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Yet Another Update on Tomas and Jakub

I just got off the phone with General Manager George McPhee. One of the things I asked him about was the status of restricted free agent forwards Tomas Fleischmann and Jakub Klepis. They remain unsigned, but are expected to attend camp anyway.

Here's what GMGM had to say about the situation:

"They'll probably start camp without contracts. It provides flexibility for them and for us. They're at the point where they believe they are NHL players. And we do, too. If they make our club, good for them and good for us. If they don't, they want the opportunity to play somewhere else. They are concerned they may end up in the American Hockey League again. Europe would be more desirable for them."

"We don't have an issue with that. We'll insure them to make sure they are protected, see how camp goes and how things shake out. If they make the club, everything is fine. If they can't, and there's an opportunity with another NHL club, we can do something that way. And if that doesn't work out, then they can go to Europe and we'll still have their rights."

So there you have it. Fleischmann and Klepis will be playing for their NHL careers.

I love drama. And I'm getting the feeling that we're going to see plenty of drama once camp starts next week.

Note: GMGM also said that prospect Keith Seabrook won't be attending rookie camp. He has an injured shoulder.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  September 6, 2007; 3:45 PM ET
 
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Comments

I think this is a smart move for both the players and the club. With the additions of Nylander, Kozlov, and backstrom the top 6 forward positions look to be filled, and the remaining 4 are crowded with players on 1-way deals if you assume that Pettinger and Gordon are locks for the 3rd line.

You have Laich, Sutherby, Brashear, Clymer, and Bradley on 1-way deals, iirc.

Then you have guys like Fehr, Flash, Klepis, steckel, bourque, bouchard, a. gordon (perhaps), etc. trying to make the club.

It's a good situation for the Caps to be in. But it doesn't leave a lot of room for guys like Flash to get into the line-up and get any kind of regular playing time.

Should be fun to watch camp unfold though.

Posted by: Mike | September 6, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I hear Fernando Pisani is out indefinitley.

Posted by: mac | September 6, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for the update, Tarik.
Ted's blog says 18 players were skating at Kettler - 18! Anyone out there have a list of who?

Posted by: pdo | September 6, 2007 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Not that this is Caps news in any way, but while Pisani is "out indefinitely" I can't see him being effected long term (from a hockey perspective), and probably won't be out too long. He has been diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, which is a real pain (and I'm one to know), but it ultimately can be treated pretty well with medicine. Once things are gotten under control (and that depends on how severe he has been hit with it, of course) then he should be fine. I'd be relatively surprised if he wasn't on the ice opening night.

Posted by: Jeff | September 6, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

why is anyone here talking about fernando pisani?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 6, 2007 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only one who thinks that Fleischmann should get a shot on a scoring line? He's destroyed the AHL the last couple seasons. I'd like to see them give him a shot on a line with Semin and Backstrom to see what an all-Euro line can do. Klepis has been awful at both ends of the ice, I don't know what they still see in him.

Posted by: Bret | September 6, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

It seems easier to have played for their spot last year rather than waiting for a the warm up to the next season. I guess we'll see.

Posted by: Jim | September 6, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you on this, Bret. Really, what more could Fleischmann have done? He should be given a spot on a scoring line, just like you said.
It's a shame that it has come to this, with players like Clymer, Bradley, Laich, Sutherby sitting on one way contracts and doing nothing to help this team. Flash is gonna be a good NHLplayer, without a doubt.
I see them both getting traded for middle round picks and starring against Hanlon and his grinders for many years.

Posted by: Scai | September 6, 2007 5:49 PM | Report abuse

"I see them both getting traded for middle round picks and starring against Hanlon and his grinders for many years".
Like what grinders? Ovechkin, Semin, Kozlov, or Clark? They averaged nearly 35 goals each last season. I can't see Klepis or Flash outplaying any of them at this stage. They are way too inconsistent.
Both Flash and Klepis had shots last season. Both of those players ended up playing some decent minutes, and Klepis got time playing next to a guy who scored 38 goals. Both Flash and Klepis ended up going long periods between producing points, and that's what they have to do to make the NHL.
Neither of these guys played consistently well. I hope they make it, but up to this point, neither have shown enough to step up and become a full time NHLer. You can't give players spots on lines who don't earn them.

Posted by: pga3 | September 6, 2007 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Another thing to consider is the human factor. Sometimes players, especially young ones, need a "end of the line" trade to jolt their careers. So sure, we might trade Klepis or Flash and they may blossom elsewhere, but it's just as possible we keep them and they go nowhere. You can play the what-if game all day long. The nice thing is we have a club deep enough that the bubble players aren't guaranteed a spot. They have to earn it.

Posted by: GJ | September 6, 2007 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Too bad about Keith Seabrook. There was a nice story on him in a Calgary paper on him (its on the Hitmen website and Slam hockey) He was looking forward to being in DC along with Hitmen teammate Karl Alzner. Nothing about his shoulder in any story I have seen on web, so Tarik, GM gave you a scoop there.

Posted by: Novaron | September 6, 2007 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Both of these guys had many chances last 2 seasons on all of the lines. I don't see them making the team.

Posted by: me | September 6, 2007 9:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm tired of all this 3rd and 4th page of the sports section talk. Get the season going already!

Posted by: Digitalman08 | September 6, 2007 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Very smart by both GMGM and the players.

Posted by: GoBucks9 | September 6, 2007 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Flash's average ice time last season was 10 minutes. When he scored 4 points in a game he did that in about 11 minutes. Most of the games, the only Caps' player getting less ice-time was Brashear. That's not giving a guy a shot. It's the exact opposite.
When playing on the second line Klepis looked reasonably well. It was when he was - in favor of Beech! - bumped to the fourth line with guys like Brashear and Sutherby that his play regressed.

Posted by: Scai | September 7, 2007 3:23 AM | Report abuse

I remember that Scai. One of the few games I got to go to last year (I'm at school in St. Louis) Klepis made an impression on me. He has good vision and gave very solid minutes in each of his shifts, even tallying a nice assist I think.

The real problem is what the others above mentioned - there were nights when both Flash and Jakub were just plain off. Consistency is what makes the difference between a regular NHLer and a tweener like those two.

Posted by: Raber | September 7, 2007 4:19 AM | Report abuse

Raber--What school are you attending in St. Louis. I am a SLU graduate...

Posted by: Keggwx | September 7, 2007 4:53 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: alexovetjkin | September 7, 2007 8:09 AM | Report abuse

pdo: I was out at Kettler yesterday and the guys who were skating were Bradley, Sutherby, Eminger, Morrisonn, Jurcina, Brashear, Laich, Clark, Gordon, Green, Kolzig, Johnson, Pothier, Nylander, Backstrom, Bourque, Fleischmann and one person I didn't recognize (I believe one of the rookies). Everyone looked good and seemed to be having fun - Jurcina took some abuse after being beaten by Brashear, Nylander was working with Backstrom on some drills at the end...just great to see hockey again.

Hope that helps!

Posted by: CapsChick | September 7, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

This is going against the grain but I give Klepis a better chance to make the squad than Flash, and not that Flash isn't deserving of the chance or less talented. He has the bad fortune of playing behind 2 of the best left wings in the world, doesn not play a checking/2 way role like Clarkie/Pettinger, and does not deserve to be relegated to the 4th line.

Posted by: Shaggy | September 7, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

If you like pina coladas and CAPHCKY in the rain

Posted by: caphcky | September 7, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I'm all for cutting ties with guys like Clymer, Bradley, etc. etc. and moving toward Klepis, Fleischmann and even Bouchard.

However, the young guys don't deserve to be handed anything. For their sake, they should have circled the opening day of traing camp on their calendar right at the end of last season. The guys with no real track record at the NHL level need to work twice as hard in the off-season to earn a shot.

If they haven't done that, they simply won't beat out the established pros in camp and they'll be back in Europe or the minors regardless of their "potential." It's a good problem to have and hopefully the cream will rise to the top.

Same story on defense; lots of guys back there but who wants it the most? I guess we'll find out...

Oneal

Posted by: Oneal | September 7, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Pictures and video from yesterday's practice, for anyone who is interested:

http://dccheapseats.blogspot.com/2007/09/hangin-with-boys.html

Posted by: CapsChick | September 7, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

O'Neal:
The young skill guys like Jake and Flash DO need to be handed something: more playing time, and more extended time than the McPhee/Hanlon have been giving them. How will you build balance otherwise?

Posted by: Shaggy | September 7, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

i wish we could combine clymer/klepis and bradley/flash, and get two more 'gordons' in exchange, and free up two roster spots in the process

Posted by: Anonymous | September 7, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I agree with you, Scai, that Fleischmann wasn't getting any real run -- it was Klepis who didn't make anything of his time on the top line with AO and second line with AS. Yes, it sucks that he's a left wing, but other players have made the switch to the RW and done just fine. I would like to see top three lines, to start the season, of:

Ovechkin-Nylander-Kozlov
Semin-Backstrom-Fleischmann
Pettinger-Gordon-Clark

That checking line almost makes me drool -- would be an excellent shut-down line with potential for offense.

Posted by: Bret | September 7, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I figure there's one RW slot to be fought over by Fehr, Fleischmann, Klepis and Bouchard. It'll certainly be interesting to see who wins out and who is playing in Europe or a different NHL team....

Posted by: aybee | September 8, 2007 6:04 PM | Report abuse

If Klepis wins out over Fleischmann, I will be supremely pissed.

Posted by: Bret | September 9, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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