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NHL releases national TV schedule; Kings sign Willie Mitchell

The NHL today unveiled its national TV schedule, which includes 11 Capitals games on Versus and four on NBC (Winter Classic at Pittsburgh; Feb 6. vs. Pittsburgh; Feb. 20 vs. Buffalo; March 13 vs. Chicago). Here's the complete schedule and news release.

Mitchell signs with Kings

Defenseman Willie Mitchell, who worked out at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Aug. 17, reached an agreement with the L.A. Kings today. The two-year deal is worth $3.5 million per season.

Helene Elliott of the L.A. Times reports that the Kings were the only team of the four Mitchell met with (the other three being Washington, San Jose and Vancouver) to offer him a two-year contract.

Update: AHL schedule released
The AHL released its season schedule today, including the full 2010-11 calendar for the two-time defending Calder Cup Champion Hershey Bears.

In addition to hosting this year's AHL All Star Classic at Giant Center on Jan. 30-31, the Bears will face the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Dec. 30 at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh. That rivalry matchup is in conjunction with this season's Winter Classic, which pits the Capitals against the Penguins only two days later on Jan. 1 at Heinz Field.

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  August 25, 2010; 2:54 PM ET
 
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Next: NHL discussing possibility of women's hockey league

Comments

Ugh, I wanted Mitchell here badly. I wonder what GMGM has up his sleeve with Belanger and Flash.

Posted by: ZMANN84 | August 25, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

ugh... wanted Mitchell and at the price too...

I wonder if it's now "what GMGM HAD up his sleeve!" since it may no longer be possible... speculating of course!

Posted by: FrankM73 | August 25, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Let's sign Erskine to an extension!

Posted by: underpants2 | August 25, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Crap - Kings are getting nasty...ugh why can't we do the same?!!!!!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | August 25, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

As far as what GM has "up his sleeve," will he even admit that he's wearing a shirt?

Both Mitchell and Volchenkov came in at speculated money, AV actually a little below. I think the years and AV's NMC may have been the turn offs. We'll see over the next few years if players provide value or not.

cstanton: I see that Bryan Little signed 3 yrs/$7.15M. That's about $200K per annum more than Fehr. Fehr's numbers I think suggest he's worth more. How would you rate them? BTW, I had Fehr if three years at $2.5M/yr, so he would have beaten Little by a "little."

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 25, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Mitchel at 3.5 for 2 years...and a hit away from not playing...worth it? we shall see...

Posted by: jeets | August 25, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Start the Andres Lilja watch!

What a disgrace!

Posted by: underpants2 | August 25, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

jeets: Yes, that's the thing. I'm not defending GMGM on this one, but...out of 30 teams in the league, it is quite possible that only Lombardi was willing to guarantee those two years. I would imagine many more teams would be willing at one year, especially if some of the salary were in bonuses.

So, one team goes out on a limb to some extent.

Again, I'm not defending GM. His offseason grade so far is a "C." I only rate him that high because Backstrom, Schultz and Fehr were good deals. As far as improving the team for next year, to where we need to be, we are a "D."

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 25, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

@underpanties...I don't know how you call it a disgrace. Maybe Mitchell did not want to come to DC. What should GMGM do, add more to the offer? Add more years?

Posted by: nimrodrsp | August 25, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

My feeling is that the caps are making a push for Komisarek for flash. 4.5 cap hit a concern but he is a legit #1 D. Move makes sense for both clubs.

Posted by: t-bone67 | August 25, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

@underpanties...I don't know how you call it a disgrace. Maybe Mitchell did not want to come to DC. What should GMGM do, add more to the offer? Add more years?

Posted by: nimrodrsp

It's a disgrace that on August 25th, after our most recent playoff collapse, our defensive improvement was all hinged on what Willie Mitchell decided.

McPhee hasn't done a thing to improve the defense. Don't say Carlson and Alzner, we had them last year. Think more in terms of Sloan/Erskine, one of them is a starter.

Posted by: underpants2 | August 25, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

One more thought on this - the consensus here on CI was Mitchell was worth one year at 3.5, and many thought that would include some performance bonuses. I don't think anyone here said the Caps SHOULD give him a guaranteed, multi-year deal. Add to that the rumor that he "wanted to stay out West." Now put it together. Caps would have needed to offer $4M a year likely over two years to "get er done."

Let's do the math. Assume you can move Flash and Ersk somewhere. For picks. Add back Mitchell at $4M and AGordon at $500K. Counting Belanger and Alzner's bonus, with 22-player roster only, you have about $1.8M in available cap space. How does that get you any kind of #2C?

I will be as disappointed as anyone if the Caps go forward with the current roster, but I'm unsure if Mitchell at approaching $4M each guaranteed for 2 yrs was the right move.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 25, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

The Caps had a (reported) 1 in 4 chance - which was actually less than that given the proximity of the Atlantic ocean to the Verizon Center. It is quite possible the WM camp threw the Caps name out there to raise the stakes knowing he would never leave the west coast.

It would be interesting to know what the Caps offer was tho...

Posted by: jeets | August 25, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

WTF!?!?!

Posted by: doughless | August 25, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I'll tell you why I hate baseball... the half inning consists of a few hits, maybe a walk, numerous foul balls, lasts 30 whole mins and in the end the team fails to score. How long have we been talking about Mitchell now? :D

Posted by: rh71 | August 25, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Now we will see how long until they announce the Belanger signing. Once this happens, we can say for sure that our opening day roster will be made up of players we have already. Until then, maybe GMGM will surprise us all.

Fingers crossed we get a fun update with good news soon.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | August 25, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1-

THREE months??

I'll take it!! LOL

I'm kidding, I do admire your passion though.

Posted by: j3rockstar | August 25, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

its a tiered approach

- Doug Murray buys McPhee and this blog 3 months of cstanton-free postings.

- Bieksa buys 1 month

- Same for Souray.

- a trade for Staal and Dubinsky/Callahan buys 3 months also

- dumping Flash buys 2 weeks unless we get back an equally soft player. A month if its for a Bieksa.

etc

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

I will be as disappointed as anyone if the Caps go forward with the current roster, but I'm unsure if Mitchell at approaching $4M each guaranteed for 2 yrs was the right move.

Posted by: tominsocal1

you can slice and dice it anyway you want. But at some point, the Caps are going to have to overpay to land a quality player. And its not like we haven't overpaid before. And its not like we're not currently overpaying players on our roster.

So as long as we're overpaying, we may as well do it for the right players.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

@poker

I'm on record now for hating the upcoming Belanger signing. Do I hate it like I hated the Nylander signing? No, I hate it a little bit less.

So, no matter how many nhl experts love the signing, I hate it. When it gets proven out as an inconsequential, mediocre, or downright bad signing, I expect you'll be around to validate me. As will I you if the situation reverses itself.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Should have "overpaid" for Volchenkov.

Posted by: underpants2 | August 25, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Yes or no, cstanton, would you have given him guaranteed two years at between $3.75-4.0M each?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 25, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Mitchel at 3.5 for 2 years...and a hit away from not playing...worth it? we shall see...

Posted by: jeets | August 25, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

how would you spin it if the Caps had signed him?

"Mitchell, great value! Getting a legit #1 D who has had some bad luck with injuries. Everyone in the nhl has a chance of getting hurt. Yes he had a concussion or two but you don't get a chance to pick up #1 pairing defenseman very often. At some point you have to take a chance and fwiw I think McPhee made the right move. All you haters are always asking him to take chances aren'tcha!"

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Yes or no, cstanton, would you have given him guaranteed two years at between $3.75-4.0M each?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 25, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

what is this, the mclaughlin group? Is the signing isolated from other moves? Or do I get to do things like dump some contracts (i.e. Flash, Chimera, not sign Belanger etc?)

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Did someone call me?

...anyway I am glad this Mitchell saga is over.

My initial thoughts on this are quite random.

Was this the only team that guaranteed 2 years? ...and at that price?

Do you think that LA is really a SC contender this year or next? ...do you care? ...do you have any cups?

Are you the type of player at this point in your career that is thinking, "I had better take as much money as I can get at this point, because my next check could be my last"? ...do I want that guy on my team, regardless of potential?

Did we even offer more than one year? ...at what price? ...and why would any team do that with this guy?

All things considered, not only am I glad the saga is over, but I am glad we did not make this deal.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | August 25, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

what did you guys think Mitchell was going to sign for anyway?

gettin him for 2 yrs is a bargain. You lower your exposure for risk if he gets hurt.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

There is a long way to go before the trade deadline folks. Nothing may happen until then.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | August 25, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Did we even offer more than one year? ...at what price? ...and why would any team do that with this guy?
-------------------

you're telling me you're surprised that a team was willing to take him on for more than one year? You get a solid veteran defenseman who can play at both ends of the ice. One of the very few quality FAs out there this offseason. And his concussion history is enough to walk away from a 2 yr deal? please

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

its a tiered approach

- Doug Murray buys McPhee and this blog 3 months of cstanton-free postings.

- Bieksa buys 1 month

- Same for Souray.

- a trade for Staal and Dubinsky/Callahan buys 3 months also

- dumping Flash buys 2 weeks unless we get back an equally soft player. A month if its for a Bieksa.

etc

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 3:45 PM


What is Robyn Regehr worth?

Posted by: j3rockstar | August 25, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

yup, thats what im telling u, dont like it, wouldn't do it. Concussions are a M-the-F-er!

...we will see how it pans out.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | August 25, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

There is a long way to go before the trade deadline folks. Nothing may happen until then.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | August 25, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

for now I'm puttin my faith in Poker's inside sources that a deal will be announced soon. I had some sources in the past who fed me very accurate info about trades and signings weeks or even months before they actually occurred. So I believe another fan when they say with conviction that they know of something brewing from an inside source. I just hope I like the trade. Or my drinking will increase exponentially.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

yup, thats what im telling u, dont like it, wouldn't do it. Concussions are a M-the-F-er!

...we will see how it pans out.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | August 25, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

anyone savvy enough to pull up a quick list of recent nhl concussions? I'm curious to see which players over say the past 2-3 seasons have had concussions who have rec'd new deals or extensions.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

cstanton: It's pretty much a given that if Caps signed Mitchell, Flash and/or Ersk would be gone. Otherwise, even at $3M, they are over the cap.

I am presuming from your posts that you wanted him here at pretty much "whatever it took."

I'm not going to fully condemn GM until they drop the puck opening night with Flash still on the team. Then, he gets my full fury.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 25, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

What is Robyn Regehr worth?

Posted by: j3rockstar | August 25, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

for me to shut up? prolly 20 days now. 4 or 5 yrs ago I'd say it'd buy you guys 3 months of monastic-level silence.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I am presuming from your posts that you wanted him here at pretty much "whatever it took."
------

not true. I don't think the Kings' contract is at all a bad one. OF course its a risk. Any player with a concussion history is a risk. Part of my extreme ire has to do with sgm calling me an idiot. I want to wring his effing neck until his eyes pop out. I have refrained from calling anyone a name like "idiot" for a long long long time. And I have bitten my tongue numerous times because I have felt sgm was by far the biggest idiot on this board. So to be called an idiot by a true idiot leaves me very angry. To rip off Jamie Lee, calling sgm stupid is an insult to stupid people everywhere.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse


Hate the Belanger signing (when/if it becomes official).

I also don't like the "wait til the deadline" philosophy. With so much parity these days you end up with only a few 'sellers' and you're competing with all of the other playoff teams for a few key guys. Plus, it seems that only a handful of deadline acquisitions each year gel quickly enough with their new team to make a big difference come playoff time.

GMGM is asleep at the wheel once again...

Posted by: chombie13 | August 25, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

for me to shut up? ...

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 4:07 PM

Ha, THAT'S EASY!

3 beers and its a wrap!
4 and YOU are CONCUSSED!!!!

HAHAHAHA

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | August 25, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

GMGM is asleep at the wheel once again...

Posted by: chombie13 | August 25, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

now now, he did bring him in for a token appearance. He should do what David Poile did back in the day when he was gettin pressure to replace Scott Stevens. He signed Dave Manson to an offer sheet that was just exactly what Edmonton was able to match. It ticked off Sather, it brought Poile some love from fans/media who didn't quite get it, and it killed Edmonton's ability to hold onto the rest of their players who they had to start selling off to the Rangers. Which eventually got the Rangers their Cup.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I am starting the believe the Caps biggest "signing" this off season will be Backstrom.

Willie Mitchell may be one hit away from retirement, but who isn't? The Caps need someone like him to provide leadership on the blue line and those guys cost money. For all of Green's Norris nominations, he is not prepared to take on the leadership role and Poti has one foot out the door.

As it stands, we have 4 young D who are still learning the game. IMO, they will not progress on a team where defense is optional. If GMGM cannot get a player to help the young guys, he should at least get a defensive minded assistant coach.

Posted by: ablake70 | August 25, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

to bring up young defensemen time and time again without a strong league-wide respected mentor (added that in to circumvent the Poti response) is criminal. Our young D has no one to learn from. They play in an offensive-minded system with no one to teach them the finer points of defense.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

@poker

I'm on record now for hating the upcoming Belanger signing. Do I hate it like I hated the Nylander signing? No, I hate it a little bit less.

So, no matter how many nhl experts love the signing, I hate it. When it gets proven out as an inconsequential, mediocre, or downright bad signing, I expect you'll be around to validate me. As will I you if the situation reverses itself.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse
-------------------------------------------
Without a doubt buddy. If I'm wrong about something you won't see me skate away.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | August 25, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

As it stands, we have 4 young D who are still learning the game. IMO, they will not progress on a team where defense is optional.
---------------

but didn't you read what sgm said? Our young D will get better, just because.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

that's good poker. You can play on my 3rd line anytime you want. Its that type of character that keeps a team going.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

That's to much $$$$$$ for Mitchell and what he would bring.

Posted by: thomas20 | August 25, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

I think they may do something, but GMGM may wait until he sees what kind of team he has in March.

I'm hoping they address the defense and obviously a second line center - legit second line center- No more Federovs, Morrisons, Flashes of the hockey world.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | August 25, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Cstanton - BTW I do like the Belanger signing so this will be great. I like the guy for what we need. We need a good solid 3C and he is it. He's great on faceoffs, very responsible defensively and can still provide some offense even if it comes via assists. Not to mention the biggest "fit" is he'll help with our PK which is atrocious.

Granted he isn't the physical type the will plaster somebody along the boards but that isn't a requirement from all defensive postures.

One of us will be wrong and nothing personal but I hope it's you! LOL

Posted by: pokerface1208 | August 25, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Cstanton

Not a spin job - just my opinion. Wasn't a big fan of giving the guy more than a year anyway b/c of the concussion issue.

My final opinion on this upcoming year will be published AFTER the year is finished. Makes sense, doesn't it?

As for now, we have a very good team that needs to improve in the corners (O and D) and in front of the net (O and D). If some players learn and improve in these areas, we'll be a better team. If not, GM needs to improve by bringing in the right players as the season goes on.

If we suc* then, I think GM and possibly Bruce will be shown the door.

Posted by: jeets | August 25, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

That's to much $$$$$$ for Mitchell and what he would bring.

Posted by: thomas20 | August 25, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

what would you be willing to pay? a dollar a game?

Here's what I hope. When we lose out on good FAs, I don't want us taking on a smaller contract for a shlub. That just ties your hands later on even more when you have another opportunity to acquire a good player.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

for now I'm puttin my faith in Poker's inside sources that a deal will be announced soon. I had some sources in the past who fed me very accurate info about trades and signings weeks or even months before they actually occurred. So I believe another fan when they say with conviction that they know of something brewing from an inside source. I just hope I like the trade. Or my drinking will increase exponentially.

Posted by: cstanton1

Man i sure hope ur right.And for it to be brewing for this long it better be a good deal.This summer has been hell just waiting for GMGM to make that move or moves that will take this team to the next level.And it just keeps getting hotter! Whether its been deals fallen through or just not happenen at all,my HEAVY beating heart cant take much more let down.From being knocked outta the first rnd to not making any changes to fix that problem,it really takes a toll on a diehard caps fan!I'm still not given up and just pray that gmgm will do the right thing and make it happen.whatever that may be!(But i aint holding my breath)

And @tominsocal:
I think a "D" is still being a little too nice!

Posted by: gratefuldid | August 25, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Granted he isn't the physical type the will plaster somebody along the boards but that isn't a requirement from all defensive postures.

One of us will be wrong and nothing personal but I hope it's you! LOL

Posted by: pokerface1208 | August 25, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

you basterd! in all seriousness, you can't have your checking lines populated with players who don't play some type of hardnosed game. Most of the better teams in the league have either 5 or 6 players on their bottom 2 lines who play a tough brand of hockey. The Caps have Bradley and King currently (assuming King is even in the lineup). If we add Pinner, thats 3. If we add Pinner AND AG, that's 4. But that isn't likely. Steckel can play that way but doesn't do it often enough. Chimera, Belanger, BGordo don't compute.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Cstanton

Not a spin job - just my opinion. Wasn't a big fan of giving the guy more than a year anyway b/c of the concussion issue.

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

understandable. But the Caps better have a good plan B. Or are we down now to a plan C?
I look forward to reading your review of the upcoming year after it happens. Sadly, most people don't even get it right then.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Not to mention the biggest "fit" is he'll help with our PK which is atrocious.
------------------------------------

aside from faceoffs, Belanger is like BGordo on the PK. Quick, without accomplishing a whole lot.

You can talk all you want about our D not keeping the crease clear of rebounds and screens. But the key failure of our PP is our forwards not putting enough pressure on the points. And Belanger doesn't do that either.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Did we even offer more than one year? ...at what price? ...and why would any team do that with this guy?
-------------------

you're telling me you're surprised that a team was willing to take him on for more than one year? You get a solid veteran defenseman who can play at both ends of the ice. One of the very few quality FAs out there this offseason. And his concussion history is enough to walk away from a 2 yr deal? please

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse
-------------------------------------------

According to most media outlets the Kings were the ONLY team offering a 2yr deal. Everybody else was 1 yr with bonuses based on games played. His health is a major concern and the Kings decided they needed to take this risk probably after losing out on Kovy.

I'm kinda neutral on the deal though. Do I wish he were here sure but I think I would be on egg shells the whole yr. This guy didn't have just your normal concussion where you're out for a few games or weeks. This guy missed the 2nd 1/2 of the season!

So if my sources are right and there's a better deal with a more healthy player than I'm ok with it.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | August 25, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Brock Lesnar is from Minnesota isnt he? So chances are he can skate. He11, I'd even trade Flash to Dana White to try him out.

Just saying...he could definitely clear a crease.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | August 25, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

maybe Joe Corvo will be available around when the deadline is rolling around.

Posted by: doughless | August 25, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Yes or no, cstanton, would you have given him guaranteed two years at between $3.75-4.0M each?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 25, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

what is this, the mclaughlin group? Is the signing isolated from other moves? Or do I get to do things like dump some contracts (i.e. Flash, Chimera, not sign Belanger etc?)

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 3:53 PM |

I love how cstanton1 rants and rants but is unable to answer one very simple question. Would you have given Mitchell a guaranteed 2 year $3.75M-$4M deal?

gettin him for 2 yrs is a bargain. You lower your exposure for risk if he gets hurt.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 3:55 PM

How does giving Mitchell a longer contract lower a team's risk exposure?

Posted by: sgm3 | August 25, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

So if my sources are right and there's a better deal with a more healthy player than I'm ok with it.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | August 25, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

ok, lets wait and see. I hope this player in question isn't just healthier, but also very capable.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Lesnar grew up on a farm in South Dakota. Pass. :)

Posted by: j3rockstar | August 25, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

On the trade I just saw this. "I am out with a source, so I dont know what of this is out there yet, but I believe the Caps and Sharks may trade for D soon as well." Now this comes from Eklund so big grain of salt.

@ablake. I think no matter who we signed Backstrom was going to be the biggest signing for the Caps. He is one of the top 10 forwards in the NHL and keeping him was huge. His numbers have gone up every year and could soon be better then any center in the NHL not named Crosby.

@underpants

Why would getting Andres Lilja be such a bad thing. How many games were he has played have you watched? As a person who has watched almost every Red Wings game in the last four seasons, since I was finally able to get Center Ice, I have seen him play a lot. He is physical and clears out the crese and knows how to win. That sounds like the kind of guy we need on our team. Sometimes it is not the big name guys that change a team sometimes it is the little role players that do it. Also look at the post I wrote on the him in the last thread for more of what I am talking about.

Posted by: icehammer97 | August 25, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

hey sgm, you're on my official shtlist. So don't even try to crawl under the wire. Dik

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

@pokerface1208

Did I miss one of your posts talking about another deal you are hearing? Do you know the deal but sworn to secrecy or have you just heard a deal is being discussed?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | August 25, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I get why people are POed at flash...but he was not the only one to flop against the Habs...I was very interested in Mitchell, but 3.5 for a player that could very likely never ply again after one more good hit...a bit too risky.

I will definitely be unhappy if the Caps open up without one more solid top 3 D man, but I also think that GMGM knows when to wait and knows when to go...we will get the defenseman we need well before the trade deadline...guys...flash is a 20+ goal scorer who had a crappy playoffs along with 75% of the caps...why are we not calling for green to be traded? I am not opposed to trading flash for the right guy, but if he is still a cap come October I am cool with that as well.

Posted by: capscoach | August 25, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I get why people are POed at flash...but he was not the only one to flop against the Habs...I was very interested in Mitchell, but 3.5 for a player that could very likely never ply again after one more good hit...a bit too risky.

I will definitely be unhappy if the Caps open up without one more solid top 3 D man, but I also think that GMGM knows when to wait and knows when to go...we will get the defenseman we need well before the trade deadline...guys...flash is a 20+ goal scorer who had a crappy playoffs along with 75% of the caps...why are we not calling for green to be traded? I am not opposed to trading flash for the right guy, but if he is still a cap come October I am cool with that as well.

Posted by: capscoach | August 25, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

How does giving Mitchell a longer contract lower a team's risk exposure?

Posted by: sgm3 | August 25, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

someone earlier had mentioned a longer deal than 2 yrs as what it may take to possibly sign him. You ahole

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I would take Lilja inspite of his name

But he's not any grittier than was Jurcina. He lands some decent hits. Will stick up for his teammates here n there. Skates well for his size. But he can be intimidated also. He got roughed up by Shea Weber in a physical game and then looked meek as a mouse after that.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

@j3rockstar

They skate in SD too. Farmboy just means he played on frozen ponds. Sounding more and more like a natural to me. And at what 6ft4 265lbs...nobody will be in our crease. haha

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | August 25, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

..why are we not calling for green to be traded?
-----------

because Green has the requisite NHL strength to compete with other players. He can win battles one on one when he's motivated. Flash is a feather.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

capscoach: We have too many #1 and 2 forwards and not enough:

#3 forwards; #2 center; #1 d-man

Flash can bring something back, more importantly we need the cap space. For instance, move Flash, Fehr can play second line, a younger (cheaper) guy like AGordon can play third line (or Bradley 3rd line and AG 4th).

Finally, Flash is the weakest of our #1/2 forwards.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 25, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

You can talk all you want about our D not keeping the crease clear of rebounds and screens. But the key failure of our PP ["PK" I think] is our forwards not putting enough pressure on the points. And Belanger doesn't do that either.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 4:39

I'm not sure it is all Belanger's fault, or the other forwards' either. I assume that they play it as they are coached. If BB emphasizes not getting out of position and not taking chances, then that's what the players will do.

Posted by: zmega | August 25, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

You still haven't answered tominsocal's very simple question. Would you have given Mitchell a guaranteed 2 year $3.75M-$4M deal?

"someone earlier had mentioned a longer deal than 2 yrs as what it may take to possibly sign him."

I'm pretty sure the article states that all the other teams only offered Mitchell a 1-year deal.

I still would like to know how signing Mitchell to a guaranteed two year deal lowers a team's risk of exposure?

Posted by: sgm3 | August 25, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

well, look at how Matt Cooke attacked the pointmen when he played our system. Very effectively I thought. Speed and aggression and he wouldn't let the pointmen fumble the puck without paying for it. You have got to force the play instead of just sitting in a box. Whether its a system issue or not, Belanger's 5 on 5 style of play isn't conducive to putting pressure on a player along the boards even though he's got the speed to do it. So I'd rather not pencil him in as a regular PKer because he also plays a timid game. Most of our guys do on the PK with the exception of maybe Bradley. But he skates so stiffly and he doesn't quite have the speed to pressure the point. The players we do have with speed (BG and EB) don't have the aggressiveness you want to break up the PP flow. They poke their sticks out.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

You still haven't answered tominsocal's very simple question. Would you have given Mitchell a guaranteed 2 year $3.75M-$4M deal?
-------------------

SGM, you haven't answered my simple question. Do you or do you not practice kissing on your dolls?

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

so far this offseason, the Caps tried to squash all rumors of being active in any way. Despite this, the desperate fanbase has manufactured some interest in certain attractive players. And once again, we're either not in the mix or we're not coming out on top.

Andrew Ladd - i already had you penciled onto our 2nd line and facilitating a Semin trade at some point for a #2 center

AV - I thought Ovechkin had you locked up for 5 yrs at a price that McPhee was willing to pay.

Mitchell - i already had you laying out Crosby with a nice open ice hit before leaving concussed yourself

Bieksa - I still have you throwing some nice future elbows at the heads of Mike Richards and Malkin.

so don't let me down poker. Your boys better come thru!

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Whether it's an issue of personnel or system or some combination of both, I don't see the Caps having the kind of success they want if the PK does not become more aggressive. Last year, it was a joke.

Posted by: zmega | August 25, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

That wasn't my question that was tominsocal's. If you think it is such an inappropriate question take it up with him.

It is quite evident your answer is "no" and you refuse to answer the question because your answer contradicts your past hour+ of rantings of of GMGM was an idiot for not doing so which, in turn, makes you look ridiculous.

Even though you haven't answered tominsocal's question I will still answer your question. The answer is no.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 25, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

@pokerface1208

Did I miss one of your posts talking about another deal you are hearing? Do you know the deal but sworn to secrecy or have you just heard a deal is being discussed?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | August 25, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse
------------------------------------------

I can't really say anything so I guess I am sworn to secrecy in a way. I don't know details but I know it's a D and I know that GMGM was waiting for Mitchell's decision and "something else to happen" then GMGM would act accordingly. I expect this to happen within the next 24hrs if it goes down.

I'm no Eklund but I've been around the block and have made friends all around & all of them know I'm a huge Caps fan so whenever news pops up about us I typically get a text or several. ie. I knew we had talked to Columbus prior to the season starting last yr and the one coming back to us was Chimmer but didn't know who we were sending. Then it didn't go down so I thought it was not gonna happen. I guess when the deal actually went down it all happened within 24hrs so I didn't get that info in enough time but this one I am.

Who knows, this deal may not happen "right now" either but it's close to being completed from what I hear.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | August 25, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

so you don't practice kissing on your dolls. Ok, but you do admit you have dolls.

i don't believe you. I think if your dolls could talk they would tell quite a story.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

so don't let me down poker. Your boys better come thru!


Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse
----------------------------------------
LMAO! Don't kill the messenger bro!

Posted by: pokerface1208 | August 25, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1

its beginning to sound like you already need another vacation in oklahoma

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 25, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

poker, you gotta keep quiet on those trades otherwise those sources will dry up. I can reveal one trade I knew about that almost went down. Enough time has passed.

The caps once offered up Mike Grier, a 2nd rounder and (?) in a trade to the Dallas Stars for Brenden Morrow and Jason Arnott. I can't remember the other particular of the deal. Morrow wasn't as proven yet, he was still playing as a 2nd/3rd liner I think at the time and so he was sorta gettable. But Dallas shot it down last minute. Ended up being the smartest move they could've made.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Who knows, this deal may not happen "right now" either but it's close to being completed from what I hear.

Posted by: pokerface1208

Goddammit. If you know something say it. We are tortured Caps fans for Christ sake!

Posted by: underpants2 | August 25, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1

its beginning to sound like you already need another vacation in oklahoma

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 25, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

i'll be gone labor day. Is that quick enough for you?

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

If GMGM was not sure he was going to bring in an upgrade at d, he should have kept ShaMo. I've got to believe there will be a d-man coming in soon, or the situation makes no sense at all. Maybe we'll be pleasantly surprised in the next few days.

Posted by: zmega | August 25, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

so you don't practice kissing on your dolls. Ok, but you do admit you have dolls.

i don't believe you. I think if your dolls could talk they would tell quite a story.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse
----------------------------------------

Ch Ch Ch Ch CHIA!

Posted by: pokerface1208 | August 25, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Whether it's an issue of personnel or system or some combination of both, I don't see the Caps having the kind of success they want if the PK does not become more aggressive. Last year, it was a joke.

Posted by: zmega

the Caps (Bruce) were incredibly arrogant last yr. They thought by having their powerful offense and PP that they didn't need to focus too hard on their PK and defense. I've seen that arrogance before in other teams and other sports and it usually doesn't end well.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

cstanton: You and sgm remind me of Pat & Dennis, the two brothers down the street on Farmington Rd when I lived in Livonia, MI. One time my mother becomes horrified because Pat & Dennis are in their front yard, fighting with baseball bats. So my mother calls their mother to tell her and their mother just says not to worry, "They do that all the time."

Hopefully at least you guys are using wooden bats.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 25, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

i'll be gone labor day. Is that quick enough for you?

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 5:42 PM

not really as i will be also

i was thinking more of your blood pressure. think about it - oklahoma, a couple dozen M80's, a few sgm3 dolls and a lighter

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 25, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Who knows, this deal may not happen "right now" either but it's close to being completed from what I hear.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | August 25, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

I'll just ask this one question and no more.

Is the player in question who is supposed to be coming here, is he someone who has been discussed on this blog in recent weeks?

and what are his initials....shhhhh

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully at least you guys are using wooden bats.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 25, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

my cousins in Toronto used to fight with knives. My grandma eventually banned them from her home. They're well-adjusted now. One's a cop, one's a photog.

SGM would just batter me into boredom with statistics until I submitted.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

not really as i will be also

i was thinking more of your blood pressure. think about it - oklahoma, a couple dozen M80's, a few sgm3 dolls and a lighter

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 25, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

well, we should plan our vacations more efficiently so that you can benefit from my absence.

good idea about the fireworks though, i like it. I wonder if SGM has a site where he sells his dolls.

We didn't do m80s. We did M1000s. Which was a nice loud bang, but the highlight of the night was me dropping a huge cherry bomb mortar into the wrong launch tube (it was dark and i was drunk) and the frigging thing exploded about 8 feet above our heads. Sh_t was on fire all around us. Luckily nothing burned too badly.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse


Whether it's an issue of personnel or system or some combination of both, I don't see the Caps having the kind of success they want if the PK does not become more aggressive. Last year, it was a joke.

Posted by: zmega

the Caps (Bruce) were incredibly arrogant last yr. They thought by having their powerful offense and PP that they didn't need to focus too hard on their PK and defense. I've seen that arrogance before in other teams and other sports and it usually doesn't end well.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse
-------------------------------------------

I can tell you guys this is absolutely 100% coaching. I thought (was hoping) Bob Woods would come in & change things but he didn't. Our forwards on the PK are way way too passive. They take a position of getting in the middle of the ice to prevent the D to D pass vs preventing the puck from going down low. In this system it forces the D to pass the puck down low & then you have an odd man situation which ends up with the puck in our net. If you look at the goals we gave up on the PK the large majority of them came from forwards down low not the points. It doesn't work and has little to do with personnel. We have guys that can kill penalties but the system is broke. Nobody else does it this way and there's a reason we were in the bottom 5 in PK last yr for the majority of the yr.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | August 25, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

DJ King basically the only signing...good work this summer GMGM.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | August 25, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure what Woods really added to be honest. I think he's a mediocre coach despite what he did in Hershey and he's a little wooden. Doesn't really strike me as a great defensive coach at all. Its almost like he's there to keep Bruce company because they've been together so long. Like how Ron Wilson would tote around Tim Hunter.

Now I was a big fan of Dean Evason's when he played in the nhl. Hated the trade for Jorgen Petterson when it went down. So Dean should be the PK guru out there. But the way we play our PK is very different from how Evason played it.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

I do not have any dolls. Stuffed animals, yes. Dolls, no. Sorry.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 25, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

stuffed animals? jesus. Sounds like a house of horrors.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

So, would you have signed Mitchell to a guaranteed 2 year contract worth $3.75M-$4M per year?

Posted by: sgm3 | August 25, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

you should watch that movie The Devil's Rejects. It may shed some light.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

I think that signing Mitchell was GMGM's first choice for a d-man. If he is still in the market for one, I have to believe that option 2 is to trade Flash for a defenseman, as per the trade rumor generated by Belanger. Which one -- Bieksa, Souray, Komisarek, or another -- is anyone's guess as GMGM holds his cards close to the vest. However, with Mitchell signing with LA, I think Vancouver might keep Bieksa, so GMGM will be looking elsewhere.

Posted by: braunt | August 25, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

whisper "get out"!

Amatyville horror!

Posted by: pokerface1208 | August 25, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

@ pokerface1208

So this trade you're in on, without telling us to much, are you pleased with this trade? Will it improve our D?

Posted by: Walle | August 25, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

you lost me at idiot. You don't get to throw out that word casually and expect me to discuss anything with you. You're in timeout buddy. Until you nut up and beg for forgiveness.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Will it improve our D?

Posted by: Walle | August 25, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse
------------------------------------------

Absolutely

Posted by: pokerface1208 | August 25, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

jesus, its gonna be Kaberle isn't it. Well, that may actually drive me off the boards for a long while.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

It's Rod Langway. Word is leaking that Montreal wants to move him.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 25, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Let's keep it simple. Semin for Chara. Get it done.

Posted by: Dizruption | August 25, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

jesus, its gonna be Kaberle isn't it. Well, that may actually drive me off the boards for a long while.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 6:54 PM

nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 25, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

$3.5M/season is a bit high for Mitchell with the injury concern. It's not completely unreasonable, but more than I expected. Without getting Mitchell I don't see Vancouver moving Bieksa.

Posted by: Stu_c | August 25, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

Would you sign Mitchell to a guaranteed 2 year $3.75M-$4M contract?

That was tominsocal's question, not mine? So why won't you answer his question?

It's clear you answer is no which proves how ridiculous your recent rants were.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 25, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

I didn't realize how bad off the Caps were until I read cstanton and underpanties. Maybe I will root for N.J. They signed AV. I know, I will root for any team that signed a defenseman to a 5 or 6 yr. nmc contract. That has to be a better gm than Mcphee. Ottawa? Pitts? Phily? All these teams have to be better than the Caps now. After all they all signed a single effing dman. I bet LA is now the favorite in the west.

Posted by: nimrodrsp | August 25, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

I think this is the best thing that ever happened to us and to Vancouver. They keep Bieksa now, and we go after the guy we should be trading assets for: Robyn Regehr.

He was always the right guy at the right price - albeit, has 3 years remaining on a $4MM cap hit, but totally worth it. He is exactly the guy we need here. If Stajan was cheaper, I would make it a combo trade, but he is not exactly #2C material at that kind of $s.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | August 25, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Now this is really interesting from SportsBusiness Journal:

By Liz Mullen, staff writer

Former MLBPA Executive Director Don Fehr has agreed to accept the job of NHLPA executive director, according to multiple sources. Attempts to confirm this with Fehr or with the NHLPA were not immediately successful. Sources said other candidates have been informed they are no longer in the running for the top job. The search committee's decision to recommend Fehr would still have to be confirmed by the entire board of player reps, sources said.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 25, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

I know that this board is obsessed with 2C and 1D...but how's this for a bold non-linear move for GMGM:

Sign RW Nicklas Bergfors to an offer sheet $2.5 MM for 4 years. His best years are just around the corner and he is a rat like Knuble around the net. If Belanger is the justification for a second rounder, this is the bargain of the decade.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | August 25, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

I didn't realize how bad off the Caps were until I read cstanton and underpanties. Maybe I will root for N.J. They signed AV. I know, I will root for any team that signed a defenseman to a 5 or 6 yr. nmc contract. That has to be a better gm than Mcphee. Ottawa? Pitts? Phily? All these teams have to be better than the Caps now. After all they all signed a single effing dman. I bet LA is now the favorite in the west.

Posted by: nimrodrsp | August 25, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse
------------------------------------------

Now that's a funny post! In the words of Jim Rome "huge post of the day"! LMAO! It sure would seem that way sometimes huh?

Posted by: pokerface1208 | August 25, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

underpanties! I'm still lmfao over that one. not sure why but it's funny. I promise capt I'm not smokin that good weed they have out here in CO either!

According to cstanton and underpanties! lmmfao!

Posted by: pokerface1208 | August 25, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

I like the idea of trying to sign Staal from the Rangers. Offer him 4 years at $4m per year. If it makes the Rangers mad - so much the better and then try to work out a trade for him if they match the offer.

Posted by: MReilly9 | August 25, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

So disappointed.

Even knowing McPhee's conservative nature, I thought it was a given that this team would FINALLY bring in a good defensive defenseman, or make at least some adjustments to fill some of this team's obvious holes or perhaps even slightly change the complexion of the team that choked against a 8 seed.

Instead we get the same group of guys, plus a 4th liner DJ King, and minus one player who sorta filled that stay-at-home role (Morrisonn).

Why is McPhee so useless? Why is it that in 12 years with exactly ONE playoff win, he still refuses to add the one vital piece that's been missing all along?

Didn't even offer him two years!!

What are you going to do with all that cap room, George -- trade for Chara?!? No, that would require you to give up one of your prized prospects.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | August 25, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

"One more thought on this - the consensus here on CI was Mitchell was worth one year at 3.5, and many thought that would include some performance bonuses. I don't think anyone here said the Caps SHOULD give him a guaranteed, multi-year deal. Add to that the rumor that he "wanted to stay out West." Now put it together. Caps would have needed to offer $4M a year likely over two years to "get er done.""
-------
How do you figure? Caps only offered him 1 year according to the LA Times. Maybe they could have matched the Kings' offer and he would have gone to DC, who knows? All we know is that they didn't.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | August 25, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

like I said before GMGM is very much like Pat Gillick when he was the GM of the bluejays in the mid to late '80s.

till he grows a pair and pulls a trigger like Gillick finally did when he traded away Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez for Joe Carter and Robbie Alomar, it's gonna be the same ole story every year in the playoffs.

Posted by: joek443 | August 25, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

What is the best PK there is? Stop taking stupid penalties.

Posted by: sporttraveler | August 25, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

There is a team that is known for blowing it in the playoffs. This team won the President’s trophy during the season only to lose to the 8 seed in the first round. This team was very strong offensively but had some high priced players who didn’t perform in the playoffs. Many fans wanted that player traded for someone with a better playoff track. What did this do in the offseason? They got another top scorer who was leaving his second NHL city for something off the ice. Incase you don’t know who I am talking about it is the Sharks. Now they didn’t win the Cup this year but they made it to the Western Final.

My point is this. Just because a team doesn’t make the moves the fans want doesn’t mean they aren’t the right moves. We may think we know this team because we follow it all the time but unless you are sitting down with the players and coaches you just don’t know. If BB felt he needed a top D-man or the players felt that way they would have made sure GMGM knew that and he would have pushed for one. If the team as a whole thinks that they have what they need then him going out and getting someone who BB doesn’t want and force it on him.

I find it funny that people talk about King being a knee jerk reaction to other East teams getting enforcers and yet they are having the same knee jerk reaction to a three game stretch that just happened to be the three losses that knocked us out of the playoffs. And don’t give me the “we have lost three straight years” line. 29 teams lose at some point and are eliminated, many of them had a two game lead at some point. Boston blew a 3-0 lead in a series. It was the third straight year they have lost in the first two rounds. They have one more series win then we do in the last three years. Are their fans talking about needing to get rid of a bunch of players? No. All they have added this season is a rookie who has never played an NHL game. But their fans don’t seem to have the doom and gloom attitude that the Cap’s fans seem to have.

Posted by: icehammer97 | August 25, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

There is a team that is known for blowing it in the playoffs. This team won the President’s trophy during the season only to lose to the 8 seed in the first round. This team was very strong offensively but had some high priced players who didn’t perform in the playoffs. Many fans wanted that player traded for someone with a better playoff track. What did this do in the offseason? They got another top scorer who was leaving his second NHL city for something off the ice. Incase you don’t know who I am talking about it is the Sharks. Now they didn’t win the Cup this year but they made it to the Western Final.

My point is this. Just because a team doesn’t make the moves the fans want doesn’t mean they aren’t the right moves. We may think we know this team because we follow it all the time but unless you are sitting down with the players and coaches you just don’t know. If BB felt he needed a top D-man or the players felt that way they would have made sure GMGM knew that and he would have pushed for one. If the team as a whole thinks that they have what they need then him going out and getting someone who BB doesn’t want and force it on him.

I find it funny that people talk about King being a knee jerk reaction to other East teams getting enforcers and yet they are having the same knee jerk reaction to a three game stretch that just happened to be the three losses that knocked us out of the playoffs. And don’t give me the “we have lost three straight years” line. 29 teams lose at some point and are eliminated, many of them had a two game lead at some point. Boston blew a 3-0 lead in a series. It was the third straight year they have lost in the first two rounds. They have one more series win then we do in the last three years. Are their fans talking about needing to get rid of a bunch of players? No. All they have added this season is a rookie who has never played an NHL game. But their fans don’t seem to have the doom and gloom attitude that the Cap’s fans seem to have.

Posted by: icehammer97 | August 25, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

sorry for the two posts. BTW has anyone heard anything about the fan blog?

Posted by: icehammer97 | August 25, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

icehammer, who says the Bruins' fans aren't complaining? They sure weren't happy at the last trade deadline when they were in desperate need of scoring and Chiarelli went out and got Seidenberg (who, incidentally, the Caps probably could have used!). And now I'm sure they'd love nothing more than to have Tim Thomas shipped out now that Rask has taken over the #1 spot.

And that's the thing -- Bruins can't AFFORD to add anyone due to their cap limitations. The Capitals can. They just choose not to.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | August 25, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

I find it funny that people talk about King being a knee jerk reaction to other East teams getting enforcers and yet they are having the same knee jerk reaction to a three game stretch that just happened to be the three losses that knocked us out of the playoffs.
--

good god thats the dumbest argument yet. Yes, lets never react to any playoff loss. Its only 3 or 4 games. Wow. By that logic, if you win 50 games in the reg season every yr and happen to lose 4 games in the 1st round each yr in a 7 gamer, that's still 53 victories and about 36 losses. Damn good winning percentage right! Who cares if they just fell in a funk for a 3 or 4 game stretch. That just happened to be in the playoffs. Unbelievable logic. And it goes to show how little you understand the difference between playoff hockey and regular season hockey. You took that entire difference and threw it right out the window by comparing a 3 game stretch in the playoffs to a 3 game stretch in the reg season.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Hatfield: I am going by the rumor that Mitchell wanted to stay west. Therefore, you would have to beat the LA offer to get him.

Pol Strategist: The only issue with your Bergfors offer is that, supposedly, MaJo and the new Russian center from this year will be ready soon. Supposedly. Well, maybe that isn't an issue. Could Bergfors be a #2 or #3 C (is he defensively capable?). First off, I think the comp for $2.5M/yr is a #2 pick and the Caps don't have one. Now, Belanger is only one more year. Bergfors (is he Swedish, that would help?) would have to fit in thereafter with NB and MJ and possibly the Russian (Kuznetsov, or whatever). We were thinking mostly the center you'd want would be a vet for two years (a bridge) who had the leadership, the savvy, could anchor the PK, and maybe have a Ring. So, I could see where Bergfors might not be ideal.

BUT, if you package MaJo and Flash for a legit #1 D, then maybe.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 25, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

and just in case we missed that awful logic the first time, you went and said it twice didntcha


If losing 4 games in the playoffs was equivalent to losing 4 games in the reg season, why does any team really care about the playoffs anyway? Its all equivalent right? Just do well in the reg season, pad that win percentage, and leave playoff hockey to the fools who want to keep playing instead of honing their golf game. The owners like the extra revenue but the players don't really get to share in it so players should just be happy if they win more games than they lose overall.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

till he grows a pair and pulls a trigger like Gillick finally did when he traded away Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez for Joe Carter and Robbie Alomar, it's gonna be the same ole story every year in the playoffs.

Posted by: joek443 | August 25, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

except i think mcphee already blew his lifetime wad on the blockbuster Zubrus, Linden, Jason Marshall trifecta. Hopefully this latest rumor brewing is rooted in something tangible and we get back a good player for once. And not just a good player according to all the fans who pretend the deal is good only because the Caps swung it. You know who you are you little doll collectors.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

cstanton: You went off today on sgm for calling you an "idiot." Now you refer to icehammer's post as the "dumbest argument yet." I don't know about you, or most people, but "idiot" and "yours is a dumb post" in my opinion is essentially the pot calling the kettle black.

Look, nobody made me board monitor and no one will. I have no business typing this. But, I highly value the opinions you mostly put here and just wish you'd realize that it's really unfair of you to deal with others this way. I have worked hard over the last year or so to improve my civility. I'm not saying you should too. I'm just saying whatever.

Sincerely,
tominsocal1

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 25, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

The President's Trophy argument is getting old. This team has 4 of the top 40 players in the league, had few significant injuries, and were lucky enough to catch other teams when they were down. Of course they won the President's Trophy! Anyone who truly watched the team (RJ Umberger) could tell that more emphasis was placed on individualism than team play. All winning the President's Trophy did was inflate the stats of marginal players so the GMGM would overpay them.

Posted by: ablake70 | August 25, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

with all due respect, calling someone an idiot and saying an argument that someone presented is dumb is a world of difference imo. I see the latter on this blog frequently.

IceHammer attempted to refute my opinion that King was a kneejerk pickup by equating it to fans who felt the season was a failure based on the Caps y'know 'losing a few games in the playoffs'

that's dumber than dumb. She can call my opinion of the King trade dumb if she wanted. That's not as personal as calling someone an idiot. Not to me anyway. That's the line that will invite an all out flame war. If I had started my post by saying "IceHammer, you are a total idiot", I think thats a lot more aggressively hostile than responding to her refutation of my opinion. Frankly, I can't believe she made the argument. Blows my mind. I have never heard anyone try to minimize a playoff series loss by equating it to a minor stretch of reg season games where a team gets into a funk.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

The President's Trophy argument is getting old.
-----------

its not only old. Its an outright crutch. Bad enough that some fans buy into it. But even sadder when you get the impression the GM, owner, and coach use it to minimize the postseason results. I mean seriously, why not come right out and say "hey folks, we're pretty confident we can put together a strong reg season team each and every yr but we really have no clue nor desire to figure out what it takes to win in the playoffs. Everyone ok with that?"

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

All winning the President's Trophy did was inflate the stats of marginal players so the GMGM would overpay them.
--------------------------

ding ding dingity ding!

that's exactly what it did and its something i said 2 months ago. With relation to a player like Flash. The guy is a scrub who goes into hiding when things get tough out there and space isn't as easy to come by. So you end up having to overpay him based on his reg season results. Its awful and it makes me sick. And I hope another team is dumb enough to take him off our hands and give us decent value in return.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

and tom, you can say whatever you want buddy. You're the glue that binds the koolaiders to the reality bites crowd

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Well, cstanton, saying someone is an "idiot" and calling their posts "idiotic" or "dumb" is the same to me. But, we can disagree on the semantics of that.

All winning the President's Trophy did was inflate the stats of marginal players so the GMGM would overpay them.
--------------------------

ding ding dingity ding!

FALSE. The Caps got 121 points. That just so happens to be the 8th most in NHL history (I realize pts are inflated due to SO wins). It's also more if memory serves than the Oilers ever had (I think 119).

I believe that most of us, but some more than others, are falling into a trap of judging the team too much by 7 games rather than 82 games. OTOH, BB and GMGM seem to be guilty of judging the team too much by the 82 rather than the 7.

The truth, as always, lies in between.

To dismiss the reg season and the PT as meaningless or just "stat puffery" is to make the same error in judgment, from the opposite end of the argument line, as when BB says they lost to Mont "simply due to hot goalie."

The bottom line is the Caps, IMO, have the most raw talent in the league. OTOH, the Caps don't know how to win championship round games. Once they learn, assuming they do, they will defeat the teams with lesser talent who otherwise won due to experience or desire.

Talent
Experience
Desire

The group of players ("team") that gets the highest average score in these three components "wins." One thing you can't inject is talent. You may gain experience; you can acquire the desire; but you can't make Matt Bradley become Alex Ovechkin no matter what you do.

It is obvious the Caps need experience and maturity and it is obvious they need to channel their desire to when it counts most. But, you can't discount 121 pts. Only 7 teams have done it before. It is not an abberation.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 25, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

and tom, you can say whatever you want buddy. You're the glue that binds the koolaiders to the reality bites crowd

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 25, 2010 10:59 PM

Actually, cstanton, it means a lot for you to ay this. I am of a mind, the way the good Lord made me or whatever, to be a peacemaker or middle man or whatever. I get a real kick out of listening to both sides. What really surprises ME is when someone, like most do, takes a point of view and argues it as though it MUST BE TRUE. Because, how do any of us know?

Let's take this Willie Mitchell thing. Many here say, "Dang, GMGM blew it on that one!" Others say, "He's a sneeze away from a career ending concussion!" Same with Volchenkov. Good move or bad?

See, we don't know. The thing I do, based on my statistical training, is to never be absolute and always lay odds.

With Mitchell: 55-60% percent chance Kings made a "good deal." I say this because even if he goes on IR, the LTIR takes away the cap hit. But, if Caps had to beat the LA offer, you diminish those odds.

Volchenkov: I had him pegged at like 5 yrs/$25M. So, of course, it was bad for me that he signed elsewhere for less. But, six years NMC with a guy who's had some injuries? I'm going to say 50/50 it turns out good for NJ. Maybe 55/45. Again, like with Mitchell, this isn't a slam dunk. THEREFORE, IMEHO (extremely humble), nobody can with impunity claim GMGM was right or wrong on either. Like one of those political elections right after the polls closed, it's "too close to call until later."

Again, to repeat from earlier today, I will give McPhee the latitude until the puck drops opening night. Flash better be gone; Ersk better not be a top 6 D; we must have a #2C and a new, #1D; and we need to have assembled a checking line that is NHL-worthy.

As the case with almost everything - we'll see.

Respectfully,
tominsocal1

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 25, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

@ tominsocal1

Sorry tom, but I have to disagree. I'm not saying this team is Oilers bad, just that 121 points could have easily been 110 or even 100 points. Lots of one goal wins, lots of wins against better teams with significant injuries.

Early in the season a few posters were blasted on these boards for stating the Caps were just winning on luck and talent. The response was always "We must be great because we're in first place!" Then the playoffs came and the first place team was bounced by a healthy Habs squad. Sorry, but I don't think it was a fluke. This team tried to play the same way they had all season, individual heroics by their top guns, but was shutdown by a team that played as a unit.

Posted by: ablake70 | August 25, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

The King trade was good, I just wish there was more to go along with it..

Posted by: richmondphil2 | August 25, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Then the playoffs came and the first place team was bounced by a healthy Habs squad. Sorry, but I don't think it was a fluke. This team tried to play the same way they had all season, individual heroics by their top guns, but was shutdown by a team that played as a unit.

Posted by: ablake70 |

Considering that same injured Habs team (by the way, the Habs were not healthy, they were without their best player) also bounced the returning Cup champs, I don't think anyone thinks it was a fluke.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | August 25, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Willing to give GMGM benefit of the doubt on this one. Of course this is all speculation, but the rumor was GMGM was waiting to ink Belanger until another trade went through. Perhaps the trade (or whether it made sense) depended on whether we were able to sign Mitchell.

Of course I reserve the right to *facepalm* if the puck drops in October with no roster changes.

Posted by: Raber | August 25, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

Would you sign Mitchell to a guaranteed 2 year $3.75M-$4M contract?

@tominsocal1

On your 11:16 pm post, I agree with everything.

On Mitchell what is a risky signing for one team may not be a risky signing for another based on many factors.

If the Caps signed Mitchell for $3.75M/year through 2011-2012 that would likely have prevented them from signing some of pending UFAs and RFA such as Semin, Laich, Knuble, Varly, Neuvy, Alzner and whoever else.

This wouldn't matter that much if Mitchell comes back and plays like he previously has. But if he returns as a shell of his former self(which is possible with his injury history) then the Caps would be forced to deal with a $3.75M cap hit on a poor player and then not be able to re-sign some of the above mentioned players. That could have serious effects on the Caps from 2011-2012 onward.

The Kings, with their salary cap status, are in a different position. They have plenty of room to re-sign Doughty and Jack Johnson next year regardless of the Mitchell signing. So if Mitchell bombs it is highly unlikely to have a long term effect on the team. Teams like the Caps, Sharks and Canucks were not able to take that chance given their current salaries but the Kings could.

I was a huge proponent of Mitchell and would have loved to have seen the Caps sign him to a 1 year deal. I would have gone as high as a 1 year $3.5M deal for him and maybe even 1 year $3.75M. But that second year at such a high price given his risks was just too much given the Caps future salary cap contstraints.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 26, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Considering that same injured Habs team (by the way, the Habs were not healthy, they were without their best player) also bounced the returning Cup champs, I don't think anyone thinks it was a fluke.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | August 25, 2010 11:47 PM

Marakov played against the Caps, was injured against the Pens (just ask Mike Green ;-). The Pens as defending champions were not a strong as the year before and were worse than the Caps against the trap. For a 121 point team, the Caps were not dominate. Hindsight, but I think the only Eastern Conference playoff teams the Caps could have beaten were the Sens and maybe the Pens.

Posted by: ablake70 | August 26, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

@richmondphil2

Yeah, I forgot that the Habs beat the Pens even though Markov tore his ACL in game 1 of that series. So the Pens actually lost to a weaker team than the Caps were playing.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 26, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

ablake70: Respectfully, you are guilty of "statistical tampering."

Let me say, not as a point of proof of anything, but I get mid-1's to do this as a living. You are talking about what we call "actuals." You can't get dismiss the Caps' 121 pts as a fluke based on all the other teams had bad games. I could come back with, Theo was messed up early, Ovi missed some agmes, whatever.

What you do, honestly, if you work with statistics, is you take the actuals, the conclusion, as aa given. Now, of course, like with manufacturing performance on a production line, like maybe they did 40% performance to standards (aka 2.5 realization factor), that you must undertand the reasons so you can equate that to whatever going forward.

BUT, you can't just say that the 40% could just as easily have been 30% because "..." and more than you can say it could have been 50% "..." Actually, you can say both, but you can't say one or the other.

So, my poinit, the Caps could have easily (based on statistics dna ending with 121 pts) had 131 pts as 101 pts (I do this because going up has limitations closer to going down).

In essence, ablake, you are arguing that the Caps were "incredibly fortunate" to get 121 pts and they got "every gfreen light" and that the statistical variables, had they been turned at all, would have all worked in the negative, to the downside. You are saying everything went right and that the Caps did, essentially, as good as they possibly good.

I don't buy that.

If you have evidence, or stats, or something (you've stolen BB's diary), let me know. Believe it or not, I'm not a closed-minded person. If there's one thing in life I'm always prepared to do, besides pour that next drink, is to learn something new so that I can revise the argument that I thought I had cemented in the concrete recesses of my own rock head.

Please. Indulge me with data.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 26, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

ablake: One stat you have in your "favor," and I am unsure on this, but I am thinking the Caps loss to Habs was the most or one of the 3 or so most losses in NHL Playoff history based on reg season pt differential.

In have put the blame, you can read my back posts, mostly on BB. Mainly, Martin changed styles beginning in game 5 (clogging the slot) and BB refused to change in return.

I don't know BB in person of course but from appearances I'm thinking he's a rock-headed kind of guy.

Not that anyone on CI is rock-headed by way of comparison. No, not at all.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 26, 2010 12:18 AM | Report abuse

@icehammer
@cstanton
@tominnocal

We look better than we are because we don't play the old Patrick division schedule anymore. Our talent isn't that great. Habs showed us that. (A piss poor Rangers team had us down 1-3.)

Cstanton is right. All the P-trophy did was make us overpay for a scrub like Flush. Let's pray we do get some value for him. I can't watch this guy for another play off series.

That Zubrus trade was awful. Zed was missed, and Linden was a bucket of mud.

King is a beast, and I'm glad he's here.

Enough of this business that the Habs beat the Cup champs. You stuck a great defenseman,Gill, on the other team. Pens were a much better team their cup year. No comparison at all. We beat the Habs if Gill isn't chuckin' Golden Boy Fehr around like a rag doll. (We then lose to the Flyers as Pronger chucks around Golden Boy Fehr.)

Rack me!

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | August 26, 2010 12:29 AM | Report abuse

@ tominsocal1

No, I don't work in statistics. Just basing my statement on observation. Some examples

-The game against the Flyers when Ovi was out. The Caps had a 9 minute PP (thanks Carcillo) and the Flyers team pretty much shut it down after that.

-The Carolina game when Ovi was thrown out for kneeing. I believe that is the same game the Canes lost Corvo to Alzner's skate and decided to goon it up instead of play.

-The 3-2 at Verizon against the Wings when Babcock inexplicably played Chris "I haven't had a good regular season in years" Osgood instead of Howard.

-Finally, the 4-3 win against Chicago. The Caps were able to make that amazing comeback because after 10 minutes of waiting, a drop of blood trickled down Semin's nose and the Caps got a 4 minute PP. Some people will say that Ovi was out for that game, but Hossa didn't play either

I'm not saying the Caps aren't a good team, just that they weren't as dominate as their 121 points would indicate. IMO, there was quite a bit of luck that lead to 121 points, just like there is luck (good and bad) for every team.

Posted by: ablake70 | August 26, 2010 12:35 AM | Report abuse

OK, I am reading my 12:08 post where every other word was misspelled. (Or, should I type, misspeled?)

Now, I know I can type; and I know I can spell; and I know I can construct an argument based on facts and logic.

There's just this little matter of a bottle and a half of wine.

So perhaps we may conclude:

1) wine doesn't dampen my deductive powers;
2) wine doesn't stop me from being civil;
3) wine doesn't prevent me from constructing a logical argument;
4) wine makes me not be able to fu**in type.

So there. If you have to type, don't drink wine. I believe we can conclude that.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 26, 2010 12:36 AM | Report abuse

I don't know BB in person of course but from appearances I'm thinking he's a rock-headed kind of guy.

Not that anyone on CI is rock-headed by way of comparison. No, not at all.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 26, 2010 12:18 AM

No, I can't think of anyone on this blog that can be labeled "rock-headed". LOL!

I agree with you about BB (surprise!), but I don't think he did anything different than in the regular season. His answer to any problem has always been more Ovi and Green. It worked during the regular season, so it must work in the playoffs, right?

Posted by: ablake70 | August 26, 2010 12:43 AM | Report abuse

@ tominsocal1

There is nothing wrong with drinking wine while blogging. Sometimes it is a necessity,

@sgm3

I wouldn't make a decision to improve my young D on whether it will leave enough money to re-sign Laich and Knuble next year. I know fans love those guys, but they are role players. There are cheaper versions of them if their salary demands are unreasonable. So yes, I would've signed Mitchell at that price.

Posted by: ablake70 | August 26, 2010 12:57 AM | Report abuse

One last note, Huntsforcoach, on Caps reg season:

Caps only played 6 ea vs SE opponents. Someone has put stats before but Caps I think did better vs non-SE than vs SE.

So, I don't think being "outside Patrick Division" is a statistical component, one way or the other, in the 121 pt argument.

Again, only 8 times in NHL history has any team had 121 pts. Had we played all 82 games vs Toronto or Edm OK I could see but we got 121 pts against a representative schedule against all teams.

Now, I've had a bottle and a half of wine, so maybe I'm misunderstanding something.

Then again, if Ernest Hemingway could write novels after drinking wine, beer and cocktails all day long, I should at least be able to construct a blog post after only having wine with and after dinner.

BTW, Ernest would have made one he!!uva hockey fan.

Any Hemingway fans out there? Lindsay? Katie? I've read I think every word he's had published. Let's get a Hemingway blog going here.

It was cold and dark in the arena and as the Capitals players skated onto the ice from their bench the women in the stands all wore sweaters.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 26, 2010 12:58 AM | Report abuse

It was cold and dark in the arena and as the Capitals players skated onto the ice from their bench the women in the stands all wore sweaters.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 26, 2010 12:58 AM

the women, foresaking the cold, in an attempt to combat the dark - one by one pulled the sweaters up and over their heads - and a sea of headlights broke through that darkness. it was at this time that a faceless voice said "drop the d*mn puck already!"

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 26, 2010 1:24 AM | Report abuse

Hey, ablake, you know there is a time in every man's life when he says "Enough!" of wine-drinking.

And so I have reached that point tonight.

Consequently, I just poured myself a double shot of Sauza Commemorativo. Hot dang, maybe it was a triple shot.

You know, interesting that you brought up Laich. For 2011-12, signing him and Semin are the two primary salary cap considerations. Now, and let me be respectful here, and not trample on your statement, woe be it for me to override the free opinion of another, more worthy, Caps fan, but Laich's point total, and I'm not looking it up now, too busy, too tired, too much trying to make a Hemingwayesque sentence, maybe too much having too much wine, but with Laich being, I believe, in the 60 pt range, I am of the belief, just me now, maybe 1 1/2 bottles of wine and the Sauza also talking though, but I'm going to suggest that he's, given that point total, more than just a "role player."

There. It was tough, but I got it all out.

Here's my opinion of Brooks Laich:

On teams with a weak offense, he's a very good 2nd line forward.

On teams with a great offense, he's an above-average 3rd line forward.

He's a player most any team would be happy to have. Sure, though, he can step it up.

His next contract will be a four-year deal 2011-2015 for $15M for a cap hit of $3.75M.

Based on my skill calling Backie, Schultz, Fehr, Flash contracts, you can take that one to the bank.

If he learns to step it up, really step it up, he can be Billy Guerin. But I don't think that is within the make-up of Brooks Laich. Oh well. In the end, really and truly, life is just what it is. No more and no less.

nostrathomas

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 26, 2010 1:25 AM | Report abuse

Capt Kirk, by God, don't get me going, but if all those women pulled their sweaters over the heads, exposing those headlights...

You know, as a husband and a father of three daughters in their 20s, I should be more respectful.

Uh...why?

BTW, when I die, and St Peter says I get one request, I'm telling him I want to go back on Earth and attend a hockey game with Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

I expect the interplay between the two will be much the same as we have here with cstanton and sgm.

Except that the other two could drink and cstanton and sgm obviously can't.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 26, 2010 1:37 AM | Report abuse

Why is everyone getting so worked up over Mitchell. He is a good solid player, but no game changer by any strecth. To listen to most, we just lost out on the Nick Lidstrom sweepstakes. I would rather see GMGM wait to make the real impact move than throw money at someone simply to do "something."

Posted by: stork95 | August 26, 2010 6:15 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal;

Ok,Ok,Ok,we get it.You like to drink wine.You passed out yet??!! you got visions of data/stats sugarplums dancing through ur head?!

Posted by: gratefuldid | August 26, 2010 6:26 AM | Report abuse

1. sgm3 is the most annoying individual who posts on this blog. PERIOD!

2. GMGM better have something up his sleeve or this off season is an F outside of the Backstrom signing.

Posted by: PhilR | August 26, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Did any else think that the only reason Mitchell came to visit DC was to drive up the offering price for other teams. It is quite possible even probable that he never had any intentions of signing here?

Posted by: RichC3 | August 26, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

RichC3,

I'm sorry but it is a GM's job IMO to be able to read things like that, make an offer, give a specific timeframe for the player to respond and move on to the next option if the timeframe is not met. To allow Mitchell to do this on his terms, once again IMO, was a failure not only on GMGM's part but the GM's of the other teams involved as well. Mitchell is a good player but he is no Bobby Orr or Gordie Howe.

Posted by: PhilR | August 26, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

wish we had some savvy veterans to mentor our young d. i like la's approach. have scuderi/mitchell to help out doughty/johnson. green/schultz/carlson/alzner could use somebody to show them how its done.

Posted by: brian58 | August 26, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Nimrodrsp wrote:

"McPhee hasn't done a thing to improve the defense. Don't say Carlson and Alzner, we had them last year. Think more in terms of Sloan/Erskine, one of them is a starter."

Stop the Johnny E pile on. A look at his numbers shows he is not that bad.

+16 with zone differential of +1.58 ( fourth amongst D men)

Posted by: congero | August 26, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Rich

I made that point yesterday re: driving the price up. I agree with your assessment.

Phil: Why would you make the offer and then basically pull it a week later? The Mitchell camp was driving the price up, and if the Caps overpaid, they would have taken it. Smartly, in my opinion, they didn't overpay and he went to the highest bidder. GM did not think that 2 yrs/7 mil was a wise move that would fit into this years and next years financial picture, especially if he gets a concussion.

I think, in this case, GM did fine. Let's see what the next step is, if anything.

Posted by: jeets | August 26, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

jeets,

I believe you answered your own question. It has been out for quite some time that LA offered two years when he visited them and GMGM knew (according to sources anyway) that he was only willing to offer a one year deal. Should have moved on to the next option at that point IMO along with the other GM's that only were willing to offer one year deals unless you were offering a HUGE one year deal. Once again, just my opinion on what I think should happen BUT I am no gm and willingly admit that.

Posted by: PhilR | August 26, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

@Rich and @jeets

I also agree that Mitchell may have used Washington to drive up his price. This is common in all walks of busines and is not unexpected.

"sgm3 is the most annoying individual who posts on this blog. PERIOD!"

@PhilR

What was so annoying about my post last night? But it is nice to know you think of me as the best. Thanks!

Posted by: sgm3 | August 26, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Phil

Understood...

I guess on a whim you try to offer one year in hopes that the player may very much want to play with Ovi et al. and know that its a long shot but a shot worth taking.

I would think that waiting on an answer from Mitchell would not keep GM from making alternative plans. If the offer is out there and GM finds another willing participant, then you pull the Mitchell offer, or let it die on the vine (that ones for Tonimsocal!).

Posted by: jeets | August 26, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

For those waiting for the trade deadline, anticipate who the sellers will be. In the new NHL, with 3 point games, there will be few sellers, most teams will have a shot at the playoffs come deadline.

NY Islanders, Toronto, Florida, Columbus, Edmonton, Carolina

That maybe it. You may have 24 teams trying to deal with 6.

To say McPhee can automatically improve this team at the deadline may be a pipe dream.

Posted by: underpants2 | August 26, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

@underpants2

I think there is a good chance Brad Richards is dealt at the deadline given the mediocrity of Dallas, his contract status, and the current financial situation of the team.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 26, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

I think there is a good chance Brad Richards is dealt at the deadline given the mediocrity of Dallas, his contract status, and the current financial situation of the team.

Posted by: sgm3

OK, could be. Be if you are trying to get Richards at the deadline, there may be a bidding war. What is the cost of Brad Richards in March? Player, prospect, 1st rounder, at least. Keep in mind, it's probably a rental.

I am not opposed to giving up what is needed, just talking here.

Am I wrong, or is this season just too important to hope you can improve at the deadline?

Posted by: underpants2 | August 26, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

UP

Your point is understood - especially by all GMs - but there are also teams willing to trade offense for defense or goalie for offense or prospects for others etc-
it's not just limited to teams out of contention.

Posted by: jeets | August 26, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Tominsocal

when you wake up, take a look at an article yesterday in the NYTimes (on line) called The Soul of Bourdeaux - or I can email to you.

I mentioned this in a previous post today but it was flagged because I used the B word (rhymes with itch)

Posted by: jeets | August 26, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

@underpants

Richards would absolutely only be a rental. Waiting for the trade deadline is definitely risky for all of the reasons you listed.

One of the positives though is that you can afford players with larger contracts(like Richards) that you wouldn't have been able to afford if you had them for the entire season because of the pro-rating of contracts.

But, as you stated, there are plenty of negatives too.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 26, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

A two-year deal for a 33-year old defenseman with a history of concussions at $3.5M appears to be a little high. One hard hit and Willie Mitchell would be nothing more than a huge cap hit for two years and fans would be all over GMGM. I think the Caps have plenty of time to wait before making a deal to upgrade the defense. Flash will be dealt at some point, but the question is whether he'll be part of a package.

I think GMGM's being patient to see how quickly Carlson and Alzner develop as a pairing before making any trades. He also has Poti's expiring contract will may be an asset to trade closer to the deadline.

Posted by: wizfan89 | August 26, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

This was a good take on the Mitchell contract and it didn't even consider the ramifications on 2011-2012.

http://peerlessprognosticator.blogspot.com/2010/08/well-thats-that.html

Posted by: sgm3 | August 26, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Did people see this: http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/34718-The-Hockey-News-201011-NHL-regular-season-predictions-No-1.html

At least the Hockey News thinks well of the Caps.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 26, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

@congero...hey, it looks like you gave a quote that I did not make. Anyway, Caps versus SE 19-3-2: all west 9-5-3: and against A & NE 26-7-8. I think the Caps did better against A & NE than they did against SE.

Posted by: nimrodrsp | August 26, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

jeets: Thx for the article. Read it. Very interesting.

Yesterday I asked about Marc Staal, what value. CStanton - maybe you can slot his value given these comparables:

Phaneuf 6.5; Green 5.25; Weber 4.5; Meszaros 4.0; Enstrom 3.75; Hjalmarsson 3.5; Suter 3.5; Letang 3.5; Carle 3.4; Vlasic 3.1; Quincy 3.1.

Anyone else w/opinion, please chime in. I call this, "Name That Contract!"

Anyway, you'd think someone would force the NYR hand just as SJ did with the Hawks. This was last year, btw:

Over $3,013,434 to $4,520,150 First-round and third-round choice
Over $4,520,150 to $6,026,867 First-round, second-round and third-round choice
Over $6,026,867 to $7,533,584 Two first-round choices, one second- and one third-round choice
Over $7,533,584 Four first-round choices

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 26, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I see the Mystics are carrying on the Ted Leonsis playoff tradition.

Posted by: hockeypuck2 | August 26, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal

Staal should get money around $4.5M. I said the other day it would have to be north of that to get the Rangers to walk away. I would not be shocked to see Doug Wilson come in an offer an offer sheet. On his actual value though I'd put it at $4.25M per season over a 4 year deal.

Posted by: ThePat | August 26, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=AvqsNlzvL_c7YpWM2jg.PF4RvLYF?slug=jp-marlinsfinancials082410

here's one more reason why we should never believe any team owners when they say they're losing millions.

Posted by: joek443 | August 26, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

@joek443

Great article. It just further supports the argument that taxpayers should never help pay for the construction of these stadiums.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 26, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

August sucks - can October get here already?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | August 26, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

So does anyone think that Billy Guerin can help out this team for a year or 2? I would think that there may be some interest in him by the Caps.

Posted by: jbears1 | August 26, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Guerin would be a great pick up for the Caps. He is only looking for a one year deal. He would be a key role player and leader to get them to the Cup.

Posted by: burghfan58 | August 26, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

jbears1,

No room for Guerin as long as you have Flash, Fehr, Laich, Brads and a couple Hershey boys waiting in the wings. Swing some deals with some of these guys to get the 2C and 1D thee need and I would welcome Guerin with open arms!

Posted by: PhilR | August 26, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton. You are saying I am wrong because I am not saying the playoffs are the only thing that matters and some are having a knee jerk reaction to three games. The Habs are a much better team then both of you seem to give them credit for. Not only did they beat us but also the defending Cup champs. You could use the we choke in the playoffs excuse for us but what about them. They had just went to their second straight final and won the year before. They also had the Habs down two facing elimination and lost.

Hunterforcoach the Pens were still a very strong team. They still had scoring and didn't have Goncher hurt like they did for their Cup run.

Posted by: icehammer97 | August 26, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I'd be happy with just September. At least training camp would start.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | August 26, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

icehammer97,

The Pens were no where near the team they were the previous Cup winning season. No Gill, No Scuderi, etc etc....The Caps choked, plain and simple.

Posted by: PhilR | August 26, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Billy G. would be a great fit for this team--a team that hasn't learned how to win in April yet. You can always find a place for the character, grit, and Stanley Cup mojo that Guerin has. He'd score 10, maybe 15, and a one year deal would be worth the risk.

Posted by: redrocker2 | August 26, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

@pokerface

call your source and see whats up. Did the possible trade fall through?

Posted by: ThePat | August 26, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Nostratomas - I seriously need you to look into the future. I typically deal with life on a day by day basis but there is something in the future that is lurking that I am very stressed and concerned about. My fears have been going on for a while and I just can't wait anymore. Espeially with the news of Don Fehr becoming the leader of the NHLPA. I figure if Bettman is losing sleep over this news I probably should too. You see the sports landscape in the US is about to change. The NFL will have a lockout next yr, the NBA will too and I'm afraid the NHL will have their 2nd. You see the NHLPA believes with Fehr as their leader they can ELIMINATE the hard cap! Yes folks this is 100% true! Fehr has negotiated the MLB "profit sharing" model that does NOT include a hard cap.

Remember the NHL is the ONLY sport of the 4 major sports where the majority of the revenue comes from ticket sales and merchandise sales. There is no huge TV contract. Each team gets approx $2M for our TV contract! Wow huh?

So Nostratomas, please tell me my fears are just that, fears! I understand that I'm asking you for an extremely daunting task in that it's 2 YEARS into the future but still! LOL!

3yrs from now the sports landscape will not be the same in the US.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | August 26, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

the difference between the NHL and the other leagues is that they can survive a work stopage, the NHL cannot.

Donal Fehr may be a tough negotiator but he's not stupid, even he knows another work stoppage means the death sentence of the sport in this country.

Posted by: joek443 | August 26, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

ThePat - I sent out a few texts this morning and have yet to hear back so I'm on it buddy. Trust me I'm very anxious as well! :)

Posted by: pokerface1208 | August 26, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I am not sure that CHOKE is the right word. I do believe that they read the press clippings and believed everything written about them. They forgot that hard work and defense are important in the playoffs not just razzle dazzle. Until the TEAM understands this then no single Dman is going to make a difference. Somehow BB needs them to become accountable for their actions or sit out games until they do. We will know the mindset of the team after 8 or 10 games. Lets drop the puck already!!!

Posted by: nimrodrsp | August 26, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

pokerface:

Are you having fears or fehrs?

One thing I expect is a new and better TV contract. That in itself, since the players get like a 54% slice of the pie, will increase the cap and therefore salaries.

What this comes down to, in all sports, is greed. Most of the country is struggling. Meanwhile we have millionaires fighting on who gets what piece of billions of dollars.

I myself feel that hockey has an almost perfect system (the Kovy-type contracts must be eliminated). The owners are protected from overspending and the players are covered for when rvenues increase. Whether it's Don Fehr or Eric Fehr in charge of the NHLPA, the players should just say they will go forward with essentially the same terms and conditions on the next deal. And the owners should too. They don't have to worry about signing rookies to ridiculous contracts (like NFL and MLB) and they can pretty much plan out exactly their expected costs for the year.

nostrathomas says they should just modify the CBA to rid the sport of the cap-circumventing deals and then sign for another seven years.

Like Larry the Cable Guy says, "Get er done."

Meanwhile, I'll check the ice chips tonight and see what they predict. It's been over 100 every day though so they've been melting fast.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 26, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Donal Fehr may be a tough negotiator but he's not stupid, even he knows another work stoppage means the death sentence of the sport in this country.

Posted by: joek443 | August 26, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse
------------------------------------------

I sure do hope you're right here. There is a lot of "unrest" in the NHLPA and this next CBA could be the most important in the sports history. Even more important than the lockout as this one could create another lockout. If Bettman and Fehr can work together professionally and have a good relationship the NHL could be set for decades, if not every CBA will have potential for strikes/lockouts.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | August 26, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Poker

I share your _____ but I'm not sure fear is the right word. The landscape of sports is always evolving, propelled by the mighty dollar. Your statement about the landscape changing in the next 3 years is valid, but you need to look to the past as well. Every 3-5-7 years the landscape changes. Take the NHL for instance.

Change can be good, but I think you'll see compromises such as uniform advertisements a la Nascar and all Eurpoean sports.

Im sure NostraThomas will be better at talking you off the ledge.

Posted by: jeets | August 26, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

@phil, so that means one of the two players that made a team a Cup winner instead of a seocnd round exit was on the team that beat us according to your logic. That means with him the Habs should have been a second or third round team because they have such an important player. Was the team that lost in the final better then the Cup team because it had those d plus a 40 goal winger in Hossa? Saying a team wasn't as good because olf one or two players is placing way too much value on those players.

Posted by: icehammer97 | August 26, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

icehammer97,

You do realize that we are talking about two of their top four Dmen right??!! That type of loss will put a serious hurt on any team especially a Cup champ. I believe they lost a couple others as well but would have to research that. Guess we will agree to disagree but can't understand how you can't see losing a 3rd of your D corp would not make your team weaker!

Posted by: PhilR | August 26, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Tom,I hope you are right, but I don't think the players bring in Donald Fehr to get them a more-or-less straight-forward extension. Fehr is a war-time consigliere.

Posted by: zmega | August 26, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I think the NHLPA would be willing to go with a similar deal to the current CBA. The reported problem is that the NHL owners want decrease the size of the pie the players get(supposedly it would decrease the cap about $8M).

Yes, they are miliionaires fighting with billionaires, but I would understand the players being against a decrease in the size of the pie. Especially considering how much the players gave up after the lockout.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 26, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Reposting my comment on an earlier post I just read:

If they really want to increase the number of goals without changing too much just prohibit players from flopping like a goalie to block shots. Added benefit would be a reduction in injuries. They would still be allowed to block shots with their sticks, but not with their bodies by diving into shooting lanes.

And before someone goes crazy and jumps on my back for screwing with the game all this would do is let the goalies handle all the shots as they were meant to do originally.

Posted by: ranndino | August 26, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Breaking News:

There is no news to break.....just testing the system.

Posted by: ThePat | August 26, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

@Capt. Kirk & Tominsocal

If you guys are looking for more Caps company to help root the Caps on at Jobbing.Com, I live in Phx and can join in the fun. I don't post on here too much, but read and respect your opinions and would enjoy hanging with you guys.

Posted by: stuffedinvader | August 26, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Bill Guerin is now available. The Pens released him.

Posted by: stwasm | August 26, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

stuffed: Surely. Get ahold of Capt Kirk. I think he's going to arrange for the tickets. Hopefully we'll be enough for group discount. Plus maybe as a big group of caps fans they can put us on TV when the Caps score.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 26, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

ranndino,

If you want offence, change the size of goalie equipement.

Look at pictures of goalies in the 80's and then the late 90's forward. The equipement is twice as big and weighs fractions compared to the old stuff. My sons leg pads weigh less then my old wooden sticks. Back in the day those suckers would get water logged and weigh 10-15 pounds each by the end of a game. Try kicking those babies on a 20-30 foot slapshot low and away late in the 3rd.

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | August 26, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Tom & Capt Kirk - Capt I'm not sure if you can arrange it or not but it would be great if we could get all of our tix together and maybe a group discount like Tom mentioned.

It sucks being in Colorado because this stupide schedule change only gets the Caps out here every other year.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | August 26, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

pokerface: I emailed you back and also sent the captain's email.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 26, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

@Capt. Kirk & Tominsocal

If you guys are looking for more Caps company to help root the Caps on at Jobbing.Com, I live in Phx and can join in the fun. I don't post on here too much, but read and respect your opinions and would enjoy hanging with you guys.


Posted by: stuffedinvader | August 26, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse
------------------------------------------

Absolutely! The more the merrier! Not sure if you caught it or not but we're looking at the game 2/14 when the Caps will be there then heading to LA and SJ. You're more than welcome to join for whichever part you'd like.

Have you been to any Caps games there yet? How are the Caps represented in AZ? I live in CO and we are always represented very well here.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | August 26, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I don't want Guerin. He's old..he's starting to float. We have Knuble, who has way more tread on the tires.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | August 26, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

My feeling is that the caps are making a push for Komisarek for flash. 4.5 cap hit a concern but he is a legit #1 D. Move makes sense for both clubs.

Posted by: t-bone67 |

Komisarek is not that good. Burke doesn't want a pansy like Flash anyway.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | August 26, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Capt Kirk and Tominsocal... It would be great to hang with some Caps fans. I am hitting all the games, Phx, Ana and SJ... If someone is getting group tix, let me know. I am in. My email is stevesdad@hotmail.com

GO CAPS!!

Posted by: Hunter21 | August 26, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

for me to shut up? prolly 20 days now. 4 or 5 yrs ago I'd say it'd buy you guys 3 months of monastic-level silence.

Posted by: cstanton1 |

What an exaggeration. Regehr was only good 4-5 years ago? You keep talking about youth, Regehr is in his prime, and for some reason you want to get down on him hard like he is coming up on 40 and is done. Yet, you seem to give Souray a free-ride to "rebound", despite his play dipping more south than Regehr ever has.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | August 26, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

stuffedinvader:
when the coyotes announce single game tickets for sale (in about 2 weeks) - i'll be checking on how many tickets it will take to get a group discount.
we've discussed seating (caps o zone for two periods) and was thinking sec 113 and any rows o->z. sec 113 would also have a view of the benches.
take a look at the arena and let us know what you think.
http://www.seats3d.com/nhl/phoenix_coyotes/

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 26, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Hunter21:
i've saved your e-mail
also - take a look a the seating

stuffedinvader:
if you want - you can post an e-mail address i can use for you.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 26, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Capt, this keeps up we get the whole section!

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 26, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

tominsocal1:
if there are enough of us - i might have to dvr the game to see if we get any 'camera' time

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 26, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

All these months we've been speculating about free agents and trades...suppose GMGM has just been sitting in his office playing Farmville or something? I'm not convinced they think we need big changes. Listen to BB's comments just a week or so back...still blaming the "hot" goaltender. The current lineup may be what it is come October. Man I feel dumb spending the summer checking for big moves everyday only to find its only other teams...

Posted by: kcbrichmond | August 26, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

@kcbrichmond

Get used to it. That is how this team operates. Ted Leonsis is in this for the business he gets in return. I don't think he is in it at all to win the Cup. I say that because of the "I want to be good every year" statements that he is always making. What I take from those comments is the fact that they think that as long as they are good every year that they will continue to be able to sell out the place. And also GMGM's statements about "We drafted them, we are going to play them" or something like that. I take that as, we are going to stick with the guys that we drafted and try to make that work so that it validates what we (the front office) do on a daily basis.
I know it is an old cliche that the fans, especially the ones that shell out 2K+ a year on this team, should have a voice. But it is true. If you spend 2k+ a year on something, you want some kind of return. And while the team has made progress over the last three years, they still haven't done what they promised, and that is to do everything they could to win the cup. While they have created a foundation(Ovechkin 11 more years, Backstrom 10 more years, etc....) they haven't gone out and taken that big risk type of move that takes you from being a contender to being a champion. And personally, after watching Mcphee work for the past 13 years or so, I don't think that they will ever make that type of move. So every year they go into the playoffs with a soft defense and not enough heart and hope to make that work. Yeah yeah, I know there are alot of people that are going to say that if you are unhappy with paying 2k+ a year then don't renew for the following year. To those folks, I say "absolutely not". I am going to stay on for as long as I can affort it and I am going to enjoy riding this organization, until they actually come through with a promise that was made a long time ago! Sorry about the rant.

Posted by: rockinthered1 | August 26, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Wait, wait, wait! When did I become a woman?

I know full well thde difference between playoff and regular season. All I am saying is there are about 10 teams in this league that have about the same shot to win the Cup and the Caps are on of those and one player will not change the likelihood by much at all. Not saying it wouldn't help but bounces and injuries play a much bigger part in the playoffs. You can also talk about BB and his style all you want but the influence of coaches has been blown way out of proportion in this blog. The Pens went to back to back Cup Finals with to different coaches with two completly different styles.

I know it is getting close to the start of the season and people want to start talking hockey but seasons are not won in August.

Posted by: icehammer97 | August 26, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

@rockinthered

I agree with 100% as will many others on here that have been fans for more than 3 years.

Posted by: ThePat | August 26, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

@rockinthered. GMGM and Ted have tried the getting big name guys to go with a decent core. They got Jagr, Lang, and some others to go with Bondra, Olie, and a core the was fairly strong. In the three years we had Jagr we made the playoffs once and lost in the first round. We tried to buy a team in the past with big risk guys and it failed. This method may not be what you want but by no means does it mean either one of those two don't want to win the Cup.

Posted by: icehammer97 | August 26, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

icehammer: I don't know there about what you said re: coaches. The Pens won two years ago, and had they not changed coaches midway in the season - you think they would have won?

And Philly last year. SCF had they not changed coaches?

Of course what else you said is true - Philly had some good bounces in OT in the last game or they wouldn't have even made the Playoffs.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 26, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

@ Pokerface
I've been to all the Caps games out here since the lockout (I moved out here during that sad period). My first AZ hockey game was when OV scored "the Goal" which was really cool to be there for. There always seem to be a few groups of Caps fans and since the 'Yotes haven't been very good until this past year, we Caps fans generally out cheered them during the game. We'll see if it changes this year with the 'Yotes having a good year last year. I went to two of the Wings/'Yotes playoff games with some friends of mine that were Wings fans and the place was full for the first time that I've seen. But that makes for a better hockey experience!

@ Capt. Kirk
Feel free to email me at davidagresto@hotmail.com. If there's anything I can do to help this along as well, let me know.

Posted by: stuffedinvader | August 26, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

@rockinthered

I agree with 100% as will many others on here that have been fans for more than 3 years.

Posted by: ThePat | August 26, 2010 4:41 PM

i am one that does not think fans should have any voice in how a team is managed.
the 2k+ spent on 41 reg season games is for your entertainment. if you do not feel you you've gotten the entertainment for your $ - then you should not renew (sorry rockinthered1)
the playoffs are never guaranteed and require an additional purchase over and above the 2k - so buying reg season tickets does not equate to being disappointed in the playoffs as far as spending money.

as businessmen - ted and gmgm are responsible for providing an entertaining product to as many people as possible.
i know this might not be popular but - as far as the business is concerned - the playoffs are secondary. i'm sure their aim is to get to and win the SC every year - as this would maximize profits.
they may not be making the best 'on ice' hockey decisions but as for running a business - this is their goal.

anyone can blast me if they want - but sports are an entertainment business and i doubt that ted would sacrifice years of potential profits for a 'one time' shot at the cup like the chi blackhawks did.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 26, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

@tom. I think midseason coaching changes are less about style and more about getting the players a swift kick in the pants. I think the changes did a lot, hard to argue against that, but I think that, at least with the Pens since I lived in Pittsburgh for four years during college and know more about them, it could have been a switch to a coach with a similar style to the old coach (his name escapes me right now and I am writing this on my droid phone) and they still would have won the Cup given the same good bounces. The reason I believe this is a lot of times you see a team start playing better from the game the new coach takes over, long before they can change the team and system at all. Over time the team changes style but by that time a lot of teams already are playing better because of the message being sent by the coaching change.

Posted by: icehammer97 | August 26, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

LOL isn't that exactly what I've been saying for months?? yes I'm sure Ted and GMGM want to win the Cup but it's NOT their highest priority... anyone who thinks that it is is just fooling himself.

Posted by: joek443 | August 26, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

So how is this "fans should have a voice" thingy supposed to work? GMGM and Ted submit all proposed deals to the fans? They lay out a Chinese menu of possible deals and we (assuming that you could come up with some way to authenticate "fanship" to avoid folks like Steeltown Scourge) rank our favorites? I don't get it. Impossible, and not a good idea in the first place. Look at how split this board is on most things. Unless I miss my guess, the second coming of James Scott Bowman doesn't post on this board, with due apologies to CStanton1, who sometimes acts like he's that second coming. If you don't like the product, vote with your feet and stop attending games. That's what Ted and GMGM will understand. I had season tix from '88 until we left the area in 2000, and attended every home playoff game during that same period. But I don't think I should have had a "vote" then, and if I moved back and got tix again, I wouldn't think I should have a vote now.

Posted by: NorthFork1 | August 26, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Abe Pollin didn't care if we ever won a cup but Leonsis, IMO does. Granted, I don't think Ted knew the difference between a hockey puck and a basketball before buying the Caps(and I'm not sure he does now). Pollin was happy with us just making the playoffs every year whereas Leonsis doesn't care about the money, it's the publicity that he craves. Sad as that may sound ,it's good for Caps fans because at least he's(Leonsis) willing to spend when Pollin never was. That being said, he doesn't really know what he's spending his money on, he entrusts that to the hockey people, cue the GMGM haters.

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | August 26, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

@Capt_Kirk_In_AZ

I agree completely with your last post.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 26, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Scotty Bowman's full name is William Scott Bowman, not James Scott Bowman.

it's pointless arguing about whether or not Ted wants to win the Cup... heck I'm sure Donald Sterling wants to win an NBA championship in his own way.

the question is does he want it as badly as his main competition? does he want it as much as Ed Snyder, Mario Lemieux or whoever owns the Devils? don't know if it's still John McMullen...

the answer is NO.

Posted by: joek443 | August 26, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

"the question is does he want it as badly as his main competition? does he want it as much as Ed Snyder, Mario Lemieux or whoever owns the Devils? don't know if it's still John McMullen...

the answer is NO."

How do you know this? Or is it just mere speculation.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 26, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

@ sgm3

LOL have you been watching what those teams have been doing? does the word URGENT mean anything to you?

Posted by: joek443 | August 26, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Capt-Kirk and NorthFork1 , agree with you both completely.

joek- Leonsis wouldn't be one of the highest spending owners in the league if he didn't care about winning. You can argue about his motives for wanting to win and the people he's put in place to accomplish this but to say he doesn't care when he opens his wallet like that?

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | August 26, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Urgency in actions is not related to desire.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 26, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

And as far as the Mitchell non-signing, get over it people! I've said how I would love to have him at the right price, he's exactly the type of D-man this team needs. But that doesn't mean GMGM blew it by not getting him. So many people think they know everything on here when in fact they're only privy to a fraction of the details. I personally think L.A. overpaid for the risk but as some have pointed out the risk is relative to the team. Mitchell has averaged around 60 gms per season and is coming off the most severe of his 3 career concussions and people think GMGM messed up by not giving him 2 yrs at that price?! L.A. will be lucky if he's still playing in December.

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | August 26, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

the highest spending owner? don't they have a salary cap?? is he the only one spending the max??

Jack Kent Cooke was an owner willing to spend any amount of money to win and so was Eddie DeBartolo... and so is Jerry Buss.

if and when they get rid of hard salary cap and we see Ted willing to pay the luxury tax in order to win the Cup then I'll eat my word. but you know it's not gonna happen because we already know he'll do no such thing with the Wiz.

Posted by: joek443 | August 26, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

@joek. They were a high spending team when there was no cap. They went out and got high priced talent like Jagr and Lang and it got us nowhere. Ask Redskin's fans how spending big is working out. Ted is willing to pay money to guys like Nylander without them even playing for us so we can spend to the cap on other players. If the Oilers don't find someone stupid enough to trade for Surray they will have him playing instead of going and getting a better player and eating the salery in the minors. Same with Boston and Tim Thomas. They could have gotten a top player if they just atr his contract but they didn't and they won't because they don't want to be paying for players who won't play. Ted is willing to pay that money so the team on the ice can be better. Whatever you feel about the contracts given while he has been here he has shown plenty of times that he is willing to put him money down to make the team better.

Posted by: icehammer97 | August 26, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Joek- I said ONE of the not THE highest spending owners and yes they've had a salary cap since the lock-out but not all owners spend to the cap and before there was a cap he spent. I'm not sure what citing football and basketball team owners has to do with this. FTR, I've always thought Leonsis was a schmuck when it came to knowing anything about hockey but he's always at least had passion and an open wallet for this team, do you remember Abe Pollin?

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | August 26, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

In order to win a championship, you gotta have an owner willing to spend the money plus a smart executive who knows what he's doing. the problem with Snyder has been he's too meddlesome even though he's willing to spend the money, too willing actually.

Jack Kent Cooke had Bobby Beathard and Joe Gibbs, Eddie DeBartolo had John McVie and Bill Walsh, they let those smart men do their job and just sign the checks.

The Leonsis/GMGM combo isn't the worst owner/GM combo I've seen but it's certainly not as good as some of you people seem to think. they just look better in comparison to what they have with the Skins. They've also been in charge for a dozen years, they didn't just take over this team when they drafted Ovi.

You can all believe what you want but I'm certainly not gonna be under the delusion that these guys are gonna do everything they can do to win the Cup every year.

Also correct me if I'm wrong but aren't they like $4M under the cap right now??

Posted by: joek443 | August 26, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Look at the Pens payroll in the past decade? Was it anywhere near the top for a good portion of those years? No. For many of those years it was near the bottom of the league.

Does that mean Lemeiux didn't want to win? Of course not. But he didn't want to go backrupt either. He spent what he could afford based on the team's annual revenue.

Teams spend what they can without losing lots of money. So spending is often proportional to revenue. The smaller the revenue the less a team can spend on payroll. The salary cap has changed a lot of this now, but it is still evident by the spending limits placed by teams such as Phoenix, Dallas, St. Louis, Carolina, Buffalo, etc. No owner wants to lose a good portion of his savings to attempt to win. In addition, most owners do not own the team by themselves but are part of an ownership group. The head of the ownership group has a duty to the others in the group.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 26, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Guys & girls - don't try to talk logic into Joke about Ted. He only says everytime you hear him that they've accomplished nothing and nothing matters until they win a Cup yet Joke thinks otherwise. He never has facts only constant negative BS about the team he supposedly loves and has followed for decades.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | August 26, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Hello pokerface, have you heard any news on the rumor? Thanks.

Posted by: MReilly9 | August 26, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Interesting take in SI comparing the Huet situation to the Kovy situation: A link to the entire article is below this excerpt.

"If the Kovalchuk ruling went against the Players Association and the Devils because the structure of the agreement was viewed by arbitrator Richard Bloch as intended to subvert the CBA's salary cap restraints, why are the Chicago Blackhawks being allowed to "loan" goaltender Cristobal Huet to a team in Switzerland (not official, but likely to be announced shortly) for the sole purpose of erasing his $5.625 million cap hit?

According to a report on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's website, Bettman said the move was not circumvention but "cap maintenance" that every team has a right to do.

Well, if the Devils were attempting to maintain their Kovachuk cap hit at around $6 million per season and violated no provisions of the current CBA in the process (a line Bloch made clear that the team did not cross), what are the Blackhawks doing? The money Chicago is trying to bury is almost $6 million per season for each of the next two, and in moving Huet offshore, they still have to pay the player his salary, but don't have to take the cap hit.

Where's the difference?"

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/jim_kelley/08/26/fehr.nhlpa/index.html

As people were speaking of escrow earlier, the Huet loan, and similar loans like Nylander, have severe ramifications on escrow.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 26, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

@tominsloooocal

Before the whole Laich love-fest starts you need to watch the Habs series again. Laich didn't really battle until things got desperate. The tire change story is great, but that was a "guilt" tire change. Laich did not play hard the entire series. A real downer to see the series replay, because I think he can lift a Cup.

GMGM please flush Flush !!!!

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | August 27, 2010 12:54 AM | Report abuse

Hunter: Yes, I remember when Laich first started his ascension, coinciding with the Caps playoff run in '08. Had I think 37 pts that year and had a very nice series vs Philly. He has stepped up over the course of the last two seasons. Now maybe he struggled. Just about the whole team struggled vs Montreal. It was just some kind of nightmare. This is his contract year. More than that, I always felt he really was a team player.

Let's hope we can look back to last year one day and say it was the learning experience they needed. Laich is included in that group.

BTW, I put a list of many players on here once, about Laich's age and production, and 3.75 was maybe a little on the low side. Lombardi got 3.5, and he can't match Laich's numbers and they are similar style anyway. I think this year we'll see 27 goals and 40 assists and some stepped up defensive play. He can do it, he just needs to.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 27, 2010 1:42 AM | Report abuse

sgm: There's a big difference. The salary cap always was intended to put an upper and lower limit on the players currently on your roster (22 or 23 plus short-term IR).

The amount of actual salary a team pays has always been, in essence, limitless. Guys on LTIR don't count and players in the minors, for whatever reason, don't count.

The counter argument in your favor is that buy-outs do count against the cap, even though those guys aren't playing. An argument against your point is that re-entry players lost (Avery) count half against you so that, combined with the new team, the full hit is accounted for.

I suppose one can make a credible argument that if buyouts count against you, sending Nylander and Huet to the minors should count against you. This isn't a cap circumvention though same as Kovy because he's playing. It's one thing to circumvent and be over with players on ice. It's another thing to banish the player and then be "excused" from the penalty of having made a bad decision.

If I were God tomorrow (unlike those of you on the East Coast, where it's tomorrow already, it's still today here), and amongst the many more important things that I'd try and fix (like the way community associations treat homeowners) is that I'd override the NHL CBA and make it so that sending to minors, like buy-out, would cost the team half a cap hit.

I honestly don't think the league thought of this when they did the CBA until Lamoriello sent Mogilny to Albany. So, this should be fixed just like the Kovy-type deals. They didn't think teams would do this. They thought teams would just buy out (because it costs less in real money). Just like the federal gov't didn't think about suicide highjackers until 9/12/2001.

As they say, you live in learn. Or, in some cases, you die and someone else learns.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 27, 2010 1:57 AM | Report abuse

sgm: Like Columbo, I have one more point on the Huet to minors. Trying to stop that could be a real can of worms. OK, you have Huet, Nylander, maybe Redden, whoever. You think - OK, just a handful of players. No. Look at Caps 50-man roster. You also have Aucoin and Collins who have NHL deals but are buried at Hershey making full money. Other teams probably have that too. For every big money guy being buried, there's probably a dozen marginal guys like Aucoin who get $500K. The NHLPA will never negotiate that away, because they'd be taking money from marginal guys.

One could argue, if one wanted, that the Kovy deals, the Nylander to the minors and the Aucoin all year in Hershey on NHL deals are all circumventions or at least means by which the rich stay ahead, because in all three examples you are paying more than the cap allows to have extra players or better compensated players and you are getting away with it.

BTW, this is one of the horses that has been beaten this summer until the flesh became dust but since you brought it up I felt compelled to expound and provide, as always, another point of view to consider.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 27, 2010 2:15 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

There is a big disparity against keeping a $500k player in Europe versus a $6M player.

But you are right, by the letter of the law the moves to put expensive players in the minors does not violate any specific provision in the CBA. However, it clearly circumvents the salary cap and violates the spirit of the rule. The Hawks are putting Huet in Switzerland, which does not benefit the organization in any aspect except to give the Hawks more cap room.

That's why the writer compared it to the Kovy deal because, as the arbitrator concluded, that also did not violate any specific provision in the CBA, but was found to circumvent the salary cap because it violates the spirit of the rule.

Did you also see the quotes that the NHLPA really fell in favor of Donald Fehr after the Kovy situation happened. That helped unite the NHLPA. In the long run, the NHL rejecting the Kovy deal could end up costing the owners greatly.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 27, 2010 7:40 AM | Report abuse

sgm3,

When you are given constructive criticism at work do you always come back with a rebuttal? If not, maybe you should practice that on this forum as well!

But what am I thinking, I'm sure you never receive constructive criticism because you are always right aren't you??

Posted by: PhilR | August 27, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

@PhilR

Look again. I posted an excerpt from an article. Tominscoal gave his opinions on that and made a few points. I then made a few points in regards to what he said.

It is called conversing about a subject, the subject here being the article and the Kovy/Huet situation. You know in a real conversation there is a lot of back forth when expressing points. It is not one person making a statement, then another person replying and then stopping.

tominsocal made some nice points, I read them this morning and was just expressing my thoughts to him about those points. It's called looking at a topic from all angles. Just because you do not agree with a thought does not mean you should remain ignorant regarding all aspects of that way of thinking.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 27, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

The bottom line is that when they write up the new CBA, they will deal with this stuff. I'm pretty sure the owners will move to correct the Kovy-deal situation. I don't know what they will do with the players to the minors thing because, as I pointed out, it's more complicated. It's pretty hard to write a rule that prohibits Huet type players from minors but allows Aucoin type players.

And, sgm, the difference, very clearly, is neither the Hawks nor the caps gave Huet and Nylander contracts (nor did Hull with Avery) with the idea from the get-go that those players wouldn't play. The fact that the players couldn't live up to the value came about later. The Kovy deal on the other hand was a circumvention from day 1. The arbitrator pointed this out specifically with regards to the Kovy deal having a NMC that expired after 11 years, so the Devils could conveniently send him to the minors and Kovy would conveniently retire and *poof* cap hit gone. McPhee did not offer the Nyles deal so he could play a few months, get hurt, have a new coach, not fit in, and get banished to Grand Rapids MI or wherever.

If it were different "crimes," Kovy would be first degree and Nyles would be third degree by way of comparison.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 27, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

The difference between Huet and Aucoin in the minors(or Europe in Huet's case) is severity($6M to $500k). Just like when you compare the difference between Hossa's contract and Kovy's. The difference there was judged to be severity. The question you are bringing up is where is the line? Great question, because there isn't one, just like there wasn't one for the contract lengths.

When you point out the Kovy and Huet situation as the Kovy contract COULD be circumvention if he retired in year 12 or so. That definitely could happen and is likely, but you are nonetheless projecting 12 years down the road. The Kovy deal would only circumvent the salary cap if he retires early. But if he played out his contract it wouldn't.

By sending Huet to the Europe the Hawks ARE circumventing the cap right now.

I find that more egregious because the circumvention is happening now. It is 100%. It already happened. Kovy may be 99%, but technically it hasn't happened yet.

The fact that the teams did not give contracts to those guys with the idea of circumventing at the time of the contract is not relevant to whether they are circumventing now with their course of action.

No one is saying the contract itself is a circumvention(which it was in the Kovy case) it is the act of sending him to Europe that is the circumvention.

Remember cirumvention means: to manage to get around especially by ingenuity or stratagem.

Circumventing the salary cap is not just limited to contract signings.

Are the Hawks doing that in regards to the salary cap when sending Huet to the Europe?

Posted by: sgm3 | August 27, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

sgm3,

It's not just this example I am referring to....you have something to say about everything no matter what and if someone differs in opinion you have to try and refute that persons opinion. It gets really tiring and quite frankly I am just done with you. I will not read any more of your posts on here as it seems you feel you are the next coming of Christ and that all should bow to your opinion. Nuff said, have a wonderful day.

Posted by: PhilR | August 27, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

@PhilR

You can do whatever you want with my posts. When I make points all I ask is that people judge it by its context.

That's what I like about tominsocal. He usually looks at the context of what is said and the makes a judgment on that. We may disagree about subjects, but he will go through his opinion and point out why he feels that way. He supports his opinions with arguments and facts. I then respond doing the same.

It is a good way to undertand both sides of an argument and the reasons they believe the way they do. He doesn't just say "I believe this. Therefore it is right."

Anyways, I am all for you ignoring any and all of my future posts and not responding to any of them. Have a wonderful day too.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 27, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

@philr,
You could just as easily substitute cstanton1 for sgm3 in that statement at 10:35. sgm3 tries to carry on a discussion, perhaps to the point of repetition. cstanton1 tells you what to think, on every subject, and accepts nothing less than agreement with his stance. They both post a lot.

Posted by: _Mark | August 27, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

sgm,

The Hawks are not circumventing the CBA by waiving Huet and letting him play in Europe or where ever. They are still obligated to pay him the $ per his contract, the cap hit just doesn't count although he does show on the payroll.

Read the CBA, they are doing nothing wrong. It might be your opinion that they're circumventing, but the CBA doesn't support your position.

Posted by: Steve_R | August 27, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

@Steve_R

You are correct that it does not violate any specific language of the CBA. But neither did the Kovy deal. And just like the Kovy deal, prior similar acts were allowed.

The move was done to circumvent the salary cap. That is an opinion. Just like it is an opinon that the Kovy deal was done to circumvent the salary cap. Because that is the langauge the league used to reject it.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 27, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

sgm,

The difference: the Kovy deal would remove him from the cap when waived at the cut rate of around 500K. Waiving Huet costs the Hawks his full cap hit of 5M in payroll.

Structuring the deal for Kovy with the combo of 500K salary with the change from NMC to NTC freed up the club to waive him with only a 500K hit to the payroll if Kovy opted to play in the minors was clearly an attempt to circumvent.

Waiving Huet because he isn't worth his contract is not. They get the cap relief but not the payroll relief.

For a team that made no money last year, that 5m Huet hit is going to be painful.

It's apples and oranges Bubba.

Posted by: Steve_R | August 27, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

"Structuring the deal for Kovy with the combo of 500K salary with the change from NMC to NTC freed up the club to waive him with only a 500K hit to the payroll if Kovy opted to play in the minors was clearly an attempt to circumvent.

Waiving Huet because he isn't worth his contract is not. They get the cap relief but not the payroll relief."

Sorry Bubba it's apples to apples.

It is a different way of cirumventing the salary cap but it is still cirumventing the cap. You say the Hawks "get the cap relief but not payroll relief". Isn't that the definition of circumventing the cap? The Devils do not get any payroll relief in their deal if Kovy retires or is waived at year 13. They already paid out that money. They only get cap relief.

Just like you said, both moves are made to get cap relief and not payroll relief.

Remember circumvent means: to manage to get around especially by ingenuity or stratagem.

Are the Hawks doing this in regards to the salary cap? If they are getting cap relief as you clearly stated, then the answer is yes, the Hawks are circumventing the salary cap.

Thanks Bubba.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 27, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

sgm,

You've got to be kidding me. The team is paying the full salary of 5m and you want to debate that they're circumventing the CBA?

Neither Kovy nor the Devils would expect him to play in year 13. He'd retire and be back in mother Russia.

The Hawks signed Huet fully expecting him to play until the end of the contract. The Devils signed Kovy expecting him to retire after year 12.

Your argument is without merit. You just want to split hairs over how words are defined rather than what was intended when the contracts were signed.

Posted by: Steve_R | August 27, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

@Steve_R

I agree that the Hawks did not intend to circumvent the salary cap when they signed Huet to the contract. But that is irrelevant in the discussion to whether their move to assign him to Europe is a move to circumvent the salary cap.

The signing of Huet to the contract was not a cirumvention. However, the assignment of him to Switzerland to get around the rules of the salary cap is.

The CBA language the NHL used to reject the Kovy contract stated that in addition to the specific terms of the CBA teams are not allowed to circumvent the salary cap. That's it. There is nothing limiting that to only the signing of player contracts.

You do know that there is more than one way to circumvent the salary cap, right?

Posted by: sgm3 | August 27, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

sgm,

The Hawks did not violate the CBA.

Do you enjoy endlessly debating the same crap over and over?

I'm done with you. Have a good day.

Posted by: Steve_R | August 27, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

@Steve_R

The Hawks did not violate any provisions of the CBA. Neither did the Kovy contract. But you still haven't stated how what the Hawks did is not circumventing the salary cap.

Here is an article about it. Just like before I will include the exceprt and then a link to it.

"If the Kovalchuk ruling went against the Players Association and the Devils because the structure of the agreement was viewed by arbitrator Richard Bloch as intended to subvert the CBA's salary cap restraints, why are the Chicago Blackhawks being allowed to "loan" goaltender Cristobal Huet to a team in Switzerland (not official, but likely to be announced shortly) for the sole purpose of erasing his $5.625 million cap hit?

According to a report on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's website, Bettman said the move was not circumvention but "cap maintenance" that every team has a right to do.

Well, if the Devils were attempting to maintain their Kovachuk cap hit at around $6 million per season and violated no provisions of the current CBA in the process (a line Bloch made clear that the team did not cross), what are the Blackhawks doing? The money Chicago is trying to bury is almost $6 million per season for each of the next two, and in moving Huet offshore, they still have to pay the player his salary, but don't have to take the cap hit.

Where's the difference?"

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/jim_kelley/08/26/fehr.nhlpa/index.html

Thanks Bubba

Posted by: sgm3 | August 27, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Has an arbitrator ruled that waiving Huet violates the CBA?

Last I checked one ruled against the Devils and the ruling is legally binding.

Posted by: Steve_R | August 27, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

i see two major differences between the kovy deal and huet/nlys

kovy - if he retires before his contract expires: no cap hit, no contract, no payment to the player

huet - no cap hit, still counts as a contract, player still gets paid

any team that chooses to 'hide' a player in the minors or another league must still manage that player at some level

kovy retires - nj is free an clear of any cap management

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 27, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

@Steve_R

No an aritrator hasn't ruled on it either way. Just like an arbitrator hasn't ruled on the Hossa and Luongo contracts. That doesn't mean that those weren't circumventing the cap it just means the NHL didn't choose to fight it. Hence the discrepency.

That was the problem with NHL going after the Kovy situation. The language the NHL used to reject the Kovy contract opens up so many other possibilities.

The league arbitrarility choosing which cirucmventions to after and which not to will give Donald Fehr ammunition when he decides to take the NHL owners to court. He will likely use it as an example of the NHL attempting to add terms to a contract, without consent of the NHLPA, after the contract was executed.

It is discepencies like this that could lead to long labor and legal battles over the next few years. It is not good for NHL fans. It was the Kovy contract rejection that secured the support of the NHLPA for Donald Fehr.

So in the long run, the decision to reject the Kovy contract could end up severly hurting the NHL because of all the possible legal and labor ramifications.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 27, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

@Capt_Kirk

I agree with you, but I think a team that is paying a player almost $6M and having that not count against the cap is more of a cirumvention then a team not paying a player and not having it count against the cap.

In the end, Chicago will pay Huet almost $24M, but only have about $12M of that count against the cap and that will only count against the cap in the first two years. About 50%.

While, if the Kovy played 12 years of the 17 he would have been paid about $96M but only would have had $72M count against the cap. About 75%.

Another way to think about it is what if the Devils signed Kovy to a 17 year $102M contract that actually averaged $6M per year exactly. But after the 12th year the Devils "loaned" Kovy to a team in whatever city Kovy wanted to live in and Kovy sat there and collected his $6M paychecks. Then Kovy goes to a few practices and gets put on IR by whatever team he is loaned to so he can just hang out at home and travel. Would that be okay then?

Posted by: sgm3 | August 27, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

sophistry is fun, eh sgm?

Posted by: Steve_R | August 27, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

@Steve_R

Not sure, I've never practiced that.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 27, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Based on your arguments, I'll have to disagree with you.

Posted by: Steve_R | August 27, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

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