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Tom Poti set for training camp after scary injury


(Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)


While waiting for some (any) news in the Ilya Kovalchuk saga, I gave Tom Poti a quick call to get an update on his status. Last time we heard from the Caps defenseman, he was home in Cape Cod recovering from a gruesome eye and face injury he suffered in the Montreal playoff series. He was also nervously awaiting the birth of his first child.

Well, Poti had good news to report on both fronts: He said his eye and face are healed and the newest edition to the family, Tyler, is doing great, too.

"Everything is going good," he said. "My vision is perfectly clear and there are no problems with it."

Poti also suffered multiple facial fractures after being struck by a puck in Game 6 against the Canadiens. For a while, the injuries made it difficult for him to chew (if you recall, proper nutrition can sometimes be a concern with Poti because of his severe food allergies). But Poti said he's regained the few pounds he shed and can now eat just about everything he could before, with the exception apples and other hard-to-chew foods.

The only lingering effect from Mike Cammalleri's backhanded shot that caught him flush on the eye and cheek, he added, is numbness in his face.

Doctors "say that's going to take three to six months for that to come back," he said. "But it's much better."

Poti also said he's been working out for the past eight weeks and has even been back on the ice, suiting up for a charity hockey game last week in Nantucket -- wearing a visor, of course. In May, he said he plans to wear one for the remainder of his NHL career, and that commitment does not appear to have wavered.

Poti's biggest test of the offseason will come next week when he hits the ice with fellow NHLers Chris Drury, Paul Mara, Marty Reasoner (who he joked is getting traded "every day now") and others for some informal workouts as a tune-up for training camp, which begins Sept 18th at KCI.

Poti, who is entering the final year of his contract, had four goals, 20 assists and skated 21:24 per game last season, which ranked only behind Mike Green and Alex Ovechkin.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  July 23, 2010; 3:27 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Ilya Kovalchuk (non) update and some Capitals news
Next: NHLPA files grievance in Kovalchuk matter

Comments

I think this is the yr Poti will start getting "healthy" scratched. With increased pressure and scrutiny on the Caps this yr and Poti's health situation combined with young guys pushing for more ice time, he'll end up on the bench a few times.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 23, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Not sure about Poti being scratched..definitely a possibility, but we do use him on the PK, and when he is on his game he can be very responsible...but he can go through tough spells sometimes...it will depend if he is still quick enough.

Posted by: capscoach | July 23, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Congrats on baby Tyler!

Posted by: JillC | July 23, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

do you honestly see poti not being a top 4 d'man? he eats up tons of minutes, moves the puck out of the zone, and is a solid veteran presence on a blue line that just got significantly younger.

i don't see a move coming that will change the makeup of the defense, so poti is--and will be expected to--top 4.

Posted by: redrocker2 | July 23, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Poti scratched a few times?

Maybe to give him a rest here and there, but I'm a heck of a lot happier with him playing a LOT more games than Sloan or Ersk.

Posted by: Steve_R | July 23, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Poti getting scratched? For who? We only have seven defensemen...Green, Alzner, Carlson, Poti, Schultz, Erskine, and Sloan. If anything Erskine (the real injury prone guy) and Sloan will be the ones switching off, or Alzner and Carlson will get nights off to help them cope with their first full NHL season. Poti, along with Green and Schultz, is the least likely to be a nightly scratch.

Posted by: mcgratsp | July 23, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

just a gut feelin fellas. Yes Poti played well (w/Carlson) in the playoffs. I think the Habs are a team that he's suited to play against. But overall he's not a strong dman and gets exposed by teams who forecheck well. He's a yr older, he's a bit beat up, who knows how his vision is affected and how his injury will affect his play (odds are that it will have a negative effect). And there will just be more scrutiny on the Caps this year even in games they pull out. I hope there will anyway. And with maybe an increased role for Sloan this yr along with Carlson and Alzner, I think Poti (thru all the cumulative factors mentioned above) will find himself not entrenched into the lineup for the first time as a Cap.

again, just a gut feeling but its based on something more than just an irrational vibe. I also think Bruce will be on edge this yr a lot more and less tolerant of his players' mistakes than in yrs past. He's gonna feel some heat and his players will too.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 23, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I agree that Poti SHOULD see a reduction in playing time, however, unless GMGM adds some better D-men to the roster, I don't see it happening.

Posted by: chombie13 | July 23, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

I'd much rather NOT see Poti or Steckel on the PK.

Poti is all too often caught out of position and Steckel is borderline useless at the point.

I don't care how good of a face-off guy Steckel is. It is entirely outweighed by his inability to change directions quickly, pressure the puck adequately, clear the puck adequately or block shots.

Posted by: tmac2yao | July 23, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

More on Steckel: I know he's a real popular figure around here but I think he's one of the most frustrating players on this team.

In addition to the things mentioned above, for a guy his size, he is hardly physical enough, which should be a big part of his game given his total lack of puck skills and his role.

He does one thing very well: win face-offs

I understand that and it's a fine skill but not if you don't bring one other thing to the table. I'd rather have a 4th liner winning 45% of his face-offs if he could do two other things at an NHL level.

Posted by: tmac2yao | July 23, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

And how many shots coming at the Caps goalies from one timers does losing that extra 15% of draws represent?

Posted by: Steve_R | July 23, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

And thank goodness the "Steckel plays better in bigger games" argument is out the window after his no show against Montreal.

I couldn't stand that argument based largely on one lucky deflection.

Was Montreal a bad matchup for him? Then find a checking/energy line guy who plays physically and provides value against any team.

@Steve_R

I don't know but there are a ton of teams (like just about all of them) that kill penalties better than the Caps who don't have Steckel. Instead of 45%, find a decent face-off guy that doesn't suck at everything else.

Posted by: tmac2yao | July 23, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

This much is for sure: Steckel and Poti have been two mainstays one one of the worst PKs in hockey over the last couple of seasons.

Is it all on them? Of course not.

Are they part of the problem? Very possible.

Posted by: tmac2yao | July 23, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

This much is for sure: Steckel and Poti have been two mainstays on one of the worst PKs in hockey over the last couple of seasons.

Is it all on them? Of course not.

Are they part of the problem? Very possible.

Posted by: tmac2yao | July 23, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Poti and Carlson worked together really well in the playoffs before the injury. I know a lot of folks assume Carlson and Alzner will team up, but I'm betting BB will still prefer to team them up with veterans (at least for 2010-11).

Posted by: blackjack65 | July 23, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

i see that (Poti/Carlson) happening too, at least until proven that they can't play together.


"In addition to the things mentioned above, for a guy his size, he is hardly physical enough, which should be a big part of his game given his total lack of puck skills and his role."

agreed that Steckel needs to be more physical. But you do realize he is our most physical center right? How many other guys would even think about dropping the gloves with the NHL's most prolific fighter last season - the Z man.

Steckel was our #2 hitter this past season behind Ovechkin at forward.

So he's not a wuss. He's just not quite as physical as he needs to get. But he tried to prove himself a bit last season. When he fought Konopka it was an impressive display of courage because Konopka was looking to fight anyone on the ice after the Downie/Ovechkin incident had fired him up. So Steck agreed to drop them at the faceoff. He saved someone like Schultz from taking a beating by taking the beating himself.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 23, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Steck had an off yr last yr, he wasn't able to take a step forward from the previous impressive postseason display. So I can understand why people are questioning him. He looked even slower last yr than in yrs past. Hopefully this yr he looks better. But given the Caps complete lack of physicality and size at center, to simply dump Steckel isn't a smart move. He's durable, he's a workhorse. You sure don't want to have to rely on Gordo to take over Steckel's role.

Why didn't the Caps pursue Adam Burish? hmmm

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 23, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Steckel is a marginal NHLer whose main asset is his coach loves him. He wins faceoffs for sure, but his lack of speed and lateral quickness are lethally bad on the PK. Not to mention his offensive skills are non-existent. Teams are absolutely not concerned about the Caps 4th line doing damage against them. They exist to give the top two lines a breather. Stecks (faceoffs), Brads (physical play and speed) and Gordon (smarts and pure skating) combined would be a great 4th liner. Perhaps McPhee should try to find a guy with all those attributes, minus the steel hands.

The 4th line is totally disposable. There are a lot of guys in the league that can play that role.

Posted by: pga6 | July 23, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

If Steckel wasn't so good at the face off dot he wouldn't be in the NHL. BB just uses him to kill penalties to get him ice time. His speed is comparable to Erskine. He's being put in the worst possible situation because the #1 thing you need on the PK is speed. Basically if Stecks loses a faceoff during our PK we're screwed. I know there's some sort of love for the guy but IMO he'd be the 1st to go for a "youth upgrade" on offense.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | July 23, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

I'd rather defrag my hard drive than watch a McPhee interview.

Posted by: alanb1 | July 23, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Of course Steckel is durable, he doesn't hardly do anything.

I don't care if he was 2nd on the team in hits. I saw somebody note that toward the end of the season. Half of hits were probably nudges that got recorded as hits.

In addition to the things I mentioned in previous posts, he's a terrible forechecker and gets knocked off the puck with amazing ease, in open ice and along the boards.

I'm sorry, I just don't think Steckel is an NHL-caliber player. He doesn't have a single NHL skill beyond his face-off ability. Look at other guys around the league that are face-off specialists. I bet all of them bring at least 1 or 2 other skills to the table.

I'm very surprised to have seen cstanton1 back Steckel so often. He seems like the exact kind of player he wouldn't be able to stand.

Oh well, to each his own.

Posted by: tmac2yao | July 23, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Stay tuned for my next post where I phsychoanalyze Steckel, Flash and Gordon.

It will surely cause Tess to pull her hair out despite the fact that it's nothing more than a harmless and meaningless little internet post. ;)

I'm not really gonna do it but I could... I've been negative enough for one day.

Posted by: tmac2yao | July 23, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Imagine Steckel on a checking line of an opposing team trying to defend Backstrom...

He's the ultimate drifter... not because he's lazy but because he's timid, slow and lacks the skills for his role (other than face-offs).

And I remembered that fight with Konopka.

I also seem to remember that it occurred right after the trade deadline when all the marginal players were in fear of losing ice time and a spot in this team in the future. (I'm not 100% of the timing but that's what I recall... either way, it's rare to see Steckel drop the gloves and I'd much rather see him doing little things over the course of entire games instead of getting in one fight every 2 years).

Posted by: tmac2yao | July 23, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Stay tuned for my next post where I phsychoanalyze Steckel, Flash and Gordon.

It will surely cause Tess to pull her hair out despite the fact that it's nothing more than a harmless and meaningless little internet post. ;)

I'm not really gonna do it but I could... I've been negative enough for one day.

Posted by: tmac2yao | July 23, 2010 7:28 PM
-------------------------
tmac: Nice to know you're thinking of me! :)

Posted by: tess2201 | July 23, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

if this team already had more than a few guys who like to throw their weight around, you can live with a specialist like Steckel. but they do not.

he's not a goal-scorer obviously so unless he somehow becomes a much better checker and more of a physical force, I would rather go with a younger guy with more energy and speed. And he's really not that good on PK either.

Posted by: joek443 | July 23, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Steckel and Poti are both nice guys. They're great with the fans. I just don't see us with the Cup if these two are playing major roles on our team. Best case is that Carlson and Alzner improve to the point where they take ice time away from Green and Poti. Both Carlson and Alzner seem to have the "heart of a champion" Poti,Green and Steckle do not.

@pga6

Bradley is not disposable. You need guys like that to get through the playoffs. Bradley's goal against the Rangers two years ago was huge. If I could stick Bradley's head on Semin or Flush's body we might actually have a shot at a Cup.
Hunter for coach. Get rid of the wimps.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | July 24, 2010 1:05 AM | Report abuse

"the newest edition to the family, Tyler, is doing great"
I think you mean "addition" :)

Posted by: honed | July 24, 2010 1:25 AM | Report abuse


yeah that is true, major brands do give out free samples of their popular health products best place to get yours is http://bit.ly/9UAtgc tell your friends and family too

Posted by: brownhall24 | July 24, 2010 4:03 AM | Report abuse

Off topic questions, does anyone know when the winter classic tickets go on sale? Thanks

Posted by: topshelf | July 24, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Back to the D situation for a sec..

There has to be a move coming...Mitchell maybe if he is still out there. We can't make it through the season with that depth chart. Erskine and Sloan I like...but i'd prefer if they were 8 and 9 not 6 and 7. We lost 3 guys from the end of last year and lets face it...we weren't exactly d dominant!

Also, as much of a fan I am of Alzner and Carlson...I seriously doubt that both will play 70 games. There's the sophmore slump, fatigue(neither has many NHL games uner their belt, and possible/probable injury problems.

We need more D-FENSE!!!

Posted by: broud0 | July 24, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Interesting stuff about Poti. Looking at his comparables, it seems that people should not be calling for the Caps to trade him(especially since he may be the least expensive of all those guys), but should only be calling for him to no longer play on the PK.

http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/2010/07/23/how-important-is-a-healthy-tom-poti-going-into-next-season/

Posted by: sgm3 | July 24, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

@broud0

I assume that if Carlson and Alzner make it through the entire season without either getting sent to Hershey or getting injured, they'll play over 70 games. That being said, neither of them will be part of our first defensive pairing, at least not normally.

But I agree that we need help on defense. Poti is not our best bet for a person to use on PK. If the statistical analysis is correct, he's fine for even strength. Our PK certainly needs help, in any case.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 24, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

I don't mind going into the regular season with the players we got. Let some Hershey Bears have a chance to win some spots on the roster. However, McPhee needs to be prepared to get some upgrades at the trade deadline. Hal Gill will be out there unless Montreal miraculously is still in the playoff hunt with Price. He has been a thorn in our sides 2 years in a row. He is a defensive dman.

Posted by: mmartin804 | July 25, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

"Half of hits were probably nudges that got recorded as hits."

thats hilarious
and not accurate.

He's a decent hitter, not an outstanding hitter,and not a "nudger" as are most of his fellow Caps. On a team like the Caps which lack size and physicality, losing Steckel leaves a void. On other teams he may be more of an afterthought. But if you think Steck is a floater out there, then the rest of em are candypuffs except ovy and maybe brads

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 25, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Hey all! This story isn't hockey related, but it could possibly impact all of us, either people who run a blog, or just the average poster/lurker...

Newspaper Chain’s New Business Plan: Copyright Suits

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/07/copyright-trolling-for-dollars/

From the article: "...Borrowing a page from patent trolls, the CEO of fledgling Las Vegas-based Righthaven has begun buying out the copyrights to newspaper content for the sole purpose of suing blogs and websites that re-post those articles without permission. And he says he’s making money..."

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/07/copyright-trolling-for-dollars/#ixzz0ujZSOpAJ


Please spread the word about this situation. LET'S GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: YouAreABigWhiner | July 25, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

I think that assuming that all of the Caps' needs can be met at the trade deadline is risky. The late additions last year didn't help much. It's not obvious to me that quality additions will necessarily be available for all the team's needs at reasonable cost.

Posted by: zmega | July 25, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Only four posts all day. I think this is the low point of the season.

If Walter Cronkite were still with us:

"And that's the way it was, July 25th, 2010, the day that nobody cared."

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 25, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

I think that assuming that all of the Caps' needs can be met at the trade deadline is risky. The late additions last year didn't help much. It's not obvious to me that quality additions will necessarily be available for all the team's needs at reasonable cost.

Posted by: zmega | July 25, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Not only that you gotta give up something if you want a valuable player in return... second, third and 6th round picks won't get you much.

And cheap D with no clear leadership won't get you far in the playoffs either.

Posted by: joek443 | July 25, 2010 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Zmega, I think GMGM will do something way before the trade deadline. Ted has almost said as much in the past 48 hours even. My personal opiniion is they are going to see where they end up with Flash and go from there. After assessing that they may wait to see how training camp goes etc. I would very much expect for at least 1 player if not 2 to be added by the start of the sesason.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | July 26, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse

Can't understand people bashing Steckel and completely leaving Gordon out of the conversation. I will take Steckel over Gordon any day of the week.

Posted by: PhilR | July 26, 2010 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Because Gordon played significantly better than Steckel in the '10 playoffs.

If the choice wsa between the '10 playoffs Gordon vs. the '09 playoffs Steckel, I would choose Steckel.

My worry is that he will not return to that sort of play. Gordon, at the very least, played very well his last few games played.

But both are risks with their inconsistencies. Also, Steckel makes a decent amount more $300k.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 26, 2010 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Gordon had a couple good games in the playoffs but played a total of like 30 games during the regular season due to his back issues. The biggest mistake GMGM made was resigning him imho.

Also, someone was complaining about the physicality of Steckel which is laughable when you compare him to Gordon who almost never takes the body.

Posted by: PhilR | July 26, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

@PhilR

Absolutely true, I agree with almost all of that.

Gordon's injury history is a huge concern and a major liability. Gordon does not hit too much, but if he plays like he did in the'10 playoffs then I think he is a good choice for 4th line center(he is better fitted to guard centers in the Corsby, Plekanec mold not the Malkin mold). The question remains whether he will continue to play like that or not. I don't know(and neither does anyone here) what the answer to that is.

If Steckel plays like he did last year, then he is vastly overpaid at $1.1M, IMO. If he plays like he did in the '09 playoffs then he is a very good checking line center. (this is based on his outstanding defensive against Malkin and not his OT goal)

The problem is that each have huge question marks going into next season. Each have their positives and negatives, so there is an argument to be made for each of them.

Maybe the best thing to do is to keep both and let them battle it out for playing time. Whoever plays the best, plays. A fierce competition for playing time may force each player to play their best. Competition can be a good thing.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 26, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

I do really think there was something wrong with Steckel last year that hindered his play from being at the 09 level. BUT, at least he did not miss over half the season due to said hindrance.

As far as them fighting it out for 4th line minutes I would have much rather seen that fight between Steckel and Beagle who deserves his shot in the bigs. And if you argue that this could still be the case and have Gordon be the 13th forward I would say that you are overpaying at 850k for a guy to sit in the press box when a lower paid Bear could fill that role.

Posted by: PhilR | July 26, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

THIS IS THE LONGEST OFFSEASON IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND!!!!

DROP IT!

QUE FUE.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | July 26, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

@PhilR

I'm not really advocating either side. I'm sort of in the middle on this one. I'm just trying to look at both sides of the discussion.

If you say that having a guy make $850k and sit in the press box is a waste of money, I would agree with you. (I thought Gordon makes $800k this year, but I could be wrong)

However, if Steckel, who makes $1.1M, sits in the press box as the 13th man, isn't that a much more significant waste of resources?

I'm in complete agreement that if a Hershey player, such as Beagle, is more effective then they should take these players places. Absolutely.

As you mentioned, Gordon has a significant injury history and that is a major factor.

However, I am not willing to give a guy credit for possibly playing through an unknown injury(maybe Steckel was hurt, I'm not sure) if that leads him to play at a performance level not fitting his position.

If an injury gets to that point, it is better for the team, and the player, for that player to sit out and rest. Playing through an injury at a lower performance level hurts the team(who has a more effective player on the bench) and player(who remains injured and ineffective) and is therefore good for no one.

My guess on Steckel, and this is only a guess, is that he eased up a bit after signing his 3 year contract and didn't work as hard. Players, in all sports, tend to play their best in contract years. The '08-'09 season was a contract year for Steckel and it netted him 3 years at $3.3M. As many players in all other sports have done, he may have eased up some after signing his deal.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 26, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

My main point is that Steckel was already under contract so the Caps are stuck with him unless they could find a trading partner. Gordon on the other hand was not signed and should have been allowed to walk as there are cheaper, younger, hungrier options in Hershey that could step in and fill his role.

That would have also given about 300k more in cap space to go around as most of the Hershey boys are around 500k.

If Steckel simply let up last year then he is not the type of player the organization needs, obviously they need hunger and 100% effort every shift of every game. I hope that my version of him being hobbled by something is the case over the scenario you present.

Posted by: PhilR | July 26, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Can't understand people bashing Steckel and completely leaving Gordon out of the conversation. I will take Steckel over Gordon any day of the week.

Posted by: PhilR | July 26, 2010 7:07 AM | Report abuse

right.

And I'm on board with the Beags. He's versatile too as he can play the wing. Not very physical, kind of a tweener player but definitely has the mental temerity to improve his physical game as he's shown on occasion. I'm not ready to jettison Steck, but this upcoming year he better show similar progress like he did the previous yr.

and f gordon.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 26, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

te·mer·i·ty (t-mr-t)
n.
Foolhardy disregard of danger; recklessness.

I had to look it up...big word.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | July 26, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Mason Raymond just signed a 2-year deal worth $5.1M. He is a very good comparable to Flash.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 26, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Mason Raymond much better than Flash and he wasnt awarded the deal by arbitator. Deal was signed right before the hearing. So in theory its a good comparable, its not when the arbitrator is in play.

Posted by: ThePat | July 26, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

"The Vancouver Canucks have avoided arbitration with forward Mason Raymond, signing the 24-year old to a two-year, $5.1 million contract prior to his hearing.

He is set to earn $2.5 million in the first year of the contract and $2.6 in the second year. He earned just $760,000 last season."

Hmm, I wonder if this works in the caps favour?


The Skinny on both:

Raymond, 24yo, 6'0, 182lbs
82GP, 25G, 28A, 53PTS 0, 8PPG, 10PPA, 0SHG, 0SHG, 4GWG, 48PIM, 217SOG, 11.52%
NHL TOTALS:
203GP, 45G, 52A, 97PTS, +3 13PPG, 21PPA

Fleischmann, 26yo, 6'1, 190lbs
69GP, 23G, 28A, 51PTS, +9, 7PPG, 13PPA, 0SHG, 0SHA, 4GWG, 28PIM, 121SOPG, 19.01%
NHL TOTALS:
260GP, 56G, 72A, 128PTS, -14, 16PPG, 26PPA


Playoffs, Fleishmann had 1 assist in 6 games and Raymond had 3 goals, 1 assist in 12 games

Posted by: FrankM73 | July 26, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I think Flash is entitled to a little more due to being two years older. Not exactly sure how that works, though. But, this should be a pretty close comparable.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 26, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

this is a comparable for the teams presentation. Flash's agent will use Pavelski as a comparable. So you are going to see a wide range of comparables as this case goes to an arbitrator.

Posted by: ThePat | July 26, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

A few arbitration hearings have given players around Flash point production deals at around 3-4mil annual which would be horrible for the Caps. Does anybody believe Flash will get more than a 2.5 offer on open market? I wonder if his camp realizes this and that the Caps will walk away from an award higher than the ones presented in their 'far apart' conversations.

I do not believe Flash should be dumped, not now. Give him playing time, let him get a full camp and training under his belt (no blood clot), ditto for Fehr, and both become trade bait for that D man needed. Let him do what he does in regular season then ship him out ... if at all

Posted by: flee001 | July 26, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Would anyone be interested in Owen Nolan? If Flash leaves for whatever reason, Nolan maybe $1-1.5M could be #3RW and you promote Fehr to #2.

Also possibility Maxim Afinogenov. Based on last year production, maybe could be had for $2M. I know, he's not the kind of player most want, but would fit in with the Russians and replace Flash's offense.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 26, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

@flee001

You make a good point there about what Flash could possibly get on the open market. The same thing sort of holds true for Niemmi of Chicago. He may end up with a great arbitration victory but if Chicago walks away he will not get nearly that on the open market since almost every team has solved their goaltending issues.

Flash would be interesting on the open market. I would think that the Kings would definitely be interested. But I couldn't really see him getting more than $3M/yr on the open market right now, if that.

So it could be a case for Flash and others where winning is actually losing. If they win too much they will actually end up with lesser contracts.

It is definitely interesting and could lead to more agreements right before arbitration hearings.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 26, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I would not mind Afinogenov as replacement for Flash on a 2-3 year deal at that price. Any Russian in DC will see production go up due to Ovie, it's an influence thing. Look at Semin's numbers, it helps. There is also that Russian bar in DC, Russia House (?) that makes them feel welcome.

Posted by: flee001 | July 26, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

ThePat: I didn't watch Pavelski last year. His numbers are better than Flash's over the last two seasons. If he has any defense at all, he's a step ahead of Flash for sure.

Now, he signed 4 yrs/$16M. That IS NOT a comparable to give Flash a one-year deal. I have put for Flash 2.75-3.0 for one year or 3.3 ea for 3 yrs. You could extrapolate and make that 3.5 each for 4 yrs. That is where I would put him and that should be in line with Pavelski being a little better.

Remember, Pavelski signed away two UFA years and they are always higher value. With Raymond and Pavelski considered, I will keep 2.75-3.0 for one year.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | July 26, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Tom - Fehr at #2 RW isn't a bad option. Also bringing Max in here I think would be a win win. He obviously with get along with the fellow Russians etc. He doesn't bring much grit or a physical presence though. For the right money though as you stated could be a good fit.

As far as Flash, if he gets more than 2.5M we're pretty screwed. If we keep him I doubt we'd be able to trade him as I can't think anybody would want him at that price tag and if we walk away we'll get close to nothing in return.

I personally would like to see him come back. He has taken a lot of critisizm for his playoff performance and BB even sat him during the season and during the playoffs. I'd like to see if he comes back more determined. I haven't heard anything about his offseason etc so who knows. It's never a bad thing for a player to be pissed off wanting to prove something.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | July 26, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Flash's performance late last season has left a reeeeaaaal bad taste in my mouth.

The fact that he is now fighting for more money, and that this fight could end up hurting the team, makes me feel kinda sick.

I hope a fair deal gets done before arbitration.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | July 26, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Russia House - great place. Every Cap fan should go there once.

Saw a lot of Afinegenov with the Thrashers last season - his stick handling is amazing and he has sweet moves. He is streaky, though, and as noted, has little physical presence.

Posted by: CAP-lanta | July 26, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

If the Caps walk away from Flash look for him to do a 1 year deal late in summer. That is the only way he can get close on money and he will have to prove himself. Doing this anywhere but Wash will hurt as he's baking on a new team/system and one year to beat his numbers from last year in wide-open Caps system. Good luck.

Posted by: flee001 | July 26, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

It also has become apparent that all of the pending arbitration proceedings have slowed/stopped teams from signing players and/or trading players.

With so many teams about to find out where they stand cap wise(if they do or do not accept the arbitrator's ruling) and what they need (if a team declines an arbitrator's ruling), it's undertandable so many teams are waiting right now.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 26, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

I agree your numbers are right. Im just saying Flash's agent will present something on the higher end. His goal is to get the most money for his client.

And I don't think theres anyway we sign Flash to a multi year deal in this arbitration case. Just my opinion on that. If awarded multi years or above $3M for one year I think the Caps walk.

Posted by: ThePat | July 26, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Dont know how true this is, but:

The evidence that can be used in arbitration cases:

•The player's "overall performance" including statistics in all previous seasons.
•Injuries, illnesses and the number of games played.
•The player's length of service with the team and in the NHL.
•The player's "overall contribution" to the team's success or failure.
•The player's "special qualities of leadership or public appeal."
•The performance and salary of any player alleged to be "comparable" to the player in the dispute.

Evidence that is not admissible:

•The salary and performance of a "comparable" player who signed a contract as an unrestricted free agent.
•Testimonials, video and media reports.
•The financial state of the team.
•The salary cap and the state of the team's payroll.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | July 26, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | July 26, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Teams should be forced to accept rulings. Players are so why not the clubs. I get the salary cap but the CBA needs an exception that allows teams over the cap for salary awards. Here are players, the ones walked away from, that burn bridges making a case for higher salary only to have a club walk and then there is zero guarantee of an equal award via free agency.

Posted by: flee001 | July 26, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Flash blows. If he's signed for more than 1 year (if signed at all) it would be a big mistake. We have enough people disappearing in the playoffs as is, don't need one of the biggest culprits signed on for another 3 years. Waste of money.

Posted by: Moose33 | July 26, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Caps actually have about 6.7 in space and one open roster spot, not counting Flash, so you can "afford" pretty much anything. However, I think most here agree anything over about 2.75 "not good value."

For 2.75, you might be able to sign Afinogenov and promote a Hershey Bear like Beagle ($512K) as the 23rd roster player (and Beagle can be sent up and down I think, he has a two-way for this season).

This isn't to say I've given up on Clutterbuck, Staal or any of the other schemes I've concocted. And, certainly, I want maximum cap space preserved to get best availble d-man we can.

BTW, only 3 1/2 hrs until the deadline for the NHLPA to appeal (or not) the Kovy contract being voided.

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

@flee001

Player's are forced to accept because they are the ones who choose to go to arbitration. A player, who is arbitration eligible, can either choose arbitration proceedings or decline them and continue as an RFA.

When they choose to arbitration they know they will have to accpet an abitrator's ruling.

True, the CBA could be written differently to make the owners accept the arbitration, but I'm sure the owner's did not want to give up the right to walk away from a contract decided by a 3rd party.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 26, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | July 26, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

DarrenDreger: "NHLPA just filed grievance on Kovalchuk contract rejection."

Posted by: sgm3 | July 26, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

So more Kovy drama, this will be interesting and also have an impact on Kaberle and other pieces. I think this makes Kaberle stay. Why would Burke make a deal when he does not need to and when some desperate players may not be involved (Kings, Devils).

What is the length on a dispute decision?

Posted by: flee001 | July 26, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

When will this be over so the free agent market can start rolling again? This holds everything up and is making the summer lull even harder to endure!

Posted by: PhilR | July 26, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

@flee

Both parties have to agree on the arbitrator so could take forever. Once they agree on the arbitrator it can be an expedited hearing though.

Posted by: ThePat | July 26, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR

48 hours after an arbitrator is selected. However, the selection process for an arbitrator could be quick (what the NHLPA wants) or very long. It will be interesting to see.

Unfortunately this seems like it will create a lot of animosity between the NHL and NHLPA and could be the start of a potential lockout in 2012.

Posted by: sgm3 | July 26, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Conspiracy theory. NHL, Lou and Kovy all conspire to help fix the broken CBA. Kovy will get taken care of, as will Devils while the NHL gets to fix an issue. Lou is not stupid and Kovy had to know this would happen. Writing is on the wall, look for the smoking gun from the free agent sniper.

Posted by: flee001 | July 26, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

fyi: new thread!

Posted by: FrankM73 | July 26, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75

Judging from what he showed us last year, Carlson is definitely first-pairing worthy. He's a legit puck-mover with good offensive instincts and doesn't have as many defensive miscues as Green.

While I agree with you on Alzner, as he hasn't proven himself, it remains to be seen if he doesn't end up the #1 stay at home defender, particularly if GMGM and BB don't go after the bruising stay-at-home defender we've been begging for nearly 4 years. Consider his competition: Schultz, Erskine and Sloan.

We're better set as far as puck movers, with Green, Carlson, and Poti and Orlov waiting in the wings.

Posted by: C-way | July 26, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75

Judging from what he showed us last year, Carlson is definitely first-pairing worthy. He's a legit puck-mover with good offensive instincts and doesn't have as many defensive miscues as Green.

While I agree with you on Alzner, as he hasn't proven himself, it remains to be seen if he doesn't end up the #1 stay at home defender, particularly if GMGM and BB don't go after the bruising stay-at-home defender we've been begging for nearly 4 years. Consider his competition: Schultz, Erskine and Sloan.

We're better set as far as puck movers, with Green, Carlson, and Poti and Orlov waiting in the wings.

Posted by: C-way | July 26, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Given how well they played down the stretch and in the playoffs - far and away the Caps' best defensive d-man pair - I have to think BB at least starts the season with them [Poti and Carlson]. He may not be the perfect defender, but Poti rarely gets burned and almost always makes the smart play; can't say the same about other Caps' d-man. I do not think BB has much faith in Sloan.

Re: Steckel - I'm trying to be patient, I really am j- but it ain't always easy. Most faceoffs are pretty meaningless; that stat does little for me. If the choice is him or Gordo, that's easy - but is that really the only option?

Posted by: Timbo_1 | July 26, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

@C-way & Timbo_1

On our defenders: Carlson certainly will be a top pairing guy at some point. Maybe next year. Maybe not. I'll admit, I was assuming that Green and Schultz would be our top pair. I also assume that Poti, Alzner, and Carlson will be in the mix, with one space for someone else. Doubt if Sloan will be that person.

C-way, maybe I sounded a bit down on Alzner and Carlson's chances but I was replying to broud0's comment that expressed doubt that they would start over 70 games this coming year.

I personally think Carlson should be on one of our PP units.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | July 26, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

I really enjoyed watching the Bears in the playoffs and especially that final game and the post-game celebration.

Other than the two D-men, who do you all think may be moving up next fall?

Posted by: Bartolo1 | July 26, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

OF92801 gets out the Style Manual and whacks TEB with it. That's ADDition to the family!

Posted by: OvechkinFan92801 | July 27, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I was assuming that Green and Schultz would be our top pair.
----------

I know BB loves them and that they're "Hershey guys", but given the way they've played the last two playoffs - Schultz in particular - I don't think this is a sure bet anymore. Loyalty only goes so far - I compare it to when Parcells looked at the videotape, it was only then that he was convinced it was time to replace Bledsoe. Hoping that BB takes the same clear-eyed approach.

Maybe someday, JS will be a legit #4 d-man, but right now, he's not - not on a good team with Cup aspirations, anyway.

But I wholeheartedly that Carlson should be on one of the PP units - and probably the first. It was like MTL's PK knew what Green was going to do before he did; they were in his head it seemed.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | July 27, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

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