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Posted at 5:52 PM ET, 12/17/2010

Caps owner Ted Leonsis likes to leave hockey decisions 'to the professionals'

By Lindsay Applebaum

Capitals owner Ted Leonsis found out about John Erskine's contract extension the same way just about everyone else did: by reading about it online.

In an interview today on Bill Simmons's "B.S. Report," Leonsis talked about setting a business strategy -- one like blowing everything up and starting over -- and then letting the coaches and general managers make the hockey decisions.

"Today I just got a news release that we extended our number six defenseman, John Erskine, to a two-year extension," Leonsis said. "No one talked to me about that... I read the news release online, and they shouldn't have to run that by me. If they want to trade Alex Ovechkin because he hasn't scored in 10 games, they're probably gonna come talk to me about that one. [laughs] So I do think that it's the day-to-day operations need to be left to the professionals. They can't vary, though, from the strategy."

Leonsis also talked about managing fan expectations during the lean years, building through the draft and why it's a terrible idea to give away free tickets. Check it out.

By Lindsay Applebaum  | December 17, 2010; 5:52 PM ET
Categories:  Ted Leonsis  
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Comments

@sgm3:

Thanks for the link...

I found this bit particularly interesting:

"That Boudreau’s job should be in jeopardy as a result of the Capitals’ current slump is a laughable concept at this point in time.

His overall NHL coaching record is a staggeringly good 157-67-32. On a percentage basis, that’s Scotty Bowman territory. And to suggest that his success is all because Boudreau landed in the right place at the right time - replacing Glen Hanlon just as Alex Ovechkin, Mike Green and the rest were entering their NHL primes - is a false assumption as well."


And this is coming from a Canadian writier in a Canadian newspaper!!! Isn't Canadian hockey supposed to be the antithesis of the "soft euro style" that thet the Goats' Blood™ Drinkers decry in this board?

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 17, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

One word to describe Leonsis (as an owner):

Embarrassing

Posted by: Cheef | December 17, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

There are stupid Canadian hockey fans/writers/people, just like anywhere else.

Aside from BB and his lack of "coaching", the main problem starts with FatCat OV. Yes coaching helps but a team supposedly with a lot of talent should make up for it. Maybe the Caps aren't as talented as they thought and they sure as hell don't have the intangibles... enough grit, heart, leadership, IQ, depth to win the big prize.

And where does this all start? With OV. Is it a coincidence he has none of those virtues mentioned?

As an NHL fan I just hope this is just a long blip on the radar for this game, even if it takes a season for him to see how shty he's become, and how much he needs to work on both between the ears and physically to get back his game. Because it doesn't look like he will ever snap out of this "slump". Teams have found ways to smother him completely.

I would hope he does not turn out to be the biggest fallen star in the history of NHL.

Posted by: BigGameSid | December 17, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Too bad Leonsis doesn't see that he's NOT leaving hockey decisions to a real professional... how much real playoff success has Mcphee had as a GM?

Fail.

Posted by: BigGameSid | December 17, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Caps owner Ted Leonsis likes to leave hockey decisions 'to the professionals'
---------------------------------------

I'm all for it but he's gotta hire the right people first.

Leonsis has too much patience with McPhee and Snyder has too little with anyone not named Gibbs... there's gotta be a happy median somewhere between those two extremes.

Posted by: joek443 | December 17, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

@steve_r
@sgm3
@justafan
@underpants2

So you don't like that the Caps inked Erskine for a bargain-rate 2yrs/3mil??

Either you guys haven't been watching the team this year (or last, or the year before that, and the year before that, etc...) or else you're COMPLETE MORONS.
Because you apparently watch the Caps when they play, my guess is you're the latter.

CONGRATS JOHNNY E!! DO ME PROUD TOMORROW NIGHT (though you won't have much support if the game gets rough)

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 17, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

I think Ted has been good for the Caps (and the NHL) since buying the team. Though I hated Jagr because he was a Pen, I LOVED when Leonsis delivered him to us. I mean, c'mon folks, the man did us proud (it'd be like if the Sox signed Jeter AND Rivera). When that didn't work out and the rebuilding began, he was always accessible and forthright. The plan worked, the structure is in place, and he hasn't been a cheap-wad like Pollin.

I think we're EXTREMELY LUCKY to have Leonsis as our owner, and I hope and trust he's paying attention to what's going on.

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 17, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Caps owner Ted Leonsis likes to leave hockey decisions 'to the professionals'

Hahaha. Maybe he should hire some first!

Posted by: festus75 | December 17, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

It is ridiculous that we are already financially committed to 6 defenders for next year.

vermontcaps

Take it easy. I am not upset we resigned Erskine. It's just too much. And why now?

Posted by: underpants2 | December 17, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Why is McPhee resigning these freakin guys so early? Has he gotten a discount on Poti or Erskine? No. Has he overpaid for both? Yes.

Posted by: underpants2 | December 17, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Vermont,

Have you ever heard of the SALARY CAP? When the Caps spend STUPID money on MARGINAL players like Erskine it LIMITS the teams choices down the road when trying to resign players who can CONTRIBUTE (or bringing in NEW ufa's). OVERPAYING Erskine and Stecks and Bradly and Sloan HURTS the team. It's SIMPLE MATH. Every wasted 100K can POTENTIALLY matter.

Me a moron? Pot/kettle there Bubba.

Posted by: Steve_R | December 17, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

I don't have a problem resigning Erskine. He's by far our toughest D-man. He'll fight and hit and block shots, he's just a little slow. Let's face it, right now, we need to keep whatever veterans we have. It's getting scary how much we are relying on rookies.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | December 17, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

@rhino

Hey buddy ! A couple of posts back you wrote a thesis long criticism of Cstanton and his whole MO. I jumped in and threw a round house at ya'. That was the extent of your response !!!!

Come on Cstanton has some of the most accurate and intelligent responses on this site. IMO he knows exactly what is wrong with the Caps.

You act like there is NO formula for success in the playoffs, when it is clear as day what a team in the NHL requires to have spring time success. Three franchises have figured it out. And two of them are just a ways up the road.

No response to 6 Flyers visits to the Finals ?

No response to the Pens constantly "reloading" instead of constantly rebuilding ? 4 cUp Finals in 20 years.

Wings are clueless on cUp runs too !

We need personel changes on this team. Guys that are going to battle to win 16 games while INJURED. Everybody who wins this thing talks about the need to play injured. Playing injured really requires a great deal of GUTS. Doesn't sound like most of our guys !

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | December 17, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Watching the wings hawks game. Reminded that Mikita is my all time favorite. Talk about a guy who showed up every game at 100%!! Too bad it isn't possible to extract an "essence of Mikita" and sprinkle it on the Caps players in the hope that they would pick up even a little of his traits. Absorbing all of them is too much to ask. :^(

Posted by: ebolean1 | December 17, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

WOW, so now I'm intrested to find out, just how many of YOU have GM'd a NHL team to a Stanley Cup????

Posted by: tigger_caps_fan | December 17, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Ted feels guilty that he forced GMGM to make a deal for Jagr. Ted, You've done your penance. It's time to realize that when you lose that many game 7's at home, that the management and coaching have not done their job.

We have people who are not capable of winning game 7's, which is why GMGM needs to go.

You've done enough for George. Lets get a veteran GM in here who can evaluate talent with an emphasis on winning in the playoffs. (No more Eric Fehr "softies" in the first round. No more Butch Cassidy "no nothings". No more inaction when you lose to a FAR INFERIOR team in the playoffs.)

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | December 17, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

WOW, so now I'm intrested to find out, just how many of YOU have GM'd a NHL team to a Stanley Cup????

tigger_caps_fan

I've done the same number as Mcphee.

Posted by: festus75 | December 17, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

"WOW, so now I'm intrested to find out, just how many of YOU have GM'd a NHL team to a Stanley Cup????"

---

Interestingly enough, George MCPhee and I have both GM'd the exact same number of NHL Teams to Stanley Cups.

The difference between he and I is that the ultimate goal of his job is to GM a team to the Stanley Cup, the ultimate goal of mine is to write system requirements.

Posted by: VTDuffman | December 17, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

@tigger-caps- fan

When was the last time you PRESIDENT-ed a country ? But, you voted and had an opinion.

This is our team. We have opinions, and we vote with our ticket purchases.

Now go back to Japers !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | December 17, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

WOW, so now I'm intrested to find out, just how many of YOU have GM'd a NHL team to a Stanley Cup????

Posted by: tigger_caps_fan | December 17, 2010 9:27 PM

If I'm empowered to help select the President of the United States then surely I have the right to criticize a business executive for a professional sports franchise.

You have the right to free speech, tigger caps fan, but if you look like an idiot when doing it in public you're going to get called.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 17, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

I may not have GM'd a team to the Stanley Cup but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express.

Posted by: pokerface1208 | December 17, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Huntsy: You and me had the same idea at the same time.

Either great minds or idiots evidently think alike. :)

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 17, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

And this is coming from a Canadian writier in a Canadian newspaper!!! Isn't Canadian hockey supposed to be the antithesis of the "soft euro style" that thet the Goats' Blood™ Drinkers decry in this board?

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 17, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Interesting tidbit but implying that they know what they're talking about isn't much different then taking the talking heads at ESPN for their word on all things football based on the fact that pretty much all the guys providing analysis are American.

Posted by: Dirtbag359 | December 17, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Rhino: I like the way you put the little trademark behind "Goat's Blood." I guess since I invented it that gives me rights and certainly you're entitled to ten percent as my "accountant."

BTW, Caps have their first pick for next year. It was the 2nd round pick they traded along with Pothier and Oscar Osala for Joe Corvo.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 17, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

Speaking of calling out idiots, did you really just compare voting to controlling a privately owned company? Because that doesn't work.

Frankly the 50 or so trolls who constantly flame here actually don't matter to the Capitals organization what so ever. Everyone has the right to their own opinion, and opinions can't be wrong, but they sure can be based on stupidity.

GMGM is one of the best around, the day he's fired is likely the day hell freezes over literally. He's the guy that's gotten the team Ovechkin(over Malkin in the same draft), Varly, Neuvi, Laich, Backstrom, Green, Alzner, Carlson, Semin and a bunch of other players from the draft alone. If anything he's had a few poor drafts including Anton Gustaffson, and Eric Fehr (look at his draft class, Fehr a 20 goal scoring first round pick vs Ryan Getzlaf from the same first round and numerous other much better plays from that draft class).

But GM has drafted a lot of real gems like Backstrom who was proceeded by the Sedin twins, Victor Hedman and Mats Sundin. Or John Carlson drafted 27th overall. Carlson didn't crack the top 10 power rankings for his draft class at the time but of those drafted ahead of him by my count 9 are in the NHL and arguably only 2 are better than JC (Stamkos and also Drew Doughty were from this class, Tyler Myers has really crashed this year and Zach Bogosian would be his competition for 3rd best imo)

Posted by: breaklance | December 17, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

"Caps owner Ted Leonsis likes to leave hockey decisions 'to the professionals'"

In a related story, I never, ever, ever tell mrstominsocal1 how to cook.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 17, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

"GMGM is one of the best around,"

---

Come on, really?

I mean, no one is arguing that GMGM is bad at drafting guys who can score goals.

I think at this point the argument is that GMGM is bad at building teams that can win Championships. You made a case for a guy who would be very valuable to a franchise as head of a scouting department, but not necessarily for one to be a general manager of a Hockey franchise.

Posted by: VTDuffman | December 17, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

breaklance: Wow. That's quite a bit of revisionist history. But since you opened Pandora's Box...

McPhee took over from Poile in the early summer of 1997. First, name me anyone who had an impact in the NHL who was drafted by McPhee from that first draft in 1997 until he picked Eminger, Semin and Gordon in 2002. C'mon, anyone. Pettinger? Sutherby? Cutta?

I have documented all of McPhee's great moves long before I ever saw your ID. IN fact, I have defended McPhee here for like three years. But he's not a great GM. He's average. Middle of the pack. List every GM from every team and McPhee is in a large group that's not Top 10 but not bottom 5 or so.

2002 was a decent draft. 2003? Don't ask. 2004 - one for the ages. 2005? One for the gutter. 2006 and 2007 look good. Gus was a bad pick in 2008. 2009 and 2010 are too recent to judge but look maybe good. Eakin was a nice pick.

Free agent signings - he'd done OK with low end guys but don't ask about the big money decisions. OK, Robt Lang was maybe all right. Mironov, re-signing Cote, Nylander, there are others, Franticek someone, mostly bad.

Trade dealine. 98 and 2007 were good coming in. The deals to blow up the team, that's where he gets an "A," although he basically gave Kono away for nothing. He got nothing for Jagr.

Ability to acquire complimentary pieces - below average. Way below. Couldn't recognize grit if it was between his teeth.

Excluding his first year, when the team was composed of David Poile's players, he's won one Playoff round in 12 years.

Now I suppose you're going to tell me that should get him to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Yeah, sure, and I'll tell you that one day they should put a picture of George Bush on a piece of US currency.

Oh, I forget, let's talk George McPhee's ability to select NHL head coaches...

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 17, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

breaklance: BTW, when discussing George McPhee's picks in the 2005 draft, hockey pundits say, "Even Dick Cheney had better aim than that."

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 17, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Leonsis gets all the slack in this town because he's portrayed himself as the antithesis of Daniel Snyder, which, due to the helpless nature of humans, is equated with "good". If people only thought one step ahead, and realized that giving over complete freedom to a surrogate can be a risky venture in its own right.

Posted by: slurpeesarecool | December 18, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Remember, grit = someone who would kill his own Mother to win. Do the Caps have that? Who on the Caps would possibly fit that mold? I'm not saying ALL of them need to be that way, but Jesus F. Christ, this is HOCKEY!!!

Matt Hendricks = GREAT pickup! And worth EVERY penny...

OV = this man is trying (too hard I think), but he's not a Kapitain IMO. He's a superstar who should be left to be just that and nothing more.

Johnny Erskine = Leading by example.

Between Ersk, Hendricks, Brads and OV, they are the closest examples of grit and determination this team has.

I think BB is doing the best he can with what he's got. He didn't drop the F-bomb a million times because he was happy with the softies in the room (although I would have grabbed some jerseys and gotten in some faces for lack of attentiveness). He's effing frustrated too.

This team needs to collectively grow some balls and play FOR EACH OTHER. If someone wrongs one of our guys, the WHOLE TEAM needs to stand and deliver. ALL of them. I don't think they have the makeup for it "as is". More changes need to be made in order to execute the current game plan.

They have a lot of talent. Heart, guts and grit is an area they are lacking in. The guys who DO have it do their best to lead by example, but it's a lost cause if they don't have a collective mindset.

I hope they can get it figured out soon because I love the team and would LOVE to see them go far this season - the RIGHT way.

Posted by: sca187 | December 18, 2010 3:32 AM | Report abuse

As for BB: whether one thinks he's doing a good job or not, one thing that seems clear from 24/7 is that he does not seem to be coddling any of the players as he has often been accused of doing.

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 17, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Coddling players has nothing to do with the words BB uses or the tone in his voice. Instead, it has everything to do w/BB reducing ice-time and scratching players not carrying their weight. Simply put, those he coddles are incapable of playing their way out of the lineup. Conversely, a guy like DJK can't play his way into it and it smacks of favoritism.

It's one thing for Sloan to not be in the lineup as he's not an NHLer. DJK comes to us having proven his mettle in St. Louis where he was well-liked in the dressing room and the greater community. So how do DJK and A.Gordon compare in their last 2 games played?

A. Gordon: 17:53 mins, 1 shot, 2 hits, -2 rating

DJK: 13:50 mins, 3hits, 1 fight, 1 assist, +1 rating

I'm not ragging on A. Gordon (or J.Beagle,too) it's just that neither of them provide what this team needs. BB said ice-time would be based on merit, and DJK did NOTHING that warranted him being taken out of the lineup after his previous game.

I'll ask again: is it any coincidence that our last win was a gritty performance on the road w/our "toughest" lineup possible on the ice? Inexplicably, BB changed the lineup in Dallas the next game and we endured our most embarassing debacle yet in the toughness dept. (Which has been surpassed by our showing in MSG) We haven't been the same since, and BB obstinately refuses to give DJK a chance.

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 18, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps (from well above), where'd you get the idea I'm not for the Erskine extension? I think it's terrific and I said so. Erskine's been great this year -- a huge improvement -- I'm very pleased he's gotten the extension, and I think it's a great message to the team at the right time.

Posted by: Justafan | December 18, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps (from well above), where'd you get the idea I'm not for the Erskine extension? I think it's terrific and I said so. Erskine's been great this year -- a huge improvement -- I'm very pleased he's gotten the extension, and I think it's a great message to the team at the right time.

Posted by: Justafan | December 18, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

"Between Ersk, Hendricks, Brads and OV, they are the closest examples of grit and determination this team has.

I think BB is doing the best he can with what he's got. He didn't drop the F-bomb a million times because he was happy with the softies in the room (although I would have grabbed some jerseys and gotten in some faces for lack of attentiveness). He's effing frustrated too."

After watching the HBO special and being able to hear OV screaming at his teammates to basically 'fight for it' I think we might be underestimating his leadership abilities.

If BB is fed up with a lack of effort and grit why does he refuse to play King? He is all grit, all heart and brings a momentum changing presence.

Posted by: FLDave | December 18, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Thinking of the Rangers, why is it that they're enjoying a renaissance season? Did they acquire high-scoring players? Is there an infusion of high-end talent from their farm system? NO.

The only noticeable changes in their lineup is the inclusion of Prust, Sauer, and Boogaard. These guys' presence enables their teammates to play their games with impunity, as they know said players will be there to back them up if/when the other team seeks retaliation for something/anything.

The Rangers are surging, the Caps are sinking. We've got far more talent than them, so what gives? It's either the coaching or the passive nature of our team. To myself and many more here, it's clearly a combination of both.

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 18, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Gotta say I'm mystified too by your suggestion that the Caps have "screwed over" Erskine.

Posted by: Justafan | December 17, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

How can you possibly say the Caps haven't screwed Erskine? He was treated awfully last year, and the same pattern was happening again this year.

If not for Hannan being horribly bad, Erskine never would've been offered the extension. That said, justafan, I probably shouldn't have included you in my post above because you do recognize he's worth it. My apologies....

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 18, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

http://www.cbc.ca/sports/blogs/mikemilbury/2010/12/capitals-sudden-nosedive-cause-for-concern.html

***The Caps have never been intensely disciplined on the ice ... or off it, if you believe the whispers. But, still, the talent is so significant that they have been able to overcome that lack of structure during the regular season.***

Milbury hit the nail on the head. While he did not blame BB for the nosedive he did point out what I've been saying forever. This is a young team that needs a coach that will discipline them, not give them hugs. As parents if you treat your kids like BB treats his players you won't need to save for their college tuition. They'll be taken care of by a penitentiary, three square meals a day, a roof over there heads and a bed at no cost to you.

Posted by: FLDave | December 18, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

vermontcaps

The Ranger and the Pens both brought inup toughness. The Pens lead the league in fighting majors, they have more 'goons' on their roster than we have in our entire system. Yet people here still don't understand that intimidation, toughness, fighting and the other intangibles these players bring WIN GAMES.

Suprisingly (sarcasm) The Pens 12 game win streak was stopped by Philly, followed up by a lose to the Rangers. How many fights? in those games?? One! Avery vs Asham...

Posted by: FLDave | December 18, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=345872

For those whoe don't understand Erskines importance. I'll bet you'd appreciate him if Washington's softies had to play AGAINST him. The comments by assorted fans say's it all!

Posted by: FLDave | December 18, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

@FLDave

Why we keep underestimating the value of toughness in the only major-league sport that allows fighting is beyond me.

And you make a great point about those games only having 1 fight. Neither team had a distinct advantage (fisticuff-wise) and thus the games were hard-fought, physical, and clean. They respected the toughness of their opponent.

Us? Ovi has to stick-up for Majo being run hard in the dying seconds of a period. Ovi attempts to spark the team w/his fight, and the team went limp when they realized the game had the potential to deteriorate into fights and questionable hits.

Teams recognize the passive nature of the Caps, and I think we all can agree with that. (Please, folks, don't point to the Caps fighting totals as proof of our "willingness" to engage; Hendricks has a losing record against lower-tier fighters, and Bradley? Well, I love him but he doesn't intimidate anyone in the league. Erskine and DJK are the only ones w/presence on our squad)

Boston has lost a couple games going into tonite, and they're going to bring it hard. If I were Thornton or Lucic (B's leading goal scorer, btw) I'd look to get Erskine off the ice for five. Teams are increasingly going to target our most physical dman, and it'd be nice if BB gave #4 some support.

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 18, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Though problematic, I think the Caps should target Matt Walker as someone to covet (granted, Holmgren would never allow us to get Walker from them; and speaking of Holmgren, there's a former tough-guy excelling in his role as gm. I've always liked GMGM, but this year is testing my patience w/him)

I think Walker will become expendable once he recovers from his injuries, and he would complement Erskine nicely and address a gaping hole in our team.

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 18, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

vermontcaps

Very good points as well.

Teams target Green to shut down his offensive threat, they target Erskine because they don't want to cross the blueline when he's on the ice. Erskine needs to stay out of fights as much as possible, he's can punish more people on the ice rather than a single player with punches.

There is a big difference between Willing and Able. Bradley and Hendricks are both willing, unfortunately the 'able' part (which is key) is missing. King while not winning against Gillies or Orr held his own in all three fights. If Bradley or Hendricks had fought either player they would have been carried off the ice.

Important things to keep in mind with King's fights... Gillies fought King at the end of a hard shift where he threw a number of heavy hits, he was dead tired. Orr jumped him twice, the second time locking him up before he could get his gloves off, not exactly 'Enforcer Code' type scraps. Gillies, I can understand making an exception to the code since King plastered an Isles player to the boards. Orr had already been knocked out once this year, knows DJK has KO power and wasn't about to risk another KO. Bottom line all three fights he was at a distinct disadvantage.

Put King in, let him fight someone while fresh without being jumped and then we can judge how well he can handle himself. Unless he's lost all of his abilities he'll be owning the NHL heavy's once again.

Posted by: FLDave | December 18, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps, this is the entirety of what I said in response to @PhilR in my post on the last thread about the team's treatment of Erskine this year:

"Gotta say I'm mystified too by your suggestion that the Caps have "screwed over" Erskine. Ersk has greatly improved his game this year, has skated in all but two games this season, has been rewarded with time whenever he's shined, by my observation. And, just landed an appreciated and healthy 2 year deal from the org.

If you would slot Erskine higher among the pairings, so be it, but there's logic to where he is. So if sgm or I or anyone else here has a differing view from you that would be unsurprising."

As for last year, Erskine just wasn't playing all that well last year.

Posted by: Justafan | December 18, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Justafan

I remember watching Erskine as a rookie in Dallas. He has always depended on playing positionally, no embarassment in that Langway won the Norris doing the same thing. This year he seems to have better speed and mobility. As the season has progressed I think that helped his confidence level considerably. This is the first time I can remember him pinching in O zone and using his slap shot (on net).

Whatever he did in the off season he needs to repeat it in April. June if we can get a decent coach :)

Posted by: FLDave | December 18, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

vermontcaps

The clocks ticking... I keep checking TSN for an announcement regarding Bird Call Boy. Your gut still telling you something's going down today?

Posted by: FLDave | December 18, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

@Vermont and Fl Dave
I'm prayong hard!

Posted by: capper3 | December 18, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

"The clocks ticking... I keep checking TSN for an announcement regarding Bird Call Boy. Your gut still telling you something's going down today?"

I think if they were gonna do something regarding BB before the Boston game they would have done it Thursday or Friday. This would give the new guy a day or two to get acclimated and meet with players before the next game. It'll be interested to see what happens Monday morning if they go 0-2 over this weekend though.

Posted by: eorr53 | December 18, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

interested = interesting

Posted by: eorr53 | December 18, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

what joek said. You keep the wrong folks employed and then your hands-off approach actually stymies progress.

@rhino

i did respond to your question from a few nights ago multiple times but it kept getting blocked or "held for approval". No idea why. I didn't use any naughty words or anything. Some higher power didn't want that question answered obviously.

Posted by: cstanton1 | December 18, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

@FLDave

I think the pressure is mounting, for sure. There's just too much coincidence going around, and a few days ago I realized CapRuins (joining names of my two fav teams, had previously only thought of CapitUins).

Another clunker tonight like MSG, I think it'll be time to make a move. Personally, I'd like to see Ted Nolan brought in. A former Jack Adams winner, he always got his teams to overachieve. He's got something to prove, the team's got something to prove, and I think it'd be a nice fit.

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 18, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Ted's got the right idea: hire good people and let them do their jobs. Seems so simple, but to see what happens when an owner doesn't do that, see The Islanders and Wang, or last season's Tampa Bay Lightning. Let the people who know what they're doing do it.

Posted by: farmgirl19C | December 18, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

WOW, so now I'm intrested to find out, just how many of YOU have GM'd a NHL team to a Stanley Cup????

tigger_caps_fan

I've done the same number as Mcphee.
Posted by: festus75 | December 17, 2010 9:55 PM

---------------
The question is open for interpretation; how many has he won as a GM? zero. How many has his team participated on? One.
I assume festus75 meant he hasn't won one and not that he has taken a team to the SC, but then again, there are a lot of delusional people on this board.

Interesting that some people think that winning a SC defines a good GM. I suppose that makes Stan Bowman a better GM than Dale Tallon ... Heck, that would make him an instant great GM and better than most current people holding that position.

I wonder if fans on other cities are as irrational and vociferous as the Washington fans.

Posted by: hock1 | December 18, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

"This is our team. We have opinions, and we vote with our ticket purchases."

Well, your opinion says one thing and your purchasing the ticket says another.

By the way, it is not our team, it is the one some of us choose to root for - sort of like the nurse and doctors in the soap operas, they are not real nurses and doctors.

Posted by: hock1 | December 18, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

@eorr53

If you're looking to shake things/wake players up, BB kicked to the curb at game time and the assistants stepping in tonight would do it!

@capper3

You and me both brother!

@vermontcaps

We are definately on the same wave length again. Ted Nolan and Mike Keenan would be on my short list. We've seen what Ted Nolan can do with a couple skill players, also ran grinders and a great goalie. When Buffalo stuck up the joint his Ray/Barnaby/May line still filled the seats. Back then I NEVER missed a Buffalo game because there was always ACTION. Can you imagine what he could do with this amount of talent? I would guess he would demand another 'role' player (McGratton maybe) to balance the team.

One thing is for sure, under either coach King would never miss a game or single shift. They both know WTF they are doing behind the bench and understand the physical aspect of the game.

Here's hoping the shoe drops on BB or the Caps tank another one forcing GMGM's hand! Dropping 2 this weekend I think GMGM has no other choice. It's hard watching a game hoping the team I love loses so they stand a chance in the long run...

Posted by: FLDave | December 18, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

hock1, I would be offended if I knew what those big words meant. Maybe you should have said those f-ing Washington f-ing fans. At least that is what BB calls us.
GO BRUINS! Get BB (and GMGM-not hopeful on this after reading Ted's comments) fired. If the Caps lose this one & the next BB gets the axe. Let's get a coach actually runs a game plan and demands the players follow it.

Posted by: chriscaps | December 18, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

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