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One More Trade and Zubrus Reaction

Veteran defenseman Jamie Heward was just notified that he's been dealt to Los Angeles for a conditional draft pick in 2008. I caught him on the way to his car a few moments ago and he was excited about getting the opportunity to "extend his career".

Below is some reaction I got from Dainius Zubrus, who was traded earlier today to the Buffalo Sabres for 23-year-old center Jiri Novotny and a first round draft pick. I didn't get much because he was hustling to get packed. The Sabres are in Toronto tonight.

"My reaction is that I'm going to a very good team that has a legit chance," to win a Stanley Cup," Zubrus said when reached on his cell phone. "Last year they came really close. I'm excited, it's a good team and I've got a chance to win."

Asked whether he would consider re-signing in Washington during the offseason, Zubrus said, "I don't know. I'm going to have to talk to George [McPhee]. But I've got to be honest, there's a lot more going through my head right now than coming back here."

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 27, 2007; 5:28 PM ET
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Can't blame Zubie. Run away and don't come back! Ovie and Semin are right behind you in a couple of years!

Posted by: Finn | February 27, 2007 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Yesh, lotta haters around here. I'm kinda suprised we didn't get a seccond rounder for Heward. He is a tested NHL veteren. I guess we'll find out what we got for him after the season.

Looks like GMGM will be busy come July 1.

Posted by: EricS | February 27, 2007 5:40 PM | Report abuse

(Of course) That's the right question, Tarik. And Zubie's answer is a fair one.

Posted by: TLGDC | February 27, 2007 5:41 PM | Report abuse

What is a conditional draft pick?

Posted by: ? | February 27, 2007 5:44 PM | Report abuse least we got SOMETHING for him.

Posted by: Hopeless Optimist | February 27, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Hewie deal is interesting. Kings traded away every real defenseman they had this week except Blake, so Hewie will definately play. But, really, they aren't going anywhere either, so I'm not sure why they want him, other than to fill jerseys until the end of the year. Best of luck to him. Not always the most skilled, but he played hard every night and wasn't prone to the stupid mistakes I've seen from Emmer, Nyco and Greenie.

Posted by: kings fan | February 27, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Conditional picks are based on terms agreed to during the year. For example, if LA signs Heward next year, then the caps may get a second round pick. And if they don't, then they get a 4th. Something like that.

I'm glad to see him go. He makes way to many poor decisions on the ice and a ton of small mistakes that waste opportunities. Guess we'll be seeing a lot more of Eminger in the lineup which will be a good thing for both him and the future of the team.

Posted by: Mike | February 27, 2007 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Emmy is a terrible choice for the Caps, Hewy was a + player and a bargan. Sorry to see him go, but the Caps will have to do something about the defence cause as it stands right now, it's in worse shape than before the deadline.

Good luck to Hewy in L.A., watch, he'll play with Blake on the PP and make the Caps wish they kept him.

GMGM, bad move.

Posted by: Northern Caps Fan | February 27, 2007 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Bring up some more Bears, let's see what they've got. Then we'll see what's out there in July.
If Bakstrom is a #1 or #2 center, maybe we can fill the other slot from the free agent pool.

Posted by: Waitin for July | February 27, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone have a good bead on who we may lose to free agency this off-season?

Posted by: The Future | February 27, 2007 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Sorry if I'm missing something here but what's with all the optimism? What have the Caps done??? They've traded Zednik, Zubrus and Heward, OK. But what did they get in return? NOTHING. A few lousy draft picks in a year that's expected to be a lousy draft. Way to go George, great thinking. Once this team is "rebuilt" to another 1st round playoff losing team, Ovechkin will be gone. Trust me.

Posted by: Digitalman08 | February 27, 2007 6:31 PM | Report abuse

@ Digital have a choice. Go follow the Penguins if you like.
The Caps is what we've got, love 'em or hate 'em.
I wish we could've spent a crapload of Ted's coin and signed some good players, good deep in the playoffs.
I've tried to get Ted to let me run the team...but he won't do it.

Posted by: Waitin for July | February 27, 2007 6:34 PM | Report abuse

I hope Ovechkin goes to a real team with not just play off but the Cup winning ambitions! Good luck, Ovie! You'll need it with this team

Posted by: OvechkinFan | February 27, 2007 6:38 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Waitin...

If you don't like the Capitals moves...go jump on the Sidney bandwagon.

Zubrus was a second-line player at best. I wish him best of success in Buffalo...but no tears shed here over his departure.

Posted by: Daniel | February 27, 2007 6:50 PM | Report abuse

ok,so digital, ur saying becuaes its a not a high profile draft, we shouldent have made those trades. thats kinda short sighted. and the value?heward is worthless, we found him in europe, zednik um well we used a 3rd to get him and we got a 2nd for him. im noy a math major but it seems like 2nd rounder is better than a 3rd. Zubrus, we got a 1st and mid level prospect. as was allready preached in the last blog, he is over rated, plays with ovechkin but has fewer goals than clark, not an impact guy. and ur little prediction is quite lame, ovechkin aint goin NOWHERE! why do you think were 14 mill under the cap? once they are "rebuilt" then you can conplain about GMGM. look at the consistant playoff contenders, except detroit, they all had extensive REBUILDING phases.

Posted by: timbers | February 27, 2007 6:58 PM | Report abuse

At least we traded the aging Heward. He was stealing development time for our younger defenseman in an obvious rebuilding period for the CAPS. He has a decent shot and doesnt take penalties but makes mistakes like most our D. But we showcased him all year for what is sure to be another wasted non-first round selection by GMGM. We should have given his minutes to Green and Eminger and Pothier. I am starting to think saving money is GMGM's #1 directive.

Posted by: Randy | February 27, 2007 6:59 PM | Report abuse

FOR OVECHKIN, do u understand how much money he is gonna want, a maxed out contact, salary cap style.

Posted by: timbers | February 27, 2007 7:05 PM | Report abuse

With Zed and Zubrus gone, the Caps have only a few legitimate NHL caliber players left on their roster. After Semin, Ovechkin, Kolzig, and Clark, they have a team of Bears and castoffs. If Leonsis cannot afford a decent team, he should give the team up to other ownership.

Posted by: FewNHLers left on Caps | February 27, 2007 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin deserves every penny of it

Posted by: Finn | February 27, 2007 7:12 PM | Report abuse

I have no problem with the Heward or Zednik trades, but I do with the Zubrus (unless we resign him after the season). What good does a mid level prospect do us and another first round pick that can help us in 3-4 years. When are the Caps going to stop going for Hershey Bears championships, and start going for the Cup. Zubrus was a legit 1st or 2nd line center, and only 28 years old and still in his prime. Even if the Caps had given him the 5 year deal he wanted, he's only 32 at the end of the contract. everybody wants to see Hershey doing well, but when do the Caps stop building around 3rd and 4th line players and really do something. The Caps are so far under the salary cap, there is no reason for moves like this. This is why there are 9,000 people at Verizon Center (although they will announce it at 14,000)

Posted by: jim bean | February 27, 2007 7:21 PM | Report abuse

3:0 Panthers

Posted by: Finn | February 27, 2007 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Three goals against in 8 minutes. Morale is sky-high!!

Posted by: awful | February 27, 2007 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Either we are going to have a dynasty in the next few years, or they team will fold. this really is a crossroads for the franchise in washington. I think.

Posted by: Lee | February 27, 2007 7:30 PM | Report abuse

3 goals on 9 shots... Let's trade some more, shall we?

Posted by: Finn | February 27, 2007 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Let's put cassivy in net. If we are going to put the Bears on the ice....

Posted by: Lee | February 27, 2007 7:33 PM | Report abuse

3-2! Ain't that something?

Posted by: Lee | February 27, 2007 7:34 PM | Report abuse

So...defense as it stands:

Morrison (solid)
Muir (looks 5 steps slow)
Jurcina (ok)
Pothier (still 2 steps slow - what's up?)
Eminger (as "meh" as usual)
Erskine (ok)

Barring any additions next year, what do you think?

Morrison - Green
Pothier - Schultz
Jurcina - Erskine
Eminger on bench most nights
Muir out the door

That D corps is going to need at *least* one more year of development. We could use a free agent C, RW, D + Backstrom.

Posted by: Shmoo | February 27, 2007 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Anyone notice Kiwi got moved? To Pittsburgh for a 4th rounder to Fla. With this in mind the Caps might be able to pull this one out tonight. Whew!

Posted by: Shmoo | February 27, 2007 7:46 PM | Report abuse

4 goals on 14 shots now... Let's play the Bears!

Posted by: Finn | February 27, 2007 7:47 PM | Report abuse

This game is a joke!

Posted by: Crapital | February 27, 2007 7:48 PM | Report abuse


Ovechkin Sutherby Brashear
Semin Beech Fleischmann
Pettinger Gordon Bradley
[Ovechkin] Laich Clymer

Jurcina Morrisonn
Pothier Schultz
Eminger Erskine
+ Muir


Posted by: Anonymous | February 27, 2007 7:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm the one who posted the lineup above. Forgot to sign.

To those who complain about the three goals that we gave up in 8 minutes: the Panthers just gave up three goals in 10 minutes. This game is not over.

Posted by: Marc D. | February 27, 2007 7:53 PM | Report abuse

with the hate that is here, I wouldn't want the US to be invaded cause there is plenty of turncoats here.

Posted by: Victor | February 27, 2007 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Three-point period for Ovechkin. Not far from his record, I guess.

Posted by: Marc D. | February 27, 2007 8:01 PM | Report abuse

I guess OV can make anyone look good! Go Bears!

Posted by: Lee | February 27, 2007 8:06 PM | Report abuse

That's right. You aren't allowed to be a Caps fan if you don't bow down and worship everything George McPhee does. I heard Jiri Novotny was the next Mark Messier. Seriously, what has McPhee ever done to lead you to believe that he is capable of building a winning team?

Posted by: Jeff | February 27, 2007 8:16 PM | Report abuse

GMGM, he, um, he, uh, took a team built by David Poile to the Stanley Cup, got swept, and fired the coach!

Posted by: Lee | February 27, 2007 8:19 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Anonymous | February 27, 2007 8:36 PM | Report abuse

its 5-5, frontrunner. you all for them now? you talk big when the going gets tough. please stop watching the caps games and stop posting your idiotic, useless comments here.

Posted by: Wheres Finn | February 27, 2007 9:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm totally feeling the love here...

hopefully we make some deals in the offseason and unload some of these draft picks that we really don't need at this point.

Posted by: murshawursha | February 27, 2007 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Let's face it folks, the rebuilding plan came into full view today. Uncle Teddy is gonna run this team into the ground, untill he can buy the Wizards, and the verizon center and eveerything else, so he can RE-BUILD his wallet!!


Posted by: Rob | February 27, 2007 10:36 PM | Report abuse

It was nice to see Ovechkin tearing it up again. And Mike Vogel says that Novotny should be in the lineup Saturday night when Richard Zednik and the New York Islanders come to town.

Capital Fanatic

Posted by: Capital Fanatic | February 27, 2007 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Guess some ppl here are playing the dixie chicks role & calling for Ted & Mac's head.

Always thought the turncoats were like the chicks. Times are tough lets talk sky is falling about the team! Yay.

Posted by: Victor | February 28, 2007 12:50 AM | Report abuse

Was at a bar last night. Couldn't bother to watch OV and the Bears. I heard the crowd was great though, a sell out!

Posted by: Finn | February 28, 2007 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Caps did very well last night to get a point, after a very shaky start. I still will give Ted and GMGM the benefit of the doubt. What happens in the offseason, and how the teams performs in the remaining 18 games should give us an idea of how next year will shake out.
I'm optimistic.

Posted by: kenhockey | February 28, 2007 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Finn and all the rest of the doomsayers:

If you hate them so much, you're more than welcome to become a Penguins fanboy. I doubt you'll be missed.

While I liked Zubrus and will miss him, GMGM now has 4 draft picks in the first 2 rounds, a wealth of mid-range prospects, and about $20 million in breathing room below the salary cap ceiling to go out and acquire top notch talent this summer either via trade or free agency. He couldn't have positioned himself better.

I'm not about to say that McPhee's a genius or that I'll support any move that he makes, because he's not and I won't, but I will say that he is OBVIOUSLY stockpiling ammunition to load up our lines this summer and I will reserve judgment until he has had a chance to show us what he's going to do with said ammunition.

He got more than his money's worth out of four mediocre players who have never lived up to their hype. Give him a chance to spend it.

Oh, and do I have to be the one here to bring up the fact that McPhee offered Zubrus 4 years at $3 mil a year????

If he doesn't manage a stellar move this summer we ice the same team that we're looking at right now next October I'll be out there helping you build the gallows, but for now would everyone please CALM DOWN.

Posted by: HolyOlie | February 28, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

After hearing the offers that Zubrus rejected he was either 1)delusional 2)hell-bent on leaving 3)determined to try for a Cup this year and let the chips fall where they may in free agency.

Novotny could very well be here just long enough to get packaged out the door. The Caps reps have sent a very mixed message about him to this point. He's got a tryout over the next few weeks to prove he's better than Gordon-Laich-Beech-Sutherby for 3rd/4th center duty. Sutherby and Beech are running on fumes themselves at this point.

Allllll about the offseason. The Caps are in excellent position to add the three players they absolutely need (top C, 1st/2nd line RW and top 2 D) and still keep room under the cap for the balloon payments down the line to Ovie and Semen.

There should be enough talent available to not have to pay out the wazoo to get it done. It's put up or shut up time for Leonsis this summer.

Posted by: Shmoo | February 28, 2007 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Is Novotny a rookie? He is listed as a rookie in espn's stats list. Which line did he center in Buffalo? I wonder how low the average age is of the Caps now that Zed, Zuby and Heward are gone.

Posted by: wanggo | February 28, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Turncoats: thanks for making this town what ESPN calls "hockey-dead Washington."

Posted by: Victor | February 28, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Turncoats: thanks for making this town what ESPN calls "hockey-dead Washington."

Posted by: Victor | February 28, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Novotny spent his time with Buffalo's 4th line. For a 4th line captain, I suppose his numbers aren't horrible. Wonder how he'll match up with Carolina and Atlanta.

Posted by: EricS | February 28, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

After reflecting on it on the way home(and listening to the game), I may be hasty in thinking ownership/management is spinning it's wheels. I remember years ago when we let Bengt Gustaffson go back to sweden, and everyone said we would never win a Cup without him. The comment was made, "What did the caps win WITH him?" As much as I liked having Zubris, we didn't win anything with him, and perhaps the moves will pan out in the end. I am just a looong time (75/76 season) suffering Caps fan, and think we have the core to be successful again.


Posted by: Lee | February 28, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Some of you people really crack me up.


Posted by: Graham | February 28, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

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