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Mike Knuble: Caps 'can't wait to get to spring'

Mike Knuble was back in his usual spot -- directly in front of the goaltender -- today at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, where he is the latest to join the group of Capitals players skating in the mornings. We're in the home stretch of summer, with more players expected to return to the ice after Labor Day weekend and rookie camp slated to open a week from Sunday.

The oldest of the Capitals regulars, 38-year-old Knuble said he feels more comfortable heading into his second season in Washington and that he knows from the get-go what kind of expectations and questions the team will face.

"I expect, right from Day One, we're going to be judged on our playoffs," Knuble said. "We know how we're all going to be measured is the playoffs, not the regular season.

"We're going to play well during the season, we're going to have a good record; there's no denying or changing that, but what happened makes everybody take a step back and makes everybody a little more angry than hungry," Knuble added. "I think everybody's a little pissed off this year and can't wait to get to spring. It's going to be a long 7-8 months to get to the playoffs for us."

Knuble stayed in town until June, when his three children finished school, and while his 14 NHL seasons help bring perspective to most disappointments, it didn't make the reality of the Caps early-playoff exit much easier. He watched Philadelphia reach the Stanley Cup Final after squeaking into the playoffs on a shootout win on the final day of the 2009-10 regular season and said he thought, "It should have been us."

Regardless of the frustration and what ifs created by last season's first-round playoff loss, Knuble stressed that the Capitals can't sit and worry if something like that could happen again. He doesn't believe the team will over-think the situation much, though, and that perhaps the Caps' youth will help them move beyond the past quickly.

"It's humbling and important to learn from it, but the onus will be on us the last five, six weeks of the season to be playing well in our minds," he said. "Not just sloughing through and pulling games out at that point. You want to be healthy and have everybody confident in their role and I think everybody here knows what's expected."

There's little question that the Capitals have, as Knuble called it, "a great window" of opportunity to succeed with its cadre of young talent and many players in the prime of their careers. But as Chicago's Stanley Cup run and ensuing deconstruction demonstrated, it's hard to know how long those opportunities will remain.

"You can't predict how big of a window you're going to have before you have to blow it apart and the salary cap gets in the way," Knuble said. "You don't want to be on a team where you look back in 15 years and say, 'Damn, why'd we screw that up?' That's my big fear. I've been on teams and you look back and realize, wow, that was a good team. Why didn't we do better? This is a team with superstar-caliber players. You have to strike when they're all there."

By Katie Carrera  |  September 3, 2010; 1:23 PM ET
 
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Next: Caps' draft picks eager to prove themselves at rookie camp

Comments

my biggest concern is that the team will lack focus during the regular season - and then struggle to "turn things on" down the stretch.

yes, they will probably make the playoffs again this year...but they have done nothing this offseason to make themselves a better post-season team. that's why i think they are doomed to fail once again.

the caps are like a high-performance car...it's great for speeding around on a smooth race track...but you don't dare take it out on rough terrain...and the post-season is rough terrain indeed.

Posted by: dingram3 | September 3, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

"You can't predict how big of a window you're going to have before you have to blow it apart and the salary cap gets in the way," Knuble said.

Well at least someone in the organization understands the reality of the NHL.

Posted by: ThePat | September 3, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

While it is nice to hear, we've heard this heading into the past two seasons. It is time to stop talking about how good we are and just playing like it.

Posted by: CapsNut | September 3, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Knubes is a money player, and the new Capital One commercial with Ovie has me psyched. Can't wait for the season to start!!

Posted by: thebone | September 3, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

NHL and NHLPA reach an agreement and Kovys contract has been approved and its a holiday weekend. Now if the Caps all the sudden make a trade by Tuesday Ill think the world is ending.

Posted by: ThePat | September 3, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

The season to strike was 09/10.

Posted by: LarryDavid | September 3, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

TSN reproting sources say agreement made re Kovy contract.

http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=332542

Posted by: Chucks20707 | September 3, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

nice to hear that he is pissed off!

Posted by: ovckn8 | September 3, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Nice article, Katie. Don't let the haters get you down. It's an immutable law of physics that they will fill up any available space created by someone else's hard work. Just curious, did he not mention the, "Yeah buts" in his interview?

Posted by: Kdarienzo | September 3, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the Kovy deal will fear up a juicy trade out of NJ or two for the Caps or at least push teams into trade gear again.

Agreed that the Caps are still lacking a proven second line center and 1-2 gritty, savvy vet blueliners and they may therefore bow out early again

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | September 3, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Other GMs need to stick it to Lou for this Kovalchuk mess. No teams should take Rolston, Salvador, or Zubrus. Force him to trade Zajac.

Plus, this may have been what was holding up the Belanger/Flash/Trade whatever. Maybe we get some good Caps news soon.

Posted by: underpants2 | September 3, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

And Knubs is 38, so he knows that he has 1-2 years for a real cup run

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | September 3, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

According to THN, the league/NHLPA agreement on this deal will likely include approvals on Luongo, Hossa, etc deals up to now and be the last contract to take a plyer into his 40s.

Evidently, and this is good, whatever agreement they made must have included an amendment to the CBA that spells out precisly the cans and can't dos of long-term contracts.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 3, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Knubes is the man!! No more young guns. Those donks need to grow up and get a sack. no more excuses.

Posted by: doughless | September 3, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Nothing against Ovie, but Knuble should be captain of this beast of a ship.

Posted by: TheSmurfs | September 3, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

It's finally nice to be talking about WHEN the playoffs start for the Caps, not IF the playoffs start.

I wish people would stop saying this team has done nothing to get better. You are insulting the current players' character. Do you think that they are sitting around saying, "I'm going to do exactly what I did last year in the playoffs"? No, they are re-living every mistake they made. Good players and coaches, which is what our team is made up of, learn from their mistakes and CHANGE to correct them. So, just because you don't see personnel changes, doesn't mean this team isn't changing.

Posted by: Dizruption | September 3, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Good players and coaches, which is what our team is made up of, learn from their mistakes and CHANGE to correct them. So, just because you don't see personnel changes, doesn't mean this team isn't changing.
--------------------------------------

doesn't mean it is changing either, you have no idea and neither do I... there are only few guys on this team who are "re-living every mistake" they made in the playoffs.

if everyone cared that much and took it that seriously, they wouldn't have lost to the Habs in the first place.

Posted by: joek443 | September 3, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

if everyone cared that much and took it that seriously, they wouldn't have lost to the Habs in the first place.

Posted by: joek443 | September 3, 2010 5:44 PM


Can we please stop talking about Crosby, Malkin and the Pens on a Caps blog?

Posted by: YouAreABigWhiner | September 3, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

joek443 - So, you honestly feel that some of these guys REALLY DIDN'T CARE? You think you want the Cup more than them?

Posted by: gonchpup | September 3, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

How about the Pres Trophy and the Cup, and an Ovie MVP, which he should give to Maxy Pad Talbot out of pity. Run the tables and crush all doubt!!!

Posted by: mcgratsp | September 3, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

They all care joek.

Posted by: Dizruption | September 3, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

we all forget though the Habs were hard for caps to beat during the reg season.. I think that B and the team though "oh snap" when they got them in the playoffs.. whoever our achilles heels are this year need attn. Who cares if we blow up 65% of teams.. more attn needed to be paid those conference teams we couldnt solve.. therein lay the problem

and also the death of the adverb.. GUYS when speaking to the media.. you play badLY or well not play bad and good! You are native English speakers so speak correctly (you know who are ... g, b, etc). Our ESL folks have an excuse you dont and my ears bleed.(sorry, held that in for awhile)

Posted by: kmr2r | September 3, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

You should just ignore joek443. I mean, what can you say about someone who PRETENDS they read Ernest Hemingway?

Really, either read him or don't, but don't pretend.

The closest Hemingway ever got to writing about cars is when they raced in a truck across the savannah in the "Short Happy Life of Francis McComber" when the characters broke a law (you don't chase game in a vehicle).

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 3, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Here you go. Anyone who thought the league would "lose" on this Kovy thing, you were 100% wrong.

http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/34957-NHLNHLPA-agree-to-new-rules-about-longterm-contracts-no-cap-benefits-past-40-source-tells-THNcom.html

nostrathomas gave an 80% total chance for league win/slash contract approved when revised. Well, as part of the deal to approve this contract, the CBA has been amended so that, going forward, the salary cap averaging is only computed on contract years through the player's 40th birthday.

So, as for instance, the original Kovy deal was 17 yrs/$102M, but the cap calc would only have been computed on the first 13 yrs/$99.8M and it would have been then $7.6M per year. The last four years at $550K each would not have been in the cap calc since Kovy would have been 41 beginning in the first of those four years.

So, in the end, the league is victorious, as the loophole, while not closed, has been pretty much dammed up.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 3, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Knub's you played great against Montreal, but you better get some guys who actually wanna go in front of the net with you.

Some defense would be nice also.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | September 3, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

you people are all over the map, ain't you? they all cared and still lost in such a humiliating fashion so they must not be really that good then, right??

so which is it? are they really not that good or do they not have the heart of a champion?? or maybe both??

there are only a couple ways you can win or lose, this isn't rocket science. this isn't that complicated like Ferrari or McLaren spending $300-400M/year to gain 2 or 3 tenths of a second against the competition.

Posted by: joek443 | September 3, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

I hope they don't take the regular season too lightly or psyche themselves out come playoff time.

A+ coaching is what this team needs. And a good shutdown d-man wouldn't hurt, but I guess that's too much to ask.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | September 3, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

We should all just ignore JOEK44- he just attempted to use "ain't" in a sentence. Clearly we have a scholarly mind amongst us.

GO CAPS!!!!! Counting down the days!!

Posted by: Bondra2Ovie | September 4, 2010 1:30 AM | Report abuse

We should all just ignore JOEK- he just attempted to use "ain't" in a sentence. Clearly we have a scholarly mind amongst us.

LET'S GO CAPS!!!!! Counting down the days!

Posted by: Bondra2Ovie | September 4, 2010 1:37 AM | Report abuse

Greetings from Baghdad! Off point here, but how much longer do I have to wait until I get a daily update on our hockey team? The heat sucks, but no hockey is just unbearable.

Posted by: fatboy08 | September 4, 2010 1:44 AM | Report abuse

One more clause in the agreement mentioned by tominsocal1:

"In any long-term contract that averages more than $5.75 million for the three highest compensation seasons, the cap charge will be a minimum of $1 million for every season in which the player is 36-39 years of age. That $1 million value will then be used to determine the salary cap hit for the entire contract. If the contract takes the player into his 40s, the previous rule goes into effect." - per NHL.com

i.e. if you front load and leave the ages of 36-39 with hits

Posted by: Raber | September 4, 2010 3:04 AM | Report abuse

whoops - trying again

i.e. if you front load and leave the ages of 36-39 with hits less than 1 mil, you count those years as 1 mil for purposes of calculating salary cap.

Posted by: Raber | September 4, 2010 3:12 AM | Report abuse

Knubes is a money player, and the new Capital One commercial with Ovie has me psyched. Can't wait for the season to start!!
______________________

Not only CapOne but GEICO too!
Ditto on the rest of this post.
Let's Go Caps!

Posted by: dorseylaw | September 4, 2010 6:04 AM | Report abuse

jkt, since you are going all "truck stop" on us ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2k_MMQWisI

Posted by: russianthistle | September 4, 2010 6:18 AM | Report abuse

Hey Mikey,

Easy does it big fella. Just concentrate on the first 82 games - one at a time. Man I hate it when atheletes project to the post season when the regular season hasn't even begun.

Posted by: david_P | September 4, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

@david_P
@dizruption
@Youareabigwinner

The season is really an 82 game preseason. The season is just for fun at this point. Crosby cared, that Cup team lost two good defesemen. The 09 Pens team wasn't as good.
Lastly, I've watched too many Caps playoff games to still believe they all care that much. They don't care as much as the other teams, I guess. You can see it in their faces. That's why so many of us really connected with the 98 team. Those guys really hustled. They played playoff hockey. We got out hustled by the Habs, until deperation set in. I was impressed with how both the Hawks and Flyers played in the finals. They both belonged there. We did not. We need better coaching and/or
play off ready 1998 type guys.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | September 4, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Why didn't we do better? This is a team with superstar-caliber players. You have to strike when they're all there."

----------

knuble for GM

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 4, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Of course these players care. It's ridiculous to think otherwise. Did some play their best hockey? I doubt it, but sometimes they deal with physical issues or pressing too hard and tightening up - that's the human element of the game. I don't think they were humiliated as one posted. Disappointed, to say the least, but to say we need to get rid of Flash or Semin as a fix is just plain stupid. Not every player on a team needs to be a grinder. No reason we can't have a few finesse players as well. Both of these guys dried up for a few games... that's all. Bad timing that happens to many top players like Thornton has in the past with the Sharks. This year he had a much better playoff run. The real killer for our Caps was, quite simply, that power play that just couldn't finish. Just a few more goals, and the series would have gone to the Caps. Another thing most fans fail to accept, is while the Cup is the crescendo, we need to acknowledge that we had a hell of a regular season to enjoy. To leave that building with a victory almost every night, watch that 1st line work it's magic, see the young kids improve as they did, root for Theo as he worked through a very difficult time in his life and end up playing some of his best hockey! Too much negativity from too many...

Posted by: gonchpup | September 4, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

I heard the caps are trading for zajac.i can get down with that

Posted by: gratefuldid | September 4, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

@gonchpup

In most other towns there would be a great deal more negativty after the past 25 years of playoff futility. When you're not "first to the puck" as they tell the mites in practice, and you're as fast as Semin and Chimera, you don't care enough.

All of our old rivals in the Patrick have won the Cup. Now new hockey towns like Tampa and Carolina have won the Cup. When you sit there for decades and watch how the different GM's built those teams, and then compare that with what we've done, you get negative.

I'll say it again. Alan May tells anyone who will listen that he doesn't speak to former Caps who were not trying their best when we lost to the Pens when up 3-1. Did those guys care ? He brings this up after the game 7 loss to the Habs, and then shows clips of Semin's lack of effort after initial shots. I think Alan May is telling you that Semin doesn't really care about the Cup. His quote, "Not alot of second effort there either" Semin is just the most obvious guy who won't pay the price, but I'll stop. cstanton might nail me to the wall. (Flash, Fehr, Steckle, Green, Semin, Chimera won't pay the price to win the Cup)

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | September 4, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Hunterforcoach - As I said before, Semin did not have a good series against the Habs, but check his stats in the playoffs the previous 2 years (22 pts. in 21 games). He is what he is and usually produces (more so than Alan May). It is easy to look for a few clips to validate a negative point, but also some as well to counter that. There are many ways to look at things. The guy has incredible skill and a hell of a shot. Just because he doesn't "exhibit" the grit as your namesake, does not mean he doesn't care or isn't trying. You, as well as others are hanging him on one series.

Posted by: gonchpup | September 4, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Here's the thing about Semin: A lot of athletes follow hot streaks and slumps, but Semin optimizes this trait. He scores 5 goals and 5 assists in 3 games and then he goes silent for 3 games. He can be the best player on the ice or he can take 3 hooking penalties and get benched by Bruce in the third period because he's playing like garbage.

I'm glad we can count on him winning some games for us, but it's tough when you're in the playoffs. You either need players to be clutch all the time or you need them to not have all their brilliance used up collectively in one or two games.

Posted by: Raber | September 5, 2010 5:58 AM | Report abuse

(Flash, Fehr, Steckle, Green, Semin, Chimera won't pay the price to win the Cup)

Posted by: Hunterforcoach |

@hunter Are you the team psychiatrist?you must be.So they told you that they dont care about the cup or dont try hard enough to win?I'm no shrink but i bet i can tell you that thats all they care about.It might not of showed as much last series cause things didnt go how as they wanted but say ovie goal counted in the last game and they went on to win.Would you still be dogg'n em then?I hated how things turned out as much if not more than everyone else but I'm not gonna say they didnt want to pay the price to win.I'm sure they all wanted to win but things didnt happen that way.Now i will say a few lacked the heart it takes to win and those are the kind of guys the caps need to take the next step but i dont think theres a player in the nhl that doesnt want to win the cup.Stecks might not be the best of players but he does have heart,and i know alot of people hate him,but flash has heart also just didnt shine through in last series.Look at his play in other playoffs,he was shinen then.Lets put last year behind us and learn from it so if it happens this year,then its time to drop the hammer.But i see good things this year for the caps(as long as gmgm gets off his butt and gets that 2nd center and dman)

Posted by: gratefuldid | September 5, 2010 7:32 AM | Report abuse

@hunter,

I remember that '98 team. Yeah, they had heart, but also a ton of luck. They were the 4th seed and the top 3 teams lost in the first round. I was at piney orchard at 230 in the morning the night they won the east. The team we have now has ten times the chance the '98 ever had of winning it all.

Posted by: Dizruption | September 5, 2010 7:46 AM | Report abuse

The team we have now has ten times the chance the '98 ever had of winning it all.
------------------------------------------

based on what? what makes you think this team is not the Sharks East??

unfortunately they don't play the games on paper, you gotta actually go out and PROVE it in the playoffs. when your best players says after the Habs' series that they didn't expect Montreal to come out as hard as they did in Game 5, you know this team is a long way from winning anything in the playoffs.

Posted by: joek443 | September 5, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Based on opinion. I think they actually care. You don't. So I can see why you think they suck. Actually, if I thought they didn't care, I wouldn't even watch. If you've ever played sports at a high level, you would know that they care.

Posted by: Dizruption | September 5, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

The question is not whether or not they care... it is do they care more than their competition??

Sure they all care and want to win as I'm sure even Donald Sterling wants to win an NBA championship. But is there any doubt in anyone's mind that the owner of team that plays in the same building as the Clippers wants to win more than Mr. Sterling??

Posted by: joek443 | September 5, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Hello from Moscow, just flew in from Novosibirisk, and missed flight to Athens.
While at hotel lobby having a cup of tea, noticed ice hockey on TV. Upon closer glance, russian hockey ofcourse, could not tell the players, some looked older. But all of a sudden i hear the announcer say Ovie's name. Then I spot the familiar number 8. Also Kovulchuck, Malkin, were playing. It was Ovie team Vs. Kovulchuck. Must have been a charity game. At the end, got a close up of OVIE clean shaven look. Excited, Katie when is Alex due back? What game was this?

Posted by: hunter321 | September 5, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Hunter it was a charity game I remember seeing something about it a week or so ago on twitter somewhere.

joek443 about your Sharks East comment. They made in to the conference finals this year with a goalie who no one wanted this offseason so it is not like they didn't go far in the playoffs last year. There have been several teams that go down early for a few years before breaking through. I know Detroit had that issue for a few years losing in the first round twice as a one or two seed including once after winning the regular season. But they eventually turned it around and no one remembers that anymore. I am not saying that it will happen for the Caps this year but thinking they are doomed to fail because they have in the past is a flawed logic. This team has plenty of talent and will know no to take teams lightly this season and I think will be even betten then last year especially if they can get one more defenseman. It doesn't have to be a top guy because I think Green and Shultz are a decent top pair. I think it needs to be a good 4-5 d-man who adds more depth and will make it so the top pair is not overused like it was last series.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 5, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

@gonchpup
@greatfuldid
@dizruption

I actually like most of those players. I love to watch Semin and Green when they're on. They're two of the most talented guys in the league. I think they need a season NHL coach to level out their play. They also need to focus on "leveling out their game" as if that were the most important part of their game. If they don't produce in the playoffs, they're gone. A new GM will trade those guys. A new coach probably won't want them on his team. Steve Yzerman is a smart guy. He knows all about Mike Green in the clutch.

@dizruption

Hard to respond to that, because I'll be accused of name dropping or being an insider. Remember many former Caps call Va. their home now. One former NHLer who is very down on the Caps and GMGM doesn't live here, but visits family often. You nothing about my life experience ! This team should not have lost 3 straight to the Habs. Halak is not Hasek or Roy. And to you 98 naysayers, we beat the best goalie most of us have ever seen: Hasek
The "Hall of Famer Halak" is now a Blue. Enough said !

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | September 5, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

@icehammer

We don't play enough "team defense" to make it through the four rounds of the playoffs. Somebody's goalie will "come up large" again. Some smart coach will game plan Ovi out again. We need to play team defense (like Detroit), and score "ugly play off type" goals (like the Pens),and produce on the power play. Yea, a Tinordi/Langway type defenseman and a better 2C will help, but an new attitude in the playoffs is critical.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | September 5, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

attitude is probably the single biggest improvement this team could use, over and above simple player additions. Now sometimes, adding one player like we did in gettin a Dale Hunter can dramatically improve the overall team attitude and give them the xtra bite they need in the playoffs. But lookin around the league, I don't know if that kind of player is really available.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 5, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm not saying Halak's a Hall of Famer and I'm not saying that we couldn't have beaten him had we strategized better. Both of those points conceded, Halak played out of his goalie pads for 1.5 series starting in game 5. I recently watched the highlights of that game and it was ridiculous the saves he was making on Semin and others.

As for the '98 Caps, I recall Kolzig playing in the ECF much like Halak did to beat us last year. IMHO, the '98 Caps wouldn't hold a candle to last year's team, and I even think Montreal's team last year may have beaten them too. The only way they win the series against the current team is if Kolzig is a brick wall, which was the only way we were getting beat last year as well.

Posted by: Raber | September 5, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

The 98 Caps might have very well lost to the Bruins in the 1st Round if not for Boston losing a goal due to their skate a millimeter inside the crease.

Hunter, Berube and Oates played very well, but that was the best Kolzig ever played in his life.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 5, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

@ raber

98 team would have beaten the Habs. Most of us remember Hasek being interviewed after the series, and he said he couldn't see the pucks. Halak saw everything. Most Halak rebounds were killed by a team committed to team defense. Laich and Knuble needed to be in Halak's underwear. They weren't. Kono, Bellows, J.J.and Kryger were all over the slot against Buffalo. It's the only way to beat a great goalie. Ron Wilson, who for some reason people here don't like, employed the standard "get in his face" method of beating a great goalie. The present Caps team would have faired better against the Wings in the finals. But to argue it was all Kolzig is incorrect.

Todd Kryger's goal in over time in Hasek's face from the middle of the slot was one of the greatest Caps moments ever. When are Semin, Chimera, or Flush ever in the slot in the playoffs getting the tar beat out 'em? Can't recall. They just skate through it waiting for a pass. Kolzig was great. Need to retire his number

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | September 5, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

nj is trying to dump zajak...would be a nice 2nd line center pick-up...can we afford him?

Posted by: ovckn8 | September 5, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

@ovckn8 I looks like we could on Capgeek. Just adding Zajack to our current lineup (last years players plus King no rookies) we would have 22 players and $580,704 in cap space. Now in order to get him we would have to give up some picks and could then try and trade Flash for some picks to even out the picks a bit and give us more cap space. Now in order to do that we would have to find someone who is willing to trade picks for Flash which I don't know if the market is there.

Now all of that is without the rumored Belenger signing. If you add in that the Caps would NEED to trade Flash or someone else for some picks.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 6, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Too much talk and speculation. Go to camp and prepare for the year. We are one #8 injury away from golfing in April.

The cup is a priviledge (not a right) that must be earned, not just talked about.

Posted by: caphcky | September 6, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

At this point I'm glad to read any and everything I can about the Caps. The upcoming season is quite possibly the most important year they've ever had.

Posted by: ridgely1 | September 6, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Eklund (I know he is almost always wrong but I am bored) has us still going after Bieksa and Souray. For the first time though I actually saw names of who would be going to Edmonton for Souray and it was Poti and Chimera.

I personally don't think Souray is much better then Poti if at all and while this year it is almost exactally the same cap hit, next year we still have Souray's $5.4m cap hit and Edmonton only has Chimera's $1.875m. After this year was have to worry about possibly resigning Semin, Knuble, Flash, Laich, Bradley, Alzner, and both goalies. Now some of those guy will most likly not be resigned but if we do lose a guy like Semin we will have to spend some money to replace them. Guys like Alzner and our goalies are going to get significant raises and with Souray taking up so much cap space I fear we might not be able to keep all of them. So, unless we Nylander, Souray we are going to have issues big time next season and if we are losing Poti to get him we still are playing either Sloan or Erskine every game.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 6, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Too much talk and speculation. Go to camp and prepare for the year. We are one #8 injury away from golfing in April.
Posted by: caphcky

To much talk,yea i agree.But to think that if #8 gets hurt than thats it for the team is rediculus.The caps are not just #8.Without him the team is still dominate.He is definitly the best but the team doesnt ride on him and to think so is a level headed thought.Caps will be fine,but if they got rid of GMGM i wouldnt be upset!GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: gratefuldid | September 6, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I think the upside of souray over poti is that he has the hardes shot ever recorded

Posted by: Dizruption | September 6, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

icehammer: I'm going to say at this point, that next year's raises won't be as much as you think. Let's speculate:

Semin, plays the way he does now...67% chance he stays with Caps 5 yrs/$36M 6.2 cap hit. That's an extra $200K from this year.

Laich. Based on pts last year (67?) and many other players at that age and production level (I have posted in past) he is worth $3.5M-4.0M over 4 yrs. That will be an extra $1.5-1.8M from this year.

Bradley. If he stays, it will be two yrs at around what he gets now, maybe a slight raise to $1.2M/yr. Otherwise, they have Beagle signed next year at an NHL deal for $600K so you can expect he'll be given every chance, if not this year, then next. So, a small hit if he stays and a savings if replaced by a Hershey player or someone like Asham.

Alzner. Cap hit this year is $1.675M WITH bonus. Qualifying offer though will be down around his base salary of $850K. He really needs to step up to get a larger contract than his cap hit from this year. Most likely: he makes around $1M next year. So, cap savings.

The goalies. Here's the wild card. I have them in my 2011-12 cap spreadsheet at $5M for next year. I think that's high. Really depends on injuries, who plays most, who plays best, etc. Let's say Varly is starter and plays most and plays well. Niemi got $2M, Halak got I think $3.75M and Price $2.75M. These are all comparables based on age/experience. Average them out and Varly gets $2.83M. And what is for Neuvy? If he plays say 30 games, does well, he gets less than Niemi - maybe $1.5M. Cap growth at goalie: $2.5M.

Rack it and stack it and we have cap growth those players about $4.5M.

Meanwhile, not dealing with Souray, we replace Poti with a Hershey player - save $2.75M and replace Belanger with MaJo - save $1M and replace Flash with Hershey player and save almost $2M. Total savings here = the raises above.

Bottom line...current roster only. Today, counting 23 on the roster this year and Alzner's bonus we have $1.9M in space. Give the raises above and do the three swap-outs and it is about the same - about $2M in space at same cap.

So if you put Souray for Erskine, next year, and then had Chimera off in favor of another Hershey player or Asham type (seemed to be enough of them this year), you have kept everyone you wanted, with raises, and are about $1M over the cap.

Therefore, you can do Poti and Chimera for Souray, and it even works next year, if the cap goes up by $1M. Of course, you've also at the point, by making that deal, backed yourself into the corner where you can afford no more deals next two years.

Do we want to got here again and get trapped?

No. Instead, give the Canucks Erskine and a prospect for Bieksa. Then move Flash for whatever and replace him with AG or Beagle. Cap hit = about $500K, you still have space this year to get a center maybe in midseason and you haven't messed up next year.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 6, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

If we could use Flash, Erskine & Steckel + some draft picks to bring back Zajac and Bieksa i would be delighted.

Both NJ and Van are looking to shed some salary, so Flash for Bieksa saves Van 1,150,000, a trade that makes sence for both
teams.

Zajac for Steckel will obviously not do, butif you add MP and our 2nd round 2012 pick then maybe. That saves NJ 2,787,500 + doesn't leave them dry on the centerposition.

Then trade Erskine for i.e. 7th round pick or bury him in the minors (if that's possible).

That gives us:
Ovi-Backs-Knuble
Fehr-Zajac-Semin
Laich-MaJo-A.Gordon
Bradley-B.Gordon-Chimera
King

Bieksa-Poti
Schultz-Green
Alzner-Carlson
Sloan

Varly-Neuvy

all for a grand total of $59,019,296. What say you, is there any chance of that happening?

Posted by: Walle | September 6, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Tom thanks for that cap info I am no where near that advanced in the cap work. I think the idea of Erskine (or Sloan if they want a lower cap hit) and some picks is much, much better then the Souray trade. I actually think keeping the guys we have (maybe trading Flash for a real #2 center) and just signing Andreas Lilja or Marc-Andre Bergeron I think those are much better options then the trade that backs us into a very tight corner. I know MAB is an offensive guy and we really need more of a defensive guy but if the coach and GM aren't going to use them right then I would rather have a better player then the bottom two we have even if it is an offensive guy then be left with one of our bottom two every game and both if there is another d-man hurt. Even with Lilja getting a slight pay increase to $1.5m and getting Belenger to make us have 23 players on the roster we still will have over a million in cap space for trades later in the season.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 6, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Walle, I think there are three issues with that. One the Caps want to have some cap space going into the season for trades or injuries and that leaves them with very little. It makes our third line even more of an offensive line then it would be with our current line up. The third thing is I think NJ is going to be able to get more for Zajac if he is one of the guys they are going to trade. I see LA offering Wayne Simmonds and some picks for him which will help the NJ cap more then Steckel and MP and LA is looking for someone big and have plenty of cap space. They don't necessarily need a center since Arnott can play second line center for them. Just the Zajac of Simmonds and picks makes them only $642,501 over without using the bonus cushion. Using the cushion they are under the cap with a roster of 21 players. They can then trade Zubrus for someone around $2m and still have space to fill their roster.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 6, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Somehow, the bottom line, what makes the most sense in the world, is to move Steckel, Flash, Chimera and Erskine and get back a quality 2nd center and a gritty, veteran defenseman. Then replace the two missing slots with pick two from Pinner, AGordon and Beagle.

Is that possible? Seems like there's enough teams with cap issues that it would be.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 6, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Here's another angle on Souray - a three-way deal.

1) Edmonton has lots of cap space, so absolutely no reason to bury him in the minors and pay $9M in actual salary over the next two years to save cap room.
2) Best way for Edm to save at least something is waive him and then try and bring him on re-entry waivers and hope he gets claimed and they save half the money.
3) People here have rightly pointed out that Caps have little chance to then get Souray as the worst team picks first and then in order to best team. Caps pick last or near last (maybe CF teams are last four).
4) SO...Caps work a deal with whichever team has first rights to pick on re-entry waivers. I don't know if all Western teams get first, then East, or if total order, but Edm I think was worst and then Toronto. So McPhee works a deal with Toronto to claim Souray and swap him to us for our #3 pick next year or whatever. Brian Burke gets an asset, player or pick, for nothing, just for serving as conduit.

In the end, Edm has to only pay half Souray's salary; the Leafs get an asset for brokering the deal; and the Caps get Souray at a reasonable $2.7M hit over the next two years.

If you think about it, assuming this works within the CBA, this is the most logical scenario to play out. And maybe this is what has been happening these last three weeks or so. Edm has already waived Souray and needs only to put him on re-entry waivers. We can assume Toronto has first rights. Burke then would be shopping Souray, with Edm's permission, to see which team would offer the most. Camp starts soon so it would make sense for this to get wrapped up by Friday.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 6, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Anything can happen in the regular season....injuries....lack of motivation...whatever but it doesn't matter. This team will probably win the division anyway.

Philadelphia did just make the finals after a regular season to forget and they tried.

I think its almost better if the Caps have less expectations on them going into the playoffs becaus they can be a better sleeping giant. Perhaps Pittsburgh or someone will be able to boast great winning streaks and conference record to take some of the attention off the Caps.

As Knuble noted - its a long 7 or 8 months to where we want to be playing!

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | September 6, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Bottom line... Would they kill their own Mom for a cup? If they even put thought into the answer, they should be rockin the red...

Posted by: sca187 | September 6, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

sca187: No way would I kill my mother for anything. Not for all the money in the world, not for the Stanley Cup. I just couldn't do it.

I would, however, even though she's 75, elbow her hard into the boards to strip her of the puck. Especially if she played for the Penguins or Flyers.

Sorry, Ma.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 6, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

@Tom et al

Now that it's been leaked a bit I feel like I can say something. Yes the deal I was hearing was with Vancouver for Bieska. I know there have been rumors out there about Souray but Bieska I was told was pretty much a done deal. Not so much though. I'm thinking this is similar to the Clark & Chimmer deal last yr. Like I said I heard about it right before the season started & it didn't happen then 1 phone call & it's done later in the season.

The thing that's a bit tricky about this is that there is still discussion going on so I'm not quite sure what the issue is. Meaning, when I heard the news a couple weeks ago it was supposedly done. Now weeks later it seems like they're still discussing details. Like I said the people that were texting me this never text me "bogus" stuff so I was really stunned when it didn't go down. Who knows?

Oh yeah, Flash was going to Vancouver for sure & there were other small parts but those always change so maybe that's what the hang up is.

Now interestingly enough I had somebody text me on Friday asking what was up with us moving Poti! LOL! That came outta nowhere! I didn't hear him attached to Bieska so not sure on that one. Not that Poti's untouchable or anything but I'm typically kept in the loop as much as possible. I just haven't heard Poti's name a whole lot with any substance to it.

I need to put a side note to all this. I've been out of touch the past few days due to an abscessed tooth (holy pain!). The swelling finally went down enough to where I got it pulled today so I'm still a lil foggy! I'm really not sure what's out there therefore I may be repeating some things. I just saw that Eklund has now been clued in to the Caps/Nucks rumors & figured it'd be ok to say something.

I'll do my best to keep you posted if I hear anything else.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | September 6, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand packaging Chimera in any of these deals. The Caps certainly don't have enough "sandpaper" type guys up front, Chimera being one of the few. It would be nice if GMGM could get something done now, so he doesn't mess with chemistry again as the team starts to "gel"...

Posted by: kcbrichmond | September 6, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

pokerface: Sorry about that trip to the dentist. If you had just come around the house, I have pliers, a rubber mallet, a pick-axe, whiskey, tequila, and plenty of ice, so I could have done the job way cheaper. I even have that Gorilla Glue that would do a great job to plug the wound.

Just think: Only 31 more trips to the dentist and you will be out of teeth and done with the problem. And how lucky Belanger is, he got rid of eight at once.

So, GMGM is really trying to move Flash for Bieksa. I can't imagine that even the most hard-core GM haters wouldn't approve of that one. (Sorry to the grammar police for the double negative, but sometimes it sounds best.)

Not long for hockey, though. With apologies to Yogi Berra, it's getting late early now. 7:30 and it's halfway dark. It will be interesting now living in a canyon where the sun will go behind the hill at Christmas as early as 3:30 or so. Will be nice because it will be dark for even the early East Coast games.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 6, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

kcbrichmond: Some of us, myself included, are on the fence with Chimera. Here's the deal:

1) He makes $1.875M.
2) He's not good enough offensively to the play on the second line.
3) He's marginally good enough defensively, maybe, to play on the third line.
4) He's too overpaid to play on the 4th line.

What I see from Chimera is: Some grit, some great skating, very little finishing and some defense. What I want if constructing a Cup winner is that everyone on the team be above average at one aspect, at least, of the game. Like DJ King, he's a really good fighter is what people say. Belanger is really good at faceoffs. Bradley is really good at sticking up for his teammates. AGordon, should he get called up, is good at PK and tough in the corners. Green scores goals like no other defenseman. Schultz has a great plus/minus. Fehr has a wicked wrister and hopefully will become a good net presence. Semin has unique offensive skills. Matt Cooke, when he was here, was good on PK, could score some goals and was very pesty.

Just what is it that Chimera does that's special?

Honestly, I wish they would have just kept Cooke.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 6, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Anyway, this idea, "Every player on the team must excel at something," works in all sports, but is easiest to see in baseball.

You need an OF with a great arm and he's your RF; you need an OF with great range and he's your CF; you need an OF only avg defensively, maybe, but hits 40 homers - your LF. You must get power from corners and speed up the middle. You need guys on the bench who can get on base, who can pinch run and steal a base and some to replace your big hitters who are weak fielders. Then of course you need a staff of reliefers to cover long, middle and short relief, left and right, and one to close.

Very easy also to see in the military - you need artillery, armor, infantry, aircraft pilots of all sorts, sailors, etc. You can't do with all of one and you can't do with none of any type.

Hockey is no different. There are about ten different skills required to excel in hockey. The team that has the most of these skills in the best balance will have the best chance to win, all things equal. Every player, other than your superstars, must fill a niche. I see where Chimera does some good things. But, really, doesn't Asham do Chimera's "good things," and then some, for way cheaper?

So, to add to what I said above, the general manager who does the best job of getting his team the most skiils, with the best balance, and at the best price, will give his coach and players the best chance to win.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 6, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Even since Eck talked about SJ being interested in Staal and wanting some scoring back I was thinking that maybe trading for him. The issues with that is he is still a RFA so we would have to sign him but we have cap space so there shouldn't be too much issue there. IF the SJ trade is something NY is considering (with Devin Setoguchi being what SJ is sending) we should offer Flash. Setoguchi had only 20 goals and 15 assists last year on a line with Joe Thorton. Flash had a better year without a set up man like that. Now Setoguchi had a great year in 2008-2009 but he is on the last year of his contract as well before becoming a RFA and NY could be in the same place again. Flash won't get too much more then he is set to earn the year so they will not be surprised by a huge price increase unless he has an amazing year. Staal would also be a much better fit for the team then someone like Souray. It would also allow us to have a young defensive core in Green, Shultz, Alzner, Carlson, and Staal who are young and should continue to get better for years.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 7, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

The agreement the legue and the NHLPA came to is good for all. But the fact that the league allowed the new Kovy contract and the Hossa and Luongo contacts and amended the CBA shows that the NHL felt that there would be a significant chance they would lose if they tried to reject those. The league recognized the weakness in the language of the CBA. That is why they wanted an amendment, and relented on the past contracts they were investigating to get the amendment.

The league threatened to reject Kovy's contract again and the Lunogo contract and maybe even try to reject the Hossa contract. Those all would have went to arbirtation. The selection of the abritrator would have been a much longer process as the NHLPA would not have allowed Bloch to arbitrate another case. That lengthly time periods then would have caused much unrest for those teams and those players.

The players, and teams, clearly did not want to go through this. So they comprimised. Kovy, Hossa, Luongo, and their respective teams got to keep their contracts under the old rules without being opposed or going to arbitration (a win for the players, NOT a win for the NHL), the NHL got an amended CBA that will cover the contract until the end of the CBA. So any contracts for players who are going to be free agents(RFA or UFA) after this season. A win for the NHL.

It was a comprimise. Both sides won part and both sides lost on parts. Exactly what a comprimise is.

In the end, it is good for the NHL and the NHLPA and is good for the prospects of not having a lockout after 2011-2012 as going through all those arbitrations would have likely created a lot of animosity between the NHL and the NHLPA.

Also, you were wrong in your prediction that the Kovy wouldn't get a $100M contract. You were wrong in your prediction that Kovy wouldn't get a contract that was circumventing the cap(it clearly is since the NHL amended the CBA to no longer have contract like this have cap hits like it has).

So while you are correct on a lot of things, you were not on a good portion of this. I only point this out because you went out of your way to pat yourself on the back when you had absolutely no reason to.

I was also incorrect on how the initial abritrator would rule, so I'm not on here trying to pat myself on the back or anything. Even though the fact that the NHL negotiated and gave up things to amend the CBA shows that they felt they got a very favorable ruling in the Kovy arbitration and that they felt they would unlikely see a similar ruling happen again(hence the need for an amended CBA).

Posted by: sgm3 | September 7, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Tom - just wanted to mention also that I really think we will be acquiring a D before the beginning of the season. I don't see this lingering on like the Clark/Chimmer deal. There are all sorts of things out there that make me believe GMGM is burnin up the phones and has many options. The 2C thing though is a different situation. I think we're gonna go into the season and see what MJo brings to the table. I'll explain that a little more in detail tomorrow but that's where I'm leaning.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | September 7, 2010 12:33 AM | Report abuse

icehammer: There is no way on God's white ice sheet that NYR would trade rights to Staal for Flash. There's more of a chance that Obama will run for re-election with Dick Cheney as running mate.

My guess: Flash, Alzner and next year's #1 pick might get you Staal. Then trade Semin to Pitt and maybe we can corner the market on Staal boys.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 7, 2010 12:46 AM | Report abuse

Tom - with all due respect can you pls never ever ever mention again trading Semin to Pitt? The last thing I'd want to see is Pitt winning another Cup before we get our 1st and Semin lightin us up like a xmas tree. Cuz you know that's exactly how it'd go down.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | September 7, 2010 12:59 AM | Report abuse

sgm: Actually, not to pat myself on the back, but I will: I was way more right on the Kovy thing than 90% of the so-called "experts."

First, I said the league should reject the contract. But, hey, that was common sense. Now, once that happened, you and the experts said the league had "no leg to stand on." I, on the other hand, cited chapter and verse from the CBA including my own particular spin on what the words meant and concluded that an impartial arbitrator would easily find the words in the CBA to void Kovy's deal.

Now, to follow on that, my original projection was "50% approved after being reworked, 30% rejected and 20% contract stands as originally written."

To continue, the talking suits said the league would "just lose" when Daly rejected the original deal. I was one of very few to say, "League will win." I don't recall one single human ever saying, "League will win, they will rework the deal, and amend the CBA in the process, and grandfather all the other contracts in doing so." Nobody came close to projecting such a far-reaching outcome, now did they? Of all the predictors, was there ever a "The CBA will be amended..." from anyone? Certainly not you, who said the league will lose and suffer in the next bargaining. I thought league would win and set precedent, but it never occurred in my small brain to imagine an amended CBA as a result.

Yes, when I said, "Kovy will never see $100M again unless he goes to the Treasury building and watches them print money," I was wrong.

BUT...Atlanta's offer was a real $101M for a real 12 years. The new contract is, REALLY, admit it, sgm, 10 yrs for $90M. Will Kovy ever play the last five years at $1, 1, 1, 3 and 4M? Are you willing to bet something of value? I didn't think so.

Therefore we can conclude that Kovy DID NOT see total value that he will actually play for that he got from the Thrash offer.

Hey, we are doing semantics here, but if you can do it, I can do it too.

The bottom line, and this is where you must adjust your thinking, is that the league has managed to close this giant loophole in the CBA without having to do anything more than, "OK, we'll let it go, what has happened so far, but no more of that unless it conforms to the new rule."

Be honest, sgm: Me, you, and everyone else thought this amendment would never happen until the new CBA. The league has SLAMMED SHUT on a giant loophole that nobody thought when the deal was struck would even exist. Not one talking head even thought the league would win the original Kovy contract case (er, except me) much less win and get an amendment approved that fixed (mostly) the CBA.

So, in summation, if you compare where things are now, to where everyone thought they were right after Kovy signed the original contract, THE LEAGUE WINS.

Might I remind you, this WAS as nostrathomas predicted. If we simply divide the entire world of potential events into two spheres, "League Wins" or "Players Win," the LEAGUE WON.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 7, 2010 1:17 AM | Report abuse

It's all in the ice chips!

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | September 7, 2010 1:27 AM | Report abuse

Tom - with all due respect can you pls never ever ever mention again trading Semin to Pitt? The last thing I'd want to see is Pitt winning another Cup before we get our 1st and Semin lightin us up like a xmas tree. Cuz you know that's exactly how it'd go down.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | September 7, 2010 12:59 AM

pokerface: With all due respect back, because, honestly, I respect your opinion as much as anyone on this blog, but you would not trade Semin and his one-year $6M/pre-UFA contract to Pitt for Staal and his his 3 yr/$4M per year deal?

My opinion, and maybe I'm alone on this, but my opinion is this deal would be in Caps favor and that the Pens would never do it. And, especially if I could get Staal from NYR, I'd do almost anything to get the brother from the Pens (but I'd never take on the contract from Canes).

My opinion is Semin on Pitt and Staal on Caps means LESS CHANCE Crosby hoists again.

Et tu, Brutus? :)

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 7, 2010 1:27 AM | Report abuse

Well if I knew Semin would only stay 1 yr sure. It's just one of those "haunting" things. Obviously that's a great deal for the Caps but from a Pens perspective you've got Semin being centered by Crosby or Malkin which would be sick. Not to mention if they put all 3 on the same line. It's already hard enough losing in the playoffs to the Pens, it'd hurt even more if Semin came back to beat us. Remember Semin has been scoring w/o ever really having a prime time center. At times he had Feds or Backs but neither were consistent. Backs was also young & Feds past his prime so to say. You get Semin a legit center full time and he'd score 50 easy.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | September 7, 2010 1:51 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

You do realize that no amended deal ever took place. The league rejected the first contract, they did not amend it. After it was rejected Kovy became a UFA again. He then came to an agreement with the Devils. This second deal was completely independent of the first deal. That contract was then submitted and accepted by the NHL(after agreeing to the amended CBA terms).

No matter how many times you say it, no amendment to any contract ever happened. This isn't about what may or may not happen or what you think happened. It never happened. It just isn't true. It is a fact. Just like the score of any game that happened. The score of a past game is a fact. The contract history is a fact. No amendment to any contract ever happened.

The league really did not "SLAM SHUT" an entire loophole. That is a heavily exaggerating what the league received.

The league received an amendment to the CBA that will effect one year's worth of contracts. This was in receipt for not rejecting the other stated contracts. The amount of contracts the NHL agreed to stop investigating and not reject is MORE than how many similar contracts would have occurred before the end of the next CBA.

The CBA is almost over. This amendment to the CBA is not going to be in effect for very long. It will then be finished in the near future and this will all be done over again.

I think Kovy will likely collect on the $4M and maybe $3M years. He may be "loaned" to a team in whatever city he wants to live in and he will just collect checks. So he will end up with about $97M of his deal, and maybe even all $100M if he pulls a Nylander and refuses to retire. So he will make d*mn close to $100M if not $100M.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 7, 2010 1:52 AM | Report abuse

It feels like Christmas!!! Season tickets should be delivered by today or tomorrow!

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 7, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

@ icehammer97

If the Devils lose Zajac, who was their no.1 center last year, they obviously need to replace him. Arnott is as of right now penciled in as no.2 and would get bumped up, as would Zubrus, which leaves them with Pelley (avg 7 min/g last season) and Josefsson (0 games/last season) So i would say that they need a 3rd line center.

That's why I included Steckel in my deal, and if MP is too much salary, give them Kugryshev and our 2012 2nd round pick.

Chimera can go on the third if that balances things better, with King on the 4th, and use AG as our 13th fw.
And with this ensamble we hopefully dont have to make any trades, and we dont have so many expensive options to fill our squad with if someone get injured, i.e. if we call up someone who earns $500.000 that ads aprox. $1550 to the cap/day, that's over 200 days with shortterm injuries..

Of course it's risky, but i'm just saying it could work!

Posted by: Walle | September 7, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

The "Eagle has landed." Christmas has offically arrived and it is sitting on my wife said it was sitting on my kitchen table. Cue horn guy: WONK WONK WONK, LET'S GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 7, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Oh no, they aren't sitting on my wife. MY WIFE said they are sitting on the table. Man, I am so excited, it is like I just got a red rider bb gun.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 7, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Santa Claus: You'll shoot your eye out, kid.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | September 7, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

"Then trade Semin to Pitt and maybe we can corner the market on Staal boys."

Posted by: tominsocal1bottleofwinedrunk(Ihope) | September 7, 2010 12:46 AM |

I am going to hope that this statement was made while possibly (and likely given the time) inebriated. I agree with many of your statements in regards to players, and chuckle at most of your humor, but this hypothetical move would be a bad move.

I again think what Semin brings to the Caps is overlooked and will be missed once he is gone. With the centers he might possibly play with in Pitt (as poker pointed out), he would easily break 50 goals. And if we had to play against him in the playoffs, you know he would be the player who causes us to exit. Karma or whatever you want to call it.

And we get what...little ole Jordan Staal to center fehr and laich (again assuming your M Staal trade also happened otherwise the other winger would be Flash). Ugh. Pass.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 7, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Pittsburgh could fit Semin under the cap in a deal of Staal for Semin. They have less than $2M available.

Also, the thought of Semin skating with Crosby is scary.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 7, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I again think what Semin brings to the Caps is overlooked and will be missed once he is gone.
------

disagree. I think you'll find that once the Caps start playing a more team-oriented style of hockey that the individual talent that Semin brings won't be missed. What will be missed is the Caps ability to suddenly turn it on and come back in a game, no doubt about that. Semin offers that capability. But the goal would be that by trading Semin you start down a road of more balanced cohesive hockey with a more even effort throughout a game so you're not constantly in a position to have to "turn it on".

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 7, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Cue horn guy: WONK WONK WONK, LET'S GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 7, 2010 11:14 AM

Sorry, but for me, the kazoo guys is much more funny and entertaining. Granted he is not at every game, and most people probably cannot hear him unless they are in the close proximity of my section...but horn guy will blow his tune, and kazoo guy mimics it. I laugh every time. And after the vuvuzelas, I've had my fill of horns anyhow. Caps 2010-2011: Year of Cups and Kazoos.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 7, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

We have seen this before in the movies!

Look...

Semin's father is the force, he is the one described in the Caps prophecies. He will bring balance to the team in the form of the Stanley Cup!

Now if you hand him over to Darth Sindious (currently posing as Emperor Sid the Kid), then you have Semin becoming Darth Spooger and all hell will break loose.

...so can we please end the talks about moving Semin?

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | September 7, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

ust what is it that Chimera does that's special?

Honestly, I wish they would have just kept Cooke.

Posted by: tominsocal1

i thought it was a dumb move at the time to let him go. GM obviously didn't think what Cooke brought to the table was worth the kind of money the Pens or another team were willing to pay him and GM thought that whoever we currently had on our team could replace Cooke without a dropoff. Obviously, he was wrong. No one on our team does what Cooke does. The only guy kinda similar in style is Pinizotto.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 7, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

Can you at least let him have 1 full season with a 2c linemate...to develop the chemistry like Ovie/Backs? He might turn into that player you want him to be when he doesnt have to do everything on his line like he does now. If he doesnt, then yeah, we trade him to better the team. Deal?

And I stand by previous statement a while back, having a good 2C with no wings to play with is pointless. Pitt has good centers and are constantly whining about a derth of wings.

You cant have franks n beans if you only have beans or only have franks. FRANKS N BEANS

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 7, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

@SeminAOTI

I agree trading Semin isn't a wise choice, but you mention him needing a full year with a 2C to develop chemistry. There is no 2C on this team period, so it is hard to develop that chemistry.

Posted by: ThePat | September 7, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

The junior GMs on this blog need to stop any and all Semin-Staal trade blather.

I live in Pittsburgh, and the Pens will never trade Jordan Staal--guaranteed.

The guy is revered almost as much as Crosby; in fact, he might even be more popular than Malkin.

Nevertheless, with less than 2 weeks until camp, and nothing settled as far as the alleged Belanger signing, I do think the Caps will make a trade before Sept. 18--and perhaps before the start of rookie camp Sunday.

Posted by: redrocker2 | September 7, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

cstanton,

I thought Cooke's last contract was for around the same $ as Brads. Didn't he sign a 2 year deal with Pitts when Brads signed for 3 with the Caps? Too lazy to research it, but I seem to recall thinking that the Pens got a bargain out of Cooke.

Posted by: Steve_R | September 7, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock

just spoke with my ticket rep and he said they should be mailed out by the end of the week and be in next week...sorry for the buzzkill

Posted by: _stevo | September 7, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

@ThePat

I am putting trust in GMGM that we find him one this off season.

I am also throwing coins in every fountain that I pass by, and say the following, "if GMGM decides to not hear out prayers for a 2c, then please make it so MaJo becomes the second coming of Backstrom and Majo connects with Semin."

And if none of this happens, you will see me on the Fox Morning News getting arrested for stealing from fountains. And when Sue Palka interviews me (yes I know she does weather, but I really dont know any of the Fox reporters) I will simply look at the camera and say "this one, this one right here...this was my dream, my wish...but it didnt come true. So I'm taking them back, I'm taking them all back."

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 7, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

yeah Cookie signed a 2 yr 2.4 million dollar deal with the Pens. I don't think McPhee thought he was a necessary component to have on the team at that price. Its not surprising either. McPhee doesn't place a high value on that commodity so he figures as long as he can get comparable "point" totals from a checking line player then why pay a little more for a guy who does the other things that Cooke does (i.e. prolific hitting etc).

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 7, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

Can you at least let him have 1 full season with a 2c linemate.

---------

how many yrs do you want to wait around for McPhee to bring in that specific type of player so we can give Semin a chance to develop that chemistry? Unless you think Flash or MaJo fit that bill this upcoming season?

we're gonna hold onto Semin until one of two things occurs. His trade value plummets for various reasons or he skips town when his contract expires and we lose him for nothing.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 7, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

ftr, i also think Cooke fits in very well with how the Penguins like to play hockey. The first time a checking line player on our team threw a highly questionable/dirty hit, he'd get buried by coach, GM, media, and fans. He'd end up skating on eggshells and be a very ineffective player. The fact the Pens re-signed him to a 3 yr deal clearly shows that they appreciate the style of hockey he plays and they don't succumb to any outside pressures to dump him because of his on/over the edge style.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 7, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Or maybe option 3, as tom hypothesized...perhaps 4 year deal with a cap hit of $6.2. I like that. Maybe he will even give a home town discount of $6 per for 4 years.

Plus I dont want to have to change my UserID here. Come on now, do you really want me to suffer like that?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 7, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

_stevo: No dude they are on my kitchen table as I type. I have a co-worker who is going into the 2nd year of being a season ticket holder and he hasn't even been notified that his tickets have been sent yet. I don't know who I owe the pleasure, but my tickets have a already arrived. I am shocked too because originally they weren't supposed to arrive until the 15th or so. I got an email from the Caps on Sunday that they had been sent out 2 day via FEDEX and they have arrived.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 7, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Every player, other than your superstars, must fill a niche. I see where Chimera does some good things. But, really, doesn't Asham do Chimera's "good things," and then some, for way cheaper?

-----------

Fans got all caught up when the Chimera trade went down because he offered us a big body who could skate. And they felt that getting a guy like that to play on a 3rd or 4th line was a big bonus since he was maybe a 2nd liner type.

Problem is Chimera is like Todd Krygier. He does a lot of skating around withoyut accomplishing much and his alleged grit is highly overrated. I think if you took a silent poll among NHL players they'd bust their guts laughing if they were asked about Chimera's grit level. No one's afraid of him. They don't respect him. The instant he throws a hard hit on someone he gets responded to immediately. And you'll notice that the longer he played in a Caps jersey the less he hit. His most physical games were right in the beginning, when he was trying to impress his new team. As he settled in, he went back to being the old Chimera. The move he made to challenge Jay Rosehill last yr, thats something he'll never do again as a Cap. That was akin to a Dainius Zubrus challenging a player to a fight in one of his first games as a Cap and then never doing it again in the 400 games since. Sometimes you get a player to initially show some grit, but you can chalk that upto trying to impress his new team. Once he settles in you see his true colors.

The way Chimera got tossed around by Cory Sarich last yr gives you a glimpse into how he's viewed around the league. They look at him as an utter joke. Kind of the way players looked at a Tyson Nash. Yappers with overhyped grit.

In the Cory Sarich "fight", he shows Chimera his complete disdain. By driving him headfirst into the boards, then popping him with a clean left while Chimera tried to hold on, then pushing him down onto the ice and basically taunting him. And thank god for Mike Green coming in there because Schultz and Semin were fairly useless in that scrum. Chimera doesn't have 2nd line ability and he doesn't have 3rd or 4th line grit. He's on this team because McPhee/BB like guys who can skate, and that's what he can do. His actual shift-to-shift effectiveness is very subpar.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 7, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

@ fanohock1

well you are one of the lucky ones, but i guess this is only my 5th year of season tickets so I may not be on top of the list

Posted by: _stevo | September 7, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I guess I am _stevo. This is what I received on Sunday "Your Capitals season tickets have been shipped to the address below via FedEx. This is a 2-day service. The first delivery attempt should be made no later than 2 business days from today." They were delivered at 9:30 or so this morning. With so many season ticket holders they probably have to send them out in waves. In the planholder update they probably announced the 15th as the worse case scenario. You will have them soon enough.

Some on here state the season doesn't matter and when it is all said done, they really are right. Tell you what though I have a great time going to the games!

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 7, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Some on here state the season doesn't matter
--------

of course the season matters. You use the season to gauge how effective a playoff roster you may have and then tweak as necessary. And of course the season matters with regards to winning enough games to make it to the the playoffs. No one says the season doesn't matter. The only thing that doesn't matter is your win-loss record as long as you have enough to make the playoffs with. And hopefully you're expending an incredible amount of energy down the stretch to make the last few spots.

the danger lies in thinking you're a better team than you really are based on your reg season record. That's really the focus of most fans who say "the reg season doesn't matter".

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 7, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

typo~ And hopefully you're NOT expending an incredible amount of energy down the stretch to make the last few spots.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 7, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

some nice words re: Jay Beagle from his college coach

“He’s the kind of kid who got better and better as he aged, a typical late-bloomer type of player. The thing about him is, he works so darn hard, all of the time. He was an impact type player with us his second year as a sophomore. In that second year, in addition to being a great teammate and locker room leader, Jay was a dominant player down low as well as being an outstanding penalty killer and good faceoff guy.”

“In the years Jay played with us, I thought he was our best pro product, and I’m so glad it worked out well for him; he certainly deserves it and has earned every opportunity that he has been given.”

“We use him a lot as an example as to what’s possible. Not only wasn’t he a high draft pick, he wasn’t even drafted and look where he is now. He wasn’t a big numbers guy at the collegiate level either; all it was about him was his work ethic and work habits. He played with passion, played hard, and played with an edge, and that’s what got him here. We talk a lot about him and his story, and hopefully some other guys who come through our program will be able to achieve the goals that he has.”

http://bearsbites.blogspot.com/2010/08/shyiak-goes-back-to-school-to-learn.html

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 7, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

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