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Sources: Volchenkov not in Caps' plans

Contrary to a report out of Canada late last month that suggested the Caps are going to target pending unrestricted free agent Anton Volchenkov this summer, two sources have told me that the team does not, in fact, plan to pursue the Ottawa blue liner.

The Caps "are not going to make him an offer," one of the sources familiar with Washington's plans told me.

Volchenkov, if he hits the open market, is going to be one of the most heavily pursued free agents this summer. But because the 28-year-old shot-blocking, shutdown Russian defenseman could earn as much as $5 million per season, the math doesn't really work given the Caps' salary cap situation.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  June 3, 2010; 5:19 PM ET
 
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Comments

Thank god!

Posted by: Mobsky | June 3, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

To bad the Cap is in the way. He would have been a great fit. Volchenkov would have created space for Semin, Backs and Ovie to do what they do best....score. He would have also given the team more size and strength at the blue line. All the things that have been lacking.

Posted by: Caps4Life1 | June 3, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

it works if you deal Semin and Flash. get rid of those bums!!

Posted by: doughless | June 3, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

HAH! PWNED!

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 3, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

It's gotta be a 2C or bust for GMGM. That is the number one team need.

Posted by: cainoo7x | June 3, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Then they better get Hamhuis.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | June 3, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

This is a good sign -- it means McPhee etc. aren't listening to the idiots who post here all the time.

Posted by: BigMogilny | June 3, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Volchenkov's a bum. Who needs a guy who hits like a freight train and blocks double-digit shots frequently? We have a finesse team and that works great in the playoffs.

Posted by: zmega | June 3, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Why am I not surprised? If he was a puckmover, we would do whatever it took to get him.

@ BigMogilny,

so what should we do? Sign another Mike Green, Flash and Semin? Try to continue to "outskill" our opponent as we sit home AGAIN, watching the Cup? The recipe for succes in the playoffs is right in front of him again. Two more teams with a true #1 defensive pairing as we roll out Green and Shultz. Two more teams that have D-men who will hit and bang. Forwards who will crash the net. As we have Flash and Green disappearing, AGAIN. Have a major hole at 2nd line center. We have Semin who will take 1,000 shots in a series, but all are from at least 20 feet out. we have a coach hooting and hollering about all these shots we took, but forgets to mention no screens and 95% of those shots were from outside. The same coach who kept on playing Flash and let walker sit until game 7. This group that is running the show has proven that can't, won't get it done. It's all about the sellouts

Posted by: themightyzep2000 | June 3, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Any word on what type of salary Hamhuis is going to be commanding? If I had to guess, I'd say something in the 4 year/$14 million range.

This is going to be a very interesting off-season. For the entire NHL as a whole.

Posted by: Fro_ | June 3, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Volchenkov's a bum. Who needs a guy who hits like a freight train and blocks double-digit shots frequently? We have a finesse team and that works great in the playoffs.

Posted by: zmega | June 3, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

um, are you familiar with the salary cap? It's not that they don't want him it's that his massive salary doesn't fit them under the cap and still allow them to sign a 2C and resign guys like schultz, fehr, laich, varly, neuvy etc. Guys who will all be up for raises this year or in the next few years.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | June 3, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Quotes like this go out all the time. Hell, even Calgary's GM came out and stated he wasn't trading Phaneuf under no circumstance. A week later Phaneuf was traded.

It deserves a little weight, but it doesn't necessarily mean Volchenkov won't be signed.

It also wouldn't be a bad quote to be "accidently" leaked to protect the Caps from any allegations of tampering.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 3, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Tarik, the update might as well be written like this.

Sources: Stanley Cup not in Caps' plans

Posted by: CapaZorch | June 3, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Trade Semin and Flash, why? This is not panic time. Semin is on a one year deal, put up or shut up time, no need to trade and ditto for Flash who needs to have an incredible season, reg and post.

As for the D, Alzner is top 6, top 4 when paired with Carlson. They will both be on squad next year just as Poti and Erks wrap up their contracts.

Second line center is more important than top pair D right now and as for trade bait look for one of the goal prospects. How about this trade, Neuvy/Flash/pick for Kaberle/prospect.

Posted by: flee001 | June 3, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

If we don't retain Theodore...which I doubt we will....it would free up a large chunk of Salary cap for a D-Man.

sgm3

I agree that this could actually be a smoke screen saying we aren't interested.

Posted by: Caps4Life1 | June 3, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Leonsis & GMGM would NEVER pay anyone that kinda money unless he's an offensive player even if they had room under the cap.

they're more interested in putting on a show than actually getting what it takes to win the Cup.

Posted by: joek443 | June 3, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

I cannot wait to see what is done this summer, if it's time to scratch heads or praise GMGM for good moves.

Posted by: flee001 | June 3, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Yeah U rather go back to the grind it out & sweat the no-offense to death days of the 80-90s Caps.
geebus. 21st century & we've discover fire dimlit.

Posted by: Rocc00 | June 3, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

1. I would love to sign Volchenkov. He's a great defenseman and, I presume, would fit in well with the other Russians.

2. The Caps cannot afford Volchenkov unless they move some salary (Poti/Flash).

3. The Theo savings have already been spent on Backstrom.

4. 2nd line C is going to be the Caps' only major free agent signing.

6. @joek443 -- I am enjoying the show a lot more than I was enjoying the decade of mediocrity before that

7. My lines for next year:

Ovi-Backstrom-Knuble
Fehr-?????-Semin
Laich-Belanger/Perreault-Chimera
?-Steckel-Bradley

Green-Schultz
Carlson-Alzer
Poti-Erskine/Sloan/?

Varly/Neuvy


I really wanna see Fehr on the 2nd with Semin. Give those guys a decent center and you've got an A+ line and an A- line on the same team. Plus I think that third line would work well. Sorry Flash, no room for you.

Posted by: butcherbaker | June 3, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

If they are going to get a D-man and one who'll probably run 3-4 mill a yr would be Michalek from Phoenix, only 28 and has upside to him. Last year was first year he had on a winning team and could be a nice fit with Poti especially being a right shot

Posted by: BBDwrestling | June 3, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

again, it's NOT about the preference for one style or another.. it's about BALANCE.

I know some of you have a very hard time understanding that finer point.

all you gotta do is look at the two teams still playing, they hit everything that moves. but also they, especially the Hawks, can win 6-5 if they have to.

ask yourself this question - why are these two teams still playing over a month after the Caps got bounced outta the tournament???

Posted by: joek443 | June 3, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

@ butcherbaker

yeah, you just keep enjoying the show and watch somebody else play for the Cup in may and june.

Posted by: joek443 | June 3, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse


Leonsis & GMGM would NEVER pay anyone that kinda money unless he's an offensive player even if they had room under the cap.

they're more interested in putting on a show than actually getting what it takes to win the Cup.

Posted by: joek443 | June 3, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

yeah, sure. Leonsis spends $60m per year on salary just to pit on a good show in the regular season. Makes no sense especially since he can't come close to breaking even financially without a deep playoff run. If this is how you feel you should find another team to root for.

Here is a well thought out and fact based analysis of the pros and cons of signing volchenkov at the presumed salary he would command. I recommend reading it before saying the caps are stupid for not going after him.

http://www.japersrink.com/2010/5/6/1459102/is-anton-volchenkov-the-answer

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | June 3, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

If they are going to get a D-man and one who'll probably run 3-4 mill a yr would be Michalek from Phoenix, only 28 and has upside to him. Last year was first year he had on a winning team and could be a nice fit with Poti especially being a right shot

Posted by: BBDwrestling

I am with you on this one and we can probably get him for half the price.

Posted by: pkendrick | June 3, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

I meant half the price of Volchenkov

Posted by: pkendrick | June 3, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

@ dcsportsfan1

I don't really care what you think, agree or disagree with my opinions but don't ever tell me what to do.

they have NO prblem giving anyone a huge deal if he's an offensive player. UNTIL you see them pay a defensive player the big bucks as well, you have no reason to believe they're really serious about winning the Cup.

Posted by: joek443 | June 3, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

The wool seems to be covering some of your eyes again. GMGM and BB have all the answers don't they? Have you forgotten how mad you were after the Canadiens debacle? Center and Defense must be upgraded.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | June 3, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

again just look at how much money both the hawks and the flyers have tied up to their Ds and compare that to the Caps... you get what you pay for.

Posted by: joek443 | June 3, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

I think the main reason for the Caps not acquiring Volchenkov is cost. He would fill our need for a defensive defenseman. And he would get along with our guys. But 5 Million is a lot to pay.

Could the Caps acquire Hamhuis at a more reasonable cost? He's another person who's been proposed on here and other blogs.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 3, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

What happened to the Bears' offense tonight? They lost to the Texas Stars, 2-1.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 3, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

I still think this is a smokescreen.

It doesn't mean Volchenkov will sign with the Caps(if another team offered him a 10 year $60M contract he would obviously take it), but it is way too early to say the Caps won't sign him.

I think the media was going pretty far in saying what the Caps were going to offer Volchenkov and it was starting to border on tampering. A timely leaked statement like this is the perfect way to stay away from accusations of tampering.

The Caps can't negotiate with any free agent until July 1, do you really think they would make up their mind on June 3, weeks before the NHL entry draft?

It's a meaningless statement because none of us can ascertain the validity of it. I again cite to Daryl Sutter, Calgary GM, who stated "I will, under no cirumstance, trade Dion Phaneuf." One week later he was traded. Statements from teams regarding player acquisitions before they happen are generally meaningless. Take them worth a grain of salt.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 3, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

joek, you might want to read that article. It actually makes a number of good arguments as to why signing Volchenkov might not be a good move for the Caps. They do need to upgrade the defense, but that can be done without paying the kind of money that Volchenkov wants - and quite possibly better than Volchekov would do. Also, they need to leave enough money to sign a 2nd line center - which could ne helped by letting Flash go.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 3, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

If I am Brian Burke I will do Semin for Kadri straight up because they have to win next year and Kadri now appears to be a longer project. Lets take the big $$$ of Semin and go after Kovalchuk. I believe Kovy can be had for a respectable $8MM assuming he really wants to play with his blood-brother Ovechkin. We can make this happen, and we will be a better team for it.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | June 3, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Zbynek Michalek is considered a very good defensive defenseman in the mold of Volchenkov. He will receive a decent amount less than Volchenkov, maybe $3.25M. I guess I could see the Caps doing something like that so they could also acquire a 2nd line center (possibly Lombardi). Michalek is not as talented as Volchenkov but does play with the same style. But if it led them to acquire a top all around center for the 2nd line (possibly even Plekanec) then things could be different).

Don't forget that trades are always a definite possibility also, especially around draft time.

Almost definitely won't happen, but what if the Caps made a play for Bobby Ryan in a trade with Anaheim?(with the assumption Semin will leave after next year)

Posted by: sgm3 | June 3, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Kovalchuk? Seriously? Huge downgrade from Semin. He is slightly better on offense, but has no defensive ability at all. Kovalchuk is the type of forward we don't need - high scoring, but no defensive responsibility at all. He would work if we had a strong defense, but that isn't the case.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 3, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

all this talk about phily and how great they are. often it comes down to matchups. philly played nj boston montreal to make it this far. i am not sure they would have made it by the pens or the caps. halak was not the same goalie by round 3. Also this press release is pure negotitation from the caps. why just hand volchenkov $5 million.

Posted by: samb99 | June 3, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

@ samb99

your argument makes no sense... both philly and the Caps played montreal.

who's still playing??

Posted by: joek443 | June 3, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Nancy Reagan says, "Just say no to Kovalchuk."

What a waste of $8M that would be. Yes, I'd rather have Semin at $6M.

As long as they move Flash, I'm halfway happy. Fehr needs to move up to #2 RW. Increase his minutes to normal and you'll get 25-30 goals. That's great production for his upcoming 2-yr contract at $2M per..

Trade Flash for a true #3 RW somewhere and, if nothing else, you can plug in Koivu as a serviceable #2 C until Johansson is ready.

joek443 is right on one thing - I did analysis and Caps are paying $3M avg per forward and $2.1M avg per D man. Look at the teams left and it isn't like that.

Go back (I did this research too) and almost every SC winner back through the 50s had a future hall-of-fame blueliner. Names like Lidstrom, Pronger, Chelios, Potvin, Robinson, Coffey, Murphy, Stevens, Bourque.

Tampa and Carolina are about the only exceptions and last year's Pitt team likely not I don't expect Gonchar to make it. Carolina did have Wesley though and Tampa had Boyle.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 3, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

joek443
makes a lot of sense philly play mtl in round 3 very different team from round 1. they were gassed and halak was no way close to what he was in round 1. in fact he was not close to what he was in round 1 in round 2 vs the pens. if philly was to script a path they would have picked nj boston mtl. philly does not beat the pens or caps in seven games.

Posted by: samb99 | June 3, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Kovalchuk? Seriously? Huge downgrade from Semin. He is slightly better on offense, but has no defensive ability at all. Kovalchuk is the type of forward we don't need - high scoring, but no defensive responsibility at all. He would work if we had a strong defense, but that isn't the case.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 3, 2010 10:44 PM

i agree. we don't need an 8m contract. 85 pts @ 8m or 84 pts @ 6m - semin > kovi
i don't agree about kovi working with a strong defense - he didn't help NJ at all

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 3, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Just because team A matches well with team B and team B matches up well with team C does NOT mean team A matches up well with team C.

For example, take the Pens, Devils, Flyers this year.

The Flyers matched up very well with the Devils (5-1 regular season 4-1 playoffs). The Devils matched up very well with the Pens (6-0 regular season). Using joek443 logic, it must mean the Flyers matched up well with the Pens. But wait, that isn't true at all (Pens 5-1 regular season and beat Flyers in playoffs the past 2 years).

samb99 was using correct logic in his assesment that you have to look at each matchup individually and not make ascertations based on connecting the dots with how teams match up.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 3, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, judging by this year's playoffs and finals it looks as though the NHL is slowly getting back to its early 2000s refereeing of games. They are allowing way too much hooking, holding and grasping. It was all of that that turned the NHL into an ugly game. I hope the NHL does something about it and starts calling the rules in the playoffs.

Yes, at first there will be "ticky tack" penalties in the playoffs that lead to big goals. But those have to be given out, then the players will learn that they can't commit those penalties and expect to get away with it.

This article on Pronger is an example of it. The fact that hooking and holding is glorified by the Don Cherry's is what is going to hurt hockey again. I'm still amazed how anyone thinks that is exciting to watch. I love physical play, and good, clean hits. But it's the excessive hooking and holding that ruins the game.

http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/nhl/columns/story?id=5249323

Posted by: sgm3 | June 4, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

@ samb99

your argument makes no sense... both philly and the Caps played montreal.

who's still playing??

Posted by: joek443 | June 3, 2010 11:21 PM

joek, your argument has no logic. The Caps dominated Philly in the regular season, because Philly didn't have the system or personnel to stop them. Montreal split the regular season series with the Caps, because they did have the right system and personnel to stop them. Pittsburgh also dominated Philly in the regular season, and was played well by Montreal - for the same reasons. Either the Caps or Pens would have beaten Philly easily, because they had the right players and systems to do so.

Posted by: timmyv38 | June 4, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

timmyv = joke443 has no logic and neither do most of the posters on this board. We are what, 6+ wks past our unexpected early exit from the playoffs and people are still reacting as if it happened yesterday. Yeah it took me a few days, maybe several but at some point you have to pull your head out and look at this logically. Just because we didn't win the Cup this year does NOT mean the the makeup of the team is flawed. Last time I checked we won the Presidents trophy by a large margin, scored more goals by a large margin, had the #1 PP by a large margin etc etc etc. You see people on this board love to live in the negative. I could give examples of this all night but the funniest and most absurd of all is that GMGM is an idiot, he was only up for GM of the yr and comments like "Ted doesn't want to win a Cup he just wants to put on a good show". Really people? Really? Do you know how idiotic and moronic you sound when you speak this garbage? Whether you want to trade Semin or whatever MAY be able to be debated on some level but to say that a GM who has been voted for top executive of the yr is an idiot is flat stupid and to state Ted doesn't want to win a Cup is beyond irresponsible.

People on this board just lash out with moronic, idiotic and completely thoughtless statements that ruin it for the rest of us. This board used to be fun and full of insightful opions and observations.

The default "unintelligent" response is always "we lost" so our system doesn't work. Who's still playing blah blah blah. Really? Pull your head outta your @ss! To win the Cup not only takes great talent but it takes a bit of luck as well. Sure I believe you make your own luck but the bottom line is there was NO TEAM that was going to beat Montreal in the 1st round (heck the 2nd round either). Yeah we were 1 win away but NOBODY was going to beat them the final 3 games and we gave it a good go. While I can't prove it, next yr and for the next several years I would take our same team into the playoffs and bet that we come out on top the rest of the series.

"JOKE" says well look at the money Philly spends on D, well look at the money we spend on "O". And don't give me that cliche BS of D wins titles, tell that to the Oilers and Islanders. This team very well could've been in the Cup Finals this year and very well could've won the whole darn thing. So because we lost in the 1st round ONE yr we trade Semin, Green, Flash etc etc etc? Really people?

I've been a fan of this team since the "WHITE BREEZERS" and I dare say Ted wants to win the Cup more than I. I'm sure he went home after game 7 to his wife and said, "honey we didn't win but wow what a show"! IDIOT!

Could our D be improved? Sure it could but there is no perfect team. Could Philly and Chicago improve in areas sure. Oh i know i know, they're still playing so they can't improve anywhere right?

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | June 4, 2010 12:50 AM | Report abuse

What happened to the Bears' offense tonight? They lost to the Texas Stars, 2-1.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 3, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse


I was at the game and two things happened. One they only got two shots in the first period because they wanted to set up 6 passes before taking a shot and continued to do so until they scored the first goal on only the third shot almost half way through the game. And to the Texas team had all five guys in the slot area when Hershey had control of the puck in the offensive zone so there was no cross slot pass available and shots from the outside were all hitting something. They had a few good chances working from behind the net in the third period but just couldn't get the puck in.

Also Pokerfacel208 thank you for that. I used to post on here a lot but have not since game 7 because every time I do not matter how much evidance I give any thought that isn't our system is flawed and our D are all awful gets on intelegent response just slams and focusing on three games.

Also for all of those pointing to who is left Chicago is built mainly of puck moving D men. Campbell, Keith, Seabrook they all were in the top 40 in scoring for D men. Only Seabrook had more then 60 hits on the season among Hawk Dmen (The Caps had 4 with more then that and several others who would have had they played more then 41 games). Both the Caps and the Hawks had 4 Dmen with over 100 blocked shots on the season (although the Hawks 4 had more then the Caps 4 it was not by too large of an amount.) So yes Philly may be in the finals with guys like Pronger but the Hawks only have one big hitter and he isn't much of a hitter anyway. While Volchenkov may hit and block shots he also tends to get hurt and could miss the entire playoffs if the Caps sign him and what will that help us? In his career he is averaging only 61 games played a season. He is incredibly overrated and will be overpayed by someone and I just hope it isn't the Caps.

Posted by: icehammer97 | June 4, 2010 1:51 AM | Report abuse

The Caps can't afford to show any interest in Volchenkov or they would be guilty of tampering. The only interest they can offer is to the Sens GM. Anything else and we are talking about giving up a draft pick. I like Sidenberg better personally.

I think this team is a year away from making a big free agent pickup on D. They have to get from behind Nylander, Semin & Poti's contracts.

So that means trades or affordable free agents. If they are only after a stay at home, shot blocking/hitting defenseman why not trade nylander & erskine to the Isles for Brendan Witt? They still have to do something in the final year of Nyls' contract. I think both players nyls/witt, earn the same salary and are in similar situations where the team they play for really has no use for them and has exiled them to the minors/overseas. Erskine was the odd man out of the playoffs last year so he is my sweetener.

Cheaper D-men - Shoane Morrison (hits more than any other cap not named Alex), Aaron Ward (old, but hits & blocks shots), Andy Sutton, ditto.

Posted by: jimc93 | June 4, 2010 6:59 AM | Report abuse

Thanks pokerface and icehammer. Your posts were a much needed balance to some of the loudmouths on this blog. Hope to see more of your posts.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | June 4, 2010 7:00 AM | Report abuse

@pokerfacel2008

We had a 3 games to 1 lead on Montreal. We should have beaten them. Your comments make no sense.

This team is FLAWED.

On AV, this could be a smokescreen, the team can still go after him. I hope they don't. He is too one dimensional. I also agree with icehammer. If you play like he plays, you are bound to miss a lot of games due to injury.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 4, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

So.... Pokerface calling everyone an idiot is welcome commentary on this board and he is not considered a loudmouth, while someone simply commenting that the Caps system is flawed is?

Really?????

Cordially,
RBlatch

Posted by: rblatch45 | June 4, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

@ dcsportsfan1

I don't really care what you think, agree or disagree with my opinions but don't ever tell me what to do.

they have NO prblem giving anyone a huge deal if he's an offensive player. UNTIL you see them pay a defensive player the big bucks as well, you have no reason to believe they're really serious about winning the Cup.

Posted by: joek443 | June 3, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

hey, do what you want. i'm just saying if i felt the way you do about a team, i wouldnt follow them.

i think what you are suggesting is that they should just go out and sign a big $ FA dman just to show they are serious about winning a cup. like spening $7M/ year for brian campbell perhaps? thats not really smart cap management...and as hard as it is, you cant ignore the fact that their is a salary cap which requires teams to think into the future. i hope the hawks win the cup this year because they have mortgaged their future by spending big bucks right now.

probably the best free agent pickup in the nhl last year was mike knuble. not a big $ sexy pick but one that worked pretty well.

did you really think the caps defense was the problem against montreal this year?

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | June 4, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

What happened to the Bears' offense tonight? They lost to the Texas Stars, 2-1.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | June 3, 2010 10:22 PM
-----------------------
It was like watching the Caps against the Montreal defense all over again. Hopefully the Bears will adjust...

Posted by: tess2201 | June 4, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

@sgm3

I'm with you on the holding and hooking and I do think the league has intentionally moved towards having the refs call fewer obstruction fouls. Bad news. It was noticeable in the Olympics - a lot of uncalled obstruction fouls - and perhaps they were laying the groundwork. It's a bad idea, the game is much more exciting when people don't have to skate through velcro.

I wonder if all the GMs are in on this, or whether this is some cabal, an inner circle of Canadian dinosaurs who want the game played their (stupid) way.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | June 4, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

this is hockey, NOT basketball... do the matchups matter? sure but not nearly as much as some of you think they do.

also what specific matchups are you talking about? the Caps don't do well against teams with strong D?? well I've got some BAD news for you. just about every team in the playoffs will have a couple of shutdown D-men.

Posted by: joek443 | June 4, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

and I'm talking about REAL shutdown d-men... not wannabes like Green and Poti.

Posted by: joek443 | June 4, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

@dcsportsfan1

I am in complete agreement that defense was not the reason the Caps lost to the Habs. It was horrible special teams that cost them the series. (actually there is more than 1 reason, but that is the most significant reason)

However, defense was the Caps weakest area (and PK) and I do believe the Caps need a shut down defensive pair to go against other teams top lines. Getting Volchenkov would help produce a shut down defensive pair and improve the special teams greatly.

Yes, Volchenkov is an injury risk because of his style but he has never missed a significant amount of time. Injury is always a risk for players, especially physical defensemen who block shots. But if you want a player who consistently does those things then it is a risk you have to take.

In no way should the Caps sign a UFA if it is a cap killer (i.e. Brian Campbell), but signing a player to a solid contract is not bad. Volchenkovis only 28. A 5 year contract would only put himto 33. Not bad years for a defenseman.

All of this will be interesting to watch. It wouldn't shock me to see the Caps acquire a top 2nd line center (need 1B). It also wouldn't shock me to see a player acquired in a trade so the acquired player has a lower salary.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 4, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Tess, that was exactly my reaction in reading icehammer's post. His description seemed exactly like the Caps performance vs. the Habs - no offensive net presence, other than Knuble. I hate the Flyers, but they have been creating chaos in front, with great benefit. The Caps have to address that next year - maybe with Fehr getting more ice time and he, Laich, and even Bradley doing more of the dirty work.

In terms of system, the Caps passive PK has to go. A more aggressive approach sometimes creates openings, but the players have to learn to cover for each other, and in any case the status quo is unacceptable.

The Japers article does not say that signing Volchenkov would be a bad thing. It says he would help a lot initially, but there would be salary cap concerns in the future and a risk of injury. I think Poti coming off the books after next year would help a lot with the cap, and the Caps eventually have to give young guys in Hershey a shot. There is always risk in any big contract - look at Tampa and Lecavalier. But I still say that Volchenkov would be a big help. The 2C need is big too, but someone like Koivu probably would be a cost-effective bridge until Johansson is ready.

Posted by: zmega | June 4, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Whether we go for Volchenkov should be directly related to how much faith we have in Alzner and Carlson. I think they will be good enough that we could get away with a cheaper version of Volchenkov and then go for a nice 2nd line center and maybe a young 1-2 million dollar D man. I mean there are plenty of decent defenders available...my only main criteria is that they be big and hopefully a little gritty. I mean Hamuis. Mitchell, Martin, and Sutton are all cheaper.

One question though...do we think the Caps are going to get rid of some of the excess players. We all agree Flash is gone, but what about Laing, Sloan, Gordon, BMo, Erskine...there salaries don't add up to much but we could combine them for something?

Posted by: capscoach | June 4, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

@capscoach

BMo and Erskine should and probably will be gone. $1.25M is just too much for Erskine.

Gordon could definitely be gone, but that depends on how much money he wants. I would be more than fine having him leave and replaced with a guy from Hershey.

I also think Steckel could be gone because $1.1M is too much for him.

Laing, maybe. He is cheap so he is a definite possibility to stay. Unless the Caps have an equal costing player in Hershey who they feel can fill the same role but is younger and better.

Sloan will stay. Not because he is good but $600k for a 7th/8th defenseman and 14th forward is fine. He is fine for depth purposes in the regular season.

I do think a few of these 4th line players may be walking because they've been up for a few years now, and while not playing bad, they aren't great 4th liners either. When players age their contracts generally rise and paying $1M for a middle of the road 4th liner is too much.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 4, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Gordon is just too injury prone...back problems don't dissapear. I think if GMGM plays his cards right, there is plenty of space for a good defensemen and a good center.

But people who think we need more depth at center...why? we were the highest scoring team...maybe we need a center that is better defensively. We also need grit for that second line...Semin and Laich will get pushed around if we get a small center for them.

Posted by: capscoach | June 4, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

@capscoach

A good all-around center for the 2nd line would be great such as Plekanec.

If the acquired center was smaller then maybe he goes on the line with Knuble and Ovie and Backstrom plays with Semin and Laich.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 4, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

1) Defense was NOT the problem against Montreal. It would have been a problem though going forward. Clearly, defense is the weakest link on the team (that includes lack of a checking line).

2) Habs beat Caps just how the Stars apparently beat Hershey - by clogging the slot. If you clog the slot and block shots you will eventually get chances. The Habs beat the Caps because the coach designed a system that worked and the players played it. There was also some luck (disallowed goal) and an unreal goaltender and really bad timing (missing on open shots when they actually occurred).

I halfway agree with pokerface but halfway disagree. Caps got 121 pts, 8th most in NHL history. Still, we're not configured for a grinding series when we have to play the same team 7 straight times. The weaknesses the Caps have they overcome playing teams one game at a time.

Montreal pulled back into a shell and they basically said, "Go ahead and shoot." And the Caps shot, sometimes more than 100 shots per game (counting blocks and misses). A #2 center would help with this. A #1 D-man and a checking RW would help vs the Pitts and the Hawks of the world.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 4, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

There is a reason teams don't load up on snipers just like why the army isn't all snipers. A hockey team needs two of these. In our case, we have Ovi, Semin, Flash and, to some extent, Fehr.

There is alos a reason why historically a great hockey line would be a playmaker, a sniper and a net man.

The Caps played Montreal with too many snipers trying to shoot through the trees. A sniper is far less effective when the defense is set up (like a zone defense in BB) and playing position. The sniper needs the playmaker to draw the D and then hit the sniper when open, with the Knuble type clogging the net.

Our second line doesn't have that. Basically last year it was two snipers and a weak playmaker. 121 pts or not, you won't win the Cup with that when teams can shut it down.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 4, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

ask yourself this question - why are these two teams still playing over a month after the Caps got bounced outta the tournament???

Posted by: joek443

Because they don't have you as a coach or GM. *sigh* I wish they would sign you on as the coach since you know so much more then Bruce Boudreau. I mean, what has he accomplished anyway? It's not like he's ever played hockey.

*snicker* You can get off your soapbox now. Tool.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | June 4, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Why would the Caps be interested in a true defensemen?? Let's get some more non checking, offense minded defensemen. See how far that get's you in the playoffs.

Posted by: jmcale57 | June 4, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

@LeftCoastCapsFan

LMAO is that the best you can do?? I feel sorry for the air you breathe.

Posted by: joek443 | June 4, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

I'm with joek on this. Can we please dispense with the idea that had the Caps found a way to beat the Habs, that we have 'easily beaten' philly, or anyone else. We couldn't easily beat the Habs, who were the worst team to make the playoffs. We didn't find a way to lose, the Habs found a way to win, and there is a huge difference between the two.

The other thing is, the regular season really doesn't matter. The matchups become meaningless if you have players that will do whatever it takes to win (not Flash or Semin) and have a coach that can motivate his players, and adjust his gameplan. If you play the same team 7 games in a row, you should start to understand their tendencies. It seemed clear to me that BB did not know what to do.

The only stat that has any relevance now is that the Caps lost to the Habs. The Flyers beat them. If you think the Habs were gassed, how much energy do you think philly had after coming back 0-3 from Boston?

Posted by: Fletch22 | June 4, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Why would the Caps be interested in a true defensemen?? Let's get some more non checking, offense minded defensemen. See how far that get's you in the playoffs.

Posted by: jmcale57 | June 4, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

exactly... let's get Kaberle, you can never have enough of those puck-movers that won't hit.

Posted by: joek443 | June 4, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

@ joek443: Pretty much. I have better things to do than cry about something that happened 2 months ago. Life goes on. My condolences you didn't win prom queen in high school. Bet you're still crying over that too, huh?

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | June 4, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

One example of why 2010 Caps are playing golf:

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Video-The-delightful-antagonism-of-Chris-Pronge?urn=nhl,245549

I hated this guy in the past, but guess I never really appreciated the tangibles and intangibiles he brings to the game. Sack up Caps.

Posted by: doughless | June 4, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

@ joek443: Pretty much. I have better things to do than cry about something that happened 2 months ago. Life goes on. My condolences you didn't win prom queen in high school. Bet you're still crying over that too, huh?

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | June 4, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

you're the biggest loser on this board, seriously.

now about AV, didn't I just say this 2 days ago about how unlikely it will be that the Caps land him? granted, this could be a giant ruse and this is an unconfirmed source, but McPhee's never shown any interest in players like AV in the past so why expect it now.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 4, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

joke443 has no logic and neither do most of the posters on this board. We are what, 6+ wks past our unexpected early exit from the playoffs and people are still reacting as if it happened yesterday. Yeah it took me a few days, maybe several but at some point you have to pull your head out and look at this logically. Just because we didn't win the Cup this year does NOT mean the the makeup of the team is flawed.
----------------------------

yes i'd like to order a special set of blinders, extra large please? thanks!

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 4, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Discussions here used to be conducted in a "collegial atmosphere".

Anyone remember those days?

I sense that many of you are still in a lot of pain because of our playoff performance. I get that, I was too, but it passed.

We are all still fans of this team arent we? Some of us may need to ask that question of ourselves.

–noun
an enthusiastic devotee, follower, or admirer of a sport, pastime, celebrity, etc.: a baseball fan; a great fan of Charlie Chaplin.

Take some time to think about it, chill out, step away from it all.

We'll leave the light on for ya...

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | June 4, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

exactly... let's get Kaberle, you can never have enough of those puck-movers that won't hit.

Posted by: joek443 | June 4, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, have you ever coached or managed in the NHL before? you dare think you know more than our brain trust? The only thing keeping us from winning the Cup every year is our obvious lack of puck movers on D. Any real fan knows this. must..have...more...guys....who...are...closetforwards...playing D...

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 4, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

@ doughless

same here... I always knew Pronger was a great player but never really knew how nasty he could be as well.

as Lebrun has pointed out, all of his old teams missed the playoffs a year after he left and that's no coincidence.

Posted by: joek443 | June 4, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

seems like there are quite a few folks that wear extra large blinders

Posted by: doughless | June 4, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I sense that many of you are still in a lot of pain because of our playoff performance. I get that, I was too, but it passed.
-------------------------------------

actually i think its because some of us saw it coming, and it still happened despite the wave of unrealistic optimism that most others were swept up in. I'm guessing that's probably where most of the frustration stems from. And then you get a report (unconfirmed as it may be) that the Caps wouldn't be interested in a guy like AV, and it reawakens the frustrations.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 4, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

@ those who want to put Martin Saint-Louis in a Caps sweater: Sure, he's great, a proven performer, and one of my favorite non-Caps players.

But he is getting old, and do we really need that hefty contract? And no, I don't want to send someone over to TB who then suddenly becomes a thorn in our side...Trading within the division is a bad idea--kind of like first-cousin marriages (viz.: the Corvo/Walker deals).

I say unto you: the Caps already have an MSL-type in the system: Smallish, Francophone, but fast and gutsy with great hands.

His name is Matthieu Perreault.

Posted by: Rhino40 | June 4, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

@ doughless

same here... I always knew Pronger was a great player but never really knew how nasty he could be as well.

---------------------------

surprising, Pronger's been that way his entire career. He's actually playing at his least nastiest level that I've ever seen him play. He's always been notorious for his brutal stick work - slashes, xchecks etc. Mike Keenan really got him to play a nasty brand of hockey when Pronger was with the Blues. When Pronger was in Hartford, he got abused on the ice by much smaller players. Frankly, he looked like Jeff Schultz. He racked up PIMs in Hartford as a rookie but they were mostly accrued while he was defending himself. Under Keenan, he became more assertive physically and he's also had the good fortune of playing on very physical teams so he has a lot of backup.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 4, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

We are all still fans of this team arent we? Some of us may need to ask that question of ourselves.

–noun
an enthusiastic devotee, follower, or admirer of a sport, pastime, celebrity, etc.: a baseball fan; a great fan of Charlie Chaplin.
----------------------------------------

so when did being a "fan" somehow mean you couldn't question the leadership and direction of an organization?? I think you're mixing up your definitions. The word you're looking for is "cheerleader".

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 4, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I was aware of Pronger's nasty streak but when he collected the puck at the end of Game 2 and threw it in the trash the other night, that put him in another stratosphere in my book.

yeah you could say that was busch league but I thought it was great and showed how much he wants to win.

Posted by: joek443 | June 4, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Amazing how things turn out. Right now Chris Pronger is looking like one of the best free agent signs in Flyers history. They are in the finals and I think if they win the cup he is the playoff mvp.

To think he was a shoot out on the final day of the regular season from being the biggest free agent bust signing last off season. If they missed the playoffs everyone would have said they over paid for him. Oh how I wish the Rangers won that shoot out.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | June 4, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

i can fault McPhee for a ton of things but I wouldn't have traded Carlson for Pronger (although I'd give up 15 Alzners in a heartbeat).

That being said, even if we had traded for Pronger, one player does not make a team. Pronger can't change the overall (flawed) philosophy of this organization. I mean look at what is already happening to Alzner on defense. Now he thinks he's an offensive dman and gets caught up ice routinely and makes incredibly risky passes in games. He made a horrible pass with no one around him trying to pretend he was Scott Niedermayer in yesterday's game 1 v Texas, led to a clean scoring chance that the Hershey goalie had to make a great save on. And if you listen to Alzner's chat session on AHL.com, he says that he wants to turn himself into a more offensive player.

Bottom line, any player that enters this org will be affected to where they become riskier less responsible hockey players more worried about the glory of scoring points than in playing a team concept.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 4, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

You seem to take some of my posts quite personally.

I think some peoples comments go a step beyond simply "question(ing) the leadership and direction of an organization".

I mean, we get it, you dont like the organization. But what is the point of the incessant bashing?

Again I ask, if you have nothing but contempt for the organization (which you have repeatedly condemned), why follow?

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | June 4, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

ask yourself this question - why are these two teams still playing over a month after the Caps got bounced outta the tournament???

Posted by: joek443

Because they don't have you as a coach or GM. *sigh* I wish they would sign you on as the coach since you know so much more then Bruce Boudreau. I mean, what has he accomplished anyway? It's not like he's ever played hockey.

*snicker* You can get off your soapbox now. Tool.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | June 4, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

hey LeftCoast, have you EVER tried to answer a legitimate criticism of this team? Things get pretty snarky on this board but at some point or another EVERYONE engages in specific hockey discussions. Everyone but you.

its obvious why you insert yourself into a discussion and answer a question with an insult. Its because you really don't know anything. And you assume that because YOU don't know anything, that no one else on a hockey blog does either.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 4, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Again I ask, if you have nothing but contempt for the organization (which you have repeatedly condemned), why follow?

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | June 4, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

if you were disillusioned with the leadership of the only hockey team you had ever followed, would you bail out and simply throw a dart at another team to make them your new team to follow? that's kooky talk.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 4, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I agree, I still wouldn't have traded for Pronger - even if Philly wins.

1) They wanted supposedly Carlson, Varly and a pick.
2) He looked average most of the season. Philly was a shoot-out goal from not even being in the Playoffs, and this discussion wouldn't be taking place. Let's not make Pronger or Philly the "great model." They were still lucky the Rangers didn't win.
3) We could not have fit Pronger in this year with the last year of his existing 6.5M deal, not with the Nylander thing still hanging over the club until Feb.
4) There is a real question whether at his age he will ever begin to earn the $35M he'll get paid over the next five years.
5) There's also the question if the league will penalize Philly for the "cap circumvention" with regards to his contract.

Look, he and the Flyers got a "second life" when they beat Lundqvist in the shoot-out, and they've made the best of it. They overcame injuries and an 0-3 deficit. We need some of their will to not die, but that doesn't mean we could have fit Pronger on the team.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 4, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Again I ask, if you have nothing but contempt for the organization (which you have repeatedly condemned), why follow?

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | June 4, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

if you were disillusioned with the leadership of the only hockey team you had ever followed, would you bail out and simply throw a dart at another team to make them your new team to follow? that's kooky talk.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 4, 2010 12:51 PM |

Who said bail out and pick another team?

Maybe just stop the regular delivery of negativity?

I would never suggest that a fan give up on their team, but I also would not suggest that a fan take a crap on their team at every opportunity.

And their is rarely justification for rude and provocative posts.

Most of us aint dumb, we know some stuff is jacked up. We just hope the folks in place can fix it and get this team on the right track.

No blinders here buddy.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | June 4, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I too used to come to this board to read some good ole discussion on hockey and the Caps...now I come here every so often for a laugh to brighten my day as I count the days until hhe next season...sigh...

Posted by: boomer44 | June 4, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

I don'thave a problem with exchanging ideas here on what would make the team better. It makes the fan experience more interesting, IMO. Sometimes people will get a bit emotional out frustration or disappointment, but that's part of the fan experience too. I'm sure Redskin fans can relate.

Posted by: zmega | June 4, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

wtf: I believe I am fair and objective and neither a cheerleader nor a excessive basher. You and sgm and many others are in that group.

We are like the vast majority of Americans not in the Rachel Maddow or Rush Limbaugh category. Nobody cares about us.

One of my main points though is they need to get Fehr up the the second line.

I mean, WTF!?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 4, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

@ Tom

I believe Fehr will stay on the third line for at least one more season, maybe then moving up if Knuble retires or reups but drops down in his play. Semin & Fehr both play RW, Fehr looked out of place on left wing the few times he was there. Semin is a lefty shot but has played RW exclusively since he returned to the Caps.

Posted by: boomer44 | June 4, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

wtf: I believe I am fair and objective and neither a cheerleader nor a excessive basher. You and sgm and many others are in that group.

We are like the vast majority of Americans not in the Rachel Maddow or Rush Limbaugh category. Nobody cares about us.

One of my main points though is they need to get Fehr up the the second line.

I mean, WTF!?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 4, 2010 1:07 PM |


Indeed Tom, WTF?

Give my boy some more shifts and lets see what he can do!!!

Heck, put him consistently with a quality set of linemates, THEN WATCH OUT!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | June 4, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1:

I, for one, don't have many issues with you--some of your posts I agree with and some I don't. That doesn't make either of us stupid or crazy or hockey-ignorant.

Of course, that may be utterly meaningless since--although I feel that have developed a decent understanding of the game--I make no claim whatsoever to having Absolute And Infallible Hockey Knowledge. If I did, then maybe I might be an NHL GM instead of working in a cube farm.

I think the real problem, Sir, is that, whether any given post you make is "right" or "wrong" matters less than the tone of that post.

We all like to get kudos when we have come up with something particularly insightful, clever, or witty, and more so if it is recognized as such by another poster.

Likewise, we all get upset to varying degrees when one of our ideas gets shot down in flames.

IMHO, you need to accept as fact that some people here will agree with you and some won't, that those who don't agree with you may not necessarily be stupid or crazy or hockey-ignorant, and that neither agreeing nor disagreeing with one of your posts has any impact on its validity (or lack thereof).

In fact, I think all of us here--you and me included--would do well to subscribe to that concept.


Respectully,
Das Rhino

Posted by: Rhino40 | June 4, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

caps need some muscle, on offense and defense, we're just too darn soft and easy to play against...forget volchenkov, give erskine a regular shift and i guarantee he wouldn't hurt the team anymore or less than the other dmen...do we really want to endure another year without someone on the blueline willing to drop the gloves for whatever reason?

Posted by: vermontcaps | June 4, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps

preach on

Posted by: _stevo | June 4, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

The lack of fighters on the Blackhawks blueline has surely killed them this season.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 4, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Whether we spend our cap space on a defender or a center...they need to be big with some grit.

And I don't think it woud hurt to pick up a more seasoned veteran wit a lot of playoff experience. We have plenty of young guys, so a 29-35yr old would be no biggie... I think Feds really helped our guys two yrs ago, even though he was not near his prime.

Posted by: capscoach | June 4, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

@RedLightYogi

Here is an article about Pronger getting away with all sorts of things.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/allan_muir/06/04/stanley.cup.game.four/index.html?eref=sihp

The picture is worth a thousand words. In, the post-lockout NHL that is supposed to be a penalty. He is holding the guy when the puck is on the other side of the net. Unfortunately the game is slipping back to the early 2000s and will end up being worse off because of it.

The Olympics, with all of the talent, was officiated horribly. There was so much clutching and grabbing going on during that. I was hoping it was an aberration but it looks like it is starting to come back.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 4, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I remember some people on here criticizing BB for playing Semin on the PK. Maybe they should've criticized Semin for not playing enough. Did people see his numbers on the PK this year. They were amamzing. Another reason to keep him would be his great PK play. Oh yeah, good PK play often means a player is exerted good effort. I got the quote below from Jasper's Rink:

"But it wasn't all offense for Semin, who was a fantastic penalty-killer in limited ice time (to the surprise of no one). Impressively, he was only on the ice for three 5-on-4 power-play goals against all season long in more than 71 minutes of SH TOI. Even more impressively, Semin was on the ice for three 4-on-5 goals for (he led the team with two shorthanded goals), meaning that in more than three-and-a-half total periods of short-handed hockey played, Alex Semin's Caps scored as many goals as they surrendered. And while we'll deservedly bemoan his discipline below, it's worth noting that only 12% of his penalty minutes came after the second intermission, which is a bit mitigating, and that he drew more penalties and at a better rate than any other player on the team (with the exception of Mathieu Perreault in that latter grouping), which is hugely mitigating."

Posted by: sgm3 | June 4, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Correction:

"Maybe they should have criticized BB for not playing Semin enough."

Posted by: sgm3 | June 4, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

forget volchenkov, give erskine a regular shift and i guarantee he wouldn't hurt the team anymore or less than the other dmen...do we really want to endure another year without someone on the blueline willing to drop the gloves for whatever reason?

Posted by: vermontcaps | June 4, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

what's with you and Erskine anyway, are you his agent or something? your solution to every problem seems to be playing Erskine.

all their problems on D would just go away if they would play him more?? yes, he's the type they need more of but the problem is he's just not good enough. just because he's somewhat of the same mold as Hal Gill, doesn't mean he's as good as him.

also nobody fights in the playoffs so that quality means nothing.

Posted by: joek443 | June 4, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: sgm3 | June 4, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

For your reading enjoyment - a short article about the incredible civility of Flyers fans:

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-06-03/sports/ct-spt-0604-blackhawks-dan-mcneil--20100603_1_mother-places-moms

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | June 4, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't know... I mean former Cap Jakub Klepis is 2 points behind him (albeit with 12 more games played), but yet scored more goals... hmmmm...

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=59244

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 4, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3 - thank you, thank you

I think Semin's biggest problem here is he doesn't speak English. He's obviously a top-class hockey player.

I've followed the Caps and hockey since the 70's. Admittedly, I've dropped off now and then. But I can say that this is the best team we've ever had, and it's one of the better teams I've seen overall in the league. I hope it wins a cup. But even if it doesn't, people here should know this team is special - it has its faults and idiosyncracies - and we should enjoy it. Sometimes the cost of "winning" isn't worth it. And I do think this team can win.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | June 4, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Volchenkov may be overrated and 5mil may be too much to pay for him, but the Caps definitely need to address the defensive corp.

And anyone who complains about how one dimensional he is would be missing the point. The Caps could use a "one dimensional" defenseman. They need a security blanket who can consistently handle the responsibility of dirty work, like battling big boys in the crease and blocking lots of would be shots on goal. If Volchenkov is not the answer, fine but they need to add someone with those skills.

And I agree that 2nd line Center is a huge need. As I've said here before, I think with his boy Teemu set to retire, Saku Koivu is ripe for the picking. Say around 2yrs for 6mil. He's a great addition on the ice and in the lockerroom.

Posted by: SportzWiz | June 4, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Is any team scared of the Caps hitting or defense. Largest team in the NHL with the weakest hitters. No intensity. Sure OVI can hit but compare the Hawks and Flyers defensively and in the hitting department. No toughness. Where is the Dale Hunter, Rick Tochhect, Mike Richards and etc. Where is the Scott Steven or Chris Pronger. As a fan of the Caps for many years in many ways the teams of the 80's had more balance. Oh and someone said how the Caps could not put the puck in the net in the 80's Compare the stats Goals for and goals against this team. Rules were different. Two line passing and almost no trap and etc and two less games.

Posted by: pkme | June 4, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: greenmachine | June 5, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

@Redlit - you called it, Semin's biggest flaw is he doesn't speak great English. This is very disappointing if GMGM is writing off the A-Train - although I admire sgm's point that this could be misdirection, I feel that may be giving a little more credit than is due. Hopefully I'm wrong.

The day E Fehr is a top-6 forward [on a good team] is when hook-and-clutch again becomes the NHL norm - but in a fast-skating game, he just doesn't have the foot speed to keep up; he'd be a zone behind Semin if they were on the same line. He's got terrific hands, but he'd get exposed if matched up against the likes of Pronger, Timmonen, Hjalmmarrsson, Markov, etc. regularly. There's a big difference on most teams between the top-4 and #'s 5 and 6 d-men, just because of the salary cap.

BB and GMGM seem to think that success in Canadien jrs and/or the A translates directly into NHL success, but there's been a lot more busts than successes on that front, Don Cherry's urgent wishes notwithstanding.

Also, GMGM needs to stop equating height = phsyicality in a d-man; it definitely isn't.

Posted by: govtimbo | June 5, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

We already have a shutdown D-man. His name is Mike Green. He shuts down in the playoffs.

Posted by: cplcespod | June 5, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

With Alzner and Carlson coming up next year, the Caps should consider trading Green for Volchenkov straight up and add Fleishmann in as bonus. Who cares about offensive D-men who can not score or play defense in the playoffs. I rather have a D-man who is consistently good at his craft through out the regular and playoff seasons.

Posted by: JohnWWW | June 6, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

I've tried not to be too hard on Green, just because I've never been a huge fan of guys who play like him - but that's becoming harder to do. I still can't believe his comment about MTL 'not having anybody' - to Sports Illustrated, no less. Idiotic. What an ingorant, arrogant comment. Not to mention - dude, they have Markov, he's ten times the d-man you are. And Gorges, whom I'd barely heard of but showed himself to be a far better clutch d-man than MG.

I'm trying to keep an open mind, but I look at the top D on teams still playing or even just who made it farther than the Caps - Timmonen, Keith, Timmonen, , Pronger [much as I hate him], Lidstrom, Kronwall, Markov, Gorges - I really don't see how Green's even in that conversation, unless you have blinders on.

That said, I am eagerly anticipating seeing Carlson this year, I think he's going to have a great season. And who knows, maybe his emergence takes pressure off Green [and off BB, to overplay him]. Here's hoping.

Posted by: govtimbo | June 6, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

That's too bad. He's the type of player the Caps are really lacking. $5M might be a bit high for him but it's not completely unreasonable.

Posted by: Stu_c | June 7, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

@joek443

my thing w/erskine is that he's the only player on the team who plays the style of hockey i enjoy most...he's not nearly as bad as some here think; he is what he is, and what he is is what the caps are sorely missing....pretty simple: define his role, limit his minutes (14-18), and he'd be great for us (as he's been until injuries pop-up)....i guess i just hate when my fav. players don't get a fair chance and others whom i can't stand can't seem to play out of the lineup

Posted by: vermontcaps | June 7, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Another alternative is to try and trade for Regehr.

Posted by: Stu_c | June 7, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Just because the Caps don't intend to sign Volchenkov, doesn't mean the don't intend to address the need for a toughminded defensive defensman. The Caps are pretty confident that Carlsson and Alzner will make up the second unit and may well pair Green with Poti. The greater need is a 2nd line center who can create, backcheck, and score. Both Semin and Laich do even better playing with a quality center which wasn't the case last year.

Posted by: wizfan89 | June 7, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

The numbers work if you trade Green.

Posted by: leopard09 | June 8, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Alright, it's easy to see what our team needs: a Defensive D-man. We have firepower...that's obvious. Looking at goal with Theo gone, Varly can get real experience. Fleisch is fine...just a bad post season. Semin is fine...just a bad post season.

Martin's time with NJ is probably over. Then again Lou is going to try to keep his D intact. It might be a heavy bill. Also, he was injured almost all year this season. Might flare up again?

Hamhuis would be an AVERAGE add. Look at his stats in recent years. The +/- is huge when it comes to defensive D-men...and he isn't showing up to the game.

Gonchar is probably done with Pitt...but do we REALLY want that fossil back? He'll be overpaid and get injured within the first 20 games.

Tallinder had a decent year. Then again, with Miller in net, he is kinda expected to.

Mitchell has been a consistent D-man in recent years. Then again, his +/- started to rise when Luongo came to Van. Another D-man living off of the goalie?

Lydman has been good since going to Buff. Hasn't gone into the red. Riding on Miller's save %? Could mesh well with Poti. Best bet, in my opinion.

Lose Corvo, Walker, and Theo. Gain Lydman and maybe a forward (if we REEEAAALLY need one). Personally, not a fan of Neuvirth...but he's young and may just need time. A bold trade would be Neuvirth of Nittymaki. Good save % and only one bad year...when ALL of Philly sucked. He also has more experience than Varly n' Neuvirth combined. Give him a shot with a good team like ours!

Posted by: Siikonen-FIN- | June 8, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

*Neuvirth FOR Nittymaki

Posted by: Siikonen-FIN- | June 8, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

@Siikonen - agreed on the need for a defensive d-man, and that Lydman would fit the bill, he is very good. As for Poti, he and Carlson played very well together when it counted - the best Caps defensive pairing, hands-down, so I hope they at least get a shot together. But I'd be all for a Lydman-Green pairing, MG needs to play with a player with excellent defensive skills, and Lydman certainly provides that - plus he's way more mobile than Schultz.

Mitchell's just too slow for today's NHL, IMHO. But you're right about Hamhuis - av-er-age.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | June 8, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

I would definitely make that trade. Nittymaki's a great goalie.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | June 8, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

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