MP out as 2nd line center is that I think most people on this blog will agree that the Caps will easily make the playoffs next year. No question. If the Caps scouts and coaches honestly believe MP has the ability to be a 2nd line center in the NHL then it is worth giving him a chance to prove himself during the playoff warm-ups up until the trading deadline.

If he doesn't cut the mustard then move on and complete a trade during the season (Brad Richards will almost certainly be traded from Dallas as he is in the last year of his contract and Dallas is having serious financial trouble).

Also, part of this is contingent on the Caps using a good amount of money to acquire a shut down defenseman now.

In no way am I saying this is the only way to go, but I think it is an option that is worth seriously considering.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 30, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Test them on the 3rd and 4th lines, not 1st or 2nd.


Posted by: underpants2 | June 30, 2010 3:26 PM

The only problem with this is that the 3rd line isn't a "testing ground." It's supposed to be the "checking line" that you throw out there on defensive zone draws when Crosby's line comes out. I can't follow Hershey, but I don't recall MP being that type of player.

For my money, I'd rather have a guy like Belanger in that position. He's experienced and proven in that role. MP has not torn up the AHL, has he? If not, he's not ready to step in at #2C. And he doesn't have the skill set as a checker. So, the energy line would be for him (#4), I can get on with that, except we already have about four other #4 centers. You can't move Steckel to #3 because he doesn't quite have the Belanger skill (although he might end up as a good #3).

I would rather have Steckel centering Laich and a guy like Clutterbuck for #3 line and then MP with Bradley and AGordon as energy line. I can see that, and if MP really steps it up, he gets promoted to #2 and not #3. But, really, a player is supposed to dominate in the AHL before you consider him NHL-capable for 1st or 2nd line. Has MP done that? Has Bouchard?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 30, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

@underpants2

The worry about overpaying for Lomardi is that it is going to have to be for at least 5 years (likely).

Another reason for trying MP out as 2nd line center is that I think most people on this blog will agree that the Caps will easily make the playoffs next year. No question. If the Caps scouts and coaches honestly believe MP has the ability to be a 2nd line center in the NHL then it is worth giving him a chance to prove himself during the playoff warm-ups up until the trading deadline.

If he doesn't cut the mustard then move on and complete a trade during the season (Brad Richards will almost certainly be traded from Dallas as he is in the last year of his contract and Dallas is having serious financial trouble).

Also, part of this is contingent on the Caps using a good amount of money to acquire a shut down defenseman now.

In no way am I saying this is the only way to go, but I think it is an option that is worth seriously considering.

Posted by: sgm3

Lombardi can play in every situation. MP cannot.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 30, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=89510

He dominated in the Q, and had some pretty good numbers last year in Hershey. But, by way of comparison, Perreault has in no way shape or form dominated in the AHL the way Neuvirth has. Neuvirth led the team as goalie to two Cups and has essentially played himself out of the league. MP? Really, per the stats, he needs another year down there. Let's take Aucoin and Giroux off that team and see if MP carries the Bears like even Flash did when they won a few years back.

The proof is in the pudding and I say the pudding hasn't finished cooking.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 30, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

I like Belanger but 3-4 years is a bit much unless he signs for a really good price. He can be great as a 3rd line centre, penalty killer, and faceoff specialist, but they have some good young guys and in a year or two they may not need him. It would be nice if he'd sign for one year, but not too likely.

Posted by: Stu_c | June 30, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Let me make one more point, an analogy: In baseball, you have infielders and outfielders - they are different players. In hockey, think of 1st and 2nd line as infielders and 3rd and 4th line as outfielders. Also different players. The 1st and 2nd lines are "doers" (scorers) primarily and the 3rd and 4th lines are "stoppers." A player doesn't get promoted like at work from 4 to 3 to 2 to 1 over time. See underpants note on Lombardi - he can do all four roles. Ovechkin can't (you wouldn't want him as #3 RW). All roles is rare. Guys like MP because of limited talent have a hard time cracking an NHL line-up. He basically has to prove he's #2 line capable or convert himself to a "stopper" (like Steckel did).

OK, off the soap box.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 30, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Please let doodoo Flash walk, he isn't worth more than 1.5 mil. And then sign Nigel Dawes who is only 850k Cap hit.

Posted by: Witter | June 30, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

timmy, in regard to the the Habs series, you forgot about a guy named Knuble. for $6 mil you think Semin could do a little more on his own. Ovie found a way.

keep living in lala land, donkey. your posts are drivel.

Posted by: doughless | June 30, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

all roles guys ARE rare for sure. Another reason I favor a draft strategy in the middle rounds (starting as high as possibly the 3rd round) where you draft for NHL-bodied players who skate 'well enough' ,and not the extremely high standard McPhee has set which precludes him drafting such types. That way a guy who you think has an upside as a 2nd liner should at least contribute in a checking capacity on the 3rd or 4th lines. A defensive dman who has the size and strength to handle NHL forwards could fall to a 3rd pair but possibly end up as a top 4 guy ala Volchenkov.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Probably the best draft technician I've ever followed closely is Ozzie Newsome with the Ravens.
----------

totally agree. I respect his philosophies. In fact I used him as an example to illustrate to a poster here who claimed the Flyers were dumb to roll the dice for a year or two to mortgage their future. Ozzie Newsome did exactly that for the Ravens, he rolled the dice and got them their superbowl. And he admitted as much that the risk (even if it hadn't panned out) was a worthwhile venture.

McPhee may be able to construct fairly successful reg season teams that make the playoffs almost every year for a while. But i don't think he has the vision or the guts to do what it takes to put this team over the top. And I think all of us here would accept say 3 yrs of having to break up some parts of our team due to salary constraints if we get a Cup out of it or if we respect the methods by which McPhee used to roll the dice even if we don't win the Cup. Bottom line is, if the fans respect the process then a lean year or two is more palatable. But simply fielding a perennial playoff contender to me is not enough. I have to believe my team has a legit chance to go all the way. And so imo, i haven't felt close to feeling that.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Does Flash remind anyone else of that mouse ratatouille? Or am i the only one?

Posted by: OviFan08 | June 30, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I recently saw a graphic illustrating drafting success by groups of rounds (1-2, 3-5, >5 something like that). I meant to post the link. Anyone have it?

Anyway it illustrated clearly the great success GMGM has had in the early rounds, he was near the end of the pack in the middle rounds and terrible in the later rounds.

%'s were like 83%, 10%, 6% respectively, if I remember correctly.

And I say no to Jokinen, he will probably be expensive and has a rep as a head case.

I like Lombardi or Cullen at a fair price and length of contract. If we dont like what we see. Give one of the kids a shot and see what options open up before the trade deadline if they suck.

The regular season for us is less of a battle for position in the playoffs and more of a tune-up/prep for the playoffs IMO.

Pick something, find out what works and develop chemistry, adjust accordingly.

I WILL BE GLAD WHEN ALL THIS SPECULATION IS OVER!!!!!

IM SUFFERING FROM GAME WITHDRAWAL ALREADY!!!

GO CAPS!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | June 30, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

hey stop talking about Clutterbuck, I keep thinking that this is an actual possibility vs a rumor that you all just made up

and you know, some GMs are better at certain things than other GMs are. When the Caps cut Brash, they made a philosophical shift to get away from a tough guy type. But all they had to do was offer up a low draft pick or a 3rd tier prospect and they could've picked up half a dozen guys who could've played decent mins on the 4th line and provided a lot more toughness than a Brads while being much better skaters than Brashear.

Brandon Prust has been traded 4 times now. It doesn't mean he's a bad player but teams have been able to acquire him fairly easily. And once he got with the Rags he showed he can be more than just a 4th line guy. You can play him on the 3rd line, he got a taste of PP and PK time, he scored 2 GW goals, and provided hitting, energy and some scrapping. And 9 points in 26 games.

Would McPhee EVER go after a guy like Prust? I would say, highly unlikely. Sure if Prust ever proved himself to be a surefire quality NHL player then McPhee may be interested but he has no vision to imagine Prust as a player until he proves it first with another NHL team. And once he proves it, his price tag goes higher than McPhee is willing to pay. Both money-wise, and what it would take via a trade.

There's no resource within the Caps front office that can project a player like Prust into a certain role on our team. Its like, if you fight a lot, you get tagged with a goon label. I expect that from newbie hockey fans, not from executives running our personnel dept.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

And I say no to Jokinen, he will probably be expensive and has a rep as a head case.
----------------

how is that different from semin

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Jokinen should not be an option. He is a clubhouse curse.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 30, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

The regular season for us is less of a battle for position in the playoffs and more of a tune-up/prep for the playoffs IMO.
-------------------------

absolutely. The key is to obviously stay at least in the middle of that pack so you're not fighting to get in at the last moment. But not to lose sight of the big picture which is to create a team that will be successful past the reg season.

Obviously McPhee doesn't intentionally create a non-successful playoff team. He's just under the mistaken impression that having an abundance of skill will overcome other challenges.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Semin is like a special needs kid that we gave birth to.

Jokinen would be one that we have choosen to adopt.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | June 30, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

timmy, in regard to the the Habs series, you forgot about a guy named Knuble. for $6 mil you think Semin could do a little more on his own. Ovie found a way.

keep living in lala land, donkey. your posts are drivel.

Posted by: doughless | June 30, 2010 4:35 PM

doughless, again, you should take facts into consideration. Knuble was on Ovie's line doing what Laich didn't do on the 2nd line. Did you happen to notice what happened on the PP, when Laich was the one who was supposed to be in front of the net? No scoring - just like the 2nd line. Think there might a connection?

Try getting out of your fantasy world where McPhee and every Caps sucks and come back to the real world.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

choosen = chosen

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | June 30, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm on record as saying Modano will sign a 1yr contract. Perfect situation for both. He gets 1 last run at the Cup and we give some younger players 1 more yr in Hershey or bring up on the games Modano misses. GMGM wanted him at the deadline last yr but MM wouldn't waive his NTC. He knows he won't be offered a contract and I bet my wish of 15yrs comes true and Modano will finally become a Cap! Better late than never.

And before you guys go all nuts and say he isn't what he used to be, he's old etc. We don't need him for 82 games. We need him for about 60 and the playoffs. Yet another guy in the fold with a Cup. He can win you faceoffs, he's still fast and would be a great set up guy for Semin and last but not least he has killed penalties his entire career quite efficiently.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | June 30, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

hahaha wtf_fehr

very apt description!

Too bad there's not an ultrasound scan we can run on draft picks.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

I would have one problem with Modano - his faceoff numbers are not that good. The best faceoff % he has had since the lockout is 52.4%, and that was a couple years ago. More often, it seems to be right at 50%.

And last season, he hardly did any penalty killing - 13:10 the entire season. The season before he did quite a bit though - I don't know what caused that change.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

"GMGM wanted him at the deadline last yr but MM wouldn't waive his NTC."

thank god, again some greater power stepped in and saved McPhee from himself once again.
I will laugh out loud if they sign Modano. They may as well go and find out if Fedorov is available again. Then we can sign Nyles on a per game contract. The more scoring lines the better.

Somehow the Caps have become a dumping ground. For a team that doesn't make many outside acquisitions there's a sad irony to all of this.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I dont think Modano is the answer.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | June 30, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

I think what everyone is forgetting in this situation is one thing that very much HAS changed over the last several years:

It wasn't all that long ago that no UFA worth having wanted to play here--"Anywhere but Washington" was the mantra.

For example, Jeremy Roenick was supposed to come here from Phoenix, but went to Philthy instead. I totally love the guy for standing up to that Cosmic D-Bag (Mike Milbury), but I can never forgive him for that betrayal.

Washington was--at the time--not regarded as a legitimate hockey market.

Some people (mostly those from Original Six cities) still believe that, but such is clearly no longer the case. The fan support is here, as never before. What's more, even if some of you (who shall remain nameless) refuse to believe it, more and more players from elsewhere in the NHL believe that the Caps are a legitimate Cup contender.

That's right--more and more quality FA's, it would seem, actually want to play here!

Without going into whom I think we should acquire or why, I do agree that GMGM ought to try and leverage some of the newfound respect DC is getting around the League into some quality (emphasis mine) FA signings...it might even mean NOT having to overpay for what the Caps need.

Posted by: Rhino40 | June 30, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Malhotra could be a very good 3rd line center to sign. He is a good alternative to re-signing Belanger.

The Vancouver paper today called Belanger the best 3rd line center available (they were discussing how to improve the Canucks 3rd line and make it more defensive).

Posted by: sgm3 | June 30, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

the debate about MP center playing on the 1st or 2nd line. Backstrom didnt sign a long term contract to not play on the same line as Ovi plain and simple.

Posted by: heathdog1119 | June 30, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

This was from an si.com article by Allan Muir today:

"Washington Capitals, meet Anton Volchenkov.

GM George McPhee says he isn't planning to do a lot in free agency, and his primary goal appears to be a second-line center. But with just four NHL veterans signed to man the blueline, and with the Capitals committed to young netminders Sermyon Varlamov and Michal Neuvirth, the addition of a defensive-minded warrior like Volchenkov makes sense.

There's an argument to be made for giving the ice time to youngsters John Carlson and Karl Alzner, but the Caps are a legit Cup contender, and Volchenkov brings the tools that make a difference come playoff time. It's hard not to notice his numbers: He led the Sens in hits despite missing 18 games, and he has ranked among the league's top shot blockers for years. But the key to his effectiveness is that he brings both of those elements while rarely taking himself out of the play. He's not chasing stats -- he's making good decisions.

That second-line center? He'll be available at the trade deadline. This is the chance to get the No. 1 defensive defender this team needs to put it over the top."

Posted by: sgm3 | June 30, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

It really is amazing all of the people saying MP can't play on a top line in the NHL because he is too small. Mike Cammalleri is 5-9 185, Tomas Plekanec is 5-10 196, and Brian Gionta is 5-7 175. All of them seemed to have no trouble playing against big teams like Pittsburgh or Philly. I don't remember any of them getting hurt because they were too small.

On GMGM and later rounds in the draft. When you have the kind of first round picks and free agents like the Caps have had in the last 5 or so years there is not much room for young guys to develop. Look at Lepisto as an example. Had no real shot at playing on the Caps but goes to the Yotes and is a solid D-man on a playoff team. With the top of the draft talent we have drafted to guys who take longer to deveolop or don't have as big of an upside that we take in the later rounds just don't get as good of a chance to play as they would a team like Toronto who didn't have a pick in the first two rounds this year and is rebuilding.

I think Flash can be our second line center. If he works on his faceoffs I think he has the hands to win a majority of them. Don't forget when Crosby first came to the NHL he was horrible at faceoffs too but he worked on them and is now one of the better faceoff guys in the league. With him, Semin, and either Laich or Fehr on the second line you have the same basic dynamic you have on the top line.

I think the team is fine on forwards I just think we need one more D so we don't have to use Erskine or Sloan as a regular.

Posted by: icehammer97 | June 30, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse


"That's right--more and more quality FA's, it would seem, actually want to play here!"

where do you get this from? Just a perception or do you have something tangible? I would qualify this and say that a player may or may not decide to play here for a variety of reasons -- from wanting to live in this city to the role he'd play on the team to the belief he has in the organization. An offensive dman would probably jump at the chance to play here because there's little repercussions for our dmen if they get caught up ice as long as they put up some points. Also, other towns would probably look at them more critically if they were suspect defensively.

But in general terms I don't see any evidence of players suddenly wanting to jump at the chance of playing here. Is it more attractive than it used to be in the early 2000s? of course. But that isn't saying much. And it seems like players with NTCs don't really have Washington at the top of their list.

"more and more players from elsewhere in the NHL believe that the Caps are a legitimate Cup contender."

again, i see no evidence of this. The only public comment from another player outside the org I've read recently is Umberger. And he wasn't that flattering. In general, any FA that is offered a substantial amt of money and who lacks other options will of course jump at the chance to prolong his career. But it doesn't mean that with all things being even they'd look at the Caps as their ideal destination. BMo said he picked the Caps over another team but seriously, how many quality teams were vying for his services?!? Not to mention, they'd probably ask him to finish a few checks along the way. Lot less wear n tear when you're a playmaking center for the Caps.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

That second-line center? He'll be available at the trade deadline. This is the chance to get the No. 1 defensive defender this team needs to put it over the top."

main issue there is, McPhee will never pay the price for one of the top trade offerings. He usually gets the guys that other teams aren't too hot for. And 2nd line centers aren't readily available so you're counting on certain teams being CLEARLY out of the playoffs by the deadline who specifically have the player we want. Very risky to count on that.

And then there's the issue of giving that player enough time to gel on that 2nd line.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Try getting out of your fantasy world where McPhee and every Caps sucks and come back to the real world.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 5:02 PM

timmyv38 - please no more invitations to come back to the real world - the real world is better off without him

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 30, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Icehammer97 - I completely agree with you on using Flash as a center. He'd be great in that role. Too many narrow-minded fans remember only his face off stats as though that is the primary role of a center. His passing skills, nose for the puck, and shooting accuracy far out way the face off issues, and he certainly can work on that easier than a great face off artist learning what he already has.

Posted by: gonchpup | June 30, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

has anyone seen "I hope they serve beer in hell" ?

listen, i consider myself to be a highly intellectual appreciator of true art in almost every form. And not often is there a low-brow film that I really like. But I gotta give it to this movie. Its unlike anything I've ever personally seen before because the characters are not predictable to this genre of last-fling gross-out lewd vulgar comedies. This is an art film imo. Its well-written (has only one annoying character in it) and the female characters are very anti-type and well-sketched. I don't know where they got so many strippers with talent but I was pleasantly surprised. This movie deviates to unpredictable places that movies of this kind usually don't have the balls to. And its based on a true story allegedly.


Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

"Too many narrow-minded fans remember only his face off stats as though that is the primary role of a center"

lol, sorry some of us put a value on things like faceoffs, defensive zone play, going into the tough areas etc.

by the way, players can work on faceoffs their entire lives and make very little improvement. Why not just turn Ovechkin into a center? He's stronger than Flash, has a better nose for the puck, and has a much more accurate shot. I say turn Ovy into a center using that logic, then you can keep Flash at LW. Move Semin up to the 1st line. It'll be great.

I also think we should turn Knuble into a defenseman since he's big, strong and already has good defensive instincts. Of course Greenie will then move into the RW slot on the 1st line and Semin-Backs-Green line should easily score 200 goals this year.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

i love the logic that Flash works on his faceoff skills for one offseason and that somehow puts him near par with natural centers who have played that position all their lives. You had too much to dream last night dintcha!

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

timmyv38 - please no more invitations to come back to the real world - the real world is better off without him

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 30, 2010 5:46 PM

lol... I suppose I could honor your wishes in this.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

@ cstanton1

I didn't see the movie- but I HIGHLY recommend the book.

Whenever we have a party at our place, my male roommate and I always ask (beg) the girls at the party to read passages aloud. While hesitant at first- they soon embrace what they're reading and the entire room is in stitches.

Our female roommates have grown to love reading it too.

Posted by: Fro_ | June 30, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Icehammer97 - I completely agree with you on using Flash as a center. He'd be great in that role. Too many narrow-minded fans remember only his face off stats as though that is the primary role of a center. His passing skills, nose for the puck, and shooting accuracy far out way the face off issues, and he certainly can work on that easier than a great face off artist learning what he already has.

Posted by: gonchpup | June 30, 2010 5:50 PM

Flash has many problems. He is wildly inconsistent, he has extremely poor accuracy from within ten feet of the net, and he has no physical game. There are multiple true centers the Caps can get for not much more who are almost as good at scoring, better defensively, and better at faceoffs.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

damn fro, you livin la vida loca!


the movie got buried by some of the reviews I read today. But I think they're all nuts. I found the movie to be highly original, very funny, and it had a real soul to it. You just have to have a little bit of an open mind and understand that underneath some of the superficial hijinks that are going on exists a great script and a heartfelt story. The Jesse Bradford character was a dou__e. But aside from him, very strongly written characters and performances.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

If Flash can't be successful at his natural position (because even his 50 pts this yr wasn't enough to secure his playoff spot) why would anyone think he'd be a good fit at center which is infinitely more complex a position. Not to mention that silly little thing called faceoffs. Which by the way would mean that Flash could never be on the ice for a defensive zone faceoff unless Boudreau was just totally nuts. So he'd have to come off the ice each time we had a faceoff in our own zone to prevent an easy scoring setup for the point.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 30, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

With faceoffs, that is one of the areas where Flash's inconsistency shows most. He had quite a few games where his faceoff % was in the high 50's or low 60's, but had even more when it was in the high 30's to mid 40's. He has the ability to win a lot of faceoffs, but he can't seem to do it consistently. Kinda like his scoring ability.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

wow, lot's of posts. Caps fans have a pent up need to express themselves. Here's the deal. McPhee just can't see that he desperately needs a shutdown D man and a strong two way center. This is why the CAPS will NEVER WIN the East, much less the Cup. In ten years as GM he has 5 first round outs, each as disappointing as the last, and 1 barely made it to the semifinal for another choke out in seven. I've given up on these losers and you should too!

Posted by: festus75 | June 30, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

wow, lot's of posts. Caps fans have a pent up need to express themselves. Here's the deal. McPhee just can't see that he desperately needs a shutdown D man and a strong two way center. This is why the CAPS will NEVER WIN the East, much less the Cup. In ten years as GM he has 5 first round outs, each as disappointing as the last, and 1 barely made it to the semifinal for another choke out in seven. I've given up on these losers and you should too!

Posted by: festus75 | June 30, 2010 6:44 PM

Hey troll, do us all a favor and go.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

"That's right--more and more quality FA's, it would seem, actually want to play here!"

where do you get this from? Just a perception or do you have something tangible?

"more and more players from elsewhere in the NHL believe that the Caps are a legitimate Cup contender."

again, i see no evidence of this
-----------------------------------------

CSTANTON - you're a piece of work bro. Are you capable of making positive comments or is your world as dark as you talk? As far as the 1st point right off the top of my head I remember BMo stating he took less money to come here! On the 2nd point the author of the article said we were a legit contender, did you not read the whole quote"?

You're unreal man. I think we have a new general in the dufus brigade if you ask me. Cheef has retired and Cstanton has jumped at the opportunity to take his place.

Just once, just once say something that's actually positive. C'mon man I know you can do it. Hell I don't even care if it's on this board. Tell your dog he was good today!

You'd think we were the Florida Panthers for crying out loud for how bad you make it seem.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | June 30, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

"I've given up on these losers and you should too!"

Posted by: festus75 | June 30, 2010 6:44 PM

could you please get lylewimbledon, doughless, underpants2, joek443 and cstanton1 (at least the venting cstanton1 - not the insightful cstanton1) on board with this?

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 30, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

I've given up on these losers and you should too!

Posted by: festus75 | June 30, 2010 6:44 PM

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

Suhweet! Only about 6 more to go and I might actually start enjoying this board again. Believe it or not there was once a time where intelligent discussions took place here. I know I know I'm trying to solve world hunger too.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | June 30, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

If the Caps sign no one tomorrow I'd call that the best case scenerio.

They've got plenty of players to get through the regular season. I agree with McPhee and that Perrault should be given a chance to see if he can hathe second-line center job.

If not, go get somebody at the trade deadline in 2011 to get set up for the playoffs.

Same deal with the defense. They've got plenty to get through the regular season. If there's a need at the deadline, go get a shut-down guy then. Now is not the time.

Oneal

Posted by: thetick73 | June 30, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Disagree with putting cstanton [and joe probably one or two more] in that group, I've certainly differed with them [hell, I've defended Flash more than once, so who hasn't disagreed with me!] but he at least backs up what he says, even if I think he's dead wrong.

And if anybody thinks cstanton is being overly critical of GMGM [not that I'm angelic in that regard either!] just try bringing up Harry Sinden, O'Connell, Chiarelli or Jacobs with a true-blue Bruins fan.

Just make sure no kids are around when you do.


Posted by: Timbo_1 | June 30, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Please no Jokinen, they need playmaking center, and he's always been a shooter.
Cullen wouldn't be a bad 2-way center, and shouldn't be too expsnsive, plus he has cup experience and you can play him all situations.

Posted by: topshelf | June 30, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

I see Cullen in the Jokinen mode [just in terms of shoot-first rather than pass, no knock on his character]. If we went after a legit 2C now I'd far prefer Koivu over Cullen - he's a much better [and natural] playmaker, the single most important trait for a center. Koivu's hyper-competitive, a former captain [in a hockey hotbed, no less] and lights it up when it matters most [playoffs, Olympics and intl. play]. Koivu's pass-first, which you'd want for whoever's playing with Semin and whoever the LW ends up being.

Plus Koivu's not going to want a long-term deal, and I'm anxious to see what some these kids can bring to the table in 1 or 2 years.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | June 30, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

could you please get lylewimbledon, doughless, underpants2, joek443 and cstanton1 (at least the venting cstanton1 - not the insightful cstanton1) on board with this?

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

Maybe you can share some pearls of wisdom with us. I have an idea, tell us how great the Caps are.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 30, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

could you please get lylewimbledon, doughless, underpants2, joek443 and cstanton1 (at least the venting cstanton1 - not the insightful cstanton1) on board with this?

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 30, 2010 7:01 PM

lyle, clueless, and joke, sure. But underpants quite often has good points, and I agree with you on cstanton.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

McPhee seems to understand exactly what he needs to do, as a GM, to keep his job till the end of time. To that end he embraces one aspect of effective management -- which is to not make any dumb moves -- and avoids the other, which is to actually assume some risk and go out of your way to make smart moves that actually improve the team.

Trying to improve only through the draft will only work as long as you're getting high picks, or, as in the case of the Wings, you have a superlative ability to find those diamonds in the rough. McPhee hasn't shown that ability in 12 years.

It's actually kind of arrogant for him to assume that his team can't be improved upon by adding players he himself didn't draft.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | June 30, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

this is the best ane most insightful post I've seen on here... he's 100 percent right.

as long as the team keeps making the playoffs and remain "exciting" to those who rock the red thus enabling to keep his job, he couldn't care less if they ever win the Cup.

Posted by: joek443 | June 30, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

That post is disproved by simple facts. Theodore, Federov, Knuble, Huet, Bradley, Laich - all are players that improved the team that came from outside the Caps ranks. And that was just a few I could think of without trying.

And more pearls of wisdom from joke... awesome.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

My priorities would be Lombardi and Hamhuis. If they let Belanger walk they won't have any problems getting through the regular season, but I don't know about their other centres getting much done in the playoffs. Even if they keep Belanger he's really a better third line player. And on defence I don't know if they'd be able to find someone better than Hamhuis at the trade deadline. Unless they could pull off a trade for Regehr, but I think they'd need to make that move before the season starts because Calgary is looking to build offence sooner than later.

Posted by: Stu_c | June 30, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Belanger is definitely best used as a 3rd line center - he doesn't have the playmaking ability to be 2nd. We could probably put a Hershey guy in his place if he does walk, but it would be nice to keep him.

I think we could get Koivu and be just as well off (maybe better) than with Lombardi. Lombardi would want a long contract, while we would probably only need him for a couple years. Koivu would probably want 1-2 years, which would be ideal. By then, one of our prospect centers should be ready to take over. And when it comes to Hamhuis - my only concern is how he would work in our system. Players from defensive systems quite often haven't worked well here.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

My priorities would be Lombardi and Hamhuis. If they let Belanger walk they won't have any problems getting through the regular season, but I don't know about their other centres getting much done in the playoffs. Even if they keep Belanger he's really a better third line player. And on defence I don't know if they'd be able to find someone better than Hamhuis at the trade deadline. Unless they could pull off a trade for Regehr, but I think they'd need to make that move before the season starts because Calgary is looking to build offence sooner than later.

Posted by: Stu_c |

I think the Caps could absolutely get Regher from Calgary for Flash. We get a shutdown D we need, they get offense and save @$1.5m in cap (assuming flash makes $2.4m this year).

Also, cheaper than probably Hamhuis and Volchenkov.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 30, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

I think the Caps could absolutely get Regher from Calgary for Flash. We get a shutdown D we need, they get offense and save @$1.5m in cap (assuming flash makes $2.4m this year).

Also, cheaper than probably Hamhuis and Volchenkov.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 30, 2010 9:29 PM |

If it would work, I'd be for it. I just wonder if they would want more - a pick or maybe a prospect.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

That post is disproved by simple facts. Theodore, Federov, Knuble, Huet, Bradley, Laich - all are players that improved the team that came from outside the Caps ranks. And that was just a few I could think of without trying.

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

none of those moves were risky... if you feel they were risky then you really must get outta the house more often.

you can't win a war by only making safe and "prudent" moves... sometimes you gotta make risky moves to avoid stalemates and defeats. the perfect example of that is the Inchon Landing in the Korean War.

Needless to say George McPhee is no Douglas MacArthur. I'm not equating hockey to real warfare but McPhee won't make risky moves probably because he doesn't trust himself and he has no mandate from his boss.

Posted by: joek443 | June 30, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

If the caps go into the playoffs with Flash and Semin on the team. We're out early again. The Flyers would have knocked us out in 6 games. GMGM builds teams that can't complete in the playoffs. I can't wait until GMGM is gone. I'm sick of us act and his WIMPY players. We've basically become the Sharks. How many more play offs before fans start making the WOOOP noise when Green handles the puck ? Prepare for an early exit again if Semin, Green, and Flash are still on this team.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | June 30, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

I never said they were risky - Hatfield said, 3 times, that McPhee never went outside the organization to improve the team. And he has made risky moves. In just the last year, BMo and Corvo come to mind. Neither worked out, but neither was a safe move.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

I think its interesting McPhee keeps talking about how the 3-4 year deal is terrible, and citing Nylander. Meanwhile, he's also gotten Poti, one of his top three defenders via 4-year contract, as well as Pothier, who even though he got injured still played decent hockey, especially in the playoffs.

McPhee is going to have to go long term to get a game-changer into the Capitals lineup. He can't afford to go with the kids if they're serious about contending. I'm thinking they're hoping Johansson can fill the 2C position. Perreault got banged around pretty good and he wore down during his first call-up. He has the offensive skills, but I don't know whether he could last a full season.

If the team's true goal is to contend for a Cup, they're going to have to get veterans to fill the gaps on defense and 2C. This UFA period will tell us a lot about what general direction the team is headed in.

Caps need a consistent 2C who can be decent defensively yet still score more than 30 points a season.

Posted by: pga6 | June 30, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

If the team's true goal is to contend for a Cup, they're going to have to get veterans to fill the gaps on defense and 2C. This UFA period will tell us a lot about what general direction the team is headed in.

Caps need a consistent 2C who can be decent defensively yet still score more than 30 points a season.
Posted by: pga6

Well said. UFA's or trades, we need some new blood to kick these guys in the ass.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 30, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Just wondering for tomorrow... does anyone know a good site on which to keep track of who's gotten signed as it's going on?

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Maybe you can share some pearls of wisdom with us. I have an idea, tell us how great the Caps are.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 30, 2010 8:49 PM

no pearls of wisdom here
just getting tired of the defeatist attitudes and comments

the caps front office will do as they wish. it is ted's team and he's picked GMGM to run things. no matter how many bad decisions GMGM makes - no amount of complaining here will change how business is being done. i accept things i can't change and have no control over. i choose to root for the caps no matter who they put on the ice. the core of this team has more potential than another other team the caps have had. i also choose to believe this team can win it all. i understand there is room for improvement, every team has room for imporvement - those post that address this issue are interesting to me. the negativity, however, is not.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 30, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Hey troll, do us all a favor and go.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 6:47 PM

Timmy, its past your beddy time. I thought you needed to be over 18 to post on this board.

Posted by: festus75 | June 30, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Timmy, its past your beddy time. I thought you needed to be over 18 to post on this board.


Posted by: festus75 | June 30, 2010 10:12 PM

Wow... not only a troll, but an idiot. I think Cheef might still have an opening for you.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

ESPN is reporting Versteeg to Toronto. No details yet.

Posted by: eorr53 | June 30, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Hawks just dumped more salary - Versteeg went to the Leafs along with a prospect for 3 forwards. I'm pretty sure they were all prospects too - except one who played 40 games with the Leafs last season. So much for the Hawks' GM and his statement that they were done dumping salary.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=533344

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

the caps front office will do as they wish. it is ted's team and he's picked GMGM to run things. no matter how many bad decisions GMGM makes - no amount of complaining here will change how business is being done. i accept things i can't change and have no control over. i choose to root for the caps no matter who they put on the ice. the core of this team has more potential than another other team the caps have had. i also choose to believe this team can win it all. i understand there is room for improvement, every team has room for imporvement - those post that address this issue are interesting to me. the negativity, however, is not.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

OK, nothing negative. There's a way to spark a debate.

I agree, there was no wisdom there.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 30, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

OK, nothing negative. There's a way to spark a debate.

I agree, there was no wisdom there.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 30, 2010 11:02 PM

don't get me wrong - anybody can post anything they want. i wouldn't tell anyone what they can or can't post.
there was so much optimism in 08 when the team started to turn around - and it showed here by what caps fans would post. now it seems the expectations are so high that short of a 16-0 run through the playoffs - this player/coach/gm/owner has no clue or desire to win the cup.
much like cstanton1 - i'm just venting

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 30, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

someone asked for a good site to keep track of all the action tomorrow - here is a decent option:

http://thefourthperiod.com/

Posted by: capsfansince74 | June 30, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

someone asked for a good site to keep track of all the action tomorrow - here is a decent option:

http://thefourthperiod.com/

Posted by: capsfansince74 | June 30, 2010 11:34 PM

It was me. I think I used that one at the trade deadline. Couldn't remember the name though - thanks!

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

I am glad that the team is focused on not just this year but also the future. I don't want to be the Flordia Marlins of hockey. I don't want have a great team one year then have to trade half the team to stay under the Cap. Yes the Hawks won the Cup this year but if they didn't everyone would be blasting them for building for one year and then being up a creek without a paddle. If they can get guys who will sign a one year deal great if not then bring guys like MP and others up so they can get experience and maybe show that they can play in the NHL.

Posted by: icehammer97 | June 30, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

"I don't want to be the Flordia Marlins of hockey. I don't want have a great team one year then have to trade half the team to stay under the Cap."

There is no salary cap in baseball. The Marlins are just cheap and good at drafting. They bring up prospects through their system and win a championship and then ship them off when their contracts are up and the players being demanding more money.

Posted by: eorr53 | June 30, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

"I don't want to be the Flordia Marlins of hockey. I don't want have a great team one year then have to trade half the team to stay under the Cap."

There is no salary cap in baseball. The Marlins are just cheap and good at drafting. They bring up prospects through their system and win a championship and then ship them off when their contracts are up and the players being demanding more money.


Posted by: eorr53 | June 30, 2010 11:42 PM

I think you missed the point. icehammer was referring to the fact that the Marlins are constantly getting a great squad then trading them all. Kinda like the Hawks this season. Honestly, I'd hate to see the Caps become a team like that.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

"I think you missed the point. icehammer was referring to the fact that the Marlins are constantly getting a great squad then trading them all."

Not sure I did miss the point Timmy. The Marlins have won a World Series Title and the Blackhawks just won a Stanley Cup. They paid the price, they may have a down year or two. The Caps have never won a Championship. I fail to see your point!

Posted by: eorr53 | July 1, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

I think a lot of the distaste for some posters on here also stems from the fact they rarely, if ever, back up their overbroad statements with statistics and/or articles from people in the hockey community.

They seem to come off like a crazy doomsday people on the corner ranting how the world is going to end soon. They never actually backs up his conclusory statements with any facts but just keeps on repeating it. So then later, if the world is actually ending they say they were right all along, if the world doesn't end then they alter their story to "show" how what happened was because they were right and it actually stopped the world from ending.

For all posters, please, if you are going to make strong conclusory statements such as "person X is horrible and will never do action Y because he is horrible" or "players on the Caps are not gritty but all the players on team Y are so much grittier than the players on the Caps which is why the advanced further".

First, I think these people need to come on during around game 20 of the regular season and list the 30 teams in terms of grittiness. So then that list can be used later instead of these people just stating "the last 4 teams in the playoffs were the grittiest 4 teams in the NHL which is why they advance". However, if 4 different teams made the final 4 that same person would have said the exact same thing and he would declare himself correct because he backs it up with no statistics or hockey articles.

So please, back those statements up with either statistics or articles from hockey people. Otherwise you just sound like a raving lunatic.

If a poster is not backing up their conclusory statements with statistics or articles then please just say "In my opinion, I believe X" and then don't tell another poster with the opposite opinion that he is wrong because you have no true evidence to back up your statement.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 1, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Not sure I did miss the point Timmy. The Marlins have won a World Series Title and the Blackhawks just won a Stanley Cup. They paid the price, they may have a down year or two. The Caps have never won a Championship. I fail to see your point!

Posted by: eorr53 | July 1, 2010 12:00 AM

i think the point is that going all out for a single shot a winning a title is not what timmy wants. some teams that put all their eggs in one basket tend to be 'rebuilding' more often than other teams that seems to be challenging year in and year out. i would like to see the caps in the hunt every year - not just once every 5-7 years. sports are for entertainment and teams that are losing or constantly rebuilding are not as entertaining.
i feel ted and gm have committed to to put a contending team on the ice year after year. i don't believe they are at the point where they feel this is an all or nothing shot at the cup. that day may come as ovi and backstrom get closer to the end of their contracts and if the caps still have no cup.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | July 1, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Not sure I did miss the point Timmy. The Marlins have won a World Series Title and the Blackhawks just won a Stanley Cup. They paid the price, they may have a down year or two. The Caps have never won a Championship. I fail to see your point!

Posted by: eorr53 | July 1, 2010 12:00 AM

You definitely did miss the point. It's not about the championship - it's about mortgaging the future of the team for a shot at a title. While I want to see the Caps win the Cup, it would take a lot out of it if they were to kill their chances for the next couple years.

Posted by: timmyv38 | July 1, 2010 12:35 AM | Report abuse

"i think the point is that going all out for a single shot a winning a title is not what timmy wants. some teams that put all their eggs in one basket tend to be 'rebuilding' more often than other teams that seems to be challenging year in and year out. i would like to see the caps in the hunt every year - not just once every 5-7 years. sports are for entertainment and teams that are losing or constantly rebuilding are not as entertaining."

I do not care what Timmy wants. I would rather see the Caps win a Stanley Cup. Not just "be in the hunt" for the next 5-7 years and not get anything. Again, there is that word "entertaining", GMGM is doing a great job entertaining.

Posted by: eorr53 | July 1, 2010 12:35 AM | Report abuse

eorr, honestly, I don't care what you want. We just have differing views. Going for an all-or-nothing bid rarely works out, and almost always backfires. The Caps have nearly every piece they need to be Cup contenders for at least the next 5 years. With a good #2C and a #1 dman, they will be right at the top of the NHL.

Posted by: timmyv38 | July 1, 2010 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Tim Tim, good, you shouldn't care what I want because I'm not the GM and neither are you. I feel this team is poised for greatness. A #1 D man, like Volchenkov, could put us in that realm of greatness.

I love this team and last season was great until the first round of the playoffs. I think leaving two young goaltenders in behind the current defensive front is a recipe for disaster.

We have an opportunity to make the team better, so why not seize it.

Posted by: eorr53 | July 1, 2010 12:54 AM | Report abuse

I do not care what Timmy wants. I would rather see the Caps win a Stanley Cup.

Posted by: eorr53 | July 1, 2010 12:35 AM

you could substitute "Ted or GMGM" for "Timmy" above. spoken like a true fan. i want them to win a cup too.
it's entertainment to the fans - it is a business to the owners and gm's. while it would be really nice for the fans to say 'the Caps won the Stanley Cup', that alone will not sustain a franchise. i'm pretty sure TB and CAR aren't filling the seats with their stanley cups from 4+ years ago.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | July 1, 2010 12:59 AM | Report abuse

"i'm pretty sure TB and CAR aren't filling the seats with their stanley cups from 4+ years ago."

If that is a legitimate fear, then maybe this isn't the hockey town we all think it is.

Posted by: eorr53 | July 1, 2010 1:03 AM | Report abuse

That I would agree with. The Caps only need a couple pieces to get to where they need to be. Might be 3 pieces, if Belanger doesn't re-sign. Their 1st line is set, and might be the best in the NHL. 2nd line is fine, except for center. 3rd line MIGHT be fine, depending on Belanger. 4th line is fine, and they have guys from Hershey they can pull up just in case. The defense is good, but does need a bit more - and Volchenkov, Michalek, Mitchell, Martin, or maybe even a player like Tallinder or Lydman would help. I think Varly and Neuvirth can do the job, although more consistent defensive play and a better PK strategy would help.

Posted by: timmyv38 | July 1, 2010 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Anyways, good discussions, I gotta get to bed. Hopefully I wake up to an A-Train signing!!! HA.

Tim, I am concerned about the kids in goal behind that defense and the main adjustment that the PK needs is effort.

Posted by: eorr53 | July 1, 2010 1:12 AM | Report abuse

So please, back those statements up with either statistics or articles from hockey people. Otherwise you just sound like a raving lunatic.

-------------------------------------------
Excellent point SGM3. Hey Joke, why don't you back up your multiple statements of "Ted & GMGM don't care if we ever win a Cup". Back up that idiotic statement since you've repeated yourself more than a scratched album.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | July 1, 2010 2:12 AM | Report abuse

well folks,The Best Day of Summer is Here!(atleast for hockey fans!) But not for caps fans as long as GMGM is drivin this train,high on coke cain.Which he must be if he thinks we have 7 d-men that can do the job in front of two young goalies.And as long as Gm is Gm,he'll never make that blockbuster deal that will take us to the next level all the way to the cup.I appreciate what hes been tryn to do with tryn to grow from within but sometimes you take those guys to get a allready battle tested d-man or/and center that you know allready has the skill to win a cup.Its just not in GMGM's make up to do that.Or other edgy moves that we need.We need a GM with some bawls to make the next step and untill then caps fans,plan on a whole lot of nothing going on today or any other day.Please GMGM,Prove me wrong!!! GO CAPS

Posted by: gratefuldid | July 1, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

For those arguing that there is no evidence that UFAs like the idea of signing in Washington. Short memories for those that like to trash GMGM and the Capitals as an organization. BOTH Knuble and BMo stated they had other offers on the table, for more money, but chose to come to Washington because they liked the Caps chances at winning the Cup, and the overall direction the team was going. Belanger stated he wanted to stay in Washington immediately after the Capitals were eliminated from this years playoffs too.

Posted by: fanohock1 | July 1, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Day starting with some optimism. Let's hope it ends well.

Posted by: underpants2 | July 1, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

@gratefuldid

What blockbuster moves did Detroit or Pittsburgh make before winning the Stanley Cup? The year each acquired Hossa each team lost in the finals.

Some changes are necessary, absolutely. But they do not necessarily have to be blockbusters. Look how much of a difference Knuble made last season. IMO, if the Caps can acquire a good(doesn't have to be great) shut down defenseman such as Mitchell or Michalek that will help out significantly.

Especially when combined with the full time additions of Carlson and Alzner. Both of those players are already good to very good and they are both very young. Both will likely improve in all areas of the game, but especially in strength. At their age, a full summer of lifting and training provides great results.

I am always fascinated when hearing people crying how an 18 year old kid doesn't have enough strength and therefore will never be good enough to make the NHL. I would like every person on this blog to remember themselves when they were 18 years old and compare that to when they were 24. That is a huge difference. The amount of muscle a male can grow from 18 to 24, with proper training, is huge. That is when most males develop their muscle strength, after they have already reached their full height.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 1, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Rumor has it (Eklund) that Matt Cullen will be signing in Minnesota after noon today. Would make sense, he is from there. This would also probably kill the tought of Koivu going there to play with his brother.

McPhee should trade for a D, and make a UFA push for a 2c. If you miss out on Lombardi, I would be on board with Koivu. You could probably get him for a year, two max. $3.5 should do it.

Then trade Flash, Erkine, (Pick/Prospect) for R. Regher. Move is almost cap neutral after flash signs. They would need to take Erskine, thus the extra pick or prospect. You go into the season with this:

OV/Backs/Knuble
Semin/Koivu/Laich
Johansson/Perrault/Fehr
Bradley/Steckel/Chimera

Green/Schultz
Poti/Regher
Alzner/Carlson

Varly
Neuvy

Extras" B. Gordon, T. Sloan

I like it, at least until the deadline. Keep in mind, Semin goes at the deadline.

Posted by: underpants2 | July 1, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

@underpants2

I like the combination of moves you suggested. I think that would be a reasonable and good way to go forward. Good suggestion.

I actually do not think Koivu will get more than $3M/yr, but we will see.

I do not think Johansson will be playing with the Caps next year, but those are just minor details. Maybe the Caps pick up a 3rd or 4th liner here or there.

We can play with the line later(I do prefer the idea of moving Fehr up to the 2nd line and Laich back to the 3rd line)

Posted by: sgm3 | July 1, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

We can play with the line later(I do prefer the idea of moving Fehr up to the 2nd line and Laich back to the 3rd line)

Posted by: sgm3

Would be ok with that. Koivu for less would be even better, use the extra at the deadline. IMO, Mcphee thinks Johannson is ready, but who knows. Could be a fun third line: Johansson/Perrault/Laich

Posted by: underpants2 | July 1, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

If Johansson actually is ready I think that line would be interesting. I'm guessing a lot of what happens with Johansson will depend on how he looks in camp.

Another possible option, if the Caps wanted the 3rd line to be more of a checking line(I do worry about MPs defensive abilities), would be to possibly move Johansson to center and call up a winger from Hershey (maybe A Gordon) or acquire a cheap checking winger.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 1, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Another possible option, if the Caps wanted the 3rd line to be more of a checking line(I do worry about MPs defensive abilities), would be to possibly move Johansson to center and call up a winger from Hershey (maybe A Gordon) or acquire a cheap checking winger.

Posted by: sgm3

Yes, he would work woo.

Pretty exciting stuff today. I hope the Caps are a player.

Posted by: underpants2 | July 1, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

My final guesses:

Flash 3 yrs/$9M
Schulyz 2 yrs/$5M
Fehr 2 yrs/$5M
Gordon 1 yr/$1M

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 1, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

I'm a little worried that if the Caps don't reach a deal with either Flash, Schultz, or Fehr and let it go to arbitration that those guys will get a killing in arbitration.

The proposed deals you made do make sense and I hope they make them (with trading Flash) otherwise they risk having to pay more due to arbitration.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 1, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

BMo and Corvo come to mind. Neither worked out, but neither was a safe move.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 30, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

come on, that was typical McPhee transactions. Smallish offensive center past the age of 30 with little grit and little competition out there in the free market.

And who the heck wanted Corvo? His name wasn't even mentioned in any trade speculation prior to the actual transaction. The main players were Souray, Hamhuis, ATrain. Corvo is another McPhee special - defensively challenged offensive dman.

So lets not pretend those 2 moves were somehow that inventive or risky.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 1, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

I know it has already been reported as a possibility but it wouldn't surprise me to see Gonchar end up in New Jersey. He seems like the sort of player Lou likes.

I really do wonder where Martin will end up, I haven't heard many rumors about him heading to a particular place.

The next few hours should be interesting.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 1, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

NJ needs a PPQB, so does Buffalo. Gonchar will get paid today, so will Martin.

I think everybody in the East, minus Carolina, realizes they are behind the West. Caps will see their competition improve today.

Posted by: underpants2 | July 1, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

Name the available D-men and centers UFAs you want GMGM to sign and give a max term and money amount you think GMGM should sign them too(meaning anything over in either is considered a bad signing).

Posted by: sgm3 | July 1, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Actually BMo was a good deal at $1.5M. You look at the stats he provided and what others made and it works. If you will recall, we were cap constrained by Nylander and BMo was all we could afford.

More predictions:

Volchenkov 5 yrs/$26M
Kovalchuk 5 yrs/$41-42.5M

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 1, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Vandy traded to Edm for ex-high pick Patrick O'Sullivan who was part of the crazy 3way deal a few yrs ago involving Justin Williams and Erik Cole.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 1, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Lombardi 6 yrs/$26M

Posted by: underpants2 | July 1, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

hey sgm, do i get to reverse recent BAD moves like tendering Boyd Gordon Patrick O'Neill and Zack Miskovic? You know, to free up some money where i can take on contracts via trade or FA?

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 1, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

Nope, you do not even have to take those into consideration (those offers can be withdrawn) because, other than Gordon, they will have no impact on the Caps salary cap even if re-signed (in the AHL). You can assume players such as B Gordon and Flash may not return (you also have to assume the cost in a replacement too). You cannot assume Semin or other major players are traded in a major trade.

I'm not asking for a lineup, so you do not need to work everything out to a tee. Just a list of D and centers (and even some 3rd or 4th line wingers you would sign).

For example(these numbers are just for example purposes and are not supposed to be used in any fashion):

Volchenkov: 4yrs $5.1/yr.
Koivu: 2 yrs $3.0/yr

Posted by: sgm3 | July 1, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Actually BMo was a good deal at $1.5M. You look at the stats he provided and what others made and it works.
----------------------

here's the problem. And it has little to do with BMo as a player but more to do with our own holes. The Caps need more balance within the same player on the top lines. Our #1 line has that - Ovy, Backs, MK all have varying degrees of skill, strength, work ethic and grit.
Then you go to our 2nd line, our "problem" line. Our draft cupboard has been bare in terms of stocking up on strong two way centers. So we're relegating to the Nylanders, Fedorovs, and BMos of the world. Now that Anton G looks busty, we're putting all our eggs in the MJ basket. Which means, until then, our 2nd line is going to again employ an imbalance. Esp with Semin on one wing.

In the playoffs you really need your top 2 lines to resemble the work ethic that your bottom two lines have. It doesn't have to match it, but it has to be close. And thats why I hated the Nylander/BMo signings and that's why I didn't like reupping Fedorov. You may think we had no choice because our options were limited. But that doesn't detract from the fact our drafts haven't focused on or produced some strong two way players at center besides Backs. And if that was the case, then McPhee should've looked ahead and made a trade or two to address that void instead of having to pick up decrepit centers and plug them into the 2nd line.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 1, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

I'm not asking for proposed trades because those are too hard to prognosticate because assumptions are made that the other team would make such trade. So just address the available free agents.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 1, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

ok, i'll mull over the avail options. But you're painting me into a corner because you're throwing me someone else's mess and asking me to address it with very specific types of transactions.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 1, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

cstanton: Agree.

Somebody explain this tendering thing with a guy like Miskovic. If his EL is up, doesn't it mean if he's tendered that he must pass through waivers to be sent down? And, when EL is up, does the tender just have an NHL salary or is it two-way? I think, not sure, but think they can be tendered two-way depending on games played in NHL.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 1, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Plekanec 5 yrs/$25M
Lombardi 4 yrs/$15M

underpants - I think your Lombardi is a little high. BTW, the Lombardi money has effect on Caps because he is a comparable to Laich. Brooks scored more goals which is why I have him at $4M/yr for his next contract. You will say of course Lombardi has more intangibles, but that doesn't always turn into money. Especially if it's arbitration.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 1, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

We can't do anything about the past so it is pointless to say what we would have done.

I'm just curious who you think would be good signings detailing the upper limits in term and money per year.

@tominsocal1

I think players can freely pass through waivers after their entry level contracts are up. However, I'm not sure how long (maybe only first year after EL contract) that lasts and what the details are.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 1, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

@sgm
ok, in phases:

This is option#1

i would try and add TWO defensemen via free agency if that is my main option. However, the money may not work under our current cap room and therefore I would jettison contracts via trade (i.e. Flash). I will leave it up to you my trusted accountant to tell me how close I am money-wise to the cap.

Michalek (3.0 m) and AV (5m) both 4 yr deals. This is predicated on Alzner NOT making the team next year or making it as a rotational player with Sloan/Erskine. If I need to raise the amount slightly for each of the 2 FAs I am open to it. Its not a hard ceiling, just a framework. Which means I wouldn't pay more than half a mil over 4 yrs for each of them above and beyond what I posted.

Gives me Green, AV, Michalek, Carlson, Schultz as my top 5. I can live with that heading into a playoff series. Yes, I am excluding Poti for now.

Phase 2 will be to address the 2nd line. This is more complex because it does involve trades. I'm not a big fan of any of the FA centers out there. But I don't want to go into next season with MP as our 2nd line center and certainly not Flash.

So I'd look into either adding a short term solution like a Daymond Langkow (if he's healed up) or making a play for Dubinsky via trade. I want a gritty two way center on that 2nd line. Another series of trade possibilities has to include Semin which would mean revamping that line. And Poti is another "man overboard" possibility.

That's about as specific as I can get on short notice without having #s in front of me so don't hold my feet to the fire by nitpicking. My goals would be to add 2 guys who can actually play defense and have been thru some wars. And revamping the 2nd line. And since adding the 2 Dmen will put me about 4 mil over the Cap, I'd have to seriously consider trading Semin/Flash/Poti/Alzner (neither of whom I consider to be indispensable).

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 1, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

My final guesses:

Flash 3 yrs/$9M
Schulyz 2 yrs/$5M
Fehr 2 yrs/$5M
Gordon 1 yr/$1M

Posted by: tominsocal1 |
------

tom, all good guesses but I have to think the following:

Flash 2 yrs/$5M
Schultz 3 yrs/7.5$M
Fehr 3 yrs/$7.25
Gordon 1 yr/$.900k

Posted by: FrankM73 | July 1, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Going thru the season then, after making those moves, I'd use the trade deadline to specifically address any issues I see on the 3rd and 4th line and depth on defense. The trading deadline should never be used to acquire top minute type of players unless its as an injury replacement. The role players fit in much easier onto a team than top minute guys. So maybe a player like Ethan Moreau if he's available and healthy and looks decent this year would be a good addition to add. Or a Vandermeer type on defense.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 1, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

My UFA guesses are:

C-Matthew Lomardi, 3 yrs, 3.500 mil per year
D-Willie Mitchell, 4 yrs, 3.750 mil per year

Posted by: FrankM73 | July 1, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

CStanton, I think it is only fair for you to identify which players you think would make the Caps better, and at what cost. It's easy to take shots at past failures. If you come up with something better than GMGM does and that stays within the salary cap, and the season plays out to demonstrate that you were correct - then you da man.

Posted by: zmega | July 1, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

@sgm

my other option would be Mitchell instead of AV w/everything else be the same. Would cost less and not put us against the wall for dumping contracts. But concussions are an iffy thing.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 1, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

B.Mo. is not just "sour grapeing" it. Bruce made no adjustments. It is obvious now that we can stomach watching the replays of the games. Our GM AND coach will never carry the cup. Hopefully the owner realizes this quickly after we're done early again. We're the new Sharks.A good coach like Scotty Bowman would have Green straightened out by now.Semin would be gone after a week with Bowman.Thw Nats will win the World Series, before The Caps win the cup with the direction we're heading

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | July 1, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

CStanton, I think it is only fair for you to identify which players you think would make the Caps better, and at what cost. It's easy to take shots at past failures. If you come up with something better than GMGM does and that stays within the salary cap, and the season plays out to demonstrate that you were correct - then you da man.

Posted by: zmega | July 1, 2010 11:18 AM

what do you think i posted above?

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 1, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

So we have

Michalek at a max of 4 year at max of $3.25/yr

Volchenkov at a max of 4 year at a max of $5.25.yr

Is this correct? IMO, that may be a little high for Volchenkov, but that is fine.

Would there be any othe UFA defensemen you could possible want if the above defenders went for outrageous numbers? What would their numbers be?

How about centers? Remember, no trade prognostications. Lets just determine the value to the Caps of the available UFAs.

Also, you can list 5 D and 5 centers and give what their top price would be(term and yearly salary) for the Caps. In this, you can assume that that person is the only one signed at his position.

Then ranks them from 1-5 as who you want the most to who you want the least, taking into account everything(age, salary, type of player, effect on future Caps acquisitions)

Right now we have

1) Volchenkov 4yrs for $5.25/yr
2) Michalek 4 yrs for $3.25/yr

If I am incorrect with those numbers I apologize and please correct them.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 1, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

How about centers? Remember, no trade prognostications. Lets just determine the value to the Caps of the available UFAs.
---------------------------------

i don't like the main player centers out there ENOUGH to throw money at them so I would attempt to address that via trade by trading some of our skill guys on that 2nd line and maybe a dman or two (Poti/Alz)

The $$ avail to me would be used to address the defense first. And since trades ARE a part of how you move players around to fit under the Cap, I simply cannot work under the parameters that I have to fill every hole via FA.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 1, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

@FrankM73

IMO that's too much money and too long to sign mitchell

Posted by: _stevo | July 1, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Would there be any othe UFA defensemen you could possible want if the above defenders went for outrageous numbers? What would their numbers be?
------------

as stated above, i'd take willie for less $ than it would take for an AV. But I'd have to take into account his concussion issues.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 1, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Sorry CStanton, our posts overlapped. I would be interested to see whether the cap figures work out. A lot of us would like AV, but are concerned about the cap implications. As far as trades for the second line, it's impossible to predict what might be accomplished. But I take it that you would use Semin, Flash, and Poti as bait. I've read that Semin is untradable, given the size of his contract and the uncertainty about what he would do after next year. I'm not sure how much we would get for Poti - I'm guessing not much. My question would be - if the only option for a 2c is a FA or MP/MJ, what would you do? Koivu?

Posted by: zmega | July 1, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

I'm giving you what the parameters are today for every GM in the NHL. Again, this is not to say future trades and moves cannot be made, but you have to take the place of an NHL GM and make a signing today which means you have to give a guaranteed contract without a guarantee that certain future moves will be made.

So you are stating that it would not be wise for GMGM to sign any UFA centers.

What are the other D-men and for how much or are you stating that no other UFA Dmen would be worth acquiring except Michalek or Volchenkov? You did mention Mitchell, can you give a max term and salary for Mitchell?

Posted by: sgm3 | July 1, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

@_stevo:
Mitchell fits the description of big physical, shutdown D, with above average mobility that the caps severely lack and most posters here desperately want.

Are you worried about his concussion issues? He has stated he is sympton free since early June...
if that's not the issue, what is?

http://www.nucksmisconduct.com/2010/6/19/1525915/good-news-willie-mitchell-is

Posted by: FrankM73 | July 1, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

@FrankM73

yeah man, Mitchell is the guy i want the caps to get too. I just think 4 years is a long time for a guy with concussion issues. Yeah he's been symptom free, but what if he gets another then we are on the hook for a long time

Posted by: _stevo | July 1, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Here is cap spreadsheet. At bottom I put value excluding my RFA guesses. Bottom line: Caps have $12M (incl Alzner bonus) to sign Flash, Fehr, Schultz, Gordon and then make any swap outs. Remember if you bring in, you also take off. Ex Koivu at $3M and then delete Gordon say costs $2.1M marginal cap hit. I have the 4 RFAs making about $8M so you have $4M to play with in your swap out scenario. Put in Michalek and AV for ex and delete Alzner and Poti abnd marginal cap hit $3M.

Ovechkin (2008-2021) 9.538
Backstrom (2010-2020) 6.700
Semin (impending UFA) 6.000
Knuble (impending UFA) 2.800
Flash (signs 2010-2013) 2.750
Laich (impending UFA) 2.067
Fehr (signs 2010-2012) 2.250
Chimera (2009-2012) 1.875
Steckel (2010-2013) 1.100
Bradley (impending UFA) 1.000
Gordon (impending UFA) 0.900
Perreault (w/bonus; impending RFA) 0.792
Laing (re-signs yearly) 0.550
S/T 13 Forwards 38.322
Green (2008-2012) 5.250
Poti (impending UFA) 3.500
Schultz (signs 2010-2012) 2.250
Alzner (w/bonus; impending RFA) 1.675
Erskine (impending UFA) 1.250
Carlson (EL 2009-2012) 0.846
Sloan (2010-2012) 0.700
S/T 7 Defensemen 15.471
Varlamov (impending RFA) 0.822
Neuvirth (impending RFA) 0.822
S/T 2 Goalies 1.644
Total 22 Players 55.437
Cap Space (Estimated) 59.400
Available 3.963
Available not Including RFAs 12.113

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 1, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

My issue with Mitchell is, do you think he's really that much of an upgrade over ShaMo? Marginal at best, though the idea of bringing in fresh blood is appealing anyway.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 1, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

So you are stating that it would not be wise for GMGM to sign any UFA centers.

What are the other D-men and for how much or are you stating that no other UFA Dmen would be worth acquiring except Michalek or Volchenkov? You did mention Mitchell, can you give a max term and salary for Mitchell?
---------------------------

again, with the money avail to me, i'd opt for the defense route over the center route based on our own needs and what is available out there.

With regards to Mitchell, based on the fact he's still a risky move due to his health, it would be similar to what the Canucks signed him 4 yrs ago. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 3.5-4/season for 3-4 yrs. Less money on a longer contract, more money on a shorter contract.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 1, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Meszaros to Philly.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 1, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

My issue with Mitchell is, do you think he's really that much of an upgrade over ShaMo? Marginal at best, though the idea of bringing in fresh blood is appealing anyway. -----------------------

actually, this is a very interesting point.
I stated before that I think Willie and ShaMo are very similar players. And we were probably better off holding onto ShaMo. But...there is definitely something to be said for "new blood"

I'm a proponent of bringing in new blood every year at some position or two. Sometimes your "energy" guys get stale and you need to upgrade that. Sometimes you bring in a fiesty young defenseman who gets to play on the 3rd pair or rotate in and maybe add some intangibles to your team. And once in a while, one of your top 4 dmen slots can use a new face even though on paper it may not seem as an upgrade. Chemistry can get stale on a team after a while and its good to shake things up.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 1, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Tom, thanks, this gives us some structure to work from. So it looks like the trade for CStanton's 2 d-men is feasible, but dependent on finding a taker for Poti and his $3.5M - not an easy task IMO (I assume that Alzner is marketable). Doing that plus bringing in a FA center is problematic from the cap perspective. Even just AV plus a FA center would likely depend on moving a $3M salary (say Poti or Flash).

Posted by: zmega | July 1, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Put in Michalek and AV for ex and delete Alzner and Poti abnd marginal cap hit $3M
------------------------------------------

i was close, i said approx 4 on the hit. But I'm not a #s guy, never have claimed to be. I leave that upto you guys.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 1, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Isn't Meszaros better than a 2nd pick?

What is Yzerman thinking?

Could we have used him?

Flash for Meszaros? Would that have worked?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 1, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

1) Volchenkov 4yrs for $5.25/yr
2) Michalek 4 yrs for $3.25/yr

If I am incorrect with those numbers I apologize and please correct them.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 1, 2010 11:22 AM |

In my opinion, 5.25 mil/yr is WAY to much for a defensive-only player.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 1, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

@_stevo & richmondphil:

what do you think Mitchell will get in Free Agency (length and per season)?

and what is the max term and per year you would give him?

he made 3.5 last year!

Posted by: FrankM73 | July 1, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

thats right zmega, in order to entice a team to take Poti's contract, you have to throw in a young marketable cheap prospect.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 1, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Tom, Mezsaros isn't that good at all. Offensive d-man, who owes his big, fat contract to Chara.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 1, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

In my opinion, 5.25 mil/yr is WAY to much for a defensive-only player.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 1, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

i agree. And I don't think AV is necessarily that much better than Michalek either. So maybe I'd amend it to closer to 4.5mil/season.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 1, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=326239

Meszaros to Philthy for a 2nd round pick (probably end up being #45 overall), cap hit of 4 mil for 4 more years...

ERG!

Posted by: FrankM73 | July 1, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

@Frank

Honestly, he deserves no pay raise. Salary should stay around 3.5, and I would give him the least amount of years he'd be willing to take.

RE; Poti

Please, someone trade for him. (without us taking salary back!)

Posted by: richmondphil | July 1, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Biron is a Rag.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 1, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Michalek is in his prime, Mitchell is on his downside. in keeping with youth movement, Michalek (or Martin) are preferrable of the blueline

Posted by: doughless | July 1, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Paille re-ups in Beantown. He's a good little energy guy.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 1, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

new post. if the caps hadn't offered tenders to half the guys they did, they would have a wad of money to add needed pieces. unfortunately, the handwriting is on the wall that Flash may be back. too bad.

Posted by: doughless | July 1, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

So you have listed 3 defenseman worth signing.

AV for 4 yrs at $4.5/yr
Michalek for 4 years at $3.25/yr
Mitchell for 3 to 4 years at $3.5/yr

No other UFA is worth going after accoridng to you. So those are the guys.

We can now use this as a reference point for future conversation. If AV signs a contract with another team for 4 yrs at $4.25/yr you have full reign to criticize GMGM. If another GM gives AV a contract for 5 yrs at $5.2M/yr you cannot criticize GMGM because you have stated at the start of the free agent period that that would be a bad deal.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 1, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I like Paille, he's akin to an Eric Nystrom who is on the FA market. Those types of guys you can never have enough of in your system. They're good depth role players who play a simple reliable straight-ahead game and can be used on the PK as well.

Chimera's got their spot here.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 1, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil:
Whether he deserves a pay raise has no bearing on it. It's Free Agency! some GM will give him one...

personally, I hope the concussion stuff keeps people away and GMGM can get him...

Posted by: FrankM73 | July 1, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Hindle rumors that Yzerman is interested in Chris Mason. moving Meszaros frees up space. Eklund says Sharks interested in Michalek.

Posted by: doughless | July 1, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Gonchar to the Sens

Posted by: doughless | July 1, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Gonchar to the Sens

Posted by: doughless | July 1, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

@doughless:
please don't mention Eklund, it'll ruin your rep on here... he rarely gets stuff right and I'm convinced he consults a witch doctor's bones to get some of the stuff he spews out...

@all:
for all my pro-Willie Mitchell talk, I just checked and he's only had 50-60 hits per season with about 110 blocked shots... hmmm... Thoughts?

Posted by: FrankM73 | July 1, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Darren Dreger reports Sergei Gonchar has signed in OTT for three years at $5.5M plus a NTC.

Posted by: FrankM73 | July 1, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

"TSNBobMcKenzie: Looks like Braydon Coburn has re-signed in PHI. Getting details. "

go here for the live TSN chat...

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=326225

Posted by: FrankM73 | July 1, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

get ready for Volkenchov to the Pens

Posted by: doughless | July 1, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

"Confirmed. Braydon Coburn done in PHI. Two years, cap hit of $3.2M per year."

Posted by: FrankM73 | July 1, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

alex tanguay to Flames

Posted by: doughless | July 1, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

"TSNBobMcKenzie: RDS reporting Alex Tanguay to CGY."

Posted by: FrankM73 | July 1, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

new post guys.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 1, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

AV for 4 yrs at $4.5/yr
Michalek for 4 years at $3.25/yr
Mitchell for 3 to 4 years at $3.5/yr

No other UFA is worth going after accoridng to you. So those are the guys.

We can now use this as a reference point for future conversation. If AV signs a contract with another team for 4 yrs at $4.25/yr you have full reign to criticize GMGM. If another GM gives AV a contract for 5 yrs at $5.2M/yr you cannot criticize GMGM because you have stated at the start of the free agent period that that would be a bad deal.
------------

now you do realize that I allowed you to paint me into a corner right? even though the parameters are a tad unfair because there are so many other variables at play here. But based on what you wrote above yes I agree that if another GM gives AV a contract at or above 5.25 that it is too much and not fair to criticize GM for this specific thing. However, I never said that NO OTHER UFAs are worth pursuing. There are a few out there that I would like to see on the Caps. But based on what this team needs, the priority of pursuing those FAs is what I outlined in my initial response to you. If I don't get those guys then there are other options out there I like. And not just for the C or D positions either. But other tweaks.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 1, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

@flee - re: drafting gritty players. For the most part, you draft for them later on. Often, these are players who were once considered "skilled", then had to re-define themselves to play at all.

@dalehunter, capsfan75, ukcapsfan

I'm also not worried about lack of involvement with FAs. GMGM is doing exactly what I would do: go into the season first, see how things shake out. We're not trying to "win" best record before January at this point and chances are we'll be well above 500 with what we have. Maybe Flash takes that extra step and becomes a decent #2 center with the extra time needed. Remember, the Caps - due to the compressed schedule - had little time to practice last year. Flash may work, or MP. I do like trying Backs with Semin also, but I believe Backs would rather play with Ovie.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | July 1, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

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