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McPhee: Price for Pronger Too High (Again)

GM George McPhee said he was contacted by Anaheim about possibly trading for defenseman Chris Pronger. Pronger, if you haven't heard, ended up going to Philly in a deal that ending up costing the Flyers a lot.

McPhee said the asking price was one of the Caps' goalie prospects (Simeon Varlamov or Michal Neuvirth), prospect John Carlson, a roster player and "something else".

"I said this is not the direction we need to go in," said McPhee, who had expressed interest in Pronger at last season's trade deadline before backing away because of the Ducks' asking price.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  June 26, 2009; 11:32 PM ET
 
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Comments

That is too high a price. Still, we need to add some big, tough D: Beauchemin, Komisarek? I'll even take Hal Gill at this point...

Posted by: CAP-lanta | June 26, 2009 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

can you find out more about the boston discussion. Was that around kessel

Posted by: samb99 | June 26, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

All THAT for Pronger?

LOL. That's an easy veto for the Capitals.

(Wait, what if that "something else" was Nylander?)

Posted by: Cerealman | June 26, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Why the obsession with the high priced Pronger? Are there no other defensemen out there who can keep Cindy Crysby away from the crease? We need to get someone who can bang. As for the draft, I wonder if McPhee did his homework. Johansson (and I hope I'm proven wrong) has at least 2 concussions in the bank at age 18. I have a feeling he will go the way of Sasha Pokoluk, Jomar Cruz, Joe Finley, Alexander Volchkov, Brad Church, Mikka Elomo, etc, etc. Bad night for the Caps... hope things are better tomorrow.

Posted by: freeid | June 26, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

No one is dumb enough to take Nylander.

Well, except our GM.

Posted by: spacecadetkid | June 26, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

@Cap-lanta

Watching Hal Gill on the Leafs, here's some insight: He makes Shaone Morrisonn look like a Scott Niedermayer. If I am McPhee I would also avoid Komisarek.

We have Alzner ready to go. Why not sign a cheap solid blueliner like Oduya or Semenov?

Posted by: hockeynightincanada | June 26, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

You'd have taken him too after an 80+ point season, and not knowing for sure whether or not Backstrom could step right in like he did. That said, we need to dump Nylander fast.

You're a donkey if you're going to pass judgment this quickly on the draft. Also, Joe Finley wasn't a bust. He just stayed in college way longer than anyone thought he would. Lots of people still think he'll be a player in the NHL.

Posted by: thiazzi | June 27, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

way too much but did they get that same quality from Philly?

Posted by: oo7 | June 27, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

No, no Hal Gill.. he's no better than Erskine, I bet Erskine can even beat him in a race...

whatever they're saving on the departure of Feds and Kozlov should be enough to sign Komisarek who's younger than either Beauchemin or Scuderi by at least 2 years and has a lot more size (6'4", 243).

Posted by: joek443 | June 27, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

I'm not saying McPhee should have overspent for Pronger (although I hope Tarik asks him whether he made a counter-offer). But it's got to be our turn at some point. McPhee's going to have to make a deal.

He's been keeping the powder dry for a long long time; the system is overflowing with prospects. But you need veterans who can score in the playoffs to win the Cup.

It's possible that McPhee is waiting for the 2010 trade deadline. He probably figures that the Southeast will be weak again, and so the Caps will easily coast into playoff contention even if they don't make a big splash this summer. He might be right -- Tampa's getting better but still young.. Florida could be a real mess.. Atlanta is Atlanta..

If that's the case then you can expect Nylander to be the 2nd line center. Why pay him off -- or go out and spend more money on somebody else who may or may not be as good -- if you're going to be in the playoffs anyway.

We'll know what GMGM's up to by next week.

Oneal

Posted by: TheRealOneal | June 27, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Good night! That's a TON for Pronger and the honor of paying him 6.5 M a year.

Now I'm curious about the guy we got.

Scouting Report: In his first regular-season action in the Elitserien, he produced 10 points in 45 games with the eventual champion squad in Farjestad... has two-way capability and excellent instincts... is a good face-off man when he plays center, but can also move over to the wing and be effective... isn't very big or strong, so he will need to add some bulk in order to become a better prospect for the North American game...

Impact: The Capitals are notorious for Swedish selections, so adding another in Johansson is not a surprise. He will be several years away from joining Washington, and will have to compete for ice time eventually with countrymen Nicklas Backstrom and Anton Gustafsson at the center position. He may have to make the Caps as a winger, as a result.

Posted by: Greg S. | June 27, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Sure, I'd have taken Nylander... at about a third of the salary. McPhee overpaid by a ton and it was obvious even back then. He got caught up in poaching him from Edmonton and is paying for it now.

It's way too soon to go chasing after Pronger. The Caps have way too many holes on the blue line for one player to be of any help, and they still don't have any forwards who will crash the net. Not to mention the uncertainty in goal. Do you go with one of two mediocre (at best) vets or one unproven rookie who has a tendency to get hurt? Two years from now, if those questions are answered and the Caps still need a big name, then you pull the trigger on that deal. Until then it's just throwing money away.

Posted by: spacecadetkid | June 27, 2009 12:12 AM | Report abuse

you're gonna hit and miss on every draft, nobody is gonna be right about everyone in any draft... not even Mel Kiper Jr!!!

I always thought Bobby Clarke was a pretty good GM even though I've always thought his team was dirty. maybe he got a "WIN NOW" mendate from the Snyder family but I really have no idea what the heck he was thinking giving up that much for Pronger...

Posted by: joek443 | June 27, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

it woulda cost us Varlamov/Neuvirth plus Carlson, plus a roster player AND "something else", yet it only cost Philly Lupul, Sbisa, and two 1st-rounders?

that's equivalent to us giving up Laich, Alzner, and two 1st-rounders. that seems like less than Varly/Neuvy, Carlson, a roster player, and "something else".

interesting...

Posted by: sargeantmofo | June 27, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

well makes sense, the ducks got 2 firsts and 2 players so that's 4 potential players.

Varly or Neuvy, Carlson plus a player and something else... that's 4 potential players also

obviously philly didn't have the kind of players they wanted so they took those two firsts instead of two more players.

Posted by: joek443 | June 27, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

spacecadetkid

Yes you are...

With 20-20 hindsight it does appear that Nylander was over paid.

At the time you have Hanlon for coach and a young Ovechkin. You don't have anyone to feed him. The guy that's been dishing out goals to Jagr is available where he wins the Pearson and was a finalist for the Hart.

So you'd want to pay him 4M? 3?

At the time, we were all cheering the coup, and Jagr and the Rags faithful were screaming at NY for letting him go. Jagr wasn't the same the next few years and he left for KHL. All because he lost his feeder, and the Caps had him.

You take your chances in life. Some you win, some you don't. The first half of the year he was on fire. Change the coach. Change the style. You have a different situation and now all moves look suspect.

Posted by: Greg S. | June 27, 2009 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Sometimes you need to take a risk to win the Stanley Cup!

Posted by: rockinthered1 | June 27, 2009 12:31 AM | Report abuse

sounds to me like they wanted to work a trade with us first and take the bank, and when we balked Philly was the next best thing on the table. Good for GM not moving on it. Get your future signed up for years then work on the rest.

That said one of our goalies is gonna be legit trade bait at somepoint. It's inevitable.

Posted by: blanknerc | June 27, 2009 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Good job, GMGM. At some point, he will have to take a gamble to get these boys over the hump, but this was not it.

Posted by: Chris57 | June 27, 2009 12:36 AM | Report abuse

@Greg S.

You hit the nail on the head. People forget how dreadful the Caps were on puck possession. We had nothing and no one that could carry the puck across the blueline and maintain possession. Nylander, along with Kozlov, were huge additions at the time. Remember how unbelievably bad the Caps were on the PP? Much has changed since the signing but I still maintain that it was a good signing at the time.

As for he Pronger trade, thank goodness we didn't pull the trigger. We won't need the stud defenseman until the playoffs and there is bound to be someone available at some point during the season who is a heck of a lot cheaper. The one thing Pronger brings you, however, is he has the veteran standing that is required to knock Crosby on his butt without getting called for a penalty.

Posted by: ouvan59 | June 27, 2009 7:03 AM | Report abuse

Thank God GMGM has more sense than to deal away our future........

Posted by: washcapsfan | June 27, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

"The Caps have way too many holes on the blue line for one player to be of any help"
-spacecadetkid

ummm, and that means what?

I do agree that the price was too high, ridiculously so actually, and way more than what philly gave up for him. not worth it.

Posted by: ahbest3 | June 27, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Easy veto indeed. Carlson is the defensive future for the CAPS, and trading the AHL Playoff MVP or the goalie who came into his own to challenge the stanley cup champs to a 7 game series single-handedly is not worth any trade.

Posted by: ejohnsto | June 27, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Nylander may be penciled in as the second-line center to start the season, but he won't stay there.

Nylander will be lazy and unproductive and someone will take the job away from him.

Posted by: Cerealman | June 27, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

How is that asking price equivalent to what they got from philly? I see Carlson as being about equivalent to Sbisa as a prospect, but with slightly less progress/experience. Lupul's best days are behind him and he will never score more than 20 or so goals in a season for the rest of his career. He would be the roster player. The first round pick would be the "something else" in this deal and, as the flyers will be a top 4 team in the east, it will be a later pick. Neuvirth and Varlamov are both potential all-star goaltenders in this league and I believe that if you can have an all-star at any position (excluding once-in-a-lifetime superstars) a goaltender may be the most crucial to have.

Overall, this trade was a big no-no for GMGM and we should know and trust that he will get us something, whether via trade or free agency.

Posted by: wis193 | June 28, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

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