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Caps development camp: Miele lifts White to shootout win

Invitee Andy Miele scored a pretty goal in regulation and an even prettier one in the shootout to help White beat Red, 3-2, in the last of three scrimmages at Caps' summer development camp.

Miele had a big day for a player who's listed at 5 foot 8, 175 pounds on the website for Miami of Ohio, his college team. But the rising senior wasn't the only player Coach Bruce Boudreau singled out for praise.

Asked for his all-camp team, Boudreau named invitees Miele and Eric Alexander (Ferris State) as well as prospects Evgeny Kuznetsov, Marcus Johansson, Cody Eakin, Dustin Stevenson and Joe Finley.

Hard to argue with anyone on that list, though Kuznetsov appeared to run out of gas in today's scrimmage and did not record a point. Johansson has the skating ability to play in the NHL this year but it's also obvious that he's 19 and is playing in North America for the first time. Eakin, meantime, made several high-skill plays in regulation and scored Red's only goal in the shootout. Although he's ready for Hershey, the 19-year-old is headed back to juniors because of AHL age restrictions.

There were also some injuries. Anton Gustafsson, a 2008 first rounder with a history of injuries, left after two shifts in the second period because of a sore hip flexor he tweaked Friday. Gustafsson, who has missed time the past two development camps with a chronic back injury and a concussion, said he doesn't think this latest injury will hamper him as he prepares to play in Hershey next winter.

"I tried, but I couldn't make myself," Gustafsson said. "I couldn't skate as I wanted. It was unfair to me and everyone else."

Jake Hauswirth, a free agent the Caps signed last year, also left the game with what's believed to be a mild concussion.

"In July, you don't want to take any chances," Boudreau said of Hauswirth's early exit.

Other than Miele's goals, the highlight of the day might have been a fight between middleweights Stefan Della Rovere and Trevor Bruess, which came two seconds after Finley and invitee Anthony Pisano brawled for the second time this week.

Della Rovere said Bruess had been taking runs at him and Eakin, and enough was enough. Bruess was left with a bloody nose after the two exchanged a number of jabs.

"Trevor and I are friends off the ice," Della Rovere said. "That's type of game we both play: on the edge. He was taking runs at me and I don't like that. And he was messing around with Eakin. So I had to step in and do my job."

With a standing room only crowd here at KCI, Miele opened the scoring midway through the first with a nifty move in the slot. Phil DeSimone scored less than three minutes later to knot the score at 1.

Invitee David DeKastrozza put Red ahead, 2-1, late in the second period. But Alexander scored his second goal of camp at 4:00 of the third, and that's how the score remained until Miele beat Braden Holtby in the shootout.

"It was a little sloppy and the ice was slow today," Boudreau said. "But every game, all three scrimmages, went to overtime or was tied. You have to give them credit. You go in [the dressing room] and there's scrapes and blood and stitches. It shows they cared."

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  July 17, 2010; 1:34 PM ET
 
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Comments

He was taking runs at me and I don't like that. And he was messing around with Eakin. So I had to step in and do my job."
***************

Boy sure would be nice if we had a lil more of that at the phone booth. We need more M Bradleys.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | July 17, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

nice

Posted by: richmondphil | July 17, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Qn to TEB - or anyone who saw today's scrimmage: was part of the reason Kuz 'ran out of gas' because he was favoring the leg on which he got slashed? He got it right in the back of the leg, looked like a pretty vicious shot from a prospective future teammate. No pads there, and you could potentially really hurt a guy.

Not sure what he said, but whatever it was he'd just gone hard into the boards after getting tangled [after Holtby came waaaaaaay out of his crease to ill-advisedly play the puck] so it's understandable he'd have said something; pretty sure it didn't warrant that over-the-shoulder hackfest from a 'teammate.'

Posted by: govtimbo | July 17, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Finley play wing?

Posted by: Riddler1 | July 17, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

My favorite BB quote on how to judge if a prospect has NHL talent is "you know it when you see it". Wonder how many of these camp guys BB thinks will ever make it to the final level?

Posted by: dull | July 17, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Anton Gustafsson seems like a colossal bust. Lucky for GMGM he swung the Eminger deal with Philly and landed Carlson later in the round.

Posted by: chombie13 | July 17, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Any read on Orlov? I saw him earlier in the week and he looked terrific and just wondering how he played today. Best young d-man in the organization it seems - outside of Carlson and maybe Alzner; higher potential upside than KA though.

Posted by: govtimbo | July 17, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I saw the scrimmage today, as well as the one on Wednesday, and I didn't see many mistakes from Finley. He's not the fastest guy but neither is Hal Gill but he gets the job done and I don't think any of us would argue with Gill on our team.

Kuzy did seem a step slower but it just appeared to be fatigue and not any injury.

Other then that, Stevenson looked pretty good (smart, positionally sound, physical, and few mistakes) and I am curious to see how Eakin plays with the big boys. Sucks that he can't play in Hershey. I see him as kind of the young, Canuck version of Brendan Morrison (very fast, soft hands and makes good decisions).

Is October here yet?

Posted by: pkendrick | July 17, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Gus, Jr. injured again? Man, when is that guy gonna stay healthy long enough to crack the lineup?

Posted by: CAP-lanta | July 17, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Notes from Today's Scrimmage:

#1. Cody Eakin is the real deal: sick skating speed, creative play maker - sees the play really well, deft puck handling, tough to knock-off the puck...needs to improve the finish shot. The best forward on the ice, period. He will crack the Caps as a 2nd liner in 2 years.

#2. Marcus Johansson is not ready for the NHL, infact he might not even be ready for the AHL. Jesus - he is a plodder, has a Backstrom like gait (so deceptive), but the similarity ends right there --- on to plan B for McPhee because this kid is not the answer for the 2nd line. That whole "not ready for North American hockey" is a nice way to put it. He is miles and miles away from the NHL game.

#3. Evgeny Kuznetsov is a blue-chip player with all the skill in the world (needs to work on his shooting and finish), but does this guy have a temperament issue or what. He might be the inverted Semin version: someone who cares too much and is a red flag to be a locker room cancer as a blame game player. Emotionally not ready for next year.

#4. Stanislav Galiev plays as sweet as his facial expression. Memo to Kuznetsov - now this is a positive kid. The way he glides and puck handles, reminiscent of Pavel Datsyuk. Infact, his slow-mo SO goal (does someone have a video of that?) was a vintage Datsyukian move. I don't think he is as skilled as Kuznetsov, but between the two - I bet money on him as having a longer NHL career, if not as prolific.

#5. Andy Miele - all I could think is that someone with my vaccum cleaner's brand scored. Who the heck is this kid? If you want to picture Miele think Martin St. Louis. If someone lost their legs and got a leg transplant from a baby elephant - thats what the two have in common in physical build, along with being sort of short. Anyways, every bit as unimpressive physically as St.Louis. BUT, what soft hands - oh my god, when he is handling the puck, all you can think is SOFT HANDS. If St. Louis can be a top-liner, I guess anything is possible.

#6. Dmitri Orlov looked different this year from last. He is sort of a lot more like Mike Green now. Great shot from the point, he could QB a PP from day 1. Not sure about his D skills though, he did have his challenges there. Must be in the Capitals system water. No matter who comes here, forgets that little bit called "playing tough in your own end".

#7. Joe Finley got into it with the first of two fights (Della Rovere and Breuss follwed moments later). Not much to write here. Along with Baby Gus, you can say that Finley will go down as a bust (he was a 1st rounder). Last year of his contract and I just don't see him making the leap anytime soon, despite BB's praise.

#8. Della Rovere would be a great Bradley replacement in a year when he possibly leaves as a UFA. The kind of kid you need on your roster to win in May and June.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | July 17, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

That was a great event today. Enjoyed watching the kids,the energy of the crowd and being in a hockey environment.

Posted by: ridgely1 | July 17, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

Any idea what was up with Trevor Bruess's shoulder in the first period?

The trainers were looking at him after somebody boarded him early in the game, but he returned towards the later part of the period.

Posted by: Littlecep13 | July 17, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

govtimbo,

I only say the 1st and 2nd periods but the one player that stood out in my eyes was Orlov, good hockey sense. Joe Finley will never play in the NHL. That was a very entertaining middleweight fight.

Posted by: noreaster1 | July 17, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm. Any way for Caps to consider this guy at the #2 center spot? On a 2 year deal? How much does he fetch you think?

Isles looking at Yashin
9:18AM ET
Alexei Yashin

Here's a bit of a surprise: The New York Islanders are interested in Alexei Yashin, his agent tells Yahoo Sports' Dmitry Chesnokov.

Yashin hasn't played in the NHL since the 2006-07 season. Instead, he's played in Russia where he tallied 64 points in 56 games for SKA St. Petersburg, the same team that sign Evgeni Nabokov and the team that is bidding for Ilya Kovalchuk.

Yashin is 36, so he has a bit of gas left in the tank. And his agent says, if he comes back, Yashin will talk to the Isles first. This might indicate that he could end up elsewhere.

In his last season in the NHL, with the Isles, Yashin tallied 50 points in 58 games.

Posted by: SkinsFanInNYC | July 17, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

It sure does seem like the fans watching the scrimmage and BB have very differing opinions. While I'm more than ok with Alzner and Carlson coming up to fill spots, I'm becoming more and more "uneasy" with somebody from Hershey taking up the 2C spot. Our D will be OK with what we have but man I think we're in dire need of a 2C. MP is too small (3rd line duty would be a better calling I think), MJ doesn't sound like he's read and Kuzy will be in Russia. So I guess we'll be having make shift lines from 2-4 b/c we lack a 2C. Not to mention Belanger hasn't resigned yet either so hell we may need a 2&3C.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | July 17, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

When I say I'm ok with the D, I mean that I think our D can get us through to the deadline whereas I'm not so sure we can go with a make shift center for the season.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | July 17, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

@Political_Stratgst

I was not there today so I cannot say anything about what you saw and if you are right on the money or off but I did go Wednesday and noticed a few different things.

1) Kuznetsov was the best player out there and seemed to be enjoying himself quite well. After the scrimage I noticed him and Galiev joking around with each other pretenting to be ready to drop the gloves. I think part of why he may be tiring is they have been on the ice every day skating hard for a week and twice had a hard skate and a scrimage in the same day. In the real season they would have days without games and lighter skates so maybe he wouldn't tire as much.

2) Joe Finley still reminds me a lot of Hal Gill. There were a few times on Wednesday that he looked like he was beat by a faster player but took the puck away with the poke check. He also had two real big hits including the one that hurt Zach Miskovic which from where I was watching looked like a clean hard check that unfortuantly hurt a guy. He will never be more then a Hal Gill type but if the Caps still don't have a big shot blocking, hard hitting D-man in a year or two I could see him filliing that role.

3) I completly agree on lil' Gus. He was at best the third center on the ice, behind Kuznetsov and Johansson, and only once did I see him make any body contact at all with someone.

4) I did however see Johansson get physical along the boards several times. I think what might be best with him is to start him in the AHL at the start of the year and if he is doing well there then move him up. Try MP, Flash, or Laich at second line center at the start of the year since I don't think we are going to be too worried about getting enough points to make the playoffs.

Like I said I wasn't there today but just wanted to give a veiw of Wednesday since each day seemed to be very different.


Side note does anyone know if there is a youtube or other video of the Holtby thing? Since I wasn't there I am just trying to see what happened.

Posted by: icehammer97 | July 17, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Also forgot to say one thing about MJ. I really liked how he stayed higher in the offensive zone to help make sure he was back helping the D in case of a rush. I wish more of our forwards would think like that instead of all being close together behind or around the net.

Posted by: icehammer97 | July 17, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

pokerface: Welcome to the club. We could call it the "I Don't Believe the Kool-Aid Club."

I put the other day that MaJo likely needs two years, one in Sweden maybe then one in Hershey, based on that he is two years behind Alzner who had more fanfare and NA training.

MP could be a #3 center if they put him on a checking line at Hershey and let him learn it for 40 games.

I have no clue if we could do Yashin for one year. I would ask Ovi, "Do you want Yashin as #2 center for a year or two?" He was incredibly talented at one time, maybe as much as Kovalchuk. Not very risky for one year, but longer than that I don't know. Right now, assuming 2.75 for Flash, and counting Alzner's bonus in this year's number, there's $4M plus if you take out MP and MaJo there's $5.7M for two centers if you do nothing else.

Ideally you move Flash and Erskine and then you have $9.7 for two centers, a winger (Beagle is only $500K) and a replacement defenseman.

It can be done.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 17, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: RichC3 | July 17, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Icehammer, if you are correct in MJ staying high then he's not following BB's system. BB has said the past couple of days that he doesn't want MJ to stay up high, he wants him to forecheck. He's used to staying high as that's how he's grown up playing in Sweden but BB specifically doesn't want him doing this.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | July 17, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Tom - I'm with ya. I just held out judgment until I heard what was going on at development camp and what I'm hearing isn't good. I watched the draft & GMGM said Kuzy could play on the Caps this yr as a center but would be in Russia for at least 1 more year. So I thought MJ might be able to pull it off but it sure doesn't sound like it. Like I said, as our D is currently constructed we can make it through the season to the deadline so I'm not as worried there. The 2C has gotten me concerned though for sure. I sure would love for MP to make it there but I just don't know if he can handle that type of duty on our club. MSL won in Tampa and he's about the same size so you never know but it just seems like a long shot. I think MP is very quick and shifty and good with the puck so who knows. From what I'm hearing MP is a better option for us right now if we don't add anybody.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | July 17, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

@icehammer97

I think this has been talked on these boards, but Hockey's Future did a great piece on the Caps 2005 draft and categorically labeled it a "failure" from "top to bottom". Worth a read.
http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/12185/capitals2005_draft_evaluation/

Mr. Finley fits squarely in that draft's storyline. There is no room for shot blockers / Hal Gills in BB's go-go system: Carlson, Alzner, Green, Schultz are foundational fixtures. You gotta atleast pencil in Sloan, and then Orlov. Thats your 2011-12 D situation. Perfect for the system: challenge shooters up, if they get away - avoid screening the goalie low, collect rebounds and up-tempo transition back. Except for Alzner and Schultz, the other 4 are more than adept at joining the rush. You can't have too many of those in this system.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | July 17, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

I was at the scrimmage today. It was a very tight-checking game, so I thought it was hard for anyone to stand out. With respect to Johansson, I was reasonably impressed. He's not the second coming of Nick Backstrom, but he looked like he has all the raw materials to me. He has very good acceleration, which is one of Backstrom's real strengths. I thought he also looked like he has very good hands, and he was pretty aggressive about going to the goal on a few occasions. The thing that most impressed me was that the other team hit him HARD about 3-4 times (almost like he was marked), and every time he took the hit well without falling or fading out of the play. That, to me, was the best sign that he could potentially play in the NHL soon. Whether he will be ready this fall or not is another question that is yet to be answered until after we see more at training camp. It is obviously unrealistic to think that he will be the immediate answer at second line center. However, it might be possible that he could play third line, and if he comes along anywhere nearly as quickly as Backstrom did in his first year, then you could imagine him moving up toward the end of the year. Probably not a great bet, but possible. In the meantime, if I were GMGM, I would sign Bellanger again if they could get him in a reasonable two-year contract. Even if Johansson, Eakin, and/or Kuznetsov come along within the next two years, Bellanger would still be useful on the team--at the least as an upgrade for Steckel, who faded badly last year in both the regular season and the playoffs.

Kuznetsov looks to have terrifiic talent and potential, but clearly needs to mature, both physically and emotionally (probably two years) before he's ready for the NHL.

I would say that Eakin looks to be the next most NHL-ready guy after Johansson, at this point.

Posted by: hockeybob | July 17, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know who was that goalie that started for the White team before being relieved by Dunn today? Read like a Russian name.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | July 17, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

@ pokerfaceI208

Yeah I saw that but I think that if he plays a little more aggresive he could please BB and still be a good defensive player. I think right now he immedently goes to the blue line. I think if he plays more around the top of the top of the circles instead and forchecks when he is one of the first two guys in the zone BB will be happier with how he plays. I honestly hope BB doesn't get rid of the entire part of his game becuase we could use a center that can score and play D well. I think that he could actually be a better defensive forward then Backstom even if he isn't as good offensivly and I think it would be a shame if they took away all of his defensive mindedness.

Posted by: icehammer97 | July 17, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Well after hearing everything I'm hearing, I sure do hope GMGM goes after Modano for a 1yr contract. Sounds like we're gonna be very strong up the middle in the future but not next yr. Sign Belanger for 3rd line duty then get Modano for 2nd line duty and we'd be set. Not too expensive and nothing long term. Oh how I'd love to see Modano wearing a Caps jersey. Heck I think we have a better shot at the Cup than Detroit does anyway.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | July 17, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

You can forget about Modano, he's going back home to Michigan to play for the wings.

Posted by: joek443 | July 17, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

I've wanted Modano here for about 15yrs so I'm not gonna hold my breath trust me. It would be pretty sweet though.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | July 17, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Tom- while I'm not for trading Flash, or lets say I'm not as anxious as others I wouldn't mind seeing him go for a Brad Richards in return. Solid solid centerman in return there.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | July 17, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Neuwendyk would lose his job in the Flash for Brad Richards trade - thats not even close.

Kyle Wellwood is below everyone's radar. He has never had the explosive winger to feed at either Maple Leafs or Canucks otherwise his numbers would be way better. Has soft hands, is a better playmaker than Belanger on his best day...only 27.

After watching Johansson closely this week, I am certain McPhee will give the FA option a lot more thought than he had ever anticipated. Challenge is how to bridge a long-term deal with guys you know will be here in a 2+ years: Eakin, Johansson, MP...

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | July 18, 2010 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Just a footnote on Wellwood - he endured all kinds of fat jokes in Toronto, and his production in Vancouver was redeeming. Numbers are not great, but he not a top 6 center..got limited ice time and played mostly a defensive checking role.

His skill is still not in question...this was a guy who was once traded straight up for Jason Spezza in the Juniors. I think he is a nearly 30 goal scorer, and nearly a point a game guy as a top 6 forward on the Caps.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | July 18, 2010 12:42 AM | Report abuse

@Political_Stratgst

But Richards is as good as traded this year. The main reason no one has traded for him now is that most teams cannot handle his salary (over $7M).

However, once the trade deadline nears, and assuming Dallas will not be a serious contender, Richards will be traded as he will be a UFA and will almost definitely not be re-signing with Dallas.

This is due, not to the salary cap, but to the ownership troubles in Dallas right now. The team has a $45M budget this year. Unless the sale of the team is completed by the trade deadline, he will be gone because the team will not do a big time deal without the sale being completed.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 18, 2010 12:46 AM | Report abuse

PS: My philosophy is you can't only think of the present, but you can't only think of the future either. Just because MaJo, Kuzzie and MP might pan out, or even if they are likely to pan out, you can't ignore current needs. I understand perfectly well, as I probably do cap analysis more than anyone else here, that you must rotate in younger players on EL deals to balance out the superstar contracts.

That said, you just can't expect to play an NHL season and expect to be upper echelon with one budding superstar, two ELs and Steckel at center.

It shouldn't be an issue to have a guy like Lombardi who can do either 2 or 3 on a three-year deal. If you wind up overstocked in a few years, you trade from strength to bolster a weakness. Unlike the last two years, the Nylander issue is over and we have cap room. Trade Flash, promote Fehr to #2 line and add a guy from Hershey, a mucker like Beagle at $500K, and suddenly you have oodles (word for the day, still Saturday in socal) of space. Trade Chimera and promote AGordon and BOOM (John Madden - the announcer - there) another $1M plus.

#2C is too important to chinze now because we are worried about three years down the road and how the youngsters will fit in.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 18, 2010 12:57 AM | Report abuse

We can't trade Flash for Richards. There isn't enough cap space.

If Flash gets awarded more than $2.75M, McPhee very well might walk. What Flash does for this team isn't worth that money.
(BTW, I still don't know how it is in the CBA if the team can accept the arbitration and then trade, or must keep and not trade, the player.)

Fehr will outperform Flash this year and do it for less money. I have seen it in a vision. The vision, I should tell you, manifested itself at the bottom of my upturned wine glass.

nostrathomas

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 18, 2010 1:07 AM | Report abuse

LMAO Nostrathomas! I wasn't referring to Flash for Richards straight up as the salaries don't work etc. As mentioned above Dallas is going through ownership change and with Turco & Modano gone they are going to have to rebuild with youth. We obviously would throw them another player with probably an expiring contract and a pick as well but Richards would be a very nice upgrade. Duh huh? I'm just stating that a blanket statement of what Flash's value is 1 thing. For a franchise like Dallas who is rebuilding with you, he might be worth more to them than most teams.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | July 18, 2010 1:33 AM | Report abuse

Rather have Forsberg than Yashin.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 18, 2010 2:46 AM | Report abuse

Stick a fork in Forsberg because he is done in the NHL. He WAS an awesome center, but his injuries have just made him too expensive for how little he can play. I just can't see him producing at a consistent NHL level any longer.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | July 18, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Yashin is an even bigger head case than Flush.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | July 18, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Yashin, Forsberg, Modano... who needs them?

ans why worry?? GMGM is the smartest GM in all of sports and Ted is the smartest owner. if you don't believe that, just listen to them... they'll tell you that they are!!

Posted by: joek443 | July 18, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Joke- say something positive. Just once I know you can do it. And yes GMGM and Ted are good. They haven't won the ultimate prize YET but there are plenty of owners and GM's that wish they were in our position.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | July 18, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

There are still plenty of UFA C's out there that can improve this club. Madden, Modano, Comrie and Wellwood come to mind. All players that can improve our club and not cost much. Heck I wouldn't mind seeing Halpern or R Lang come back. Wow thinking of the skating and passing that R Lang can do he would be sweet with Semin on 1 side and Laich or Fehr on the other.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | July 18, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

While the hype around Yashin compared to Kovalchuk's fanfare, and they're both highly skilled, that's where the comparison should end. Kovy is simply a much more explosive, dynamic athlete, who can create time and space for himself against any defender. And defenders quick enough to keep up with him - of which there are only a few - he can simply overpower. Yashin excels only when he has time and space, which he almost never gets against a good team's best defensive pairing.

Btw, it is for this reason I still question whether Fehr can handle top-6 duties; unless both his linemates are explosvie game-breakers you can just suffocate him. Big difference btw most teams top 3-4 d-men and their bottom two, especially in the salary cap era.

I got to see MSL a fair amount in college [good buddy played at UVM] and followed his career; he typifies to me what is wrong with hockey scouting. He is not tall, but who cares - he is a powerful, stout, explosive athlete, with terrific hockey sense and the hands of a middle infielder. And he's absolutely fearless to boot. I've seen him play a number of times live, and players - not average players, but the opposition's best defenders - bounce off him. I realize MP is a good hockey player, but from what I've seen [and granted it is not a huge sample size] he gets bounced around and even knocked off the puck. I've never seen that happen to St. Louis, who has legs like oak trees.

Posted by: govtimbo | July 18, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

#2C is too important to chinze now because we are worried about three years down the road and how the youngsters will fit in.

Posted by: tominsocal1

I'm not convinced nothing will change--the roster has been cleared of the underbrush of depth, the rookies are expected to take their spots, and prospects will get a few cups of coffee.

The trade deadline is not for eight months. A lot can still happen. The Clark/Jurcina for Chimera trade took everyone by surprise.

BTW--enjoyed your posts in the last thread.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | July 18, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

@joek

You're funny. Ted and GMGM haven't even gotten half way to the cup and they're still busy patting each other on the back. I watched Chris Clark in the finals when he was with Flames. He's older and beat up,but he would have at least tried to score some ugly "Dino-like" goals in the playoffs. Chimera is a waist of great speed and decent size. Gill man handled him, as he did our entire team. Clark would not have been tossed around. Keep telling the truth joek. We're going to have to mentally start everyone on the path toward dumping BB and GMGM after the Pens dust us early next year. The 6 "passengers" are still on the team !!

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | July 18, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

#2. Marcus Johansson is not ready for the NHL, infact he might not even be ready for the AHL. Jesus - he is a plodder, has a Backstrom like gait (so deceptive), but the similarity ends right there --- on to plan B for McPhee because this kid is not the answer for the 2nd line. That whole "not ready for North American hockey" is a nice way to put it. He is miles and miles away from the NHL game.
---------------------

shocker!

thx for the recap! Esp the info on MaJo and Orlov. Very enlightening.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 18, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Having attended the camp this past week, I personally disagree about the description of Mackan as a "plodder".

He has a beautifully smooth skating style that can be deceptively fast, and he is quite good at handling the puck. He is also not afraid of mixing it up and getting physical. And he's quick at reading the unfolding play. He does tend to play high in a very defensive manner, but who among us think that that Caps have no need of a defensive-first minded player.

He may not be ready to make the team yet, but I'm adopting a wait and see. Rookie camp should be informative. But he does has a great deal of composure on the ice, especially remarkable given that he won't turn 20 until the fall. But then again he has played two seasons thus far in the SEL against men. I see a lot of potential in Mackan.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | July 18, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

@Political_Stratgst, the first goalie for the white squad in the scrimmage was Nairus Enkuzens.

Posted by: pattiea1 | July 18, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure this quote from Ted will get people talking.

"We aren’t done with our work this off season so for those of you who are impatient I ask that you wait just a bit. Thank you."

Posted by: sgm3 | July 19, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

"We aren’t done with our work this off season so for those of you who are impatient I ask that you wait just a bit. Thank you."

Posted by: sgm3

Positive sign I would say. Once Kovalchuk signs, I think the floodgates will open.

Posted by: underpants2 | July 19, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

@underpants2

I agree

Posted by: sgm3 | July 19, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

If Kovalchuk would just go back to Atlanta, they'd be half decent. A Playoff contender. He'll never see $100M again unless he goes to the printing office at the Treasury there in DC.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 19, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

I agree. With the additions they made, I think they are a top 8 team in the east if he comes back.

Posted by: underpants2 | July 19, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Patrice Bergeron is a UFA at seasons end. They need wingers, we need a center.

Semin for Bergeron straight up? Both UFA at seasons end.

Posted by: underpants2 | July 19, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

@underpants2

Boston has salary cap problems. Wouldn't work.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 19, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure this quote from Ted will get people talking.

"We aren’t done with our work this off season so for those of you who are impatient I ask that you wait just a bit. Thank you."

Posted by: sgm3

He's probably talking about locking Flash up for 3 years for $5.6 Mil

Posted by: LloydChristmas | July 19, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

He also said this:

"I was deeply impressed with our young centers. At some point in the future - maybe not this coming season - I believe our center ice will be populated with players we drafted and developed. I thought our first round pick this season looked like a real break out player and for that I am happy"

Look like he agrees, the team needs a center. I just hope that 2c is not Belanger.

Posted by: underpants2 | July 19, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

@underpants2

Agree

Posted by: sgm3 | July 19, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Kovalchuk to the Kings is done and will be announced later this afternoon. So this week you may see some FA's actually start to sign places and trades begin to occur. The slow summer of movement is about to pick up.

Posted by: ThePat | July 19, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Look like he agrees, the team needs a center. I just hope that 2c is not Belanger.
------------

Agreed on all fronts.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | July 19, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I'm curious to see how much Kovy signs for. While it seems it has been a done deal for a while that he signs with the Kings, his contract will help set a standard for future UFAs near his level (i.e. Semin).

Posted by: sgm3 | July 19, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

@sgm3

if I had to guess if he signs a 6 year deal his cap hit will be around $7M. If he signs a 10-12 year deal his cap hit will be around $6.25. If he signs the 1 year deal he'll get $8M.

Posted by: ThePat | July 19, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

@ThePat

I agree with those predictions. That seems about right.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 19, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Or he ends up signing with NJ...shocking. according to twitter feeds he has.

Posted by: ThePat | July 19, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

ThePat: I would be surprised if he accepts less than Gaborik (7.5) unless it's the Hossaesque cap-circumventing type thing.

Agree 100% on Belanger. Would be great #3, though, and we really don't have a good, checking line center in the organization. Maybe two years from now one of the young players, but not now.

We are like a baseball team with many outfielders, but short on infielders.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 19, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

If he signs with NJ I will definitely be surprised. But that will most likely mean that L.A. will pursue Simon Gagne.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 19, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

The press conference is tomorrow at the Rock. Contract numbers havent been released yet. But by all accounts with the D signings that NJ made and keep Kovalchuk they are in really good shape.

Posted by: ThePat | July 19, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

And it was the Devils official twitter account that released the news so I believe it. Unless something really messed up happens in the next few hours or their account was hacked into, he is a Devil.

Posted by: ThePat | July 19, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

He is a Devil, press conference tomorrow.

LA is gonna need someone big time now. Gagne ain't enough.

Crazy. I would have bet anything he would end up in LA.

Posted by: underpants2 | July 19, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

What can we get from LA for either Semin or Flash? Semin they could really use. Stoll + anything else?

Could you get Simmonds for Flash? Would he be the #3RW? He'd save $2M in cap space over Flash, FWIW.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 19, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Yes it's on NHL.com, presser tomorrow. If true about Kovy and with their D signings it definitely makes NJ better; I still think they're a flawed team though with Brodeur, he looked terrible in the Olympics and has blown up the last couple playoffs. Way too many softies.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | July 19, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

LA wont trade Simmonds. They wouldnt even trade him for Kaberle. On LA the only two players are Stoll and Handzus(NMC for him). They are going to get Gagne for my guess is Justin Williams or propects. The guy I'd love to get from LA would be Dustin Brown but sadly that would never happen.

Posted by: ThePat | July 19, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Can't wait to see how the contract is structured and what Lou L has to do to make it work. Rolston gets waived, you can imagine.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 19, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

What can we get from LA for either Semin or Flash? Semin they could really use. Stoll + anything else?

Could you get Simmonds for Flash? Would he be the #3RW? He'd save $2M in cap space over Flash, FWIW.

Posted by: tominsocal1

Is Stoll a 2nd center? I m not sure. But I would move Semin for J. Johnson.

Posted by: underpants2 | July 19, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

I don't think LA is going to sell off their young players to acquire a scoring winger. They are trying to build their team through the draft and keep their players, which seems to be the reason they didn't sign Kovy(they needed to keep cap room to re-sign their young players).

@underpants2

LA has a good, young team. Acquiring a player like Gagne would definitely help them and is unlikely to cost too much in return because of Philly's desire to trade him and the lack of suitors with cap room.

In addition, he only has 1 year remaining on his contract.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 19, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Apparently Kovalchuks deal is for 17 years according to Demitri Chesnokov, via Ilyas mother.

Posted by: ThePat | July 19, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

It will be interesting to see what NJ does to deal with their cap problems. In addition, what they do with Parise now.

Of course this size of the contract will help determine all of this so it's a little difficult to speculate until we find that out.

@tominsocal1

I think Rolston will definitely be a waiver possibility. I do not know about the Devils' ownership but many owners are not happy about paying a guy over $4M to sit and do nothing because they do not want to spend more than $59.4M in salary.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 19, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

They may also have to move Zajac. He is a guy we could use, plug right into 2c. All they can afford is picks and prospects.

Posted by: underpants2 | July 19, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

@ThePat

Wow, 17 years. That is a problem that has to be fixed in the next CBA. The Caps should have signed Backstrom to a 50 year contract with the last 30 to 35 he is making minimum salary.

Although it unlikely anything will be done, it will be interesting to see what Bettman has to say about this after the Hossa and Prnger contracts.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 19, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

they wouldnt sign Kovalchuk if they didnt have a plan to aslo keep Parise. Lou isnt stupid. Rolston(waivers) and Zubrus(trade) both will occur would be my guess. There was a reason they went and got Arnott and it wasnt to play 3C. After the year Langenbruner is gone as well. So the money wont be an issue.

Posted by: ThePat | July 19, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Yeah 17 years is an issue if its not a consistent salary across the board I agree.

A NJ radio station is reporting 7 years $60M as well, so the hell knows, haha.

Posted by: ThePat | July 19, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

@ThePat

It will make it more difficult to sign Parise(the size of the difficulty is contingent on the size of Kovy's cap hit) because Parise will demand similar terms. They have a lot of high priced guys on the team. At some point you run out of space.

The option would be, as you noted, to unload a lot of players and fill them in with minimum wage players. But that is risky.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 19, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

No way anyone takes Rolston, they are stuck with him. Zubrus, probably stuck with him as well.

Zajac and Langenbruner have value, to our team especially. Langenbruner has the experience we need come post season.

Posted by: underpants2 | July 19, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

7 years at $60M would be a pretty sizeable cap hit. A little more than I expected. But now we just have to find out what the real numbers are.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 19, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

@underpants2

They arent trading Zajac or Langenbruner(NTC). They still want to win, getting rid of those 2 right now would be stupid. They can trade Zubrus. They can waive Rolston, teams still need to spend to hit the cap floor. Those two things make the most sense for Lou to do. Or trade Elias but I cant see them doing that.

Posted by: ThePat | July 19, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

What about bringing back Zubrus as 2C?

Posted by: Rhino40 | July 19, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

@ThePat

They acquired Arnott too. He will be their 2nd center, Zajac is expendable.

Who in the world would acquire the Rolston/Zubrus contracts? The only potential team is the Islanders. Can Rolston be waived? If so, they are gonna have to pay him to play in the AHL. Traditionally, the Devils don't make a lot as an organization, their games rarely sell out. This is a lot to pay a guy for nothing.

You may be right on Langenbruner, but the Devils are gonna have to make sacrifices. Other teams now have Lou by the balls.

Posted by: underpants2 | July 19, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

@Rhino40

Zubrus is signed for $3.4M for 3 more years. That is a pretty sizable contract (more so because of the length) to take on. It could be possible for team to acquire him but for the value he provides right now he probably is looked at as being overpaid.

Elias is at $6M for 3 more years so I don't see many people wanting that. Rolst is at over $5M for 2 more years and is a 35+ contract so teams are not going to want that either (I'm not sure if that effect the Devils ability to waive him to lose the cap value too)

Posted by: sgm3 | July 19, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Zubrus at $3.4m for 3 years, or Lombardi at $3.5 for 3?

If GM acquires Zubrus, he should be escorted from the building.

Posted by: underpants2 | July 19, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

This is what EJ Hradek wrote:

"I see Dainius Zubrus ($3.4M x 3) and Bryce Salvador ($2.9M x 2) as the most likely cap casualties in NJ."

Would Salvador be a possible desired acquisition? No idea about him so just asking.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 19, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I agree other teams have Lou by the balls. But Elias and Arnott have NMC. Rolston, Langenbruner, Volchenkov, Salvador and White all have NTC. So he is hamstrung by what he can do.

Zubrus is as good as gone, regardless of the 3 years. No I wouldnt want him back here at all because of the 3 years left and hes not an elite playmaker. Zajac doesnt have any NTC or NMC, I really just cant see them trading one of their best players who they need if they want to be a top team.

Maybe they shock everyone and trade Parise, haha.

Posted by: ThePat | July 19, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Zubie is only 32, NOT 42... 3 more years at $3.4M per ain't that bad

the upgrade on the PK alone would be worth that much but then again I doubt that this management would be willing to spend that much on something as unglamourous as PK

Posted by: joek443 | July 19, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

@ThePat

I agree, 3 years is just too much for Zubrus at $3.4M/yr. That $3.4M for a decent player could have ramifications later on.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 19, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Would Salvador be a possible desired acquisition? No idea about him so just asking.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 19, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I've always like Salvador. Big rangy aggressive dman who is a real leader. But I didn't get to watch him play a whole lot last yr so I don't know if his game is slipping. He's a tough guy who doesn't back down from anyone but who knows how the Caps view him.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 19, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Langenbrunner's likely gone. He was a healthy scratch in the playoffs; I don't think there's very much left in the tank.

Zubrus OTOH is a big strong body who can still move. Not the greatest hands, but if he's centering Semin it's not like the passes have to be on a dime anyway. When he's happy Semin can handle bad passes as well as anybody in the league.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | July 19, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

and please, no more belanger. Takes a lot more than speed and shiftiness to be a hockey player esp on a checking line. He doesn't check anyone, therefore imo he's not a checking line player even though he's got the rap of being a defensive player.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 19, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

Thanks

Posted by: sgm3 | July 19, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Ah, didn't realize Zubs still had 3 yrs left; agreed that's a bit steep.

Off-topic but I think Kuznetzov gets invited to main camp, btw.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | July 19, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

and please, no more belanger. Takes a lot more than speed and shiftiness to be a hockey player
---------

Agreed but didn't realize those two attributes applied to Eric Belanger!

Posted by: Timbo_1 | July 19, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I still like Belanger if they can get him one year, under $2M. Very good on faceoffs, good on PK, better than Steckel.

Belanger at last year's salary (1.875) is worth more than Chimera (same salary).

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 19, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

If the choice is Belanger or Steckel, that's easy. The PK is simply brutal and should be overhauled.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | July 19, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

Agree on Belanger.

The problem with Belanger last year was that he was used as a 2nd line center, which he is not.

He is good for a 3rd line role if he can be had at under $2M/yr. His speed and shiftiness might be a nice compliment to Steckel as the 4th line center.

So Steckel faces the bigger center such as Malkin, etc. while Belanger faces the smaller, quicker centers such as Crosby, Briere, Savard, Plekanec, etc.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 19, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

And I know the main source of this is from Eklund at hockeybuzz but a couple of people have tweeted it as well. Looks like Gagne is on the move to Tampa

Posted by: ThePat | July 19, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

"So Steckel faces the bigger center such as Malkin, etc. while Belanger faces the smaller, quicker centers such as Crosby, Briere, Savard, Plekanec, etc."


You do realize Bruce does not match lines ever. He just throws essentially throws them out in a rotation and doesnt care who from the opposing team is out there.

Posted by: ThePat | July 19, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

@ThePat

That would be interesting. It almost sort of means that Tampa traded Meszaros for Gagne. I think Tampa wins with that trade off.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 19, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

@ThePat

True about BB. He does need to improve on that.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 19, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

It's the biggest difference between the NHL and the AHL - you simply don't have the outliers in the minors, while guys obviously have different talent levels in the A the spectrum is much narrower. You simply don't find Malkins / Ovies/ Crosby's/Stamkos / Kovy etc. in the minors, so you just grab an energy guy and watch him do his thang and bust his @ss.

That said, no way Steckel matches up against Malkin, that is a bad match up.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | July 19, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

@Timbo_1

That matchup worked very well in the '09 playoffs as the Laich/Steckel/Bradley line was often matched up against Malkin's line and performed admirably. They shut down that line and Steckel's play was a big part of that.

Unfortunately, Steckel seemed to take a step back this year but I am hoping he regains the play he showed during the '09 playoffs.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 19, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Gagne to TB is a done deal. Likely prospects going back.

Update on Kovalchuk according to Burnside, 17 years $150M.

Posted by: ThePat | July 19, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

17 year at $150M.

Holy sh*t. That is still a huge cap hit too.

If that is true, then what the h*ll was Lout thinking. The contract goes until Kovy is 44.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 19, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Nevermind Burnside is an idiot. He was adding the contracts together, its 17 years down around 100M

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

Who would've guessed that July 19th would turn out to be the 2nd most significant day of free agency. With the Kovy contract and Gagne trade, that is two pretty significant moves. I wonder what else will happen today.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 19, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3:

"W. Mitchell to Caps"

PLLLEEAASSSSEE!!!!!!! :-D

Posted by: FrankM73 | July 19, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

I heard Mike Smith is going to Philly. Interesting.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 19, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

Mike Smith is not. Whoever said that is an idiot. Holmgren would never be that stupid to take on salary in this deal. Prospects going back and that is all.

Posted by: ThePat | July 19, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

GMGM should trade Flash to Boston for Savard. The Caps will just outscore everyone....it'll work this time!

Posted by: j3rockstar | July 19, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Or I guess he is dumb enough to take back salary and a defenseman at that. Matt Walker and a 4th round pick for Gagne is the deal.

Posted by: ThePat | July 19, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

@ThePat

I got it from:

JeffMarek: Did @dellis39 just become the undisputed #1 goalie in Tampa? Looks like Mike Smith for Simon Gagne.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 19, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

yeah i know where you got it from, I wasnt blaming you for posting it. Im shocked Marek believed it before checking with someone. But others were posting it as well, just made ZERO sense.

Posted by: ThePat | July 19, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

According to TSN Kovalchuk has/is signing with New Jersey.
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/feature/?id=25880

Posted by: JMinVA | July 19, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

So the Flyers basically traded Gagne for Meszaros and his $4M/yr salary and Matt Walker and his $1.7M/yr salary. (What did they trade for Meszaros?)

I wonder why Holmgrem has such a strong desrie for Tampa's defenseman. Especially considering that Tampa's defense was horrible last year.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 19, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

The Hockey News also states Kovalchuk is staying with New Jersey.
http://www.thehockeynews.com/

Posted by: JMinVA | July 19, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Tampa is no joke. Their top two lines may be better than our top 2. Plus, Ellis is a huge upgrade.

I would have to say the division is no longer assured.

LA needs Alex Semin. Get him there!

Posted by: underpants2 | July 19, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3:
close but it's basically:

TO TAMPA:
F-Simon Gagne
2012 2nd round pick

TO PHILLY:
D-Andrej Meszaros
D-Matt Walker
2011 4th round

Gotta say that looking at it from that point that Tampe wins in a landslide!

Posted by: FrankM73 | July 19, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

ESPN is reporting 17 years and $150 million for Kovalchuk. What a f-ing joke. There is either a salary cap or there isn't. The league can't let this slide.

Posted by: zmega | July 19, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

and yes, Philly is 1,052,738 under the cap... while Vancouver is still over by 358,333k

Posted by: FrankM73 | July 19, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

@FrankM73

Tampa wins in a massive landslide, especially considering that the salaries acquired by Philly are actually more than Gagne's.

It looks like Holmgrem got hosed.

@zmega

That was a misprint, it was for 17 years and a little over $100M.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 19, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

My guess is Philly plans on throwing Walker in the minors or flipping him somewhere for a 4th round pick or something. That would then give them a little over $2M to go sign Turco or Theodore.

Posted by: ThePat | July 19, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

@underpants2

Tampa is lacking depth. They have no 3rd and 4th lines and only have 3 quality defensemen.

Ellis is solid, but IMO, he isn't that much better than Mike Smith.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 19, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

sgm - Thanks for the correction. Nevertheless, 17 years...?? Still a joke.

Posted by: zmega | July 19, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

"Kovalchuk has signed a 17-year deal which could top $100 million, a source told ESPN.com's Scott Burnside. The source initially reported the amount as $150 million."

We have to see the breakdown on the years and amounts. Chances are it's 13 yrs/$100M and then 4 yrs where he'll retire at $500K each. The contract will run until he's 44. Pronger's and Hossa's already ran into their 40s. The commissioner should step in and void if that's how it is. If Bowie Kuhn could cancel trades that had already been made, then Bettman can void a contract using same logic: "In the best interests of hockey."

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 19, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

Ellis a lot better than Smith bc Ellis is consistent. Smith shows flashes and then has 3 games in a row he gives up 5.

They dont have 3rd and 4th line depth now but they still have over $15M in cap space. So they are going to be a tough team.

Posted by: ThePat | July 19, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Really, underpants? You would trade our top 6 (including Ovi and Backstrom of course) for theirs (including 35 year old MSL and what's left of overpaid LeCavalier?

Posted by: zmega | July 19, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

@underpants2

Tampa is lacking depth. They have no 3rd and 4th lines and only have 3 quality defensemen.

Ellis is solid, but IMO, he isn't that much better than Mike Smith.

Posted by: sgm3

Downie/Stamkos/St. Louis
Gagne/Lecavalier/Malone

Skill and grit galore. I like those lines a lot.

Posted by: underpants2 | July 19, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Really, underpants? You would trade our top 6 (including Ovi and Backstrom of course) for theirs (including 35 year old MSL and what's left of overpaid LeCavalier?

Posted by: zmega

Not sure I ever said I would trade, but we have an aging Knuble, and no second center.

Posted by: underpants2 | July 19, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

I would like to get some reporting feom someone - either the Post or on a national level - asking for league reaction to these "cap circumventing" contracts. Some here have said Philly will be hit with the entire Pronger deal because it took effect after he turned 35 (he signed when he was 34) - even though I never saw that verified. Also with Hossa's, when he signed for 12 years, we read league would look into it. Nada. What is happening with this?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 19, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

I really don't think we can afford to give up Semin's 40 goals -- where does that production come from??

I think LA is fine giving up Jack Johnson and a pick for a sniper, but I really think the D as is + Semin is a better outcome for 2010-11.

Knowing Semin, he will sign a 2 year extension in September. Lets not assume he is going anywhere or that the Caps don't want him.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | July 19, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

IMO, time to move Semin. LA is losing out on everyone.

Posted by: underpants2 | July 19, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

We are kinda doing the same with Nicky and OV.

Posted by: underpants2 | July 19, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

@underpants

no we arent....there contracts increase with the length of the contract. Pronger and Hossa come down to like under $1M for the last couple of years. So they get all their money up front and can retire and not leave anything on the table basically.

@tominsocal

I agree that what teasm are doing with contracts is not good for the league. But its perfectly legal under the CBA so if I were a GM I'd take advantage of it.

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

The Ovi and Backstrom contracts were significantly shorter and started when the players were significantly younger. They presumably will still be productive in the final year of the contracts. Not comparable at all to Kovalchuk, Pronger, Hossa.

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

@underpants2

I agree, Tampa has a very good top 2 lines. Their forward (3rd and 4th lines) and defensive depth is lacking.

@ThePat

True Tampa has $15M to sign free agents, but the ones available are limited and Tampa cannot commit too much money past next year because Stamkos is an RFA after this year.

I have to respectfully disgree with you about Ellis.

He has never played enough games to prove he is consistent.

He played in 35 games in '08-'09 and 31 games in '09-'10. In '08-'09 he had a 2.93 GAA and a .900 save %. Last year he had a 2.69 GAA and a .909 save %.

Over that same period, Smith started 41 games and 42 games, both for Tampa. He had a 2.62 GAA and a .916 save % in '08-'09 and a 3.09 GAA and a .900 save % last year.

Overall those numbers are pretty similar, and Tampa probably had more holes in their defense the past two years than Nashville.

So I don't see that much difference between the two.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 19, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Is LA really thinking of moving Jack Johnson?! He is a very good young, aggressive, mobile d-man, those guys don't grow on trees. He just captained Team USA at the World's after a very strong Pics showing. Is this verified?

Posted by: Timbo_1 | July 19, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

And here are the contract terms according to Chesnokov:

@dchesnokov: Kovalchuk $102m over 17 years. $10m per year for the first 8 years. $7.5 for the next 2, from what I heard.

Thats the first 10 years so the last 7 break down below from me, not DC:

So I guess that makes $7M over the last 5 years of the contract, so on average its $1.4 per year as the contract comes to a close if its consistent over that time.

Posted by: ThePat | July 19, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Cagne is a Tampa Bay Lightening.
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/transactions/

Posted by: JMinVA | July 19, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

If the Kovalchuk deal stands, more teams will be pressured to enter into these joke contracts to compete. More money will potentially be locked up with older, unproductive players, with less available to up-and-coming players. Ultimately, could make the KHL more attractive to younger stars. Time for Gary B. to step up and show he has a pair.

Posted by: zmega | July 19, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Is LA really thinking of moving Jack Johnson?! He is a very good young, aggressive, mobile d-man, those guys don't grow on trees. He just captained Team USA at the World's after a very strong Pics showing. Is this verified?

Posted by: Timbo_1

I am not saying they are, but I think he can be had. LA has a lot of young dman in their system (Tuebert, Hickey). Johnson is expendable.

Posted by: underpants2 | July 19, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

how often have you seen Ellis and Smith play? There is a big difference. Plus Smith gets hurt consistently. Ellis will be there number one and play around 60 games. You cant just rely on numbers.

If we go by numbers Flash is as good as Frolov and Pavelski and better than Cammalleri. But if you watch them play, Flash couldnt hold any of their jocks.

Posted by: ThePat | July 19, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

@ThePat

I agree on Ellis. He is better than Smith, and Tampa will score a lot more goals than Nashville.

Posted by: underpants2 | July 19, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

@ThePat

I have only watched each of them play a few times. But judging goalies by numbers is different than judging skaters, because skaters can do other things than providing goals and assists such as playing defense. However, a goalie's only job is to not let the puck go into his net. The stats are only based on that.

True, stats are not the end all be all because team defenses differ. But Tampa had a worse team defense than Nashville the past two years so that should've benefitted Ellis' numbers more than Smith's.

Could Ellis breakthrough and have a great season this year? Absolutely.

But he is a 30 year old goalie who has never started that many games in a season and only had mediocore stats when he did play. So up until now he and Smith have been about equals in the NHL, and Smith is younger.

It doesn't mean his results can't change, but it is definitely not an indication that his results will change.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 19, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

And here are the contract terms according to Chesnokov:

@dchesnokov: Kovalchuk $102m over 17 years. $10m per year for the first 8 years. $7.5 for the next 2, from what I heard.

Thats the first 10 years so the last 7 break down below from me, not DC:

So I guess that makes $7M over the last 5 years of the contract, so on average its $1.4 per year as the contract comes to a close if its consistent over that time.

Posted by: ThePat

-------

Isn't it $7.5M over the last 7 years of the contract, making it just a hair over 1 mil per season for years 11-17?

Breakdown:
years 1-8: 10 mil (80m)
years 9&10: 7.5 mil (15m)
years 11-17: 1 mil (7m)
(80+15+7 = 102mil total)

Is my math correct, assuming the report is correct?

Posted by: FrankM73 | July 19, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

Respectfully if you have only watched each play a few times, which I will take to be less than 10 each than you really shouldnt just use numbers and age to say Ellis and Smith are comparable. You really shouldnt try to make an agrument about it at all.

Lets put it this way for you: If you poll the 30 NHL GM's, Id bet 3 might take Smith over Ellis. So Ellis would be wanted by 90% of the teams.

Watch them both play this year and come back and tell me what you think.

Posted by: ThePat | July 19, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

@Frank

yeah you are, I realized that after I posted I only had 15 years but didnt feel like going back to correct it.

Posted by: ThePat | July 19, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

if it really is 17 years and 102 million, that's rediculous... he won't play until 44... Bettman has to step in and stop this circumventing of the CBA and cap...

that's 6 mil cap hit... dumb!

Posted by: FrankM73 | July 19, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

http://www.nhl.com/cba/2005-CBA.pdf

Here is the CBA. Go to section 50.7 on page 219 and rerad the illustrations. It's very hard to understand, but it sounds like you can't have any years in the contract less than half the pay of the first two years. It really reads that way. So, from that, if he is $10M for the first two years, no year should be less than $5M.

The Pronger and Hossa contracts were $2M circumventions, while this one is a $4M circumvention for the first 8 years. So, in essence, the Devils are operating with 63.4 "cap space" while caps and others have 59.4.

This contract, if this is how it is, is clearly outside the spirit and perhaps the legal intent of the CBA.

I would really like to see some reporting on this.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 19, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

the prob with Tampa is, their coach and GM right now are unknowns. I give Yzerman the benefit of doubt based on the little i know of his style but you don't know if some of the guys that Tocchet used so well will be used in the same manner by the new regime.

re: the Kovalchuk deal - the Devils need scoring right? couldn't we have done with them trade-wise with guys like Flash, MP, Bouchard etc to entice the Devils to part with one of their young defensive prospects like Mark Fraser or Matt Corrente? The Devils have depth at that defensive dman position, and we need that. Heck, even Eric Fehr if he'd bring back enough would be worth it imo. Andrew Gordon may be able to step in and we could've signed a FA forward like Nystrom to backfill the void.

where's the creativity. that's all i ask

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 19, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: ThePat | July 19, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Lets look at the top 2 of us on TB for a second. Combined last year the top 6 of TB (including Gange) scored 164 goals on only Downie who is actually still a FA was a + in +/-. Our top six had 189 if you count B.Mo as the second line center and 200 if you count Flash as the second line center with all of our players in the +s . And of course we also had Fehr on the third line with over 20 goals. TB after the top 2 had only one other player in double digits for the whole year and that was Tanguay who is gone. Yes they still have some cap space but they only have 5 good forwards signed and only 8 signed total. Their D is also just as bad as it was this year so they won't be giving up much less especially with losing Andrej Meszaros earlier in the month and not replacing him at all.

As for NJ. Just like when they traded for Kovy last year I still don't think they have really improved that much. Yes they got Volchenkov but they lost Paul Martin so it is only a slight upgrade. Also Brodeur is well past his prime and hasn't gotten out of the first round in years. Also they are going to have to find a way to dump at least one player to get under the Cap.

Posted by: icehammer97 | July 19, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

After this recent example

Gagne TO TBL for Walker (#6 overpaid D man) and a 4th

it is time to revisit this

Flash & a 4th to Chi For Sharp (chi having the option to walk away from flash after arb and saving his 3.9 mil cap space)


Posted by: t-bone67 | July 19, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

@icehammer97

I dont think anyone ever proclamined TB would win the SE, just that they are going to be a better team this year than last. You dont think Vinny will have a better year now that he knows he isnt going anywhere. To me they are better in net than last year. I know they have holes to fill but they will be able to score goals.

NJ also signed Tallinder and Brodeur past his prime is still a lot better than what we have in net. We have only gotten further than the first round once in 3 years under this regime. Not like we are doing as great as everyone thinks.

To me the East as currently put together will break down like this for the top 8 teams come playoff time:

1. NJ
2. Wash
3. Boston
4. Philly
5. Pitt
6. Montreal
7. Ottawa
8. Atlanta

and that is in large part due to our division. I think we are currently the 5th best team in the East when you put everything together. If thats how it ended yes I think we get by the first round, the second round I dont think so if everything held to form in round 1.

Posted by: ThePat | July 19, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

ThePat: That guy says all the stuff I've been saying, even once I posted about the escrow and how Ovechkin loses since the player's pool stays same and yet Kovalchuk for instance takes a bigger percentage out of the actual player's salary.

I misunderstood the 50% thing - it's season to season not in total (which is what he suggests). So, Kovalchuk can go from 10-10-10 etc then to 5 one year and then to min salary.

McPhee should move quickly and give Brooks Laich a 30-year extension for $40M that will pay him over ten years of play really and only cost the club $1.33M in cap hit.

Why not?

And then give Varly an 82-year extension...

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 19, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Yes they got Volchenkov but they lost Paul Martin so it is only a slight upgrade.
--------------------------

i have no idea how one can quantify upgrades or downgrades like this. There are so many other variables involved. For ex are you taking into acct the young players in Lowell who may step in on the blueline? Everyone talks about the Caps and are more than willing to mention Alzner's promotion as proof the Caps are better. But other teams' prospects and other variables are frequently left out of the equation. I'm not trying to put the Devils on a pedestal. I don't think they're world beaters on paper. And frankly I thought we had a better than 50-50 chance of beating them in the 1st round if we faced them. (although no way we close them or any other team out in 5 games).

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 19, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

t-bone: I still say Sharp is worth more. He's signed two years, fair contract, not injury-prone. He's worth more than a "walk away."

If they trade him, they'd want a good prospect like MaJo and a #2 pick or something.

We'll see - you might be right, I might be right.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 19, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

I think calling the Volchenkov/Martin deal, for next year's purposes only, is basically a wash in that they are both were/are a top pairing defenseman on the Devils.

So the Devils lose a top pairing defenseman who will play a lot of minutes and then acquire a top pairing defenseman who will play a lot of minutes.

If Martin had stayed he would have played a lot of minutes. Volchenkov will now play those minutes.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 19, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

NJ also signed Tallinder and Brodeur past his prime is still a lot better than what we have in net.
--------
Agreed on the first, Tallinder's a very solid and underrated d-man but I don't know about the 2nd part. Varly played way better than Brodeur in the playoffs; come to think of it, he did last playoffs too as a rookie. Brodeur looked very shaky in the Olympics. But, NJ did also pickup Hedberg for insurance, and I like their Swedish youngsters.

I also have a hard time seeing Boston in the 3rd spot, they simply don't score enough goals and who knows how they rebound after that collapse. Savard's still around and he's a locker room problem in the best of times, never mind when he's healthy but Krecji and Bergeron have supplanted him.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | July 19, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

1. NJ
2. Wash
3. Boston
4. Philly
5. Pitt
6. Montreal
7. Ottawa
8. Atlanta
-----------

I think Ottawa misses the playoffs next season. Atl I agree with will be a better team that will contend for the last spots. I think Toronto will take that step up as well. And the Rangers are always in the mix although I don't have a handle on them yet and I wouldn't be surprised to see them take another step back. But at least with Boogaard, Prust, Byers and Avery they'll provide some good entertainment! Those Rags-Flyers games will be epic bruising battles as will games involving Atl and Toronto.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 19, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

@ tominsocal1

Flash is a top 6 forward and he has value they can sign him for cheaper than sharp for 1yr if they choose or package him off with other parts to further reduce their cap but they are up hard against the wall.

There are not many true top 6 players Available out there and even if he wins his arb his # 2.75-3.0 mil is considered a bargain in the market right now

Posted by: t-bone67 | July 19, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

@t-bone

They won't want Flash because what is the point of trading for a player if you are just going to walk away. It has no value and I highly doubt Chicago will want Flash at a $2.5M/yr salary.

I think they would much rather prefer a pick or prospect than taking that risk on Flash.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 19, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

@timbo1

Varly might look better in the playoffs but we have faced teams that cant score goals. Brodeur faced the Flyers who can score goals, I dont fault him for the playoffs. The Flyers just owned NJ all year long.

Boston added Horton and to me they are a more complete team than Montreal. So its either team for the 3rd seed. You can flip a coin. Either way when both of those teams are healthy, we matchup poorly against them in a 7 game series.

Posted by: ThePat | July 19, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

agree w/Timbo on the Bs and they could be one of those teams trying to get in in the last week. But if they get in they do have a playoff type of roster because they know how to play some D. And it'll be interesting to see how Horton fits in. The Bs are another team like the Devils and Rangers that could use some top end skill and they have some assets the Caps could use.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 19, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

@ThePat

Excluding game 7, Varly played very well against the Pens and was a main reason the series went 7.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 19, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

oh yeah, and Montreal probably misses the playoffs next yr also. I think Ott/Mon are out. And Atl and Tor sneak in. With Tampa being an unknown of sorts with a new regime change.

Ott has lost Chara, Redden, Pothier, Volchenkov, and Mesjaros on D over the past few yrs, only Phillips remains. Their whole defense is in flux. Sutton and Phillips have to hold it together and Sutton has a hard time staying healthy.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 19, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

I disagree about Toronto. Their top 6 is pretty poor compared to most other top 6's.

I still don't see them making the postseason because of the lack of scoring top end forward talent

Posted by: sgm3 | July 19, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

But OTT added Gonchar, and Karlsson looks to be a terrific young d-man. They will most likely have a lethal PP, if they can keep Spezza's head on straight. I think the issue with OTT will be goaltending.

Would have pegged MTL to rise next year - but for their mystifying decision to keep Price over Halak. Price better hope he gets off to a strong start because those Habs fans aren't exactly the most patient ones around and they loved Halak.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | July 19, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

@ Thepat. I was talking to the people who were talking about how great the top 2 lines were for TB even saying they could be as good as our top two lines. Yes, we could use a second line center but they need a second line winger and they can't even fill the position with someone who might have some flaws like we can the second line center job with Laich, Flash, or MJ. If they don't fill the gap left by Downie no resigning yet they will have to fill that game with either a rookie or someone who didn't even get 10 goals last season.

As for my NJ talk it was for this season and mainly stressing the even thought they went out and seeming made the most noise during the FA period they have not gotten much better by their FA signing becasue they lost guys that were about the same.

Posted by: icehammer97 | July 19, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

@ cstanton1 don't forget that Sutton is still an unsigned FA. There is no way to know if he is going to be in Ottawa next season.

Posted by: icehammer97 | July 19, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

I disagree about Toronto. Their top 6 is pretty poor compared to most other top 6's.

I still don't see them making the postseason because of the lack of scoring top end forward talent

Posted by: sgm3

clearly Toronto has to prove their D can hold up and they can generate offense. I have no disagreement there. But I think some of their intangible qualities will push them towards a playoff spot. But I agree, they have question marks. However, you have to look at their team towards the end of the year. They were an above .500 team after the Phaneuf trade and their D had a different look with Exelby back as a regular and the improvement of Schenn Their overall defense, statistically and otherwise, improved. To me, their defense is not as much an issue as are the forwards who will round out the top 6 as you pointed out. They're a team on the rise but it remains to be seen how quickly they can be a playoff contender. I think they'll be right on the cusp or in the playoffs next season.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 19, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Re: Toronto - does Nadri [sp?] look to be worth the hype? Any shot he fills a top-6 spot for TO - and if so, this year?

Posted by: Timbo_1 | July 19, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

I agree with everything you said about Toronto. With all the parity in the NHL it is more than possible that they could make the playoffs next year. But if I was betting money on it I would bet that they wouldn't. But we will see, they are an interesting team to watch. Especially with Brian Burke behind the wheel.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 19, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Burke takes a lot of grief. And with the plethora of activity that he engages in when he takes over a team, you can always expect to find a questionable move (kessel?) or (overpaid) signing here and there. But, he has given that team a new face in a very short amount of time. Much like the changes in Atl and to an extent in Tampa. And he is building a fun aggressive team to watch. The Leafs were not only a losing franchise 2 yrs ago, they were also a deflated discouraged aging bunch of has-beens. In less than 2 yrs Burke has added a lot of youth and vigor to the team. Now its upto kids like Kadri, Bozak, Kulemin, Gunnarson, Versteeg and Caputi to turn that franchise around. You can't do it all with expensive FA signings.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 19, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Another thing that goes unnoticed about Burke is, he makes everyone earn their spot. He did that in Anaheim and he'll do it in Toronto. He's already called Kadri out for being a little weak on his defensive game. And he's supposed to be a top 6 forward.
Burke did the same thing with Perry and Getzlaf in Anaheim. Both of them had outstanding camps prior to the 2005 season and both of them still got put in the minors until they proved it there. Burke is a no-nonsense throwback GM. Stars don't get preferential treatment, they're all expected to backcheck, they're all expected to finish checks (even Selanne had to do that), just because you're an "offensive dman" it doesn't mean you get a free pass in your own end etc etc.

The perfect GM is probably a mix of McPhee and Burke, with a heavier emphasis on Burke. He can learn a little more prudency perhaps, and do a better job of drafting top end skill guys. And McPhee can teach him that till the cows come home and grandma gets off the sh_tter.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 19, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1qa1fQHQNY&feature=related

finley and pisano should take fighting lessons from these two

thx for uploading!

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 19, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Guess I have to eat my words. I said Kovalchuk would never see $100M again unless he went to the printing press at the Treasury Dept. The "real" contract though if numbers floating around are true would be $95M for ten years. Just about exactly what Ovechkin gets. I just don't think Kovalchuk is that good.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 19, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

One additional thought:

If you're McPhee, you have the opportunity, right here and right now, to give Alexander Semin the same contract as Kovalchuk but maybe 20% less.

17 years/$85M, annual cap hit only $5M.

He gets $7M/yr for ten years; $6M; $4M; $2M; $1M; $1M; and two years at $500K.

I think we all agree that Semin is a great player. The question is what is he worth. Well, at $5M a year cap hit, even the detractors would need to admit, I think, he's a bargain.

And, if that works, I can construct a 28-year extension Mike Green can sign next year with a cap hit of only like $4M and then we can work on the 35-year deal for John Carlson.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 19, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

The Capologist is killing me.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | July 19, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

not sure if this was alreay brought up...

anyone think that the Kings might go after Semin since they can't have Kovy? We ould trade him for a defensemen and have left over for a real solid center and emergency funds for the deadlin in case of injury...not saying we should, but its an idea.

One other thing...am I way off base to say that I would take Semin over Kovalchuck any day? At least Semin can play D.

Posted by: capscoach | July 19, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

The deal you constructed for Semin would be fine with me. Even if you added an extra $5M. So about an extra $0.3M/yr that would be fine with me.

Now the biggest problem with these contracts is does it leave the player motivated. While some players will stay as motivated because they want to win. Many players might slack off some in training in the off-season because they already have their guaranteed career contract.

If the Caps would believe that Semin would stay motivated enough, especially with the help of Ovie. Then, by all means, sign Semin to a 17 year, $85M-$90M contract.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 19, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

I've been watching the guy for probably 20 years now, and I have to say that's a pretty astute analysis of Brian Burke. He definitely has done wonders for Team USA, I can't think of a better guy to have at the helm. Interesting juxtaposition of him and GMGM as well.

One thing about Burke I've always liked is if something doesn't work he doesn't say the player's a jerk or whatever, he just says he messed up. And he doesn't pretend that every move is genius, just because he made it.

Posted by: govtimbo | July 19, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

It looks to me like Kovalchuk held out for $1M more than Atlanta offered him, in order to justify his decision not to accept the Atlanta offer of $101M. He couldn't take less, because he would look like an idiot for not taking Atlanta's money. And the Devils had to pay him what he wanted, in order to justify giving up so much to acquire him at the trade deadline. Otherwise, they would look like idiots for giving up 4 every game players for essentially nothing. So it all came down to two egos, Kovalchuk's and Lamoriello's.

Posted by: zmega | July 19, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

sgm: If you notice, the timeframe of Semin's contract that I created that has the main portion of the money (ten years beyond this year) is the exact length of Ovi's contract.

I believe we can conclude that Ovi is the one person on earth who can keep Semin motivated.

I've actually calculated a 694-year contract for Erskine that has a cap hit of only seven dollars a year. I think as 8th defenseman that would be a good deal.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 19, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

We ould trade him for a defensemen and have left over for a real solid center and emergency funds for the deadlin in case of injury...not saying we should, but its an idea.

_______________

Greene and Stoll.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 19, 2010 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Even though McPhee played the game ethically, you could also argue that he was late to the party, as usual.

It sucks that the Caps didn't take advantage of this loophole with their two biggest contracts. We could have $5-6 million more in cap space if we did what Chicago, Detroit and New Jersey are doing.

Pittsburgh also did it to a relatively insginicant degree with Crosby and Malkin's current contracts. With both of those contracts expiring in the next few years, you can bet that, unlike McPhee, Lemieux will use the loophole like other teams are doing in order to keep Crosby and Malkin together and to be able to gain a competitive advantage.

I think it's a terrible manipulation of the rules and wish it would be cleaned up but as long as it's going on, if you don't take advantage of it, you are falling behind the teams that do in terms of flexibility.

So, again, on one hand, McPhee played by the rules. If you are proud of him for that, fair enough.

On the other hand, he didn't bend the rules and as of now, that puts us at a disadvantage. He had two chances to do it with our two biggest contracts but chose not to on each occasion.

Meanwhile, Chicago did it and just won a cup.

Now, Lamoriello is doing it in an effort to win another cup.

McPhee failed or succeed, depending on how you look at it?

I lean towards him failing, esp. with Backstrom's contract since it was put together just recently. For a guy that loves to compare his team to Detroit, he would've been well served to imitate them in this case.

Posted by: tmac2yao | July 20, 2010 5:28 AM | Report abuse

Edit: Lemieux will use the loophole if it's still available to him. Hopefully, it won't be but how do you tell a team they can't do this after several other teams have already done it and created a distinct competitive advantage? You can't punish those teams or force them to modify contracts after the fact, can you?

Edit: McPhee failed or succeeded, depending on how you look at it. (jacked up that sentence in my prev. post)

Posted by: tmac2yao | July 20, 2010 5:36 AM | Report abuse

it's like anything else in life... where there's a will, there's a way.

it's no different from what the NFL teams do by giving huge signing bonuses to get around their salary cap.

it all comes down to how bad you really wanna win.

Posted by: joek443 | July 20, 2010 7:02 AM | Report abuse

That NJD/Kovy contract smells like a Dan Snyder contract. The Devils have a 17 year millstone on their necks because Kovy is a one-way player and not a team player and no one can afford to take that monster contract off their hands. It's a desperation move to try to get another SC while Marty is not too old. And doesn't this contract push NJD over the cap? I thought Lou was kinda savvy, but no longer.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | July 20, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

And Yzerman looks pretty astute trading a pretty weak blueliner and a 4th to a desperate Flyers organization for Gagne. Th Lightning may be the Caps compeitition for the SE this year, well if they had a goalie and defense. But surprised that at that price the Caps did not get in on the action and just let Flash walk, as Gagne is a proven playoff player and would get well over 20 goals in the Caps system.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | July 20, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Jim, Tampa can roll two lines. Two lines does not a team make.

Posted by: Steve_R | July 20, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Agreed two lines with poor goal tending and weak defense is not much of a threat. Still, I think for a trade, this is not a bad one for the Bolts. They got better and gave up very little. Kudos to Stevie Y

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | July 20, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

surprised that at that price the Caps did not get in on the action and just let Flash walk
----------
Let's not let one bad playoff series from Flash distort reality - the fact is Gagne historically has done relatively little playoff scoring. He got hot against the depleted B's [who were focused on stopping the Leino-Briere-Hartnell line] but did little after that. Gagne's a sniper but a streaky one, and when he's not scoring he doesn't contribute very much. A quick d-man - i.e., Hjalmarrsson - can suffocate
Gagne, who needs time and space and someone to get him the puck to be effective.

I think the jury's still out on Flash, he may not be quite the finisher Gagne is but he's younger and already a better playmaker, and hopefully will only get better.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | July 20, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Tampa definitely won on those deals. They got the best player, moved up in the draft(gave up a 4th and got a 2nd) and reduced their cap hit. That seems like a win all around. I have no idea why Holmgrem didn't hold out for a better deal for Gagne. Sometimes patience can be a good thing.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 20, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

tmac2yao: Your comparisons aren't quite apples-to-apples. The Ovi and Backie contracts were RFA deals coming out of their three-year EL contracts. Kovy, Hossa, Luongo, Lecavalier etc were all UFAs, most of them at 28 or 29. It would have taken for instance like a 22-year deal to get Backie signed to same age as Kovy deal. Not the same thing.

Semin and Laich, however, are the same circumstance as next contract for each is UFA. The question is would you do that with either player. Laich might be a good choice. He can sign 15 years extension until he's 43. Give him $4M a year for ten years then $5M for the last five. That's $45M over 15 yrs or $3M cap hit while paying him $4M. Savings pales in comparison to Kovy, but Laich ain't Kovy. Maybe $4M is just a shade high (3.75 maybe more accurate) but you get the point.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 20, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

OK, math there was 4 each for ten then five total over last five for 45 total.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 20, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I have no idea why Holmgrem didn't hold out for a better deal for Gagne
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He probably felt fortunate to get anything at all - Gagne's a one dimensional goal-scorer, and an oft-injured one at that - who struggled to put in 17 all last year. He needs to be on a top-6 line but he's no longer good enough to crack Philly's top-6. [Prediction on that note btw: Leino-Briere-probably Hartnell flips with the Richards line to become their clear-cut #1 line next year].

Posted by: Timbo_1 | July 20, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

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