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McPhee talks free agency

A quick update before things slow down for the holiday weekend:

I had a brief chat with GM George McPhee earlier this evening and he told me the Caps have been "in on" a few discussions with free agents the past two days but so far he's decided against making any offers.

"It's going as expected for us," he said. "We got 121 points last year because we're a pretty good team and we don't really need a lot. As we expected, the guys that are out there really aren't better than what we have, and their prices are inflated."

McPhee didn't come right out and say it, but it's looking more and more like the plan is for the Caps to enter next season with inexperienced centers Mathieu Perreault and Marcus Johansson, and converted winger Tomas Fleischmann, battling it out for spots behind first-line pivot Nicklas Backstrom.

"We feel that what we have at centerice in Johansson and Fleischmann and Perreault, they can do the job for us," McPhee said. "Signing anyone else would really only get in the way, if not this year, then certainly next year."

The three centers who seemed to make the most sense for the Caps -- Saku Koivi, Matt Cullen and Matthew Lombardi -- all signed multi-year deals. Cullen and Lombardi, in fact, landed three-year contracts.

On defense, McPhee and his hockey ops staff made calls, kicked tires, but in the end, did exactly what he said they would: stand pat.

"Some of these teams that are signing these guys to this money are going to regret it," he said. "Some players have nice reputations but their actual play on the ice isn't where people think it is."

McPhee added that he expects the Caps to remain quiet this weekend. He does, however, anticipate that talks with restricted free agents - namely Fleischmann, Eric Fehr, Jeff Schultz and Boyd Gordon - will heat up next week.

He also said he'll continue to monitor the trade market - just in case there's a deal to be made.

"There's a lot going on at this time of the year," he said. "We're engaged in talking to other teams about what they're doing, or planning or what they might want to do. So we know what's going on in the market. There might be some things out there that interest us. If there's something else that helps us, we're on top of it."

A couple of additional notes:

*McPhee confirmed that Dany Sabourin was signed as a depth goaltender.

"It's a great situation [because] if one of the young guys [Semyon Varlamov and Michal Neuvirth] falters or gets injured, that opportunity is there for [Braden] Holtby and [Dany] Sabourin," he said.

*In case you missed it earlier, defenseman Milan Jurcina is officially a former Cap after signing a one-year, $1 million deal with the Islanders.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  July 2, 2010; 9:41 PM ET
 
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Next: Fleischmann, Fehr and Schultz file for salary arbitration

Comments

We'll be touching on GMGM's comments and more Saturday morning at 10 am on Japers' Rink Radio with Corey Masisak at www.blogtalkradio.com/japersrinkradio. You can also get the show after the fact there or on itunes.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | July 2, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

No worries my fellow Caps fans. We'll win the cup this season.

Posted by: instinct227 | July 2, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Other teams that did not make moves to get inflated players on July 1 include Detroit, Los Angeles, and Dallas. All these organizations have depth. All will contend for Stanley Cup except for Dallas.

It would be easy to panic and think you have to get in on the action but most of the teams that do sign players pretty much had to fix gaping holes.

It is humorous how NJ-PIT-OTT basically took each others d-men and spun the price up for everyone during the day. Would have been cheaper for them all to keep their guys.

Every team has some weakness - but the shoe has to fit and be durable for more than 1 year. Obviously the players think that way. They couldn't give a hoot what prospects you might want to groom in 2 years. These UFAs in their prime want max length deals.

Not every team needs guys for that long. Especially when it might mean trouble signing core players in a year.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | July 2, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Only thing I disagree with is his views on centers. There were 5 centers who went in free agency who would have worked better than MP, Flash, or MJ. Flash is a horrible center, and hopefully will be traded - a decent #3C would be nice. MP or MJ might be able to fill the #2C spot - and probably deserve a shot to see if they can - but I wouldn't be surprised to see the Caps needing to acquire a center or two before the season ends. However, MP or MJ could work out - it's too early to tell.

Posted by: timmyv38 | July 2, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

"It's going as expected for us," he said. "We got 121 points last year because we're a pretty good team and we don't really need a lot."

Oh God.... Here we go again, another year of lacking proven leadership and a deep playoff run. This team is only only "pretty good." That is not enough. Seriously, this guy must go!

Posted by: festus75 | July 2, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Oh God.... Here we go again, another year of lacking proven leadership and a deep playoff run. This team is only only "pretty good." That is not enough. Seriously, this guy must go!

Posted by: festus75 | July 2, 2010 10:55 PM

We have leadership. Ovie, Laich, Knuble, Poti - all have shown that they can lead the team, both on and off the ice. As for the playoffs - unless you're clairvoyant, that's sheer speculation. This team is far more than "pretty good", this team is among the elite.

Posted by: timmyv38 | July 2, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

We have leadership. Ovie, Laich, Knuble, Poti - all have shown that they can lead the team, both on and off the ice. As for the playoffs - unless you're clairvoyant, that's sheer speculation. This team is far more than "pretty good", this team is among the elite.

Posted by: timmyv38 | July 2, 2010 11:04 PM

First round and out, consistently since Mcphee took over in 1999. Plug in the name (lang,jagr,federov, laich, gohchar, poti, etc), the results the same. It's not leadership, its failure.

Posted by: festus75 | July 2, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

First round and out, consistently since Mcphee took over in 1999. Plug in the name (lang,jagr,federov, laich, gohchar, poti, etc), the results the same. It's not leadership, its failure.


Posted by: festus75 | July 2, 2010 11:08 PM

That has nothing to do with whether or not the Caps lack proven leadership - which they don't. Stop whining and see what happens - there is 4 months left before the season starts.

Posted by: timmyv38 | July 2, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

That has nothing to do with whether or not the Caps lack proven leadership - which they don't. Stop whining and see what happens - there is 4 months left before the season starts.

Posted by: timmyv38 | July 2, 2010 11:12 PM

That's my point, I have seen it and what happens. Been to all the playoff games, starting with the melt down of 2000 against Pitt. Followed by the acquisition of Jagr and the start of playoff choking after going up 2 games in 2001. Seen the demotion of Oates as captian, the hiring of Cassidy. The veteran build up in 2002, the player dump in 2003-2004, and now the failure to add the right players last year and now apparently this year to fill out the GLARING need on Defense for this team to have ANY hope of going past the first round. "Wait and See". That should be the Leonsis\Mcphee motto. Or better yet, The Washington Wait n Sees would be fitting for the nickname. In the meantime we wait.... See.

Posted by: festus75 | July 2, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

@festus

So if that Ovie 3rd period goal in game 7 was not mistakenly called back you would say that GMGM and the Caps would have been successful and therefore all the moves they are making right now would be correct moves?

That is a pretty fine line, don't you think? To me, I don't think I would base the future of my organization on one bad call.

@timmyv38

Flash was horrible at center last year, but they did just sort of throw him in there during the middle of the season (he had no training camp because of his leg thrombosis issue). I am curious to see how an entire off season of training to be a center and an entire training camp training to be a center will effect him.

He may not improve at all, but it is possible that he watches a lot of tape, practices a lot of faceoffs, and learns the intricacies of the position that enable him to be a good center.

That is the thing so many posters on this board fail to realize. Players' ability change from year to year. Some improve, some get worse. Some guys will get stronger and faster, some will get weaker and slower. Some will improve on certain skills while others may regress. It is called practice, training, growing and learning.

Does this mean all these guys will improve? Certainly not. But young guys(ages 19-27) (most of the Caps we're talking about) improve more than players above that age.

That's why I always find it a little funny when people talk about the Caps team next year but they never take into effect that the young guys will be better players. (i.e. Backstrom last year compared to two years ago, Schultz last year compared to two years ago, Fehr last year compared to two years ago, Flash last year compared to two years ago, Carlson last year compared to two years ago when he didn't even see the NHL).

These guys all improved significantly over that span. Given all their ages and most of their contract situations (everyone is or will be pending free agents relatively soon except Backstrom) why is there any reason to believe that they won't improve even more.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 2, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Caps don't have a NEED on defense... their defense is good enough. A top dman would help, but is far from the necessity many of you pretend it is.

The current Caps team is the best they have been, and if they have any needs, it is at center.

Posted by: timmyv38 | July 2, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse


The key word is PROVEN leadership. Of the players you mentioned (not to mention the rest of the Caps' roster) the only player with a Cup ring is Knuble, and he was a fringe player (and a rookie) on the team that he won it with. All of the other guys on that team have ended each of their NHL seasons either out of the playoffs or on the wrong end of the handshake line.

It's not a coincidence that the Pens won the Cup after bringing in Fedetenko, Guerin, Kunitz (all previous Cup winners). The Blackhawks brought in Madden. I can live with the young center experiment.... he's right about potentially blocking them, esp if forced to give a 3 yr deal. The defense is another story. They really need a hard nosed veteran to set the tone and be a proper mentor. Having Tom Poti (a guy who has underachieved throughout his career and who has a less than stellar rep around the league) as the guy mentoring your young defensemen is a bad move, not to mention having Erskine/Sloan in your lineup.

Posted by: chombie13 | July 2, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Caps will never win the Cup with this guy running things. He's completely delusional.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | July 2, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

@festus

So if that Ovie 3rd period goal in game 7 was not mistakenly called back you would say that GMGM and the Caps would have been successful and therefore all the moves they are making right now would be correct moves?

That is a pretty fine line, don't you think? To me, I don't think I would base the future of my organization on one bad call.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 2, 2010 11:29 PM

Ahhh, young grasshopper the point is it NEVER should have gotten to seven. In that it did, it proves that this team as is, is not a playoff built team. Don't get me wrong, they are not a bad team, but are in need of some key position upgrades. They are loaded on offense, but its not playoff claiber offense. You could see that when the Habs forced most shots from above the circles. As the Habs shut down the O, either the players weren't the right ones to overcome the shutdown D (in which case you blame the GM), or the approriate adjustments weren't made to counter the move (in which case blame the Coach). You can't blame the refs, because, as noted it shouldn't have come to that. I think the issue is a personnel one, but I guess the hope we have is to wait and see. But as that great philosopher Don Cherry once said, "hope is not a strategy."

Posted by: festus75 | July 2, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Has McPhee said that Belanger is definitely not coming back? His name doesn't seem to come up in any of these discussions.

Posted by: spacecadetkid | July 2, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

My only criticism at this point is saying there's no one out there better than what we have. That's simply not true. I don't think GM or Ted could get away with these statements in places like Toronto or even Montreal to some extent, or in Philly. Montreal fans have rioted over much less. The quote Ted gave about Backs being the biggest free agent signing was spin doctoring at it's highest level. He owns the team, he can do what he wants, and so can GM, but don't treat us like we're stupid.

Posted by: Fletch22 | July 2, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

well put Fletch.

Posted by: festus75 | July 2, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

chombie - proven leadership is not dependent on playoff success. All 4 I named have shown that they can lead the Caps, and have done much for the team. Knuble has gotten a few of the young guys to change their playing style; Laich always gives his all; Ovie never quits; and Poti has helped the young dmen (look at Carlson with him last season). I do think a couple more veterans would help, and said so a few days ago - but the Caps do have leadership.

Posted by: timmyv38 | July 2, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

@festus75

So any team wanting to win the Stanley Cup cannot get to game 7? Sure, you absolutely would prefer not to, but it is not smart to base organizational decisions on the outcome of one or two games.

All I'm pointing out is the thin line between "everything is good" to "oh my god lets blow up the team". You can even use Chicago as an exmaple. If Martin Erat doesn't make that dumb mistake in game 5 when the Preds were up by 1, on the PP, and had possession of the puck behind the net then the Hawks may have not made it past the 1st round. Then all those amazing moves everyone is claiming they made would have been called horrible moves.

This example is just to point out that the line between playoff success and failure is amazingly small. And since it is so small it really isn't wise to make large organizational decisions based on 1 or 2 games.

As for upgrades, yes the Caps do need to make a few. Every team should always be trying to improve itself, but not at the cost of future successes.

The NHL Network showed the replays of the Caps/Habs series a few weeks ago and I noticed that the Caps definitely did make adjustments(because of the overload on Ovie) on the PP and were consistently setting up Semin and Knuble with wide open shots from the slot, dead center and 6 feet from the goalie. Unfortunately, almost all of the shots missed the goal either high or wide (Halak made a few really nice saves too).

It's sport, sometimes players miss shots. Hockey shooting percentage is not like free throws in basketball. It is possible for guys to miss a few.

Again, this is not to say that the Caps don't need to improve. They absolutely do. But it is nowhere near dire straits. And once the season ended most hockey experts had the Caps as the predicted Stanley Cup finalist from the East. So many hockey experts believe this Caps team has the talent to a win the SC.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 2, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

And I agree with what festus is saying, but I'm remaing hopeful that our needs will be addressed before training camp. Continued playoff choking and being condescending to your fans is not a good combo.

Posted by: Fletch22 | July 2, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Ahhh, young grasshopper the point is it NEVER should have gotten to seven. In that it did, it proves that this team as is, is not a playoff built team. Don't get me wrong, they are not a bad team, but are in need of some key position upgrades. They are loaded on offense, but its not playoff claiber offense. You could see that when the Habs forced most shots from above the circles. As the Habs shut down the O, either the players weren't the right ones to overcome the shutdown D (in which case you blame the GM), or the approriate adjustments weren't made to counter the move (in which case blame the Coach). You can't blame the refs, because, as noted it shouldn't have come to that. I think the issue is a personnel one, but I guess the hope we have is to wait and see. But as that great philosopher Don Cherry once said, "hope is not a strategy."


Posted by: festus75 | July 2, 2010 11:39 PM |

It is a playoff caliber offense. The problem against Montreal was a few specific players not doing their job - Laich being the one who most stood out. Every once in a while, he reverts back to trying to be a skill player, when he is best used in front of the net. If he had gotten in front of the net like he should have, there would have been screens for Semin and Ovechkin, and more goals - especially on the PP.

By your logic up there, the Pens don't have a playoff caliber offense - but it's almost the same offense that won the Cup just over a year ago.

Posted by: timmyv38 | July 2, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

@Fletch

It is not that there aren't better players out there, but you have to weigh the quality of the player against the cost of hte player in the salary cap era. Because signing certain players to large contracts will prevent you from signing others.

Would you have wanted to sign Lombardi to his contract and Martin to his contract if it prevented the Caps from re-signing Laich and Carlson in the next two years? These things do have to be weighed when determing to sign free agents.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 2, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

But the CAPS are consistently on the wrong side of the small line (the failure side). It's not one season its all five of the playoff years since 2000. How come? Bad luck, Bad calls, Bad coaching (of which there have been four). What's lacking is what my high school coach called 'that will to win'. It's not being satisfied with being "a pretty good team." as Mcphee would say. The fine line gets crossed with talented, veteran leadership. SOmeone hungry to win, who knows what it takes to win in the playoffs and lead the team to do it. The CAPS don't have it. I think that several of the CAPs will grow into it in a few years. In the meantime, if you want it first recognize that it is necessary, and then go get it. This is where McPhee falls short. It wasn't just last season, it has been every season since he took over. Just pretty good isn't good enough.

Posted by: festus75 | July 3, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Sgm, understood, but that's not what gm said. He flat out said that the players out there really aren't better than what we have. If he had said 'yeah, we looked around, but the price wasn't right', that makes much more sense. I can't help but feel that between gm, and all of Teds statements about backstrom,, that they're showing a little disrespect to a pretty knowledgeable fan base. Just my interpretation of the situation.

Posted by: Fletch22 | July 3, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

I'm hoping Perreault or Johansson come through for 2C, because Flash sure isn't. Come on. Three full seasons into his career and he's getting benched in a 7th game of a playoff series.

Flash needs to be dealt, desperately. While he still has some perceived value to someone besides Boudreau. A 2nd rounder for him would be nice.

Posted by: pga6 | July 3, 2010 12:16 AM | Report abuse

sgm3:
based on some comments over the last few dsays - there are more than a few fans that could give a rats *ss about the future of the team - it's give me a cup now or make management changes.

gmgm is not the best gm in the league but he isn't the worst either. it is far easier to recover from being cautious than by being reckless (in regards to the future of the team).

i think the caps need a 1st pair defensive dman - but not at the cost not being able to resign players as you stated.

a 2nd line center would be nice right now - but taking 40-45 games to see how what you already have will work out is not a bad thing.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | July 3, 2010 12:16 AM | Report abuse

But Capt. why shouldn't we expect the best? It's the fans money and its not cheap. I'm not getting season tickets anymore until the CAPS can prove they are committed to winning the cup. Ted and Mcphee say it, but do they mean it?

Posted by: festus75 | July 3, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Sgm, understood, but that's not what gm said. He flat out said that the players out there really aren't better than what we have. If he had said 'yeah, we looked around, but the price wasn't right', that makes much more sense. I can't help but feel that between gm, and all of Teds statements about backstrom,, that they're showing a little disrespect to a pretty knowledgeable fan base. Just my interpretation of the situation.

Posted by: Fletch22 | July 3, 2010 12:12 AM

i agree that gmgm isn't being 'truthful' with his statement about FA's not better than what they already have.
i don't think those type statements are to disrespect the fan base - but more to 'not alienate' players on the current roster.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | July 3, 2010 12:25 AM | Report abuse

But Capt. why shouldn't we expect the best? It's the fans money and its not cheap. I'm not getting season tickets anymore until the CAPS can prove they are committed to winning the cup. Ted and Mcphee say it, but do they mean it?

Posted by: festus75 | July 3, 2010 12:21 AM

each fan would need to decide if they want to continue to support their team if they believe the team is not trying to put the best team on the ice.
i've said this before - hockey is a sport to the fans, with winning the championship as the ultimate goal. however it is a business to the owner and the future must be taken into consideration when making decisions.
if someone decided to 'not' be a fan anymore, then that is fine. for some to constantly bash management because they don't like their decisions just seems like a waste of energy to me.
i respect your position though.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | July 3, 2010 12:41 AM | Report abuse

k caps would have beaten montreal if they
1. reunited ov backy and semin(ovy was triple teamed at times and when he fed backy he gave it to knuble who was the open man, im pretty sure semin wouldve been better fit there
2.lift the puck on halak
3. get a real coach

Posted by: 081928 | July 3, 2010 12:50 AM | Report abuse

Lets go Caps.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 3, 2010 12:55 AM | Report abuse

"k caps would have beaten montreal if they
1. reunited ov backy and semin(ovy was triple teamed at times and when he fed backy he gave it to knuble who was the open man, im pretty sure semin wouldve been better fit there
2.lift the puck on halak
3. get a real coach"

1. They tried the SOB line... didn't work at all. Montreal was built to frustrated skilled teams. The way to beat them would be to grind them up in to fine dust the way Philly had.

2. Agreed. That and a goddamn cycling game. Their defense fell apart the moment they were confronted with consistent physical cycling.

3. Not gonna happen. Mama bear is gonna stay as long as they keep making the playoffs. Which is for the next 10 years. We're the new St. Louis Blues. Welcome to purgatory.

Also, you forgot the biggest thing. Allowing the first goal 5 of 7 games. That flat out did them in.

Posted by: yellowtail99 | July 3, 2010 1:22 AM | Report abuse

I believe I'm pretty objective - neither a naysayer nor a cheerleader - but I'll leave that for you all to decide.

That said, I find McPhee's comments almost incredulous.

"As we expected, the guys that are out there really aren't better than what we have, and their prices are inflated."

Uh...the Caps wouldn't be improved with Volchenkov on D and cutting loose Erskine? Volch isn't "better than what we have?"

And, at center, we have a great #1 and a decent #4 and a bunch of question marks? What, Lombardi isn't better than MP?

The statement is so far-fetched that one can't believe McPhee even believes what he says unless he's drinking all the Kool-Aid that he's made and p!$$!ng it out and then drinking it again.

Cullen was overpaid, Koivu underpaid and Lombardi just about right. I can almost understand though if Kutz and MaJo are so well regarded that they are "for certain" #2 and 3 within two years and you don't want the path blocked. But, we surely need at least some veteran center for next year. And, on MP, I'm highly doubtful he'll pan out. As I've posted, he hasn't dominated at Hershey, and players who don't dominate in the AHL can't be expected to do #1 and 2 line duty in the NHL.

As for defense, we're putting every prospect even close to ready on the NHL club next year just so when can have five NHL-calibre d-men. Once Alzner and Carlson are promoted, where's the 2 or 3 guys that are always needed every year when you get the rash of injuries?

Again, I'm not a naysayer, 121 pts was 8th best in NHL history and you can't sneeze at that. Examples have been made how the Oil in the 80s and the Wings in the 90s had similar experiences before drinking from the Cup.

Of course, we've seen the Sharks in the 00's and someone above reminds us of the Hull & Oates Blues club from the early 90s, where CuJo faced more rubber than (you make your own joke).

The expression is, "Drinking one's own bathwater," and that's what I read in the quotes. We'll see. I'm a glass-half-full kinda guy, so we'll see. But MP at #2C just isn't going to work.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 3, 2010 2:26 AM | Report abuse

If McPhee didn't have 13 years on the job with a growing track record of postseason failure, then maybe he deserves some slack. But Leonsis is leaving this glorified talent scout on the job while he overpays and over-rates the in-house talent and their lack of veteran leadership and experience. This is a team coming off of one of the most embarrassing playoff exits in NHL history, and no on'e sheld to account.

Posted by: one2 | July 3, 2010 2:51 AM | Report abuse

If McPhee didn't have 13 years on the job with a growing track record of postseason failure, then maybe he deserves some slack. But Leonsis is leaving this glorified talent scout on the job while he overpays and over-rates the in-house talent and their lack of veteran leadership and experience. This is a team coming off of one of the most embarrassing playoff exits in NHL history, and no on'e sheld to account.

Posted by: one2

Everybody has forgotten that, probably because every time the Caps get in the playoffs the find some way to embarrass themselves, save 1998 (Before McPhee).

We have become used to these playoff failures. Meanwhile, we watch our hated rival continue to win Stanley Cups.

No one better, huh George.

Volchenkov and Lombardi were not overpayed.

Posted by: underpants2 | July 3, 2010 7:47 AM | Report abuse

k caps would have beaten montreal if they
1. reunited ov backy and semin(ovy was triple teamed at times and when he fed backy he gave it to knuble who was the open man, im pretty sure semin wouldve been better fit there
2.lift the puck on halak
3. get a real coach

Posted by: 081928 | July 3, 2010 12:50 AM

1. SOB line is not a good line, for three reasons. First, it's putting all the shooting talent on one line - which is a bad idea. Second, Semin and Ovechkin have a tendency to get too fancy and overpass when they're on the same line. Third, against Montreal, the Caps were only scoring well when they got traffic in front of Halak - and none of those 3 are especially good at that.

2. They did. Halak's glove hand was incredible time after time. On some shots, they might have scored if they had lifted it more, but there was plenty of times when they did and it didn't work. Getting traffic in front was the main thing they didn't do enough of.

3. They have one. He took them from bottom of the division to 1st in half a season - which was the only time that has happened in NHL history.

Posted by: timmyv38 | July 3, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

3. They have one. He took them from bottom of the division to 1st in half a season - which was the only time that has happened in NHL history.

Posted by: timmyv38 | July 3, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

*******

It seems to happen lately with teams that have young cores of players though.

2 years ago Pittsburgh was 11th in the east and mathematically on life support - enter a new coach (& Bill Guerin)and they don't lose again. Then this year Philly changes their coach and they just make the playoffs by a shootout and ride that wave to the Finals.

When Ottawa hired their new coach that team got hot but just missed the playoffs in 2009 and this year St. Louis did significantly better after their coaching change.

Young players are coach-able and have the energy to play a high level for a short time. Maybe the dumb sense to believe.

In the long run its much harder. Boudreau has a skilled team, but on many nights his guys start off terrible and are not engaged...just an observation but I like Bruce. Could be the drawback of having so many young players that they believe all their press clippings.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | July 3, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Don't forget Caps fans that UFA's and RFA's are not the only players out there. The Caps may be able to sign some RFA's, work through arbitration, and then make some smart trades. A trade with say Semin or Flash for a bona fide 2nd line center may work best for the Caps cap. They also have time to try out MP, MJ, and Flash at 2nd line center before rushing into a trade. The only trade I really dislike from last year was the loss of Osala to the Canes cause that kid has a scoring touch close in. I serioulsy doubt any team in the SE is going to challenge the Caps from a top three spot, so the Caps have time to experiment. I also like that the Caps are loyal to the players they bring to their system. I imagine drafting and molding players in their excellent farm system makes for a very solid team -- not a mercenary team that falls apart. I have hope for the Caps and I don't take advice from Don Cherry, respecting hope, much less OV.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | July 3, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Everyone

It is pointless arguing with timmyv38. He will never admit the team is failing. He has been crying for a center for Semin the entire offseason. Now, even when we don't get one, he fails to admit the team has issues. Don't waste your breath.

How many brutal playoff exits does a team need to endure? Is there even a team comparable to the Caps?

We blew a two game lead against the Islanders.
We blew 3 two game leads against the Penguins.
We blew a two game lead against Tampa.
We blew a two game lead against Montreal.

I have been a fan for all of those. George was here for 3 of those. Yet, nobody pays the price for failure, for choking. I, for one, am tired.

This is the best team we have ever had. To say that there is no room for improvement is beyond the point of insulting. To suggest we don't need leadership and new blood to get us over the hump is absurd.

Semin should be gone. Flash should be gone. We are too soft.

Posted by: underpants2 | July 3, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Everyone chill out. Some of this is posturing by GMGM, and some of it is truth. Volchenkov was probably the only big name player they would have pursued, but they won't give a player outside of the organization a 6 year deal. If they could've had him for 4 years, deal done. Sutton, Ward, Mitchell are all D-men that can be had for less than half what volchnekov will earn and on a one or two year deal, plus provide the nastiness the d-men on this team lack. Any D-man signing will mean Erskine will get traded away for a cup of joe. For centermen have you seen what's out there this year? Jokinen was one of the better options, but otherwise, they do have better options in house. If Belanger can't be re-signed, maybe a vet like madden on a 1 year cheapo deal works out to help the PK and give the team some much needed championship playoff experience on the 3rd line that they were lacking this past season. But there are no 2nd line centers floating around now. Fleishmann seems to be improving each year and Perrault has shown promise. Each is far better than anyone else out there but lack experience. Only one way to get that so why not give them a shot. Besides, its not like this franchise won't have some chips to trade at the trade deadline come springtime.

Posted by: jimc93 | July 3, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure whether anyone said this yet, but I think it's obvious that GMGM said he didn't think any of the options were better than what they have simply because that's what you do when you don't bring someone in. It's better than saying "Yeah, we would much rather have Matt Cullen/Saku Koivu/Lombardi than Perreault or MJ, but we couldn't get him". That only makes MP and MJ feel slighted.

I would rather not see Flash still here, but maybe he ends up as trade bait later in the season. Maybe we get more for him in Feb. when he has 18 goals and 15 assists and hasn't slowed down yet. The hope is that MP and MJ show a lot of promise. The worst-case scenario is they don't and we have to bring someone in via trade later in the season.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | July 3, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

How do I rope myself into actually reading the comment threads here anymore?

Lombardi is overpaid. Way overpaid. Plus, he's not what I would be looking for in a center for Semin. This link shows why. (Warning, it's a stat dump.) He's a PP dude and a speed guy. I would be looking instead for a defensive center who can distribute the puck and give Semin his head, and get back if Semin gets fancy and loses the puck - in short, his job is to get Semin the puck and then cover his ass. Laich on that line gets the Knuble role - make a beeline for the blue paint and annoy the crap out of the goalie.

Semin's an incredible talent who performs better when he's happy with his own performance, and tends to press and do stupid things when he gets frustrated. (I don't think "soft" is quite accurate - "prone to frustration" is closer.) I do think that this is his year to put up or shut up - either he gets it together and terrorizes the NHL in the playoffs or he goes elsewhere next season, possibly back to the KHL.

I don't think that "soft" is a fair or accurate description of what happened last year. There's sandpaper on the team, and you don't need that much of it against Montreal. What was missing that was required was full 100% commitment from every single player. Some of the guys were committed - some of them not so much. A lot of the guys that didn't appear to be committed got let go this offseason, did you notice? Not all, but most. Level of engagement seems to be the real problem with some of these guys. Flash is one of them. Love him dearly, but Steckel is another, although the poor guy had issues with the puck all year long and that could contribute. A lot of the defense - a problem I think that Alzner and Carlson will have a lot to say about. I think that certain members of the team are just a little too relaxed more than anything else.

Don't be so quick to knock Johanssen - he plays for Farjestad in the Elitserien in Sweden. As some of you might know, that's a super defensive league - you don't crack the lineup until you can play in your own end and that's just how it is. He went 10-10-20 in 42 games this year and some of his older stats are here. And he's ... wait for it ... 18. We don't know about the North American game yet, but if he's that good, with Nicky mentoring him, I'd want to kick the tires on that before running out and throwing money at someone who miht or might not suit. Next year's FA class is much much better than this one's, and there might be some deals this winter if Mackan doesn't pan out.

Come to think of it, I wonder if this team is too good for its own good. It can score enough to get out of damn near any jam and has the talent to simply take over. Will getting more talent help this problem? No. Throw a little adversity at them and see what happens.

Posted by: kittypawz | July 3, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Lots can still happen folks...we're only two days into all of this. That said, at some point I think its sensible to see what your talent pipeline offers (MP, MJ, Andrew Gordon, Alzner, Carlson etc) rather than getting stopgaps. If you need a stopgap, the trade deadline offers far better cost tradeoffs. Suspect the Caps will be in playoff position come that time regardless.

Also think the cap plays strong here. After next year, there should be another 10M to play with when Semin and Poti's deals come off. I can't imagine a 2011/12 team with either of those guys on it, or perhaps Poti remains at reduced cost.

Posted by: rnscaps | July 3, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

@underpants -

You're a joke, dude. It's you who people shouldn't bother with (and that's why I'm questioning my sanity while writing this). No one has said the Caps don't have problems. Of course we do. We just shouldn't follow your advice and overreact. You really need to calm down.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | July 3, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Promising description of our new draftee Galiev from www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com

"After all this dangerously deep YouTubing, I can say one thing for sure: you can always find Galiev near the net when the team strikes.

He’s like Ovechkin, but not as fast and less physical. He’s like Semin, but not quite so… European. He’s like Knuble, but not so defensive.

I think that makes him Eric Fehr!"

Can't wait to see him at development camp.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | July 3, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

I really like MP and from what I heard MJ will be very good...but are they ready for full time duty? I guess MP could probaly do well on a 3rd line with Chimera and Fehr...he needs bigger guys to play with, and MJ could share duty with flash on the 2nd line...but i'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about relying on 2 young guys with limmited to no NHL experience.

Posted by: capscoach | July 3, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

@kittypawz

I'm in complete agreement. Marcus Johansson (or Mackan) must have shown something this past season in the SEL to McPhee for him to believe that Mackan has a shot at the 2nd or 3rd line center position. If he turns out to be a second Nicky, then wow. And of course like Nicky he will need TOI to develop his NHL game.

In general:

As for the wild money spent the last two days, I am content to wait for trades to fill the team's needs. There were players I liked but not at the cost and terms they were commanding.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | July 3, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

@TheDoubleAlex

I take it by your name, you have not been a fan very long. No one is saying overreact, we are saying react. Do something.

And your boy Semin is soft. He fails to show up in big spots. So glad we gave him $6m, talk about overpaying.

Can you address the organizational playoff failures? How many times do you need to fail before you can admit what we are doing isn't working?

Posted by: underpants2 | July 3, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Every year Ted says: "The future will tell who is right". When the future becomes the present and we lose in the playoffs the exactly same way as we did a year before that and it's time to fix the holes and we don't, then Ted reiterates his statement. The team is only a couple steps away from being a serious contender, but these steps are never get made. It's too painful to watch. It's almost like I know what will happen next spring because why wouldn't it happen.
I also I wouldn't worry about seeing other teams improving. A) I want SE division to get better and keep us competitive during a season B) every year on July 1st I worry watching other teams signing good players, but then season starts and these teams are not as good as I expected. My point is that I wouldn't worry about other teams like Pits getting better. In fact, I doubt that Pits got better. Their mediocre defense became possibly better, but their very good offense became mediocre or even weak without Gonchar and the rest of the players that they cannot sign now. Will see.

Posted by: fizhe | July 3, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Gee if they're so good, how come they can't get outta the first round??

LOL you can all argue till the cows come home for all I care... it's NOT about what they could do or what you think they could do, it's about what they have done.

As Albert Einstein once said insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Leonsis and GMGM have been in charge for a DOZEN years, not just the last 3 as some of you would have us believe.

Posted by: joek443 | July 3, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Typical GMGM remarks. This was an epic playoff failure so all is not fine. Do they really think if they keep repeating that there is no one out there that is better or that the defense is fine that we will all be brainwashed into believing it? If Sloan and Erskine are the third defense pairing then the defense is not fine. What are they going to do if Schultz files for arbitration and gets a big award given how Ted and others went on and on about his great +/-. Why was Schultz only given a qualifying offer when Erskine and Sloan both got mysterious mid-season multiple year extensions? What message does that send to the fans? There is a stockpile of prospects now and few of them will wind up on the Caps so trades can be done and including Flash in a trade would not make me sad. I guess I should be happy that GMGM has not started his pick up of waiver wire castoffs to cheaply fill the team or signed another rehabilitation projects like BMo, that never work out.

Posted by: NovaCath1 | July 3, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Leonsis is a blow hard and should not be listened to. If they are going to start the season with four or five first year guys, they are officially telling the fans wait some more; we aren't going anywhere in 10-11. I'm tired of the "generational competitive nonsense". Win a damn Cup already.

Posted by: poguesmahone | July 3, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

That was actually Franklin.

Posted by: ludeman95 | July 3, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

"Proven Leadership" is BS. We had Fedorov. "Proven Leadership". We had Adam Oates. "Proven Leadership". WE HAVE MIKE FRICKIN KNUBLE. "Proven Leadership". Just stop with the BS about intangibles and all that other crap.

McPhee's job is to put the best team on the ice possible not just for next year, but for many years to come. He's doing that. Making the playoffs at the top of the pack is what it's about. Montreal proved that THE PLAYOFFS ARE A CRAPSHOOT. ANY TEAM CAN WIN A 7 GAME SERIES. THE PENS LOST LAST YEAR. THEY WERE GOOD LAST YEAR AND STILL ARE. SHOULD THEY FIRE SHERO AND BYLSMA???

Goddamn, a lot of the people who post here are total dunces. The Washington Capitals are a GREAT TEAM right now, yet everyone can't stop whining.

First it was Ron Wilson sucks. We have no skill players and can't score outside of Bondra. Then it was we signed a buttload of veterans and tried to win at the moment but we didn't get it done. Now we're set up to be a top of the conference team for years to come yet nobody's happy because a Cup hasn't landed in our laps in the last 2.5 years of being an elite team? GTF over yourselves. 16 teams make the playoffs each year. You have to win 4 7 game series to win the Cup. IT'S NOT THAT EASY.

It takes a great team and, most importantly, a lot of luck to win a Cup in the NHL. The Caps are set up with the chance to do so for 10 years. Quit whining and enjoy the fact that we'll be there every goddamn year. Odds are we'll win one or two within that span.

/rant.

Posted by: SAFwtw9 | July 3, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

And if you think any combination of two players magically would turn the current roster into a shoe-in for the Cup, you're both delusional and an idiot.

Seriously, if we signed Volchenkov and didn't win next year, the same morons would be lynching McPhee for being handcuffed to a horrible contract.

Posted by: SAFwtw9 | July 3, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

@underpants2

You keep talking about organizational failures and how that should effect what players the Caps try to acquire.

I'm sorry, but IMO, it is completely illogical to use what happened to the Caps in the playoffs in the mid-90's or early 2000's as a reason to pursure or a reason not to purusue certain players.

Were any of the current Caps on those teams? No. Was the current coach of the Caps the coach of those teams? No. Then why would you use those playoffs as reasons to acquire certain players.

As much as people do not like to think it, the current Caps are a completely different entity than the mid-90's Caps. Different owner, different management, different coach, different players. Exlcuding the team name nothing is similar.

Those games are about as relevant to the current Caps as an English Premeir League game is.

Should the current Caps learn from overall NHL history? Absolutely. Should the current Caps, when deciding how to alter the current team, put weight on recent playoff performances with the most recent being the most important. Yes.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 3, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

@SAFwtw9

Good god man! You type faster than me! Well said... well said!

Posted by: theCamMike | July 3, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

@SAFwtw9

I agree. Great post!

Posted by: sgm3 | July 3, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

i agree that gmgm isn't being 'truthful' with his statement about FA's not better than what they already have.
i don't think those type statements are to disrespect the fan base - but more to 'not alienate' players on the current roster.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | July 3, 2010 12:25 AM

i could care less if anyone on this team outside of OV and Backs feel alienated. i think one of the essentials in having a team grow and evolve into a winner is having a few players feel like maybe they're going to lose their jobs. what motivation do they have to work harder if the only new blood showing up is some AHL'ers? Granted, they have talent, but most are untested at the NHL level.

Posted by: Fletch22 | July 3, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

This morning show with Corey Masisak is now available for download at both www.blogtalkradio.com/japersrinkradio and on itunes.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | July 3, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

@Fletch22

But what purpose does it serve for GMGM to come out and say publicly "I wish we had that guy, I would have paid him that much."

If GMGM did come out and say something like that it would be one of the dumbest statements ever given. This is because any public statements like that can be used in negotiations with other players, but more importantly in arbitration proceedings with other players.

A player's gaent will get out that quote and say "see what GMGM said just 4 weeks ago. That he should have paid player X a certain amount of money. That clearly means player X is worth AT LEAST that amount. Now when you compare player X to my client you will see that the differences are negilgible (agent pulls out statistics and so on). Therefore my player deserves __"

There is nothing positive that could come out by GMGM saying anything publicly like you want him. It isn't going to assuage some of the crazy fans and it will only hurt the Caps position in arbitration proceedings which will in turn lead to larger contracts which will in turn put the Caps closer to the salary cap which will in turn prvent the Caps from acquiring certain players or re-signing certain players.

That's why I am always amazed why people are complaining about GMGM's comments. They are perfectly composed lawyer speak that will does not paint the organization into a corner. That is what you have to do when making public comments. It is for the good of the organziation.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 3, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

@Fletch22

actually the opposite seems to be true...last season we took what...3 new players at the deadline which would of course put pressure on all our players and it seemed to do more harm than good. All those players competing for limited spaces and they still underperformed...this team needs consistency in the lines...If MP and Alzner are up this season then they need to know that they can make a mistake without being sent down right away.

I don't think adding some more nhl players will change the attitutde of the Caps...BB needs to come up with more ways to keep the guys motivated.

Posted by: capscoach | July 3, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Thank you Tarik for the post.
I like what GMGM is doing here. Sticking to the plan. A lot of teams signed some big time contracts this week, it will be interesting to see which ones pan out, and which ones will handcuff those teams with cap issues down the road.

Posted by: j3rockstar | July 3, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

@sgm, you're putting words in my mouth. I never said that gm should come out and say anything like 'i wish we had that guy'. All I said was you don't tell a knowledgeable fanbase that there are no players out there that are better than what we have. Like tom said, it's incredulous. It's not true.

I'll repeat, he could come out and say, 'yes, we made some inquiries, but the price wasn't right for us.' There is no harm that could come from that statement.

Posted by: Fletch22 | July 3, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

you know what's really scary?

that GMGM actually believes that there was nobody out there that could improve the team...

Posted by: joek443 | July 3, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Capscoach, i'm not talking about the trade deadline. That's a whole other subject that we could debate for days.

I guess I should amend my statement somewhat. I don't want to upend the roster in any way. Instead, get some players who will complement what we have, and who will be here starting with training camp. I don't like that Flash, who is one of BB's faves, was scratched in a game 7 in the first round, yet he'll get a real chance to compete for a 2C or 3C spot.

Posted by: Fletch22 | July 3, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I'll repeat, he could come out and say, 'yes, we made some inquiries, but the price wasn't right for us.' There is no harm that could come from that statement.


Posted by: Fletch22 | July 3, 2010 12:11 PM

and i'll repeat - he is not speaking to the fan base - he is speaking to the media on behalf of the caps. imo, if he could get away with it, he wouldn't talk to press at all if he didn't have too. if you're looking for reassuring public comments, as a fan, from GMGM - chances are you are just going to get frustrated.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | July 3, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I don't think adding some more nhl players will change the attitutde of the Caps...BB needs to come up with more ways to keep the guys motivated.

Posted by: capscoach | July 3, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

BB's not gonna change, he is who he is... the Paul Westhead of hockey.

Posted by: joek443 | July 3, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

also it's not a matter of BB keeping the guys motivated... it's a matter of him getting TOUGHER with his players.

Feds has said publically since he left the Caps that BB's not tough enough with the players.

Posted by: joek443 | July 3, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

To repeat what a few people above said this morning about the Stanely Cup - its hard to win.

If Chicago didnt score a fluky shorthanded goal against Nashville in round 1 it might be their fans crying right now about their GM screwing up the team and needing to take responsibility for losing their opportunity.

Its razor thin when teams are pumped for the playoffs and all built to different styles.

The challenge in NHL is just making the playoffs - something Washington and a few other teams can take for granted for a while. Luck has lots to do with what follows that.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | July 3, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

16 outta 30 teams make the playoffs, is that really a challenge?? especially when you're in the weakest division in the sport??


it's a challenge to make the playoffs in baseball, NOT in hockey or basketball.

Posted by: joek443 | July 3, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

and i'll repeat - he is not speaking to the fan base - he is speaking to the media on behalf of the caps. imo, if he could get away with it, he wouldn't talk to press at all if he didn't have too. if you're looking for reassuring public comments, as a fan, from GMGM - chances are you are just going to get frustrated.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | July 3, 2010 12:32 PM

I don't need to be reassured, I'm only trying to draw some conclusions based on GMs statements. He either really believes that there are no players out there that are better than what we have, or, he's just being dishonest.

Posted by: Fletch22 | July 3, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

He either really believes that there are no players out there that are better than what we have, or, he's just being dishonest.

Posted by: Fletch22 | July 3, 2010 1:01 PM

i don't believe he believes his own comments. imo there is nothing to be gained by making statements that put down your own team/players

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | July 3, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Everyone

It is pointless arguing with timmyv38. He will never admit the team is failing. He has been crying for a center for Semin the entire offseason. Now, even when we don't get one, he fails to admit the team has issues. Don't waste your breath.

How many brutal playoff exits does a team need to endure? Is there even a team comparable to the Caps?

We blew a two game lead against the Islanders.
We blew 3 two game leads against the Penguins.
We blew a two game lead against Tampa.
We blew a two game lead against Montreal.

I have been a fan for all of those. George was here for 3 of those. Yet, nobody pays the price for failure, for choking. I, for one, am tired.

This is the best team we have ever had. To say that there is no room for improvement is beyond the point of insulting. To suggest we don't need leadership and new blood to get us over the hump is absurd.

Semin should be gone. Flash should be gone. We are too soft.

Posted by: underpants2 | July 3, 2010 8:23 AM |


underpants, maybe you should read my posts instead of being an idiot and making stuff up. Do the Caps have holes? Yes, as I have said repeatedly. Can they be filled from within the organization? Maybe - but we can't have any way of knowing if we don't try. The Caps need a #2C to replace BMo, a #3C to replace Belanger, and another defenseman would help. Other than that, they're set. It's possible that some of the Bears or other prospects could fill the #2/#3C slots. ALL that I have said is that it is worth giving them a try, and if not, get someone who we know can fill the slot.

By the way, I agree Flash should be gone - as I have said repeatedly. I would also have no problem with trading Semin, if value can be gotten back - like a #2C, or a #1 dman. Which I have also said repeatedly. It's sad that the only way you can answer someone who makes valid points is by lies and slander.

Posted by: timmyv38 | July 3, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

totally off topic but Souray cleared waivers
http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=326481

and Giroux signed with the Oilers...
http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=326478

and Gagne has agreed to waive his NTC... which would help Philthy with cap relief...
http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=326408

carry on with your regularly occuring bashing. I'm heading to the KCI 3Pm S&S, hasta la pasta!

Posted by: FrankM73 | July 3, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

I Dare you to say something nice about the Caps! I mean it is one thing to have constructive criticism, but you are over the top negtive...BB can't change? He hasn't even been an NHL coach for 3 seasons! Are you the God of hockey where only u know what is best for this team...I get it...they should have been in the Cup finals this year and there were some issues BB had playing against the trap...but come on...say something constructive about the team you cheer for...I have never seen anyone more blindsided on this blog than u! I am NOT saying the Caps are all great...but BB is an above average coach who I think will get better...and GMGM is a drafting genius who just needs to work a little on not overstocking the team. The Caps were 1 goal away (and that one goal was unfairly dissalowed) from making it to round two where if you looked objectively they probably would have had no problems beating any other team (bar maybe the blackhawks). Like I said...say something nice about the Caps, BB, or GMGM...if you can't I suggest you find a new team or sport that will be less dissapointing to u.

Posted by: capscoach | July 3, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Giroux with the Oils? At least he may get his chance there. Somewhat related, I reported it yesterday but I think it got lost in the bickering, but Kyle Wilson signed with the Blue Jackets. He was called up for 2 games last year, had 2 assists.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 3, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

@EVERYONE:
since the #2Center spot is the most sore for conversation I'm asking/challenging all posters to state who will win or share the #2Center spot and what you think the player(s) totals will be for the year.

I'll go first

Makan will not make the team and go back Sweden for one year.
Perreault will start the season as #2Center, start off decently strong, hit a rough patch and settle in right at the mid season mark.

His totals for the season (assuming a full 82 games played)
82GP, 12G, 45A, 57PTS, +15, 28PIM'S... and all for under a million...

anyone else have the testes or ovaries to go out on a limb on this with stats?

I will check later this evening... caio peeps!

Posted by: FrankM73 | July 3, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Leonsis and GMGM have been in charge for a DOZEN years, not just the last 3 as some of you would have us believe.

Posted by: joek443 | July 3, 2010 9:55 AM |

Um.....

Ted owns the Caps.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 3, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

FrankM73:
i think flash will get the nod at 2c to start the season.
20gp, 5g, 8a, +3, 10pims
the trial will probably end based on faceoff % - ~40%

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | July 3, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Frank,it's not just the 2C situation, it's also the 3C. Letting Flash, MP, and MJ compete for the 3C slot would be reasonable, though not ideal. Expecting those 3 guys, who are all unproven NHL centers, to fill both the 2C and 3C slots for a full year at acceptable performance levels for a team with high aspirations is extremely high risk IMO. I still can't believe that GMGM will take such a risk. I expect him to bring in a Knuble-like veteran to center the second line and be a bridge to 2011, when there will presumably be more and better in-house options.

Best wishes to Giroux - good guy who paid his dues.

Posted by: zmega | July 3, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Leonsis and GMGM have been in charge for a DOZEN years, not just the last 3 as some of you would have us believe.

Posted by: joek443 | July 3, 2010 9:55 AM |

Um.....

Ted owns the Caps.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 3, 2010 2:19 PM

they also inherited the players.
they dismantled the team just before the lockout.
they have stuck to their plan of building the team they want. with the exception of the 1st round exit from the playoffs - this new team is heading in the direction they want.
i happen to think this is the right direction.
the previous 30 caps (pre lockout) seasons should not be a factor for them to base their decisions.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | July 3, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I love how George "No Cups" Mcphee acts like he's smarter than Ray Shero and Lou Lamoriello.

Yes, I'm sure Shero is going to "regret" signing Michalek and Martin. And Lamoriello will "regret" signing Volchenkov and Tallinder. What do those guy know, right? LOL!

You'd think with his smug arrogance that GMGM had actually won something. What a tool.

Write this in stone:
THE CAPS WILL NOT WIN THE CUP NEXT YEAR.

Posted by: mdmtnbiker | July 3, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

@ mdmtnbiker

"No Cups". Perfect monkier!

Posted by: festus75 | July 3, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

If we are just looking for a #2 center or a shut down D man, given what we have in our system, I think we are better off as is and seeing how these guys do with a chance from the start. If we have the cap room come Mrach, we can make a move then. Can't say I am too upset with not really doing anything. I would much rather we have a chance every year for the next 10 then making a run and missing and having to blow up the team. Just think about the Hawks... had they had a bounce or two go against them and not won... how bad would it be for them to have to blow up a bunch of guys now. Yes, they did win and good for them, but look at all the guys they had to loose afterwards. Lets keep supporting the team and see how this season goes. When we start missing the play-offs or getting bounced early every year, then we have a problem. I didn't think we were good enough to beat PIT or PHI the years before, so this is our first play-off upset with this group

Posted by: UMWHockey | July 3, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

@festus75
Thanks.

"No Cups" arrogance is just stunning:
"Some of these teams that are signing these guys to this money are going to regret it. Some players have nice reputations but their actual play on the ice isn't where people think it is."

This coming from the guy who signed Nylander and Pothier. LOL!

"No Cups" should just stop talking and go back to sleep under his desk. The scouting department will wake him up next draft day.

Posted by: mdmtnbiker | July 3, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Lamoriello is a HOF GM, for sure. But I still wonder about the Kovalchuk deal. He gave up 4 every day players, current or future. Kovy did not appear to be a good fit with the Devils, and the results with him were not great. It seemed even at the time of the trade that NJ lacked the cap room to resign Kovy, and it is looking more and more like he will go elsewhere.

I doubt that GMGM or any other knowledgeable hockey person would question Lamoriello's ability as a GM. But maybe the Kovy deal shows that even the great ones can screw up.

Posted by: zmega | July 3, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

If anyone wants a hockey fix, NHL Network is showing the Bears' Calder Cup clinching Game 6 right now. B-E-A-R-S BEARS BEARS BEARS! WOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | July 3, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

If anyone wants a hockey fix, NHL Network is showing the Bears' Calder Cup clinching Game 6 right now. B-E-A-R-S BEARS BEARS BEARS! WOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | July 3, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I am frustrated with GMGM's comments too... Funny how he refers to last year's regular season as "proof" how good the team is - but no mention of our consistent playoff collapeses. Yes, the team is great but it's missing something - and GMGM clearly is not looking for the final pieces... Frustrating!

Posted by: CAP-lanta | July 3, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Fleichmann has potential as a 2nd line centre but he's got to pick up his faceoffs or he won't be effective in the playoffs.

Posted by: Stu_c | July 3, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

It will be interesting to see what the Bears can do next year. They have lost some major contributors from the Calder Cup team. But if Orlov and Kugryshev can be convinced to come over, if Johansson ends up there, and if Eakin and Della Rovere continue to develop, they might still have a decent team. Holtby has to step up as well.

Posted by: zmega | July 3, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

am i crazy to want guerin? when the pens picked up billy g and then proceeded to hand us our head in game 7 in 2009 i thought: "they picked up the one guy we really needed in the crease--Guerin". well, we went out and got knuble which has proven to be a great deal but we still need leadership, grit, toughness, and folks who can deliver ugly goals when it matters--in the playoffs.

Posted by: ovckn8 | July 3, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Billy G is too old. Might as well go for Chelios, too, in that case..

Posted by: CAP-lanta | July 3, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Write this in stone:
THE CAPS WILL NOT WIN THE CUP NEXT YEAR.

Posted by: mdmtnbiker

I tried, but Sharon told me to cut it out.

CAP-lanta: I understand Gordie Howe is unsigned as well. Doesn't everyone agree we need grit?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 3, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

we are set w/:

ovie--backstrom--knuble

hof third line: chimera--laich--fehr

4th line stays: steckel--bradley--gordon

billy g camps out in front of the net while semin and flash go bombs away

Posted by: ovckn8 | July 3, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, looks like sometimes even if you're willing to throw the money on the table, you may still be left on the outside looking in...

http://www.cbc.ca/sports/blogs/elliottefriedman/2010/07/islanders-making-serious-push-for-kovalchuk.html

From the story: "...According to multiple sources, Garth Snow is among the most aggressive general managers in this free-agent season. He enlisted Doug Weight to help recruit players. He outbid everyone for defencemen Dan Hamhuis, Paul Martin and Zbynek Michalek, though all of them decided to play elsewhere..."


Posted by: MetalCapsFan | July 3, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

btw, since it's a holiday weekend and I'm sure many here will be taking time out to BBQ and generally devour all kinds of culinary goodness, let us not forget to refrain from feeding the many trolls that surround us. Please allow them to starve in silence. Cheers!

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | July 3, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

though all of them decided to play elsewhere..."

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | July 3, 2010 6:32 PM

i think this is a clear sign that gmgm was working his tail off on the 1st. its just that nobody wants to live in DC if they don't have too.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | July 3, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

though all of them decided to play elsewhere..."

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | July 3, 2010 6:32 PM

i think this is a clear sign that gmgm was working his tail off on the 1st. its just that nobody wants to live in DC if they don't have too.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | July 3, 2010 6:38 PM

There's a variety of factors involved in making any potentially life changing decision, not the least of which, for these guys, is where their significant other wants to live and raise children. Taxation rate is also a consideration and a big reason why Montreal (for instance) has had trouble for years luring players to Quebec. It's also not be discounted that players may be looking for guarantees of a particular role on a team (i.e. the most possible ice time and chances to reach incentive bonuses) as well as possible personal relationships with players and coaches. The desire to win and play in a great building with a top notch practice facility are undoubtedly high on the list as well.

With all that in mind, attempting to simplify the perceived lack of effort on the part of any GM to bring a particular player into the fold is very misguided. There are no guns to the heads of players in North America when it comes to making decisions in free agency. Consequently, just as you or I would take time to adequately study all the available options, these guys make final decisions based upon a variety of factors, and not just about the publically announced final contract numbers.

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | July 3, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Even if he was playing it cautious, there's no excuse for him not to at least have made a serious bid at Malhotra, or trade for Kelly, each of whom would have been short term and relatively cheap. Right now neither our 2nd nor 3rd line has an identity that will stand up through the playoffs. At the very least Chimera - Malhotra/Kelly - Fehr/A. Gordon would have made for one of the best shutdown 3rd lines in the leauge. Then if Laich - Perreault - Semin fails during the playoffs they'd at least have something to grind down the opposition with.

Posted by: yellowtail99 | July 3, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Even if he was playing it cautious, there's no excuse for him not to at least have made a serious bid at Malhotra, or trade for Kelly, each of whom would have been short term and relatively cheap.

Posted by: yellowtail99 | July 3, 2010 6:57 PM

how do we know he didn't?
there are very few who believe what gmgm says to the press - his comments would suggest he didn't make any offers. i, for one, don't believe that. i'll just never really know because gmgm won't tell - and even if he did - it would be hard to believe it.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | July 3, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

If you trade Semin (one of the most exciting players in the NHL) for a second line center, who is going to replace Semin on the second line? The cry for a second line center has mostly been to feed Semin. If he is gone, you have a bigger hole than a second line center to fill.

Posted by: hbfan1 | July 3, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

If you trade Semin (one of the most exciting players in the NHL) for a second line center, who is going to replace Semin on the second line? The cry for a second line center has mostly been to feed Semin. If he is gone, you have a bigger hole than a second line center to fill.

Posted by: hbfan1 | July 3, 2010 8:15 PM

If Semin was traded for a 2nd line center, that center would likely be a 25-30 goal scorer - unless another player also came with him. With a center of that type between Fehr and Laich, it would be a legit 2nd line with 80 goal potential. The call for a 2nd line center is mainly because the Caps haven't had a legit 2nd line center in a while. BMo didn't perform as hoped, Feds was good but past his prime, Nylander wouldn't change to fit the system... the Caps haven't had a real #2 center that whole time. A playmaking center between Semin and Fehr would be optimum though. I think MP can do that, IF he can stay consistent.

I'm still not sure what the Caps will do for a #3C - they don't really have anyone in their system who can fill that too well, unless they move Steckel or Gordon to 3rd line duties.

Posted by: timmyv38 | July 3, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

@timmyv38

I agree with everything you said (except I would switch MP and Backstrom to have a line 1 and line 1A).

That's why I am still holding out hope the Caps sign John Madden to a 1 year deal. I think he would be cost effective and perfect for the 3rd line role and he would also bring that leadership in.

Another guy to think of as a possible 2nd line center is Pavol Demitra. I am not promoting this signing so anyone against it does not need to rip me. But I am just thinking through all options.

At times last year he looked bad, at other times he looked awesome (the Olympics). He would also be another potential 1 year contract and could very well be had at a low price. That would be risky in the sense that it might not pan out, but since it is only a 1 year deal it would not have lengthy ramifications. I think it's at least worth discussing.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 3, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

I thought Demitra was a winger. He had very few faceoffs last season (only 86 in 28 games). If he has played center in the past (and been effective), he might be worth a look.

Posted by: timmyv38 | July 3, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

hbfan1:

We have discussed this "trade Semin" option for quite awhile. Please allow to elaborate thusly:

1) We have an established #1 line Ovi/Backie/Knuble.

2) I want more from the 2nd line. You want more from the 2nd line. Even Britney Spears says we should get more from the 2nd line. This year we got say Semin 40, BMo 15, Laich 25 = 80. Can that be duplicated?

2A) 80 goals...can we get 80 goals from line #2 w/o Semin?

3) 3rd line: Chimera/Belanger/Fehr gives you 45 goals. Let's want to repeat that also.

So, let's say we trade Semin for Staal (Pitt) as I suggested and, as Imalso invented, Flash for Clutterbuck. What are the numbers there?

Now, the new #2 line is Laich/Staal/Fehr, Will that give us 80 goals? Laich still gets 25 like yhis year if not more. Staal/Fehr 55 combined in the bag.

And the 3rd line? 45 goals? Chimera 15/Clutterbuck 15/Belanger 15???

I'd say with all the tominsocal deals, we gate the same goals we had before.

Kinda nice, huh?

But...moving Semin and Flash and bringing back Staal and Cluts saves $2.75M...now drop Erskine at $1.275M...=$4M...almost exactly enough to make my trades and sign Volchenkov with the free cash flow.

Nobody wants to trade Semin for the sake of trading Semin. No. The idea is to trade $6M to get a more valuable $6M.

Check my numbers. Do your own math. See if my numbers don't add up. See if you can find fault with my numbers and if you can suggest something better.

Please be advised that when I was coming down the canal and being born God told me I'd only be good at one thing. Contributing to society? No. Doing mechanical things? No. Changing oil in car? No. Cooking? No. Numbers? Yes.

And the value of numbers? There's no value - it's a purely human creation like time and is simply a supplementary value in society kinda like entertainment.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 3, 2010 11:58 PM | Report abuse

LET'S TALK ABOUT THE DESERT

Now, like most of you, I've spent most of my life on the East Coast. Don't need to describe it. Now, in the desert, was only like 85 high today and 55 tonight (bone dry) and, right now, 9 pm, all the windows open, it's like an ice rink outside.

55 degrees tonight. Do you all remember as kids when your parents would pack the car stuffed full and take you to Skyline Drive in summer? Remember that? Wasn't it pretty cool to wake up chilly in the morning except that my humidity here is nil?

Everyday here feels like hockey day - at some point in the day or another.

signed,
The Mojave Kid

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 4, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

THE DESERT PART 2

My next door neighbor the othe day said he was talking with a construction worker a short time back and the worker said he'd been killing rattlers on a regular basis while building our homes.

Meanwhile mrstominsocal1 says the other morning she drove up the top of the hill to leave the development and saw a coyote loping across the open space with a house cat hanging from its jaws.

Now, I realize, some of you dislike kitty cats almost as much as you dislike Mario Lemieux and Cindy Crosby.

But, c'mon...

I'm thinking some future Winter Classic can be held right here, Canyon Country, CA, and that it will be just plain perfect.

After 14 yrs in FL the idea to be so comfortable in the evening with the windows open in July is body boggling.

signed,
tominsocal1 aka your ambassador to the desert.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 4, 2010 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Corrections and omissions:

Flash was a center most of his career until the NHL. The center spots were filled and he moved to wing. I don't know what his f/o % was at junior levels.

GMGM cannot sign any high priced FA until he is able to move the NYLS contract off the books for this year. There is no NMC but GMGM needs a willing partner.

GMGM is not trading a 40 goal scorer, PITT is not moving Stal and MIN is not moving Clutterbuck. Gritty, hard checking scoring forwards are a tough find. There either all skill or all grit. NO more Dale Hunters.

BB is not a good NHL coach. Ask NHL people. He did not move OV away from Gil when he had the last change at home, he did not change to dump and chase to stop MTL from stacking the blueline. He did not adjust to the MTL breakouts. He did not go back to the Goalie that posted insane numbers for the second half of the season.
(sourced directly from well known NHL persons)

G7 MTL had a goal disallowed also so the OV goal was canceled and why are you in a game 7 that was 40 points behind you in the standings if you deserve the cup.

OV is not a proving leader. He has A 'C' but what has he won? He plays hard and cares but he is not a proven leader.

Poti is overhyped and underachieving.

GMGM has won something. He was the HOBY BAKER winner.

I love MP but he will have a hard time making it as an NHL center at his size.

1 or 2 players can change a team if it has amajor effect on chemistry, If you move a bratty spoiled child for a quiet hard working banger. Or you sign an overpriced piece of Eurotrash with a building reputation of being a locker room killer then hire a coach with no NHL experience. There were several guys on that team that were praying to be moved after the signing/trade of 1 player.(straight from several former capitals)

BB does not trust goalies and uses the force to determine the starter, etc. Goalies are strange creatures that need their worlds to be just so to play their best. I hope he doesn't break Varly's spirit like he did JT's.(from BB)

The caps need a shutdown d-man and a strong skating shutdown center to win the cup. Until they have a guy that can shadow
cyrsby, malkin, thornton, kane type players and a d-man that owns the blueline against other teams #1 line, the caps will remain cupless. You will run into a hot goaltender, OT or 1-0 games in the playoffs and losing those games will put you on the linx.

I lost my bet on the MTL series with my son's hockey coach. I had the habs in 6 but Backstrom got the hat and screweed my bet.


Posted by: cadlecreek1 | July 4, 2010 3:03 AM | Report abuse

Demitra is a winger.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 4, 2010 4:23 AM | Report abuse

Corrections to the Corrections:

Nyls salary cap hit doesn't matter. Why did you say he has no NMC and then say he must have a willing partner? Um...Are the Bears not a willing partner?

Dale Hunter had skill?

"BB is not a good NHL coach. Ask NHL people. He did not move OV away from Gil when he had the last change at home, he did not change to dump and chase to stop MTL from stacking the blueline. He did not adjust to the MTL breakouts. He did not go back to the Goalie that posted insane numbers for the second half of the season.
(sourced directly from well known NHL persons)" ---LOL

We've got another atybat on our hands boys. Oh thee, grant us your insider NHL knowledge!

Posted by: richmondphil | July 4, 2010 4:26 AM | Report abuse

Souray on re-entry? Only $2.7 for the next two years if Edmonton puts him on re-entry.

Posted by: underpants2 | July 4, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Wow...McPhee is starting to sound like the fan base. He is fixated on results from October through March. The Judge takes the bench in April May and June.

You cant buy a cup of coffee with those 121 pts. No one cares.

Caps needed to add some of those quality D men they let slide to Eastern Conf foes. Talk about contracts one might live to regret? 10 yr deals have to top anyone's list. Those contracts are stupid and the Caps own two of them! Better hope the Caps dont suffer their own Rick DiPietro.

Posted by: laker13231 | July 4, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

@ richmondphil

just curious...if we do actually win a cup sometime over the next few years with BB...is he still a bad coach. I get why some people don't like him. personally thik he has gotten better every season he has been here... I mean even the best coaches have had playoff upsets...If he can get tougher on his players and stop trying to develope them I think it will go a long way.

There were clear mistakes made in the Habs series...why are people so sure that BB is incapable of learning?

Posted by: capscoach | July 4, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

@underpants2

I think Souray on re-entry would be worth the risk. However, everything I read seems to indicate that Edmonton does not want to put Souray on re-entry waivers.

Speaking of Edmonton, did anyone see that they signed Alexander Grioux.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 4, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

richmondphil: The Nyls cap effect, for now, is how it affects the 10% over rule. With cap of 59.4, and teams allowed to be up to 10% over until opening night, Caps are maxed out at like 65.3. Nylander's 4.875 counts as part of that until they assign him to Hershey or wherever. So, if they signed several high priced guys to start, thinking they were going to trade some guys like Semin or Flash to make it fit, could be a problem. The Caps for instance supposing the four RFAs sign where expected are at about 55.5 and with Nylander counted at 60.4. So, GM couldn't have signed Volch and Lombardi say even if he wanted (would then be, around 68, over the temp max).

I don't know why they don't go ahead and waive him just like Oilers did with Souray. If Oil could do it, Caps can do it. The Oil won't bring Souray back up due to re-entry. But, with Nyles last year, the waivers expire in 30 days. Remember that? Then they had to waive him again?

So, it will be interesting to see how it turns out with Souray and Nyles.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 4, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

If they waive Nyls, they have to pay his full salary, don't they? If they assign him to the Central Siberia Polar Bears and he doesn't report, then they are off the hook, no? Isn't that the likely thinking?

Posted by: zmega | July 4, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

@laker13231--"Caps needed to add some of those quality D men they let slide to Eastern Conf foes. Talk about contracts one might live to regret? 10 yr deals have to top anyone's list. Those contracts are stupid and the Caps own two of them! Better hope the Caps dont suffer their own Rick DiPietro."

Really. You think that any of the top defensive FAs that just signed are better than Ovi and Backs. Really!

Ovi--generational player who is the face of the franchise and an amazingly consistent player who has remained at the top of the league since his rookie season. He'll be 35 at the end of the contract.

Backs--his pivot who took less money for a term matching all but one year of Ovi's contract and also an amazingly consistent player who has improved dramatically each season. He'll only be 32 at the end of his contract.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | July 4, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

1. this is the NHL, not some minor league hockey. Although BB is relatively new to the NHL, he's been coaching for a very long time. He's 55-years old... he is what he is. Coaches don't drastically change their philosophy at that age.

2. I suggest they need to bring in a sort of defensive guru and kinda adapt the football approach. offensive geniuses like Bill Walsh and Joe Gibbs had very little to do with defense when they were head coaches. They had someone else run the defense.

Posted by: joek443 | July 4, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Jacques Lemaire ain't doing anything these days, is he? I suggest they hire him as a consultant and help BB during the training camp.

Posted by: joek443 | July 4, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

joe: This isn't football. You don't have two entirely differnt sets of players. The problem with the Caps is the offensive players are the defensive players and they don't have a checking line that works. Partly that's the style and partly that's do to an absence of the requisite personnel.

I agree though they could have someone on the staff who is a defensive expert, kinda like when we had Randy Carlisle (sp?).

zmega: I'm not sure the basic agreement allows the Caps to assign Nylander to a Russian team. I remember discussion last year on this and I thought the answer was AHL only.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 4, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

tominsocal1 if I remember correctly Nyls can be loaned to a team in another league, though that would mean the other team would have to want him. However, you are correct in that he can only be waived to either Hershey or I believe the Stingrays. Remember last year they could loan him to the Red Wings AHL team after he cleared waivers and then they loaned him to the team in Finland, again once he cleared waivers. The difference this year is the Caps don't need to ask his permission to waive or assign him. I believe that is also true for loaning.

@joek443
Joke, Are you taking idiot pills or are you naturally this stupid? Are you going to try comparing hockey with roller derby next?

Posted by: realoldcapsfan | July 4, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

JoeK - The Wizards tried that approach under Eddie Jordan, to little effect. If the players aren't inclined to play defense, it's hard for an assistant coach to change that. Now, if the message came down from the top to either play aggressive d or you sit, maybe that would work, but you don't need a special coach for that. And such a message would have no credibility with Ovi and probably Semin, who would not likely sit out other than due to injury, so you immediately have a mixed message. And if the head coach is not willing to change the system, there isn't much an assistant can do (note the PK especially).

Posted by: zmega | July 4, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

@ realoldcapsfan

hey granpa, isn't it your nap time??

Posted by: joek443 | July 4, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

@capscoach

I never said BB was a bad coach, cadlecreek1 did.

@tom

Right, but it doesn't change the fact that Nyl's salary hit really doesn't matter. If GMGM really wanted the space, he'd waive Nylander, problem solved.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 4, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

RE; Ovi and Back's contract

I have no doubt Back will perform at a 6.7 mil/yr level or more for the duration of the contract.

Ovi? Eh....we'll see how long he plays with his physical style. Guys like that tend to soften up and eat into their prime much earlier than other hockey players. I could see the Caps regretting tying up 9 mil/yr into one player 8 years from now...

Posted by: richmondphil | July 4, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Phil Jackson has made no secret of the fact that he's a great admirer of Scotty Bowman and studied Bowman.

why would a basketball coach study a hockey coach??

Posted by: joek443 | July 4, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Also, I am still laughing at the idea of Dale Hunter possessing some kind of skill.


"Gritty, hard checking scoring forwards are a tough find. There either all skill or all grit. NO more Dale Hunters."

Besides the fact that this is just false, I cam think of 23452345345 better examples to use of a skill/tough player than Dale Hunter.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 4, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

You got a link for that joek?

They are the two most winningest coaches in playoff history, yeah. You mind linking me to where it says he studied Bowman?

Posted by: richmondphil | July 4, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

LOL who has scored the most famous goal in the entire history of the Caps??

I've seen Ovi miss chances like that in the playoffs more than once... last year's Game 7 for one.

Posted by: joek443 | July 4, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

@ realoldcapsfan

hey granpa, isn't it your nap time??

Posted by: joek443 | July 4, 2010 2:00 PM

Joke

It is a good thing I am not your granpa. I'd have had to slap your parents for having you.

Posted by: realoldcapsfan | July 4, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Besides the fact that this is just false, I cam think of 23452345345 better examples to use of a skill/tough player than Dale Hunter.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 4, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

name me one player who has scored more than a thousand points and had more than 3000 PIM in his career other than Dale Hunter?

guess what? there ain't NONE.

Posted by: joek443 | July 4, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

What does that have to do with Dale Hunter supposedly being the archetype for skill and toughness?
A better example would have been Dino. Iginla. Vinny. Verbeek.

Hunter relied almost entirely on his grit and toughness to get his points.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 4, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

@ realoldcapsfan

LOL you wanna come over here and try, granpa??

Posted by: joek443 | July 4, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Also, I'm still waiting on my link where Jackson said he "studied" Bowman.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 4, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

gee I didn't know you got beauty points for scoring in more skillful or artfull way...

I don't know but he looks pretty skillful here, can't get any bigger than a OT goal in Game 7.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3I82L1Dgziw

Posted by: joek443 | July 4, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

What the hell are you even talking about?

You really think Pat Verbeek didn't possess more skill than Hunter? Or Dino?

Again, I can think of tons of other examples before I would offer up Hunter as the epitome of skill/toughness.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 4, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Also, I'm still waiting on my link where Jackson said he "studied" Bowman.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 4, 2010 2:48 PM |

Posted by: richmondphil | July 4, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Also, I am still laughing at the idea of Dale Hunter possessing some kind of skill.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 4, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

LOL don't you even remember what you were yapping about??

Posted by: joek443 | July 4, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

There is no doubt trying to argue with joek443. Everything you stated makes perfect sense, but logic and reasoning has no place in discussions with joek443.

I do have to disagree that the Caps will be disappointed with the Ovie signing down the road. Yes, catstrophic injury could occur but that can happen to anyone (teams do take out insurance policies for those incidents too).

But Ovie is not only a great player but he is the face of the franchise. 20 years from now when people talk about the Capitals people will think of Ovie. Similar to when people talk about the Chicago Bulls they think of Jordan.

He is the face of the franchise. So, 8 years from now, when Ovie is slowing down, he will still mean a lot to the team.

In addition, 8 years from now a $9M/yr salary will not seem as large as the salary cap will keep on increasing (it will still be large just not as large).

We are talking about 8 years down the road, so many things can happen between now and then. But I think it was a smart signing at the time and still is a smart signing. There is no chance Ovie can leave (i.e. LeBron) over the entire prime of his career.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 4, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Dale Hunter: heart, toughness, grit, determination, sticking up for teammates....those were/are enough "skills" for me.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | July 4, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

as far as the Bowman/Jackson thing, you can try to find it online if you want but I saw a piece about their mutual respect on sportscenter a few years ago. when Jackson was still the coach of the Bulls, the whole thing started. if you know anything about Jackson, he's anything but conventional.

that's not as nearly as weird as Larry Bird getting psyched up before each home game looking up at the retired jersey of Bobby Orr during the singing of the national anthem even though he never even saw the old number 4 play.

Posted by: joek443 | July 4, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

why am I not surprised that the biggest homers of this current team agree that Dale Hunger had no skill?

LOL figures that they love this team filled with a bunch of floaters with no grit.

Posted by: joek443 | July 4, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Dale Hunger = Dale Hunter

Posted by: joek443 | July 4, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I don't post very often, but I feel the need to say this... Whether he was skilled or not, a gritty, Dale Hunter-type player who will do ANYTHING to win is what the Caps are lacking for a long playoff run. That and a defenseman who makes it scary for the other team to go to the Caps net... Bottom line. Those 2 things.

Posted by: sca187 | July 4, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

Was typing "Dale Hunger" instead of Dale Hunter a Freudian slip? Dale certainly did have a hunger for winning even if many here disagree with him methods.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 4, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Kovalchuk may not go to LA. Semin for J. Johnson

Posted by: underpants2 | July 4, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Kovalchuk may not go to LA. Semin for J. Johnson

Posted by: underpants2 | July 4, 2010 9:41 PM

If you're going to suggest a trade for Semin, get better value than that. Johnson is good, but not nearly worth Semin.

Posted by: timmyv38 | July 4, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Kovalchuk will get the point and drop his asking price... he is worth $8M/yr, not $10M. It's one of the reasons only 2 teams are still in the running, despite his enormous goal-scoring ability.

Posted by: timmyv38 | July 4, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

@timmyv38

About the only rumored player on the block who's actually worth trading Alex Semin for is Jeff Carter. He's a great center and the Flyers are overloaded with centers.

Age-wise, Carter is 10 months younger. Carter will be a RFA after next season. Semin will be a UFA. Salary-wise, it's almost a wash, with Semin at $6 Million and Carter at 5.5 Million.

Do I want this trade to be made? Well, I would hate to see Semin go as he is one of my main favorites. Of course, if I were a Flyers fan, I'd be heartbroken to see Carter leave Philly, as well.

Rumor has it that both Carter and Simon Gagne are on the block since the Flyers need to dump salary. Gagne is especially targeted for trading at the moment and has waived his No Trade Clause.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 4, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

timmy: I read on NHL.com that the Isles are below the cap floor with money to burn and will offer Kovalchuk 10 yrs/$10M.

I consider that a really bad contract to make him the highest paid player. You look back over last three years at all the Hart and Pearson candidates and he was not mentioned.

In my worthless opinion, Kovalchuk is not worth Backstrom.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 5, 2010 12:13 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

I agree Kovalchuk is not worth Backstrom but the contracts tell you how much influence goal scoring and unrestricted free agency have on contracts.

This was a good article on an Islanders website for 10 reasons not to give Kovy the 10 year $100M contract.

http://www.lighthousehockey.com/2010/7/3/1551042/ilya-kovalchuk-10-reasons-not-to

Posted by: sgm3 | July 5, 2010 12:25 AM | Report abuse

What about scoring more than 2 goals per playoff game? Or maybe give up negative 1 goals so we can win 0 -(-1)?

121 points for the regular season, lead the league in scoring, 2 goals a game (minus the first two) and we are in the second round.

What do you expect us to do in the FA market that will help with the lack of scoring in the playoffs?

Posted by: Shiba-fussa | July 5, 2010 4:28 AM | Report abuse

@TheDoubleAlex

I take it by your name, you have not been a fan very long. No one is saying overreact, we are saying react. Do something.

And your boy Semin is soft. He fails to show up in big spots. So glad we gave him $6m, talk about overpaying.

Can you address the organizational playoff failures? How many times do you need to fail before you can admit what we are doing isn't working?

Posted by: underpants2 | July 3, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

What is it with you guys? Why would you assume I haven't been a fan very long? Just because I chose a name that contains two players that have only been around for 5 years? I guess it's easier for you to assume that than to assume the truth, that I just created a screenname on this blog in the past few years. Whatever makes you feel better.

And no, what you're advocating is overreacting. We have a very good team. Throughout the season, we'll get an idea of what we need, and we can fix the problems in trades, if need be. Overreacting would be doing something right now just to do something.

Semin isn't exactly tough, no, but he's far from overpaid. The problem this year was not that he was soft, it was that he didn't take advantage of the many chances he had. The chances of that happening again? Slim. I know you need someone to hate, but don't make it Semin. He played a very good series.

As far as the organization, I'd say it's working pretty well. We've had some good seasons. Now we have to take the next step. This is what I mean by overreacting. Just calm down. We lost to a team that also beat the bestest playoff team ever in Pittsburgh. Does that excuse our loss? No. Does it mean we don't need to panic? Yes. Just relax.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | July 5, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Andy Sutton is the guy the Caps should sign. Last season he ranked 2nd in blocked shots and 8th in hits among dmen. At 35, Sutton is not a long term answer, but he would be a good 2 or 3 year solution to adding a rugged shot-blocking, hitting dman.

Posted by: mdmtnbiker | July 5, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

No one has said the Caps don't have problems. Of course we do
----------------------

actually, the only who matters, McPhee, thinks the Caps don't have any problems.

Everyone he's acquired is better than anyone else out there. See how that works out! Ironically he points out that the players out there aren't as good on the ice as their reputations suggest. Where does that leave stiffs like that Flash I wonder.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 5, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

@DoubleAlex

Good post.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 5, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I read this on the ESPN page

"The Pittsburgh Penguins are still looking for a center on the free agent market and, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, this is because they plan on moving either Evgeni Malkin or Jordan Staal to the wing."

Whatever line add Malkin or Staal will be very good this will seriously hurt the Pens 3rd line. One of their biggest strengths was the quality of their 3rd line which was good in all aspects of the game. Losing the 3rd line will one of the costs of over spending free agent money on two defenseman.

It may work out great for them, it may not. I don't know and neither does anyone on this board (it is in the future so no one knows). But it is just an example that there is a cost of doing anything in the salary cap era and that with any addition(if your team is near the cap) some substraction will inevitably have to be made.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 5, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

timmy: I read on NHL.com that the Isles are below the cap floor with money to burn and will offer Kovalchuk 10 yrs/$10M.

I consider that a really bad contract to make him the highest paid player. You look back over last three years at all the Hart and Pearson candidates and he was not mentioned.

In my worthless opinion, Kovalchuk is not worth Backstrom.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 5, 2010 12:13 AM

I heard that about the Isles too, and that is the only way offering him that much makes any sense - very little, but at least a bit. If Kovalchuk played ANY defense, or did anything aside from skate and score, then he might be worth it - but he doesn't. Look at his numbers last season compared to Semin (and keep in mind he played 3 more games): 1 more goal, same number of assists, same number of hits, 1 less blocked shot, 15 more giveaways, 27 less takeaways,

Posted by: timmyv38 | July 5, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

timmy: I read on NHL.com that the Isles are below the cap floor with money to burn and will offer Kovalchuk 10 yrs/$10M.

I consider that a really bad contract to make him the highest paid player. You look back over last three years at all the Hart and Pearson candidates and he was not mentioned.

In my worthless opinion, Kovalchuk is not worth Backstrom.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 5, 2010 12:13 AM

I heard that about the Isles too, and that is the only way offering him that much makes any sense - very little, but at least a bit. If Kovalchuk played ANY defense, or did anything aside from skate and score, then he might be worth it - but he doesn't. Look at his numbers last season compared to Semin (and keep in mind he played 3 more games): 1 more goal, same number of assists, same number of hits, 1 less blocked shot, 15 more giveaways, 27 less takeaways,

Posted by: timmyv38 | July 5, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

My bad... pressed a wrong button. Well, I was pretty much done comparing stats anyways. Pretty much, if Semin is overpaid at $6M (as some here claim), then how is Kovalchuk worth anywhere near $10M?

Posted by: timmyv38 | July 5, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

TheDoubleAlex, just ignore underpants - he likes to insult people when they prove him wrong. And very good post, right on.

Posted by: timmyv38 | July 5, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I believe that the NYI's attendance could use a boost. And thats why they might be willing to spend big $$$ for a guy like Kovy.

He is FAR more marketable than a guy like Semin.

So you add what he brings you on the ice to that, to certain teams, he might be a 10 million dollar guy.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | July 5, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Rumor that Kovalchuck is signing with NJ-7yrs for 60mil...they already signed Volchenkov....their cap will be TIGHT!

Posted by: capscoach | July 5, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Now the news is that Schultz has filed for arbitration. Check out nhl.com

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 5, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

@capscoach

If that's the truth, Kovy has realized he can either take the money and be with a losing team since they'll have no room to sign anyone else. Or take less money to be with a winner. A deal with the Devils would constitute the latter.

(Gee, that almost sounds like a deal to sell one's soul.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 5, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

@timmyv38

I just read your numbers on Semin vis-a-vis Kovalchuk.

There was actually a rumor going around that the Flyers were going to make an offer to Kovy. I have no idea if that was true but it would not have made sense.

They would have to clear Gagne and Carter off their roster to make room. Somehow, getting rid of both Gagne and Carter to fit in Kovy does not make sense to me. They would have very little money to sign anyone else. Gagne and Carter together make $11 Mill. Assume that Kovy signed for $8 Mill, that's only $3 million left to sign anyone else. Sounds to me like subtraction.

Plus, they still need a spare forward.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 5, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

If Kovy signs with the Devils for that much and considering the Volchenkov contract and the Tallinder contract, I would guess that they are going to have a very difficult time re-signing Zach Parise after next year.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 5, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

FYI: Schultz has filed for arbitration per this...

http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=326656

"The 24-year old Schultz may end up with the biggest raise after leading the NHL in plus/minus this past season with a remarkable Plus-50. He added three goals and 20 assists in 73 games, helping lead the Caps to the Southwest Division crown. He earned just $715,000 last year."

Posted by: FrankM73 | July 5, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

@FrankM73

Thanks for the link. I was too lazy to post it myself.

BTW, I have a brother in law named Frank, whose middle name starts with M and who graduated from high school in 1973, so your name is easy to remember.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 5, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

Might it be time for the Pens to consider trading either Malkin or Staal? If not now, possibly next year. While center is certainly a tougher position to play than wing, it might behoove the Pens to trade one of them for a top flight winger so they can have a "better balance" offense. They could certainly get more for Malkin than for Staal and it would clear cap space. Then Staal could move up to be second line center.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 5, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

dare I say David Clarkson could be had via trade if NJ's cap is that tight? :-| LOL

Posted by: FrankM73 | July 5, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

If Lou L. can fit Kovy under the Devils' cap, then he is truly a wizard. HockeyBuzz shows the Devils having less than $3 million in available space, and 3 players short of a full roster. If Kovy gets $8M+ per year, who do they trade? It would have to be Elias, Rolston, Arnott, or Brodeur - actually more like two from that group. This makes no sense unless Kovy's contract will be one of the phoney deals where he gets paid until he is 50. This is a job for a true cap wizard like Tominsocal.

Posted by: zmega | July 5, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

@zmega

The Devils just traded for Arnott too so I doubt they will be trading him now. But they woould definitely have to trade somebody and like you said, probably a few people.

Also, if they sign Kovy it looks like a real slim chance they can re-sign Parise next year, who will get a very large contract.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 5, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I think players have to file for arbitration by 5 pm today.

One big problem with going to arbitration is the animosity it can create between the organization and player(I think this happened with ShaMo).

The team basically goes in there and gives all the reasons on why the player isn't that good and shouldn't be paid much. Some players have been known to get offended when hearing the organization arguing its side.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 5, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75

I highly doubt the Pens are considering trading Malking or Staal this year but the closer it gets to their contract expiring the more likely it becomes. I think Crosby's, Malkin's, and Staal's contract all expire 2 or 3 years from now. All will likely increase.

To get full value in return I think it is definitely possible the Pens trade Malkin in the next year or two. Crosby is clearly not going anywhere and I think they would rather keep Staal due to his smaller cost.

It will be intersting to see what happens, but I think that is at least a year away from anything occurring.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 5, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

timmy: I've actually posted many times that Semin was worth $6M - exactly $6M, to be precise, based on DSedin and Cammalleri contracts.

Unfortunately Kovy deal will raise the bar. Semin will want to be paid based on Vanek 7.1, Gaborik 7.5 and Kovy 8-9M.

I've also posted many times, like it lump it, Schultz can get $3M in arbitration. That league leader at +/- is worth money even if some here dismiss that particular stat.

zmega: Lunch time, so I'll check Devils cap situation later.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 5, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Capgeek says that the Devils have 4.74M in available cap space with 18 players under contract right now. If Kovy gets over 8M then not only will NJ have to dump roughly 3.5M to get under the cap but will have to dump more in order to fill out their roster.

As far as Parise goes, Arnott is getting 4.5M and is UFA after this year. That cap space along with the 3.125M Parise makes now should give Lou enough space to keep him. Of course that is provided Lou finds a way to make it work with Kovy this year.

Posted by: pkendrick | July 5, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Lou is gonna bury Rolston in the minors. Noone is gonna take him at $5 mil/yr and he has a NTC.

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | July 5, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Flash also filed for arbitration.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 5, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

@sgm:
hmmm, the original article made no mention of Fleischmann

Posted by: FrankM73 | July 5, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

@FrankM73

I think it just happened. Players have until 5 pm today to file so they can all file at seperate times until that point.

LeBrun from ESPN posted it.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 5, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

FYI: Schultz has filed for arbitration per this...
Posted by: FrankM73 | July 5, 2010 2:56 PM

Both Jeff Schultz and Tomas Fleischmann have filed for arbitration.

Posted by: JMinVA | July 5, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

FYI: Schultz has filed for arbitration per this...
Posted by: FrankM73 | July 5, 2010 2:56 PM

Both Jeff Schultz and Tomas Fleischmann have filed for arbitration.

Posted by: JMinVA | July 5, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

I don't really expect Malkin or Staal to get traded this year but, as you suggest, when the contracts get closer to expiring. But they can't keep them all forever.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 5, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Will Fehr now file for arbitration?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 5, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75

Agree. I think Malkin will be the one who ends up going.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 5, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

That's my theory as well. The Pens can't keep giving all three of those centers humongous raises for each contract each time and have cap space left to sign good wingers.

While center is a more important position to be good at, having a surfeit of centers and a shortage of everything else can not be a good thing.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 5, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

timmy: I've actually posted many times that Semin was worth $6M - exactly $6M, to be precise, based on DSedin and Cammalleri contracts.

Unfortunately Kovy deal will raise the bar. Semin will want to be paid based on Vanek 7.1, Gaborik 7.5 and Kovy 8-9M.

I've also posted many times, like it lump it, Schultz can get $3M in arbitration. That league leader at +/- is worth money even if some here dismiss that particular stat.

zmega: Lunch time, so I'll check Devils cap situation later.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 5, 2010 3:45 PM

tom, I was not referring to you with that comment. I agree that he is worth $6M - not that many 40 goal scorers can play defense like him. And before other people jump on me, I know he doesn't play physical, but he is still effective - he is fast enough on his skates and with his stick to create turnovers.

And I wouldn't be surprised if Schultz gets $2.5-3M. He is the type of dman who can back a player like Green up very well. He had 129 blocked shots, which is good for 45th in the NHL. He has also learned how to use those huge wings of his to pin guys against the boards. Sure, he doesn't throw many hits, but he does his job - which is to cover Green's back.

Posted by: timmyv38 | July 5, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Former NHL enforcer Bob Probert dies at age 45:

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=533819

Dude was one scary character!

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | July 5, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

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