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McPhee on the Final Cuts

I talked to General Manager George McPhee during the Caps media luncheon at Verizon Center about yesterday's final round of cuts. He said that the team was impressed and very happy with the play of Chris Bourque and Karl Alzner and called the cuts, including that of Quintin Laing, "the most difficult we've had to make here."

When asked point blank if Alzner's assignment to Hershey was a cap-based move, McPhee said: "If he was ready to play right now we'd make room for him."

"He needs a little more experience and we've tried to do this with all of our defensemen whether it be Mike Green or Jeff Schultz," McPhee said. "Rather than sit here and be the seventh defenseman, play every other game, play 12-14 minutes; play (in Hershey) every game and play 25 minutes for two weeks, a month or two months whatever it may take. But he'll be back at some point this year."

McPhee emphasized the fact that the Capitals don't have to rush Alzner nor do they want to. The time cushion is a luxury the team didn't always have and one that the Capitals are looking to take advantage of in Alzner's case.

"We really like the way Alzner played," he said. "Very very steady, very poised, he just needs a little more experience and he'll be ready to go. We expect him to be a top-4 defenseman -- probably this season."

*The praise was equally high for Bourque who did everything he was asked of in training camp, but still found himself behind the established slate of forwards the Caps have on the 22-man roster.

"Bourque had the best camp he's ever had here," McPhee said. "We were impressed with the way he played. Right now we have 14 forwards ahead of him but we expect to see him back here."

McPhee's overarching message was that the Caps simply didn't have room for the three players, a situation which he believes bodes well for the overall health of the organization.

"I think it suggests that we've gotten to be a pretty good team now and we're deep. We've got three players in Alzner, Bourque and Quintin Laing who can play in the NHL that we don't have room for right now," McPhee said. "On one hand it says good things about the organization, on the other hand it was very tough to cut them yesterday....That being said these deadlines aren't artificial - they're real, but things could change tomorrow or next week."

*A team spokesperson said that Alex Ovechkin, who left practice after only 10 minutes this morning, is still expected to play in the season opener Friday at Atlanta.

By Katie Carrera  |  October 7, 2008; 3:47 PM ET
 
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Comments

"We expect him to be a top-4 defenseman -- probably this season."

Well, that's certainly interesting.

Posted by: Jill | October 7, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

here is the cliff notes version of re entry waivers from NHLSCAP

"..... In general, players are not subject to re-entry [recall] waivers unless:

1. The player is on a -way contract AND is subject to waivers when assigned to the minors; or
2. The player is on a 2-way contract whose minor league salary is in excess of

2007-08: $100,000
2008-09: $100,000
2009-10: $105,000
2010-11: $105,000
2011-12: $105,000

#2 above does not apply to a player who

A. If a goalie, the goalie has played in 180 or more professional games [NHL, AHL, or ECHL; regular season and playoffs] or, if a skater, 320 or more professional games; AND
B. Has not spent more than 80 games on an NHL roster in the prior 2 seasons or 40 or more games on an NHL roster in the immediately prior season.
"


How many days was Q.L. on the roster last season? He played in 39 games and was a healthy scratch for many others so I think #2 does not apply to him as he was on the roster for more than 40 games.

We THINK #1 may apply to him. He WAS subject to waivers when being sent down, but is he on a 2 way contract or a 1 way contract? And which number did NHLSCAP forget to include in their little write up?

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | October 7, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

regarding my post. #2 COULD apply to Q.L. but i don't think his AHL salary is that high. My brain hurts.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | October 7, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

What did GMGM have to say about Laing, other than "the most difficult (cuts) we've had to make," I wonder?

I'd also like to hear more about what he said about Bourque...

Posted by: I Rock the Red | October 7, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

you spelled laing wrong.

Posted by: m | October 7, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

i am shocked Tarik got this much out of him. GMGM is truly a man of few words.

Posted by: doughless | October 7, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

GMGM talks...but not until AFTER he does whatever he is planning...he doesn't give hints until its done and signed!

Posted by: mike b | October 7, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I don't know, GMGM has seemed downright chatty in interviews as of late. The team's success seems to loosen him up a bit.

Just a reminder that all of these peeps are on WaPo Live at 5:00 tonight, right Tarik?

Posted by: Jill | October 7, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for all the hard work and follow ups Tarik...you are truely a blessing to Caps fans!

Posted by: mike b | October 7, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Sombrero-

I'm pretty sure I heard in the offseason that Aucoin was our only 2-way player. All 2 way says is that you make a different salary when in AHL. But, then again, we don't work for GMGM, we don't really know....

Tarik! We're floundering out here! Help us out!

Posted by: FFS Enough | October 7, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

@Sombrero Guy

Do you do tax returns for fellow Caps' fans?

Posted by: Dave King | October 7, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

What exactly is wrong with OV? Another groin injury??

Posted by: Danny | October 7, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

McPhail: "We expect him to be a top-4 defenseman -- probably this season"

- that makes a heck of a lot of sense to send him down to the minors??!!!

I think I'd make room for a talented stay at home defenseman on the Caps roster vs. watching Erskine & Jurcina get deked out of their jocks and then come barreling down on Theo...who is another setback for the Caps.

Seriously - as excited as I am for OV and to see how the team plays with a full offenseive roster - Nylander/Backstrom/Fedorov/Semin/Clark and even Laich to a degree.

The Caps defense is weak, and it will be exposed again this season. They don't have the luxury of Kolzig and Huet back there to save them anymore. It's a much more pedestrian Theodore & Johnson (god save us) back in the pipes.

I probably would have used more money to bring in a defenseman vs. give $4M to Fedorov (no matter how cool or great he played in the final part of the season).

Posted by: Jaymagz | October 7, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Only 99 hours left till the Home Opener Saturday night. Let's Go Caps!

Posted by: MikeR | October 7, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: FFS Enough | October 7, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I think Laing is exempt from recall waivers based on the "Career Minor Leaguer" exception. It's a separate paragraph in the CBA so I think it isn't related to #2 in nhlscap's writeup.

I think the NHL would benefit from releasing salary cap numbers and waiver status lists.

Posted by: tallbear | October 7, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

@ Tallbear,

Also known as the "Reg Dunlop Exception"?

Semi off topic, I'm looking forward to Saturday so that "Rock the Red" means goingto a Caps game instead of checking my investment portfolio...

Posted by: old time hockey | October 7, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

"They don't have the luxury of Kolzig and Huet back there to save them anymore"

Posted by: Jaymagz | October 7, 2008 4:09 PM

If you had only left Kolzig off of that statement.

Seriously, Our defense (if memory serves) ranked 18th in the league. They can only improve, so I think perhaps your mistaken.

Posted by: Leeguru | October 7, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

im going to agree with jaymagz here...kind of. i agree if the kid is going to be a top 4 on this team then he probably wouldnt be a #7 guy right now. he is better than erskine from what ive seen (three preseason home games).

federov in my opinion was a good signing. his leadership and experience are the reasons he was signed to 4 mil, not his goal scoring ability.

also, clark hasn't looked that great to me hopefully its just rust. and i am extremely worried about joe-say between the pipes. maybe thats because im so used to knowing what to expect that this uncertainty frightens me. Kolzig looked verrryy sharp against the Rangers. I hope theo doesnt flop

Posted by: pat | October 7, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

from last post. Jeez, Tarik! I'm reading the DCBA (damned CBA)! Gimme a heads up!

:)

From my read, it's 13.4 "Exempt players" who have reached age 25 or over and are 1 year out from signing. He signed many moons ago.

Also: "a player 25 years old or older who plays in one or more Professional Games in the 2005-06 season will be exempt from Regular and Re-entry waivers as follows:
05-06 season Exempt from regular/re-entry
06-07 season Eligible for regular/re-entry"

Since he was on the roster and played last year, my take is that he has to pass through both this year.

But there's probably a weasel clause in there somewhere...


Posted by: Greg S. | October 7, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Crazy idea here, but how about we all just wait and see how the team actually does? I mean that's why we play the games right? Anyone?

Posted by: AP | October 7, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Two-way contracts only affect salary cap and the actual salaries paid to the players. There is no impact on waiver eligibility.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 7, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

AP - why would these guys wanna do that when they can play armchair GM all day? ;-)

Posted by: Jill | October 7, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Aside from now being at the Cap Limit, nothing has changed.

Look for another repeat of the 01-03 Caps that failed with a "deep" roster.

The circle of failure will always be there with the same people running the show.

If it were up to BB, I'm 100% positive this would not be the team he wanted, that said, it's the start of another mismanaged season.

Posted by: Chief | October 7, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

@Dave King

hah there is no chance you or any other caps fans want me any where near an IRS form. I drive my accountant nuts.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | October 7, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Last season I ran into troubles with NHLSCAP data and statements. They had several data tables that had conflicting data in them. They'd show on the team salary cap page a player on the roster, but then not have that same player on the listing of players by position and vice versa. That's when I started threatening to create my own database. However time and a nagging wife prevented me from doing this.

I haven't found an accurate statement from NHLSCAP in re the waivers yet. I'd like to know where in the CBA they found the dollar limits affecting waivers, because it isn't in section 13 where it should be...

Posted by: Greg S. | October 7, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

OK. I see where it's coming from. But I have to get some work done. I have a contract to get out. I'll look at it tonight.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 7, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

if you remember the dramatic prarie dog....someone posted dramatic Bruce Boudreau.

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

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | October 7, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Both AO and Semin were wasted last night, trust me I know, I was there.

Posted by: I Know I Know | October 7, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I am shocked Tarik got this much out of him. GMGM is truly a man of few words.

hah hah

And NOBODY even noticed that it was Katie Carrera who interviewed with GMGM. That's why he was so talkative.

George, George, George... we now know your achilles heel...

Posted by: Dave King | October 7, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Nylander and Clark both breathed oxygen last night. Trust me- I know, and I wasn't even there...

Posted by: Fro | October 7, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

AHHHHH!

GMGM on WaPo Live just said Bourque will be back through either injury or a trade this year. Trade! He said trade! Let the rumors begin!

Posted by: Jordan | October 7, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Why can't every WPL be a Caps' Edition?

Posted by: keef | October 7, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

trade....That's what I said! but if they are trading, and that would open things up for Bourque, that would mean prospects. Gotta think about this one.

This team will be better than last year. Every move they have made has been over analyzed by us (we have nothing better to do) but it boils down to the heart and soul of the players. Not management, not coaching, players. This will be a fun year.

And 94, i'm still waiting for you to say you were wrong on Alzner

Posted by: Leeguru | October 7, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

I hate it when work interrupts...

@Dave King

So I guess we issue Tarik a wig and heels?

Posted by: Greg S. | October 7, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

The sky is falling. Chief opened his yap. The fans are armchair coaches. Yawn.

I'm nobody's expert. The difference between me and most of the commenters here is that I freely admit I'm nobody's expert. X-D Yeah, I'm bummed that Alzner and Laing and Bourque got sent down, but I've got a feeling that they'd better keep their bags packed and by the door, because if things start going sour down here, they'll be the first ones called up.

I'm with Jill and AP. Let's wait and see what happens. The world is full of surprises, good and bad. Some days you get the bear, and some days the bear gets you. That's how the world goes. Chill out, folks, and let's at least enjoy the beer.

Posted by: this space for rent | October 7, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm confused. I thought MacPhail worked for the Orioles.

Posted by: Whiter Mage | October 7, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Leeguru: This team will be better than last year. Every move they have made has been over analyzed by us (we have nothing better to do) but it boils down to the heart and soul of the players.

You, sir, win a message board. X-D

Posted by: this space for rent | October 7, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Is that a good thing I won?

Posted by: Leeguru | October 7, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

How come this kind of info comes from the AP and not Tarik???

I know Tarik said he would play but a little more would be nice...hear that? Its the ball dropping


WASHINGTON -- Alex Ovechkin left practice early Tuesday, but the reigning NHL MVP is expected to play in the Washington Capitals' season opener Friday at Atlanta.

Ovechkin skated off the ice at the team's home arena after less than 15 minutes.

"He'll be OK. He'll be playing Friday," coach Bruce Boudreau said at the Capitals' annual media day event. "You know, it's nothing serious at all, but, I mean, it would be prudent for me not to say why he went off."

Another Capitals forward, Alexander Semin, also missed practice time Tuesday _ and also is in the team's plans for Game 1.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Memo to Chris Clark- Give the "C" to Ovechkin before the game friday.

Posted by: markfromparkville | October 7, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Anonymous:

Today at 11:30

Ovechkin Departs Early
Alex Ovechkin left this morning's practice at Verizon Center after less than 15 minutes on the ice. I didn't notice a limp when I saw him walking outside the locker room a few minutes later, but it's believed that he's been nursing a sore groin/upper leg muscle. But knowing Alex and his threshold for pain, I'd be surprised if he misses any time because of it.

Above:

*A team spokesperson said that Alex Ovechkin, who left practice after only 10 minutes this morning, is still expected to play in the season opener Friday at Atlanta.


I don't see a dropped ball here...Except yours.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 7, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

yes, but the quote from BB?

and the part about semin

thats a dropped ball

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

haha Great work Greg S.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | October 7, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Leeguru: Good point. :-)

Posted by: this space for rent | October 7, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

more on Semin

"He should be fine," Boudreau said. "Not feeling well."

The team later said both players were dealing with nagging injuries.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Tarik only gave speculation and a response from a 'team spokesperson'


Get something real

Posted by: Anonymous | October 7, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Leeguru:
I'd rather win a "bow down"!! ;-) BTW, I think 94 did say he was wrong about Alzer ... I believe it was after the Flyers game and right about the time that I said he was not playing up to his reputation! :-X Having said that, I thought he played well on Sunday. He definitely has a lot of potential.

Posted by: Boo! | October 7, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Thought I saw something on the Caps about colds going around. I've got one. Wife and kid have it too. Not too worried about this at all.

Get a brown paper bag and breath into it awhile. You're hyperventilating.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 7, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

I swear people will find anything to complain about! This nitpicking needs to stop once the season starts and we really see how the team is doing

Posted by: Leeguru | October 7, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Leeguru:
Good luck with that ... ;-)

Posted by: Boo! | October 7, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone hear that Emery might be coming back to the NHL?

Posted by: Boo! | October 7, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

For those of you baggin on Tarik, he might very well of written what's listed as AP WaPo stories get picked up by AP from time to time. I don't think AP has a permanent Caps beat writer.

Posted by: old time hockey | October 7, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Boo! | October 7, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Hey TSN rates the Caps #7 overall and #2 in the east. Feelin the love from the Great White North: http://www.tsn.ca/fantasy_news/feature/?fid=548
And ESPN's resident experts all but Linda Cohn (she's a hockey expert?) pick the Caps to win the SE:
http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/preview2008/team?page=nhlpre08/0809picks

Posted by: JIM | October 7, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Anyone watch the Caps preseason special on WaPo live? Interesting comments by BB, GMGM and Ted ...

Posted by: Boo! | October 7, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

pat

"he is better than erskine from what ive seen (three preseason home games)."

Maybe we were at different games. As everyone on here knows, I'm Erskine's biggest critic...better known as "ol' flatfoot". But Alzner needs some time in chocolatetown to refine his play a little bit. While he rarely looked overwhelmed, he does need seasoning.

He'll be back for good after the Thanksgiving break.

Posted by: Yosh | October 7, 2008 8:41 PM | Report abuse

pat

also, clark hasn't looked that great to me hopefully its just rust.

See above.

Clark's preseason:

6 GP - 4 G - 2 A - +2

If he put up those numbers over the course of a season they'd look pretty strong:

80 GP - 60 G - 30 A - +30

Mighty rusty.

Posted by: Yosh | October 7, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

AH the bad blood flowing already. THe season might be about to start. This place is going to get even nuttier.

Posted by: oo7 | October 7, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

I really hate it when work interrupts my notes here, but there you go. I've become accustomed to eating.

In the lawyer's infinite, er, wisdom, (ahem), the CBA they wrote contains 475 pages of text and examples. I'm going to try to make some sense out of it. I think rather than fill up the blog here with useless drivel (unlike some we know of here), I'll leave it to you as to whether you want it or not.

I'll write it up tonight. If you want it, email me at gregs711 at verizon.net. I'll email it back to you.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 7, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

hmmmm star is already limping he will NOT have the same production this year
defense still suspect
Young guns aint firing yet
Caps will not sneak up on anyone and goaltending is not a given
hope bb has a magic genie
lots of ifs before we get given the cup
gmgm still has some albatrosses to deal with

Posted by: wendel | October 7, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

BTW, that will NOT be the whole bloody POS known as the CBA. Only the waivers bit. Which is quite enough, thank you very much.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 7, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

How come the Caps charity golf even hasn't been covered anywhere? Last year it was covered a lot, remember Ovie's hole in one?
anyone see any coverage of it anywhere?

Posted by: on ice | October 7, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Are you guys really going to make me guest lecture for Sombrero on re-entry waivers?

The numbers NHLsCap is quoting are on page 223. Section 50.9(g).

However, the section someone pointed out (Veteran Minor League Player) is what most applies to our beloved Q. Laing.
"The Re-Entry Waiver procedure will not, however, be applicable to
Veteran Minor League Players defined as follows:for defensemen and forwards, Players who have:(A) played in 320 or more professional games in North America (NHL, AHL and ECHL), and (B) not spent more than 80 NHL games on NHL roster over the prior
two (2) seasons or more than 40 NHL games on NHL roster in the immediately
prior season."
Q. Laing hit 320 games in 04-05, and played, exactly 39 games last season for the Capitals. So, assuming he is on a 2-way contract, he's exempt from re-entry. Even then, at only $487,500 salary in the bigs, I doubt he's making more than the $100,000 cutoff for 08-09.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | October 7, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

So in summation, class, Q. Laing should be safe from re-entry waivers.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | October 7, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

blah, blah, blah, GM sucks, Caps suck, blah, blah, I have nothing intelligent to add to any conversation, blah, blah you all suck, blah, blah, everthing and everyone sucks, blah, blah, if you support the Caps you are sheep, blah, blah blibbity-blah

Posted by: chafe | October 7, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

@jmucapsgirl
Thanks for the insight makes me feel much better about seeing QL when we need him

Posted by: wendel | October 7, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

We interupt this blog to bring you this inmportant news flash. Chief has negative things to say. Film at 11:00.

Posted by: Tom Brokebackaw | October 7, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

TV Schedule questions:

Why do I need Center Ice if I get CSN and Versus? It looks like only Nashville and Florida are not being carried.

What channel is CSN Plus on DirecTv?

Posted by: Chris A | October 7, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

I am a teeny bit surprised they have Montreal at #2 overall (but then again, they are a Canadian news outlet).

I am really surprised they have us higher than the holier than thou Sidquins.

Posted by: CT Caps Fan | October 7, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Chief who? Chief has not posted for months!

Posted by: Bob | October 7, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

jmu-
Are you sure about that? How is "roster" defined in the CBA? Laing spent the back-end of the season with the big club, while spending many of the last games in the press box. Does the "roster" mean dressed and on the bench or does it mean with the parent club?

Thx

Posted by: laing fan | October 7, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I am. Because even before you get to 90(g) he's on waivers. That's not covered in NHLSCAP

Posted by: Greg S. | October 7, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Bob hasn't posted for at least a year!

Posted by: Not Bob | October 7, 2008 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Greg - You're going to be frustrated with the answer I've come up with...

Posted by: Greg S. | October 7, 2008 11:22 PM | Report abuse

This is rich!!!

http://www.nhl.com/ice/recap.htm?id=2008011007

Flyers LOST to the Phantoms in the final game being played at the Spectrum by a score of 4-2.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 7, 2008 11:35 PM | Report abuse

@Chris A

CSN+ is the second CSN channel. It's generally used when the Wiz and Caps play at the same time. They can show both games simultaneously. Before CSN+, the Caps would get bumped to some cable channel that not everyone got (e.g. Newschannel 8).

If you just want to watch Caps games and are DC local, then you don't need Center Ice. You'll get nearly everything via CSN/CSN+, Versus, and the NHL Network. There is one game (October 28 vs Nashville) that is not carried by any of the above. See the schedule on the Caps website.

If you want to see other teams, Center Ice is a must. I'm a big Sharks fan in and I usually watch the Caps game at 7 and/or the Sharks game at 10:30 depending on the night. Sometimes I sleep, too.

Posted by: Bubba | October 7, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

How much can one make as a capologist that understants waivers? Is it a Bachelors program or a Masters? Perhaps a PhD!

I'm off to Monster.com!

Posted by: OleMiss | October 7, 2008 11:51 PM | Report abuse

My guess is it's a JD degree, being anal retentive, being a stickler for details and an imagination that would allow you to see opportunities in the CBA where others don't. IE a very dull person.

Jeez, I hope I'm not dull!

Posted by: Greg S. | October 8, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

@JMU and Greg

Thanks for reading up on the re entry waivers. I did not have the mental capacity today to do anything more than cut and paste from NHLSCAP.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | October 8, 2008 1:00 AM | Report abuse

Whew, after catching up on all of my hockey news last evening and this morning (from the past few weeks), I'm back. Let's get CAPS Hockey going!!! BTW, Nice to meet Steve R. & Lee at the last game.

Posted by: Super | October 8, 2008 1:50 AM | Report abuse

Like Super I've had some catching up to do.

Not surprised by the moves to send Alzy, Bourquo and Lainger down. To me it makes sense. Certain roster members (you all know who I mean) know now they had better start playing for their jersey or they will find they are sat in the press box or looking for a good moving company. Competition for places (in any sport) is key to keeping players hungry for more. Also relived that Q made it through waivers.

Other points. The waivers/cap issue is foreign (no pun intended) to me so the explanations from Sombrero Guy, JMU and Greg S have been welcome. Cheers guys and gal.

Boo, ever thought of following some kind of investigative career path. You always find interesting articles to share.

Finally, it is encouraging that you are not settling for just Stella when it comes to beer. Dogfish Head sounds fun! Makes me even more determined to get over to DC towards the end of this season or the start of next.

Posted by: Dave UK Caps Fan | October 8, 2008 7:13 AM | Report abuse

"that makes a heck of a lot of sense to send him down to the minors??!!!" Jaymagz

Yes actually it does make a lot of sense. Jumping from juniors to the NHL is quite a transition. It is probably better for his development and confidence to go the AHL route. My prediction is he will be called up, will play well initially, will make rookie mistakes, and will recover and be pushing for top 4 minutes by the end of the season.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | October 8, 2008 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Dave:
If I could make a living digging up (heck, even writing) hockey articles, I'd be all over it! But I don't think that's in the cards for me ... :-( Oh and Mr. Boo is going to be very disappointed to hear your beer assessment - he loves Stella!

Posted by: Boo! | October 8, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

ESPN has the Caps 3rd in the east. Interesting assessment:

"Forwards: There is a lot here. Good centers, snipers and grit. Washington should score enough. Although Ovechkin and his 65 goals are frightening, the Capitals are not a scary offensive team. Last season, they were seventh in the East in goals scored and fewest goals allowed; so, they are a competent defensive team."

Funny ... I don't think I'm the only one who thinks our offense is stronger than our D?!? Anyway, read the rest of the Caps and the east assessments here:

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/preview2008/columns/story?columnist=buccigross_john&id=3629979

Posted by: Boo! | October 8, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Playing 39 games doesn't tell the story. Laing was on the 23-man active roster for well over 40 games last season.

Posted by: Nomad | October 8, 2008 8:17 AM | Report abuse

@Boo!

Hanlon had the same squad that Boudreau had to work with. I wouldn't lay the blame on the players as much as you do. Players play in a system, if the system tells you to wear 3-D glasses and clown shoe skates, well you're not going to be very good even if your name is Lidstrom.

Posted by: JSchon | October 8, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Boo

Our D is much...MUCH stronger than most people here give it credit for. Check out Japer's and search for "In defense of Jose."

I know I keep bringing it up, but it is a FANTASTIC summary on the difference between defense and goaltending contribution to a team. Caps got the ABSOLUTE worst contribution from their goaltender last year, as determined by the "shot quality" statistic vs goals allowed.

And remember, as those fantastic NHL Network commercials with the "bonehead" coach state... The best Defense is a good offense.

Posted by: FFS Enough | October 8, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: I am thirsty | October 8, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Is it me or does ESPN's assessment look to others here like it's all over the map and based on gut feel rather than statistics?

Posted by: this space for rent | October 8, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

@ I am thirsty: I haven't had a chance to watch/listen to it yet, but I'm already liking the sound of it. :D


@ Greg S: Were you talking to me at 11:22PM, or is there yet another Greg?

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | October 8, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Japers Rink posted an entry about an online game where you pick the first caps player to get a shot on goal, get a penalty and score a goal. Highest total right at the end of the year wins a yet to be determined prize.

http://japersrink.blogspot.com/2008/10/pick-spg.html

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | October 8, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

For your Wednesday morning enjoyment: http://oviestyle.com

Posted by: Jill | October 8, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

GregAnnapolis

If you emailed me, yes. If not, no.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 8, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Greg S, then that'd be a no. :) Thanks for clearing the confusion.

Posted by: GregAnnapolis | October 8, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

anyone attending the viewing party at the Hard Times in Springfield?? just wonder where a good number of Caps fans are gonna be.

Posted by: doughless | October 8, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

No problemo then, Greg. :)

Posted by: Greg S. | October 8, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Sombrero-

Thanks for the heads up. I'm all signed up but i wanted to warn GMail users. It WILL be in your GMail Spam folder. Well...probably will be. It was for mine.

Posted by: FFS Enough | October 8, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Jill

I saw that last night and thought it was pretty cool. But I haven't seen the ads anywhere - not that I'd really find them as I don't use main stream medias much. I don't think that the demographics of BBC America points to Hockey in general, or the Caps specifically.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 8, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

FFS Enough

Sent.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 8, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

I will be at hard times on friday night cheering on the caps

Posted by: Tim | October 8, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

I was thinking Thirsty Bernie's or Summer's.

Posted by: 94 | October 8, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Hey betteroffw/fed - I don't disagree that players should be developed in the minors..when luxury affords you that situation.

However, when the GM touts he (Alzner) is a top 4 d-man, and you have Jurcina & Erskine on your club (and even Shulz), then I think you maybe have to reconsider sending him down.
He's had another year of junior, played in two WJC's, named player of the year of the WHL, etc, etc, he's not an offensive d-man, so I think I'd take the risk.

Look at the Leafs - Luke Schenn is starting with the big club at 18 years old - might he get sent down? Maybe. Maybe not.

How about Jordan Staal - played his way onto the team at 18 and was in the running for rookie of the year. I bet you many people like yourself were saying "give him some seasoning in the minors".

So the reality is - you're no more right than me, and you should shut your pie-hole.

Further - if you take a long hard look at the Caps defense, you might side with keeping Alzner vs. "let's develop him in Hershey".

Posted by: Jaymagz | October 8, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

@ Greg S - The campaign just launched on Monday. According to the Hair Cuttery press release:

Fans will begin to see the left winger’s image in Internet ads that will appear throughout the Capitals hockey season and run on sports and entertainment web sites.

The “Most Valuable Haircut” banner ads link fans to Hair Cuttery’s Ovechkin microsite www.oviestyle.com which features behind-the-scenes videos and images of Ovechkin at his Hair Cuttery photo shoot, hockey tips, grooming and hair care advice, as well as wallpapers and other Ovechkin downloads.

Also in the D.C. market, Ovechkin ads will appear during the season on the sides of Metrobuses and Metrobus shelters. A mobile billboard will cruise the streets surrounding the Verizon Center at 36 Washington Capitals games between October and April including the Oct. 11 home opener vs. the Chicago Blackhawks. The Hair Cuttery ads feature the lines: “Alexander The Great Haircut;” “What He Is To Hockey, We Are To Hair;” and “Most Valuable Hair.”

Posted by: Jill | October 8, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

where the heck is thirsty bernie's?? i think Summer's blows. since it is a Caps on Tap event, i assume da Hard Times viewing party will be the more "official" spot.

Posted by: doughless | October 8, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Have y'all seen this article about Ovi an cindy? It was the main article on espn:

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/preview2008/columns/story?id=3631769

Posted by: Go Skins Go | October 8, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I can't disagree with the analysis, but Crosby has the advantage of being from Canada and playing in a town considered more of a hockey town.

Posted by: CT Caps Fan | October 8, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin travels under an alias? Playing for the Washington Capitals a hockey player couldn't be any more anonymous especially in DC.

Posted by: SabresFanInDC | October 8, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Jaymagz

If you want to take a long hard look at the Caps D, Please, go read the article on japer's: "In defense of jose..." It may open your eyes a little bit regarding what we really need(ed) in DC for this season. If you take issue with the information provided in the Season Summary, please, I'm willing to discuss.

As for Alzner taking Schultz/Erskine's spot...I highlighted back in ...oh when was it, june or july that Alzner had 0 chance of starting the year with the big boys. It has NOTHING to do with talent. It had EVERYTHING to do with who you have to get rid of to make room for his 1.6M cap number. Neither make more than King Karl. So you have to dump someone else. Lepisto + Alzner is MUCH MUCH more expensive than Juice/Skine. With more than half our D up for renegotiation at the end of this season, the situation will play itself out. But there was no way it was going to happen for Oct 10.

Posted by: FFS Enough | October 8, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Jaymagz quotes and my responses:

"So the reality is - you're no more right than me, and you should shut your pie-hole."
My pie hole isn't open I'm typing on a computer.

The bottom line is this kid (Alzner) looks like he's the real deal. The Caps have the luxury that they'll be able to win games without him. So, why not take your time and be cautious with him. I thought they rushed Eminger and that it had a negative impact on his development. They didn't rush Green and he's done well. Perhaps, unlike you, the Caps learn from their mistakes and successes. It seems that what you've learned is how to be insulting and condescending. To your credit you have learned it well.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | October 9, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

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