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More on Nylander

As you've probably seen by now, Michael Nylander will be a healthy scratch tonight against Devils.

Nylander had already left the dressing room by the time I got there, but I can say that this move has been under consideration for a few games now. Nylander has one assist in the past seven games and has taken only five shots in that span, with three of them coming in the same game.

Coach Bruce Boudreau would only say that Nylander is getting a "rest" tonight. But anyone who has watched the past few games has seen Nylander struggle a bit. His effort level, at times, has also seemed to be lacking. I remember one play in particular against Carolina when he was stripped of the puck as he gained the Capitals' blue line, and he didn't fight very hard to get it back.

Boudreau can say that he's only getting a "rest", but I'm sure he saw that play, too.

I also know that some folks out there will see this as evidence that the Caps are contemplating trading Nylander, a rumor that's been making the rounds for several months now. I'm not going to say that he's never going to be dealt, but there are two things that must be considered here: Nylander has a no trade clause in his contract, and he's not playing well for a team that is deep at center.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 14, 2008; 10:57 AM ET
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Next: Fedorov Won't Play This Weekend


And that's that.

Posted by: Section117 | November 14, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Nylander is on track (according to current production) to an almost 50 (statistically projected at 49) point season. Amazing, isn't it? That would make the Caps with 6-50+ point players.

IF we traded him, it had better be a good return.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 14, 2008 11:17 AM

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

It's like deadline day all over again.

Posted by: _jordan | November 14, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Thats crazy Tarik.

Rumors flying on Nylander in the Globe and he gets a healthy scratch today? We are deep at Center, but Feds is out.

I see a move here. I didnt think he would waive the no-trade, but this is not normal.

Posted by: SA-Town | November 14, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Puck Daddy has an interview with Kovalchuk up now. Check it out for his thoughts on Semin's Crosby comments, along with the very last answer re: OV's slump:,122160#remaining-content

Posted by: Section117 | November 14, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Maybe it is just a benching, but I'm starting to seriously doubt that. The Caps could use the dump in salary, and if he's not performing to standards...

Posted by: ShariLeigh131 | November 14, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Here's hoping this somehow gets Sami to the big club, in the event that it is a trade.

Posted by: _jordan | November 14, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

soooooo...with no Nylander or Fedorov...


I put Fehr on the LW, he scored his one timer from there....

Posted by: SombreroGuy | November 14, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Flash needs a center. I liked what he was doing early in the year. I was hoping it would be Nyls.

Posted by: ThisGuy | November 14, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

We are deep at Center right now, but what happens at the end of the season when Fedorov retires and Kozlov leaves via free agency. If we trade Nylander, that leaves us with Backstrom as #1 and Laich as #2. Not exactly awe-inspiring.

Posted by: FlyersSuck | November 14, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who thinks Nylander's performance is bench worthy clearly is not looking at Clark.

Posted by: stormblue | November 14, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

on a potential Nylander trade - Reading other blog sites and other teams papers, apparently Ottawa was dangling Spezza to Chicago for Khabibulan and a top d-man. If we infact do a three team trade, with the centerpieces being Nylander to Chicago and Khabibulan to Ottawa, I expect the trade to be huge. I.e. we get Seabrook or Spezza in return (with several other players being thrown in)...

I hope they do it and free up roster spots (so it will be Nylander + a Fehr or Gordon or Jurcina or Erskine...) so we can call up Alzner or Leposito.

Posted by: ThatGuy2 | November 14, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Call it an instinct, but I suspect Nylander has played his last game with the Caps in this tenure with the team (he may be back *again* at some point). There are several issues at play here:

1) The Caps need a bit of a bump up in net, esp. with Theo having a so-so year (he looked good vs. Carolina).

2) Ottawa desperately needs a goaltender but there's no room under their cap for Khabibulin (who Chicago wants to unload.

3) Chicago could use help on the backline.

So what might happen is this:

Washington sends Nylander and Theodore to Chicago for Khabibulin and future considerations (prospects/draft choice).

Chicago then sends Theodore up to Ottawa for a defensive defenseman (Kuba maybe?)

Chicago gets some cap relief as do the caps (Nylander and Theodore are making more than Khabibulin this season). This makes room for the Caps to bring up Chris Bourque, Karl Alzner or someone from Hershey who belongs in the NHL.

We'll see, but I can't believe he's being benched for not scoring...

Posted by: MikeL-Caps91 | November 14, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

@ThatGuy - Much as it'd be great, there's no way the Caps get Spezza in this... Ottawa would love to have Khabibulin if they could fit him under the cap. Hell, the Hawks waived him and there were no bites...

Posted by: MikeL-Caps91 | November 14, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Well, this Nylander trade debate has new life now. I have opposed the idea when it first came to light this summer that Chicago was seeking a second line center and had targeted Nylander. His play this year for the first eight games or so combined with Backstroms play during the same time period confirmed the value of keeping Nyles in a Caps sweater. Now, it seems that Backstrom has caught fire and Nyles has struggled for the last 5 games or so. Unlike the first time, I see this latest trade speculation having some merit this time for these reasons.

1) Caps salary cap wiggle room is all but gone. This has many negative ramifications. A trade of some sort that dumps salary in the process is probably a forgone conclusion at some point this season.

2)Jose has not YET in the few games that he's played in let his play dispell any notions that the goaltending situation in DC is not still a concern for a team looking to make noise in the playoffs this year. This sort of uncertaintity leads itself to a possible trade to upgrade the goalie position at some point this season if it does not improve.

3) The Caps are deep at center at the moment. Several guys can also play center who are presently playing the wing. An abbundance of centers is a position of strength which the Caps can afford to trade from. They are also scratching NHL caliber forwards nightly and have more waiting for roster space to open up in DC presently playing in Hershey.

4) Lou and the Devils happen to be in town and the Caps will be in NJ o Saturday. Certainly, this allows Lou and GMGM to discuss trades. I think New Jersey needs an upgrade in goal with Brodeur being on the IR for a lengthy stay and Weeks looking a bit shakey. Three way trade between the Caps, Devils and Black Hawks?

Personally, from a fans perspective, I'd like to see Nyles stay. I enjoy watching him play, I think he's a first class guy, and he can make his teamates better with his deft passing ability.
From a business stand point of operating the Caps, I can see wahy Nyles could/would be moved. Let's hope that wahtever happens, It's the right decision.

Posted by: Riddler1 | November 14, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

trading nyles would be a mistake. a few games do not make a season. look at the career (even recent).

i hope this trade talk isn't effecting his play.

Posted by: am_jim | November 14, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

BB is big on using the scratch to send a message. He did it to Clark a couple of games ago, and Clark looked a little better against the Canes. But neither he or Nylander are anything to get excited about right now.

Clark is a non-entity out there. Nylander is actually damaging. He loses the puck as soon as he gets it. Watch tapes of every game he's played in this season. He gets the puck, the defense immediately collapses on him, and he goes straight for the boards -- which only helps the trap. He's 36 years old, and he sat out a big part of last season. Maybe he's seen his best days.

Posted by: FedsFan | November 14, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm reading this stuff and I'm kind of surprised to see people's speculations about who's coming up.


How can there be any confusion about the fact that Lepisto sucks (real super hard) and is never leaving Candyland except laterally or down? There should not be any confusion about that. His play is garbage. He is in Pokuluk territory.

Posted by: large23220 | November 14, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

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