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Theodore takes leave, Neuvirth and Beagle recalled

Goalie Jose Theodore has returned to Washington for personal reasons, and the Caps have recalled Michal Neuvirth and Jay Beagle ahead of tonight's game against the Rangers.

Neuvirth is here to back up Semyon Varlamov, and Beagle is here just in case David Steckel can't go. Steckel took a teammate's slap shot off the foot in practice yesterday and was last seen limping off the ice at Prudential Center.

As far as Theodore's situation, I don't have any details at the moment. But we'll see what develops at the morning skate, which is set to begin a little earlier than usual at Madison Square Garden.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 17, 2009; 9:11 AM ET
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Wow! This is unexpected but very interesting news. Hope everything is OK with Theo and his family.

Let's Go Caps!

Posted by: CapsChick | November 17, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

WHOA. :( Not good -- hope everything's okay, Theo. Varly starts tonight, then. Maybe Neuvirth gets a start this week. *hopeful look*

Posted by: kittypawz | November 17, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Agree I always worry when it's personal reasons. Hope theo and his family are okay.

On another note I love how Ovi on today's article he was going to play like Knuble in front of the net. Great opportunity for him to add another dimension to his already amazing game. He should be fierce there.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | November 17, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Whatever the issue, Theo has had a tough year. Hope all is well with him and family.

Posted by: beeman | November 17, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

I hope Theo and his family are ok. This has got to be one of the hardest times they could face.

Posted by: ridgely1 | November 17, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Take ALL of the time you need Theo...

Posted by: dlmy | November 17, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure his wife is having a tough time...pray for them.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 17, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

We probably shouldn't speculate on Theo...just hope that everything is ok. I hope AO doesn't put too much pressure on himself his first game back...he has a tendency to try to force plays sometimes.

Is anyone else concerned about AO playing by the net on the PP...won't he be more prone to hard hits there?

Posted by: capscoach | November 17, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

What a year it's been for Theo, and he has shown incredible fortitude. All the best mon ami.

Posted by: Sonyask | November 17, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Hell no I'm not concerned - Ovi should be in the slot - not on the point. He has trouble keeping the puck in the zone. BMo has been very effective there. I've wanted Ovi off the point (permanently) for the past couple of seasons.

Posted by: CapsChick | November 17, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

with the way theos been playing this may have been going on for a while.hes seemed to be real botherd,i hope all is ok and whatever this is i hope all goes well for theo cause hes had some tuff breaks wishes to theo and the caps.GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: gratefuldid | November 17, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Best wishes to Theo from me as well.

Posted by: guer_j | November 17, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Best wishes to Theodore and his family, whatever's going on. Wow. This does seem like it's been going on for a while, whatever it is. This has been a real tough year for him, and I hope it gets better!

Posted by: irockthered | November 17, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

It would be interesting to see Neuvirth, but that's only if Theo's still out Saturday night, I think

Posted by: Sonyask | November 17, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Other end - Steckel's foot. Ouch! That's unfortunate, and I hope he's not broken, because he is so awesome in the faceoff circle, and we need him.

Posted by: irockthered | November 17, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Theodore's been giving up tons of goals lately, this is probably better for all concerned.

Posted by: southside721 | November 17, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

southside721 - That's a mighty insensitive comment regarding a guy's family emergency.

Posted by: beeman | November 17, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

@southside721 - And probably it's all related. Still, given the year Theo's had (personal-life wise), I'm not calling him out for anything right now.

Whatever's going on, I just hope everything's OK with him and his family.

Posted by: irockthered | November 17, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

And yeah, I agree with beeman - discussing Theodore's save percentage when he's got a family emergecny is pretty crass.

Posted by: irockthered | November 17, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I, of course, hope all is well with Theo's family but maybe we are reading too much into this. Given the way injuries are reported, "personal reasons" may mean the flu, lilke a broken neck is an "upper body" injury and an amputated leg is a "lower body" injury.

Posted by: ds_kelly | November 17, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

@ds_kelly - Could be, but usually if a player has the flu, the team has said so... they haven't said the player was taking leave for undisclosed personal reasons. :-/

I think we're all just worried about Theo and his family, given the events of the past summer. I hope everything's OK...

Posted by: irockthered | November 17, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Tweet from Tarik: I'm hearing that Jose Theodore's family matter will only keep him away from the team for tonight's game. He will practice tomorrow.

Posted by: CapsChick | November 17, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

@ southside721: Bung hole.

I was always a little worried when Theo came back so quickly after his son passed. I hope he and his family are okay, if his return to DC was of a personal nature related to this past summer's tragedy. =/ Take cares Theo.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | November 17, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

"southside721 - That's a mighty insensitive comment regarding a guy's family emergency."


Do we know it's a family emergency?

Posted by: VTDuffman | November 17, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Another TEB tweet: David Steckel left the ice after about eight minutes. If he can't go, Jay Beagle will.

Posted by: CapsChick | November 17, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Good story on Hershey Bears' Keith Aucoin. I'll apologize in advance if the link has been posted here before.

Posted by: uncatim | November 17, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

cmasisak22: David Steckel says he will play tonight. Beagle could still play if Semin doesn't (no update on him yet).

Posted by: CapsChick | November 17, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

The NHL is becoming just like the NFL...nothing but injuries all the one ever plays...everyone is questionable....

these guys are killing each other...

Is it time for a 62 game season or what? We pay full season ticket prices, and rarely see full squads out there...

Posted by: SA-Town | November 17, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

cmasisak22: David Steckel says he will play tonight. Beagle could still play if Semin doesn't (no update on him yet).

Posted by: CapsChick | November 17, 2009 10:55 AM

Semin? What's wrong with him now? Can't we all be healthy for once???

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | November 17, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Semin didn't take the morning skate so I think Corey is speculating.

Posted by: CapsChick | November 17, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Maybe widen the rinks...these guys are MUCH bigger and faster than ever...there is no room out there and without the clutching and grabbing the guys are colliding mush more violently.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 17, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

much more violently - can't spell

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 17, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Given that Theo's "personal reasons" have run the gammit from a father and brother being arrested for loansharking and weapons, to dating Paris Hilton just before birth of his daughter, to this summers loss of his son, it is hard to speculate just what might be going on in his so far overly dramatic personal life. What ever it is I wish him well and hope he gets back to concentrating on stopping the puck soon.

Posted by: majiksea | November 17, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

kiss my a55.

Posted by: MNMNT | November 17, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

How unexpected about Theo. His recent slump may be related to whatever is going on with his family. What does it mean "he is going back to Washington?" Is it the state or DC?

Posted by: caraveli | November 17, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Best wishes to Theodore and his family from me as well.

Taking a slap shot off the foot even if it gets you in the gel pack can flat out sting. Yes, I say that from personal experience. So, good luck and best wishes to Steckel too.

I also think that getting Ovechkin off the point on the PP will be a good thing. I like the way BMo is playing there.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | November 17, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I hope Stecks is OK. His faceoff mastery is invaluable, regardless of what his point production is. :)

Posted by: blackjack65 | November 17, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

@lylewimbledon - Maybe the NHL should adopt the International rink size?

NHL rink = 208' long x 85' wide
Internatinal rink = 200.8' long x 98.42' wide

that way, it's all consistent everywhere in the world. The NHL is, as far as I know, the only holdout to the narrower rink.

The big problem would be redoing all the rinks. There'd be 30 rinks in arenas, plus practice rinks, and it would reduce the amount of available seating area by 13' - probably 3 or 4 rows...

Posted by: irockthered | November 17, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

@majiksea - that was then. This is now. The moment is never the same twice, and I'm not going to judge Theodore's reasons for heading home based on past incidents. I only wish him and his family the best, whatever's going on.

If Semin's not skating, he could be taking the morning off, or he could be resting that wrist injury we all know he's sporting. I'd rather have him sit the game out and get healthy than risk a worse injury by going if he's hurt.

Ditto on Steckel. We need him too much in the dot for him to go out long term. Heal that foot up, Stecks, and come back when you're ready!

@VTDuffman - We know it's for personal reasons; that is all we know.

But it's still pretty insensitive to comment on Theo's save percentage when he's home on personal leave.

Wishing Theo well is appropriate; commenting on his production at the moment is not, nor, really, is speculating on the reasons for his abrupt trip home. If and when he wants us to know, we'll know. In the interim, it's none of our business.

Posted by: irockthered | November 17, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Though ... why would Beagle (a center) substitute for Semin (a wing)? That's weird speculation, Corey... :-p

Posted by: irockthered | November 17, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Yep - owners money would get in the way of safety and a better product on the ice.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 17, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

ah , bigger rinks, more time to build up speed , more momentum, more injuries

Posted by: billd2 | November 17, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

the half a foot you have to avoid a hit will be the same on big rinks as on small

Posted by: billd2 | November 17, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 17, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

@a billd2 - Not likely. Bigger rink means a greater premium on speed, harder for the big slow guys to play defense, more room to avoid hits. Still have to play with your head up, of course. Resistance would come from Philly and some Canadian markets that view the sport as having a necessary element of violence/fighting.

Posted by: zmega | November 17, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Ugh, losing Steckel will really hurt cuz he is far and away the best faceoff guy the Caps have. I like seeing Steckel in for important defensive zone f-o's. Hopefully just a minor bruise.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | November 17, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I correct myself. North American hockey in general (NHL/AHL/ECHL) runs on the North American/NHL sized rinks. So there would be a lot more than the 30 NHL teams' rinks that would need to be resized, if everyone everywhere were to go to the Olympic sized rink.

I don't see it happening, because of the expense in redoing all the rinks, and the loss of premium seating. It wouldn't be the upper decks that lose out, but the rows right up on the ice, and 13' is a lot of space to lose, and therefore a lot of revenue.

I can see both arguments, as far as more space = more room for speed vs. more space = more room to dodge.

But keep this in mind:

Skating hard at someone and checking them is a penalty (Charging). I don't think an extra 13' of rink space side to side is going to increase the number of Charging penalties we see.

Posted by: irockthered | November 17, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

bigger rinks mean less high $$$$ seats close to the ice.. never gonna happen

Posted by: joek443 | November 17, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

forgive my ignorance, but I keep noticing that the Capitals are practicing at the Prudential Center, even though their game with the Devils is already complete and their next game is across the Hudson.

are the Devils brass particularly nice in keeping opposing teams' travel to a minimum (since the team left town after dispatching the Capitals) or is this sort of hanging-around normal for teams as they travel between NJD/NYR/NYI or other "close" rinks?

Posted by: P-Mac | November 17, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

"southside721 - That's a mighty insensitive comment regarding a guy's family emergency."

--Oh it's a family emergency then? I didn't realize that was made public.

And regardless of the reasons or how cold-hearted it sounds, the fact remains that for whatever reason, he's been getting shelled in most of his recent starts. It's probably better for him and the team at this point for him to get some time off. That's all I was saying. So quit your bellyaching.

Posted by: southside721 | November 17, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse


agreed on the wider rinks (I wasn't aware that the NHL rinks are actually longer, interesting) but in the last ten years, there has been a whole new cycle of arenas built and it wasn't done then, so it's an opportunity lost until the next cycle of arenas are built. Still, I wonder about variance. There used to be variance in the sizes of the rinks: the old Boston garden was smaller, some (I believe the old Forum) were slightly larger. What variance is allowed? It would be good if, when someone builds the next arena, they make the rink five or ten feet wider.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | November 17, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I hope Theo is ok. He has been great this year so far. This could explain for his under performance in his last game.

Posted by: theAnswerIs42 | November 17, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

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