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Q&A with George McPhee

General Manager George McPhee met with reporters after today's practice to discuss the upcoming trade deadline, the Olympics and the demotion of Michal Neuvirth. Here's what he had to say:

(Spoiler alert: If you're hoping McPhee tipped his hand about any potential trades, you're going to be disappointed.)

Q: Are there a lot of discussions around the league?
A: Everyone is talking.

Q: Was there a lot of chatter during the Olympic break?
A: No, not really. It was kind of nice.

Q: How active do you anticipate he Caps being?
A: We'll see. You're going to get the same answer I've provided every other year. We'll explore everything and see what develops. But we like our team the way it is right now.

Q: So you're not inclined to make a trade?
A: We've played really well this season. We have good players and they're well coached and we have good chemistry and I don't want to tinker with that too much. So I don't know if anything will develop. We'll see."

Q: Ted Leonsis, on his blog the other day, tried to tamp down expectations a little. Is it a situation where any player coming back in a deal wouldn't have years left on his contract, that he would be a rental type?
A: I'm not sure. There's lots of different ways things can go. We have a good team and we would like to be a good team for a long time. We want to be a team that's in the playoffs every year, and a team that's competing to win the Cup. So for that reason, I'm not inclined ... There were some horrible deals at the deadline where you give away young players that you wish you had the next year. It's almost like drinking to excess. There's going to be a hangover. If you go crazy and give away young players, there's always the next summer when you don't have any picks at the draft and you've given away young players. I don't want to do that. We have some terrific young players and we want to be a good team for long time."

If there's something there that would make us better, I'll consider it. But I really like where the club is right now and we've done, obviously, really well.

Q: Because your team is so good and you think its on the cusp of challenging for a championship, do you have to exert more self control?
A: I think we've been fairly prudent about this, and measured. We could have won a Cup two years ago. We thought we could have won a Cup last year, and sometimes you just don't get through. ...We think we're a good team again this year, and maybe this is the year we push through.

Q: Is it nice to the have the luxury this year of cap space, draft picks and prospects at your disposal?
A: We've got room to do something if there's something that made sense.

Q: Would you like to see NHL players in Russia in four years?
A: We'll let someone else debate that, and argue that. But it was a phenomenal tournament. It's the best hockey you'll ever see and I hope we can see it again some time. I thought the atmosphere in Vancouver was incredible. I did get up there for a little bit. It's the best Olympics I've been to, and I've been to four. St. Lake City was good; Italy and Japan were not. This one was phenomenal. The atmopshere in town was great because it's a concentrated area and they knew the Olympics were going on. The games were great because the Canadian fans were not only into it, they were so knowledgeable. They could prop up the underdogs and they made every game exciting. I'm sure glad I went."

Q: Does credit go to Alex Ovechkin for attending the closing ceremonies, taking the red-eye and then being on the ice this morning?
A: Yep. It says a lot about him because a lot of guys would have liked to take the day off or would not have gone last night. We're not surprised he did both. He stayed late. His country asked him to do it, and he did it. And we asked him to make sure he was here for practice and he was.

Q: Why was Michal Neuvirth sent down?
A: These are our two goalies right now [Jose Theodore and Semyon Varlamov]. If one gets injured or doesn't play well, we've got Neuvy.

Q: Varlamov is sharp now, ready?
A: These guys will get their games, and we'll see who emerges.

Q: Your reaction to Canada winning the gold?
A: I'm a dual citizen now. So I couldn't lose.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 1, 2010; 6:26 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Alex Ovechkin: 'Canada deserved to win'
Next: Jose Theodore finds his sanctuary on the ice


Pretty simple. Pens made one trade, tsn says Flyers are working on Hamhuis. Either McPhee will try and help this team, or he will stand pat and watch other teams catch up.

This is our year. If we stand still, we move backwards.

Wake up McPhee! Get in the game!

Posted by: underpants2 | March 1, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Wow, George McPhee didn't tip his hand, in a Q&A with reporters, as to what he intends to do at this year's deadline??? Like the commercial says, here's my shocked face

Posted by: TempusFugitRGV1 | March 1, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

@Tempus: Good commercial reference (I love that one, too, BTW). I have another one for you. McPhee is basically saying "I'm not going to pay a lot for that muffler."

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 1, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Keep yelling at your computer screen, underpants2, no can hear you. Idiot.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 1, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

I didn't like Canada winning, but I can accept it. After all they were the favorite, at least in Las Vegas.

But did it really have to be Sid "The Nutcracker" Crosby scoring the winning goal? Canadians now will never stop talking about him.


Posted by: youaresquishy | March 1, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

I don't want them to screw it up but at the same time if we stand pat I don't see how are team is any different from last year..and defensively it's not good...that's all.
Go Caps!!! Let's wait and see...

Posted by: rdiehljr | March 1, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

I personally think McPhee has something up his sleeve. That's why I gave the "shocked face" because this man NEVER says what he's gonna do. They don't call him the Undertaker for nothing. At the deadline in 2008 he said he was staying pat and then made 3 deals. But I think it'll be a minor to middling deal(s), not this Souray/Vokoun/Turco crapola

Posted by: TempusFugitRGV1 | March 1, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

just about the only thing different from last year as far as the D is concerned is the improved play of Schultz... is that gonna be enough??

I kinda doubt it

Posted by: joek443 | March 1, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Neuvirth has done what they asked. Tough break for him. Caps heading towards playoffs, he's on the outside looking in...

Posted by: kcbrichmond | March 1, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Keep drinking the kool ade leftcoastcapsfan. Same old same old is not good enough anymore. Idiot.

Posted by: underpants2 | March 1, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Why are we calling each other idiots?

Posted by: JSchon | March 1, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

At least he did say "everyone" is talking so let's see what they do. I'm sure with the young talent the Caps have, teams will try and gouge GMGM for a rental and that's the stickler in a trade being made.

Posted by: visionof75 | March 1, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse


From other thread...I have suggested Umberger several times over the past few months. A good trade that works also with the cap would be to move Flash for Umberger. We have much more depth at wing than center. We have Backstrom, and everyone else is unproven. Umberger is signed for two more years (3.75), but the money Flash would make isn't far off. Plus anyway, for next year, we have Ovi, Knuble, Laich, Semin and Fehr - 5 wingers capable of 1st/2nd line duty.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 1, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

JSchon: Nice to see you are back. What do you think of trying to move Flash for Umberger. I am thinking Columbus would want a little more. Not much, a little. Flash is a very nice player but Umberger is more well-rounded.

As for the Flyers, it isn't Hamhuis I'd expect them to be chasing but a goalie.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 1, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

tominfl1, we also have Steckel, who is one of the best 4th line centers around. Sure, he doesn't score much, but he's the 2nd best faceoff man in the NHL right now, and plays strong defensively. But I do have to agree that when it comes to 2nd/3rd line centers, we don't have anyone who has shown they can fill that a couple years down the road. Unless Steckel gets moved up a line and Gordon takes 4th line center - because he is actually quite good on faceoffs.

Posted by: timmyv38 | March 1, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Agree with JSchon. There is no need for fans to fight.

If there is a deal to be made that doesn't "cost" too much then I believe McPhee will make it.

I've been reading some interesting trade rumors, but what I'm "hearing" from this Q&A is that if the price is too high, say an exciting young prospect such as for example Carlson, then GMGM will perhaps stand pat. Or convince the other GM to take something or someone else instead.

I'd like to see some tinkering but not IMHO at the expense of our most exciting young prospects. I'm a fan of the Fab Five as another poster has dubbed the young ones--and that doesn't even include M. Jo still in Europe.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | March 1, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Ray Shero from pens was on NHL Live talking about more buyers than sellers. So if this is a sellers market than the only thing you can do is wait till 245 on wed. My sense is that the groundwork and framework has been laid for the trades. Now both sides will wait till the price comes down or someone bites. Somtimes it is good to wait. All of a sudden volchencov looks like he might not sign with ottowa. Another potential dman

Posted by: samb99 | March 1, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

I like Umberger. Flash and a pick for Umberger sounds like something I would explore.

My mind is racing, its a crazy time of year.

You're spot on with your assessment of the salary and personnel ramifications.

Posted by: JSchon | March 1, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

While it is all well and good to be good every year, as a fan since 1974, I would like the Caps to be the BEST team once. If it means giving some prospects to win the cup once, give them up and get the piece(s) needed to win one at least once. I can live with a down year or two for a cup now.

Posted by: RichC3 | March 1, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

If Ottawa is worried about not being able to sign Volchenkov, then that's where we go to.

Wish list in order...

2nd C (Umberger?)

Posted by: JSchon | March 1, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse


So Volchenkov may not resign to Ottawa. I recall how RichmondPhil was recommending we acquire him. The Vulture sounds like he'd be a good addition to the Caps (and Ovi would not have to worry about being stopped by him any more.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 1, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Capsyoungguns: I'll take credit for the name Fab Five since it was I who invented.

timmy: Steckel is a fine role player. As you say, he isn't a #2 center or even #3. He is great on faceoffs and "slightly above average" as a 4th liner (Gordo = average as 4th liner; Bradley = above average). There are a number of directions to get another center. Johansson we can hope for, realistically, year after next. He would be a #2 we hope, and Perreault might be a good one as #3. A FA is also a possibility.

JSchon: At least the waiting is over soon. I move to CA the end of March, so my ability to watch the last few weeks and at least the early Playoffs is compromised by hotel TV (I doubt they have VS) and the 4 pm PDT start times.

The two names bandied about that I don't want any part of are Souray and Vokoun.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 1, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse


would love to have vochenkov. i am not sure BMurray would trade to a team he is going to face in the playoffs. Maybe he gets soft and thinks back to his days in DC

Posted by: samb99 | March 1, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

My money is picks with Bouchard/osala/Holtby for some combination of Jackman/Brewer/tkachuk

Posted by: BACKS | March 1, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

With everything that's gone on, it seems that Ovi has probably found out who his real friends and real fans are. It appears that most of the bandwagon fans (and writers) have probably jumped off, as a result of these Olympics. Even some Caps fans have jumped off the Ovi bandwagon at this point.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 1, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

What about Andy Mccdonald? Guy is clutch, has a cup, and fast as lightning.

Posted by: BACKS | March 1, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse


Maybe you will be our lucky charm. i got moved for a job to west coast 11 years ago. the only time the caps made it to the finals. I ended up missing a lot of the playoffs and finals. Hungry caps fans will try anything.

Posted by: samb99 | March 1, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

I would love to get Volchenkov. Like Umberger, he could work going forward.

The problem with Vokoun is his $6M cap figure for next year. I think he has a no-trade. If he waives to come here, we're stuck with him next year unless he waives again. That's more waving than the Obamas at Nancy Pelosi's birthday party. I have no problem next year having Varly/Neuvy/Holtby as 1, 2 and 3 and then trading for Vokoun NEXT March 1st as a short-term rental if the need exists.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 1, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse


Good luck with your move, Tom.

So, have you started house hunting in California yet? Or will that wait?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 1, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm 100% over the OV's a bad guy b.s. coming from the haters. I used to argue with them but it's pointless. Let em hate OV, even the bandwagon Caps fans. F em. Good, bad, who gives a crap. I just want to see him raise the Cup...

Posted by: Chad8 | March 1, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse


I figure we need help at defense rather than at goal.

While Vokoun is a very good goalie, he is even more expensive than Theo. My own feeling is they should go with the kids (i.e. Varly and Neuvy) for next year, have Holtby at Hershey, and call up Holtby when either Varly or Neuvy is injured. (Holtby will likely play several games, given that both Varly and Neuvy have had injury issues, especially the former.) We can then better assess the situation as to which goalie will be our #1 and possibly deal a prospect.

The rumored trade for Vokoun to possibly include Carlson. As for that one, if we need help at defense, the last thing we should do is trade our two best defensive prospects, Carlson or Alzner.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 1, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

samb99: The worst thing is that now, compared to 1998, is that it is so easy to record internally on the tv. Sometimes the game starts at 7 but one of my daughters won't be home until 7:30 or 8:00. So we hit record and catch up some time in the third period. If I had "my" TV and had the channels, I could set each game to record and then watch after work. And, if ESPN, I could watch as much as possible. I'll do the best I can.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 1, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

So after reading more of Wilbon's inflammatory remarks, I checked some of his opinion pieces for his take on Arenas' gun incident in the Wizard's locker room. Wilbon has such sympathy for Arenas' situation, such compassion. Clearly Wilbon's only extends his understanding to basketball players?

Wilbon wrote: "The first thing we've got here is a career on hold. A still-young man who celebrated his 28th birthday on the same day he was suspended indefinitely, who has played in all-star games and was judged by club management to be a franchise player, is going away for awhile...."

He adds: "The saddest part of this story appears to be that Arenas might have mitigated the circumstances had he immediately realized the magnitude of his offense and come forward with a series of sincere apologies. Both lawmakers and NBA officials might have looked at this as an incredibly dumb mistake but one that shouldn't cost a young man his career."

So why has Wilbon gone on the attack with the Capitals own franchise player. Without even gathering the facts nor showing any kind of objectivity. Instead he just spews his nastiness. Wilbon has gone too far. I've lost my objectivity with regards to Wilbon.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | March 1, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Not to distract from the trade talk. I've been reading everyone's comments with great interest.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | March 1, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

CF75: We have done online house hunting. Plus I drove around when I went for interview. mrstominfl and I will go out soon. I am hoping to go out Sat March 14th because Caps-Hawks is on NBC Sun March 15th at 9:30 am PT so I could watch in the hotel that morning before heading out.

Whatever trips back and forth I can do will be to see family on one hand and Caps on the other. My only consolation is that the last two weeks of the regular season are essentially meaningless except for exact seeding position. Missing those games doesn't mean much.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 1, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

OK, Wilbon has been sent to the Doofus Brigade. Lindsay, can you let him know?

He has been assigned as an MP. His job is to keep Gilbert Arenas (also in the Doofus Brigade, as an officer) from getting a gun.

Maybe if Ovi had pistol-whipped the woman, Corporal Wilbon would be more sympathetic.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 1, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon wouldn't have had much of a career if Kornheiser hadn't pulled him along all these years.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | March 1, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

tominfl1, I think you are right on in regard to centers. I actually hadn't been thinking about Hershey - but Perreault was doing quite well for a while when he was down here. Are there any other centers who would be NHL-ready in the next couple years? I keep losing track of which of the Hershey guys are centers and which are wingers.

And I'm with you on Vokoun - I do not think we need or can afford him. But I would love Volchenkov, although that might be a bit of a stretch.

Posted by: timmyv38 | March 1, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Meh. Don't assume McPhee isn't going to do anything because of the way he talks here. Remember, if he says he's shopping, prices go up really, really fast, because the Caps are known to have lots of cap room and stuff to trade with. GMGM isn't going to tip his hand now, and this interview reads cagey as hell.

I, too, hope he does something - I'd like to see him land Hamhuis. No, there isn't any talk that he's involved, but to that I ask - how much warning did we get on the Chimera trade?

Posted by: kittypawz | March 1, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

McPhee does tend to play trades/free agent signings very close to the chest. Knuble, Morrison, Chimera.... did anyone see any of those coming? I do hope he trades for one strong defenseman though - and I wouldn't mind having to give up Morrisonn or Pothier to do so.

Posted by: timmyv38 | March 1, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Nice tominfl1. To the doofus brigade goes Wilbon. I'm still peeved but at least I'm laughing.

Also regarding prospects, isn't Marcus Johansson (spelling?) currently with SEL in Europe a center?

I've read that he has done well there and I thought that he might be coming to the US next season (I am assuming) to Hershey.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | March 1, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

I use to like Michael Wilbon but those remarks about Ovi are ridiculous. I don't know why he started playing the race card stick to basketball!

Posted by: Capsnskins1 | March 1, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

I use to like Michael Wilbon but those remarks about Ovi are ridiculous. I don't know why he started playing the race card stick to basketball!

Posted by: Capsnskins1 | March 1, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

almost feel sorry for SJ or chicago who will probably have to face the Wings in the first round of the playoffs

Posted by: joek443 | March 1, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Was it just my imagination or were most of the players on both the US and Canadian hockey teams from the Western Conference? I noticed several Sharks, some Ducks, Black Hawks, and others.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 1, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse


From other thread...I have suggested Umberger several times over the past few months. A good trade that works also with the cap would be to move Flash for Umberger. We have much more depth at wing than center. We have Backstrom, and everyone else is unproven. Umberger is signed for two more years (3.75), but the money Flash would make isn't far off. Plus anyway, for next year, we have Ovi, Knuble, Laich, Semin and Fehr - 5 wingers capable of 1st/2nd line duty.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 1, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

yeah I think the one position we have depth at is wing and we still have guys like Bouchard and Bourque waiting in the wings. Neither one may have Flash's scoring touch (maybe Bouchard at some point) but we have enough skill at that position overall.

I have no idea why McPhee ever grants an interview. Every yr (like he said), its the same thing. He just covers himself on every interview. If he stands pat, he'll say he did so intentionally because he didn't feel there was anything out there worth grabbing thats better than what we currently have. If he makes a deal, then he says that his scouts really liked this player and they feel that this player fills a need.

whatever mcphee, just pull the trigger on something. Everyone in the league knows the Caps need a tough defensive blueliner. So lets not pretend, just do it. Last yr you failed, this year do something noteworthy. You can only sit on your assets for so long. This would be the no-brainer year to do something splash-worthy.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 1, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Well Wilbon and the Hockey News writer who called for Ovi to get suspended for the camera incident should be assigned to the same company in the Doofus Brigade. It would be only fitting.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 1, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Hamhuis is almost getting close to being a done deal with the Flyers.

GMGM sitting somewhere with a thumb up his tuckus. Flyers with Hamhuis and Pronger will shut-down the Caps, take my word for it.

It will be like Canada vs. Russia. The playoffs are a totally different deal. Flyers will become lethal with Hamhuis and possibly Chris Mason.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | March 1, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Here is the point: after years and years of drafting, the pipeline is chock full of talent. The team is on the brink of something great. IF YOU EVEN GAVE AWAY THE NEXT DRAFT -- IT WILL NOT MATTER! ESPECIALLY SINCE WE HAVE HAD SUCH GOOD YIELD FROM DRAFTS PASSED.

Give up with that 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th in 2010: Hambuis, Kaberle will make a world of difference. You cannot get it from Alzner, you cannot get it from Carlson.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | March 1, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

the Caps couldn't "shut down" everyone when they had 3 HOF d-men playing for them most of the 80's... I agree the playoffs are different but they're NOT gonna beat by the Flyers if they meet.

their goalie situation also reminds you of the Caps of the 80's

Posted by: joek443 | March 1, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

GMGM sitting somewhere with a thumb up his tuckus. Flyers with Hamhuis and Pronger will shut-down the Caps, take my word for it.
Posted by: Political_Stratgst | March 1, 2010 9:57 PM |

thank god you aren't running the show. Blowhard...>.08 there.

Posted by: Rocc00 | March 1, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

We talk about how unwilling to tip his hand GMGM is (and that's a good thing), but does anyone think this is unusual? I used to live in NJ and I can assure you Lou Lamoriello is the same way.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 1, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

America says : We want YOU !
Canada replies : WE GOT YOU !

Posted by: StanleyCup1907 | March 1, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

I read somewhere that despite having more 1st round picks than most teams in the league over the last decade or so, the Caps haven't been very efficient when it comes to turning those picks into productive NHL players.

Maybe somebody else knows the link to a site that breaks down draft performance by team. I'm probably not remembering every detail accurately. I could have it backwards in that the Caps have been lousy in the 2nd round and later. I still seem to recall that they haven't done that well in the 1st round over the last decade considering how many picks they've had compared to most other teams.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 1, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Well since the trade rumors have died down a bit I thought I'd share a tidbit or two of a couple of interviews I just watched and read.

McPhee on USA v. Canada: "Well I have dual citizenship now. So I can't lose." Classic IMO.

The media on Ovi vs Crosby/Malkin: "I was even asked how could I possibly find a common language with Malkin." Clueless media IMO.

On the NHL postseason:

Question: "Is there a must for the Washington to win the Stanley Cup?

Ovi: "In the NHL nobody is trying to make the global goals like it is in Russia. First of all you need to get into the playoffs, then to win, say, the Conference semi-finals, then the finals ... and then you can think about the Stanley Cup.

But I must admit, I want to win."

Playoffs here we come!

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | March 2, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure about that tmac, just looking at who they have now. Looking at the last 10 years, their 1st round picks have included Gordon, Backstrom, Fehr, Ovechkin, Semin, Green, Schultz and Varlamov - just to name the ones playing on the Caps. Neuvirth was a 2nd round pick, Finley, Alzner and Carlson were all 1st round picks and Perreault was a 6th round pick. I did find a website which has their draft picks from 1974-2007 though:

There is probably a more current one somewhere.

Posted by: timmyv38 | March 2, 2010 12:42 AM | Report abuse


The site I was using a metric like number of games played in the NHL by all picks in every round (even if those picks ended up on other teams through trade, free agency, etc...) and compared the %s of successful picks by rounds using that metric.

It's easy to think of the good picks off the top of your head but if I'm not mistaken, the Caps have had more 1st round picks than any team in the league over the last x number of years (probably close to a decade).

What you aren't remembering off the top of your head is all the failed picks that bring down the draft efficiency.

What I can't remember is if we were worse in the 1st round or in the 2nd round and on. It was probably the latter but I'm pretty sure we were pretty inefficient in the 1st round considering how many picks we've had over the last 10 years or so.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 2, 2010 12:55 AM | Report abuse

*The site I was referring to was using a metric...

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 2, 2010 12:57 AM | Report abuse


I love it, McPhee even dodges the non Caps related questions like "Your reaction to Canada winning gold?"

Posted by: Raber | March 2, 2010 1:20 AM | Report abuse

What do the Caps need?

They're 1st in the NHL in goal scoring. So, I don't see them making any changes up front. They're middle of the pack as far as goals allowed. If they're going to try to upgrade this would be the area to upgrade. I know that's a simplistic approach, but sometimes simplistic is best.

What are they going to do at the trade deadline?

There is a difference between actively pusuing an upgrade to your team and waiting for the phone to ring. Based on comments and gut feeling I think they're waiting for the phone to ring. So, I don't think they're going to do anything at the trade deadline. I don't think that's a good thing. The road to the Stanley Cup goes through Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh has already made moves to try and upgrade. It scares me that the Caps haven't and probably won't.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | March 2, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

I think Bourque's trade value to the Caps is somewhat dimished; this year he has proven to be headed towards career AHLer with Caps and Pens dishing him off. Has value if an AHL team wants him and the parent NHL team can absorb the 2-way contract?

Posted by: rockdaredlangely | March 2, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

re: Wilbon - he's a smart guy, actually. Arenas's actions were stupid but the team failed to reign him in when it should have and failed to provide any kind of guidance to a guy who needed it. And then it hung him out to dry. To compare the two articles is to be a little tone deaf.

Ovie is phenomenal - I think, Babe Ruth of hockey (really), the largest personality in sports right now. But that cuts both ways. He gives the impression of being a little out-of-control, of being someone who is coddled, a person for whom no one out there is willing to define boundaries(though I do think he and BB have a good working relationship). Here's a guy who's admitted to driving 100 MPH in the city (which is insane) with teammates in the car. If someone doesn't set some boundaries for him he could do something disastrous for himself and his career, and it's more likely to happen off the ice rather than on it. Again, I think Ovie's great - the comparison to Ruth is meant to be flattering - two people with outsize talent and life-force, both of whom could energize an entire sport, etc. But he could use some guidance...

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 2, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

RE: gmgm

I like the idea of keeping the pipeline working, not trading away the yutes. In the cap age, a pipeline of inexpensive young talent is essential to remaining competitive, as no team can stockpile a lot of proven top level talent, even if that team developed the talent themselves. The way things are setting up now, this team can compete for the Cup for the foreseeable future - it's not a one and done deal.

A good d man - Kaberle, Volchenkov, would be excellent pickups. I don't know much about Hamhuis. I do remember last year that there was a "Derek Morris" sweepstakes and the Rangers overpaid for him (it seems by a long shot). I'd not wish for the Caps to make that mistake...
I like Umberger also, (Flash alone could not net him, btw) but don't think he'd jibe well with Semin.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 2, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

losing the Hamhuis sweepstakes to Philly isn't the end of the world. Although I do agree that he can be very effective against Ovechkin. He doesn't have a long reach or anything ala Gill or Chara but he skates very well and doesn't mind being in someone's face the whole time. Good player. If we don't get him then there are still other players out there. Even an Andrew Alberts type would be an asset.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 2, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

tmac, if the Caps were inefficienct, it certainly wasn't 1st round. We have had 15 1st round picks from 2001-2009, and most of them were listed above. The only ones who weren't - Sasha Pokuluk (Stingrays), Marcus Johansson (who is in Sweden), Anton Gustafsson (Bears), and Steve Eminger (329 NHL games played). That means 9 of the 15 are current NHL starters, 2 have started a decent number of games, and only 4 have not yet - but 2 of those 4 were drafted in the last 2 years. When you look at lower rounds, that's when you see a lot of names not at the NHL level.

Posted by: timmyv38 | March 2, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Giving up Tomas Fleischmann would be an idiotic move at this point. The Caps have all the forward depth that they've needed for a while. I thought that giving up Jurcina for nothing basically was a mistake. Every year, we fans talk about what this team will need to get over the mark. I could stand to see this current team go for it, to be honest, but another defensive defensemen that can skate wouldn't hurt (preferably a rental). McPhee could trade a high-draft pick for one, I'm sure.

Posted by: fbutler1 | March 2, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

this "lets hold on to eberything we have"..."don't give up the future" stuff is bunk. given the possibilities of injuries and having money to keep ALL of the talent in Caps system, the time is now. I just don't understand people who aren't willing to consider the utility of giving up something to possibly win a Cup THIS YEAR!!! Come on people, as is, the team is one of the best 4 in the league. why not make a move or two to win now. I just don't see the down side. No one is saying to blow up the entire farm system to bring in rentals.

Posted by: doughless | March 2, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Based on this interview, one can conclude that GMGM must be:

a) A Zen Master,
b) Someone who could make the Oracle of Delphi look transparent and literal-minded,
c) Someone from whom the Sphinx of Giza took lessons in discretion,
d) a Vorlon,
e) all of the above.

Posted by: Rhino40 | March 2, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

just another year where mcphee blows another opportunity how many young "talent" do we need do you want to be good for a long time or do u want to win a freekin cup

Posted by: vjridgely | March 2, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

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