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Sloan, Beagle Back To Hershey

As expected, Tyler Sloan and Jay Beagle have been returned to Hershey to help the Bears in their run for the Calder Cup.

I'm working on my season wrap-up right now and will post some of my thoughts on the blog later this afternoon.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 14, 2009; 2:40 PM ET
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Next: Gustafsson Signs


Go Bears! Do us proud boys!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | May 14, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

LETS GO BEARS! Caps are out, but it will still be nice getting to watch our AHL team/future Caps fight for a cup.

Posted by: mrszilla | May 14, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

BB needs to drill them on how to play defense... TEAM defense in the off season. This includes OV. I hope feds stays another year, his experience may be key in helping the young forwards learn how to backcheck.

I like Varly's chances of having a long and illustrious career. You can teach positioning, you can't teach athleticism. Also I hope Alzner/Carlson are as good as you guys say they are...

Posted by: ChuckCounty | May 14, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Go Bears, esp. Neuvy!

Posted by: rachel216 | May 14, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

where do you watch Bears games?

Posted by: ChuckCounty | May 14, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Are you sure they aren't "injured"?

Posted by: marsid | May 14, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Go Bears!!!

And a big THANK YOU to all the Bears who were called up during the season and post-season!

Posted by: pstenigma | May 14, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

WE love the Capitals.

and the Bears.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 14, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

ChuckCounty - do u think the pinz play better defense than us during that series?

Did they hold us in check or vice versa?
Did they install the trap like Jersey?

2 of their wins were off of shots that carom off our players.

The object of the game is to score more than your opponent. Their superior PUCK POSSESSION & less critical injuries was the edge.

Could wee have played better team dee? Yes.
But did it cost us the series after game 2 - нет!

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 14, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I really wish the sens had Ovechkin. The cast of clowns we have is a complete joke. No wonder the sens can't win a cup either, well at least not since the 1920's. Ever since the NHL moved to the USA, the sens just can't compete. That's why they folded and went away for 50+ years. What do you expect from a second rate team in a third rate city located in a country that has always just been riding America's coat tails? Canada, the USA's slow, annoying little cousin that cand stand up for himself.

Posted by: StanleyCupl907 | May 14, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

1) Mike got it right when he suggests that the Caps trade Semin for a more impact player. This makes sense for a variety of reasons:
a) Semin's stats will/should bring back a very nice return
b) He will be a FA after next season and the caps will probably be unable to afford him then anyway so the time to make a trade is when you have leverage.(now)
2) The team also needs to address their problem in net. Varly showed that he could probably play 30 or so games as a back up, but isn't quite ready for the rigors of a the full time job. JT60 showed he wasn't the answer either. Unfortunately he has another year left. Might GMGM find a taker? Probably not.
3) Buying out Nylander is almost a must. A trade is almost not going to happen, so they might as well bite the bullet and buy him out and save a bit of cap space in the process.

Posted by: fauxrumors | May 14, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

We need players like Matt Cook who are feisty and are relentless forecheckers. Also, IMO Morrison, Jurcina, and Schultz gotta go. At most keep one of them, but it doesn't make sense for us to have 4 big defenseman who have questionable stick skills. Their inabilities with the puck can clearly be seen in our success rate breaking out of the defensive zone. Clearly the blame doesn't rest solely on their shoulders, but it starts with them. I'd love to see the rate of how many times we were able to get the puck out of our zone in the 2 series.

We've got the skill, now we need the work and attitude.

Posted by: whoyawith | May 14, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Man, the second I submitted this 3 updates came through.

Looking at the payroll, GMGM is going to have to make some tough choices this off season. Do you keep marginal players like Gordon, Fehr, Laing and Brash hoping to see more or do you give the youngsters a shot like Bourque or Aucoin. If you add from the outside, it makes it even more difficult to squeeze in. I would think they have to get rid of either Fed or Koz, maybe even both.

The defense is even more of a mess in terms of decisions. Everyone wants 1 or 2 solid D to be signed but on the other hand wants to give shots to Alzner and Sloan. That means you have to get rid of at least 3 of the 6 defensemen. 26, 55 and 23 are all RFA. Do you get rid of all of them? That's only about $3.75MM in payroll (granted they would all probably cost more next year).

I would think trading Theo and Nyls has to be #1 priority if they want any chance to sign a solid defensemen and a gritty forward.

Posted by: Moose33 | May 14, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm one that doesn't think we need a ridiculous amount of change. It's clear we need some grit up front and in the corners, and we need a stand-up defenseman. I think we could take care of a lot of those first line issues if Ovie would just backcheck a little bit more. A speedy, gritty winger like Cole would be a great addition but I think he'd be a bit too pricey unless we can clear up a lot of cap space. I haven't taken a look at the current crop of D coming up this year, but I certainly wouldn't suggest overspending here.

Posted by: snakegriffin | May 14, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

They do come fast sometimes, Moose!

I think we're stuck with Theo and Nyls, and I doubt that we have the budget to buy out both.

I could see keeping Juice. Not Mo and definitely not Sarge. Alzner should be ready for next year, but we'll have growing pains with him. Hopefully, Sloan is ready. He looked pretty dependable.

Posted by: Greg S. | May 14, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse


Thanks again for all your work this season, esp. keeping us fed on the blog.

Onq question--to help us (and yourself) with Caps' withdrawal, how about convincing your suddenly hockey-inspired editors to let you cover the Bears in the Calder Cup finals in person? Letting you shuttle between Hershey and Providence ain't exactly shelling out for a boondoggle to Kamchatka, would be *greatly* appreciated by your vastly expanded readership, and could give you a reporter's edge on the next crop of prospects!

Posted by: jhershb | May 14, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

the pens did play better defense than us. they moved the puck out of their zone easily with concise, high percentage passes, and maintained possesion into the nuetral zone. This is what we couldn't do, and is why we were ultimately outshot and outplayed.
I'm just thinking aloud on areas for improvement next year. I don't like watching flashy, all glitz, no guts hockey.

Posted by: ChuckCounty | May 14, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse


YES!! That would absolutely help! I was just sitting here, thinking "Jesus this sucks!! I want to read about future games!". Covering the Bears would be a nice treat, for us at least.

Posted by: mrszilla | May 14, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I say 80-90% chance Nylander is bought out. His remaining salary is $8.5M. The buyout is 2/3rds, $5.7M. When you buyout, you spread the cap hit over twice the number of years, so I calculate cap hit at $1.425M/yr for 4 yrs. That alone gives you $3.45M in space, next year, compared to the $4.875M cap number if they keep him. As a for instance, $3.45M/yr gets you...Brooks Orpik. Can you imagine if we didn't have Nylander for the last two weeks and instead had a guy like Orpik?

Posted by: tominfl1 | May 14, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Let's all throw our rabid Caps support behind the Bears, as they get ready to take on the baby Bruins. HONK HONK HONK!Let's Go Bears!

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

tominfl1, with the cap trending down and both Backstrom and Semin due new contracts, I imagine Ted and GMGM will just hold onto Nylander for the two years and just be done with him as opposed to carrying a 1.5 mil cap charge for four years. If anything happens, it might happen after next season when Nylander's salary is 3 million and his NMC expires.

Posted by: koalatek | May 14, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse


I would be ok keeping Theo if we can't move him, I'd almost even say to keep him outright. I don't think Varly is ready to take the bulk of the work next season. Let him split with Theo and work himself into being a regular. Plus Theo would be motivated to do well on the last year of his contract.

Agreed on Mo and Sarge. We need to get some speed on the blue line and seems like Sloan and Alzner have it.

Posted by: Moose33 | May 14, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Varly, I guess technically he could be sent down to play for the Bears - except that would be an insult and they just don't do that sort of thing.

I don't think they will keep Nylander. Not unless he was injured and might get better. BB seemed to have zero confidence in Nylander. Cap issues aside, you just don't keep players if the coach doesn't want them.

Posted by: tominfl1 | May 14, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Where do you watch Bears games?
Posted by: ChuckCounty | May 14, 2009 2:51 PM
You can watch online for a fee, or follow live scoreboard here,

Posted by: Dalliquippa | May 14, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Here's a look at next year's signed D -

Green $5.25 mil, Poti $3.5 mil, Pothier $2.5 mil, Alzner $1.675 mil, Erskine $1.25 mil, Sloan $0.64 mil. Total $14.815

Could change via trades and/or signings.

Adios ShaMo, not worth over $2 mil, Jurcina - it's him or Alzner, so he's out. Schultz - Caps could get burnt in arbitration like they did last year with ShaMo.

Posted by: puckman | May 14, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Also, it's do or die for Flash next year. The guy doesn't do anything particularly well and I can't remember a single instance of noticing him on a backcheck (he might of been the guy not picking up Letang but I'm not sure).

Posted by: Moose33 | May 14, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I thought it was do or die for Flash THIS year!

Posted by: Greg S. | May 14, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

What!! Tarik is working on the season's wrap up? I hope not the blog's wrap up. We will still be getting behind-the-scenes news about the Caps' planning, thinking, acting etc. right? I am in a withdrawal mode. I don't know what to do without daily worrying about Caps' stats etc.


We DID have Matt Cooke last year. I don't get why we didn't keep him

Posted by: caraveli | May 14, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I thought it was do or die for Flash THIS year!

Posted by: Greg S. | May 14, 2009 3:52 PM

Haha, it was. At least he was decent this season. I gave my Fehr/Flash spiel a few posts back.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 14, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

You're right, I forgot. Maybe we can get a couple Stealth Sticks for Greenie for him.

Posted by: Moose33 | May 14, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse


StanleyCupl907 - Thanks for comedic relief :)

Posted by: mrszilla | May 14, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

bring on Alzner and Sloan next year. I think it would be good to get young and hungry on the blue line.

Posted by: ChuckCounty | May 14, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

ChuckCounty, ahl has a website.

trading semin is ridiculously stupid. semin carried the caps through the rangers series and multiple points in the season when ovie wasn't scoring. just because he didn't score in a few games is no reason to panic. hockey players don't score every game. hockey is not basketball.

Posted by: am_jim | May 14, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

According to Mike Wise's video we need our defense to go to the net and create screens and traffic. HAHA. I knew we were missing something.

Posted by: cappies | May 14, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse


I think I missed it in the 1 million posts that have happened today... I don't think he's worth the roster or cap space. My usual humble opinion.

Posted by: Greg S. | May 14, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm also not totally sold on Alzner or Sloan. I heard a week or so ago that he wasn't ready for NHL yet from someone that follows the Bears. Remember that both he and Sloan came up together. Sloan played, not Alzner. Sloan seemed to be pretty good, but the TV doesn't follow D-men very closely.

Posted by: Greg S. | May 14, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

most people who posted in this blog seem to think it's a defensive issue. i know we have talked about the caps d during the season a lot. however, i think the break downs in the playoffs were offensive issues: not going to the net and not setting up a sustained forecheck (through methods i've posted about elsewhere). those issues require tweaks to the system & drills & you can do that with the core of the caps team in tact.

Posted by: am_jim | May 14, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

cappies - couldn't watch the video.. he doesn't really say that does he?

As for Semin- I was discussing trading Semin during the first series with my cousin. Semin scored twice that night as was the reason we won (aside from goals his performance was amazing). I considered that Semin's answer to our critique. I think he should stay. He just needs to heal his bod in the offseason and he'll be great again next year.

Posted by: mrszilla | May 14, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Sloan played because he's a better "fit" for Erskine's slot. I saw a couple of mistakes from him, but otherwise thought he played quite well, and should be thrilled that he got an assist in the playoffs, considering everyone wrote this guy off as a career ECHLer a few years back.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

I was pleasantly surprised with Pothier's play in such a short turn-around. I think he'll be a fit as a 2nd pairing defenseman with a Poti, or something defensively sound.

Mo is as good as gone, the way the arbitration hearing went, you can't pretty much lock that up.

Between Juice, Fehr and Schultz, you cant expect 2 not to be in the starting lineup opening night. IMO, you package Schultz for the gritty winger we've spoke of ... ie: Cole or a Guerin like player. (Should be a vet)

Lastly, and this is entirely contingent upon moving Nyls or Theo .... you make splash at a #1/#2 defenseman. Orpik is a great example, someone with size who can clog the neutral zone effectively.


Posted by: MFepelst | May 14, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Mike Wise demonstrates that Mike Green should have skated right here (he stands at the goal crease) and says, guys like Laich, Green and Poti need to create screens etc etc. Pretty funny.

Posted by: cappies | May 14, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Cap issues are effecting EVERY team. Bad year to be a free agent. Don't expect any major moves, or losses. No player is going to be in position to demand long term deal, and no team will be offering any. The risk we will lose any of our key guys is slim.

Posted by: SeattleRob | May 14, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

hey y'all, there's a new post, let's drag the conversation oevr there.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 14, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

It's funny how everyone talks about trading this player or dumping that player just because the team lost in game 7 of the SECOND round of the playoffs. When was the last time the Caps even made it to round 2? The Pens have a deeper, more experienced team and the Caps took them to a seventh game. Many of the young guys, including Jurcina and Flash, showed great promise. Outside of some of the older guys with expiring contracts, this team needs to be given a chance to grow.

Posted by: madden091 | May 14, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Why wouldn't they send Varly back? You almost think that they would ask if he would like to go back and help the team he spent all year with win.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | May 14, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

I wonder why CSN couldn't start doing Hershey games now the Caps are finished? Would they be able to do a quick contract or pick up the Hershey feed? They would get a hell of a lot more viewers than the bull riding or rodeo stuff that they do now.

Posted by: MKadyman | May 14, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

One thing I noticed when Ovie was on the move into the Offense zone, there wasn't anybody else with him or coming up behind him. Why? Is he that fast or are the rest too slow or R they just watching him and not supporting him? Food for thought before major changes are made. Remember, there are a lot of young players in Hersey and the overall age of the team is younger than 25.

I agree either Nylander or Theo or both have to go. However, if Theo goes, who backs up Varli? Johnson is a FA.

Posted by: JMinVA | May 14, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

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