Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: kcarrera and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

Source: Eric Belanger to re-sign with Caps

Eric Belanger has agreed in principle to a one-year, $1.85 million contract with the Capitals to return to Washington for the 2010-11 season, according to an NHL source with knowledge of the situation.

The deal has been in the works for some time, the source said, adding that the team is indeed waiting to finalize the agreement after making additional roster changes. Despite the wait there is no indication that the Belanger agreement will fall through, the source said.

The Globe and Mail was the first to report that Belanger would return to the Capitals and in that account suggest that Washington may be exploring trade options, possibly to bring in a defenseman. It remains unclear what other deal Washington might be targeting, but according to The Globe and Mail's report it might involve Tomas Fleischmann, who signed a one-year, $2.6 million deal this summer.

With just the addition of Belanger, at $1.85 million, Washington would be left with one spot remaining under the maximum roster size of 23 players and just over $3.4 million in space under the salary cap according to my calculations via Capgeek.com.

Belanger's return will certainly make it an interesting battle for among a group of players potentially including Marcus Johansson, Brooks Laich, David Steckel, Boyd Gordon, Fleischmann and Mathieu Perreault for ice time behind top-line center Nicklas Backstrom.

The 32-year-old Belanger played in 24 games with the Capitals after being acquired from the Minnesota Wild at last year's trade deadline, recording two goals and five assists. He finished the regular season ninth in the league in face-off win percentage (56.4) and his skills in the face-off circle combined with his penalty-killing abilities were some of the prime reasons Washington brought him into the fold last March.

Don't forget that Belanger has his fair share of grit too. He lost eight teeth during last year's first-round playoff series against Montreal, not that it phased him on the bench much.

General Manager George McPhee declined to comment through a team spokesperson. In mid-June, Tarik reported that Belanger was still on the Capitals radar with McPhee saying the two sides were "talking a little bit."

By Katie Carrera  |  August 12, 2010; 8:05 PM ET
 | Tags: Eric Belanger, Washington Capitals, free agency  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Report: Eric Belanger to sign with Capitals, possible trade in the works
Next: Willie Mitchell visits with Caps

Comments

Katie, you may want to have the IT folks change the heading of the blog home page. It still references Tarik.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | August 12, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

*punts SBNation* [profane] server picks NOW to go down?

Okay. I don't mind this. Belanger's not going to hamstring the Caps and it gives the Caps more time to work things out at 2C by solidifying 3C. Might as well see what develops at 2C over the course of the season - let's see what the kids have during the regular season. I'm not worried about getting to the postseason - it's going deep that matters.

As for the trade - speculation is as useless as it is good August entertainment. Anyone who's been paying attention knows that GMGM's key moves are the ones nobody sees coming.

Posted by: kittypawz | August 12, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Tarik stepped in and did a terrific job keeping the fantical Caps fan informed like never before. I remember the days of picking up papers and having zero Caps info in the off season.

Katie, so far you've filled in very nicely.

Posted by: FLDave | August 12, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

First off, let's hear it for Katie! She's working overtime and it's only August!

Don't forget to put in for comp time, Katie!

Now, about that 3.4M in cap space...I don't think capgeek accounts for Alzner's bonus. Don't worry, Katie, I'll post the updated cap spreadsheet tomorrow morning with Belanger in at 1.85. I'm thinking actual cap space, accounting for Alzner's bonus, is more like $2.4M.

Also, did I read that cstanton was off to Oklahoma and we wouldn't hear from him until Monday? Katie, how bout putting up a poll tomorrow morning:

Will you miss cstanton1?

Yes O
No O

We can already assume votes from pokerface and sgm3 as "NO" and "NO."

I myself will miss him because, let's face it, he's entertaining in a Rush Limbaugh kind of way.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 12, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Katie: Since you've introduced yourself, I will introduce myself. My father was a goalie at Forest Park HS in Baltimore in the early 50s. I was born in 57. We moved to Detroit in 64 and began rooting religiously for Gordie Howe and the Wings. We moved back to Baltimore in 1969 and lost contact with hockey until I started following the Caps in 1980. After concluding negotiations and signing my now-wife to a lifetime contract (there was no talk of cap circumvention), we had three daughters. Now in Bel Air MD in the late 80s, I got season tickets and took them to most games and some practices. We bought all the street hockey equipment and I organized games with all the neighborhood kids so my daughters could play. They were as good as the boys. We moved to Florida in 96 and would visit Tampa once/twice a year and kept track via Center Ice. Two of our daughters (all are grown) still live with us and everytime the Caps are on it's Hockey Night in Wherever We Live. I'm really glad my father taught me to love hockey because it has been really good for my family for many years.

Well, that's it.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 12, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Oh, somehow I forgot to add we moved to California earlier this year. How can one forget when:

1) I have been here since end of March and it hasn't rained even .01 of an inch.

2) It's August and I can open the windows every night to let in cool desert air.

3) Last night a pack of wild coyotes (must've taken a wrong turn on I-10 from Phoenix) woke us up, howling like mad at 2 am, as I suppose they cornered and captured a late night snack.

4) The Ravens were just on and the game started at 5 pm. There was actually an MLB game today back East that started at 9 am PDT. I don't care how long I live here, I won't get used to the time thing. But, it will be great, I can record Caps at 4 pm most days and watch at leisure from playback when I'm "good and ready." And I can watch all the west coast games I want without falling asleep. Saturdays in January? I can probably catch 4 games starting at 10 am with Stan the Man Fischler and ending at 10:30 pm with the Canucks on HNiC with MacKenzie, Kelly Hrudey, Don Cherry and Ron MacLean. Bring on the beer, bring on the cheese and salami slices, bring on the leftovers for lunch, bring on the prime rib and cab for Caps home games, bring on the margaritas for when the wine bottle is empty, bring it all on.

BTW, if I have become less disagreeable as I head toward mid-50s, I have learned it is better to agree and have friends than to argue and be by yourself.

On that, I might just pop the top on another Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Made just 500 hundred miles or so up I-5 in Chico. I gotta get there someday. I guess someday when there's no hockey on.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 12, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Another thing about SoCal:

In Florida, or Baltimore in summer, you would open a bag of chips and it would be stale within the hour.

I just pulled out a bag of corn chips from the pantry, God only knows but it was opened maybe 3-4 months ago, and the chips taste just fine. Actually - superb.

It's the little things like these that are important to beer drinkers and hockey fans around the globe.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 13, 2010 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Ton - once again your posts can't be topped! LMFAO!

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 13, 2010 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Not my imagination...but katie hotter than Tarik!

Posted by: Rocc00 | August 13, 2010 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Tom - as far as my position with Cstanton. He actually showed some humility in his last posts to me. I respect that. He certainly has enough negative posts for you, me and himself but at least he can admit when he was a bit over the top. Unlike some others here. I just can't handle the 100% over the top negativity for a team that is on the cusp. If we were all Panther, Blue Jackets, Thrashers or Predators fans I might understand.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 13, 2010 12:33 AM | Report abuse

too quite...
would be 'kool' Friday the 13th if GMGM can provide some elixir.

Posted by: Rocc00 | August 13, 2010 12:54 AM | Report abuse

Paragraph 5. "an interesting battle for among a group of players"

T-Pain would never do that. He just wouldn't.

Come on, KC. I expect you to break the story of the trade long before the Globe and Mail to make up for it......

It's ok. We're still cool. Good work.

Posted by: CF11555 | August 13, 2010 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Trades on rarely announced on Fridays but we'll see. However I am glad that Katie stated the chances of Belanger's contract not coming through were small.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 13, 2010 12:57 AM | Report abuse

Good plan to bring him back. I like the Belanger/Chimera combo as a gritty third line with some speed. If they move Fleichmann that's lots of space left for a good defenceman.

Posted by: Stu_c | August 13, 2010 1:38 AM | Report abuse

tominsocal1, was the lifetime contract a 1-way deal with a no-trade clause? I know my contact is.

Posted by: NFeKPo | August 13, 2010 5:28 AM | Report abuse

Tom, I'm originally from Sacramento, and have taken the trip to Chico a few times. The road north to Chico from Sac is pretty neat, lots of green buttes, marsh lands, and farms. It is pretty different from SoCal, being watered by the high sierras. And speaking of the Sierras, get to Tahoe if you ever can, the lake is incredible in all four seasons.

And I like the Belanger signing and Flash for rugged defenseman -- if this all takes place. The Caps were better on the PK with Belanger, their weakest aspect of the game. And he is a servicable 3rd line, two-way center.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | August 13, 2010 7:22 AM | Report abuse

@Rocc00...My thoughts exactly... Katie= HOTTIE

Posted by: washingtoncapitals | August 13, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Ok, but if people are slotting Belanger for the 3rd line, who is the 2nd line center?

Laich? Or Fleischmann? And aren't we trading TF for a defenseman? Wouldn't we rather have either at wing?

Not sold on MP or MJ for this year.

Posted by: CF11555 | August 13, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Katie, here's your chance to go scoop the vets. Find out about this trade and let us know.

Go get 'um!!!

Posted by: CBT2 | August 13, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Katie, can you call GMGM to find out what is really going on and what the timeline is for the upcoming transaction? Thanks!

Posted by: MReilly9 | August 13, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

JIMALLCAPS: Tahoe definitely on the "list."

Here, as promised (let it never be said that tominsocal1 welches, except when drining grape juice) is the updated salary cap spreadsheet. Available space is $1.9M. The big drop from 3.3 is replacing AGordon as 14th forward with Belanger. I can't see how cap geek could have 3.4 available with 23 players. Even if they don't count Alzner and MP bonus, that's only $900K delta.

Ovechkin (2008-2021) 9.538
Backstrom (2010-2020) 6.700
Semin (impending UFA) 6.000
Knuble (impending UFA) 2.800
Flash (impending UFA) 2.600
Fehr (2010-2012) 2.200
Laich (impending UFA) 2.067
Chimera (2009-2012) 1.875
Belanger (impending UFA) 1.850
Steckel (2010-2013) 1.100
Bradley (impending UFA) 1.000
B. Gordon (impending UFA) 0.800
Perreault (impending RFA) 0.717
King (2010-2012) 0.638
S/T 14 Forwards 39.885
Green (2008-2012) 5.250
Poti (impending UFA) 3.500
Schultz (2010-2014) 2.750
Alzner (w/bonus; impending RFA) 1.675
Erskine (impending UFA) 1.250
Carlson (EL 2009-2012) 0.817
Sloan (2010-2012) 0.700
S/T 7 Defensemen 15.942
Varlamov (impending RFA) 0.822
Neuvirth (impending RFA) 0.822
S/T 2 Goalies 1.644
Total 23 Players 57.471
Cap Space 59.400
Available 1.929

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 13, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

CF: Please refer to above cap numbers. Now, subtract Flash, MP and Erskine. At that point, you have $6.5M for:

A new defenseman; some new #2 center; and you put AGordon at $500K back as the 14th forward.

Easily, if you bring in Willie Mitchell $2M guaranteed and $1.5M in bonus, you have up to $4M for that #2C (with the Mitchell bonus as a potential cap reduction next year). Another option of course is to move Chimera and his salary and replace with Pinner or Beagle and gain over $1.3M in space.

Anyway, if anyone wants to check my math on the spreadsheet, have at it. I think the salaries are all correct and Excel is doing the adding.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 13, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Interesting. #2 center still to come and a defenseman.

Hope you're right. Poker-face/undertaker McPhee at it again?

Posted by: CF11555 | August 13, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

OK, here is cap geek:

1) They have 22 players (the min), not what I have (23, the max)

2) They don't count Alzner's bonus in the 3.4 available.

3) Count Alzner's bonus and put MP as your 23rd player and you have 1.9 in space. I believe MP's contract allows for minors w/o waivers so obviously he can go back and forth to Hershey to save space as needed.

http://www.capgeek.com/charts.php?Team=30

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 13, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

@ tominsocal1

Thanks for providing all the information you provide...You seem to be one of the few Caps fans that I can tolerate on here.. I don't post much b/c I cant stand all of the negative crap people have to say!

Posted by: CapsBaby | August 13, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Off topic here, but I was browsing Japers, and they linked to Capitals Outsider. Within CO- there was a link.

http://www.butterfliesandblackaces.com/the-lost-boy/

It's about John Kordic and pugilists in general.

Excellent read if you have a few minutes.

Posted by: Fro_ | August 13, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

A girl with the last name 'Carrera'?

Awesome!

Posted by: CodePoetry | August 13, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Isnt she that chick that played Wayne's girlfriend in Wayne's World? Cassandra?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | August 13, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

CapsBaby: Thanks! Actually you will find most here are very knowledgeable. As they say, if you wade through the bull you will often find the cow! Also, remember, the truth usually resides somewhere in between the two extremes and also it is the people who are at the extremes who most feel the need to express themselves.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 13, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Sometimes it nice to post stuff and not get attacked for posting.. I miss the old days when you had a handful of Caps fans who you could talk hockey with and not have to worry about some Joe going off.. I am only 29 but have been a Caps for since I can remember. I am probably one of the biggest Caps fans, and hockey fans you will ever meet..

I am not sure how you feel about GM but I really like him and like all of the moves he has made for the most part…

Posted by: CapsBaby | August 13, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

The suspense is killing me but I assume we will hear nothing until this afternoon if this deal involves a west coast team as it is only 7am out there.

Flash? Chimera? Erskine? Sloan? a combination of them.......come on Katie, get the scoop for us!!

Posted by: PhilR | August 13, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

The suspense is killing me but I assume we will hear nothing until this afternoon if this deal involves a west coast team as it is only 7am out there.

Flash? Chimera? Erskine? Sloan? a combination of them.......come on Katie, get the scoop for us!!

Posted by: PhilR | August 13, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

GM but I really like him and like all of the moves he has made for the most part…

Posted by: CapsBaby | August 13, 2010 10:03 AM

That kind of talk will almost surely get you attacked. Oh wait...cstanton1 is on a hiatus. Go ahead and make that statement.

I for one am not a GMGM hater, but then again sometimes I cant figure out for the life of me some things he does/doesnt do. Granted none of us know what is happening behind the closed doors.

Anyone heard anymore mumblings of possible trade talk/players involved?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | August 13, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Sorry for the double post, stupid computer!

And BTW, ESPN rumor central has Flash being shopped.....that is the kiss of death, he will never be moved now!

Posted by: PhilR | August 13, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

@PhilR

It is surprising that word of the potential deal has gone out, yet no reporters can figure out what is going on. While it may end up being a one for one swap, the way this is occurring leads me to think it might be something bigger than that.

Posted by: ThePat | August 13, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

@ThePat,

I'm thinking you may be right and this will be a multi-player and maybe multi-team deal. I just hope it goes down today so I don't have to stew on this all weekend!

Posted by: PhilR | August 13, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

@SeminAllOverTheIce

Sometimes GMGM makes some odd moves but it's all about finding that one piece of the puzzle. We have a great core of young players, so now its just finding those missing pieces. I think Belanger is a good signing, while not sexy he plays a good game...

My thinking on this possible trade; Calgary is 3 million over the cap so I could see a trade with them. Van has a surplus of D-men so I am thinking one of those teams is involved. Regher from Calgary looks like a good option.. 4 million cap hit for next 3 years, managable since Poti's 3+ mil comes off the books after this season..

Posted by: CapsBaby | August 13, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

It could be some sort of three team deal involving Kaberle. The Caps have forwards to deal (which the Leafs need) but may want a D-man from another team (that wants Kaberle). Perhaps a deal between Caps-Leafs-Flames or Caps-Leafs-Canucks? I could see both the Flames and Canucks having interest in Kaberle to QB their power play, but the Leafs will want forwards and neither of those teams can spare the scoring up front. Maybe Flash heads to the Leafs and either Bieksa or Regehr wide up in DC?

Posted by: chombie13 | August 13, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

@ThePat

Jaspers' mentioned the idea of Steckel getting traded too. The idea of Steckel getting traded to Vancouver as part of a trade for Bieksa makes some sense given the salaries and positions of the players. The Caps would likely have to add in a prospect and/or draft pick to get that done.

If the Caps are truly going to get a significant upgrade the trade would also need to involve prospects and/or draft picks.

Such as Flash(or whoever) + prospect/draft pick for player coming in return.

I agree that if it was a straight one for one swap you would think it would be done or at least leaked as those are quite simple to do.

But who knows.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 13, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

@sgm3

Yeah I read the Japers thing. And while trading Steckel makes sense even a team looking to shed salary probably doesnt want his contract. Just my opinion on that.

Posted by: ThePat | August 13, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

@CapsBaby

I agree that Vancouver and Calgary are both teams that make sense given their team strengths and desire to unload salary.

However, I'm not sure if a team looking to unload salary would want to take on Flash's $2.6M cap hit. But it would be a reduction in the case of Vancouver and Calgary for the possible Bieksa or Regher trades. So it could be one of a couple moves made by those teams to get under the cap.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 13, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

@ SGM3

Kevin Bieksa makes 3,750,000 (UFA after season) this coming season and VAN is about 1.7 over the cap. So Flash for Bieksa would a good possiblity, and GMGM say he dosent want to get in any longer term contract... I am not a Bieksa fan to be honest, but it could be a good option..

Posted by: CapsBaby | August 13, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

@ThePat

True, $1.1M for a 4th line player could be more than a team like the Canucks want to spend. Especially since it's for 3 more years(Malhotra is for 3 more years, they already have Sedin and Kesler also). So Steckel would only be a 4th liner.

It's probably unlikely, unless it is a case where it is just the best move that's out there for the Canucks. Or maybe if the Caps sweeten the pot by including a prospect or draft pick along with Steckel.

That's the difficult part about this, the possibilities are almost endless on what could happen.

Since I'm dreaming here I'm going to throw out trading Flash and Erskine for H. Sedin. All GMGM would have to do is spike Vancouver's GM's food with some hallucinogens for a few days, then tie him up in his basement untiil he relents.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 13, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Question;

Anyone planning on going to the winter classic, I just purchased my two seats for $300+ 50 yrd line row W...lol

Posted by: CapsBaby | August 13, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

@CapsBaby

Yeah I am going. My seats are club level somewhere. Don't know the section yet.

Posted by: ThePat | August 13, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

@capsbaby,

Why do you say you are not a fan of Bieksa? What do you see that you don't like?

Posted by: PhilR | August 13, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I purchased my seats through the Caps season ticket holder seat thing... I figured being a season ticket holder we would have better seats even for an away game.

Caps offered me club level season tickets this year for 9010 for two seats.. To much for me!

Posted by: CapsBaby | August 13, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Sloan and Erskine sound like great pot sweeteners to the Flash trade stew. After all, you dont want it all spicey and no sweetness. Gotta have a balance of flavors.

Plus we need to clear roster space/cap room for Willie Mitchell and a 2C.

On a funny note, I have a friend whos co-worker personally knows Pothier, Clark, and Steckel....2 of the 3 already traded away. Guess it doesnt pay to know this girl and be a pro hockey player haha. If I were Steckel, I'd be deleting her from FaceBook asap. rofl

Is Chicago still in a cap crisis?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | August 13, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Sloan and Erskine sound like great pot sweeteners to the Flash trade stew. After all, you dont want it all spicey and no sweetness. Gotta have a balance of flavors.

Plus we need to clear roster space/cap room for Willie Mitchell and a 2C.

On a funny note, I have a friend whos co-worker personally knows Pothier, Clark, and Steckel....2 of the 3 already traded away. Guess it doesnt pay to know this girl and be a pro hockey player haha. If I were Steckel, I'd be deleting her from FaceBook asap. rofl

Is Chicago still in a cap crisis?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | August 13, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

@capsbaby

row W is precisely where you want to be. You dont want to be low, you cant see the rink.

Posted by: ThePat | August 13, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

@ PhilR

I dont dislike him just not a huge fan of his b/c of his injury issues. Now if he can stay health I think he would be a great addition, he is aggressive, physical, and would be an upgrade over our current D.

Posted by: CapsBaby | August 13, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Belanger is solid as a 3C. What he can do on PK and faceoffs is solid addition plus age (vet) helps. This means 2C to be fought out and who knows, maybe Backs brings Forsberg back towards end of season, don't overlook this as a great 2C move. As for the D, Flash on 1yr deal for anther team makes sense. Flash gets fresh start, top 6 spot and chance to make duckets next year while a D coming back does the same.

I cannot wait for the season even if no other moves are made. I becamse Caps fan as a kids in the early 90's and this is the most fun I've ever had.

Posted by: flee001 | August 13, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

@ ThePat

You are right about being low and not seeing the rink. I was hoping to be lower in the upper bowl.. I am not complaining at all, I would sit anywhere as long as I was at the game.. Hopefully I can find some Caps fans to tailgate with before the game..

Posted by: CapsBaby | August 13, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

They gave seats according to some NHL rule and what not. What that means I havent a clue. At least you got tickets right? There are going to be some bitter people who arent able to get them. And you got 50 yard line, thats not so bad. Also, dont forget the rows go up to LL, so you're not the last row at least. :)

P.S. $300 for the tickets is the only steep thing, hotels are costly and filling up fast. Doesnt help that it will be New Year's weekend as well.

P.S.S. I hate double posts. Stupid blog.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | August 13, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

is = isnt

Dont blog while hungover, too many mistakes.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | August 13, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

@eminAllOverTheIce

I got my hotel room about 3 miles from the stadium... So a short cab ride, only paid 180 for 2 nights, 4 stars place... Now I need to figure out what to do for New Years

Posted by: CapsBaby | August 13, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I have a question for people out there.

Who would you rather have for next year:

Bieksa for $3.75M

Mitchell for $2.25M(and maybe less)

Keep in mind that having salary cap room to make further moves now or trade deadline moves is something to consider.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 13, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

@ sgm3

I would take Mitchell for the fact that both are injury prone. Having Mitchell at a lower salary would leave room to make other moves if he isn't health come the trade deadline...

Posted by: CapsBaby | August 13, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Funny how everyone seems to be getting on the Flash-for-Bieksa Boat...Is it possible that I'm getting better at this?

Posted by: Rhino40 | August 13, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

@CapsBaby
Yep, I'm 3 miles out myself. I only paid $130. Yeah, I'm a bada$$.

@sgm3
If GMGM isnt in the market for a legit 2C, then I'll take both thanks. $3.75 aint terrible to take on, and I'm betting we can get Mitchell for $2 + bonus incentives (thanks concussions). So that's $5.75. If Flash goes, that saves $2.6...toss in Erskine and that's $1.25 for a total of $3.85. Awww heck, we can even send them Sloan with a little bow on his head for good measures (another $700k). So we only take an extra $1.2 hit to our cap.

And correct me if I'm wrong, but werent they d partners in the Couver?

Doesnt leave much room for a 2C, but if we arent going to be snagging one, then I'll take both D.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | August 13, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

this is a good article why steckel would go first and not flash to vancouver

http://www.japersrink.com/2010/8/13/1621011/why-the-caps-should-and-could-be?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Posted by: samb99 | August 13, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

@ SeminAllOverTheIce

Hell if we are both in area, maybe we can tailgate before game...

Posted by: CapsBaby | August 13, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Dont forget my fellow bloggers....Souray's name was being tossed around yesterday as well.

Plus with all the denials of any Leafs/Caps talk by Burke...one thing I have learned in professional sports is, you cant believe what GMs say before trades/signing announcements are released.

How many times have you seen "Oh we arent even thinking of trading (insert player), we hope he will be with us for a long time". Then the next morning, you grab your coffee and flip to the sports page and the title says "(inserted player) traded".

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | August 13, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Haven't looked at previous posts, but I read on TSN that Kaberle's no trade claus kicks back in on Sunday, so there may be some action on the weekend after all.

Posted by: billd2 | August 13, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

i hope we can swing bieska simply for the fact that he can kick the hell out of mike richards 4 times a year

Posted by: _stevo | August 13, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

@SAOTI

One thing is to consider is that it is important to leave some cap room (near $1M) for roster moves to be made during the season due to either injury or ineffectiveness. It wouldn't be good to be completely stopped from making any deal at the deadline because of the salary cap. Flexibility is important too.

As much as everyone wants two defenders, that isn't likely to happen unless one of the top 5(Green, Schultz, Poti, Carlson, Alnzer) is traded. All will be in the top 6 this year if they are on the roster. Time will tell if it is a good move or not, but it looks like it's happening.

So I'm curious, if you had to pick one guy at those prices, who would you rather have? Bieksa or Mitchell?

(I'm really not trying to be an *ss or anything. I'm curious to see where people stand on it because I'm not sure. I can see the positives and negatives to both. I think I would slightly lean towards Mitchell because of the increased flexibility ti gives the Caps to make future moves if need be.)

Another thing to consider is that signing Mitchell would leave the Caps with the ability to trade Flash for a possible #2C.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 13, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

If I absolutely had to pick one it would be Mitchell so more cap available. But, I think you can get them both and still stay about a mil under the cap to get that 2C at the trade deadline.

Posted by: PhilR | August 13, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm indifferent. There are pros and cons to both as players and deals.

Bieksa - would most likely means we get to part with at least Flash and hopefully Erskine as well. This would mean we gain an upgrade on D and CLEAR cap space (or take on less than Mitchell would cost if we cant ship the Lumberjack). And could still use our cap room for a legit 2C or another Dman.

Mitchell - Cheaper, and upgrades our D. But we take a cap hit on this and we would still need to shop Flash and find a 2C.

I still say if we arent going to go after a 2C, grab both and dump what we need to so that we can hover around just under a mil of cap space.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | August 13, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Sloan and Erskine sound like great pot sweeteners to the Flash trade stew. After all, you dont want it all spicey and no sweetness. Gotta have a balance of flavors.

Plus we need to clear roster space/cap room for Willie Mitchell and a 2C.

On a funny note, I have a friend whos co-worker personally knows Pothier, Clark, and Steckel....2 of the 3 already traded away. Guess it doesnt pay to know this girl and be a pro hockey player haha. If I were Steckel, I'd be deleting her from FaceBook asap. rofl

Is Chicago still in a cap crisis?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | August 13, 2010 10:52 AM |

@SAOTI:

While I agree that Sloane (and, regrettably Erskine) should probably be moved, they might not work as part of Flash-for-Bieksa trade. Maybe for Regehr, though--whom I think might also be an upgrade on D.

But the main reason I proposed Flash-plus-?-for-Bieksa trade in the first place was in combination with signing Willie Mitchell: Vancouver gets O-help they need, moves salary, and clears a logjam at the blueline; Caps get two tough D-men who have skated well together before, clears excess wingage.

Regardless of any upside they might have, offering Erskine & Sloane to Vancouver does absolutely nothing for the Canucks--remember: they have too many D-men already.
Also remember: in a trade you have to give (perceived) value to get (perceived) value.

As for Chicago, I'm not sure they are in Salary Cap Hell anymore...I think their plan is to try and repeat as Cup champions with the 6 or so guys they have left...LOL

Posted by: Rhino40 | August 13, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

We need an update!!

Posted by: PhilR | August 13, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

@Rhino

Unless Bettman decides to drop the hammer on Chicago for the Hossa signing and imposes a cap hit penalty on them.

Now that would be something. (I don't actually think this will happen but it's nice to think about)

Posted by: sgm3 | August 13, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

For those of you who told me a couple of weeks ago that Horton wasnt a major addition for Boston and they arent better bc of it. NHL scouts told the sporting news Craig Custance they expect Horton to score 40 plus goals being in that lineup this year.

Posted by: ThePat | August 13, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Horton was a huge addition, there is no doubt about that. So far, just about every team in the east has improved except for the Caps. Hopefully this deal will go through and bring some much needed help on the blueline or 2C while sending Flash packing so Fehr can assume his second line role where he belongs.

Posted by: PhilR | August 13, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

ESPN now says "Capitals prep for a flurry of moves"....does anyone have an Insider membership that can read what they are saying and post a summary here??

Posted by: PhilR | August 13, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

In words Eric Belanger might use, let me be the first to say Je suis enchantee faire votre connasiance Katie. I am an old, and I do mean old, rink rat from Detroit. I guess you could say I am a hockey nut. When the playoffs come around, I say to my wife "Is there anything you have to say before the playoffs start?" I am glad they resigned Belanger. He brings a little bit of everything to the table. Face off specialist, penalty killing, etc.

Posted by: chopin224 | August 13, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR

It just says Flash is a candidate to be moved. Mentions our interest in Mitchell and also speculates about Semin or Fehr being moved isntead of Flash.

Posted by: ThePat | August 13, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

HockeyBuzz hearing rumours that Caps are in on Willie Mitchell

Posted by: doughless | August 13, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

A semin trade brings something big in return. that would be interesting.

Posted by: doughless | August 13, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I think it is far more important to keep cap room this year than to go out and pick up players that are around, but may not be the best for the price. If you look at the upcoming UFA for defense men next year, it's a pretty nice looking crop of players that may be available before the trade deadline.

The list can be found here:
http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/assets_c/2010/07/2011ufaD-15102.php

and includes some pretty good players that could be great to get our hands on for a playoff run like Hal Gill, Chris Phillips, McCabe, Markhov, Anton Babchuk. May even get lucky Boston's cash issues and find out we can score Chara. Wouldn't be able to do that if we don't have cash reserves.

The cash flexibility can be huge. I think GMGM has been smart. You don't want to blow your wad in August. There is no shame in playing the regular season and then boosting up for a cup run. For all the people that complain about the lack of success in the 2nd season, it doesn't make much sense to say you are built for it in August. I think it makes far more sense to know where you are at in Feb and make the right adjustments then.

Posted by: fricknoutstandin | August 13, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Pat, How in the world is that considered a "flurry" of moves?? If hockeybuzz says the Caps are in on something it has got to be false!

Posted by: PhilR | August 13, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Hmm how bout Stamkos??? I coulda sworn I heard the Lightning GM say, "Boy that kid Flash is awesome. I wouldnt mind having Erskine or that 2 way kid Sloan either. Talk about talent"

Make it happen GMGM. Make it happen.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | August 13, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

From ESPN Insider

The Washington Capitals are rumored to be trying to trade center Tomas Fleischmann, who signed a one-year extension with the Caps this offseason. That's what sources tell Globe and Mail's James Mirtle, who adds that the Caps are looking for a d-man in return.

But that d-man is not Tomas Kaberle because Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke tells Mirtle that the Caps aren't one of the 10 teams inquiring about the blueliner.

Interestingly, the Caps are also in on UFA defenseman Willie Mitchell, so perhaps they'll pass on Mitchell if they can find a blueliner in this trade.

But the Caps aren't necessarily set on dealing Fleischmann. They might look to deal another forward for a defenseman -- Alexander Semin? Eric Fehr? -- though Fleischmann appears to be the prime trade candidate right now.

Posted by: CapsBaby | August 13, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

frickn:

3 probs: 1) you don't know what will be available; 2) you are competing with other teams for those available; 3) little time to mesh with team.

As it relates to the Caps specifically, GMGM has a very checkered past with playoff/Cup run moves. Adding a least 1 of the 2 most needed pieces now makes sense.

Posted by: doughless | August 13, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Top 10 things Katie can do to prove her allegiance to the Caps:

10. Wear a Caps lid in her blog pic
9. Exchange the Mario poster in her bedroom for a young guns poster
8. Come up with a demeaning nickname for the new Penguins arena
7. Flash (photography or otherwise) Staal as #8 crashes down the wing
6. Spread rumors about Cindy’s security in his manhood
5. Daily hyperbole about the prowess of the Caps
4. Conspire with GMGM to spread lies during trades to tip the scale in our favor
3. Get a Haitian voodoo priest as a sidekick who sprinkles chicken blood opposing team objects before games with follow-up analysis
2. Keep blogging to keep us informed
1. Keep the team and owners honest with real reporting

Just stick with One and Two and we’ll be happy. Congratulations on your promotion.

Posted by: washingtonpost31 | August 13, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

fricknoutstandin,

Sorry, but after last years debacle at the trade deadline and the players not gelling as a team I would much rather start the season with who we need save for maybe one or two players. That way the team has an entire season to gel. You may be right but I would feel much more comfortable if only one or two moves were made at the deadline tops.

Posted by: PhilR | August 13, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

this is a good article why steckel would go first and not flash to vancouver

http://www.japersrink.com/2010/8/13/1621011/why-the-caps-should-and-could-be?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Posted by: samb99 | August 13, 2010 11:33 AM

Wow, those links within that link match everything my eyes have ever told me about Steckel.

Face-off skils are overrated, particularly if that is all you bring to the table.

Steckel is a good character guy but I would have absolutely no problem seeing him moved elsewhere.

I'm not gonna go into the details for the nth time but Steckel is the main forward on our lousy PK and he's not a good checking line player. He doesn't have the mindset or skillset to be effective in any of his roles and if faceoffs are really as overvalued as those 3 articles state, Steckel is quite honestly a useless NHL player and is taking a spot away from a better option in Hershey or one that could be acquired through free agency.

Posted by: tmac2yao | August 13, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR

I think we may have already have had this discussion, but I think the Caps have improved with the additions of Carlson and Alzner to the back line and with the potential improvements of their other young players.

By that I mean that, in general, hockey players improve every year until about age 26 or 27. This is a genrallity so there are obviously examples that fall outside it. But the Caps have a significant part of their roster who are 26 or younger.

This is just my opinion and feel free to disagree, but even with no more changes I do think this team will be better than last years.

However, I do want to add a top defensive defenseman and a high quality 2nd line center also.

Also, I think definitely Florida and possibly Carolina got worse.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 13, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

sgm3,

Everything you point out are YOUNG players, where is that needed vet presence on the blueline and please do not say Poti cause I just don't think he fits the bill. Also, those youngster centers are in no way ready to center Fehr and Semin IMHO. If the Caps can snag Mitchell and Bieksa now that solves the vet presence on the blueline. The add a vet 2C at the trade deadline and you have a good mix of gritty vets and skillful youth going into the Cup run.

That would be my goal if I was in Gm's shoes but I am just a fan passing along my opinion with limited knowledge as to who is available and what they are asking for.

Posted by: PhilR | August 13, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3 @PhilR

Also every team has young players that get better with age. So using that and claiming we have gotten better is a very weak argument in my opinion.

Posted by: ThePat | August 13, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR

The lack of veteran leadership, especially on the blue line, is definitely an issue. It's also an issue with the forwards(another reason I was a proponent for signing Madden).

I am in agreement with you that Mitchell would be a valuable addition to the Caps for all the reasons you mentioned.

My thinking was that even without the Mitchell move the Caps improved from last year to this year. But with the Mitchell move they would be much more imporved.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 13, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I concede that you don't now what will be available during the trade deadline. however, I also know what is out there right now.. and the truth is, that the answer is "Not Much".

Is Willie Mitchell the answer? I don't think he's all that. Add in the brain scramble / potential for a single hit career ender, and it makes him less attractive. He is not the "shut down defender" everyone clamors about.

If that wasn't the case, they why isn't everyone clamoring to secure Savard as a 2nd line center (with a reasonable 4M cap hit for a ppg+ talented center).

As for the team being able to "gel"... I don't take much into that. From the additions last year, I think that Chimera was solid in the playoffs (except for the empty net miss) and a great addition. If you want to consider a remedy to the playoff success, then the answer would have to be who we get rid of more than who we add. The biggest culprits for lack of playoff success was not who we brought in, but who was there all season (Semin, Flash, etc).

To qualify the effectiveness of GMGMs moves at deadline vs pre-season is silly. He uses the same judgement. In fact, I'd say his recent record isn't too bad. Last time I checked, Fedorov and Huet turned out to be pretty good pickups.

The Caps have the talent already to win in the post-season. They really need to learn how to win in the playoffs. I think that will come with some locker room and system changes. however, everyone here thinks adding a player or 2 in August will solve it. There are reasons we don't have post season success. I just think there is too much emphasis on proposed solutions that don't address the major flaws.

Posted by: fricknoutstandin | August 13, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Looky there sgm3, we agree on something! I still do not think just the additions of Carlson and Alzner improve the team overall. This team needs that presence in the locker room that will not allow a 3-1 series lead collapse. Someone that will chew the hell out of these guys so the first ten minutes of game 5 from last year never happens again!

Vets bring that presence, and vets on the blueline would improve Green and Schultz's playoff performance IMHO. Plus, they could further mentor the real youngster in Alzner and Carlson.

I really do not think this is a luxury move, I think its a must move to get this team over the hump.....but once again, just my opinion!

Posted by: PhilR | August 13, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

fricknoutstandin,

I really don't think we are that far off on our opinions. You state locker room changes are needed and I think a couple vet dmen could help that change along. Will Mitchell stay healthy? Don't have a crystal ball so I don't know that but for the right price I think he is worth a shot. What is the difference of adding a possible difference maker now who may get hurt and then replace him with someone else at the trade deadline anyway?

And you say that Chimera performed well last post season. He was not in my discussion about "gelling" because he was added well before the trade deadline.

Posted by: PhilR | August 13, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

@ ThePat:

I think the argument is very valid. The unstated qualifier is that the total potential of our young players is far greater than most other teams.

In 2007 Stamkos and David Perron were both drafted 1st round, and are both projected to get better. However, would you then say that Tampa and St.Louis will both get better equally by these 2 players?

Alzner and Carlson were both top 1st round picks who are potential franchise defenders. Defenders take longer to mature. Them of them on the roster this year makes us better than them on the roster last year. That is a solid argument.

Posted by: fricknoutstandin | August 13, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

@fricknoutstandin

Carlson was here for a quarter of the season. We all know what he brings and he was here in the playoffs so I dont count him as an addition.

If Alzner was as good as you guys think he is, he'd have been up and playing over the likes of Morrisonn and Erskine. I hope he develops into a good player but I am far from sold on him.

Posted by: ThePat | August 13, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR

I guess my point is that I don't see anyone out in the FA market right now that is someone who will be able to be that lockroom presence which is needed. That's why I would propose to keep the money available, and hopefully there is a great fit out there this year. I think Hal Gill would be an addition that if we had, I would seriously consider this team to be a frontrunner for the cup. However, there is no Hal Gill available now... so why waste the money and prevent yourself from getting the right player later.

Posted by: fricknoutstandin | August 13, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

HockeyBuzz hearing rumours that Caps are in on Willie Mitchell

Posted by: doughless | August 13, 2010 12:46 PM


Düüüde, Hockebuzz = Eklund = It Ain't Gonna Happen.


Eklund!!!


Thanks a lot for jinxing it, Düüüde!


On a more positive note, I do find myself in partial agreement with you on the timing of GMGM's trades:


Offseason trades/FA signings like Knuble have worked out well--Deadline deals like Corvo & Walker, not so much.

OTOH, the counter-argument could be that, while the Fedorov & Huet deals at the trade deadline were good, the offseason signing of Brendan Morrison didn't pan out.

Posted by: Rhino40 | August 13, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I know young guys get better and overall it makes the team better but you cant use that as an overall statement to say we are better in comparison to the rest of the league because all teams have that as a factor. Thats just my opinion.

Posted by: ThePat | August 13, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Matt Cooke also worked well as a late-season acquisition. And look what Guerin did for Pitt. I think it just depends on the situation and the player. BMo actually worked out fine for about two months and then he ran out of steam.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 13, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Guerin, Hossa, Pronger.....all examples of vet leadership added either before the season or at the deadline that led their team either to the promised land or to the brink of the promised land.

Posted by: PhilR | August 13, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

More on the trade...
ESPN now says they believe the trade is cstanton to OK City Barons for a mobile home with slight tornado damage and a bushel of wheat.

Posted by: ds_kelly | August 13, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

@ThePat

Alzner wasn't playing last year because they caps spent to the salary cap and didn't have room to bring him up. Erskin didn't really play last year (Healthy scracth most nights), and if you notice the team let Mo go and brought Alzner up first chance they could. Thus, he is in fact the better option in their eyes.

Your examples only prove the reason of not spending more now, and saving the cap room for a possible rental player or later acquisition.

Posted by: fricknoutstandin | August 13, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Given the expectations of this team, only performing well for the first 2 months of the season means a notch above nothing.

If a key player like a 2nd line center doesn't work out for a contender when it matters, that player and that move were a total failure.

Posted by: tmac2yao | August 13, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

@fricknoutstandin

last summer Morrisonn went to arbitration...Caps could have let him walk if they thought Alzner was a better player. They did not. Once the trade for Chimera occurred in December, Alzner could have come up they had salary cap space. So nice try on using that as justification. If the Caps happen to acquire Bieksa and Mitchell, doubtful I know, but Alzner again would not be in the lineup.

Posted by: ThePat | August 13, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

@ThePat

Yes, the improvement of young guys works equally for all other teams. However, I doubt there are many teams out there who have such a young core they are relying on. Most teams have a few, but the Caps have Ovie, Backstrom, Flash, Fehr, Semin, Green, Schultz, Carlson, Alzner, Varly, and Neuvy. Those guys all play big roles on the team.

Then MP or MJ(or any other Hershey guys) IF they make the club.

"If Alzner was as good as you guys think he is, he'd have been up and playing over the likes of Morrisonn and Erskine."

That argument could be used for EVERY young player right before he starts playing on a team full time.

You could have said the exact same about Carlson on March 1st of last year.

The moment directly preceding any player(Alzner in this case) playing full time on a team, that player was behind all the other players on the depth chart who were on the NHL squad.

This will happen with every player who plays in the NHL unless they start playing immediately after getting drafted.

Also, in game 7 Alzner played over Erskine and performed well.

In addition, when talking about leadership, Alzner has captained some pretty good teams in some big tournaments and they performed well. Such as the Canadian junior team.

His resume speaks to him as a team leader which many people on here having been saying the Caps need.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 13, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I just think it's stupid to think adding one or 2 players will make the difference. For every example of a team that won (who had a new player) there are 29 examples where it didn't work out.

If you have a talented team, you have a good chance. Beyond that it's the system, experience, the desire and heart, and LUCK to win it all.

Pitt got Hossa, and made the finals but lost to Detroit. They get rid of Hossa, and win against Detroit. Hossa goes to Chicago, and wins.

What this tells me, is that Pitt and Detroit were both talented, and either could have won the cup either year in the finals. The addition of Hossa to an already good team made NO impact on winning. However, the younger Blackhawks became more experienced during those 2 years, and were the best team in the playoffs last year.

The Caps are as talented as Pitt, Chicago, and Detroit. They just don't have the success (yet). To think 1 player is the answer is probably far fetched. To think it's one of the players left as an UFA right now.. is more doubtful.

I believe it is more of a systemic issue WRT success in defense during the playoffs than it is a personnel issue.

Posted by: fricknoutstandin | August 13, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Why do people insist that other teams have improved this offseason, while the Caps haven't? Having one of the youngest teams in the league, a team which gains more and more experience each year in our frustrating playoff series and highly successful regular seasons, allows great improvement from year to year without needing to spend on free agents. In an seriousness, how often do big name free agent signings look good in the long haul? You overplay for a player that may not fit into your locker room or system, a player that has often already peaked, and you are likely locked into a big, longterm contract that is difficult to move when the player no longer plays at the level they did during their peak seasons.

I think the Caps have done a great job in being able to retain their young talent (unlike Chicago), while having the flexibility to add a piece or two as needed.

The NHL isn't a video game, you cannot run franchises like Dan Snyder and expect success.

Posted by: bgsxygoalie | August 13, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

I think the Caps have done a great job in being able to retain their young talent (unlike Chicago), while having the flexibility to add a piece or two as needed.

Ummm, I would much rather have the Cup that Chicago has, may be you wouldn't but I'm betting every one of the Caps players would rather have a Cup as well!

Posted by: PhilR | August 13, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Sure, I would love to have a cup, but I would rather have a team that can compete for a cup for the next decade, than to win a single cup and have to dismantle the team, throwing the future into question as you are left with a few ultra-talented players and not much around them. The thing is, making big flashy moves doesn't guarantee a cup, it only guarantees cap inflexibility down the line.

Posted by: bgsxygoalie | August 13, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

@bgsxygoalie

I beg to differ with you on Chicago. Did they lose players yes. But they still have Toews, Kane, Sharp, Keith, Seabrook, Hossa, Bolland, Hjalmerson and Campbell. And they added a pretty dang good goalie in Turco. So yes they won the cup but the dismantling of their team is overexaggerated. They are going to be right there again this year with that core. I really dont understand why people count them out.

Posted by: ThePat | August 13, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Chicago has a team that can compete for a cup for the next decade:

Toews
Kane
Hossa
Keith
Seabrook
Hjallmarson


Pretty awesome core of players.

Posted by: underpants2 | August 13, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Also, at some point, you cannot play for the future anymore. We have been very lucky that we haven't lost any of these guys for extended period of time. Injuries can cut any run short.

Caps, McPhee, Leonsis, win now, before the window closes. Anything else is not acceptable anymore.

Posted by: underpants2 | August 13, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

@ bgsxygoalie

rather have the cup

Posted by: _stevo | August 13, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Here's a crazy idea on the "rather have the cup" versus "rather keep core together and be in hunt every year"

...
wait for it!

...
...

What if?

the caps win it this year or the next...

and they'd have both... the core and the cup!
my my how these boards would implode, explode, inplode, outplode, upplode and downplode... :_)

Posted by: FrankM73 | August 13, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Struggling at work...someone start a good topic of discussion please.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | August 13, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

The Caps are improved this year just by having Alzner and Carlson on the roster. That doesn't mean I wouldn't like to see us get a vet Stay-at-home physical D-man. Alzner should/would have been a regular on our roster last year but was the victim of cap space and our team depth. Carlson has the offensive skills and instincts of Green but with a much better defensive game, granted like most offensive D men his D needs a little work but Caps fans should be thrilled at the prospect of these two being regulars because our team will be better with them.

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | August 13, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

It will be interesting to see how having Carlson as a regular affects Green's playoff performance. Having an equally offensively gifted D-man will take a lot of the pressure off Green. I know Carlson played in all 7 of the playoff gms last year but after a full season of playing with Carlson, we may see a difference in Green's play come playoff time.

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | August 13, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Well it looks like a possible Forsberg signing is not likely...

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=330412

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | August 13, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

@FunkyGloveFacewash

I agree

Posted by: sgm3 | August 13, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

@FrankM73:

You forgot "sideplode"

Posted by: Rhino40 | August 13, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I have to say Katie's a lot better looking than Tarik. That's not saying much but still.. much easier on the eyes. lol

Posted by: alanb1 | August 13, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Re-signing of Belanger probably means that Steckel is no longer a sure thing to be on the team. People want to trade Flash for obvious reasons but we have a glut of good faceoff/defensive-minded centers in Gordon, Steckel, and Belanger. Gordo's bad back makes him difficult to trade and Steckel is expendable.

Posted by: wizfan89 | August 13, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

@FrankM73
Now you're just talking common sense, there's no place for that on these boards!
Pick a side!!!

Posted by: FunkyGloveFacewash | August 13, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

One thing no one has talked about is a trade that includes one of our young goalies,Varly, Neuvirth or Holtby. I think Varly is the most talented, Neuvy is the most competent and solid, and Holtby is the goalie of the future (don't know why and have no explanantion, but its what my gut says, probably cuz Dale Hunter loved him in London when Holtby played their).

Maybe Neuvy or Varly gets shipped out in a package with Flash and we get picks/prospects back. That would create cap room to sign Antti Niemi (?) and add prospects to the minors, while loosening up the logjam of forwards that we have. And maybe we have some Cap space left for Mitchell or a less expensive but talented Dman.

Just a thought. Don't kill me. But eventually, one of those goalies is getting traded.

Posted by: jmurray019 | August 13, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

@jmurray019

Eventually one of those goalies will get traded. But I wouldn't want Niemi because of the increased cap hit to switch either Varly or Neuvy for a Niemi(about $2M).

In addition, there aren't many goalie positions open right now so there are very few teams, if any, looking for goalies. It really is not a seller's market right now.

But eventually, maybe by next year, one of them will be traded.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 13, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3:
It was just a thought. Maybe not to clear room and sign Niemi, but to complete the trade for a stud Dman or top notch #2 center. I'm brain storming here. After having a full day+ to analyze this, I have come up with all sorts of scenarios. My best one was Pat Peake, Jim Carrey and Alexander Volchkov for Chris Pronger circa 2004

Posted by: jmurray019 | August 13, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

@jmurray019

I like that trade.

In regards to Neuvy and Varly. I think right now the best idea is to hold on to them and look to trade one of them in the off season. I think they definitely could have traded one of them this off season for a good return, but that had to be done before all the other teams figured out their goaltending situation by signing or trading for another goalie.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 13, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

wow, are we the only ones here? haha

Posted by: jmurray019 | August 13, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

The best thing for the Caps would be to wait until some team is in desperate need of a goalie due to injury and take them to the bank. Get them to overpay and reap the rewards

Posted by: jmurray019 | August 13, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

More on the trade...
ESPN now says they believe the trade is cstanton to OK City Barons for a mobile home with slight tornado damage and a bushel of wheat.


Posted by: ds_kelly | August 13, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse
-----------------------------------------
LMFAO! Post of the day.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 13, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Wow! There are many "experts" or people who follow the game for a living that believe in the Caps. So you haters of GMGM may not want to click on the link.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/allan_muir/08/13/offseason.rankings/index.html

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 13, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

@pokerface1208

Don't worry, why you are posting articles with the opinions of paid hockey analysts to support your opinion(and mine).

They will undoubtably come back by yelling that you are wrong and that so-and-so sucks and that the Caps have no chance to win next year because they didn't win in the past 2 years. But then not back up their thinking that the Caps can't win with any statistics or articles of hockey people who actually support their side.

It's called the "crazy man on the corner argument". Just yelling out things saying that they are so because they just are and then hoping something sticks.

@jmurray019

I agree that the right time to trade on of the goalies would be when a team is depserate, possibly due to injuries. The trade deadline is a possibility, but I think next offseason will be the time when one of them goes because both will be RFAs. Sort of like Montreal's position this year with Price and Halak.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 13, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

I agree with you that this year would be premature for trading either Varly or Neuvirth. I figure this coming season, with both of them up with the Caps all year, would be time to evaluate them both, not to mention Holtby. It would not surprise me to see Holtby to get an occasional call up due to injuries to either of the other two.

Next year, one of our kid goalies could be trade bait.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | August 13, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Sgm3- true. The bottom line is no team has made moves or for that matter stayed idle that has ensured them the Cup. The Caps braintrust doesn't believe you win championships in the offseason and I and many others agree. That being said would I like to add to our C's and D, of course but doing nothing doesn't ensure we'll lose the Cup either.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 13, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, no trade announced. Didn't expect one on Friday but since Kaberle's NTC kicks in Sunday we may here one tomorrow. With everybody assuming Kovy will end up in NJ eventually and Kaberle having to be moved by Sunday if at all next week could be a pretty active week.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 13, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

pokerface: Last year about this time I listed some teams with about equal chance of winning the Cup. They were, I believe - Caps, Pens, Bruins, Devils, Sharks, Wings, Canucks and Hawks. All the chances I thought were about the same. I didn't think any team was head-and-shoulders above the rest and I thought it would come down to good fortune. I never considered Flyers due to goaltending.

Anyway, I learned a lot. I watched as some teams overachieved and other teams didn't. I think I've learned from a variety of sources on the meaning of grit. I do know if I had to go to war and if I were the sergeant and my choice to fill out the squad was either a sniper who was soft or a kid from Arkansas who didn't know the meaning of "quit" - well, who would you take?

OK, let's remember that the Caps were like the 8th team in NHL history to get 121 regular season points. Let's also remember in the history of the NHL Playoffs the Caps loss to Montreal in terms of regular season differential was one of the largest in league history. And let's not forget that Montreal was one of the softest teams in the Playoffs.

The bottom line: The Caps, as constructed, let's be honest, have at best a very low (maybe 1 in 10) chance of winning the Cup. Do we favor those odds? Or do we want to improve them?

I say, with the talent we have, add some grit and vet leadership and we become ODDS ON FAVORITE.

You see, no team in the NHL can match us in talent. They just can't. But talent alone never won a war in the history of mankind. You don't win any kind of war without a balance of talent, equipment and planning.

The Caps are probably the closest team in the league to being able to assert domination. Can we do it? Can we get a snarling defenseman? Can we get a #2C who can pot 25 goals with 40 assists and, like Mike Ridley, lead the PK?

Tune in tomorrow. Tune in next month. Tune in all year. The ball is in George's court.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 14, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

I agree with you Tom to a point. I honestly believe we coulda won the Cup last year. The ONE thing that was the best in the NHL, consistant all year long and something NOBODY in the league could stop was our PP. That's what failed us. Had we scored just 2 more PPG's we coulda got through the 1st round & I think we woulda been deep in the playoffs. Every year going into a new season I ask if we're a better team now than last year. So lets look at that:

D - Pothier, Corvo, ShaMo out, Carlson & Alzner in. Is that an upgrade? To me it is. Carlson is a smooth skate puck moving Dman who can score. Alzner I believe is grooming into the next CalleJo. Nobody ever notices him but he's as solid positionally as they get just not flashy.

Goal - Theo out, Varly and Neuvy in - this very well could be a wash but if Varly can stay healthy and play 60 games it's an upgrade

Offense - BMo, Walker, Q Laing out & so far DJ King in. Can't say this is a drop off so at worst this is the same. If MP or MJ are able to center the 2nd line or if we acquire one through trade it's easily better.

So overall I think we're a better team & we haven't started training camp yet. There are plenty of rumore going around about a trade and also us getting W Mitchell. Either or both of those happen and we are leaps and bounds better and grittier and better playoff prepared.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 14, 2010 1:12 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

A 1 in 10 chance of winning the Cup going into the season would put the Caps in the top 5 teams in terms of odds of winning. Remember, there are 30 teams in the league.

Going into last year the Blackhawks had an 8 to 1 shot of winning while the Flyers had a 16 to 1. The Red Wings, Bruins, Pens, and Sharks were the only other teams to have a better than 10 to 1 shot going into last season. The Caps were rated as an 11 to 1 shot.

However, while you rate them as a 10 to 1, most odds makers have them at a 13 to 2 odds right now(top 2 or 3 best odds in the league).

It also puts them as a greater favorite than what Chicago was going into last year.

Many other writers, like Allan Muir, also have them as the favorite going into next year.

Anyone can put whatever odds they want on teams, but judging by the widespread analysis by paid hockey analysts, it would seem most disagree with you on where you rank them.

Who will be right? Only time will tell. But the Caps have pretty d*mn good odds of winning this year when compared to the odds of all the other teams.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 14, 2010 1:42 AM | Report abuse

Wow! There are many "experts" or people who follow the game for a living that believe in the Caps. So you haters of GMGM may not want to click on the link.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/allan_muir/08/13/offseason.rankings/index.html

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 13, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Broken record and the nay sayers will prove the "experts" wrong yet again as long as McPhee is running this team. I am pretty sure people were saying all last year how silly anyone was to doubt the Caps for the playoff's. Yet look what happened.

Posted by: Mike4169 | August 14, 2010 2:52 AM | Report abuse

Mike - how many teams win the Cup per yr? Oh yeah 1 so if you sit back in your negative @ss world and just spout off negative BS then the odds are incredibly in your favor. The bigger problem is WHEN, yes I said WHEN we do win the Cup the "nay sayers" still won't be happy and will find other things to b!tch about or say it was pure luck. With all the people that have said BB, GMGM & Ted will never win a Cup, I hope they all do it together. Then maybe people like you just might go away. I can always hope.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 14, 2010 3:02 AM | Report abuse

I would like to see...

To Wash: Bieksa, Rypien

To Van: Flash, Stecks


Ovechkin Backstrom Knuble
Semin Laich Fehr
Chimera Belanger A. Gordon
King Rypien Bradley

Green Bieksa
Poti Schultz
Carlson Alzner

7th D - Erskine

Posted by: StanleyCap | August 14, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

pokerface,

Please cut out the hater BS that you keep spewing. Just because some here think the Caps need more grit and vet leadership to get over the hump and win the cup does not make them "haters." To me it is just being realistic as tominsocal so eloquently put it the Caps were one of the softest teams in the league last year.

Soft teams don't win Cups, it takes a nice balance of skill and GRIT. Yes, there is that word that some here absolutely seem to hate for some reason. A couple veteran, gritty players would make a world of difference in this teams make-up.

DJK may very well be a good start and I think Carlson can bring a fair share of grit as well. Add at least one vet leader on that blueline by trading Flash/Stecks/Erskine and that adds a bit more. Plus, by adding Stecks to that mix you can bring up a couple gritty youngsters from Hershey like AG, Pinner, or Beagle. I don't think anyone is saying they are that far away, a few moves could improve overall team grit immensely.

Posted by: PhilR | August 14, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Somebody included Brent Seabrook in the core of the Hawks for the next 10 years. Brent Seabrook is a UFA next summer and the Hawks will still be strapped by the salary cap. If Seabrook has another good season he may price himself out of Chi town too.

Posted by: fanohock1 | August 14, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

sgm: Let's do odds by looking at actuals.

1) Is this a dynastic year (75 Habs, 81 NYI, 85 Edm) - No. So, = Normal Year.

2) Normal Year (last 20 say) a Top 8 team has won I think 17. A 9-18 team has won 3 (Mtl 93, Carolina and Tampa). A bottom 12 team entering the season has never won.

Odds then 85% for a top 8; maybe 14% for 9-18 and 1% for bottom 12.

85% Top 8 my take - Pens and Sharks 12.5% each, Caps, Flyers, Bruins, Canucks, Kings and Hawks about 10% each. If the Devils get Kovy, I might make it a Top 9 and adjust accordingly by taking 1% away each Top 8. You might rate Caps higher. I have them tied for third now, but a solid #2C and a solid #1D and I give them the Pens slot at 12.5% and move the Pens down. Maybe I'd even make Caps 13% and Sharks 12%. No, let's avoid 13%.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 14, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

BTW, this doesn't mean I think the LIngs are better than the Caps. I'm trying not to be anal about it. Each conference has a favorite, some prime contenders, some dark horses and the bottom 6 in each conf essentially have no practical chance. Edm went to the 7th game once in the Finals and they were maybe #20 entering the season. That is the closest one of the "No Chance" teams has ever come in league history I think.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 14, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Something has got to happen today since Kaberle's no trade clause goes back into effect tomorrow. And hopefully that will spur the end of the Caps deal, whatever it may be, as well.

Posted by: PhilR | August 14, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

I'm all for increasing your percentage chance of winning. That's what making moves is all about. I'm in favor of acquing a 1st pairing defender and 2nd line center.

My thing is that I don't like people completely overstating the effect of acquiring such a player would have in terms of not being able to win the Cup and winning the Cup.

The difference you just stated in % chance of winning if the Caps make those moves is 3%. From %10 to %13.

Yes, that is a good increase and is absolutely worth doing, but when I hear people say that if the Caps don't make a move they have "no shot" at winning the SC but if they do make these grit moves they will have a very good shot.

They are basically saying that a 10% shot at something is equal to "absolutely no shot" while a 13% shot at something is considered an incredibly good shot.

The numbers do not support such a statement.

Again, I'm all for increasing your chances of winning and acquiring the right people to do that. Then you also have to consider what will be the Caps % chance of winning for each of the next 5 years. Meaning, do you pull a Blackhaws if it gets you a 16% shot one year but a %4 shot the next four. Or do you go ahead with 5 straight years of a 10% shot. I'd go ahead with the 5 consecutive years of a 10% shot.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 14, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

My 2 cents:
OV will be a better Captain this year, having had time to adjust to his role as team leader
Carlson and Alzner will be an improvement over Morrison/Jurnica/Erskine(yes, the sexy lumberjack is still here, but he will play even less, God willing, than last year)
A consistent 2nd line center will emerge or be traded for (the lack of a consistent center really limited the Caps against MTL in my opinion)
A veteran, gritty blueliner will be acquired and improve the blueline
AGordon will prove a legit player
Fehr will assume a strong persence on the 2nd line with Flash gone (if the rumored trade goes down) and will be a much better compliment to Semin than Flash was
I am a Caps optimist by nature, but this team will be better than last year when it really counts, the playoffs.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | August 14, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

a 10 - 13 percent chance of winning the Cup?? LOL you must be really bored to have come up with yet another one of your famous data

I think you have a future as a bookie.

Posted by: joek443 | August 14, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

I didn't come up with those numbers, tominsocal1 did. So take it up with him.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 14, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR

I thought Toronto could trade Kaberle through August 15th, not until August 15th, which would mean they could trade him tomorrow as well.

I'm not sure about this, but I thought that's what in his contract.

Either way, something may be going down this weekend. And I do agree that it is likely the Kaberle facotr has some bearing on the potential Caps trade. The timing of it just seems too coincidental for it to not be related.

But who knows.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 14, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR the NTC starts back at Midnight Sunday so they have all day tomorrow as well.

Posted by: icehammer97 | August 14, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Did people see this quote by Burke on Kaberle when asked the question below:

Burke's response when asked if presence of Mitchell, Bieksa (and others) as available defencemen is making a Kaberle trade more difficult?

Burke said: "This is not to disparage those players you mentioned, but you're not talking about a player that's even close to Kaberle's skill level. He's the Cadillac in the group. And he's a good person and he's at a good price."

Now obviously Burke has a biased opinion because it is better to talk up the asset he is trying to trade. But that is pretty high praise for Kaberle.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 14, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

PhilR - there's a difference between a "hater" and what you just posted. A "hater" to me is somebody who has absolutely nothing positive to say at all. Do I agree some grit would help, sure. Not sure anybody disagrees with that. What I have grown tired of is the posters here who "hate" everything that is done or not done. You seem to agree, or at least are neutral (wait and see) with DJK, there are posters here that prior to the trade begged for more grit, then after the trade said it wasn't the "right type of grit". That's the junk I've grown tired of. Bottom line it's never enough and there for they are "haters". I only wish I had enough time in the day like Cstanton to where I could sit online all day and just blow up everybody's posts.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 14, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

joek: OK, if you don't think the Caps are 10% chance as constructed now and maybe up to 15% chance for Cup with two key moves (#2C and #1D), what teams do you favor and what are the percentages?

For one, the odds must add to 100%. For another, using historical data, the second tier teams have about 15% total and the bottom tier teams have about no chance.

Go ahead, you or anyone, put your percentages, as the teams all stand today.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 14, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

pokerface,

Fair enough, it seemed from the post that you were saying if anyone was calling for changes they were a hater. Now I understand what you are saying.

Come on!! We need an update on what's going on......at this point I would even take an Ecklund rumor!

Posted by: PhilR | August 14, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Tom - c'mon man! You know better than to ask Joe some sort of factual or statistical information that might benefit the Caps. It's so much easier to just state false and negative stuff.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 14, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Burke has stated recently that his objective is NOT to move Kaberle. He'll only move him if he gets a good deal for Toronto.

I guess Burke has been low balled to this point but is currently getting some good offers maybe even Tampa!

I'm really hoping he gets moved today. I think this deal and the Kovy deal has held up a lot of other moves. I think for the most part everybody feels Kovy will end up in NJ so that's becoming a smaller hang up but Kaberle is certainly one. Maybe our deal or rumored deal will come through Monday.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 14, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

What do people think about Joni Pitkkanen.

There are rumores that Carolina needs to make salary cuts due to a team spending cap the owners set at $44M. With Pitkkanen set to be a UFA after next year he might be a trade option for them because of the combination of his salary ($4.5M) and the quality of player the Hurricanes could get in return for him.

He might be more of a mid-season possibility if Carolina loses a good amount.

Just another name to think about.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 14, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

pokerface: Yes, I'm waiting to see if joek443 answers. It's a simple enough question - what Cup odds do you attach to teams at present. If he thinks Pens are 25% chance and Caps are 1% chance - fine, post your numbers. Here are mine:

Pens 12.5%; Sharks 12.5%; Caps 10%; Hawks 10%; Canucks 9%; Flyers 9%; Bruins 8%; Kings 8%; Devils 5%; Wings 5%; Calgary 2%, Montreal 2%, Phoenix, Buffalo, Tampa, Colorado, Ottawa 1% each; all other clubs 2% total.

All in all, partially or maybe primarily due to the cap, there's no clear-cut favorite. Therefore you have to compress the odds IMO. If the NHL had an NBA-like cap, you can bet the Hawks would have been kept together and they would be a clear favorite at 15-18%.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 14, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Tom- you need to seriously reevaluate your odds. There is no way in (you know what) the Hawks have as good a chance as we do to win the Cup. They don't have a goalie! Turco? C'mon, his best days are behind him. They've had to do a massive purge and there are still more coming. Put me on record as saying the Hawks don't make the playoffs this yr.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 14, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

you know what their goal should be next year? win a playoff series in 6 games or less.

till that happens I don't see a point talking about the odds of winning the Cup two months before the season even begins.

Posted by: joek443 | August 14, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

it's kinda like a race car driver talking about winning a championship before he even wins a single race.

Posted by: joek443 | August 14, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

joek443: So how bout you tell us who YOU think will win the Cup, or YOUR odds of Cup favorites.

It is said that it is totally useless for a person to b!+ch and moan about something w/o a solution. In this case it's the same thing - if you are knowledgeable enough to expect that the Caps won't win, you should be able to tell us who will.

pokerface: You are probably right on the Hawks. However, their core returns. You question Turco but who would have Niemi could be a Cup winner?

The Hawks only lost role players - I know, I know, guys like Buff played their roles to a T. Still, 90% of the skill on that team remains.

I'll bet you a beer - no, a six-pack - the Hawks make the playoffs. I go to the Grand Canyon every year, Mesa Verde and Durango I will go back in a few, SW Utah I do every 2nd or 3rd year, so we can meet up somewhere to settle this. If I win, I might even take the direct flight Burbank to Denver on mileage points just to sit in a bar and collect. Actually my favorite spot would be in the bar in that famous old hotel in Durango.

I will gladly bet joek443 also if we could get his noncommital a$$ to make a real, honest prediction. All he WANTS to say is what won't happen or give half-arsed answers like, "Wait till this happens before we project what else MIGHT happen."

C'mon, joek443, give it up and tell us who's gonna win the GD Cup this year. Put your money where your mouth is! Fact is, I don't wanna read ONE MORE of your posts EVER until I see your predictions! Or are you one of those meeley-mouthed DC politicians that can only do double-talk? Tell us, joek443, are you a politician? God, I hope not. :)

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 14, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

And you, too, pokerface. Where's your odds? Let me see um! And what about sgm3? He's got a War and Peace length opinion on everything! Where's your odds, sgm3? I will let cstanton1 off the hook, due to for some unGodly reason being in Oklahoma to watch firewaorks. Is that weird or what? God in Heaven only knows why ANYONE would EVER go to Oklahoma, much less in August when it's 110 degrees heat index to light off fireworks. Off the top of my head, I can only think of 3,598,611 places I'd rather be in August than Oklahoma.

Has anyone else noticed if you just switch two letters in cstanton's handle you get csatanon1 or "see satan on 1?" Am I reading too much into this, like when everyone thought Paul McCartney was dead because if you played Abbey Road backward it made sounds like "I bury Paul?" And, while I'm at it, is "Hey Jude" really about injecting heroin?

Inquisitive minds want to know. Then again, you'd think that nostrathomas would ALREADY know...

What's really scary is I've only had one glass of wine. God knows how I'll be later.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 14, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

till that happens I don't see a point talking about the odds of winning the Cup two months before the season even begins.

Posted by: joek443 | August 14, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse
------------------------------------------

LMFA0! Told you Tom! Absolutely no substance at all. Just negative banter.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 14, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

As far as odds Tom, you know I saw your posts but just breezed through them so I'm not sure of the particulars but I will say this, I don't think there is another team that has better odds than us. So if we're 10 or 15% to win than nobody else has a better chance. Just from a statistical standpoint anyway. The teams that made big splashes in FA needed to.

Also, I'll take you up on your bet. If I have to come to SoCal that's ok. I've never been there. I've only been to San Fran so it would be a nice trip. I honestly don't think the purge is over and I don't think Chicago will make the playoffs. You heard it here! LOL!

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 14, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

I know many of you, perhaps thousands of you are wondering: "If tominsocal1 drinks red wine while watching Caps home games, and white wine while watching Caps road games ("Rock the White!"), just what does he do in the offseason?

Glad you asked! (Since nothing else is going on around here tonight.)

Well...we have a winery just up the road, about 10 miles north on Sierra Highway, the Agua Dulce (that's Sweet Water in Spanish) Vineyards. Just so happens a few months back that tominsocal1, mrstominsocal1 and christina_and_theresa_insocal1 took a short trip to tatse what they had to offer. Well, they have many wines, priced mostly $20-30/bottle, that are OK. BUT, they were selling the Aneas Reserve Rose of Syrah 2005 for $99/case.

Now, I know what you are saying: "But, tominsical1, shouldn't Rose be consumed within two years of harvest?" Hey, good question and, generally, "Yes." But, you'd be shocked how good and fresh this wine is. So, for the offseason, drink Rose!

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 14, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

I actually thought your overall odds were pretty reasonable and didn't see any problem. That's why I didn't come up with anything.

I may have changed a few a percentage or two(maybe moving San Jose down to 11.5% and the Caps up to 11%) but they were all basically about where I would put them.

So I was fine with them.

@joek443

It is always easy to claim one team will not win the Stanley Cup. I will take the field versus any team you want.

I would bet againt every team when given the question "Will this particular team win the SC or not?". You would be right on 29 of the 30 teams.

So yes, the field is a favorite over the Caps. The field is the clear favorite versus any team.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 14, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

@pokerface1208

I agree with tominsocal1 that the Hawks will be in the playoffs and have reasonable odds of winning the SC. Maybe 7% or 8%. So about the 8th or 9th team in rankings.

The clear question will be how those 3rd and 4th liners play, but their top 6 forwards and top 4 D are still very good.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 14, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

till that happens I don't see a point talking about the odds of winning the Cup two months before the season even begins.

Posted by: joek443 | August 14, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse
------------------------------------------

LMFA0! Told you Tom! Absolutely no substance at all. Just negative banter.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 |

Actually, joek443 has said the most intelligent and logical thing on here that i've read in this entire post. I don't think he is spewing negative banter, but is being rather blunt and realistic.

Look, all of Caps fans here want to win a Cup, but it is no way a given. It is the hardest thing to do in sports. This team will have a tough time winning a championship if each series goes 7 games. Any team wold have a tough time doing that. That's not negative "hating", its just common sense.

I want a Stanley Cup in DC! I will cry tears of joy the day it actually happens. But, the Caps have to take the next step. That's why they play the games! Just ask Herman Edwards.

Posted by: jmurray019 | August 14, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

I think there's a 100% chance that you guys are a bunch of tools.

Posted by: jmurray019 | August 14, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

jmurray: Hey, maybe you are just having a REALLY BAD DAY. Was your car repossessed? House forecalosed on? Did the IRS say you owed back taxes?

You said: "Actually, joek443 has said the most intelligent and logical thing on here that i've read in this entire post. I don't think he is spewing negative banter, but is being rather blunt and realistic."

Fine, I might agree with you. BUT, joek443 gave a partial answer to a question of, "Who will win the Cup this year?" Did I say the Caps would win? I gave them a 10% chance. Did sgm? He gave them an 11% chance? Did anyone say Caps would win?

No Kool-Aid drinkers today, jmurray019.

No, the best you'll find for Caps winning is sgm3's (and he's called a "homer" by many) measley 11% prediction. 11%!!!!

It was Strother Martin in "Cool Hand Luke" who said, "Some people, they just don't git it." You called joek's commentary "intelligent and logical." I suppose since sgm and I put Caps chances at only 11 and 10%, that we must be "intelligent and logical" too.

jmurray, just what don't you git?

joek443 said the Caps, I guess this is what he's saying, wouldn't win. All of us agree, those who have spoken, say their chances are under 20%. What are your odds? What are joek443's odds?

There are a bunch of posters on this blog who should be political commentators for a living, since all they are capable of doing is finding fault with what others say. jmurray - how bout your odds? joek, where are yours? Or do you both work for Fox News? Do you report to O'Reilly?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 14, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

I am offended that you would even suggest I watch Fox news or that doofus O'reilly! Puh-leez!

In regards to my prediction of the Caps winning the Cup? Well, being a fan and having an emotional attachment to the team of my youth, I don't think it really matters what i think their chances are. I find the whole question stupid. What difference does it make what % I think the Caps have of winning the whole thing? The sun is gonna rise tomorrow, the grass will still need to be cut and we still wont know who is involved is this G$d D*mned trade that was leaked on wednesday!

Its August, we all are getting a little antsy and itchy to watch hockey. I get it. But Jesus, lighten up! Enjoy your job and Ace Hardware and stop trying to put a number on everything.

Most of all, we all like the same team! You treat each other like crap. This is the best period in Caps history. Enjoy it. Tools.

Posted by: jmurray019 | August 14, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

And just for the record, I think the Caps chances of winning the cup are pretty good.

Posted by: jmurray019 | August 14, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

jmurray: So why re you calling people tools? Go back and read every other post all weekend incl Thua and Fri and you won't find one bit of name calling. Not one bit. So what is it with this "tools" business?

Name calling. Pretty low in my book. Pretty GD low.

You wanna drop the gloves, jmurray? Fine, my gloves are off, because name-callers are at teh bottom of my barrel.

You don't want to predict, fine, don't predict, then please ignore the thread where we are predicting! How bout you start your own thread with whatever it is you want to talk about? It was all but dead on here so me being into stats and numbers so much I put up odds on who will win the Cup next year. Excuse me, does that make me a Communist or something? Wanna talk something better? Raise a subject, jmurray, don't just call us tools because you don't like ours. Why don't you have a drink or five and come back tomorrow? I'll be here. I agree Caps have "good chance." For me, 10% is "good chance."

You know, it won't kill you to be nice.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 14, 2010 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Tom - jmurray and joke are the same guys. I mean has anybody else in the whole world ever accused him as saying something that was intelligent & logical. The next thing you know he's gonna say is Rosie O'Donnell is skinny & straight! It's all about perception! LMFAO!

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 15, 2010 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Tom - currently in Vegas the Caps are listed at 13/2 to win the Cup. The only team better is....... wait til you hear this..... Chicago at 6/1! What a joke! The next in like is Pitt at 7/1. I'm in agreement with this except for Chicago. Although I'm not in much agreement with Pitt. I thihk losing Gonch is gonna hurt them more than they think. I know they made some moves and that will help but when he was out of their lineup they weren't a playoff team. He comes back and the team did a 180. Now this yr he won't be coming back from injury so we'll see.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 15, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Tom

Mentioning Durango reminded me of a bar that I used to go to often there. It was called Farquarhts (sp) and it was great with live music and all. Been about 30 years since I was there though

Posted by: fromthebeginning | August 15, 2010 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Tom

Now you have me reminiscing about Durango. Used to live out near the Hermosa Cliffs and in the winter, ice forming over the cliffs was absolutely breathtaking. Did you know they filmed alot of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid there? The Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge RR was used extensively in the railroad scenes

Posted by: fromthebeginning | August 15, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

pokerface: This is just too much trying to deal with people with multiple personalities. I had considered what you suggested but dismissed it due to initials being jk and jm. Often times though on here it is too much of a coincidence, too much like tag team in "professional" wrestling, where one of those "personalities" presents an argument, gets backed into a corner, and then instantly a "crony" pops up to defend them.

Well, let it be said, I am the ONE AND ONLY tominsocal1. Anyone can reach me on email tom_orem@yahoo.com. I am the genuine original and there are no copies. You wanna talk, let's talk. No BS; no name calling; no hiding like the Wizard of Oz behind a cloak of false personnas. "Don't look behind that curtain!"

Just put your F-K Cup odds and let's banter.

BTW, anyone with personality issues, my daughter has a doctorate in clinical psychology, she can help, just email me and I'll send her your number. Not making fun, this is serious business.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 15, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

i'd put the caps at 71% and each of the other 29 teams at 1%.

lets see - 71 + 29 * 1 ... carry the 1 - yep that's 100%

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 15, 2010 12:25 AM | Report abuse

OMG Tom! YOu're too much! Your wife has her hands full that's all I can say. She is probably dying for the puck to drop!

It'll be interesting to see if we do complete a trade on Monday if our odds change. I'm sorry I flat don't get vegas putting Chicago the best at 6/1. The sun doesn't shine on the same dogs @ss every day!

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 15, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

fromthebeginning: I, too, am a great fan of ELP. And Durango!

pokerface: Admittedly, you can't just dismiss those Las Vegas odds (btw, I will meet you in Vegas easily for six-pack pay-up next year. Nice three-hour jaunt for me.) I mean, those Vegas cats are putting their money where their mouths are for sure! Now, often they have unrealistic odds a little bit for NY teams due to betting spread...but, you might want to re-check your opinion on the Hawks. I think putting Hawks 6 to 1 (essentially 16%) is overdoing it, but I'm just a grunt and they are betting hundreds of millions.

BTW, I was in Vegas the night Caps played at Bruins early Feb and did walk away with 5 benjis that I didn't have going in. Still have two of those bills stashed away for my next visit. I can drive over anytime and should do so. Hold em at the Stratosphere was the game of choice.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 15, 2010 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Very nice. Vegas is a very nice place I frequent so meeting up there shouldn't be a problem at all. Free drinks are always on my agenda! LOL! I've never played cards at the Stratosphere. I'm game though. We'll have to meet up there during the season for sure. It's a 3 hr drive for you and a 2hr flight for me.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 15, 2010 12:42 AM | Report abuse

It'll be interesting to see if we do complete a trade on Monday if our odds change. I'm sorry I flat don't get vegas putting Chicago the best at 6/1. The sun doesn't shine on the same dogs @ss every day!

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 15, 2010 12:28 AM

Woof, woof!

Capt Kirk: 71% chance for Caps? That's better chance than the real Capt Kirk had of getting l@!d at Alpha Centauri!

"Mister Spock, you have the con."

"Can I presume, Captain, that you will be going DOWN to the planet?"

"Er, um, yes, Spock, I'll be 'going down.'"

Chekov: "Dus thees mean sir you'll be launching photon torpedos?"

Kirk: "Grow up, Chekov."

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 15, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

from Japers
"Vote Weagle! The polls close Sunday night"
http://www.icethetics.info/vote/2010/8/9/polls-nhltosl-championship.html

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 15, 2010 12:51 AM | Report abuse

So Tom rather than wasting my time asking if you've partaken in any adult beverages, I'll cut to the chast and ask, just how many have you had sir? You're on a roll!

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 15, 2010 12:54 AM | Report abuse

pokerface: Well maybe we can arrange a Caps fan convention of sorts over Christmas break in Las Vegas. Would be a great place to watch (and bet on) Winter Classic game. Last year one game I watched while there I put like $60 and then got back $110 or something (Caps beat Bruins 4-1 that night) and my daughter harrassed me to join the hold em table and next thing you knew I was carrying chips in a basket to cash in. Ain't life grand.

BTW, you have to watch Vegas odds w/jaundiced eye. My odds added to 100%. Vegas though makes it more than 100% so the payoff in their favor. For instance, Caps (13-2), Hawks (6-1) and Pens (7-1) make for 45% with just three teams. Now go and add all 30 teams and I'm betting it is 120% in total, so they can win on the juice, but in which case you must reduce each team by 20% to get "reality."

Still, regardless, I put Pens and Sharks ahead of Caps and Hawks, at least for now.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 15, 2010 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Well, pokerface, I did have a bottle of that wine I mentioned earlier, the Rose of Syrah from the local winery. Now, not to think I'm a glutton, I gave mrstominsocal1 one glass out of that bottle.

Now, having finished that bottle, quite some time ago, and still feeling quite thirsty, I opted to open another bottle, this one being the "two-buck-chuck," the Charles Shaw 2009 whie zinfandel.

Well, it ain't bad. I did give my one daughter a glass from this bottle, which I think is mostly finished.

Two buck Chuck. Hard to beat a two-dollar bottle of wine as the "second bottle." I fully realize that drinking the lion's share of two bottles of wine probably has me on the outer limits as far as comprehension ability goes for a sports blog.

It will, however, do wonders for my sleep.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 15, 2010 1:24 AM | Report abuse

LMAO! Well lets see here Tom, you are a numbers guy. According to what I just read you've consumed 2 BOTTLES of wine and being the NONselfish husband/father you have shared a whopping 2 glasses! Gee what a nice guy you are! LMAO! Trust me when we're in Vegas, I'll have my fair share of beverages and won't be cheated out of a bottle! LOL. Plus I'm a Captain & Coke kinda guy anyway. You know New Years would be awesome. I typically head back to DC for xmas but the last couple of yrs I've come back before NY's so that's a definate possibility.

Also, I'm not sure if you saw my earlier post or not but my hockey buddies and I take a trip out of town once a yr. Would you be interested? I need some other Caps love in my group.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 15, 2010 2:35 AM | Report abuse

LMFA0! Told you Tom! Absolutely no substance at all. Just negative banter.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 14, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

LMAO substance?? what you people need is a LIFE.

who in their right mind gives a rats a$$ about the odds of winning the Cup 9 friggin' months before the playoffs??

I'd rather watch the grass grow than to waste a minute on that NONSENSE.

Posted by: joek443 | August 15, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

@Joek443...Matt Kinseth showed a few years ago that a race car driver can will the the title without winning a single race. This pushed Nascar to come up with the CHASE idea.

Posted by: nimrodrsp | August 15, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Here are some odds for your consideration: Kaberle comes to the Capitals: 100 to 1
Kaberle stays in Toronto: 2 to 1
Caps make a big move today, not involving Kaberle: 50 to 1

I just seriously doubt that Kaberle is coming to DC and I see no reason why the Caps are going to make a move anytime soon on Flash, Belanger, and some blueliners/2nd line centers. This is not to say that trading Flash for a solid, gritty blueliner is not a good idea, I just don't see why it will take place on a Sunday in August.
I think the chatter has more to do with the dulldrums of August in DC than much else. And again, I'd be happy to be wrong -- except for Kaberle wearing a Weagle.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | August 15, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Still don't understand why there's no love for Erskine....when healthy, he's more than capable of filling that tough, stay-home 6th spot....i'm convinced BB didn't play him much for two reasons: first, he's not one of BB's "boys"; second, his style contradicts the pacifist nature of the team and his play on the ice only ramps-up the physical, confrontational emotions on the ice and the caps (at least last year) couldn't compete w/other teams when it came to "old-school" hockey games....pro-rate Erskine's stats (and forget about the minutes played) over a full year and they're very comparable to Shultz's...lastly, the greatest hockey name in history is Garth Butcher....have a great end of summmer everyone!!

Posted by: vermontcaps | August 15, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Tom and pokerface:

first of all, joek and i are not the same person. i just happened to agree with his comment and i backed him up. Much like I backed you up a few days ago when cstanton was spewing his drivel. Remember?

second, calling you guys tools was an attempt to get a response and a laugh. maybe it was in bad taste. but there was some honesty in that since you were confronting us predict the Caps chances of winning it all. I just reacted with sarcasm.

most of all, this is a public forum and i will post what i like, much like you. Your thread needed spicing up and I attempted that.

so there, nanny nanny boo-boo!

Posted by: jmurray019 | August 15, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

ok, new thread, per pokerfaces suggestion.

What are the odds the Caps trade is announced before the "Roast of David Hasselhoff" starts tonight on Comedy Central?

Posted by: jmurray019 | August 15, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

jmurray: OK, we're cool, gloves back on. Two minutes each I guess for roughing.

pokerface: Yes, maybe that trip you describe will work. Let me know what you pick and we'll see. Just don't invite joek443. Joek: You are a party pooper! Here's what you put:

who in their right mind gives a rats a$$ about the odds of winning the Cup 9 friggin' months before the playoffs??

I'll tell you who gives a rat's a$$: Everyone involved in hockey but you! The Hockey News right now is doing a daily counting for each conference, rating teams from 15th place to 1st. They have done 15 thru 11 as of Friday, and this week do I guess 10 to 6. But you don't care. In addition, every GM cares because if his team isn't favored, he's doing what he can to improve. But you don't care. And most every fan does, because it's all there is to do for now unless you watch baseball. But you don't care. You'd rather watch grass grow. So go outside and watch!

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 15, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I'm dying here, I want to know who, if anyone is going to be traded.

I've seen Fehr and Chimera mentioned, I hope it isn't either one of them. I like Steckel, but I can see how he is somewhat expendable considering what we have in the system. If we could send BGordon and Flash out for a decent defenseman like Bieksa, that would be ideal IMO. Someone mentioned Ian White or Robyn Regehr from Calgary being possibilities, but I don't see that happening.

If I could build the lines for next year, here's what I would choose:

Forwards:
Ovie-Backstrom-Knuble
Laich-Perrault-Semin
Chimera-Belanger-Fehr
King-Steckel-Bradley

Defense:
Green-Schultz
Poti-Bieksa
Carlson-Alzner

...with Carlson-Alzner becoming the second pairing if they play well.

And for the 13th and 14th forwards, probably Beagle and AGordon with Erskine as the extra d-man. Not sure what this would give us for cap space, but I'm pretty sure it would fit with some room for a deadline acquisition.

Anyone else have speculation on what may happen today?

Posted by: ssweeney | August 15, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I hate that everyone is down on Boyd Gordon. He's our best PKiller. Check the stats of our PK while he was hurt vs what happened when he came back. He's gritty, has scoring touch and is great on the faceoff. can play center or wing. Keep Boyd-O

Posted by: jmurray019 | August 15, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

"I hate that everyone is down on Boyd Gordon. He's our best PKiller. Check the stats of our PK while he was hurt vs what happened when he came back. He's gritty, has scoring touch and is great on the faceoff. can play center or wing. Keep Boyd-O"
Posted by: jmurray019 | August 15, 2010 12:24 PM

I also like BGordon, and agree that he's a better overall player than Steckel. That being said, I fear that he'll never completely get over those back issues. I know personally what a nagging back injury is like, and how it can seem fine for months and one day return in full force while lifting or running.

That's why I'd favor putting him in a package to the 'Nucks or Flames rather than Steckel.

Posted by: ssweeney | August 15, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

@ rumor

Beside the "drama" about Kaberle, on ESPN there is a rumor mentioned about "Washington to be the best fit for goalie Antti Niemi" ...

Is there anything behind it or is it just an idea of someone for the silly season ?

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | August 15, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Niemi is not a bad move to sign, IF:

IF you can get him locked up like 4 yrs/$2.5M per year and IF you rate him higher than Varlamov.

Let's say you are GMGM and let's say you believe Varly will become a B+ goalie. Now let's say you believe Niemi will also be B+ or better. NOW, Varly and Neuvy are cheap this year, but you can expect next year they will cost maybe $3M+ for whoever becomes the starter and maybe $1M for whoever is back-up. Or, worse, Varly gets hurt and misses half the season but has better stats than Neuvy. Neuvy would get a nice raise in arbitration if 40+ starts and good numbers and Varly would demand (he seems like he's going to be demanding a lot) big money on limited starts but very good numbers.

So, the thing with Niemi, if you rate him as good or better than Varly, and if you can move Varly for a similar, young defensive prospect, signing Niemi could be smart. Signing Niemi though and keeping all of them (plus Holtby) would be senseless. Remember too Niemi is a UFA now but he converts to RFA once you sign him. And Niemi contract this year (plus Halak) will have a bearing on Varly next year.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 15, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

It really would not surprise me to see the trigger get pulled on either a Varly or Neuvy trade to get the 2C or 1D they need and then sign Niemi depending on cap issues of the trade. I think you would have to package either Flash or Fehr in that deal to open up enough cap room for the vet you are getting back plus the wiggle room to sign Niemi. But a move like that would not really surprise me that much.

Posted by: PhilR | August 15, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

Thank you very much for the helpfull comment, however is it really a serious rumour or just a talk ...

... and what do you think? Is Niemi a B+ or better goalie especially in the PO (just as Halak last season)? I think Varly wasn't a game changer?

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | August 15, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

With Varly's lack of ability thus far to stay healthy it wouldn't surprise me that GMGM may consider Niemi to be a better and overall cheaper option as Niemi will likely sign for much less as there are not many teams in need of a goaltender currently. It would be an interesting move for sure and one that would cause lots of havoc in here!

Posted by: PhilR | August 15, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

If we have to trade one of the young goalies, I'd trade Varlamov and keep Neuvy to sign Niemi (say that 10 times fast!). Varlamov is a headcase.

I was reading a flames blog on SBnation, and the blogger was proposing a Carlson for Regehr trade. As much as I'd LOVE to see Regehr on the top D pairing with Green, I don't think that trade is good for us or the Flames. It doesn't help with their logjam at D, and it doesn't help us in the long term.

Posted by: ssweeney | August 15, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Carlson isn't going anywhere, at least he better not be unless they are getting Bobby Orr in his prime in return.

Posted by: PhilR | August 15, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Well my prognostication is spot on so far -- nothing happening with the Caps in terms of trades, particularly regarding Kaberle. Not a very dicey bet mind you, but the dog days of August are dull, dull, dull, in the hockeyalaxy (or hockosmos -- no the latter sounds like an std or foot fungus condition). So news of even a whiff of a trade makes it to SI/ESPN/HN/TSN for hockey beat writers trying to prove they deserve August paychecks (which they do, just not for August coverage).

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | August 15, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

@JIMALLCAPS1

Ok, so: "much ado about nothing" I think ...

Posted by: FCKoeln1 | August 15, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Well, no intrigues involving Italian virgins, mistaken identities, and incompetent local magistrates, but close to the bard, why not?

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | August 15, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Or is that a "Three's Company" episode? I get Shakespeare and the Ropers confused -- but not Don Knotts, he is by far much more sublime.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | August 15, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

In other words, Richard Burbage as Richard III had nothing on Don Knotts as Barney Fife. It's like comparing Dominic Hasek with Jim Carey --either one (goalie or actor)

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | August 15, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

So, who is in need of goaltending and what do they have that the Caps would want?

Just trying to get a new discussion going....Package Flash and Varly to what team and for what in return and then go sign Niemi at a decent cap hit for 2-3 years.

Posted by: PhilR | August 15, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

You won't hear of a trade today. Maybe Kaberle only b/c of his NTC kicking in. Trades are as much PR as anything else. Hold off 24 hours so you can get as much PR as possible. I believe we'll hear about a trade tomorrow.

I don't think we're after Kaberle though. I really don't think we're after Niemi either. I honestly think GMGM thinks he's got the nets in good shape with Varly and Neuvy and I agree.

I'm not nearly as down on Gordo as I am Steckel. Lets face it, if he wasn't one of BB's "boys" down in Hershey I doubt he'd be here. He has 1 skill at the NHL level and that's faceoffs. He's primarliy used in a PK situation and he's way too slow for that. So while the majority of the rumors I'm seeing involve Flash, I've also see a fair share include Steckel in that. I would think that Flash could bring a good return and if you throw in Steckel (some teams think they can use him in certain situations) then you may get even better return.

Bieska is the #1 name attached to these rumors as far as coming back to us and I'm all for it.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 15, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

How about Chicago? Get one of their stud dmen or a center from them?? It would save them cap room and give an option other than Turco......kind of makes sense.

Posted by: PhilR | August 15, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Not only is the Kaberle thing drawing out, but who would have predicted, not even nostrathomas could have surmised, that it would be the Ides of August upon us (is there an Ides of August?) and Kovalchuk would still be (technically) unsigned.

"Ah, there's something rotten in the state of New Jersey."

No, $h!+, Shylock, just the whole top half of the state.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 15, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

And I'm not predicting that any of this will happen but I am just desperate for some hockey discussion on a boring Sunday afternoon when there is nothing on tv but golf and NASCAR.

Posted by: PhilR | August 15, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

PhilR: I had suggested about a month ago I think a deal to Chicago that was MaJo and Varly for Niemi and Sharp. The problem is we don't have cap space for that. I calc our cap space with full roster and Belanger signed at 1.9 (counting Alzner bonus against cap). If you moved Steckel and Varly for Sharp and then signed Niemi at 2.5, you would be over the cap by $2.5M. To make that work, you'd then need to move Flash for picks and promote AGordon (savings of $2.1M) and then move Chimera for picks and promote Beagle or Pinner (savings $1.3M). At that point, under the cap by $900K, you could possibly move Erskine and some of those picks for a slight upgrade on D, or just keep the D as is and upgrade at the dealine. MaJo and MP would then fight it out for #4C, rather than #2, as Sharp and Belanger would be 2 and 3.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 15, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

pokerface,

The thing is we were stuck with the Steckle contract but could have easily walked away from Gordon which with his back issues I would have preferred. Who knows, it may work out if they can trade Steckle and he can stay healthy as 4th line center all year but I think Beagle could have been just as good of an option for less cap.

Posted by: PhilR | August 15, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Erskine didn't play in the playoffs b/c MON had smaller faster forwards and BB felt that didn't fit into Erskine's strengths (obviously). Had we made it past them and played Philly next he and Theo were both going to play in Game 1. Philly has bigger slower forwards compared to MON.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 15, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Niemi at 2.5 seems a bit high considering there are very few teams vying for a goaltender currently.....maybe closer to 2 mil? What is Sharp's cap hit? Would Flash and Varly work instead of Steckle and Varly and still save the Hawks some cap??

Posted by: PhilR | August 15, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

PhilR: What about the encorn western channel? Before I'd dare watch golf, NASCAR or baseball, I'd take a western there, pilgrim.

BTW, there's a great movie ending now on Encore Western, "Day of the Outlaw." Burl Ives and Robt Ryan. I'll get that at 2:15. You have "Man of the East," which I didn't like.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 15, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Oh don't start rantin on NASCAR! You'll get Joke's panties in a wad. He loves watching cars drive in circles. No wonder he like Nylander so much!

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 15, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm actually watching re-runs of Top Shot on the History Channel via DVR. The finale of that is tonight at 10 and I was a sniper in the military so it interests me a lot. I've already seen all of the episodes they are showing but its cool to watch again.

Posted by: PhilR | August 15, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I don't mind watching NASCAR once in a while but that Michigan track they are at today is the most BORING track around.....no action/wrecks at all! It's worse than watching paint dry!

Posted by: PhilR | August 15, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Sharp is 3.9.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 15, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Ouff, big hit for Sharp.....you are absolutely right, a few more moves would need to be made but I have no problem losing Steckle/Erskine/Flash and adding Sharp and I do not think anyone else would have an issue with it either.

But you are right, the Hawks would most likely not want a Flash/Varly package for Sharp as it would pretty much be cap neutral.

Posted by: PhilR | August 15, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

All you guys talking about Vegas odds should study how the odds are set. Despite the name, the "oddmakers" don't make the odds -- the betters do. If the Caps are ranked number one, it simply means that there is more money bet on the Caps than any other Team. If a bunch of money is suddenly bet on Chicago, they will move up to number one. The "oddsmakers" really don't care who is the better hockey team. They will win no matter what the outcome.

Posted by: Wiley_One1 | August 15, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: sgm3 | August 15, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

I don't mind watching NASCAR once in a while but that Michigan track they are at today is the most BORING track around.....no action/wrecks at all! It's worse than watching paint dry!

Posted by: PhilR | August 15, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

normally I would agree that michigan and its sister track california are the two most boring tracks in nascar but it was surprisingly a pretty good race today... good battle between Roush fords and Childress chevys.

Posted by: joek443 | August 15, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

All you guys talking about Vegas odds should study how the odds are set. Despite the name, the "oddmakers" don't make the odds -- the betters do. If the Caps are ranked number one, it simply means that there is more money bet on the Caps than any other Team. If a bunch of money is suddenly bet on Chicago, they will move up to number one. The "oddsmakers" really don't care who is the better hockey team. They will win no matter what the outcome.

Posted by: Wiley_One1 | August 15, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse
******************************************

Wiley - understand buddy you're talking to a (dare I say) professional gambler! You are absolutely correct AFTER the line is released. The public moves the line not the bookie. The oddsmaker is the one who SETS the line. Trust me he has to know what the hell he's doing or he'll be out of a job pretty quick and run his book into the ground. The oddsmaker has to consider 2 things when setting a line, what the actual line should be and where the public will bet. If he were to open the Caps at 17:1 odds there would be a ton of money coming in at that # and you're right, at that point the odds would come down due to the money coming in.

The lines haven't moved a whole lot since they were released as there hasn't been a whole lot of money put into the "futures" for hockey yet.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 15, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

pokerface: Funny you should put that because there's a solid core here who wouldn't touch the Caps at even 17-1 (essentially 6% chance). Since I have Caps at 10% chance, 10-1 would be even odds for me. I myself would not touch the 13-2 sgm mentioned unless McPhee made upgrades first.

Professional, eh? Remind me not to cut the deck with you! I'm an "oddsmaker" too of sorts - for rockets, missiles, EO systems, etc, and my "odds" are what are the chances of completing a contract at a specific cost objective. And, yes, the Corporation can be "run into the ground" eventually if errors are made.

My job has trained me to look at most everything instead of "yes or no, it will or won't happen" into a percentage. That's why when everyone was lining up on Kovy "Yes" or "No" on arbitrator's decision, I said 50% contract approved with amendments, 30% contract is rejected, 20% contract stands as it was written originally. Still, technically, my 50% odds, contract with Devils goes into force with amendments, can still happen.

So now, which pi$$e$ my wife off, if she asks when I will be home, I'm like, "Well, there's a 20% chance..."

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 15, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Tom - you are a glutten for punishment! LOL! I can only imagine you driving the Mrs up a wall. Haven't you heard the saying, "if momma ain't happy ain't NOBODY happy"? I'm divorced & I know that to be the truest statement ever made!

So Kaberle's not dealt (although he still can be but now has to approved due to NTC), Kovy most likely staying in NJ so I bet there are several transactions that go down this upcoming week.

Heck isn't training camp what? 3 weeks away?

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 16, 2010 12:30 AM | Report abuse

I wake up to find . . . nothing transpired with Kaberle, the Caps, the Kovy. Not surprised one bit.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | August 16, 2010 7:47 AM | Report abuse

It's Sundin all over again. Even getting a 2-3rd round pick will be better than when they lose Kabs for nothing. It's a losing team with or without Kaberle and other teams know this.

Posted by: flee001 | August 16, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

The bottom line: The Caps, as constructed, let's be honest, have at best a very low (maybe 1 in 10) chance of winning the Cup. Do we favor those odds? Or do we want to improve them?

-Tominsocal

That's quite a pessimistic view there. If we're actually being honest, the Caps have a very high (maybe 80-90%) chance of winning the Cup as constructed. They are one of the best teams in the league. Sure, they could make some changes and probably improve their chances, but those changes aren't easy to make and they come with their own risks.

I know a lot of people like to be pessimistic here, but remember, even a gritty, cup-winning team with a good defense lost to Montreal, too. If we make no more changes before the playoffs, I'll still feel really good about our chances to go all the way, despite my concern that stems from the last 3 playoffs.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | August 16, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Rumor has it that GMGM is waiting for some of our illustrious posters to come to a consensus as to which player(s) he should trade and who to bring in - He has finally realized he and his staff are not as knowledgeable as our friends.
I also want to take this opportunity to thank the WP for the great hard work they do covering hockey.
Now back to the asylum ...

Posted by: hock1 | August 16, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

@TheDoubleAlex

No offense but no team has an 80-90% chance to win the Cup. Teams barely have that good of odds to win a game against the worst team in the league on a Tuesday night. Tom's 10%-11% is a fair number. Vegas gives them a 15% chance to win it. So if you think they have an 80-90% chance to win the cup you should fly out to Vegas and put about $20,000 on them and you will be a very happy man in more ways than one next June.

Posted by: ThePat | August 16, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

The Caps can/will grow, they will win a Cup. Yes they've had growing pains but teams and seasons are unique. I will take the Caps roster over any other roster in the league as is ... like dating a super model and complaining about her nail polish, give it a rest. Team will get tweaked at trade deadline but lets see how the young guys play first.

Posted by: flee001 | August 16, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Rethinking it, 1 in 10 is pretty good odds. I didn't mean we would almost definitely win the Cup, but we along with a few other teams have a very high chance of doing it.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | August 16, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

On another note are the Caps making a trade or not??? Regardless just make Belanger signing official.

Posted by: ThePat | August 16, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Where is the trade? When is the trade? Where is the trade? When is the trade? Where is the trade? When is the trade? Where is the trade? When is the trade? Where is the trade? When is the trade? Where is the trade? When is the trade? Where is the trade? When is the trade?

Posted by: flee001 | August 16, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

DoubleAlex: We're talking apples and oranges. The Caps have, IMO, a 10% at winning the Cup this coming season (no way any team, ever, has 80-90% chance). I believe your figures though are for, as constructed, winning a Cup during Ovechkin's contract years. Even then 80-90% might be high, but I think they will win 2-3 before Alex retires. Still, that doesn't make it a 100% chance to win 1.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 16, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

@ThePat

If the Caps and Belanger reached a deal last week it is very odd that the Caps have not announced the Belanger signing yet.

The only possible reason is that some other move is about to go down(that move could always fall through too). Otherwise it doesn't make any sense.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 16, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

@sgm3

I know all that. My point is if they signed him 4 days ago and no trade has happened yet just announce it. I know much of the Caps PR and others from their office were out on vacation last week but would hope that isnt the reason theyd delay in announcing a signing.

Posted by: ThePat | August 16, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

@ThePat

I'm agreeing with you. It is odd. If he is signed, and no trade is imminent, they should just go ahead and announce it.

Heck, everyone already knows he's signing with the Caps anyways. There's nothing to lose.

On Kaberle, he still might get traded. Obviously he would have to okay any deal, but from quotes earlier this summer it sounds like he would be willing to waive his NTC for certain teams.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 16, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Well, the problem is the Capitals didn't leak the Belanger signing which obvious is contigent on something else happening first. Belanger's camp let he cat out of the bag. IMO it's not something that will circumvent a deal simply because Belanger will fill the hole of a traded player. Instead Belanger won't become a Capital again and his contract with contingencies will be null and void if the trade doesn't happen. If Belanger's camp would have kept their mouths shut none of us would be on pins and needles. If they would have kept quiet we would have either heard absolutely nothing, or we would have heard about the trade AND the Belanger at the same time.

Posted by: fanohock1 | August 16, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

@sgm3

On Kaberle I am completely shocked he didn't move. At this point I dont see him agreeing to waive it, even though he said he's willing to in the past. Even if Burke wasnt getting a top 6 F in return, he had to be getting good offers just not the top 6 guy he wanted. Now Kaberle will walk away at the end of the season for nothing, unless they trade another D-men and resign Kaberle.

Posted by: ThePat | August 16, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

@TheDoubleAlex
The only team that had a 80-90% chance of winning that I remember was the original Dream Team on the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, that’s it.

Posted by: guer_j | August 16, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I'm a brian burke fan, but if rumors are true that he turned down a one for one swap - Kab for Mike Ribiero - then he screwed the pooch on that deal.

I actually had a dream fri night that McPhee called me up to tell me that xmas had come early this year and to expect to see a Flash, Alzner and Schultz to SJ for Clowe and Doug Murray deal. Then the logical follow-up dealing Chimera and a 2nd for Clutterbuck and the Willie Mitch signing. Of course I had to change my sheets the next morning.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 16, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

@csanton

That rumor is not true of Kab for Rib. Dallas wasn't even in on Kaberle. If they make any moves it will be getting rid of high priced talent for younger cheaper talent due to their ownership mess.

Posted by: ThePat | August 16, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I actually had a dream fri night that McPhee called me up to tell me that xmas had come early this year and to expect to see a Flash, Alzner and Schultz to SJ for Clowe and Doug Murray deal. Then the logical follow-up dealing Chimera and a 2nd for Clutterbuck and the Willie Mitch signing. Of course I had to change my sheets the next morning.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 16, 2010 11:03 AM

tmi dude

t
m
i

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | August 16, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

@TheDoubleAlex
The only team that had a 80-90% chance of winning that I remember was the original Dream Team on the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, that’s it.

Posted by: guer_j | August 16, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Yes, thank you. To you and the others, obviously, the Caps are not a lock to win it this year. My point was that they have a very good chance, along with a few other teams. The point is that they are in a group of 4-5 teams that are favorites to win it all.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | August 16, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

i hear ya. They oughta just make bedsheets out of kleenex. Double-ply. Reminds me of a Telly Savalas SNL skit.


I'd love to know what was offered up for Kaberle. And how much of it was posturing (or overposturing) by Burke.

caps better spice it up..the Redskins are about to take over the media spotlight once again.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 16, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Skins, about to, they always get the pub ... no the Caps need to take on the new look Wiz but it's all Ted's playland now so I'm happy. Caps will get front page when they win the Cup this year.

Posted by: flee001 | August 16, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

cstanton...you are so right about the skins! Caps will be lucky to get a sentence at the bottom of the last page. We will see how good Katie is.

Posted by: nimrodrsp | August 16, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

The Skins will have the spotlight even if they are totally inept as an organization.

Recent history has proven this.

They brought rings to this city and they are known for making splashes in the offseason, and that keeps us dreaming.

But there seems to be something different going on now, there is a lot of new confidence in the new (more professional) regime. This city will embrace the Skins like never before if they get rolling.

The Caps had their chance to capture our hearts AND THEY STUNK UP THE JOINT!

...yup, still pissed.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | August 16, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

The Redskins Main Event is on Feb 6, 2011. The Caps would be in June. The Caps can still get their press. Heck, when they fail it seems like they get more press because the "I told you so" reporters come out of the woodwork.

Posted by: fanohock1 | August 16, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

she's good at getting my heart-rate up. I mean, just in how she posted rumors on a Flash trade.


@Fro- enjoyed the kordic piece, you can tell the writer lived it. Instead of just revisiting it via stats and clips. Kordic did have a certain blankness to him. And that fight with Wendel Clark showed exactly what he was made of. Clark's biggest advantage was how aggressively he started every fight. Before anyone knew what hit them they were usually already KO'd on the ice. Kordic hung in there and withstood the initial onslaught and then launched one of his own. Wendel wasn't used to that, he was used to winning a fight in the first few seconds of it. Probert once remarked the same thought, that if you could survive the first few mins of a Clark fight you stood a chance. Getting Kordic into a Caps jersey for those 6 or 7 games he played with us had an immediate impact on our team. Everyone played a lot bigger. Probably the first time since we lost Scott Stevens that the Caps hung together as a team on the ice and traded shots with teams like Philly and Pittsburgh. The only loss Kordic had as a Cap was to Domi who at the time was a pretty unheard-of fighter and he totally rocked Kordic.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 16, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

It *has* to be a Flash-for-Kaberle deal. My guess is that it's hung up - Burke probably wants a Bear thrown in, and GMGM isn't biting.

I can't see any other deal as obvious as that one.

Anyone else?

Posted by: EricinReston | August 16, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

@EricinReston

There are a number of deals that are out there. Vancouver and Calgary both have D-men looking to move so they can shed some salary. Some teams have 2C they are willing to move, including Dallas and Buffalo. So there are a bunch of possible scenarios out there.

Posted by: ThePat | August 16, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

@Pat,

I know, and they're certainly possibilities, but if we were dealing with the Canucks, why not pick up Mitchell without the trade? Is it better to swap Flash for Bieksa instead of getting Mitchell straight away?

As for trading for 2C, I don't know - it's a possibility. But would it be Flash-for-2C? To me, Belanger and Flash are either/or, and signing Belanger means losing Flash.

Posted by: EricinReston | August 16, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

@Eric

Belanger is a 3C...Flash is not a C despite the fact they played him there. He's a LW. So if they can get a 2C or a D for Flash, either would work great.

In terms of trading for Bieksa, in my opinion any trade getting Flash off the roster is a good move. I'm one that does not like his play very much. Bringing in Mitchell yes I'd be very happy with that, but my gut says he is staying on the west coast. I'd love to be wrong though.

Posted by: ThePat | August 16, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Anything new at Kettler to report? GMGM had 2 donuts with his coffee? BB fell asleep in the sauna? Give us something! This Belanger non-announcement is weird...think it was tied to Flash for Kaberle which fell apart, or something else going down??

Posted by: kcbrichmond | August 16, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Sigh… I’m now resigned that nothing will transpire until the trade deadline.

Posted by: guer_j | August 16, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Poor Belanger...just sitting in a chair, somewhere, pen in hand, poised over the contract...

"George? George? Can I sign yet? I'm getting hungry. This is four days now I've been waiting, George."

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 16, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

trade is supposedly going down - what is going on out there? Anyone? it has been torture all weekend!!!!!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | August 16, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: philarmy | August 16, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Yzerman brought in a new scouting director.

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=330713

Great players don't often make great coaches/GMs (not just in hockey) but I have a feeling that Yzerman will do well.

Scouting is crucial. I don't know much about Murray beyond what's in that article but if he's good, and he probably is, that's another boost for TB.

Posted by: tmac2yao | August 16, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

It *has* to be a Flash-for-Kaberle deal. My guess is that it's hung up - Burke probably wants a Bear thrown in, and GMGM isn't biting.
-------------

based on what Burke has publicly stated, Flash does not fit his requirement for what he wants back. He wants SIZE/GRIT in a top 6 forward.

Thank god we're a bit short on that otherwise GM would be peeing himself trying to make that deal.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 16, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

My take is Belanger has resigned already. They will announce it whenever they feel like it. They are attempting to make a trade and would like to announce it all on the same day. It could happen at any moment but it could also go on for the next 2 to 3 weeks. If they still haven't made the trade they will announce the Belanger signing by next Wednesday or Thursday.

Posted by: ThePat | August 16, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I agree with ThePat. It would be very risky and unlikely for a player to agree with a team that is only contingent on that team making a seperate deal and then be waiting for over a week to sign the deal.

It could just be, like ThePat stated, a case where the Capsare just waiting for the 2nd deal(trade or UFA signing) to get done so they can have one big press conference to announce both.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 16, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I hear Eric Belanger may be resigning with the Caps. Any news? Oh, I thought it was last Wednesday. Nevermind.

Posted by: saintex | August 16, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

is anyone really that excited over watching eric friggin belanger all next season? I'm gonna say he'll be a bust and get dealt at some point or lose ice time or something. He's going to follow the Nylander, BMo route (even though he has it easier in that he's not expected to score many points). Whoever gets stuck on that 3rd line RW position I feel sorry for. And I hope its not AGordon because Bruce will bench him before he benches anyone else on that Chimera-Belanger line.

and that PK will continue to struggle if things stay fairly static.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 16, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Not at all excited about Belanger.

This has been the worst offseason ever. The Caps have even figured out a way for their fans to suffer in the summer as well.

Posted by: underpants2 | August 16, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton and underpants

Belanger here in the 3C role is a good fit. Once we got him last season he was back and forth between lines, asking different roles out of him. If he is permanently the 3C I think youll both like change your tune 20 games into the season. He plays hard, smart hockey, wins faceoffs, good on the PK and defensively responsible. You give him a full year here to gel and he will perform.

The offseason has been a disappointment no doubt. But hopefully that changes in the next month. Plenty of players out there available still and we are one of the Cup contenders with cap space. We could end up scooping some guys for $1M or less.

Posted by: ThePat | August 16, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Worst summer ever, no way, this is the best summer. This is not the Redskins, no need to sign/trade everyone from Flash to Semin to Erks (who wants Erks?). The team is young, solid and if they stay put for the first 1/2 of the season, give young guys a chance, then the D and 2C will shake out. The window on this team is the next few years, possibly beyond so no panic. Detroit did not panic, the Oilers did not panic nor Islanders so give it time.

I would love to see a solid 1-2D and 2C come in but not at stupid contracts or costing too much of the pipeline. Think with your hears but type with your head folks. Lets go Caps!

Posted by: flee001 | August 16, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

underpants2: "The Caps have even figured out a way for their fans to suffer in the summer as well".

Hilarious! I think there is some guy in a small corner office or cubicle who has been there since 1974 (formerly he was in the basement at the Capital Centre). Nobody talks to him much, he's a little greasy and rumpled, brings a bag lunch. His job description: What can the organization do to absolutely torment it's fans and customers and make their lives miserable? Even near retirement he's had a busy year: rat turds in the concession stands, lose in the 1st round to an inferior opponent (special feature: blame it on the "hot" goaltender), and now a do nothing summer as far as signings and transactions...

Posted by: kcbrichmond | August 16, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

@kcbrichmond - Haha ... I think I might be good at that kinda of job.

Posted by: guer_j | August 16, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Worst summer ever, no way, this is the best summer. This is not the Redskins, no need to sign/trade everyone from Flash to Semin to Erks (who wants Erks?). The team is young, solid and if they stay put for the first 1/2 of the season, give young guys a chance, then the D and 2C will shake out. The window on this team is the next few years, possibly beyond so no panic. Detroit did not panic, the Oilers did not panic nor Islanders so give it time.

I would love to see a solid 1-2D and 2C come in but not at stupid contracts or costing too much of the pipeline. Think with your hears but type with your head folks. Lets go Caps!

Posted by: flee001

Does the kool-aid burn when it goes down?

When this team disgraced themselves in the first round, they didn't need to over react, but they did need to react.

We reacted by:
1. Adding no one
2. Not losing enough dead weight
3. Best of all, Flash go a big raise

Not the offseason I had hoped for.

Posted by: underpants2 | August 16, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Underpants,
1) like who
2) like who
3) he can still be traded

Posted by: Steve_R | August 16, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

underpants is at least dealing with hockey. The "everything is rosy" crowd (and so far its only 2) resort again to insulting the poster instead of dealing with the argument at hand.

@Pat -- I was never a big Belanger fan even before we got him so I wasn't that excited about the acquisition considering that BMo was actually playing his best hockey right before the trade. I didn't hate the trade like I did for Corvo but I felt pretty bland about it. I don't think Belanger will convert me but I'll certainly admit it if he does.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 16, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

I would love to see a solid 1-2D and 2C come in but not at stupid contracts or costing too much of the pipeline.
---------------------------

what's a stupid contract these days anyway? It seems like anyone that another team (besides the CAps) sign, is considered a stupid contract.

Always waiting for the perfect deal to come around will leave you sitting on the side without a dance partner. Sometimes you gotta go a little ugly.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 16, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Please refer to above cap numbers. Now, subtract Flash, MP and Erskine. At that point, you have $6.5M for:

A new defenseman; some new #2 center; and you put AGordon at $500K back as the 14th forward.

Easily, if you bring in Willie Mitchell $2M guaranteed and $1.5M in bonus, you have up to $4M for that #2C (with the Mitchell bonus as a potential cap reduction next year). Another option of course is to move Chimera and his salary and replace with Pinner or Beagle and gain over $1.3M in space.

Anyway, if anyone wants to check my math on the spreadsheet, have at it. I think the salaries are all correct and Excel is doing the adding.

-------------

that's why Tom gets paid the big bucks. He lays it out pretty well and I'd be ecstatic if McPhee could follow this blueprint. Tom, can you print this out in big letters with arrows pointing to the important stuff and drop that off for GM? Spruce it up with bright colors and toss in some baklava for Ted.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 16, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

cstanton: I will do the numbers, but you need to do the sales. Just tell GM all the stuff about waking up with the sheets wet and "sometimes you gotta go a little ugly" (these two mental images are not mutally exclusive I might add).

I have already offered many times to run numbers for the club, plus give them continuous nostrathomas predictions, all for the tidy sum of $250K/year (cap free) plus a box to all games. mrstominsocal1 is even Greek so we'll throw in free cooking for the boss. Her baklava rules.

You could offer your services salary TBD but a fresh hotel room with new sheets each day.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 16, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

cstanton: I'm a bit more optimistic on Belanger than you:

http://www.nhl.com/ice/app

You will notice in 60 games, 15 mins and change, he scored like 2.2 pts per 60 mins (eq games) played. Brooks Laich, with benefit of the Caps system, had like 2.5 pts per eq games played. Meanwhile, Belanger +/- was as good as anyone on Wild. And he did this while playing a primarily defensive role.

I believe therefore the numbers support a salary of $1.85M even if you just take Laich salary $2.4M and take off 15% for 2.4 pts/game to 2.2 pts/game.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 16, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Underpants,
1) like who
2) like who
3) he can still be traded

Posted by: Steve_R

1. Lombardi, Volchenkov, Madden, Hamhuis, Horton, Byfuglien, Ladd. All of these guys could have added something to this team.
2. Boyd Gordon (Steckel, Gordon - Do we need two 4th line centers). Dave Steckel (See Gordon). Semin (Non factor last 2 playoff series). Flash (See Below).
3. We can still trade him. But would it not have been better to trade him prior to obligating $2.6m cap dollars to him.

Posted by: underpants2 | August 16, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

i think many posters fail to realize that...

a) the change we, as caps fans, desire can come from within the current organization. in fact, the change may have already happened. we were a young crew last year and learned considerably from the experience. i've had friends who are fans of other teams raving to me about Fehr, Laich, Varlamov, Carlson etc.

b) any roster changes we make are not made in a vacuum. other teams are acquiring and jettisoning players and, consequently, the league will be different next year. every season is different; perhaps a fairly static roster will be beneficial

that said...i am on edge for something to happen. and by the way, i am pro-Belenger

Posted by: mcintire_will | August 16, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

I am appalled that we all have been waiting patiently for this so called trade to take place and for the announcement of Belanger's signing and yet, NOTHING HAS HAPPENED!

WTF?!

Calgon, take me away!...

Posted by: jmurray019 | August 16, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

More info on Belanger. First off, he's a decent defensive center. Second, 57% on faceoffs. Third, when I last looked it up, he was 61st in the NHL last year for points by a center, If you count the centers in scoring 1-30 as "first liners" and 31-60 as "second liners," it makes him the best of the third liners. I realize there are actually some third line centers (Staal) way better than Belanger offensively, but it therefore means some teams have #2 centers that aren't as good.

So long as the Caps wind up with an adequate #2 center, and Lombardi say at $3.5M would have been close to fair value, then Belanger at #3 is a good choice. Hopefully some combination of Flash, Steckel, Chimera, ect (next year's #1 pick) can get you a bonifide 2nd pivot. Boyd Gordon or Beagle could then play #4 center. Even MaJo perhaps later in the year.

I am thinking that Laich-Belanger-AGordon could give us the first real checking line in DC in years. Oh, that and if someone would coach them to be a checking line.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 16, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

I hope AGordon will be good in the NHL but isn't it quite presumptious to assume he will step in and be a good 3rd line winger.

You have questioned, and fairly so, MP's ability to become a 2nd line center. MP is a much more highly regarded prospect than AGordon and has more NHL experience to indicate possible success. (Again, all questions about MP's potential success are fair as he is no way a guaranteed success in the NHL).

However, over the past 2 months, when no games were played, AGordon stock has somehow risen on this board from possible 4th liner to now where some people assume he will be a high end 3rd line winger.

A lot of players who are quality gritty players with some skiil in the AHL fail in the NHL for whatever reasons.

This isn't to say that AGordon won't make it, I hope he does. But, IMO, it is wildly presumptious to now assume he will just step in and be a good 3rd line winger or even a 3rd line winger at all.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 16, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Way too many teams are in on Bieksa and Mitchell. I guarantee we don't get either of them.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | August 16, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

sgm: It is much easier to presume that a player from Hershey can step in at 3rd line RW than at 2nd line center. AGordon has been trained at checking line - MP and MaJo have not. MP is trained at #2C but he's not that good. My opinion is that AGordon or Beagle would fit the bill as a true checking line winger much easier than MP or MaJo would fit the bill as NHL-quality scoring line centers.

cstanton often points out that we, as an organization, don't properly train 3rd liners to come into the NHL. Instead, over the past few years, the Caps have tended to take those players not quite good enough to be 2nd line at the moment (Fehr) and make them play the third line. This isn't the way most teams do it.

I've said it before, In baseball, you have infielders and outfielders. You can't train all your players to be infielders and then make the ones who aren't the best just become the outfielders.

AGordon really is a third line player, so putting him in that role would be no different than asking Ovi to be a #1LW.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 16, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Wow so I come back after a long day working (hethmm) and I see that absolutely nothing has changed. So sad!

Tom - while being a Captain & Coke kinda guy, this board makes me consider getting my legal medical marijuanna license! This coming from a guy who's smoked it maybe a handful of times in 40yrs! Hell until about a yr ago I didn't know what "420 friendly" meant! LMFAO!

Some leaves never change their color do they?

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 16, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Hell until about a yr ago I didn't know what "420 friendly" meant! LMFAO!

Some leaves never change their color do they?

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 16, 2010 11:30 PM

you've got me beat by a year. i just found out about two minutes ago.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 17, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

IMO, MP has a better chance of becoming a quality 2nd line center than AGordon has at being a quality 3rd line winger.

Yes, you want a bit of everything on a team, absolutely. But that whole philosphy stuff has no bearing on whether AGordon is actually good enough to be a 3rd line winger in the NHL.

All he has proven is he is good enough to be a good winger in the AHL. That's it.

This is not saying he will not make it, he might. But it is in no way a sure thing.

How much have most people on here actually seen him play? The few who get to go to Hershey games, that's it.

Then, how many people have seen him play a decent amount against NHL competition? He has 3 career NHL games. So no one. He is also 24, two years older than MP.

Like I said, I hope he will make it, but I don't understand the extreme confidence people have in AGordon. It's sort of reminiscent of C Borque.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 17, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Tampa send Ramo to Mon for a minor league goalie. I wonder if they're regretting getting rid of Halak?

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 17, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

CaptKirk - I knew when I first moved out here in 96 that the entire state was either smokin dope or on valium. Everything moves at such a slower pace out here than on the east coast. Well I've pretty much proven that just about the entire state does in fact smoke weed which is a big reason why marijuanna is legal here. I think I'm pretty much the only one out here who doesn't! LOL.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 17, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Hey Joke - you know how you're always bashing Ted saying he doesn't care about winning a Cup? All he cares about is makin money and he doesn't have a care in the world anymore because his arena is sold out on a nightly basis and he's got a cap to control spending etc? Basically stating that he's making money so he doesn't care about winning a championship?

How bout this straight from Teds blog:

THANK YOU BUT WE DON'T CARE ANYMORE

August 16th, 2010 We don’t care about stats and about predictions. And about press and PR.We don’t care about what anyone thinks or says anymore.

We are in the bunker.

We didn’t live up to expectation last season. We are putting it behind us. We get the joke.

We have to focus now on the future game by game. We need to focus on qualifying for the playoffs. That is all that matters to us during the regular season. Then we can take it from there.

No more talk about higher callings and big aspirations. We are humble. We won’t believe the hype or preseason predictions. We shouldn’t even look!

We appreciate kind words and nice thoughts but all we want to do is play the games and improve over last season where and when it counts.

I hope you agree this is the right course of action for us as a franchise.

I don’t care about power rankings anymore. They don’t really matter
***************************************

Sure does sound like somebody who could care less about winning huh?

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 17, 2010 12:31 AM | Report abuse

sgm: You have a good point. I've hardly watched AG play. Others here have, and I am going by their word. What I can tell you is that's it's easier for a gritty player to adapt in the NHL at a gritty position than a skill player at a skill position.

Hardest to adapt: defenseman and center.

Now I will give you an analogy: It is time to build your new house. Conventional wisdom says it takes three carpenters, three roofers, three electricians and three plumbers. Wisdom based on this is how they've been doing it since the 20s. Now suddenly you think you can take the "best 12 workers" or you can take the "guys who built your house in Hershey." So you wind up with five electricians but only one plumber.

Kinda like the Caps.

I'm not being disagreeable, nor am I criticizing the team I love best in sports. I'm just saying it how it is, that you can't build a house unless three people are willing to put their hands in $h!+. That's just life in the big city. It might just be an anology, but I will tell you I believe this to be a fundamental shortcoming on the Washington Capitals hockey club that must be fixed before they can win the Cup. Strange as it sounds, AGordon at $500K on the 3rd line somehow seems to solve part of the problem. Disagree if you want.

Tom Orem
Canyon Country, CA
16 Aug 2010

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 17, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

you're in colorado right?
don't tell me these things - my daughter and her husband just moved to colorado springs and she teaches kintergarden. wait a sec.... is that how she gets through the day with 25 5 and 6 year olds?
where did i go wrong.....

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 17, 2010 12:50 AM | Report abuse

1. Lombardi, Volchenkov, Madden, Hamhuis, Horton, Byfuglien, Ladd. All of these guys could have added something to this team.
2. Boyd Gordon (Steckel, Gordon - Do we need two 4th line centers). Dave Steckel (See Gordon). Semin (Non factor last 2 playoff series). Flash (See Below).
3. We can still trade him. But would it not have been better to trade him prior to obligating $2.6m cap dollars to him.

Posted by: underpants2 | August 16, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

1. There is no way of knowing if the Caps really did go after any of them. That goes doubble for those who were moved in a trade. There is no way of knowing if the Hawks wanted anything we had to offer.

2. Having some extra parts is not always a bad thing (this goes for the 4th liners) What if one of them got hurt and they we are left with no dependable center to take faceoffs late in games. As for Semin, yes he had two bad playoff series, but he still has 24 points in 28 playoff games and 22 points in 21 playoff games before this season. There is nothing to say that he could not go back to the pace he had in his first two playoff series. I will talk about Flash below.

3. They can still trade him and while you point out that his cap hit may scare some teams away it also could help teams that are going to be real close to the cap because now they know exactally what his cap hit is going to be. For all we know there were some teams that were unwilling to talk about him until they knew what his hit was going to be. LA could be an interested team but they are will waiting on the whole Kovy mess.

I am not saying the Caps could have done something better this offseason I am just saying no one on this board knows exactally what happened this summer. Yes GMGM talked about now making any big moves but what if he said we are going big after Volchenkov or someone and they agreed to go to another team for one reason or another some of which could have been out of the Caps control. Then all of the fans would have gotten all excited about the new player and would be even more dissapointed when we didn't get it. How do you think LA feels about their top guys saying they are getting something big this offseason (mainly Kovy) and now they may have gotten next to nothing?

Posted by: icehammer97 | August 17, 2010 1:22 AM | Report abuse

I agree Icehammer. LA fans were so expecting Kovy to end up there. Everybody and their mother knew it and he ends up signing with NJ. Now I understand he's still an UFA but all signs indicate that he'll still end up in NJ. So from a fan standpoint they gotta be feelin it. It would be pretty deflating if GMGM said yes A-train is our primary target and he's our priority only for him to sign somewhere else. As for me I like the approach GMGM takes. He always says the same "cliche" stuff but you know he's well in tune with what's going on out there. That being said he has his own idea as to the $ value of a player. We may agree or disagree but he sticks to his guns and believes in what he believes in.

I agree with him as far as A-train is concerned as I would not have wanted a NTC for 6yrs. However i don't agree with him on Modano and Madden. Either would have helped up greatly and only cost $1M-$1.25.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 17, 2010 2:42 AM | Report abuse

Sorry CaptKirk! LMAO! I will tell you this tho, the Springs is even more laid back! Not due to all the pot though! LMAO! The Springs is a bit smaller of a town and has very much a small town feel to it. Not so small where EVERYBODY knows EVERYBODY but close. It is very nice down in the Springs. The Springs are actually right beside the mountains whereas Denver is about 30 minutes or so outta the mountains. So I would think that most of the weed is up here in Denver as there is a much younger crowd here than in the Springs. I hope that makes ya feel better. I know if I was watching 25 kids all day I'd probably need to find something to smoke for sure! LMAO!

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 17, 2010 2:52 AM | Report abuse

There is a little bit of news on the Caps and Willie Mitchell as he is expected to visit the Caps this week for a workout.

http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/2010/08/16/mitchell_workouts/

Posted by: MReilly9 | August 17, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

@MReilly9

Interesting. It sounds as if the Caps are his last stop. Maybe they can keep him here after the workout and get him signed.

I went on a Canucks page where they asked the question "who would you rather have Mitchell, Bieksa, both, or neither?"

When I looked over 77% wanted Mitchell alone, maybe 10% wanted Bieksa alone, and the other two were both small percentages.

It does speak to how highly Canucks fans think of Mitchell.

I still hope the Caps are able to sign him.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 17, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

I agree that a high quality checking line that can match up against opposing teams top lines is important and would be wonderful to get.

However, I am very skeptical that AGordon is one of the three answers for that line.

I hope he is, but I would trust many more people in that position going into the season.

That's why I think it would not be smart to go into the season with AGordon marked in a 3rd line RW. However, I do like the idea of having AGordon starting out as a 4th line wing/13th forward and if he plays well enough to establish himself then you can move him up.

But there has to be another quality RW in the organization who can play the 3rd RW and play it well because there is a decent chance that AGordon could fail as 3rd line RW.

If you go into the season with AGordon penicled in as 3rd line RW and he fails then you are left with nothing. That would not be a good position to be in.

I guess you could try out a Laich/Belanger/Bradley 3rd line to start the season. Although a bigger RW might be better suited to play with Belanger.

4th line of Chimera/(Steckel or BGordon)/(King or AGordon).

If AGordon earns his keep then you play him on the 3rd line, but if he fails then your stuck with Bradley on the 3rd line(I love Bradly but am not sure about that) and King as the 4th liner RW(maybe Beagle would get a shot also).

Posted by: sgm3 | August 17, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

You could have Chimera LW, Belanger C and Laich RW.

Or, as you said, Bradley is adequate there to start the season.

Clutterbuck would be best though.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 17, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

If you go into the season with AGordon penicled in as 3rd line RW and he fails then you are left with nothing. That would not be a good position to be in.

sgm3,

How is that any different than going into the season with MP penciled in as your 2C and have him fail/have his play fall off as it did last year?

Posted by: PhilR | August 17, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I agree that Clutterbuck or a player of his type would be best for RW on the 3rd line with Laich and Belanger.

Has Laich ever played RW? I thought they generally do not like wings playing on their off wing unless it is for offesnive purposes(i.e. Ovie or Semin on LW) because it gives them a better shooting angle. But on defense it makes it a little more difficult when playing the boards because you have to use your backhand to try to play it forward.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 17, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

@PhilR

It is a very similar scenario with MP going in as your 2nd line center.

The Caps have a little more knowledge on how MP plays in the NHL(about 20 games compared to 3 with AGordon), MP did have more success in his stints, and MP is a more highly regarded prospect(by outside, non-parisan sources) but you are right the scenario is about the same.

It is risky.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 17, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

sgm: Kelly Miller was a superb defensive RW for years as a left-handed shot.

I'm pretty sure Laich has played all the forward positions.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 17, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

For those of you talking about Andrew Gordon, he is not a 4th line player. He can score, he would be on the 3rd line. There isnt even room for him to be on the 4th line so I dont know why that is being discussed. If Flash is traded, Fehr is bumped up the empty slot is 3RW right where Andrew belongs.

Posted by: ThePat | August 17, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

@sgm3

can you please list your outside non partisan sources that think MP is a better prospect than Gordon. I'd love to know who thinks that.

Posted by: ThePat | August 17, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Katie the twitter link on the main page still links to Tarik and not you.

Posted by: ERHDC1 | August 17, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

sgm: AGordo actually had better offensive stats (37 goals in 71 games) last year at Hershey than MP.

And both had better stats than Bouchard, who really hasn't stepped up.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 17, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: sgm3 | August 17, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

@sgm3

Thanks I figured that would be the site you used. Did you watch Hershey play much this season? My guess is you did and watched him play more than that website did. Andrew Gordon is a player, he knows how to play and where to be. Maybe they dont rank him on that list bc he went to college and is older so therefore not necessarily deemed a prospect anymore. But I think the Caps view him as much more NHL ready that Matty Perrault and those that saw him play last year would say the same thing I'd hope.

Posted by: ThePat | August 17, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

MP and AGordon each had .89pts/game. But it is important to remember that AGordon is two years older than MP and is likely closer to his peak than MP at this time.

I'm in no way trying to say MP is a sure thing because he isn't. All questions about MP's ability to succeed in the NHL are valid questions to ask.

However, it is also valid to question a 24 year old's ability to succeed at the NHL when he hasn't done so yet. Again it doesn't mean he won't and I hope he does. But from the literature posted about hockey prospects it is no way a slam dunk that AGordon will succeed as a 3rd line winger.

@ThePat

Have you seen AGordon play much? I'm honsetly asking, I'm not trying to be mean. I haven't, and because he has basically only played in Hershey, most on here haven't. Hence why we have to rely on hockey scouts and hockey experts and their opinions.

Again, I am in no way trying to say that AGordon will not succeed. I'm only saying that there are big question marks on whether he will or not.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 17, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Japers says Mitchell is headed to DC for a physical and skate-around.

Posted by: EricinReston | August 17, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

@ThePat

If the Caps scouts and Hershey coaches believe AGordon is ready to succeed in the NHL then I will absolutely believe them and have more confidence in his ability to succeed. They see him all the time and know his ability better than almost anyone.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 17, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

@sgm3

Yes I saw him play about 10 times last season(granted that might not be enough). But what I saw from him was a more complete player than MP. And while he's not listed on the top rankings list on the right side of the page, they expect him to reach his potential and arent as high on MP reaching his.

I know you arent saying he will or won't succeed. Im just trying to let you know many others view Gordon as a much more ready, more complete player than MP. Ask Corey Masisak or Nate Ewell what they think of Gordon. In my opinion MP is a very long shot to make the Caps this season. He'd have to outplay MaJo in training camp by quite a bit because I dont think the Caps want MaJo going back to Sweden.

Posted by: ThePat | August 17, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Is Katie on vacation or what?

Can we get a new headline just to clean up this email trail?

Posted by: hockeypuck2 | August 17, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

@ThePat

I hope you are dead on about AGordon because if he does play how some here are expecting that will definitely help the Caps.

MP is two years behind AGordon. MP definitely needs to add strength. He is at an age where, if he trained hard in the off-season, he would be able to add a good amount of strength. Added strength, especially to his legs(think Marty St. Louis), is a necessity for him to have long term success in the NHL. Hopefully he did that this summer. We will see.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 17, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

@sgm3

I agree with you on MP. He definitely needs to add strength. Hopefully thats what he did this offseason.

Posted by: ThePat | August 17, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

And we should all go to Kettler and not let Willie Mitchell leave until he signs a contract.

Posted by: ThePat | August 17, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I'm with you Pat. We need to find out when he will be there and show up in force to let him know we want him to play in DC!!

Posted by: PhilR | August 17, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Does anybody know if Mitchell is due in today or just this week? Would certainly be nice to land him. Plus I'm sure he'd like the opportunity to play for a legit contender. Vancouver has been a solid team lately but I'm thinking we have a pretty good shot at this thing too eh?

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 17, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Caps arent confirming hes coming when asked by one of the bloggers. So that probably means this afternoon or get in tonight and do the tour and testing tomorrow.

Posted by: ThePat | August 17, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

there's been plenty of links posted here over the past 2 yrs detailing exactly the type of game AGordon plays. Lets just call him the "better" Gordon. If you've been a regular visitor to this board you'd have to be asleep under a rock not to know that AGordo is one of Hershey's better forwards and is probably their key player upfront because he drives that entire team with his forechecking. He's their best forechecker with an honorable mention to Pinner. And he drives the net relentlessly.

When he's out of their lineup its like Hershey plays at a lower level of intensity. 2, 3 yrs ago Mike Vogel did a piece on Gordon where AG talked about how his primary goal was to increase his physicality on the ice. And boy has he delivered. You take his physicality away and he's just another AHL player with some skill. Most of his points are thru hard work around the net. And he's built very solidly and hard to knock off the puck. For that reason alone imo he's more nhl ready than is MP. And he can play a 4th line spot to start the season just to get acclimated and then move up a line.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 17, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

If this team can regularly use AGordo, Pinner or Beagle 2 out of 3 at $500K each, that means some trades will have been made and you can free up a good deal of cap space for Mitchell and a #2C.

I think even cstanton would agree we'd have much better balance, assuming along with that Flash is out.

sgm: That hockey future site is off base on AGordon, not to have him rated and to have Bouchard 7th. I believe that was the ratings from the beginning of last season and this year's hasn't been written.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 17, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

If any of you can find out what plane Mitchell is on, by all means meet him at the airport wearing Caps jerseys and a big placard:

WE WANT WILLIE

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 17, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I was just about to ask about cstanton. He seems to have a line on many players and I was sure he could add something about A.G. And then he shows up! Be careful what you ask for. lol

Posted by: nimrodrsp | August 17, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

sgm: That hockey future site is off base on AGordon, not to have him rated and to have Bouchard 7th. I believe that was the ratings from the beginning of last season and this year's hasn't been written.
--------

probably why "one" needs to WATCH players, instead of taking a generic impression provided by HF. Don't get me wrong, HF does have some good insights to offer, just not on Caps players. The Caps coverage there is pretty vanilla. Other team writers (i.e. Edmonton) has more detail on their prospects and they will frequently post actual interviews with the head of scouting/player development who talks very specifically about which players they really like and what attributes they like about those players and where they need to improve. That's got a little more meat to it than the kind of stuff HF covers on the Caps.

I would pay zero attention to anything HF says about Caps prospects. There's very little depth of thinking involved there.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 17, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

i see no reason why AG, Pinner, and Beagle can't all be in our lineup. Of course, that'll mean having to jettison players like BGordo, Chimera etc.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 17, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I hope that Flash is one of thoes players that are moved. Caps have a sufficient number of powder puff players and would not miss him. Lets hope that Mitchell is signed and a trade or two happen soon.

Posted by: nimrodrsp | August 17, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Willie Mitchell is currently at Kettler as I type this.

Posted by: ThePat | August 17, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Is katie working this week? What is going on? Any inside scoop?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | August 17, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

i see no reason why AG, Pinner, and Beagle can't all be in our lineup. Of course, that'll mean having to jettison players like BGordo, Chimera etc.

Absolutely agree with this but what are you going to get for BGordo besides maybe a used bag of pucks? Chimera may be able to be dealt but with that salary it is highly doubtful.

Posted by: PhilR | August 17, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Are guys taking runs at him as part of the "work out"? I mean thats the only concern with this guy right (concussion)? Even if he is out of shape at this point, he is a vet, he can get ready by the start of the season right?

So what I'm wondering is whats the point of this "work out"? Hopefully this is more of a "sit down" with Don McPhee. And maybe a peek by the Caps Medical staff?

idk

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | August 17, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

its medical testing, touring the facility and probably taking him out to dinner and getting him drunk enough to sign the contract :)

Posted by: ThePat | August 17, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone going to go to Kettler now to cheer for Mitchell?

Posted by: MReilly9 | August 17, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

@wtf_e_fehr

They do tests after physical exertion to test if he there are any effects on him during and after he exerts energy.

It's now a common medical practice when dealing with athletes and head injuries.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 17, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

@Mreily9

If I knew he was going to be there after 3 Id head over there. Currently trying to finish work on a deadline...DAGGER.

Posted by: ThePat | August 17, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I would pay zero attention to anything HF says about Caps prospects. There's very little depth of thinking involved there.

Posted by: cstanton1 | August 17, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse
-------------------------------------------

Welcome back from OK but C'mon man! HF is a very reputable website and is very well known and regarded in the hockey world. They may/may not have every single detail but they cover the Caps and all teams pretty well. C'mon man!

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 17, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

cstanton: A few yeara back I sent HF an email saying they were way behind schedule posting Caps articles. Their answer was they were having trouble getting a Caps writer. So, I don't think they have the Caps on their priority list.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 17, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

There must have been a malfunction on the website when they updated it to add on drafted players and remove traded players(SDR) on that website because AGordon is rated as a 6.5B by HFs if you googole his name and Hockey Futures.

The date of the rating was in either June or July of 2010. So very recent.

It's a decent rating which rates him as a possible 3rd liner. I hope he makes it.

@pokerfacel208

cstanton1 does not pay attention to anything statistical or expert in nature if it opposes his view. He just dismisses it as "having little depth of thinking" and moves on.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 17, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

not to put my nose in the dislike you and cstanton have for each other but that is harsh on him. He pays attention to stats but its not the bottom line for him. He observes how players play and makes his own opinion. And just bc someone says something and is an "expert" does not make them any more right than us morons on a board. They formulate opinions and differ from each other just like we do.

Posted by: ThePat | August 17, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

if this is true, why no update? I know its the dog days, but come on.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | August 17, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone see the Mount Puckmore of the Detroit Red Wings? Lidstrom made one of the four and here is a part of how they described how Lidstrom played:

"His almost flawless defensive positioning and innate ability to separate opponent from puck without so much as throwing a check doesn't necessarily wow you like a defenseman who eliminates his opponents via diving shot-blocks and thunderous hits.

If you watch him closely, however, Lidstrom's legs are always, always churning, regardless of whether the team's in his own end or the puck's 200 feet from the goal, as he constantly shifts position to place either his body between the puck and the goal or his stick within sight of a puck-carrying teammate. Moreover, Lidstrom's skating speed is better when moving laterally or skating backwards; so those who suggest that he's slowed are sorely mistaken -- he never had a fourth or fifth forward-skating gear to begin with, but his positioning and fantastic stick checking allow him to diffuse scoring chances when players do get past him."

Thank god we didn't get him to play for the Caps for his career because this is the exact type defenseman and defensive style that certain people on this blog view as horrible and not capable of winning Stanley Cups.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 17, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Here's our best bet at 2C. Maybe GMGM is working on getting him out of Russia. He did say at the draft that he could play in the NHL now. He also said his buyout wouldn't be too bad. Hmmmm....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfEx972T3g8

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 17, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

@ThePat

You are absolutely right that an "expert" opinion does not mean it is correct. But it does add credible support to an argument.

If one guy says "player A sucks because he has no heart and no grit".

And another guy says "player A is good as his team is more successful when he is on the ice than when he isn't" and then points to statistics that support his viewpoint and then follows that up by linking articles by "hockey experts" that also support said viewpoint.

The 2nd guy has more substance to his argument because it isn't just an opinion without support.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 17, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal

I lived in California for ten years. It's a nut house. As per your Rush comment, "have fun when you you get your IOU from the state of no rain and brown, barren hill sides !"

I was one of the few caps fans to see the Caps play the Golden Seals in Oakland before they merged with the North Stars. I was glad to come back here though.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | August 17, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I think Kuznetsov is the most promising candidate for 2C in the system based on what I saw at development camp, but he is a kid. I would say 1-2 years away. That's why so many of us were hoping for a Koivu-type bridge player for a year or two.

Posted by: zmega | August 17, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

You just can't stop trying to push people's buttons on here can you sgm3?? I swear you go out of your way to piss people off especially if you think it will get under cstanton's skin.

And another thing, trying to compare Lidstrom's skills to ANY of the current Caps dmen is ludicrous at best.

Posted by: PhilR | August 17, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

more substance does not make one correct and I think that is the big sticking point between you two. You think you are right the majority of the time just bc you present data with your argument, when you arent necessarily. Sometimes you are correct. but your unwillingness to accept that his opinion or others might be right just bc they dont use data and links isnt fair. Just my input and now I am stepping back.

Posted by: ThePat | August 17, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

@zmega

I agree with you on Kuznetsov. Definitely the best prospect for 2C. I'd say 2 years but if he is only 1 year away that would be awesome.

Posted by: ThePat | August 17, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

right or wrong, only 3 opinions matter: Ted, GMGM and BB

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 17, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

@ pokerface

The Thrashers, Blue Jackets, etc. !! Come on, those teams are new to the league. The Caps have been "on the cusp" of a Cup before. There is always some playoff disaster or some teams average NHL goalie "comes up large" on the Caps. We have reason to be negative. Cstanton"s analysis of the Caps is the most accurate on this site. This GM has been here for 12 and all he can point to is David Poile's true grit group making it to the finals on GM's watch.

This is not a Cup winning coach, as much as I hate to say it. He got schooled in the playoffs again.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | August 17, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, sgm is right. It's like when he cited all the "experts" who said the NHL had no chance in the Kovalchuk arbitration. And he added to that his own "expert" analysis reaching the same conclusion. Guys like sgm are always right. Just ask him.

Posted by: zmega | August 17, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Katie,

Are you out at Kettler? Willie Mitchell is there working out for the Caps, Or are you looking at the Pens schedule and wondering how you can get out of town when they play the Caps????

Can we have Tarik back please!!!!

Posted by: darrylrbaker | August 17, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Man, if Katie shows up to a Kettler presser with a Pens hat...

We are kidding. I'm sure she working on it but I also suspect that she isn't just the Caps blog helper.

Posted by: saintex | August 17, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton01

re: hockey's future - I've noticed the Caps prospects get little in the way of text updates (I believe the talent analysis for Kugryshev, drafted in 08 if I'm not mistaken, still describes him as a potential 2nd or 3rd round pick). But other team's prospects are frequently updated. Whoever is supposed to be updating the Caps info, in other words, is not.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | August 17, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

This is not a Cup winning coach, as much as I hate to say it. He got schooled in the playoffs again.
-----------------------------------------

Can't say that I agree with you. I felt in the playoffs 2 yrs ago he was "in over his head" against Philly and to a lesser extent against the Pens but I don't know that he was "schooled" against MON. At what point do the players become responsible for execution? We can win a Cup with BB as coach. People also said the same thing about Bob Hartley. People say it all the time about coaches who have YET to win it. Hell we coulda won it last yr.

And for the record, I don't think anybody's analysis of the team is correct when it's 1 sided (either all negative or all positive). The bottom line is this team has been torn down and rebuilt from the ground up & it's only been 3yrs since we've been in the playoffs. The Washington Capitals are a highly regarded team, franchise/organization and envied by many across the NHL. There are only about 25 other teams that wish they were in our shoes.

You can point to Poile all you want but Poile never assembled the kind of talent we have today. Before now, NEVER has the word "Contender" ever been associated with this franchise.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 17, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

zmega: Actually, the only person "right" on the Kovalchuk deal, so far, has been nostrathomas!

hunterforcoach: I will try and enjoy it while I'm here. I spent 30+ years in the Baltimore area and that was enough for me. 4 yrs in Detroit was enough, 2 yrs on the Island was enough and 14 yrs in Florida was about enough, although I'll go back for vacation. Thank the heavens for the Center Ice package.

Geez, I'd love to get a Kovy update. Not just here, but anywhere. Nothing at THN site. Nothing anywhere. Before he signed, there were daily updates from the LA Times and such. Now, nada!

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 17, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

You can point to Poile all you want but Poile never assembled the kind of talent we have today. Before now, NEVER has the word "Contender" ever been associated with this franchise.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | August 17, 2010 2:56 PM

i remember poile teams - everyone was asking (or demanding) for more skill

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 17, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

something...

anything...

PLEASE!!!!

c'mon, KC, I'm in the depths of hockey withdrawal here...

Posted by: Rhino40 | August 17, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Before now, NEVER has the word "Contender" ever been associated with this franchise.


I just think it would be nice if we knew GMGM was committed to making this team as big of a contender as possible. The lack of moves during this post season have left a lot of folks with a bad taste in their mouth, maybe a Willie Mitch signing can change some tunes!

Posted by: PhilR | August 17, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

PhilR: Well, at least they are giving Mitchell a chance. If they don't sign him, you'll get no comment out of McPhee - although the presumption from me is they have agreed on parameters of money and the club wants more than a routine physical. It is very unusual is it not for a player, unsigned, to skate like this? Therefore, if the club doesn't make him an offer, I will believe it is for medical reasons and not fiscal. Unlike most, Mitchell can be given bonuses. I can see $2M base and then $500K each for 40, 60 and maybe 75 games played. And, that way, if he goes on LTIR, his salary comes off the cap and he misses the bonuses.

If Mitchell signs, it will be very interesting to see what happens with Sloan and/or Erskine.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | August 17, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Anything? Any word? Who are we trading? Who are we signing? Belanger a Cap? Hello?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | August 17, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

@ThePat

I agree that more substance does not necessarily make you correct. But when the arguing is just random screen names on a computer making statements no credibility can really be attached to anyone since no one on here actually knows anyone else(unless there are people who are on this who are actually friends).

This is where stastitical evidence and "expert" evidence adds credibility to an opinion.

It doesn't necessarily mean the opinion is right or wrong but it provides support for an opinion. Having support for an opinion makes it more credible. Especially in a medium like this where no one actually knows anyone else.

For all I know anyone here who posts could be some random guy who has never seen or played a hockey game and plays dungeon and dragons all day.

It is the medium that necessitates some kind of support for an opinion more than "it is this way because I think it is".

@zmega

I said it was highly unlikely, not imposible. After reading the Forbes piece about the situation it is apparent the NHLPA lost because of the lack of leadership in its organization which is why they settled on an arbitrator who has been decertified in other leagues because of being a known league sympthizer and settling for an attorney who has not worked with things in the NHL for many years.

I am open to other opinions and I enjoy hearing them.

My only problem is with people who present unsubstantiated opinions and do so in a poor manner. It is rarely about the opinion itself and is most often with the presentation.

@PhilR

The Mount Puckmore came out today. No one on the Caps is even close to Lidstrom as he might be one of the best 5 defensemen ever(arguable but possible). It was just a clear example that playing defense by using great positioning and stickwork can lead to great success in the NHL.(It's not to say there aren't other ways too, but this is obviously one successful road to take)

Posted by: sgm3 | August 17, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

My only problem is with people who present unsubstantiated opinions and do so in a poor manner. It is rarely about the opinion itself and is most often with the presentation.


Posted by: sgm3 | August 17, 2010 3:27 PM

imo - anyone can form their own opinion without consulting an outside source. it doesn't take an experts opinion to reinforce one's own experiences.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | August 17, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR...yeah I think any kind of move would be welcome to Caps fans. But many of the moves made were for multible years at an inflated price with NTC or NMC included. I would rather do nothing than get stuck with another Nylander situation. I may want some change/upgrade but not at that cost.

Posted by: nimrodrsp | August 17, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

sgm3...remember, opinions are like a**holes, everybody has one. You do not need stats or back up data to have an opinion.

Posted by: nimrodrsp | August 17, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

something...

anything...

PLEASE!!!!

c'mon, KC, I'm in the depths of hockey withdrawal here...

Posted by: Rhino40


I'm with Rhino on this.

News of any kind would be welcome


And this may be the longest string I have seen on this board

Posted by: Redwolf1 | August 17, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

@Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

Absolutely. But in this medium where no one actually knows anyone else and lying is rampant, it necessitates some sort of supporting evidence.

To give a sports example:

I could come on here and state "Duke is going to win the NCAA football championship this year because they are clearly the best college football team in the country."

You could come on here and state "No, I think ... will win or these 60 teams all have a much better chance."

Alone, without any statistical or expert backup those arguments are bare. Then if you support your argument with links to pre-season rankings, records of the teams the previous years, quality of recruits with rankings by recruiting experts(sort of like hockey prospects), articles by experts speaking to which teams are favored, and vegas odds.

You are backing up your statement with multiple sources and types of information.

Then your argument has much more substance and is signifcantly more credible than my "Duke will win the NCAA title because they are the best team" argument standing by itself.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 17, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

"sgm3...remember, opinions are like a**holes, everybody has one. You do not need stats or back up data to have an opinion."

@nimrodrsp

Absolutely, you do not need anything to have an opinion. But you do need some sort of support to have a credible one.

Posted by: sgm3 | August 17, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

@ pokerface

We had some really good defensive teams in the 80's that needed scoring, but our owner would not pay for it. I'm convinced that if Abe was not the owner we would have won a cup already. That pens team that we had down 3-1 won the Cup. Mario even said the Caps were great after the playoffs. Poile got us to the finals. Essa T. scores that empty net goal and (big and !) we have a couple more goal scorers, it could have been a very close series. I would love to know how many times in the Patrick Div. we lost in the playoffs to the Cup winner ?

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | August 18, 2010 12:42 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company