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Monday Morning Update

Practice has begun and everyone is on the ice except for center David Steckel. Not sure where he is, but I hope to know more soon.

A few other tidbits:

*It's impossible to determine lines and pairings because the players are wearing blue jerseys and grey jerseys instead of the usual color-coded ones.

*There's a large contingent of local and out-of-town minor hockey players at KCI, and they've been screaming/cheering for the Caps since they came out for warmups. The players seem to be enjoying the audience.

*Defenseman Tom Poti (bruised thigh) is skating, but he still doesn't look right. I'll check on his status when the players come off.

*Prospect Sami Lepisto, who was impressive in his NHL debut on Saturday night, is still with the team. So perhaps he'll get some more time up here. That, however, likely depends on Poti.

Update:Steckel has the flu and Viktor Kozlov stayed in Florida to visit some family, according to Coach Bruce Boudreau. Kolzov will be back tomorrow.

Boudreau also said that Alex Ovechkin had the flu this weekend in Florida, which likely contributed to him going without a point against the Panthers and Lightning. It was only the second time this season Ovechkin didn't record a point in back-to-back games.

Also, I'm writing about Lepisto for tomorrow's paper. Not sure how long he's going to be around, given that Poti was skating today, but as Boudreau said, "he's a future cap."

As for the blue and grey jerseys, Boudreau said he didn't put together lines because the focus of the practice was to scrimmage 3-on-3 and have a little fun. And did they ever. The highlight for me was watching Milan Jurcina zip a behind the back pass to Shaone Morrisonn, who buried the puck behind Olie Kolzig. Morrisonn also gave a fist pump as he skated back down the ice. Not sure Kolzig appreciated the gesture, but everyone got a good laugh.

Matt Pettinger and Steve Eminger were voted captains for their respective teams, and each one wore a 'C' made out of tape on their practice jersey.

Poti, meantime, said he's feeling much better. But he was only able to go 50-percent today. He said he'll know more about his status for Wednesday's game after tomorrow's practice.

That's it for now.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 18, 2008; 10:20 AM ET
 
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Next: Tuesday Practice Notes

Comments

Uh oh. Hopefully Stecks is ok.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | February 18, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Are Pothier and Clark out there?

Posted by: GoCaps! | February 18, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Hopefully the mini break will allow Poti to heal and be ready to rock on Wed.

Whats the real deal on Clark and Pothier? Have we lost them for the season. Clark's season has been a waste unfortunately... Is he traveling with the team any more just for moral support? Just Sad.

Posted by: MetalCap | February 18, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I think Stecks is getting the scorers treatment (optional skate) after his big goal! :-)
Lepisto will be a great story if he sticks.

I have to believe GMGM is giving more serious consideration to making a hockey trade before the deadline. With 2 of our top 4 D and 2 of our top 6 forwards out, and .500 hockey not being good enough to get us to the post-season, George needs to bring in some experienced reinforcements.

Posted by: Mark T | February 18, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Well from listening to Clark speak in Florida this past weekend, it sounds like he's still a ways away. I personally doubt it'll be anytime soon.

And Tarik said Pothier hasn't been seen in forever which to ME means he's probably done for the season (not wat Tarik said, just my guess).

Posted by: Go Skins Go | February 18, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

It's almost to the point where you hope Pothier doesn't come back; to be out this long recovering from a concussion means that you think twice about exposing yourself to further damage. The next one will take even longer to recover from. This is defintely a situation of diminishing returns. You just gotta pull for the guy's long-term health at this point.

Posted by: capetown | February 18, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

freaking damn injuries, we should have ran away with the division by now if not for these injuries

Posted by: Anonymous | February 18, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

@ Go Skins Go

I noticed that too about Clark. Tone and facial expressions seemed to show discouragement on his part. Nothing like you would see in someone getting ready to play.

I don't see GMGM adding anyone of substance unless it will be someone they are willing to let go at the end of the season. They have a relatively high salary total for next year per the hockey news. Teams like the Rangers have really cleared out salary space and can go for and sign someone like Boyle.

Posted by: Old Bob | February 18, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

With Lepisto coming in and performing so well right off the bat, you got to wonder if there's any hope of Eminger staying with this team in the long term. Why would the Caps keep a defender they're paying $1,000,000 to sit on the bench?

As a silent supporter of the underdog, I'd love to see Eminger play himself into the roster, but it seems like he's the perpetual odd man out.

Posted by: Jeroen | February 18, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Thats great that Poti is skating. I would assume due to the schedule that worst case scenario, he only misses one more game?

Posted by: SA-Town | February 18, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

CHECK OUT THE NEWEST CAPS SITE DC ONE TIMER

http://dconetimer.blogspot.com/


Posted by: DC SPORTS | February 18, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I want the Caps to trade for Mike Peca, or Trent Hunter.

Posted by: Tyler | February 18, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

I was just at practice and noticed Kozlov wasn't out there either. What's the deal with him?

Posted by: Sabah | February 18, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

@X

If you're going to post something like that, make citations.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 18, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Coach allowed Kozlov to stay in Florida to visit some family.

Posted by: Tarik | February 18, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

We need D help. I'd trade for either Kaberle, Campbell, or Malik. Any D other than Green and Poti would be on my list to offer.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 18, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Tarik. Does Nylander go on the road trips and hang around with the team in the dressing room. Does he have anything to do with the team anymore. The caps sure could use his leadership for this strech of the season. Or does he just recover at home. Sorry my question mark key does not work.
arrggggg. Thanks, from the biggest caps fan in Canada.

Posted by: Brad | February 18, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Any D other than Green or Poti? We need to keep Morrison around. No doubt about it.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | February 18, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

@Brad

Nylander wasn't on the road trip. But he comes to KCI frequently for rehab.

Posted by: Tarik | February 18, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

@ Go Skins Go

I met Clark in person after attending the Tampa game.
He said he is improving and starting to feel better its just going to take some more time (I pulled a groin muscle while playing sports and I was out for a month). Wouldnt have taken this long if he hadnt tried to come back too early.

My buddy also met Tom Poti who said Pothier's likely done for the season.

Posted by: captnclark | February 18, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin Backstrom Hossa...it will never happen but it would be pretty.

possibility that nylander retires?

Peca would be a high risk add on for the caps. Likely the same thing would happen with him that happen with nylander. If healthy he would be an awesome asset though.

Posted by: capsfan08 | February 18, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I think Tarik has already said a few times that Hossa is not going to be a Cap. Things happen of course, but I don't think it's likely. Sounds like the team has picked up the flu bug that's been going through the area. ugh.

Posted by: EricS | February 18, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

The taped-on "C" on Eminger's jersey probably stands for "cargo" instead of "captain", because if the injury situation improves with the D-men, that dude is as good as gone.

Posted by: Pothier's Thumb | February 18, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

In regards to the Flu, a good healthy shot of Vitamin B-12 in the backside should cure it. Works for me!

Posted by: Roger Clemens | February 18, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

So what is going on with pothier? I understand that a concussion can take time to heal, but my gosh...it must be worse than just a concussion for him to have missed so much time! What is keeping him off the ice?

Posted by: Capscoach | February 18, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I want the Caps to trade for Mike Peca...
Posted by: Tyler | February 18, 2008 12:13 PM

------------------------------------------

I'm sending Kono to your house for mentioning that name here. ;)

Posted by: Olie Troll | February 18, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,
Is it true that the Caps traded Semin?
Thanks for the wonderful work you are doing.

Posted by: Seminfan | February 18, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Where did you hear Semin was traded? if so he better have yeilded an extremely high return.

Why arent Motzko or Wilson getting a better chance...Motzko has put up far better numbers in far less games than the "tapped C captin" Pettinger(who has picked up his game lately but still.)

Posted by: capsfan08 | February 18, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

@DC SPORTS.
Nice site.

@Greg S.
I am sorry I didn't cite the author, it was MR. X.

Posted by: x | February 18, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

@Capscoach

Worse than "just a concussion"? There's little that's worse than a bad concussion. Multiple minor concussions can lead to permanent brain damage, and with how fast hockey players go, and how little padding is in a hockey helmet, this probably wasn't a "minor" concussion. This is at least Pothier's 2nd concussion. Here, I'll stop lecturing at you and just give you a link to the Mayo Clinic's page on concussion complications: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/concussion/DS00320/DSECTION=7

Posted by: Gelf | February 18, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,
Any truth to the rumor that the Caps are on Forsberg's short list?

Posted by: Wantstowin | February 18, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Semin didnt get traded.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 18, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Well, "MR. X" carries no weight around me. It sounds like a really dumb move. One that even gmgm wouldn't do. Why on earth would you want to trade a 22 yo for a 34 yo? Semin's still learning the NHL. He'll get better.

We really don't need Pecca. When the team comes back from IR, we'll have more offensemen than we'll know what to do with. It's D where we're very weak. That and the inconsistent play in net.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 18, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Semin won't get traded until after the season ends. Flash will be a lower cost 2nd line left wing. That frees up cash for a 1st line right wing or D.

Posted by: kevin | February 18, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Semin hasn't been traded. and Forsberg, from everything I've heard, wants to play for a team that will contend this year.

Posted by: Tarik | February 18, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I doubt if Semin will be traded at all. His contract is only like 2 years long so if he's causing problems they likely won't resign him but if he plays consistent he'll be resigned. Why would we get rid of our 2nd best player? Why would anyone even say that he got traded in the first place. That's dumb.

Posted by: kcme | February 18, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Greg S.,

You were very patient with x. More then they deserve. I agree with you about the mystifying call for a forward trade. Defense is what is needed and the right guy should help with suspect goaltending.

And FYI, Sasha Semin will be 24 in two weeks, March 3rd.

Posted by: Clarendon | February 18, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

That's an opinion that he's our 2nd best player. An opinion that may not be shared by some others.

Posted by: keef | February 18, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Semin has the potential to be a 50 goal scorer. He is not going anywhere.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 18, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the correction, Clarendon.

I don't understand why everyone here wants another winger or centerman. We're stumbling over them as it is. Adding more to that slot wouldn't help matters at all.

D wins games and, more importantly playoffs. Goalies win cups. The only reason that Osgood and Hasek look so good is the D in front of them. Hasek's in his 40's and Osgood is 37? Having said that, one of their best D-men is 45...

Posted by: Greg S. | February 18, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Rejoice. Mr. X was only hoping that Semin would get traded, after all, I have been reading on this blog that he is a lazy, mal-adjusted, selfish player.

Tarik.
Why did you delete my posts? I love you man. I think you are the best, I worship the ground you walk on.

Posted by: x | February 18, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Because you're posting trash and claiming it as fact.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 18, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

@X

I'm not sure everyone got your sarcasm. So that's why I deleted it.

Posted by: Tarik | February 18, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

@ Gelf

so it was just a question! I have personally suffered a concussion albeit not a bad one, and i was just a little worried that maybe it was something worse because you hear about hockey players being out with concussions for 1-2 weeks, but not usually longer. people should seriously not freak out over a simple question...it's not like I called him a baby or anything

Posted by: capscoach | February 18, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Just a thought. I have been a Caps fan for a long time, and being in such a tight race is such a great thing for hockey. Fans all along the east are looking at the rinks as entertainment.

I find myself watching other games more then ever before. The one thing I hate is that Im pulling for games not to go to OT, which seems a bit odd. I really dont like the fact that 3 points are up for grabs every night. I really think the NHL has got to find a way to fix it or minimize it.

Against my theory though, if you took away the 1 pt to the loser, the top 8 would still be the top 8, and the Caps would be 2 pts back of the 8 spot, and 4 pts back from the Canes.

Anyway...I guess for now, pull for no OT's!

Posted by: SA-Town | February 18, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I think Semin has way to much potential to be traded before his contract ends. He needs to do some growing up...and that will come with time. The team has lectured him about taking bad penalties when he loses his temper, and hopefully as he matures and gains confidence he will improve that. I agree that he has the potential to be a 50 goal scorer! He is a great investment and I hope over the next two years he really starts to shine!

Posted by: capscoach | February 18, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Zubie has two assits in NJ 4-1 lead over Car...Thanks ZUBIE!

Posted by: capsfan08 | February 18, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Come on Devils.....

Posted by: Go SOX Go | February 18, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Forsberg isn't going to be playing in the NHL this season:
http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/index

Posted by: Larry The Goon | February 18, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

If the Devils win today, I won't say anything bad about NJ for at least 2 days.

Let's go Devils!

Posted by: Steve R | February 18, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

forsberg not coming back this year...

http://tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=229969&hubname=

Posted by: capthis! | February 18, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Is it me or is this mid-season return stuff a joke to you too? Selanne, Nierdermayer, Forsberg.

It's like saying..I'm too old to play a full season, but I love the playoffs. Play the full season or dont play at all.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 18, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Thanks NJ!

2 pts back with 2 games in hand

Posted by: Steve R | February 18, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

@capscoach

I just reread my post, and it came off far more abrasive than I meant. I'm sorry for jumping all over you, I didn't mean to. I just wanted to point out that if he's suffering from the "post concussion syndrome" that the Mayo Clinic page mentions, he could conceivably still be out from his concussion. I do hope it's nothing worse, though I can't imagine what the "something worse" would be.

Only reason I'm this up on my concussion research is I fell off a horse Saturday and hit my head. While I didn't end up severely concussed, it certainly didn't knock any sense into me either. :)

Posted by: Gelf | February 18, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

SA-Town, I think you have to take retirements at face value. If three months later you legitimately change your mind, why should you be prevented from coming back? Just because Anaheim got two stars back, I don't think you need to make rule changes.

Posted by: tallbear | February 18, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

"Is it me or is this mid-season return stuff a joke to you too?"

I also wonder if this allows teams to get around the salary Cap. Are these player getting 1/2 salary?

Posted by: kevin | February 18, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

"Semin hasn't been traded. and Forsberg, from everything I've heard, wants to play for a team that will contend this year."

OUCH tarik, what exactly are you trying to say? No but seriously, if the blackhawks were still on his list, i dont want to hear that junk as an excuse:)

Posted by: sheesh | February 18, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

As far as trade talk goes...
I'd love to see us pry Campbell away from the Sabres. Not sure what I would be willing to offer as bait, though.

Posted by: pmoravek | February 18, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

@Tarik
Thanks for explaining it. I will refrain from using it.

@Greg S
"Because you're posting trash and claiming it as fact."
Trash, yes. Same as you and everyone else.
Claiming it as a fact. NO. You really need some English comprehension classes.

Posted by: x | February 18, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

@SA Town,

The Ducks did have to get rid of McDonald though to free up some cap space.

Posted by: Steve R | February 18, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Can't say that I've seen Greg S post trash on here and say it's fact. I've seen him offer up his opinion & state that it is his opinion.

My 2 cents worth.

Posted by: Steve R | February 18, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Peca would be a decent defence-oriented centre that, if healthy, tends to play well in the playoffs (he had a very good playoffs in 2006 w/ Edmonton). It's most likely a rental situation, so you really don't want to give up anything remotely significant. I still laugh about NY Islanders giving away the store to get Ryan Smyth and then not re-signing him.

As to the points issue, they should really just make regulation wins worth 3 points (in effect, every game would be worth 3 points).

Posted by: Patrick | February 18, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Im not saying change the rule or anything like that.

I just think it's a bit weak for these guys to come back mid-season.

Posted by: SA_Town | February 18, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

SA_Town

Gotta agree with you.
I'm not sure exactly what's wrong with it, but it just doesn't seem right.
In order for anything to be done, the NHLPA would have to get involved.

Posted by: pmoravek | February 18, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I don't like this either, it makes me think that the young gun trying to develop his game and show what he can do is suddenly sent down because The Prima Donna has decided he's ready to save the team. Just Bull_ _ _ _.
I know they really don't think that way but it's how I perceive it to be, not liking it and all.

Posted by: score | February 18, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Steve:
I'm with you - Greg is not a trash talker ... neither are you, for that matter. (Do I feel a group hug coming on?!?)

I must say, I am more than a bit bummed that the flu bug has found the locker room. Remember last season - around Dec? It seemed like it rolled through the entire team!! I hope no one else gets it. Not now ... we just can't afford it.

I am ready for Wed! Glad NJ killed Carolina ... hope it was a fluke! ;-) If not, then here's hoping that they are good and tired by Sun!! :-D

Posted by: Boo! | February 18, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Steve. 'Nuf said.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 18, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Feelin' the love in the blog today!

Posted by: Lee | February 18, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Peca? Area you serious?

Come on guys, I realize we're making a run this year, but do you really want to get rid of young talent and or draft picks for an older player who most likely won't stay with us past our short run in the playoffs? (Yes, I said short)

Stay the course, the next two years we'll be MUCH better. If we keep our youngsters and use them to trade or possibly sign some free agents in the off season to fill that center and defensive positions we so badly need, we'll be better off.

If we make it into the playoffs, I for one, will be happy. But don't expect GMGM to make any "rental" moves.

Posted by: cupcrzy | February 18, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Lee on the other hand is a trash talker ;)

Posted by: Steve R | February 18, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Stay with what we got.

I'm not interested in trading youngsters for any short-term success. I want the Caps to compete for the Stanley Cup in a few years.

Plus, the Caps are good enough to win the lousy SE division this year. Just get in the playoffs ... and see what happens.

Posted by: Caps fan in TN | February 18, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Steve:
Once again, I have to agree with you ... ;-)

Posted by: Boo! | February 18, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

D is where we need help. Actually, Olie and Johnson need help up there.

I would like to see 1 or 2 26-30 year old Defensemen. I mentioned 3 that are apparently being discussed as up for "reassignment" that I wouldn't mind seeing here at all. Kaberle, Malik and Campbell all seem to be in this list. All are under 30 and all make a "reasonable" salary (in terms of hockey players. For us schmucks, humph!) They're proven, yet still have more capacity to grow. I'm a little afraid of Malik. Sometimes he looks great. Other times, not so much.

On trade bait, I had mentioned any D-man except for Green and Poti. Some said that we need to keep Morrisson. He's good, I'll admit. But to get one of these three, we may have to give him up. IMHO, these guys are worth it. We have prospects that are pretty close in Hershey (supposedly).

Oh, and we also have Eminger, too! :D

Posted by: Greg S. | February 18, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

@Boo!

I do not talk trash! well, i don't often. Just to those who deserve it

Posted by: Lee | February 18, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Like just then, Lee? :)

Posted by: Greg S. | February 18, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

@Greg S.

Nah, there are really only two who deserve it. YOu are usually spot on, Mauree, Boo, Steve R., Raber, Finn, 828, Sombrero Guy and some others that I'm missing. Most everyone else has some good input. THen you've got the people who just are not going to be happy until GMGM is strung naked on 7th street. The team is moving in the right direction, and there is a good core group of FANS here that are exctied for the future, and understand what is happening. My rath is saved for the others.

And SLuggo is Ron White's dog!

Posted by: Lee | February 18, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, what time does the Caps' practice usually finish if they start around 10:30? I was wondering if I could catch some of the practice while on my lunch break. Thanks.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 18, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

My favorite part of practice today was right after the grey team won. They all posed in front of someone's glove on the ice and acted like they were taking a picture and the glove was the camera - that was pretty funny.

Where do you usually sit when you are at practice? I was going to stop by and say hello, but couldn't see you.

Posted by: 828 | February 18, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Lee:

I was kidding! :-P I agree - most folks here don't talk trash and make great contributions ... even you!! ;-) (Again - kidding!)

So who is going to the game Wed? I'll be there with bells on! (Do you think that will disturb people around me?) I plan on going Sun, too. Can't wait!

LET'S GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: Boo! | February 18, 2008 8:14 PM | Report abuse

I'll be there too, Boo! Are you wearing cowbells?

Only missed one game so far this year.

Posted by: keef | February 18, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Keef:
LOL!! No, not cowbells, but how bout that cowbell dude at the last home game?!? I thought it was funny when they showed part of the cowbell skit from SNL - are you familiar with it? It's VERY funny ... good stuff!!

Posted by: Boo! | February 18, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

@Lee

UGH!!! That's imagry that I could do without! gmgm strung up naked on 7th???

I need another beer to wash THAT taste out of my mouth! Thanks for the good excuse! :)

Posted by: Greg S. | February 18, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

A 10:30 practice usually wraps up between 11:15 and 11:30.

@828

I missed the grey team posing. I must have been blogging. darn. that sounds hilarious.

Posted by: Tarik | February 18, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

@Boo!

I was surprised that they had that waiting for him. :)

Goat just gets his mug up on the screen and the Horn Guy...well, other than his little profile last year, I haven't seen him up there.

Posted by: keef | February 18, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

@828

I sit in the little office in the corner of the rink. stop by and say what's up.

Posted by: Tarik | February 18, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Keef:
I know - I was surprised, too ... like they have been waiting ALL season for someone to show up with a cowbell! LOL!! Too funny!! :-D

Posted by: Boo! | February 18, 2008 9:08 PM | Report abuse

I sat behind Cowbell guy at the Dec. 26th game against the Lightning. Or, a different cowbell guy. Or maybe it was a game against the Panthers? I don't remember.
As for trading for a D-man, I don't care for Kaberle, and I absolutely hate the idea of trading for anyone who currently plays for New York. Signings are different, but I don't want any NY team to have anything of ours. If we're going after a D-man, go after someone from far away. But really, with our farm, we don't need to.

Posted by: Whiter Mage | February 18, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

@Whiter Mage

All of our UFA signings over the past summer were from NY. Anyway, I really don't care what team a player comes from so long as they produce when they're on mine.

Malik (NYR) would pair well with Green. Malik is a true stay at home D-man, though he runs hot and cold. Kaberle (Toronto) is on pace for 52 points, and has more of an offensive side. He could help Green learn to pick his time to pinch so we're not left hanging them out. Campbell (Buffalo) is shooting for 54 points this year and has benefits on power plays.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 19, 2008 12:22 AM | Report abuse

@GregS:

You are exactly right that D is where we need help. Of those rumored to be available, I also think Kaberle would be the best fit for us, but I think the price will likely be too high (assuming he waives his no trade clause). IMHO, Campbell has too many defensive lapses and doesn't use his body as effectively as he could, and Malik is a little too one dimensional to justify the cost. The big question mark is whether the Caps expect Brian Pothier to return, this year OR next. It doesn't look like we will be seeing Pothier this year, but if his absence is likely to be longer, a seasoned blueliner would be a very valuable addition that may justify a higher price.

Posted by: Fred | February 19, 2008 7:26 AM | Report abuse

A reader's poll on TSN.CA for who will win the SE, has the Caps WAY ahead. Yeah, this is just a poll, but I'm feelin' the love from the great white north.
Check it out: http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/Default.aspx

Posted by: JIM | February 19, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

@ JIM
The Hockey News had a similar poll with similar results. Their readership is a mix of pretty well informed hardcore fans (yours truly pulling down that average) to people actually in the business (They actually get players to answer an annual poll and most players are subscribers). So these insiders are as impressed as we are.

Posted by: TheCapitalist | February 19, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

@Fred,

Kaberle has a no trade clause and has repeatedly said that he doesn't want to leave the Leafs (per tsn anyway)

Posted by: Steve R | February 19, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

@ JIM
A lot of Canadians will root for Caps because of Ovechkin and Boudreau who is from Toronto area (and Leafs are out)

Posted by: Anonymous | February 19, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I'm not looking for Pothier to return this year. He may just end up retiring. If it were me, that's what I'd do. Having a life of epileptic seasures and/or Alzheimers (I already have CRS) is not high up on my priority list. Not to mention that the next one could cause permanent brain damage (I know some here would say I already have that).

Posted by: Greg S. | February 19, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

How about Brendan Witt?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 19, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I'll be there Tomorrow, Sunday, Etc., I am really going to have a with drawl fit when the season is up.

Posted by: Super | February 19, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Brendon? Good question. I think he burned a few bridges before he left. Coming back could be difficult.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 19, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Witt would be a great pick-up, but I doubt the Isles would want to trade him for anything less than a blue-chip prospect (read Alzner), which is not worth it. Plus, the Isles are in the thick of the playoff race, so why trade?

@ The Capitalist, yeah, I agree that TSN and THN readers are better informed than ESPN. I hope their polls are right and the Caps win the SE. I'm a little wary because the Canes have better playoff experience and leadership (Clark is an on-ice leader who being sidelined does not help).

Posted by: JIM | February 19, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Greg, I made sure to point out that signings are different. I don't mind signing NY players, I don't want to give anything to any NY teams. Of all the teams in the NHL not named the Penguins and Hurricanes, I hate the Sabres, Rangers, and Isles the most. Yes, more than the Flyers, who I hate with a burning passion. There's a lot of hate in me for the whole Atlantic division that we really should be in.

That said, if we trade for anyone, get Pettinger out of town and try to get an Adam Foote or a younger guy with contract status not in question. Pettinger has done nothing this season but be a checking line minus. If you wanna be a good grind player, you can't be a -12. It just isn't what wins games. I don't care if you can't score (Read: Laing) but just be a +/- of 0 or higher. While I don't think Eminger will ever crack the Caps line up permanently unless it's due to Pothier retiring (Which he should do, sadly) I'm still not ready to give up on him.
If Pothier's career is over, this throws a whole new wrench into the chain.

Posted by: Whiter Mage | February 19, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

The only trades I can see the Caps making (sadly) are ones involving our "poor fit" players - i.e. Petty and Eminger. For whatever reason they're not producing, so the best we could expect is someone else who's not producing.

Otherwise they're good for draft picks. I could see a team taking a risk on Petty, but not so much on Emmy. If I had to guess, I think we'd see a Petty for a historic grinder who's under producing this year. If no one fits that bill, then the only trades we'll see are for draft picks.

Posted by: Raber | February 19, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

It would be totally awesome if we were in the Atlantic. If Bettman wants rivalries, that's where we should be.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 19, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I don't really think that Eminger is that bad. I think that there will be teams that would trade for him. Same with Erskine. One of them and a pick should do.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 19, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

@SteveR

I know, but everyone in Toronto seems to be saying they don't want to waive their no trade clauses! This is a theoretical discussion, and part of the point is that there are few "available" defensemen out there who are worth the price.

Posted by: Fred | February 19, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Greg S. - well said ...

"D wins games and, more importantly playoffs. Goalies win cups."

Many DC area hockey fans are new to the sport, many joining on board during the cup run or Jagr era..the fact that offense starts with D gets overlooked by Sizzle and Sparkle that forwards like Semin bring to the table.

We are shockingly bad on the blueline without Tom Poti (I'd NEVER thought I'd ever say this..)...TOM POTI! Tells you just how thin we are back there..

Posted by: The Tinner | February 19, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

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