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Pothier Says He's in 'Best Shape' Ever

First of all, I don't know what's going on with Milan Jurcina's arbitration ruling. It was supposed to be announced, per CBA rules, a few hours ago. But as soon as I know, I'll post it right here.

As far as Brian Pothier goes, the veteran defenseman is the only Cap who lives in the Washington area year-round, so he's pretty much a fixture at KCI in the offseason. But this summer is different. Instead of wondering whether he'll play ever again, Pothier is hard at work preparing for what he hopes will be his first full season since 2006-07.

Here's a little bit of our conversation:

*On losing Sergei Fedorov, Viktor Kozlov and Donald Brashear and bringing in veterans Mike Knuble and Brendan Morrison:

"I like what we did," he said. "We needed a first-line right wing and a second-line center and [GM George McPhee] did a good job of finding good guys at the right price. They are experienced, character guys with reputations for being leaders. That's exactly what we needed. We're have so many young, exciting, phenomenal players [but] we had to have that kind of balance."

*On potentially starting training camp with as many as eight NHL defensemen on the roster (including Karl Alzner but not including John Carlson): "We have a lot of D-men. I think it's great to have the depth. But obviously there are going to be some disappointed people come training camp. But that's the juggling act [management and the coaching staff] has to do to keep everyone happy. I don't envy their position. Come playoffs, if you go down a couple of D-men, you can have someone step right in."

*On making the most of this summer after missing nearly all of the past two seasons with a concussion:

Pothier and strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish are working out "six days a week," Pothier said. "It's been different phases. It was four, then progressed up to five and now we're at six. We'll do that through mid to late August and then taper it back to three or four and get ready for camp. Both on ice and off ice. We're skating twice a week, weight room five days a week and conditioning five days a week as well. It's been good.

"I'm probably in the best shape I've ever been in," he added. "For me, it's about building up that foundation that I lost. Whether it was injury or another reason, the last three summers, I haven't really been able to get after it. But this summer I have. And it's a good feeling."

Pothier will take a small break next Friday when his wife, Gwen, is expected to give birth to the couple's third child. They've already got boys Jake, 5, and Luke, 4, and decided against finding out the sex of No. 3.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  July 30, 2009; 5:28 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Catching Up with B. Morrison
Next: Jurcina Receives Arbitration Award


Hey, wow! Congrats to Brian and Gwen on the upcoming new addition! I love hearing about "Potsy" - his is a heartwarming tale of never give up. He was solid last year once he found his legs, and I'm looking forward to seeing what he's got.

Posted by: kittypawz | July 30, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Sounds promising for his performance next season. I'm so glad he is able to play again.

It seems like a lot of hockey players have big families - what's up with that?!?

Posted by: pstenigma | July 30, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

It seems like a lot of hockey players have big families - what's up with that?!?

Posted by: pstenigma | July 30, 2009 5:59 PM |

Seems like it. Either big families or perpetual bachelors it seems for hockey players.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 30, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Here's to Pothier having a big year. And as far as big families, big paychecks do help.

Posted by: TheCapitalist1 | July 30, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

My condolences to the ladies. I hear those 9 months are slightly uncomfortable. =P

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | July 30, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations to Brian and Gwen on the impending birth of their third child - hoping this one's a girl to go along with their two boys. Ran into Gwen and the boys after a practice at KCI late last season before a road trip and they seemed like a nice couple and family. Brian always comes across like a good family man and I have found him to be extremely courteous to the fans.

Great to see at least one player on the Caps live in the Washington area year-round - he must really like it here.

Here's looking forward to a big year from Brian this season now that he's healthy again. Great inspirational story of never giving up and perserverance in times of adversity.

It is interesting that hockey players either marry young and have big families or are eternal bachelors - hummm.

Posted by: theresa21 | July 30, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Here's the deal on the Caps:

1) we have the best crop of under-25-year-olds in the planet!

2) We have five guys - Theo, Potsy, Clark, Nylander and BMo - who, if they step up even a bit from last year, make the team even better.

3) We have another group at Hershey angling to make the move to DC!

I am looking for Theo to do same as last year; Pothier to come up big; Clark and BMo to make solid improvement; and Nyles - God only knows.

Posted by: tominfl1 | July 30, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Rumor: (IRTR and others don't get mad at me!)

-LA interested in Nylander. Does he want to go there, is it b/s? I dont know.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 30, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

It seems like a lot of hockey players have big families - what's up with that?!?

Posted by: pstenigma | July 30, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

to paraphrase a line from mystery alaska, not much else to do up there but drink, scr** and play hockey...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | July 30, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Good luck to Pothier with child #3.

@LeftCoast -- As a female, I've lived through 2 pregnancies. Mostly no major problems but did have to deal with the morning sickness. And being heavy at the end.

On family sizes: Nylander has a large family (don't know how many kids); Morrison has 4 kids; Pothier has #3 due; Kozlov, who left the team, had one child. I think Clark has at least 2 but I could be wrong.

Of the young guys (born 1983 and later), I believe Fehr is the only one that's married but no kids. Most of the rest (Ovi, Semin, Flash, Backstrom, Green, Laich, Varlamov) are single. I don't know about S. Morrisonn or Juice.

Big paychecks do increase the motivation for large families for those so inclined. I think a fair number of baseball players get married young also.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 30, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

I became a Brian Pothier fan last year when he was in Hershey for his rehab stint...classy guy all the way. Looking forward to him staying healthy and having a good year with the Caps. And congrats to him and Gwen on the upcoming new arrival.

Posted by: tess2201 | July 30, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Varlamov has a long-time girlfriend though, from Russia.

Posted by: richmondphil | July 30, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse


That's what I hear. I also hear she speaks English pretty well.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 30, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Interesting note on the name Pothier. It is a French occupational name meaning maker of drinking and storage vessels, derived from the word 'pot'.

In a way, the name Henri Pothier is the French equivalent of Harry Potter. (And, once upon a time, the Caps had Gonchar, which is Russian for potter.)

Pothier did appear at Kent Gardens Elementary school in McLean, VA this year. They had a French immersion program there. Pothier did study French in school. (He graduated from Rensaellear in NY with a degree in Engineering.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 30, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

I studied French, but I don't remember much. And it wasn't even that long ago compared to some of you...

Posted by: richmondphil | July 30, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

i hope the rumor about la being interested in nyls is true

Posted by: gocaps01 | July 30, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

speaking of BIG paychecks, anybody see the long lost relatives of Albert Haynesworth's that showed up at Ashburn today? LOL that was hi-larius.

Posted by: joek443 | July 30, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse


I took 3 years of HS French. Remember some but not enough to get along in France.

I was so tired of French that I took German in college. (I would have taken German earlier except they hadn't offered it at my HS as the time. I hear they started offering German soon after I left.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 30, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

The current Caps have a small number of French descended people. Pothier, Aucoin (who spent most of last year at Hershey), and Boudreau, of course.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 30, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

anyone know any italian?

what does "Forza Ferrari" mean??

Posted by: joek443 | July 30, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Oddly enough, the name "ferrari" and its variants "ferraro" are the Italian equivalent of Smith. The name is derived from the word "ferro" which means "iron" so I presume the original bearers of that name worked in an iron forge.

I assume "forza" must mean force.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 30, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

cool, I assumed it had something to do with the prancing horse... learn something new everyday... LOL


Posted by: joek443 | July 30, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

I really hope Pothier has an ALL STAR year.
With what's he's had to put up with the last 3 years & then stepping up in the playoffs this past year.
Hope he gets rewarded!

Posted by: Rocc00 | July 30, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Way to go Pothier! My son did the French immersion program at Kent Gardens in 2002-2003. It's a good program - although no hockey players showed up back then!

Posted by: CAP-lanta | July 30, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Varly's been with his girlfriend for a long time - didn't he meet her here? Or am I confusing him with another Russian player who has a Russian girlfriend who speaks English?

Posted by: Boo- | July 30, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

A buddy of mine said Brads has a major hottie for a goil-friend/wife. Is that right?
Good for him!

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | July 31, 2009 12:48 AM | Report abuse

BPo and BMo LOL! I'm a bit BPo fan and I'm really hoping for him to return to form. When he was in Ottawa and they were contending for a Cup he was a 4-5 Dman. Thats essentially where he is here although I think he did become a better player while here as he got more ice time. I'm with others here that you know what you're gonna get from OV,Semin, Backs, Green and even Knuble. If we can have good years from BMo, BPo, Clark, Stecks, Fehr and Flash we could be on to something really nice this year. I truly believe we will win the East and contend for the President's Cup.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | July 31, 2009 1:20 AM | Report abuse

"Forza Ferrari" is basically just "GO CAPS" =)) I mean... Please Go Fast Our Beloved Scuderia Ferrari Car =)

Posted by: Rambutan_ru | July 31, 2009 2:49 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: gratefuldid | July 31, 2009 5:33 AM | Report abuse

Scuderia engine, huh. Founded by Carmelo Scuderi who's now dead but his family is continuing his tradition. The company's based in Massachusetts.

The Pens used to have Scuderi who's now on the Kings. Could he possibly be related?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 31, 2009 6:36 AM | Report abuse

And now you know, the rest of the story.

Posted by: PensFan98 | July 31, 2009 7:20 AM | Report abuse

Pothier is the best D-man the Caps have on the breakout, his first pass is almost always right on the tape.

Yes, I know - Mike Green is a good passer, he's just way more effective in the offensive zone. I'm not sure why.

Posted by: govtimbo | July 31, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Gordon is married with no kids.
Steckel is married with no kids(born 1982).
S. Morrisonn has a longtime girlfriend.
Juice is married with two kids.

Bradley is married but not sure if she is a "major hottie".

Posted by: theresa21 | July 31, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

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