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Poll: What do the Caps need?

The March 3 NHL trade deadline is creeping around the corner, and while struggling teams like the Atlanta Thrashers are looking to unload some major contracts and start over, the streaking Caps haven't made any waves just yet.

And if you believe him, GM George McPhee doesn't plan on shaking things up too much.

"If the trade deadline was tomorrow," McPhee told USA Today's Kevin Allen, "we wouldn't do anything."

Maybe that's the case -- the Caps do have the league's top offense and seem frighteningly unstoppable after eight straight wins against worthy opponents. But the deadline isn't tomorrow, and the Caps are trying to win a Stanley Cup here. If you're McPhee and looking ahead, what would you trade for?

Vote in the poll and then feel free to expand in the comments.

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  January 28, 2010; 3:26 PM ET
 
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Next: Morning roundup: Caps go for nine in a row

Comments

I'm not voting. The Caps need Varly and/or Theo to be healthy and stay healthy. One thing they absolutely do not need: Kovulchuk.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | January 28, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

we've been expounding on this topic (via these comments) for months...nothing new.

One top 4 veteran, smart, good skating, responsible, and PK savvy defenseman. That's it.

And a healthy Varly for the post season...

Save cap room for Backstrom, Alzner, Varly, and the kids we have drafted, are developing, or are going to get stars...

Posted by: netminder71 | January 28, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

"rather than going out to get stars..."

damned english.

Posted by: netminder71 | January 28, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

At this high (but hopefully not highest) point, I'd look for tweaks at most. Our most "expendable" players seem to be doing just great, and our greatest prospects are great as well.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 28, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I voted for a D, but I'm not going to cry if it doesn't happen. The ability for a new player to blend in to Gabby's system in such a short amount of time to perform at a high level is a hit or miss prospect.

On a side note, at the game last night I heard the crowd say something after the ducks scored, I want to say it was "Who They?" Please say it ain't so Caps fans. If we're going to do stupid annoying chants be original, or at least rip off a good one, not some B.S. the Saints stole from the Bengals.

Posted by: superpaqman | January 28, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

It's not the best time to truly evaluate what the Caps need. They have won 8 in a row and look like they are destined for the Cup. But IMHO, we still need a top 4 veteran defenseman who can kill penalties with a little bit of a mean streak. We do not need to overpay however. If the right player at the right price is there at the deadline, then i say do it. But if the price is too high meaning it will take away from the identity of the team now or in the next couple of years, then i say we go with what we have. As for goaltending, if we are healthy, we are good, but if there is any doubt, we need some depth for the playoffs.

Posted by: bigschu8 | January 28, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

We might need one top defenseman, but that would be it. Our forwards are awesome, our goalies are doing well enough to get us to the Cup, but the defense has let us down a number of times. If we were to get a new defenseman, it should be someone who can clear the crease area.

As for the person on an earlier thread who said you can't win a Cup with adequate goaltending, sure you can. How do you think Osgood has been the starting goalie on Cup teams?

Posted by: timmyv38 | January 28, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

From TSN.CA:

"The Pittsburgh Penguins announced Thursday that enforcer Eric Godard will miss four-to-six weeks with a groin injury."

He was seen fighting with Sidney before that...


Posted by: Greg S. | January 28, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

As always, it depends on what the price is. I wouldn't tamper with the top four forward lines, so that means our trade bait are either in Hershey or defensemen or draft picks.

I don't want to mortgage the future either, so no Alzner, no Carlson, no Neuvirth or Holtsby. So, I'm not sure what a draft pick + one of our middle prospects will net us. A top 4 defenseman is nice, but would it come at too high a cost?

Posted by: Joran | January 28, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Given that "something else" is currently at 2%, it appears to me that most of the board has finally wised up and decided we don't need Kovy. I hope I don't eat my words and see that number shoot up in the near future...

Posted by: Raber | January 28, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

All we need is $3 beers.....

Posted by: SA-Town | January 28, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

@superpaqman

The statement made after each opposing goal is announced is "Who Cares".

Posted by: Padow1 | January 28, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

We need a goaltender, I think. Not Marty Turco, or even a starter, but a solid backup goaltender who may not necessarily have the endurance to pick up a lot of starts but definitely has the skills to win games. This way, we're not relying on two 22-year-olds next year in net, and we have someone who can back up Jose Theodore in the playoffs if Varly goes down.

Ty Conklin, for instance, would be a good fit.

Posted by: DC_BCF | January 28, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, what about a three way trade between the Flames, Thrashers, and Capitals where the Caps get Phaneuf Calgary gets Kovi and ATL gets pick and prospects?

Posted by: redmatt | January 28, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Who gives a rat's butt what I think? Gotta go with GMGM on this one and trust in his wisdom. Hasn't steered us wrong yet

Posted by: Chad8 | January 28, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, what about a three way trade between the Flames, Thrashers, and Capitals where the Caps get Phaneuf Calgary gets Kovi and ATL gets pick and prospects?

Posted by: redmatt | January 28, 2010 3:52 PM

Phaneuf is still not the droid you're looking for.

Posted by: Raber | January 28, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

One defenseman who has 2 - 3 years left in him, who can be gotten for draft picks and Hershey players not named Alzner or Carlson. Please Mr. GMGM do not break up this forward unit that is clicking so well. Even the non scorers are valubale on the PK, etc. If it ain't broke don't fix it...only add to it if it can be done without exposing the current talent and top of the line prospects. If that is impossible, sit tight.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | January 28, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Ok. Until the day that Semin doesn't score a point in a game we are down to trading defensemen, I take it the glut of D=men I have heard about is just empty talk, and that Carlson and Alzner are a total bust, so therefore we should destroy the chemistry on this team to get ... who?

By the way, should we also be looking for goalies? Maybe a new GM and coaching staff?

Come on Teddy baby, listen to your fans ...

Posted by: hock1 | January 28, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

joran, i like your idea of what's available, id be fine with middle prospects or draft picks.

Posted by: brian58 | January 28, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

heeheeheehee

Posted by: Leeguru | January 28, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

The Caps need nothing... no trades. The players we have deserve to play through the rest of the season as well as battle for the Cup. Start trading and you risk chemistry both in the locker room and on the ice. Bring in new players, and their is no guarantee that they won't be busts. Some "fans" seem to take pleasure in pointing out the negatives in a 7-2 Caps win and never seem happy with what we have. These are the ones that are most likely calling for the trades. I say work with what we have - a terrific team that we have supported all season. Stick with them!

Posted by: gonchpup | January 28, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

The caps are set up to win for the next 10 years. We're 2nd in the league (bears are first, rays are first too) and we've got more talent than we can deal with at the moment.

That said, I'd like to see the Caps add a reliable stay at home defensemen for this years cup run. Nothing too expensive - maybe trade a second or third rounder and Oscala or Perrault to bring in a vet defensemen.

I think Alzner and Carlson show flashes of brilliance - and they are definetly our future - but I don't think they are ready to play shut down D in the playoffs. Defensemen don't hit their prime until their 30's. Let's make a strong play for a rental defensemen like Nydermyer.

Last comment - please GMGM - stay away from Kovi. I know Ovi wants him - but we don't need him. You can only score so many goals during a game. He won't add much offense to the most potent offense in the post lockout NHL. He will, however, cost a ton in prospects, picks, and players. Say NO to Kovi!

Posted by: patrone | January 28, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Atop 4 D-man for now. We have kids coming up that will in nicely, but for a run at the cup this year, and perhaps next year, we need some more toughness. And that toughness would be preferable on Defense. Look, let's be realistic. We really don't have anyone that is willing or maybe capable, of clearing the crease. Other teams make it a practice of parking one or two guys in our crease frequently, and since our guys can't clear them out, we end up with 3 guys screening our goalie.
This "tough" D-man needs also to be the kind tht would send out the message to the other teams' "goons" that taking a run at one of our guys will result in...well, maybe blood. The NHL still allows, and IMO encourages fights and "goonerism", so we have to fight fire with fire. We are only one hit, or one goon taking a run at Ovie, or Semin, or Backs, and these guys could miss considerable time. I know, those that disagree will say that we'll score on the PP. And I ask you, are you willing to trade losing one of our stars for a meaninless goal? in one game? I say let's get that guy that will discourage any thoughts of taking one of our guys out, and we solve that problem. In essence, we give up a prospect, or say our 20th ranked guy, for the assurance of keeping our top 6 to 10 guys safe.

Posted by: scmonty1 | January 28, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I think I agree that we may want to test the goalie market before the 3rd.As much as I love Varly, I want total goalie security this year.It feels like this team has the best chance of any CAPS team in history of winning the CUP. As good as Theo has been, he just makes me nervous.

I hear MTL is selling a goalie, and they win more with HALAK.

-Neuvirth and 2 picks for PRICE? Yes we would have to get rid of SHAMO or similar money but man that would be great!

Posted by: broud0 | January 28, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I remember last year's Pen series when we had trouble getting out of our own end. We need a D who carry the puck without being harassed into mistakes. Green cannot do the job by himself and the rest of the D are not qualified to do that.

Posted by: h20law2000 | January 28, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I would say that GMGM should be prudent and only make a deal if it makes sense fiscally. What the Caps cannot do is mortgage the future for a run this year. As the current state of the team shows, we have been fleecing teams of their prospects for years. What do you think Detroit would do to have Flash in their line up these days or the pick that turned out to be Mike Green, or Ottawa to have Brooksie back. Be shrewd Mr. McPhee

@superpaqman - After every goal the opponent scores at Verizon, a growing contingent in and around section 419 is yelling "WHO CARES!!" not "Who They".

Posted by: Big_Pushy | January 28, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

If it ain't broke...

Posted by: ljo211 | January 28, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

As a Caps season ticket holder the past several years, I fortunately (and unfortunately) get to see the players skills and limitations close up on a nightly basis. The Caps still appear to be built for the REGULAR season and not the playoffs. When other teams tighten their defense in the playoffs, the Caps great offense slows down. Defense then becomes a greater priority and the Caps still have a very immature (less talented?) defensive corps.

The Caps need to acquire an experienced top DEFENSIVE defenseman as well as demonstrate their desire to protect the goal by going down & blocking shots in the playoffs like Pittsburgh did against us last Spring if we are to seriously contend for the Cup.

Can we still dress Rod Langway?

Posted by: borg_cube | January 28, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

after the ducks scored, and wes made the announcement, the crowd yelled "WHO CARES"....hillarious!!!!!

Posted by: madmax521 | January 28, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

The Caps need a solid-lock down d-man for the playoffs. Their offense, even though its the best in the league, wont be enough to get them to the Cup. The playoffs are different, the Caps won't be able to score five goals every single game.

Btw, just found a great blog. Its published by a Caps fan for Caps fans: http://washingtoncapitalsblog.blogspot.com/

Posted by: gfsportsfan | January 28, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

They need :

TARIK EL BASHIR!

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 28, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Or

Drew McIntyre...he's a rangy Defenseman who loves to play the body in the corners...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 28, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

the caps need fans that just relax and trust GMGM to make the right move.

BTW I am one of the fans that needs to relax.

Posted by: caps512 | January 28, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

...and I love that guy above's answer..

$3 beers...

I agree, but THAT will never happen...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 28, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Golaie. Goalie. Goalie. If Varly and Theo cant stay healthy - this whole thing could unravel very quickly!

Posted by: AlexVa1 | January 28, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

It does seem like Goalie should have been an option on the poll, though I would vote for defensive defenseman in any case.

Posted by: yosemite_sam | January 28, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

SAY NO TO CAREY PRICE...HE IS A HEAD CASE AND A TOTAL BUST.

Just because a guy cannot hack it in MTL, doesn't mean he'd be good here.

VARLY, healthy is a #1 goalie
NEUVIE, is proving he can handle good teams
THEO, may not be the playoff guy, but is slowly building confidence

Young goalies HAVE made deep cup runs before. There's a lot to be said for timing, and luck, and chemistry.

GMGM don't mess w/ it...please.

Posted by: netminder71 | January 28, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

if I had to give up Fehr, a first round pick plus any prospect or two in the minors other than Carlson and Alzner for a d-man like Scott Niedermayer who has played in over 200 playoff games, I'd make the deal right now.

As George Allen once said, the future is NOW!!!

Posted by: joek443 | January 28, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

We need nothing - We are giving up fewer goals a game than Pittsburgh was last year.
We have offensive stability for the first time in team history. Previously as Caps fans we wondered who was going to step up and score. We don't have to worry about that anymore. Our team concept proves that we capable of playing with anyone. Again - WE NEED NOTHING
While I'm on here, Did anyone catch Matthew Barnaby last week after the Caps beat the Pens 6 - 3 in their building saying that the Caps were not one of the 4 best teams in the league. Putting Buffalo, San Jose, New Jersey and Pittsburgh before us. Barnaby wouldn't know good hockey if it bit him! What a jerk.

Posted by: psugolf | January 28, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

@patrone - Couldn't agree more. Not only are the Caps the East leader (& only 2 points behind the overall NHL leader) their farm system is superb. The Bears have been to the Cup Finals 3 out of the last 4 years - and won it twice. This year they are running away from everyone else again. Same thing with the SC Stingrays. There's nothing better than developing your own talent - letting it mature together in the minors - and rewarding it with a promotion to the NHL. Trade? What did the trade that sent Clark away do for the Caps? Does anything really think they are a better club now than BEFORE that trade? I doubt it. What it does is disrupt the team chemistry. You have a locker room full of guys who are playing great together - AND having fun beating the crap out of the oppostion - AND you're #1. Then GMGM trades a few guys and everyone starts to think, "who's next?" and "what does management expect?" - It only creates problems and unhappy players. Now - if this was a team that had not made the playoffs in years - in last place - a lousy farm system - then yes, trades would be needed. But that is NOT the case here. If it's not broke - don't mess with it!

Posted by: hersheybearfan | January 28, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

We have to be concerned that we are 13th or 14th in the league in goals against...

In the playoffs, DEFENSE is what wins Championships...

Our goaltending is suspect. Whether it be health, inexperience, or inconsistency...

Yes, we are playing GREAT, but the post season is far from what the regular season is...

If you don't believe my last statement, tell me what the Caps have traditionally done when they have had lights out regular seasons...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 28, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

They really need this streak to continue long into June. It's funny reading other posts about other teams wanting OUR players. "Caps should trade Semin for " "Semin would be great in ." "Know who Washington needs? TOSKALA."

Stay the course, boys.

Posted by: sandyflee | January 28, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

If we trade for Neidermayer and get performances like that last night then no thanks. Ovi cut him up like a fish. He nut punched Ovi too in the first.

Posted by: moltzjo | January 28, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

@PSU...

Matt Barnaby has played in a Stanley Cup and has been the catalyst of the Sabres during their runs...

What's your resume?

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 28, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

If we trade for Neidermayer and get performances like that last night then no thanks. Ovi cut him up like a fish. He nut punched Ovi too in the first.

Posted by: moltzjo | January 28, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

If Scott Stevens and Rod Langway had to play against Mario Lemieux every night, neither of them would have made it to the Hall Of Fame

Posted by: joek443 | January 28, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

PSU...my mistake. He has NOT played in the Cup...

But he does have 300 points in the NHL...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 28, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

if I had to give up Fehr, a first round pick plus any prospect or two in the minors other than Carlson and Alzner for a d-man like Scott Niedermayer who has played in over 200 playoff games, I'd make the deal right now.

As George Allen once said, the future is NOW!!!

Posted by: joek443 | January 28, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

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

Have you seen Fehr's per minute numbers? They're REALLY good. And he's cheap for at least another year. I'd trade a pick and a prospect, but not Fehr, for a few months of Niedermayer.

Posted by: butcherbaker | January 28, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Entering the 2009-2010 season I felt the Capitals Achilles' heel would be blueline grit and overall strength in the forward position. However, with the additions of Mike Knuble, Brendan Morrison and Jason Chimera - as well as the emergence of healthy Eric Fehr and Tomas Fleishmann - I feel DC is able to function quite nicely on offense, and can rely on goal support throughout their second, third, and fourth lines. One area the Caps have not been able to shore up is adding a pure Defensive player, one who is effective in puck-movement, blocking, hitting, and speed. Sure, Washington's roster seems bottomless, but it is filled with youth (Karl Alzner, Tyler Sloan), penalty prone members (Shaone Morrison, Mike Green), and little offensive upside (John Erskine). While there are several viable options available on the market, some would not be a long term option due to age (Scott Niedermayer, the return of Sergei Gonchar), overpaying for offensive abilities that are already filled by Green and Brian Pothier (Cam Barker, Dion Phaneuf), or would not be a visible upgrade (Andrew Ference, Chris Campoli). That being said if I were able to suggest a player to McPhee it would have to be Anton Volchenkov, who carries a pretty price tag for his hitting and shot-blocking abilities, but is worth every penny. At 27, the current Senator would fit in nicely as a long-term stay-at-home defenceman for the Capitals. Although The Capitals might have to pinch some pennies to make Volchenkov's potential bidding-war friendly salary fit, they would have more room next season as Pothier, Morrisonn, and Jose Theodore are all defensive unrestricted free agents, and have the potential to come off the books.

Posted by: RockTheRednet | January 28, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

"If we trade for Neidermayer and get performances like that last night then no thanks. Ovi cut him up like a fish."

Who cut him up like a fish? Exactly. As been stated by many, Ovi is one of a kind. And he wouldn't be playing against him, but rather with him.

Posted by: Fro_ | January 28, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

@hersheybearfan

To answer your question. I think the Caps are a better team after the trade. I loved Clarke and Alzner, but not only did the trade free up some $$, but it allows players to play in their more suited positions. Plus Chimera has wheels and has sparked the 3rd line. Only now do i appreciate what Morrison can bring to this team and Fehr, well is playing great. The puck is in the opposing teams end most of their shifts. And as for messing with chemistry, we played bad for 3 games and it was on a west coast trip that most teams struggle with. Look at us now.
I am not saying we need to do anything major, but GMGM made a great trade that has IMHO made the Caps stronger. If there is another opportunity there at the deadline to do the same, GMGM will jump on it.

Posted by: bigschu8 | January 28, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Does anything really think they are a better club now than BEFORE that trade? I doubt it.
Posted by: hersheybearfan | January 28, 2010 4:40 PM

i would say they are marginally better yes. but more importantly, they have some additional cap room - that is why everyone here is trying to figure out how to spend it.

they did take a 'chemistry' hit for a few games after the clark/juice for chimera trade and any moves that they may make will probably have another 'chemistry' adjustment.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 28, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Off topic, but I just noticed that 6th and 13th place in the Eastern conference is currently separated by 1 point. Eight different teams are within one point of each other in the East - that's messed up.

Posted by: Raber | January 28, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

oops Jurcina and Clark, not Alzner. my bad. Brain cramp.

Posted by: bigschu8 | January 28, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

We have to be concerned that we are 13th or 14th in the league in goals against..In the playoffs, DEFENSE is what wins Championships..Our goaltending is suspect. Whether it be health, inexperience, or inconsistency...Yes, we are playing GREAT, but the post season is far from what the regular season is...If you don't believe my last statement, tell me what the Caps have traditionally done when they have had lights out regular seasons...


Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 28, 2010 4:43 PM
they would lose because they only had 1 player who could score ..no one can shut down all 4 lines now or in the playoffs

Posted by: heathdog1119 | January 28, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

bigschu8:
better said than i did

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 28, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know if the Nylander transfer is just for this year or for next year too?

Also on a side note this does mean that Ecklund was right about something.

Posted by: icehammer97 | January 28, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

i'm not sure why everyone (well not everyone) is hung up on the caps defense not being good enough for the playoffs. yes - goals are harder to come by in the playoffs - all teams seem to 'clamp' down a little more. it appears by some comments that for this years playoffs only 15 teams will tighten their d - except for the caps.
as of today the caps score 3.83 gpg and give up 2.72 - by my calculations the caps could score 1 less goal a game without the d getting any better and still be winning.

i don't think the caps have as big a gap in goal as most people think. an additional d man (2nd pairing) would help improve the d - not a lot but at least better than they are now and shouldn't cost too awful much.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 28, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Eklund gets no credit, the whole site is a joke.

Jokerit filed papers for the transfer with the SM-Liiga FIN on Monday. Didn't go through until yesterday Europe time. Didn't get "officially announced" until this morning.

Eklund posted that yesterday, and any google search could produce the Finnish league transactions.

One of Eklund's minions must have some Google Alerts on a long list of players names, and when something pops up, Eklund makes a bee-line to post his rumor system...

Eklund is a fraud. If we all got paid to be right less than 3% of the time, we'd love our jobs and be rich...

Posted by: netminder71 | January 28, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Right now the Caps are a Cup contender along with San Jose and Chicago. If they can get a quality defenseman to shore up the defense in front of our goal. The Caps will be the favorites!!!

Posted by: bigschu8 | January 28, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

I don't want the Caps to be the Cup favorites. I want them to play hungry, with a chip on their shoulders. The franchise has to earn whatever respect comes our way...

Little sense to whine about what Melrose, Barnaby, LeBrun, Hradek, and all the other big media guys say...the Capitals have won nothing in the last 35 years. There have been a lot of good Capitals teams that got ousted in the post season(by the likes of Pitt, Philly, NJ, and even Tampa Bay...)

Anyone remember that the Lightning, have a Cup. The 'Canes, have a Cup. We don't.

The Caps need to stay hungry. Let everyone disrespect 'us.' The victory dinner tastes so much sweeter while everyone else eats their words.

Stay the course.

Posted by: netminder71 | January 28, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

...and I am not saying our beloved Caps are not a good team. They are fantastic and I cannot get enough of winning...

I am simply implying that being a favorite is not always a good thing.

Posted by: netminder71 | January 28, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Maybe an inexpensive but experienced stay-at-home defenseman. Steve Staios comes to mind, although I don't know how well he's been playing this season

Posted by: GoUnited | January 28, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

@NETMINDER!

True how true...about the victory dinner being sweeter.


BTW, I don't anticipate anything happening till after the Olympics...because of potential injuries of players participating.

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 28, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

A physical stay at home D with Stanley Cup experience would be perfect to team with Alzner in the playoffs.

Also I think that ShaMo for a veteran reserve goalie would be worth it as well.

Don't mess with the forward lines and don't trade any of our young goalies for anyone, Carlson, or Alzner for anyone.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | January 28, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

My vote (as if it matters) is to stand pat, unless the wheels start to fall off, or goalie health continues to be an issue. I understand all of the buzz about a top 4 D man, but the who and for how much--both in terms of $ and bodies--makes the whole exercise silly, at least to me. BTW, one poster on the Ducks blog called Ovie out for his dirty play, and thought that it was wonderful when Ovi got slightly hurt when he tried to kabong Niedermayer. Message to the Ducks fan/fans: Ovi's message to Nieds: (with Governor Terminator voice) "I'll be baack". And he was. And Nieds looked silly.

Posted by: NorthFork1 | January 28, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

anyone noticing how sloane and laing have been healthy scratches a lot recently?

perhaps they're good trading chips.

I'd suggest trading Theo to sweeten the deal for a top D man, but Theo's been playing awesome lately. We should keep him till the end of the season.

maybe ShaMo is another good chip.

Posted by: j762 | January 28, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

when i think back to last year and how Pittsburgh controlled the puck and we appeared weak at center, i get concerned. However, it would mean changing the front line chemistry and that is risky. Yes to a top 4 defense man for the right price

Posted by: jsandes | January 28, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

The trick in nhl-cap-land is to always have a pipeline of pretty good young prospects; we don't want to part with many of those.

I don't know who we'd trade right now. Theo, a goaltender? Some prospects? Sloan, Laing, Sarge?

Posted by: RedLitYogi | January 28, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

After watching Niedermayer last night I would be glad to have him for a cup run. Ovi makes many great dmen look silly and other than that he was all over the place and can play a ton of minutes.

@SouringCaps - The old adage that defense wins championships is just that, an old adage. With the NHL becoming a more offensive league defense, while still important, won't be the only way to win a cup. If the SC finals turns out to be Caps vs. Sharks or Hawks do you really think it will be a series of 2-1 games? I doubt it.

Posted by: ds_kelly | January 28, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

TARIK:

Will you show the results of the poll to McPhee? I hope he absolutely gets us a top defender. Every trade in the last year or so has been superb--Knuble, Morrison, Chimera...And the trades of 2 years ago--Huet, Cooke et al--took us to the playoffs.

I also hope they will trade Theo. He has improved but I do not trust him for the longterm and it's time to get the kids here full-time.

Posted by: caraveli | January 28, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

@dskelly

WHAT? Ok, here are the scores between last year's HIGH SCORING teams...

3-1 Det
3-1 Det
4-2 Pen
4-2 Pen
5-0 Det (this is the exception)
2-1 Pen
2-1 Pen

I would be willing to bet at least 2 of those 2-goal games there was an empty netter...

Even so, 6 games when the winning team scored 4 or less and 4 when they scored 3 or less...

Goals are not in bunches in the playoffs...NEED BETTER DEFENSE and a good (not great) goalie...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | January 28, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

I hear everyone when they say not to mess with the forward lines and I agree, but what about...from CBSsports
Sammy Pahlsson: Pahlsson earned his cred in Anaheim where he centered the shutdown line that was fundamental to the Ducks' Stanley Cup win in 2007. He was one of the Blackhawks' best playoff performers last season after Chicago got him at the deadline, and Pahlsson is still among the top third-line types around. He's good defensively, effective in the faceoff circle, and kills penalties. Pahlsson is 31, and is signed for two more seasons at a reasonable $2.65 million per.

Posted by: bigschu8 | January 28, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

I think if we want anybody decent, it is going to mean giving up Neuvy, Alzner, or Carlson. Maybe it would be worth it though.

Posted by: capscoach | January 28, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

@hersheybearfan

I have to agree with the majority of the members here - the Clark trade helped. Chimerra fits much better than Clark. I was pretty upset that we sent Juice packing - he has Chara potential. Getting rid of Clark was a good thing.

I think one of the most important things people overlook when they throw out names for potential trades is that they have to fit in to BB's system. We are never going to have a great defense - it's not because we don't have talent - it's because it's not our focus. We focus on creating an up-tempo offensive game.

That's why the Chimerra trade is going to work out so wonderfully for the caps. Getting rid of the cap space is a plus - but don't overlook the fact that we added one of the fastest players in the game. Chimerra's numbers wern't all that great - but he was trapped in the Blue Jackets defensive game. Think Green during Glen Hanlon's tenure. He was just plain awful because the system didn't cater to his talents.

BB's system didn't cater to Nylanders talents...it didn't cater to Clarks talents either...this team is young for a reason - we attack with speed and precision. There is really no place for older more cerybral offensive players.

If your looking for an available defensemen to target - the caps would be best suited to go after a fast defensive minded breakout specialist. Someone who excels at the transition game but also shuts down offensive rushes. Ideally, if Brian Pothier played for another team, he'd be the perfect caps trade target.

Posted by: patrone | January 28, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Nicholas Wallin for one of OV's broken sticks.

Posted by: IceNutz | January 28, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

someone asked if we are a better team now after the Clark trade - I say 100% yes we are. Chimera is 10X the player Clark was and Jurcina was a low end defenseman. We also opened up tons of cap space to make a move at the deadline and hopefully sign some long term deals to players in need (19, 28). Are we better than before the trade - when was the last time we won 8 games in a row?

Posted by: capsfansince74 | January 28, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I agree completely with capscoach. Come trade deadline, it would not surprise me if we gave up promising prospects for a top tier defensemen. It won't be cheap so with Varly and Holtby slated to be 1 and 2 in DC for several years upcoming Neuvy, Alzner, and Carlson will be prime trade bait.
The question is, will GMGM hold to his typical conservatism or pull the trigger for the cup run. I hope he does make a move but with that, one, two, or all 3 of the pre-mentioned prospects will be gone. Other then Neuvy, such a move would have no major impact on our roster the way we've been playng so I hope GMGM and Leonsis really, really wants a cup in DC.
I can only hope.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 28, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

the current Caps under BB will never put up great defensive numbers because that's not their style and I'm not really worried about the stats.

I watched a program on the NHL network last week about the 2007 Stanley Cup champ Ducks and Brian Burke, one of the smartest men in hockey, was on it. Burke said he once asked Bill Torrey, the architect of the NY Islander Dynasty of the early 1980's on how to build a championship hockey team.

Torrey told him in order to advance in the playoffs, win 4 series and the Cup, you have to build a team that can match up against a variety of styles because that's what you're gonna face in the playoffs... a team that can win high scoring contests as well as tight checking physical games.

The Caps won't have to play great defense every game in order to advance in the playoffs but you have to have a team that CAN play that style when called upon to do so.. especially in obvious defensive situations like in PK.

Posted by: joek443 | January 28, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't think some of the people complaining about the D are taking into account the improvement they've shown. In 2010, they are averaging right around 2.5 a game, good enough for top 10. If you take away the freak games of Florida/Tampa theyve let up around 21 in 11 games, good enough for under 2.0.

The GAA is creeping down, and will be in the top 10 by the break, and the PK% is also creeping up.

I think a top 4 d would be welcome, but its not as dire of a need as some people like to think.

Posted by: BACKS | January 28, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

No way on Niedermayer. He is now a -17, by far the worst on his team. He looked bad several times last night. I keep hearing about what a great leader he is and his great resume. Are the Caps lacking in leadership? What would bringing in another alpha personality do to team chemistry? And Bobby Orr has a great resume too, but I wouldn't recommend bringing him out of retirement.

Posted by: zmega | January 28, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

I'd be shocked if either Alzner or Carlson is traded. They are both very good and too close to being ready to be traded now. I think Alzner will be playing as a top 6 man come playoff time.

Carlson will do so next year.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 28, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

sgm3,
But Neuvy getting moved would not shock you? Considering the ages of Varly, Holtby, and Neuvy, all three could go come deadline. Yes, even Varly.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | January 28, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

I swear once trade discussions get under way it's like everyone forgets the fact that we currently have the best player in the league in Alex Ovechkin, not to mention the fact that we've done a pretty damn good job of building a team around him.

As it stands right now we're destined to get as many as 3 cups in the future, the question right now is how many do we get with Semin on the team but thats besides the point.

I mean how many of you remember Horace Grant, Luc Longely, or Bill Cartwright? Personally I'm pretty sure Jordan could have won titles without either of those guys.

By the same token though I think people expect to bring in a quality of player similar to how the Lakers were able to bring in Pau Gasol last year. And yes I realize I'm comparing basketball to hockey but either way my point is we have a very good team right now, and it's very possible that we don't need to add anyone else. Maybe a defensive version of Chimera but thats it. In fact the only thing that people should be worried about is who our #1 goalie is come playoff time and even then, or all the chaos right now at the position we still have some pretty good options.

Posted by: CapsXXVI | January 28, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Phaneuf is still not the droid you're looking for.

Posted by: Raber | January 28, 2010 3:54 PM

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


You can go about your business....

Move along...

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 28, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

This "stay-at-home defenseman" crap is becoming an old and tiring cliche. The Caps D corps is fine as it is. Some point out the amount of goals allowed without taking into account the game coach B expects of his players. From day one, he pointed out that we were going to see a lot of goals but give up a few more as well. It's more the system than the fault of our players. Put the top "D-man" in the league in our system and I doubt you would see much of an impact. We have an exciting, all-out team to watch and I would prefer to keep it that way... if you don't like seeing goals scored against, there are several teams in the league that might be more to your liking. As far as the playoffs and the need to CHANGE our game - overstated. Adapt, modify, tweak a few things depending on the opponent, but have the confidence that our depth on D will be enough.

Posted by: gonchpup | January 28, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

one mean, gnarly, beast of a D-man to go into the corners and bring the puck out every time. they need it. the caps' one glaring weakness is against the press-- coyotes are the most recent example --that invariably sees them coughing the puck up in their own end during transition and then too often being unable to recover. the D-man of our dreams mashes and mushes and makes the opposing forwards PAY to dump the puck in, which leaves the enemy team trying to maneuver through the already stifling neutral zone that BB has masterfully turned into fish in a barrel for the caps... yep, no question about it, they need a monster vet on the backside and, if they get it, they will win the whole shebang! what ought they give in return? how about some of the profit from the $7.50 swill they pass off as beer in the VC!

Posted by: gdurnin | January 28, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

No way on Niedermayer. He is now a -17, by far the worst on his team. He looked bad several times last night. I keep hearing about what a great leader he is and his great resume. Are the Caps lacking in leadership? What would bringing in another alpha personality do to team chemistry? And Bobby Orr has a great resume too, but I wouldn't recommend bringing him out of retirement.

Posted by: zmega | January 28, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

the Ducks are -20 as a team and he probably plays more minute than any other player. if you think Niedermayer can't help the Caps in the playoffs, you just don't know playoff hockey.

the guy has been in over 200 playoff games in his career including 4 cups... the Caps are a team don't have that kinda resume

And I'd take Bobby Orr too if he was still active

Posted by: joek443 | January 28, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

I agree completely. Niedermeyer isn't on team Canada, and the captain, as a guy who only a leader but is over the hill. He is still a very talented defenseman.

He is also the type who will not panic in the playoffs when there is pressure. Having a calming defenseman who can clear the zone without any trouble would be a great addition.

Could the Caps win the cup without him? Sure. But would their chances improve with him? Absolutely.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 28, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

the Caps AS a whole team don't have that kinda resume in the playoffs

Posted by: joek443 | January 28, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Put it to rest, Greybeard will not be a Cap..EVER!

Posted by: IceNutz | January 28, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

nothing new needs to rain on the ice. a hat trick is a hat trick and you cannot suggest changes to the traditional fabric of hockey...

our team will keep finding new and exciting ways to rack up the goals...a hat trick is due soon...for someone

Posted by: netminder71 | January 28, 2010 3:35 PM
-------------------------------------------

@netminder71:

Scott Z? Is that you?

"Ø Traditions of Hockey blah blah Dignity of the Sport blah blah Crosby is the Next One blah blah Don Cherry really knows what he's talking about blah blah blah...Ø"

Enough, already.

Düüüde!!! No need take every post so seriously: the Caps are winning and these are fun times! Couldn't you tell that I was joking?!?!?!.

Seriously, I would only throw a hat on the ice for a real hat trick.

That said, it would have to be a special hat, whose flight characteristics would enable a person of average physical strength to get it all the way to the ice from the "nosebleed" seats.

Respectfully,

Rhino40

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 28, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

@joek - What would you give up for Niedermayer? It would take a lot more than the 3rd rounder for Guerin last year, I bet. And I think the argument that the Ducks are -20 as a team, Niedermayer is on the ice a lot, and he is -17, kinda makes my point - a lot of bad stuff is happening when he is on the ice this year. Look at NHL.com for the stats on the Ducks other d-men. I think people get carried away with how great some players used to be. It doesn't last forever.

Posted by: zmega | January 28, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

@ sgm3

if the Ducks ask too much for him then it won't be worth it

but the Caps aren't over-loaded with d-men who have proven themselves in the playoffs so I just don't understand those who dismiss the idea of acquiring a playoff veteran such as Niedermayer.

Posted by: joek443 | January 28, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Guys, Stop the goalie talk. We have plenty of goalies. They are all hurt, though. So, either they get healthy and we keep winning, or they don't and they play golf in May.

And, Carey Price has a major shortcoming: he sucks.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | January 28, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

@ zmega

Niedermayer is gonna be playing for Team Canada next month as the captain and I don't think Yzerman picked him for sentimental reasons.

I think he can easily play 3 or 4 more years because of his superb skating abilities.

hockey is a team sport, he is not out there playing all by himself. I would give up a first round pick, a player such as Fehr and a couple of prospects (not Alzner or Carlson)

Posted by: joek443 | January 28, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

I think people get carried away with how great some players used to be. It doesn't last forever.

Posted by: zmega | January 28, 2010 7:14 PM

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

Wait really? And here I was convinced that McPhee should move some prospects and picks to bring back veteran forward Andrew Brunette.

Posted by: Raber | January 28, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

I cannot believe that no one really has voted for a veteran center.

If you believe that the road to Stanley Cup is through Pittsburgh and study last year's series, you will agree that the trio of Crosby, Malkin and Staal (Pen's top centers) outplayed Backstrum, Federov and Gordon/Steckel. We replaced Federov with Morrison and Backstrum is a year older and that much better. But, we are still weak in that position compared to the Pengiuns.

Our defense is just fine.

Posted by: caboose | January 28, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

I mean who would you rather have on defense with two minutes to go when they're leading by a goal in a playoff game?

Erskine, Pothier, ShaMo, Alzner or Niedermayer??

Posted by: joek443 | January 28, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

@joek: I think Niedermayer can still play. I don't think we should be using Yzerman's selections for the Canadian hockey team as a barometer for his ability as a defenseman. Neidermayer and Pronger were definitely picked more for sentimental reasons than for the numbers they've put out this year.

Posted by: Raber | January 28, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Did you see how Ovechkin undressed Niedermayer last night? He is old and washed up. Just watch what the Russians do to him in Vancouver.

Posted by: caboose | January 28, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm not saying Niedermayer is like Nylander in terms of gas left in the tank. But what would he do to team chemistry? Look what happened with Philthy for most of this year when they brought in Pronger. I would absolutely never give up what you propose for the guy.

Posted by: zmega | January 28, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

What do Caps need:

If they can get a great defenseman without giving up too much, it would be nice.

Their forward lines are going great at the moment and it would be a shame to disrupt the chemistry by trading any of them away.

I know that acquiring a veteran goal tender who's better than what we have would be expensive, both in what to give up and in salary. (Which goalies should we keep? I assume that Theo is gone after this year but the jury is out on which kid will be the best in the long run.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 28, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

@ caboose

I've also seen Mario Lemieux make Stevens and Langway look silly and manhandle them in their prime

Posted by: joek443 | January 28, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

I am in a minority, but I think we need to upgrade in Center position, I am not convinced that Flash can play that position in the long haul. I also completely disagree that we need a stay at home defenseman. If anything we need a swift skating D (but not Niedermayer as I think he is done). Vischnosky (sp?) of the Oilers I like a lot.

Just look at Boudreau's system. Stay at home D does not fit. He is all about go go go!

Posted by: caboose | January 28, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Don't know how much Adam Foote has left in the tank, but he certainly has the experience and we might be able to get him relatively cheaply.

Big need is for a stay-at-home, top-4 defenseman. Lines look pretty solid right now, with three potential scoring lines.

Dreaming a bit, however, can you imagine an opposing coach having to deal with Ovie on one line, Semin on another and Kovalchuk on a third. Who the heck would you defend against? Just sayin'.

Posted by: StevefromSacto | January 28, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Adam Foote would be like tying a 50 pound ball to our team. It is exactly the wrong player to add. Visnovsky (spelling right this time) is the type of D we need. He is +5 on the Oilers team that has won a couple of times in the last 20 games. They are atrocious yet this guy can skate. He fits in our system and I have a hunch GMGM is going to get him. he is also probably cheap.

Foote is going to be the exact opposite, a really bad player for a system that is built for skating and bringing it.

Posted by: caboose | January 28, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Good evening everyone. Just saw a post on the NHL page at ESPN. "Caps and Blues in trade discussions."-NHL Insider.

Here is a link about it and I am still looking for more info.

http://www.thefourthperiod.com/news/was100127.html

Posted by: robostop10 | January 28, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

The Capitals should trade the rights to Michael Nylander to the Blue Jackets for Jurcina and Clark.

Posted by: lornemyoung | January 28, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

just they play the up-tempo style of hockey, doesn't mean you want all your d-men to jump in on every play and there's no need for stay at home d-men.

NOT every d-man from the Edmonton Oiler machine of the 1980's had the freedon to jump in like Paul Coffey.. they also had very good stay at home d-men such as Kevin Lowe, Charlie Huddy and Craig Muni

Posted by: joek443 | January 28, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

What is wrong with Erskine, Morrison, and Schultz?? they all are stay back types.

Pothier is the one that can be replaced with a better, faster D, it takes the pressure off of Green and gives us additional threat from the back.

Posted by: caboose | January 28, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Open letter to Alex S, Nicky B, Eric F, Tom F., and Jeff S.:

Yes, I know you will be free agents after this year or next. And I know you want to make market value for your services. And, given your relative youth, you know you can do better than what you've done so far so don't want to sign for a long time for a low ball figure.

Maybe you won't make as much money on the Caps (if you all stay around) but you're a great bunch of young guys (along with Green and Ovi, who I didn't list cause they're signed for longer), and where else can you go that has the same number of great young guys who are such great players (and promise to be better). And where else can you go with the chance of winning?

I want to keep you guys for the long haul. And you're important pieces of the team (along with Ovi, Green, and Laich).

Most of the good teams are near the top of their Cap (i.e. Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh) and would have trouble taking on another high contract.

As TominFla and Schon have pointed out, I think it would be possible to keep this group of guys.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 28, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

I like offensive d-men as much as anyone but you simply CANNOT have 6 d-men who play that style.. it's a recipe for a DISASTER.

Posted by: joek443 | January 28, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Also located a rumor no more than that that the Caps are trying to get Erik Johnson.

http://www.letsgoblues.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=27760

Let the speculation begin!

Posted by: robostop10 | January 28, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

I did not say to have six Off-D. I said one more. Adam Foote ugh ugh!

Posted by: caboose | January 28, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

With all the trade talk going on, I just thought I'd point out some recent statistics:

Player 1:

30 goals; 26 Assists; 56 total points; +3; 45 Penalty minutes

Age: 26


Player 2:

25 goals; 28 Assists; 51 total points; +20; 32 Penalty minutes

Age: 25


So guess who those two players are. Player 1 is Ilya Kovalchuk. Player 2 is Semin.

Granted Atlanta is a much more defensively challenged team than the Caps. And does not have anywhere the depth of offense the Caps do either. (Still, offense is not really Atlanta's problem.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 28, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

The Physical defeneseman we need is scott stevens.....he is younger than chelios who played last year for the Wings, he is rested and available.....come home scottie

Posted by: RichC3 | January 28, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

That blues link regarding the Johnson trade is ridiculous. Backstrom for Erik Johnson is one of the most ridiculous trade proposals i've ever heard...

1 is a 90 point 21 year old. The other is a still unproven 21 year old.

Posted by: BACKS | January 28, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

I totally agree...I know GMGM wouldnt touch it with a ten foot pole.

Posted by: robostop10 | January 28, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

I guess the question is what are we will be willing to give to aquire a top four defenseman? Because it's going to cost us

Posted by: jono57 | January 28, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

@BACKS

More of that thread (on trade discussions between the Blues and Caps) seem to be proposing trading Johnson for Semin as opposed to Backstrom.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 28, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

If the Caps can get a rental top D for a 5th round draft pick, then go for it, but to trade any of the top 10 or so players to get someone would be nuts.

Posted by: RogerNoVa | January 28, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

GMs constantly talk to other GMs and they talk about every deal imagineable... 99 percent of those "possible" deals never come to fruition.

they don't discuss deals just when they need to make a trade.. they do that all the time

Posted by: joek443 | January 28, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

For me, I've been mulling over the idea for a while.

Id be ok with giving up Holtby/Neuvirth. Only because you can only have so many young goalies before they take up too much room for the others to grow.

I think if we move for a D its one of those OR some combination of NHL D (Shamo.Poti) with a pick and any assortment of Bouchard/Osala/Bourque/Gus.

Bouchard and Osala are pretty heavy assets the caps can move if they want to package them with a pick and an NHL ready player. That combination could bring back a heavy rental.

Posted by: BACKS | January 28, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

The people on the Blues board aren't making the trade, and obviously GMGM wouldn't be trading Backstrom for that.

You might see a good prospect or two and a pick or two go for a prospect that is showing promise but hasn't produced fruit yet, but the Blues won't get more than that out of stingy McPhee.

While I've disliked McPhee's "stand pat" type attitude in the past, this year I'm going to love it. He's not going to make a deal unless it makes sense and is cheap (e.g. Huet for a 2nd rounder) and that's exactly the position he should take.

Posted by: Raber | January 28, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

They need penalty killing. It doesn't have to be in the form of a defenseman, but if they don't do something about it, their penalty kill will end up costing them.

Posted by: robbie1299 | January 28, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

I think since Gordon has come back, combined with the addition of Chimera to the rotation, has provided a boost.

Posted by: BACKS | January 28, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

a boost to the PK unit*

Posted by: BACKS | January 28, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

@Raber & BACKS

The time for the Blues to have offered Erik Johnson for Nick Backstrom even up would have been back in 2006 or 2007. (Their draft year)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 28, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

I think the caps would part with someone like Osala and maybe Holtby or even Neuvirth if they could get the help they need. They only need one more player, a stay at home d man that can keep someone like Crosby out of the crease. Another big center wouldn't hurt either if it is for the right price. We definitely don't need Kovalchuk on this team. I haven't decided whether Phaneuf would look good on the back line if you could get him. GMGM would have to give up too much to get him IMO. Anyone have an opinion on seeing Phaneuf in a Caps uniform???

Posted by: robostop10 | January 28, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Im declining on the Dion trade. As it stands right now, the caps have tremendous flexibility with the cap in the coming years. I don't need a questionable anchor.

Posted by: BACKS | January 28, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

I think Phaneuf would be great for the Caps but it would cost too much. I know he has had some difficulty this season but put him on an offensive team like the Caps and the sky is the limit for him. He has great offensive skills and a mean streak. But again, the cost would be too high

Posted by: bigschu8 | January 28, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

"Trade? What did the trade that sent Clark away do for the Caps? Does anything really think they are a better club now than BEFORE that trade? I doubt it."
_____

What??? The Capitals rght now are better than they've ever been. Adding a scorer in Chimera has given the Capitals three potent offensive lines and allowed Boudreau to finally find a line combination that worked for every forward. You do know that the Caps have won 11 of their last 12, right?

Posted by: GrimReefa | January 28, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

On certain Caps players, we need to keep our perspective. That can even be true of the coaching staff, sometimes.

makes mistake (read: turnover, can't clear puck from D-zone, gets ill-timed penalty; etc.) and everyone gets upset and critical but there's a good reason why that player was a good plus minus for our team both last year and this year.

I'm not talking about just one guy here. We can fill this blank with Ovechkin, Green, Semin, Fehr, Schultz, or Backstrom. (Okay, Schultz and Fehr are not that penalty prone and Backstrom isn't too bad in that department.)

Those guys were our top Plus/Minus players last year. And they are our leading Plus/Minus players among our returnees. (Brendan Morrison has joined them in good Plus/Minus.) They must be doing something right to get a good Plus/Minus two years in a row in spite of any mistakes we see them make, including some pretty cringe worthy ones.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 28, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

That Blues page is hilarious. LOL. The day Backstrom leaves this team is also the day that we trade Ovechkin for Johnson. Backstrom and OV will be the cornerstones of this franchise for years to come. Semin, on the other hand, but for Johnson? Please... Semin for Kovalchuk straight-up, or a few draft picks and/or low level prospects for a solid back-up goal tender - that's it. How about Olie - will he come back for the SC push?

Posted by: kkd76 | January 28, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Also located a rumor no more than that that the Caps are trying to get Erik Johnson.

http://www.letsgoblues.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=27760

Let the speculation begin!

Posted by: robostop10

I wouldn't trade Tomas Fleischmann for Erik Johnson much less Semin. That is just stupid speculation.

Posted by: ouvan59 | January 28, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Pens lose to Sens, 4-1.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 28, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

I absolutely love the Pens Sens score...Great news.

Posted by: robostop10 | January 28, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Both Pens AND Flyers lost tonight on home ice, giving up 3rd period leads... love it!

Posted by: gonchpup | January 28, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Golaie. Goalie. Goalie. If Varly and Theo cant stay healthy - this whole thing could unravel very quickly!

Posted by: AlexVa1

I agree about the potential for unraveling but leave Theo out of the equation. He is history unless the club lost its mind and decided to keep him for another year. This would be suicidal. But I am with you on the uncertainty of the goalie situation, and health is one of the concerns.

We don't know if Varly can stay mostly healthy, if Neuvy has gotten the confidence he needs to avoid melt-downs; and we have no idea how Holtby would fare on the NHL level.

If they keep playing Theo how are they going to test whether or not they have a reliable pair of goalies for next season, in the future as well as the playoffs.

I wonder if BB will play Holtby before he goes back to Hershey.

I also agree with Netminder or Patrone or whoever said that they didn't want the Caps to be considered a Cup contender. Thy definitely need to "stay hungry" and not to feel smug and comfortable.


Posted by: caraveli | January 28, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

I don't agree that if the Caps are a favorite that they will not be hungry. Regardless of what people want to think, the Caps are a legit Cup contender. If they upgrade they will be considered one of the favorites. Of course, the Pens are still defending champs and I think that will keep the Caps hungry. Ovie will make sure they stay hungry, favorite or not, they haven't proven anything yet...

Posted by: bigschu8 | January 28, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

@gonchpup

Actually, the Pens lost their lead today in the first period. They got the first goal but the Sens got 4 unanswered goals, 2 in the first and 2 in the 3rd.

In any case, glad to see the Pens dumped.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 28, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Here's a stat for us all.

Getzlaf -- 13 goals 36 assists

Fehr -- 14 goals 14 assists

Yes, I know Getzlaf has many more assists than Fehr does (in many more games). Still, it's nice to see Fehr beating Getzlaf in goals.

BTW, David Backes would fit right in with the Ducks.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | January 28, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Hope one of you guys can help me out. What is a top-4 defenseman?
Also, shouldn't the Capitals be looking for an Enforcer, someone to protect Ovechkin and Semin, espically once we get to the playoffs?
I know we are trying to mimic our team after the Red Wings but I don't think the Red Wings have an Ovechkin, someone it seems as if at least one person on every team can't stand him and would love to hurt him!
I have always followed the other 3 major sports in the DC area b/c I have played them since I was young. But for the last 3 years I have been following the Capitals and hockey in general and I am trying to learn what I can about it.
Thank you for enlightening me!

Posted by: sdavey355 | January 29, 2010 12:26 AM | Report abuse

That blues link regarding the Johnson trade is ridiculous. Backstrom for Erik Johnson is one of the most ridiculous trade proposals i've ever heard...

1 is a 90 point 21 year old. The other is a still unproven 21 year old.

Posted by: BACKS | January 28, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! How stupid are these people? Is this how Redskin fans sound to other teams when they propose trades. "Grr Chris Cooley for 3 first round picks duh dat'll work"

"Duh, I'd uh take Varlamov and Semin for two guys we don't want anyore err I mean Johnson + Conklin!"

All right I'll admit Semin is concievable but suggesting that we're going to trade Valry or Green at this point is enough to give me a headache. And Backstrom? My God , people of the internet I beg you. Stop this madness.

Posted by: CapsXXVI | January 29, 2010 12:48 AM | Report abuse

I'm tempted to say the Caps don't need anything, because they can beat anyone in the league at the moment. However, a trade for the right pieces can turn "can beat anyone" into "overpowering even on a bad night".

Of course, those same moves can disrupt team chemistry and send the team crashing.

Posted by: pga6 | January 29, 2010 1:50 AM | Report abuse

Hope one of you guys can help me out. What is a top-4 defenseman?
Also, shouldn't the Capitals be looking for an Enforcer, someone to protect Ovechkin and Semin, espically once we get to the playoffs? . . .

Posted by: sdavey355 | January 29, 2010 12:26 AM | Report abuse

@sdavey355, a top 4 defenseman would be a guy you put in the lineup in one of your first two defensive pairings, usually the second.

In answer to your second question, no.


Posted by: Sonyask | January 29, 2010 5:01 AM | Report abuse

the Caps once traded their all-time leading scorer Mike Gartner for Dino Ciccarelli because he just couldn't produce in the playoffs... did that mess with the "chemistry" on the team? NO because they got exactly what they needed.

If this team is that fragile and can't handle a trade that can help them win in the playoffs, they're NEVER gonna survive in the playoffs anyway so the point about disrupting the chemistry is kinda moot.

Posted by: joek443 | January 29, 2010 5:54 AM | Report abuse

this team needs a defenseman with playoff experience and/or a shutdown center.

the Pens have J. Staal, the Hawks have John Madden... Steckel is great on faceoffs but he's not a shutdown defensive center. if Brind'Amour

Posted by: joek443 | January 29, 2010 6:03 AM | Report abuse

If Brind'Amour had anything left, I'd go after him but I don't think he does

Posted by: joek443 | January 29, 2010 6:04 AM | Report abuse

...And if you believe him, GMGM says he doesn't plan on shaking things up.

I'm not saying whether I believe him or not, but he said the same thing last year and didn't make any moves, so maybe he does have some credibility.

if it aint broke don't fix it. (Even though I voted for a top 4 D-man)

Posted by: griz0615 | January 29, 2010 7:34 AM | Report abuse

h20law2000: The Caps did get pinned in their zone at times against the Pens in the playoffs last year, however, I know we have only played them once, but the table had turned in the first meeting with the Pens this year. The Caps moved the puck out of the zone with relative ease and the Pens were fumbling the puck and incapable of clearing the zone. My sons and I noticed that in the 1st and starting talking about how the Pens looked just like the Caps did in their own zone last year. Green (healthy), Poti, and Pothier are all moving the puck better than they did last year. Schultz, who didn't even play, has really become a great passer. Erskine is our least skilled but by far our meanest guy. Morrison, even though he leads the team in hits, is probably the most expendable but would probably be acceptable in a deal involving a roster player plus a pick.

The team I would personally eye to make a deal with would be the Islanders if they fall out of contention. I would go for Sutton and Roloson. Sutton would be the snarley crease clearer and Roloson would be the insurance policy in the event Varly or Theo go down in the playoffs. I know the Caps lit him up the other night but they light everyone up these days. Roloson is the only reason they Islanders are even a fringe team this season and DiPietro (sp?) is without a doubt their future. ShaMo is a guy that can make their line-up and about 7 years younger than Sutton and would be a regular in their line-up from the start.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 29, 2010 7:37 AM | Report abuse

I'm completely against trading away any of our top 9 + Steckel or top 4 plus Alzner and Carlson. We do not need to make any addition to this team that would warrant such a trade.

Guerin and Kunitz were added to the Pens and made the difference in last years SC run, but most importantly, they were all a year older, a year smarter, and got timely performances of note by guys like Scuderi.

Niedermayer isn't going to lead us to the promise land, the leadership is already in place. We have the components here, all we need is a little tinkering, a little luck and have one of goalies claim the 1 spot.

Posted by: JSchon | January 29, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

"...but most importantly, they were all a year older, a year smarter, and got timely performances of note by guys like Scuderi."

Right, and that's the Caps this year with one caveat: they don't need to make a trade.

I think that series against Pittsburg has inspired them this year, like the Philly series did the year before.

They got tougher this year, that's all they needed. Semin was puched around a lot last year where this year even he has stepped up thier play. They are getting really good D out of thier blue liners right now(finally), and ALL of thier lines are producing. Not to mention they score on thier PP once every four times which is crazy. Oh yeah, they have THREE goalies right now they can win with. Can't ever remember saying that.

Last year, they needed a defenseman and it showed. This year I think they are the best team in the league bar none.

I say stay with what you have and go for it.

- ray

Posted by: rmcazz | January 29, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Fixed:

"Semin was pushed around a lot last year where this year even he has stepped up his play."

I need coffee, sorry. :)

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | January 29, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

I don't get a lot of this trade talk.

Goalie Trade(s)? 1.) Many of the goalies being discussed are not an upgrade. 2.) Unless you're concerned with injuries there's no reason to make a trade at that position. Varly has played approx. 15 games and has 2 shutouts. He's the guy. His record and more importantly the shutouts proves he can do the job. Theodore's recent play has shown he can fulfill the veteran backup role.

Do the Caps have a true shutdown defenseman? I don't think so. So, if they could get one at a reasonable price it would probably be good to upgrade.

Center Position? Uh it looks to me like the centers, all forwards actually, are performing quite well. I wouldn't mess with that. How will they perform in the playoffs? We'll have to wait and see, but until it's proven then that they can't do the job I believe that they can do the job.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | January 29, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Um, let's see, what do the caps need to get back on a winning track?

Well, our goaltending obviously stinks.

On top of that, our defensemen are letting opposing forwards in for photo opportunities with our goalie during play. At least there's no kissing involved... yet.

And the forwards.... I mean, can we find people that can actually score a goal now and again? You'd think McPhee would be out there before the second period starts signing the peewees to long term contracts to try and help our woeful scoring. And some of them check harder than Semin.


Ok, Ok, enough.................
Trades??? yeah, sure, uh huh. Whatever Tarik has been smoking, I'd appreciate it if he either stops or at least invites us to join him.

It took a couple of games after we sent Clark, et al. down the road for Chimera. Love you Mr. Chimera. Once he figured out the lines, Gabby, who has had a penchant for changes his lines up DURING a shift, has made no changes whatsoever since.

Don't you people go screwing with perfection.

Lest Yee Forget: FREE WINGS EVERY NIGHT!

Posted by: ey22314 | January 29, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I see everyone clamoring for a shutdown D-man. But I have yet to see someone actually name one. The true irony is, if the Caps did get a "Top 4 Shutdown, Stay at Home" D-man, this board would commence into lighting him up every night as to slow ala Schulz, or not an offensive threat ala Erskine. Oh wait, I just named the two shutdown, stay at home D-Men we need...

Posted by: rovingbandit | January 29, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

As for Goalies, seriously folks Theo has been a wall as of late. For those of you who missed the 2001-2002 season, this is what he looked like then; and that year he won the Vezina and the Hart and was poised to carry the Habs through the playoffs until the Hurricanes pulled off a miracle.

Posted by: rovingbandit | January 29, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

All that is needed is one VETERAN defensive defensman to play along side Green....NOT stupid Jeff Schultz

Posted by: velo_matt | January 29, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Matt, Did Schultzie dump your sister or something?

It has been Green I've watched make ill-advised passs, poor clears, etc. over time. Schultz has saved the bacon more than a few times. Green is a very offensive-minded defenseman, and Schultz has covered from him admirably.

Sidenote: Gabby has been feeding Green something as of late to make him less prone to these tendencies, but if Schultz is back there to cover for him, I'm good with that.

Posted by: ey22314 | January 29, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

LOL @ all the "we need a shut down defenseman" "we need a veteran defenseman" "We need a defenseman that will clear the crease" "We meed a defeseman that will help move the puck out of the zone"

Ohhh.. who is this mythical defenseman that can do all this, and cure cancer???

Looking at what is out on the market.. I don't see much that interests me for what it would cost. I think the future is now... and the future is next year... and the year after that.

We know Alzner and Carlson will be up all next year. Why not use them this year and get some playoff experience for the next run also? Or should we not use them, and then go in next year with 2 rookie defenders.

Our DEF looked better last year in the playoffs than the year before... and the same personell. I think they will be even better this year!!!

I change nothing.

Posted by: fricknoutstandin | January 29, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

@velo_matt You mean the "stupid" Jeff Schultz who's +27?? You gotta be kidding!!! And to all those who've been talking about Niedermayer, he's got the worst +/- on the Ducks squad. I'm afraid he's over the hill.

I'm with the folks who think we should look for one guy to tweak the D & PK. During the Olympic break, we should look to get the best value D-man (26+ yrs old, solid in front of the net) on a western conf non-playoff contender (the price will be too steep to get somebody on a contender) available for draft pick(s) and/or prospect(s). The forward lines shouldn't be messed with and we've got 11 weeks to get Varly & Theo healthy, so no needs there either.

Posted by: charmcitygreg | January 29, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

LOL @ all the "we need a shut down defenseman" "we need a veteran defenseman" "We need a defenseman that will clear the crease" "We meed a defeseman that will help move the puck out of the zone"

Ohhh.. who is this mythical defenseman that can do all this, and cure cancer???
...

Posted by: fricknoutstandin |

LOL @ you. The question was "What do the Caps need?" not "Who do the Caps need?"

BTW, the Caps have veteran defensemen. They have defensemen who can move the puck. They have a physical defenseman that can clear the crease. But, do they have a true shut down defenseman?

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | January 29, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I mean the stupid Jeff Schultz who sat out the entire playoffs last year.....going off plus minus only gets you so far. He's too easily bumped off a puck, never hits anyone and when he tries to he'd be better off using a pillow. You are smokin that stuff if you think Schultz is better than Niedermayer and should go back to the sport you watched before the Caps got better.

Posted by: velo_matt | January 29, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

i think we need a mature offense-minded defensemen. such as visnovsky, if we can clear the cap room. thoughts?

Posted by: hockeygood1 | January 29, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I dont' see how more offense helps, when the playoffs are about defense. 9 times out of 10 the team with the best team defense wins the playoffs.

Posted by: velo_matt | January 29, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I've been watching hockey almost 50 yrs and been a Caps fan for more than 20...and it's the only sport I watch consistently. I want to see the Caps win the Cup before I die...little else matters.

No way I bring Neidermayer in here. He doesn't have it any more.

Posted by: charmcitygreg | January 29, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

A veteran/top-four defenseman would be nice but why upset the apple cart? You saw what happened when they traded Clarkie (true, it was a temporary lull). To tinker with the chemistry and firepower when we're on such a roll and this close to being at the top of the heap would be foolish IMO. But, I'm no expert.

Posted by: AmyS1 | January 29, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I chose the "veteran/top-four defenseman" option, but that said, if GMGM stands pat and makes no moves at all, I'll be satisfied.

I like this team's chances, in their current form.

Not that he should need to hear it from the fans, but please GMGM... just say NO to Kovy.

Posted by: Hordedog | January 29, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Sonyask: I appreciate you helping me out. Thanks.

Posted by: sdavey355 | January 29, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

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