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More on Eric Belanger

Here's an excerpt from tomorrow's story on free agent center Eric Belanger signing with the Coyotes. According to Belanger's agent, there was an agreement with the Capitals that fell through. You can read the whole story here.

Free agent center Eric Belanger signed a one-year contract with the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday, reportedly worth $750,000.
Belanger played 24 games for the Washington Capitals during the 2009-10 regular season and Stanley Cup playoffs, recording two goals and seven points after being acquired from the Minnesota Wild at the trade deadline. The nine-year veteran posted 13 goals and 35 points in 60 games with the Wild.
Last month, the Capitals appeared to have an agreement in place that would bring Belanger back to Washington, pending the completion of a trade. The team never confirmed that it had an arrangement with Belanger, and on Tuesday, Capitals General Manager George McPhee declined to comment while a team spokesman reiterated that Washington never had a contract with Belanger.
Belanger's agent, Joe Tacopina, said the Capitals did have a deal to bring back Belanger and even helped him sign a lease for a house in Washington and enroll his two daughters in area schools.
"It's just disingenuous," Tacopina said. "Despite a two-way commitment and requesting Eric to commit to them and take himself out of the [free agent] mix, when they wound up not being able to make the trade several weeks later, they decided they couldn't sign him."

*In other news, center Matt Hendricks will be on the ice with the Capitals on a pro-tryout tomorrow. Hendricks played with Hershey in 2006-07 and most recently was a member of the Colorado Avalanche organization.

By Katie Carrera  |  September 14, 2010; 8:38 PM ET
 
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Next: Eric Belanger: 'The line has been crossed'

Comments

Re-Post:

Well, let's see, Belanger gave McPhee eight teeth, and McPhee gave him back one finger.

Actually, to be serious, I think there's a fair chance of a grievance against the Caps. The players lost on the Kovy thing and they might be wanting a little revenge. I'm sure Bettman wouldn't mind at all sticking it to the Caps.

------Now reading the agent's comments, it seems there could well be a grievance. It looks bad, regardless how it turns out. Backing out of a verbal deal is a dirty trick anyway you look at it.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 14, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal

This is what I said about two weeks ago was going to happen. The team and management look awful right now. If the agent does in fact have the saved email or texts there will definitely be a grievance against the Caps. If I'm Belanger I am heated.

It will be hard for players to trust our management now in my opinion.

Posted by: ThePat | September 14, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Maybe this means we needed the cap space to make room for Souray, Bieksa, and Zajac..........come half full people, half full.

Sucks for the Caps PR department for sure.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 14, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Scaumbag move by the Caps if this is true. Not only is McPhee a sorry GM, he's apparently also a bad person.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | September 14, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Even with no trade, the Caps could have still used Belanger for that kind of money. Embarassing way for the team to handle this. Where is Leonsis? Is he too busy with the Wizards, Monumental, or looking for rat droppings at Verizon? GMGM should be called in to someone's office and asked the following:
1. Why did you handle Belanger so unprofessionally?
2. Why haven't you gotten a Center and Defenseman?
and for fun...3. What the heck did Nylander do to you?

Posted by: kcbrichmond | September 14, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

GMGM needs to come clean on this one. No need to drag potential trade bait players names into this - but transparency is important not just to players but also to fans who believe in an organization that was built and operates on a double bottom line philosophy. I'm sure Belanger is "heated" as a previous poster noted. But I'll bet Uncle Ted is equally heated.

Posted by: DisgustedinArlington | September 14, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

I justdon't get why this supposed lack of a trade prevented us from signing him anyway...we need a 3rd line C and he was a good pick for a fair price...makes no sense...and if they file a grievance against the caps I bet they will win!

Posted by: capscoach | September 14, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Just putting it out there....Belanger rumors were figured to be around $1.85 for us. Yotes got him cheap because I am sure he was worried about not playing anywhere.

Im not condoning what GMGM may or may not have done in regards to arranging a deal with him, just saying he would have cost us much more than $750k.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 14, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Just putting it out there....Belanger rumors were figured to be around $1.85 for us. Yotes got him cheap because I am sure he was worried about not playing anywhere.

Im not condoning what GMGM may or may not have done in regards to arranging a deal with him, just saying he would have cost us much more than $750k.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 14, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Damn you CI....and your bs that cause double postings. Way too much vino, but I still blame you.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 14, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

I liked the thought of Belanger signing with the Caps, but feel no need to react to this one based on speculation. The article is written on the word of an agent and many are taking it as unquestioned truth. I'm not professing blind loyalty to Caps management, but who really knows the credibility and integrity of Joe Tacopina?

Posted by: gonchpup | September 14, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how long it takes for Damien Cox to criticize Ted for this?

If this is all true this is a rotten move by Caps management. Like capscoach said, they had plenty of room and need to sign him even though the trade fell though. If after two days the trade didn't happen it would be okay for the Caps to say "no deal". But 5 weeks, no way. They screwed Belanger and I hope he files a grieveance. The Caps cost him a lot of money(assuming he would've gotten at least $1.4M on the market at the time).

We don't know all the facts but if this is true it would surprise me to see the Caps getting sued and owing Belanger some money. Bad, bad, BAD move by Caps management. That is just not a classy way to conduct business. If I was an agent I would no longer trust the Caps management.

The thing is, I can't see why the Caps said nothing to Belanger over such a long period and why they didn't still sign him. There was still a place for him on the team.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 14, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

PRICELESS !

Stay classy George.

Posted by: Cheef | September 14, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

If the verbal agreement was that the Caps would sign Belanger pending the completion of this rumored trade and asked EB and Tacopina not to talk about their deal, then it would appear that both EB and Tacopina violated said verbal agreement since they both talked about the signing. In doing so they(EB/agent) may have caused the rumored trade to fall through and shot themselves in the foot. I'm not saying GMGM did nothing wrong because we don't know the details but I'm a little suspect of Tacopina.

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | September 14, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

This whole deal is making me nauseous. No class, no sense, no NHL-level centers for two lines, no physical defensive leader that has been needed for years.

Posted by: zmega | September 14, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Come on, people. Are you only happy when you can trash Caps players, coaches, and management? Do any of you KNOW for certain what went down between the Caps and Belanger?

"We don't know the facts but... ". Leave it at that.

Posted by: gonchpup | September 14, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Well-said, Funkyglove! Still no need to point fingers on this one, and it seems you are the only one who is keeping an open mind.

Posted by: gonchpup | September 14, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

You people are blind.

Look back at this guy's track record, he's notorious for being a classless loser.
A total Bum.

The Caps will NEVER win the Cup with this "GM".

Posted by: Cheef | September 14, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Cheef - Shut up....

Posted by: gonchpup | September 14, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

The team never confirmed that it had an arrangement with Belanger, and on Tuesday, Capitals General Manager George McPhee declined to comment while a team spokesman reiterated that Washington never had a contract with Belanger.
-------------------------------

Isn't this what Ben Bradlee would call a non-denial denial?

Posted by: joek443 | September 14, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Leasing a house ?
Putting the kids in school ?


Those comments are proof enough that this guy is complete loser, adding one more veteran to bash the Caps and rightfully so..

Posted by: Cheef | September 14, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Wow, GMGM sounds like he really screwed the pooch on this one. Yeah, deals fall through, but keeping a guy hanging on this long is just wrong. The Caps look chump league.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | September 14, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

No Cups proves again why he is not really a GM in this league. Classless move by Teddy Boy and No Cups. Please leave us now.

Posted by: festus75 | September 14, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Even if all of the Belenger stuff is true it had been almost a month since FA had started and he couldn't get signed to any team at the time which is why he would have taken the Caps "deal" in the first place. The rumored amount was higher then what he had made the year before which I never could figure out since it is not like he had a year better then what he had before so I could never figure out how he was getting a raise. Also how long do you give a team to make this trade? Even if Belenger had agreed to a deal after a week our two you have to figure it was not going to happen and you should start looking at other teams.

It also is not like there were places he could have gone that signed other players in the time he was "off the market" at least not for much more money then the Yotes are giving him. Only the Habs with Halpern and I think Madden have signed during that time and neiter is making over a million.

The thing I think is the only real problem I see is that they were helping him find a house and putting his kids into school. Because now what are his kids going to do? Switch schools aging to go down to AZ or are they going to stay here where they started?

Still I think that as a player waiting 5 weeks for a deal to happen while not going anything is just plain stupid. With how often trades fall through waiting any more then a week is just putting yourself in a very bad position.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 14, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

I am shocked that the Caps are seriously going to start the season with a team worse than the one that got bounced in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Apart from the classless move by GMGM, this off-season has been an absolute disaster for the Caps.

I love the team, but I am also going to be enraged if they try to make a huge deal about raising the President's Cup banner to the rafters during the NJ Devils game on opening night. If this team is serious about not continuing to be a laughing stock when it comes to playoff hockey (see Umburger comments from Mar 10), they should raise that lame banner during one of the preseason games.

Good luck in PHX, Eric.

Posted by: nomarjax01 | September 14, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

if true - it was classless
but i don't understand how an agent (or player) would wait 5 weeks for something that they should have put an end to in 3 or 4 days.
i would doubt any grievance, if won, would net him the difference between the reported agreement of $1.85M and the $750k he got

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 14, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Now that we know Belenger is out is there a player out there that the Caps might get in order to shore up one of the two open center spots? I would really like to see them get Ryan Johnson who played for Vancouver last season. He averaged 2:50 in PK time a game, won almost 53% of his faceoffs, and led the Nucks forwards in blocked shots even with only playing 58 games because of injuries. He may not get a lot of hits but he will help our PK a lot.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 14, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Where is cstanton when you need him??? I can't WAIT to hear what he has to say! I'm a little shocked that this has transpired, although it's Belanger, not Gretzky we're talking about. I was sure they already signed Belanger but were waiting for... something... I'm okay with the end result though. Now we have a couple of weeks for GMGM to redeem his integrity - somewhat. Hm. Not so sure...

Posted by: sca187 | September 14, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Come on, people. Are you only happy when you can trash Caps players, coaches, and management? Do any of you KNOW for certain what went down between the Caps and Belanger?

"We don't know the facts but... ". Leave it at that.

Posted by: gonchpup | September 14, 2010 10:10 PM


Well said! And please, pay no attention to the bald Swedish guy in the corner!

Posted by: ablake70 | September 14, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

But I thought everyone had been complaining about the Caps retaining Belanger. Suddenly he's become the answer to the Caps 2C need that slipped out of our grasp? Story is certainly a bizarre one but the problem seems to have originated with Eric announcing something prematurely. Caps mgt remained silent and then shifted to a "we don't have a contract with him" denial. I'd like to have seen him signed back with the team but it's hard to see the failure to do so as justification for all the anti-GMGM venom. As for all the feigned concern about whether this was a classless move by the Caps -- please! Let's not pretend anyone really cares about that.

Posted by: McKinley2 | September 14, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

For a team like the Caps, the death knell is thinking that the players you have now are good enough to win the Cup. They proved last year that they aren't, so all this talk about them having the proper pieces in place is bunk. They needed to make moves in FA or via trades to bolster their blue line, and they've sat idly by. Sorry, but a top pairing of Green-Schultz and an unknown second pairing of Carlson-Alzner is not going to strike fear in opponents. Caps need a top-line defensive presence to pair with Green to make this team legit. Not to mention, depth down the middle is a little scarce now. Belanger would've helped.

Posted by: CDon | September 14, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

1. Actually I do care that "my" team has some class...
2. GMGM had all spring and summer to make moves to obtain a veteran Center and a tough Defenseman. For some inexplicable reason, he did neither. Can any of you apologists explain this? Have you forgotten the first round loss already?

Posted by: kcbrichmond | September 14, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Belanger was not the answer, but I don't like how this was shaken out. GMGM needs to do something soon or he loses all face.... even undertakers have faces.

Posted by: sca187 | September 14, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Some us of have supported Belanger at #3C because he is a better choice than anyone currently in the organization. Between Belanger, Madden and others, there's no reason we don't have a veteran for the checking line. Assuming we keep Flash, and shoehorn onto the second line, we'll have the world's worst #3 line of Chimera-Whomever-Fehr. Fehr will make a great #2 RW (and maybe #1 within a few years) but he NOT a checking winger. And, neither really is Chimera going to SHUT DOWN the other team's top line. Let's just say it Perreault for argument's sake. Our "checking" (3rd) line will be composed of a 4th line LW, a second line RW and an AHL center.

Tell me how these guys will stop anyone.

At least if we trade a few oddball pieces (Chimera and Flash) we could make a decent third line probably with Laich-Beagle-AGordon. My money is they would do the checking job better than any trio currently in the organization. Even Laich-Beagle-Bradley would be OK.

I have posted a million times. Putting 2nd and 4th line guys on the third line is no different than playing baseball with two extra 1st basemen at SS and 2B.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 14, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

2. GMGM had all spring and summer to make moves to obtain a veteran Center and a tough Defenseman. For some inexplicable reason, he did neither. Can any of you apologists explain this? Have you forgotten the first round loss already?

Posted by: kcbrichmond | September 14, 2010 11:19 PM

yes - they are following their plan. like or don't like, believe in it or don't believe in it - hockey is a business and they'll (gmgm & ted) do as they as they see fit to run it. gmgm only has to answer to ted and no one else - especially those haters that post here.
no - i did not forget

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 14, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Here are the players in the Caps top 13 forwards who can adequately play third line duty:

Backstrom (but, he won't); Laich (maybe he will); Bradley.

Here are otehr players from reports who could likely contribute this year: Beagle, Gordon, MaJo (maybe by year's end).

There are other players deeper in the organization who could play 3rd line eventually. I won't speculate since others can do a better job of that. Needless to say Belanger would have at least done something.

Just imagine you have eight people coming for dinner (incl yourself). You need eight steaks, eight salads, eight baked potatoes, eight desserts and eight bottles of wine.

Instead you have two steaks, 12 salads, 15 potatoes, only three wines and who cares about dessert anyway but you have 50.

This is kinda how the Caps are.

Welcome to the Dark Side.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 14, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Maybe what some of the agents say is true. Cody Eakin is NHL ready. Don't need Belanger.

GMGM is full of class-less moves. The way he wouldn't speak to Kolzig at the end of his career was horrible. Kolzig and the 98 boys gave us the only extended run of Caps "good times". All others have been too brief. Kolzig is still upset at GMGM, and you can see why after today.

Ted needs to lure in Bowman, and then get a GM Bowman likes.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | September 14, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

@capt. kirk

Look we got Hanlon fired, because it became obvious to Ted that the fans had seen enough. We can get GMGM fired too. This was a jerk move by GMGM. Another early exit with guys underperforming, and BB and GMGM are gone. The fans will insist. They are selling a product. Most long time Caps fans don't care for GMGM, believe it or not.They're smart enough to know that Ovi fell into his lap.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | September 14, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

I can just picture GMGM and Ted ending each day the same way Denny Crain and Alan Shore would end their day on Boston Legal... we won the Presdent's Trophy, life is GOOD!!!

and screw those littles like Belanger, who gives a rats a$$?? we don't need him.

Posted by: joek443 | September 14, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Here is something to consider for anyone who thinks Perreault can contribute. Check the numbers:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathieu_Perreault

Perreault HAS NOT dominated at the AHL level the way a scoring-only forward must do to advance. Meanwhile AGordon is:

better defensively than Perreault by reports, and

better on PK

a much tougher player

and outscored MP last year by wide margin with 37 goals, 31 assists I think.

Doubtless this team will drive me to drink.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 14, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

"Look we got Hanlon fired, because it became obvious to Ted that the fans had seen enough. We can get GMGM fired too."

you don't honestly think it was the fans do you? is there any chance that ted and gmgm saw that hanlon had 'lost' the team or maybe a few players had some feedback that was more influential than fans?

"This was a jerk move by GMGM. Another early exit with guys underperforming, and BB and GMGM are gone. The fans will insist."

so EB and his agent don't need to take any responsibility for not having a signed contract and then waiting 5 weeks before moving on? do you really know all of the facts or are you just basing your opinion on the agents version of events? do you just dislike gmgm so much that this supports you opinion?

"They are selling a product. Most long time Caps fans don't care for GMGM, believe it or not. They're smart enough to know that Ovi fell into his lap."

selling a product - means they are conducting business as they wish.
i've followed they caps since they came into the league - since i have no input in the decisions that are made - i will accept the decisions of those that do have input.
most #1 picks fall into the lap of the gm that drafts them (although i'm sure at some point a shrewd gm traded up and put that pick on their own lap)

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 15, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

We know you do not think MP will become a future NHL center, which is fine, but you must give all the statistics.

First, Andrew Gordon is two years older than MP.

Second, AGordon in 2008-2009, while 1 year older than MP was this past year, scored 45 points in 80 AHL games.

In 2009-2010 MP scored 50 points in only 56 AHL games.

This past year, while two years older than MP, AGordon scored 71 points in 79 games.

MP also showed some succes at the NHL level. AGordon, while only getting limited time, didn't show much(I do recognize the small sample size of this though).

As a comparison of a great player of a similar stature. Martin St. Louis, at one year older than MP was last year, scored 50 points in 56 IHL games. The 50 points were indentical to MPs (16G and 34A).

The year after that in the AHL St. Lous scored 62 points in 53 AHL games. Remember, at that time St. Louis was two years older than MP was last year.

I'm not saying he will be St. Louis. But he has shown enough success at his age, as shown in other players, to be very good in the NHL.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 15, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

I really don't care that Belanger is with/without the Caps. He's a journeyman 3rd line center who does that job well and a veteran player. I could never understand why Boudreau had him playing 2nd line center in the play-offs, but that's past.

While McPhail was up for GM of the year based on the Caps regular season point totals, the fact is he's had numerous screw ups and this is simply the latest.

It kind of reminds me of how they told Chris Bourque he made the team, and then McPhail had to put him on waivers due to some sort of error, and he was claimed by the Pens...only to be reclaimed at the end of the year again by the Caps...and now he's off to Europe.

The never-ending Nylander saga.
The Kolzig departure.
All the hold-outs from previous years - Halpern/Zubrus/Bondra?
Hiring Bruce Cassidy "Butch" for Teddy - where's he now?
Hiring his buddy - Hanlon to coach - where's he now?
The fight with Lorne Moloken
The press conference to announce why the Caps didn't sign any free agents back in 99/2000 time frame after announcing they were looking at everyone from Lindros/Roenick/others
Remember that player they signed from Europe, but he never showed so they had to lure him back the following year??
All the "projects" - Richer / Joe AWOL Murphy / others
Trading Kono for Battaglia after Cassidy demands it - luckily for the Caps Kono was injured and had to retire early as it would have been one of the most lopsided trades ever.

He's been GM of the team for 12-13 years and it's excuse after excuse: "hot goalie" or "we peaked early" or "reffing/officials screwed us"

I laugh at the Ted "we have miles to go" blog posts, which change right around play-off time when he announces (like Obama) that his "plan is working" - we have depth, we have assets to trade, we are working the plan".....and then another first round exit happens.

Keep going George - well done!

Posted by: Jaymagz | September 15, 2010 12:30 AM | Report abuse

I really don't care that Belanger is with/without the Caps. He's a journeyman 3rd line center who does that job well and a veteran player. I could never understand why Boudreau had him playing 2nd line center in the play-offs, but that's past.

While McPhail was up for GM of the year based on the Caps regular season point totals, the fact is he's had numerous screw ups and this is simply the latest.

It kind of reminds me of how they told Chris Bourque he made the team, and then McPhail had to put him on waivers due to some sort of error, and he was claimed by the Pens...only to be reclaimed at the end of the year again by the Caps...and now he's off to Europe.

The never-ending Nylander saga.
The Kolzig departure.
All the hold-outs from previous years - Halpern/Zubrus/Bondra?
Hiring Bruce Cassidy "Butch" for Teddy - where's he now?
Hiring his buddy - Hanlon to coach - where's he now?
The fight with Lorne Moloken
The press conference to announce why the Caps didn't sign any free agents back in 99/2000 time frame after announcing they were looking at everyone from Lindros/Roenick/others
Remember that player they signed from Europe, but he never showed so they had to lure him back the following year??
All the "projects" - Richer / Joe AWOL Murphy / others
Trading Kono for Battaglia after Cassidy demands it - luckily for the Caps Kono was injured and had to retire early as it would have been one of the most lopsided trades ever.

He's been GM of the team for 12-13 years and it's excuse after excuse: "hot goalie" or "we peaked early" or "reffing/officials screwed us"

I laugh at the Ted "we have miles to go" blog posts, which change right around play-off time when he announces (like Obama) that his "plan is working" - we have depth, we have assets to trade, we are working the plan".....and then another first round exit happens.

Keep going George - well done!

Posted by: Jaymagz | September 15, 2010 12:30 AM | Report abuse

I really don't care that Belanger is with/without the Caps. He's a journeyman 3rd line center who does that job well and a veteran player. I could never understand why Boudreau had him playing 2nd line center in the play-offs, but that's past.

While McPhail was up for GM of the year based on the Caps regular season point totals, the fact is he's had numerous screw ups and this is simply the latest.

It kind of reminds me of how they told Chris Bourque he made the team, and then McPhail had to put him on waivers due to some sort of error, and he was claimed by the Pens...only to be reclaimed at the end of the year again by the Caps...and now he's off to Europe.

The never-ending Nylander saga.
The Kolzig departure.
All the hold-outs from previous years - Halpern/Zubrus/Bondra?
Hiring Bruce Cassidy "Butch" for Teddy - where's he now?
Hiring his buddy - Hanlon to coach - where's he now?
The fight with Lorne Moloken
The press conference to announce why the Caps didn't sign any free agents back in 99/2000 time frame after announcing they were looking at everyone from Lindros/Roenick/others
Remember that player they signed from Europe, but he never showed so they had to lure him back the following year??
All the "projects" - Richer / Joe AWOL Murphy / others
Trading Kono for Battaglia after Cassidy demands it - luckily for the Caps Kono was injured and had to retire early as it would have been one of the most lopsided trades ever.

He's been GM of the team for 12-13 years and it's excuse after excuse: "hot goalie" or "we peaked early" or "reffing/officials screwed us"

I laugh at the Ted "we have miles to go" blog posts, which change right around play-off time when he announces (like Obama) that his "plan is working" - we have depth, we have assets to trade, we are working the plan".....and then another first round exit happens.

Keep going George - well done!

Posted by: Jaymagz | September 15, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Any lawyers out there?

A rhetorical question, I know, being as it's DC. Kinda like asking if there are rats in NYC or cockroaches in Miami.

Anyway, when there's been a contractual agreement, and it can be verbal, if there's proof, such as an organization's employees helping you to find schooling for your children, can't you sue the other party to "perform to the contract?"

And, if you and another party agree to a contract, and there's proof (see above), and if you go off the market as a result (contractus interruptus), and lose the ability to obtain compensation, and the other party can be shown as having taken steps to get you off the market, can that be considered "retraint of trade?"

And, given the third paragraph, where there was a contract, and given the fourth paragraph, where the accuser (Belanger et al) was harmed via restraint (he signed for $750K contractus minimus rather than $1.85M contractus maximus), can we not assume that a US Federal Court (that's where restraint cases are tried?) might force the Capitals to honor the original contract offer?

Whereas, in conclusion, Belanger might win and could end up on the Caps this year for $1.85M as the Washington Capitals Hockey Club could be adjudacated to perform to the original contract offer?

Don't be surprised. I'm drinking wine tonight, not Tom Collins, so we're reading the sediment at the bottom of the wine bottle and not the ice chips in a highball glass.

This case has the capability to be uglier than the Baltimore Ravens win over the New York Jets and if the players can win on this it would be bigger than Rex Ryan's gut. Meanwhile the Caps could end up looking worse than the officials in the Bears-Lions game and the team could get penalized more than the Jets secondary. Either way, McPhee's public image will take a bigger hit than anyone since, like, Lindsay Lohan.

As it is conjectured, so it could become. Maybe.

nostrathomas

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 15, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Jesus H Christ, sgm3, what does it matter how old AGordon is compared to Perreault?

I have never said that Perreault will "Never play in the NHL" or that he will "Never play in the NHL effectively."

I have posted numerous times that Perreault should be in the AHL, as a scoring-only forward, until he dominates.

If he does that by scoring 40 pts at Hershey in October, By God he's dominated!

Now, please agree with me, Perreault has not put up (yet) AHL numbers befitting a 1st or 2nd line "NHL-ready" prospect.

Do we agree? Thanks.

Meanwhile, AGordon HAS put up numbers and performance indicating he's ready to contribute on an NHL third line NOW. That he is two years older than MP means nothing!

So, in conclusion, I never said who will be the better long-term player (in opposition to Fehr v Fleischmann, where I have countless times said Fehr is better), what I have said and am saying (if you'd read) is that AGordon can be an NHL 3rd liner tomorrow and Perreault has not proven he is ready for NHL anything.

Guess what?! Joe Biden is 20 years older than Obama! Means what?

And, finally, would you please quit insulting Martin St. Louis by comparing him to Perreault? When Perreault has an MVP, then you can compare.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 15, 2010 12:57 AM | Report abuse

Jaymagz: Bondra's/Pivonka's holdouts were prior to McPhee's time in DC. I loved Kolzig but he was unreasonable when he left. If you think back to the 2007-08 season Kolzig was struggling BIG TIME. GMGM's acquisition of Huet is the ONLY reason the Capitals made the playoffs that year. Kolzig's last game was a blowout loss to Chicago, like 5-0, and Chicago didn't make the playoffs that year. After the acquisition of Huet, based on performance Johnson should have been the back-up. Instead Kolzig was able to serve as the back-up which in my mind was simply paying him back for his service. Now, immediately following the OT loss to Philly reports were that Kolzig went to the locker room, ripped his name off the stall, and left. Kolzig failed miserably in Tampa including giving up 3 goals in the 1st period in his game against Washington the following season. First star of that game was Brent Johnson. GMGM did nothing wrong in the whole Kolzig situation IMO. It was just an aging veteran failing to admit that he was done. Looks like Kolzig is over it because there were reports he was going to be at this year's convention. If he still had hard feelings I doubt he would come to an event like that.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 15, 2010 1:02 AM | Report abuse

So there was no contract signed, simply a verbal agreement "If X gets traded, Belanger gets signed for 1.85M" No one got traded, thus Belanger didn't get signed. Nothing shady about it.

Yes, 750K is a steal except that we had a verbal agreement for 1.85M so even if we wanted to sign him with the trade falling apart we would have to honor that amount.

Posted by: dimagus | September 15, 2010 1:13 AM | Report abuse

Tom, I normally agree with you but I can't agree with you on the Matty P topic. The top two scorers in the AHL last season, and they ran away from the rest of the field, were Aucoin and Alex Giroux. Using your argument, since they dominated the AHL, second year in a row as a matter of fact, that they should be NHL ready. IMO Aucoin has done well when called up but Giroux has not. Now Giroux may prove himself in Edmonton (I think that's where he signed) but we'll see.

Who was the Bears 2nd line center last year, was that Matty P or A Gordo? Matty P put up good numbers during the regular season and 19 points in 21 playoff games is impressive. I did watch the AHL finals last year because CSN Mid Atlantic showed a majority of the series. Matty P looked phenomenal and scored a couple of series changing goals in the Finals so he scores goals at critical times. He has also been successful at every level of hockey even though his size has been questioned since he was in Juniors.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 15, 2010 1:24 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

You first compared AGordon to MP and put forth misleading information.

How am I insulting St. Louis? Those were his statistics at that time in the minors. While older than MP was last year. And like you said, he became an MVP.

I'm not saying MP will be St. Louis or anything close. I'm saying a person, of his stature and playing style, putting up those numbers in the minors at the age became an NHL MVP. MP almost averaged a point per game. And I bet he didn't even get much PP time because of the presnece of Giroux and Aucoin, great AHL players and long time Bears.

MP may not become a good NHL player, absolutely. But I find the stats you use to write him off laughable because of the success similar players have had in the NHL with similar AHL stats.

Mike Cammaleri, at MPs age last year, played in 41 games in the AHL and scored 39 points.

Brian Gionta, at a year older, played in 37 games in the AHL and scored 25 points.

Derek Roy, at MPs age, played in 67 AHL games and scored 61 points.

Again, I'm NOT saying MP will be top player. But to completely write him off for his statistical season is wrong.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 15, 2010 1:38 AM | Report abuse

@ fanohock1

The issue is not whether Olie was done or not. Everyone knew he was, probably even him. It's about having the stones to look the guy in the face and tell him the truth. According to Olie, GMGM said nothing to him about Huet or his future with the club. You don't treat the guy who carried this team to it's only Cup finals and stuck by the organization in the dark days like the stapler guy in Office Space.

If this Belanger story is true, it's just another d_ _k move by GMGM. Like telling Chris Bourque he made the team, only to waive him right before the opener and blame it on Nylander. I guess no one else noticed the Caps were carrying 8 defensemen because they were so afraid someone would snatch up 29 year old, career minor leaguer Tyler Sloan on waivers.

Posted by: ablake70 | September 15, 2010 1:47 AM | Report abuse

I've never understood this lovefest with Perreault. He had a decent showing during his call up in November. During this same time, Ovi was out and Flash carried the offense with his eight goals. It speaks volumes about the level of competition Perreault faced given that Flash is a guy that's known to disappear when times get tough.

Perreault might turn into a good NHL player, but I wouldn't want to depend on him as the 2C on a team with Cup aspirations. We still don't know if Carlson and Alzner can withstand the pressure of a full NHL schedule, relying on MP and MJ to fill major positions is just insane.

Posted by: ablake70 | September 15, 2010 2:14 AM | Report abuse

Yeah well, GMGM spoke very highly of Backstrom when he was playing in the SEL in 2006-07. None of us REALLY knew who the heck he was and there were people on boards saying the same thing about Backstrom as people are are saying about MP and MJ. Backstrom was quoted earlier this week stating he thinks MJ is ready to play in the NHL. Backstrom didn't have to say that, he chose to say that.

"The only thing he has to do, I think, is get used to the smaller rink, but he's a smart player. He'll be fine. I think he's ready."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/11/AR2010091100514.html

As far as Matty P, the reason I like him so much is because regardless of his size he wins the puck battles along the boards. When he goes to the boards he comes out with the puck and he doesn't give up during the puck battles. Even though he is small he isn't all that easy to knock off the puck. The only time he has been lit up so far is when Armstrong had the cheap interference hit last year that resulted in a penalty and a suspension.

http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2010/04/colby-armstrong-receives-2-game-suspension.php

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 15, 2010 2:31 AM | Report abuse

When Backstrom came over, the team was still in the basement. Even then, it took him awhile to get acclimated to the NHL. MP/MJ are not as good as Backstrom was then, yet you think they can fill the roles of 2C/3C on a cup contender?

Also, the Armstrong hit isn't the only time MP was lit up. Gleason flattened him along the boards in the game Ovi was kicked out. He got up, but how many times do you think he can take a hit like that?

Posted by: ablake70 | September 15, 2010 2:50 AM | Report abuse

Every NHLer is potentially a hit away from retirement. When you are talented and can play the game with your head up and you're quick, you tend to be able to avoid the big hits.

As far as Backstrom, he started the 07-08 season on wing because bonehead Hanlon put him there. Hanlon had him on the 4th line!BB put him at center and he hasn't slowed down since. Backstrom didn't start out slow, he started out being coached by a dipstick. He was a rookie the same year as Kane and Toews and he is arguably the best of the three. Those two do have a Cup though.

Yes, I do believe they can be 2nd or 3rd line centers on a Cup contender. I think Cody Eakin is going to factor in sooner than later too.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 15, 2010 3:20 AM | Report abuse

BTW, Backstrom only spent the 1st half of his rookie season (2007-08) in the basement. The Caps have qualified for the playoffs every year he has played for them. He didn't get his shot because the Caps stunk, the Caps became a playoff team because of him. Again, I think MP is NHL ready. Backstrom is the one that claims MJ is ready.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 15, 2010 3:24 AM | Report abuse

There are some people on here that will NEVER say anything bad about Caps mgmt. This was a d0uche move, plain and simple and there have been no improvements to the team in the off season. As a matter of fact they are in worse shape on D then they were last season......Ersk/Sloan as 6 and 7 D?????

Look forward to another early golf outing for Ovie and the boys next spring.

Posted by: PhilR | September 15, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

We are a Stanley Cup Favorite. We have cap room.

George McPhee has botched this offseason as badly as he could have. No Killer Instinct, on the ice, nor in the press box.

SO FAR, he has failed.

Posted by: underpants2 | September 15, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

I think tominsocal has a point -- right now the Caps do not have a bona fide 2nd line center, a hard-checking -and- effective blueliner (they have both, but in different people), they do not have a well organized 3rd line. Perhaps, MJ or MP or Flash will turn into an effective 2nd line center. Perhaps one of the young blueliners will play like a hardened vet defender. Perhaps Fehr will play 2nd line rw. Perhaps A Gordon will center a good 3rd line and Chimeria will play on the 4th line as a energy guy (overpaid, to say the least). I am hoping, but not confident, that some of these maybes will pan out. But a trade for a solid blueliner who will anchor the first pairing with Green would be a really good acquisition. I am less concerned with the 3rd line and the 2nd line center because the draft/ahl cupboard is far from bare.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | September 15, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Nothing pretty about the agents comments. If true, bad on GMGM.

Sure looks as though several things happened.

#1, not trading Flash didn't open up a spot for him
#2, Marcus Johansson must've really shown he belongs in the NHL this year.
#3, Belanger didn't really help the PK when he was here. Backie, Gordo & Stecks are primary PK centers. All are a year older and SHOULD be better (I sure hope so).

Posted by: jimc93 | September 15, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Well, we have several posters on CI that have already deemed the coming post-season a lost cause. Nevermind that we haven't even started the current season. Someone needs to get word to the players so that they can go easy, avoid injury, and start preparing for 2011-12.

Posted by: _Mark | September 15, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Why do so many posters take a blog post as gospel?

Maybe if you live a bit longer you'll learn there are always two sides to every story.

Posted by: jbfromfc | September 15, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Well, we have several posters on CI that have already deemed the coming post-season a lost cause. Nevermind that we haven't even started the current season. Someone needs to get word to the players so that they can go easy, avoid injury, and start preparing for 2011-12.

Posted by: _Mark

Why should we feel optimistic? How many post season failures are needed before anything is learned? This is past the point of being absurd.

Posted by: underpants2 | September 15, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

The agent cannot put all blame on GMGM. Really, a verbal, handshake agreement with no deadline. The agent has to share the blame for screwing their client. Give a deadline for the deal to be signed, don't talk about leasing a house or schools, sign the deal by X date or I'm take my client elsewhere. Stupid agent. Blame also sits with the Caps but if they said we will sign you but this trade needs to happen first and the trade does not happen, well that blows but trade did not happen so we no sign. Crappy agent.

Posted by: flee001 | September 15, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Regardless of whether it improves the Caps or not, if what is said by the agent is true, I do not like how the Caps management conducted themselves.

Now, like people have said here, that is IF what the agent said is true. I'm not saying it is or it isn't, but we do have to wait and see what the Caps response is to this before making final conclusions.

The Caps clearly seem very high on their prospects, and as much as some people on here want to claim they have full knowledge of the Caps prospects abilities because they supposedly watched "tapes" of their play, the Caps scouts, coaches, and player management have much more knowledge of their abilities than any of us.

Does this mean they will definitely become good? Of course not. However, I am curious to see how these players will play when the season starts. MP, MJ, Nuevy, Carlson, Alzner, and maybe AGordon. I'm curious to see how they will fare.

And I know some people are going to come on and 100% such as "I know so-and-so will suck" or "I know so-and-so will be great". I don't care. I'm sick of hearing certainties spit out by people about prospect's abilities, things they do not have much knowledge of(and neither do I for that matter).

I'm just curious to see how those players will be over the course of the season. I think that will be fun to watch. Hopefully they all will be anywhere from pretty good to excellent and make the Caps even better.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 15, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

@flee001:

I agree with your comments about the agent. Also consider this - supposedly a $1.85M offer from the Caps vs 750K from Phoenix. Perhaps he saw that this was the only big offer Belanger would get so he decided to gamble and wait for the Caps to make the "trade" rather than advising his client to stay on the market. Bigger commission for the agent....

And shouldn't we also remember that when the story leaked it came from Belanger's camp, not the Caps. Perhaps that was done deliberately by the agent to put the Caps in a position where they would have to conclude the deal, even if the 'trade' felll through. If the agent did that to give his client leverage, and the publicity about the signing caused the Caps trade to fall through, then whose fault is it? I'm certain there's more than one side to this, and probably plenty of blame to go around.

Posted by: Thisistheyear | September 15, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

I choose to be optimistic. It is in my nature. Until a team is eliminated, there is always a chance. Many here have already given up and written the season off as a failure. If you don't think there is a chance, then why follow the team? This team is talented and entertaining. They certainly do have a chance of going all the way.

Posted by: _Mark | September 15, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

_Mark,

Because I have been following this team since its inception and refuse to let people like you to tell me I can not be critical and feel the team will fail once more since no improvements were made. I have had my heart ripped out by this team more times than I can count so in my book that gives me the right to come onto a BLOG and give my critical opinion. If you do not like that opinion I suggest you not read it.

Posted by: PhilR | September 15, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

_Mark,

Because I have been following this team since its inception and refuse to let people like you to tell me I can not be critical and feel the team will fail once more since no improvements were made. I have had my heart ripped out by this team more times than I can count so in my book that gives me the right to come onto a BLOG and give my critical opinion. If you do not like that opinion I suggest you not read it.

Posted by: PhilR | September 15, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Stupid double post!!

Posted by: PhilR | September 15, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

@PhilR

Saying that you think the Caps, as currently built, will not win the Cup is fine.

But saying that you KNOW the Caps, as currently built, will not win the Cup is not okay. Guess what, you think that will happen. You do not know that will happen.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 15, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I do contract work with a verbal promise that it will go full time when the company I work for can hire me away from my agency. Nothing in writing, just talk. I was told that if the client cannot take care of their PO's (money) then I'm being pulled off until the money gets resolved. If no money then I no get hired full time and may be out of work completely. I am still looking and if/when I get another offer, or the promised one then I will consider them.

I bring this up since Belanger was in similar situation. He was promised one thing verbally but it did not happen. The trade (money) did not happen thus he's not signed. He then had a fallback with PHX, less money but still playing. The agent is pissed since he lost commission, but guess they ain't all Jerry McGuire.

Not crying for Belanger, he did what he needs too, but the agent should shut the hell up, he did not have a contract with the Caps period. Verbal ... give me a break.

Posted by: flee001 | September 15, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

So we can safely say we are going into the season with no proven NHL talent at 2C or 3C. And we saw how the trade deadline moves worked out last year. Sounds pretty risky to me. If I were Semin, I would not be happy. If a team is going to have a $6M high skill winger, the least the team could do is get him a proven center.

I see a $1M grievance coming the Caps way for the Belanger fiasco. Not good for the organization's reputation.

Posted by: zmega | September 15, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Fletch22 | September 15, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Fletch22 | September 15, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

"So we can safely say we are going into the season with no proven NHL talent at 2C or 3C."

Barring any future deals, yes.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 15, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

None of us have enough information to determine the extent to which the Caps have some obligation to Belanger. But the part about helping the kids find schools, if true, is not helpful to the Caps position. It sure sounds like Belanger relied on the Caps representations to some degree, and he may have had good reason to do so. As a result, he lost $1M and had a lot of disruption in his family life. It sounds like the Caps wanted to have it both ways, locking up Belanger as an insurance policy while still shopping elsewhere. But we'll probably never know all the details.

Posted by: zmega | September 15, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Another stupid double post.

Posted by: Fletch22 | September 15, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I have been along for the ride with the Caps since the late 70's, so I understand the frustration and sitting through some lean seasons. I still hold out hope that the Cup is coming. In the meantime I am going to enjoy the team, not deride it. Sure, last seasons deadline acquisitions din't work well overall, but that does not mean it will be repeated every year. The deadline where we picked up Feds, Huet, and Cooke was a success. It is not set in stone at this point that the team will be the same now as it will be in April.

Posted by: _Mark | September 15, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

sgm: You have a good point with the players stats you put up. The call on MP is mixed in here. Some think he's ready some do not. The difference between him and Giroux is Giroux dominated in AHL but could never do it in NHL. Players like MP and Giroux who are offense only (for most part) have to be really good offensively (60 pts) to be worthwhile NHL players. Otherwise a guy like Lombardi with 55 pts/defense/PK/etc is just better. I don't see MP or MJ good enough offensively now for #2C on Cup contender. Surely neither have the defensive skills now for checking center. AGordon meanwhile can play as #3 or 4 line. As can likely Beagle or Pinner. My point is we aren't letting qualified third liners play that role because we have too many "can't be second liners" playing that line. Have to agree with some others who say this is a recipe for playoff failure.

Meanwhile we might never know both sides on Belanger issue. But, really, if someone did that to you? All but promised - "Just wait till I clear up this one thing. Meanwhile we'll start to help your family move." Sure, maybe the agent could have been smarter. But, there's very little chance that backing out of a verbal "almost promise" won't make you look like a bum.

Try telling a woman you will marry her as soon as you get your car paid off. And then, three years later, you haven't paid it off? And you tell her to find someone else? Sheesh.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 15, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Caps told Belanger to stick around, we sign you if this trade happens. No trade, no sign. Like telling a girl to wait for an marriage proposal but first you need to off-load your current girlfriend to another guy.

Posted by: flee001 | September 15, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

As stated by someone else - I watched Kolzig carry the load for all the years when the Caps were bad...and then McPhail doesn't have the stones to tell him that Huet is hot and we're riding that train until it falls off. If you remember, Huet had a bad 2nd game of the series, so Kolzig thought he might start, but again they went to Huet and that incensed Kolzig. I'm not suggesting Kolzig doesn't deserve part of the blame, but it shows the lack of class and respect and bumbling that's been prevalent from George McPhee.

He's not addressed the blue-line and we do need a second line center. He's going to have to give up picks and/or prospects to get one of the two. I would also suggest trading Semin for a quality blue-liner if we can land a strong 2nd line center. While he's uber talented and has great hands, we need the other two spots more than him.

Posted by: Jaymagz | September 15, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I know it is far away, but I still think the Caps will be a big player for Brad Richards nearing the trade deadline.

His cap hit is huge ($7.8M) so they can't get him now, but because his contract is so big many teams near the salary cap will still not be able to make a move on him near the trade deadline.

If you acquire Richards with about 20 games to go he still will count almost $2M against the cap and almost all the contenders for the SC are very close to the salary cap. According to capgeek, almost all true contenders have less than $2M in cap room.

I know this doesn't mean much now or for the next few months, but it could be interesting down the road.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 15, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I see a $1M grievance coming the Caps way for the Belanger fiasco. Not good for the organization's reputation.

Posted by: zmega | September 15, 2010 9:56 AM

Yes, there could be a cap penalty too.

There's such a thing as "good faith in negotiations." I think, in court, verbal counts, if you have proof.

I agreed once verbally to sell my house to a guy at work. Then an agent said I could get more and that I should put it on the market. I said, no, I had already agreed.

This wasn't a case where the Caps needed the cap space to sign him. Not announcing the deal was supposedly for "leverage" only. Caps look bad.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 15, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Belanger on the radio saying the Caps crossed the line. Verbal agreement for 7 weeks until they told him it cant happen. Told him a trade would happen in a week, had a house, kids are in school here.

http://www.team990.com/sound_bytes/view/session/team_990_audio_clips/1/

Posted by: ThePat | September 15, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I have been along for the ride with the Caps since the late 70's, so I understand the frustration and sitting through some lean seasons. I still hold out hope that the Cup is coming. In the meantime I am going to enjoy the team, not deride it. Sure, last seasons deadline acquisitions din't work well overall, but that does not mean it will be repeated every year. The deadline where we picked up Feds, Huet, and Cooke was a success. It is not set in stone at this point that the team will be the same now as it will be in April.

Posted by: _Mark

The Caps postseason performances DO REPEAT EVERY YEAR! EVERY F--KING YEAR! IT IS ALWAYS THE SAME!

Posted by: underpants2 | September 15, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

Love the analogy, thinking the same thing with telling someone you'll marry them if 'X' happens. GMGM to blame, Agent to blame, Player to blame. If verbal says 'This trade happens then we sign you' then there is no issue, there is no trade.

Posted by: flee001 | September 15, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

"Meanwhile we might never know both sides on Belanger issue. But, really, if someone did that to you? All but promised - "Just wait till I clear up this one thing. Meanwhile we'll start to help your family move." Sure, maybe the agent could have been smarter. But, there's very little chance that backing out of a verbal "almost promise" won't make you look like a bum."

@tominsocal1

I agree with this.

On MP. Yes, he is a 2nd line center or could possibly be a 4th line energy line center for a year(he does buzz around pretty good and likes to forecheck even though he is tiny), but he is definitely not a checking line center.

I like how the guy plays. His quckness and hands are perect for the style of today's game,and he is very good behind the net. I truly think, and hope, he can be a good 2nd line center this year and in the future.

However, if he failed at that, I wouldn't be surprised either.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 15, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I was a fan of Belanger in his time here and I think he was a good fit in the circle and on the PK.


We don't know what happened but if the contract was contingent upon a trade happening, so be it.

It sucks for Eric, doesn't look good for the Capas, but we don't really know what happened.

I have no doubt that the Kovy/NJD/NHL front office contributed to the cluster all around the league.

Good luck, Eric.

Posted by: saintex | September 15, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

sgm, the only thing that gives me hope at this point is the possibility that GMGM's plan all along has been to bring in elite talent late in the year. Marginal players aren't going to push this team over the top. Put a skilled, physical veteran next to Semin and big, physical leader-type with good playoff experience next to Green and you have a very scary team. But my concern is that there is no guarantee that such players will be available at a price GMGM is willing to pay. And would the Flyers trade a potentially key piece like Richards to a likely playoff opponent such as the Caps?

Posted by: zmega | September 15, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

"And would the Flyers trade a potentially key piece like Richards to a likely playoff opponent such as the Caps?"

@zemga

Absolutely no, but I meant Brad Richards from the Dallas Stars.

His contract is in his last year and given the Stars' ownership situation, it is unlikely he will be back. In addition, because of the ownership situation, the Stars are also looking to save some money too.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 15, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

@tom
Without proof, oral/verbal contracts can be extremely tough to enforce or prove.

Having said that, if the Caps agreement was contingent on a trade happening, and the trade didnt happen, well then they did nothing wrong. I would actually say the agent would be at fault for agreeing to such a deal and not shopping his client in the meantime.

It’s like saying yes I will buy your engine from your wrecked car, but only if I get the pristine chassis from this other guy I am dealing with. The guy with chassis decided not to sell, ergo I will not be buying your engine.

As many have said, we haven't heard the Caps version of this mess. So we dont know what was actually said etc.

As for his house/schools and such. How do we know he didnt say, "hey wheres a good place to live? What schools are good for my kids?" I have given this advice to many people as a courtesy. It proves nothing contractually.

Also tom, weren’t all your cap calculations including EB? What does this do to our cap room? Back to around $4-5 mil?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 15, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Tampa Bay is a year away from passing us, again.

Posted by: underpants2 | September 15, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

very, very sad to see how Belanger was treated.

Verbal agreement or not, this goes back to reputation, someone's word, ethics and a code of conduct.

If all this is true (from the sounds of it, it is) then GMGM and his staff should have kept his word and signed Belanger for the agreed amount.

Sad to read about this happening. It will negatively affect the Caps reputation around the league... and possibly a MHLPA grievance will be filed.

Posted by: FrankM73 | September 15, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Screw Belanger!

They made an agreement with the trade being part of that agreement to be valid. The trade didnt go down, and the agreement is null.

If he didnt like it, he should of said..sign me outright or I keep taking offers.

Sounds like Mcphee was upfront..Belanger is crying. Thats business.

And dont say that it's bad business...companies screw each other over for alot less money every day.

Posted by: SA-Town | September 15, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

@ sgm3

What can the Caps offer for Brad Richards at the trade deadline? Right now they have a bunch of UFAs and prospects who are a few years away. I pretty sure other teams can add more. Besides, I don't think it's a good idea to add a major player that late in the season.

re: Belanger

If I remember correctly, the deal wasn't contingent on a trade, just the announcement of the deal. Sure, Belanger may have been naive to have played along for so long, but the Caps should have told him the minute their plans changed.

Posted by: ablake70 | September 15, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

For all those attempting to try to rationalize or defend the organization I get your view point. The agent should have been more careful. But the agreement was in writing, through emails and texts. No signature every occurred though, so a grievance will likely be filed. Belanger in the audio clip I posted said the Caps have crossed the line. The impact that this could have on players looking to come here and agents willing to deal with managment is not good at all. That is the bottom line.

Posted by: ThePat | September 15, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Who would we trade for Brad Richards? They will want a lot, plus, could be in a playoff race.

Pinning our hopes on who may be available is absurd.

Posted by: underpants2 | September 15, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I liked the thought of Belanger signing with the Caps, but feel no need to react to this one based on speculation. The article is written on the word of an agent and many are taking it as unquestioned truth. I'm not professing blind loyalty to Caps management, but who really knows the credibility and integrity of Joe Tacopina?

Posted by: gonchpup |

reeks, i mean REEKS of blind loyalty.

Why would an agent make this up? If he lies about this it destroys his reputation as an agent around the league. The only reason he brought it up was because it was true. That's why you get a "no comment" from our esteemed GM.

get a clue gonchpup. McPhee pulled a dirtbag move. And his own credibility is now in question. Along with his capabilities as a GM. And if Dale Tallon can get fired from the Hawks (for his contract flubs) despite building an impressive roster, then why not George!

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 15, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Players will want to come to DC regardless of this. His name is Ovie. GMGM and BB are on notice this year, win it all or there will be changes. Leonsis is about business and he will make cuts as needed, he's not stupid folks, he knows and he listens. Want to vent, head over to Ted's Take, he will notice.

Posted by: flee001 | September 15, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

A verbal deal in place IF a trade happens. No trade happens thus no signing. Did the Caps act in good faith by helping find a house, schools ... I say yes but then deal fell apart. The DB move on GMGM is not avoiding the signing, the trade did not happen, but it was helping with house/school, involving family plans makes a crap move.

Still said the agent is an idiot also trying to save face by bashing the Caps when he failed his client.

Posted by: flee001 | September 15, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

@flee

Are you kidding me? where are all the players so far that have lined up to play with Ovie? If they have we havent signed one except Knuble. I love Ovie and think he's the best player in the league, but so far that hasnt happened or if it has GMGM has chosen not to sign them.

Posted by: ThePat | September 15, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

The impact that this could have on players looking to come here and agents willing to deal with managment is not good at all. That is the bottom line.

How do we know this isn't an issue now? We've all assumed that it was GMGm's plan not to sign free agents this summer. How do we know the free agents just didn't want to come here?

Posted by: ablake70 | September 15, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

"What can the Caps offer for Brad Richards at the trade deadline? Right now they have a bunch of UFAs and prospects who are a few years away. I pretty sure other teams can add more. Besides, I don't think it's a good idea to add a major player that late in the season."

@ablake70

The Caps can offer prospects and/or picks.

The reason I find Richards so interesting is that given his cap hit ($7.8M) and the salary cap situation of all the true Cup contenders (all have less $1.6M) it will be very difficult for them to acquire Ricahrds. Because if Richards is acquired with around 20 games left he will still have about $2M in salary cap hit.

Then, when you look at the Dallas Stars and their ownership situation. They will not want to take on any contracts or money(which could be a way for a team to make cap room). They will be looking for prospects/draft picks (meaning less money spent).

The Caps have a lot of prospects, so they would have to be willing to give some of them up. And the lack of other possible trading partners could help drive down the cost of acquiring Richards.

Of course, this could all change if the Stars' ownership situation gets resolved quicker than anticipated.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 15, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who thinks free agents dont want to come play for the Presidents Trophy winning team is an idiot.

Posted by: SA-Town | September 15, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

For all those attempting to try to rationalize or defend the organization I get your view point. The agent should have been more careful
--

as an agent, he took a chance on a gentleman's agreement. Once. He'll never do it again that's for sure. And anyone ever dealing with McPhee again will have their Ts crossed and I's dotted.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 15, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who thinks free agents dont want to come play for the Presidents Trophy winning team is an idiot.

Posted by: SA-Town |

anyone who thinks that by virtue of having a great reg season record it ensures that players will want to come here is a bigger idiot.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 15, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

"Pinning our hopes on who may be available is absurd."

Wasn't pinning hopes on it. Just pointing out a few things that I saw that could make Richards a good fit for the Caps at the trade deadline. That's all.

And yes, that would mean the Stars would not be a true contender to make the playoffs. I don't think they will, but if they are that would change things too.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 15, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

while its always fun bandying about trade talk, it sure seems like McPhee has an inordinately harder time pulling off deals than do some other GMs. As others have also mentioned before, he either overvalues his own assets or is just plain greedy.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 15, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

It certainly helps my friend...it certainly helps.

This is a business..not a back yard beer league.

Players want to get:
1)Paid
2)Win the Cup

Sometimes they take a little less #1 for a better chance at #2, but rarely.

Posted by: SA-Town | September 15, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

ablake: Yes, I remember as you, the Belanger "deal" announcement was held up to make the trade, not contingent upon the trade. But, we don't know.

And, FWIW, Belanger's name and cap figure had been added to the Caps at 1.875 for I think Cap Geek (gone now) and maybe numbers.com. So, this was considered a "done" deal by many.

Here's cap spreadsheet as it is now with Alzner fully accounted for:

Ovechkin (2008-2021) 9.538
Backstrom (2010-2020) 6.700
Semin (impending UFA) 6.000
Knuble (impending UFA) 2.800
Flash (impending UFA) 2.600
Fehr (2010-2012) 2.200
Laich (impending UFA) 2.067
Chimera (2009-2012) 1.875
Steckel (2010-2013) 1.100
Bradley (impending UFA) 1.000
B. Gordon (impending UFA) 0.800
Perreault (impending RFA) 0.717
King (2010-2012) 0.638
A. Gordon (impending RFA) 0.500
S/T 14 Forwards 38.535
Green (2008-2012) 5.250
Poti (impending UFA) 3.500
Schultz (2010-2014) 2.750
Alzner (w/bonus; impending RFA) 1.675
Erskine (impending UFA) 1.250
Carlson (EL 2009-2012) 0.846
Sloan (2010-2012) 0.700
S/T 7 Defensemen 15.971
Varlamov (impending RFA) 0.822
Neuvirth (impending RFA) 0.822
S/T 2 Goalies 1.644
Total 23 Players 56.150
Cap Space 59.400
Available 3.250

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 15, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

The Caps can offer prospects and/or picks.

The reason I find Richards so interesting is that given his cap hit ($7.8M) and the salary cap situation of all the true Cup contenders (all have less $1.6M) it will be very difficult for them to acquire Ricahrds. Because if Richards is acquired with around 20 games left he will still have about $2M in salary cap hit.

Then, when you look at the Dallas Stars and their ownership situation. They will not want to take on any contracts or money(which could be a way for a team to make cap room). They will be looking for prospects/draft picks (meaning less money spent).

The Caps have a lot of prospects, so they would have to be willing to give some of them up. And the lack of other possible trading partners could help drive down the cost of acquiring Richards.

Of course, this could all change if the Stars' ownership situation gets resolved quicker than anticipated.

Posted by: sgm3

Who? The Capitals do not have any top tier prospects not on the team. That's what it will take to get Brad Richards.

- Top Propect
- 1st Round Pick
- NHL Roster Player

Think Kovalchuk. Same type package.

Posted by: underpants2 | September 15, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Players will want to come to DC regardless of this. His name is Ovie. GMGM and BB are on notice this year, win it all or there will be changes.
--------

@flee

I don't think that's true at all. If the Caps make it to the 2nd round, most likely there will be no changes. Esp at GM. We don't have to win it all this yr for McPhee and company to keep their jobs. Frankly, I agree with this in a general way of thinking. You can't control who wins the Cup. All you can control is fielding a system and a roster that looks capable of winning the Cup. Contrary to most Caps fans, I have not seen that yet from this front office.

I think as long as we don't grossly underachieve again in the playoffs, no changes will be made.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 15, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

i'm betting belanger and his agent were privy to which players were getting moved in the trade that never happened. Just for sour grapes, they oughta reveal it!

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 15, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Actually it seems that when a big name or good player is on the market or willing to waive their NTC, the Caps always seem to be a team mentioned as one of the contenders/allowable places to be traded. Minus Modano of course.

I think players want to come here. And treating one guy less than great wont cause a Washington boycott. That's just crazy talk propaganda.

Hey, Mike Vick kills puppies, no team will ever sign him again. Oh wait, someone did.

What implication might it have, agents will want things in writing from now on. Oh no....something they should have done in the first place.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 15, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Who? The Capitals do not have any top tier prospects not on the team. That's what it will take to get Brad Richards.

- Top Propect
- 1st Round Pick
- NHL Roster Player

Think Kovalchuk. Same type package.

Posted by: underpants2 | September 15, 2010 10:55 AM

Exactly what I am thinking.

Posted by: ablake70 | September 15, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

sgm
The Caps clearly seem very high on their prospects, and as much as some people on here want to claim they have full knowledge of the Caps prospects abilities because they supposedly watched "tapes" of their play, the Caps scouts, coaches, and player management have much more knowledge of their abilities than any of us.

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

lol, so your basic assumption is that any team's scouts and GM is automatically smarter than anyone outside the organization by virtue of their insider perspective. If that's the case, anyone who disagrees with the Caps' assessment of their own prospects is always wrong, is that it?

I mean, there's never any such thing as incompetence at a professional level..nope, never seen it!


Vinny Cerrato with his insider viewpoint must've been a genius as well even though he thought offensive linemen were less valuable than wide receivers.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 15, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Having watched at least 90% of the Bears games home and away the last 3 years,I'd like to comment on the "kids."First,Carlson will be a stud from game 1 this year for the Caps>at the end of last season,he learned(or got the confidence) to charge the net and scored many key goals.Alzner is a wonderful defensemen,who,in my opinion,just needs to bulk up a bit to become a top tier defenseman in the NHL.They will make a fantastic pairing for years.
Andrew Gordon,had a great year,but as was pointed out in a previous post,he did play with Giroux and Aucoin,two tremendous AHL players.He was missed terribly when he was injured in the playoffs(the line suffered)and when he came back in the finals,the line was eventually broken up.I don't believe he'll be a star in the NHL,but when his number is finally called,he will be a solid NHLer,a real grinder.Perrault had a very solid year.He did not have to be "the man"as there were many other "stars."He was able to develop as a young pro,and should really benefit from that this year,and by mid-year,I expect he will be a contributor to the Big Team.I would also expect Francois Bouchard to be a year away,as he also benefitted from last year.
Hope this gives everyone some food for thought.
richard

Posted by: rjdbandit | September 15, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I think players want to come here. And treating one guy less than great wont cause a Washington boycott. That's just crazy talk propaganda

-----------

the point is, this incident sure didn't "help the cause" now did it?

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 15, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Actually it seems that when a big name or good player is on the market or willing to waive their NTC, the Caps always seem to be a team mentioned as one of the contenders/allowable places to be traded. Minus Modano of course.

The media always link big name free agents to the Caps. When the player's list is revealed, the Caps are usually far down.

Posted by: ablake70 | September 15, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

@rjdbandit

Nice, thanks for the view

Posted by: flee001 | September 15, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

For some reason I confuse Brad Richards and Jeff Carter.

Posted by: zmega | September 15, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

How do we know this isn't an issue now? We've all assumed that it was GMGm's plan not to sign free agents this summer. How do we know the free agents just didn't want to come here?

Posted by: ablake70

i absolutely think that's the case with some players. If a player has multiple options, with most of them being fairly even, I don't think they look at the Caps as option#1. I think players around the league are smart enough to know what the Caps are. They're a flashy team without much substance that needs an overhaul in thinking if they're going to go a long way. For a guy like Knuble, we paid him well to come here and he was promised a chance to play on our top line with 2 great linemates. That was enough to attract him and I don't know what his other options may have been. Every offseason different teams have different needs and are in different salary cap situations. But overall, this notion that there's a line out the door of free agents and other players just begging for a chance to play for the Caps is silly wishful thinking.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 15, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Richard: Thanks for info. AGordon as a "solid NHL player" would be great, as we have the stars already, really. What about Beagle and Pinner? Can they do 4th line duty for injury call-up or trade?

Your Alzner analysis is about what I posted as "hoping for" yesterday. I believe OTOH some are down on him.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 15, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton1
I dont think it will make any impact at all. As someone mentioned, players want money and Cup chances. You offer them that, they come here no matter what.

@ablake70
But their on the list. :)

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 15, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

@SAOTI

You are right they want money or chance at the cup. Apparently we won't pay FA's and well we need to get to the conference finals one year for people to truly believe that we can win a Cup I think.

Posted by: ThePat | September 15, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

re: Alzner, not only does he need to bulk up, he also needs to adjust his personality on the ice and get a little more aggressive. Save me the Lidstrom comparison. And he doesn't need to be out of position in order to gain some aggressiveness. Its not in his nature to play the body or defend the crease, but all of our players need to do that to some extent. And expecting any player to bulk up isn't realistic. Alzner seems to have the frame to do it but I have to question why he's so far behind other bluechip players his own age with regards to his physical strength? Meaning, is it harder for Alzner to put on muscle? I have a hard time believing he just hasn't focused on building his strength and that's why he is where he is. A lot of it could be attributed to his genetics. When teams draft players they can do pretty accurate projections. I saw the projection on Eric Fehr that the Caps did. Its pretty accurate today. I did not get a chance to see their projected physical scale for Alzner.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 15, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

The key is what cap contender can fit Brad Richards under the cap, at $2M at the trade deadline?

Remember, supply and demand. If most teams cannot go after him then there is very little competition for him.

He will cost one or two very good prospects (Orlov, Holtby, MP, Saliev, Kuznetsov, AGordon could be available to name a few). And he will likely cost a 1st round pick. The Caps have that.

So why couldn't the Caps get him? I'm not saying they will, but given all the circumstances of all the teams in the league, their lack of cap space, the Caps needs, the Caps cap space, the Caps glut of prospects, and the Stars desrie to save money.

I think it is very possible.

And no, he will not cost as much as Kovy.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 15, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Everyone hating on GMGM needs to get a clue. Calling him "classless" or saying the Caps "will never win a cup" with him as GM is stupid. It's a BUSINESS... last time I checked, I go to Caps games to watch the team win. I could care less where Belangers daughters go to school or where he signed a lease on a house. GMGM was making a selfish move for the team. At the end of the day he couldnt make the trade that he thought was best for the team so he decided not to resign him. Big deal... we can take the 1.8 that we were going to pay him and put it towards another need elsewhere. I think a lot of you tend to forget what he built this team into from what it was. For those of you who are outraged and feel bad for Belanger and his daughters, feel free to send them a card where their dad will be making 3 quarters of a million dollars out in Arizona... I don't know them personally and i'm sure none of you do either. Get over it, because i'm sure Belanger and his family will.

Posted by: GOAT21 | September 15, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Some of the comments here are ridiculous. McPhee has been dealing with players for 13 years, and he's pretty much been able to sign anyone when they've come up with the money. Players will still want to come and play for the Caps.

Belanger's agent forced the Caps hand by blabbing about the proposed trade, and whatever leverage they had with the other team, they instantly lost.

The fact McPhee told the agent about the proposed trade at all implies there was some trust. When the agent/Belanger decided to reveal confidential matters to the media, that's where trust was broken. I suspect this agent isn't the first one McPhee has told about trades in advance; I do believe its the first time the agent opened his mouth about the trade before it happened. He's just trying to avoid the blame for screwing up a deal for his client.

Posted by: pga6 | September 15, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

@SAOTI

You are right they want money or chance at the cup. Apparently we won't pay FA's and well we need to get to the conference finals one year for people to truly believe that we can win a Cup I think.
---

what he said.
The longer the Caps go without playoff success, the more we look like a reg season pretender. And yes, we'll probably have to advance past the 2nd round this season to convince fans, media, the rest of the league that we're not a bunch of playoff posers. McPhee's current inability to move some pieces around and create room and add some key components is making that road a little harder.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 15, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Belanger was just on 990am in Montreal and from his own words he said that he had a verbal agreement with the Caps for a 1yr deal. He was asked not to announce it until they completed a trade. As far as the trade he said that he was told it would happen within a week and it was not a matter of "if" it was a matter of "when". He did confirm everything about the housing and kids in school etc as well.

I gotta be honest fellas I'm a bit taken back by this. Yes I am a GMGM supporter and typically try to find the good in what he's doing but this makes ZERO sense! I can't even come up with even a small understanding of this. WTF? I'm not saying GMGM wasn't professional etc that's not the point, the point is why tell Belanger not to announce? Why would GMGM not want it announced? Why is signing EB so vital to your trade? Why would another team give 2 rips if we signed him? I just don't get it. I'm sure if we all had ALL the details it might make sense but trust me folks, even with the connections I have out in the hockey world there's not one of us that has a clue as to wtf went on here.

BTW, EB was very very classy in his responses. He was even asked point blank were you pissed? How mad were you when things didn't go down right in DC. EB said, "I just want to take that energy & move it to the Coyotes now. It's not gonna do anybody any good to worry about that. I'm with Phoenix now and it's a great opportunity and who knows maybe in a few months I'll look back and realize this was the best for me & my family". Classy guy!

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | September 15, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

thx for the posting that Poker.

Hopefully the msg sinks in to some of the thickheaded fans who wouldn't believe McPhee did anything wrong even if they caught him on video smoking crack with a DC hooker.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 15, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

@pga6

The team helped Belanger through the month of August lease a house and place his kids in school. This is after the leak occurred on where he was goin to sign. So obviously they were still planning on going that way. So to pin it on Belanger's agent I'd say is a bit over the top.

Posted by: ThePat | September 15, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I think a lot of you tend to forget what he built this team into from what it was.

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

yeah, it took him 13 yrs to build a team that loses in the 1st round. Thanks for reminding us.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 15, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

@pga6

The team helped Belanger through the month of August lease a house and place his kids in school. This is after the leak occurred on where he was goin to sign. So obviously they were still planning on going that way. So to pin it on Belanger's agent I'd say is a bit over the top.

Posted by: ThePat | September 15, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

the whole "McPhee did something to try and help his team" mentality is very shortsighted. Its a very hit-n-run, flybynight way to do business. And the agent was right to speak up. Why should he take the complete fall for what he considers to be dishonest dealings. Esp when McPhee apparently convinced him to take his client off the market by virtually promising him the deal would go thru. As Belanger said, it was not a matter of IF, but a matter of WHEN.

McPhee threw EB and his agent under the bus, and they shouldn't have to keep their mouths shut about it. I'm still glad EB never got signed because I don't much care for him. But the way this went down is more than a little shady.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 15, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

@ThePat
Agree on the finals part. And to an extent the paying FA's part. Then again, with a cap, roster already packed with pricey players, there isnt always top dollar to be thrown around.

@cstanton1
Wasnt our discussion about the implications of the Belanger deal vs future FA signings? Neither of these 2 things correlate with Belanger. True?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 15, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

The key is what cap contender can fit Brad Richards under the cap, at $2M at the trade deadline?

Remember, supply and demand. If most teams cannot go after him then there is very little competition for him.

He will cost one or two very good prospects (Orlov, Holtby, MP, Saliev, Kuznetsov, AGordon could be available to name a few). And he will likely cost a 1st round pick. The Caps have that.

So why couldn't the Caps get him? I'm not saying they will, but given all the circumstances of all the teams in the league, their lack of cap space, the Caps needs, the Caps cap space, the Caps glut of prospects, and the Stars desrie to save money.

I think it is very possible.

And no, he will not cost as much as Kovy.

Posted by: sgm3

None of those prospects are blue chip. We could never approach an offer the LA Kings can put together. They have more cap space than us.

Brad Richards is not in the cards, unless you are willing to give up:

-Fehr
-Johanson
-1st rounder

That is what it will take to get him. He is a Center, and a Conn Smythe winner.

Posted by: underpants2 | September 15, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

He was finally given permission to trade away everything and build the team from scratch by ownership... which only took him 5 years to make us a legit contender...

I guess you're right... it's GMGM's fault that his highest scoring/President Trophy winning regular season team couldnt find a way to put the puck in the net the last 3 games of the series againts Halak who just until last year was a BACKUP to an OVER RATED Carey Price. We ran into a hot goaltender, simple as that. As did Pittsburgh.

Posted by: GOAT21 | September 15, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton1
Wasnt our discussion about the implications of the Belanger deal vs future FA signings? Neither of these 2 things correlate with Belanger. True?

----------

why wouldn't the current Belanger situation impact the way other players around the league view the Caps? And if that's the case, then the 1)money and/or the 2)chance to win the Cup are definitely not the only 2 variables.

all things being equal, a player may choose to go a different route than the Caps if they have other options. And agents around the league will be wary of doing business with us as well. No one's talking about an absolute boycott. But having misgivings may be enough to turn some players away.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 15, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

He was finally given permission to trade away everything and build the team from scratch by ownership... which only took him 5 years to make us a legit contender...
----------------------------------

Yeah, it was really difficult to draft Ovi and let him develop into an offensive juggernaut!

Posted by: ablake70 | September 15, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

He was finally given permission to trade away everything and build the team from scratch by ownership... which only took him 5 years to make us a legit contender...

I guess you're right... it's GMGM's fault that his highest scoring/President Trophy winning regular season team couldnt find a way to put the puck in the net the last 3 games of the series againts Halak who just until last year was a BACKUP to an OVER RATED Carey Price. We ran into a hot goaltender, simple as that. As did Pittsburgh.

Posted by: GOAT21

What about the year before when we blew a two game lead against Pitt? Oh, I forgot, that was an odd numbered year.

Posted by: underpants2 | September 15, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

He was finally given permission to trade away everything and build the team from scratch by ownership... which only took him 5 years to make us a legit contender..
---

lol, that's your opinion that we're a legit contender. I certainly don't feel that way and I'm not the only one. We're not one on paper currently, and we're not one on the ice. The hot goalie excuse is something someone uses when they can't figure out all the other intricacies that go into losing a playoff series.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 15, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

sgm,

Who is Saliev? Did you mean Galiev?

Posted by: Steve_R | September 15, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

What about the year before when we blew a two game lead against Pitt? Oh, I forgot, that was an odd numbered year.

Posted by: underpants2 | September 15, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

we should play a game. Lets come with a reason for this upcoming year's playoff collapse.

"not enough russians"
"bad airplane food"
"too many critical bloggers"
"the curse of Belanger"

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 15, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

2011 Excuse:

"It was that time of the month for Flash and Schultz."

Posted by: underpants2 | September 15, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Sometimes I wonder why some of you even bother to watch the Caps play. With the inevitable collapse and all.

GMGM sucks, blah blah blah. Lucked into Ov, blah blah blah. 2005 draft sucked, blah blah blah. Golfing in April, etc etc.

Posted by: Steve_R | September 15, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

If the Caps offer Free Agent X the money he is after, and the Caps prove to be legit Cup contenders...Free Agent X is signing.

He will then be questioned by a reporter...
Carrerra: "What type of impact did the Belanger fiasco have before making your decision to sign here in Washington?"

Free Agent X: "The Washington Capitals have done nothing but treat me with respect, been very accommodating, made me feel welcomed and part of the team from the get go."

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 15, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

@Steve_R

Sorry, it was Galiev I meant.

"Brad Richards is not in the cards, unless you are willing to give up:

-Fehr
-Johanson
-1st rounder

That is what it will take to get him."

That is funny. Where does Richards rank right now in terms of top forwards in the league? Where did Kovy rank last year? Get the difference.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 15, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Sens get 2012 all star game.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | September 15, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

That is funny. Where does Richards rank right now in terms of top forwards in the league? Where did Kovy rank last year? Get the difference.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 15, 2010 11:56 AM

What was Kovy's contract status last season? What was Richard's contract status last season? What's his contract status now? Get the difference?

Posted by: ablake70 | September 15, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

To me being a legit contender means that we have a legitimate shot at winning the Cup. So if you're saying you don't think that we were a legit contender last year, it's safe to say that you expected us to be ousted in the first round of the playoffs last year after having the best regular season in franchise history? I know I was along with thousands of other fans. We've only lost Theo (meaningless... if your team is putting up the goals on the board that they were in front of him last year, his record should have been what it was), B. Morrison (Terrible in the second half of the season and the playoffs), Shamo(he's a dime a dozen defender, he'd be in our 3rd pairing currently behind Green, Shultz, Alzner, Carlson and Poti) Belanger (I would have liked to see him back, but i'd rather see his 1.8 go elsewhere... i really won't miss him) We have the players to fill in all of their spots. MP was productive when given the opportunity last year and Johanson is promising. If our current line up isnt enough to get us to the playoffs and make us a contender, along with a good move before the deadline with our cap room, I'm not sure you're going to get much more of a contender. IMO the Caps, Pens and Devs were the contenders in the East last year, and it ended up being Philly who made the playoffs because of a shootout and the Habs who were the last seeded team in the East who were the East "contenders". If you predicted/considered Philly and MTL as "contenders" last year, then you're in a boat all by yourself.

Posted by: GOAT21 | September 15, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I keep getting the image of McPhee playing his flute and skipping down the street like the Pied Piper and some Caps fans following him in a trance as the rats did. Some of you are so blindly faithful it is just pitiful, if you can't see this was a huge d0uchebag move then you will never see. And if you think this team is as good this year as it was last with Ersk/Sloan as 6 and 7 D and no 2nd/3rd C other than prospects then you are just hopeless.

Posted by: PhilR | September 15, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

"What was Kovy's contract status last season? What was Richard's contract status last season? What's his contract status now? Get the difference?"

I have no idea what your point is on this. They were/are both pending free agents. But that alone makes them equal?

Posted by: sgm3 | September 15, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm not hopeless, I just don't see it hurting us that much as far as contending goes. Would I rather have Belanger and Morrison back compared to MP and MJ? Certainly, but I don't think GMGM is done dealing. Sloan and Erskin were 6-7 last year. We have a proven D in Carlson stepping in for Shamo's departure and Poti is back as well. Our team isnt where it was last year on paper, but we arent far from it.

Posted by: GOAT21 | September 15, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

@ sgm3

My point is that Brad Richards contract made him an unattractive option at the trade deadline last year. With him being more cap friendly this year, who knows what a GM would give up to get him. He's a Cup winner, a Conn Smythe winner and a damn good center. Just because you don't rate him as highly as Kovy, doesn't mean GMs think the same.

Posted by: ablake70 | September 15, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

McPhee threw EB and his agent under the bus, and they shouldn't have to keep their mouths shut about it. I'm still glad EB never got signed because I don't much care for him. But the way this went down is more than a little shady.

Posted by: cstanton1
----

This is how I feel! and don't like that it reflects poorly on the Caps... and neither should Ted!

Posted by: FrankM73 | September 15, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Hey, a New Thread! LOL

Posted by: FrankM73 | September 15, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

@ablake70

I agree Richards wasn't cap friendly last year. I was never comparing Richards ability to be traded last year.

"With him being more cap friendly this year, who knows what a GM would give up to get him." This is exactly my point. If you look at capgeek.com you will see that basically every serious Cup contender has less than $1.6M in cap space available.

If a team acquired Richards with about 20 games to play they would have to have at least $2M in cap space available. So basically every team that could possibly want Richards as a rental can't fit him under the cap.

In addition, because of the Dallas Stars ownership situation(trying to sell the team) they will not be taking on any salaries. They have strict budget restraints until that gets sorted out.

Those two reasons geratly limits the teams that could possibly acquire Brad Richards. The less teams going after a player the lower his price. In addition, the Stars will basically have to get rid of Richards because of the need to save $2M. So the bluff that they will just keep him won't work as well.

Richards is a very good center, absolutely. It will take a top Caps prospect, a 1st round pick, and possibly a good Caps prospect to obtain him. So a good amount.

But it will take less than if other team's had the cap room to take on Richards and if the Stars weren't under such budget restraints. But they are.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 15, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

To Tominsocal,
Beagle is the most unflashy player,I have seen in my 50 some years of watching hockey.i understand the players and coaches love him,but as a fan,he's not a player you focus on.I guess that means he's the ultimate grinder,occasional scorer,and all around great team player.
Pinner has made such unbelievable strides in 2 years,it is hard to believe he is the same kid.Midway thru the year(2 years ago)Bob Woods put him on the pk unit.The boost of confidence made him a player.He should score 15-20 goals this year,and if the Caps need a banger at some point,he can answer the call.He will be a good fill-in,but i don't see him as a full time NHLer.
richard

Posted by: rjdbandit | September 15, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, stupid people tend to call me a bandwagon fan. But when you look at the morons who've been on the bandwagon a heck of a lot longer than me (no disrespect to the respectable posters who I have the pleasure of sharing this ride with, with the handful of buffoons) who prefer to take up wasted space and complain about the organization regardless of what they do or don't do, any respectable person who wasn't hopeful about the Capitals chances of winning, would have gotten off this idiotic bandwagon and said eff you to the whining stat munchers who take it much too seriously if the team makes a mistake. Again, reality check people - the Capitals and their organization don't really care what you think. Either you appreciate what they do or don't. Those of you who don't, get the eff off the bandwagon and find a team that loves your inane commentary.

*pushes mute button on cXXXXXXXX* Much better....

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | September 15, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

I'll keep it short! Just over all disappointed in George for doing this! I thought he was a GREAT GM until this happened! A good player lost because of a pending trade? "Here, here's a free hotel until we can get matters straightened out!" And bam, "Your done!" File the greivance!

Posted by: jazzmaster1 | September 15, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

okay, after reading Dump N Chase for the full story, I think an apology to McPhee is on order on this one. Sorry.

Posted by: festus75 | September 15, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

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