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Tom Poti talks about his eye injury, wearing a visor

Defenseman Tom Poti skated this morning for the first time since suffering that gruesome eye injury in Game 6 of the Capitals first-round series against Montreal.

The oldest returning member of the Capitals' defense is healthy and ready for a new season to start -- with a visor attached to his helmet.

"It took awhile to finally get everything under control," Poti said. "This summer it got infected and for awhile there were a lot of eye appointments and trips to the doctor, but now the vision is the same as it was last year. I'm still on some medication that I need to finish up -- I'm on a couple months-long process to make sure the infection doesn't come back. We've just got to make sure everything's ready to go."

Poti is adjusting to playing with a visor for the first time in his career, and although he's not too fond of the shield -- particularly how the glass fogs up and can give a double perspective view on the ice -- he doesn't want to take any unnecessary chances. But he won't be pushing any of his other teammates to add visors.

"I probably wouldn't have listened if somebody told me what to do," Poti said. "It's definitely something I wish I had on last year because it might have saved me, protected me and I could have been around for game seven which would have been huge. But it's personal preference. My first games in the league I don't think anyone wore visors; I don't think anyone on my team did."

Of the veterans skating this morning, only Matt Bradley, Jason Chimera, John Erskine, Boyd Gordon, D.J. King, Mike Knuble and Brooks Laich don't sport visors. It's a trend that's starting to decrease though with younger generations of hockey players. For example, every participant in rookie camp wears a visor and in junior hockey most players are required to.

"I think as the kids come up they look at us and say: 'Wow you never wore a visor?' like how we sometimes say about guys who didn't wear a helmet: 'You're crazy.'" Poti said. "I think players will start saying the same thing about guys who never wore visors in the future." ...

In his post-practice comments, Coach Bruce Boudreau listed Marcus Johansson, Cody Eakin, Braden Holtby, Dmitry Kugryshev, Joe Finley and Patrick Cullity as rookie camp participants he expects to get some playing time in preseason games. ...

The rigorous 8 a.m. veteran workout also has the coach looking forward to the beginning of official training camp. "You forget sometimes how good they are," Boudreau said. "You watch some of these guys play, you look at guys over the summer: Eric Fehr is now 220 pounds, he beefed up. (David) Steckel's beefed up and even Mathieu Perreault has put on some muscle. These guys are all here to make the team.... I get real excited when I go behind the bench for a couple minutes just to feel how hard they're working out there." ...

With just 12 forwards in rookie camp, Boudreau said that there won't be a conventional rookie scrimmage on Wednesday, as is listed on the camp schedule. The group will likely do special teams work throughout a regular practice session though in preparation for Thursday's game against the Flyers' rookies. ...

Forward Garrett Mitchell didn't participate in practice today because of a nagging groin injury that he originally suffered during his junior camp. The 19-year-old said he's hoping to be able to play during Thursday's rookie game.

By Katie Carrera  |  September 14, 2010; 4:05 PM ET
 
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Next: Eric Belanger signs with Phoenix

Comments

"Eric Fehr is now 220 pounds, he beefed up. (David) Steckel's beefed up"

two studs to get the caps past rounds 1 and 2

drop the puck

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 14, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

http://www.630ched.com/Channels/Reg/OilersInterviews/Story.aspx?id=1278346

An interview with the Oilers GM. He says that they told Souray he wasn't invited to camp a week ago and doesn't sould like there is a trade coming soon. Now he could be downplaying it some but one would think that if he was close to getting him out he would say it.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 14, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Wasnt EF one of the guys seeing the "team chiropractor"?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 14, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

lets book sarge an appt with the chiro. A weekly recurring one.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 14, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I remember when, after being freed of the rules of youth hockey, I thought I would be cool like all the NHLers and not wear a visor or a cage playing rec hockey. I eventually blocked a deflected slapslot with my face and ended up in the emergency room. End of that experiment. Obviously at the pro level, the minor loss of performance because of a visor is an issue, more so than even in the elite rec leagues, but I would hope that as more and more pro players wear them, that it is no longer "cool" to take them off when they can, after juniors, so that evenutally almost everyone wears a visor - by choice. (And, yes, taking a slapshot on the face hurts really badly.)

Posted by: oldtimehockey | September 14, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Belanger signs w/ Coyotes:

http://coyotes.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=537463

Posted by: YouAreABigWhiner | September 14, 2010 4:47 PM

Posted by: YouAreABigWhiner | September 14, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Belanger signs with Phoenix.

Posted by: Jordan_Kitts | September 14, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Only 1 year/$750,000. Could have used him at that price.

What is it that McPhee does, exactly??

Posted by: Hatfield223 | September 14, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

dammit!! you svck McPhee!

no, good move. Belanger is not part of the solution. No more tying up roster spots with contracts for players who shouldn't be on a Cup roster in their respective roles. Belanger added very little to the PK unit last yr and I'm glad he's not coming back. If your 3rd line center isn't a great PKer, then good riddance. And he doesn't get in anyone's face or finish checks or win many puck battles.

i'd feel better knowing we never pursued him.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 14, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

only reason this could be a krappy move is if we dropped our pursuit for Belanger because we were unable to trade Flash. Which means, Flash will be on our roster as either a 2nd or 3rd line center. Or winger. Yuck

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 14, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

BUT, how many of you at some point in time, at your own careers, didn't at least think the same thing due to an idiotic boss or whatever.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 14, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

are you kiddin, when i go into a job interview i already have my exit plan in place.

@hammer-- sorry, you do sound more and more like a guy now, not sure why i thought you was a girl

I despise the argument against a bigname player based on McPhee/Ted's own past F__KUPS
Not saying that you are making that argument, you're just stating what you think is the reason why we won't do a big signing or trade. If that is the truth and they're gunshy because of their own past failures, my dislike for them climbed up a notch which I didn't think was possible.

FTR, I was against the Jagr trade and the Nylander deal, both times. So I feel doubly stung.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 14, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

oops, last comment about the bigname player blahdy blah blah shouldve been directed at rhino, not hammer. Too many posters on here dangit!

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 14, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1in re Souray (repost from end of last thread):

OK, so maybe I was over the top in using the word "cancer" regarding Souray...it's just I've seen the Caps fare badly with expensive free-agent signings and blockbuster trades before...

I can explain in one word why GMGM has been reticent about pulling the trigger on that Big-Deal-That-Everyone-Says-Will-Clear-Out-The-Dead-Weight-And-Bring-In-The-Elite-SAH-Blue-Liner-And-Great-2C-That-Everyone-Says-The-Caps-Need:


Jagr.


Need more proof? Here's perhaps an even more apt parallel:


Nylander.


Yes, yes, I know that Nyls' refusal to waive his NMC certainly played a part in that wretched squabble. Still, it was a matter of the Caps' being saddled with an onerous contract they no longer wanted.

Knowing that Souray's contract for the remaining 2 years exceeds $4 million, do we want to (potentially) be in that situation again?

I'm not saying GMGM's methodology is right or wrong. I'm just saying that it sort of follows given previous outcomes; that it is understandable.

Given the challenges the Caps have faced recently with their PK (and given how much Ø love Ø the Caps get from NHL officials), are you sure you want to add a d-man whose mere reputation could cause the team's aggregate PIM to spike without a corresponding improvement in PK percentage?

Don't get me wrong, I agree with you that we could certainly do with a Real Beast on the Back Line. There's (almost) nothing I'd love better than to see Crosby and his ilk face dire consequences for taking liberties in our zone. Sort of like the stinky glove that Dale Hunter gave Steve Yzerman in '98, only better.

That said, I still think that Souray is too expensive, too injury-prone, and that--if big dollars must be spent--the Caps would get more value spending those dollars acquiring Bieksa and/or Regehr than from picking up Souray...with perhaps less downside as well.


Just saying...


Posted by: Rhino40 | September 14, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

I would like to point out that every team had the chance to pick up Souray without having to give up anything. All they had to do was pick up his contract.

EVERY team chose not too. That says something about the combination of Souray in relation to the size of his contract. None of the 30 NHL teams want him at that price. That is a fact.

The only way he gets traded to the Caps is if the Oilers include Taylor Hall or their young Swedish prospect.

The only possibility of him coming to the Caps is if he is bought out of Edmonton and then signs a deal in Washing at about $1M/yr.

Posted by: sgm3 | September 14, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

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