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Posted at 8:53 AM ET, 11/24/2010

Get to know another high-impact rookie

By Katie Carrera
Morning Roundup

This season the Capitals have welcomed some of the NHL's top rookies into the fold. Michal Neuvirth leads all first-year goaltenders in wins with 12 and is tied for the overall best mark as well, while John Carlson is the highest scoring rookie defenseman.

Whenever Washington faces Carolina, viewers get a look at another high-profile rookie in Hurricanes' 18-year-old center Jeff Skinner. The seventh overall draft pick in the 2010 draft, Skinner is the youngest player in the NHL and leads all rookies with 16 points (6 goals, 10 assists). Despite the high offensive numbers, Skinner just recently snapped a four-game pointless streak with an assist in Carolina's 2-1 shootout loss to the Predators.

Skinner created a few chances against the Capitals in the teams' first meeting this season on Oct. 27 and he's definitely worth keeping an eye on as Washington faces the Hurricanes twice this week. He's also put himself into the Calder Cup conversation with his performance through the first two months of the season, as have both Carlson and Neuvirth for the Caps.

FROM THE POST
Notes from the Capitals' tough practice in Raleigh on Tuesday and the latest injury update.

Bruce Boudreau said Tuesday that the post-game conversation Alex Ovechkin had with Ilya Kovalchuk near the coach's press conference was a "non-story".

AROUND THE WEB
Ted Leonsis said what happened Monday night was not a sign of disrespect. (Ted's Take)

Dan Rosen on Michal Neuvirth's success in the NHL. (NHL.com)

It might be Thanksgiving week but it's not too early to talk about the Masterton Memorial Trophy, which Tom Poti may be a front-runner for. (NHL.com)

The NHL released the early returns for All Star voting and you can check out the full position breakdown of the leaders. (NHL.com)

The good folks at Media Chameleon, Gemma Hooley and Chris Nelson, who have produced "Hockey Diaries" the past two years are looking for fans attending the Winter Classic who would like to share their story of the event.

By Katie Carrera  | November 24, 2010; 8:53 AM ET
Categories:  John Carlson, Michal Neuvirth, Morning Roundup  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Semyon Varlamov makes 30 saves in Caps' 3-2 win against 'Canes
Next: Capitals recall Brian Fahey

Comments

Come on everyone! Let's put our differences aside for the time being and GET THE VOTE OUT!
Go to NHL.com and vote for the ALL STAR Game Starters. Ovi is 2nd in the forward voting behind (puke) Sidney Crosby, and Ovi is fourth among all vote getters! Come on! We need you to vote.
Also, vote for Mike Green and Nick Backstrom and write in for Michel Neivirth!
Vote 30 times a day!
Let's show that we are passionate about our team and VOTE!

Posted by: lost_confused_idelaist | November 24, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I'm disappointed. I saw the title for this thread and I thought, "Oh, goody! Andrew Gordon's been called up!"

I read Ted's Take there. Sometimes you say something was nothing but by the very fact that you say it was nothing means it was, in fact, something.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 24, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

@tom
Happy b-day bud.

@a lot of other posters here late last night
Man...were their Goat Blood vendors giving out free samples somewhere last night? We beat Boston, Philthy, Rags and Stamoksnation...then later lose a stinker to Atlanta, a close battle to Philthy (I mean really...Semin hits 2 posts on his shootout shot, you kidding me, what are the odds that does go in normally?) and then lose a stinker to NJ...and all of a sudden people are acting like we are the Detroit Lions. Some of you need to lay off the caffeine and maybe start having a glass of wine or 2 at night. You might be wound a little too tight.

@everyone who keeps yammering on about "Chucklegate" (thanks for the term tom)

Enough already. It's like you all look for any reason to ostracize the guy. Time to move on. Get a hobby or something. He was laughing with a friend after a game. BIG F'ING DEAL. MAYBE, it was a really really funny joke. I heard some of those Russian jokes can be quite funny, except they dont translate well. :\

@anyone
So if Green gets scratched...please tell me they arent calling up Fahey (aka Corndog Nugget aka Sloan2.0). GMGM D man us up please, k thanks.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 24, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

and yes, I committed one of my own pet peeves...

their = there

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 24, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

@tom
Happy b-day bud.

@a lot of other posters here late last night
Man...were their Goat Blood vendors giving out free samples somewhere last night? We beat Boston, Philthy, Rags and Stamoksnation...then later lose a stinker to Atlanta, a close battle to Philthy (I mean really...Semin hits 2 posts on his shootout shot, you kidding me, what are the odds that does go in normally?) and then lose a stinker to NJ...and all of a sudden people are acting like we are the Detroit Lions. Some of you need to lay off the caffeine and maybe start having a glass of wine or 2 at night. You might be wound a little too tight.

@everyone who keeps yammering on about "Chucklegate" (thanks for the term tom)

Enough already. It's like you all look for any reason to ostracize the guy. Time to move on. Get a hobby or something. He was laughing with a friend after a game. BIG F'ING DEAL. MAYBE, it was a really really funny joke. I heard some of those Russian jokes can be quite funny, except they dont translate well. :\

@anyone
So if Green gets scratched...please tell me they arent calling up Fahey (aka Corndog Nugget aka Sloan2.0). GMGM D man us up please, k thanks.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce

I agree completely.

Posted by: sgm3 | November 24, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

From previouse thread:
Anyone else think that there may be a correlation between Holtby starting and the lack of team effort. Seems to me like maybe the boys don't want to play in front of Holtby. Thoughts?

Posted by: LetsGoCaps2 | November 24, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

@tom
Happy b-day bud

@ SAOTI
".....Fahey (aka Corndog Nugget aka Sloan2.0)"

OUTSTANDING love it

Posted by: bqts | November 24, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I have another possibility for a 2nd line center.

How about Derek Roy from Buffalo?

There was supposedly a dispute between Tim Connolly and Roy, and I guess Buffalo is looking to make some sort of chance.

Roy has a $4M/yr contract that will last for two more years after this. So the length of the deal could be a possible impediment. But I think this could be something the Caps should enquire about. And Flash would seem like a guy Buffalo could use because of their need for more offensive skill.

The Caps would likely have to throw in more than Flash, but Flash would be the starting point.

Posted by: sgm3 | November 24, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

@let'sgocaps

MAybe they impressed the team with his first few starts when he was soild and sometimes spectacular and they thought they could take more chances with him becuase he would save them? Just a thougt. I like the kid. Think this is fairly normal for a guy who hasn't played in NHL until this year and they think is a few years away from being ready

Posted by: lost_confused_idelaist | November 24, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

they already called fahey up

Posted by: _stevo | November 24, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

they called up Fahey! We should just let his redirect a goal into our own net in the first minute and get it oveer with.

Posted by: capscoach | November 24, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

@ sgm3

While I like any idea that gets rid of Flushman I would much rather spend that kind of money on a D man. I really think that we have players to cover the center slots just have to play them in their natural slots. Plus why bring in Roy when Eakin almost made the cut this year, he is probably going to make it next season.

Now back to the cave, that was way to hopeful a post :)

Posted by: bqts | November 24, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Wow. Great. I can see it now. Sloan knocks down our goalie and Fahey redirects it in. Whoops!

I can see the goalies in a huddle.

Varly: "What? Fahey AND Sloan!? Geez, I just tweaked ny groin. Coach! I can't play tonight!"

Neuvy: "Me neither! My knee hurts!"

Holtby: "I...I...gotta really sore throat, coach! Can Stretch play tonight?"

Erskine is OK but by no means is he second pair.

Anyway, no, there's no chance the Caps don't try when Holtby is out there. Sloan actually does try, he's just not NHL calibre. And Ovi, God only knows what's up with the miffs and lost pucks. Maybe BB should invent a drill where they bungy cord a puck to your stick and then you carry it around everywhere - on the plane, bus, hotel lobby, into the shower, etc. Constantly as you move through life you slap at the puck with stick and puck comes back. It can't hurt.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 24, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

You know, I was just thinking that these last three stinker games occurred right after I decided to shave my beard off and go with the Erskstache for a while. Maybe I should just grow my beard back!!??

Posted by: PhilR | November 24, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

sgm: Here's next year's cap projection:

Ovechkin (2008-2021) 9.538
Backstrom (2010-2021) 6.700
Semin (re-signs 2011-2016) 6.700
Laich (re-signs 2011-2015) 3.750
Fehr (impending RFA) 2.200
Chimera (impending UFA) 1.875
Bradley (re-signs 2011-2013) 1.200
Steckel (2010-2013) 1.100
Johansson (EL signed 2010) 0.900
Hendricks (re-signs 2011-2013) 0.800
Eakin (EL signed 2009) 0.740
King (impending UFA) 0.638
Beagle (impending RFA) 0.513
AGordon (impending RFA) 0.500
S/T 14 Forwards 37.154
Green (impending RFA) 5.250
First Pair Imposing D-Man 4.250
Poti (2011-2013) 2.875
Schultz (2010-2014) 2.750
Erskine (resigns 2011-2013) 1.500
Alzner (re-signs 2011 - impending RFA) 1.000
Carlson (2010-2013) 0.846
S/T 7 Defensemen 18.471
Varlamov (re-signs 2011-2013) 2.000
Neuvirth (2011-2013) 1.150
S/T 2 Goalies 3.150
Total 23 Players 58.775
Cap Space (from 2010-11) 59.400
Available 0.625


Now, I like your Roy suggestion, but he then essentially takes the cap space that you could've otherwised used for that Imposing D-Man. OTOH, if you don't plan to bring back Laich...

Flash and a #1 for Roy good move if the cap can work out. I personally think upgrading the D is the first priority for long term and that #2C can be a deadline deal or else Flash now for some impending UFA center.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 24, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

@bqts

I am not making tha assumption Eakin will be a 2nd line center next year. He is doing great in juniors and had a wonderful camp so he definitel has potential and upside. But the same was said about MJ the year before and he is cleraly not ready to be a 2nd line center this year.

@tominsocal1

The other option would be to acquire Roy, and depending on how he played possibly deal him in the off-season. But if they wanted to keep Roy then others would need to go. But at $4M there are many options.

Posted by: sgm3 | November 24, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

Also, I don't see Erskine getting $1.5M or Bradley getting $1.2M. I see Erskinse geting around $1.0 and Bradley around $900k.

I also see Semin between $6.0M and $6.5M and Laich around $3.2M.

I also see Varly aroun $1.2M. At this point, and the given given goalie market, I can't see him getting $2.0M.

All these numbers can change with great playoff production by one of those players.

Posted by: sgm3 | November 24, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

sgm: Yes, I think my Bradley is a little high but my Hendricks is a little low. I'll fix that. Both at $1M as placeholders.

If Ersk plays well enough to come back, he'll get a little raise. Otherwise, plug some other 1.5 d-man from the UFA list in there.

Varly is a wild guess at this point.

Laich is also playing his number down so far this year. My projection is based off last year where he had around 60 pts and what those guys make.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | November 24, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

I know that is what many of those guys used to make, but judging from last year's free agency the size of the contracts have decreased.

Volchenkov and Paul Martin would have received salaries near $6M/yr two years ago(look at Brian Campbell), not that much anymore.

7th D-men are relatively replaceable whiich is why you can usually get them for aorund $1M.

Posted by: sgm3 | November 24, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

How's this for a scenario:
Trade Varly + MP + low pick to NJD for Travis Zajac (Njd needs a goalie for when Marty steps down, and mp so they wont take on any more salary)

Flash+ to Van for Bieksa (Van needs to dump salary and have plenty of capable defenders)

Bury Sloan in the minors (or keep him as 23rd skater) and trade Steckel for a low pick to i.e. Canes that needs a good faceoff-guy (wins 39,9 % as a team).

If this were to occur today, (and we dont keep Sloan) this would leave us about 1,5 mil salary to spend, which right now means a player with a 2 mil caphit. And at the trade deadline a player with give or take 6,5 mil hit.
That would be enough for a goalie (Vokoun? but he would probably cost to much in exchange) if needed.
Please correct me if i'm wrong.

For this year we then have:
Ovi-Backs-Knuble
Semin-Zajac-Laich
Fehr-MaJo-Chimera
Bradley-Gordon-Hendricks
DJ King

Bieksa-Green
Schultz-Poti
Alzner-Carlson
Erskine (Sloan)

Neuvirth-Holtby

And maybe something like this for next year:

FORWARDS
Ovechkin ($9.538m) / Backstrom ($6.700m) / Semin ($6.500m)
Fehr ($2.200m) / Zajac ($3.887m) / Laich ($3.600m)
A.Gordon ($0.550m) / Johansson ($0.900m) / Chimera ($1.875m)
Bradley ($1.000m) / B.Gordon ($0.850m) / Hendricks ($0.600m)
D.J. King ($0.637m) / Beagle ($0.512m)

DEFENSEMEN
Kevin Bieksa ($3.750m) / Mike Green ($5.250m)
Jeff Schultz ($2.750m) / Tom Poti ($2.875m)
Karl Alzner ($1.000m) / John Carlson ($0.845m)
John Erskine ($1.300m)

GOALTENDERS
Michal Neuvirth ($1.150m) /Braden Holtby ($0.637m)

CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(these totals are compiled without the bonus cushion)
SALARY CAP: $59,400,000; CAP PAYROLL: $58,909,573; BONUSES: $80,000
CAP SPACE (23-man roster): $490,427

Posted by: Walle | November 24, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

"Go to NHL.com and vote for the ALL STAR Game Starters. Ovi is 2nd in the forward voting behind (puke) Sidney Crosby, and Ovi is fourth among all vote getters! Come on! We need you to vote.
Also, vote for Mike Green and Nick Backstrom and write in for Michel Neuvirth!"

What about Alex Semin?
write-in, write-in, write-in
Add Jeff Schultz while you're there and have an all-Caps first team.


Posted by: Wiley_One1 | November 24, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

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