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01-18-2004, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by txpd
Correct...does solid=special? no, of course not. solid is respectable. solid is good.
special is outstanding, elite, hard to find.

I have concluded that if Leonsis really wanted two solid defensemen, he would simply have signed two. The Caps have easily given away any payroll savings to lost ticket revenue.

Additionally, you may not have noticed that there will very likely not be any 60pt plus defensemen this year except the 70pt+ Gonchar. There were only 3 60pt plus defensemen last year with MacInnes one of them.

So, basically what the Capitals would be trading is the ONLY 60 to 80 to defenseman in the NHL for two solid players. One irreplaceable players for two very replaceable players.

Not really. Firstly, the difference is not simply signing a solid defenseman, it is acquiring two YOUNG defenseman who would be the Caps top 2 defenders already and likely to get better; the deal isn't just about replacing Gonchar, it is about improving the defensive depth. Gonchar offense is great but it has done nothing to make the Caps a good team (and FYI, despite his great improvement last year away from the puck and in his own zone, you cannot deny that his aggressive style with the puck requires that he be paired with a solid stay-at-home guy, which we don't have). His team-worst -22 is certainly attributable to playing with AHLers but it also illustrates that he is not a great defensive player. Obviously free agency (i.e. those you "could just sign") applies only to 31+yrs players, which does nothing for the future of the franchise.

Secondly, Ted will not spend any more on the team -- to free up $ for 2 defenseman he has to move other high priced players. Right now, and for the foreseeable future, there is no market for Jagr. Even Lang (despite his 52pts) and his $5mil is hard to move and get a decent return. There are only couple teams looking for goalies, and only then passively, so Kolzig (with a $6.25mil price tag for 2 more yrs after this one, and his mediocre play) are not terribly desirable. Bondra is 'the franchise' and unlikely to be moved on PR grounds (and wouldn't get much in return anyway). Point is, Gonchar is valuable and is the higher paid player the Caps have that is tradeable (he is set to be a RFA next summer and likely to demand $5mil+, and likely an UFA after the lockout, which by the way might mean a layout of a year, putting Gonchar at 31yrs old for the next full season the Caps will play).

The franchise needs to rebuild (they have no stars waiting in the wings, all their top players are 30+yrs). If a team has a young #1, why would they trade him for another #1 guy? If the Caps can trade Gonchar (a #1) for two #2 guys that are big, young, mobile, and inexpensive, I'm betting that they would do it.

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