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Semin Skates

After missing seven games with a sprained right ankle, Semin skated on his own -- in full pads -- for abour 30 minutes before today's practice. That has to be good thing, considering I haven't seen him on skates since he tweaked the injury in St. Louis.

Practice just started. I'll have more later.

Update: Corey from The Washington Times wrote an excellent story about the late Dave Fay, who was honored by the Hall of Fame yesterday. Read it here.

Update:Hanlon is upbeat after seeing Semin out there. "That's progress, absolutely. We'll see where it goes from here. He must must have been on the ice for 30 minutes, so that's good."

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 13, 2007; 10:47 AM ET
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Next: Scoring Down (Again)


I'm gonna repost this from earlier...

How bout that article on Eminger? thank god it seems like someone WANTS to play. And it's true, what has Morrisson, Jurcina, or Shultz done to deserve ice time?

At least Green provides some offense, but even he is way out of position half the time.

Posted by: Rob | November 13, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

What happened to the "off-ice practice only?" I was hoping that meant some sort of team building thing...

Posted by: KK | November 13, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I'm curious about the practices. What's happening there? How much is Hanlon involved? Are the players listening to him? Are they doing drills? How long do they practice?

Posted by: mauree | November 13, 2007 11:02 AM | Report abuse


I saw a good comment on your article about Emminger, I thought I would post it here, and maybe you can respond to his question.

opita wrote:
It will be silly, for me, to make a comment on the GM and the coach as I don't have the insight or the complete story of the situation. Speculation and venting my frustration are not going to help, but the following did capture my interest:

"When Glen Hanlon was asked about Eminger's status last Monday in Raleigh, N.C., the coach referred all questions to McPhee."

Does that mean that McPhee is telling Hanlon who to play? It seems as if there is a problem there, maybe something to investigate.

Posted by: joe formerly newcapfan | November 13, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

today was supposed to be off ice. then i received an email late yesterday saying the team would in fact practice.

Posted by: Tarik | November 13, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I just read the Eminger article, and I must say that that sounds very suspicious. I have to agree that I don't understand what everyone else is doing that is so much better than what he's doing. he deserves a chance to prove his worth.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | November 13, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Late night email= coaching change?

Can't blame a boy for dreaming...

Posted by: old time hockey | November 13, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I'd say Eminger deserves at least the same time as Schultz. It's been awhile since I"ve seen him play...

Posted by: Greg S. | November 13, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Great news on Semin - even just a little work on the power play with one good ankle is better than Brashear.
What Eminger has done is pee in the well - where Clymer accepted his demotion with class, wittle Stevie had his feewings hurted and now he's going public with his acrimony. Bad move, amigo.
He hasnt earned diddly in this league. You'll note that Hanlon went out of his way to recognize Sutherby for handling his benching well - with Eminger, it's "no comment".
What a punk - I hope he rides the bench all year, or until he's traded.

Posted by: Shaggy | November 13, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

remember last Monday in Raleigh would have been Nov 5th, the day before Eminger was brought off of IR, that would be the more likely (or, at least, benefit of the doubt) reason Hugs deferred to GMGM on Eminger's status as it was at that time a GM personnel activity not a coaching decision

Posted by: Anonymous | November 13, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

At least Clymer was sent to Hershey, Eminger hasn't even gotten that bit of luck.

Emy sits in the press box watching a team lose game after game.

Posted by: Rob | November 13, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

And Sutherby sits for someone who gets 3 shifts a game.

Posted by: CantMissKid | November 13, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

What's worse, having a guy say I like the guys, I like the organization but I want to play and help the team or someone who just says I don't care if I play or don't play, just as long as I get paid. Eminger's been here long enough to expect some kind of explanation as to why he's sitting, particualrly when other defensemen aren't performing.

Posted by: b.orr4 | November 13, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I agree, b.orr4. Also, he has skills enough to tap him as a top 4 D-man vs Schultz's 6. I'd like to see him in Schultz's place.

I do agree that he shouldn't whine. But then, we wouldn't have anything to gripe about, would we?

Posted by: Greg S. | November 13, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Ok, I think Emmer's a lost cause, but there's not a lot of room for him. Poti, Pothier, Green and Morrisson all have earned full time jobs. I used to think Green totally stunk, but he's really really solid so far. Yes, he's a little too much Sandis Ozolinch and not enough Langaway, but he is what he is. Juice probably deserves a full time job, although he showed so ripeness in recent games. So, that's leaves us with 1, maybe 1.5 open spots. Schultz is ok. In position, but not really imposing. Erskine is ok, but if we have a fighter in Brashear, we don't need Erskine. He's tough, great, but he's also about as fast as a pylon. Emmer's supposed to be a "puck carrying" defenseman. We already have a bunch of those. What we need is a guy who skates like schultz and hits like Erskine. That's not Emmer. Sure, the way things are going, give him a few games here and there, but I don't think we can point to Schultz, Juice or Erskine and say that's the reason we're losing.

Posted by: old time hockey | November 13, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse


Do players and/or management read any of this?

thanks for your continuing great work inspite of everything.

Posted by: Clarendon | November 13, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, not to name names but some people on really need to use a different resource for flirting or whatever it is there doing. It's a little annoying.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 13, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

i questioned the "hard work" story frrom last year. i felt it was like saying somebody's prom date had a nice personality. sometimes losing teams get that rap even if they don't work hard b/c people can't figure out what else to compliment. i singled out flash on the hard work issue b4 but the team was getting beat along the boards too often (not the same thing as a fast, skilled player deking somebody out) when some effort and some muck work might have gotten the puck.

emminger supposedly was on an upward tick last year b4 the injury. however, he played b4 and after the injury. it seems, same as flash, last year was the time to prove he should be on the ice. i think flash benefited by their being too few forwards and emmie paid by their being too many d-men. neither one earned their spot from last year. it seems if he wanted to show his effort & ability, it would have been easier/ smarter/ better for the team to do it last year (i recognize his age).

not sure that emmie is trade bait. not sure who would be asking/ willing to pay something the caps think they need. the guy riding the bench on a team that episodically leaks goals like a colander may not be so marketable.

no offense, but i think he'll need to prove himself in practices by being amazingly consistent with system, clears, passing, etc. and in very limited ice time before there is a change. that said, you can't blame emmmie for not doing what hugs and gmgm's (lower case because there should be no more capitals for you!)player development system didn't teach him.

Posted by: jim | November 13, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Up to this point the thought of the Capitals as being dysfunctional never entered my mind. Now, however, I wonder whether the impression I had of GMGM as being a very calulating GM who held his cards close to his vest is correct. Maybe its more a matter of his being smug. Clearly, he is not a communicator.

I really question the whole communication process based upon the Eminger article. If indeed, Eminger, doesn't have a clue whats going on, I wonder if that is a prevalent condition among all Caps players.

Again, when the Caps were in the center of the hockey universe in Ontario (Toronto and Ottawa) they played like gangbusters. They won and won big. Is it because the were motivated by their pride and their will to win in Canada? I can understand not wanting to be embarassed on the "big stage". However, aside from the personal pride issues maybe there is little other motivation.

Maybe their motivational was internal versus coming from the Caps mgmt. As a matter of fact, if things are as dysfuntional as the Eminger article makes things appear to be, one has to ask if there is any positive motivation at all.

Do morale problems and communication problems go hand and hand? They can do it when they want... its apparent. The question in my mind is do they want to?

Posted by: Muddapucker | November 13, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Agree with you old time, 55 & Juice et al can't be individually blamed for the losses. But combine Shultz hitting people with a pillow (it's a normal complaint from me), Juice and others taking bad penalties - lack of discipline?, Brashear on the power play (and taking bad penalties), AHL'ers on the first line (Motzko and Borque).

I hate to point fingers at the coaching staff when we're under achieving on the ice, but....

Posted by: Steve R | November 13, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Great news about Semin! Clark is set to return on Thursday, correct?

And, Tarik, I agree with the 12:22 poster. People need to realize the comment section of this blog is to comment on the Caps and hockey. The offensive comments have got to stop, it's absolutely ridiculous. Can the Post really block certain users who violate the posting standards as it says? If so, it might be time to start doing just that.

Posted by: SLM | November 13, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Hanlon told you to ask GMGM why Eminger is not dressing, so what else is GMGM telling Hanlon - what lines to use, when to use match-ups, who dresses and who gets scratched, who tends goal on which night. Maybe GMGM should get behind the bench. Has GMGM told Hanlon he's hanging by a thread?

This present situation is pretty bad. Management needs to be shaken up, now!

I think the players see it and are unsure what direction they are going in. This may be a reflection of why there is no consistency on the ice. The older players are probably telling the younger guys to block this situation out of their play but then again , the average age of the team is 24.5.

I could be very well my last year as a ticket holder. I'll put my 5G/year somewhere else. 60 games left for management and ownership to get their act together.

Posted by: Comcast Sux | November 13, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse


That was really a stupid thing to say to someone. That comment should really be taken off of the boards.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 13, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse


So, Eminger is not as good a player as Schultz? Again, I'm not too sure about that.

What bothers me about all of this is Hanlon "see GMGM" and GMGM saying nothing. IF (big if) Emminger is correct in that he's not getting info from coach or GM, then there are systemic issues involved within the Caps organization.

It is easy enough to communicate with players confidentially. Politicians do it all the time. Sometimes it bounces back at them, but at least the player understands where he stands in the organization. This just sounds weird...

Posted by: Greg S. | November 13, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Hanlon is upbeat after seeing Semin out there

Sigh. I guess that means Hanlon is still out there too.

Posted by: old time hockey | November 13, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Can I just say for the record that I am really ticked off that I wasted my money on season tickets this year. I thought the article on Emmie was really insightful and it makes me even more resentful that I'm wasting my money on this crap. I don't think Emmie was/is any worse then any of our other d-men and I definately think Sutherby is better then Brasher. This whole team is a mess. We have more then enoough talent to be winning games and yet its all wasted...Can we return our season tickets and get a refund :)
This sucks!

Posted by: one angry fan | November 13, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

How about Eminger is better that Pothier, have you ever seen Pothier win a battle along the boards?

But there is no way Pothier is going to sit, GMGM signed him to a big contract and their is no way hi rides the pine even if he deserves it. Because it would make GMGM look dumb.

Posted by: TJ | November 13, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Let's just point one thing out to those who think that certain defenseman are really great. Morrisonn is a -8 and has 2 assists. Green at least puts some points together, but he is a -4 as well.

If a team that is 3-10-1 in their last 14 games can't find a space for Eminger, then I gotta think there are some problems with the management. And to those that say we don't need another mobile/puckmoving defenseman, well, we can't score goals. Perhaps another mobile defenseman is exactly what they need.

Posted by: Rob | November 13, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Morrisonn has had a very poor start to the season, but he's earned some leeway given the fact that he has been our best defensive defenseman since Witt left.

Honestly, I believe that his play will improve once he's moved away from Jurcina, since they don't really compliment each other.

Posted by: Kazer | November 13, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Oh, my gosh. I just read Puckguru's comment to me and I must say that I am shocked.

Also, to all of you Caps fans: Please forgive me for any inappropriate comments that I might have made on this board.

I love the Caps, first and foremost and I truly never meant to piss anyone off.

Posted by: Wanda | November 13, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I really don't know what the pairings on D should be. To me, Green seems to work hard. I'll reward that. Poti seems to be hitting hard shots from the point. Need that too. The balance, I don't know.

At this point one has to say, if what's on the ice night after night isn't working, then you need to change what's on the ice and see if that'll make an improvement.

According to people who are supposed to know more than me, Eminger is supposed to be a top 4 d-man (eventually) while Schultz is top 6 (eventually). Em sits and Schultz plays and we lose?

It's like putting Brashear on PP. I thought it made sense since he's a big lug and tough to move. He'd get in the way of the goalie. Well, he's had his shot at it and the experiment didn't work. Time to change it up.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 13, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse


Pothier came into camp looking like he might be in the press box. He's played well and his stats prove it. On a team this bad to be +6 shows some real talent.

Might I suggest that we turn on sights from the Defense towards the Offense? Our defensive numbers are not terrible. Our offensive numbers are: (Please choose)

(1) offensive
(2) rank, its smells to heaven
(3) off-ful

Posted by: old time hockey | November 13, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse


Please make your mark as a beat writer that didn't need to play politics or suck up to front office, unless you anticipate covering hockey for the long haul.

Write the article that's been overdue for SIX Years. The article outlining how STUPID GEORGE has ruined the franchise.
Thank You

Posted by: Chief | November 13, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Folks -- and you know which posters I'm talking about here -- let's keep the comments on point. There's no need for personal attacks. Ever.


Posted by: Tarik | November 13, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

@Tarik et al.

I've said it before, I'll say it again. I apologize for yesterday. I went waaayyyy overboard.

Anyone that wants to lambast me personally may do so on my account gregs711. I don't mind. I may ignore you...but I don't mind.

I'll stick to hockey from now on.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 13, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I hope they don't rush Semin back on the ice. Ankle injuries take some time to heal properly.

As much as I'd like to see him back on the ice, I don't want to see his injury get worse.

Thanks for the Eminger article, Tarik. It has sparked lots of discussion/speculation.

Posted by: Green Trees | November 13, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

If Semin can skate for 30 minutes, he's ready to go! We never really see more than 30 minutes of solid hockey a game anyway--and that's on a good (rare) day.

Posted by: Melissa | November 13, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Dallas Fires GM! Club is 7-7-3, and 8th position in the west. HMMMMMMMM

Posted by: yougottabekiddingme | November 13, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

People, HELLO! Doesn't anyone remember how horrible Eminger was last year? He was worse than Pothier when it came to clearing the puck from the zone!! You can say he is getting a raw deal, but he is not playing becuase he is the 8th best d-man on the team!

Posted by: Anonymous | November 13, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I guess I sort of owe an apology too. I personally blame Wanda for mentioning the biting and getting me started, but I'm supposed to be more mature. However, after puckguru's comment today, I feel completely obsolved and hope he has a horrible comupter crash.

As for the Caps, I seem to remember in the summer, when we sere all jonesing for a hockey fix, people thinking that Emmie was gone here, and he was nothing more than a dissapontment. I don't see how he has improved that much being on IR for his mystery ailment, but i also don't see how Pillowhead Shutlz is playing ahead of him, or how they don't have some sort of rotation.

Finally, I wish I knew what was going on with my beloved team. The coach defers to lineups to the GM? The GM won't comment? Brashear plays on the PP? And no, I won't comment on the reds.

Posted by: Lee | November 13, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Are we starting a campaign for Armstrong for GM? Sounds good to me. He has a solid record. Maybe he can sort out this mess!

Posted by: Greg S. | November 13, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Follow up: The Stars are 2nd in their division w/ 17 points. Their GM gets the walking papers. The Caps have 13 points? Last in division, and conference? What kind of papers is he getting?

Posted by: yougottabekiddingme | November 13, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

"I know that change can be good ....." Part of Quote by Dallas Stars Owner after firing their GM today. A GM that was in charge for 4 full years and whose team made the playoffs all 4 years. Can someone PLEASE make sure Mr. Leonsis reads the full quote.

Posted by: PA Caps Fan | November 13, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Stevie E is in Big George of the jungles dogg house and he is not going anywere! ahhh i love it! and Semin skates there is a hockey god the Caps are on there way when Semin comes back give them just 3-5 games to get in a groove and they will be a dominant playoff hockey team!
Flash/Backis are scoring we have the tools we just need 2get healthy babay GO CAPS GO!

Posted by: Zack Attack | November 13, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Strategically, why would the Caps be so hush-hush on Semin's recovery? Could it be that they are in the dark as well? Is it a Semin touchy-feely type of thing? LOL I gueess it's a shame hockey ism't more "popular", so that an attack-dog type of columnist, could get in there and do some investigating. (& save the beat writers from ruffling some feathers) :-)

And congrats Scott Stevens on making the Hall!!!

Posted by: Hattrick23 | November 13, 2007 2:15 PM | Report abuse

The Spin Doctors are Here! Yeah!!!

Posted by: yougottabekiddingme | November 13, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I continue to believe that Tarik is doing us GREAT SERVICE here on this blog! We can read between his lines pretty easily, yet still keep his foot in the door at the front office. That's pretty good. I'd just encourage him that if his foot gets pinched, to slam the door open and air the laundry he most assuredly has.

Also, just because Semin skated doesn't mean that he's skating on the ice on Friday (or whenever). He was skating for a few weeks before he went out and hurt it again. I'd rather see him sit for a month than rush it. If it becomes cronic, we'll never get good service out of him - ever! He'll always be injury prone if it's rushed.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 13, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Tarik. Around here hockey isn't a sport that is mentioned very much. NASCAR, football, basketball, and baseball are the sports of choice. And I am not talking about Podink City, USA, but Pasadena, Maryland (near Annapolis). I rely on your articles to keep me updated on my beloved Capitals and on your message board to interact with other Caps fans. My earlier apology should have included you, first and foremost.

Posted by: Wanda | November 13, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Greg S. - I agree. Ankles can be tricky to heal, but I don't hear that message coming from the Caps about him.
And Tarik's work is much appreciated!

Posted by: Anonymous | November 13, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Follow up: The Stars are 2nd in their division w/ 17 points. Their GM gets the walking papers. The Caps have 13 points? Last in division, and conference? What kind of papers is he getting?

A contract extension.

Posted by: Schultz for Calder | November 13, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Greg S ~ You are a first rate Caps fan who also has a lot of class. Thank you.

Posted by: Wanda | November 13, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

@Schultz for Calder

Bite your tongue, man!

I should have prefaced my previous comments to Hattrick23 in re: beat reporters.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 13, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

"Greg S. - I agree. Ankles can be tricky to heal, but I don't hear that message coming from the Caps about him.
And Tarik's work is much appreciated!"

sorry, I forgot to add my uname.

Tarik said several days ago, that beat writers have to be careful with conjecture & opinions, which is understandable.

Posted by: Hattrick23 | November 13, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse


I wouldn't expect to hear much of anything from this organization. I think they're afraid of communications beyond their control. They're probably tighter lipped than the CIA and NSA combined.


:) Back atcha!

Posted by: Greg S. | November 13, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I missed all the drama.

Posted by: pmoravek | November 13, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Ok, I got to throw this out there. If Dallas fires their GM with a 7-7-2 record and we're the worst team in the NHL with the Oilers, what's that say about us. Tells me expectations are vastly different from one town to the next. Tells me certain people step up and make tough decisions while others don't want to rock the boat and would rather just watch it go down the tubes. Article below:

Posted by: blankn1612 | November 13, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Semin was on the ice for 30 minutes??? That should fit in perfectly with the rest of the team...who only seem to put out about 30 minutes effort on any given game day.

Posted by: Dan DC | November 13, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse


Nah, not really. Just a big late 60's love fest.

Oh, damn! Hockey... lessee AH!

"Keep your stick on the ice!"
the Red Green Show.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 13, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse


With all the screaming for the coaches and GMGM's respective heads, there are a couple people that should be taking some of the heat for what seems to be problems in player development and having the right mix of team personnel. Yet seem to be able to stay below the radar srcreen.

Brian McClellan, Director of Player Personnel (NHL hockey playing experience, 2 degrees in business, but no apparent coaching or player development courses or experience outside of working for the Caps) and Steve Richmond, Player Development.

What on earth do they really do? Are they really qualified? Just because you played in the NHL doesn't mean you know how to work the management/scouting/development side of it. There are courses out there. With the number of "hot prtospects" the Caps seem to have stall or fall out all together, it seems the blame should go beyond just HAnlon and GMGM.

Posted by: Zaichik | November 13, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

The Caps have just been disheartening lately. They have lost games that they were in for about 2 periods and then fell apart -- when things (emphasizing on the plurality of the word) like that happen there's typically no one player to blame -- the team just loses it's swagger as a whole and lets off the accelerator. Some people are saying Eminger is better than Pothier or we should put Erskine in over Schultz or that Jurcina and Morrisonn have been a bad pairing. I think that we're just trying to pretend that there's another option, trying to find the "grass is greener" side but if we put in Eminger over Pothier I guarantee that he'll make some mistakes, too. And last year everyone was touting how we had our "shut-down" defensive pairing in Jurcina and Morrisonn and now ... they need to be split up? I don't know about this team anymore. Something needs to be shaken up whether it's in coaching or in the line-up or in what they eat ... just change something so we can get back to winning!


Posted by: Anonymous | November 13, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Im not a big emmy fan, but i must say that his play in the pre-season was better than any of our other D-men. Yes...i know that was only preseason, but hes only played 1 game...he got burned, but its not like we are winning anyway....give him a shot.

Posted by: Chad | November 13, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse


IMO, Ovechkin will no longer play here if the GM is not relieved of his duties.
The reasons for dismissing the GM of the Caps are countless, as are the reasons to appease and bolster the mood of the players, not just OV.

Offensive comments aside, the GM needs to be held accountable, otherwise everyone else won't bother, as shown on the ice.

I can assure you that players are not interested in wasting away their careers in exchange for no gain and no championship, that's why many (if not all) veterans have been staying away from DC.

OV may be RFA but reality tells us differently when it comes to players of his caliber.

IMO, GM & Ted have totally lost focus here, only way to motivate OV would be through tangible results on the ice.
That has not happened and only makes matters worse.

In order to neutralize on ice failure, Ted must make an example of the person responsible for this in order for OV and other players to maintain any form of respect, something that's been lost for a long time. No respect, no results.

Posted by: Chief | November 13, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Great point Zaichik,
There are many people within the Capitals management who are to blame for the club's inabilities, and YES they are flying under the radar. It's not all gmgm and Hanlon. I say Ted, clean house and gets rid of the underlings responsible for the team's lackluster performance, and then get rid of the people responsible for hiring those slackers!
Oh,...... that would be Dick P., gmgm and Hanlon.

Posted by: yougottabekiddingme | November 13, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Zaichik: fear me!

Posted by: Seryj Volk | November 13, 2007 4:00 PM | Report abuse

The problem has't been the D. It's not even the coaching. It's the quality of the forwards. We have NO production from the third and fourth lines. Kozlov and Backstrom have not produced as expected. Remember some people were toutng Backstrom as the Calder front-runner? Ain't happening.

Face it. When half your forward lineup is made up of players like Brooks Laich, Brian Sutherby, Matt Bradley, Donald Brashear, Dave Steckel, Boyd Gordon, Matt pettinger Chris Bourqet etc., you are going to suck. A decent team can afford to have one or two players who basicaly contribute nothing on offensively, but not half their forward lines.

Great job George! You managed to turn Robert Lang, Peter Bondra, Jaromir Jagr, Adam Oates, Sergei Gonchar, Mike Grier, into this stellar group of young prospects.

And we have Klepis waiting in the wings! Not to mention jared Aulin, Jiri Novotny, Jonas Johansson, Maxime Oullette, Alexei Tezikov and Kris Beech..

Posted by: cpl cespod | November 13, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

The buck stops at GMGM. All of the others are advisors. He is the one that makes the final decision.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 13, 2007 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I am not 100% convinced that GMGM needs to, or that Hanlon needs to go, but certainly something needs to change. There appears to be a decent amount of talent -- tho at this point obviously not enough to be a Stanley Cup contender. I still think there is enough skill on the team to be a playoff team, but that's not what I want to discuss.

Why is it that people are saying that a change needs to be made to keep Ovechkin happy? That is absurd. You think that a new GM who OV isn't familiar with is going to suddenly get a deal done? Remember that this past off-season he said he wanted Kozlov, and look who he got. He and Semin are best buds -- look who just got 9 mil over 2 years.

If anyone thinks GMGM needs to go because he hasn't built a good team, fine...that's one thing. But to suggest he needs to go to keep OV happy is silly. If anything, OV should want GMGM to stick around because it looks like GMGM is more than happy to cater to his desires. And if I were GMGM, I'd probably do the same thing -- except I'd be on the phone with him every day trying to hammer out a deal to keep him here for a long long time.

Posted by: Jeff | November 13, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

How long until pitchers and catchers report?

Posted by: Steve R | November 13, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

It would be nice if SOMETHING was being done. ANYTHING other than just juggling lines. SHow they care about the fans and the team

Posted by: Lee | November 13, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse

cpl cespod was right. Just look at those names mentioned. Where have all the high draft picks over the years gotten the Caps? Who did we get during the firesale that is currently helping us on this team. And throw Brendan Witt's name on that list. What good trades has gmgm made that really benefitted the Caps. When will this end?

Posted by: PA Caps Fan | November 13, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm definitely with Zaichik,

I've just never delved to find those names in the org.

But I am reserving calling out names for the Big Cow I am likely going to have on this blog, and, and to Ted@aol in the coming days.

P.S. Semin = Plaxico

Posted by: Icebat | November 13, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse


Gonchar netted Morrisonn, the pick that turned into Schultz, and a russian C in the 2nd round.

Lang netted Flash & the pick that turned into Green.

So, 1/2 of our starting D (for better or worse, I suppose) is from trading those 2 guys who were leaving at the end of the season anyhow..

Posted by: Jeff | November 13, 2007 4:30 PM | Report abuse

If I go to KCI and skate for 30 minutes in all of my pads do you think the Caps will let me play?

Posted by: Mitch | November 13, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I remember the 1982 -1983 season when after the Caps got off to a 1 & 7 start after they brought in Langway, Engblom, Jarvis & Laughlin. It took them a while to gel, and they finished off the season 39-25-16 for 94 points, third in a very competitive Patrick Division and 8th overall.

I know this is a different era and a different team, but I've decided that I will be patient with this season.

I fully expect the team to go on a 13-3-4 over a 20 game segment, and I wouldn't be surprised if they go 25-10-6 over the last 41 games.

Posted by: red dragon | November 13, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and Witt got Varlamov, who at this point is probably too early to value.

Posted by: Jeff | November 13, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

So what happens first:

A) Semin on the ice during a game (again)
B) Coach and/or GMGM fired

Posted by: Bobo | November 13, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Jeff for that info. Is there somewhere I can see what trades have been made by the Caps in recent years (especially during firesale) and see what we ended up getting in return. If draft picks then who did we draft. Anyone know?

Posted by: PA Caps Fan | November 13, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Mitch, can you finish a check?

Posted by: Steve R | November 13, 2007 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I would for a couple $K like the boys make

Posted by: Mitch | November 13, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Well, we don't have to worry about Kris Beech. He plays for the Syracuse Crunch, but was called up to the Blue Jackets on Monday.

Posted by: Erika | November 13, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

PA Caps Fan -- I spent too much time doing research to get that info. You can check out the Wikipedia page which has the Caps 1st round picks (and boy, some of them are depressing to read) and kind of work backwards.

I realize that people want change (and/or improvement), but I guess I just feel like GMGM has made some decent moves (Jurcina for a 4th rounder anyone?) that are easily dismissed and forgotten for his (multiple) blunders. It's only fair to provide the good along with the bad, right?

Posted by: Jeff | November 13, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Another day and still Hanlon is the bench boss???? gmgm still here???? I'm just checking the post and the boards for a house cleaning. The Caps are a joke with those clowns running the show. Bad managers and executives make excuses; good ones find a way to work the system better, to inspire people who work for them.

Posted by: Jim | November 13, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

@cpl cespod:

Novotny and Beech are playing now as the 3rd and 4th centers in Columbus, if I'm not mistaken. I wish Columbus was our farm team =(. We could promote Foote, Fedorov, Nash, and Brule. Also - If I've pissed anyone off previously (And I probably have), sorry. Since everyone else is in the apologizing mood. Look on the bright side - we just don't get leads. The Redskins just find a way to keep squandering the few they get.

Posted by: Whiter Mage | November 13, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I have been a Hanlon supporter and still love the guy, but I think he may be shown the door. I was thinking he was getting a free pass because the team has needed time to gel, get healthy, and to a certain degree that is valid.
But as the crew at On Frozen Blog stated, the Ottawa victory bolsters the case against, Hanlon, not for him. They should be able to play that way every night, but they don't. Probably the coach's fault? It doesn't speak well of Glen.

Posted by: Shaggy | November 13, 2007 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Mitch, just make sure you get your head out of the way when OV is shooting.

We could use you on the power play.

Posted by: Steve R | November 13, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I apologize if it sounds like I'm jumping on your earlier statement defending gmgm and Hanlon, but this is exactly the problem with gmgm and this organization. Why backdoor or soft close the cornerstone of your organization, and one of the cornerstones of the League. Let's face it, OV along with SC are the face of the league, and gmgm has OV. Wouldn't the smart move be TAKE CARE OF OV's contract first, preferably last year? Instead gmgm is going to WAIT, and sign his best buds, as you put it, first as a so called olive branch. And then, hope or pray, OV signs with the Caps because you did take care of his BUDS. What happens if OV doesn't like Semin or Kozlov by the end of the season? YOU'RE STUCK! Exactly in the position you are in now. OV wants to WIN! READ CHIEF'S 3:51pm POST PEOPLE! He hit's the today situational point exactly on the head!

Posted by: yougottabekiddingme | November 13, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

The directors of player personel and player development are "underlings" of gmgm. He hires them. It is my understanding that gmgm likes to hire his friends (qualifications being a secondary consideration). (anybody remember what Joe Juneau was supposed to do with the organIzation when he retired?) If gmgm chooses his friends as well as he chooses his draft picks... And what about all those silly signings of players we nobody has ever heard of this summer recommended from these little colleges coached by his friends?

You know what really is stupid? All the other D.C. teams suck too. If the Caps had gotten it together, they might have actually increased their fan base instead of once again p_____g off the few they have.

I am sick of gmgm, hugs and the rest of their head up their you know what crew.

Leonsis needs his own Stan Kasten now and get this ship righted!

Posted by: Clarendon | November 13, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse


So, nothing interesting at practice today?

Posted by: old time hockey | November 13, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Who knows how good a draft pick will be? Some high picks are god awful, and trades just don't work - like Laughlin. :) Some will be picks of beauty (definately NOT Laughlin). Actually, I like Laughlin - as a color guy, he's just fine with me!

The thing for a GM is to jettison the dogs early before anyone realizes that they are, in fact, dogs, and try to get something for the investment of time and salary. But that's what the GM does. He does it on advice from scouts and development guys (and I suppose ladies) that s/he hires.

I just don't see GMGM moving anyone except between Hershey and DC.

When you have a GM who's managed a team for 5 years without a real playoff run, and there's one suddenly avaialble in Dallas, if I were Ted I'd be calling long distance.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 13, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse


I get your point about signing players to keep OV happy could lead to problems. But you can also look at it this way:

OV isn't leaving. He CAN'T leave unless the Caps decide not to match. If management has decided they are willing to max out on him if another team tries to do it, then it sort of does make sense to bring in his friends before he signs (potentially at a reduced salary, in Semin's case).

It'd be a shame to max out on OV only to have a team that he doesn't feel comfortable with. There's almost no doubt that OV is worth a max contract, if it comes to that. But how much is Semin going to make on the open market? Well, right now probably not THAT much because of the ankle, but lets say he comes back and averages a point a game. Well, we know that there are teams (um, Edmonton) out there that will throw around silly offer sheets. To me, I'd rather have Semin at 4 mil next year and OV at 10, for example, then OV at 10 and decide to pass on Semin because he's offered 6 or 7 mil. We'll match OV at 10, but I can't see the Caps matching Semin at 6 or 7.

Posted by: Jeff | November 13, 2007 5:10 PM | Report abuse


Not sure if you saw this on another thread, but here is an interesting tidbit from Spector's Hockey. GMGM is apparently trying to resign Ovie, but it is not smooth sailing yet. Here is the article.

- The Washington Capitals are having trouble re-signing RFA forward Alexander Ovechkin to a new contract. It's believed the Caps offered him a five-year contract similar to that of Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby ($8.7 million per season) but it's believe the Ovechkin camp is seeking between $9-$10 million per season.

Spector's Note: Does anyone honestly believe the Capitals won't re-sign Ovechkin? I'd suggested a couple of weeks ago on the Faceoff Hockey Show that rumors about his contract talks would appear the longer it took the Caps to re-sign him. There's been nothing about this in the Washington media, which doesn't give the Caps the same coverage as its other major league teams, but contentious negotiatons between the Capitals and its star player wouldn't be overlooked or ignored. Perhaps he is seeking as much as Garrioch suggests, as he clearly holds the bargaining power, but it's not a question of "if" the Caps re-sign him to what he's seeking, but "when".

Posted by: Puckdawg69 | November 13, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse


Now that you mention it...

Who is the owner of the Caps?

Who is the owner of the Mystics?

Who owns the Wizards?

Is there a conspiracy nut in the house? I'll take a shot at it. Ted needs a tax write-off so he's trying to kill 3 teams. Then he can write off the losses against his income from - AOL?

They making money?

Ratz. Me thinks I see a problem with my theory...

Posted by: Greg S. | November 13, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Ugh, I seem to be really supporting GMGM today, and I'm not sure why. But here goes anyhow.

@Greg S: You seem to question why GMGM hasn't made any trades? Well, can you guess the # of trades (according to that have happened since opening night in the NHL? 1. And look at it...what a monster deal.

Acquired goaltender Jason Bacashihua from the St. Louis Blues for future considerations and assigned him to Lake Erie of the American Hockey League.

GMGM has stated that he is on the phones looking to make a deal. Just because one team wants to make a deal doesn't mean a deal will be made. It sure looks like the team on the ice is going to be there for most of the season, so at this point changing the coach makes more sense than changing the GM mid-season. (Look at Atlanta, for example)

Posted by: Jeff | November 13, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

In addition to the grumbling about Caps management (certainly justified), does anyone want to throw out some love, on the occasion of his Hall of Fame induction, for the eight great seasons Scott Stevens gave the Caps in the 1980s. Sure, his glory days may have come with the Devils, but he was always an incredibly exciting player to watch and was a key leader during the best era in Caps history. He's got to be considered the second best defenseman in Caps history, and it's not his fault that management and ownership wouldn't pay him. And who can forget his hip checks?

Posted by: Fingerman | November 13, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

To everyone that thinks OV "can't leave"

Think again, he will take the max money and play where he loves to be, Russia.
Sure it's less, but hey it's better than playing in an empty building with no chance of winning.

Or, he will make it clear that he wants out, either way it's OV in control not GM.
That's why I'm certain GM needs to go in order to make a deal.
At least OV will have a glimmer of hope seeing new blood giving team proper structure.

Posted by: Chief | November 13, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

There won't be any firings during the season, even if they finish the season with only 20 wins !

GMGM & Hanlon to remain on board the and they both will be fired at the end of the season if the Caps don't make the playoffs.

If they both get fired, I expect someone like Jim Nill (currently Detroit assistant GM) to get the GM job in DC, with Dale Hunter as coach

Posted by: Roddy | November 13, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

If OV loved Russia so much, why did he even bother to play in the NHL?

You think he (his mom) fired his agent over the fact his team wasn't winning? I'm sure it wasn't about the money or anything.

Unless you know OV, to suggest he is going to go back to Russia for the opportunity to play for a winner (oh yea, he didn't win any championships with Dynamo) seems a bit premature, no?

Posted by: Jeff | November 13, 2007 5:32 PM | Report abuse

old time hockey, you have been cracking me up the last couple of posts. you get right to he point.

Jeff, i figure i'ts the gm's job to make people want to trade and to act before crisis mode (among other things). lots of missed chances for that.

Posted by: jim | November 13, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

How do you make someone want to trade?

GMGM: "Hey, I've got this guy who isn't good enough to get a jersey on my team, you want him?"

Random GM: "Absolutely! Pick who you want -- it's a done deal!"

In my opinion, you can't trade a player if the other team you are talking to doesn't need him either. The Caps are in a position where they want to hold onto the assests in the system that are penciled into the Caps future while trying to be competative. The team isn't close enough to being a true contender to give away what other teams are (likely) interested in.

Posted by: Jeff | November 13, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Semin returns by Thanksgiving, Clark is back this week and Ovi gets a five year deal for $40M or, yes, you guessed it, $8M per year for the "Great 8". At that point all is right with Caps hockey and we can get back to .500 knowing that as fans we can enjoy watching this team develop into a contender for years to come. Game on!

Posted by: Frank H. | November 13, 2007 5:41 PM | Report abuse

You made my point for me, thank you. Take a chance w/ the contract value of an A/A- player = Semin or the contract value of the A+++ player OV? If you lock up OV long term early you get him prior to market (AKA below market), and maybe the A/A- player signs w/ you as well, because he doesn't get as much interest from other teams or he just wants to play with his BUD. By doing it your way and gmgm's way, you are forced to match (AKA, market or Edmonton ABOVE market) in order to keep your A+++ player. And I will bet the farm, OV gets extremely large offers.
Show OV you're SERIOUS about WINNING and putting PEOPLE in the Stands to see him PLAY in WASHINGTON. Make a move Ted, hire Dale Hunter and let him formulate a staff to put PRIDE in this organization. That will show fans you're interested in winning, and THEY WILL COME. He has a track record as a winner, knows talent and will be coaching in the NHL for someone. OV plays w/ the same grit as Hunter, could you imagine the possibilities? Hunter should be the replacement. That's your best bet in signing OV prior FA. Hartley was run out of Colorado and Atlanta, do you want that here?

Posted by: yougottabekiddingme | November 13, 2007 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Thank you I did see that. And Canada is covering it. If OV gets away gmgm, Dick P. , and Ted will hav sum hisplainnin' to do!

Posted by: yougottabekiddingme | November 13, 2007 5:50 PM | Report abuse

puckdawg69, anything that quotes Bruce Garrioch must be taken with a grain of salt. He is Canada's Larry Brooks.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | November 13, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse


Ovechkin DID win a championship with Dynamo in 2005. Get your facts right!

Posted by: Finn | November 13, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse

What are you Freakin talkin' about? The National Inquirer could get this one right!

Posted by: yougottabekiddingme | November 13, 2007 5:57 PM | Report abuse

For anyone who cares...

I emailed Ted today because the Caps website showed Thursday's game being on CSN+, but the Comcast Sportsnet website showed it being on CSN and ACC basketball on CSN+. If you now look on the schedule on the Caps site, it has the game on CSN.

Looks like those of us who don't get CSN+ get a break.

Posted by: Carol | November 13, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

@Finn -- I stand corrected...the sad part was I actually looked it up and I still was wrong. Had my years off by 1.

@yougottabekiddingme -- A++++ players get their money. Crosby got 8.7 mil. OV is going to get similar money. Obviously we all want OV to sign prior to the end of the season. My point is that when you have the 2nd tier players, I think you can save a lot more money by signing them BEFORE they get on the market and the market drives up their price. No offense to Vanek, but he wasn't going to get any where CLOSE to that 50 mil contract WITHOUT hitting the open market.

OV's value really can't be driven up much more than it is because he's (reportedly) already seeking 9-10 mil. The max he can earn is 20% of a teams salary cap, so he is basically asking for the max.

My point is, you try to sign OV for 9 million now, or you can't do it and match him at 10 mil. You try to sign Semin at 4 mil now (which was done), or you may have to match him at 6 or 7 mil when multiple teams are going after him. Just because Semin wasn't signed doesn't mean OV won't be signed before FA...but I think getting Semin signed was a huge deal in terms of keeping roster stability going forward.

Posted by: Jeff | November 13, 2007 6:11 PM | Report abuse


Thanks. We aim to please.

@ everyone else,

I don't think OV is at substantial risk of going anywhere, this time. Ted will match, if for no other reason except to hit the league minimum payroll. (If he doesn't match, I'll eat my power pay deposit for next year and just not renew.) Sure, OV would rather play for TO, but not happening. He's not going to Russia to be chased around by the mafia there. Russia is the minors compared to TO. Maybe he'll evnetually go to LA like Becks!

Posted by: old time hockey | November 13, 2007 6:17 PM | Report abuse

OK, according to the CBA, a player cannot earn in excess of 20% of a team's annual compensation. I believe the Caps' total payroll is around 40 million. So theoretically, Ovie cannot receive a contract for more than 8 million per year.?

Posted by: jon | November 13, 2007 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Oops, I went to walk the dog and realized my mistake on my earlier posting. Calle Johansson was hired back to help with European Scouting when he retired. Oh well, I guess that worked out real well. (joe juneau? huh?)

In any case, it is clear we have the wrong Patrick leading the team. Craig Patrick might be looking for a challenge. "Hi cus, I am here to show you how this is done!" Dear old Dick is really the one common thread through 30 plus years of futility.

Posted by: Clarendon | November 13, 2007 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Anybody check out the article in the NY times about Messier being inducted into the hall of fame? After the hooplah about how is is so loved there were a few inches dedicated to how it is his dream to run a team. There was also an account about how he built the NY cup team in 94 into a community not just a team.

Bring the man to DC!
Bring the man to DC?

Gonna post this again because I actually would love to hear what ya'll think and not have it at the bottom of all the jibberish

Posted by: crumbsnatcha | November 13, 2007 6:46 PM | Report abuse

This organization needs a winner. When did GMGM ever win something?

Posted by: Finn | November 13, 2007 6:49 PM | Report abuse


I don't know, maybe the Hobey Baker?

Posted by: old time hockey | November 13, 2007 7:26 PM | Report abuse

old time hockey, This is the NHL, not college! But I forgot, as Clarendon pointed out earlier, gmgm seems to hire his college buddies and Zaichik the other guy under the radar is Chris Wagner running the scouting operations. But I'm confident he has a long list of credentials and awards perhaps Piney Orchard Men's league championships. Or maybe he played at Reston? He's most likely lighting it up now in the Kettler 1am league though.

Posted by: yougottabekiddingme | November 13, 2007 8:19 PM | Report abuse

@Carol re: CSN+ - Ted will either have Kurt Kehl from the Caps respond back to you or will tell you to get DirectTV. I assume you are outside the DC area since all local carriers do have CSN+ (now that Cox finally bit the bullet).

Posted by: Jill | November 13, 2007 8:20 PM | Report abuse


and the rest of us lugs!

Old time asked Tarik if there was any news from the practice. I figure it this way.

1. The practices all year have been at most 2 hours long. He wrote in the AM. Knowing hugs like we do, they're not still practicing (as much as they need to be).

2. We haven't heard from Tarik.


A. There wasn't anything to report - same ol' same ol.

B. Unlike the rest of us, Tarik has a life.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 13, 2007 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Guy Charron! for Coach!

What's Bugsy Watson doing these days?

Posted by: Dezlboy | November 13, 2007 8:52 PM | Report abuse

you make someone want to trade by seeming to have desirable assetts.

Posted by: jim | November 13, 2007 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Conflict of interest- Does anyone else report on the Caps?


I, and others have enjoyed your writing. You have aluded to the fact that you need to walk a fine line as a beat reporter. It just dawned on my naive brain that the Post has no one else writing about the Caps. Thus there is noone writing about them who actually can write without a hand at least loosely tied around his/her back. Am I missing something? Is there any other major professional sports team in a major city that only has one reporter covering everything about the team?

Posted by: 121k | November 13, 2007 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Well, apparently I missed all of the fireworks today! I am not sure what happened, but it sounds like I should hop on the apology bandwagon!! :-) So, please forgive me if I have ever said anything offensive. There ... I feel better now!! ;-)

Mitch - you have my vote!!

Frank/Jon - I cannot imagine that OV would only get $40M, seeing as STK got more, UNLESS Jon is right and there is an individual player cap. If there is a cap (and we are not allowed to match higher offers), then we are HOSED!!! Ugh.

SO glad to hear that Semin is skating, but worried that he is going to push it, and then will be in and out all season. Not cool. Hopefully the delay THIS time was enough.

RE: the Emmy article, I was a little surprised by his candor!! I almost wonder if he did it on purpose to tick 'em off and get a trade out of it?!? I just can't imagine speaking about my management like that TO THE POST!! Unless, of course, I wanted to be kicked to the curb ... Again, not saying that he is right or wrong, just surprised by how candid he was.

Posted by: Boo! | November 13, 2007 10:50 PM | Report abuse

I think I feel a group hug coming on ...

Posted by: Boo! | November 13, 2007 10:52 PM | Report abuse

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