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Nylander: 'I Want to Play in the NHL'

(Toni L. Sandys - The Washington Post)


When Michael Nylander spoke to reporters a few minutes ago, the veteran did not sound like a player who expects to be playing elsewhere anytime soon. Here's the transcript of the interview:

Q: Bruce Boudreau and George McPhee both said [yesterday] that you are exploring your options in Europe. What's the situation?

A: "I come here and I want to play in the NHL and I'm looking forward to the season. I feel unbelievable good. I'm in good shape. I'm just looking forward to the season."

Q: So you don't have an agent trying to find something for you in Europe?
A: "I'm coming here with the intention of playing for the Capitals. I have two years left on the deal."

Q: Over the summer you were quoted in Sweden as saying Boudreau told you that you in the exit interview weren't good enough...
A: "I think they misunderstood what I said. I said by me not playing that showed that I was not good enough to make the team. Media could also interpret different things. I said to them by me not playing they showed me I'm not good enough. Then they chose the wording that Bruce said it.

"If you are good enough you should play; if you're not good enough you're not playing. That's simple. I just said the team showed me I was not good enough at that time to play."

Q: What do you think you need to do to prove you are good enough?
A: "I just have to do what I've done for the past 15 years in this league. Sooner or later, it's going to convince somebody. What can you do? I'm just going work on my game and come in here with a good attitude, look forward, stay positive. As I said, I'm 10 pounds heavier than I normally is. I worked really hard this summer and I feel great."

Q: So why do you think McPhee and Boudreau said that yesterday?
A: "You have to ask them."

Q: Do you get the feeling that they want you here still? I mean they went and signed Brendan Morrison...
A: "As I said, I still have a contract here and I'm coming in here with a [good] attitude. I'm looking forward to the season to start."

Q: If the situation is what it was last year, do you reevaluate at the end of camp?
A: "If that occurred in the future, I cannot control that anyway. That's the future. Right now I'm looking forward for the season to start. And I feel great. It's fun. What happened in the past, is in the past. If it's good or it's bad, you have to just go forward."

Q: If they come to you tomorrow and say there's a deal for you in Europe, what would you say?
A: "I'm not ready for that. I say it again: I have a two-year deal here and I'm looking forward for the season to start."

Q: Do you feel like they've put pressure on you because of the no movement clause and do you resent that?
A: "It's nothing nobody can do. I have two years left on this contract. I'm looking forward to the season to start and that's it."

Q: Did you bring your family with you?
A: "They are staying back at the moment. I'm having some housing issues I need to resolve first. They will probably come in the near future."

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  September 13, 2009; 5:10 PM ET
 
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Comments

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Posted by: large23220 | September 13, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

only Mcphee would have gotten this team saddled with a contract this large by committing to a frail old man like Nylander. Thx Georgie!

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 13, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Well it would be in the best interest of all for Nylander to regain the form he had while in NY but to me that seems like a stretch. But hey, he put on 10 lbs, says he's never felt better, maybe give him through camp to prove it? I'm typically the one telling him to hit the road but hey, if he can play at the level he was in NY, that's an unexpected thing and puts us incredibly strong up the middle. Sounds to me like he has the right attitude anyway. Nice that we got the "he said he said" part out of the way though.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | September 13, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Michael, how many years is left in your contract?

Posted by: blushfilms | September 13, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

i am sick of d-bag comments regarding Nyls. Mcdummy and fat a@@ Bouds are as much of the problem as Nyls. if Bouds is the coach he thinks he is, don't you thik he would find a way to utilize that talent that Nyls brings to the table?? hey Bouds; lose the AHL attitude!!

i hope Nyls brings he A-game!

Posted by: doughless | September 13, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

If Nylander was half the player he thought he was he'd be able to adjust to the coach's system (which works pretty well) and still put up the same kinds of numbers he's showed in the past. Instead he just kind of skates around doing his own thing and wasting a spot that could be taken up by someone who's willing to do the work necessary to be successful. That's how it works in pro sports, and players who can't deal with that don't play very much.

Posted by: spacecadetkid | September 13, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

sorry, but the "sophisticated" system of OV or someone else skating down the ice and shotting when there is no one else around is kind of lame and transparent as Saran Wrap. seriously, the Rags were able to see right through the one-deminisional offensive scheme. come up with something a little more original, Bouds.

lets see semin-nyls-knuble before drumming off Nyls to the old folks home.

Posted by: doughless | September 13, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

This smells fishy... I don't buy the "I have housing issues". I believe him when he says he wants to continue in the NHL and I also think that he can give someone another good year. I think that this interview, if nothing else, shows that there are intense efforts from both parties to find him another place to play.

Posted by: atybat | September 13, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

@ doughless

So even though Boudreau's system seems to work for everyone else, you're saying that it's his job to make sure that Nylander is catered to well enough that the player doesn't have to put any effort toward adjusting his play so it might fit into one of the most successful Caps teams in franchise history. Numbers don't like and GMGM & Bruce have great ones, Nylander not so much, so I really don't see how you can point the finger at either of them. If a single player can't perform it's not the coaches job to baby him through it. That's true at every level past squirts.

Posted by: dcfury | September 13, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

like i said, the Rags figured the "system" out fairly well

Posted by: doughless | September 13, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Nylander is a consummate professional. He's going to say all the right things and do his best to keep a positive atmosphere in the locker room.

I hope Bruce's and George's comments, coupled with the questions you media are going to keep asking him, don't undermine his efforts too much.

Say what you will about his playing, but he's been a good man about this situation.

Posted by: wingmancd | September 13, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Call it a hunch, but it seems to me that Nylander is really looking forward for the season to start.

Posted by: washcaps | September 13, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

what's the real deal with Nylander anyway? I really haven't heard any straight answers from either BB or GMGM... I just assume they don't believe he can play.. but what's the deal????

Posted by: joek443 | September 13, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Nylander Scored !!

When he took McPhee to the cleaners.

McPhee is to blame and that's it.

Posted by: LarryDavid | September 13, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

is he as hopeless as jason campbell??? LOL

Posted by: joek443 | September 13, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I sort of hate how he waves that no move clause in everybody's face. Nothing nobody can do. I lose respect for him as an athlete preferring to sit in a press box and make 4 mil than actually playing. As a person i can fully understand.

Since he keeps repeating himself he is either totally resolute on staying here or he does not want to admit there is a problem. Either way I suspect NMC are going to slowly die out in this NHL.

Posted by: trunkenmath | September 13, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

The Rangers didn't figure out a way to shut the Caps down, Lundqvist gave them a chance. Caps trashed them in games 5 and 6, and played a tight Game 7. Some of you are never satisfied. The Caps do a great job coming back when down 3-1 against one of the best goalies in the world, NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Then they go 7 games with the eventual Stanley Cup Champions, NOT GOOD ENOUGH. I really, truly, have no idea why some of you remain Caps fans, honestly. After the Caps win the Cup, and they will soon, VERY SOON, this board will be littered with comments on how the Caps were simply lucky.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 13, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

LOL if you think that's bad.. just look at Dale Jr. and his annual income of $34 mil. the tenth highest paid athlete in the world.. and he has won one lousy race in two years...

Posted by: joek443 | September 13, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

LarryDavid: Brashear scored in NY, 1.4 million a year, for two years, what a joke.

Cstanton1: Get off the GMGM Nylander thing. I didn't read or hear Caps fans complaining when Nylander was signed. He came off a career year, and the Caps weren't the only ones trying to sign him. He is a bust because he doesn't fit in BBs system, period.

blushfilms wrote: "Michael, how many years is left in your contract?" He kept getting the same basic question asked so he gave the same answer. Once in the doghouse these guys don't get a break from many you in any aspect of their lives.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 13, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

some people are afraid to pierce the can do no wrong bubble. seriously, the comments about Nyls having no talent are completely ridiculous.

Posted by: doughless | September 13, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

GM is brilliant !

Where does the heard go today ?

Posted by: LarryDavid | September 13, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Nylander's statements sound like what his agent would tell him to say, in order to maintain their leverage. It still looks to me like some type of arrangement will be reached fairly soon with a European team.

Posted by: zmega | September 13, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

I want to play in the NHL, too!

Posted by: MyJobsMyCredit | September 13, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

It appears there are more Trolls on these boards than a LOTR movie! Feeding them is never a positive thing. Nylander will sit in the pressbox, make millions and get bought out next year. I do however wonder about "housing issues" he still owns his home as far as I know. Is he going to sell and go house hunting during all his extra time during camp???

Posted by: majiksea | September 13, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

I stated yesterday that Nyls was not going to Europe to play in an inferior league.

I hope he is the Michael Nylander of old. Maybe his shoulders were still messed up last year. Nobody ever stated why he was continually sent to sit on the pine.

Hey, if he said he wants to play here and fulfill his contract and is the Nyls of the past - good for the Caps. I'm getting a vibe that he isn't a locker room problem either.

I think the reason he hasn't brought his family over is the fact he still might except a trade to another "NHL" team. If that happens soon, he and his family will settle in that city.

I wish Nylander the best of luck and hope he has a great season whether here with the Caps or with another "NHL" team. He's been a true professional since he's been here.

Posted by: puckman | September 13, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

MyJobsMyCredit: Really, because you are of course as good as Nylander. Tell you what, why don't you, LarryDavid, and Cstanton1 have a nice conversation with Nyls, and then put on some gear and hit the ice with him. You'll find out real quick on f'in good he is and how hard someone as small as Nylander hits.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 13, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Well, since school started and his kids didn't come back, I'm calling that a good indication that he isn't planning on staying. The "I'm here to play for the team" speech is expected, but its about as reliable as a pilot confession from Viet Nam.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | September 13, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

If Nylander sits out through November collecting his $, I will post my admission that I am an idiot. All you out there predicting that he will stay - I trust you will do the same if a trade is worked out for him to go to Europe.

Posted by: zmega | September 13, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

So even though Boudreau's system seems to work for everyone else, you're saying that it's his job to make sure that Nylander is catered to well enough that the player doesn't have to put any effort toward adjusting his play so it might fit into one of the most successful Caps teams in franchise history. Numbers don't like and GMGM & Bruce have great ones, Nylander not so much, so I really don't see how you can point the finger at either of them. If a single player can't perform it's not the coaches job to baby him through it. That's true at every level past squirts.

Posted by: dcfury | September 13, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Boudreau couldn't figure out over 7 games how to get his top 2 lines to penetrate the Penguins end wiht any frequency or consistency. Lets not anoint BB to the genius level just yet. He hasn't got it all figured out by a long stretch. His answer to more offense is putting Semin on the RW with Backs and Ovy. Wow real brilliant. Lets just put all our scorers on one line and disregard the fact that the line now is actually weaker because those 3 players don't complement each other. He should have put/double shifted Laich on the wing instead of Semin. Or made the top 2 lines watch tape of the checking line to see how they did it.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 13, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Nylander is in the best shape of his life, and fully expects to be on the Sweden National team in Vancouver. He will also center the top line and lead the power play...time to get on "The Nylander Train."

Posted by: SA-Town | September 13, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

I really don't undertand the venom in all the comments here.

When the Caps signed Nylander it was the right thing to do and at the time he fit the system.

The Caps have just come out of the rebuild faster (by like a year then anyone probably could have rightfully expected.) Now Nylander doesn't fit the system.

Should a guy with 15 years experience who has played well enough to hjustify the contract he got change his game - maybe but at Nyls age odds are his wheels, in the best shape of his life or otherwise, aren't what they used to be and playing first line center here means staying up with OV. Nyls can't right now and Backstrom can.

Morrisonn was brought in as the second line center for grit and net presence - again something Nyls doesn't bring - he is a classic Scandanavian center.

I don't begrudge him his two years he's got left or his NMC - he earned them and the Caps gave it to him.

I also think we'd all be screaming for GMGM's head right now if he wasn't trying to finda way t free up the $5M that Nyls represents in Cap space now with both Backstrom and Semin's contracts coming up.

Personally, I think that Sweden's first line center at the Olympics will be - Nicklas Backstrom, their second line center will be Michael Nylander. Who cares in the context of this discussion anyway.

Nyls is saying and hopefully will be doing all the right things til this gets resolved; what do you expect GMG and Boudreau to say about why they aren't playing a guy they are paying $5M to and do you think they really would just sit there and not be trying to find a deal for him that he will take?

Posted by: UllyFrustratedCapsFan | September 13, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

The interview questions were really aggressive and negative. Nyles handled them well.

Posted by: CapsChick | September 13, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

New lines:

Ov-Nyls-Knuble
Semin-Backs-Laich
Bourque-BMo-Clark
Bradley-Steckel-Gordon

Flash and Fehr are hurt.

Nyls circles his way to the top line!

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | September 13, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Before I start getting any of you irrational $@#$'s blasting me, it was a joke! Although how good would we be if Nyls was so good he played himself up to the top line? I'll wake up now as I'm dreaming but I thought last year we would be much better with Backs, Feds and Nyls as our centers but Nyls obviously underachieved huge. As stated before he has been incredible professional about this and we would be a much better team is he were able to regain his form.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | September 13, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Swedens first line center will be Henrik Zetterberg, no doubt. Backs will maybe be nr. 2, i see nyls as a fourth line center maybe. (Sedin as nr. 3)

Posted by: Walle | September 13, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Nylander was good his first stint in DC. It's amazing that the Caps battled Edmonton for signing rights and this is how it's turned out. Surely, they could have moved him last season, much earlier for a decent deal or salary dump.

No move clause - Nyls owns them.

Posted by: Jaymagz | September 13, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Morrisonn was brought in as the second line center for grit and net presence...

Posted by: UllyFrustratedCapsFan | September 13, 2009 7:48 PM

Really?

Posted by: tmac2yao | September 13, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I think that Sweden's second line center will be Michael Nylander.

Posted by: UllyFrustratedCapsFan | September 13, 2009 7:48 PM

Really??

Posted by: tmac2yao | September 13, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Granted Nylander has not performed to the level of his contract, however he has shown incredible skill throughout his NHL career. Whether or not that skill is completely in the past remains the question, but the Caps brass need to handle this better. Include the man as part of the team unless you have a deal in place, and don't make statements saying he wants to go to Europe, etc.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | September 13, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

I want to play for the Caps too, but unfortunately I'm not professional caliber, and neither is Nyls.

Wish in one hand, and poop in the other, and see what one comes first.

Posted by: ejohnsto | September 13, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Nylander's statements sound like what his agent would tell him to say, in order to maintain their leverage. It still looks to me like some type of arrangement will be reached fairly soon with a European team.

Posted by: zmega | September 13, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm inclined to agree with this. Nyls didn't really look like he wanted to be there at camp today. His mood ranged from passive to flat-out angry at times. Didn't see him crack a smile once.

Posted by: Arlington09 | September 13, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm certainly no fan of Nyles and my feelings about GMGM are well known, but alot of people are re-writing history when it comes to the original signing of Nylander. At the time the Caps did not have a #1 center, Backstrom had not played one NHL game, Nyles was coming off a really good season from the Rangers, Bruce Boudreau was not the coach, and Nyles had a history with the organization. At the time it was a good deal, it hasn't panned out that way, but that has happened to nearly every GM in the NHL. GMGM made a mistake by giving him a no trade clause...presuming that wasn't a deal breaker. Because honestly, what team in the NHL would want Nyles at this point?

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | September 13, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

if he means it, he needs to learn one word: adapt.

if you're getting paid that much, for heaven's sake, adapt if you aren't being played.

geezus.

Posted by: MNMNT | September 13, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I think we can all agree it's not the contract that was the mistake. We were all happy when we got him and laughed at Edmonton when we did. It's the NMC that's the mistake. The reason why GMGM is a good GM is because he learns from his mistakes.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | September 13, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Boudreau couldn't figure out over 7 games how to get his top 2 lines to penetrate the Penguins end wiht any frequency or consistency. Lets not anoint BB to the genius level just yet. He hasn't got it all figured out by a long stretch. His answer to more offense is putting Semin on the RW with Backs and Ovy. Wow real brilliant. Lets just put all our scorers on one line and disregard the fact that the line now is actually weaker because those 3 players don't complement each other. He should have put/double shifted Laich on the wing instead of Semin. Or made the top 2 lines watch tape of the checking line to see how they did it.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 13, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

It's odd that a genius such as yourself is off sharing his opinion on blogs, while Bruce is the one winning Jack Adam's trophies. Also, I couldn't help but notice that no other coach managed to figure out how to beat the Penguins now did they.

Posted by: dcfury | September 13, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1
sometimes you miss with a player.
Look at the rest of the roster.

Posted by: jmy999 | September 13, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Very nice DCfury!

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | September 13, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

TSN reporting Flash won't return to the ice until early October at the earliest due to a leg clot supposedly suffered on the flight home last summer (maybe the Caps should pay for Business Class...) So, figure at least a week, maybe two, of the regular season without him. Chris Bourque, welcome to the NHL.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | September 13, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Is he looking forward to the season? Pretty harsh interview as well.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | September 13, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

flash gets hurt by doing nothing too long on a plane flight...........sounds like his effort in the defensive zone most games

Posted by: wendel2 | September 13, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

The coach can coach, but the players have to execute. He can preach all day long until he's blue in the face to go to the net etc but it's the players who actually have to do it.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | September 13, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

nylander is such a loser ...get rid of him any way possible

Posted by: wendel2 | September 13, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, all losers show up to camp in the best shape of their lives, 10lbs heavier and more motivated than ever. Yep you got it.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | September 13, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

nylanders issue isnt physical,,,,now u got it

Posted by: wendel2 | September 13, 2009 11:36 PM | Report abuse

If this was an NFL player he'd be knocking down balls in practice and punting balls away from teenage ball boys. No this is a NHL player who takes criticism well and wants to show people wrong not cry about it and b!tch like a 10yr old.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | September 13, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

but he isnt an nfl player........so what...........he talks great but plays like shyt and get too much money

Posted by: wendel2 | September 13, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Cstanton- if BB couldn't find a way for his first 2 lines to get past the Pens D with any frequency then how did we go up 2-0 in the series? How did we take them to a 7th game? I respectfully ask this. I would think if that were the case then we wouldn't have gotten up 2-0 scoring 3 goals in game 1 and 4 in game 2 and certainly wouldn't have made the series go to 7 games after being down 3-2. I've heard a lot of reasons why we didn't win that series and this is a new one. Not quite sure I'm buying into this one.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | September 13, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Is it just me, or does it seem like in some of his comments Nylander doesn't seem to understand what his NMC means,or how to use it? OK maybe he's just playing coy with us and is just giving the standard, "I'm with the team" kind of answers we get from most players, but look at his answers whenever the NMC is brought up.

All that said, here's to hoping Nyles, BB, GMGM and all other parties involved can make lemonade of of these proverbial lemons.


Also how many here plan on stopping by the scrimmages this week? I plan on organizing a "team building" activity to bring a few co-worker down to the rink.

Posted by: superpaqman | September 13, 2009 11:56 PM | Report abuse

This interview shows two things:
1. The reporters are dimwits
2. Nylander is very professional and courteous.

To those ready to anoint BB as a genius and Nyls as a bad player (person):
1. BB hasn't had a bad team to coach, is the success of the team because of the great players it has? or because of BB's coaching? I think the jury is still out.
2. Nyls has a history as one of the best centers in the league. Last year he was hurt and for some unknown reason got in BB's dog-house and therefore the target of some idiotic fans. I say, give him a fair chance to show that he hasn't lost it.

Posted by: hock1 | September 14, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

nyls has a history as one of the top in the league????? says who ? Pass around what u r smoking or drinking hock 1

Posted by: wendel2 | September 14, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse


1. BB hasn't had a bad team to coach, is the success of the team because of the great players it has? or because of BB's coaching? I think the jury is still out.

Posted by: hock1 | September 14, 2009 12:03 AM

BB may not have had a bad team to coach when he got to DC, but he still took a team who had dug itself into a hole and and made them playoff contenders that year, and 2nd in the East the following season. Many players, Mike Green may be a glaring example, seemed to have really stepped up and shine under BB's systems. I am not sure exactly why the jury is out there. Sure, his system has its occasional faults, and perfection is something that one should always be striving for, but I will take BB's coaching skills and this fun and exciting on ice product any day of the week!

Go Caps!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | September 14, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

hock1,
how did hanlon do? oh wait maybe it was because they fired their equipment manager because he was selling stuff on ebay? what was his name again?

Posted by: MNMNT | September 14, 2009 1:20 AM | Report abuse

hock1 = joek

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | September 14, 2009 1:27 AM | Report abuse

@ dcfury: For your information, cstanton1 has been running the Capitals for quite some time now. Sure, no one knows who the eff he is and no one in the Capitals organization listens to him but he's somehow convinced he's running the team. Just smile and nod and occasionally say, "You're right." =)

Let's GOO Caps!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | September 14, 2009 1:27 AM | Report abuse

Most juries are still out on Jack Adams awards winners! He only took the worst team in hockey at Thanksgiving to winning their division and then the next year took the same team to the 4th best record in hockey. Are there 12 Stevie Wonders on this jury?

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | September 14, 2009 1:29 AM | Report abuse

The team GM needs to go with Nylander.

Posted by: Smitten | September 14, 2009 3:29 AM | Report abuse

The team GM needs to go with Nylander.

Posted by: Smitten | September 14, 2009 3:30 AM | Report abuse

I will say again, the problem with Nylander wasn't that he didn't fit in the Caps' system. The problem was that, last yera, his play wouldn't've fit into any system. It wasn't the circles - it was coughing up the puck well before he was checked. No coach in the NHL could have used the 2008-09 version of Micheal Nylander. That said, maybe now he's angry enough to play at the NHL level again. It will be interesting to watch. I, too, felt he was badgered a bit in the interview.

Posted by: tominfl1 | September 14, 2009 7:18 AM | Report abuse

And to those criticizing BB: Looking back, he really got as much out of the team as you could expect. The defense was average to begin with and undermanned due to injury. He replaced the #1 goalie on a great gut-reaction move after the first game. And, I will always believe, the Caps outplayed the Pens but got jobbed by a 39-18 disadvantage in power plays. Call me a whiner, but the facts speak for themselves. Any particular penalty, you can say the ref was right. But you don't have a 2-1 PP advantage like that w/o something being wrong.

Posted by: tominfl1 | September 14, 2009 7:22 AM | Report abuse

The facts also say the Caps couldn't stay out of the penalty box during last season either. That jobbing meme reeks of tinfoil hat conspiracy.

Posted by: Section117 | September 14, 2009 7:31 AM | Report abuse

"His mood ranged from passive to flat-out angry at times. Didn't see him crack a smile once."

Michael Nylander is a serious athlete and does not go out and goof around. So his serious face is simply that: a focused professional who believes that when you are on the ice you should be "in the zone" not distracted and making jokes, etc.

Everyone has different styles. I happen to view that aspect as a positive. I'd like to see more of that attitude in others. The team could get better with everyone focused on improving parts of their game instead of slapping each other on the back talking about how good they already think they are.

Posted by: CapsRockTheRed | September 14, 2009 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Pittsburgh was whistled for 1114 minutes of penalty time during the 2008-09 regular season; the caps had 1041 penalty minutes assessed against them.

Had the officiating in the Playoffs been done with the same consistency as the regular season, there's no logical reason to assume those numbers as a relationship to each other would be any different.

Logical conclusion: the officiating during Pittsburgh post-season games was done differently than it was during Pittsburgh regular season games. I don't have stats in front of me, but I believe there were equal, unexplainable discrepancies during the Finals.

All we expect in sports is a level playing field, and that doesn't seem to be what we got in the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs. I say this not as a Caps fan, but as a hockey fan. Just as the Steelers were gift-wrapped the Lombardi trophy when they "beat" Seattle a few years back. Sometimes it's just wrong, and you have to call them out.

Posted by: tominfl1 | September 14, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

@Capsrockthered: I see what you're saying, and you're right in some ways, but I don't see a focus issue here. Focus is good, but team chemistry and locker-room atmosphere is important, too. I think the question at hand is not whether he's focused, but whether he's unhappy and is going to cause a problem in the locker room by walking around with a little stormcloud over his head.

I'm not saying that I think that's going to happen, although if Nylander refuses to leave and does not start to produce, he could become an albatross on a team that is gunning for Lord Stanley's hardware, and that will breed resentment in his direction, especially if he is perceived to be doing it deliberately.

@Section117: Oh, that old debate again. It's all academic now, who cares. But, just for reference, the numbers if looked at from a different angle do make me suspicious. The Pens were 7-1 in the playoffs when Bill McCreary was refereeing? They were 13th in penalties during the regular season and #1 in the playoffs? I know that I saw a lot of things that they did that were let to slide, but called when we did the same thing. It does look AWFULLY funny in a lot of ways.

As I said before, though - it's all academic now. That was last year, and perhaps it's good that the Caps are now gunning for the Pens, and anyone else who stands in their way. When the Caps get mad, they tend to steamroller teams, and words cannot describe how much I am looking forward to seeing Crosby get stapled to the boards a few dozen times.

Posted by: kittypawz | September 14, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Of the last ten Jack Adams winners, four no longer coach the team with which they won the award, and two are out of hockey altogether.

Just sayin'.

-----

Most juries are still out on Jack Adams awards winners!

Posted by: JohninMpls | September 14, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

You're right, it is academic, so how about a novel suggestion for the group; stop crying about last year's "fix" and move the f on?

Posted by: Section117 | September 14, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

@Section117: I agree that it's time to move on, but I don't agree with saying that it was fixed was a tinfoil hat theory, if that makes sense? I think there's something to it, but it doesn't matter anymore. So, indeed, let's move on - Bettman got his boy his Cup, and McCreary retires at the end of the regular season this year. It's a whole new season, and maybe it's good that the Caps are a little mad. Let's focus on this year and what it holds.

SO. Change of topic. With Fleischmann out for the start of the season and Fehr questionable to unlikely for opening night, we've got some roster slots open, including a top-six slot. I see four Hershey guys plus a dark horse who will make a serious bid for the Caps roster in the fall: Bourque, Aucoin, Giroux, Beagle, and the dark horse is Laing. It all depends on who shows out in training camp, so that'll be a story to watch.

Anyone else who was at KCI yesterday think that Tyler Sloan looked really, really good in his set of drills?

Posted by: kittypawz | September 14, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

The Nylander questioning was hostile and the guy's doing what he can under the circumstnaces. I understand why BB benched him, but I hope he earns himself a spot.

As for the Pens, we did not play the last four games as well as we played the first three. I don't think we had enough in the tank to take the Pens in that series. It was close, yes, and with a couple of breaks maybe the outcome would have been different, but we were outworked and outplayed increasingly as the series went on.

Posted by: Sonyask | September 14, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

@Section117: I agree that it's time to move on, but I don't agree with saying that it was fixed was a tinfoil hat theory, if that makes sense? I think there's something to it, but it doesn't matter anymore. So, indeed, let's move on - Bettman got his boy his Cup, and McCreary retires at the end of the regular season this year. It's a whole new season, and maybe it's good that the Caps are a little mad. Let's focus on this year and what it holds.

Posted by: kittypawz | September 14, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Let. It. Go.

Posted by: Section117 | September 14, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Section 117: Who made you blog administrator? How 'bout following your own advice? If you don't like what someone says, you can ignore it or refute with facts. Instead, you responded to me with an unsubstantiated back-handed comment. Kitty refuted with facts, you put another back-handed comment. Do you have facts?

kitty, I can't see how Sloan doesn't make the team as the #7 d-man at $640K. They can't put him on waivers cuz, if they do, and Aucoin too, they're gone.

And the Caps should have a new sponsor, Office Depot, so they can show at the end the "staple" of the game.

Posted by: tominfl1 | September 14, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Section 117: Who made you blog administrator? How 'bout following your own advice? If you don't like what someone says, you can ignore it or refute with facts. Instead, you responded to me with an unsubstantiated back-handed comment. Kitty refuted with facts, you put another back-handed comment. Do you have facts?

Posted by: tominfl1 | September 14, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Do you have facts that the League fixed it? OK then.

Let. It. Go.

Posted by: Section117 | September 14, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

A bunch of us have posted lots of circumstantial evidence. You know as well as I do that nobody has facts proving a fix.

You aren't my father and you aren't my boss, so I will disregard your little "Let. It. Go." You have no right to give orders to anyone here.

Posted by: tominfl1 | September 14, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

I'm certainly no fan of Nyles and my feelings about GMGM are well known, but alot of people are re-writing history when it comes to the original signing of Nylander. At the time the Caps did not have a #1 center, Backstrom had not played one NHL game, Nyles was coming off a really good season from the Rangers, Bruce Boudreau was not the coach, and Nyles had a history with the organization. At the time it was a good deal, it hasn't panned out that way, but that has happened to nearly every GM in the NHL. GMGM made a mistake by giving him a no trade clause...presuming that wasn't a deal breaker. Because honestly, what team in the NHL would want Nyles at this point?

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | September 13, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

but freakin, its so much easier to bash GM two years later. i'm sure all the guys on this board who are moaning about this deal expressed similar concerns when the deal was done.

the NMC is a bit curious but remember that edmonton was hot for him too. that could have been the deal maker as you noted. i always thought this was a three year deal in reality. nyls would have done his thing for a few years and then retire before the end of the contract. thats why they front loaded his salary a bit.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | September 14, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

NO NO NO not Giroux. The man couldn't finish last year at the NHL level and he thinks team has an "I" in it.

wendel2: Thank heavens you are not an NHL GM because you are clueless on player skill and ability. Nyles only has 209 goals and 470 assists (679 points) in his NHL career so there must be some level of professional playing ability there. Does he fit BB's system - maybe not, but a loser he is not. And he was working harder than anyone yesterday. Unlike a few "stars" (Green, Semin, etc) who looked like they would rather have been somewhere else yesterday and took an on-ice day off.

Posted by: Varly | September 14, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

This smells fishy... I don't buy the "I have housing issues". I believe him when he says he wants to continue in the NHL and I also think that he can give someone another good year. I think that this interview, if nothing else, shows that there are intense efforts from both parties to find him another place to play.

Posted by: atybat | September 13, 2009 6:11 PM

Would you like to rent Nylander's house?
http://www.homes.com/listing/89634067/10208_Gary_Road_POTOMAC_MD_20854#stay

Posted by: whiteltng | September 14, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Varly: Until Nyles begins fighting off checks and holding possession of the puck, I am unconvinced about his skill going forward. No question he has produced in the past, but every athlete loses that skill or desire at some point in time. He worked hard in practice - an excellent first step. And, let's face it, if Nylander can somehow get past whatever held him back last year and put up 60-70 pts this season, what a bonus that would be. I think the difference between what I believe and what some other posters believe is I feel the onus is on the player, while some feel it's on the coach. To that, I respectfully disagree.

Posted by: tominfl1 | September 14, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

OK, all you GMGM bashers in regards to Nylander, let's see if you sing a different tune if Knuble and/or BMo stink. No one is on here saying either of them is a bad deal. If either of them stink it up this season there will be the same GMGM naysayers on here saying he blew it again on salary cap space signing Knuble and/or BMo. Face it, right now they both look like they will be able to contribute. BMo came very cheap in relative terms and it is only a 1 year deal. Knuble is coming off a solid year (much like Nylander did), and he is a net crasher who can score dirty goals, which a lot of us say we need. I hope they BOTH pan out because that means the Caps are probably chugging right along. If either of them slip, I will be very interested in seeing the BS that hits this board.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 14, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

@varly thanks for the clarification...I'm not a gm like u but do know the difference between past numbers ...present situation...and future use......do you????by your logic we should sign Orr and Potvin

Posted by: wendel2 | September 14, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Section117 - I'm with it.


Who all will be down at Kettler today to see the hope for this season start to come together?

Posted by: superpaqman | September 14, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

If you are a Wizards, Nationals, Redskins, UVA fan...you better open your eye's and watch some Caps hockey this year....

It's your only hope....

Posted by: SA-Town | September 14, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Who all will be down at Kettler today to see the hope for this season start to come together?

Posted by: superpaqman | September 14, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse


Manana for me, less crowded/chance of folks taking long weekends.

Posted by: Section117 | September 14, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

@whiteltng

Unbelievable invasion of privacy. You are quite a d##che. Very surprised that this made it to this Blog. Isn't there an umbudsman at the Post?
In any case, that just proves my point.

BTW, the interview was unneccesarily agressive and amateurish. I salute Nylander's professionalism to not have just walked out after the 2nd or 3rd question. I am sure this approach will ingratiate you to the players Tarik....

Posted by: atybat | September 14, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

You aren't my father and you aren't my boss, so I will disregard your little "Let. It. Go." You have no right to give orders to anyone here.

Posted by: tominfl1 | September 14, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse


What did I say I was? I'm simply suggesting that you're smarter than to hold onto something so inane.

Posted by: Section117 | September 14, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

atybat: Totally agree. Even if fans are upset with Nyls, that is no reason to personally attack him or feel they need to analyze his life outside of watching tape of games. I had the pleasure of meeting him at a rink that our sons were playing hockey. I didn't want to bother him too much but I said to say hello because his talent level is amazing. He was kind enough to engage in a short conversation and did not make me feel like it was all he could do to get away from me. I met Bondra in the same atmosphere a couple of years ago and he was the same too.

I guess that is why I have a hard time really tearing into any hockey players. Of all professional sports they seem very grounded and appreciate the fact that they get paid to play the sport they love. A lot like good old Cal Ripken Jr.

Posted by: fanohock1 | September 14, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

BTW, the interview was unneccesarily agressive and amateurish. I salute Nylander's professionalism to not have just walked out after the 2nd or 3rd question. I am sure this approach will ingratiate you to the players Tarik....

Posted by: atybat

----------

Tarik said "THE MEDIA" met with Nylander. You can kinda tell by reading the interview that it was a scrum and not just one guy (Tarik) drilling Nylander with the same questions over and over. Relax.

Everybody, relax.

Posted by: thiazzi | September 14, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

I'm of the opinion that training camp has a purpose. If Nyls can earn a spot on the team, I trust BB that he's earned it. If he doesn't, maybe he'll take that European deal or waive his NMC.
His numbers with Hanlon before his injury were just fine. Whether his poor production since is a consequence of BB's system or lingering effects of his injury can't be gauged yet. Nyls says that he's 100% and can still play in the NHL, so he's given us armchair types permission to decide if that's really so from here on out. I, for one, wouldn't mind if we could get our money's worth out of him, but if he's just in denial, I hope we can find some way to get rid of him.
Let's hope it says something for the Caps that he wants to play on THIS team and would rather ride the pine here than show us we made a huge mistake by getting minutes and putting up points somewhere else.

Posted by: hockeyweasel | September 14, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

@ wendel: I was not saying that Nyles has what it takes to go forward with the Capitals, but calling someone a "loser" because they don't fit the way you think they should is just childish and nasty. He has had a long and successful career that deserves respect. Describe what you don't like in his play. No problem with that. But belittling someone else through nastiness is unnecessary. I am under no illusions that I have the background, ablilty or expertise to be NHL GM or coach (however, soccer would be a different dog altogether), however, when I state that I don't like something about a particular player, I state the issue, I don't name call or put someone down. Try it - it's enlightening.

Posted by: Varly | September 14, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

What did I say I was? I'm simply suggesting that you're smarter than to hold onto something so inane.

Posted by: Section117 | September 14, 2009 10:10 AM

117: It's not what you said, but the way you repeated it over and over like a direct order from the superior to the subordinate. OK, I'm gathering you didn't intend to condescend, my bad and an apology if I took it wrong.

That said, I will please respectfully disagree that it's not a bad thing in life to carry a little grudge if you think you or your team was done wrong. You are right - it's "inane" to think there was truly a fix. It's also incomprehensible to assume a person in authority can divorce their personal biases and feelings from their decision making (witness the way the 9 Supreme Court Justices voted in Bush v Gore). It's not inconceivable that McCreary, a decent ref, doesn't carry just a teensy bit of "Don Cherry mentality" in the back of his mind. So many calls in sports are borderline. It doesn't take a fix for an official to affect the outcome of a sporting event.

Posted by: tominfl1 | September 14, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Oh, for the love of little apples, would everyone please untie their shorts, sit back, and take five deep breaths.

Regarding Nylander: Yep, the media are buttmunches sometimes. So is everyone else who is human. Maybe they couldn't think of less inane questions to ask him, like oh maybe how did he prepare for this season and does he feel that he's ready and able to contribute? Sometimes the media get like that. But, it's more than just Tarik doing it, so picking on Tarik for it probably isn't fair. :)

Regarding d-bag comments and accusations: Frankly, there's plenty of d-baggery on this board to go around, and this thread definitely has its fair share. Before you go calling someone else a d-bag, maybe you should look at yourself and your own behavior. (That's not directed at any one person so much as the whole board.)

Regarding the Pens and fixed series: There is enough circumstantial evidence out there, not just in the Caps series, but in the Finals as well, to make an intelligent person wonder whether something really was going on. That's fair, and calling it tinfoil hatted is just a little poltroonish, IMO. Will we ever know? No, nobody bugged Gary Bettman's bedroom, and thank the heavens for that. I think the sound of slurping would be more than I could stand. Does it matter? Not a whit, except that the Caps are now looking for blood, which to my mind is a good thing.

However, it's a bright new season, things are already heating up in training camp with Flash out for several weeks and a top-six forward position open at least for opening night. I don't know about you guys, but enough with the off-ice nonsense. Let's talk on-ice.

@tominfl1: The only thing I see there is that we already have seven D-men: Green, Morrisonn, Poti, Pothier, Erskine, Jurcina, and Schultz. In order to bring up one of the Hershey Dmen (Sloan, Alzner, Carlson, or Collins, who was solid too last year), a trade has to be made. Who is it, or do we stay with what we have?

At forward, we have Bourque, Giroux, Aucoin, Beagle, and Laing who might just challenge for a slot. There's also the question of Nylander's role and what he will contribute. There's also Chris Clark to consider (who looked REALLY good yesterday in drills and spent most of the session with a big goofy grin on his face). When do Fehr and Flash come back and what does that mean to the lines?

In goal, there's the question of whether, given the hell that Jose's been through over the summer, there are any distractions or anything that might keep him from claiming and keeping the #1 goalie slot. Do Varly or maybe Neuvirth take it from him?

And then there's the good old "we need an X" debate to rehash again.

Who needs to talk about off-ice drama when we've got all this going on?

Posted by: kittypawz | September 14, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

@tominfl1: Now THAT is a fair assessment of what happened.

Again, I gotta agree. I got better things to discuss.

Posted by: kittypawz | September 14, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

kittypawz: I will not re-post my excel spreadsheet with the Cap figures, but we already know that the top 22 or 23 salaries can't make the team (they are over). Someone between Nylander, Poti and/or Morrisonn must be gone. Also, they won't bring up Alzner or Carlson and have them watch from upstairs. Sloan, given his age, salary and experience, is ideally-suited to be d-man #7 and take a jersey anytime one of the top 6 needs a day or two off. Also, defensively, he's a decent enough third-pair kind of guy, even on a good team. And Aucoin, I have posted that he'll get 40 pts or so given a full year. Very decent value for $500K, and he has to clear waivers (he won't, IMO) if they try and send him to Hershey. So, one way or another, I have Aucoin and Sloan both making the club.

Posted by: tominfl1 | September 14, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Help me Ovie-1....Your our only hope...

Sincerely,
Redskins fan representing all of D.C..

Posted by: SA-Town | September 14, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

hock1,
how did hanlon do? oh wait maybe it was because they fired their equipment manager because he was selling stuff on ebay? what was his name again?

Posted by: MNMNT | September 14, 2009 1:20 AM | Report abuse

By the same weak logic on your question, we then can deduct that all successful coaches who follows a failed one can be anointed great coaches. Right? right.

I say the jury is still out.

Posted by: hock1 | September 14, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

@whiteltng

Unbelievable invasion of privacy. You are quite a d##che. Very surprised that this made it to this Blog. Isn't there an umbudsman at the Post?
In any case, that just proves my point.
Posted by: atybat | September 14, 2009 10:07 AM

I invaded no where. It is out there on the web. But I guess it's ok to call people names with only changing a few letters.

Posted by: whiteltng | September 14, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1: Um ... you ever thought that that may just be for the benefit of the media? You don't ever say of a former teammate that he won't be missed, it's that simple.

Oh wait, I asked you to think instead of kneejerk. My bad.

Posted by: kittypawz | September 12, 2009 3:59 PM


@kittypawz: O Kitty! I think I'm in love ! OUCH!


OFF SUBJECT -- Heatley headed to San Jose in return for Chechoo, Michalek and a pick

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=290808

Posted by: Puckdawg69 | September 12, 2009 2:50 PM


@Puckdawg: Cherechoo in Ottawa...hmmm....could be trouble.

The facts also say the Caps couldn't stay out of the penalty box during last season either. That jobbing meme reeks of tinfoil hat conspiracy.

Posted by: Section117 | September 14, 2009 7:31 AM

@Section 117: But it wasn't just the Caps who suffered from the pro-Penguin referee bias. During Game 3 of the Final (at Mellon Arena), the Pens had too many men on the ice for close to half a minute. And EVERYBODY knew it!!!

Mike Babcock knew it and he just about blew a gasket.

Bylsma knew it and said nothing (naturally).

The crowd at the Igloo knew it and suddenly it got (relatively) real quiet in the building.

The players all knew it.

Even the NBC broadcasters up in the booth interrupted their Crosby love-fest to remark several times during that nearly half-minute (an eternity during a hockey game):

"Pittsburgh has too many many on the Ice!The Penguins have six skaters on the ice!"

EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE who watched that game seemed to notice this EXCEPT for the people whose JOB it was to notice: The Referees. Who, when they finally DID call a stoppage in play, did so to call an interference penalty on Zetterberg!!

Then too there was Malkin starting a fisticuffs at the close of another game, but suffering no consequences for it. And he list goes on...

I'm telling you, man: Ain't no tinfoil hats about it: it all adds up to Bettman-sanctioned, Campbell-approved, NBC-sponsored Penguin Love!.

Posted by: Rhino40 | September 14, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

KUDOS Nylander.....Good for you. Let everyone bash you for NOT being good enough or calling you CIRCLES...Half the people on here didnt even know what the NHL was 2 years ago. Keep doin what your doin and BB will find a spot for you...GOOD LUCK this season!!!

Posted by: capsaintkiss | September 15, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Nylander is not aggressive in his style of play and does not fit into Boudreau's system.

That said, he was signed BEFORE Boudreau came to town so for all the McPhee bashers here remember he wasn't acquired with Bruce's system in mind.

Any time you have a transition in the coaching staff or front office there are certain legacy players that just don't fit in.

Usually, you can trade or release them.

The trouble was not the per year value of the contract to Nylander but the TERM.

You just don't commit that kind of money to a player that is already 34 years old and does not have a record for durability.

Notice the deal for Morrison was for 1 year and the Knuble deal was for 2.

Nylander is lost in space on this team.

At the same time nobody wants him in a trade for the money.

And Nylander knows he is not going to get a rich contract overseas as Fedorov did because he doesn't have the name or fame of Sergei.

So, he is stuck.

And likely to be an albatross for another year plus.

Posted by: leopard09 | September 15, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

A lot of you smell like fat ole white guys who never have laced it up anywhere except in those internet cross dressing lingerie chat rooms.

geebus - why knock Nylander? as a Caps fan you should be cheering for him to do well morons.

Apparently you lots confuse team support with stupidity.

Posted by: Rocc00 | September 15, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

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