Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: kcarrera and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

Varlamov appears set to start vs. Florida

Semyon Varlamov came off the ice first this morning at KCI, which likely means he'll be between the pipes at Verizon Center against the Panthers as the Caps go for their fourth straight win.

Alex Ovechkin, meantime, participated fully for the second straight day and even skated hard with the other injured players afterward. So it appears that he's not hampered much, if at all, by the minor right knee injury he suffered in Raleigh. Coach Bruce Boudreau also confirmed that his star winger will be good to go in Tampa on Monday when his two-game suspension ends.

Asked if Ovechkin was in a better mood today, Boudreau said, "It's a day closer for him to play. So I'm sure he's in a little better place. But I'm sure he's still upset."

The Caps' other Alex, as in Semin, will return to the lineup against Florida after missing seven games with a wrist injury. If Boudreau keeps his lines the same as they were in yesterday's practice, Semin will be on the top line with Nicklas Backstrom and Brooks Laich.

Some other news and notes from this morning:

*Tom Poti (bruised chest) is expected to miss his sixth straight game tonight.

"He'll probably be ready to play on the weekend," Boudreau said, referring to Saturday's game in Philadelphia.

*Also out tonight will be Shaone Morrisonn (concussion), Boyd Gordon (back), Quintin Laing (broken jaw) and Mike Knuble (broken finger).

Morrisonn and Knuble took part in the morning skate. Morrisonn is feeling better, he said, but isn't sure when he'll be ready. Knuble, who is on LTI, won't be eligible to return until Dec. 9.

Laing skated with the injured players after the team session. Doctors are scheduled to remove the wires from jaw on Tuesday. But he's still a few weeks from returning to the lineup, Boudreau said.

"You got to give him a few weeks to get his weight back," Boudreau said. Asked how much weight Laing has lost, Boudreau said, "I don't know. But it's not a diet I want to go on."

*Scott Clemmensen, who beat the Avs in a shootout last night, could make his second start in 48 hours tonight. The Panthers are, of course, without Tomas Vokoun, their No. 1 goalie, because of a freak play in which he was struck by a frustrated teammate's stick.

By now, you have no doubt seen Keith Ballard's home run swing on Vokoun, who is fortunate not to have suffered a more serious injury. As crazy as that play looked, Boudreau said he doesn't think Ballard's accidental whack is going to result in a change of behavior around the league.

"As far as I've seen, it's happened once in over a hundred years," Boudreau said. "Obviously with the technology, we make a big deal out of it. But it was a total accident. He feels so bad. But luckily no one got hurt."

No one got hurt seriously, at least.

"It's an emotional game," Boudreau added. "Keith is going to be fine, Vokoun is going to be fine. It certainly looked weird."

*Eric Fehr is on fire right now, having scored seven goals in 17 games this season. In 11 games since returning from injury, he has six goals and four assists and a plus-seven rating.

"It's all in the stick," Boudreau said sarcastically, referring to Fehr's recent switch to Ovechkin's sticks. "It has nothing to do with Eric going to the net and working a little harder and winning battles and working a little harder. I think that has a little more to do with it than the stick."

*Finally, Jay Beagle has been returned to Hershey.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 3, 2009; 12:03 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: McPhee: Two-game suspension 'excessive'
Next: Tonight's lineup: Panthers at Caps

Comments

GMGM coming up next on Mike Wise's radio show.

Looking forward to tonight. LET'S GO, CAPS!!!

Posted by: wocoliz | December 3, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Repost from last thread:

Everyone should print out a bunch of these posters to distribute and display at the game tonight. Thank you to Japer's Rink for starting the "FREE ALEX!" movement.

Let's all support our guy tonight at the Phone Booth, and show those kittycats we can take them with or without him in the lineup.

C-A-P-S! CAPS! CAPS! CAPS!!!

Posted by: irockthered | December 3, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

@tom (from last thread)

Fly in the ointment is Colorado is paying Statsny 6.6 coming out of his entry-level, and I didn't think he was nearly as good. Do you have an opinion there? Pretty simple though to average them all and then 6.5 is the answer.

JSchon: Do you have any opinion on Flash at 2.5-3M? I went through all the players when analyzing Semin and Backstrom but it was too much work with Flash.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 3, 2009 12:05 PM |

Statsny, along with Kopitar, signed with bottom-dwelling teams. Again, the intangibles will alter these contracts. Statsny's Dad also played for COL. Don't know how much of an effect it had on the signing, if any though.

On the intangible / where you sign matters thing, Antropov was given 4+ from the Thrashers. Antropov would have not received that price from any Cup contending team, even if that team could afford 4 mil.

Maybe I am just trying to be optimistic..keeping Backsie around 6. It's what I hoping for and what I have him pinned at.

Care to comment on the Olesz thing? Olesz is a bit overpaid, so I think the price seems fair. But if Flash nets 25-30, that's something Olesz has never done.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 3, 2009 12:10 PM |

Posted by: richmondphil | December 3, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Also, Statsny is a very good player. But you are right. He's not quite on that Kopitar/Toews/Kane/Backstrom tier yet.

However, he is on pace for 85-90 points this year.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 3, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Gotta love how the people saying he should have been suspended for more are from Pittsburgh or are named Bob "Ban Fighting" McCown.

I agree with the ones that say he's gotten too reckless though. It's up to Bruce to make sure he doesn't get himself (or more likely, someone else) injured permanently.

Posted by: Raber | December 3, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I think he should've been suspended for more. But mostly to shutup all the people who you so aptly named.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 3, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: richmondphil | December 3, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Is Gordon on the way to retirement?

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 3, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Wonder if the Panthers are going to have the refs check Fehr's stick out during the game now?

Posted by: larryn703 | December 3, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Pumped to see Semin return tonight! Sometimes the guy can cause me to shake my head, but WAY more often he brings me out of my chair with an absolutely unreal dangle, one timer, or fight (one of those three was a joke, but I'm not telling which).

It seems like ages since we've seen Semin and OV in the lineup together, and I guess we haven't for all of November (aside from the little bit OV played against Columbus).

Should be a good game tonight. Florida have been streaky lately, getting points in 10 straight games, then losing a few in a row. Let's hope the Caps put a bunch of pucks in the net and win easily!

Posted by: Aldred15 | December 3, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil: When I have the time, I will go through the nhlnumbers.com and look for all the Flash comparables. Doing Semin and Backstromo was much easier cuz there were so few players. I think we have nailed Backie obviously in the 6's, most likely 6.5 I feel (I think they could get him at 6.0 if they do 11 yrs to match Ovechkin's remaining contract length). Semin a bit harded because you ahve an overpaid vanek contract, a bit of an outlyer, but the Cammalleri and Sedin pacts at 6 and 6.1 are good starts (Kessel at 5.4 might be underpaid). Flash much harded because there are so many more players nearer to his skill level. Yes, he has better numbers than Olesz. I must find better comparables.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 3, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

By the way, the following McPhee quote was dropped from the transcript:

"I really feel Campbell belongs in the Doofus Brigade, but being in my position, I can't tell him that."

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 3, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Ted's Take: "I believe if he changes and becomes a player that is managed by the media or fans or anyone else, he will put himself at risk. ” To thine own self be true.” That is the right motto to live by. That is what I have advised Alex. Be authentic and be respectful."

Ted might have shown more wisdom in counselling Ovie with emphasis on RESPECTFUL, rather than "To thine own self be true". Regardless of how great a player Ovie is, he needs to learn that personal responsibility is also required of him and that there is no "I" in TEAM. He's said the words: "I'm not going to change my game" and "I don't care what anyone thinks". 44 penalty minutes, 3 major penalties, 2 game misconducts, 2 game suspension -- where's his responsibility to the team, the coach and the owners? Ted may yet come to regret his advice, if Ovie continues to play with reckless abandon & is out for most of the season. One can play with passion and be agressive without being stupid. Instead of running an opponent and looking for the cheers & accolades of a HUGE hit ... how about concentrating on taking the puck away. You respect other players by the choices you make when you try to take them off the puck, you respect your team mates by staying in the game and out of the penalty box, you respect the coach by being coachable, showing up for practice, getting off the ice when you're tired, and listening when advice is given, you respect the owners by ensuring you play responsibly, take care of yourself both on & off the ice, and conduct yourself so as not to invite the scrutiny of the refs and the league. Ovie has not done himself or the team any favors by expressing his "anger" with the suspension and his unwillingness to change his game. Whether or not the penalties & suspension was warranted ... the powers that be do not take defiance and this kind of attitude lightly. To thine own self be true, does not mean "do whatever you want because you're the star". You can be true to yourself, keep the passion you feel for the game and be aggressive on the ice without putting your opponenet or yourself in jeopardy. And ... you can express yourself in a way that shows respect and regard for the team, the league, the fans, and the media and still remain true to yourself. Ovie did not. If this had been any other player on the team, all hell would have broke loose. The boy needs some serious coaching (besides Mom & Dad & Ted).

Posted by: gogetem | December 3, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Let's go Caps!! Loved the interview w GMGM. He couldn't have said it better. I'm glad Ovi isn't going to change. He didn't intend on injuring anyone. He was making an open ice hit. It wasn't high. It wasn't late. The other player just tried to run and Ovi was already in motion. This is a physical game.

What about Avery who purposely punched our goalie in the head intending to injure him? Where is his suspension/punshment? Oh, that's right he didn't get one.

And what about Kunitz who cross checked our goalie in the neck in last years play-offs? No suspension there either.

Posted by: capsfan01 | December 3, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

@gogetem

"The boy needs some serious coaching (besides Mom & Dad & Ted). "

Sorry, that may be the dumbest thing anyone has ever said on this blog!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 3, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

@gogetem, dude,use some paragraphs. Of course it would not help the senseless string of sentences that you put together, but at least it would have looked better.

Posted by: ATOMIX1 | December 3, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

@gogetem--I agree with lylewimbleon--dumb statement. And before you start on the "anger" bit actually watch the video, do the research. And before you start saying he is putting the "I" before the "we" with this team, go read the interviews with his teammates especially Laich's comments. And finally though I realize most of you have probably already read this I am reposting part of what McPhee said as reprinted in Bog:

"Time will tell on all of this obviously, but we searched the world over for talented players who play with passion, play with intensity," McPhee said. "And we've got one here. He is the most unique, and he is, in our minds, the best player in this league right now, maybe one of the best ever, for what he can do on the ice in terms of goal scoring and physical play. And then you add the great character, the respect that he has for everyone in the organization. We've got one of the best. And if you get one of those players that play with that kind of intensity, and then try to start pulling back on that, it's a difficult thing to do.

"And we've always felt that he'll learn how to do all of this just with his experience in the league. And what we've always said is, go out and play the game--to all of our players--go out and play the game, play the game hard. If a hit's there, take it, but don't go out of your way to try to throw hits, because one of two things happens: it takes you out of position, or you might wind up taking a penalty. And so if the hit's there, take it, if not, play the game, play the puck. You want puck possession....

"I'm glad he's not pulling back. He'll learn to pick his spots a little bit, but I'm glad in a lot of ways that he's defiant in saying this is the way I play, and who is anybody to tell me that I shouldn't be playing this way? So I'm glad he's defiant and wants to keep playing the way he's going to play. And he doesn't want to hurt anybody, but every once in a while, with all the hits that he delivers, you know, some will go off-track."

This Caps Fan agrees with McPhee!

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 3, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Oh and GO CAPS! And we will print out the Free Ovie poster--love it.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 3, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

@gogetem - if this had been anyone else on the team it would have been 2 sentences in the back of the paper. It has been escalated because it was Ovi. BTW, I second lyle's comment.

Glad Vokoun isn't playing tonight, he is going to be seriously motivated to NOT LET THE PUCK IN THE NET when he returns.

Posted by: ds_kelly | December 3, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

By the way, the following McPhee quote was dropped from the transcript:

"I really feel Campbell belongs in the Doofus Brigade, but being in my position, I can't tell him that."

Posted by: tominfl1 |

AGREE!!

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 3, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

@Aldred15
I also am looking forward to Semin's return, being a fervent supporter. However, I would reiterate what McPhee said this monring about players returning from injuries -- it takes 2-3 games to get them back on their game.

Some people are always so quick to criticize Semin, partly because expectations are high and for others, well, they just don't like him for whatever reason.

So, I hope folks keep their expectations in check for tonight's game, hope for Sasha to have a terrific game, but realize he's just getting back.

It took Ovi 2-3 games, as well.

Posted by: Steakum | December 3, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

All that Ted is saying is that Ovi should be authentic to himself. We should all heed that advice. Be authentic. Be true to oneself. We all bring our authentic, unique selves to any team, from family to work, to the neighborhood, and to the world at large. That's what makes a team strong.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 3, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1 - For a Doofus Brigade Catalog of Available Uniforms, check here:

http://doncherryjacketwatch.wordpress.com/


Posted by: irockthered | December 2, 2009 2:05 PM |


@IRTR: My eyes! My EYES!!!! ROTGDLMMFAO XD


Now we have to see if they do it to anyone else, or whether it was just Ovechkin who gets 'special love' from the League.

Posted by: irockthered | December 2, 2009 2:11 PM


@IRTR: Now, in this case exactly **what** do you mean by the use of the word "special"? XD

BTW, those Suspension Flowcharts from DGB are a scream--thanx for the link! In fact I have constructed my own "Suspension Prequalifier" flowchart, but since I don't have my own blog I don't know how to get it on the web. Do you have an email address to which I could send this Word document?

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 3, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Semin28 = awesome. Let's go Caps!

Posted by: capsfan01 | December 3, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Nobody answered this yesterday:

Is Ovechkin allowed on the bench during the game if he wears a suit?

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 3, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

@Rhino40 - "Special" love = suspension of a superstar. I'd like to see Campbell suspend Crosby or Malkin the next time they do something suspension-worthy (and Malkin did so last year in the playoffs and got off). THEN I'll be willing to say that Campbell has started suspending superstars, rather than just making a skapegoat out of an obvious badboy target.

@tominfl1 - No idea, but I believe that is unlikely...

Posted by: irockthered | December 3, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1 - don't believe so, he is suspended from all game activities. He can however, partake in the $1 dogs promotion tonight.

Posted by: ds_kelly | December 3, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1 - I will ask the NHLOA, but I do not expect a reply in time for tonight...

Posted by: irockthered | December 3, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

ds_kelly: That would be so cool if Ovechkin helped hand out the hot dogs.

Suspended from all game activities....

OK, so he can roam the stands and help fire up the faithful!

He can stand with his nose against the glass and cheer on his teammates!

He could help Lisa Hillary gets her facts straight!

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 3, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

irock: What would be cool would be Alex hanging out with Caps fans in the stands Sat night in Filthy!

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 3, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

or he can sit next to GMGM and look remorseful.

I'm not sure if he can even go in the locker room during the game. Hopefully, irtr will get us the answer.

Posted by: ds_kelly | December 3, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

other than the last sentence, gogetem has as valid a point as anyone else here. if OV wants tro win a Cup, he better think about team success. what is that such a stupid viewpoint?

Posted by: doughless | December 3, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl

I have not done any research on what flash or Fehr might get, only because I'm not exactly sure where they will end up at the end of the year. Whereas Backstrom and Semin I know are point per game guys.

What I will say is that if Flash is anywhere deserving of $2.5M+ then decisions will need to be made about Flash and Semin. Unless there salaries that are shed besides the FA's being unsigned, how do we afford everybody?

Posted by: JSchon | December 3, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

On another subject, I understand doctors will soon be removing the wiring from Quintin Laing's mouth.

If this apparatus were put on ebay, how much would people be willing to bid?

Hockey Fights Cancer could receive a donation.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 3, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

i can only imagine the reaction here if Gleason was the one doing the kneeing.

Posted by: doughless | December 3, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

@JSchon -- if Flash and Fehr end up at 30+ goals and it comes down to keeping the two of them vs keeping Semin, I'd keep them since they have more upside and would be cheaper. But I hope we can keep them all. If it looks like there's no possible way to keep them all, it wouldn't surprise me to see one of the three traded for D at the deadline though...

@tominfl1 -- that's just gross.

Posted by: butcherbaker | December 3, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

JSchon: I want to say that by subtracting Theo, Gordon, Nylander, Pothier, BMo, Jurcina and ShaMo you reduce by 17.5. (Humor me and assume Steckel and Sloan are re-signed at same amount and therefore kept.)

You must first add back replacement players - Neuvirth (.9 as a RFA), Perrault (.7), Beagle (.8 I think), Bouchard (.9), Alzner (1.65), Carlson (.9) and Collins (placeholder 650). That's 6.5 and leaves you with $11M for raises and upgrades.

Backstrom and Semin at $12.5M is $5.5M morer than this year and leaves $5.5M to go. Fehr and Flash at $4 is a $2.5M increase and leaves you with $3M.

Nobody else gets a raise next year. You can do what you want with that $3M. Either drop Collins and bring in a $3.5M d-man or drop Beagle and bring back BMo at $3.5M.

Fehr and Flash fit within this framework, they just don't leave you as much room for upgrades.

The raises come first, then the upgrades.

I make Semin top priority since he could play in Russia next year and then come back as UFA for 2011-12. He wouldn't get Gaborik money but he might get within a million.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 3, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I did forget, Jeff Schultz is a RFA after this year and might eat into some of that $3M. I can certainly see him getting at least Erskine money at $1.25M.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 3, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I make Semin top priority since he could play in Russia next year and then come back as UFA for 2011-12. He wouldn't get Gaborik money but he might get within a million.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 3, 2009 2:25 PM

THANK YOU!

Posted by: Steakum | December 3, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Take the wiring from Laing's mouth and put it on Brooks Orpik's...

Posted by: SA-Town | December 3, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Here is my take on the salary cap situation. Note I am in no way a cap expert so take that into account.

Added salery
Backstrom: Around 6.6 million a year
Semin: Around 6 million a year
Flash: Around 2.5 million
Fehr: Around 1.8 million
Total 16.9
These saleries can still change depending on how they finish the season

Salery space coming
Nylander (one way or another he is gone next year) 4.875 million
Semin's current amount 4.6 million
Backstrom 2.4 million
Fehr .772 Million
Flash .725
Theo 4.500
Total 17.872

Looking at that it seems that we will be able to afford all of them and still have money to replace the other FA's who are leaving with players of equal costs. Now thing will only get helped if we can get Backstrom or Semin will take a Hossa like deal for the long term that will keep the average salery down for the Cap hit.

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 3, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

other than the last sentence, gogetem has as valid a point as anyone else here. if OV wants tro win a Cup, he better think about team success. what is that such a stupid viewpoint?

Posted by: doughless

Of course he does. As I do when I said I disagreed with his assessment. I do NOT believe that Ovi puts himself before the team. Nor have I read anything that suggests that his teammates think he does. Rather they have rallied around him. They are a team first and foremost. They are a team with a Stanley Cup in their sights. They are the Caps.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 3, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of the Voukon/Ballard incident...
Quote of the century from NHL Live...
"Clearly they hold their goalies to a much higher standard"!
And if you did not make the $1 dog night last year...word to the wise...don't eat the dogs!

Posted by: moet5 | December 3, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

icehammer: The only problem is you took away six players and only added back four. Each player who departs must first have a replacement before you can do anything else. For instance Neuvy has to be put in to replace Theo, so savings is only $3.6M. And Nylander must be offset with at least a min wage player, reducing savings to $4M.

Then you get savings by replacing Jurcina, ShaMo and Pothier with younger guys.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 3, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

LW Ovechkin - $9.5M
C Backstrom - $6.5M
RW Knuble - $2.8M
Total - $18.8M

LW Laich - $2.1M
C TBD
RW Semin - $6.5M
Total - $8.6M

LW Flash - $2.5M
C Perreault - $716K
RW Fehr - $2.0M
Total - $5.216M

LW Steckel - $900K
C Beagle - $950K
RW Bradley - $1.0M
Total - $2.85M

Total - $35.466
Needs 2nd line C

D1
Green - $5.25M
Alzner - $1.675M
Carlson - $875K
Erskine - $1.25M
Poti - $3.5M

Total - $12.55M
Needs 1 defensemen of the defensive type

G
Varlamov - $822K
Neuvirth - $822K

Total - $1.644M

18 players - $49.66M

5 players needed - $6.543M to spend

D Schultz - $1.75M
D Jurcina - $1.75M
W ?
W ?
C ?

Thats without a small reduction in salary cap predicted by most.

Posted by: JSchon | December 3, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

And if tominfl1 and icehammer97's cap hit analysis is correct, they are a team we may be able to keep together next season.

Glad to see that Alzner is still here. And that both Schultz and Jurcina rank very high (8 and 15 respectively) on Mirtle's list of top defensive defensemen.

Have a great game tonight! GO CAPS

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 3, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

And JSchon's analysis--hopefully we can keep the team intact.

I would want to bring BMo back personally. I think both he and Knubes have been great additions.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 3, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

@doughless

The problem I have with gogetem's post it doesn't take into account that the guys in the opposite sweaters aren't exactly playing a clean game. Players are always trying to cheap shot our guys, especially Backstrom, Semin, and Green. On other teams, they have 3rd or 4th line guys to act as deterrents. There is no one on the Caps to fill that role so Ovi has to take it on himself. To my eyes, that is being a good teammate and leader.

Posted by: ablake70 | December 3, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Truth be told, I think Semin is the expendable one here. Sign Backstrom to the forever deal so he and Ovie can skate together for the next decade. Semin, I just don't know. Some games are brilliant, some he disappears, and some he's a weed-whacker with that stick.

Posted by: EricCarr | December 3, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1 - Re: Ovechkin in the stands in Philadelphia...

What, you want him mugged?! Yikes! ;-)

Posted by: irockthered | December 3, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

So very true ablake70. It time for the others to step it up as I don't see it as in Ovi's nature to step down. Perhaps this team can share the responsibility to protect one another.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 3, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I think the question we need to ask is who do we want more, Green or Semin?

Thats the question.

Posted by: JSchon | December 3, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

@JSchon - Why is choosing between them a problem? Their contracts end at different times.

Posted by: irockthered | December 3, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

@ Capsyoungguns

If BMo continues to have a good year, he is gone. At 34, this is his last chance at a big contract and the Caps won't be able to afford him.

@ irockthered

If Ovi is as angry as some claim, I'd worry more about the Flyer fans!

Posted by: ablake70 | December 3, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

@irockthered

This is true, but you have to make decisions on contracts based what is needed in the future too, not just the now.

Posted by: JSchon | December 3, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

5 players needed - $6.543M to spend

D Schultz - $1.75M
D Jurcina - $1.75M
W ? OSALA 850 (THINK)
W ? BOUCHARD 850 (THINK)
C ? B MORRISON ($1.343 IS NOT ENOUGH)

Thats without a small reduction in salary cap predicted by most.

Posted by: JSchon | December 3, 2009 2:45 PM

I would also love to keep BMo - but don't know if it would work unless someone moves. Also, you have left off Clark - I guess you have assumed a trade.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 3, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

While I agree with most of JSchon's cap breakdown. I think there is no way Semin and Backstrom will get contracts greater than Toews or Kane.

You have to remember that Toews and Kane are the face of the Blackhawks franchise, and as much as people don't want to think that plays a factor in contracts, it clearly does.

In terms of skill, Backstrom is about their equal, and with him being so young, so good now and with such a great future I think he will get close to the $6.3M of Toews and Kane.

Semin, on the other hand, is not regarded by most people in the league as being eqaully as talented as Kane and Toews. I know some people here believe he is and I hope those people are right. But our views don't really matter in contracts. It's only the views of those handing out the money. Semin always has the KHL option, but I don't think GMGM should overpay compared to what others in the NHL are paying.

I thought Toews and Kane were going to get more money, but their relatively smaller contracts will hopefully help GMGM keep Backstroms and Semin's contracts smaller.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 3, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

@ablake70--unfortunately I have to agree because I want BMo to continue having such a great year. And that will make him too expensive. Oh well. Guess we will just have to win that pesky Cup this season then.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 3, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

5 players needed - $6.543M to spend

D Schultz - $1.75M
D Jurcina - $1.75M
W ? OSALA 850 (THINK)
W ? BOUCHARD 850 (THINK)
C ? B MORRISON ($1.343 IS NOT ENOUGH)

Thats without a small reduction in salary cap predicted by most.

Posted by: JSchon | December 3, 2009 2:45 PM

I would also love to keep BMo - but don't know if it would work unless someone moves. Also, you have left off Clark - I guess you have assumed a trade.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 3, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I forgot Clark, so no I haven't anticipated any trades.

Posted by: JSchon | December 3, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

irock: JSchon is right. The problem isn't really next year - GMGM, as shown above, can shoehorn things into place. But, for 2011-12, Poti and Clark come off but - BUT - you have raises due for Varly, Alzner and Brooks Laich. Then you have Green and Carlson due new contract 2012-13. Eventually it becomes too much and someone can't be kept. It could be Semin vs Green or it could be Semin, Flash, Fehr, Laich pick 2 or maybe 3.

It never works unless you are constantly rotating in the entry-level guys and you must always have cheapo vets like Bradley and - gads - Erskine to offset the mega-deals.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 3, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

sgm3: Look up the following players and their stats:

Mike Cammalleri $6.0M
Daniel Sedin $6.1M
Alex Semin $4.6M

and then tell me Semin won't sign for just what those other two make.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 3, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

JSchon: OK, adding Clark puts us over w/your numbers, you have some guys making a little more than me (Semin +.5, Fehr +.5, Schultz +.5) and then you have Jurcina vs I had Collins (+1.1).

I think we can make it next year with all but BMo.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 3, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1 - You're calling Erskine a cheapo vet?! At HIS salary?! ;-)

I'm glad it isn't me making the salary cap decisions in the main office...!

Posted by: irockthered | December 3, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Ideally, if we could move Poti or Clark
just for the sake of the 2010/11 season. That would be great.

Bigger problem, Semin vs Green. Unless Semin agrees to a 1yr deal, he may to be moved. I'd rather have Green/Fehr/Flash than Semin/Fehr/Flash.

Posted by: JSchon | December 3, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

@Capsyoungguns

I agree. The Caps need to win the Cup this year for BMo!

@sgm3

Where do you get that people don't think Semin is as talented as Kane and Toews? I read other message boards that routinely rank him as one of the top 10 forwards in the league. Caps fans (and bloggers) undervalue Semin because they are stuck on the Semin of 3-4 years ago, but outsiders realize that Semin at $5 million is a steal.

Posted by: ablake70 | December 3, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

i think the team has stepped up just fine and there are several players that could use more time on the ice. the sooner this team becomes more balanced, the better.

Posted by: doughless | December 3, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

irock: Erskine signed his deal as a potential UFA. You can't compare his salary to someone still in RFA stage of their career, like Schultz. His $1.25M compares to Pothier ($2.5M) and Poti ($3.5M), both of whom signed as UFA. Compared to those numbers, Erskine is a cheapo vet. Not as cheapo as Quintin Laing, but still way under the NHL average salary.

I forgot to include Laing. I put Osala and Bouchard because their entry-level deals expire and they will be next year's Chris Bourques - keep on the team or expose to waivers.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 3, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Rank them... No blind homerism please.

Backstrom
Semin
Toews
Kane

Posted by: JSchon | December 3, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Backstrom
Toews
Kane
Semin

Posted by: saintex | December 3, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

JSchon: I don't watch Hawks enough. Based on stats, the two Hawks and Backie are really close. Backie though at same age is already a top-5 in assists, with as many assists last year (within 4) as the other two each had points.

Semin is 5 yrs older. The other three have maybe more potential.

I don't know on Toews and Kane w/regards to defense. Bottom line is I have Backie a half-step ahead of the other three.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 3, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

tominfl1-

True, those are their salaries and I'm sure Semin's agent will use those during negotiations. However, I think the Kane and Toews situations are more comparable than Cammaleri's and D. Sedin's and therefore should be used as the guide.

First, both of those guys were unrestrcited free-agents. That is a very big difference in a players negotiating ability. Not having the ability to threaten to sign with many other NHL teams limits Semin's negotiating stance. Semin could always take a 1-year deal but then there are risks such as injury or a bad performance that could drive their price down. So if you consider Semin equal to those two then he would get a smaller contract, if signed this year, due to his stance as a restricted free agent.

In addition, the Blackhawks are in a much more comparable position to the Capitals than the Canucks and Canadiens. The Blackhawks are a very talented, young team that has created a resurgence in the following of their team in their city. The Blackhawks have many good players and aren't so desperate to keep one player that they will overpay.

The Canadiens basically let most of their team go and Camalleri was one of their only chances to sign someone of talent so they overpaid to ensure they would get him.

The Canucks big draws last year were Luongo and the Sedin twins. The fact that you had to sign both Sedin twins also played a factor in D. Sedin's contract since they needed to give that to sign H. Sedin probably drove up the price. Add in that if the Canucks lost both then they would have been very limited in possible replacements for the Sedin twins.

There are often many other factors that go into determining contract size except point production.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 3, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

JSchon:
i don't know enough about toews and kane

talent:
semin
backstrom

team value:
backstrom
semin

heart (desire to perform)
backstrom
semin

who do i want: both
if i couldn't have both: keep backstrom

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 3, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I'd go, based on everything... not just stats...

1.Toews - (already Captain, best 2-way player of the 4)
2a. Backstrom - (becoming a very good 2-way center, getting better on the circle.)
2b. Kane - (Younger, as skilled, more sturdy, less of an enigma than #3...
3. Semin

Posted by: JSchon | December 3, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Nobody answered this yesterday:

Is Ovechkin allowed on the bench during the game if he wears a suit?

Posted by: tominfl1

In USA hockey the answer is no. I assume the same is true for the NHL. However, I couldn't find anything prohibiting it when I quickly looked through the NHL rules. Here is the rule regarding coaches and team personnel:

5.4 Coaches and Team Personnel - No one but players and goalkeepers in uniform, non-playing team personnel duly registered on the Roster Sheet as the Manager, Coach(es), Trainer, Equipment Manager, etc. shall be permitted to occupy the benches so provided.

One non-uniformed player shall be permitted on the players’ bench in a coaching capacity. He must be indicated on the Roster Sheet submitted by the Coach to the Official Scorer prior to the start of the game.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | December 3, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I agree with JSchon on his rankings.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 3, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

@JSchon
If you are going to factor in being an enigma as a negative, then you should certainly factor in beating up taxi drivers, which in my estimation is a bigger negative.

Being an enigma in and of itself is not a negative thing nor does it necessarily affect your play.

Posted by: Steakum | December 3, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

betterof, that rule might be different for suspended players...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | December 3, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

@ablake70

Semin a top 10 forward, seriously.

Off the top of my head I will list a few that come to mind who are better: Ovie, Backstrom, Crosby, Malkin, Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Toews, Kane, Iginla, Gaborik, Parise, Kovalchuk, Hossa, Nash, and Lecavlier to name a few.

I'm sure there are a bunch more, but top 10 is stretching it. I still think Semin is a very good player. A player who the Caps would love to keep if they can get him at a reasonable price. If there was no cap there would be no question to keep Semin. But the cap forces you to make decisions you probably would rather not make.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 3, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

sgm, good list and i generally agree. i think if you asked folks to list the top 10 forwards on raw offensive talent alone, semin has to be on that list. i'd put him above parise and iginla maybe toews although it dont see alot of hawks games. thats what makes semin so intriguing. he's got the talent for sure...i guess that's why gm's get ulsers...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | December 3, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Even though I have Semin 4th, I love the guy. But in the big picture, he is 4th on this list.

Where does Semin fall in the league? Talent wise, top 10, mental makeup? Somewhere inberween 75th and 77th. Durability? Somewhere in the low 100's. Overall top? Somewhere around 30.

The salary cap sucks, it doesn't benefit us at all. Semin or Green, I believe, won't be Caps forever.

Posted by: JSchon | December 3, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

@ tominfl1 I did forget to replace Theo but why does Nylander need to be replaced? As far as I know their is a 23 player limit on the team but no rule that says there has to be 23. Since we are never using the roster spot anyway why replace him. You can use the spot for call ups if they are needed during the year.

If they do replace both of them with min salery players then they are much closer to the cap but if they decide not to resign Pothier, Juice, or Morrison and replace them with Alzner full time that will give them more cap space.

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 3, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3

I would take Kane, Toews, and Backstrom off your list of forwards better than Semin, but I agree with the rest. Of course, they are much younger than Semin, so they could end up being better.

As for the Semin vs. Backstrom debate, I can't understand why people think Backstrom is so much better. Going by the stats last year, Semin had a higher +/- (highest on the team), 9 fewer points despite playing 20 fewer games, and was better even strength. And he accomplished this with less Ovi time. To my eyes, Semin is a better stickhandler and skater. Backstrom might be more valuable because he's younger and a center, but I want someone to explain to my why he is the better player.

Posted by: ablake70 | December 3, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

dcsportsfan1-

I agree with pretty much everything you said. On raw offesnive talent alone, Semin is probably in the top 10 or very close.

Iginla is pretty good though with strength, speed, and skill. It's too bad he's all the way up in Calgary so we don't get to see him much. He is probably the most similar player to Ovie in the current NHL. Ovie is clearly better though.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 3, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

@gogotem

I'm with you most of the way on your post.

The real question is who does Ovie want to be Barkley or Jordan? If he can't change and grow - he'll be the first. Good, but not the greatest. OTOH, if he can learn to be coached - and that in and of itself requires learning - AND to his own self true (have to agree with Ted on that) - the sky's the limit.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | December 3, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

ablake70:
i don't think backstrom is a better player than semin. i do think he is more valueable to the team given age, salary, potential.
i don't watch enough of the other teams to have an opinion on other players - but semin is the most talented player on the caps. i haven't seen any player be able to handle the puck in traffic the way that he can. if he could play 75-78 games per year, have half the desire as ovi and a quarter of ovi's physical play - we might be talking about semin as one of the all time greats

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 3, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

@ablake70

I think centers are generally more valuable than wings. A center capable of winning faceoffs is important.

Backstrom is a much better passer. That's not a knock on Semin, but Backstrom is a top-5 passer in the NHL.

Backstrom is a great stickhandler too, Semin is great also but he does seem to commit more turnovers.

Semin is clearly the better scorer.

In my view, Backstrom is better along the boards than Semin.

Backstrom plays more physical than Semin.

Backstrom also seems to be the better defender.

Then if you look at the Caps and their needs. The Caps have many more good young wings (Ovie, Flash, Fehr, etc.) than NHL ready centers.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 3, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

@jschon

great cap analysis. But, with the money coming off and the projected hits coming on just for Semin, Backs, Flash, Fehr, what about Varly the next year, Carlsson and Alzner?

Would be great if we can keep this bunch but I say let's be with what we have now, if we do get to sign them all it would be a huge bonus, but not something we can even come close to counting on...

Posted by: RedLitYogi | December 3, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

ablake.... and how much is Semin worth when he's not playing? How good has his puck handling been in the last 10 days? Fact of the matter is, Backstrom is way, way ahead of Semin. There are no GMs in this league that would take Semin before Backstrom, 0.
Semin will very likely head to the KHL. They have their eyes set on him; he is being courted all the time. The KHL knows that, if they want to get their league to the next level, they need to hire a young talented russian who is a proven star in the NHL. Look for them to make a $10 M a year offer (tax free) to Semin. They will throw in a free one year supply of Vodka on top of it. I doubt that even Ovie cab convince him to stay. Semin feels that playing in the NHL is too tough and that the rinks are too small...
GMGM needs to make an effort but he should offer about 10% less than what Kane and Toews just got.

Posted by: atybat | December 3, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Capt_Kirk_in

I have to dissagree strongly that Semin is the most talented. He is very good, but also extremely irrespnsble with the puck at the point, and consistently takes untimely penalties...often in the offensive zone. Backstron on the other hand is a great center(wich we lack) with plenty of signs that he is still growing. We have enough scorers on the team. I hope we keep Semin, as he is very talented, but I pray that Backie gets top prioirity.

Posted by: capscoach | December 3, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

sgm3

Backstrom is a great stickhandler too, Semin is great also but he does seem to commit more turnovers.
i think semin wins handling the puck. based on the fact that semin is a scorer - he will take many more chances trying to get into position to shot the puck - thus he not only seems to commit more turnovers - he does commit more turnovers (ovi probably has more than semin)

Backstrom plays more physical than Semin.
much more so this year than last

Backstrom also seems to be the better defender.
they are both good at takeaways (i'd give the slight edge to semin) - i think backstrom plays positionaly better

keep them both
again - if i only get one - keep backstrom

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 3, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

capscoach:
my talent assessment of semin stands - as does my statement that backstrom is more valueable to the team - which would include your observations as well

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 3, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Can someone tell me how the Hawks can afford their three extensions today without getting rid of anyone?

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 3, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

I thought I ranked them earlier in a different post, but I guess it was a different board.

Toews, Backstrom, Kopitar, Kane.

@sgm

You hit all my points in a less sloppier manner. Thanks

Posted by: richmondphil | December 3, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Can someone tell me how the Hawks can afford their three extensions today without getting rid of anyone?

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 3, 2009 5:13 PM |

They are over their cap now.

They will be under the cap equal to the same price they are over now next year, to compensate. Or so they say..we'll see how the Hawks handle their cap next year.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 3, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

The salary cap sucks, it doesn't benefit us at all. Semin or Green, I believe, won't be Caps forever.

Posted by: JSchon | December 3, 2009 4:35 PM |

That's laughable. It didn't help a high-budget pre-lockout team like the Caps, no.

It certainly benefited the league.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 3, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

icehammer: The extensions kick in next year and have no effect on this year's cap.

Technically you are right that Nylander doesn't need to be replaced next year as you can go 22 or 23. But that 23rd player would need waivers to go down so you probably keep him up.

This is all interesting stuff.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 3, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

They are still currently over their Cap, extensions or not. I have no idea what's going to break for the Hawks, but something has too at the deadline/next year.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 3, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Backstrom may be more valuable to the Caps but I don't believe that there aren't any GMs out there who would take Semin over Backs... all depends on the need.

Posted by: joek443 | December 3, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Backstrom will get 7 tonight.

Mark my words.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 3, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Wow, phil, you're even predicting he'll kick the extra point.

BTW, I bought two racks of lamb on the way home and we'll be rocking the red with Simi 2006 Sonoma Zinfandel.

A man has to eat.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 3, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Capsyoungguns: I completely agree with you "But I despise how he has become the scapegoat for so called "dirty" which is an entirely different word from "reckless" aggressive play on ice." Nothing could be further from the truth. Ovie is such a team player and so full of child-like enthusiasm for the sport. He epitomizes sportsmanship. He is as far from "dirty" or vindictive as you can get. But because of his brilliance and boldness, he is targeted. Poor Boudreau fell into the trap by using the word "reckless" which everyone repeated in very different contexts.

Ovechkin too becomes more of a target by giving the impression that he is defiant. In reality he is, as someone said, politically naive. He is honest and spontaneous and is not giving "media-savvy" and carefully screened answers so unfortunately he fuels the twisted rumors and name-calling.

Meanwhile, bland and sanitized Cindy always has something extremely nasty to say about Ovie under his supposedly measured reactions. I can't believe he said that some people learn from suspensions and some don't. I assume he is the good boy who would have thanked NHL and humbly accepted his punishment. I have NEVER heard Ovie say anything mean and cutty about anybody.

As long as Ovie performs on the level, he will shut everyone's mouth. I worry a little about his naivete and even innocence in some ways.

Posted by: caraveli | December 3, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli--I worry about him too--his innocence regarding the NHL politics too. But I am sure that he will find his way on the ice. The hockey players--Orprick and Cindy aside (he really does believe his own PR doesn't he)--know what kind of player Ovi is on the ice. He's like BB--direct and honest.

The funny thing is that while I deplore the venom directed at him and the myriad demands that he be somehow less authentic, I have every belief in his athletic genius to adjust his game accordingly.

Part of growing up is learning how to play with more maturity and that is what I think McPhee meant when he said that he believed Ovi would figure out how to pick his battles and play the edge better as he grew older in the NHL system. And I do believe that McPhee will ensure that the NHL system doesn't crush Ovi.

Meanwhile I believe that our Ovi will continue to perform. Our lion will remain free and untamed. He will be roaring!

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | December 3, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Care to comment on the Olesz thing? Olesz is a bit overpaid, so I think the price seems fair. But if Flash nets 25-30, that's something Olesz has never done.

http://www.nowgoal.com/22.shtml

Posted by: bgfgf402 | December 5, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company