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Varlamov not quite ready (updated)

It's an optional skate here at Kettler, with Coach Bruce Boudreau and many of the Capitals' stars sitting this one out. The most noticeable absence on the ice, though, is goalie Semyon Varlamov, who is still recovering from a groin injury. The tweak he felt while working out on the road trip must be worse than originally thought, and the fact that he's not practicing means his status for Wednesday's game against Buffalo seems shaky at best now. Michal Neuvirth and Jose Theodore are here and on the ice.

On the bright side, defensemen Brian Pothier and Shaone Morrisonn are both practicing. Missing, but presumably just taking the day off, are Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green, Tom Poti and Milan Jurcina. I'm told Boyd Gordon was supposed to be sent down to Hershey for a rehab stint, but could not make it because of the bad weather. However, he is not on the ice this morning here in Arlington.

Update: Varlamov just emerged, in full gear, from the locker room 30 minutes into practice. The rest of the team is practicing on one side of the ice, while Varlamov is on the other end working with goaltending coach Arturs Irbe. I'll have more once practice is over.

By Mark Giannotto  |  December 21, 2009; 10:49 AM ET
 
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Comments

First!!!
Come on Varly. I traded for you in my fantacy league. Go CAPS!

Posted by: instinct227 | December 21, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

It will be interesting to see Varly's durabiity after his return. I assume we'll be seeing Jose against Miller Wednesday night. I'm looking forward to seeing how Miller fares against our rested shooters.

Posted by: Sonyask | December 21, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Tough stint coming up. Buf, NJ, Caro (I know they have the worst record but they beat us a few weeks ago), than out West for SJ and LA. Be really nice to start out with a win on Wed.

Posted by: rjma1 | December 21, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

HP1's Power Rankings:

1) Penguins
2) Caps
3) Devils
4) Sharks
5) Blackhawks

Posted by: hockeypuck1 | December 21, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

RJMA1.....the Caps have not lost to Carolina.

Posted by: sazzwho | December 21, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

RJMA1.....the Caps have not lost to Carolina.

Posted by: sazzwho | December 21, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Ok here it is...

Lets play this game, we trade Flash/Osala/1st rounder for Kovalchuk as a rental.

This is exhibit A. (lineup with Kovalchuk)

Ovi/Back/Kovalchuk
Semin/B.Mo/Knuble
Laich/Steckel/Fehr
Laing/Gordon/Bradley/Clark

Exhibit B.

Ovi/Back/Semin
Flash/B.Mo/Knuble
Laich/Steckel/Fehr
Laing/Gordon/Bradley/Clark

Which lineup is better? Or to simplify, Kovalchuk or Flash, who's better?

Next part of the game is to determine the ramifications of exhibit A and B going into next season. Based on the determination that signing Flash and Semin, with all the others, is near impossible. B.Mo is impossible.

Exhibit C. (Lineup with Flash already traded)

Ovi/Backstrom/Knuble
Semin/B.Mo/Fehr
Laich/Pereault/Bouchard
Beagle/Steckel/Bradley/Clark

Exhibit D. (Lineup with Flash, unable to resign Semin and B.Mo.)

Ovi/Backstrom/Knuble
Flash/Perreault/Fehr
Laich/Steckel/Bouchard
Laing/Beagle/Bradley/Clark

If I'm way off base with any of this (likely), please dissect this for discussion.

Posted by: JSchon | December 21, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Atleast hes doing some practice thats a VERYYYYYY good thing

Posted by: nickiefan83 | December 21, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

@hockeypuck1

you have the Capitals ahead of the Devils? are you kidding? sure, it's only December, but check the standings. New Jersey has a one-point lead over Washington with two games at hand, has fewer OTL's (1 to Washington's 6), and play in a much tougher division.

Posted by: P-Mac | December 21, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

you have the Capitals ahead of the Devils? are you kidding? sure, it's only December, but check the standings. New Jersey has a one-point lead over Washington with two games at hand, has fewer OTL's (1 to Washington's 6), and play in a much tougher division.

Posted by: P-Mac | December 21, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

that's not all there is to power rankings... u can go off how the teams are playing for example we've had games where the other goalie just is amazing for a period and that shuts us down and we lose that doesn't mean we are worse... you also have to take into consideration who the teams have played

Posted by: nickiefan83 | December 21, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

P-Mac, you are correct that the devs play in a tougher division. but so far, the caps have played more games (11) vs the atlantic than the devils. caps are 5-3-3 vs the atl and nj is 6-3. nj has played more games vs. the SE than the caps 12 to 8. they are 10-2 vs the SE and the caps are 8-0. caps have also played more games vs. the NE 9 vs 8 than NJ. not that it means much at this point in the season, but when folks say the caps record is what it is because they play in a weaker division, its misleading at this point due to the odd schedule so far.

that said, NJ w/ 51 points w/ two games in hand over caps and pitts means they are rightfully tops in the east right now.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | December 21, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Can we please keep Boyd Gordon on PERMANENT assignment in Herhsey? The thought of him back on the NHL roster turns my stomach.

Posted by: chombie13 | December 21, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Irbe should be taking the day off to celebrate his induction into the IIHF HOF. How cool is that?

Posted by: jerseygirl15 | December 21, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

@JSchon

If we don't resign BMo or Semin I would think that we would have more $$ left to find a more legit #2 center than Perreault.

Posted by: Searchingforstanley | December 21, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

1. Groin pulls are terrible nagging things. You think it's better, you stretch good, feel fine, then boom..it's back.
2. Gordon may not be a big scorer but he is great on the penalty kill...

Posted by: kcbrichmond | December 21, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

@Searchingforstanley

tominfl, has done the numbers... I don't think we...

Posted by: JSchon | December 21, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Repost from other thread:

I still feel if you must move Flash, you don't do it for a rental Kovalchuk.

Flash, Osala and #1, if that's the cost for the rental, I'd rather use those assets for a checking line center/PK forward and a crease clearer.

Getting Kovy for playoffs is not the priority.

@JSchon: If we don't keep Semin, we have $1.75M in cap space plus his $6M. Plenty of space to then pay Flash $4M if that what it takes (my formula has him 2.75) and also BMo $3.5M if that's what he takes. At that point, extra space would be 1.75 + 6 - 1.25 (extra Flash money) - 3.5 (Bmo) = $3M in space for a better d-man (presumably one would come back from Semin). Pretty much, Flash and BMo are the either/or.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 21, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Tom...

I've stopped trying to figure the entire salary cap situation because you have done a great job at it, and making it make sense for all of us...

Posted by: JSchon | December 21, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Here you go, JSchon, I made an Excel spreadsheet. As you can see, you can give Flash or Semin an extra $900K (if you want) and still make it fit.

The best way to get BMo squeezed in is not to trade Flash, but move your pal Poti.

2010-2011 Washington Capitals Salary Cap
Ovechkin 9.538
Backstrom 6.500
Semin 6.000
Flash 3.000
Knuble 2.800
Clark 2.633
Laich 2.067
Fehr 2.000
Bradley 1.000
Osala (w/bonus) 0.915
Perreault (w/bonus) 0.792
Steckel 0.900
Laing 0.550
S/T 13 Forwards 38.695
Green 5.250
Poti 3.500
Schultz 1.750
Alzner (w/bonus) 1.675
Erskine 1.250
Carlson 0.846
Collins 0.650
Sloan 0.640
S/T 8 Defensemen 15.561
Varlamov 0.822
Neuvirth 0.822
S/T 2 Goalies 1.644
Total 23 Players 55.900
Cap Space 56.800
Available 0.900

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 21, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

JSchon,

Is more offensive firepower the answer at the deadline? If the Caps are going for a high priced rental, I'd rather see someone like Neidermeyer. Beefs up the D while not giving another team in the SE assets.

Posted by: Steve_R | December 21, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Oh, in the above scenario, I already bumped Flash up to $3M and Fehr to $2M. Their prices keep rising with every good performance.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 21, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Let me say I am not advocating Kovalchuk, just a juicy rumor and I was just entertaining it for blog purposes.

But imagine, Semin, Kovalchuk, Semin, Backstrom and Green on the PP.

Think about Kovalchuk and Ovi on the same line.

Posted by: JSchon | December 21, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Tom the only problem with your scenario is that we are going into the season with Perreault as the 2nd line C.

Posted by: JSchon | December 21, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Devils should be ahead of both the Caps and the Pens, IMHO, in today's power rankings. I think we'll generally see Devils, Pens, Caps in most, with the Blackhawks. Caps will place in the 3 to 5 range.

If we win 2 out of 3 games every week we'll be in great shape, but a single loss looms large in a week like this past one.

Posted by: Sonyask | December 21, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Yea, Kovi and Ov on the same like would be sick no doubt.

So would a #1 d-pairing of Green and Neidermeyer.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: Steve_R | December 21, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Do we really care about rankings? This isn't the BCS.

Posted by: JSchon | December 21, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

JSchon: I know about Perreault. I want BMo too. Trade Poti.

And, just for you, from me, for the Holidays, I even did you a 2011-2012 cap that FITS. (Cap space kept same for now.)

Washington Capitals 2011-2012 Salary Cap
Ovechkin 9.538
Backstrom (signed 2010) 6.500
Semin (signed 2010) 6.000
Laich (signed 2011) 4.000
Flash (signed 2010) 3.000
Fehr (signed 2010) 2.000
Bradley (signed 2011) 1.300
Osala (signed 2011) 0.900
Steckel (signed 2010) 0.900
Perreault (signed 2011) 0.850
Bouchard (signed 2011) 0.850
Della Rovere (ET signed 2009) 0.588
Laing (re-signs yearly) 0.550
S/T 13 Forwards 36.976
Green 5.250
Schultz (signed 2010 and 2011) 2.750
Alzner (re-signs 2011) 1.750
Erskine (re-signs 2011) 1.250
Carlson 0.846
Orlov (guess) 0.825
Finley (wild guess here) 0.800
Sloan (re-signs yearly) 0.640
S/T 8 Defensemen 14.111
Varlamov (signed 2011) 4.000
Neuvirth (signed 2011) 1.000
S/T 2 Goalies 5.000
Total 23 Players 56.087
Cap Space 56.800
Available 0.713

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 21, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I can see I only have three centers for both 10-11 and 11-12...somewhere, Johansson squeezes in...or, Brooks Laich goes back to center.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 21, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

While it would be great to finish #1 in the Eastern Conference it may be better to finish second.

Clearly the winner of the Atlantic and the Caps are going to be the top 2 seeds but that means the loser of the Atlantic will be the #4 seed. I would much rather play the winner of the NE (the likely #3 seed) in the 2nd round and let the Devils and Pens fight it out in round 2.

This is a long ways away and not anything to be concerned with yet. I'm also making the assumption that all the favored teams would win in the 1st round, but it is interesting to think about.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 21, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't even consider Flash + anyone + #1 for Ilya. Not in a million years. I'd be hard-pressed to even run them Ilya v. Flash straight up. I think Kovalchuk is a great player and I love watching him but he doesn't fit here as much as we might drool over him - as a rental you'd be dumping too many players (in a 3-for-1) or the cohesion of the team in a 1-for-1. There's simply no way to work Ilya into this team for half a season and not have to really mess with the flow - in fact, I'm not a huge fan of the rental market for that every reason.

Secondly, Flash at $3m (vs. Ilya at a huge number) is much greater value, especially when you have Ovi, Backs, Green, Semin (who knows about next yera), a healthy Fehr, a getting better Flash, Knuble, and Laich. That money could be better spent elsewhere.

I happen to think that BMo will resign for a modest raise - maybe two more years - and we'll have our second line center for next season.

Pay Backs, give Semin and Steckel a raise, and take the extra money and look for another stay-at-home defensemen.

I think this team is good enough to win the East, as is.

Posted by: saintex | December 21, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

@saintex

i don't think we need Ilya to make a serious playoff run, but come on....you wouldn't trade flash for Kovalchuk straight up?

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

what the caps need more than anything is a John Madden type center... look how much the hawks have improved defensively with him this year.

Posted by: joek443 | December 21, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

But imagine, Semin, Kovalchuk, Semin, Backstrom and Green on the PP.
Think about Kovalchuk and Ovi on the same line.

Posted by: JSchon | December 21, 2009 12:28 PM
-------------------------------
JSchon: I remember a game in the World Championship two years ago, the Russians got a PP and they sent out Ovechkin, Semin, Kovalchuk, Fedorov and some defenseman that I never heard of. Almost made me feel sorry for the opposing goalie. Almost. The funny part is, it was the no-name defenseman who got the goal.

Posted by: tess2201 | December 21, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

the greatest PP unit ever assembled was Team Canada from 1987 Canada Cup.

Gretzky at center, Mario at right wing, Mark Messier at left wing with Paul Coffey and Ray Bourque at the point.

Posted by: joek443 | December 21, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Kovalchuk is one of the top 10 players in the league...

You can not compare Flash to Kovalchuk... And money aspect doens't come to play as Kovalchuk would only be a rental situation...

Kovalchuk over Flash would make us incredibly better...

Again, I'm not advocating obtaining Kovalchuk.

Posted by: JSchon | December 21, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Do we really care about rankings? This isn't the BCS.

Posted by: JSchon | December 21, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I agree they are meaningless in terms of performance or standings, but I enjoy seeing them and where the Caps stand in the perceptions.

Posted by: Sonyask | December 21, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I was looking at ratings/rankings and did some math that I'm sure the regulars do. When looking a records I decided to chuck out the shootout results for the Caps, NJDs, and Pens to see what the results are for games only decided by skating on ice in a hockey situation; since that's all we do at playoff time. Along with that, I sort of find the shootout to be a somewhat random way to finish a game. The Devils have not had a game decided in OT yet this season, which bodes well I guess, since they are 5-1 in SOs and that's the whole deal. The Pens are a stunning 9-1 in extra time but included in there is 6-0 in SOs. Anyway, here are the records for games that have been decided with a clock running and players skating:

NJD 20-8
Pens 19-11
Caps 19-12.

The Devils are playing very well right now but I'll take my chances in a 7-game series.

Posted by: saintex | December 21, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Kovalchuk as a rental? Now that is hilarious.

Posted by: hock1 | December 21, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Getting Fedorov for Ted Ruth was hilarious too, but it happened...

Posted by: JSchon | December 21, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

GMGM isn't going to trade Flash, he's going to resign him. Boudreau LOVES Flash, plus he's still cheap and getting better. I'd expect a 3-5 year deal at ~3 million per.

GMGM is setting the Caps up to contend long-term. He's not going to mortgage the future for this year (i.e. Flash for Kovalchuk), especially since our defenseman and goalie prospects are still developing.

Posted by: butcherbaker | December 21, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't comparing Ilya to Flash, per se, because that isn't really what counts on a hockey team. I'm certainly not a pro but based on the style of our PP, as an example, having Ovi, Ilya, Semin, Backs, and Green is dreamy but overly suspectible to shorties. I think that slotting another pure scorer into the Caps line-up isn't anything we need right now: we are already leading the league in scoring so we'd (probably) be leadind by more. Most of us would like a bit more defense and in this team, and this system, a sniper isn't what we need. Flash has 15Gs in 25 games this season and Ilya has 19Gs in 28 games; no, they aren't the same talent but for a third-line guy (our first two being fine) vs. the primary scorer in Atlanta, I'll keep what I have and not mess with chemistry. I just don't necessarily see it a straight-up, who's better, comparison because we know what that answer is...

Posted by: saintex | December 21, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the Feds trade was anything like bringing in Ilya for a rental. One was towards the end of his NHL career and they got him to serve as much on the ice as in the lockerroom; Ilya isn't that guy. He's a scorer, plain-and-simple.

Posted by: saintex | December 21, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

One more thing - you'd really give up Flash at the price we'll pay him to have Kovalchuk for two months? The more I think about it the more a straight-up trade leans even further afield. I'll keep #14, thanks.

Posted by: saintex | December 21, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I have next year looking like this:

Forwards:
Ovechkin $9,538,461
Backstrom $6,600,000 (new deal 6yrs)
Semin $6,100,000 (new deal 5yrs)
Knuble $2,800,000
Laich $2,066,666 (new deal 2011)
B.Morrison $1,750,000 (new deal 2yrs)
Fleischmann$2,125,000 (new deal 2yrs)
Bradley $1,000,000
Steckel $1,150,000 (new deal 1yrs)
Clark $2,633,333
Laing $881,000 (new deal 2yrs)
Nylander $499,995 (3yr buyout)
Perreault $716,666
Osala $850,000

Defense:
Green $5,250,000
Poti $3,500,000
Alzner $2,525,000
Jurcina $1,550,000 (new deal 1 yr)
Erskine $1,250,000
Sloan $811,000 (new deal 2yrs)
Carlson $845,833
Finley $850,000

Goalies:
Varlamov $821,666
Neuvirth $821,666

Total Sal. $56,936,286
Bonus Cush($ 2,445,000)
NET Salary $54,491,286

Expected Cap $56,500,000

Free Cap Space $2,008,714

Posted by: netminder71 | December 21, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Again, I'm not advocating trading anybody for Kovalchuk. Just something that is out there.

Posted by: JSchon | December 21, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

netminder, interesting numbers. Where is Fehr going? Just curious.

Posted by: saintex | December 21, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

But imagine, Semin, Kovalchuk, Semin, Backstrom and Green on the PP.

Think about Kovalchuk and Ovi on the same line.

Posted by: JSchon | December 21, 2009 12:28 PM

Two Semin's on the PP would be scary.

"Semin, curl and drag around one, dishes to Semin, wrist shot - SCORE!!!! TOP SHELF!!!"

Just messing with you JSchon :-P

Posted by: Raber | December 21, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

First!!!
Come on Varly. I traded for you in my fantacy league. Go CAPS!

Posted by: instinct227 | December 21, 2009 10:56 AM

@instinct227: "fantacy" league? Well, OK then:

C-A-P-C LET'C GO CAPC!!!!

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 21, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Rhino. I just spit out my coffee. Made my day.

For such a 'packed' NHL sked there seems like too many off days...

Posted by: saintex | December 21, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

@netminder

Flash is going to get more than $2.125M
B.Mo is going to garner more than $1.75M

No Fehr, No Schultz?

Posted by: JSchon | December 21, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

netminder1:

1) Nylander will be waived so no cap hit. (He will get paid though.)
2) Assuming the bonus cushion is paid, you will end up over the cap with your math, penalty to be imposed the following year.
3) Alzner already has a contract next year $875K + $850 bonus (not the figure you have).
4) I think unless they slump, Flash and BMo will get more than you have put. Unlike 1, 2 & 3, however, that is conjecture.

Otherwise, it's good to see we have a "dueling salary cap" show going here. Maybe Tarik can run a contest like "The Price is Right" and award prizes.

A trip to the SC Finals?

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 21, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I'll be keeping Shultz and Flash will get at least Laich money.

Posted by: saintex | December 21, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I got Fehr signing a 3-yr deal about like what Laich signed last time - $6M in total.

Any challengers to that?

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 21, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

With all the teams looking to trade for Kovalchuk does anyone think that Atlanta would trade him inside the division and for Flash, Osala, and a first rounder. I like Flash as much as everyone here but he is a 25-30 goal max guy. Kovalchuk is a superstar that will bring what little fans they have in. If they are going to trade him they are going to do it for another star so they don't lose drawing power.

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 21, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

tominfl, sounds about right from my amateur mind. I'd be very happy with that. I'd like to keep both Fehr and Flash on the wings with whatever center we care to have on a third line - both those guys are healthy and getting physically stronger. I sort of think of them at the wingers on the Hershey line.

Posted by: saintex | December 21, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

icehammer, I think they may be prepping a "for sale" sign in Atlanta - I think an Ilya move signals the end of the franchise down there.

Posted by: saintex | December 21, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

The news on Flash isn't good. Here are comparables signed contracts age 25 or 26:

Lupul 4.24, Armstrong 2.4, Pominville 5.3, Derek Roy 4.0, Gaustad 2.3, Sharp 3.9, Umberger 3.7, Vermette 2.8, Filppula 3.0, Penner 4.25, Weiss 3.1, Stoll 3.6, Williams 3.5, Bouchard 4.1, M Koivu 3.25, Kobashaw 2.1, Plekanac 2.75, Erat 4.5, Higgins 2.25, Clowe 3.6, Backer 2.5, Grabovski 2.9, Stepaniak 2.5.

And some 23 and 24 year olds:

Bergeron 4.75, Krejci 3.75, Bolland 3.4, Versteeg 3.1, Byfuglien 3.0, Wolski 2.8, O'Sullivan 2.9, Olesz 3.1, Zajac 3.9, Parise 3.1 and Michalek 4.3.

From this data, one can easily see a 3 yr contract for like $10M.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 21, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Have you been to Atlanta? Can you imagine someone with a Georgia accent try to pronounce "Ilya Kovalchuk"?

Posted by: butcherbaker | December 21, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

@raber

Apparently I'm into cloning.

Posted by: JSchon | December 21, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

tominfl

How many of those guys went into negotiations for that contract boasting 19 goals and the 30+ goals in back to back seasons? Or 50 goals combined the 2 season prior?

None of them. Flash would be the only guy.

Posted by: JSchon | December 21, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I know. The more I look it, the more I see price going up. I already changed spreadsheet for like 4th time today and now have him at 3.3.

I bet freakinandpeakin before the season that Flash and Fehr together would make 4+ next year. I think at the time it seemed absurd. Now if Flash keeps it up and gets 35, he could get that by himself.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 21, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Here is a comparable in Caps favor. I don't know when he signed current $3.1M deal, but this guy is a true bargain:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zach_Parise

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 21, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

@ everyone...

Schultz may be on the plus side this year. But, he makes WAY too many mistakes still. I think he develops enough this season to get a decent deal from someone else, and based on the Caps farm system, we let him walk (or trade for a shut down defenseman who can hit and not kick, deflect, or tip pucks in his own net routinely). Sarge has more "own goals" in his career than actual ones..seriously, he does.

As for Fehr, he is finally coming about...but I am not sure we throw big (or even moderate) dollars at him.

I realize my cap figure for Flash may be low, but he really only has 1.5 seasons of increased production and full health...I think he takes a shorter deal to benefit from staying on this team and he gives the Caps a little bit of hometown discount as a thanks for sticking with him...at least I am hoping so. He should get 3 years, maybe $8.6M total (tops...)

Alzner's cap hit next year is $1.675M, thanks for the correction.

GO CAPS!

Posted by: netminder71 | December 21, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

you must be confusing schultz for someone else... he's been the most steady d-man on the team all year

Posted by: joek443 | December 21, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I agree. Schultz has been our best d-man this season, hands down. I still think there's loads of last season's (undue) blathering about him. I sometimes don't think people actually watch him anymore and they simply wait for a miscue to jump on - and there have been precious few this season.

He'll resign for a nice raise over the next four years.

And I'm glad to have him.

Posted by: saintex | December 21, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

all this kovalchuk talk is ridiculous... this team has no problem scoring goals - some might say that's the only thing this team does well.

if you're gonna add someone, won't it make more sense to go after a player who can help you with your weaknesses??

Posted by: joek443 | December 21, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

i have to concur, the Kovalchuk talk is a little ridiculous, and hopefully GMGM has shown us that he won't go for a rental, like Kovy will be for future stuff. Kovy is a UFA after this season and rumored to be looking for 10million. Even if he was talked down, look around 7 million.

However, if he could be talked to 6 or 7 I sure wouldn't mind him over Semin(since semin will be looking for a pay raise after this season as well)

As for Varly even at the minors his durability was questionable, hopefully Irbe will work this out to being less problematic.

Posted by: breaklance | December 21, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only person who finds the endless discussion of potential trades boring?

I'm much more interested in what happens ON the ice.

Just my two cents...

Posted by: ralph4100 | December 21, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

my 5 cents

chances for resigning both flash and semin aren't that big, right? as it seems we will have tough time with semin's negotiations.

bringing kovalchuk into picture will almost guarantee that we have kovalchuk OR semin next year. one or another might make a discount for playing with OV how do you think?

isn't it better than only hope/chances semin will agree for some ~6M till ~2014?

so the conservative line is to resign flash and TRY to resign semin.

another possibility is to resign semin and try to resign flash.

one more is to trade flash+prospect+pick for kovalchuk as a rental then try to resign kovalchuk/semin longterm with good chances and enough room under the cap (assuming it)

and the last one. let the crazy ones outside DC to trade for kovalchuk, resign flash with hometown discount, wait for the summer and try to get kovalchuk and resign semin. if we will succeed with kovy/semin we can allways trade flash (especially if he's really around 2,5-3M) for some defender.

if varly is healthy we run varly/neuvy very cheap, then have expensive forwards and many young cheap defenders. its basically all-in for next 2-3 years.


ps: isn't shultz not eligible yet for arbitrary, is he? i've read on hfboards that he might accept QO for 2010/2010 with current salary. and the next year he will have his raise.

Posted by: Rambutan_ru | December 21, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Flash, Osala and a 1st rounder for Kovalchuk? Put down the egg nog. That will never happen. Look at the cost to get Kessel and Pronger were. The way the season is going, the Caps 1st rounder will be a real late first round pick, basically the equivalent of an early 2nd rounder. Wouldn't happen even as a rental. Atlanta won't trade them within the divison.

Posted by: topshelf | December 22, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

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