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Stanley Cup finals to begin Saturday

The NHL just announced the schedule for the Cup finals, which begin Saturday with the Blackhawks hosting the Flyers.

From NHL.com:

Game 1: Saturday, May 29 at Chicago, 8 p.m. NBC
Game 2: Monday, May 31 at Chicago, 8 p.m. NBC
Game 3: Wednesday, June 2 at Philadelphia, 8 p.m. Versus
Game 4: Friday, June 4 at Philadelphia, 8 p.m. Versus

If necessary:

Game 5: Sunday, June 6 at Chicago, 8 p.m. NBC
Game 6: Wednesday, June 9 at Philadelphia, 8 p.m. NBC
Game 7: Friday, June 11 at Chicago, 8 p.m. NBC

I expected to spend some time in Chicago this spring. But Philly? Not so much. What a story, huh?

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 24, 2010; 11:33 PM ET
 
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Comments

Game 5 at home against Montreal...Philly closes it out. That's how you get it done. Take note, Caps.

Posted by: Hatfield223 | May 24, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse

What about the other story... A-Train coming to DC??????????

Posted by: copedog311 | May 25, 2010 1:29 AM | Report abuse

Flyers had a great run but it will end in Chicago. Flyers coach should be coach of the year but that ship has sailed for this year.
I say Hawks take it in 5 games.
Lets Go Hawks. Caps mgmt take note that's how a young growing team learns and moves on. I sometime think we need a coach who has played or coached in the finals or won the cup to get us over the hump. Case in point Chicago and Philly.

Posted by: jotay131 | May 25, 2010 6:17 AM | Report abuse

Last year Pittsburgh fires coach..wins Cup...this year Philly fires coach...gets to Cup.

Strange...just strange...if there is any justice, Chicago will run them in 5, and the NHL a great regular season and playoffs team as the champs...

Posted by: SA-Town | May 25, 2010 6:49 AM | Report abuse

Capitals=Disgrace!

GMGM you know what you have to do! Start with dumping that aspiring actor BB and the rest of his merry men, to include Flash, Schultz, Both Morrisons, Theo and any other player that believes in his supposed system. The Euro style did not work, it will never work in the playoffs, just like Green and Semin...they will never work in the playoffs. Oh yeah before I forget...Semin straight up for Iginlia or trade him and Green for a number 1 pick for each take the money saved from dumping those bumbs and go get Kovolchuck. I know this isn't fantasy hockey, but I'm still mad.

Posted by: Squigsfan83 | May 25, 2010 7:18 AM | Report abuse

If you look at the defensemen who got their team to the SCFs and win it (or possibly win it) I think Darren Elliot is right with his quote:

"Placing emphasis on a puck-moving, mobile defense led by Keith, Brent Seabrook, Brian Campbell and Niklas Hjalmarsson is exactly what is needed in today's game: move the puck, move your feet, defend with quickness and abet the attack with swift skating. Certainly, that element has served the Red Wings well for 15 years and the current group in Chicago ensures competitiveness long-term."

This is not to say that big, defending defensemen (by those, I mean the type that are ONLY big and crease movers and poor puck movers) can't win a series or two. But they generally end up losing at some pointbecause they can't generate enough offense throughout the playoffs. Such as Montreal this year(2 goals in its 4 four losses to Philly). They are unable to generate enough scoring opportunities with good break out passes that can sustain a long playoff run.

Ideally you have 6 Pronger's. 6 Hall of Fame defensemen who are great at everything. Teams defintely want some guys who can move people out of the crease and move people from the corners. But championship teams, when they have those guys, have them who are able to do also move the puck.

Teams do not want 6 defensemen who can't play strong or move anybody, but 6 Andy Sutton's or 6 Hal Gill's are rarely going to get you anywhere also. Usually, at most, a championship team can have one or two of them (Hal Gill is decent at moving the puck too).

But Pittsburgh had it's Letang's and Gonchar's. Detroit had plenty of puck moving D-men. Philly and Chicago both have great sets of D-men.

The key is getting the type of defensemen that Elliot mentions but also getting those who are also capable of playing physical. (such as Pronger, Niedermeyer, Volchenkov, etc.)

Loading the team up with Andy Sutton's and John Erskine's isn't going to cut it either.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 25, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

The key is getting the type of defensemen that Elliot mentions but also getting those who are also capable of playing physical. (such as Pronger, Niedermeyer, Volchenkov, etc.)

Loading the team up with Andy Sutton's and John Erskine's isn't going to cut it either.


Posted by: sgm3

Volchenkov is in no way in Pronger/Niedermeyer's class. Volchenkov is a ONE dimensional player. Those other two play both ends of the ice. AV has ZERO offensive upside. $5m is way too much for a player like this. If the Caps are gonna sign hin, needs to be closer to $4m.

If you bring him in, and don't want to trade Semin, you need to then package Flash/Schultz for a 2nd center. A guy who is a year from free agency, that has worn out his welcome in EDM is O'Sullivan. Not a great option, but could put up nubers playing with Semin and Laich. Also, cap hit just under $3m for one more year.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 25, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Today is a terrible day. There is no doubt in my mind that had the Caps beaten MTL they'd have gone on to embarrass Philadelphia and the joke they had in goal at the time and beaten Pitt in another epic series. Now we're stuck with terrible stories about Ovi's dog and Semin taking puffs off cigarettes. Thank God for Strass next Friday or everything would be 100% terrible. I had gotten over the loss and moved on...but seeing Mike Richards carry his team to the finals is just devastating.

As for the previous comments - BB and GM are both very good and together built and coached the best team in the league. The best team doesn't always win. I think with Alzner and Calrson playing full seasons next year the defense will improve. Those two, particularly JC, need to eat into Mike Green's minutes. I think a number 2 (maybe even 3) center is of bigger concern at this point than a big time defenseman. Caps are extremely weak up the middle. But if we could get a physical, shut down D to pair with Green to go along with a better 2nd line C then the only thing this team will need to overcome next year will be itself. We could see 60 wins, or at least more regulation wins. What a crappy day.

Posted by: DisgustedinArlington | May 25, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Second line center = Patrick Marleau. Trade Semin and sign Marleau for 4 yrs and your cap hit is the same again.

Posted by: jake81 | May 25, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

I hope that the Caps organization takes a moment, as I have (involuntarily), TO FEEL LIKE HOT GARBAGE!

The finality of seeing Philly make it brings back the pain.

I hope that they take a break from spending their handsome salaries and reflect on what could have been. Because this just SUCKS!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | May 25, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Help on the way for the blueline?

from ESPN insider:

Caps ready to offer Volchenkov
6:22PM ET
Anton Volchenkov | Senators
Top Email

The Washington Capitals are reportedly ready to give Anton Volchenkov something around $5 million a year to come play for them, the Ottawa Sun reports. It might be a tough offer for Volchenkov to turn down, especially since the Caps have so many prominent Russian players like himself on the squad.

Another team that might get into the Volchenkov bidding is the Pittsburgh Penguins, whose offseason will depend on whether they can re-sign Sergei Gonchar. Many believe Gonchar won't back down from his $5 million a year demands, so they may look to sign Volchenkov or perhaps Nashville's Dan Hamhuis.

The Ottawa Senators are still trying to re-sign Volchenkov, but they can't give him the money he wants and it looks like A-train is ready to test the free-agent waters. So the Senators will try to keep another big blueliner, Andy Sutton, but the Sun reports that this UFA might also be too expensive for them.

Posted by: SkinsFanInNYC | May 25, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

@underpants

I agree that Volchenkov is not at the level of Pronger or Niedermeyer. Those guys are Hall of Fame players. I wasn't trying to say they are equal players.

But to say Volchenkov is one dimensional is dead wrong. He is considered a very good passer with good stick skills and has pretty good mobility as well.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 25, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I hope that the Caps organization takes a moment, as I have (involuntarily), TO FEEL LIKE HOT GARBAGE!

The finality of seeing Philly make it brings back the pain.

I hope that they take a break from spending their handsome salaries and reflect on what could have been. Because this just SUCKS!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr

Agreed. This should not sit well with the organization. They have failed yet again in a year that was all laid out for them. Enough excuses: hot goalie, bad matchups, etc...

There is a flaw in the team that they have assembled. They have the cap space and assets to fix it. But I have serious doubts that the GM in place has the ability to do so.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 25, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

@underpants

I agree that Volchenkov is not at the level of Pronger or Niedermeyer. Those guys are Hall of Fame players. I wasn't trying to say they are equal players.

But to say Volchenkov is one dimensional is dead wrong. He is considered a very good passer with good stick skills and has pretty good mobility as well.

Posted by: sgm3

If he was as good a passer as you say, his assit totals would be higher. It just isn't the case, as bad as you may want it to be. He brings a solid stay at home dman that blocks a ton of shots, and hits. But it is very hard to keep those guys healthy for the long haul, and $5m is absurd considering this team has other needs. Unless they are looking to move Semin, this is too much to pay.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 25, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Squigsfan83 - if Euro style hockey won't ever work, why would you want to trade for Kovolchuck??

I think everyone needs to just take a deep breath....relax. Everything is going to be just fine....I promise.

Posted by: j3rockstar | May 25, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

@underpants2

Have you seen him play? He doesn't get assists because he often makes the first outlet pass from the defesnive zone and does not join the offensive play too much. He also doesn't play the PP.

When a player makes a good outlet pass they will most often never get an assist if it ends up leading to a goal because there are usually a few passes to follow. But it is that first, crisp, accurate pass that is so important to starting the transition.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 25, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Have you seen him play? He doesn't get assists because he often makes the first outlet pass from the defesnive zone and does not join the offensive play too much. He also doesn't play the PP.

When a player makes a good outlet pass they will most often never get an assist if it ends up leading to a goal because there are usually a few passes to follow. But it is that first, crisp, accurate pass that is so important to starting the transition.

Posted by: sgm3

Yes. And players often get assists from first outlet passes. In 7 NHL seasons, he has 16 goals and 78 assists. Not the numbers of to quote you, "great passer with good stick skills."

Posted by: underpants2 | May 25, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I keep mentioning this. Good thing we took Fehr in the draft over Mike Richards. Of course many other team made that mistake also. Richards seems to be the bets two way player in hockey.

Posted by: pkme | May 25, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

@underpants2

Since Volchenkov doesn't play on the PP you cannot look at overall totals.

I think you would agree that Scott Niedermeyer is a pretty good passer and stickhandler. One of the best in the NHL.

This year Niedermeyer had 5G and 15A at even strength over 80 games.

Volchenkov had 4G and 10A over 64 games.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 25, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

@pkme

Yeah Richards would have been nice. But there were also players a lot worse than Fehr taken before Richards too. Fehr wasn't a great pick but he is turning into a pretty solid pick.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 25, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

@sgm3

Sorry, I misquoted you. Hardly a "good passer with good stick skills."

Too much for Volchenkov when you clearly have a huge problem up the middle.

On another note. This team is also missing an agitator. I would rather see Della Rovere get a shot on the 4th line instead of resigning Gordon. I would like to see what he can bring every night.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 25, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

@underpants2

$5M may be too much for Volchenkov. That is a close call. I can see the argument for both sides.

I agree on the hole up the middle. I guess I think, with the available crop of free agents, Volchenkov seems the best option to fill a need.

I also agree with giving a young agitator a shot, such as Della Rovere. But I am not sure if he is considered ready yet for the NHL. Maybe there is a different guy in Hershey who can fill that role next year. Possibly Pinzotto.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 25, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

With Yzerman as GM in Tampa, and their core of players (Stamkos, Lecavlier, St. Louis, Hedmen and even Downie) Tampa could start turning into a threat in the division. Especially if they hit on their #1 pick this year.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 25, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

What I know is this. Both Pittsburgh and Chicago have made Stanley Cup finals. Pittsburgh won one. Chicago probably will win this one. Both started a rebuild process around the time the Capitals did. Both have far surpassed the Capitals in achievement. Time for less happy talk from Leonsis and some real results. By the way, McPhee was quoted earlier this year about the Flyers playing style, saying that they continually follow the same plan and have for years and "what has it got them?" Well McPHee, I hate the Flyers but you are looking up at them now, aren't you?

Posted by: poguesmahone | May 25, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

@poguesmahone

Pittsburgh started rebuilding before the Caps. The Hawks started around the same time. But the Hawks have went the route of paying a lot of free agents big and long contracts (Campbell, Huet, Hossa). It was a risky move, but it looks as though it will turn out great for them this year.

However, they will have to gut their team next year (projected $9M over the cap already).

Because of the different routes, it is way too soon to determine who succeeded or who failed. It will take at least another 5 years and maybe 7 to 10 to determine what road was the best.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 25, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

By the way, far from considering the Flyers to be a "great story", I think the Montreal - Philadelphia conference final was an abomination. A matchup of a seventh and eighth seed is as bad as it gets and shows the utter irrelevance of the NHL regular season. It is by far the most irrelevant regular season of any major sport.

Posted by: poguesmahone | May 25, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Pittsburgh started the rebuild about three years before the Caps (remember, they traded US Jagr?). They took MAF #1 overall in 2003 and Ryan Whitney 5th overall in 2002 - before both teams selected near top in 2004.

Chicago had an awful year in 2003-04 but it can be argued that they never got as bad as the Caps. Also, they have spent considerably more in free agency (which accelerated their climb) and have cap space problems next year to prove it.

The Caps need a true #2 center, a checking #3 RW and a #1 pair defensive (shutdown) defenseman. They have the assets and money to do it. We will see.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 25, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

@poguesmahone

I agree. In addition, it was a horrible series to watch. Some of the most boring playoff hockey I've seen in a while. The scoring chances were few and far between, and nothing would happen for most of the game.

The amount of talent on both teams was small which led to so little scoring chances. I read an article where the writer was saying how it was like the NHL reverted back to its pre-lockout style with those two teams playing. Just not entertaining hockey.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 25, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

McPhee was quoted earlier this year about the Flyers playing style, saying that they continually follow the same plan and have for years and "what has it got them?" Well McPHee, I hate the Flyers but you are looking up at them now, aren't you?

Posted by: poguesmahone | May 25, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I hate the flyers too but they've been very impressive in the playoffs. after Laviolette took over, I think his second game was against the Caps and they beat the flyers in a blowout, not sure what the score was but I think it was something like 8-2.

they've come a long way since that game and if they met in the playoffs, I think the flyers would beat the caps. Mike Richards may be a borderline dirty player but the hustle he showed in last night's game, the first goal and the empty netter, is a great example of a player who hates to lose.

and I wouldn't be surprised if they beat the hawks in the finals. what would GMGM say then? one thing I don't like about him and BB is their attitude. you could say that they're very confident but I think they're somewhat arrogant. for a couple guys who have yet to prove anything in the playoffs, they seem awfully confident even after the embarassment against Montreal.

Posted by: joek443 | May 25, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

@sgm. Pittsburgh drafted Crosby the year after Ovechkin was picked. One can quibble about when they started their rebuild but one can't quibble about their results. Same with Chicago, who drafted Toews and Kane in seasons after Ovechkin was picked. Chicago seems to have done it right. The Caps are way behind. And guess what? Other teams aren't standing still. Tampa is up and coming. The Islanders. The Kings. This concept that somehow the Caps are destined to win a Cup is the biggest joke of all.

Posted by: poguesmahone | May 25, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

All you flyer haters calm down. This series will be over quick. 5 games top. Chicago was my pre-season pick for the West.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | May 25, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

If I can pick Caps players from the past that I'd like to add, players I think would fit in price and need, here they'd be:

#2 center - Mike Ridley. Boy was he a great player to have. Played both ends very well. Would be tremendous addition to PK. Back-up - Steve Konowalchuk.

#3 RW - Ulf Dahlen. Like Ridley, great at both ends. I doubt we could get a player of this calibre though so my back-up is Kelly Miller.

D-Man - Mark Tinordi. This is the physical presence we need (Stevens or Langway obviously but not realistic). If not, Bob Rouse, he will give you lots of veteran grit.

Plekanec might be Ridley and Volch might be Tinordi. I don't know who is the RW.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 25, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

@joek443. You're right. Leonsis, Mcphee and company are too arrogant. The attitude that the loss to Montreal was something of a fluke.Leonsis and Boudreau both writing books before they have accomplished anything on the ice. McPhee saying the Caps were like Detroit (a multiple Cup winner) and didn't need an enforcer. McPhee's comments about the Flyers, mentioned above. One can go on and on. I like the way that they have built the fan base, but they have won zilch. They also blew a huge opportunity this season. Next season, they are competing with McNabb, Strasburg, Wall and will no longer be the only story in town. So even if they make a deep playoff run, Wall may get the headlines. Or Strasburg during the playoffs.

Posted by: poguesmahone | May 25, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

@sgm: yes, the Philly-Montreal series WAS bad to watch. The NHL made a big deal about the rule changes that opened up the game post-lockout. But if things revert to the clutch/grab/trap game in the playoffs (which is the League's marquee event), what has been accomplished? I think one of the Caps problems is that the bought the concept that the game really has changed. It has during the regular season, but not so much during the playoffs..........

Posted by: poguesmahone | May 25, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

@poguesmahone

I'm citing to tominsocal1's post above about when each team started rebuilidng.

You also have to take into effect the Hawks' decision to sign all the free agents and the future salary cap ramifications it will have. I'm not saying it was wrong, but it is way too early to decide who did the best. We will have to wait 5 to 10 years before reaching a conclusion.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 25, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

@poguesmahone

I agree about the playoffs and the NHL reverting back to its old ways. I never understood why the NHL doesn't force its officials to call all the holding/interference penalties in the playoffs. Hockey is such an entertaining sport to watch when it is officiated correctly which allows for more skating, passing, and scoring chances. All the Stanley Cup finals before the lockout were horrible to watch, which led me to turn them off.

As much as I hate Pittsburgh, it would've been much better for hockey to have a team like them face the Blackhawks than the Canadiens or Flyers. (Clearly the Caps would be the best)

Posted by: sgm3 | May 25, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

how about picking up Nathan Horton from Florida as a second line center? He seems to be on the block. Not sure of his contract, but we may have some prospects that Florida may use in their rebuilding

Posted by: _stevo | May 25, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

@ poguesmahone:

I'll add another log to your fire. In addition to Pitt and Chicago rebuilding along the same parameters as the Caps, don't forget that it was the 2006-2007 Philadelphia Flyers who finished dead last that year, only to lose the draft lottery to Chicao who selected Patrick Kane. If memory serves me, the Flyers went on to beat the Caps in the first round in 2007-2008 and eventually lost in the Conference Finals.

Since the 2007-2008 season, here are the playoff run downs:

Washington: Needs to introduction and will only make me angry if I type it up.

Philadelpia: 2 conference finals appearances and 1 SC appearance (present).

Chicago: same as Philadelphia.

Pittsburgh: 2 conference final appearances; 2 SC appearances and one win.

This speaks volumes to me; it should also speak volumes to Ted and George.

Posted by: Dave28 | May 25, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

@Dave28

The comparison to the Flyers is not a good comparison.

The Flyers went to game 7 of the ECFs the year before the lockout. Then had the best record in the EC for most of the 2005-2006 season before losing the division to NJ. Then they had ONE bad year. Then recovered.

Their route to where they landed was completely different than the Caps/Hawks/Pens.

Also, to again point out how thin the line is between success and failure. If Lundqvist was able to beat Boucher in that shootout (which he normally would) then Philly doesn't even make the playoffs.

Personally I don't think Philly is very good and will get slaughtered by Chicago. Philly matched up well with NJ(that was a good victory), was getting hammererd by a bad Boston team until Krejci went down with an injury, and then beat the Habs.

Going into next year I would take the Caps roster over the Flyers in a heartbeat.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 25, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

for the arm chair gm's out there - you should get up, turn around, dig under the cushions of your recliners for spare change, scrounge up the $150M or so and buy the coyotes. you could then show BB and GMGM first hand how easy it is to win a stanley cup

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 25, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Had the rangers beaten philly in the shootout, I think Caps would have played Boston.

The Pronger trade (with 7 yrs and $50M left to go) would be considered a giant bust.

One shootout goal.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 25, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

you can't win ANYTHING unless you're in the show and philly is in the SHOW, unlike that local team that wears red, white and blue and has a habit of not making it past April.

I'll take that over a 60 win season any day no matter how good a roster you might have because all that's good for is a Prez trophy... the most meaningless piece of hardware in all of sports.

Posted by: joek443 | May 25, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

OOPS, the people with the homer goggles are going to start throwing insults again.....make sure you never, ever question BB or GMGM on this blog....you are sure to get attacked and berated for making perfectly valid points!

Posted by: PhilR | May 25, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

If New York won the Caps would've played the Rangers.

@joek443

I agree about the playoffs being more important than the regular season, who doesn't.

But if the Flyers lose in the SCFs(likely), who would you rather be in the offseason. Philly's GM with their roster or Washington's GM with their roster? Take into consideration of likelihood of success next year and the 4 to 5 years after that, and the ability to maneuver the roster. Do NOT make assumptions on what roster moves you think will occur later, only base it on a team
s ability to make moves combined with their current rosters, farm systemts, draft picks, and salary structures.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 25, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

How about some love for the Hershey Bears and their run at another Calder Cup? Went up to for Game 6 vs Manchester and the place was absolutely nuts. Awesome!

Posted by: GAU8A | May 25, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

One thing we heard about earlier in the year was the possibility of the league penalizing Philly and the Hawks over the make-ups of the Pronger and Hossa deals. Both contracts were obviously clear examples of salary cap circumvention. Take the Pronger deal - like $7.5M for 5 years and then two years (he'd be 43) at $500K with cap hit averaged at $5.5M or so. Clearly he would retire and not play the last two years and no cap hit since he signed before turning 35 or whatever the rule.

Now here they are in the Finals, the very two teams with those contracts.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=4369897

Any word how the investigation turned out?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 25, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

I remember hearing about that. I think that while the NHL didn't like it, there was nothing written in the collective bargainning agreement that made it illegal. So the NHL had no grounds to penalize either team for the contracts.

I think it is an area that will be amended in the next collective bargainning agreement.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 25, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Key difference between the Flyers and the Caps. Flyers believe in themselves and their ability to win, while the Caps believe in the media hype about them. This will be a great SCF matchup.

Posted by: FH59312 | May 25, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

@ sgm3

making it to the SC finals is no small accomplishment... this is a NOW business, NOT a "what's gonna happen in 4 or 5 years" business. Great executives can do a great job in both areas at the same time, only the mediocre and bad ones start making excuses by saying stuff like, "we have long term objectives." when things don't go well short term.

whenever Ted or GMGM says "we wanna be good for a long time", that's all fine and good but that could also be interpreted as they really don't care that much about winning a championship and that selling out the areana and making money is more important and if they just happened to win the Cup, that would just be a bonus.

till they go out and make the neccessary moves to win the CUP, I won't be convinced that they mean what they say about winning a championship... are they gonna be just an entertaining team in the regular season or a championship team that puts more emphasis on being tough and gritty rather than being fun to watch?

Posted by: joek443 | May 25, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

@joek443

You didn't answer the question.

If the Flyers lose in the SCFs(likely), who would you rather be in the offseason?

Philly's GM with their roster or Washington's GM with their roster? Take into consideration of likelihood of success next year and the 4 to 5 years after that, and the ability to maneuver the roster. Do NOT make assumptions on what roster moves you think will occur later, only base it on a team's ability to make moves combined with their current rosters, farm systemts, draft picks, and salary structures.

Again, who would you rather be?

Posted by: sgm3 | May 25, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

really looking fwd to the finals - two teams who play a very entertaining brand of hardnosed throwback style of hockey. And maybe McPhee can go to the Paul Holmgren school of managing, he may learn a thing or two. 2 yrs ago all you heard about was how the Flyers were in desperate ruins and several several yrs away from fielding a competitive team. And yet..they're in the Finals within a short time. Proves you can rebuild a team very quickly. Their biggest shortcoming really is in drafting defensemen. But they know how to use trades and FA to build their team and they know how to draft forwards.

The Hawks and the Caps started their rebuild around the same time. Pretty clear who won that race.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 25, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

If the Flyers lose in the SCFs(likely), who would you rather be in the offseason?

Philly's GM with their roster or Washington's GM with their roster?
-----------------------------------

i love that people still have faith in McPhee. Do any of you know exactly how many more yrs of early playoff exits you're willing to put up with? Is there a concrete # you have in mind?

cut the cord. Its long overdue. Thank him for adding skill to the org. Then go out and find someone who can take it to the next level.

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 25, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1: Holmgren has done an admirable job but there have been several questionable moves. Signing Briere is one of those moves, and trading for & signing Pronger too if no Cup.

And, like it or not, you have to give David Poile a big assist in the Flyers' rebuild. Takes two to dance though and Holmgren must get the credit on that one.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 25, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I think McPhee and Boudreau surely get one more season. McPhee has done great moves with trades over the years. Let's see how he manages the roster over the summer for next year. Do we continue to be composed solely of high-scoring wingers and poke-checking defensemen, or do we balance the roster with all of the required skills and behaviors to win?

As for Boudreau, can he "adapt at halftime" like an NFL coach must do when the other team is exploiting his weakness?

I'd be shocked if changes are made before this coming season. Another flop next spring though and it might be just like Cleveland firing their basketball coach even though he had a great regular season record.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 25, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

You can answer that same question I asked joek443. What would your answer be?

Posted by: sgm3 | May 25, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

here is the link on the volchenkov story

http://www.ottawasun.com/sports/hockey/2010/05/22/14049491.html

Posted by: dzee | May 25, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I can't understand how you people can seriously come on here and make statements like "If the flyers lose in the SCF's(likely)".....really, do you not remember a month ago when no one was giving the Habs a chance against the Caps??

They have the same shot as the Hawks, best of seven series can go either way so dismissing them as having a chance to win the cup is rather narrow minded and broderline ignorant....and, if they win the cup I would mush rather be the flyers GM as he (and the rest of the team) now own a ring.

Posted by: PhilR | May 25, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

and it should be "no" chance of winning the cup instead of "a" chance

Posted by: PhilR | May 25, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

@ sgm3

Even if Philly doesn't win the Cup, I'd rather be in their position than the Caps. Their core players have been to the ECF 2 out of the last 3 years and are going to the Cup finals this year. Even if they lose a few guys in the off season, their core guys, who are have tasted success. Ours have barely gotten out of the 1st round once. Having cap space to re-sign guys who have never won at this level is nothing to brag about.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 25, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR

First, the words "if" and "likely" are not dismissive.

Second, the odds to win the series is Philly +170, Chicago -200. So Vegas considers Chicago a heavy favorite.

Third, you didn't answer the question I asked either.

What is your answer to my question?

Posted by: sgm3 | May 25, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

That is because your question really has no merit.....Vagas odds mean squat in this situation but if pressed I am on board with ablake70 and say I would much rather have my core players knowing they can win when the pressure is on......GMGM's players do not know that at this point and without, in my opinion, significant change will not in the foreseeable future.....

Posted by: PhilR | May 25, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

@ablake70

That is your opinion which is fine. However, teams that have "tasted success" like the 2006 Oilers, 2007 Ducks, and others have not "tasted success" again. I think that is overrated.

Actually, the lack of ever "tasting success" is usually a better motivator.

So you would bet that the Flyers will have more success(more playoff victories) than the Capitals next year and over the next 4 or 5 years?

Posted by: sgm3 | May 25, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR

How does my question not have merit? All I asked was, if the Flyers lose (more than possible) what GM would you rather be. GM of the Flyers squad or the Caps squad?

It was very simple question contingenet on only one thing happening that has at least a 50/50 chance of occurring.

If that question has no merit then basically any chatter on this blog has no merit.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 25, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

You did not put "more than possible" you put "likely" and in my eyes that gave the question no merit......and as far as Vegas odds go how big of a favorite were the Magic to beat the Celtics?? How is that turning out??

Posted by: PhilR | May 25, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Good for Philly, Richards has been the best captain in 09-10, guy is a warrior.

Also good for Montreal Devils, great run!

Finally, good for Tampa getting a soon to be great GM !

Too bad Ted is only focused on regular season, enjoy that Prez Trophy !!

Posted by: LarryDavid | May 25, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR

Odds mean likelihood of winning. Not a guarantee. Teams that are not the favorite will win some times, hence why the favorite is given a 100% chance of winning.

Chicago is being given about a 66% chance of winning the series. That corresponds to likely in my book. An 80% chance is more than likely.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 25, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

"not given" instead of "given"

Posted by: sgm3 | May 25, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

There's a big piece of news that's not Caps related, but is within the division. Tampa Bay just hired Yzerman as their new GM. That could make things interesting in the SE - he has experience and put together the Canadian Olympic team. Maybe Tampa Bay will actually play up to their potential next season and make the SE more than simply a 1 team division.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 25, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Done arguing, most of the time we agree on most things....I think it was the arrogance of the "likely" thing that rubbed me the wrong way.....agree to disagree...

Posted by: PhilR | May 25, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

If anyone wants to see the story - http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=530122

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 25, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Holmgren and McPhee went head to head once and McPhee robbed him blind (Carlson).

I would not be so quick to dismiss McPhee. It's interesting that exactly the kind of player he was, when he played, is exactly the kind of player(s) we need.

Last offseason we were still hamstrung by the Nylander contract. That issue is no longer the case (although still will be interesting to see what happens, if he gets traded after July 1st). Still, McPhee managed to get Knuble, a valuable missing piece. BMo didn't work as some might have hoped for, but he was still worth the $1.5M salary. Belanger helped, Walker didn't get used enough and Corvo was not the answer. It's pretty obvious the Caps need something other than three defensive pairings exactly the same (Green-like RHD paired with poke-checking LHD). It's also pretty obvious we need even more grit in front of the net and better defensive play from the forwards. Of the 20 players now slated for duty as skaters, I expect at least three to be swapped out before next season - Erskine, Flash and at least one other.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 25, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I think Chicago has been more battle-hardened in these playoffs than the Flyers have. The Flyers faced the Devils and Habs - two teams that aren't very physical. Chicago faced the Sharks and Canucks and really had to persevere. I pick the Hawks. The key will be how the Hawks defense (namely guys like Keith) will be able to fend off the Philly forecheck which is ferocious. And the Pronger/Cobur\n v Bfug battle oughta be a blast to watch

Posted by: cstanton1 | May 25, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

LarryDavid, Lt Colonel and battalion commander of the Doofus Brigade, is back!

Are you recruiting for the brigade, LarryDavid?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 25, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR

agree to disagree.

@joek443 and @cstanton1

I still haven't received your answers to my question.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 25, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Hockey season is a long way away.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | May 25, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

I think Plekanec's value dropped a decent amount with his long goal scoring drought in the playoffs. Maybe that will give the Caps a better chance of acquiring him(yes, I know other changes will have to be made to fit him in. I just don't feel like sorting all those out at the moment)

Posted by: sgm3 | May 25, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

sgm: FWIW, unless the Flyers win, I'd rather be the Caps going into the future.

Also, I'd like to add, in possible defense of McPhee, you just don't know how the players (like Flash and to some extent Semin) are going to perform until given the chance. Now, keep trying with the same failed experiment, year after year, that's stupid. But who's to tell what a player becomes? Detroit had a 26-yr-old 4th line winger who played a minor role in 97-98 Cup. Detroit let him go and he eventually blossomed elsewhere. Does that make Holland an idiot (was he GM then?). No, he's obviously a sharp guy and great GM, but he should have kept Mike Knuble.

Are we so certain that, just as Knuble refined his skill and became a goal scorer via garbage goals, are we sure that Jeff Schultz won't get just a little nastier? Do you guys all know him personally?

I am ready to give up on Flash, one year from UFA and likely to earn too much in arbitration. With Schultz, we have about three more years.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 25, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

@ sgm3

Yes, there is some luck involved in winning the Cup, but you can't compare the 2006 Oilers and 2007
Ducks to the Caps. Those two teams went to SC finals (with the Ducks winning) while the Caps barely made it out of the 1st round once. And the Caps have arguably 2 of the top 5 players in the world.

My issue is not that this team failed to reach the SC finals, it's the way they failed. Everyone says they'd never want to play poker with GMGM, but I would. The man is a hoarder. Look at the collection of 1st rounders clogging up the team because GMGM just won't admit that they haven't worked out. Sure, he made some good moves, but even a broken clock is right twice a day. GMGM is not a guy that likes to take a risk, which explains his deadline deals and our overpriced grinders.

I'll admit, I've never been a big fan of BB. His excessive gushing over players like Flash and Green while throwing other players under the bus annoys me. This kind of "motivation" seems unnecessarily divisive, but I could accept it if I saw significant player improvement.

During his tenure the same players have been doing the same things. Look at Ovechkin. How many times is he going to go down the left wing and try to use the defender as a screen? Ovi is a great player, but as the years have gone on this play has resulted in more easily blocked shots than goals. And it's not just Ovi. How many times has Green blown a scoring opportunity trying to play the hero instead of passing to wide open teammates? That is coaching, or lack thereof. As great as these guys are, they are obviously are not going to learn on their own.

And to address the elephant in the room, will someone explain how our options at 2C this year were better than Nylander?

Posted by: ablake70 | May 25, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

After watching the NHL playoffs and seeing both Chicago and Philly a number of times, it's hard for me to have pictured the Caps beating either of these teams in a 7 game series. Both have 4 quality defenseman who are better than anyone on the Caps roster (sorry but Mike Green wouldn't be in the top two pairs for either). The Philly and Chicago goalies are pretty ordinary, but their team defense more than compensates. Their forwards backcheck and actually help the D get the puck out of the zone.

I don't think simply acquiring a 2nd line center and a tough, stay at home D-man like Volchenkov will be the answer. The Caps will fundamentally have to change their playing style for the closer checking, more physical style of the playoffs. I also think the coaching of Laviolette (sp.) and Quenville is more geared towards playof hockey. Not a knock on BB, but he hasn't shown that he can make strategic changes to take advantage of another opponent.

Posted by: wizfan89 | May 25, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

All you armchair GMs should be looking at the Hawks roster. After this season they will be in cap hell and boy do they have some highly desirable players that the Hawks simply won't be able to fit under their cap.

Of course a lot of GMs will be circling that team like sharks around their prey.

Both the Hawks and Flyers gambled with their monster signings hoping to pull out a SC win this season, but the gamble can only work for one of them. IMO it will be the Hawks. They just look stronger, faster, and more balanced to me than the Flyers.

So who should GMGM go after: Sharp, Seabrook, any others? Which position should we fill first: 2nd line center or veteran defenseman? Can we fill both?

These questions are far more interesting to me since I don't really care who wins the SC this year--I really can't root for the Flyers but then the Hawks did paint that dreadful pig-nosed Toews mural (thankfully covered up) before the regular season had even concluded. Not much enthusiasm for either team for me.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | May 25, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

But who's to tell what a player becomes? Detroit had a 26-yr-old 4th line winger who played a minor role in 97-98 Cup. Detroit let him go and he eventually blossomed elsewhere. Does that make Holland an idiot (was he GM then?). No, he's obviously a sharp guy and great GM, but he should have kept Mike Knuble.

How many Cups has Detroit won since they let Knuble go? How many has Knuble won? I think Detroit made the right choice.

Fans get caught up in the media driven individual playoff stories, when it is actually about the team. The playoffs test coaching and leadership, not if Ovechkin is a better player than Crosby. When the coach of the President's Trophy winner tells the world that he has no idea how to coach against the 17th place squad, that is the real problem.

The Sharks managed to get out of the 1st round without significant contributions from their top line and the Flyers got to the finals without their points leaders. It's a cop out to say that Flash, Semin, and Green are the sole reasons for the Caps losing, especially when this team only managed 1 goal in each of the last three games.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 25, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

@ablake70

I was comparing the 2006 Oilers to this years Flyers squad.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 25, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I think Volchenkov will be too expensive and he gets injured (those shot-blocking feats of his do take a toll on his body). He is a great player though.

I would like to see a veteran d'man as a mentor, preferably one who has been through the playoffs and has a ring.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | May 25, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

And to address the elephant in the room, will someone explain how our options at 2C this year were better than Nylander?

Posted by: ablake70 | May 25, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

$$$$. That is the answer. If we keep Nylander we don't get Corvo (who actually played well and had an important goal in the playoffs) or any of the other trade deadline guys. We also would have be into the bonus for most of the season which would have counted against our cap for next season and made it harder to keep Backstrom and our other FAs that we haven't resigned.

And to all of those people talking about blowing up the team. The Hawks are in a real bad position next year with their Cap and are going to have to trade many of their players after the season so they took a win this year or else and it looks to be working fairly well but I they had lost to Nashville (which they came closer to doing then it seems) then their GM would have looked really bad and the team would have to have a major change to fit under the Cap and it would have been a mess for a few years. The Caps for all of their this is the year talk will be just as strong if not stronger next season (depending on who we sign) and for the next few years after that. As for BB's system being the problem Detroit plays a puck control system that without Lidstrom and Datsyuk would not have much of a defensive aspect to it and they have made to two Cup finals before this year and won a Cup.

The NHL playoffs are all about who gets hot at the right time for the month and a half that the playoffs happen. Look at the Habs Halak and Cammalleri who were hot for the first two round then got cold in the third round and the team fell flat on their face. Philly has been lucky enough to have two goalies both get hot one after the other and got some good bounces to help them come back from being down 3-0 to Boston. This year the Caps didn't have that luck and didn't get those bounces but we have a team that will be in the playoffs for many years and one year we will get those bounces and be where we want to be.

Posted by: icehammer97 | May 25, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

1. Gotta feel sorry for Knuble. He left Philly for better Cup chance in DC...

2. The past 3 seasons Chicago played and built their team for a Cup run like this.

3. As far as the Flyers. Peter Laviolette has shown he is one heck of a coach.

4. Damn Caps.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | May 25, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

I agree completely on the need for patience before reaching conclusions on young players. Kimmo Timmonen would be another example of that.

I am also in agreement with getting rid of Flash. If there was no cap, I would keep him. But due to the strengths and weaknesses of the Caps and the salary cap, he has to go.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 25, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

joek443:

this is a NOW business, NOT a "what's gonna happen in 4 or 5 years" business

if owners and gm's followed this logic - they would never be able to keep a stable fan base. the success of any sports franchise is to have an entertaining product for their customers.
any team that is willing to 'play for now' without regard to the future would be drastically increasing their chances at failure (folded, moved, bankrupt franchise etc.). while fans believe that a championship is all that matters, this can not and should not be true for a sports team that is running a business - although it should be a goal every year
it would be great for some of us 'long' suffering caps fans to be able to say we finally won the cup, it would not be in teds best interest to field a team for 'the now' only.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 25, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

@icehammer97

In addition, the Bruins would've likely won the series if Krejci doesn't suffer his injury in game 3. Boston was dominating Philly until that injury.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 25, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

@ Capsyoungguns

There in lies the problem. Hockey is a TEAM sport. Sure the Hawks have some talented players, but they are all replaceable. A good GM knows how to replace high priced talented players with cheaper, comparable options. A good coach can mold young players into complete, team players and incorporate veterans in the system.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 25, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

@ablake70

I was comparing the 2006 Oilers to this years Flyers squad.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 25, 2010 4:45 PM

How? The Flyers have lost good players like Umberger and Upshall over the past 3 years and made it to the Cup finals without Carter for the 2nd and most of the 3rd round. If all teams need are good individual players to win Cups, the Caps would have at least 2.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 25, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

@ablkae70

A team that was not very good(Philly was a shootout goal on the last day of the regular season away from missing the playoffs), barely got into the playoffs, but had a very successful postseason run that ened up in a SCFs loss(if that happens to Philly). Then reality hits in future years.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 25, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

A flyers fan I know thinks Leighton will sign a 3 year 3 million dollar deal with the team next year...

Posted by: SA-Town | May 25, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Umberger, wouldn't he be a very nice #2 center?

Flash + what = Umberger?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 25, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

How much does he make?

Posted by: sgm3 | May 25, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Two more years with cap hit 3.75.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 25, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

@ablake70

I agree hockey is a TEAM sport. Not sure what my post had to do with your comment. My point was that the Hawks will be in cap hell after this season. They have signed a great core, but have in addition some horrible cap breaking contracts. They won't be able to resign a number of really great players, several of whom would be great on our team.

Also, I was really just trying to shift the discussion here because there are so many ways to say "unprintable things" and lay blame about the Caps debacle, and I just can't get all that worked up about who wins the SC.

So who do you like on the Hawks roster? That is the players they may not be able to keep. Sharp and Seabrook are the two off the top of my head, but I know there are several others.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | May 25, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Definitely doable, though some rearranging may need to be done.

My guess would be that Columbus would like another young player. To fit him in it may be necessary to reduce the overall cost of the 4th line. Right now everyone is making at least $1M (assuming B. Gordon is re-signed for a little over $1M). I think it is important to not pay your 4th line much more than about $2M combined. Saving an extra $1M isn't a ton, but is does help.

Then the question would be, do you still bring up MP and try him out as a top 2 line center with Umberger being the 3rd line center with Chimera and Fehr. Or do you just have Umberger be the 2nd line center? I still love the idea of trying MP on the line with Ovie and Knuble and having Backstrom play with Semin and Laich. I know MP is not a #1 center, but it seems like his style would fit well with Ovie and Knuble as wings. The 2nd line would be "sick" then.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 25, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

@ablake70

Also I'm not so sure Kane and Toews are so easily replaceable. They are franchise players, and their contracts--definitely worth the risk.

Huet, Campbell and some others--not so much. I also think Campbell has a NMC as well as a lengthy contract.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | May 25, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Couldn't disagree more with Capt Kirk when he says it is not in Leonsis' interest to win a Cup now. He had a unique opportunity this season. Redskins were atrocious. Wizards were worse plus the off court problems. Nationals were bad and still really haven't caught on. The Caps had the entire town to themselves. A Cup win this season, or even a deep run, would have cemented them as the number two team in town with a bullet. Instead, they choked. Next season, they will be competing with a Redskins team with competent management and coaching and McNabb. A Wizards team with John Wall and new ownership. A revitalized Nationals team with Strasberg. Even if they make a deep run next season, it won't be the same in terms of their ability to make gains in the market. It was really in their interest to win THIS season.

Posted by: poguesmahone | May 25, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

@poguesmahone

It was in the Caps interest to win this year, but not at the expense of success in future seasons.

Extreme hypothetical: If the Caps won the Cup this year but then followed it up with 5 consecutive seasons missing the playoffs, overall attendance and tv viewership would suffer dramatically.

Especially with the Caps now, as they are starting to obtain a strong fanbase. It is key for them to be in competition for the next 5 years because that sustained success will help keep those fans who are starting to become interested. After being a fan for a team for an extended period of time, people are less likely to stop being a fan when bad times occur.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 25, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Sgm: Do you really think Black Hawk fans are going to complain or attendance will hit the skids if they win a Cup this season and then have a few mediocre years due to salary cap problems? I don't. No way. Winning a championship creates a wave of goodwill that lasts for years. In the Redskins case it lasted decades. Contrast that with the Caps scenario of underachieving when they had a chance to shine. If they continue to struggle in the playoffs for another year or two, and the other teams in town achieve some success, THAT is when you will see a decline in the Caps attendance.

Posted by: poguesmahone | May 25, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

The Redskins had a decade of success, not one championship.

The opposing argument would be to look at Tampa and Anaheim. They won, but then regressed quickly and have hurt tremendously from it. Especially Tampa.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 25, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

If the only trade is Flash for Umberger, here is what you get:

Ovechkin (2008-2021) 9.538
Backstrom (2010-2020) 6.700
Semin (impending UFA) 6.000
Flash (signs 2010-2013) 3.300 Umberger 3.75
Knuble (impending UFA) 2.800
Laich (impending UFA) 2.067
Fehr (signs 2010-2012) 2.000
Chimera (2009-2012) 1.875
Steckel (2010-2013) 1.100
Bradley (impending UFA) 1.000
Gordon 0.900
Perreault (w/bonus; impending RFA) 0.792
Laing (re-signs yearly) 0.550
S/T 13 Forwards 38.622
Green (2008-2012) 5.250
Poti (impending UFA) 3.500
Schultz (signs 2010-2012) 2.000
Alzner (w/bonus; impending RFA) 1.675
Erskine (impending UFA) 1.250
Carlson (EL 2009-2012) 0.846
Sloan (2010-2012) 0.700
S/T 7 Defensemen 15.221
Varlamov (impending RFA) 0.822
Neuvirth (impending RFA) 0.822
S/T 2 Goalies 1.644
Total 23 Players 55.487
Cap Space 56.800
Available 1.313 .863 with Umberger

You still then have $900K to work with and you still don't have a checking RW. I would say at that point Umberger goes with Semin and Laich and Perreault would be with Chimera and Fehr. Still not balanced how I like but better.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 25, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

I haven't seen Umberger play that much. His fame for me is more of in the nature of commentary. Do you think he would be a good fit on this team? What do you think of his speed and hands?

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | May 25, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

If they remove Erskine then there is about $2.15 in room (maybe $3 if the cap goes up, but we will wait on that).

I'm just thinking who else will be needed to be moved to bring in Volchenkov or maybe Hamuis(who will likely be a little cheaper).

Making 4th line changes to reduce costs could possibly get another $700k or so. The young players bonuses could also be delayed (a little bit of a risky move but may be worth it)

Posted by: sgm3 | May 25, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

What about Macken--I know he's a long-shot but it certainly sounds as if he has a chance to make the roster given the statements on signing day.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | May 25, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Macken - do you mean Johansson? Backstrom, Perreault, Johansson and Steckel is possible, but very inexperienced.

If you take away Erskine, you have to put someone back. The roster for skaters must be either 20 or 21. You could plug in Collins for $600K savings, but then either Sloan or Collins is d-man #6 and the other is #7. This would still basically involve Semin moving for Volch to fit.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 25, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Sorry I meant Marcus Johansson. The talk at the time of his and Backstrom's signings were that he was going to try to make the team this year and later McPhee said perhaps on the 3rd line. And if doesn't make it the question would be whether he returns to the SEL or go to Hershey.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | May 25, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

sgm3:
that was exactly the point i was trying to express.
hockey is, for the most part, a second tier sport in the US. the redskins were a huge draw before they won the SB. for hockey - winning puts people in the seats - taking the cup one year would not ensure success for the caps. contending (win or lose) year after year will be what retains (and draws new fans) and keeps the franchise alive

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 25, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

And I meant more that I didn't see him on your list, that is if he did manage to make the team.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | May 25, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

The 900K for Gordon is either Gordo or Johansson. If MJ doesn't make Caps, his contract allows him to return home.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 25, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

sgm3

Philly is in as good, if not better position than us moving forward. They have unbelievable depth down the middle: Richards, Giroux, Briere, Carter. They also have a sick blue line. They went for broke, got Pronger, and it has paid off in spades. McPhee doesn't have the stones to try anything that drastic. Me and BB need to work this offseason like their jobs depend on it, like other teams force their management to. Odds are, the Sharks are gonna have to blow their team up: Nabakov, Marleau, maybe Thornton. If the Caps do not win next year, they will need to do the same. You cannot keep all these guys forever.

If you look at what happened in the eastern Conference this postseason, it's a joke. There is a saying, "Don't waste your honeymoon." The Caps wasted theirs.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 25, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Capt in AZ. The Caps consistently winning in DC does not assure anything if the other teams are also winning. Precisely BECAUSE hockey is a second tier sport here. People will spend their money on a winning Redskins team, or potentially a winning Nats or Wizards team first. That is precisely why it was important for the Caps to consolidate their gains when they had the spotlight to themselves. The glow from winning a championship lasts a lot longer than five playoff seasons where they flame out. People are already starting to get tired of Leonsis' happy talk when the team can't cash the checks that Leonsis' mouth writes.

Posted by: poguesmahone | May 25, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Any chance the Cpas can pry the number two pick from the Bruins? The player the Bruins actually need is Hall, not Seguin. They need wingers, they already have an abundance of centers.

Semin, Schultz, number 26 pick for the number 2.

Just dreaming. But these are the kinds of moves McPhee needs to make. MAJOR shakeups. Trades, not UFA's. Don't eat up your cap space in a bidding war, use your assests to improve the team. More North Americans.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 25, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

sgm: so your argument is that five seasons of playoff teams that don't win Cups would see better attendance than a Cup winner that then sees a few mediocre years due to Cap problems? Even putting aside the unique characteristics of the DC sports market, I don't see that. Again, I think Chicago's attendance will go through the roof for years based on a Cup win this season. On the other hand, I already see a lot of fan frustration with the Caps underachievement. The old adage about fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me will kick in if the Caps continue to flame out.

Posted by: poguesmahone | May 25, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

sgm: so your argument is that five seasons of playoff teams that don't win Cups would see better attendance than a Cup winner that then sees a few mediocre years due to Cap problems? Even putting aside the unique characteristics of the DC sports market, I don't see that. Again, I think Chicago's attendance will go through the roof for years based on a Cup win this season. On the other hand, I already see a lot of fan frustration with the Caps underachievement. The old adage about fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me will kick in if the Caps continue to flame out.

Posted by: poguesmahone

Chicago will not flame out either. They will lose players, good players. Toews, Kane, Hossa, Niemi, Byfuglin, Keith and Seabrook will stay. Nice core. They may lose Sharp, Madden and a few others, but they will be players for a long time. It is not either or. You can win a Cup, and be good for years. It's an easy excuse the Caps management can fall back on, amongst others they have used in the past.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 25, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

Thanks. He is a long shot but they must have really seen something in how he played this past season given the statements made. Or they are desperate for a higher calibre center after Backstrom.

I've read that he has a bit of an edge to his game. I know he has said he would choose to return to the SEL if he didn't make the team, but who knows what he will choose once he's here. I don't know which would be better for his development, Hershey or the SEL. I love his interviews though and am looking forward to seeing him on the ice.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | May 25, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

I never said the Caps wouldn't win the Cup, but would be in serious contention (more than just making the playoffs) for 5 consecutive years. This entails possibly winning the Cup, but not guaranteeing yes or no either way.

If Philly loses to Chicago in 4 or 5 games and then fails to make the playoffs next year(more than possible considering this year) because they have to get rid of players due to cap restrictions, then I would not say the Pronger deal came up in spades.

It always amazes me how people want to label something immediately when proper judgment cannot occur until at least 5 years pass. It's a trait of a mob who immediately start hooting and hollering depending on what just immediately happened instead of evaluating situations as a whole.

underpants and cstanton and joek443, you all can go ahead and do this all you want. I won't respond to your posts anymore and would prefer if you do not respond to mine.

I only would like to talk to people who evaluate situations and use thought and reasoning to get to their conclusions.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 25, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

To a large extent, I find the comments about the Capitals style not working in the playoffs to be BS. Any style that works to beat playoff-bound teams in an average regular season game will work to beat teams in an average playoff game.

If the Capitals are beating up only on bad teams in the regular season, that might indicate the Capitals might have trouble in the playoffs, but the Capitals did well against just about every team. For example, if you look at the Sagarin ratings right now, and these are based on regular season results as well as playoffs so far this year, you'll see that the Capitals currently have a .643 winning percentage against the top 10 Sagarin-rated teams, which is the BEST such winning percentage in the league at the moment, and a .621 winning percentage against the top 16 Sagarin-rated teams, which is currently second only to the Blackhawks. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/sagarin/nhl0910.htm

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 25, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Yzerman gm with Tampa. Caps didn't even try to talk with him. nice move. all the flyers hating because they made the finals is just SILLY!

by the way, i remember when a lot of goofs here were knocking Byfuglien when his name was tossed around last year when there was talk of Caps interest. That guy is a prime example of what the Caps lack and so desperately need on the team. i think he should be given serious consideration for conn smyth. i take him straight up over Semin ANY DAY OF THE YEAR!

Posted by: doughless | May 25, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Playoffs give you smaller sample sizes and force you to play the same team over and over again, and therein lies the difference. Coaching becomes more important, because adjustments become more important. Or you might happen to get a bad matchup, or run into a hot goalie, and in the regular season that will only lose you one or sometimes two games at a time, and maybe a total of four all season, out of 82, whereas in the playoffs it can kill you. It's pretty difficult to draw many conclusions from a single playoffs season because of the small sample sizes and because the samples include only one, two, three, or four different opponents. You don't need to be a statistician to understand what I'm talking about. It's just common sense.

Or, to put it another way, I am very confident that if each playoff series were 82 games long, the Capitals would have made it to the finals this year.

So, I find most of this talk about the Capitals not being built properly or not playing the right way to be a bunch of BS. The Capitals were, at least arguably, the best team in the NHL this year overall. They were clearly one of the best five teams. And by "best" I do NOT mean that they most closely correspond to some kind of traditional notion of what makes a "complete" hockey team--I mean that they are the best at winning hockey games against other good teams, i.e. the most likely to score at least once more than the opponent in any given game against a good opponent. They had one bad playoffs series. Everyone needs to chill, dammit!

And it wasn't that bad of a series, really. They averaged something like 44 shots on goal per game over the last three games, and might've prevailed had the ref not made that call on the disallowed goal (which call I still agree with but which I suspect most other refs would not have made).

I'd like to see an entertaining team that wins more often than all of the other teams while I am awaiting the proper alignment of the stars for the Capitals' first championship. That's what I got this year.

My eyes tell me that maybe the Blackhawks right now have a better team, but the Caps went 1-0 against them this year, so I don't have really much data with which to prove that. My eyes tell me maybe the Sharks and the Wings might have better teams, at least when fully healthy, but the Caps went 1-1 against each of them this year, so it's hard to say. Until there is some good data to back it up, I'm saying that the Capitals and GMGM are doing fine, and no one should be all that upset about anything at this point.

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 25, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

squishy:

not 1 bad playoff series, 3 bad.

Posted by: doughless | May 25, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

fire BB. He is out of his league. The only reason the Caps have so much success in the regular season is because of OVi and mostly Backstrom. Remove either player and what do you have. A below 500 team.

Posted by: pkme | May 25, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Maybe I will eat these words. I would love that but BB is a clown who does not know how to motivate a team. He stinks. Hire Dale Hunter.

Posted by: pkme | May 25, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

pkme:

actually, if you look at the games that ovie did not play, the caps had a winning record. that said i think almost anybody could have the same regular season success with the talent on the Caps team.

Posted by: doughless | May 25, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

To doughness

I know that is why I said mostly Backstrom who has never missed a game and who plays a more challenging position and is better positional, defensively and is a real special teams player. I am biased and do think OVI is wonderful but I believe that Backstrom is the most complete player in the NHL. Towes, Richards would be in the same league. I just think we over rate our own team sometimes. They do not play a gritty tough style of hockey. Even Edmonton had Marty Mcsorley. I still do not think BB gets the most out of his players. They have size and skill yet they can not put all the pieces together as a team. I would replace every player on the Caps for the Flyers minus Green, Carlson, OVI, Backstrom.

Posted by: pkme | May 25, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Finally. I went today to choose different seats for my season tickets. I finally can rid myself of that horrible fat lady who had to scream and whistle the entire game to the players. She had pet names for all of them. She actually thought they could hear her. She was on the top row of the entire arena and thought they could actually hear her. She made me hate going to every game. My dad and I would spot seats in the 100 level and usually move before the 2nd period began. Most of the time it worked too but then we couldn't get up to go to the bathroom which was the price we had to pay to get away from that awful woman. So anyhow, now that I have different seats, I'm really looking forward to next year. Free at last!

Posted by: LloydChristmas | May 25, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

I believe OVI's play is going the other direction. He does not seem to have the great hockey IQ he once had and he also does not seem to learn as well as Backstrom, Towes, Crosby and Richards. Those guys are becoming better than him in all aspects of the game.. It would benefit OVI to drop ten to twelve pounds during the offseason and refocus. He has lost his break away speed.

Posted by: pkme | May 25, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

@ @ Capsyoungguns

Any player on any team is replaceable, even Ovi. That is the mark of a good organization. So the Flyers and Hawks might lose some guys that fans like. That doesn't mean either organization will suddenly become the Panthers. They will be replaced, just like Malone and Hossa were replaced in Pitt. It's just wishful thinking on the part of Caps fans that rival organization will collapse because (insert player) is not on the team anymore.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 25, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

@youaresquishy

I agree with you completely. Everything you said was dead on.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 25, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

I guess I'm the only one that remembers Backstrom's scoring slump coinciding with Ovi's injury. Remember the Flash-Backstrom-Knuble line? Not pretty.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 25, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

pkme, try watching hockey. The season Boudreau came in, the Caps were at the very bottom of their division - and that was when they had both Ovechkin and Backstrom. That season, and the next two, the Caps won their division. The difference was Boudreau, not the players. His system lets players like Ovie and Backstrom play to their potential.

And without Ovie, what you had this season was an .800 team.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 25, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

@doughless

The Capitals barely even made the playoffs two years ago, and they lost in double overtime in game 4 and an overtime power play goal in game 7, and I personally think they would've beat the Flyers that season if the officiating had been just a little better. I don't remember specifics--I just remember being outraged much of the time.

Caps lost to the Stanley Cup champions last year in another seven-game series, against a team that by that point in time was really pretty good, in a series that a lot of people, myself not included, thought could have had better officiating, and Caps went 1-2 in the three overtime games.

This year was the first series loss that was really totally unexpected, and I don't think broad conclusions can be drawn about this team's likelihood to succeed or fail in playoff games, generally, that are all that at odds with the conclusions we drew when the regular season had just ended, i.e. that the Caps have a very damn good team.

Coaching, y'know, I don't know much about NHL coaching, I do think it probably assumes extra importance during the playoffs since you play against the same team over and over again, so I'm not gonna protest if you need to get a new coach. I'll leave that up to everyone else. I'm just saying in general, the team's players are fine and have proven themselves good at scoring at least once more than the other team, even against good teams.

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 25, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

ablake, Backstrom had 4 assists in the 6 games when Ovie was injured. That's not exactly a slump. However, I do agree about the Flash-Backs-Knuble line - Flash ruined it.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 25, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

@ timmyv38

Weren't the Caps still near the bottom of the standings until the trade deadline?

Posted by: ablake70 | May 25, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

I agree with parts of the comments above. Unfortunately I watch too much Caps hockey over the years. I do think that BB is good at mentoring young players and getting them to the next level. I do not think he is good at taking a team to the next level in playoff hockey and coaching men. In reference to he came in a saved the Caps skins is just not that accurate. Hanlon was a nice guy but a really bad coach and any time you bring in a new coach a team generally in the NHL performs well. As the leader of the team he has failed. Why are people quoting how wonderful we did in the regular season. We got beat by the number 8 seed. The season ended up a disater. I want to be wrong but I have watched one coach take us to the Finals since inception. How many points did Backstrom get in the game against the Blackhawks without OVI.

Posted by: pkme | May 25, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

ablake, Backstrom had 4 assists in the 6 games when Ovie was injured. That's not exactly a slump. However, I do agree about the Flash-Backs-Knuble line - Flash ruined it.

Posted by: timmyv38

He had 1 assist against the Islanders and 3 in two games against Fla. I'm probably committing heresy, but this notion that Backstrom makes Ovi better is just false. Despite his flaws, Ovi is still the best forward on this team.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 25, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

I want to be wrong but am afraid we will be the same team next year. Decent regular season team and a failure in the playoffs.

Posted by: pkme | May 25, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

ablake, in what season? I assume you mean Boudreau's first season. Before Boudreau was named as interim coach (Nov. 22), the Caps were 6-14-1. Afterwards, they were 37-17-7. They did do much better after the trade deadline, true - 23-13-7 between when Boudreau took over and the deadline, 13-4-0 afterwards. They only made 3 deadline moves though - Huet, Federov, and Cooke. Federov did definitely help, because he was able to make the 2nd line a viable scoring line. Huet also was an incredible help, and Cooke helped the checking line.

Still, when you look at the record, the Caps vastly improved quickly after Boudreau took over. Before Boudreau, they won about 28% of their games. After Boudreau and before the deadline, they won over 50%.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 25, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Backstrom is still two years younger than OVI and plays a much tougher position. The main reason the Caps stunk it up in the playoffs outside of Backs is because we are not that good up the center. Would you take the Hawks, Penquins, and Flyers centers on the second , third and fourth line? The answer is yes. Would you take their defenseman over ours? Probably. Even if you listen to Leonisis or Mcphee they cite that as the weakness. Remember people used to critcize Gretzky for his lack of defensive play.

Posted by: pkme | May 25, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

He had 1 assist against the Islanders and 3 in two games against Fla. I'm probably committing heresy, but this notion that Backstrom makes Ovi better is just false. Despite his flaws, Ovi is still the best forward on this team.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 25, 2010 10:30 PM

The facts are against you. Ovie has been much better with Backstrom, for a simple reason - Backstrom is among the best set-up men in the NHL. Ovie is possibly the best shooter in the NHL, but a passer like Backstrom makes him much more dangerous. It is arguable whether Ovie is better than Backstrom, simply because Backstrom is so much better defensively. However, I would agree with you that Ovie is better.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 25, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

How many points did OVI have after the Olympic break? Not that impressive.

Posted by: pkme | May 25, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

pkme, I would agree when it comes to the 2nd line. We haven't had a really solid 2nd line center in the last 3 years. Federov was good, but he was past his prime. BMo couldn't get back to his old self after Christmas. And neither Flash or Laich could fill the 2nd line center hole. Belanger did fine on the 3rd line, and Gordon/Steckel did fine on the 4th between them. However, not having a good 2nd line center was a major issue, because it really held Semin back, making the Caps a 1-line scoring team.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 25, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

In ten years we will be talking about Backstrom and making Gretzky comparisions and OVI to Messier except I think Messier was better defensively. That would not be a bad thing. Backstrom is the kind of player who could if the stars allign properly could net 150 points in a season. Remember only three players in NHL history have netted 50 or more assists in their first three seasons and that is Peter Statsny, Gretzky and Backstrom. He is only 22 years old. He also is getting better by the minute. He seems to evolve. He needed to work on his shot and he got better. He needed to work on his transition game and got better. Most importantly like Crosby knew he had to be a better face off man and became much better.

Posted by: pkme | May 25, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

GMGM, way to pass on Pronger last year when he was a free agent. All he did for Philly was to get them to the Stanley Cup Finals! What? 35 was too old as an investment for a defenseman? Funny, you signed a 37 year old Knuble, a 34 year old B. Morrison and traded for a 36 year old Walker. You knew the Caps needed a "mean" and "nasty" proven defenseman yet you passed and got 3 brittle skill players with defensive deficiencies to an already offensive minded team. Yes, I am still mad!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: JohnWWW | May 25, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Ovi is a force of nature and a rare talent. However I sometimes question his commitment to two way hockey. At time he seems disinterested in defensive zone coverage and the neutral zone. I think he needs to play smarter more engaged hockey in both directions. He has his best games when he plays both direction. I still think he is carrying too much weight and played his best hockey when he was 218-225.

Posted by: pkme | May 25, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

@ timmyv38

You can say that is was BBs coaching that caused the turnaround or that is was simply taking the reigns off offensive minded players.

I like Backstrom and think he will develop into a great center, but he cannot be mentioned in the same breath as Crosby, Malkin, or Thorton. Those guys make the players around them better. Backstrom plays with Ovi, and Ovi scores with anyone. He had 50 goal, 100pt seasons before Backstrom was even drafted. He had 8 goals in the Pens series playing with Fedorov. Ovi is the guy that the other teams defense keys in on, leaving Backstrom open to make key passes or score goals. If the Caps had a top line of Flash-Backstrom-Knuble/Laich, we'd all curse GMGM for not getting Toews.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 25, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

I apologize. OVI is more of a natural goal scorer with a much better shot than Messier. Just wanted to clarify. OVI is like a Bobby Hull/Messier combo.

Posted by: pkme | May 25, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Very good point ablake. I will say that I think Backstrom is already among the top 3-4 centers in the league. No doubt Backs and OVI compliment each other very well. Maybe part of me has a bias. I was a huge Bengt Gustuffson fan and he reminds me of Bengt but with more skill. I also like that he seems harder working and a lower key guy. Something about too much personality and too much OVI. OVI also seems to not want to improve on being more of a two way player. Oilers fans used to ride Gretzky for this all of the time. I bet they wish they could have a young Gretzky again.

Posted by: pkme | May 25, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Did someone above say they were afraid the Caps would repeat next year with a "decent regular season and a failure in the playoffs?"

121 pts, only the 8th team in NHL history to amass 120+ pts, is "decent?"

BTW, the Doofus Brigade is seeking volunteers.

The Caps have definite weaknesses, all teams in the cap era do. The strengths though far outweigh the weaknesses.

Someone pointed out about a month ago how the Caps season this year mirrored the Gretzky-led Oilers just before the Oil went on the 4 out of 6 Cup run. Does this mean the Caps will do it? Doubt it. Ovi ain't Gretz, Backie ain't Mess and Green ain't Coffey. Plus Semin ain't Kurri and no one is McSorley and God only knmows if Varly will be Moog or Fuhr. And unless Carlson can be Kevin Lowe, we don't have one of those either.

Still, how many times did Edm get 121 pts?

NEVER (OK, they got 119 pts twice and we no longer have ties).

The problem with the Caps is they have weaknesses that can be exposed, like having all the same kind of defenders and wingers. I think this makes it easier in some ways to play against them in an extended series. We need different kinds of offensive lines (checking???) and defensive pairings (despite BB desire) that aren't mirror images of each other.

Anyone who thinks the Caps need to be blown up, the demolition squad in the Doofus Brigade has openings (can you guess why?).

We need to tweak the roster and tweak the coaching style. That's it.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 25, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

@pkme

I like Backstrom too and I think he will grow into one of the top centers in the league. I just don't think he is there yet. I'd put him in the top-10.

We've all seen that Ovi can play defense when he wants. I wonder if part of his problem is that he is the acting enforcer. Playing 20-25 minutes a night with all that extra weight can't help him play better in all three zones. I know a lot of fans believe that this team doesn't need muscle, but look how nervous guys like Brads and Stecks were when Brashear left. I don't think this needs a dedicated fighter, but just a few guys that can throw some hits to take the pressure off Ovi.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 25, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Tom

No doofus brigade necessary. I have compared the Oilers to the Caps before and it was a mistake. The league was so much different. The guys today are bigger, faster and stronger. I also think the league is actually more interesting in some ways. I think the Caps could trade or let these guys walk. Flash, Fehr, Steckel, Erskine, Theo, BMO, Corvo, Gordon, Jurchina, Walker. How is that?

Posted by: pkme | May 25, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

sloan and Lang also

Posted by: pkme | May 26, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

I would trade all of those players for Mike Richards.

Posted by: pkme | May 26, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

We have the same thing as ties as it results in 1 point even if you lose in overtime or shootout. There also was I believe 80 games. The rivaliaries were more intense because there were fewer teams. Each team played in their own division in most divisions eight times per year.

Posted by: pkme | May 26, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

To clarfy the Caps would play every single division opponent eight times per year.

Posted by: pkme | May 26, 2010 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Overtime started in the NHL in 83-84. Someone would have to clarify this. But an overtime loss at that point I do not believe would result in any points. This is a point of contention for some out there that believe a loss is a loss and the losing team should receive no points towards the standings. On another note the playoffs are the only thing that really matters. Oilers have five cups and the Caps do not.

Posted by: pkme | May 26, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Overtime started in the NHL in 83-84. Someone would have to clarify this. But an overtime loss at that point I do not believe would result in any points. This is a point of contention for some out there that believe a loss is a loss and the losing team should receive no points towards the standings. On another note the playoffs are the only thing that really matters. Oilers have five cups and the Caps do not have any.

Posted by: pkme | May 26, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

pkme: There is no way on earth I would trade Eric Fehr unless I were overwhelmed in a deal. Eric Fehr, IMHO, is about to embark on a ten-year, 300 goal "rampage."

Fehr will make about $7M over the next three years pre-UFA status. Then he will get about $3.5M for a few years and wind up as a Mike Knuble type player in the $4M (today's money) range. Meanwhile, he will learn how to use his size and strength and combine the wicked slapshot with some Knublesque, goalie-crease tenacity.

He will also, I predict, name one of his male children tominsocal1jr (just kidding on that one).

In a world where you can afford Alexander Semin or you can afford both Eric Fehr and Brooks Laich, trade Semin to Tampa for Downie and their #1 and sign Laich and Fehr long-term and then draft a gritty D with the 6th overall and ink Volchenkov with the excess cap space from Semin and boy do you have a better, more balanced team and Ted can give me a box for the games in LA and Anaheim and a case of wine and we'll call it even for the suggestions. Then trade Flash for a checking line RW to play alongside Belanger and Chimera and the transformation will be complete.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 26, 2010 1:00 AM | Report abuse

Another prediction:

The line of Ovechkin-Backstrom-Fehr will spend the bulk of the next ten years together and go down in history as one of the most prolific scoring lines in NHL history.

I'll bet my box of Mike & Ike's on that one. (I like green, lemon and orange best, how bout you?)

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 26, 2010 1:14 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of the Edmonton Oilers...

Their first year in the NHL, which included Gretzky and Messier, was 1979-80, a year in which only 5 of the 21 teams did NOT make the playoffs (including the Capitals). The Oilers made it into the postseason despite a 28-39-13 record and promptly got swept in the first round, by the Flyers.

Next season was Kurri's first year--they made it again with a sub-.500 record and lost in the second round to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Islanders.

In their third season, they got a new coach Glen Sather and really put it together. The Oilers dominated the Campbell conference, outpointing the second-best team 111 to 94. The incredible Oilers then LOST IN THE FIRST ROUND to the Los Angeles Kings.

The Kings that year had only a 24-41-15 record, for 63 points, which I believe is one of the ten worst records for a playoff team since the league expanded from six to 12 teams (something like that).

The next season the Oilers again got best record in the conference and lost in the finals, and after that they won four Cups in five years.

So the Oilers' history isn't completely unlike the Capitals history. Oilers started off in their first three years with a 1-3 mark in playoff series, which started with a first-round loss to the Flyers, then a second-round loss to the eventual champions, and capped off by a regular season conference best record followed by a humiliating loss in the first round to a truly awful team.

So, yeah, up until that point, there's a lot of crazy similarity.

And I am sure that everyone in Edmonton was really upset about it all. What did management do that offseason after that horrible choke in the playoffs? I'm not exactly sure, but their regular season records and their rosters look pretty similar between the two years. Of the 19 players that played in at least 40 games during their "choke" season of 1981-82, it looks like they got rid of Brett Callighen, C, Doug Hicks, D, Matti Hagman, C, Risto Siltanen, D, and Stan Weir, C. Of the 18 players that played in at least 40 games when they made it to the finals the next year, 1982-83, only Don Jackson, D, Jaroslav Pouzar, LW, and Ken Linseman, C appear to be new to the team (and Linseman is a name you might remember--he did put up more than 30 goals that year while coming within 2 of the team-lead in PIMs with 181).

That is the end of my story. I hope you liked it.

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 26, 2010 1:21 AM | Report abuse

I think the moral of the story is, maybe, you can't win 'em all, especially at the beginning.

But you can win some of the time, even if you're not that great defensively, if you can score many more goals than everyone else.

I think it's hard, being a Caps fan. No Cups ever, not even a single win in a finals series. I know, I know. Just calm down and be patient. Really.

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 26, 2010 1:26 AM | Report abuse

Squishy: Thanks. I know many of us are wondering why you call yourself "youaresquishy." I'm thinking on reflection though that might be something you keep to yourself. I mean, any time I engage in something "squishy," I'm pretty much happy I'm not on film.

Meanwhile I'm sure thousands out there are wondering how it was for me to make my transformation.

"So, tominfl1, how was it to become tominsocal1?"

"Well, you pay more taxes than Alexander Semin takes stick fouls but at least it isn't as humid as the inside of the Boston Gardens in the 1990 SCF."

"What about the traffic?"

"Backed up. But who isn't after a debaucherous weekend?"

"And the smog?"

"Thicker than Ivan Labre's moustache."

And there you have it - everything you ever wanted to know about SoCal but were afraid to ask.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 26, 2010 1:46 AM | Report abuse

What can I say. Well thought research and some facts to go along on the above comments. I really would enjoy being absolutely wrong. I do have one issue. Fehr plays like ten minutes a game. Maybe he will be kind of like Maruk. Does one thing and puts goals in the back of the net. I bet Fehr will not be here in two years. We shall see.

Posted by: pkme | May 26, 2010 1:57 AM | Report abuse

I think four players that will suprise you and will not return are Flash, Fehr, Bradley SMO.

Posted by: pkme | May 26, 2010 2:01 AM | Report abuse

I take back my statement about Fehr in two years. I would be very surprised if he suits up for the Caps. He is nice trade bait along with FLash.

Posted by: pkme | May 26, 2010 2:04 AM | Report abuse

If the Flyers win the Cup I might just have to hang myself. Although I'm not THAT surprised. They're a good, deep team that had a lot of injuries during the regular season. As I said just before the playoffs started they were a team I didn't want us to play in the first round (we all know how that turned out anyway). Once MTL managed to get rid of us & PIT to me the Flyers were really the best team still left in the East. MTL just couldn't keep riding their luck & hot goaltending. You need more than one player (Cammalleri) to score goals.

Posted by: ranndino | May 26, 2010 2:30 AM | Report abuse

Sgm: Do you really think Black Hawk fans are going to complain or attendance will hit the skids if they win a Cup this season and then have a few mediocre years due to salary cap problems? I don't. No way. Winning a championship creates a wave of goodwill that lasts for years. In the Redskins case it lasted decades. Contrast that with the Caps scenario of underachieving when they had a chance to shine. If they continue to struggle in the playoffs for another year or two, and the other teams in town achieve some success, THAT is when you will see a decline in the Caps attendance.

Posted by: poguesmahone | May 25, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

I was born in Northern Illinois and my father's entire side of the family lives in a Northern Suburb (Paltine). The answer to your question poguesmahone is United Center would become a ghost town. If the Hawks win the Cup this year it will fill the seats next year. If the salary Cap tears the team up and they become mediocre again, the fans will not be there, period. Chicago fans want winners. The ONLY team that gets a free pass is the Cubbies and that is because Wrigley field is a great place to watch a game. If anyone has a problem believing me feel free to use the attendance link below. The Blackhawks were tops both this season and last. In 2008, they even had a nice run at the end of the season, but missed the playoffs, look where they are. In 2007 they averaged less than 13,000 a game. Bandwagon Caps fans aren't any better.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 26, 2010 6:37 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, here's the attendance link.

http://espn.go.com/nhl/attendance/_/year/2007

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 26, 2010 6:40 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1: I'll take all the red Mike and Ikes, thank you very much. What do you think about all the negative comments on BB's coaching? Do you agree that his coaching was the reason the Caps lost in the first round this year? (I don't, and I happen to think it was a perfect storm of several reasons, but I'm interested in your opinion.)

Yes, youaresquishy, here is another reader wondering about your name. I do enjoy your posts and anaylese, especially about the Oilers.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | May 26, 2010 6:52 AM | Report abuse

analyses

Posted by: dccitizen1 | May 26, 2010 6:54 AM | Report abuse

IMHO one thing the Caps need to add is a player or two that has been deep in the playoffs. Not just once, on a few occasions. I'd be very interested in knowing Madden's true value to the Hawks off the ice. On the bench and in the locker room. If we are going to add some grit from outside the organization I believe that the Caps should specifically look for a player with that experience. Walker didn't fit that mold. He had been to the Conference Finals once and his Hurricanes got swept by a team we took to 7 games.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 26, 2010 7:03 AM | Report abuse

@ablake

Please read my post carefully. You are reading opinions in my post that I am NOT making. Nor am I making absolute statements. Rather I am offering observations about the Hawks roster and their cap situation, and how it might benefit the Caps off season.

They are a great team and have a fabulous core of recently signed players. They also have some bad contracts and will have to let some other players walk. Perhaps the Caps, if they can afford it, would be interested in some of those players. That is my ONLY point.

Of course their GM will add to their roster, but he will have to let some very good players go, players that I am sure he would prefer to keep. They are going to lose more than a third of their team, so the Hawks will be a very different team next season. Sure it may be a great team, but it will be a very different team. Only time will tell.

Their GM rolled the dice with their cap situation and it is paying off for them. They struggled with the Preds and have looked dominant since. I fully expect them to win their series against the Flyers.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | May 26, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

@Capsyoungguns

Well said.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 26, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

underpants and cstanton and joek443, you all can go ahead and do this all you want. I won't respond to your posts anymore and would prefer if you do not respond to mine.

I only would like to talk to people who evaluate situations and use thought and reasoning to get to their conclusions.

Posted by: sgm3

You mean people that agree with you. Everything with you is wait and see, and you fail to find fault in anything this organization does. You have no objectivity.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 26, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

pkme, as to your list of players to trade/drop, I would mostly agree with it. However, there are two main problems with it. First, take Fehr off. After next season, when Knuble's contract is up, he'll become a 1st/2nd line winger. Under Knuble's mentoring, he has blossomed into a player who can play a strong game in front of the net. Also, either Steckel or Gordon needs to be kept - unless you know of another 4th line center with a faceoff% of close to 60%. As for the rest of the list - I think there is little chance that they'll be here next season. "Flash, Fehr, Steckel, Erskine, Theo, BMO, Corvo, Gordon, Jurchina, Walker" was your list. Erskine, Theo, BMo, Jurcina, Walker, and Corvo are probably sure things - unless they want to keep Erskine as a big, low-paid dman. Fehr isn't going anywhere, and Steckel already has an extension. I'm expecting them to keep Gordon. I wouldn't be surprised if they keep Flash, because he could make decent trade bait. But I don't think he should be playing next season at all.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 26, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

underpants and cstanton and joek443, you all can go ahead and do this all you want. I won't respond to your posts anymore and would prefer if you do not respond to mine.

I only would like to talk to people who evaluate situations and use thought and reasoning to get to their conclusions.

Posted by: sgm3

You mean people that agree with you. Everything with you is wait and see, and you fail to find fault in anything this organization does. You have no objectivity.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 26, 2010 10:08 AM

No underpants, he meant what he said. You in particular totally ignore fact in favor of wild theories and your own little fantasy world.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 26, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

No underpants, he meant what he said. You in particular totally ignore fact in favor of wild theories and your own little fantasy world.

Posted by: timmyv3

What facts do I ignore? The fact that the team continues to underachieve? Or how about the fact that this team is not built, nor a tweak away from becoming a Cup Champion. You are a sheep. You follow the flock. Watch other teams. See how they are built. Try and figure out what we are lacking. And here is a clue, resigning Boyd Gordon won't help. Open your eyes.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 26, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

@timmyv38

Thanks.

On Fehr, I do think it is an option to trade him because of his expected upcoming salary ($2M). However, like you, I think it would be wise to keep him. You will get very value out of him.

I like the 4th line players of Steckel/Gordon/Bradley but I think the Caps are overpaying them for their productivity. Most 4th liners make less than $1M/yr, but it looks as though every Caps 4th liner will make over $1M(if Gordon is re-signed). I think that is too much money for 4th liners. Replacing one or two with players from Hershey who are makiing around $600k might be an option. It isn't a huge saving but it does help some.

I think Flash will have to go because of his projected upcoming salary, the position he plays(Caps are loaded at wing), and his trade value. IMO, that money needs to be spread to the defense and centers.

I also think Erskine has to go because $1.25M is too much for a 7th defenseman. A 7th defenseman should be making less than $1M. Adam Foote just re-signed for $1.25M this upcoming year. I think Erskine's salary needs to be used on a better defenseman.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 26, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

underpants: Did you take a nasty pill today? Spit it up, please.

dccitizen1: I'm unsure on BB's coaching. The way he adapts, always, is to change up the lines. He doesn't change the strategy, even though vs Montreal we needed to do something different. Back when Pitt would go down 3-1 and then come back and win vs Caps, they would change style from glitzy to gritty and beat Caps at own game. In life you can't always go in with guns blazing. I think BB is a very good coach but there's room for improvement, like also not riding Green 25+ mins/game.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 26, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

The grass is always greener, isn't it? Let us not forget that the Capitals have the best players (AHL, ECHL) in their system. That was the plan all along...to build from within. I think a little more patience may be required....but the ultimate goal with be reached.

Posted by: j3rockstar | May 26, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

@ underpants,
"Or how about the fact that this team is not built, nor a tweak away from becoming a Cup Champion."

Maybe a fact to you, but considered an opinion by others. They most certainly under-achieved this year. There will be changes to the team for next season and it remains to be seen if they are considered tweaks or not.

Posted by: _Mark | May 26, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1, timmyv38 @ sgm3

I do apologize for the nastiness. I am extremely frustrated with this team. The more hockey I watch, the worse it gets. I do disagree with a lot of the stuff you say, but realize I may be to far on the other end of the spectrum.

Ultimately, I think this team backed themselves into a corner here. Semin's contract could drag this team down if we go to the deadline unresolved. He has a lot of value, and being moved could help this team get over the top.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 26, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

@underpants,
I am concerned about Semin. I somehow don't see getting a hometown discount from him when his contract is negotiated. If he is going to go, I would prefer it happen prior to the season. A trade deadline deal involving him could be a distraction. It will be interesting to see how his situation develops.

Posted by: _Mark | May 26, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

yeah we should trade erskine so then we have zero toughness up and down the lineup. Our lineup wasn't even tough enough to hang with montreal.

There are other salaries you could dump which would make a much larger difference than erskine's 1.25 for another year

Posted by: _stevo | May 26, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Of course, I would much rather see him extended for the right price and staying than ending up on another team lighting us up.

Posted by: _Mark | May 26, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

@_stevo

My idea was to drop Erskine to free up an additional $1.25M to combine with other free money to acquire a top tier defenseman such as Volchenkov(or another if other people have suggestions). So it would be getting rid of one defenseman to acquire another who is better.

I do not want to drop Erskine to spend more money on wings.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 26, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

@sgm3

wouldn't dropping poti or morrison's salary make a larger impact. I assume one of them will be gone anyways

schultz-green
alzner-carlson
volchenkov- poti/morrison

7th - erskine

Posted by: _stevo | May 26, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

What facts do I ignore? The fact that the team continues to underachieve? Or how about the fact that this team is not built, nor a tweak away from becoming a Cup Champion. You are a sheep. You follow the flock. Watch other teams. See how they are built. Try and figure out what we are lacking. And here is a clue, resigning Boyd Gordon won't help. Open your eyes.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 26, 2010 10:26 AM

underpants, I work in a simple fashion: I look at stats and facts and base what I say off that. The Caps are and have been a couple tweaks away from being champions. The main tweak is 2nd line center - which is a position that hasn't been adequately filled in the last 5 years. Nylander, Federov, and BMo all performed well under what they have done in the past, and that has seriously hurt the Caps scoring, especially come playoff time. The other tweak is defense. With Schultz's improvement this season and the pair of Carlson and Alnzer coming up to the Caps, the defense is better, but still needs work. One of the main things with the defense is that the dmen need to step up and apply pressure while on the PK - especially Poti. While he was one of the best dmen this year on even strength, he was absolutely horrible on the PK, because he consistently allows a 5 foot cushion. With a good, tough dman, and a 2nd line center, this team could very well be where they need to be. They have two of the best scoring forwards in the NHL in Ovie and Semin, one of the best setup men in Backstrom, possibly 3 of the best faceoff men in the NHL (Steckel, Belanger, Gordon), three forwards who can play very well in front of the net (Knuble, Laich, Fehr), and quite a bit of grit on the 3rd/4th lines with Chimera, Bradley, Gordon, and Belanger. GMGM has shown in recent years that he can make the moves that need to be made (Huet in '07, Knuble and Chimera in '09), and I am confident that he will try to fill those gaps. He's been trying to fill the 2nd line center, and has picked players who have shown in the past they can fill that spot, but none of them has worked out - which can't be blamed on GMGM.

I can understand you being frustrated with the team, and I have no problem with that - we all are. The problem is the way you attack everyone - fans, players, coaches - and make totally groundless statements, and then attack people who show how what you are saying is not backed up by facts.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 26, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

@_stevo

I'm assuming ShaMo will not be re-signed. Dropping Poti would make more room but he is a pretty solid defenseman who was very good in the playoffs. However, if the right deal arose I would not be adverse to dealing him.

Pretty much the D-pairings you listed is what I foresee as the D pairings for next year. With Poti and not ShaMo. The Poti/Volchenkov pairing would be the D pair put out against opposing teams top lines. Volchenkov would also be great on the PK.

To make it work salary does have to be freed and having Sloan be the 7th defenseman at $600k allows for signing Volchenkov(assuming Flash is dropped). Erskine is better than Sloan and I wouldn't mind having him as a 7th defenseman, but $1.25M is too much for a 7th defenseman.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 26, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

@_stevo

My idea was to drop Erskine to free up an additional $1.25M to combine with other free money to acquire a top tier defenseman such as Volchenkov(or another if other people have suggestions). So it would be getting rid of one defenseman to acquire another who is better.

I do not want to drop Erskine to spend more money on wings.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 26, 2010 11:19 AM |

I think you have a good point. Drop Erskine and drop Flash (or maybe he can be used as part of a trade), and that will free up around $2M (if I have my numbers right, which might not be the case). There will be a number of free agents walking as well, and now something can be done with Nylander and his however much he's being overpaid by. But aside from defense, 2nd line center needs to be addressed - and I don't know if there's any good #2 centers out there right now. Maybe Plekanec, but I don't know if he'd work with the Caps system that well. Or maybe Matty P., although the question is whether he is ready yet.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 26, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

If Devils can't sign Kovalchuk, do you trade Semin for Kovalchuck (a la Bowmeester) + a 2nd rounder. Jersey gets a 40 goal scoring 1 year rental at $6 MM. We get the Belanger mistake back in the process as well. The enigma that is Alexander Semin is simply too much to risk another season with.

Everyone is talking about trading for a 2nd line center -- I think we got that in Marcus Johnasson. He is in the Zetterberg mold, and will be a 20 goal scorer in his first NHL season. Kovalchuk - Johansson - Laich is an upgrade more than the $2-3 extra MM you gotta pay Kovy.

If Semin is a good friend to Ovi, Kovalchuk is like a brother -- they are very close.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | May 26, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

@timmyv and sgm

I guess i am partial to keeping erskine, but sloan needs to go. Poti was our best defender in the playoffs this year, just like erskine was 2 years ago (why bruce didn't give him at least one game I have no idea). The ~600k difference between slaon and erskine I don't think will bear too much weight on signing Volchenkov, but I could be wrong.

As for 2nd line center, I posted this earlier...how about nathan horton from florida? he would be cheaper than plekanec. Either way I still think Matty Perrault earned a shot at 2nd line next year

Posted by: _stevo | May 26, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

If we are trying to move players, especially proven regular season players, to make us a better playoff team Kovalchuk isn't the answer.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 26, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

@Political_Strategist

Kovalchuk will cost too much. The extra $2M/yr over Semin's contract would prevent the Caps from making any significant additions at 2nd line center or D.

@timmyv38

I agree about the need for a 2nd line center. However, judging by who is available and their costs, it may not be feasible. Trying MP might be the best option(then maybe acquiring a 2nd line center at the trade deadline. Brad Richards could be one of those). The salary cap is putting serious restraints on what the Caps can pursue.

I may be alone in my thinking, and maybe it will fail horribly, but I really like the idea of having MP center Ovie and Knuble and have Backstrom center Laich and Semin. It would be lines 1A and 1B. I like the idea of MPs style playing with Ovie and Knuble. Ovie's and Knuble's size would help make up for MP's lack of size.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 26, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

stevo, I have to agree with sgm that Sloan would be better as a 7th dman than Erskine - although if it comes to playing one, I'd rather have Erskine. And Horton could be workable - but you do know what his salary was? I'm asking because I really don't know.

Political - Semin for Kovalchuk and a 2nd? Two things - first, the Devils would never do that. Second, the Caps woudl be losing on the deal, with how much better Semin is than Kovalchuk. Semin is just as good offensively, and much better defensively. When you look at that and add to it that Semin is paid less, Semin is by far the one to keep in that trade. Just get a decent 2nd line center to work with him and Laich. Also, the Belanger mistake? Belanger worked out great - the Caps should re-sign him, he is a fantastic 3rd line center.

As for Johansson, I don't think he's ready to be a 2nd line center just yet. Future 2nd line center - probably. I'm sure we'll see him in the preseason, and maybe he will be ready.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 26, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

@sgm: >>It always amazes me how people want to label something immediately when proper judgment cannot occur until at least 5 years pass. It's a trait of a mob who immediately start hooting and hollering depending on what just immediately happened instead of evaluating situations as a whole.

My point was that this season was a unique situation in which a Cup win would have meant much more to the organization than a Cup win may three years from now. This season they had the stage to themselves. But if three seasons from now, the Redskins are good then and the Nationals are hot and the Wizards have resurrected themselves, a Cup win would not have the same impact on the market and particularly casual fans. Not going for broke this season was a big mistake.

Posted by: poguesmahone | May 26, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

@timmyv38

I agree about the need for a 2nd line center. However, judging by who is available and their costs, it may not be feasible. Trying MP might be the best option(then maybe acquiring a 2nd line center at the trade deadline. Brad Richards could be one of those). The salary cap is putting serious restraints on what the Caps can pursue.

I may be alone in my thinking, and maybe it will fail horribly, but I really like the idea of having MP center Ovie and Knuble and have Backstrom center Laich and Semin. It would be lines 1A and 1B. I like the idea of MPs style playing with Ovie and Knuble. Ovie's and Knuble's size would help make up for MP's lack of size.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 26, 2010 12:15 PM

I like the idea of at least trying the MP/Backs switch. Backstrom has shown he can work with Semin/Laich in the past, and it doesn't seem to matter too much who Ovie's center is - he did very well with Feds when Boudreau moved Backs down a line. The good thing about bringing MP up is that it saves money that can then be used on a dman. Or a couple maybe.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 26, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

@poguesmahone

That comment wasn't intended for you.

While I lean the other way, your opinion is completely valid and reasonable, and I fully understand why you feel that way.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 26, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

@timmyv

horton's cap hit is 4 million for the next 3 years, which may be a little less than plekanec is looking for

Posted by: _stevo | May 26, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I can understand you being frustrated with the team, and I have no problem with that - we all are. The problem is the way you attack everyone - fans, players, coaches - and make totally groundless statements, and then attack people who show how what you are saying is not backed up by facts.

Posted by: timmyv38

You make statements like drop Erskine, or drop Poti. Who is gonna take John Erskine and his $1.25m cap hit? Or Poti, and his $3.5m cap hit? These players are untradeable. You need to base any future soltion around RFA/UFA/Trades. This team has too much dead money, no one is just gonna take it off their hands. The statements I make are specifically around the salary cap situation this team has put itself in. This needs to be addressed and fixed before this team can move forward. Is McPhee the guy to fix it, maybe.

Fehr - Should be signed
Flash - Should be signed and traded
Schultz - Should be signed and traded
Semin - Needs to be Traded
Neuvirth - Needs to be signed

Simply keeping all these guys, except flash, and adding a free agent doesn't solve the problems this team has. Schultz's is a prime example. We all watch him play. We all know his numbers are grossly inflated. Why should we give him $2m+? Why not sell him while his value will never be higher? What if we packaged he and Semin? We could definitely land a center, and probably save money on the cap. Then signing Volchenkov becomes a no brainer.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 26, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

underpants, thank you for proving my point. Those of us who watch the Caps know that Schultz is a solid dman, who works well when paired with an offensive dman like Green. It wasn't luck or by accident that their numbers were so good this season - they are a pair that complements each other. Schultz is just like any other big dman - it takes a few years for them to get to their potential, and then they just keep getting better. Look at Chara if you want an example of that. Schultz is never going to put up much in the way of offensive numbers, he probably will never become a huge checking dman - but he'll keep playing solid defense. This team only has three problems, and very likely one or two trades can take care of the defense, either bringing up MP or trading/signing a 2nd line center will fix one, and changing how the PK is run will fix the 3rd.

And why are you obsessed with trading Semin? In talent, he is one of the best forwards in the NHL. Build a 2nd line around him, and make it so teams can't do what Montreal did - which was to shut down the 1st line and make the Caps have to find other ways to score. Get a solid top 6 group of forwards (we already have 5 of the 6) and the Caps will be able to dominate.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 26, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

underpants, the other thing is, when it comes to the salary cap, much of that is going to work itself out. Look at how many free agents the Caps have, and how many are gone once the season ends. Corvo, BMo, ShaMo (probably), Theo, hopefully Flash, probably Walker, maybe Gordon... a lot of cap space is going to be freed up that way.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 26, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

And why are you obsessed with trading Semin? In talent, he is one of the best forwards in the NHL. Build a 2nd line around him, and make it so teams can't do what Montreal did - which was to shut down the 1st line and make the Caps have to find other ways to score. Get a solid top 6 group of forwards (we already have 5 of the 6) and the Caps will be able to dominate.

Posted by: timmyv38

Salary cap, impending UFA, deadline distraction. Take your pick. How would you address this?

Posted by: underpants2 | May 26, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Salary cap - not really an issue with Semin. For a player of his talent, he's not paid that much. Impending UFA? He'll re-sign, so not an issue. Deadline distraction? Not an issue, except in your head. There's nothing to address.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 26, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

underpants, the other thing is, when it comes to the salary cap, much of that is going to work itself out. Look at how many free agents the Caps have, and how many are gone once the season ends. Corvo, BMo, ShaMo (probably), Theo, hopefully Flash, probably Walker, maybe Gordon... a lot of cap space is going to be freed up that way.

Posted by: timmyv38

Not really. Keep in mind, we gave Backs a big raise. If we keep Flash, Fehr and Schultz, they will all need a raise. That will eat up much of the available cap space, and we haven't added anyone yet.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 26, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

@timmy,
Agreed on Semin's value, however, I do not think we will be able to afford his asking price. Losing him for nothing after next season is something that the GMGM detractors will have a field day with.

Posted by: _Mark | May 26, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Salary cap - not really an issue with Semin. For a player of his talent, he's not paid that much. Impending UFA? He'll re-sign, so not an issue. Deadline distraction? Not an issue, except in your head. There's nothing to address.

Posted by: timmyv38

Wonderful. I can see I am in over my head. He'll resign. If he is an impending UFA at the deadline, it will only be a distraction in my head. Brilliant stuff.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 26, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Not really. Keep in mind, we gave Backs a big raise. If we keep Flash, Fehr and Schultz, they will all need a raise. That will eat up much of the available cap space, and we haven't added anyone yet.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 26, 2010 1:11 PM

Yes, really. With those players gone, we still pretty much a full roster. Here's a possible roster -
Ovie/Backs/Knuble
Semin/MP/Laich
Chimera/Belanger/Fehr
Bradley/Steckel/Gordon-Hershey player

Green/Schultz
Poti/Carlson
Alzner/RFA
Erskine

Neuvirth/Varly

That is just one possibility, and one that would one require one more player than what we already have.

Keep Fehr and Schultz, drop or trade Flash (probably drop him, I don't see him being all that tradable, although maybe we can get a draft pick or something for him). The Caps were under the salary cap this season, and even with raises, the cap space being gained by free agents leaving will still leave space.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 26, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, tominsoca1, for your thoughts on Bruce Boudreau. I'm wondering how the coaches all work together behind the bench and in the locker room. There's a head coach (BB) and a few others. When a team needs to change strategy and play against a team that is playing the trap (like when Montreal played the trap in the first round, how does that happen? During the game? At intermission? That night? Is there an on-going plan for teams to switch strategies? I know the buck stops with BB, but I guess I'd like to know that if (when) the Caps are in the next playoff series, that there is a plan to adjust strategy. I would really like for Tarik to do an interview with BB where some tougher questions get asked.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | May 26, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Schultz is a discount at 2mil and will be the cheap stay at home defenseman that gets things done for years here in DC. Many of you will continue to complain about him because he's not flashy or physical. It doesn't matter, he is a solid defenseman. To say his +/- was inflated because he was lucky is simply people who made their opinion of him 2 years ago and will never be swayed. His +50 was 11 better than his partner in Green and 24 better than the #3 D on our team in +/- which was Poti. Those that dislike Schultz say he benefitted from having the top scoring defenseman on his team so his numbers are inflated. Those of us that appreciate what Schultz brings will argue that Schultz holds the fort so Green and the others on the ice with him can provide the offense.

Those that want to argue that +/- is a bogus stat, I would respond that GMs and coaches (at all levels) take the +/- stat very seriously. They identify who your liabilities are on defense. Ovi's +45 this season trashes the Ovi needs to become a complete argument too.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 26, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

@ Capsyoungguns

Sorry. I did get your post confused with the other the doom and gloom scenarios for the Hawks. You make some good points about their roster. Knowing nothing of the contract situation, Sharp, Buff, and maybe Madden are a few guys I'd like. The problem is the Hawks would want high draft picks, which the Caps don't have, or top prospects like Neuvy, Holtby, Alzner, Johannson. As an "armchair GM", I'd be willing to part with a few prospects (especially one of the goalies) to get Sharp. Of course, the Hawks could find some GM to take Campbell and Huet's salaries and this will be a moot point.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 26, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

And I totally mistyped something there.... when I typed "Alzner/RFA" I meant to acquire a free agent or trade for a dman. I have no idea why I typed that.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 26, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

_Mark: What if we win the Stanley Cup next season and Semin walks. Will that make the GMGM haters happy? As long as a championship is won nothing else matters is what I am reading a lot of the last couple of days.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 26, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Even if we win the Cup next year, I believe that most of those GMGM detractors will say that it was in spite of GMGM. They will likely give him no credit at all.

I really want to see Semin stay a Cap, but I just don't think the numbers will make it possible. I hope that I am wrong.

Posted by: _Mark | May 26, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Upants: If Semin produces at the same rate and ends up having a good playoff season next year, why wouldn't he be retainable at 6mil a year? If he produces at the same rate 6mil a year is a fair price for him. If Backs produces at the same rate, he will again beat out Semin's total point output so Backs slightly higher salary will be justified. Also, not so much for a hometown discount, but I believe Semin would stay put for less than others would offer because of his situation here. He has Ovi, Green, Backs, Laich, and others that will regularly talks to the press and he gets to linger in the background. He is probably one of the highest paid players in the league that doesn't have to deal with the press. He probably would not have the same situation if he moved on to another city at a higher salary and deemed the top talent on the team. His 6mil a year is in this season's budget which makes it reasonable to assume it can fit in future seasons too.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 26, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

underpants: I agree with you on Semin. I have posted cap numbers above. I have also posted we are paying an avg of $3M each to our forwards and only $2.1M each to our d-men. And the wingers are getting way more than the centers. Moving Semin allows Fehr to be promoted as #2 RW at like $2M and gives space for Volch. Moving Flash gives cap space for a #2 center, which we need way more than Flash as another winger. Ovi, Knuble, Laich and Fehr are more than adequate as wingers for top two lines. Backie is tops as a #1 center. We need a #2 center and a #1 defensive d-man. I'll bet McPhee addresses and I expect a mild shake-up.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 26, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

fanohock: Agree with you 100% on Schultz. Agree with you on Semin if we are happy with defense as is and with Johansson or MP as #2 center. We can move Flash to upgrade center but only moving Semin will also allow a top d-man to come in. I would make the deal to increase team balance and effectiveness.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 26, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Another option for Semin is just letting him play out his contract and letting him walk as an UFA. It is sort of a "go all out" mentallity such as trading for a ton of guys at the deadline or signing UFAs that will kill the team in a year or two.

Except the consequences of it are not severe and will not hurt the Caps ability to acquire players later on. Semin leaving at the end of the year would free up $6M in cap space. That could be used to re-sign the right guys and possibly obtain outside help.

Yes, the downside is that the Caps get nothing in return. But they would get an entire season and postseason with Semin contributing(please don't pull out the "Semin doesn't produce in the playoffs" stuff. Semin has done very well in 2 of 4 playoff series'. Crosby, in 2 of his last 3 playoff series' (not Ottawa) has performed about as well as Semin has in his last two. It doesn't mean he will not perform later on.)

If the right deal arose for Semin (comprable player or possibly the Downie trade scenario tominsocal1 pointed out) I would be fine with that. But I don't think the Caps should trade Semin to just try to get value(draft picks/prospects).

Their time to try to win is now and I think keeping Semin for the season and letting him walk as an UFA would be an acceptable risk to try to achieve winning the SC.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 26, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Not sure if anyone posted anything yet regarding Ovechkin's mouth injury (losing 3 teeth)in the World Championship final...does anyone know what happened?

Posted by: sj9096 | May 26, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Upants: If Semin produces at the same rate and ends up having a good playoff season next year, why wouldn't he be retainable at 6mil a year? If he produces at the same rate 6mil a year is a fair price for him. If Backs produces at the same rate, he will again beat out Semin's total point output so Backs slightly higher salary will be justified. Also, not so much for a hometown discount, but I believe Semin would stay put for less than others would offer because of his situation here. He has Ovi, Green, Backs, Laich, and others that will regularly talks to the press and he gets to linger in the background. He is probably one of the highest paid players in the league that doesn't have to deal with the press. He probably would not have the same situation if he moved on to another city at a higher salary and deemed the top talent on the team. His 6mil a year is in this season's budget which makes it reasonable to assume it can fit in future seasons too.

Posted by: fanohock1

I think beyond this year, $6m is too much for Semin on the Caps. He is probably worth $6m on a team where he leads the team in scoring, not 3rd down the line. He is worth $6m on NSH, FLA, STL, not on the Caps. Plus, we will have other RFA/UFA needs.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 26, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I think dangling him at the deadline will be the best option. Semin has tremendous value right now, through the roof. It will be even higher at next year's deadline.

Problem with this suggestion of course is that most of his 6 mil/yr cap hit goes against our cap.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 26, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

underpants: I agree with you on Semin. I have posted cap numbers above. I have also posted we are paying an avg of $3M each to our forwards and only $2.1M each to our d-men. And the wingers are getting way more than the centers. Moving Semin allows Fehr to be promoted as #2 RW at like $2M and gives space for Volch. Moving Flash gives cap space for a #2 center, which we need way more than Flash as another winger. Ovi, Knuble, Laich and Fehr are more than adequate as wingers for top two lines. Backie is tops as a #1 center. We need a #2 center and a #1 defensive d-man. I'll bet McPhee addresses and I expect a mild shake-up.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 26, 2010 1:28 PM

For once, I have to disagree with you. Laich and Fehr as #2 wingers is a huge step down. Neither has the playmaking and shooting ability of Semin. With those two, unless you get a #2 center who is an incredible playmaker, the #2 line is going to be even worse. Fehr and Laich are both tough players who are good at playing in front of the net, but neither is the type of scorer you need on the 2nd line.

However, if you get a winger for the 2nd line who is a skilled shooter, and can also play defense like Semin, then Semin could be traded without having a severe negative impact.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 26, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I think dangling him at the deadline will be the best option. Semin has tremendous value right now, through the roof. It will be even higher at next year's deadline.

Problem with this suggestion of course is that most of his 6 mil/yr cap hit goes against our cap.

Posted by: richmondphil

Makes sense. My only concern might be how that effects team chemistry so late in the season.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 26, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Semin should be traded at the deadline. Either trade him over the summer or let him play out his contract. Semin is our 2nd line. Moving him in March would be too risky.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 26, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

r-phil: Thing is, Caps won't be sellers at the deadline. I would rather do it before the season or let him walk like sgm says, using his money the following year then to get a UFA d-man so it would be like a trade.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 26, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

@timmyv38

I think Fehr has a very good shot which allows him to score from more places than just in front of the net.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 26, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

shultz is awful, period...trade him right now while another team might be duped by his +/-.......the flyers are in the final because they have, and always will, play old-school hockey; much to my dismay, the caps play like gentlemen and unfortunately, nice guys always finish last

Posted by: vermontcaps | May 26, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

timmy: Laich will give you 25 goals again and Fehr, with regular minutes, will approach 30. You don't move Semin unless, in conjunction with moving Flash, you get a 30-goal scoring center (a huge step up, giving that line the 85 goals where it got 75 this year with Semin 40 Laich 25 and BMo 10).

Semin and Flash out, legit #2 center and Volch in. Cap neutral, but takes our surplus of wing talent and exchanges it for desparate need at C and D.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 26, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

sgm3, I would agree that Fehr has a good shot - he had some very nice wristers coming down the wing and in the slot this season. However, he lacks quite a bit of what Semin brings. Semin's puckhandling can frequently open up chances, and neither Fehr nor Laich can do that. Also, neither has the defensive ability of Semin.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 26, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

@timmyv38

I agree what you said about Laich and Fehr. Those two are not playmakers and would need a very good center to make that line work. If the Caps move Semin over the summer, I think they have to resign Flash and let Fehr go.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 26, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Schultz is young and getting better each year. His improvement last year over the prior year was heartening. He is a really good dman for us, and will continue to improve. A keeper in my estimation.

Posted by: _Mark | May 26, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter where a player puts his gear on. If he is worth $6mil he worth $6mil. Of course if he is the man on another team he will get more than $6mil and will be expected to do everything that goes with that. Semin would be doing press conferences (in English). Just the way he carrier himself, he appears to be an intrevert and a follower. That is why I believe he will stay put for $6mil. He is worth that to the Capitals because 148 goals and 300 points in 327 games is top tier production.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 26, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

tominsocal, without a player like Semin to open up scoring chances, I think Laich gives 15 goals. However, if you were to get the type of center you mentioned (25-30 goals), then it is workable - and I do think Fehr can be a 30 goal scorer, given 2nd line minutes. I think when Knuble leaves, he might even be the one to go up to the 1st line. Question is, would there be a center of that type available? Nathan Horton, who was mentioned earlier, could be - he had 20 goals this season in 65 games, and had 31/27 in 06-07/07-08, during which he played 82 games each season. Are there others who might be up for trade that you are aware of? This season, there was only 20 centers who had 25+ goals - and only a handful of them would be up for trade.

Also, there is one hole that would then need to be filled that you never mentioned - 3rd line winger. Who would you use to fill that hole? I'm curious, because you do seem to have a very good grasp on moves to be made that will help the team.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 26, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

@timmyv38

I agree what you said about Laich and Fehr. Those two are not playmakers and would need a very good center to make that line work. If the Caps move Semin over the summer, I think they have to resign Flash and let Fehr go.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 26, 2010 1:51 PM

Re-signing Flash wouldn't help any though. He isn't that type of player, and is worse than Fehr. Of all our wingers, he is the one who most needs to go.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 26, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

OK, all I'm saying is, if you want to keep Semin, it's really hard to get Volchenkov. Are you happy with our D?

Me - no.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 26, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

timmyv: I put this last night and sgm has put this. The objective in moving Flash was clear some space and also get back a #3 checking RW. Some mentioned the Wild might want Flash so I said, how bout Clutterbuck for Flash?

Semin gets you the #2 center possibly and Volch is there for the picking if he wants to come here.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 26, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

tom, I'm not disagreeing with your ideas - you are the only person who has wanted to trade Semin who had good reasons for it and could explain how we could fill the hole left by him. I'm actually interested in your posts, because you actually show how the team can be improved by these moves. My questions aren't meant to be sarcastic or anything, I'm interested to see what other ideas you have.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 26, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Trade Semin to Pitt in a deal to get Staal?

Ha, that would be the talk!

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 26, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Re-signing Flash wouldn't help any though. He isn't that type of player, and is worse than Fehr. Of all our wingers, he is the one who most needs to go.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 26, 2010 2:06 PM

The only problem with Flash is that there isn't a spot for him in the top-6. With Semin gone, Flash has a spot on the team. Flash is a better skater and puckhandler than both Fehr and Laich. Flash just needs a tough guy and a good defensive center to be effective. It would be a mistake for this team to get rid of both him and Semin.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 26, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

tom - thank you, I never saw those posts. That would actually take care of the only other issue I had. If you could have a 3rd line with Chimera and Clutterbuck - that could get nasty.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 26, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

I think there would be room for Volchenkov if Flash and Erskine are moved. No room for a 2nd line center though. (it would have to be MP)

Do you know how much Clutterbuck makes? I'm curious but that could be an option. How is he as an overall player? Is he like Cooke or Downie in that he can contribute some on offense? Is he good on the pk? I honestly do not know too much about him.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 26, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

The only problem with Flash is that there isn't a spot for him in the top-6. With Semin gone, Flash has a spot on the team. Flash is a better skater and puckhandler than both Fehr and Laich. Flash just needs a tough guy and a good defensive center to be effective. It would be a mistake for this team to get rid of both him and Semin.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 26, 2010 2:16 PM

Even with Semin gone, he's not a viable top 6 for the Caps. He is skilled, but he is also very inconsistent. He is a good skater and puckhandler, but I have never seen anyone miss so many open shots. If you had Flash, Laich, and a tough center, that line would be extremely unproductive - there still would be no real playmaker.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 26, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

sgm3 - last 2 season, Clutterbuck has had 11-7-18 and 13-8-21. Two of his 13 this season were SH. And only 52 PIM in 74 games, so he's not a goon. I don't know about his salary though.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 26, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

sgm3 - when it comes to salary, one site I am seeing says around $700K for Clutterbuck last season.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 26, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

$700k would be a steal then for Clutterbuck. That does sound like a very good possibly deal for Flash(if accepted by Minnesota)

Posted by: sgm3 | May 26, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I could see the Wild taking that trade. Only two of their players last season had more goals, and only 3 had more points. It would be nice if they did, we could use the extra cap space.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 26, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I figured out my total plan while at In-n-Out Burger for lunch:

1) sign Volchenkov at like 4.75
2) Trade Flash and Erskine for Clutterbuck (signed three more years at like 1.1) and Minnesota's #2 in 2011
3) Trade Semin to Pitt for Staal, signed three more years at 4.0 per year
4) Promote Fehr to #2 RW with Staal and Laich (an ornery group)
5) Let MP and Johansson fight it out for #3 center with Clutterbuck and Chimera (another ornery group)
6) use the #2 to upgrade at the deadline for a veteran goalie if needed or else and extra gritty veteran D ala Andy Sutton

We have gotten younger; more balanced; increased our ornery component; and have replaced two UFAs after 2011 with two players signed through 2013.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 26, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

that would be awesome. clutterbuck for flash....it would free up enough cap space to keep erskine as well! win/win situation

Posted by: _stevo | May 26, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and it's all "cap neutral."

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 26, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Even with Semin gone, he's not a viable top 6 for the Caps. He is skilled, but he is also very inconsistent. He is a good skater and puckhandler, but I have never seen anyone miss so many open shots. If you had Flash, Laich, and a tough center, that line would be extremely unproductive - there still would be no real playmaker.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 26, 2010 2:22 PM

For the right price, between $2-2.5 million, Flash would be a good 2LW. Flash misses some shots, so do all players (paging Mr. Chimera). His skillset is necessary to balance out the deficiencies of guys like Laich and Fehr. An all grind 2nd line won't get the Caps any closer to the Cup.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 26, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

Good plan. Besides the point of the Staal/Semin trade having no chance in hell of happening, if it did somehow occur I would be in favor of re-signing Belanger for a year to put on the 3rd line with Chimera and Clutterbuck. I don't think that role would fit well with MP.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 26, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Della Rovere/Johansson/Chimera

Nasty line. Both SDR and Johansson play with a mean streak. This team should walk away with the division. I would like to see these two play together. Both very gritty/dirty.

Posted by: underpants2 | May 26, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

ablake, Flash doesn't miss SOME shots. If he's within 10 feet of the net and has a wide-open shot, he's got a 90% chance to hit nothing but boards. The idea tom had that would make a workable 2nd line without Semin or Flash is to get a true #2 center who can score - someone in the 25-30 goal range. Flash has had chance after chance to show that he can be a 2nd liner, and has failed consistently. The problem is, on the Caps he isn't good enough to be a 1st or 2nd liner, and has no physicality at all, which makes him useless as a 3rd/4th liner. Best use is to trade him for a good 3rd liner who can take Fehr's spot, so Fehr can move to the 2nd.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 26, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

@ablake70

Thank you for you response. I wondered if you had confused me with others. There has been a great deal of bickering going on here which I've mostly tried to avoid. I'm through with Caps postmortems. It's all hypotheticals anyway. So I've been reading about other players for possible additions to the Caps roster. I prefer to think constructively.

You are right in that if the Hawks GM manages to unload some of their more horrendous contracts the whole discussion is moot.

If however he is forced to make some unwanted trades to make immediate cap room then perhaps Sharp would be good to go after; he has a contract that is manageable to move--two years left of a four year contract and a manageable cap hit (sorry I can't recall the amount but it wasn't too bad). From what I've read he's a versatile forward that has played center (tho' at the moment he's a wing) and could fill our need for a true 2nd line center.

Problem is of course their GM will try to move lessor players first and lots of GMs will be eyeing Sharp and it would cost the Caps a good prospect at least for sure. And given how loathe McPhee is with free agency signings I'm thinking trades are more likely. That's why I think someone like Marleau will be out of the Caps reach, that he'll just be too expensive, should he not resign with the Sharks.

This is about the level of discourse I can handle about the Caps.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | May 26, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: sgm3 | May 26, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

sgm3: It works from a logistical standpoint that Pitt is overloaded at C and we at W.

The only problem with Belanger is the extra $800K-1M hit over Johansson or MP. I would think to let MJ have the role. You can always get a Belanger at the deadline with that #2 pick I had coming from the Wild.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 26, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

You should go out to In-n-Out Burger for lunch more often. Excellent plan. That Semin/Staal trade would be tricky but they do need wingers!

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | May 26, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

If you didn't want to do anything else, you could move Flash for a draft pick and sign Koivu at the 3.25.

That alone would provide much better balance.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 26, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

Logistically a Staal for Semin trade makes plenty of sense. I just couldn't see either GM wanting to deal either player to the opposing team.

First, the thought of Semin playing with Crosby scares me.

In addition putting such a great right handed shot on that PP(needed since Crosby, Malkin and Gonchar are all left handed) would just make that deadly.

The proposed trade would benefit both teams a lot. I just can't see the Pens GM making a deal that would improve the Caps nor could I see GMGM making a deal that would improve the Pens, even though both teams would benefit.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 26, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

@ timmyv38

Flash's problem is that expectations are too high. Despite what BB thinks, Flash is good, not elite. Would I rather have Semin? Yes, but in the salary cap era, Flash will do. Give him a physical RW, and a good 2C, Flash is a cost effective 2LW.

Every team needs balance. You can't get rid of all the finesse guys and replace them with grinders. Sure, going by the numbers guys like Downie and Carcillo are great, but look at their linemates. Do you think Downie would have the same stats playing with Laich and MP as he does with Stamkos and St. Louis? No. Guys like Downie and Carcillo don't replace Semin and Flash, they replace Knuble and Laich.

For all the complaints about Flash and Semin, they are not the real problem. The Caps only have four skilled players, Ovi, Backstrom, Semin, and Flash, and that is not too far out of line with other teams. The real problem are the grinders and defensemen. It is inexcusable for Ovi to lead the team in hits by a wide margin during the regular season and the playoffs. There is too much "finesse" in the bottom 6 and defense. Whether this is the players or coaching, I don't know, but a star LW should never be your grittiest player and the oldest guy on the team shouldn't be the most consistent net presence.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 26, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

ablake, I'm not talking about replacing Flash with a grinder. I'm talking about replacing him with Fehr - who had 2 less goals and 10 less assists, with nearly 4 minutes less ice time per game, and the same number of games played. And he did it with mainly 3rd line time, not 2nd like Flash had. The Caps have 5 forwards better than Flash - Ovie, Backs, Semin, Laich, and Fehr. Plus, they have Knuble, who is a great 1st line winger when paired with a shooter like Ovie. To keep Flash is a waste of space, especially if they could trade Semin for a legit 2nd line center. A 25-30 goal center with Laich and Fehr would produce a much better 2nd line than Flash with the same center and Fehr/Laich.

I agree that Semin isn't part of the problem - the Caps have yet to get a good center on his line. However, your facts are off. Ovie did lead in hits in both the regular season and postseason, but not by as much as you are saying. In the playoffs, he led by 2. In the regular season, he led by 22, but the next 5 are all defensemen and 4th liners, so I don't understand what you are complaining about. Ovie isn't the grittiest player on the Caps - he just gets the most hits. Bradley had about 2/3 as many hits, in about half the time on ice, and Steckel wasn't too far behind that rate. And Knuble is the most consistent net presence because that's what he built his entire career on. How's that a bad thing?

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 26, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I want to say a lot of things, but for now, I will just say:

@timmyv38 - I agree that Semin is generally more valuable than Kovalchuk. I believe, especially when on Atlanta, Kovalchuk may have been a little, er, unmotivated on the defensive end. However, Kovy did go +9 in 27 games with the Devils, so that's not bad. It'll be good to see him on a good team for a whole season for once to see what happens to his numbers.

But, yeah, it's hard to argue that Semin is a poor defensive player though. Take all the forwards who got at least +10 this year, divide by games played, and Semin's name is 3rd on that list, behind only Ovechkin and Daniel Sedin, just ahead of Backstrom and Henrik Sedin. Do the same thing with last year's numbers, and Semin is 4th on the list overall and the only Capital anywhere near the top. He can't be that bad defensively.

Personally, I think Semin is an incredibly great player. Throw age into the equation, and I don't see how you can say that you'd rather have Kovalchuk over the long term, or even just in, say, the 2011-12 season.

@tominsocal

I do not really know how I came up with this name. The word "squishy" is a really good word. I think I like the fact that it is very onomatopoeic? At least sometimes it is. Next time you walk through very wet mud, think about how appropriate the word "squishy" is.

I guess my screenname could be perceived as an insult. But I like screennames that are sentences, and this was the first sentence I thought of with the word "squishy" in it.

I also like all screennames with Fehr in them.

And speaking of Fehr...

Have I ever told you that Fehr was 8th this year in goals scored per minute of ice time (minimum 20 goals)? Yes, I think I have brought that up a time or two. I think now would be a good time to reiterate this, though, in light of suggestions I looked at that the Caps get rid of him. You can hold the fact that he was a third-liner against him, of course (because of the level of opposition defenders he generally faces), but I can guarantee you that if he were that productive on either of the Capitals' top two lines, people would hold that against him too (because they'd say he had a lot of help and the defenders concentrated more on the other Capitals).

No, Fehr is not a complete superstar godlike player. But he was a round 1 pick for a reason, and now that his injury issues are in the rear-view mirror, I think his talented hands are making themselves known. I think a case can be made that he's the most valuable forward not playing on a first or second line, in the NHL.

No, he doesn't look like a traditional third-liner. As long as he finds a way to help the Capitals win, I don't care.

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 26, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

P.S. Yes Fehr scored more goals per minute than Ilya Kovalchuk this season. Let's keep him, please. Can we? WTF?

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 26, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

@ timmyv38

Flash vs. Laich/Fehr is where we disagree. Minus Semin, I would take Flash over Laich/Fehr. This team has too many Laichs/Fehrs, good shooters with below average passing and stick handling abilities. Very few guys can create scoring chances by themselves. None of these guys fall into that category, so having a Flash-Center-Fehr line is better than a Laich-Center-Fehr line unless the Caps get an elite center.

During the regular season, Ovi had the most hits followed by ShaMo, who played four fewer games the Ovi. Next is Green, who is 30 hits behind ShaMo and 50 behind Ovi despite playing 3 more games than Ovi.

Here are the stats for hits during the playoffs:

Ovi- 26
Brads-24
Green-18
Knuble-11
Laich-9
ShaMo-9
Schultz-9
Gordon-8
Steckel-7
Backstrom-7
Chimera-7
Fehr-6
Carlson-5
Flash-5
Bmo-5

Poti-5
Semin-3
Belanger-2
Corvo-2

Compare that to other teams and the problem becomes apparent. Or just look at our team. Our "soft" guys BMo and Flash, who only played in 6 games, are not far behind the gritty wingers in hits. The "grit" of some of our players is like the Lochness Monster or the Bermuda Triangle, a myth.

For the record, I would keep ShaMo or Jurcina for the right price.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 26, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

@ablake70

I'm a little suprised Carlson only had 5 hits.

Poti was unquestionably the Caps best defender in the playoffs and he only had 5 hits. It sort of shows that a lot of hits does not necessarily correlate into good play. Green being 3rd in hits just amplifies that.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 26, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Just to add to my Poti point. The numbers also show that the thinking "having only a few hits correlates into poor play" is not necessarily true for a defenseman.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 26, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

I'm not trying to be cstanton with the hit stats. I agree that not all players need to be heavy hitters, but the Caps do need some not named Ovechkin. ShaMo, Juice and Erskine are those guys, but no one wants them back, so who's left? Bradley, who despite his best efforts, inspires fear in no one.

It just doesn't make sense to me to replace a player like Flash with a gritty winger who will bring what Steckel is supposed to bring now. Why not just replace Steckel?

Posted by: ablake70 | May 26, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Exchanging Flash for Clutterbuck (and maybe the Wild gives a pick) is getting more than just a gritty winger. He had 13 goals, a very high hit total and plays a tough game. He's also young and signed three years at a decent pay.

Steckel gives you faceoff percentage, but I will agree that Steckel didn't step up last year the way we expected.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 26, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

@ablake70

I agree that it would be better for the team if a player other than Ovie led the team in hits.

I'm all for getting a guy who can hit, as long as he can do other things as well. If it wasn't for the salary cap I would be fine retaining ShaMo, but the release of him and Erskine is to bring in a guy like Volchenkov.

I also like the idea of replacing some of the 4th liners with young, gritty guys from Hershey who are good hitters on the forecheck and good along the boards. So possibly replacing Steckel and 4th line LW with younger, cheaper replacements who have the above qualities is more than fine with me. I actually endorse that idea.

I also like tominsocal's idea of acquiring Clutterbuck.

So I'm all for hitting and it is definitely important. But I don't want guys whose ONLY attribute is hitting, i.e. Erskine. Especially if he costs $1.25. If he cost $600k I would be fine with Erskine as the 7th D man.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 26, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

@tomincal1 & sgm3

I think the Wild are high on Clutterbuck, so I don't think Flash would net him.

I do like your idea of replacing some of the 4th line with Hershey players. I like what I saw of A. Gordon when he was with the Caps and think it is time to give him a real chance.

I'm not on board with Volchenkov at $5 million per. From the few times I've seen him, he is an excellent shot blocker who can get torched by faster forwards. Add that to the zero offense he brings, I'd pass at that price. If his demands come down a bit, the Caps should make that move.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 26, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if anyone remembers, but it was like Jan 09 when Erskine signed the two-year extension. I compared some of the Caps salaries to wine prices, Nylander for example being a very expensive French import that you never open and Backie as a top wine at a low price.

For Erskine, I said it was like paying $12 for a $6 bottle so, yes, sgm3, I'd be much happier with him on roster at $600K.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 26, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

I think we should go after Saku Koivu as our #2 center. He'll (probably) be cheaper than Plekanec or Horton, averages 2 SHmin/g , is a good 2-way center, cap hit at 3.25 this yr, 52 pts in 71 games, was +14 for a team that finished -13 for the season. Has 48 pts in 54 playoff games..

I'd like to see theese combos:
Ovi/Backs/Knuble ($9,538,462/6,700,000/2,800,000)
Semin/Koivu/Laich ($6,000,000/3,500,000/2,066,667)
Fehr/Perreault/Chimera ($2,000,000/716,667/1,875,000)
Bourque/Gordon/Bradley ($577,000/900,000/1,000,000)

Poti/Volchenkov ($3,500,000/4,500,000)
Schultz/Green ($2,000,000/5,250,000
Alzner/Carlson($1,675,000/845,833))

Varlamov/Neuvirth ($821,667/821,667)


This would leave us with $562,038 to fill out the roster with f.i. a 7th defencemen

Posted by: Walle | May 26, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

I know some of my numbers may be a little low on the RFA's/UFA's, so it might not work, but i still like the idea! Flash could get us a pick to use at the deadline or something.

Posted by: Walle | May 26, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

volchenkov lack of offensive production most likely wouldn't be a problem.
greens first full season 06-07: 70 gm, 2 g, 10 a, 12 pts
since 05-06 (all seasons with 60+ gms) volchenkov's numbers are all similar to greens season.
if he has any offensive potential - BB will find it and attempt to unleash it

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 26, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

below is a link i got from puck daddy at: http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Puck-Headlines-Chicago-s-mighty-puck-lion-Ov;_ylt=AoIAK7xSZouA5wJWXaCR74R7vLYF?urn=nhl,243880

its short but i thought it was interesting.
Ted Leonsis's "Jagr-for-Ovechkin" rationale
"The Stink From Cologne: When Jagr Wins, Do We Lose?"
http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2010/05/26/the-stink-from-cologne-when-jagr-wins-do-we-lose/ (Dave McKenna)

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 26, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

"2009-10 NHL on TSN No Guts, No Glory"
http://tsn.ca/nhl/feature/?id=21709
backstrom getting a little love

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 27, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

He'll (probably) be cheaper than Plekanec or Horton

____________________

Probably is an understatement.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 27, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Walle: First of, THANKS, it always makes me feel good when someone uses my cap figures for analysis (Fehr and Schultz $2M each).

Good analysis there. Well, if we go the Koivu route, I'd like to do this year's 3.25 rather than your projected 3.5. Just a minor detail from someone such as myself with 30+ years gov't finance. $250K IS $250K.

Now, big point, but you only had 12 forwards and 6 d-men.

CBA, dude, CBA. Must have 20 or 21 skaters. You only have 18. I didn't add your numbers, but put Laing at say $525K and Sloan at $700K to conform to CBA. That puts you OVER. So, you can't add Koivu w/o some trade-off.

Also, Steckel has mysteriously vanished as has Erskine. Now, maybe you think you can trick one on tominsocal1, but, even after a bottle of wine and several Myers Dark Rum and pineapples, tominsocal1 can still count. Remember, there are three kinds of finance people - those who can count and those who can't.

Bottom line: You can't have Volchenkov, Semin and Koivu. You just can't. It's just like you can't have Cinco de Mayo, July 4th and Canada Day. God is like that. You can have some or you can have most but you can't have all.

Sorry.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 27, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

I'm not on board with Volchenkov at $5 million per. From the few times I've seen him, he is an excellent shot blocker who can get torched by faster forwards. Add that to the zero offense he brings, I'd pass at that price. If his demands come down a bit, the Caps should make that move.

Posted by: ablake70 | May 26, 2010 7:39 PM |

I agree.

Volch should not get more than 4-4.5 mil.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 27, 2010 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Remember, there are three kinds of finance people - those who can count and those who can't.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 27, 2010 12:12 AM

you never disappoint me

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 27, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

Remember, there are three kinds of finance people - those who can count and those who can't.

_________________


Haha, man I missed you when you were moving.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 27, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse

These things will happen with all certainty:

Caps will sign Volchenkov
Caps will trade Flash to Wild for Clutterbuck
Caps will trade Semin to Pitt for Staal
Caps will be in wonderful cap shape

NOW, when the Volchenkov signing occurs, and people say, "Gee, tominsocal1 said that would happen," you might say, "Everyone knew he'd do that." THEN, when the Flash for Clutterbuck trade goes down, and people say, "Holy, Moly, tominsocal1 predicted that one too!" you might shrug it off and say, "Lucky guess."

BUT, when Semin is sent to the Pens for Staal, and fans clamor for tominsocal1's predictions for the weather in Nepal for the third week in Sept, you will say, "By GOD, he's prescient!"

signed,
nostrathomasinsocal1

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 27, 2010 12:22 AM | Report abuse

r-phil: Thing is, Caps won't be sellers at the deadline. I would rather do it before the season or let him walk like sgm says, using his money the following year then to get a UFA d-man so it would be like a trade.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 26, 2010 1:45 PM |

Yes, but the a hypothetical scenario I can think of would go along the lines of; trading Semin to Calgary for Iginla at the deadline. Calgary needs a pure goal scorer, we need more bang. Both are UFAs. Of course, lots of considerations go into this for it to come into fruition, such as Calgary even making the playoffs, etc, etc But Semin could even go to any team, playoff bound or not, if he agreed to an extension with that team. I know that's another stretch, but I'm just throwing out some favorable deadline scenarios.

I like Semin, and I feel like this series was a fluke since he was a PPG player in the playoffs prior, but I guess it would have to do with his play in the season again. If he pots 40-goals again, paces above a PPG, then keep him.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 27, 2010 12:26 AM | Report abuse

I also like tominsocal's idea of acquiring Clutterbuck.

So I'm all for hitting and it is definitely important. But I don't want guys whose ONLY attribute is hitting, i.e. Erskine. Especially if he costs $1.25. If he cost $600k I would be fine with Erskine as the 7th D man.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 26, 2010 7:08 PM |


I love Clutterbuck, and it's no secret I am a huge J. Staal fan.

If these trades should happen, I would be extremely happy.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 27, 2010 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Capt Kirk: Such lofty standards to which I must maintain.

richmondphil: I'm not near done moving. Another month in the Residence Inn Valencia CA. It is really REALLY nice for a hotel but it's hotel. I am PRAYING the new house is done by 30 June so I don't miss the $6500 federal tax credit on home purchase, but I dount the MAN answers prayers based on money. I am missing almost all of this year's playoffs but next year will be so cool since the dish we will get will have top notch HD broadcast.

BTW, I will never adapt to PT. After 52 years ET, baseball games at 10:30 am on Saturday FREAKS me out. I will DVR and watch at NORMAL time.

Good luck, Phil, on post fiance. You have real prayers on that not like pretend ones see above.

Yours, Tom

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 27, 2010 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Capt Kirk: Such lofty standards to which I must maintain.

richmondphil: I'm not near done moving. Another month in the Residence Inn Valencia CA. It is really REALLY nice for a hotel but it's hotel. I am PRAYING the new house is done by 30 June so I don't miss the $6500 federal tax credit on home purchase, but I dount the MAN answers prayers based on money. I am missing almost all of this year's playoffs but next year will be so cool since the dish we will get will have top notch HD broadcast.

BTW, I will never adapt to PT. After 52 years ET, baseball games at 10:30 am on Saturday FREAKS me out. I will DVR and watch at NORMAL time.

Good luck, Phil, on post fiance. You have real prayers on that not like pretend ones see above.

Yours, Tom

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 27, 2010 12:38 AM | Report abuse

"Caps will trade Semin to Pitt for Staal"

this would be good for the caps - bad for me as a big fan of semin. if he just had the desire to be the best, like ovi has, he would be incredible
his tendency to show up 'only most of the time' makes his $6M a bit on the high side

most think either flash or fehr so go too - i think it should be flash. he'll be asking for a bit more $ than fehr. i think fehr has the size to be more physical and should be able to put up flash numbers with some additional minutes per game and possibly surpass them with better linemates

most here wouldn't agree - but i think shamo and juice are serviceable dmen for their salaries and i'd like to see them stay. its ok with me to see corvo, erskine & sloan go or get moved.
i like erskines toughness but i don't see him getting in any games for any reason.
its nice that sloan can do spot duty at d and forward - but i think you'd see more hershey guys on the ice than sloan

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 27, 2010 12:41 AM | Report abuse

@Capn_Kirk

Fehr better not go. I also am on board with keeping ShaMo.

@Tom

Thanks for the words of encouragement.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 27, 2010 12:47 AM | Report abuse

BTW, I will never adapt to PT. After 52 years ET, baseball games at 10:30 am on Saturday FREAKS me out.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 27, 2010 12:33 AM

the up side is that its ok to have a beer when a game starts. football season starts at 10a, college football can start as early as 8:30a. its all good out here because you don't have to stay up until 1a or 2a when your team is 'out west'. best of all - i find a way to get home in time for 4p caps games

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 27, 2010 12:52 AM | Report abuse

RE; Hawks salary hell

"The Hawks have $57,598,002.00 invested in 14 players, leaving them $798,002 over the salary cap."

Just a quote...

Posted by: richmondphil | May 27, 2010 12:58 AM | Report abuse

That's for next year, by the way.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 27, 2010 12:59 AM | Report abuse

hawks have it pretty bad cap wise. even if they win the cup - they would have a tough time trying to repeat. i thought i hear or read where the hossa (and pronger) deals might be looked at again. what could be done about those deals i don't know.

i wouldn't want to see the caps 'take one shot' at the cup and then for the most part have to dismantle the team.

i think if the other gm's stay away from dealing with the hawks, they might be able to make some sweet deals as the date to be 'cap compliant' draws near.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 27, 2010 1:08 AM | Report abuse

If the Hawks are going to be over with only 14 players, they're going to need to dump a large part of their team. I'm sure they could do something with Huet, since Niemi seems set to take that starting job. Maybe one of their forwards as well, that MIGHT end up putting them under. What the Hawks have going this year is something I don't want to see the Caps do - put all your hopes on a single shot, and then lose much of the team.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 27, 2010 2:26 AM | Report abuse

Ok, i didn't know the the goalies didn't counts as "skaters", then i clearly see that my figuers dont add up.
How about this then, Volch get 4 mil and Koivu gets the same as last year. Erskine och Steckel is miracously gets trade for a bag of pucks. Problem solved :)

Alexander Ovechkin — $9,538,462
Nicklas Backstrom — $6,700,000
Alexander Semin — $6,000,000
* Koivu, Saku — $3,250,000
Mike Knuble — $2,800,000
Brooks Laich — $2,066,667
* Eric Fehr — $2,000,000
Jason Chimera — $1,875,000
Matt Bradley — $1,000,000
* Boyd Gordon — $900,000
Mathieu Perreault — $716,667
* Chris Bourque — $577,000
* Quintin Laing — $500,000
DEFENSEMEN
Mike Green — $5,250,000
* Volchenkov, Anton — $4,000,000
Tom Poti — $3,500,000
* Jeff Schultz — $2,000,000
Karl Alzner ($850,000) $1,675,000
John Carlson — $845,833
Tyler Sloan — $700,000
GOALTENDERS
Michal Neuvirth — $821,667
Simeon Varlamov — $821,667

ROSTER SIZE 22
SALARY CAP $56,800,000
PAYROLL $57,537,962
BONUSES $850,000
CAP SPACE $112,038

Voila!

Posted by: Walle | May 27, 2010 4:38 AM | Report abuse

@Walle

I like the general idea but I think a few minor tweaks may be necessary for cap purposes.

@tominsocal1

Are you sure there are rules to how many skaters can count against the cap? I thought I remember a few years ago, near the end of the season Calgary was forced to dress less than the normal 18 skaters because of cap reasons. I can't remember the details of the happenings.

Is it possible that the collective barganning agreement only stipulates at least 20 skaters must be under an NHL contract? However, some of those NHL contracts may not be on an NHL, such as being in the minors. So a team is still paying the NHL contracts of 20 skaters but only 18 are counting against the cap.

I do not know the answer to this, so I'm just asking.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 27, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

sgm3: The problem Calgary had is they had guys on IR but not LTIR I think but couldn't recall any add'l minor leaguers because that would put them over. So, they had 20 or 21 skaters on roster but only dressed 17 due to short-term injuries. I think that was the case.

Walle: I don't like going over with the bonuses because you get a corresponding reduction the following year. And, with Laich, Varly and neuvy due new deals for 2011-12, it won't get any easier. BTW, Volchenkov at $4M would be a huge surprise if that low. Koivu (I threw his name out yesterday) is a good back-up for #2 center, if you don't trade Semin for like Staal. Maybe you can get Koivu 2 yrs/$3M per year as a bridge to Johansson being ready.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 27, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Get rid of Semin. He's not a team player.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | May 27, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

tominsocal,

He@@ will freeze over before Shero trades Staal for Semin. A Selke center for the invisible man in the playoffs? No way would that happen.

More realistic is a trade involving Sharp as the Hawks are in cap trouble. Going to the Hawks prospects/picks.

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Steve R: Don't know about it freezing over, but they're serving ice cream:

http://www.hell2u.com/

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 27, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure why there's so much interest in Clutterbuck right now. Sure, he's got a great name that would be fun to goof around with, but do the Caps need another winger? Isn't there anyone in Hershey to fill that role if we can move Flash?

LloydChristmas, I'm happy for you that you'll get new tickets and move away from the woman who was annoying you. I disagree with you about Semin not being a team player. He needs a good center on his line, and a stable line to boot.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | May 27, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Most Selke candidates are centers.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 27, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Clutterbuck logs 300+ hits a season, is young, and is the agitator type guy we need.

Would love, love, love him on our team, especially if we just trade Flash.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 27, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

richmondphil,

Hopefully SDR turns out to be that player

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Lots of agitators come through team's system, hardly ever of them make 300+ hits a regular season. Clutterbuck is a premium player for his ilk.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 27, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

TSN.Japers is reporting Caps and Pens in talks re Semin for Malkin. Hang up is going to be getting Semin to sign an extension

Posted by: Leeguru | May 27, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

He also doesn't cost too much right now. Another positive.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 27, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Also, 838.ca@ovechblog heard that the Caps and Theo wnat to work out an extension. To make things work, they are shopping Varley for a 2nd round pick (which the Caps are missing this year)

Posted by: Leeguru | May 27, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

The Bruins won the first three game against the Flyers, lost Game 4 in OT, then lost the next three to drop the series.

The Celtics won the first three vs Orlando Magic, lost the 4th game in OT and has now lost the 5th game.

Does anyone see a pattern?

I don't.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 27, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

There seems to be a logjam at D. Why not skate Erskine as 4th line winger? He's got the disposition for an energy line winger.

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

YOu know, that idea has been brought up before steve. I think they tried Erskine at wing in some preseason games. That is an outstanding idea. He loves to shoot and hit, and certainly has the energy

Posted by: Leeguru | May 27, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

TSN.Japers is reporting Caps and Pens in talks re Semin for Malkin. Hang up is going to be getting Semin to sign an extension

Posted by: Leeguru | May 27, 2010 11:37 AM |


whoa....

Posted by: richmondphil | May 27, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Lee, there was talk about Malkin being shopped & Staal getting promoted to 2C. That would bring another 2.7M to the cap for the Caps. No one else was mentioned? Figured the Pens would try to get more.

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

No way Varly gets dealt for a #2 pick.

As for Caps working a deal with the Pens, although that was poo-pahed by many here, it was predicted yesterday by none other than:

NOSTRATHOMASINSOCAL1

Of course, NT said it would be Semin for Staal. Due to cap situation, I can't believe the Semin for Malkin. Staal at $4M is perfect, with his defensive abilities, for #2 line duty (as Pitt would use him if Malkin dealt). But, Caps onlt have $1M cap room next year w/Semin at $6M. Malkin puts them $2M over. You can solve that next year only by Flash out and say Bouchard in. Long-term though Ovi, Malkin and Backie at $25M are 3 of 23 players making 44% of cap. I can't see that. I'd much rather use the salary Malkin would get for Volchenkov and Staal.

Trade with Pitt? Yes, just not for Malkin.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 27, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Since they can't officially trade until july, I think they are still talking about it. But it gives the Pens cap relief, and gives Crosby that winger they wanted.

Posted by: Leeguru | May 27, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Lee, you got the link for that?

Posted by: richmondphil | May 27, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Crosby, Malkin and Staal on the same team is clearly unbalanced too many assets at C. This team needs a #1 RW. Trade makes sense as Semin, Staal and Fehr would all get "promotions."

If I'm McPhee, I'd rather have I think Staal at $4M than Malkin at $9M.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 27, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Semin doesn't think Crosby is special though, remember? He doesn't want to play with him. :)

Posted by: richmondphil | May 27, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

phil, that was last year's version of Crosby. Wonder what he thinks of the 50 goal scoring Crosby?

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Malkin, if traded, will go to a team that needs a name, and someone to build around. He has been playing in Crosby's shadow and I doubt he'd want to come to Washington only to play in Ovi's shadow. He will go to a team that is 20+mil below the Salary cap and looking for a big name draw to put butts in seats. Hate to say it but both Tampa and Atlanta fit that description.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 27, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

How much would all of our stomachs turn if Semin scored the GWG in Game 7 of the ECF against us though? ;)


On the flip side, how awesome would it be to see J. Staal shadowing Crosby?

Posted by: richmondphil | May 27, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Actually Tampa fits the description based on how far they are below the salary Cap, but they at least have Vinny, St. Louis and Stamkos at forward as far as names. Stamkos' huge raise is coming just as Backstrom's was. If he scores 40+ again next year Tampa will pay 6-7mil a season for his services, and probably long term. Vinny could be moved as has been rumored too. Anyhow, Malkin would instantly make Tampa and Atlanta better teams.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 27, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

If Tampa absorbed Malkin's contract without moving the abomination that is Vinny's contract, they would be in salary cap hell for the next few years.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 27, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

A crafty GM would ask Shero if he'd take Semin for Malkin and then pull the rug out and change to Staal at last minute.

BTW, Semin can't have a contract extension until July 1st at earliest if that were a hang-up.

Another reason not to take Malkin off their hands is it prevents them from having the cap space.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 27, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Phil, and Stamkos is due for a new contract in a year...

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Phil, and Stamkos is due for a new contract in a year...

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 12:27 PM |

And lets not forget about Hedman either. He may not have had the best rookie season, but neither did Doughty, or Stamkos for that matter.

Vinny's contract is so bad though. It pays him 10 mil/yr for the next like 4 years, and the cap hit is huge too. Not many teams will take that on, unless they move salary back.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 27, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Phil, Vinny's hit is something like 7.5m isn't it? Wouldn't Tampa's money be better spent getting some quality wingers?

Good point on Hedman. The kid will bounce back.

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Hit send too soon.

Better spent on getting wingers for Vinny rather than adding Malkin. Then dumping Vinny to get wingers for Malkin and having 1.2m less to spend because of Malkin's cap hit...

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

And speaking of Tampa. Considering MSL's sour grapes at being left off of the Olympic team, and his comments at the end of the year re: wanting to play for a winner, and Stevie Y being the new man in Tampa....

I for one wouldn't mind seeing Frodo in red.

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Living here in the northeast I get the NESN feed. A few of them were talking about how a Savard for Semin trade would go, then they switched to Chara and Thomas for Neuvy and Semin. Evidently they weren't thrilled with Chara's play in the playoffs.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | May 27, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

See, I read that it was Varley being shopped. He's too injury prone.

Posted by: Leeguru | May 27, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

CTCaps,

No kidding? They're eyeing Neuvy when they have Rask? I could see them wanting Semin as they're goal starved, but dumping Chara? Wow. Would have thought they'd want D in return with a winger, or a pair of wingers.

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

CTCaps, Semin isn't going to Boston. I've heard some insider talk (can't mention any names) that Semin for Cammalleri is under serious consideration.

Posted by: rw-c | May 27, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Well, Bruce does have history with Cammalleri & that kid can flat out play.

The question though is why would the Habs want to do it?

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Tim Thomas is not coming to the Caps because the salary cap prevents that from happening.

Chara would be wonderful, but I think his cap hit next year is in the high sevens and that would prevent the Caps from acquirng any other significant help (2nd line center).

Savard would be interesting but his injury problems is something to be scared away from. Personally I would want the Caps to get Patrice Bergeron if they were going to trade Semin.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 27, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Living here in the northeast I get the NESN feed. A few of them were talking about how a Savard for Semin trade would go, then they switched to Chara and Thomas for Neuvy and Semin. Evidently they weren't thrilled with Chara's play in the playoffs.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | May 27, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Cammaleri would be a poor acquisiton. He is a great player, but it would not wise for the Caps to have another winger signed for another 4 years at $6M/yr. The Caps need salary cap flexibility.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 27, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, not sure why my post got posted twice under two different times.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | May 27, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Steve R, the Caps want Cammalleri's playoff scoring, and the Canadiens want regular season scoring, so they don't have to squeeze into 8th place again. I wish I could tell you my source, but the info was given to me under the strictest confidentiality.

Posted by: rw-c | May 27, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Boston is pretty strong on D already. They seem a bit unsure about Rask only because of the bad ending to the season.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | May 27, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm not crazy about the Thomas thing. The Caps are going to drop a bunch of coin with Theo departing, why add it right back? I'd like to see what will happen with Varly and Neuvy as 1a and 1b.

But Chara on the blue line? Wow.

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Interesting because all year when Semin was up for contract extension I said the two players in hockey most comparable to him where Cammalleri and DSedin, both of whom make 6 or 6.1. Cammelleri and DSedin are reasons I had Semin projected at $6M year.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 27, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

rwc,

I had Cammalleri on my fantasy team, I like the little bugger. He was having a pretty good year till the knee injury. That is a tough cap hit to absorb though.

What about going after MSL from Tampa, he's only under contract for one more year I think, 4.5m range.

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Steve, see me above post about Theo wanting to stay and the Caps wanting to keep him. I think THomas is done. Savard and Chara.

Posted by: Leeguru | May 27, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

What terms is Theo seeking?

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

PLEASE no clutterbuck on the caps....he's a cheap imitation of avery and intimidates NO ONE in the nhl.....those who bash erskine must've forgotten that he PLAYED his way into a top-6 dman, was perhaps our best dman in the 2008 playoffs (playing hurt, at that), and was top-6 this year until injuries curtailed his season....he's worth every penny of his 1+million salary, BB just doesn't know how to utilize a player of his stature (he's not a 1-dimensional "hitter" as many claim; in fact, he's more dynamic than shultz).....i'd like to see ufa's brian mcgrattan and jamal mayers sporting caps jerseys next year

Posted by: vermontcaps | May 27, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Vermont,

Mayers would be a good addition. Team needs more grit.

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

4 years. wants to finish here, likes the team, they were very supportive during his problems with his child. Money would be low 4's, so there is going to be some more shuffling. Semin, flash, one more gone. Varley?

Posted by: Leeguru | May 27, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Steve_R, interesting thought, but MSL is under contract for only one more year because he'll be 36 next month. The Caps definitely do not want to give up a younger scorer for an older one. That's why the Semin for Cammalleri deal works for both sides.

Posted by: rw-c | May 27, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Vermont,

A thought on Clutterbuck. If he's trying to play that role, why does he wear a visor...?

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

rwc,

But both Semin and MSL are under contract for only one year each. MSL doesn't miss games. MSL doesn't take penalties. MSL isn't invisible on the ice. MSL competes in the corners where others twice his size fear to go. Just sayin'.

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I can only think of one person who wants CLutterbuck here, and that person wants him WITH the mustache

Posted by: Leeguru | May 27, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I'd be shocked if Theo re-signed unless it was for significantly less money than what he was making.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 27, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

sgm3, that's what I was thinking too. Plus the only way he'd be resigned is if the Caps put either Neuvy or Varly in play for a trade.

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Steve_R, what can I say. The info I was give in confidence was Semin for Cammalleri. If for some reason, they can't finalize it, the Caps would still want somebody younger than MSL for Semin. I'd be happy to have MSL on the Caps, but for 3rd or 4th line players.

Posted by: rw-c | May 27, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

rw-c,

Would the Habs be trying to free up salary for the season after next?

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Steve_R,

Sorry, my source is "related" to the Caps, not the Habs.

Posted by: rw-c | May 27, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Thomas, although I love the guy, isn't a very good goaltender. He never really has been. His cap hit is like 5 mil/yr too. Forget that.

As for Clutterbuck, he isn't a "Avery clone" at all. When the hell has Avery ever racked up 300+ hits? Never. Clutterbuck is a very good agitator, along the same lines of another one of my favorites, Steve Ott.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 27, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

FYI, Cammalarri was the #1 guy I targeted last off-season to sign as the #2 center. Of course, I didn't expect him to get 6 mil and bust out as a bona fide #1 guy.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 27, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Phil,

Avery - no visor
Ott - no visor
Cal - visor

Just sayin'.

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

If Clutterbuck wants to fight, then he'll flip his lid off. But..he isn't a goon and he doesn't fight much.

Avery has 8 majors, Ott has 11, cal only has 2.

I think some of you are confusing an agitator role with an enforcer.

How can anyone say no to a 300+ hit/10-15 goal guy? Especially if it's just for an "extra" winger like Flash? I can't.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 27, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Phil,

Hits I take with a grain of salt. You have any idea how his hits look home vs away? Is Minn's scorer hit happy like LA's?

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Isn't Cammaleri a LW? That does not seem to be a position of need with Ovie/Laich/Chimera there. Maybe a good 3rd or 4th line LW would be a good acquisition(not for Semin, just in general).

I just don't see the point of a Semin for Cammaleri trade. I think it would be a bad idea and tie the Caps down salary cap wise for 4 more years. It has already been pointed out, but the Caps do need to spread out their cap money from just wingers to D and centers also.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 27, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

To be honest, I think this Clutterbuck thing still is a bit of a pipe dream. I'm not so sure why the Wild would give him up.

They need a consistent goal-scorer, I don't know if Flash entices them enough.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 27, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Phil, also have to ask: why would the Wild be interested in making that trade?

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Semin needs to stay.

40 goals a year and our star's best friend?

I vote we keep him.

Posted by: Jordan_Kitts | May 27, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Flash + Belanger's missing teeth for Clutterbuck?

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | May 27, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Cammalarri can play center, though I have no idea how good at it he is. I think the Habs have converted him into a pure-goal scoring winger.

@Steve_R

300 hits in a regular season is still 300 hits in a regular season. I'm not exactly cstanton1 here when it comes to hitting, but a wrecking ball like him would be far more beneficial to the Caps than a 1-dimensional guy like Mayers, etc.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 27, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Answered the question while I wasn't looking...

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Hits are not an exact stat. #55 picked up a dozen in the LA game, Dustin Brown glares at someone and gets a hit credited to him.

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Phil, also have to ask: why would the Wild be interested in making that trade?

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 3:05 PM

I ask the same question. I'm just going off other people's suggestions here.

I love Clutterbuck, so I'll support any ideas to trade for him. :)

Posted by: richmondphil | May 27, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Hits are not an exact stat. #55 picked up a dozen in the LA game, Dustin Brown glares at someone and gets a hit credited to him.

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 3:10 PM |

Not even D. Brown (who I LOVE, by the way) had 300 hits this season.

Posted by: richmondphil | May 27, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

How about Green for Mike Richards straight up?

Posted by: _828 | May 27, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I did hear about that Theo extension... crazy, I hope he stays... the best years are ahead of him. I can't believe the Caps are shopping Varly for a 2nd round pick... I thought Varly would be here for at least another year.

Posted by: _828 | May 27, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

The Caps are not shopping Varly for a 2nd round pick. That is nonsense.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 27, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Green for Richards....?

That's pretty interesting. Carlson could take the point on the PP. Cures the 2C problem. PK instantly gets better. Money is about even per year, lot more years for Richards. Where you hear that one?

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

From THN.rus: Ovechkin was quoted as saying, "If the press don't think I do nothing, maybe I stay here and play. Ted say I can play in Russia."

The question was in response to a Sports Illistrated article talkng about his teams lack of success in the playoffs, olympics, and worlds, and did it bother him that they did not even mention that Crosby dissappeared in the second round. Maybe he's getting fed up and enjoyed the home cooking!

Posted by: Leeguru | May 27, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

calder cup game 1 - 6/3 @7p
texas stars at the bears

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 27, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Hey Lee,

That Crosby comment is weak, given his 2 trips to the finals (1 Cup) And the game winning goal for the Olympic Gold !

OV is a beast but he's yet to show any true humility or class as a star player, it's that simple.

Posted by: Cheef | May 27, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Cheef, you saying that the media didn't give Crosby a free pass after being invisible in the second round?

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Crosby PLAYED in the second round? I figured he must have been out, not to score more than one goal.

Posted by: rw-c | May 27, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Aside from reports questioning his decision to skip worlds, the media probably did give him a free pass and rightfully so.

He's a young man that has earned that "free pass", the same cannot be said about OV.

Posted by: Cheef | May 27, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

So Ov gets double the points and 5 times the goals vs the Habs than Crosby got and has to eat a ton of sh@@, while Crosby has earned a free pass for doing nothing vs the same team? Huh. I must be coming from a different place than you Bubba as I don't see how Crosby earned a pass on this one. He is a star player who failed to produce. He is their captain and he failed to produce. No accountability, eh?

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Leeguru makes up quotes and fake trade rumors and posts them on the board citing fake sources.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 27, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Steve_R, plus Crosby is the hockey Messiah and Messiahs don't disappear when needed. Obviously the Pens needed him in the second round.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | May 27, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

@Steve_R

You are correct. There is no point wasting your breath with Cheef. He just wants to make a stupid argument.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 27, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

CHeef, I don't think Crosby has "earned" a free pass; I don't think anyone in the public eye has earned one. Not when they make the coin they make!

As for OVi's lack of humilty and class, while not necessarily defending any of his actions, I think he is still maturing and has an idea on how to act, but still has that youthful exuberence that causes him to not think things beyond the current moment. SOrt of like most of us guys did in our 20's when we drank. And my wife says I still do....

Posted by: Leeguru | May 27, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Steve_R,

Take it easy, man.
Malkin won the Conn Smythe last year, but Crosby "won" the Stanley Cup.

Crosby disappeared in the Olympics, but gets a pass in front of the goal and pokes it home, but Crosby "won" Olympic Gold for Canada.

Sure he only scored one goal in seven games against Montreal, but he was tired from having to win so many things.

So give him a break, dude!

Posted by: rw-c | May 27, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Pathetic attempt Steve_.

No matter how you try to justify it won't fly. Remember it's a team sport, Crosby has crushed OV when it comes to what matters most, Winning a CUP, not stats.

Maybe you can have your pic taken with the Prez trophy, have fun with that.

Posted by: Cheef | May 27, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

sgm3, what do you base this on? I am real!

Posted by: Leeguru | May 27, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Cheef, My only argument/problem with people who put Crosby ahead of Ovi using those criteria (Cups, medals, etc) is that the teammates contribute more in hockey to a championship than any other sport. The perception (here anyway) is that when Ovi's team lose, it's because he didn't show. ANd when Crosby's teams win, it's because of him. The Caps as a team let us down this playoffs, not Ovi. Then Pens won the CUp last year, the Canadians won the Gold.

Posted by: Leeguru | May 27, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

@steve_r

that clutterbuck wears a visor has nothing to do w/playing the agitator role....we need clutterbuck as much as we needed cooke a few years ago...we don't need an agitator, we need someone who knows how to read a game, can instill fear and honesty in other players due to their pugilist abilities, and can chip-in offensively on occasion...we need someone like asham, carcillo, neil, mayers to compliment a true enforcer (mcgrattan, shelly, or ivanans are all available for nothing)

Posted by: vermontcaps | May 27, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Lee,

Keep making excuses, Crosby has delivered to his team, city & country.
Ovechkin has delivered to himself, case closed. That youthful BS is exactly that, especially when everyone wants to hold Crosby accountable, yet make excuses for the older Russian.

Posted by: Cheef | May 27, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Leeguru

Then please post the links to the cited reliable news sources to each.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 27, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Cheef,

What Cup did Crosby win this year? He didn't show up in the 2nd round and his team got ousted. He is their best player, no?

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Cheef, I'm saying Croby hasn't delivered. His teams have.

Now, I think this was his best season as a pro. Not because his teams won anything, but because he again adjusted his game and became a better player.

Posted by: Leeguru | May 27, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I have missed Cheef! We should make him part of our group.

Posted by: Leeguru | May 27, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

People, please read Cheef's posts and how he argues points. It is abundantly clear Cheef is an idiot. Case closed. There is no point responding to him.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 27, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

we must've led the league in "scrums" last year, and we were nearly dead-last in fighting majors....the penguins have room for godard and rupp (as nearly every team sans caps and red wings does), so why don't we? many said that poti's fight was initially the turning point of the series up to that point, so why didn't we build on that? if it's clutterbuck's hitting that appeals to people, then i'd suggest we target and go after jordin tootoo

Posted by: vermontcaps | May 27, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Steve_

Ask the same about Ovechkin, his team was by far best in the league and what did he win ?
There's a reason why it's the hardest championship to win of all sports.
Crosby has been there twice, winning one and the Olympic Gold this year.

Posted by: Cheef | May 27, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Ignore Cheef and Leeguru. Cheef is just a Pens troll, who has posted on here a lot before, and Leeguru apparently likes making up stupid trade rumors.

Here's some things that won't happen:

1)Theo staying.
2)Varly being traded.
3)Semin being traded for Malkin, or anyone else on the Pens.

Posted by: timmyv38 | May 27, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Lee, come on now. Crosby has too delivered. OK, not in game 7 last year when he was in the fetal position on the bench and Malkin was the best player on the ice. But he did lull everyone Canada played against into a false sense of security during the Olympics by not doing a bloody thing until OT when (by the grace of God and Don Cherry) he nailed the game winner.

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Leeguru: Cheef is part of the group.

He is colonel and commanding officer, the Doofus Brigade.

LarryDavid, Lt Col and commander of the troll battalion, is his subordinate.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 27, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Lee,

Your attempts at seperating Crosby from team success is pathetic and stupid.

Hate to be so blunt, it would be much easier to speak the truth.

The kid is a world class producer and OV has yet to do the same for his team, city & country. Unless you like the Prez trophy

Posted by: Cheef | May 27, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Cheef, I'm not giving Ov a free pass. He and the team should be held accountable. The argument here is why Crosby, who produced less vs the Habs than Ov, got a pass? Why he is less accountable than Ov?

Citing past seasons and the Olympics is a B.S. answer and rather pathetic on your part (I can name call too, Bubba). Crosby failed in this years playoffs and nary a peep has been uttered by the media. That would be a bit of a double standard, no?

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Mark my words, one of those is going to happen!

Posted by: Leeguru | May 27, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a Pens fan. I am a Crosby fan.

I respect ovchkin but don't like him as a person.

Anyone else find it disturbing that OV & Semin are at the clubs after one of the games against Montreal ?

These guys could care less about the Stanley Cup.

Posted by: Cheef | May 27, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Cheef has got himself a little saying "producing for team, city, and country". It's so cute. Soon Cheef will be ready for his big boy pants.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 27, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Cheef, my points are sometimes ignorant and silly, but never pathetic and stupid!

Going on past accomplishments, hasn't Ovi won a World Championship? Somthing about taking a looney out of center ice, and Greenie is still ticked about it.

As for Cheef being a Pens fan, he is a Wings fan. Old Navy guy. Angry about something, but very knowledgable when it comes to hockey.

And for those who don't believe me, 4 people have commented that they have read and supported my sources!

Posted by: Leeguru | May 27, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Leeguru

Please cite those 4 people and please send links to those sources.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 27, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Steve_

Your ability to ignore is sad.
The Montreal Devils get credit for a hell of a run and Crosby did not deliver.

There you have it, OV lost in round 1 and Crosby in round 2.

Now which player has accomplished more as a Pro ?
Maybe (but I doubt it), OV can say the same in 5 years.

Posted by: Cheef | May 27, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I'll vouch for Lee sometimes being ignorant and silly

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I just heard from DaveK at tsn.gb that the Semin for Cammalleri deal appears off. It's been reported that Semin made a comment translated as, "I'm not going to Montreal. I haven't learned the English yet, and they expect me to learn the French? I'll go to the KHL before I go to Montreal."

I haven't yet heard from my inside source to verify this.

Posted by: rw-c | May 27, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Lee,

Here's an example of you being pathetic & stupid.

"winning a world championship" as an accomplishment.

Come on ! Everyone knows that tourney is a great booze fest for these guys, get real.

I happen to favor the Wings, class organization from the owner down.

Posted by: Cheef | May 27, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Bill,

Didn't you use that argument for one of Crosby's accomplishments?

Ignorant and silly!

Posted by: Leeguru | May 27, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Cheef,

True or false: last year when the Pens won the cup, in the final series was Crosby more ineffective than not while Malkin was the best player on the ice?

True or false: this year during the Olympics, while Crosby scored the game winner, prior to that point he was more ineffective than not?

Also, it is a TEAM sport. Ov is to blame for Russia's bassackward call to play KHL'ers when they could have dressed more NHL'ers?

Dude, you are the one trying to suspend reality to fit your preconceived notions.

How about a poll: who's right me or cheef?

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Hey Steve_

True or false, Crosby or OV been to the finals twice, winning once ?

True or false, Crosby or OV with the game winning goal for the Olympic gold ?

It's about results that matter, the above results matter more than your pathetic attempt to analyze.

Posted by: Cheef | May 27, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Lee,

Your observation about a younger Crosby getting better should not be ignored, this kid works hard at being the best, especially in the draws and goals.

The same can't be said for OV, actually hearing OV is starting to trend down in his play, should worry Caps GM, then again he's a union GM.

Posted by: Cheef | May 27, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Cheef, by your logic Cooke is better than Ovi because he has been to the finals twice, and has won once.

Posted by: Leeguru | May 27, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

So Bill,

As only the results matter, you just validated Ov's winning the World Championship as having meaning to the conversation. Thanks.

You can't have it both ways. Either results matter across the board or they don't. You can't pick and choose Bubba.

You're overusing pathetic. You want me to break out a thesaurus for you?

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Bill, I am voting for Steve and Lee.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | May 27, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Lee,

Now you're getting childish.
I would be saying yes if you placed all of Crosby's stats in Cooke's column, put a "C" on him & moved him to Center.

Posted by: Cheef | May 27, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Re poll:

As much as I hate to admit it, because Steve_R can sometimes be annoying, I think Steve is right, not Cheef.

Right now, I think it's Steve 1, Cheef 0.

Posted by: rw-c | May 27, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Who is Bill ? That some general blog name ?

As for winning world's, guess OV gets credit for past world's victories.
WooHoo

Posted by: Cheef | May 27, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Go away, Cheef and Leeguru. Take your anger elsewhere.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | May 27, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Chief Bill, I am using your logic to argue my point (I couldn't think of any 3rd or 4th line player).

But let's use someone who had similar stats: Malkin. Is he better than Ovi? His numbers were better than Crosby's?

Posted by: Leeguru | May 27, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

rwc,

Thanks, I think.

Bill, here are some words to use instead of pathetic:

feeble, lamentable, meager, paltry, petty, pitiful, wretched.

You're welcome.

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

08-09 SC finals

1g 2a - 3pts
1g 5a - 6pts
4g 2a - 6pts

which stat line lead the pens to victory over the wings
not crosby (line 1)
not malkin (line 2)
it was max talbot

true or false: trying to compare individuals in a team sport is silly

if you say false
true or false: talbot > crosby

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 27, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

That's it, I'm getting blocks of cheddar cheese out!

dccitizen1, no anger here. I am immature and silly

Posted by: Leeguru | May 27, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Steve_R is correct here because he is evaluating everything in reaching his conclusion. Cheef just points to one fact and somehow says that one fact proves his conclusion, ignoring many other more significant factors.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 27, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

08-09 SC finals

1g 2a - 3pts
1g 5a - 6pts
4g 2a - 6pts

which stat line lead the pens to victory over the wings
not crosby (line 1)
not malkin (line 2)
it was max talbot

true or false: trying to compare individuals in a team sport is silly

if you say false
true or false: talbot > crosby


Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 27, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Outstandning! That is what I was getting at!

Are your papers in order BTW?

Posted by: Leeguru | May 27, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Look, I hate sarcasm just as much as anyone, but Hot Lips may be right, Crosby the Messiah is better than OV, simpy because he has all his teeth.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | May 27, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

I'll stick with pathetic.

It's pathetic how Crosby is treated as a player that always happens to be in the right place at the right time, thanks to Cooke, Malkin, Talbott and every player except for himself.

You people are clueless.

Posted by: Cheef | May 27, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

@Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

you hit the nail on the head with that. Using team success to compare individuals in a team sport is for the simple-minded and is silly.

Comparing how each individual performs during the playoffs is a very good way to compare. But you can only look at their personal performances. Especially in a game where each player is on the ice less than half of the game.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 27, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

true or false: trying to compare individuals in a team sport is silly

Right on Capt.

Especially when the government of one of the teams didn't field the strongest team possible in the Olympics because of political pressure.

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Many people trying to talk hockey on here are naive (instead of pathetic)

I can't begin to list all the great players to take a backseat for the good of the team, when it came to winning a championship.

Do poor stats take away from that success ?
If OV went without a point and won a CUP thanks to Knuble & Laich, would it matter ?

The vast majority of you are in a state of denial, borderline brainwashed.

Posted by: Cheef | May 27, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Leeguru/sgm3:
i took about 10 minutes to find one player whose stats support that it must have been them that carried their team.

ovi is not > crosby
crosby is not > ovi
you can't do the comparision is any fair manner.

to say crosby gets a pass because he has been there and done that makes no sense to me - as that kind of statement would imply that he alone did it all for the pens.
saying ovi does not get a pass implies that none of the other players should be held accountable.

if you want to compare individuals in a sport - please stick with tennis

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 27, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

That's right Cheef. Drink the koolaide and join the dark side. Must be lonely on your island surrounded by us knuckleheads.

Rock the Red Bubba!

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Ha-Ha, now that's rich.

Blaming the Russian Gov for KHL players is now the excuse. Classic.

Posted by: Cheef | May 27, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Unlike you and your kid, we wouldn't be saying Ovi won the cup in that case.

We would, however, say that he was on a Cup-winning team.

Posted by: rw-c | May 27, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Chief Wild Bill,

I'm getting bored banging my head against the wall that is know as you logic. You are contradicting yourself while trying to call the rest of us pathetic and stupid. Boy, was it good to see you again though! When you haven't wasted your time on warm American beer, you have a great hockey mind. Unfortunately, today wasn't one of those days.

One day we will all come over to a2y and play in your house!

Posted by: Leeguru | May 27, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Again, I want to point out that a certain referee's skate got a not-insignificant primary assist on Crosby's game-winning goal in the Olympics gold medal game.

Now, do I think that referee's skate is going to get into the Hall of Fame? No, of course not--don't be silly. But should the Capitals sign it to a contract? Of course. A skate that knows where it needs to be at clutch time is really all the Capitals need. This skate really hadn't produced much in the Olympics until that point, skeptics say, but you have to accept that this skate just knows what it takes to get it done when it matters most. We need more skates like this in Washington. And heaven help us if Pittsburgh gets its hands on it.

Also, Crosby is way ahead of Ovechkin in the testes-punching department.

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 27, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Cheef,

The Russians were forced to go half NHL half KHL because of political pressure. That doesn't excuse the piss poor coaching, but the make up of the team is fact. As is the pressure applied to make it so. I'm not going to do your research for you, so keep wallowing in your own ignorance Bubba.

Posted by: Steve_R | May 27, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Lee,

How about we get together for a little shinny ? I'd like that very much.

Posted by: Cheef | May 27, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Who is currently a better player, Crosby or Plekanec?

Both are the #1 center on their teams and when they faced each other head-to-head in the the playoffs Plekanec's team won.

Therefore, using Cheef's brilliant logic, Plekanec is currently better than Crosby.

So if Cheef had to choose a player for a game tomorrow he would choose Plekanec over Crosby. He would have to since it is so clear Plekanec is a better player since the Habs beat the Pens.

Posted by: sgm3 | May 27, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the Russian coach should have showed that half NHL/KHL team the Miracle on Ice movie prior to the series .

Posted by: Cheef | May 27, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Cheef, anytime!

Posted by: Leeguru | May 27, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Lee,

How about we get together for a little shinny ? I'd like that very much.

Posted by: Cheef | May 27, 2010 5:30 PM

lee,
i don't know cheefs definition of shinny is - but if its some one on one alone romantic time - i think you should take a pass

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 27, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

You say when & where.

Posted by: Cheef | May 27, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Lee,
too late - you're braver than i am

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 27, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

no, you are the invitor, etiquette would dictate you say time and place.

For my sake, make it near a hospital.

Posted by: Leeguru | May 27, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

The Crosby/Ovie debate rages on, I see... gonna be a long summer. In being objective, is it really necessary? Two great players (of different positions and therefore different roles) so why not leave it lone at that? Aaaaw, I'm just as bad as the rest so as a Caps fan, let me throw a few at Crosby. He's lost a bit of his whininess but that reputation will stick with him until he plays like a man instead of like Mario, his daddy - no more jumping an opponent when his eyes are on the puck in a faceoff. Those that call out Ovie as a cheap-shot should watch a few clips of Crosby. As for his winning the Cup and an Olympic gold, I agree that he was present on the team, but if my memory is correct, it was Malkin and a few add-ons that pretty much carried the team in the playoffs. In the Olympics, up until Crosby was set up for his game winner, he was a non-factor for Canada. Give him credit for that goal, but not for the gold medal!

Posted by: gonchpup | May 27, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

no, you are the invitor, etiquette would dictate you say time and place.

For my sake, make it near a hospital.

Posted by: Leeguru | May 27, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

oh, and are you in the DC area? Thought you were in SUnny San Diego

Posted by: Leeguru | May 27, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Tomorrow night 9:20 at Laurel.
How's that for etiquette ?

Now if you can't do that, then your turn.

Posted by: Cheef | May 27, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Tomorrow night 9:20 at Laurel

please - not my hometown. but if you must, please stay clear of my parents

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 27, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of shinny- how about during an intermission at the winter classic?

http://twitter.com/TSNBobMcKenzie/status/14859066421

Already booked my room.

Posted by: Fro_ | May 27, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Pup,

You too are clueless, after second game in Olympics, Crosby did what many great players do, take a backseat for the better of the team.
I won't waste time debating it's clear the adjustments netted the desired results.

Posted by: Cheef | May 27, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

I see the Doofus Brigade is filling up. Anyway, here is Semin supposed comment from above on going to Habs:

"I'm not going to Montreal. I haven't learned the English yet, and they expect me to learn the French? I'll go to the KHL before I go to Montreal."

And now his words on going to Pittsburgh in exchange for Staal:

"I'm not going to Pittsburgh. I haven't learned the English yet, and they expect me to learn the Pittsburgh? I'll go to the KHL before I go to Pittsburgh."

Posted by: tominsocal1 | May 27, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Cheef, too soon. Email me at spceel@yahoo.com and we can work something out.

Posted by: Leeguru | May 27, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Too soon for what ?

Sure, I'll email you, let me know which rink works best and we'll go from there.

Posted by: Cheef | May 27, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

"Shinny is a game that all levels of hockey enthusiasts can play because it requires no rink, requires no skills except ability to hold a stick"

except ability to hold a stick!!

Leeguru,
are you sure about this?

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | May 27, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

No. Ovechkin is the more valuable player. Ovechkin has two of the top 41 marks in the history of the NHL in adjusted goals created. Adjusted goals created is a stat that considers goals more important than assists because, of course, they are, since, among other reasons, there are up to two assists for every goal. This is "adjusted" for differences in the era played in.

http://www.hockey-reference.com/leaders/goals_created_adjusted_season.html

Ovechkin's career goals-created per game: 0.55

http://www.hockey-reference.com/players/o/ovechal01.html

Crosby's career goals-created per game: 0.49

http://www.hockey-reference.com/players/c/crosbsi01.html

Crosby surpassed Ovechkin one year in the goals created per-game department, and that was the year just about everyone agrees that Crosby really was a more valuable player, their second year, the year Crosby won the MVP.

At this point right now, Ovechkin is more valuable. If you had to start a team with one of them, and could only sign either to a one-year contract, you're going to take Ovechkin. I believe every reasonably competent GM outside of Pittsburgh and Washington would agree. I believe sports writers and others who generalize way too much from a few playoff games and other elimination tournament situations are the only people who disagree.

So there is no need to fight about this. The debate has hereby been settled.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

Thanks,
Judge Squishy

Posted by: youaresquishy | May 27, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, leeguru. Yes, you are silly, not angry. It's Cheef that sets my teeth on edge. He (she?) is vile.

Youaresquishy, you are right about Ovechkin and also the skate that belongs in the hall of fame.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | May 27, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

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