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Thursday Morning Update (Update)

Rookie Simeon Varlamov will get the start in net tonight against St. Louis and winger Eric Fehr will also return to the lineup, which makes Alexandre Giroux the odd man out.

More to come.

Update:
After stopping 32 of 33 shots in his NHL debut against the Canadiens this past Saturday, Varlamov "deserves another chance," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "He played very well in Montreal and we want to see if it was a fluke."

*Brent Johnson will serve as Varlamov's backup and took full part in this morning's skate, saying afterward that he expects to start in Philadelphia.

*Eric Fehr is back in the lineup tonight after missing five games with a dislocated shoulder that he suffered in Toronto on Dec. 6.

*Tyler Sloan (leg) told me he's still doesn't have his strength back and isn't able to skate at full speed or really go after pucks in the corner at this point. Sean Collins is in.

*John Erskine was on the ice today and said while he continues to improve that he's still not feeling well enough to play.

*Jose Theodore came out toward the end of practice and was on the ice with Jeff Schultz, Brian Pothier and Alexandre Giroux. Pothier and Schultz are still skating with assistant coach Jay Leach and Bruce's son Andy Boudreau, while Theodore just went off about two minutes ago.

*Sergei Fedorov (ankle) did not skate, nor did Michael Nylander and Alexander Semin.

*The Caps didn't do any line-work this morning as Boudreau has the combinations on double-secret probation. Blues Coach Andy Murray likes to match lines and Boudreau didn't feel like giving his old mentor any hints. This will be the first meeting between Boudreau and Murray since their days with the Los Angeles organization.

"I know Andy Murray as well as I know anybody," Boudreau said. "He's going to be prepared and he probably knows my coaching style. There is also his assistant, Ray Bennett, who was with him in L.A. for six years when I was there as well. They're going to know what we're going to do and they're going to match lines and they're going to work real hard."

By Katie Carrera  |  December 18, 2008; 10:44 AM ET
 
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Next: Boudreau Pregame

Comments

1) Looks like Jose isn't quite ready and a good time to allow Johnny the rest he obviusly needs.

Posted by: fauxrumors | December 18, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Jose is trying to get Johnny to play hurt so he can put himself out for the rest of the year and Jose keeps his starting job.


oh, and Jose shot JFK

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | December 18, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I called it.

Posted by: SA-Town | December 18, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I AM WERY EXCITE

But Giroux should play.

Posted by: _jordan | December 18, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Caps fans get to see Varlamov stand tall at Verizon tonight. Any bets on: is his helmet painted now? If so, what's the design?

Posted by: saintex | December 18, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Jose is trying to get Johnny to play hurt so he can put himself out for the rest of the year and Jose keeps his starting job.


oh, and Jose shot JFK

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | December 18, 2008 10:50 AM
-------------------------------------------
Best. Post. Ever.

Posted by: Section117 | December 18, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone else take Jurcina's quote about Alzner as being very telling about what Jurcina thinks of Erskine - "He skates well and moves the puck well. So you can count on him when he goes to the corners. You don't have to watch him, you can trust him. He's steady." I took that as -- "when I'm out there with Erskine, I have to watch him and can't concentrate on my own game -- I can't trust him."

Posted by: hook99 | December 18, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

@ saintex

It hasnt been a week since he's been called up. Mask design sometimes takes many weeks or months to complete. Most times sending the mask away to have the work done or having a brand new mask sent to them, which as we know, most goalies will break them in for a while before even wearing them in a game

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | December 18, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

@Saintex

Red with Sickle and Hammer.

Posted by: SA-Town | December 18, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I'll take that bet. It won't be painted, he knows he is going to be sent down when everyone is healthy.

Posted by: Blahblahblah73 | December 18, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I am so stoked that I'll be at tonight's game. Would luv to see Varlamov to win one in front of the home crowd.

Posted by: cbs75 | December 18, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Good to see Fehr coming back. Good to see the forwards at virtually full-strength.

Posted by: dcox50 | December 18, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I am bringing my Soviet flag tonight.

Posted by: _jordan | December 18, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I think Varlamov should just go with flat black...

Posted by: saintex | December 18, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

I think you should go with the Russian flag.

Posted by: saintex | December 18, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

@hook99

He didn't say anything about erskine, he just was saying alzner is solid. It would be like Ovie saying "I like playing with federov because he is a good passer" or something like that...doesn't mean he thinks backstrom isn't a solid passer or player

stop trying to put sh** on erskine

Posted by: _stevo | December 18, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Here's to hoping Varlamov has one of those great pin-up pictures on the big screen when they do the opening lineup.

Posted by: gogogreenie | December 18, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I'm with gogogreenie, maybe he'll try to imitate Johnny's

Posted by: superpaqman | December 18, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Most athletes are superstitious. Varlamov won't change his mask after that performance in Montreal.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | December 18, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

_Stevo:

I'm not trying to push anything on anyone - but he said what he said - he wasn't just saying Alzner's a good player. To use your analogy, if Ovie started playing a lot better with Federov, and said I like Federov because "you don't have to watch him, you can trust him" (and that's Jurcina's direct quote) - I would take that as a comment on Backstrom's game as much as Federov's.

Posted by: hook99 | December 18, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

hook - I understand what you are saying, however you are assuming that is what he meant and we all know what happens when you assume.

Posted by: Blahblahblah73 | December 18, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I know its probably not "fehr", but I cant help comparing Fehr to the guy drafted right after him.....The Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf. Fehr needs to get it going, because his Getzlaf is lighting the league up!!!

Posted by: WTF_Fehr | December 18, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Regarding Jurcina's comments:

That coming from a defenseman does indeed have some clout, because you have to be able to trust your partner to be able to play your game. I would say it does say something to Alzner's game obviously, but sounds like a shadow comparison to Erskine to me as well. I'd say it's likely Juice doesn't feel as comfortable with Erskine as he does Alzner.

Of course stevo is unreasonably obsessed with Erskine, who is marginal at best anyways, so I wouldn't go too much further into a discussion.

Posted by: TheVampireCorndog | December 18, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Any reason that Quintin Laing was never called up? Lack of scoring, injury ?? He was one of the final cuts and I love to watch him play.

Posted by: Ramone8 | December 18, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

With Juice and Alzer, sometimes 2 players just have chemistry and it works. Look at last years world champ with OV, Semin and Feds, did not play together here, but it just worked, you just never know if and when that is going to happen.

Posted by: RichC3 | December 18, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

SWEET!!!!
Can't wait for the game tonight!

LET'S GO CAPS!

Posted by: caps28fan | December 18, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Let's hope for a win, but a few goals scored on him to keep him humble and willing to learn. Then send him back.

I'd rather he backstop a Hershey team to the Calder this year, and break in to the NHL full time next year. Much better to have a Carey Price than a Jim Carey.

Posted by: stormblue | December 18, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

How many sons does Boudreau have? I knew of Ben and Brady, now Andy too?

Posted by: superpaqman | December 18, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

how do you know erskine would not have played better with alzner too? Maybe it was jurcina's fault that the pairing wasn't working. i know it is all heresay, but probably 90% of the people on here were saying jurcina was the worst defender on the team for the first 10-15 games

Posted by: _stevo | December 18, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Jim Carey, Net Detective.

Posted by: _jordan | December 18, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

maybe he will play girioux instead of nylander doubtful but nylander needs to sit

Posted by: _stevo | December 18, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I agree with WTF_Fehr, the guy has been a disappointment. You can see the talent, but somehow he isn't getting it done. Re: Laing, I think he is in the situation where if they call him up they can't send him down without his clearing waivers. That said, they now have a bunch of forwards more able to contribute at the NHL level (Giroux, Bourque, Osala, Mink, etc). In all likelihood, Laing won't be in Washington again in his career.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | December 18, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Ramone8
as near as I can figure the reason was stupidity and the fact that gmgm doesnt think defense is as key as saving money

Posted by: wendel2 | December 18, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Varlamov should have run down to ToysR'Us and picked up some finger paint and doodled all over it. That way, when someone is on a breakaway, the look at him and say "WT* is that on his melon?!"

Posted by: FusilliJerry1 | December 18, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Laing would have to clear waivers so I am sure they dont want to loose him. So I highly doubt Laing will be in DC again. But he is healthly, has played every Bears game and looks good. I think he has 3 goals for the season and still doing great on the power play, like always.

Posted by: HBFan | December 18, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Seriously wendel, your answer is stupidity. The man has a law degree, a GM of a professional sports team, and taught a class at Georgetown University and you want to say the answer is stupidity. hey pot meet kettle.....

Posted by: Blahblahblah73 | December 18, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Sloan is also in the same situation as Laing. So I would look for Sloan to be with the Caps the rest of the season, because he is going to have to clear waivers and another team would pick him up for sure.

Posted by: HBFan | December 18, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Erskine is a defensive zone-puck coughing diaster...Alzner is already light-years better than the lumberjack. I understand the need for grit, but you lose all kinds of smarts and speed with Erskine. Still don't understand the contract extension we gave him?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 18, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

"Double...SECRET probation, sir?"

"There is a little-known codicil in the Caps Constitution which gives the General Manager unlimited power to preserve order in time of messing with the media . Find me a way to revoke the Blues' charter. The time has come for someone to put their foot down. And that foot is me."

Posted by: basrfg | December 18, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Its really not fair to compair one draft pick next to another. Your drafting for the future and some kids develop and some do not. Some kids go tru injuries and some do not. We could pick the draft apart and EVERY team could say would could have had this guy and instead got this other guy. Remember a guy named Peter Schumora (sp)...we drafted him instead of Mike Bossy.....just saying

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | December 18, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

If Varlamov passes this test with flying colors, does he go back in the nets Sat. to make sure it was not a fluke again????

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | December 18, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Fehr also came back from a pretty nasty injury that he was not even sure if he was going to play again. So its not really fair to compare him to other guys. Fehr is just lucky he can still play.

Posted by: HBFan | December 18, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

It's spelled FedORov. 1 e, two o's. Fedorov. I know he's new, and hasn't accomplished enough to have his name respected, but in case you're feeling generous and strong: the man's name is Sergei Fedorov.
Now, about Erik Fear. Isn't a dislocated shoulder pretty serious? I'd like to see what he can do with fifteen games worth of reg'lar shifts, but maybe he's too frail to show us...

Posted by: redlineblue | December 18, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Please keep Giroux up and send Fehr down to hershey please....

Posted by: arbeja666 | December 18, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I'm excited to see Varlamov play tonight. He should definitely play full-time in Hershey when Theodore to allow him work on his technique, positioning, rebounding and communication. He can only get that with live action, and backing up Johnson won't give him that. He's going to be great for this franchise, so the franchise shouldn't rush him.

Posted by: dcox50 | December 18, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

How many sons does Boudreau have? I knew of Ben and Brady, now Andy too?

Posted by: superpaqman | December 18, 2008 11:32 AM
------------------------

@superpaqman
That's it...three sons. And a daughter too (Kasey, I think).

Posted by: tess2201 | December 18, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Varly will be back in Hershey as soon as Jose is healthly. He will be a full-time Cap next year, I am sure. Leave Fehr alone he is a great player that is struggling with injuries.

Posted by: HBFan | December 18, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

has chris bourque pretty much blwon his shot with the caps this year?

Posted by: _stevo | December 18, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Amen Blahblahblah.

GMGM is a brilliant person. Great GM too - look at the talent on this team and in Hershey...we are going to be very good for a long time folks!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 18, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Sweet! Looking forward to seeing Varlamov.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | December 18, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

JSchon,

You going with home or away #19?

Posted by: Steve_R | December 18, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

stevo,

I know Erskine is your guy, but can you admit that he's not the most skilled guy on the ice most nights?

Posted by: Steve_R | December 18, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Varlamov will be up until JT is ready to play. I think they will give JT until the All-Star break to see if he can get it going. If he can't, I wouldn't be surprised to see him waived, bring Varly up and free up cap space for trade deadline moves.

I know that might not be the smartest move, but sometimes mistakes are made when signing players. If he can't put up average numbers the the 3/4 mark of the season, I say cut ties.

Posted by: ThePat | December 18, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Fehr disappears (possibly) on waivers if we send him down. He's already into his 2nd NHL contract.
basrfg, priceless. I'm surprised it took somebody that long to post it.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | December 18, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

@Rhino,
That said, if I could put any D-man I wanted into a Caps sweater (money no object), I'd have to take:

Blake from SJ
Phaneuf from CGY
Bouwmeester from FLA
Lidstrom or Chelios from DET

What about Pronger from ANA?
Personally, I'd take him first.

Great news for Varlamov. Not that a lose is expendable at anytime, the fact that we are on a winning streak is likely he's getting the start. If we were not doing so hot, it would be doubtful he would be getting the exposure.

About his mask, this might give us some idea when it happens, but I too agree that a permanent theme is way too soon.

http://lokomotiv.yar.ru/docs/history/2007/Foto/2007.10.31%20Локомотив%20-%20ХК%20МВД/IMG_9911.jpg

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | December 18, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Chris Bourque apppears to be a year or two away. Now if he's close to his dad in talent we've got something. Re: Erskine. Yes he tends to turn the puck over and isn't the most skilled defender we have, but in a fight who do have besides Brash to throw down with the heavyweights ?!?

Posted by: Ramone8 | December 18, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

@blalblabla so being a lawyer makes u a good gm....can u say alan eagleson?
or being from texas makes u a good president.ur the one with the stupid answers

Posted by: wendel2 | December 18, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Oh good :) Varlamov gets the start. Here's hoping he does well.

I think it'd be interesting to see Varlamov use a plain white mask for his entire career. It'd definitely be different and fun. Don't look for artwork on a mask until he's up for good, though.

I thought maybe Fehr's injury was a dislocated shoulder, after the 'I heard it pop" comments and seeing how much pain he was obviously in. Dislocated shoulders SUCK. Glad he's back in, but he may not be 100%. Here's hoping.

I think the reason they don't bring Laing up is that he has to clear waivers to do so and they don't want to risk losing him. It'd be a shame if that fear ruins his chancee at an NHL career, though. It's for the same reason that I think that Sloan is here for the year - if we have to send him down, he has to go through waivers, and we will lose him to any of several teams who are looking for solid, steady, young D.

Wonder why Nylander didn't skate. Is he on a maintenance day? Semin's been known to happen before.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 18, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

@steve_r

i know he probably isnt, first of all Ovie and Semin are on the team so he would never have a shot at it. He is isnt our best defender, probably not even a top 4. he is what it is, and dont get me wrong i like juice and i think alzner is going to be great, but we are second to last in fights, he adds much needed grit

Posted by: _stevo | December 18, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,

No mention of Clark on the ice today??? He had is cast taken off a couple of days ago, correct? And yesterday was a 'mandatory skate' per Coach - no Captain. So that's day 2... What's going on?

Posted by: Tracy2117 | December 18, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

That's gnarly about Varly.

I'm glad the kid will get to play in front of the home crowd.

Posted by: Cerealman | December 18, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

oh and @blahblahblah

just ignore wendels comments

Posted by: _stevo | December 18, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

You say grit, some would say crappy penalties of the retaliatory variety. And puck cleared over the boards genre.

Posted by: _jordan | December 18, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

@wendel2: I think the whole "you're stupid, no you're stupid" argument is just plain silly, but can I suggest that you'll have an easier time defending the "I'm not stupid" stance if you write in proper English? :)

As for Chris Bourque: I think he can play in the NHL when put on a line that suits his talents. He was put on the energy/checking line when he was up here, and while he's a bundle of energy, he's also a small guy. He'll fare better on a speed line, and he'll fare better having bulked up a bit and added some strength (see: Fleischmann). Maybe another year or two, but I do think we'll see him in the NHL.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 18, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

is he the same as cheef and windjackass?

Posted by: Blahblahblah73 | December 18, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Erskine also seems to be prone to getting concussions. Wasn't it after a Lucic fight that he had to miss some games last year?

Posted by: Steve_R | December 18, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

We call him Glass John Erskine.

Posted by: _jordan | December 18, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

You know what people, you're all being major C-words, thats right Cranky Sue's

Posted by: superpaqman | December 18, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

jordan

Phanuef finished with almost double erskine PIM's last year, so yes if you want to play with grit and tough, you will get penalties and i am pretty sure jurcina has the same or one more of puck over glass penalties as erskine this year

Posted by: _stevo | December 18, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

erskine broke Lulic's nose last year in the fight

Posted by: _stevo | December 18, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I believe it was Bradley who got clocked by Lucic.

Posted by: Ramone8 | December 18, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the post that says Fehr should be sent down. I think he has more potential than Giroux but needs a chance to develope a little more. If Pothier is closer than we think - It's going to be very interesting where some players end up when he is healthy. Alzner has proven that he belongs here. Our defense at the end of January might look very different.
Schultz, Poti, Pothier, Green, Moe, Alzner, Erskine, Jurcina - which 2 don't get a sweater? Here's what I think:
Poti-Pothier, Jurcina-Alzner
Green-Schultz. I think the organization likes Schultz better than Moe or Erskine and I don't think either of them plays as well as Alzner. Like I said, it should be very interesting. What a luxury to have!

Posted by: psugolf | December 18, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

SOSOExcellent about Varlamov getting the start!!! I am looking forward to this, something fierce! Good that we're saving Johnny for the next game.

@redlineblue - if you're correcting spelling on Fedorov, watch your own spelling. It's Eric FEHR, not FeAr...!

Posted by: irockthered | December 18, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Someone just plain skates around Erskine 3 or 4 times/game. The Lumberjack makes especially untimely and avoidable turnovers. And anyone who hits like Schultz (ahem) should have excellent positioning like Schultz: You don't see great physics or great geometry on a typical Erskine shift.
I don't know the Cap implications, but they're the *only* excuse for not turning Erskine's job over to Karl Alzner.

Posted by: redlineblue | December 18, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Erskine can rack up as many penalties as he wants when he starts playing on Dion's level.

Posted by: _jordan | December 18, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Interesting to think what kind of money Jurcina is making for himself next year with his improved play

Posted by: superpaqman | December 18, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Somebody help me out, last year Erskine got his butt handed to him and was out with a concussion afterward. Who was that fight with?

Posted by: Steve_R | December 18, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

it was with goddard when he was on calgary

Posted by: _stevo | December 18, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

he got punched in the brain

Posted by: _stevo | December 18, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: _jordan | December 18, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

No reason to rush Alzner into the league. A full year in the AHL can only help. Obviously he's been as good as advertised but a full season with Hershey would be valuable.

Posted by: Ramone8 | December 18, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Double...SECRET probation, sir?"

"There is a little-known codicil in the Caps Constitution which gives the General Manager unlimited power to preserve order in time of messing with the media . Find me a way to revoke the Blues' charter. The time has come for someone to put their foot down. And that foot is me."


Posted by: basrfg | December 18, 2008 11:48 AM


Haha That is the post of the year right there. Animal House FTW!!

Posted by: _Tim | December 18, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

@psugolf: Pothier is a long way from rejoining the lineup. Yes, he's on skates, and yes, he's firing one-timers, but that's a far cry from the speed of a hockey game, and it will be months yet before he's ready for that. Look for him at playoff time at the absolute earliest, and more likely next season - if he doesn't retire. While it is wonderful that he is making the progress that he is, the absolute last thing I want to do is rush him or risk him needlessly.

Let's think more towards who we've got. I see this:

55-52
27-23
89-3
4

Mo is in the last year of a contract and has been through two arbitrations - I think he'll be a trade to keep Alzner up when Schultz comes back. Let's talk about next year in the off-season, when we see how far Pothier has come and we know more about his situation.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 18, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Anyone ready to talk about the cap next year, Semin and Backstrom needing to get re-signed, and all the prospects?

We keep jabbering about who should play up now.. but the real test is going to be at the end of this year. We have to move cap space to sign Semin and Backstrom next year. We also have to make room for some of these Bears that have proven they are NHL ready. I'm all for letting the bears in this year, evaluate what we have, and get them ready for next year, because looking at the potential cap issues we have now, and over the future, we are going to have to move some popular, but expensive players...

Posted by: fricknoutstandin | December 18, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link Jordan. You going to the game tonight?

Posted by: Steve_R | December 18, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

@blalblabla so being a lawyer makes u a good gm....can u say alan eagleson?
or being from texas makes u a good president.ur the one with the stupid answers

Posted by: wendel2 | December 18, 2008 12:11 PM

=============================================

I mean we can go back and forth all you want. Are you a lawyer? Did you rebuild a world class professional sports team?

Go back to your 40 grand a year life and give GMGM some credit where credit is due

Posted by: trunkenmath | December 18, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

frickin'

4M off the books Feds
1.25M no more Brash
1.9M when Mo is traded (guessing there)

Posted by: Steve_R | December 18, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Very excited to see my boy in net again tonight. Let's go Varly!

As for the mask, he could use the one he used all of last season in Russia. Half of it was all about the Capitals, the other about his Russian team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. Kinda like the Joker :)

Regarding your little debate about the whole Erskine, Jurcina, Alzner thing. It's extremely clear that Jurcina has been a MUCH better player with Alzner as his partner. So much that Boudreau is now using that pairing against the other team's top lines. That kinda should tell you what he thinks. I'm sorry if someone is in love with Erskine due to possibly his rugged handsomeness, but he's not a very good NHL defenseman. In fact, he's barely an NHL defenseman. When a rookie comes in and makes you look completely expendable... Well, you know what I'm saying.

Posted by: ranndino | December 18, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

@irock. Uh, thanks. "EriK FeAr" was a deliberate mangling of an easy name that we use often in here. A joke, even. "Varmalov" was already taken, see.
At the booth, they're SELLING "91" enamel pins that say "Federov".
It's an uphill battle.

Posted by: redlineblue | December 18, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone see that Andy Murry called Iginla the best forward in the NHL? Bet that fires Ovie right up tonight...

Posted by: Moose16 | December 18, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone really thing ALL the prospects we have are going to stay in the system and eventually be Caps?

Well, they wont. Good prospects can be used as bargaining chips in trades and contract negotiations. At the deadline this year, don't be surprised to see one or 2 of our NHL ready prospects be moved to other teams where they can get playing time almost immediately.

Whats the use of keeping them around if we are against the cap and wont be able to keep them on the NHL roster? The Bears probably have 5-6 guys(including callups still with the team) who can make the NHL roster. But where do you put them, can you really take 6 proven NHLers off the roster for them? Gotta move them..get some picks for them.

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | December 18, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

To follow up what I just said. From what I've seen so far this season if contracts weren't an issue and I just had to pick our best 6 D based purely on how they've played this would be my 6 (not suggesting who's 1st, 2nd or 3rd pairing, just top 6 and pairings):

Green - Morrison
Jurcina - Alzner
Collins - Poti

Posted by: ranndino | December 18, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Maybe it's just me, but it seemed to me that Erskine's play was improving when he got hurt. Not a love fest, just an observation that his game was improving and that he was still a serviceable 5/6 D. I am not ready to give up on him yet. During the off season, there are going to have to be some tough decisions made. At least tough for the fans.

Posted by: _Mark | December 18, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

@ fricknoutstandin

When you talk about cap-space for next year, you have to look at who may or may not be back.

Federov I feel will be gone, along with Clarke, Kozlov, Nylander, possibly Morrisson since he's in the last year of his contract. Depending on how Theodore does the remainder of the year and how Varlamov progresses may determine who where those two will be next year.
Brashear is getting up there in age a bit as well, so we'll have to wait and see with him.
I can't see the Caps letting Semind and Backstrom go anywhere. It would be a disaster. Expect long-term deals with high bonuses/incentives which would lower the base-salary of the players, reducing the salary cap hit.

Posted by: dcox50 | December 18, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

hey bkittymenopause
why not worry about what Avery is saying about you instead of trying to be the English nazi on a sports blog or better yet get your housework done

Posted by: wendel2 | December 18, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Steve R,

I will be there! Can't say no to student night, especially with bobbleheads!

Posted by: _jordan | December 18, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Kozlov gone too, 2.5M

Posted by: Steve_R | December 18, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

@randino

I will leave erskine out of your argument, but I think sloan has been better than collins.

Posted by: _stevo | December 18, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

wendel, whatcha smokin', man? Look at the mix of vets, kids, and picks the Caps have, piled up three leagues deep. JSchon or one of those cats can tell you who the Caps *picked* with the proceeds from Lang, Zubrus--you won't want to reverse many of those trades at All.
Maybe GMGM is a flippin' idiot--but clearly not where hockey is concerned.

Posted by: redlineblue | December 18, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

re next years cap.
No Feds , Mo, Nyls will give us quite a bit of room at the present cap level, but look for the cap to go down with the economy falling and the US/Canadian dollar shift. That will cause most of the teams problems, keeping FA and making offers in trades. Next season will prove to be difficult for everyone. Maybe OV takes a cut to keep the team tegether, RIGHT

Posted by: billd2 | December 18, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

@Moose16:

Y'know, Iginla had 4 points against the Blues on Tuesday. I can think of a way Ovie can prove tonight who's better....

Posted by: kenjabi | December 18, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Varlamov should have run down to ToysR'Us and picked up some finger paint and doodled all over it. That way, when someone is on a breakaway, the look at him and say "WT* is that on his melon?!"

Posted by: FusilliJerry1 | December 18, 2008 11:40 AM

@FusilliJerry1...I like it...take the WT* factor a step further and put some Hello Kitty®, Barney™ or Pokémon® stickers on it....


"Double...SECRET probation, sir?"

"There is a little-known codicil in the Caps Constitution which gives the General Manager unlimited power to preserve order in time of messing with the media . Find me a way to revoke the Blues' charter. The time has come for someone to put their foot down. And that foot is me."


Posted by: basrfg | December 18, 2008 11:48 AM


@basrfg: Great refrence. TOGAAAA! TOGAAAA!

What about Pronger from ANA?
Personally, I'd take him first.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | December 18, 2008 12:06 PM

Thought about that. Great physical, but he also plays a little too dirty=too many PIM's=too much time on the PK for WAS.

IMHO, Physical is good (see OV), but we want to stay out of the box as much as possible. We just can't count on every opponent to go 0 for 8 on the PP as MTL did the other night.

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 18, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

wendel,
Go away with the insults and negativity. It is uncalled for and irrational. If you took the time to form an argument, then maybe there could be debate.

Posted by: _Mark | December 18, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

@blalblabla so being a lawyer makes u a good gm....can u say alan eagleson?
or being from texas makes u a good president.ur the one with the stupid answers

Posted by: wendel2 | December 18, 2008 12:11 PM

Wendel, I did not say being a lawyer makes you a good GM. I said he is a lawyer, GM and Professor and I believe if someone were "stupid" they could not be any one them let alone all three. Now if you do not like his decisions, I would say judge his decisions not his character nor intelligence.

Posted by: Blahblahblah73 | December 18, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

RE: Pothier
If he's even healthy, which I wonder if he will ever be ready for NHL speed with his vision problems, we need to free up 2.5M to get him in the lineup this year. Where is that gonna come from without sending this team in a backwards direction?

re: cap next year.

It's extremely complicated right now. We have a LOT of RFA/UFA players this season, AND the cap ceiling could fall. I know what I think we'll do with 23/26/55/62, but it will all come down to money, and if our other D prospects are ready.

The reason it's so complicated, is we are hoping quite a few Bears are ready, and I just don't have $ numbers on them. We're looking at @10-12M next year to spend on @10 guys, if we're lucky. That doesn't include the Bears, and we still have to fill holes left by Kozzie and Feds.

I'm not going to start thinking about next year until next year. There's many months to stew over that before FA period starts. Our finish this year will also determine how aggressive we are and what we go after.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 18, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

dcox50,

I don't that they can do incentives with Semin or Nicky because of the CBA

Posted by: Steve_R | December 18, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I am bringing my Soviet flag tonight.

Posted by: _jordan | December 18, 2008 11:07 AM

SHould go over well. Nothing like idolizing a repressive regime that locked down its people and sent them to gulags, made their families disappear, and resulted in 75 years of paranoia and fear. Maybe the Russian flag would be more appropriate. I'm sure if you ask a Siberian what they think of the Soviet Empire, they won't give you any soft and cuddly answers. After all, Fedorov defected and the majority of the population danced when the Soviet regime crumbled.

Happy Holidays!

Posted by: oo7 | December 18, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Mind you, I'm not advocating this, but it's a trend I've noticed. Given Semin's comments about the North American style of hockey versus the Russian style, his reluctance to learn the language, his attitude, and his last-minute return to the US in the fall, are we sure that Semin is going to want to stay with the Caps when his contract is up? I'm beginning to think he might just go back to Russia, because it just seems to me like he doesn't really want to be in the US, and the only thing that makes him want to be with the Caps over another team is the fact that so many of his countrymen play here.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 18, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

lol internet guilt trip

Posted by: _jordan | December 18, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

With all this young (i.e.cheep) talent in down on the farm, we can afford to spend the money on our top 1/3 players because we will have a bunch of guys who haven't made a dent in the league filling our 3rd and 4th lines.... Keep a core together, OV, Backs, Semin, Green, Alzner, Varlamov and build the rest of the team around that with young talnet and lower priced vets to mix in.

Posted by: UMWHockey | December 18, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Folks:

Take note please. NHL's cap is not like the NFL. You can't just let a player go and expect their cap space to magically appear out of thin air for you to spend. We are still paying for Ben Clymer this and next year because of this.

I've seen people talk about JT60, Clarkie, Nylander all being gone next year. Could this team trade all 3? Sure. Can they find other teams willing to take their contracts for their recent production? That's the fuzzy part, and if we have to pay part of a guy's deal to get him out of here, it's not worth it. We can't just waive/release guys and not expect to pay their cap hit.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 18, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

If Semin goes back to Russia, I quit.

Posted by: _jordan | December 18, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

@trunkemath was this rebuild completed when Hanlon was coach or did bb have something to do with it? You attach the title world class very easily. How many cups does an organization win before it can be classified as world class? Will we be be world class next year when the salary cap comes down and we have to unload talent because of inflated salaries paid by gmgm. thanks for the giggle now check world class in your dictionary please

Posted by: wendel2 | December 18, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I'll make it even clearer. We have at least 5 D in the system that are better than Erskine. Disregarding the established regulars and just looking at guys who started the season in Hershey I would take Alzner, Collins, Lepisto, Sloan and yes, even Helmer over Erskine.

Erskine sucks. Period. I can't possibly see how anyone who has an even remote understanding of hockey can like this guy. Unless to you hockey = hitting it's plain to see that the man lacks pretty much in every skill area.

Skating (my grandma can skate better), positioning, passing, shooting (he can shoot hard, but it takes him an hour to get it off so it almost never gets through), receiving the puck (if he were a running back he'd be leading the league in fumbles).

Now I respect GMGM very much, as I have said many times before, but I really don't have a clue why he gave Erskine a 2-year extension when we have all these guys in the system that are ready and much better. The only thing I can think of is that he plans to use him as a trade bait. Some NHL GMs drool over toughness and ruggedness as much as some Erskine loving posters on here so who knows, we might be able to get something decent for him when some team decides they're too soft and need a big lug to add some toughness.

Posted by: ranndino | December 18, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Even if the comparison of Fehr to Getzlaf isnt fair, I can go on, there are others drafted behind Fehr who are looking as good or better. Dustin Byfuglien, who was rumored to be coming here in a possible trade, is looking better than Fehr, who was #18 overall in 2003. His draft position?

Round 8!
245 overall!

W...T...F FEHR!?!?!?!?!

Posted by: WTF_Fehr | December 18, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

@ Rhino40

Pokemon and Hello Kitty stickers would be awesome. hehe

"Let me show you my Pokemons!"

Posted by: FusilliJerry1 | December 18, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

The first round of Fehr's draft class was absolutely sick.

Posted by: _jordan | December 18, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

@ kittypawz

As someone who's also Russian I'm not particularly happy with Semin's reluctance to assimilate and learn English, but let's not start rumors of Semin to Dynamo Moscow just yet.

Now if someone decided to start a hockey version of the Harlem Globetrotters I could see the temptation for Semin of leaving the Caps become impossible to resist.

Posted by: ranndino | December 18, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

@ranndino

erskine does not suck, so i guess i really don't know anything about hockey...allegedly

Posted by: _stevo | December 18, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

In Soviet Russia, MASK wears GOALTENDER!

Posted by: 106T | December 18, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

No incentives allowed in contracts except for entry-level and vets over 35. In any case, any extension wouldn't affect Backstrom and Semin's cap value next year since they are signed for next season.

And wendel's either a Laing family member or a close personal friend. That's the only thing he talks about basically.

Posted by: koalatek | December 18, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I would like someone to explain to me how a spinorama type shot like Blake made in OT is a legal shot.

I thought that the puck had to always move forward. It could go side to side but not backwards.

Is that correct? If it is, how does someone do a 360 spin move without taking the puck backwards? Anyone know what the rule says?

Posted by: warsaw63 | December 18, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, I was referring to a shoot out goal, not OT.

Posted by: warsaw63 | December 18, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Warsaw - I thought the same thing.

Posted by: Blahblahblah73 | December 18, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I dunno, but the rule should say 'the shootout is dumb so do whatever as long as it's exciting.'

Posted by: _jordan | December 18, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

whoa kitty, we haven't seen "an attitude" with Semin this year. If anything we see a happy confident youngster. Don't start something that isn't there.

Posted by: billd2 | December 18, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Okay first of all we've all watched Erskin play, and he does seem like a guy who you'd have to watch because let's face it he screws up a lot, but Hook99 is twisting Juice's words. Just because that is probably true, and if you asked him completely confidentially he'd tell you that, doesn't mean that's what he was trying to say. As for Fehr; I'm not saying he'll be Getzlaf, but first we were all ripping Liach, and he proved us wrong, then we were ripping on Flash, and he now he's proving us wrong. Can't we just accept that these guys need time? Not everyone is Alex Ovechkin, or Nick Backstrom. Not everyone can jump right in and play amazingly, not every young guy we have is going to be up for the Calder. Fehr has the makings to be a solid player, my guess is he'll break out next year, but for once let's be patient. After all Mike Green wasn't much until last season.

Posted by: dcfury | December 18, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

@kitty

I'm not too worried about Semin leaving for russia. Japersrink today had a link to a Cosmo article from Oct with him and he seems to like it here.

http://www.tuvanhillbilly.com/?p=377

Although I was not pleased to his reponse to girls hockey - having a daughter myself that plays.

Posted by: griffin13 | December 18, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

wendl should be suspended from this blog for those comments to kitty, how do we do that.

Posted by: billd2 | December 18, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

as far as next years cap goes. I was reading that..sorry but I forget where..that the salary cap next year is not expected to change..MUCH

So maybe give or take a few here or there

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | December 18, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I don't think it is likely that Semin would go back to Russia in the near future. These guys want to test themselves against the best. The only reason to leave the NHL is if you can't get paid or you're a complete fraud (see, Jagr). The Caps will sign Semin to a long term deal.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | December 18, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Semin's staying to play awhile. Maybe he won't report a few days early, but merely on time. Maybe he'll never be anything but puzzled by Americans and their take on his game. All of us here would of course adapt from Russian to AmericanCelebrity culture, at 22, in a flash.
Semin's game keeps getting sharper and more responsible. His teammates (save the obsolete Kolzig) and coaches seem to like Semin fine. His opponents hate to deal with him. I wonder where he gets off thinking the rest is not his problem?

Posted by: redlineblue | December 18, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I'd be more inclined to compare Semin and Ovie's background before chalking up 28's language skills to his desire to play here/assimilate.

griffin

I wouldn't read too much into his comments re: women's hockey. He could easily be referring to the availability of women's professional hockey. We don't really know what he meant by it. But in any society, the warriors against bigotry are the younger generations. More power to your daughter for playing the sport, and hopefully there will be some decent paying gigs for her should she choose to make it a profession.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 18, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

In Soviet Russia, MASK wears GOALTENDER!

Posted by: 106T | December 18, 2008 1:18 PM
-------------------------------------------
Today's thread winner, right there.

Posted by: Section117 | December 18, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Not that I am an expert or anything but during the preseason my sons and I were trying to figure out which youngsters would stay with the team. We thought that Alzner would stay and the Caps would put Erskine on the waiver wire to see if he'd get picked up. Now that he has suffered another concussion I doubt anyone will snag him. As they say hindsight is 20/20. When I think about it further though, maybe, just maybe young Alzner would not have done so well if he had stayed with the club from the start. He was able to come up and play with fellow Bears which probably took some pressure off in the first few games. Then he started playing well, and by the time Poti and Green came back to the line-up Alzner was skating with confidence. So, even with Alzner showing he is capable of playing at this level now, it may have been a completely different story if it would have happened from game 1.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 18, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

So what if Semin doesn't think women should play hockey. It is his opinion and he is entitled to it. I think women's hockey stinks, how come they don't allow them to check. Now that is ridiculous.

Posted by: Blahblahblah73 | December 18, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

wtf_fehr should have a look at where Pavel Datsyuk was drafted before he unfairly compares Fehr to Getzlaf with regards to where they went in the draft. Some players are incredibly talented and have all the hype but cannot succeed at the NHL level (Alexander Daigle). I think he went first overall and was a bust. Datsyuk goes in the 6th round and is a perennial NHL All-Star. If you looked at who the Caps took in the last ten drafts and went down the list, it's easy to say, "well what a bunch of dumbasses they missed this guy." The draft really means nothing when it comes to being successful in this league.

Posted by: reesem37 | December 18, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

BTW, from the NHL rulebook on penalty shots:
The lacrosse-like move whereby the puck is picked up on the blade of the stick and “whipped” into the net shall be permitted provided the puck is not raised above the height of the shoulders at any time and
when released, is not carried higher than the crossbar. See also 80.1.

The spin-o-rama type move where the player completes a 360° turn as he approaches the goal, shall be permitted as this involves
continuous motion.

Posted by: koalatek | December 18, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Semin goes to Redskins games. He's not going back to Russia...

Posted by: sargeantmofo | December 18, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

@Rhino40

re: Pronger
I know I'm not popular with my respect for Pronger (I'm sorry Boo!) but if we had him I'm pretty sure our chances for the Cup would be a lot higher. He went to a mediocre Oilers team and brought them to the finals. He went to a mediocre Ducks team and won the cup - and they're still strong, despite a non stellar roster. He doesn't take as many penalty as you would think, teams are scared of him (and with reason), he always, always bring his "A" game (even if the team doesn't) and has a wicked shot.

Unfortunately I'm pretty sure he'll never come to DC: wife is too happy in Orange County.

Posted by: mauree | December 18, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Re waivers:

Re-entry waivers for Laing is problematic as an injury call-up because it delays the time before he shows up, which might be needed if there's a game within the waiver period. But, that aside, I could see him come back if one of our defensive forwards go down. (Brads, Steckel, Gordon - although the lsat two are centers...)

Regardin Sloan. I like the guy as much as anyone, and he's a nice addition, but is so stellar that someone would snatch him up on waivers? I doubt it. Its not like he's Bobby Orr or something. There's a lot of decent guys out there, he just one of them.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | December 18, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I also took Semin's comment regarding women playing hockey as perhaps a regional thing. I suspect there are quite a few more rural regions of this country that frown on women in certain sports (just like they do women in certain occupations). Or perhaps Semin just had a nightmare the other night about a hottie getting hit in the mouth with a stick/puck.

As far as him coming back when he did, I think I read somewhere that the World Championship trophy was making its appearance in his home town the day before he left to come back here and he posed for pictures and autographs. Not sure where I saw that, but at the time I remember thinking that it was a shame he was getting grief for it on boards here when it probably meant a lot to him and his home to be there.

Judging from that interview with all of the Russians where Brash was messing with the guys and Semin was cackling uncontrollably, I think he likes being on this team.

Posted by: Kim-3 | December 18, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

All of this Fehr talk is a little absurd. First off, comparing draft picks to each other is not really all that fair of a measuring stick. But lets assume that it is a little fair.

Getzlaf has played in 247 NHL games while Fehr has only played in 64. To compare their current production is to completely forget experience. On top of that, in 06-07 and 07-08, if you combine AHL and NHL games, Fehr only played in 88 games because of injury. This will obviously slow his development a year or two because he missed some pretty important development years.

Also, not everyone is going to come in like Getzlaf and produce right away. We need to look no further than our own young players to know that

In Mike Green's first 70 games he had 2 goals and 10 assists.
In Semin's first season he played 52 games and had 10 goals and 12 assists (pre-lockout, true...but still)
Coming into this season Fleischman had played 188 NHL games and had 14 goals and 26 assists.
Fehr has played 64 NHL games and had 6 goals and 10 assists.

I think all of these things need to be taken into account when evaluating Fehr. Give him time. I'm sure last year the same arguments were made about Flash and he seems to be doing pretty well these days. The potential is there for Fehr, he just needs time to learn the NHL game as most young players do.

Posted by: ph0082 | December 18, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Off topic and regarding Pronger; does anyone remember his wrist injury he had a few years back. Didn't he actual have about an inch of bone removed? Which would mean one arm is an inch longer than the other.

Posted by: Blahblahblah73 | December 18, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

FFSEnough: Someone set me straight on the new CBA. If I remember it correctly, if a player is picked up from your team they pick up all of the financial responsibility for him. So once they leave, their salary is removed. Now I took someone's word on that but they did seem very confident. So gone are the days of paying for a portion of Jagr's salary if he goes to play for someone else. Now, as far as Clymer's concerned. We may have bought out his contract and he's not playing for another NHL organization so we would have to put his paid salary against our Cap. If he would have been picked up by someone else, they would be paying him right now. I'm not looking to argue here, if I'm wrong, no need to punk me out, just correct me please.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 18, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I can't see the Caps letting Semind and Backstrom go anywhere. It would be a disaster. Expect long-term deals with high bonuses/incentives which would lower the base-salary of the players, reducing the salary cap hit.

Posted by: dcox50 | December 18, 2008 12:54 PM

semin and backs arent' eligible for incentive contracts. this year kozlov comes of at $2.5M and feds will come off at $4. next year theo comes off at $4.5. they are going to have to move nylander at some point in order to consider keeping both semin and backs. those guys are going to get $5M plus each. reality is we may not be able to keep both guys beyond next year. just like the pens face w/malkin, cindy and stahl...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | December 18, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

reesem37

Look I know the draft is a crap shoot. But guys are picked where they are for a reason and they must carry certain expectations accordingly, and in most cases that comes with more opportunity and salary (these guys are well paid). Fehr has been successful at EVERY LEVEL. I just wish he would show it at the NHL level. If Fehr had been picked in the 8th round and played like Byfuglien he would be called a steal. Instead he was picked 18th and is real close to being a bust IMO. Comes with the territory. Playing like he has played at this level if he was picked in the 8th round he likely wouldnt be here. Thats it, I'm done.

Posted by: WTF_Fehr | December 18, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "He played very well in Montreal and we want to see if it was a fluke."

Huge confidence booster that is. I'm starting to think BB thinks of goalies the way football coaches think of field goal kickers? They're great as long as they're making the kicks (saves), otherwise they must be tolerated. Hope that doesn't wear thin.

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | December 18, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Keep in mind Backstrom's cap # is 2.4 mil per season, and Semin is already at 4.6. While it's likely both of them will get raises one could argue that the loss of Theodore's contract of 4.5 mil could cover both raises.

I'd say it's realistic to say Backstrom will get in the 5 mil/season range and Semin ~6 mil/season.

While Semin is an all-world player in terms of skill unless he finds a way to play more than 70 games a season next season I doubt he's going to get a HUGE raise.

While the Pens are going to be paying about 8.5+ mil per season for both Malkin and Crosby it's likely we'll have Ovechkin and Semin for a mil or two less combined.

I don't see there being a BIG problem keeping Semin & Backstrom, unless we are forced to spend a big chunk of money on a goalie. If Varlamov, or another young guy, is ready to take over we'll save a good deal of money at the G position.

Just my opinion..

Posted by: Jeff_ | December 18, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

@AleksanderOMunchkin

I don't think so...it was Varly's first NHL game. I don't think you can predict what the kid will do based on one game....BB knows that.

I like BB because he calls it like he sees it. he's not going to coddle these guys or worry about hurting their feelings.

Posted by: coatesolivia87 | December 18, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

fanohock

For the most part, you are right. A guy waived/released comes off your books if he gets signed by someone else -at his current deal-. The only way to "void" a deal is to buy it out ala Clymer, and at that point it doesn't matter who picks him up, you still pay for the buyout on your cap.

WRT jagr, part of the deal to trade him to NY was that we would pay for a lot of his contract.

The sticky part is with Clark at 2.5, JT at 4, and Nyls (essentially at 4) is anyone willing to grab them for those prices? If so, we're lucky and by all means, let them go.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 18, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

mauree, mauree, mauree ... when will you ever learn, my friend? Next you'll be saying that we need to scoop up Avery while the gettin's good.

Posted by: Boo- | December 18, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock1

You're right in that the current CBA prohibits "cash exchanges" like what we did with Jagr. But Clymer is a specific CBA "buyout" option. By paying a certain percentage of money owed, a team can cancel a contract, taking a specified cap hit.

Posted by: koalatek | December 18, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

WOW!! One of my old screen names came back - not sure how that happened?!? Mark must have started his appeal to Leeguru.

Posted by: Boo- | December 18, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

By the way, can we have everyone wearing RED at the games from now on. If some of you young pups can't plan well enough in advance to change out of your suit, at least wear a red tie. Verizon center looks Nuckin' Futs when there is a sea of RED. Also, if Varlamov has a bad showing let's not kill this kid with boos. Remember that he's 20 and he will be our future. I'm excited to see him in net tonight. The way he moves is amazing. The post was hit a few times in Montreal, we all know that, but he also moved post to post well and got over so quickly on one of them that the one-timer hit him right in the gut.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 18, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Who plays RW behind Semin if we lose Kozzy and Clark?

Posted by: _jordan | December 18, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Still very concerned about Fedorov's ankle issues... that does not bode well.

Do we know if Semin was taking a maintenance day, or if he was feeling something hurting? I hope it's the former, because I'd really prefer to have him in the lineup tonight.

I hope Fehr's shoulder is 100%, too, because I don't trust the Blues not to gun for it if it isn't.

The Blues play a very dirty game of hockey, and they don't get many of the "soft" penalties (hooking, holding, tripping)... they do get a lot of the "harder" ones - things that can and do cause injury - like boarding, cross-checking, slashing. Their infractions in the latest game were all but one of a type that can all too easily injure, so we need to keep our eyes open tonight.

On the fighting front, Janssen (RW, 6'0, 210#, 68 PIM this season), Crombeen (RW, 6'2, 212#, 55 PIM), Polak (D, 6'1, 227#, 25 PIM), Winchester (LW, 6'5, 228#, 32 PIM), Stasny (C, 5'10, 190#, 20 PIM), and McClement (C, 6'1, 201#, 15 PIM) have all dropped the gloves in December, some more often than others (Janssen!), and they get more fighting penalties when losing than they do when winning, so I expect someone will try to get Brash into a fight tonight, most likely Janssen.

Keys to tonight:

1) Stay out of the box!
2) Solid power play - generate quality shooting chances, and then take the shot!
3) Crash the net, and keep shooting.
4) Did I mention stay out of the #!@%^&#! box?!

Posted by: irockthered | December 18, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

FFSEnough: The cap hit on Pothier is roughly $13,400 per day. Assuming he is healthy, a big IF, Pothier could come back and play for a few games at the end of the regular season as a test, with minimal cap hit. Either way, as a member of the organization on the roster freeze date (sometime in March) he would be eligible for the playoffs. Now, going right into the playoffs might not be so great an idea. But, he could play a few conditioning games in Hershey, then play the last two games on the road as a test - if healthy - and he could be used.

As for Erskine, I think he can be reassigned to hershey if the club would rather keep Sloan active. Erskine would have to clear waivers. One of two things would happen: 1) he'd get claimed and that extension would be off our books, or; 2) he wouldn't be claimed and then he'd be in Hershey.

And for the billionth time, Fehr can't be reassigned w/o clearing waivers.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 18, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

ph0082

Absurd? Really?

–adjective
1. utterly or obviously senseless, illogical, or untrue.

Posted by: WTF_Fehr | December 18, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

True. You can't predict how good he will be just based on his first game. Nor can you predict it after his second game. Is he a scrub if he lets in 4 or more tonight? Which night would be the fluke?

I too like the way BB talks straight but my impression is that, like it or not, goalies' psyches' need more "coddling" than those of skating players. This definitely grated on Olie last year. In this case, I don't question BB's attitude as much as his choice of words.

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | December 18, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Varlamov won't understand them anyway?

Posted by: _jordan | December 18, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

fair enough...maybe "fluke" isn't the right word.

Posted by: coatesolivia87 | December 18, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Well, he did say "a little absurd". I am hoping that fehr, given the playing time, will develop to be what he should have been before the injury stopped his progress.

Posted by: _Mark | December 18, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

@_Jordan: ok, don't whistle disapproval either please. Tonight's going to be a blast. LET'S GO CAPS!!

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 18, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

'course, everything grated on Olie last year. If crabby kept the puck out he'd have won another Vezina. Fedorov will make certain adjustments in translating and BB's comment will not be near Varlamov's mind this evening.

Posted by: redlineblue | December 18, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Boo,
I had nothing to do with the name change, I swear. Poltergeists in the system.

Posted by: _Mark | December 18, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Who plays RW behind Semin if we lose Kozzy and Clark?

Posted by: _jordan | December 18, 2008 2:18 PM
------------------------------------------
Clark's signed through what, '10-11?

Fehr would stay up, Bouchard and Andrew Gordon would probably get a long look next camp maybe, maybe a run's made at one of the Swedes next year.

Just wondering out loud.

Posted by: Section117 | December 18, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Oskar can play on the right..

Posted by: _jordan | December 18, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

It's trtue Fehr hasn't accomplished as much as some guys taken behind him. Just as Pokoluk was a 1st round bust in '05. Look at the 2004 draft though and see how many non-producers got picked ahead of Green and Schultz at the end of round 1:

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/nhl2004e.html

Also look at 2002 draft:

http://www.mynhldraft.com/2002

GMGM did pretty well, and also very well in 2006 with Backstrom, Varlamov #23 and Neuvirth I think #34 overall. Maybe he does better in even years.

BTW, some of the players from 2002 are just coming around.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 18, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Mark:
I prefer gremlins. So has the wrath of Leeguru rained down on you for questioning his supremacy?

Posted by: Boo- | December 18, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

tominfl

Completely agreed we could give him some looks, but we still have to be under the cap. As such, a Pulte-Homes style move would have to be made to get him into the lineup.

The Caps came into this season fully expecting #2 to not suit up this season. And their hope is that if by some miracle he can, someone else will be eligible for LTIR to ease the pain.

This is similar to, when 17 and 55 are healthy and off LTIR, Alzner goes bye-bye.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 18, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

@redlineblue
Maybe Federov will translate "fluke" as a North Atlantic flat fish and the whole comment will read, "Varlamov played great in Montreal and we want to see if it was a Flounder." Varlamov and Feds will then share a huge laugh about how silly BB is which will help Varlamov loosen up and he will again be scared of nothing. BB proves yet again to be a genius.

Can someone start the tradition of throwing a Fluke on the ice?

Posted by: AleksanderOMunchkin | December 18, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Man you people talk a lot :) Course, I've no room to talk, but quick thoughts before dashing off to design meetings for the rest of the day (*rolls eyes*)

Oh look. wendel's trying to make himself relevant. Poor kid. Maybe we should try to get him into one of these underserved kids programs and let him ride around on the zamboni during intermission some night. (Okay, so maybe that was mean to the kids who really do.)

Re: Semin - okay. I dunno, he just seems to me like he doesn't really want to be here like Feds or Ovi do. I'm not saying I don't want him here, but ... hey, I've been wrong before and will be again. Time will tell.

Given the ankle injury, I really think this is Fedorov's last year of playing professionally. It's a shame, because he's a real asset to the whole hockey world and we'll all miss him, especially seeing how much fun he's having here with the Caps.

Re: Sloan on waivers. He's what, 27-28? He is a solid, steady, stay at home D who's proven he can play at the NHL level, for a cap hit of about $700K (I think? Not more than $800K). To a salary-cap world, that is a basement bargain, and I can think of four or five teams without batting an eyelash who'd be looking for a bargain like that.

Why are we so sure that Kozlov comes off the books? No, that's a serious question. Really? What makes us so sure that Kozlov won't be resigned?

Posted by: kittypawz | December 18, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Boo,
Maybe I did alienate Leeguru. I don't blame him for ignoring me. Heck, I would ignore me. :)

Kittypawz,
I hope that we can sign Kozlov, if the price is right. He is solid and steady and controls the puck. Good enough for me.

Posted by: _Mark | December 18, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

kitty

Please... This is a sore spot. We have Olympias, not Zambonis. I hate our resurfacers with a passion.

Speaking of intermission. Where's blimp guy been this year?

Finally, re: Kozzie. This is a contract year. We could bring him back. I'd like to see us do that, but only if he's willing to take a paycut. (and for me, only if we stick him with 92 for a super-puck-possession line.

Posted by: FFSEnough | December 18, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I have a feeling they will probably try to sign Kozlov at a reduced price as well. I still think he is playing out of position for us and is probably better off at C. I don't think he'd take as much fire from us if he wasn't on the wing.

Posted by: WVPhil | December 18, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Semin goes to Redskins games. He's not going back to Russia...

Posted by: sargeantmofo | December 18, 2008 1:52 PM

Whoever said Semin could not take punishment, this proves he can.

wendel2 seems to use the word "we" alot when talking so negatively about a team. Not sure who he roots for.


Posted by: CTCapsPhan | December 18, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the conttract buyouts, wasn't that a one-time thing they let teams do with contracts when they implemented the cap? I didn't think that was something you could do on a regular basis.

Posted by: WVPhil | December 18, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

we wont have both kozzie and nylander on the roster next year. if we can't move nyls, than kozzie goes bye bye. we've got plenty of guys who can come up and fill his role on the wing for less money and perhaps more output. if nyls goes, maybe koz stays as a center, but not at $2.5M, i just dont see it. he's playing well this year, but i sense it's no coincidence that he's doing so in a contract year. he may be trade bait at the deadline.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | December 18, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

erskine is an assert. rather than let an asset walk, they signed him to a rational price with the intention of getting something in return, like a pick. McPhee has been good at that. he isn't about to take nothing when he can get a 4th round pick.
there is no good justification for fehr. talented or not, getzlaf was on the board and should have been taken. 15 teams screwed up and then the caps took fehr. Ducks didn't hesitate. getzlaf skipped the ahl and has his name on the cup. it's not even a question. do I think fehr could be a top 6 RW? yes. should we have taken getzlaf? obviously. does gmgm regret it? No doubt.

Posted by: oo7 | December 18, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

i'd much rather have kozlov than nyls. nyls gets paid almost double what kozlov makes and he doesnt bring anything physical. He can keep the puck just as good as nyls. kozzie with the dekes..nyls with the buttonhooks...

Posted by: richmondphil | December 18, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing how much people on this board worry about next year, the salary cap, and dumping dead weight players.

Nylander? Dump Him
Kozlov - Dump him
Fehr? - Send him to hershey
Theodore? - Get a hitman to finish him so he is not our problem anymore.
Semin - He will probably leave to Russia, so what do we do with his cap space?
Pothier? Since we dont have Cap space, someone should sneak in his house and hit him in the head with a lead pipe to set him back.

Relax people.

Posted by: SA-Town | December 18, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

oo7

you can say this about quite a few people....

Posted by: richmondphil | December 18, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

im talking right now SA-Town. trade nyls.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 18, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Jordan,

Bouch maybe?

Posted by: Steve_R | December 18, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

ok steve_o
I am not going to say Erskine is terrible. And I am all for you taking up the flag of defending a marginal player, I myself was at times known to tell people Jan Bulis had some real talent.
But when you sit back and really watch them play for an entire game and you realize that you thought to yourself "hmmm that was an interesting choice" almost everytime that player touches the puck then said player is not that good.

Posted by: DaveChristian | December 18, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

keeping back on topic (which should be the game TONIGHT), I am excited to see Varlamov in net.

i want semin to hattrick. though i want semin to hattrick every game.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 18, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil-
probably, but right now I'm saying it about getzlaf. he was highly touted and available. watching that draft, I was giddy when our pick game up, then somber, then angry. imagine getzlaf at center rather than zubrus.

eitherway, what does it matter now. nothing i suppose.

Posted by: oo7 | December 18, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

yeah, it sucks. but my point is is that you can't go back in time and change it. we've got fehr and that's the reality. also, remember getzlaf makes a pretty penny now.where would that come from? maybe if getzlaf was already here, ovie would've tooken a little less. but like you say, it all means nothing now.

we've got fehr.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 18, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

@davechristian

your flip-side argument....Erskine is not the best player in the world (see #8 on the same team). Yet when each game you bring much needed toughness to a defense that basically lacks it (see jeff schultz) said player is good enough to be a 4-6 defenseman. All I'm saying


And Jan Bulis had a 10 year NHL career, not too shabby

Posted by: _stevo | December 18, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

kitty: sloan hit is a measley NHL minimum of $475K. Any team would snatch him even to have him sit upstairs with a suit just in case of injury.

The Caps could keep Feds next year as an extra coach/team interpreter. This would help smooth the way for the young Russian players. Then Feds along about Jan or Feb could sign to play balance of season and playoffs. This is also an option.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 18, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

thats if feds love our system.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 18, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

@FFSEnough - Do you happen to know which Olympia model we're using? From where I sit, I don't generally see the front end unless I'm really looking, and I'm curious. For all I knew, until I did some research, I thought Olympia was a model name used by the Zamboni company, like Taurus is a model of Ford... :-p Enlighten me!

What (specfically) do you have against our ice resurfacers? Don't just tell me that they make sucky ice; we all know THAT. But I thought humidity in the building and the general ambient temperature had something to do with that, as well...

The term "Zamboni" does tend to be used as a generic referent to any kind of an ice resurfacer. What's the difference between ours and a "real" Zamboni?

What model would you rather see us using?

Zamboni advertises itself as the "Official Ice Resurfacer of the NHL..." and that suggests to me that the majority of the teams do use the real thing, rather than this other brand... but an ice resurfacer can't be that complicated... there just aren't that many recipes for ice out there!

Plus, the stores around the rink sell little toy Zamboni's with Ovechkin cards. I have one on my mantle. Seems odd that they're selling a toy model of something we're not even using... but there it is.

Posted by: irockthered | December 18, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

$10 to anyone who knows where the zamboni was invented...no wikipedia'ing...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | December 18, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

@redlineblue - isn't irony fun? ;-)

Posted by: irockthered | December 18, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Olympia is a separate company that makes ice resurfacers. One difference Ive experienced is that Olympia's are, I guess you can say, "side loading" and Zamboni's are "front loading" As in when you are done the resurface and you dump the ice you've cut, the front end will dump the ice to the left or the right of the machine and the front loader will dump the ice in front. Then again, different models have different features. Some will run off natural gas, others will run off gasoline; however, ive seen mainly old models running off that.

Ive driven both and have generally though Olympia's drove smoother. But newer models of zamboni's are real nice too. I guess its six of one half, dozen of the other.

The ice resurfacer doesnt 'make the ice.' All it does is resurface the ice. The inter workings of all the machines vary little.

what you dont see under the machine is the blade that cuts a layer off the top, a big auger to chop that up and then another auger after it is sucked up into the machine. The water you see come out merely smooths the layer.

Ice problems at the arena have to do with multiple factors, none involving the resurfacer. The compressors could be old, they might need extra compressors, or they might need new pipes under the floor. Or the Director of Ops need to pump some more brine down through. The temperature in the building could be too warm or too cold. Without being an expert..who knows

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | December 18, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

California is where Mr Z is from

Posted by: billd2 | December 18, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Hello all,

This is my first post, as I have waited a few weeks to officially subscribe to the site. I read this on a daily basis, especially while Green was out. I have to say that Tarik does one of the best jobs of updating about an NHL team as anyone does.

What really intrigued me to sign up for the site was the conversation of Ryan Getzlaf. I have followed him all the way up through the AHL, as I did with Semin. Portland used to be the Caps affiliate and then became the Ducks affiliate. Now we're stuck with Buffalo. :(

Anyways, back to Getzlaf/Fehr. It needs to be taken into consideration that Getzlaf was able to play on a comfort level with 2 guys who he came up through the minors with in Dustin Penner and Corey Perry. Perry and Getzlaf have been attached since that draft. Getzlaf was also able to play on the 3rd line when the Ducks brought him up. In fairness to Fehr he hasn't got a #1 assignment yet, hopefully he will produce like his draft position.

Also, here is a great site that I have found regarding the Salary Cap for all of the teams. It is update regularly with the call ups/send downs, etc.

http://www.hockeybuzz.com/cap-central/index.php

Have a good day, I'll look forward to the replies.

Posted by: MaineCapsFan | December 18, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Varly's dad will be at the game! Cool.


"Bears broadcaster John Walton and Giant Center game night M.C. Jim Jones are scheduled to drive Varlamov's father, Alexander, visiting from Russia, to Washington for the St. Louis game."

http://blog.pennlive.com/patriotnewssports/2008/12/bears_eye_baby_penguins.html

Posted by: tess2201 | December 18, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

@billd2 - You're right about Wendel2, but since this blog does not track IP addresses, etc., there's no way to block anyone, unfortunately, that I know of...

Just ignore him, and he'll go away. If we win tonight, we won't hear a peep out of him tomorrow, the thickheaded jerk!

Posted by: irockthered | December 18, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Regardin Sloan. I like the guy as much as anyone, and he's a nice addition, but is so stellar that someone would snatch him up on waivers? I doubt it. Its not like he's Bobby Orr or something. There's a lot of decent guys out there, he just one of them.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | December 18, 2008 1:55 PM

Sloan would be snatched up by any one of 29 other teams. His cap his is so tiny, all the other teams could afford him, and he is more than worth that.

I've said before that I'm not sure why GMGM resigned Erskine to 2 more at that level with the cap situation in flux as it is now and all the other players to be resigned.

I really thought that this was the last year for Erskine, Schultz and Morrisson. That would have left us with positions for guys like Sloan to come up from Hershey.

The GM problem is that any team can only afford to have a handfull of high priced talent and a bunch of low cost grunts. Sloan is on the grunt side of the equation.

As for mauree's affections for Pronger, I too am somewhat fond of him. But he does have a dirty side. Just remember the clotheslining he's done before, and the other dirty plays he's done. I really hate that aspect of his play. Like him or not, he hits hard (just ask Green), has a powerful shot, and is a leader.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 18, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

@MaineCapsFan - Welcome! :-) We always like to hear from new folks who have intelligent things to say! That's a really cool link you posted; thanks! It's going to be very useful, I'm sure.

Posted by: irockthered | December 18, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

@rdy4all2000 - good information; thanks! (And I did know that ice resurfacers don't really make the ice - just a shorthand comment on my part. ;-)

Posted by: irockthered | December 18, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

@ranndino

i couldn't agree more...erskine is horrific

Posted by: mcummings4 | December 18, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

@WVPhil
You're thinking of the "compliance buyouts". Those were a one-time thing. CBA still allows for regular buyouts.

On Getzlaf/Fehr, y'all are assuming Getz progresses in the Caps' system the same way. Who knows, maybe he suffers Fehr's injury instead, maybe Hanlon banishes him to 4th minutes and we just think of him as another grinder.

Posted by: koalatek | December 18, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

@HeyBooBoo

(thought to mix it up even more haha)

*crosses arms* tsk tsk you underestimate me... I would never even consider Avery.

Posted by: mauree | December 18, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I got ya. It is a common thought though. The info is just my experiences though, so i could be way off on the 100% fact.

If the ice is as bad as they say it is, I'd put money on some shortcoming of the compressors combined with temperature.

When I was in a minor/pro arena they had a practice rink connected to the game rink, we had 4 compressors to handle both rinks and at times we would shut down 1 compressor to give additional help to the game rink. Which we usually did on game days during playoffs. At one point, the 1 compressor that was running the practice rink -- which was also used for public hockey/skat -- failed during the game and we had no choice but to let the ice pretty much melt down to the paint, shutting the one side down for a while until it was properly fixed then make ice again.

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | December 18, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Sonja Henie's practice routine got Frank Zamboni to graft a 'mowing deck' onto a jeep at his SoCal ice rink.

Erskine's not horrific, and it pains me to be reminded that he -was- skating in shallower quicksand the last few weeks he was active. That said, The Kids have made clear that L-Jack is far from irreplaceable.
If Schultz finds out hitting's allowed, Erskine's gonna be driving an Olympic to get on Booth ice.

Posted by: redlineblue | December 18, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1

I was thinking the same thing. He seems to like this organization and the players, maybe he will want to stay on in a management role of some sort. That would have to be an amazing draw for players.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | December 18, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

mauree:
You've been hanging out with Mark, haven't you? :-P Glad to hear you are not on the Avery bandwagon. Tell me again why it is that you are feelin' the Pronger love?!?

Posted by: Boo- | December 18, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

what is this "avery bandwagon"?

Posted by: richmondphil | December 18, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

the avery bandwagon is jarrett stoll and dion phaneuf

Posted by: _stevo | December 18, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

@Boo!

I don't necessarily dislike every player that doesn't wear a Cap uniform. For example, I do think Crosby/Malkin are a very good hockey players. Of course I'll never trade Ovie for them haha.

Pronger... I liked what he brought to the Oilers when they made the last SC run... and he brought the same to the Ducks. I watch quite many Ducks game, and he's a great player imho. Don't think of me less for that ok? Cause I don't think less of you when you (or Greg) say he's "dirty" (my definition of "dirty" is how the Canadiens played against us, and Pronger isn't it)

Anywho... Varly on net tonight! Pretty excited about that... who knows, maybe BB is also considering that the boys give that little extra in defending our net :)


Posted by: mauree | December 18, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

pronger is a great player who more than often plays a clean game. if you want to call pronger dirty, you might as well call scott stevens dirty.

avery is an abomination and should go to the KHL.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 18, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

phil:
Now why would you want to go and do a thing like that to the KHL? And Pronger? Yeah, not feelin' it. (BTW, you've just entered into a debate the mauree and I have been having for what seems like years! :-))

Posted by: Boo- | December 18, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

how do you avery an abomination and pronger a mostly clean player? avery has never been suspended before this last "issue", BUT pronger did try to stab somebody with his skate

Posted by: _stevo | December 18, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

@FFSENough and others regarding Waiving players,

If you waive a player and he clears waivers, you send him to the minors. His salary cap hit then comes off the books, but you are still responsible for paying him.

So if we waive JT and no one claims him. He goes to Hershey and is making his current salary, but that does not count against our cap. If someone claims him, we are off the hook for his whole salary obviously.

The only instance where this isn't true is if the players signs a contract after he has turned 35, then if you waive him, he still counts against the cap.

Posted by: ThePat | December 18, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

mauree:
You should know by now that I don't hate every player who is not in a Caps uniform. To the contrary - I can think of several whom I would like to see on the team. Are you gonna make me dig up some dirty Pronger tape?

Posted by: Boo- | December 18, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

avery should be banned from playing simply for his actions against broduer. A professional player does not do that. Drury pulled him aside and told him to act like a professional. as far as i'm concerned, avery should never play hockey again.

pronger plays hockey clean. incidents like that happen, it has happened. selanne threw his stick in the crowd. big deal. averys actions is different.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 18, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

every good D men have dirty incidents. i can pull up some of lidstrom. big deal.

pronger is one of the best D men in the nhl, and that is the reality.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 18, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Dont act like you wouldnt take Pronger on the Caps..no matter how you feel about him.

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | December 18, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

you want to ban avery because he doesnt act professional, but call pronger clean even though he tried to stomp down on a player with his skate. You know what skates can do to someone ( malachuk and zednik). I know avery is a pest, but that was his job and he did it well. I still dont see what was sooooo wrong about the brodeur stick waiving, looked like a pretty freakin good goalie screen to me ( and at the time within the rules)

Posted by: _stevo | December 18, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

The "Iron Curtain" has arrived at Verizon Center. Three=or-more can see his replacement. Question==If we win the Stanley Cup, do we have to put Theodore's name on it?

Posted by: ergoroc | December 18, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

i didnt say pronger wasnt a good D man and i would want him on the caps, as i would avery too (maybe - not sure if his chemistry would work).
damn you richmondphil....made me late for leaving work and going to the game

Posted by: _stevo | December 18, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

stevo:
I am with ya on Pronger, but the Avery incident in NJ was unbelievable. Not that Avery should be banned for that, but he certainly lost a lot of respect (if he even had any left?) that night. It was not just a screen - it was absolutely ridiculous. He's a chump.

Posted by: Boo- | December 18, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

that's ridiculous that you don't find avery's stick waving not that bad, but that's just me. pronger received repercussions for his actions, and it came very late in the midst of a great career as a top D man.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 18, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Just to be clear - I hope neither one of them ever makes it to the Caps (you can add Briere to that list, as well).

Posted by: Boo- | December 18, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

ahhh, have fun at the game. i'm stuck in richmond waiting for it on the tube.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 18, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Woah, a healthy scratch?! no way... ;)


Posted by: elicea | December 18, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Pronger:

I follow the Caps in the East and Ducks in the West.

Pronger is not what I call a "dirty" player. He is rather a player that plays with an edge, and leads a team the same way. He is an unbelievable talent, and considering he has made a change from the "old" style to "new" style of hockey, says what kind of a team player and athlete that he is.

Pronger was more dominant before the lockout, and is still a dominant force. Other guys that were similar to Pronger before the lockout were names like Derian Hatcher and Mike Rathje who had monster shots and were good in the defensive end, and had upside on the offensive end.

If you notice, those 2 guys haven't survived in the new style. My biggest question is, how would the Caps afford Pronger? He has a high price tag and the caps don't have the space at this point.

Posted by: MaineCapsFan | December 18, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I would take Pronger on the Caps
For that matter, Id take Briere too. I cant deny that certain players score timely goals and are an asset.

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | December 18, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Hey, speaking of Rathje, he is still under contract with Philly but listed on the IR.

I think that was a matter of Bobby Clarke realizing that he couldnt survive in this game. I recall that Philly played a game fairly early in the season, the year they were the worst in the league against OTT..I watched on Center Ice...Philly was leading and Rathje had this TERRIBLE turnover to lead to a Sens tying goal and then Sens won in OT. Post game they asked him if he was hurt..he said no he wasnt..next day he was on the IR..guarantee he isnt hurt...their GM was smart and said..we'll pay you but you arent playing.

Hatcher actually has knee problems..He was pretty effective last year in the playoffs for Philly. but he is done

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | December 18, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

WooHoo Simeon! :)

Posted by: rachel216 | December 18, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Sure hope this is not one of them "trap games", mid-week game , against an injured no-conf. foe, that is injured, with a Big game in the wings on Sat afternoon.

Focus on the game at hand!

ROCK the RED!!!

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | December 18, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

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