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Quick practice update

There was a familiar face on the ice this morning. Forward Quintin Laing skated in an orange jersey with strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish before practice began.

Defensemen Shaone Morrisonn and Tom Poti were also both on the ice for drills. And just like yesterday's morning skate, forwards Alex Ovechkin and Mike Knuble donned orange jerseys, but skated hard. The forward lines looked the same as last night's 6-2 victory over Florida:

Laich-Backstrom-Semin
Fleischmann-Morrison-Fehr
Giroux-Perreault-Clark
Sloan-Steckel-Bradley

I'll have more soon.

By Mark Giannotto  |  December 4, 2009; 1:12 PM ET
 
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Next: Clark on Ovie's absence: 'We can work around it'

Comments

ablake70: Laich might well end up this season w/o 70 pts.

Kane and Toews just got $6.3M for 70 pts each.

I know, I know, he's not THAT good.

I'll spend some time Saturday looking up EVERY player contract in the league and I'll find out what a 28-yr-old winger (his age July, 2011) w/70 pts is worth. Guess what, I'll bet $4-5M is very close. Note also I said if Laich, Flash or Fehr tails off before new deal, they will be cheaper.

So, if Laich gets only 50 pts this year and next (he had 53 last year I think) he'll be worth less.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 4, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

JohninMpls: Semin as of July 1, 2010 will have no contract for next season (unless he signs extension in interim). His options are:

1) Ask for arbitration, in which case he gets a one-year deal and then is a UFA the following season (this is what JayBo did). His long-term UFA deal would be less than, but not substantially so, the $7.5M yearly stipend for Gaborik.
2) Sign a RFA offer sheet that the Caps could match or accept draft picks. The value would be lower since teams don't want to give up picks.
3) Play one year in Russia and then come back as a UFA the following year.

The transfer agreement has nothing to do with I think since he'd have no contract for next year.

I don't think either he or Flash will go the RFA route since they can get more bucks by doing an arbitration or overseas season and then they are UFAs.

So, very unlikely the Caps "can just take the picks as compensation" as some here have posted.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 4, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

ablake70: I only went through the "A's" and I found a good comparison. Anaheim has none but laich will compare to Nik Antropov who had 56 and 59 pts the last two years and got $16.25M for 4 yrs. Laich had 53 pts last year. My example is, "If he gets 60-70 pts this year and next, he'll get $4-5M yearly as UFA July 2011."

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 4, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

@ tominfl

Kane and Toews received $6.3 million because they are both under 22, potential 100+ point players, and are the faces of their franchise. Laich may get 70pts this season, but he is still a role player. Love the guy, but he's not worth $4-5 million to this team.

Posted by: ablake70 | December 4, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

ablake70: Show me some contracts of 70 pt players 28 years old who make less. I just showed you Nik Antropov 56 and 59 pts the last two years, 28 yrs old, gets $4.25M year. A blanket "he's not worth" doesn't convince me. And he's not a role player, he's morphing into a 1st or 2nd line RW.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 4, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I don't think there is any way Laich gets $5M. My guess would be around $3.5M.

Yes, he is putting up good points this season but again, you can't just look at point totals and then have a blanket statement that he deserves similar money.

Jordant Staal earns $4M/year, I don't see Laich getting paid more than Staal.

I love Laich and really hopes he remains with the team for a long time. The Caps need to keep players like him on their team, but not for $5M.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 4, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Go Q!

Posted by: butcherbaker | December 4, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

@ tominfl

The Antropov deal had more to do with intangibles than stats. The Thrashers are desperate to resign Kovalchuk. They signed Antropov and probably Afingenov to keep Kovy happy.

Posted by: ablake70 | December 4, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I think Laich is a future captain, can play any forward position, can be a grinder or a scorer going to the net or a playaker at the pivot. He will stick up for himself and his teammates and is worth every penny of a $4 to $5 mill contract. He is part of the core. He is the type of player that doesn't grow on trees. Pay him. with all the youngsters starting to fill in spots, you can trade players that are due big raises but are fairly easy to replace (Flash, Schultz, Fehr) but Laich is almost irreplaceable. Just my opinion.

Did that D bag Duco from Florida get suspended or fined for his boneheadedness last night?

Posted by: jmurray019 | December 4, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

pens waive bourque to make room for cooke

Posted by: samb99 | December 4, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Penguins put Chris Bourque on waivers.

Posted by: CalleJoFan | December 4, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

sgm3: Jordan Staal is 21 and he signed his current deal coming out of his entry-level contract. He doesn't compare to Laich.

Here's a Laich comparable for $3.9M:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milan_Hejduk

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 4, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I think Laich is going garner a little less than $4M.

Posted by: JSchon | December 4, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl,

copied over from previous thread:

ThePat: I said the exact same thing to my daughter last night while watching. My conclusion was that Duco's 5 got served before the 2. With no other penalties, his penalty would have lasted either 7 mins or until the Caps scored in the last two mins. So, when Allen went in, that was the only minor being served then, so he comes out when the goal was scored. That was my conclusion. Joe B and Locker failed to explain it though.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 4, 2009 10:02 AM

Were you watching the game on TV? If so, what channel? I have NFL Center Ice and they only provided the Florida feeds.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | December 4, 2009 1:34 PM

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | December 4, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

@ tominfl

There are a lot of other factors that come into play when players are signed/resigned. The salary cap is the biggest. Right now, Laich is behind Ovi, Backstrom, Green, Varly/Neuy, Fehr, Flash, Semin and Alzner on the priority list. Even if Semin, Flash and/or Fehr are moved, Green and Varly will be due big raises, Backstrom is getting a raise, and Alzner will need to be brought up. Plus, the Caps will have to replace the production of Semin, Flash, and/or Fehr and find a 2nd line center. There just isn't enough cap space to pay Laich $4-5 million per year.

Posted by: ablake70 | December 4, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

If BMo continues to produce at his current clip he will want more than $3mil. I would venture to guess that if Matt P is able to continue through the end of the season that he will become the 2nd line center. The new center in our line-up next season will be Marcus Johansson who is currently playing in his 2nd season in the SEL and playing well. He prides himself on being a two way center, compared by some experts to Zetterberg. He could be a 3rd or 4th line center for us next season an entry level contract dollars.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 4, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

You're right that Staal signed his deal out of his entry-level contract. While being a RFA limited his salary some, his young age definitely increased his value.

I just can't see Laich getting more than $4M. My guess was $3.5M, if Hedjuk is similar maybe it will be $3.7 or so.

But, just like the WRs for the Saints or Colts playing with Manning and Brees, some of the Caps offensive statistics are inflated because they play on the highest scoring team with players like Ovie, Green, and such.

A possible solution, given his age, would be to give him a contract similar to Hossa's and Pronger's. Where the first y or 8 years are paid around $4M-$4.2M but then add a few $1M seasons afterwards to drive down the cap hit.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 4, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Looking at the contract situation for next year, the Caps will have the following players coming off the books as UFAs. The player name is followed by their current Cap hit.

BMo- $1.5
Theo- $4.5 mil
Stecks - $.725 mil
Pothier - $2.5 mil
SMo- $1.975 mil
Juice- $1.375 mil
Sloan - $.64 mil

In addition, while he'll still be getting paid, when Nylander's NMC expires, he'll be assigned and another $4.875 mil comes off the books.

So, just with Nylander and Theodore leaving, the Caps will save over $9 mil next year against the cap. If with new contracts, the new cap hits for Semin and Backstrom are each $6.5 mil, that would represent an increase of $6 mil over their current cap hits, which leaves $3 mil just from Theo and Nylander leaving to work with.

Certainly, there are a number of RFAs, and possibly BMo who will need pay increases, but the Caps can find extra Cap space by letting one or more of the UFA defensmen go and replacing them with Alzner and Carlson.

The following year, the contracts of Knuble, Poti, Clark, Erskine and Bradley are all up as well, representing a cap savings of about another $11 mil a season which should provide plenty of wiggle room for new contracts for RFAs Alzner and Varlamov.

So, assuming that the Caps can get Backstrom and Semin to agree to contracts in the $6.5 mil per year cap hit range, it shouldn't present too much of a problem. If either wants a little more, they could probably swing it if they decided it was worth it.


Posted by: cainoo7x | December 4, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

that's suppose to be 7 to 8 years not y to 8 years.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 4, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

@ jmurray019

Which one of these guys would you give up to pay Laich $4-5 million: Backstrom, Ovi, Green, Alzner, Varly/Neuy? That's what it would take. The fact is if the Caps plan to keep the guys listed, the other guys around them will have to come cheap.

Posted by: ablake70 | December 4, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl, others

I see that Getzlaff, Perry re-upped for only a little over 5. I think Semin's agent would settle for current sal if extra years. (Notice that today, all BB had to say about Semin was "he should have had a lot of energy, he was well rested" which puts the focus back on Semin's "resting"...) I do think Caps should be able to lock up Backs for five years, similar deal as Green's or slightly less.

Laich is good, but I don't think those kinds of players will be getting much above 3 anywhere in the new cap conscious NHL...they're easier to find and produce.


Posted by: RedLitYogi | December 4, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

FloridaCapsFan: In Orlando last night, NHL Center Ice had both the Caps and the Panthers broadcasts.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 4, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

First off.. Laich will probably not end up with 70 this year. However, there is just as much precedence that he makes 3M a year.

A Player I find him comparable to is:
Frolov - $2.9M

Not to mention he's no:
Parise - $3.1M
Savard - $4.2M
or even
M. Koivu - $3.2M

He's got a few years of NHL experience, and isn't exactly a spring chicken. Him and B-Mo should both know that their gains this year are based on the backs of some really great players (young-guns), and that they fill a role, which can be replaced. (Knuble - $2.8M).

If anyone should give a "hometown discount", I would expect it to be both these players... as they benefit more from being on the caps, than not.

Take a look at Cheechoo when you think about how Laich may be doing on a team like Ottawa or in Edmonton or Phoenix.

Yes, some teams pay $4M or more for players that can compare to Laich, but other pay less. Who has the leverage in the upcoming deals this spring? I think GMGM does....

Posted by: fricknoutstandin | December 4, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

BTW, new post. They say "beep" on the Redskins Insider.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | December 4, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

@ cainoo7x

I had a similar post a few weeks ago. The 9M goes fast when you sign Back and Semin.

The real question is what we do with the defense...

Pothier, ShaMo, Juice, and Carlson (Cheap) are all UFA, Sarge is RFA. However, with Alzner, Carlson, and Sloan (cheap) we can backfill without being FORCED to pay over market value for the others.

Perrault has looked amazing out there, and can easily fill in as a 2nd center if B-Mo walks. Steckle and Gordon aren't playing into big money right now (but are both valueable to the team). Fehr is another one who hasn't been that great. I think Flash is actually the player to wonder about who will be able to demand more money. High pick and scouted much better than Laich, and is on the same path, but 1 year later.

The best way to keep Semin and backstrom is with long term deals. Then try to get prospects for as many guys as we can.. as they will be the role players of the future.

Posted by: fricknoutstandin | December 4, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

@ cainoo7x

I had a similar post a few weeks ago. The 9M goes fast when you sign Back and Semin.

The real question is what we do with the defense...

Pothier, ShaMo, Juice, and Carlson (Cheap) are all UFA, Sarge is RFA. However, with Alzner, Carlson, and Sloan (cheap) we can backfill without being FORCED to pay over market value for the others.

Perrault has looked amazing out there, and can easily fill in as a 2nd center if B-Mo walks. Steckle and Gordon aren't playing into big money right now (but are both valueable to the team). Fehr is another one who hasn't been that great. I think Flash is actually the player to wonder about who will be able to demand more money. High pick and scouted much better than Laich, and is on the same path, but 1 year later.

The best way to keep Semin and backstrom is with long term deals. Then try to get prospects for as many guys as we can.. as they will be the role players of the future.

Posted by: fricknoutstandin | December 4, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Well, the Caps have too many D as it is without considering Alzner and Carlson for next season. Assuming they come up, on the roster for D next year, the caps will have Alzner, Carlson, Green, Sarge, Poti and Erskine. Conceivably, they could let Pothier, Juice, ShaMo and Sloan all walk.

My best guess is the try and get Juice or ShaMo resigned for a modest raise over their current salaries so they have 7 Dmen on the roster next season.

Posted by: cainoo7x | December 4, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

The real question is what we do with the defense

http://www.nowgoal.com/22.shtml

Posted by: bgfgf402 | December 5, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

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