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Morning Reading List: Caps Add Knuble


Wrong colors, buddy. (Getty Images)


The Caps made a solid offseason acquisition yesterday, signing gritty veteran winger Mike Knuble to a two-year, $5.6 million deal. Knuble, who can play on both the power play and the penalty kill, has scored at least 21 goals in each of his last six seasons.

"We just felt we needed someone else, a player on [the top] line in particular with [Alex] Ovechkin and [Nicklas] Backstrom, that will go to the net," General Manager George McPhee said. "Mike's made his living there. He was the right guy for us, and we got what we felt was the right deal for him. We replaced a 13-goal scorer [Viktor Kozlov] with a 27-goal scorer, and the team is better as a result."

As expected, 37-year-old enforcer Donald Brashear did not re-sign with Washington. In need of a heavyweight, the New York Rangers picked up tough-guy Brashear for two years at $1.4 million per season to replace Colton Orr, who left for a four-year deal with the Leafs.

From the New York Post:

"I think Brashear gives us a couple of other qualities," [GM Glen] Sather said. "He's quicker, he can get in on the puck a little faster.
"Under our style, I think he'll be more effective for us."
Brashear, of course, is the fellow who delivered a blindside blow to Blair Betts' head in Game 6 of the playoffs, concussing the center while breaking his orbital bone, violence for which he was suspended five games. Now Brashear will walk into the room Betts as vacated as a free agent.
"I think our players will be excited to have him in the room," Sather said. "They know he's The Man."

More on Knuble and the Caps:

* From the London (Ontario) Free Press:

He wasn't the biggest signing of the day, but Mike Knuble's two-year $5.6-million dollar deal with the Washington Capitals may be among the most impactful next season. Knuble was signed essentially to be the winger opposite Alex Ovechkin.
"I know what I do well, I complement players," said Knuble, who had 27 goals with the Philadelphia Flyers last season. "I've been able to be successful and they've been able to be successful."

* From NHL.com:

While the Capitals' power play ranked second in the NHL behind Detroit at 25.2 percent this past season, Knuble has the ability to help the unit because of his net-front presence. He has at least 10 power-play goals in each of the last four seasons, including 11 in 2008-09.

* Here are some audio clips of conference calls with Knuble and McPhee.

* From the Caps' Mike Vogel:

If you watch tape of the dying seconds of double overtime in Game 4 of the 2008 Eastern Conference Semifinal series between the Caps and the Flyers, you will see a hulking presence parked at the goalpost immediately to the left of Washington goaltender Cristobal Huet. The replay shows that hulking presence whacking Huet's glove hand with his stick while almost simultaneously taking a pass from a teammate on the other side of the net. As quickly as he takes that pass, the aforementioned hulking presence - sporting uniform No. 22 - deposits it into the vacant area where Huet's glove had been, before it was whacked.
That's how Game 4 ended, with Mike Knuble (hulking presence) putting the game-winner behind Huet to give the Flyers a commanding 3-1 series lead. On Wednesday, the Caps signed Knuble to a two-year contract with the idea of having him play the right side of a line with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.

* From the National Post:

The Caps finally find a gritty, talented forward to complement their reams of finesse guys. And what a price!
In all the moves made today, this might be the best value bar none. Washington adds a reliable 27- to 30-goal right winger behind Alex Semin, and Philadelphia subtracts one.

* From team owner Ted Leonsis's blog:

We made a good and smart free agent signing today by signing Mike Knuble to a two year deal. We believe Mike helps us up front; is a big go-to-the-net kind of forward; will serve as a good mentor to our young forwards; is priced right; and is a very good player and a good influence in the locker room.
We are happy with the signing which fits our strategy, budget and timeline.
I doubt we will do any more in free agency. Time will tell.

What do you think? Not much wiggle room, but what other moves would you like to see from the Caps?

* Finally, Tarik El-Bashir himself has jumped on the Twitter bandwagon. Follow him here, and follow Capitals Insider for additional updates.


By Lindsay Applebaum  |  July 2, 2009; 9:32 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Knuble: Caps Had 'Everything I Wanted'
Next: Green Invited to Team Canada's Camp

Comments

How are we supposed to afford Lang?

Nothing happens without a trade.

@fanofhock1

I have absolutely no problem with Gordon. I don't know why having a bit more center depth is a bad thing. Yeah, Madden would be an upgrade on the PK, but also cost 4x the price.


Heatley quote:

Dany Heatley refused to waive his NTM clause still, because -

- He doesn't think its right for the Oilers to pay his bonus.
- Thinks Bryan Murray didn't word hard enough
- Believes theres still other teams interested in acquiring him.

LOL

Posted by: richmondphil | July 2, 2009 9:29 AM |

Posted by: richmondphil | July 2, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

got no problem with this one...we essentially offered him the same $$$ he got in philly.

he gets 40 points and plays in 70 games...great deal

Posted by: carsonspence | July 2, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

CHI doesnt mind loading up on goalies...but their Cap is so fu**ed right now, I don't see it happening.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 1, 2009 9:30 PM

That's so true. They do need a starting goalie, and I think it would be a great idea for us to help them out in that regard. The return of one of their young D-men would be a small price for them to pay to get under the cap limits.

They're sucking wind right now between the pipes. I think we should help them. Magnanimously, of course! :)

Posted by: Greg S. | July 2, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Good signing, good terms. Now go figure out the RFA's and see if we can anyone to take Nylander's contract and lets the season going!

Posted by: TrabZ | July 2, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Fanohock,

I do not hate Boyd Gordon, I just think he is tremendously overated..he is extremely weak on his skates..loses just about every board battle he is in and of course he has no offensive ability..He is a first round mistake undersized and easily replacable with someone who can win faceoffs and possibly stay on his skates when hit

Posted by: opus1m | July 2, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: alexanderperlmutter | July 2, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

easily replacable with someone who can win faceoffs and possibly stay on his skates when hit

Posted by: opus1m | July 2, 2009 9:47 AM |

With who?

Show me someone with similar PK and faceoff stats to Gordon and cost about the same.

Guys like Gordon are not as common as you may think.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 2, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I am confident the caps will be able to unload Theodore. There is only 1 year left on his deal. Some team that is not competing for a championship is going to have a need for a goalie and have the cap space to take on his salary. The other free agents are going to want multiple year deals. The Caps may even throw in a mil of cash to help get the deal done. 1 mil towards Theo and 1 mil for Johnson still saves you 2 mil.

Posted by: srobert1117 | July 2, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Srobert--
I don't think there are any takers for Theo, or BJ would already be signed. Look for Johnson to sign elsewhere, soon.

Why trade for theo when you can sign Brent?

Posted by: C-way | July 2, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Knuble is a huge upgrade over Kozlov on the 1st line and gives us a guy who will score a lot of PP goals on rebounds and grit. We've need a guy like him for at least 2 years. Don't be surprised to see him put up 30-35 goals playing with Ovie and Backstrom. Philly will miss having him more than they know.

Interesting that BB and GMGM seem content with Laich as our second line center to play with Semin. I'm not convinced that he has the playmaking skills that you need on the 2nd line as a center, but he's a better option than Nylander.

It seems like the Caps salary cap situation is a big deterrent to them making any other significant moves to upgrade. Let's hope that some of the young defensmen like Alzner or Carlsson can make the jump next year to the big club. We need to improve the quality of our D more than anything.

Posted by: wizfan89 | July 2, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Why trade for theo when you can sign Brent?

Posted by: C-way | July 2, 2009 9:57 AM |


Why trade for a #1 (not exactly the best #1, but easily still a #1 goalie) when you can sign a glorified oft-injured career backup?

There is a reason Anderson, Rolo, etc went before BJ. BJ only works out for us really, it doesn't make any sense to me for him to sign anywhere at this point, except maybe Philly. They can increase their massive collection of backup goalies.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 2, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Call me crazy, and I know a lot of you do on a regular basis, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Theo moved to Chicago. I also wouldn't be surprised to see Nylander moved to Columbus or Minnesota (yes, I know about the NMC and family issues).

I seem to recall that at the trade deadline there was talk between Nyl and GMGM on where he'd accept being moved to. I don't recall him objecting to either of those places. Both of these teams operate the type of system in which Nylander could excel. He'd be happy. The teams would be happy.

Theo plays good in a contract year, which next year is for him. He's done that his whole career. CHI has only Huet. None of their other goalies are ready. Theo has 1 year on his deal by which time their AHL goalies should be ready. Rotating Theo and Huet could be the best thing for them.

Posted by: Greg S. | July 2, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

@Rocc00 From previous thread, I don't want to appear to be bashing on Laich. I like him he just hasn't fully developed yet and is inconsistent with his game, which is fine he is young. He needs to go to the net more like Knuble. Knuble will serve as a good mentor to him.

@richmondphil guys like gordon are hard to find but not for the caps. Steckel does what he does, before him halpern, before that nikolishin, hunter. We have been spoiled by good PK and faceoff men over the years. I am sure we could develop another one.

Posted by: caps512 | July 2, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

Totally agree with you on Gordo...workers like that do not grow on trees. Think his value is under appreciated frankly.

Posted by: robblahs | July 2, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

@Greg S.

Also, That would mean Theo is off the books before they need to re-up on Kane, Toews, and Keith.

4.5 is hefty for a backup, but not all that bad, especially if it is off the books when the core is up for resign.

(Kane might be a moot point now with Hossa and all though)

Posted by: richmondphil | July 2, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

@richmondphil guys like gordon are hard to find but not for the caps. Steckel does what he does, before him halpern, before that nikolishin, hunter. We have been spoiled by good PK and faceoff men over the years. I am sure we could develop another one.

Posted by: caps512 | July 2, 2009 10:03 AM |

I just meant across the league. The guy does what he does at a fairly cheap price. I would not be opposed to trading him at all, but it would not be because I think he is useless. Because of the reasons you stated.

and remember, we need 2 depth centers, not just one.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 2, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I'm in the pro-Gordo camp as far as him being good value as a 4th liner and PK'er, with potential for future improvement. He does need work on his strength, but gives it his all.

As for Knuble, I am wondering if he will get the other "A." Am I the first to mention that? Laich is often mentioned as a future captain, but for now Knuble has the proven leadership.

Posted by: tominfl1 | July 2, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

That's what I'm thinking. It makes sense for them and sure as heck works for us! Looks like a Win-Win to me.

Posted by: Greg S. | July 2, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Phil--
No one's going to take Theo off our books, you and I both know that. Personally, I'd consider Manny Legace before Theo.

Posted by: C-way | July 2, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Opus: Not sure how a guy that plays every PK, and used at times to go against the other teams top line, and getting paid $725K can be over rated. As a 1st rounder there were higher expectations for him for sure, but he is never a liability for the Caps. There are by far more 1st round busts than successes. I wouldn't consider Gordon a bust because he has earned an NHL roster spot two years in a row. 2002 wasn't a bad draft for the Caps, we picked Semin at 13 and Gordon at 17.

Posted by: fanohock1 | July 2, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

TRADE THEO! TRADE THEO!

Posted by: gocaps01 | July 2, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

By the way I haven't give GMGM kudos for picking up Knuble. He IS one of the pieces. I wish him luck in trading. Ideally we could trade Theo and Nylander but. Like I said a few weeks ago, hopefully Theo plays well, but we don't consider him our number 1. That way we can deal him in March, get a draft pick and create some Cap space to fill a hole or two for next year's Stanley Cup run. If someone needs to "borrow" the services of a goaltender for the playoffs Theo's remaining few months of a contract will seem worth it by that point.

Posted by: fanohock1 | July 2, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I like the Knuble signing a lot! In addition to the 25 goals he will probably score, he'll be indirectly responsible for 10 to 15 more goals because of the havoc he creates in front of the net. With Knuble banging around in the low slot, this could be Ovie's best year yet!

Posted by: Blueline | July 2, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Phil--
No one's going to take Theo off our books, you and I both know that. Personally, I'd consider Manny Legace before Theo.

Posted by: C-way | July 2, 2009 10:09 AM |

I never said that, but when you think about it, as someone mentioned earlier, Theo is probably the goalie with least risk available.

You know his price, though it is a big price. He only has 1 year left, making it easy for a team to pick him up without damaging their long-term investments. He is playoff tested. (edit: first round tested..lol)

I don't know if Theo is going to be moved, but it seems to make a lot more sense that people make it out to be.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 2, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I'm still flabergasted about Hossa's deal. 12 Years for a 32 y.o. player... He'll be 44 when his contract expires. Did they do the math???

Posted by: Greg S. | July 2, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

@fanofhock

I like how you left out the abomination that was Eminger. :)

Posted by: richmondphil | July 2, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Knuble is a great signing, but the Caps will not win a cup without a hulking D veteran who can keep Cindy completely away from the crease area. He will burn us again without it. To get something, you have to give something. Our trade bait are Semin, talented young D (Carlson, etc) and our young goalies. Would hate to part with any of those, but if the cup is the priority...

Posted by: washingtonpost31 | July 2, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

@ Greg

For the record...Hossa is 30 now...but your point still stands...I don't understand the length of that deal either.

Posted by: robblahs | July 2, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

and if you want to talk about trading for available goalies, I would much rather take Theo than Giguere, who is also supposedly on the block.

Giggy makes like 6 mil and was worse than Theo last year.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 2, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

@ Greg

For the record...Hossa is 30 now...but your point still stands...I don't understand the length of that deal either.

Posted by: robblahs | July 2, 2009 10:19 AM |

CHI hired a monkey to do their numbers.

But seriously, the contract is heavily front-loaded. Hossa will play about 8 years of that contract, and retire. Mark my words. :)

Posted by: richmondphil | July 2, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Phil-
If it were so easy to move Theo, GMGM would have already done so. The leaked reports that we wanted to sign Brent, reiterated that we wanted to move Theo. Add to that the fact the Theo doesn't want to play for DC....the deal would have been made for a bag of pucks....if there were takers. There aren't, and my guess is that Brent will sign elsewhere shortly.

Posted by: C-way | July 2, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

We keep talking about trading Theodore, but I think you're forgetting one very important question. Can Johnson take enough starts to keep Varlamov fresh, given his injury issues? That's a gamble given past experiences, and if you blow that question off, you're thinking fantasy league again. Neuvirth IS NOT ready for primetime, and in no case should we be going into the season with a rookie/rookie tandem. Got any goalies on the market who'd be an upgrade over Theodore? I think you'll find they all went yesterday, and for more than we could have afforded.

I think that you will find that the Caps are going to go into the season pretty much as-is, although I expect that ShaMo will be replaced by a Hershey blueliner. I do not assume that it's Alzner yet, but it will be someone from Hershey. They've made a coaching change on D, one that comes from a team where crease-clearing is not an issue with the same players that played on our backline for a while.

We've made some key changes, but we've got to kick the tires on what we've got - major reshuffling isn't what the Caps are looking for, and you can't buy your way into a Cup. (Memo to Bob Gainey.)

Posted by: kittypawz | July 2, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

@kitty

Given the cap relief Theo's contract would give us, if we could trade Theo, I would take that gamble on BJ and the kids.

Good point though. We keep talking about Theo or BJ, but when it gets down to it, they are not the same people.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 2, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

I agree with you on the rookie/rookie tandem though. Trading Theo is conditional only signing BJ. Neuvrith will be up if BJ ever gets hurt again.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 2, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

I think Johnson can take that load and would do really quite well. Varly would certainly benefit from the time off, too.

Posted by: Greg S. | July 2, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

You just HAVE to laugh at this one!

From the National Post:
5:55 p.m. Mike Komisarek signs with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The deal is for five years, $22.5-million.

The Leafs sign the biggest defensive defenceman on the market after a day of relative inactivity (the Orr signing, the Kubina salary dump). The Leafs may not shoot or pass the puck next season, but by God, they will throw checks.

Posted by: Greg S. | July 2, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I don't know if Chicago has cap room left to take Theo in a trade (no clue how much room they have). It wouldn't be unprecedented for them after all they were paying Khabby more than Theo last year alongside Huet. The fact his contract expires before they would have to re-sign their young guys is the same reason why he's still attractive to me to keep for this year.

You guys have to understand they do those long deals (Franzen and Hossa's 12 year contracts) so they can pay almost all the money in the first 6-8 years of the contract, then have the last couple years pay very little. It's a bit of a loophole in the salary cap that the player's cap hit is the average salary per year of the contract. This allows Hossa to essentially make 7-8 mil a year for the next bunch of years but his cap hit to only be around $5.2 mil for the entirety of the contract. It's just a strategy thing.

While it is possible we could somehow find takers for Theo or Nylander, the only other major roster move anyone should expect is Mo being let walk if he asks too much/is awarded too much in arbitration. Alzner has to be up this year, and I really think Carlson is going to make a push to be included in the opening night roster.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | July 2, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

1 possible scenario - Theo gets 50% of the starts up till the trade deadline, then if he proves useful and his numbers come down a bit from last year he maybe trade bait for a team that needs a goalie at the end of the year...

Then we pick up either the center or D need that hasn't been filled to that point at the trade dealine.

I think the Center is the position that we go after next. Our system is more complex for a center and would have the benefit of a full season in it than the D. We can pick up a D at the deadline and get him up to speed by playoffs.

Posted by: caps28fan | July 2, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

re: Hossa. I have suggested in past posts that the "loophole" that teams are taking advantage of will be closed in the next CBA. It actually isn't an advantage for the players because they get a fixed piece of the pie, and all Chicago and Hossa are doing is giving more to him at the expense of all others. Soon, it will get really ridiculous because some team will give a player a 20-year contract or something. This must be corrected.

Posted by: tominfl1 | July 2, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I apologize if this has already been posted, but both of our farm teams are now in need of a head coach. Guess that's the price of success.
http://theahl.com/headlines/index.html?article_id=10268

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | July 2, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

So what are the likely lines now?

1 - Ovie, Backstrom, Knuble
2 - Flash, Laich, Semin
3 - Bradley, Steckel, Clark (?)
4 - Fehr, Gordo, Nylander (?)

I think some young guns who have won big at Hershey deserve a shot....

Posted by: adamkatzen | July 2, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

personally i am tired of hearing about the Caps "system." looks to me like the Knuble trade is one step is ditching the fabled "system." all skills & no grit = playing golf in May. good riddance!!! play good old fashioned hockey. the other 2 pieces to be added.

Posted by: doughless | July 2, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

The youth at Center of the lines in my previous post scares me a little.

Posted by: adamkatzen | July 2, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Scuderi, Babchuk or Seidenberg......

Posted by: doughless | July 2, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Knuble was a good signing. BUT THEY NEED AN ENFORCER. Brashear isn't worth what he got from New York, but McPhee is nuts if he thinks not having someone watching the backs of Ovie, Backstrom, Semin, etc. is a good idea. The team was too soft as it was even WITH Brashear.

Posted by: dcsportsdude | July 2, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

sorry but Brooksie aint ready to honcho the second line.

Posted by: doughless | July 2, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Opus: Not sure how a guy that plays every PK, and used at times to go against the other teams top line, and getting paid $725K can be over rated. As a 1st rounder there were higher expectations for him for sure, but he is never a liability for the Caps. There are by far more 1st round busts than successes. I wouldn't consider Gordon a bust because he has earned an NHL roster spot two years in a row. 2002 wasn't a bad draft for the Caps, we picked Semin at 13 and Gordon at 17.

Posted by: fanohock1 | July 2, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Again, I am not trying to bash Gordon, he is a hard worker and evidently very popular in the room, I was trying to figure a way to clear some cap space, granted with his salary not a lot to give the team flexibility. I was being sarcastic obviously about the 8th round draft pick, but I seriously think that as part of a package he would be attractive to other teams. I would like to try some of the Hershey Kids...

As for being a bust, I won't go that far either, but when you are drafting 18 yr olds, you just never know how they are going to develop. My intenion was not to turn this into a discussion on Boyd Gordon.

I think my main point was that until the dead weight of Nylander,Theo and Clark's contracts are moved this team is really hamstrung.

Posted by: opus1m | July 2, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

barring trade, I remember reading on here or at Jaspers that Aucoin's contract stipulates a 1-way deal this year. So he is going to have to be in the line up....
again barring trade.

Posted by: caps28fan | July 2, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

The way things turned out yesterday, the southeast division just got easier for us to capture. Florida lost Anderson and Bowmeester, Car and Atl didn't do squat and Tampa still is a mess.

Posted by: Andoy | July 2, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Carolina did bring back Cole...who only seems to play well for them anyways. Honestly I think Fla upgraded their goaltending by getting Clemmenson after losing Anderson. We knew they were losing JayBo from the start.

The Southeast is a 2 team race, us and the Canes.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | July 2, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

bite the bullet Ted; tell McPee to pick up the phone and make an offer to Scuderi

Posted by: doughless | July 2, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

personally i am tired of hearing about the Caps "system."

Doughless, I know you're a smarter guy than this. The "system" refers to how guys work as a team. Hockey's a team sport, and one of the Caps' biggest problems were the times when they looked like a lot of talented individuals and not a team working in sync. When they work in sync they're scary good.

Throwing individuals at a problem doesn't make the whole better - just look at Bob Gainey and Glen Sather for living proof of this.

Posted by: kittypawz | July 2, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

if the Caps have Scuderi or someone similar, we have much less to worry about in terms of who is between the pipes.

Posted by: doughless | July 2, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

@doughless: With what for money, dude? Don't kid yourself. Scuderi is going to get a payday - he's going to get at least triple what he's making now, with the season he had. I like Scuderi, but he's more than we can afford. I think you'll find that if we still need a Dman, it'll come at the deadline.

Seriously, I thought you were a bright guy. Don't shatter my illusions.

Posted by: kittypawz | July 2, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Can we sign Anthrpov and Scuderi? I beleive if we do this we are set for a long-long time and have talent in the minors to go along with some young talent and some veterans.

Posted by: ryan_conaway | July 2, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Johnson had one injury filled season with us and that was this year. Last year he landed on the IR for a couple of weeks and that was it. It was Kolzig and Huet that caused him to sit out the rest of the season in 07-08.


Posted by: hockeynightincanada | July 2, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

sorry kitty, not the "system" i am referring to. i am all for team play. in fact, I would say we didn't have enough at key points at the end of the season and during playoffs. i am referring to what I perceive as a system of play that seems to be more concerned with skill and offense over a more balanced offense/defense approach. I think Knuble is a move toward greater team balance. I for one am happy to see this. now add Scuderi and we are golden!

Posted by: doughless | July 2, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

@doughless

Knuble = getting rid of the system? Since when? Boudreau was begging guys to go to the net for dirty goals last year. Knuble just makes "the system" work better by actually taking advantage of a guy who wins battles down low, sets screens, and bangs home rebounds.

Btw, how are we going to make an offer to Scuderi? Living in a dream world? Unless Theo or Nylander gets moved we don't have the cap room to make an offer. Dominoes chief, they gotta fall in the right order.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | July 2, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

richmondphil: Was Eminger an abomination? We traded him at last year's draft to move up and took Carlson, Eminger may not have panned out, but his value to the Caps is still in quention, in Carlson's potential. If we wouldn't have picked Eminger, would the Flyers have taken the unknown other player to give us the draft pick?

Posted by: fanohock1 | July 2, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

@fano

It's funny how the dominoes fall like that isn't it? Just because a player doesn't work out in our team/system doesn't mean that "asset" was a failure by GMGM.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | July 2, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

i didnt say getting rid of the system. i said more balanced system. i understand the money situation. dont miss my point: with the addition of one solid, physical d-man a lot of the worries expressed on this board GO AWAY. let those dominoes start falling.

Posted by: doughless | July 2, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Knuble's signing is a great thing for the Caps. Just what was needed. But what about D? GMGM was quoted as saying that we had no needs in D and goalie positions. I hope he is not that delusional.

kittypawz:

I completely agree: "Throwing individuals at a problem doesn't make the whole better - just look at Bob Gainey and Glen Sather for living proof of this." I just don't understand why coming together as a team was so unpredictable for the Caps and got worse as the season progressed.

Sometimes an individual or two could change the team dynamics and make them jell better but your signing criteria cannot be just talent but chemistry.

Posted by: caraveli | July 2, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

A lot of the worries expressed on this board aren't worth the effort to type them. There are a lot of opinions thrown out here and they are just that.. opinions. Some posters attack GMGM because he doesn't do what they, in their infinite wisdom, believe should be done. He gets paid to be the GM, we get nothing for b1tching and whining.

Posted by: _Mark | July 2, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

It would have been nice to add a veteran D guy, sure it would have. The money just wasn't there to make a deal. Would I like to see what a guy like Komisarek could add to our team? You're darn right I would...although probably not at the price he got from Toronto. Now if we had been able to move Nylander or possibly Theo (not crazy about moving Theo) and had that cap space available, might be a different story.

As it is, we got a huge upgrade over Kozlov for our top line at virtually the same price...with a guy who brings lots of grit, scoring, and a great presence in the locker room.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | July 2, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

jmu_capsgirl:

The Stingrays have promoted a new head coach -- http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2009/jul/02/stingrayscoach87999/

Posted by: uncatim | July 2, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

My thoughts:

--Calgary could be beastly in the West with both Phaneuf and Bouwmeester...Regehr doesn't suck and you can still count on Iginla for at leat 25-35 goals.

--One thing that a lot of folks forget about Lang was that, while he wore a Caps sweater, his attitude and work ethic seemed to be the polar opposite of Jagr. I think I'd like to have him back.

--Gordon should stay. Between him, Stecks, and Bäckis we win a huge faceoff percentage...and all the talent on earth can't score goals if you don't have the puck.

--Knuble = good However, I think maybe we should try to get Byron Bitz from BOS to play C (even though he is a RW)....then we could have the "Knuble's-and-Bitz Line"

--Hossa to CHI for 12 YEARS?!?!!?? WTF!?!?!

--Brash to NYR: :,-(...he will be missed.

--How does TOR remain profitable with all these BAD contracts?

Posted by: Rhino40 | July 2, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

_Mark:

just because someone gets paid it doesn't mean they ain't all that. honestly don't think i disagree with much of what is shred here, just look at it from a different angle sometimes. I am just happy there is some GOOD hockey news to talk about.

Posted by: doughless | July 2, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I am a fan of hockey that dates back to the early 70's, and as much as I hate to admit it, fighting is becoming a thing of the past. Staged fights will be illegal soon, Brash's specialty. The enforcers don't do anything these days except "send messages." It's not like Brash is going to beat the heck out of Jurcina if he lays out Gaborik with a good check. Brash will beat the crapt out of whoever becomes our "enforcer". Any big dude that can fight on his skates can serve as a message sender. Cote of Philly gets his butt kicked all the time but he serves his purpose for a heck of a lot less than Brash wanted.

Posted by: fanohock1 | July 2, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Thank God Brashear is gone. He had zero skill and fewer brains. He fought at the wrong time and took more stupid penalties than anyone in the league. Thank you Rangers.

Posted by: raymitten | July 2, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

hopefully, Buttman doent get his way in regard to fighting. I, for one, was more than happy to have a top NHL enforcer on our bench, for a change. Cote???? Please, Brash beat the guy to a pulp on a regular basis.

Posted by: doughless | July 2, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

--How does TOR remain profitable with all these BAD contracts?

Posted by: Rhino40 | July 2, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse


I heard somewhere that Toronto has either one of the highest ticket prices if not the highest prices in the league. They also ranked at the very bottom on the ESPN Ultimate Fan Experience poll just released.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | July 2, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Are people overlooking the defense coaching change and assuming that will have no impact whatsoever on our current defensemen and how they play their game?

It seems people are still working off a wishlist and ignoring that we don't have any money to be going after some of their defensemen on their fantasy hockey team rosters. And why would we invest in people to learn the system in Hershey and then deal them away? I thought the whole point was that they'd be developed to hopefully play for the Capitals. In my opinion, it makes more sense for Alzner to come up than chasing after defensemen on another team.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | July 2, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Doughless,
Agreed that there is good news to talk about. Developmental and training camps can't come soon enough.

Posted by: _Mark | July 2, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Agree with fanohock1 regarding the nature of the enforcer's role in the new NHL. Brash's fights generally were with a goon on the other team to send a message. It's not to goad a top player into a fight to get them off the ice. IMO, Brash hurt the team as much as helped them last year. We were very fortunate in the NY game that he didn't get a major penalty for laying out Blair Betts that could have changed the momentum of the game and the series.

Even on the 4th line, Brashear's lack of speed and agility were a major liability> He would have played little against the Pens. The better teams like Detroit, Boston, Pens (who I hate), and Chicago don't have an enforcer and have done very well over the last year. I look at it as opening up a spot for one of deserving young players at Hershey.

Good luck to Brash with the Rags and thanks for your years as a Cap.

Posted by: wizfan89 | July 2, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

We keep talking about trading Theodore, but I think you're forgetting one very important question. Can Johnson take enough starts to keep Varlamov fresh, given his injury issues? That's a gamble given past experiences, and if you blow that question off, you're thinking fantasy league again. Neuvirth IS NOT ready for primetime, and in no case should we be going into the season with a rookie/rookie tandem. Got any goalies on the market who'd be an upgrade over Theodore?
Posted by: kittypawz | July 2, 2009 10:22 AM |

Spot on kp. & may I remind Caps fan of the curse of Jim Carey.

Lets see how Varly hold up before we start letting solid goalies go.

Goalies are like relief pitchers & field goal kickers. Very few make it past their second time around the batting order...

Posted by: Rocc00 | July 2, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

A lot of the worries expressed on this board aren't worth the effort to type them. There are a lot of opinions thrown out here and they are just that.. opinions. Some posters attack GMGM because he doesn't do what they, in their infinite wisdom, believe should be done. He gets paid to be the GM, we get nothing for b1tching and whining.
Posted by: _Mark | July 2, 2009 11:34 AM

With the rash of heart attacks recently in the news I would worry about that if I were b!tching & moaning here!

Posted by: Rocc00 | July 2, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Will miss having Brash on our bench, but he wasn't worth the $1.4. But I guess a sucker is born everyday. Still think we need an enforcer. And we will struggle in the playoffs again without better D. It was our problem all last season and seems that it will be this season as well. If I had to choose between getting an enforcer or a gritty D-man I'd take the upgrade on defense. Good job on the Knuble signing GM. I am excited for him to be in a Cap's sweater!

Posted by: capsfan01 | July 2, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Love the Knuble signing. Anybody know how we are looking cap wise? I know we are pretty tight.

Is anyone interested in Theo? He must be an upgrade for some team...

Posted by: brian58 | July 2, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: ncg1983 | July 2, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

The Sharks did this a couple years ago when the had both Toskala and Nabakov. Alternate who starts every game. Theo then Varly. Then pick one late in the season and ride him through the playoffs until he needs to be swapped. Both get a good amount of work during the regular season, but are not overworked for a long playoff run.

It will be sad to see BJ go.

Posted by: SuperG5 | July 2, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes a coaching change will help with problems too. Why do you think Jay Leach is gone? His 4yrs as coach in the AHL. His teams all had over 3.50 gga. And one team even was over 4.00. We don’t need a defensemen we needed the defensive coach to teach them to play the position

Posted by: sporttraveler | July 2, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: sallyworking2006 | July 3, 2009 3:27 AM | Report abuse

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