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Karl Alzner and Mathieu Perreault ready for training camp

Morning Roundup

The Morning Roundup makes its triumphant return to Capitals Insider today, with a few tweaks -- including a new logo. The regular feature will be less of an exhaustive list of links and more of a conversation starter to kick off the day, but it will still include links to notable stories from the Post and around the web.

Two years ago, defenseman Karl Alzner and center Mathieu Perreault were vying to leave an impression on the Capitals brass in a rookie game like the one scheduled for 3 p.m. today at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, where the Washington and Philadelphia prospects will face off.

In the interim they've grown up, occasionally in Washington, but primarily as members of the back-to-back Calder Cup winning Hershey Bears. Now they are two of several players facing a key juncture in their careers with the opportunity to prove that they're ready for the NHL full time beginning when training camp opens on Saturday morning.

Perreault spent the summer bulking up, paying close attention to his diet and health while working out "more than ever before" in the previous offseasons. The speedy 22-year-old is expected to compete with Marcus Johansson for a chance at making the opening-night roster.

"It's pretty much the biggest year for me," Perreault said. "There's finally room up here for centermen and this is my chance to make the team. It's a big training camp for me but I'm ready for it. Last year I was really high the first 10 games or so, and my goal if I'm here all year is to have that consistency to play 80 games."

General Manager George McPhee said last spring that Alzner was "a guy we expect to be in Washington", but the 21-year-old isn't about to take anything for granted after he spent the past two preseasons with plenty of speculation that he might stick with the Capitals.

"Everything I get I need to work hard for, it doesn't matter what's been said or how things look. It's never that way," Alzner said. "My first year was a great example...for me it's just about working hard. I know I can do things out there, create and make plays.

"I got a little taste of this. Being in this room can make you think about what's possible. Just a few weeks here, everything can change for a lot of us in here."

AROUND THE WEB
Mike Vogel gives the Capitals' side of the Eric Belanger situation and owner Ted Leonsis also commented on the matter on his blog.

The Globe and Mail's Erik Duhatschek catches up with Alex Ovechkin and Mike Green during their time at the NHL's media tour in New York City.

Corey Masisak takes a closer look at defensive prospect Dustin Stevenson, who hopes to play in Hershey this year.

Find out how 2010 sixth-round draft pick, defenseman Samuel Carrier is handling Caps rookie camp this week.

By Katie Carrera  |  September 16, 2010; 8:02 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Roundup  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Eric Belanger: 'The line has been crossed'
Next: Alex Ovechkin: 'We have to think about the playoffs differently'

Comments

@captainKirk

My point is that I'm sure Ted is going to really feels he OWNS the team after the NHL brass in Toronto and player's union fry him in the back. This move with EB was a bush league move. I'm sure the player's are really ticked. It will cost us free agents in the future. No wonder J.R. wouldn't come here. We ended up with Jagr out of desperation. The fans have more power than you think. This really could be the start of the end for GMGM. Only a great playoff run will save him. Too many bad GMGM stories after 12 years. The Butch hiring should have sunk GMGM.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | September 16, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

F EB and his agent for leaking the news of the possible signing to the press. Whoever is responsible for that is 100% at fault in this situation. They took our team's leverage in whatever trade we were trying to make and cost EB his job here and $1m in salary.

If I'm a GM of ANY team and I tell a guy, hey, here's what we'll do for you, but we have to make this trade first. Don't f it up... and they go and f it up, do you really think I'm going to honor the verbal I gave them. Hell no.

Posted by: FFSEnough | September 16, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

@Hunterforcoach

I'll agree that this might put a dark cloud over the organization as a whole ... but if you honestly think that this will deter FA's from coming to play in DC you're mistaken. When you house the arguably the best player in the league, one of, if not the best young nucleus of talent .... the FA's will still gravitate to AO and the rest of the team. Doesn't hurt that we have back-to-back AHL championships either.

Posted by: MFepelst | September 16, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Ted's blog entry is just what was expected. Get your on-the-payroll PR writer to do an "unbiased story" defending his employer. Then Ted just quickly references it as his defense of the situation.

A quick hit-and-run comment with a "we need to move on" exiting phrase. Yea OK. That'll take care of it.

Just think what this team could become with a general manager with skill. Turning your phone off and hiding behind your closed office door creates situations like this. Talented leaders and administrators don't do that.

Cordially,
RBlatch

Posted by: rblatch45 | September 16, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

EB assumed the risk on a verbal agreement any written form of which was contingent upon a number of things. This is a business. GMGM only did his job. Move on.

Posted by: kkd76 | September 16, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Hey, does anyone know what happened with this whole EB situation? Sounds strange. I wonder if anybody has posted anything about it somewhere.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 16, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

I think each side have basis to blame each other on this debacle, however in the end, this is Belanger’s agent fault 100%. No signed contract, no deal, period.

Posted by: guer_j | September 16, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

... oh yeah and move on, this really shouldn’t be as big as media makes it to be, I guess there's not much more to report.

Posted by: guer_j | September 16, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

"The Morning Roundup makes it's triumphant return to Capitals Insider today ...."

FWIW, the correct spelling is "its" when the word is used this way.

Posted by: 1995hoo | September 16, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

They're aint nothing wrong with using punctuation uncorrectly? Ewe shoulda knowed this.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 16, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

"Ted's blog entry is just what was expected. Get your on-the-payroll PR writer to do an "unbiased story" defending his employer. Then Ted just quickly references it as his defense of the situation."

@rblatch

Ted specifically stated it was THEIR side of the story. That clearly states it would have the same possible bias as EBs agent's story. There was never a claim of it being unbiased. There was only the claim of Ted believing it to be true.

However, isn't this what everyone wanted? For the Caps to tell their side of the story.

If an independent reporter investigates on his own and writes his own story, then great. But that will probably take a little bit of time.

Right now all stories have pretty much been quoting EBs agent or EB himself. So how is a story where the Caps tell their side a bad thing? IMO, it is always best to hear both sides of the story before making any conclusions.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 16, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I thought we were supposed to hear only one side, then throw darts blindfolded at a decision board or use a jump-to-conclusions mat.

Isnt that how GMGM drafts and decides what FAs/trades to go after? :) (that one was for you cstanton1 & tom)

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 16, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

@hunterforcoach

if by butch you mean bruce, then I can't think of a single reason you would possibly criticize his hiring. There are plenty of reasons to criticize his coaching at this stage of the team's development but he broke a god darn record getting the team into the playoffs and he won a Jack Adams award. Hiring him was won of the smartest things GMGM ever did. That doesn't mean he may not deserve to be fired at some point, but it means he helped the team get to a crucial stage in their development and the last coach clearly stunk it up.

Posted by: ParticipatoryDemocracyNow | September 16, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Hey, does anyone know what happened with this whole EB situation? Sounds strange. I wonder if anybody has posted anything about it somewhere.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 16, 2010 9:21 AM |

From what I've heard- and I have really good sources- GMGM, EB and his agent were all in on a deal to by the Redskins. The Nats owner cried foul when he wasn't included, and David Stern ended up punching Howard Stern in the nose for having the same last name. This ultimately forced EB to sign with Phoenix.(e5)

It's a dirty business.

Posted by: Fro_ | September 16, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

The most disturbing part of this, other than how badly EB's agent performed, is the allegation that the Caps were involved with EB's family moving to DC from MN. If true, that certainly would take this out of the ordinary. I'm no expert on the CBA and how it will impact this matter, but if there were no CBA and were the allegations regarding the move to prove out, the Caps likely would be found to have entered into a binding conract. It is interesting that Vogs completely ignored that part of the story in his defense of the Caps.

Posted by: Gumpper | September 16, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

sgm: Great point.

COULD SOMEONE PLEASE GIVE US AN INDEPENDENTLY REPORTED STORY ON THIS WITH THE TRUTH?

Did the Caps ever commit to EB that he would be signed, for certain, or was it all "if" we make the trade? Why the moving van help if no commit? Did EB's agent ask, specifically, is this a guaranteed offer with just a variable timeframe for announcement or a potential deal with a contingency? If the agent didn't nail down a commitment from the Caps, whay not?

I know if someone makes me a conditional offer, I make them tell me very specifically what conditions and so forth.

Finally, can our independent reporter read the text message from Fishman confirming Caps offer to Belanger (that was inferred to in Joe Taco's email) and tell us exactly what the caps offered and if it was specific or contingent?

It shouldn't be too hard for one of all the reporters in the hockey world to get to the bottom of this. It ain't Watergate.

So, far, all the reporters have done is forward along the "his and her" sides of the story.

Can we please have the independent truth?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 16, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Bettman and the NHL will not do anything (sanctions, fines etc.) because the Caps didn't break any rules.

You can have a problem with (allegedly) GMGMs lack of discourse to an ever icreasingly panicked Tacopina but its EB/JT who didn't do their homework.

Posted by: jeets | September 16, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Oh, should we call this "Tacogate" since Joe Taco is smack dab in the middle of it?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 16, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Tom:

Independant reporter? Is there such an animal? Would Damien Cox write an independant report? Would a Quebecois reporter write an independant report? How about Mike Wise?

Just askin' wink wink

Posted by: jeets | September 16, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

@ESPN_Burnside: "Can't believe Eric Belanger is first player to have 'verbal agreement' with team turn to dust. Apparently his agent thinks he is."

Posted by: jakopz | September 16, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

One more thing: I really don't like the way the club is releasing their "side" of this through a blog release from Mike Vogel. This "article" is devoid of any quotes from the club, just two-month old quotes from EB.

Also, in reference to my above request for independent story, Joe Taco's email insinuates McPhee never contacted EB and Vogel's "story" says they spoke several times.

What is the truth?

If someone would just print the truth, we can quit flailing at this dust cloud that was formerly a dead horse and return to whether or not Perreault can play #2C at this point in his career in the NHL.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 16, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Maybe someday someone will write a movie starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman about how the Washington Post uncovered the real story in the Eric Belanger case.

One of the characters will doubtless go by the codename "Deep Taco."

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 16, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

@fanhock1

You make a good point. If a person hates the team's owner, hates the management, hates the management philosphy, hates the coaches, hates the coaching philosophy, and hates the players, then why do the root for that team? Is it because they like the jerseys?

It would be like going to a restaurant where I hate the owner, hate the management, hate the service and hate the food, but yet I tell everyone that it is my favorite restaurant. That would be odd.

Posted by: sgm3

SGM, every day I think you show a little bit of smarts, you turn around and remind me again how mindnumbingly and mindumbingly simplistic your thought processes really are.

Do I hate all the players? No you dimwit. I even gave you a blow by blow listing of every acquired player and how I felt about them. So shove that up your wazoo.

You've never in your short little life encountered fans who don't like the current regime of the organization they root for or grew up rooting for? I haven't always disliked Caps coaches or GMs. Its the current regime I have a problem with. Shove that up your wazoo as well.

Your restaurant comparison makes about as much as sense as the rest of your dimwitted arguments that I've been forced to muddle through. And I love how you chime in whenever you can when someone tosses a barb my way, even indirectly. You're nothing but a mob mentality bandwagon jumper with the character and personality of a slug.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 16, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

What are the chances Sloan will be selling hot dogs at the rookie scrimmage today?

I give it 3-1 odds.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 16, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I thought we were supposed to hear only one side, then throw darts blindfolded at a decision board or use a jump-to-conclusions mat.

Isnt that how GMGM drafts and decides what FAs/trades to go after? :) (that one was for you cstanton1 & tom)

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce

precisely that type of humor that keeps bringing me back. And I don't know if they employ something as sophisticated as a dartboard approach. You'd think they'd still hit on a higher % of players after the 1st round if they did that.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 16, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

For you tom:

*raises fist*

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlzrNKN3rZI

Posted by: Fro_ | September 16, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Apparently there are a few new Russian faces on the ice this morning...

Posted by: jeets | September 16, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

One part of the story that I can't understand is how delaying the signing of EB provided the Caps any leverage in negotiating a trade for a d-man. More likely, the leverage the Caps were seeking was over Flash - telling Flash's agent that if Flash didn't come in at a reasonable number the Caps would simply sign EB at a lower price for that
position and let Flash walk. If the Caps used EB in this manner but told EB a different story, then that would be really low.

Posted by: zmega | September 16, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

We have gotten a couple versions of the "truth". It is unlikely that an unbiased version of the truth will come out. Those that already despise GMGM will not believe anything that leans in the favor fo the Caps. Ultimately, this drama is a waste of time and effort and has been so far blown out of proportion that it is truly a farce.

Posted by: _Mark | September 16, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

That statement was never directed toward you at all. It had nothing to do with you.

I think fanhock made his comment to someone else and I just tossed out a general statement that attaches to any sports fans of any teams.

The statement being, if you hate the owner, management, coaches, players, and philosophy of a team, then what exactly are you a fan of? The only thing I can think of is the jerseys.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 16, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

@hunterforcoach

if by butch you mean bruce, then I can't think of a single reason you would possibly criticize his hiring. There are plenty of reasons to criticize his coaching at this stage of the team's development but he broke a god darn record getting the team into the playoffs and he won a Jack Adams award. Hiring him was won of the smartest things GMGM ever did.
------------------------------------
err, by Butch he means Butch/Bruce Cassidy.

And speaking of the Cassidy hiring, you don't hire a coach based solely on his minor league (reg season) record. You also have to look at the style of hockey he coaches. I had heard of Bruce Cassidy as a player but had to go digging around to try and gain a somewhat accurate impression of him as a coach. From the research I did, I didn't think his hire was this great coup that Ted and George pretended it was. And if you look at his playoff record in the minors, he only got his team to advance past the 2nd round ONE time. And that was in the ECHL, not even the AHL. To hire him as the head coach of an nhl team despite his spotty minor league playoff record was a risky move. And the kind of hockey he coached had some parallels to the type of hockey we see currently. Offensively creative but lacking some teeth. I was still willing to give him the benefit of the doubt but it was quickly apparent he was in over his head. And trying to bring in his old players from the minors like like Ivan Ciernik, Doig, Kwiatkowski, Kip Miller, James Black etc certainly didn't instill much confidence that he knew what he was doing.

At the time it was by no means a brilliant hire. Anyone can go look up a minor league coach's credentials and then pluck him like it was an act of genius. That seems to be what Ted/George did. At the time they also interviewed Ted Nolan. And I think Trottier was also part of the mix. They had a bad experience with Nolan at the interview and so they walked away. They had a great experience with Bruce, he must've said all the right things and George got squishy wet. And the rest is history. In hindsight it was a terrible hire. And at the time, a questionable one at best.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 16, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

What are the chances Sloan will be selling hot dogs at the rookie scrimmage today?

I give it 3-1 odds.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce

That was pretty funny.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 16, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

One part of the story that I can't understand is how delaying the signing of EB provided the Caps any leverage in negotiating a trade for a d-man.
------------------------------

because if the Canucks knew the Caps had a surplus of centers (via the impending EB signing) and were desperate to have to deal Flash to relieve the surplus, they could hold out and ask for a little more for a Bieksa.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 16, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I said it last night and I'll say it again. The Caps have a self imposed budget this season. That is why they had to move a roster player to sign Belanger. It never happened and the Caps couldn't do it because they'd go over what Ted wants them to spend this year. Every team has a budget and this year the Caps is not the salary cap ceiling. Thats why no free agents have been signed and if we had signed Willie Mitchell, a trade would have had to happen as well which furhter complicated the Belanger situation.

Posted by: ThePat | September 16, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

zmega: Yes! I thought the same thing! Our "independent" reported needs to ask Flash's agent if McPhee, "If you don't take this offer, we have someone else lined up we can sign." That would have been a dirty trick.

Bottom line: You'd think someone could tell us that A) the Caps either "promised" him a contract, to be announced at a to be determined time, or B) it was completely and totally contingent on "making a move first," and therefore not guaranteed.

This thing shouldn't be ambiguous. If it's "A," shame on Caps; if "B," shame on agent.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 16, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

“I think he’s got a lot of things you look for in a player. He’s got size and he’s actually a pretty smart player. He’s got a big shot and he’s plays with some grit. If you look at our lineup that is probably an area we need to look for"

So this is now the 2nd time Woods has admitted that the Caps lack some teeth on their blueline. You'd be hardpressed to ever get that out of Bouds or GM.

Corey's piece on Stevenson offers up some hope. I like that he got scouted by Steve Richmond. Richmond is one of the few guys in that Caps front office who I trust. He scouts the same way he played hockey. He was a marginal nhl player who knew what he had to do to stay in the league and he did all the little things no one else wanted to do. Kind of like a Ken Daneyko type.
He knows what type of intangibles to look for in players. I really wish there was a published list of which scouts were in charge of acquiring which players. But Richmond always seems to be front and center when certain types of players that I like get mentioned. And he was a fun guy to watch when he played for NJ. Richmond actually got jumped once by George McPhee.


"Dustin Stevenson kept seeing a familiar face in the stands near the end of last season, and his instinct that something was up turned out to be true.

Stevenson was playing for the La Ronge Ice Wolves and the guy in the stands was Steve Richmond, the director of player development for the Washington Capitals. He had spoken to Richmond before, but gleaned from the conversation that he should attend St. Lawrence University to further his hockey education.

Shortly after the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League playoffs had begun, Stevenson decided that he had noticed Richmond more frequently of late and wanted to find out what was going on."

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 16, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

What regime did you used to like? The one that didn't win President trophies? This is the most successful team in franchise history.

Posted by: will111 | September 16, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

What regime did you used to like? The one that didn't win President trophies? This is the most successful team in franchise history.

Posted by: will111

i could give 2 sh_ts about a prez trophy. How do you gauge "success" anyway? Are you another one of those fans who think that season ends in April?

Next question.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 16, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

"Our "independent" reported needs to ask Flash's agent if McPhee, "If you don't take this offer, we have someone else lined up we can sign." That would have been a dirty trick."

@tominsocal1

I agree this would be nice information to have, but why would Flash's agent release any of this information as it could be detrimental to Flash and to the agent himself(negotiations are often kept private)?

"I said it last night and I'll say it again. The Caps have a self imposed budget this season. That is why they had to move a roster player to sign Belanger. It never happened and the Caps couldn't do it because they'd go over what Ted wants them to spend this year. Every team has a budget and this year the Caps is not the salary cap ceiling. Thats why no free agents have been signed and if we had signed Willie Mitchell, a trade would have had to happen as well which furhter complicated the Belanger situation."

@ThePat

I agree. It is very possible. We seem to forget about Nylander because he doesn't count against the salary cap but the Caps still have to pay his nearly $4M in salary.

In addition, it wouldn't surprise me that the short playoff run forced the Caps to limit their budget slightly since they did not get the anticipated profits from home games during the postseason.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 16, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

"Washington also had another player on its off-season radar, namely defenseman Willie Mitchell. The Capitals were in on the Mitchell sweepstakes, but the veteran blueliner ultimately signed with Los Angeles on Aug. 25."

i don't get why Mitchell chose to sign with LA when he couldve signed with a team that won the Prez trophy. O right, he liked the west coast.

Best part of this whole stupid Belanger fiasco is that Matt Hendricks took his spot. I bet Hendricks would've added a lot more to our playoff squad last yr then Belanger did. He just needs to work on his faceoffs a bit more.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 16, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

Don't deflect a serious question with some crazy absolute comment. I gauge success the same as you and everyone else ....by wins and this team under this regime has won more than any other. This is without dispute. We are all aware it's not the cup, but compared to team history under regimes you respected more it is the most successful. I think we now have a right to question your hockey judgment.

Posted by: will111 | September 16, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

because if the Canucks knew the Caps had a surplus of centers (via the impending EB signing) and were desperate to have to deal Flash to relieve the surplus, they could hold out and ask for a little more for a Bieksa.

Posted by: cstanton1

This doesn't make sense because the Caps don't have a surplus of centers. The only true centers currently on the roster are Backstrom, Steckel, Gordon. MJ could have been sent back to Sweden, MP to Hershey, and Flash and Gordon moved to wings.

Belanger is a 3C who wasn't the final piece of the Caps puzzle. IMO, the reason his grievance can't be swept away is because the effect it has on future FAs, Some believe that FAs will line up around the corner to play with Ovi, but where are they? Why is it that GMGM hasn't been able to lure one FA here this summer? Do you think he would have turned Volchenkov away if he were willing to take an "Ovi" discount of $3.5 million per year? The bottom line is that no one takes the "hometown" or "Ovi" discount to play for this team. UFA and RFA have all been paid at or above market value. Why would a team that has one of the best players in the world and is poised to win a Cup have to break the bank on everyone? IMO, that is the real issue.

Posted by: ablake70 | September 16, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

"i don't get why Mitchell chose to sign with LA when he couldve signed with a team that won the Prez trophy. O right, he liked the west coast."

Uh, the Kings offered to pay him more money.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 16, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

Awesome man. That's great analysis. Ya you're right, Matt Hendricks was the missing piece. Well said.

Posted by: will111 | September 16, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/9598523 if you have audio access you can listen to this. It's James Mirtle on a radio show and he says agents basically think McPhee is a very shady GM. Starts about 4 minutes in.

Posted by: ThePat | September 16, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

Don't deflect a serious question with some crazy absolute comment. I gauge success the same as you and everyone else ....by wins and this team under this regime has won more than any other. This is without dispute. We are all aware it's not the cup, but compared to team history under regimes you respected more it is the most successful. I think we now have a right to question your hockey judgment.

Posted by: will111

nothing crazy about my comment considering you had to throw in that i apparently only like teams who don't win the Prez cup. If you don't like a little snideness in return i suggest you don't offer it up first. Again, your idea of what success is is apparent. It doesn't fit mine. Who can't count regular season wins. A trained monkey could do that. Probably the same one flinging darts at McPhee's draftboard after the 1st round every yr. It takes a little more understanding of this game than simply proclaiming this is the most successful team in CAps history. Yeah, maybe since YOU started watching this sport 5 yrs ago it is.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 16, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

And the fact agents think that might have to do with players not signing here. GMGM has done a lot of good here with recognizing talent and drafting it. But if agents really feel the way Mirtle suggests that is not a good sign.

Posted by: ThePat | September 16, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

And that is my last comment on the Belanger and GMGM situation. Now moving on...is anyone going to the Rookie game today?

Posted by: ThePat | September 16, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

Awesome man. That's great analysis. Ya you're right, Matt Hendricks was the missing piece. Well said.

Posted by: will111 | September 16, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Did you sign on this morning as a new account? I'll be breathlessly awaiting your first contribution to this board of any substance. Go ahead, you're on the clock.

And since you apparently read about as well as you argue, I said Hendricks would've been better than Belanger was. I didn't say he was the missing piece to the great solution.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 16, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

This doesn't make sense because the Caps don't have a surplus of centers. The only true centers currently on the roster are Backstrom, Steckel, Gordon. MJ could have been sent back to Sweden, MP to Hershey, and Flash and Gordon moved to wings.
------------------------------

I think the Caps if they had their options would've traded out Flash's spot for Belanger who is a more natural experienced center, and then used Flash as the bait for Bieksa. If you look at the agent's email, he mentions the Caps were trying to trade a "Center". Vanc wouldn't take MP or Gordo or Steckel so the logical choice left is Flash.

So the Caps have a surplus of forwards right now and if Vancouver knew they had also signed Belanger, that makes the Caps more desperate to trade a forward like Flash.

I'm assuming that's where this apparent leverage comes into play.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 16, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

cstanton, man you love some Hendricks...i don't know too much about him. Is he our first call up from hershey on offense you think?

Posted by: _stevo | September 16, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

OUCH!!... it's they ol' "hey I know hockey better than you strategy." You reek of insecurity. Wow people on this forum weren't kidding, you are a douc*e.

As far as I can tell from you're posts, you knowledge of hockey consists of no more than google and you tube. Your obscure stats from 1983 fool no one.

Posted by: will111 | September 16, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

"And the fact agents think that might have to do with players not signing here. GMGM has done a lot of good here with recognizing talent and drafting it. But if agents really feel the way Mirtle suggests that is not a good sign."

@ThePat

I agree with all of this. But an agent will always sign a deal that is best for his client(pretty much whoever offers the most money). So even though agents may hate dealing with certain people(GMGM), they will do so if it means more money for their client because that's what they are being paid to do(it also means more money for the agent also).

Posted by: sgm3 | September 16, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Why is it that GMGM hasn't been able to lure one FA here this summer? Do you think he would have turned Volchenkov away if he were willing to take an "Ovi" discount of $3.5 million per year? The bottom line is that no one takes the "hometown" or "Ovi" discount to play for this team. UFA and RFA have all been paid at or above market value. Why would a team that has one of the best players in the world and is poised to win a Cup have to break the bank on everyone?

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

because only certain Cap fans think that there's a line out the door of FA players who are giving their left nut to play for the Caps and be part of this alleged 'dynasty'. In the real world, the Caps aren't anywhere near as attractive as some may want to believe. Look at some of those major free agents we've snagged up. Pothier? Poti? Nylander? The only one of any note is Knuble and he certainly wasn't a topnotch FA. Not at his age. He was a 2nd tier FA that we showed interest in and paid accordingly. No discount given.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 16, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I gauge success the same as you and everyone else ....by wins and this team under this regime has won more than any other. This is without dispute. We are all aware it's not the cup, but compared to team history under regimes you respected more it is the most successful. I think we now have a right to question your hockey judgment.

Posted by: will111

Teams are judged by how they perform in the postseason. This regimes has ZERO postseason success. In fact, it has been a postseason disgrace.

Posted by: underpants2 | September 16, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

EB made a mistake using an entertainment agent to negotiate a NHL contract. It seems like the agent made most of the mistakes due to a lack of expertise dealing with NHL GMs. Also, the agent's behavior with the leaks does not seem consistent with any other agents / negotiations that I've heard of. It was almost like he was trying to create a buzz about the signing before it went down. Again, it's an entertainment agent.

I do not think that the Caps are not blameless, but EB and his agent had a firm offer that they did not accept. At that point it seems like the agent misread the situation.

Just my 2 cents.

Posted by: brihobbs | September 16, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

cstanton, man you love some Hendricks...i don't know too much about him. Is he our first call up from hershey on offense you think?

Posted by: _stevo | September 16, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

no, he's a role player. So if we lose a Steckel, he's a good option to replace him. He already proved he could be a good 4th line center last yr in CO. If we lose a 2nd line center, they're not calling up MH to replace him. He's just a good hardnosed grinder that can carry the puck around, plays good defense, plays abrasively and is a solid team player, provides energy. He's like 28 or 29 so he's not exactly young but imo he does a better job of playing that prototypical 4th line center position than does a guy like Gordo. And he's quicker than Steckel. Bruce coached him in Hershey and gave him a lot of ice time down there. He was on the Hershey team that lost in the Finals to Hamilton.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 16, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I hope no one is holding his/her breath waiting for aggressive reporting on the Caps by local media. I think they all understand that if they make things uncomfortable for the Caps, GMGM will retaliate. Access is everything for a reporter, and GMGM can limit that (not totally, but he can make sure that no one associated with the team cooperates beyond the bare minimum with designated reporters).

Posted by: zmega | September 16, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

@underpants2

Based on that logic every team (including 1998) was a failure. Many would say a post season success without the cup is a failure. All I was saying is that this was a record breaking season for the Caps. Love him or hate him, fine, but to say GMGM is a bum and a trained monkey seems a little silly.

Posted by: will111 | September 16, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

@underpants2

And past Caps teams have had good postseason success?

Actually the 2008-2009 Caps team had the third highest total of playoff wins (7) in Caps franchise history. Trailing only the '90 team (8) and the '98 team (12) which, by the way, was also under the GMGM regime.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 16, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

OUCH!!... it's they ol' "hey I know hockey better than you strategy."

again, what are you bringing to the table? so far, nothing of any substance. You've already claimed this current regime of Bruce and George is the most successful of any past Caps regime. Shows how much you (don't) know.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 16, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Is this the year ?

The Pens & Hawks have executed plans that have succeeded, yet Caps & Co. "think" they're in the same class, think again.

Philly made it to the Finals old school, that's a great story. George McPhee for GM of the year ? Priceless...

Posted by: LarryDavid | September 16, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

@underpants2

And past Caps teams have had good postseason success?

Actually the 2008-2009 Caps team had the third highest total of playoff wins (7) in Caps franchise history.

---------sgm--

oh yeah, i forgot about this gem of an argument. Individual playoff game wins vs playoff series wins. Using that logic, a team that gets eliminated in the 1st round every single yr could win upto 3 games each yr compared to a team that advances past the 1st round every yr who could win as little as one extra game. In SGM's mind, this is equivalent success. Or extrapolate that to an extra round where there is still only 1 potential "win" differential (i.e. 2nd round losers vs 3rd round losers).

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 16, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Philly, who has done a better coaching job than Laviolette? Getting that team to play smart and under control (relatively speaking) had to be no small task. I don't think he gets enough credit for getting that team into the playoffs and on to the finals. The Flyers were in total chaos before he got there.

Posted by: zmega | September 16, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

All I was saying is that this was a record breaking season for the Caps.
-----------------------------

i think you meant to say "this was a record-breaking REGULAR season for the Caps.

semantics i guess huh.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 16, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

@underpants2

Based on that logic every team (including 1998) was a failure. Many would say a post season success without the cup is a failure. All I was saying is that this was a record breaking season for the Caps. Love him or hate him, fine, but to say GMGM is a bum and a trained monkey seems a little silly.

Posted by: will111

To say a team that won the President's Trophy, but gets bounced in the first round, after having a two game lead is not a FAILURE is absurd. The team also blew a two game lead last year. At what point are these CONTINUED FAILURES going to cost this man his job?

We were the 1 seed. We had home ice. We lost 3 of 4 at home. We had a two game lead. We were the favorites. HE HAS DONE NOTHING TO GET THIS TEAM THE HELP THEY NEED TO WIN THE CUP. THAT IS HIS F--KING JOB.

Posted by: underpants2 | September 16, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

Seriously c-man you're right, I should bring more to the table, but you beat me to the whole Hendricks analysis. Honestly, I'm kinda relieved. You did a much better job. Quick question, when you looked him up did you just google "Hendricks" or did you have to put in his whole name?

Posted by: will111 | September 16, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

no doubt that Laviolette is a really good coach. In the last 5 yrs he's coached a Canes team to a Cup victory and then taken the apparently lowly Flyers to the finals.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 16, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

Seriously c-man you're right, I should bring more to the table

Posted by: will111

well, you should with something small so you don't tax your brain too much. Let's see, do you know what icing is? And I don't mean the kind that you spread over your nipples and let your cat lick off either.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 16, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

"oh yeah, i forgot about this gem of an argument. Individual playoff game wins vs playoff series wins. Using that logic, a team that gets eliminated in the 1st round every single yr could win upto 3 games each yr compared to a team that advances past the 1st round every yr who could win as little as one extra game. In SGM's mind, this is equivalent success. Or extrapolate that to an extra round where there is still only 1 potential "win" differential (i.e. 2nd round losers vs 3rd round losers)."

@cstanton1

What was incorrect with my statement that the 2008-2009 Caps team had the 3rd highest win total in the playoffs in Caps franchise history? I noted that the '90 team and the '98 team had more and noted how many they won.

Isn't the point of the playoffs to win 16 playoff games in a postseason? The '98 Caps were 4 away, the '90 Caps were 8 away and the '09 Caps were 9 away. Every other Caps team was at least double digit playoff wins away from winning.

Again, is there anything incorrect about that statement?

Posted by: sgm3 | September 16, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

@underpants2

All good points. For sure a disappointment, but GMGM can't play for them.

By the way Aug and Sept are not the time to build your cup team. Let's see how some of these young guys work out and make some moves during the year.

cstanton1 seems to like this Hendricks guy, we'll have to see.

Posted by: will111 | September 16, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

What was incorrect with my statement that the 2008-2009 Caps team had the 3rd highest win total in the playoffs in Caps franchise history? I noted that the '90 team and the '98 team had more and noted how many they won.
----------

its not your statement. Its rarely ever your "statement". Its your implications. You consistently try to mask what you are implying by hiding behind your statements. When you for example start talking about 7 wins vs 8 wins, what you are really implying is that you think both of the teams had equivalent levels of success. There's a ton more that goes into it than just a one-game win differential.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 16, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: will111

To say a team that won the President's Trophy, but gets bounced in the first round, after having a two game lead is not a FAILURE is absurd.
---underpants-

absurd is too kind. Just call it stupid.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 16, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

After reading his email to McPhee, the agent sounds like an amateur and an idiot. As Vogel says, he's the one who ought to be sued, not the Caps.

Posted by: truke | September 16, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

"The lowly flyers"? The same flyers team that almost everyone picked to go deep into the playoff. Now your going to tell me that they're "lowly" because of a poor regular season performance.... Please! You just finished tell us that the regular season was meaningless. If you hold such little stock in the meaning of the regular season how can you now look at the regular season as you measuring stick of whether a team is good or not? c-man really you are all over the place.

And what is with you tell everyone they don't know hockey? Honestly, it's kinda weird... oh and so is the nipple thing.

Posted by: will111 | September 16, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1 seems to like this Hendricks guy, we'll have to see.

Posted by: will111 | September 16, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

what do you care who i like anyway unless you're just trolling? there's a kid on here who posts who is an Avs fan - pokerface. Go ask him about Matt Hendricks. Then maybe you'll get a different opinion that doesn't automatically cause you to go into an epileptic seizure. In fact, I'm sure there's a Hershey fan or two who posts here who can offer up their opinion on him. For me, he provides an element at our 4th line center position we've never had under McPhee unless there was that brief period of time that Sutherby actually played the way he was supposed to. As I said before, if you like the way a kid like Burish or Fraser plays the 4th line center position, you'll like Hendricks. Period. Don't make it out to be anything more than that.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 16, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

"The lowly flyers"? The same flyers team that almost everyone picked to go deep into the playoff. Now your going to tell me that they're "lowly" because of a poor regular season performance....
--

no, i called them lowly because they're always getting mocked or slammed by Caps fans who don't know any better. I should've put the word lowly in quotes to emphasize that I didn't feel that way myself.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 16, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

If you kids don't play nice I'm going to have to separate you.

...I don't quite no how yet, but....JUST KNOW I WILL DO IT WITHOUT HESITATION!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | September 16, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

And what is with you tell everyone they don't know hockey? Honestly, it's kinda weird... oh and so is the nipple thing.
------------

don't drag everyone into it. That's just a transparent attempt to hide within a group of people. Right now its you I'm talking about.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 16, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

If you kids don't play nice I'm going to have to separate you.

...I don't quite no how yet, but....JUST KNOW I WILL DO IT WITHOUT HESITATION!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | September 16, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

don't think i forgot about your little promise from earlier. That if Flash was on our reg season roster to start the season you were jumping ship! well, it was either you or Rhino. But we're always looking for converts :)

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 16, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

what do you care who i like anyway.....
Posted by: cstanton1 | September 16, 2010 12:25 PM

I care who you like because you seem very knowledgeable. You tell us how much you know and how much we don't. Now you don't want us to pay attention?


Posted by: will111 | September 16, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

don't think i forgot about your little promise from earlier. That if Flash was on our reg season roster to start the season you were jumping ship! well, it was either you or Rhino. But we're always looking for converts :)

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 16, 2010 12:31 PM


THAT WAS NOT ME...

**blank stare**

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | September 16, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1, for what it's worth, Cassidy didn't bring James Black to the team. Black was out of hockey by the time Cassidy arrived.

His last year in the NHL was in 2001, with Washington. Cassidy didn't take over until the next year.

I was at the game where Black's leg was broken by a puck fired into the zone. I was just a few rows from the play. He was never the same player after that.

Cassidy was a lousy coach. It's still the single worst move McPhee has made, and should have been enough to tarnish his reputation. They fired Ron Wilson before the draft without having another coach in place. They seemed to have settled on Cassidy for some reason (I believe Herb Brooks may have been available at the time, for example).

The guy came into the first day of training camp with notes written on a napkin - true story. He was in way over his head, and never earned the team's trust and respect. Cassidy's ineptitude was largely responsible failure of the Jagr era in DC.

Posted by: JohninMpls | September 16, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton- as I stated initialy, one can certainly question Bruce's coaching strateg of late but to question his initial success is absurd. the guy one a Jack Adams for a reason. You wouldn't find a GM in the league that wouldn't consider him a legit NHL coach at that point. He broke d*** record. I'm pretty critical of a lot of his approach and believe he should be on the hot seat and held accountable if the team's performance doesn't change but to argue that it was a bad move to hire him in the first place is ridiculous. the ream was in last place and they made the most amazing run in playoff history and have remained a playoff team since. The were one game away form beating the Stanley Cup Champion Penguins. there is certainly room for criticism and I would not necessarily have a problem firing him if they flop again but the level of exaggeration on your part is more than a little absurd.

Posted by: ParticipatoryDemocracyNow | September 16, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton- as I stated initialy, one can certainly question Bruce's coaching strateg of late but to question his initial success is absurd. the guy one a Jack Adams for a reason. You wouldn't find a GM in the league that wouldn't consider him a legit NHL coach at that point. He broke d*** record. I'm pretty critical of a lot of his approach and believe he should be on the hot seat and held accountable if the team's performance doesn't change but to argue that it was a bad move to hire him in the first place ignores is to ignore his obvious initial success. The team was in last place and they made the most amazing run in history to get that playoff spot and have remained a playoff team since. They were one game away from beating the Stanley Cup Champion Penguins. There is certainly room for criticism and I would not necessarily have a problem firing him if they flop again but the idea that he was a bad hire initially is ridiculous. If nothing else he played an important role for the team initially, is he the guy long term, thats highly debatable.

Posted by: ParticipatoryDemocracyNow | September 16, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I could only imagine how people who say they "don't exactly like the Capitals but don't exactly hate them" are with their significant others:

Insert name of pompous "Capitals" fan (to "girl"friend): I still think you're dumb.

"Girl"friend: So you hate me?

"Capitals" fan: No, I didn't say that. I just think you can't do anything right.

"Girl"friend: So why are you still with me?

"Capitals" fan: Look, I said I didn't hate you. I'm sticking around because in case you do something even more dumb, I can let you know. In case no one makes you feel stupid and unwanted.

"Girl"friend: Eff you, @$$h01e.

"Capitals" fan: I don't understand why you're getting all upset. I didn't say I didn't like you, just that you're dumb and are incapable of doing anything that will make me happy. Isn't that enough? For the record, you should bring more to the table. I keep giving you years of undivided criticism and all you can do is act all hurt.

*presses mute button* Ahh, much better...

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | September 16, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

I can't begin to understand these people who are crying foul at GMGM's handling of the Eric Belanger situation. Are you people serious? You act like GMGM invalidated a signed agreement! Well he did not. The only agreement in place was purely verbal. And in case you are utterly clueless, verbal contracts mean bup-kis in today's world of sports.

Eric Belanger screwed himself when he ran off at the mouth to the press that he and GMGM had come to an arrangement, when in fact the agreement was nothing more than verbal. Belanger should know well by now that until you sign at that dotted line, it's all speculation.

As a veteran and a professional EB should have been as aware as anyone else that a verbal agreement means nothing in today's business of sports. And to begin acquiring a house, enrolling his kids in school and otherwise planting roots in a town without an actual signed contract is at the very least naively optimistic and at the other end of the spectrum fairly stupid.

EB should be aware by now that the NHL is as much a business as it is a sport. And individuals are offered up as the proverbial sacrificial lamb for the greater good of the team as well as the greater good of the organization on a routine basis.

For EB to take it personally is fairly narcissistic. The Capitals are a team, and an organization. Neither entity can be expected to do anything other than do what is best for itself and it's interests. This may suck, on some idealistic level, but in the real world of "succeed or fold" sports business, it's a reality.

I'm sorry that things didn't work out for Eric Belanger in DC. I'm not sorry, however that the Washington Capitals management did what they felt at the time to be the best move.

GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: Hordedog | September 16, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Oh and at those who've mistakenly laid the blame for both the signing of Jagr and the hiring of former Coach Bruce Cassidy at the feet of GMGM, it shows what you know.

GMGM was on vacation in Florida, literally sitting on the beach when he got a call from Leonsis that Ted had reached an agreement with Jagr and that he (Ted) wanted GMGM to call Jags and work out the details and get it done. GMGM did what his boss told him to do and signed Jagr to a contract. 100% of the blame for the failed "Jagr in DC" experiment goes to Ted Leonsis.

As for the hiring of Bruce "Butch" Cassidy as head coach of the Caps, this too, was largely Ted's doing. Ted admitted himself that he was wooed by Cassidy's youth, charm and good looks. Not to mention that until that point, Cassidy had a reputation not unlike today's Caps bench-boss Bruce Boudreau. That is to say, he was known to take teams and make them into winners.

Unfortunately, in Cassidy's case, that did not extend to the NHL level. GMGM was again largely not to blame. He did what his boss told him. I'm no GMGM fanboy (though I think he's done a better job than Mr Dan Poile ever did) , but I can't stand when folks lay blame at the feet of those who largely do not deserve it. At least in these two cases, anyhow.

Posted by: Hordedog | September 16, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

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