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Semin sidelined vs. Atlanta

The Caps will open their Southeast Division schedule tonight in Atlanta without their third leading scorer, Alexander Semin, who stayed behind in Washington while he recovers from an illness and nurses an injury.

"He was sick, then was sore, I don't know," Coach Bruce Boudreau said.

Boudreau declined to say what exactly is ailing Semin, but he did acknowledge that the winger could join the team on Long Island for Saturday's game if he feels better.

Boudreau also wouldn't reveal his starting goaltender, but if this morning's skate was any indication, Semyon Varlamov will get the nod and will be backed up by Jose Theodore, who is mostly recovered back spasms. Ondrej Pavelec (2.37 goals against average, .929 save percentage) is expected to start for the surprising Thrashers (4-1-1).

With both Semin and Boyd Gordon (sore back) sidelined, Alexandre Giroux and Keith Aucoin have been recalled and were on the ice this morning at Philips Arena. Boudreau wouldn't reveal his lines, but the top unit probably will be Alex Ovechkin-Nicklas Backstrom-Mike Knuble. I'll post the lineup after warmups.

On defense, Tyler Sloan and John Erskine will be the scratches.

On another note, GM George McPhee confirmed that the reason behind yesterday's decision to send Michael Nylander to Grand Rapids is because a few Russian teams remain interested in him but wanted to see him in action before agreeing to take him on loan. Nylander could play for the Griffins on Friday and Sunday, McPhee said, and can remain with the club for up to two weeks.

McPhee also said he hasn't given up on the possibility of trading Nylander to an NHL team.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  October 22, 2009; 12:47 PM ET
 
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Next: Tonight's lineup: Caps at Thrashers

Comments

Swine flu can come into my office, and it can come into my school, and it can come into my gym, but I swear, if Alex Semin brings swine flu to my hockey team...

Posted by: nicko | October 22, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

no Semin....arrgggg

Posted by: caps4life2 | October 22, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

What does Nyls and Zorn have in common?
They both got bosses who are trying to get rid of them by humiliation methods in order to minimize their monetary loses, in turn these two guys are willing to take it on the chin and collect everything that is owe to them - I say, good for them.

Posted by: hock1 | October 22, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Semin is sore?? Riiiiiiiiiiiight. He is getting traded to Boston!!
Just kidding everyone. Feel better soon Bongo.

Posted by: j3rockstar | October 22, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

@hock1 - The key difference, of course, is that signing Nylander didn't seem like a bad idea at the time, whereas hiring Zorn as a head coach was a head-scratcher from the beginning.

Posted by: hillg | October 22, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

it's not like the skins had a lot to choose from... what sane coach would coach that team other than for the money?

Posted by: joek443 | October 22, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

It's always Semin with these tic tac sicknesses and injuries...he needs to get tougher, or it is going to be hard to give him a raise...

If he is really sick or hurt I aplogize...and he just has terrible luck...

Posted by: SA-Town | October 22, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

@joek443 - Good point, but surely there were insane and/or really greedy coaches out there who were more qualified. ;)

Posted by: hillg | October 22, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Sick and then aching? That's the flu, we all know it. Probably best to keep him away from the rest of the team. If this flu season is as strong as expect then every team will get hammered at some point in the season. Get well.

Posted by: saintex | October 22, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

at this point the coaches are totally irrelevant as far as the problem with the Skins... the problem goes much deeper

I know Scott Pioli who was in charge of the football operation with the Pats went to the Chiefs so I would hire whoever is in charge with the teams like the Steelers and hire him as the GM first.

Posted by: joek443 | October 22, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Semin has the swine.......

Posted by: caps4life2 | October 22, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I hope everyone has their security glasses for tonight. I am sure the Thrashers will be wearing those hidiously ugly 3rd jerseys tonight.

Posted by: pkendrick | October 22, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

that sucks.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 22, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Also, why don't they just let Nylander play in the NHL to let these teams "see" him?

This whole thing is beyond absurd.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 22, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

sorry... hideously

Posted by: pkendrick | October 22, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

the caps are basically doing the same thing the skins are doing to Zorn... to humiliate him in hopes of making him quit

Posted by: joek443 | October 22, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Funny that BB didn't admit that Anderson is a hell of a coach. They are friends, but I think there's a lot of competition between them.

Anderson seems to know how to play against BB and his system/style. If Caps lose tonight, I won't be surprised.

Posted by: CodePoetry | October 22, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I saw that some Caps fans have posted on the Grand Rapids team website, trashing Nylander. That is really counterproductive. The best case scenario for the Caps is that Nylander plays well in Grand Rapids and some team agrees to take him. Given the salary cap situation, I don't think it is an exaggeration to say that the Caps' ultimate success this year may depend to a great extent on the success of this experiment in Grand Rapids.

Posted by: zmega | October 22, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

too much Vodka at the Russian Tea Room!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 22, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

@ Codepoetry -- even if the Thrash know the Caps' system, the Caps have better personal. The Caps can roll three lines that can score (esp. the top two) and the Caps have a better defensive corps (versus the Trash that is). If the Caps play their game and maximize their superior talent and balanced lines, this is a no brainer. Then again, the Caps are not playing very good hockey right now. Maybe BB drilled them into playing their system. If the Caps lose, I will be unpleasantly surprised.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | October 22, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Also, why don't they just let Nylander play in the NHL to let these teams "see" him?

The guy has NMC, he can use it any time. So my guess is, they want to keep him in a dog house and on a short leash.

But I agree, this is surreal. I don't think what's happening to Nylander has ever happened before in NHL.

Posted by: CodePoetry | October 22, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Trashing Nylander on another team's blog? How low can people be?

If you think the Thrashers' third jersey is hodeous, then you obviously have not seen this one! Talk about ugly, LOL! There's a rule against distracting the other team on the ice... somewhere... (((>.<)))!

Posted by: irockthered | October 22, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

The reason they won't play Nylander in the NHL is b/c what if he totally sucks and plays like cr*p? Which is likely b/c 1. he hasn't played in a year and 2. he doesn't fit in the Caps system.

If that happened, no one would EVER take him and we'd be stuck with him for good.

So they send him to play w/ some lesser talent in the AHL so that he hopefully shines and looks good to the Russian teams.

Posted by: bigeugene | October 22, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Don't get me wrong, I want Caps to win, but Anderson seems to have a clue how to solve them. Do you remember last year, the first game vs. Thrash? I think we were destroyed back then.

Posted by: CodePoetry | October 22, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

hodeous=hideous/

Jeez, what is up with that word today?!

Next we'll see "hudious"!

Posted by: irockthered | October 22, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if we have a better blue line than the thrashers.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 22, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

@irock

Ha...those are the worst ever!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 22, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

@bigeugene - And you think the KHL won't take that into account?

Posted by: irockthered | October 22, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Don't get me wrong, I want Caps to win, but Anderson seems to have a clue how to solve them. Do you remember last year, the first game vs. Thrash? I think we were destroyed back then.

Posted by: CodePoetry | October 22, 2009 1:41 PM |

It was like 7-5 or something like that. Maybe 7-4.

Kovy-Ovie show.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 22, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I don't see where Nyls has done anything wrong in this situation. What exactly does anybody trashing him think he should have done? He is apparently working hard, and he had to agree with this stint with the Griffins.

Posted by: mikebrady1 | October 22, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

The reason they won't play Nylander in the NHL is b/c what if he totally sucks and plays like cr*p? Which is likely b/c 1. he hasn't played in a year

Posted by: bigeugene | October 22, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse


Huh? Played in 70+ games last year. They weren't beauties but still.

Posted by: Section117 | October 22, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

@bigeugene - And you think the KHL won't take that into account?

Posted by: irockthered | October 22, 2009 1:42 PM |

Exactly what I was going to say.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 22, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

get better soon, sasha! :)

Posted by: spinner-33 | October 22, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

You feel sorry for him, but obviously Nyls is responsible for what's happening to him.

I've mention it a couple of days ago:

Japer's Rink analyzed Nyls playing on different lines and on every line with Nyls the stats, i.e. points, +/-, etc. went down when Nyls was assigned to any, including Ovechkin's.

Posted by: CodePoetry | October 22, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

who would you sit so nyls could play with the caps? backs??? bmo?????? nyls is not a 3rd or 4th line center and he definitely is not a winger.

Posted by: realoldcapsfan | October 22, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Here's what the lineup is likely to look like tonight (according to Corey):

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble
Laich-Morrison-Fehr
Giroux-Aucoin-Clark
Laing-Steckel-Bradley

Morrisonn-Green
Poti-Jurcina
Schultz-Pothier

Varlamov
Theodore

It looks like the Thrasers' top two lines will be:

Afinegenov-Antropov-Kovalchuk
Little-White-S. Kozlov

YMMV. ALSTCWON! (Your Mileage May Vary. All Lines Subject To Change WithOut Notice!)

Posted by: irockthered | October 22, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

He also had 37 pts in 40 games for us before his injury.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 22, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

@JIMALLCAPS

You make valid points, but the Thrashers are looking pretty good, simply put. Not to mention that Pavelec has been really solid so far. In other words, this won't be a walk in the park.

Posted by: JD09 | October 22, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe that khl and ahl talent levels are not that far apart so if nyls can do well at ahl he should be fine khl

Posted by: realoldcapsfan | October 22, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Anderson is a great coach. BB and him know each other inside & out.5-4 OT win for someone.....hopefully the Caps!

Posted by: caps4life2 | October 22, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Sure the KHL will take Nylander playing in AHL into account. But would you rather have him performing good to excellent in the AHL (hopefully) or mediocre to terrible in the NHL? I think his trade options are better in the AHL scenario. Just my opinion.

Posted by: bigeugene | October 22, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

who would you sit so nyls could play with the caps? backs??? bmo?????? nyls is not a 3rd or 4th line center and he definitely is not a winger.

Posted by: realoldcapsfan | October 22, 2009 1:51 PM |

You don't recall Aucoin and play Nylander for a game. He plays 3rd line for a game.

It's really not that big of a deal, especially against ATL.

Posted by: richmondphil | October 22, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

also meant to add that nyls is/was a good nhl level center. he may have lost some in the past 2 yrs, but i would put him at least at elite ahl level

Posted by: realoldcapsfan | October 22, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Nyls fault? Not really. There's a contract and he has a right to see it through. I have no issues at all with Nylander. I hope we can find somewhere for him to play.

Posted by: saintex | October 22, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Question for the Nylander experts. McPhee mentiones interest by "a few Russian teams" but does the move to Grand Rapids also mean that the Wings may be interested in checking him out? Why this particular club then? I don't buy it that they don't want to take time away from Hershey players.

I also agree that it is ridiculous not to let him play on the Caps team to let others see him in action. There are certainly players on the team much less skillful and successful than Nyls. I cannot believe that he is such a liability that they think he enganders the game if they put him in. This is BS. I would like to know what kind of plan they might possibly have in mind. I don't know why Tarik or some other journalist have not offered speculations. Look at these endless analyses and speculations of the Redskins for instance.

Posted by: caraveli | October 22, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Semin sick and/or injured...
Gordon injured...

So, it begins anew.

The injury bug makes its yearly migration to Washington, where it will surely multiply and flourish.

Posted by: aybee27 | October 22, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

There's probably a little more depth to the decision to send Nylander to the Griffs. He remains a valuable commodity (to some team!), he needs game conditions to showcase his worth along with needing a full physical evaluation and report following game.....something that Hershey can't offer. Look at trainers on both clubs - it's no comparison. Sending him to Hershey was probably nixed as Bears run without certified trainer on staff; Nyls agent steps in and won't assume that liability - GMGM escapes potential liability issues if anything happened to Nyls while with Hershey on a road trip which is another factor: Griffs are at home for this quick look and evaluation, Hershey plays away fri and then home. Nyls isn't big on busing around the minors. Fly in - fly out of Griffs. Good luck to all. Here's hoping this saga is coming to an end.

Posted by: rockdaredlangely | October 22, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I found a great post about Nylander:

The Nylander saga has become a rather sad one. He was a player I always randomly liked, and I definitely recall demanding the Wings make a push for him before the 2007-08 season when he signed a four-year deal with Washington worth $4.875 million a year. There was a rather funny moment to file under the “everyone hates Edmonton” category when this happened because his agent apparently had him agree to a deal with Edmonton, and they reported this accordingly, but then Nylander pulled out when it was being finalized and signed in Washington.

Nylander was coming off of his two best seasons ever, with 79 points in 81 games and 83 in 79 the following year. The first year under his contract, where he should have been playing with Alexander Ovechkin, he got hurt, missed out on the opportunity to play with Ovechkin, and was limited to just 37 points in 40 games. Then last season, banged up and 36 years old, he scored just 33 in 72 games and was barely used in the playoffs.

On the hook for such a disappointment for two more seasons, things turned ugly between Washington and Nylander. He sounded banged up last season, but Washington mostly scratched him for the playoffs. They basically told him not to report to camp this year, but he did, and expressed his desire to play for the Caps. The Caps, meanwhile, were trying to reach a deal to get a European club to take Nylander off their hands. He hasn’t seen a minute of pre-season or regular season time thus far.

They’ve now chosen to loan him to Grand Rapids. Doesn’t Washington have an AHL club, you ask? Yes they do, and they feel so strongly that they don’t want Nylander around that they loaned him to Grand Rapids so he won’t be in the way of Caps prospects. Ouch.

But make no mistake — this is no audition for Detroit, although Ken Holland did have a hand in agreeing to let Nylander join Grand Rapids. His contract is bigger than Franzen’s and he’s under contract until next season. It’s completely unmovable. From the sounds of things, they’ve contacted a few European clubs (Russian and Swiss), but these clubs are concerned because he hasn’t played since April. Nylander contends that he’s playing 10 pounds heavier than ever which means he either sat on his ass since April, or he’s in the best shape of his life. He says the latter. We’ll see. So this is more of an audition to show the world he can still play. Then he’ll be loaned out to Europe, most likely.

It will be interesting to see what happens, he does have a lot of skill, but I have seen very little of him since his last season with the Rangers. He’s joining the Griffins tomorrow and will play the home opener on Friday against Abbotsford. As I’m going to the home opener, this means I’ll get to see Nylander skating on the same ice as Tomas Tatar, which is a strange and outlandish thought.

http://babcocksdeathstare.wordpress.com/2009/10/22/griffins-update/

Posted by: CodePoetry | October 22, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Ugh - that could be an ugly third line.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 22, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

These Nylander conversations are worse then the Leafs blow conversations happening here in Niagara, Ontario.

Posted by: caps4life2 | October 22, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

@ richmondphil

that is why nylander is where he is now..because in his mind he is not a 3rd or 4th line center -- Bruce doesn't deal with that!!

Posted by: capsgary | October 22, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Thrash highlights from last game including Kozlov's cheap shot:

http://watch.tsn.ca/featured/#clip225973


Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 22, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I remain amazed that so many here are in denial about Nylander. He's lost a step that he couldn't afford to lose. There is a reason why no other teams are jumping at the chance to obtain his services. I have to believe that a lot of thought went into selecting a place for him to play, in terms of level of competition and style of play to showcase whatever talent Nylander has left. Everyone who wants this to be a great year for the Caps should pray that this works out.

Posted by: zmega | October 22, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Amen zmega, so hoping this works out so this board can actually discuss something besides the dreaded "N" word.....can't even bring myself to type his full name anymore!

Posted by: PhilR | October 22, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

It's disappointing when everyone is trying to assign blame on Nylander's predicament. It could be a combination of Nylander losing a bit of his game or his capability or lack thereof in fitting in Boudreau's style and even whatever internal issues management has with him. Regardless, we can all argue until we're blue in the face about what may or may not have happened. Wish the guy the best of luck and let's work on our loyalty to the organization, not just the players but the coaches and the managers/owners alike. Why waste your time on this?

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | October 22, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I remain amazed that so many here are in denial about Nylander. He's lost a step that he couldn't afford to lose. There is a reason why no other teams are jumping at the chance to obtain his services. I have to believe that a lot of thought went into selecting a place for him to play, in terms of level of competition and style of play to showcase whatever talent Nylander has left. Everyone who wants this to be a great year for the Caps should pray that this works out.

Posted by: zmega | October 22, 2009 2:28 PM

No team wants to pay what we're paying for Nylander, whether or not he can play. With the looming salary cap and overpaid players, no one has room for an 4 million dollar guy who still might have it left. It's less that he can't play and more that teams aren't willing to take a chance at that price tag.

We never should've signed him at that price for as long as we did, but hindsight is 20-20. He was coming off career numbers and we had a scorer who was better than Jagr. How could he not succeed? Blame GMGM for signing him or for not playing him now, blame Boudreau's coaching style for not fitting, or blame Nylander for being an aging player who doesn't have it left in him.

Whatever the case he's not playing for the Capitals ever again. Let's all hope he ends up on another team - ANY other team - in a way that gets us as much of our salary cap back as possible. That's the best outcome anyone here can hope for.

Posted by: Raber | October 22, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble
Laich-Morrison-Fehr
Giroux-Aucoin-Clark
Laing-Steckel-Bradley

Morrisonn-Green
Poti-Jurcina
Schultz-Pothier
---------------

thats not a bad lineup. It'll be interesting to see how Giroux plays with a center he's used to playing with. He hasn't really had that before I don't think. Too bad Erskine isn't in there, that Schultz-Pothier combo is vomity

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 22, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

zmega:
i can agree that his skills are not what they used to be - but if his cap hit were only around 1.5M - he would be gone by now. i think it is a combo of both

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 22, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

...Regardless, we can all argue until we're blue in the face about what may or may not have happened... Why waste your time on this?

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | October 22, 2009 2:48 PM

Couldn't have said it better myself (and I've tried).

Posted by: Raber | October 22, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Wow...nothing like a Nylander topic and four days with no hockey to keep everyone with a short fuse.

I still for the life of me can't see what the Caps brass has done to humiliate Nylander?? Sending him to another teams minor league for game shape action? Just remember if it was so bad Nylander could have nixed going there. Both sides are working to get him to a team that can use his talents.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | October 22, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

*nods head in acknowledgement to Raber* I owe you a beer...or some Dunkin Donuts....=)

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | October 22, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

If Nyls is gone what are we going to talk about? This board may go dead.lol

Posted by: RichC3 | October 22, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

How dare Semin gets sick or ill or a combination of both. Trade him. He is not good. Shipping to siberia with Nyls.
.... mmmm ... but ... oh, yeah, we still will have Schultz to kick around.

Posted by: hock1 | October 22, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

shipping? LAO ship him ... I think

Posted by: hock1 | October 22, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Sorry - just to play devil's advocate- it's October and there is not much more to talk about than Nylander...granted i'm sick of it too...I'm glad this will at least put a stop for 2 weeks to the imaginary line combos with Nyls. I say go to the Griffins web site to discuss Nylander line combos for the next two weeks.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 22, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

If Nyls is moved, I would hope the Caps use the extra cap space to bring up some younger guns. Nothing against Giroux and Aucoin, but we already know they are career AHLers. And with so many potential roster moves next year, it's time to see if guys like Alzer, Osala, Wilson, etc can make it with the big club.

Posted by: ablake70 | October 22, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

not my best sentence structure.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 22, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Nylander will get a lot more minutes in Grand Rapids as they are thin with injury recalls to Detroit. The Griffins don't have a good record right now, so any potential offensive help is likely welcome. Hershey is loaded for bear (no pun intended), so no need to disrupt their team.

And, remember, while we who live in areas with an NHL team may view the "A" as nothing but a feeder system to the main clubs, the owners of those teams are still trying to pack the house and make a buck. So, if Nylander can help Grand Rapids to win some games over the next couple of weeks, then it's a win/win for everyone.

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | October 22, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

The Nylander situation could be the best thing that's happened to Schultz in a long time.

Posted by: hillg | October 22, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

@ablake- we are tied by the salary cap - that is why you will not see Alzner, Osala, etc

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 22, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

We never should've signed him at that price for as long as we did, but hindsight is 20-20. He was coming off career numbers and we had a scorer who was better than Jagr. How could he not succeed? Blame GMGM for signing him or for not playing him now, blame Boudreau's coaching style for not fitting, or blame Nylander for being an aging player who doesn't have it left in him.

----------
I sure wasn't a fan of the signing. I didn't think we needed that kind of center as part of a 1-2 punch including a young Backstrom. When you look around the league, you should have at least one POWER center as part of your top 2 centers. To rely on a young center who has to get used to playing north american hockey and then having an aging finesse center as his mentor didn't seem like a great plan. Thats not what I call being strong down the middle. Maybe they envisioned Nylander having success with Semin the way he had success with Jagr, I dunno.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 22, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

@hock1

Semin is sick with swine flu, they need to ship him to Redskins Park asap to spare us the embarrassment of Monday Night Football.

@lylewimbledon

Hypothetically speaking, if this stint in GR is successful and he goes overseas, the Caps lose his $5 million cap hit. They could bring up younger guys then.

Posted by: ablake70 | October 22, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

@RichC3 - Things we could talk about if Nyls goes to Russia -
1. Extending Backstrom and Semin
2.Which crease-clearing d-man we should bring in and when
3.Who among Alzner, Carlson, and others from Hershey to bring up and when.

These are all (especially 1 and 2) potentially very big deals. Therefore, the Nyls situation is a big deal.

Posted by: zmega | October 22, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Just for S&G's I thought I'd run some numbers to see how bad things really were with Nylander. All numbers according to NHL.COM.

Nylander:
Points 33
TOI 1010.40
Point/min 0.03

Feds
Points 33
TOI 858.0
Point/min 0.04

Flash
Points 37
TOI 1099.87
Point/min 0.03

Koz
Points 41
TOI 1048.55
Point/min 0.04

Ovie
Points 110
TOI 1817
Point/min 0.06

Was he a poor performer? Not really. Did he perform to expectations? Not hardly. There IS a difference.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 22, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Bill Tiller/Thrasher's blogger on Hockeybuzz talks about the Kozlov hit on Gomez...

http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Bill-Tiller/Should-Kozlovs-Hit-Cost-Him/127/23789

Steven Hindle/Hockeybuzz previews tonight's Caps/Thrash match-up...

http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Steven-Hindle/Caps--Thrashers-Ovechkin-Vs-Kovalchuk-2009--Take-One-Scene-One/98/23823

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | October 22, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

@ richmondphil

that is why nylander is where he is now..because in his mind he is not a 3rd or 4th line center -- Bruce doesn't deal with that!!

Posted by: capsgary | October 22, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Nylander is correct. He is NOT a 3rd or 4th line center. Forget the ego part of it, his style isn't conducive to that role.
And I don't think Bruce really wants to put him in that role either. You need a straight-ahead strong responsible hustling player to be a 3rd or 4th line center. Not to mention, the type of wingers he'd be playing with on the 3rd/4th lines play more of a dump and chase game. They're not going to complement Nylander's playmaking style or pick up some slick passes cleanly.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 22, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

zmega

Nylander's NMC ends at the end of this season. No matter what, he will not be a Cap next year. There will be no cap hit next year for him. They'll just waive him if he's still here. End of discussion.

That money can then be applied to Backstrom and/or Semin.

In addition to that, Theodore will be off the books. That also can be applied to this pool.

There could be other changes at the end of the year as well. Pothier may or may not be here. Both he and Poti could be traded at deadline time.

There's tons of ways to get money for those two.

Funding Backstrom and Semin is a non-issue.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 22, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Was he a poor performer? Not really. Did he perform to expectations? Not hardly. There IS a difference.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 22, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

What those stats don't show you is all the other things expected from a hockey player that wouldn't necessarily be quantifable on a stat sheet. In general, Nylander looked slow and frail, he didn't perform well along the boards, he didn't go into high-traffic areas. Even players like him need to do that once in a while to help his linemates out. He doesn't need to play Steckel's style but there are times any center is going to have to win some battles for pucks or seal off a lane and Nyles looked very one-dimensional. He's also not versatile. A player like him has enough skill to get his points here and there, especially playing with someone like Semin who's a one-man show at times. I could feed Semin the puck and pick up my share of points along the way. Those stats don't tell the full story of Nylander's contributions (or lack thereof)

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 22, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Greg S.:
i'm too lazy to look it up - but it would be interesting to see pts/min vs $/min

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 22, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

don't forget Ben Clymer's salary

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 22, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

@GregS - Clearing $4+ million in cap space is never a trivial matter. Theodore may be gone, but who knows how Varlamov and Neuvirth will develop? It's possible that the team may want to extend Theodore, if he plays really well and there are questions about one or the other of the young guys. Also, we are very nonchalant about spending Ted's money. After paying Jagr to play for the Rangers, he may be running out of patience (and cash). Loaning Nyls might bring some money in return. Cap room is always valuable.

Posted by: zmega | October 22, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1 - Re: Aucoin and Giroux - totally concur. Aucoin and Giroux are a great pair. Wish I could watch the game tonight!

Posted by: irockthered | October 22, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

zmega

They're already signed for next year.

non-issue.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 22, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

everyone is a genius after the fact, ain't it...

Posted by: joek443 | October 22, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

Me too. Maybe tonight? Don't hold your breath for it though... :)

Posted by: Greg S. | October 22, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

yeah I saw tht coming... thought it was a bad move..

DOOOOOOOSHHHHH

Posted by: joek443 | October 22, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I dunno Joek, you sound like you were hot and heavy on the nylander bandwagon right from the get-go. I can safely say I was in the opposite corner right from the start.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 22, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

yeah I saw tht coming... thought it was a bad move..

DOOOOOOOSHHHHH

Posted by: joek443 | October 22, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

dude just cuz you're a total idiot doesn't mean everyone else is. So go dooosh yourself.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 22, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I just wonder why the Caps cant trade Nyls like Jagr was traded, eat a chunk of the salary but send him on his way.
And all you guys taking potshots at him, it would be nice if the Caps had someone scoring whose name wasnt Alex. Just a thought.

Posted by: peabody2 | October 22, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

ok - i'm not as lazy as i thought
added 08/09 salary divided by minutes played
Nylander:
Points 33
TOI 1010.40
Point/min 0.03
$5,445/min

Feds
Points 33
TOI 858.0
Point/min 0.04
$4662/min

Flash
Points 37
TOI 1099.87
Point/min 0.03
$659/min

Koz
Points 41
TOI 1048.55
Point/min 0.04
$2385/min

Ovie
Points 110
TOI 1817
Point/min 0.06
$4953/min

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 22, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1 - Re: Aucoin and Giroux - totally concur. Aucoin and Giroux are a great pair. Wish I could watch the game tonight!

Posted by: irockthered | October 22, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

yeah i'd rather see Giroux play with a familiar center than having to play with a Gordo. They had absolutely no chemistry whey he got recalled last yr. If you really want to watch the game, just stream it and copy it. There's freeware out there that'll do it. I did that for a rookies game, worked out well.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 22, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Wow - that was really dumb peabody

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 22, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I dunno Joek, you sound like you were hot and heavy on the nylander bandwagon right from the get-go. I can safely say I was in the opposite corner right from the start.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 22, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

hey douchbag, I wasn't even on here when they signed Nyls... but I bet you were on the bandwagon

Posted by: joek443 | October 22, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1

Yeah, there's a reason they don't keep stats on that stuff. It's worse than keeping stats on hits. Totally subjective. Specially you being able to do be a point per player feeding Semin.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 22, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

peabody2:
the CBA doesn't allow the old team to pay any portion of a players salary, the new team has to pay it all

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 22, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I just wonder why the Caps cant trade Nyls like Jagr was traded, eat a chunk of the salary but send him on his way.
And all you guys taking potshots at him, it would be nice if the Caps had someone scoring whose name wasnt Alex. Just a thought.

Posted by: peabody2 | October 22, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Because Jagr will still a marketable attractive player when we dumped him. The only way we can really trade Nylander is if some team gets a slew of injuries at center and they think they have a chance of going far this year and use him as a stopgap until some injured forwards return. A rebuilding team won't ever trade for Nylander.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 22, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Cost per point (and a whole slew of other stat generators) are available here:

http://www.dobberhockey.com/frozenpool_report.php

I especially like the "Line Production" tool. Plug in any player name and it will list all the different line combos a player has been a part of in descending order by points generated. Helps to sepaprate perception from fact when the interminable arguments about "which line is better" are raging.

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | October 22, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

has cstanton1 ever been wrong about anything in his whole life???

Posted by: joek443 | October 22, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Jagr was only marketable because we paid half his salary for the Rags. And he was only marketable to NYR because of their deep pockets.

If this CBA had been in effect at that time, we would have been stuck with him just like we are with Nyls.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 22, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I hope Tarik posts something new soon. I'm so over this discussion thread and I need something else to help me pass the time until I can get out of here and go home to watch the game. :P

Posted by: hillg | October 22, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

hey douchbag, I wasn't even on here when they signed Nyls... but I bet you were on the bandwagon

Posted by: joek443 | October 22, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

boy you sound dumber and dumber with every post. Lets see, from the limited time that you've had the pleasure of conversing with me , do I strike you as a fan who

1-- jumps on the bandwagon?

2-- likes aging finesse players?

If I was any of those things I'm sure I'd be a helluva lot more popular on here. Try again.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 22, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Does it surprise anybody that once again cstanton1 is pi$$ing off someone? *rolls eyes* Definitely a slow game day.

Let's GOO Caps!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | October 22, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

MetalCapsFan:
does it do revenue generating (gate receipts)?

ovi = ~90%
backs/semin = ~4% each
almost everybody else = ~2%
nyls = 0% (not really his fault - since no one can come and see him play)

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 22, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Jagr was only marketable because we paid half his salary for the Rags. And he was only marketable to NYR because of their deep pockets.

If this CBA had been in effect at that time, we would have been stuck with him just like we are with Nyls.

Posted by: Greg S. | October 22, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Jagr at the time we traded him, and Nylander at this point in his career are two totally different players. Jagr was still strong on his skates and had the ability to take over a shift and dominate. Nylander does not.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 22, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1: You'd be a whole lot popular if you weren't so egotistical and a d-bag with "sharing" your opinions. For the record, when people pose an open-ended question to the board, they don't general hope for a response from you. Sorry to break it to you.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | October 22, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: lylewimbledon | October 22, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Does it surprise anybody that once again cstanton1 is pi$$ing off someone? *rolls eyes* Definitely a slow game day.

Let's GOO Caps!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | October 22, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

considering joek decided to instigate it, i'll claim no responsibility for this one thanks. But hey how did I know YOU were going to stick YOUR nose into this. Surprise!

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 22, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

this is like watching the movie groundhog day... I haven't heard or seen any real reporting on this other than reporting of what has happened...

how about doing some investigative reporting on what is really going on behind the scene???????

Posted by: joek443 | October 22, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1: You'd be a whole lot popular if you weren't so egotistical and a d-bag with "sharing" your opinions. For the record, when people pose an open-ended question to the board, they don't general hope for a response from you. Sorry to break it to you.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | October 22, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm still waiting for you to post something hockey-related.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 22, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Seems a little early in the season for Semin's annual sabbatical.

Posted by: CapsChick | October 22, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1:
new name?: mr. unpopular :)

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 22, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

MetalCapsFan:
does it do revenue generating (gate receipts)?

ovi = ~90%
backs/semin = ~4% each
almost everybody else = ~2%
nyls = 0% (not really his fault - since no one can come and see him play)


Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 22, 2009 4:14 PM

Haha don't think that's on there, but I'm sure the agents for the marquee players have friends in Silicon Valley working hard to create a program to measure such things for use in future contract negotiations.

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | October 22, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

I don't know who is more full of himself, cstanton1 or Rush Limbaugh...

Posted by: joek443 | October 22, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

i know huh, i didn't realize this was a circle-jerk popularity contest. Its like I stumbled onto the set of "Mean Girls"

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 22, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I sure wasn't a fan of the signing. I didn't think we needed that kind of center as part of a 1-2 punch including a young Backstrom. When you look around the league, you should have at least one POWER center as part of your top 2 centers. To rely on a young center who has to get used to playing north american hockey and then having an aging finesse center as his mentor didn't seem like a great plan. Thats not what I call being strong down the middle. Maybe they envisioned Nylander having success with Semin the way he had success with Jagr, I dunno.

Posted by: cstanton1

Don't forget though that Nicky wasn't even the 2nd line center when Nyls went down. They didn't know that he was going to progress so quickly or build such a great friendship with Ovie right away. He was the future but we needed someone in the present.

Posted by: pkendrick | October 22, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

hey, if me stating I was against the Nylander trade from the beginning is going to get your panties so bunched up, I'd say you're the one who needs to get that stick outta your a__

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 22, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

This discussion is devolving rapidly. Tarik, pleeeeeeeeeeease post a non-Nylander-related update!!

Posted by: hillg | October 22, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Which is more interesting?

A: Michael Nylander is playing for the Griffons (and their weirdly spelled team name)

B: The Caps play Atlanta TONIGHT! In 3-1/2 hours, even!

No word on supplimental punishment for Slava Kozlov for his hit from behind on Gomez, so he will very likely be in the lineup. Apparently, the league has 48 hours to decide if they're gonna do anything, or let it slide, and they haven't done anything. In the past, these supplimental punishments (or the recall of them) get announced pretty quickly.

The Thrashers' record is 4-1-1 for 9 points, putting them in 2nd place in the Southeast behind the Caps' 10 points, with two fewer games played.

And Todd White is wicked in the faceoff circle.

Posted by: irockthered | October 22, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

PK-
at the time of the Nylander signing we had a real shortage of any power center prospects to play on top 2 lines in our system. Then you looked around and saw teams utilize players like Eric Staal, Ryan Kesler, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, the Penguins draft Jordan Staal in the same year. There was a general shift towards trying to get some skilled centers who had size and strength. We obviously had a gap in our system for that type of prospect. And I would have rather the Caps had tried to fill that gap via draft or trade than go after a high priced older FA like Nylander who is essentially a finesse player. In fact, I would have been more accepting if the Caps had passed on Nylander and implemented some sort of 3 yr plan to upgrade this team's top 2 lines with better balanced players, esp at center. Nicky is working out well, and I was hoping we would have tried to acquire a young center or two that more closely fit the mold of a Richards or Kesler type instead of filling it with a stopgap measure like a Nylander. If we had signed him for one year, fine. But to have to commit to a longer contract, that really disappointed me. I looked at him as just another player whose contract we were going to have to wait to see get run off the books. As a fan, I hate to dislike a player and play that kind of waiting game. I've done it with too many past Caps players who I've disliked. Nylander, Poti, Muir etc etc.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 22, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Every GM makes mistakes, even the very best of them. This isn't the worst FA signing in history. The Skins make a move like this every year. They just signed a guy who can't even play two consecutive downs for over $100 mil.

The Knicks paying Stephon Marbury over $20 mil/year to sit and do nothing is a bad move. the bad moves like that happen quite often in the NBA.

however I don't like the way the Caps have handled this situation. I don't think what they're doing to Nyls is professional and it might have future ramifications. if you make a bad move, you just bite the bullet and move on. You don't try to humiliate the guy into quitting.

Posted by: joek443 | October 22, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1 - No agrument with you that it would have been nice to get a big, skilled center but who was out there? We needed a 1st line Center and I don't remember there being a multitude of big skill guys out there. Nicky was just a work in progress at that point. Nyls had played well for us pre-lockout. He had 2 great years with the Rags. And he was a good fit for Hanlon's system.

I wouldn't have signed him to that much for that long either but at the time I saw it as GMGM doing what he needed to do to get the guy he wanted.

Posted by: pkendrick | October 22, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

irockthered

I have been trying to get some discussion going about the Atlanta game for a couple of days now and have not had any success. It seems Nylander and fantasy trades are hot topics. I would love to hear some thoughts about the game.

Personally I have a bad feeling but I really want to be proved wrong and be put to shame by the results. The reason I have this bad feeling is because Atlanta is on a hot streak and seems hungry to win. Our team just hasn't gotten it together yet. I don't see hunger and 100% presence from us--other than from Ovie. We ebb and wane--sometimes showing up for part of the game and sometimes not.

Maybe playing against a hot team will motivate and wake the boys up.

Posted by: caraveli | October 22, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1: I'm surprised they let you get away with sharing your Friday night activities with us. It's shocking that you're not aware at how abrasive you come off and how condescendingly entitled you feel about giving your opinion and your take on EVERYTHING. You bring out the worst in people when all they want to do is share their opinion, whether it's entrenched in stats or not. For the record, even if an opinion is not entrenched in stats, it's still a valid opinion, contrary to how you feel and believe me, everyone knows how you "feel" about anything and everything. You make sure no one forgets. Not a day passes by without you letting people know. I can't imagine how fulfilling that could be. Doesn't appear to be. *shrug*

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | October 22, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

caraveli:
i see part of the motivation for tonights game as 'staying in 1st place' and the fact that they were embarrassed by atl to open the season last year. BB should be telling them to 'set the tone' for all of the games in the SE and they only get one time to make the 'first impression'. i'm looking for an effort much like the bos and sj games.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | October 22, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

caraveli: I agree, lets talk about tonight.

Atlanta took 2 out of 3 at home against us last year and they are playing very well right now. I have a friend that works for the Thrashers and he is all about their new guy Kane. I also find it funny that they are going to throw and all Russian line against us.

Atlanta has the most Russians of anybody in the NHL right?

That being said, I think we step up tonight. I think we have had a couple of days of hard work and, as BB said earlier, hard work in practice converts to hard work in the games.

Posted by: pkendrick | October 22, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

For the record, even if an opinion is not entrenched in stats, it's still a valid opinion, contrary to how you feel and believe me, everyone knows how you "feel" about anything and everything. You make sure no one forgets. Not a day passes by without you letting people know. I can't imagine how fulfilling that could be. Doesn't appear to be. *shrug*

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | October 22, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

lol, nothing you said right there is even remotely accurate. For one, I am not "entrenched in stats." Thats gotta be the biggest joke ever. I'm the one who likes to point intangibles and a player's value or lack of it OUTSIDE the stat sheet. So please learn to comprehend before making such silly statements.
2nd -- I'm still waiting for some hockey-related talk from you instead of you simply just posting and reposting what a great fan you are and how anyone who finds any fault with the Caps is a troll. Seriously, do you know anything about hockey to even discuss it? Let me guess, your next post will again not be hockey-related.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 22, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

pkendrick

This is my hope as well that we "step up tonight."

Wonder how Varly will do. (He will be on goal, right?) Two Russian goalies. Well, playing against Nabokov motivated him.

Posted by: caraveli | October 22, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't have signed him to that much for that long either but at the time I saw it as GMGM doing what he needed to do to get the guy he wanted.

Posted by: pkendrick | October 22, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Right, and I thought at the time that it was a horrible move because I didn't think Nylander was the type of player that we needed to get to the next level. To be a strong contender, you need to have certain elements in place. Strong defensive corps, strong goaltending, and being strong down the middle. I'm not discounting wingers but if you had to list priorities, being strong down the middle is really a key component of most successful teams. And having Nylander as one of your top 2 centers given his age didn't strike me as a smart move considering we had no choice BUT to sign him for a 3 or 4 yr deal. Thats the FA market these days, players want security. I wouldve passed on Nyles and opted for a different approach. This team neglected the center position in the draft for a long time. We were drafting guys like Nepriayev etc when we should've focused on drafting kids like Richards, Carter and Getzlaf. Big strong centers who combined skill and grit. When the Sutherby experiment was failing, they refocused a little and drafted Backstrom because they realized the gap they had in the system re: centers who could play on their top lines. However, they didn't go looking hard for the big centers, and I guess they thought Nylander and Backstrom would make a good 1-2 punch. I thought it was a horrible plan and I wouldve been more patient if they had acquired young FAs in the college ranks or drafted kids who could grow into this position. I don't mind waiting for a team to get good as long as they're moving on all cylinders in the right direction. Where I get frustrated is when they make moves like Ciernik and Nylander etc etc which you know will not work out in the long run so you end up starting from scratch and prolonging your success. And if we're going after FAs, I would've been happy had we thrown money at a Marc Savard type - someone who has upside and could be worth the length of his contract.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 22, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Greg S not sure your point is made. Your numbers euqte him with Flash which is NOT performing.

The numbers look close otherwise, but dealing with such small numbers means Koz and Feds were 33% better and Ovie is twice as good.

Posted by: nglovrmike | October 22, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Ignore the troll.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | October 22, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

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