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Two More Cuts

The Caps have returned to impressive 18-year-old defenseman John Carlson to London (OHL) and sent Mathieu Perreault to Hershey, GM George McPhee said moments ago.

Carlson was the biggest surprise of camp, in my opinion. If his development continues to go according to schedule, I'm thinking he'll be in Washington sooner rather than later.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  September 28, 2008; 12:48 PM ET
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Next: Tonight's Lineup In New Jersey


Nice to see moving up in this years draft
to get Carlson in the first round seems to be a wise move at this point.

Posted by: Riddler | September 28, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

carlson looked exhausted in practice today, but he will be special

Posted by: O-V-P | September 28, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse


Since the Caps website hasn't been updated yet, would you post a current roster. Thanks

Posted by: Tracy | September 28, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

GMGM has been building an impressive blueline through the draft the last few years -- a lot better than his earlier picks. Speaking of which -- any word on Cutta or Pokulok?

Posted by: JIM | September 28, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

The impressive drafted defenders, imho, are Green, Schultz, Alzner, Godfrey, and Carlson. Morrison is also very impressive, but he came from Boston.

Posted by: JIM | September 28, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Tarik and anyone else interested Bears open preseason 5:00 this evening against Norfolk. will be the new internet feed for the Bears starting with this evenings game. Per John Walton these are the line combos










Posted by: Chad | September 28, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Pokulok has to perform well if he's going to have any kind of future with the Caps.. It's not clear whether he's ever recovered from his concussion.


Posted by: Oneal | September 28, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I think pokuluk and finley will pretty much be busts. We are pretty sick though with young dmen,


thats the future right there. Add a veteran dman and that should be our top 6 for a while.

Posted by: ck | September 28, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

ck you forgot morrison

Posted by: Anonymous | September 28, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse


I'm talking in 3 years. Mo's making about 1.95 this year and that will go up. I love Mo but I think chances are 50/50 that he'll be around in 2011.

Posted by: ck | September 28, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I'd say the jury is still out on both of them. Pokulok had the injury and we've never seen Joe Finley in a pro camp.

But if they are both busts than that's a pretty horrible draft for McPhee in 2005.


Posted by: Oneal | September 28, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

My take from seeing pokuluk last year was confidence was lacking. his hockey vision was not there. He looked scared. When he was a scratch the fans would cheer.My opinion is he is at least 2 years away from having a chance in the bigs.

Posted by: Chad | September 28, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Finley's not a bust yet. He's still in college, and he's 6'7, so naturally because of his size he's going to take longer to develop. Also you need to remember that even though Finley is a Senior he's only 20-21 years old. He's younger then every Junior on the team.

Posted by: Tyler | September 28, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Re: posts above on busts....

IMO, the amount of drafted players the caps have had over the last few years that have not been busts has been pretty good. More prospects become busts than become productive players.

Caps drafting and developing has vastly improved in recent years it seems.


Posted by: Sapper | September 28, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Alzner will be sent to the Bears on Monday.

Posted by: willy | September 28, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

is that speculation or do you have information (reliable or a rumor)?

Posted by: FrankM73 | September 28, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I kind of wish that Carlson was headed to the A rather than to London. Were he going to any other juniors squad, I would be more hopeful, but the Hunter contingent has thus far only ever contributed to the development of one NHL talent from the blue line - Dennis Wideman.

I don't like the Knights at all for player development.

Posted by: Nomad | September 28, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse


Two words: Patrick Kane

Posted by: asdkjf;al | September 28, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

I've been on the road and out of touch for three days. Who did we trade Nylander to?

Can I just say returning Bourque to the Bears makes no sense to me at all!

Finley is far from a bust, NCAA rules prevent him from being here now, next year he will be here and will, I think, be a very pleasant suprise.

Posted by: Bob | September 28, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

I've been on the road and out of touch for three days. Who did we trade Nylander to?

Can I just say returning Bourque to the Bears makes no sense to me at all!

Finley is far from a bust, NCAA rules prevent him from being here now, next year he will be here and will, I think, be a very pleasant suprise.

Posted by: Bob | September 28, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Nylander's still a Cap!

Posted by: FrankM73 | September 28, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

What! What! What! He played two games in a row and we did not trade him? What is the hockey world coming to? George you old kidder, you! Really got us with that one!

Post Once, Dam it!

Posted by: Bob | September 28, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

What number has Chris Bourque been wearing with the Caps this pre-season? Thanks.

Posted by: MikeR | September 28, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Chris has been wearing #56

Posted by: FrankM73 | September 28, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: MikeR | September 28, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Isn't Bourque's number in Hershey 7 or 17 or something? Obviously, something he's not able to wear in DC.

Posted by: Whiter Mage | September 28, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Bourque is 17 in Hershey. And so far a better pukoluck this season he was actually hitting and made we go woow a few times tonight and BB's son scored a goal for the Bears this evening with BB in attendance.

Posted by: Chad | September 28, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Tarik: It was a pleasure meeting you out at Kettler this afternoon. Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer some questions for my daughter's college career assignment. Not only are your daily Blog Posts and Newspaper stories interesting and enjoyable to read but your answers were truly professional and contained some really great advice. Thanks for giving back some of your time and keep up the great work.

Posted by: LFR | September 28, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse


didn't realize kane played defense. or did you not actually read his post?

Posted by: pgreene | September 28, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Chad..

Count me among those hoping Pokulok can make it back. I mean, I'm as impressed with Carlson as anybody else.. but it takes defensemen a long time to develop. I don't expect to see Carlon in Washington until 2010 at the earliest. Pokulok on the other hand is older and hopefully getting back on track.


Posted by: Oneal | September 28, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

This sucks, hockey is being played and it is not on TV! Why does the NHL channel continue to show crap? Why not show preseason instead of classic hockey????

Posted by: Bob | September 28, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

I don't get the Schultz bashing that goes on. No, he doesn't skate and join the rush like Green. No he doesn't hit like Juice or Erskine. But his +12 was best on the team for defenders. His positioning is usually pretty good and he doesn't make the glaring mistakes we see from others (Jurcina's passes from behind the net). If you don't like Schultz because he doesn't hit, etc etc, I'm guessing that Alzner won't be a favorite of the anti-Schultz contingent either. They aren't flashy, just effective.

Posted by: Steve R | September 28, 2008 9:16 PM | Report abuse

I rule.

Posted by: Papa 'Panzer' Schultz | September 28, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

RE: Schultz, did you hear during the game the other night when they said that they were talking to him about his 1/2 slap shot and he is working on his 3/4 slap shot? Nice ... LOL!!! :-)

Posted by: Boo! | September 29, 2008 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: tess | September 29, 2008 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, pgreene.

asdk - As PG stated, Kane is not a defenseman. Even those forwards who have made the jump or come the closest so far could be argued to be doing so despite the Hunters rather than because of them, but that's a whole other set of issues related to the improper handling of players in development leagues.

Posted by: Nomad | September 29, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse


I agree, a bunch of, I suspect, the same people used to complain about Gonch not being defensive enough. These same people defend Poti who is neither defensive or offensive, seemingly because he is "an experienced blue liner". Schultz plays a steady shutdown game without flash and everyone seems to think he should change.

Posted by: Bob | September 29, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Not sure how much this is of interest to the rest of you, but I have always found international games fascinating so have been really looking forward to the Rangers playing Swiss club SC Bern and then KHL's Metallurg Magnitogorsk (last year's Euro Cup champs). Now that these games are finally upon us (Tue and Wed) I have just found out, to my extreme excitement, that they will both be broadcast live on NHL Network.

The first one is on Tue at noon and the second on Wed at 1:30PM.

The 2nd game will mark the first time a Russian club will play an NHL club since 1991 and also is historic because it'll be the first ever game between a representative of the newly formed KHL and the NHL.

Also, if someone knows if these games will be broadcast in HD let me know in this thread. Thanks.

Posted by: ranndino | September 29, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

London is a solid OHL club; really a model franchise. Remember the OHL clubs play a 68-game regular season that is heavy on travel, plus a four-round best of seven playoffs. Fighting rules mirror that of the NHL, and most teams have enforcers.

Regardless of position, the number of NHL players to come out of London recently is staggering.

Posted by: Patrick | September 29, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse


asdkjf;al was referring to Kane being developed by Hunter's London Knights frachise (albeit for only one season in 06-07)... not that he's a Defensemen!

Posted by: FrankM73 | September 29, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Frank - I understand that, but developmentally speaking, some clubs (and even leagues) favor creating certain positions over other. The Knights haven't produced a stable NHLer at defense other than Wideman under the tutelage of the Hunters. That was the point I was making about not wanting him over there - they aren't exactly a defense-building machine.

Aside from that, I and many others have some serious issues with the player development in London. Yes, they are a respected OHL club - they implement systems and generally have a very cohesive team that has had great success. The problem is, what is conducive to winning in the CHL is not inherently conducive to creating quality NHL players. Right now, they have three flagship players in the NHL - Patrick Kane, Sam Gagner, and Corey Perry. Perry was a major part of the powerhouse team that took home the Memorial Cup. That team created some draft picks, but didn't create much in the way of players.

Kane was a high quality player before he ever set foot in London - the Knights just allowed him to put up gaudy numbers. He only spent one year there, and was already excellent before their influence.

Sam Gagner was the same situation - one year with the Knights after proving his mettle with Sioux City (second on the team in scoring despite being only 16).

Ultimately, I haven't seen anything to get excited about from London as far as their influence on a player's development goes. This is the same reason I have opposed the idea of Hunter as coach of the Bears.

Posted by: Nomad | September 29, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Nomad, I would add Rick Nash to London's "Flagship Players". I always thought that CHL teams in general tended to not have many players that make the NHL. Looking at the 2005 Memorial Cup tournament teams (, each team only has a handful of players now in the NHL. Shea Weber is the only dman of note. I'm not sure lack of former Knights in the NHL is necessarily indicative of the Hunters' work. Maybe you're more knowledgeable than me (a distinct possibility). I'm just a little surprised since this is the first that I've heard anything but good about the Hunters' work.

Posted by: FN | September 29, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

FN - Nash only spent one of his two years in London under the tutelage of Hunter, who took the coaching reins for the 01-02 season (Nash's draft year). It was already known at the beginning of that season that Nash was a top five pick - and even though he went first, he was projected to go third (Bouwmeester was long considered the prize of the 02 draft).

In the one year under Hunter, Nash's numbers improved, but not markedly. He added one goal and five assists in four fewer games. I think a lot of the credit for Nash's development (although I am not a Nash fan) goes to Lindsay Hofford, who put him on the map.

While I'm not the only one who has a problem with Hunter's player development, it also not necessarily a popular one for whatever reason. Personally, I just don't like the approach - give me a development-first coach (Don Hay, Brent Sutter) over a win-first coach at that level any day. Controlled systems are for later in a player's career. It's kind of blasphemy among Washington fans to say anything negative about Hunter (there is some forgiveness there, one can say bad things about the Turgeon incident), so perhaps that has to do with it. Given my choice, he is one I would personally prefer prospects to stay away from. He's not the only one, but he gets the most press. The WHL, in my opinion, has far better coaching for defenders than the O - and that's all because of the coaching mindset.

Posted by: Nomad | September 29, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

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