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Morning Reading List

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Jonathan Newton--TWP

*As most of you know, yesterday's trade deadline passed without incident at KCI. While the Caps were in the mix no deal seemed like the right fit for GM George McPhee, and the team you've grown accustomed to so far this season will be together the rest of the way beginning tonight against Toronto.

*Capitals senior writer Mike Vogel shares his opinion on the Capitals decision to stand pat with the roster they have and also the moves around the league. And don't forget the Washington Times coverage of the day as well.

*It was one of the slower deadline days in recent memory, but here's a roundup of analysis...


  • TSN's Bob McKenzie examines his trade deadline winners and losers, adding that he thinks the Caps are further ahead than the Flyers trade or no trade.

  • Scott Burnside's team-by-team breakdown and ESPN's live blog of the day. (In which E.J. Hradek brings attention to the Capitals lack of a deal.)

  • Greg Wyshynski's evaluation of the "silent six" teams that didn't make a move.

*Dan Steinberg brings you a transcript of the media's conversation with Alex Ovechkin after the star winger took a puck off his foot, along with McPhee's details on the Caps' war room during yesterday's trade deadline and the players' relaxed opinions of all the hullabaloo.

Maple Leafs Cliff notes:
*Toronto picked up Martin Gerber off waivers from the Senators yesterday and he will start tonight at Verizon Center.

*The move to pick up Gerber came after regular netminder Vesa Toskala decided to undergo season-ending hip surgery.

*The Toronto Star's Damien Cox breaks down the Leafs trades, including the "head scratcher" with Tampa Bay.

*To say Leafs fans are desperate to see their club restored to former glory is an understatement at best, and while they're still in a honeymoon period with new GM Brian Burke, it's hard to tell how long they'll suffice with "more housekeeping than renovation." (The Globe and Mail)

In the system:
*In case you missed it, the Caps assigned Brian Pothier to Hershey for a conditioning stint that marks the beginning of his comeback after missing more than a year with a concussion. Staffan Kronwall was assigned to the Bears as well.

*After being regularly overshadowed all season by the London Knights plethora of stars, Justin Taylor's consistent effort led to a hat trick in the Knights' 7-2 win over Kingston on Sunday.

By Katie Carrera  |  March 5, 2009; 5:30 AM ET
 
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Next: Poti and Ovechkin skate

Comments

Havent been first in a while. Good job GMGM for being shrewd.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | March 5, 2009 6:01 AM | Report abuse

I'm in the "he should have done something" camp. I think it was possible to make a good deal w/o jeopardizing the future, GMGM just didn't pursue it.

Oh well. I hope the other camp is right :D

Posted by: mauree | March 5, 2009 6:08 AM | Report abuse

jmu,

Maybe there never really was a Boo...

Maybe she was a figment of our collective imaginations...

Maybe we shared a dream...

Maybe she was like a spirit who danced in on a breeze before leaving us as quickly as she came...


Maybe she's just busy

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | March 5, 2009 6:13 AM | Report abuse

I dont agree with making any decision based on Pothier coming back.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | March 5, 2009 6:16 AM | Report abuse

Great stuff to read. I'm glad the team didn't give up any of the young guys. Alzner ? No way. Nylander's contract is the albatross around the neck. I just hope Pothier will be ok,for his own health
and not to play hockey. It sounds like a precarious situation. I would hate to see him in a play off match up agaisnt the gooned up Flyers.

Posted by: ridgely1 | March 5, 2009 6:23 AM | Report abuse

We have a lot of talent in the Bears that is NHL-ready and we'll never really use. We could have used a Leopold or a Kuba.

Only time will tell but if the playoffs run is too short I'll be pissed.

Posted by: mauree | March 5, 2009 6:32 AM | Report abuse

DaveUKCapsFan

I'm sure she'll be back :)

I know she's going to the game on Sunday... how do I know it? Cause I'm going too!

Posted by: mauree | March 5, 2009 6:33 AM | Report abuse

Dave:
"Maybe she was like a spirit who danced in on a breeze before leaving us as quickly as she came..."?!? Where the heck did you find that gem?

JMU/mauree:
Thanks for noticing my absence *sniff-sniff*. Shows what the rest of this place thinks of my contributions ... so much for absence makes the heart grow fonder!! ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | March 5, 2009 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Yes!

I knew that would bring you back. I also wore red shoes and clicked my heels three times and...... errr I mean..... I.... err..... anyone see the Bears game? Yeah, great game.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | March 5, 2009 7:09 AM | Report abuse

I am surprised and disappointed that the Caps did not do anything yesterday ... AND the Kronwall was sent down (I thought that he and Semin were the only two who showed up for Tuesday's game). BUT at least Pothier is playing in Hershey - that's pretty exciting!! Let's hope he comes back as strong as Marty did!!

Posted by: --Boo-- | March 5, 2009 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Not really worried with the lack of movement. Theo can play decently, and wasn't this the same team that had a close 7 game series losing in double OT on a shorty? The caps have played through so many messes this year(I mean we suited a web developer FFS) and are still one of the top in the league. This is just a lull and the Caps can easily pull themselves out of it.

Posted by: trunkenmath | March 5, 2009 7:11 AM | Report abuse

Dave:
Red shoes, Mickey Mouse PJs, teddy bears ... what's next?!? (BTW, you should wear those shoes when you come to a game in October - that would be some serious red rockin'!)

Posted by: --Boo-- | March 5, 2009 7:13 AM | Report abuse

Oscar Wilde once said "Only children and prostitutes wear red shoes".

Write your own punch line.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | March 5, 2009 7:23 AM | Report abuse

I am not sure if i like the idea of Pothier playing this season with the CAPS. I just don't want him to be used in a big game (playoffs) and end up costing us the game because of his lack of experience this year.

Posted by: OviFan08 | March 5, 2009 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Sure, I'm a little disappointed that the Caps didn't make a deal to tweak the D. However, maybe doing nothing was the right thing to do. Pronger and Boumeister didn't move and the Rags paid an awfully high price for Morris (3 active roster players). I suspect GMGM couldn't move Nylander even if he wanted to. That contracrt/salary combined with his production/age is a tough sell in a sellers market.

On the flip side the Caps have so many resources (too many?) that it would seem that a deal could have been made.

Hypothetically let's say Pothier has no sypmtoms and is deemed NHL ready in time for the playoffs. Is Pothier and possibly bringing up Alzner an upgrade?

Posted by: BetterOffWithFederov | March 5, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

"Oscar Wilde once said "Only children and prostitutes wear red shoes"."

Dave I didn't realize you were so young. :)

Posted by: BetterOffWithFederov | March 5, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

OviFan08,

Pothier is a veteran that can come back from this. If he was a 1st or 2nd year player, then maybe not. But he did not forget how to play at this level. He just needs to get into game shape.

The only thing that worries me is taking the punishment in front of the net that will happen in the playoffs.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | March 5, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Pothier is essentially the S@H version of Poti. IIRC the D-lines last year were:

Mo-Green
Poti-Pothier
Jurcina-Schultz

Posted by: koalatek | March 5, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Pothier and Alzner can both play, salary cap-wise.

Old Pothier is an upgrade on our defense. Except I'm really worried, the concussion hit wasn't a huge hit (if I remember correctly), but the sort of contact you see a lot in the playoffs.

Posted by: mauree | March 5, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

I agree that you don't maake a deal to just make a deal. Sometimes the best deals are the ones you do not make. Think of the message that the guys we have got when there was no movement.

The first fifty games are so, half of our games we allowed two goals or less. This is the same team we went to war with last year with another year of experience. We can win with this current line-up (what are we fifth in the leauge?)

Buckle down the fun is about to begin!!

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | March 5, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Capsfannmiss

I don't agree. Our D needs help. It's a huge gamble by GMGM not to have pursued anything. Time we'll tell if he was right.

Posted by: mauree | March 5, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Pothier will be an upgrade on our blue-line if he returns to form, or is even close to form, but he is not a clear the crease D-man that we could use. Erskine is really the only D-man who more than occasionally clears the crease and he will probably be the one who loses time if and when Pothier returns. If Alzner comes up as well I would like to see Schultz sit, but it will probably be Juice.

Posted by: tomdchancar | March 5, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

There should be room for either Pothier or Alzner from Clark's LTIR money, which, at this moment, is going untapped.

If Poti can't play tonight, a replacement will be needed from Hershey. Alzner seems the likely choice. I also don't mind if they bring Sloan back as he did well enough.

They can all suit up in the playoffs as there is no cap - just a roster limit of 23 plus injured reserve. I wouldn't be surprised if Pothier comes back that the playoff roster would include 13 forwards and 8 D (incl Pothier and Alzner) and, barring injury, Nylander gets LEFT OFF.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 5, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Capsfannmiss

I don't agree. Our D needs help. It's a huge gamble by GMGM not to have pursued anything. Time we'll tell if he was right.

Posted by: mauree | March 5, 2009 8:39 AM

it's a gamble for this year. however, he did not gamble with next year or after. and in my opinion, that makes sense. this team needs a solid dman, but i rather see them add one via free agency and be in place next year vs. pay above sticker price or get a rental player at the trade deadline. next year this d, and maybe even schultz, will be a year more experienced. you'll probably ditch mo and maybe jurcina and have a spot for alzner and TBD. nobody gave away and dmen yesterday. bowmeester stayed, pronger stayed and morris went for three players...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 5, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

So happy for Pothier...This is bigger then the team, that he has a chance to play. It's a personal accomplishment Lets hope for the best for him.

If Poti cant go tonight, I hope Alzner comes up.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 5, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

tom, can you leave nylander off the playoff roster if he's not hurt? who are your 13 fwds. i got ovie, semin, backs, koz, gordon, steckle, bradley, brash, fehr, feds, flash, and brooks. you gonna bring up someone from hershey to fill a playoff roster spot? barring injury, i think you keep nyls on the playoff roster, but he may be sitting next to tarik.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 5, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Capsfannmiss

I don't agree. Our D needs help. It's a huge gamble by GMGM not to have pursued anything. Time we'll tell if he was right.

Posted by: mauree | March 5, 2009 8:39 AM


I'd suggest that, given what's in the organization and the high possibility of a contracting cap down the road, you might have answered your own question.

Posted by: Section117 | March 5, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I have seen Justin Taylor play a few times this year and he reminds me of a Boyd Gordon type. He is a very solid defensively and has the ability to score. I prefer selecting this type of player in the mid-late rounds versus the first used on Gordon. Now lets hope Taylor can go as far as Gordon has.

Posted by: CapsFanSince1979 | March 5, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Most interesting trade was to see Olie Kolzig become a Maple Leaf, if in name only, I guess to make the cap space work for Tampa. Toronto obviously has a ton a money to burn.

Any impassioned analysis of the trade must lead one to conclude that there was no good deal for GMGM to make. Sometimes the best thing to do, is nothing, although I'm a little surprised the Caps didn't jump on Telqvist for the playoff run (coulda had him for cheap). Start praying for Jose's health. Just like last year, when the Caps were in a mini funk leading up to the trade deadline, perhaps now they'll snap out of an get the kind of run they had the last month of the '07-08 season.

Posted by: bucknelldad | March 5, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Hate to be a killjoy but, a year and a half ago GMGM was not the super genius everyone believes him to be today. He had hired a bad coach, signed some bad contracts, drafted the consensus first overall pick and acted like it took some smarts, etc... Maybe the turn around last year was the aberration. Maybe if the caps go out and lose in the first round, GMGM should be held accountable.

Posted by: bestpilotonearth | March 5, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

I ask this of people, especially those that think we should have made a deal for Pronger or Morris. Knowing what it would have/could have taken (Pronger, at least one of our studs if not 2-3 of them and for Morris, evidently 3 players), what would you have offered up from the Caps to get them?

Must be serious possibilities and not just junk as the prices were obviously high for these guys.

Chatter for the morning after.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | March 5, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

dcsportsfan: Yes, they can leave off anyone they want. You just have a limit of 23 players on the roster. You are right - I forgot that Clark was already downcounted from the 14 forwards and that Nylander was the 13th. He might therefore stay on the roster until/if Clark gets reactivated. Or maybe Pothier doesn't come back and they have 14 forwards/7 D. It will be very intersting how it plays out with Nylander over the next six weeks; the playoffs; and during the offseason. Maybe we can also get the full story some time on whether or not he was asked to waive the NMC and if he refused and if there were any deals in place.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 5, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

dcsportsfan1

what I meant is that I think we could have got something this year for the long term. Every trade deadline there are possible deals out there to be made, and not just rentals. Heck, I'd gotten Carcillo, we don't have in the system a stay-in-the-crease stud.

@117

Nah huh I don't see a solid defense that can bring up deep in the playoffs, this year or in the future. Of course I might be wrong, we'll see in april :D.

Sorry if you interpret this as doom-and-gloom. These are my opinions only, driven by Caps passion :D

Posted by: mauree | March 5, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Is the 23-man roster limit still in effect? There's some clause in the CBA about the roster limit essentially going away on the day of the trade deadline (playing limit of 20 still applies). Not sure if it applies to deadline day only or not.

Posted by: koalatek | March 5, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

there really wasn't much out there, though I would have taken antropov and gueron for draft picks. Steckel plays soft for his size on the 4th line and has no hands. I dont like the fact that a few teams we might face got better while were hopeful on pothier and alzner.
it all just seems like dejavu doesn't it? Waiver wire and standing pat on deadline day?

Posted by: oo7 | March 5, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

bestpilotonearth: I completely disagree. McPhee did a tremendous job from 01-04 to trade players and acquire picks and prospects. Sure, getting Ovie was lucky, especially since Caps were 3rd from bottom and one the lottery (Pitt stayed 2nd and got malkin; Hawks fell from 1st to 3rd pick and got Cam Barker). But getting Semin 1st round in 2002 with 13th pick - great move. Green and Schultz 29th and 27th also 1st Rd in '04 - great picks. Getting Varlamov 1st Round 23rd pick or so 2006 from trading BRENDAN WITT - great move. Swapping to get Carlsson - seems great so far. Holtby as a late round pick - looks great so far. Getting Brooks Laich and a pick for Bondra - great. (I think that pick turned into Gordon or Eminger.) Singing Brashear as a FA - great. I posted the other day that except for signing Nylander and drafting Sasha Pokulok 1st round 2005, his moves have either been good or great.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 5, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

"I don't see a solid defense that can bring up deep in the playoffs, this year or in the future."

Boy oh boy, that's a resounding statement of confidence towards Alzner, Carlson and Godfrey, to say nothing about the kid goalies. Consider that if you overpay for a Morris or a Pronger, you might not have those names to consider, much less a roster player or two now.

It's a cap driven league. Robbing tomorrow to pay for a bit of now only gets you bit in the arse.

Posted by: Section117 | March 5, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse


Can someone help me, What do the Leafs want with Ollie and Heward?

Posted by: RichC3 | March 5, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

mauree, i dont know who cerillo is, but i know who upshal is and i dont think i would have traded him and a number 2 for cirrillo. certainly the caps dont need a guy who is leading the league in pims and:

"The King City, Ontario native signed a two-year deal with the Coyotes this past off-season, but spent time in head coach Wayne Gretzky's doghouse for taking what Gretzky described as selfish penalties."

i think we have enough of them.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 5, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Pothier... Are you kidding me? I thought the guy was marginal at best when healthy. For the sake of his health and his family, he should retire. There is no point in risking further more serious injury. I don't want to see the buy become an invalid.

Now, I see that kronwall has been sent down to Hershey... There's a shock. I don't know that he's that good a player but he wasn't given a fair shake. I mean, really... 4 games (not even in a row). Meanwhile the big orange cone on the ice(Schultz), continues to get tons of ice time including special teams no matter how badly he plays or how many times he shields the goalie while not covering his man. If we are relegated to having a young defenseman who makes some mistakes... I'd rather see Alzner out there. Me makes fewer gaffes and at least shows tons of potential.

Posted by: honker | March 5, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

If we aren't going to play Nyls, why can't we fake an injury to his upper body region and put him on LTIR?

Just chiming in now... No way Pronger is worth that to us.

Posted by: JSchon | March 5, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

And who was the one who shot the puck at Ovie's boot?
Some said Jeff Schultz (nice guess).
One said Nylander - possible.
Turns out it was - - Dean Evanson.
Lift the puck, coach, lift the puck...

Posted by: pcs401 | March 5, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

@ bucknelldad:

I, too, thought the Olie trade was interesting. I've been searching to see if I can't find any quotes from Kolzig himself about it, but nothing thus far. Curious to see what he thought of it - and if this means he'll definitely retire at the end of the season.

Regarding the Caps, I do see some holes in the team, but I'm going to trust McPhee on this. He's proven to be very shrewd and I don't think he wanted to compromise the future on a couple of rentals. Can't blame him there.

Posted by: ShariLeigh131 | March 5, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Section117

If you followed my posts you know I like Alzner and Varly, and from what I hear Carlson is great too. But: it would take them 4-5 years for them to be ready for a serious SC run, don't you agree?

I appreciate loving our "farm" like they're our kids... but can we really afford to keep all of them? Ironically, not getting any stud because we want to keep all the kids might jeopardize our future.

I've been wrong before, and wouldn't it be awesome to win a SC just with our kids?

Posted by: mauree | March 5, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

It would have been nice to get someone to lead the blueline, what with everyone saying they are young and all, but I'd rather McPhee rob the other guy than the other way around. Also, to anyone saying why not now? in terms of a cup run - there are still a ton of guys in the lineup who need a season or two to reach their potential, better to have everything peaking at once...
p.s. carcillo trade was def overpayment

Posted by: honed | March 5, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I like that we kept the chemistry of a crappy defense and no grit. Maybe we can win a playoff game 9-7!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 5, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Oh and the insurance to taht is a player that has a broken head and hasn't played in over a year and a half...I like the logic!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 5, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

When Pothier was playing with us he was pretty much asked to be our number one guy on defense, which he is not by any means. I thought he played a solid game defensively and was always pretty well positioned, but he wasn't an extraordinary talent that could log 28 minutes a game or anything like that. But he is the kind of guy that can come in and be a very effective number three or four guy, which is what we need. It just adds depth to our blue line.

Posted by: nhcaps | March 5, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Pothier, while not a rugged blueliner, may be a pick up the Caps despartely need. He is a very smart defender, great puck mover, and a hugely + player (yeah, yeah statistics, yada, yada, yada).

Him and Alzner coming up and replacing Schultz, Erskine and/or Morrison may be the trick come playoff time.

I still wish the Caps could have picked up Pronger for next to nothing, but that's a pipe dream.

I also would like to see someone take over as the lockerroom leader because that seems to be missing right now.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | March 5, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

@mauree - Re: Pothier - I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Pothier at an event last Sunday evening. His comment regarding his concussion was that it had reshaped his eyes and caused an astigmatism that gave him absolute fits until it was diagnosed properly. He was wearing glasses, and said he had contact lenses he could wear on the ice, but that he hadn't needed them because of the retraining that they're giving his eyes.

I'm cool with GMGM not wanting to pay what was asked for Pronger, and really, Morris is not much of an upgrade, so I'm cool with not getting him either.

We have a good team. Let's remember that. This is going to be a great year.

Personally, I think he'll be just fine. :-)

Posted by: irockthered | March 5, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Also, I think Toronto got either a pick or a prospect in their deal with Tampa Bay. It was basically them taking on salary from Tampa Bay and then getting a piece for rebuilding as well.

Posted by: nhcaps | March 5, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

If we had traded Bourque, Lepisto and Mo for Morris, I'd be pretty content right now, but a realistic comparison to those guys from the Rangers is more like Fehr, Steckel and Mo. that would have been too much I think.

hopefully next year we have a bit more cap flexibility at the deadline...we've relied on LTIR to stay under all year.

Posted by: stormblue | March 5, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

RichC3, Olie trade was a salary dump by the Lightning. The Leafs basically paid 500K for a 4th round pick.

Posted by: koalatek | March 5, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: WhyGo | March 5, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Steinberg's interview with Ovechkin is absolutely brilliant journalism! Wow.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 5, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sold on the standing pat idea.
and I've heard gmgms speach before, for about ten years. last year they pick up guys just to make the playoffs, this year they're fine just making it? Sounds like they don't think the team can win the cup this year anyway, so why pay for anything.
we should keep spending though.
it all sounds familiar.

Posted by: oo7 | March 5, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Two things then I am out:

1. I find it hard to believe we could not trade Nyls for a similarly/half priced aging defenseman, perhaps a UFA at the end of the year. It may not have been fair value, but would have cleared space for Pothier/Alzner, strengthened our D and given us relief after the season. Nyls clearly does not fit in to our plans.

2. Some here were stating that we would have to offer Kronwall back to Toronto if put on waivers. Once the trade deadline passes, anyone going through waivers can be picked up by another team, but is ineligible to play for them. So there is no logic to anyone claiming a player. (per Daley on xm this morning)

Posted by: waitingsince75 | March 5, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Most of the teams were tight this year at the deadline. I dont see any big game changers moved with the exception on Calgary.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 5, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

@irockthered

I hope so. I'm worried about him :( I hope the doctors know what they're doing.

Also, there were a few good possibilities out there yesterday, not just Morris (who I'm not sure I'd even consider).

Posted by: mauree | March 5, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

So, other than stormblue, no one came up with any other options from my challenge. I will write it again. I am convinced that GMGM did the right thing in not trading our top picks.

I ask this of people, especially those that think we should have made a deal for Pronger or Morris. Knowing what it would have/could have taken (Pronger, at least one of our studs if not 2-3 of them and for Morris, evidently 3 players), what would you have offered up from the Caps to get them?

Must be serious possibilities and not just junk as the prices were obviously high for these guys.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | March 5, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

As I said yesterday in another thread... The Caps have the talent to win it all right now. Name one team they cannot beat if they play a full 60 minutes, stick to their game plan and don't take stupid penalties?

Posted by: FLDave | March 5, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

mauree: actually I think it's the opposite of what you are saying, and that keeping the younger players better guarantees the future. Look two years down the road to 2010-2011:

Ovie 9.5; Semin 7; Backstrom 6.5; Green 5; Laich 2.1; Alzner 1.7; Erskine 1.2; Bradley 1.0. There's 34 of the 60M (say) cap and you have 15 players left to go. 15 players and 26 million...$1.6M each. If Poti, Nylander and Clark are still around for their final years, that takes $11M and leaves 12 players and players and $15M. There's just no more room (absent trades) to fit expensive players. Flash will be making $2M. Fehr and Gordon $1.5M. Fortunately the other nine can be: Varlamov, Neuvirth, Carlson, Godfrey, Bourque, Osala, Steckel, Perrault or Bouchard and another young, cheap defensemen. The bottom line is the final nine can only make $10M. That means you can't survive w/o 1/3rd of your roster at any point in time being entry-level contracts. Just doesn't work. You must draft and groom young players.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 5, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

@mauree - I'm worried about Pothier too, but he did seem confident in his abilities and his doctors.

@Tarik or Katie - Could you clarify, please, the rules around Kronwall's demotion to Hershey? Does it involve waivers or not? Is there any chance at all that doing this might cause him to be snagged by another team? I'd thought I read something that said he was ours for at least this season by the way waivers worked...?

Posted by: irockthered | March 5, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

If you followed my posts you know I like Alzner and Varly, and from what I hear Carlson is great too. But: it would take them 4-5 years for them to be ready for a serious SC run, don't you agree?

By that barometer, then Staal is a better player than AO purely because Staal went on a serious Cup run sooner in his career than AO did.

But if Alzner, Carlson and Varlamov (or some combination of the 3) go to Anaheim for a guy you only get for a year and who takes up $6m+, only to leave at the end of it, then the 4-5 years becomes longer, doesn't it?

I appreciate loving our "farm" like they're our kids... but can we really afford to keep all of them?

Considering Alzner, Varlamov and Osala are in their first years of entry level contracts, Carlson and Holtby are still in juniors and Kugreshev is in the Q (to say nothing about Bouchard and Perrault who are in their first year at the A), there's some low cost talent who should produce in their first contracts.

Ironically, not getting any stud because we want to keep all the kids might jeopardize our future.

Huh?

Posted by: Section117 | March 5, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

@Tarik or Katie - Also, a little insight into why Kronwall got sent down would be good. He looked good last Tuesday, and was about the only D-man who did... Not sure if everyone else was ill or what, but I've liked what I've seen of Kronwall so far... he really IS a "wall"! You don't want to skate into him, for sure... kaBOOM!

Posted by: irockthered | March 5, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Im my opinion, since we decided to sit Nylander so many games, we crapped in our own bed.

If I was another GM, I would say..OK..You have 4.5 million in a bench player, and another year. You would trade him for stick tape to get him off the books.

We will take him off your hands, but your going to have to throw in a prospect and some draft picks, and we'll give you a marginal D-Man for him.

Im sure someone wanted much more then Nylander in a trade.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 5, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

No trades?? looks like the Caps are happy just getting into the playoffs. They need to add a physical player on defense and offense to compete in playoffs. Is there anyone in minors that fits the bill? If Shultz would just check someone once in awhile, he could be ok. He does a good job screening the goalie maybe put him on our power play.

Posted by: jmcale57 | March 5, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Dave
Don't expect to pick up any spare change while you are in DC. We are a city of politicians, so prostituting oneself is a way of life here, leave your working clothes (including I assume the red shoes) at home.

Posted by: majiksea | March 5, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I believe we will see a more physical defense during the playoffs. We have a group of large guys on the blueline that 'can' hit. It's hard to argue what the Caps have been doing this year has not been working. I don't recall a game where the Caps were just punished by a 'grittier' team.

Posted by: FLDave | March 5, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

I want to throw a little something in the mix and see what you all think. It can be without a doubt agreed upon that Michael Nylander has been playing way below expectations. However, what if nothing happening with him yesterday is the best thing for him and the Caps? Hear me out. He has a big family, and from the amount of times I have seen him around the rink watching his kids play for Team MD, he's a family guy. Now, since last summer trade rumors have been swirling about Nylander. No matter what your profession, it is hard to perform well and consistently if you are wondering where you might be next week. I know he had a no movement clause but I am sure that just let him dictate where he would agree to go. Even with that power, ultimately he wanted to stay here with his family. Now that the dust has settled, and the fear of going anywhere for the remainder of this season is gone, how many of you think the pressure release will result in a more productive Nylander?

I have been a Nylander fan for years, and IMO (so don't throw anything at me) although he has been sub-standard for Nylander and his salary, we are a better team when he is in the line-up. Hopefully BB will give him a shot back in the line-up tonight to see what he can do without the possibility of a trade hanging over his head. I am not sending this out to start an argument, so if you comment on this, make it just that. No one is an idiot if they don't agree with me, or anyone else's opinion here.

Oh yeah, with Kronwall going down, and Poti not skating yesterday, hopefully Alzner will be back up. Let's go Caps.

Posted by: fanohock1 | March 5, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

CTCapsPhan, 117

I don't think anybody would have given those 3 for Pronger. Not even me. Let me make the point though that if you watched GMGM interview yesterday, you'll know that he didn't really pursue a trade with ANA. He said: "they probably would have asked too much" - meaning, he didn't know.

Forget about Pronger. There were other deals to be made.

What I'm worried about is that we are grooming a lot of talented kids, who might or might not turn into champions, but not pursuing proven studs. The result? We have a defense that need serious help. Maybe Alzner and Carlson will be that help 2-3 years from now.

Posted by: mauree | March 5, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Ctcapsphan:
too much for pronger.
For Morris i'd give Steckel, erskine and a 2nd rounder.
either way, my point is you can wait forever. guys that would improve the team went for picks and not alzners, carlsons and varlamovs.

Posted by: oo7 | March 5, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

last year they pick up guys just to make the playoffs, this year they're fine just making it?
Posted by: oo7 | March 5, 2009 9:49 AM

Can't really compare last year to this. Last year we went something silly like 15-4 just to make the playoffs at the last possible moment.

This year we are going to win our division easily so there isn't the panic level there was time time 12 months ago.

Plus last year other teams didn't see us as a contender, so were more content to deal with us.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | March 5, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I wonder how many trades Nylander c-blocked Mcphee on?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 5, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

lyle,

You crack me up dude. I was thinking the same thing, but could not have worded it any better.

Posted by: Fro_ | March 5, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

What I'm worried about is that we are grooming a lot of talented kids, who might or might not turn into champions, but not pursuing proven studs. The result? We have a defense that need serious help. Maybe Alzner and Carlson will be that help 2-3 years from now.

Posted by: mauree | March 5, 2009 10:08 AM

OK, let me go back to it: by pursuing a "stud," you hamstring your cap this/next year with the probability of not resigning him, while giving up say, two roster players and/or two prospects.

If it's a choice between long-term sustainability in a cap-driven environment or a quick short-term fix, I say take the former.

Posted by: Section117 | March 5, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

OK, I will give you the scoop on Nyls.

He was asked to waive his NMC twice. He said no to one of the teams; yes to the second one. Unfortunately, that deal didn't work because Nyls had a negative value as far as trade goes. Why a negative value? Because, when you get scratched all the time, and you get played as thhird center with moribond players and have the type of contract that he has, other GMs want to be rewarded for taking him off your books. Plain and simple.

If you guys are nice, I may tell you which team were involved and which names were mentioned.

Or maybe I just slept at the Holiday Inn last night.

Posted by: atybat | March 5, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

majiksea,
Thanks for the tip. I had hoped I'd earn enough to cover my trip - ah well!

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | March 5, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Mauree, I agree they would probably not asking for all 3, but even 1 or 2 of them is off the table in my books. Based on the fact that NOBODY else traded for him seems to me like they were asking for the world from everyone too.

007, what other players would have improved the team in your opinion? That is a judgement call. The same one as will Pothier or Alzner help the team this year. You just know. So, do you mortgage part of the future on an uncertainty? I would not. Do you think Phoenix would take Steckel, Erskine and a 2nd rounder? Not sure I would give up a 2nd rounder for Morris either.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | March 5, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I hear you dave, but let me flesh out some details:
Last year they just barely made it to the post season. Great comeback, great acquisitions (Fed and Cooke, as Huet was a gimme and onece in ten years, if ever, do you get handed a player for nothing).
THis year, they are teetering between 2nd and 3rd place, with Florida coming on strong, Carolina making a push and set to play the Caps for the next month and a half. The Caps system relies on the Forwards playing defense, no harm there, except that if they sleep on a single shift, the defense cant handle the pressure and we see what happens.
So rather than try to improve in any way whatsover, the Caps, poised to make a run in the playoffs, are left as they are. Why? Becasue next year might be their year? What about injuries? What about the unknowable? Other teams seemed to think there were things they could do. Boston is planning on winning it all and proved it. Pittsburgh is intent on making the post season. Florida even tried to tighten up. Rangers certainly tried.
That tells me that mngt doesn't expect a trip to the cup this year and apparently are only going to do something if they're guaranteed to make it to the finals.
That sounds like every pre-lockout post season I can remember since McPhee has been around. The guy always says, 'nothing made sense, we couldn't get better". A 3rd line center like Antropov with some decent hands for 2 picks? Guerin for a pick (Guerin is no post season stud, but he really just needs to distract so that Ovie, Back, Green, Semin and Fedorov can do their thing). WHat I'm saying is, guys went for a few picks. Swing for the bleachers or dont swing at all?
Thats the part I'm getting tired of. I'm not wearing rose colored glasses so I'm not looking at our D and saying this is a good, deep blueline.

Posted by: oo7 | March 5, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

@ fanohock1 - Agree about Nyles. With him in the lineup, even a substandard Nyles still plays a decent puck possesion game and that helps out our D. Hopefully this trade deadline being over helps him focus. I still don't think he's going to put up points playing on the 3rd line - its not his game. He needs to be with Flash or Semin (someone with some finish).

Posted by: Grape8 | March 5, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

OK, let me go back to it: by pursuing a "stud," you hamstring your cap this/next year with the probability of not resigning him, while giving up say, two roster players and/or two prospects.

No way. Come on there are better deals than that. Get a Kuba for Flash, Steckel and a 3rd rounder. Get a Carcillo for Borque and a conditional pick.
There, you have a solid D-man and a Stay-in-the-crease stud. Team much improved. No?

Why do you keep insisting that I want to give up the WHOLE farm? I don't.

Posted by: mauree | March 5, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

new post

Posted by: oo7 | March 5, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

atybat, i'm betting you have no more knowledge of any nyls negotiaions than i do of the latest obama cabinet meeting. for one thing, i'm guessing GMGM went to nyls weeks ago and asked for a list of teams he would consider waiving his NMC for. thats SOP for guys w/ contracts like that. so doubtful GMGM was texting him yesterday asking how about NYI or CHI, etc.

no kidding he has negative value. i wouldn't say he plays w/ moribound players. not like he's been on the 4th line or anything. but sitting sure hasn't helped his cause. doesnt take a genius to figure that out. however, teams who would be interested in nyls have plenty of film on him and dont need to see him play the last 5 games to make up their minds.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 5, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Kuba is (was, anyway) a UFA at the end of the year, you've give up 2 guys signed THRU next year and a mid to high pick for a guy you are renting, seeing what D you have under contract/in the pipeline.

Considering the Carcillo trade, you'd have to make the money work a little more, meaning it would probably have to be an RFA this year (Fehr or Gordon) plus a 3. Or Bourque and a 2 (minimum).

So you've picked up two players that address your needs. And what have you done? Given up guys that are either signed through next year or could have been resigned at lower 2nd contracts. And when your higher priced current under contract guys leave, what are you going to do?

By doing that, you've got to cover your arse and sign FAs to high one year deals. If you sign them to two years, under a (presumable) reduced cap, you've now hamstrung yourself when it comes to resigning Semin or Backstrom. I'm not insisting you want to give the farm away, I am suggesting that you need to examine the long term.

Posted by: Section117 | March 5, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

It'd be nice to see Nylander be given a chance to contribute. Regardless of what the forum of armchair GM's on this blog want to say, I can't see how the derogatory comments about Nylander help him at all. I guess its' easy to make the comments since we're not the guy making that much money and constantly hearing how much people think you s*ck because you're not scoring even one goal. I think we have to understand it's more than just hockey for him. Sure, you're a season ticket holder or a "big fan" who insists that the spit and venom you consider an "opinion" warrants that he play at the level you expect him to (because heaven forbid his coaches and his teammates aren't expecting the same from him). Just that, whatever is going on with him, is something you can't just expect to go away because you don't like how he plays. But please, humor us by repeating it to no end. Trade the b*stard. He s*cks. Why didn't anyone want a player who hasn't been playing all that well? *rolls eyes*

He's the Capitals' concern to deal with. Grab a beer and just enjoy the game. Eesh.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 5, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

The "rose colored glasses" - yes I remember those well.
Yep - McPhail didn't do anything to bolster the team. While I'm not an Antropov fan, I thought Guerin could have helped the club as a rental and a 2nd rounder wasn't much to give (especially with the Caps depth in the system).

I also thought we could have upgraded our defense - not nec. a Pronger/Morris, but what about Jason Smith? or just some extra toughness? (please spare me the Erskine's that guy posts)

Our defense consists of tall/lanky "finesse" defensemen - no grit. Think about it - Poti/Schultz/Jurcina and more. Heck - Mike Green was the only one to drop the gloves last year in the play-off's when he was finally fed up of being prodded/pushed around by Philly.

I get not trading Alzner & blue-chip prospects right now, but there were other ways to improve the team that wouldn't have cost much in return....based on some of the moves that were made yesterday.

Posted by: Jaymagz | March 5, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

@ dcsportsfan1
Sorry Buddy, you are wrong in two things... First, I am indeed familiar with parts of the negociations. Secondly, your SOP (procedures) are wrong, especially in this case; that is not how it played out.

But then again, you don't have to believe me. You are a fan, I have a let's just say,a different perspective.

Posted by: atybat | March 5, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Oscar Wilde once said "Only children and prostitutes wear red shoes".

Write your own punch line.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | March 5, 2009 7:23 AM


And only Washington area General Managers can consistently pull the wool over the eyes of the owner, media and fans alike.

As to whether KA and BP are upgrades over what we currently have, only if Schultz gets booted. And frankly that is no guarantee either. BP was by no means a dominating defenseman. At times he was serviceable, at other times he was less than that. He's going to be less than 100% effective being out this long and being gunshy on the ice. He cannot be deemed an upgrade unless you're living in the clouds. Alzner has more potential to be that if he replaces Schultz.

Posted by: maven1918 | March 5, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Our defense consists of tall/lanky "finesse" defensemen - no grit. Think about it - Poti/Schultz/Jurcina and more. Heck - Mike Green was the only one to drop the gloves last year in the play-off's when he was finally fed up of being prodded/pushed around by Philly.

I get not trading Alzner & blue-chip prospects right now, but there were other ways to improve the team that wouldn't have cost much in return....based on some of the moves that were made yesterday.

Posted by: Jaymagz | March 5, 2009 11:30 AM

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

Of course they were moves that could have been made. What was that I read? The Caps are one of only 3 NHL teams not to make any trades since September? If that isn't proof positive that McPhee is one of the least active GMs out there I don't know what is. He may say he's constantly looking to improve the team but his actions speak volumes.

Posted by: maven1918 | March 5, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

@ dcsportsfan1
Sorry Buddy, you are wrong in two things... First, I am indeed familiar with parts of the negociations. Secondly, your SOP (procedures) are wrong, especially in this case; that is not how it played out.

But then again, you don't have to believe me. You are a fan, I have a let's just say,a different perspective.

Posted by: atybat | March 5, 2009 11:45 AM

right...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | March 5, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

With all due respect to Bob McKenzie, and all the other Cap fans out there including myself, IMO we are the #4 see behind the following

#1 Devils
#2 Bruins
#3 Flyers

You can argue all you want about us beating boston and nj blah blah blah. This game is all about match ups. The Flyers match up with us better than they match up with NJ or Boston. Timmonen and Richards frustrate Ovechkin which takes him moderately out of his game. We will ultimately have to overcome this because they will be our second round opponent if we are able to hold on for third position and that we can beat a (Cap Killer Cole added) Carolina (who is my dark horse to finish 6) or the re-tooled Pens. It's going to be a tough first round match-up.

Posted by: diner99 | March 5, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

As I said yesterday in another thread... The Caps have the talent to win it all right now. Name one team they cannot beat if they play a full 60 minutes, stick to their game plan and don't take stupid penalties?

Posted by: FLDave | March 5, 2009 9:53 AM

@FLDave: Maybe San Jose, Maybe Detroit...

...Maybe

Posted by: Rhino40 | March 5, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

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