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What are your ideas for what moves should be taken during the offseason?

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04-16-2009, 03:21 AM
  #1
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What are your ideas for what moves should be taken during the offseason?

I'm curious about what caps fans would want management to do for this upcoming offseason (signings, trades, draft, etc.)

Here's most of my ideas. This is a pretty long post, but I’m making it so that hopefully in 8 months I can look back and evaluate, since the ideas I came up before last year’s trade deadline seem to have been pretty good (get Streit, Babchuk, in the draft trade down 6-8 places for Zach Boychuk or Luca Sbisa, draft Grachev, Stefanovich and Petrov based on talent if not necessarily need; Carlson though was a helluva draft pick I didn’t see coming, kudos to McPhee, get rid of Morrissonn, Schultz, Nylander, Clark for any tangible value, etc.). I just want to go on the record with some ideas so that I can go back and see if they pan out this time, this is like a time capsule of sorts.


Since most people probably don’t wanna read the reasons, summary of transactions:


Acquire – Grabovski, Ponikarovsky, Oduya OR Salei (preferably Oduya), Kalinin, Vorobiev

Possibly acquire – Martinek (if Oduya and Salei fall through), Recchi

Trade away/move out – Nylander, Morrisson, Schultz, Poti, Clark, Gordon or Steckel (probably Gordon since Steckel has size, Laing or Aucoin should more than fill in for whoever is moved out. Aucoin is far superior to either Gordon or Steckel at this point).

Resign - everyone else.

Details and reasoning
----------------------

1. Go after Grabovski. So far, aside from Fedorov and Nylander, one of whom has 1-2 years left at max and really is more of a special teams guy like Shanahan now, and one of whom just doesn't fit in with our style, our weakness at center for the future is pretty depressing. We have Laich (much better at wing), then Gordon and Steckel after that (not 2nd line center caliber by any stretch). There’s Perreault and Gustafsson, but I don’t see them as being effective centers for a high quality line with Semin and Laich, Fehr or Kurgyshev.

Grabovski clearly has talent and has improved significantly this season, and I believe he could be our franchise 2nd line center of the future. He’s got good vision, has improved by leaps and bounds defensively and is now actually a two way player (-8 on the most highest scored on team in the league, and showing no defensive play for the first 2-3 months of the season), definitely has a somewhat hotheaded personality, which I believe could actually work better for us since he’d be more inclined to raise his game, especially in the playoffs, where we’re a pretty vanilla team. He’s also become more disciplined in that aspect, and is probably the most improved of all players the leafs had this year. Rumors are that him and Burke have a hard time negotiating.

Ideally, I’d want Ponikarovsky as well to replace Kozlov (he is most assuredly superior and makes less), maybe something like 1st ’09, 2nd ’10, Bourque and either Lepisto or rights to Morrisson for Grabovski and Ponikarovsky. This seems like a lot (I’d hope to recoup the 2nd round pick by trading Hanlon leftovers) but Grabovski, Kulemin and Ponikarovsky have been almost as hot as Kunitz Crosby Guerin over the last month of the regular season, and Grabovski was the one who ignited that line. If he gets consistent playing time and mentorship next year from Fedorov I see him as a 25-65 player by the end of the year who brings a solid all around game to the table.

2. Try to trade for Dmitri Vorobiev. He seems not to be in the leafs plans for the foseeable future but I believe he could be an NHL regular, or possibly 2nd pairing guy in 2 years if he is brought over. He’s putting up good numbers in the KHL and has a solid defensive game, with his offensive abilities improving every year. I’m guessing something like 6th round pick and maybe Pokulok would be enough to get this guy. A low risk high reward move, pretty minor one. He's 26 already, showing classic signs of a late bloomer, but then again Streit was older when he was brought in. Would be hilarious if he pans out to be as good as Gilroy and we have him signed for under a million in 2 years and give up crap for him.

3. Go after a FA defenseman or trade for an established one. Last year I was really, really hoping we would sign Streit to a Kaberle type deal for 5 years and trade for Babchuk, who was in the doghouse and pretty much had slightly above Jeff Schultz value to the Canes (I’ve went to a few Avangard games and was really impressed by his play, pretty much showed that he was a diamond in the rough, have a similar though not as strong belief in Vorobiev right now). My friends shrugged those ideas off (“We have green, we’re good on puckmovers”, etc.), but right now both the Streit signing and Babchuk’s play are arguably the biggest success stories for the Canes and Islanders, and our top 4 would have been unreal. This year I believe we should go after Oduya (something around 3.7 – 4.5 million a year over 5 years). Devils are very close to the cap and have to resign Zajac, who should command a considerable raise. They probably wouldn’t shell out over 4 million on Oduya if they want to resign Gionta, even if they’re losing Havelid and Madden. Possibly state intentions to Lamoriello and offer him a for 3rd for negotiation rights. Oduya started out as an aggressive stay at home defenseman who matured into an adequate puckmover as well, and would easily have the 2nd best all-around game of all our defenseman other than Green (better defensively as well). It seems like a risky signing but I thought that about Streit too.

If Oduya can’t be obtained trade for Salei, who has low trade value (hopefully Clark, Schultz and a 3rd/4th could get it done) for the Avs but is physical, good in his own end, and is at least as good a puck mover as Poti, if not better. His contract also runs out when we have to do major resignings, and he should make us much more competitive for one year.

Also, I believe we should try to sign Kalinin, if we can get him for 1.5 – 2.2 million a year. I’ll probably get flamed for this, he’s had an atrocious year with the Rangers, but from my POV (and all my Ranger fan friends) that was more a product of Renney’s system than anything. His actual value/market value ratio is probably as high as any FA’s this year. Since Renney was kicked out (and he was traded), he’s been a steady plus guy (went from over -20 to -9 to finish out the season, while being traded to a bottom feeding team), logging 20 minutes a night, with respectable point totals for a 2nd pairing guy. Hopefully the Coyotes wouldn’t want to resign him for that much. Last year I was also interested in trading for Zbynek Michalek, who is now a shotblocking monster for Phoenix, a consistent top 4 stay at home guy signed for 4 years @ 1.4 million and has been acquired by them for minor league talent. I believe getting Kalinin would be a similar (though not as great) of a steal. Salei’s contract runs out before Semin and Backstrom’s raises kick in and if Kalinin is offered a multiyear deal at under 2 million, it would be negligible, since we’re 8.5 million from Fedorov and Theodore leaving by then.

If Oduya and Salei fall through, possibly trade for Martinek from the Islanders, cheap bottom 4 guy who’s as reliable as anyone we have now.

Roster overhaul
-------------------
Get rid of Nylander and Clark. Yeah, it’s painful to do and maybe not very nice given their situations, but they get paid millions of dollars and that should soothe the pain a little. Even if Nylander has to be pressured, as dick of a thing as it is to do, do it. He’s paid to perform and he’s dragging the team down more often than not, and factoring in his cap hit, by a lot and all the time. We cannot have Hanlon era remnants (and they were great for Hanlon’s style) holding us down, not at this stage. Try to get ok value but at worst trade them with a decent asset to Atlanta for a minor leaguer. Add a mid level draft pick or lower tier prospect if that’s what it takes. With their cap space occupied by the right people I believe we’d have a higher odds of making it to the SCF next year then any eastern team.

Get rid of Brashear. Staged fights don’t scare anyone and our guys can take care of themselves. At worst bring up a cheaper enforcer from Hershey. We haven’t missed a step without him except when we voluntarily dropped our balls (such as at Carolina)

Resign Fedorov for another year, 2.8 – 3.5 million, as a 3rd line center with 2nd unit PP and 2nd unit PK time. He’s clearly a good presence for the locker room and would be a great mentor for Grabovski (I predict him fine tuning Grabovski as much as he had Semin).

Look into trading Poti. Haven’t been a fan of him since his New York days, though warmed up to him last year during the stretch run. Then again, I warmed up to Schultz too for a while. Poti is being paid like an adequate puck moving defenseman or an above average stay at home defenseman, and, I’m sorry, but he is neither. He makes a lot of mistakes in his own end for a veteran. He was brought in as a puckmover and PPQB. He’s had a total of 5 goals and 42 points in his tenure with the Caps, a total of 13 points this season. Jeff ****ing Schultz has more than that, and he’s paid in breadcrumbs and he isn’t any worse defensively. He doesn’t hit, his stick plays are mediocre, veteran leadership non-existent. If Salei, Kalinin or Oduya can be signed, trade him to Phoenix or Atlanta or Minnesota or something, get a 2nd or 3rd rounder back for Nylander, Clark and Poti somehow.

Finally, offer Recchi a year at 1.8-2.4 million, though odds are he’d get more than that based on his year so far. If he makes our 2nd unit PP tick and teaches Laich, Fleischmann and the rest of the team how to properly screen the goalie and get garbage goals, it will be far more than worth it. Laich, Fehr and Fleischmann are getting there on their own, but they could use a pro at that to help their progress

The way I currently see it, next year we should have the following roster

Ovechkin Backstrom Fehr (he needs to grow into this role, might as well jump in, if he really falters, switch him with Laich)
Semin Grabovski Ponikarovsky (probably also act as a shutdown line)
Fleischmann Fedorov/Perreault Laich (scratch Fedorov in favor of Perreault throughout the season to let him develop into an NHL center)
Recchi Steckel/Aucoin Aucoin/Bradley (Use these parts for special teams and special conditions, 2 part rangers 4th line 1 part Devils 4th line).

or
Aucoin/Laing Steckel Bradley (if Recchi can’t be signed for under 2.4 million)

Green Oduya/Salei (if we actually get him this is an insane pairing, two offensively capable, hard hitting defensemen, one of whom is a stay at home specialist as well, otherwise replace with Salei, who should be a better complement than anyone we've got)

Alzner Jurcina/Kalinin (Jurcina is the real deal, blocks shots, hits, can somewhat move the puck, progressively gets better in all aspects of the game, if he gets top 4 minutes he WILL become a top 4 defenseman, if he starts sucking, put Kalinin in his place)
Kalinin/Jurcina Pothier
Erskine (if we’re facing a tough team)

Theodore
Varlamov

This is basically it so far, also I’d be against trying to sign Ohlund. Canucks are letting him leave for the same reasons they didn’t resign Naslund.

Haven’t made my thoughts up about the draft yet, other than that Gelashvili will likely be a steal of a goalie and we should claim him, possibly as early as 2nd (hopefully he's under the radar). Looked at 1st round players in some detail and don't believe we'll miss out on much if we draft at 22-30, could probably get comparable talent in the 2nd or 3rd if we scout properly (drafting a Russian who has shown talent or signs of improvement in the lower rounds is usually a good way to steal, since they almost always are either underscouted (except for 2-3 stars that go early), or there are concerns about them actually coming over. That's pretty much how I settled on Grachev, Petrov and Stefanovich - talented guys overlooked by scouts for mundane reasons. Kurgyshev was another one, glad we got him. Something most people haven't caught on to yet is that most Russians do want to play in the NHL and will move if approached properly (my reasoning for why Vorobiev should be pursued, his parents said he'd like to come over as well, more likely if he gets in with a russian crowd like our guys), since Russian NHL stars like Bure, Mogilny, Fedorov, now Ovechkin, Semin, Malkin, Datsyuk and Kovalchuk are really idols there, and smaller prospects that aren't seen as superstars won't be clung onto by KHL clubs like Filatov and Malkin were. Radulov is a huge abherration).

If people have other ideas, would be curious to know them.


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04-16-2009, 04:55 AM
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Been saying it all season long, coaching....

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04-16-2009, 05:28 AM
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Been saying it all season long, coaching....
If we take out Boudreau, we're gambling that whoever comes in does better than him, and, frankly, that's not something I want to face. Bylsma (whom I was intrigued by even before he was promoted), Tortorella are taken. Pat Quinn would blow up in our face. I don't want any of the guys fired this year within a million miles of the franchise. Something I'd kill for them to do would be to take out Evason and bring in Dale Hunter, but I don't see him leaving the Knights for a while, so far the best we can do is get him to train our prospects like Carlson to be mean ass mother*******. McPhee is the real problem, not Boudreau. Get someone not afraid to walk the line in there. Someone who would move out all our bad contracts/players that are hindering the system, even if there is a chance we're losing out on value (god forbid Mr. 10 years without round 2 ever does that). Look at Burke. He's not afraid to lose value even if it blows up in his face (such as waiving Bryzgalov) if he gets closer to his goal. But he's not afraid to take risks and step on whosever balls it is necessary to improve the franchise. When he came into Anaheim, he threw away every one of their top 6 forwards and top 4 defensemen (most of which were there for their finals run in 2003, so it wasn't like he was dealing with crap), and replaced them with guys that got the job done. That is an unbelievably risky and ballsy thing to do that can backfire bigtime if not coordinated with extreme precision. A few years later they have the cup, and all the accusations that he sold the future, sky is falling, etc., were thrown apart with the acquisition of Whitney and Wisniewski. That's all it took for them to be a serious contender again. McPhee did something similar with our rebuild, though it was longer and more painful, but he's not going anywhere now.

Burke is a pretty bad drafter, arrogant as ****, all in all he has too much baggage to be a good GM, in my opinion. But I'd like nothing more than to have him come in for a day (with his NA bias set aside), and use that day to call out every underachiever on the team though every media source available, trim away the fat even if it means trading away Nylander, Clark, and Poti for Ryan Hollweg and a 9th round draft pick, then competently fill in those holes through trade and free agency, even if overpaying for guys like Grabovski, who'd fit the team long term and would have an enormous impact. Obviously don't sell off the farm and the next 3 drafts, but don't be afraid to put holes in them so we can finally ice a psyched, complete, cup caliber roster for the next 3-5-10 years. Not just wait for all the draft picks to mature in 20 years so that maybe they're a contender by then.

Naw, Boudreau is a good option for now. Just have a GM able to pursue a few locker room changes - have a fragile short young guy with nerves of steel who puts himself in harms way and gets the worst of it (Varlamov, Bourque, etc.) as Captain, so everyone else dives in head over heels to match their intensity/rescue them; don't be afraid to bring up Hershey call ups for players who don't show the effort or are consistently outmatched (different from slumping a la Ovechkin at the beginning of the year), with the promise that those call ups WILL stay if they play their balls off - ie no one has job security except players who have the most excellent character. Finally, don't be afraid to tell Boudreau who to sit and switch out his assistant coaches if special teams don't deliver. In the end, if all of that fails, then the problem is with Boudreau, kindly move him back down, telling him he did a good job, and bring in a screamer like Tocchet or Tortorella who will make them play fearing for their lives.

There's your cup right there. Cups.

Also, calling out fans for doing infantile stuff like bringing pacifiers to a game probably wouldn't hurt. We want to be more respectable than Flyers crowd, not less. Also then the team doesn't feel like all the pressure from the GM is on them alone.


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04-16-2009, 07:14 AM
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Let's wait until the season is over, please.

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04-16-2009, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by frasnap View Post
Let's wait until the season is over, please.
Hey, with McPhee in charge, it's never too early to look towards next year

Yeah, I probably did post this a bit too early. My bad. Just thought it would be fun if people put their ideas out, and then we could go back and approximate how well all the actions would have played out. Of course, tons of variables we're not aware of since we don't get to directly ask other GMs if they wanna make a given trade/don't get to negotiate with players and see if given salary is appropriate, but still neat.


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04-16-2009, 08:39 AM
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Been saying it all season long, coaching....
Yes, you have been. Funny how we ended up with 108 points anyway. Imagine if Bruce had played Nylander more, we could have had 145!!!!!

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04-16-2009, 08:47 AM
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Way too early for this thread which is an off season one. And just comes off as a knee jerk reaction to a loss.

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04-16-2009, 09:09 AM
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The original post doesn't suggest nearly enough Russians coming to the Caps. We're gonna need way more if this team ever wants to amount to anything.

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04-16-2009, 09:24 AM
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Yes, you have been. Funny how we ended up with 108 points anyway. Imagine if Bruce had played Nylander more, we could have had 145!!!!!
No way, we would have definitely had 165 points without bruce screwing it up. Franchise records be damned!

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04-16-2009, 09:26 AM
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As long as Schultz is gone, we've improved.

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04-16-2009, 09:26 AM
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The one offseason move I feel strongly about is the need to let Fedorov go. If he wants to stick around for half his current salary then the Caps can think about it, though if that's the case I'd like to see him in a checking position, rather than on a scoring line, and Steckel and Gordon are much cheaper.

Under no circumstances should the Caps pay him over $3m, and I think that's too much. Offer him a position within the organization to keep everyone happy.

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04-16-2009, 10:10 AM
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Way too early for this thread which is an off season one. And just comes off as a knee jerk reaction to a loss.
I've had these ideas since before they clinched. If it was a knee jerk reaction I wouldn't want to keep Fedorov for a decent salary, since he was bad last game. Of course, Schultz and Poti didn't do themselves any favors, but I've wanted to get rid of them for most of the season. Didn't think about the timing, which I agree isn't that good, but that seems like a minor thing and ideas are never too early to have.

We got to 108 points, which is great, and we did that despite having some very real holes. If we improve in those areas we could probably get President's next year.

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The original post doesn't suggest nearly enough Russians coming to the Caps. We're gonna need way more if this team ever wants to amount to anything.
Wasn't selectively targeting Russians. Just guys who seemed like they would fit the system well, be a solid improvement over some current players, and whose market value at this point is below their potential due to issues that do not reflect the quality of play they're capable of bringing.

But more Russians isn't necessarily a bad thing. Detroit did pretty well with a ton of Russians in '97 and '98.

And honestly, which of our Russians have bombed so far? Ovechkin, Semin and Varlamov seem pretty damn solid. Fedorov and Kozlov have been adequate and at least worth the money up till this point. Dovgan and Kurgyshev are considered steals at their drafting position at this point. Pretty much every Russian player from the middle of last year's draft is regarded as an above average prospect.

Why the gag reflex at another Russian player? Do we have to be mindful of the nationalities we bring on in order to ice the most competitive team we can now? Should Detroit's cup be taken away for too much Swedes on that roster?

Generally, if a Russian makes it to the NHL, he's more likely to be an elite talent than any other nationality, simply because if you wanna be noticed by NHL scouts and you play in the middle of god knows where, Siberia, you generally have to stand out more than if you're from Canada, US, or even Scandinavia. There's what, 30 Russian players in the league, and 20% of them are superstar if not generational talent level (Ovechkin, Malkin, Datsyuk, Kovalchuk, to a lesser extend Nabokov and Filatov). Likewise, you're more likely to encounter a more talented Canadian than a more talented Russian in the KHL, due to decent players from a small sample size coming to an average league, even if it's less likely that vice versa since they do get our crap.

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Originally Posted by Devil Dancer View Post
The one offseason move I feel strongly about is the need to let Fedorov go. If he wants to stick around for half his current salary then the Caps can think about it, though if that's the case I'd like to see him in a checking position, rather than on a scoring line, and Steckel and Gordon are much cheaper.

Under no circumstances should the Caps pay him over $3m, and I think that's too much. Offer him a position within the organization to keep everyone happy.
I respectfully disagree. Fedorov is a shadow of his former self, yes, but he is still a very experienced and versatile player who can bring a lot to the team if he gets ~10 minutes of 5 on 5 ice time plus special teams. He's not a gamebreaker, but you have to remember that he was arguably our best defenseman when we put him back there at the beginning of the season, has always been at least solid on the power play, and up until recently did not look out of place on the second line. I think the injury messed him up a lot, even though people like to look at it as him getting time off to rest at the middle of the season. People of his age don't heal nearly as well as younger guys. We can afford to pay him ~3.5 million assuming we shed all the really bad contracts, but I agree that he could probably come back for close to 2, since he won't get more elsewhere. Based on what he said I believe that he would accept a substantial paycut if he's allowed to play, and 3.5 was probably too large to give him. Ultimately, we should offer him an assistant coaching or scouting position when he retires, that I agree with.

Also, in my scenario I have him act as a mentor for Grabovski. We're most likely going to roll 3 scoring lines, with all three acting as shutdown lines to some capacity (this is where Grabovski could really help). We have the personnel to man 3 capable scoring lines with Fedorov, whereas most teams don't. That tends to work better than 2 scoring lines and 2 checking lines, unless you have an extremely capable specialized checking line (Moen Pahlsson Niedermayer) and an amazing offensive defense corps to support the top 6 (Niedermayer Pronger Beauchemin Schneider/Whitney/whatever) Gordon and Steckel are below average even for checking line players, who have to at least stand out in some way to be good (hard hitters/fighters/elite penalty killers/possibly former top 6 players, now power play specialists like Recchi and Shanahan). Most of the time Gordon and Steckel are just... there.


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04-16-2009, 10:22 AM
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Yes, you have been. Funny how we ended up with 108 points anyway. Imagine if Bruce had played Nylander more, we could have had 145!!!!!
Dude even a guy like Keenan can win a cup, that dont make him a good coach...

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04-16-2009, 10:48 AM
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Dude even a guy like Keenan can win a cup, that dont make him a good coach...
Ok, you've got me curious. If winning games, and apparently Cups, doesn't make someone a good coach, what does? Other than playing Nylander, obviously....

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04-16-2009, 10:56 AM
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Ok, you've got me curious. If winning games, and apparently Cups, doesn't make someone a good coach, what does? Other than playing Nylander, obviously....
If you win a cup with Nylander. But then you must be god

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04-16-2009, 10:58 AM
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I respectfully disagree. Fedorov is a shadow of his former self, yes, but he is still a very experienced and versatile player who can bring a lot to the team if he gets ~10 minutes of 5 on 5 ice time plus special teams. He's not a gamebreaker, but you have to remember that he was arguably our best defenseman when we put him back there at the beginning of the season, has always been at least solid on the power play, and up until recently did not look out of place on the second line. I think the injury messed him up a lot, even though people like to look at it as him getting time off to rest at the middle of the season. People of his age don't heal nearly as well as younger guys. We can afford to pay him ~3.5 million assuming we shed all the really bad contracts, but I agree that he could probably come back for close to 2, since he won't get more elsewhere. Based on what he said I believe that he would accept a substantial paycut if he's allowed to play, and 3.5 was probably too large to give him. Ultimately, we should offer him an assistant coaching or scouting position when he retires, that I agree with.

Also, in my scenario I have him act as a mentor for Grabovski. We're most likely going to roll 3 scoring lines, with all three acting as shutdown lines to some capacity (this is where Grabovski could really help). We have the personnel to man 3 capable scoring lines with Fedorov, whereas most teams don't. That tends to work better than 2 scoring lines and 2 checking lines, unless you have an extremely capable specialized checking line (Moen Pahlsson Niedermayer) and an amazing offensive defense corps to support the top 6 (Niedermayer Pronger Beauchemin Schneider/Whitney/whatever) Gordon and Steckel are below average even for checking line players, who have to at least stand out in some way to be good (hard hitters/fighters/elite penalty killers/possibly former top 6 players, now power play specialists like Recchi and Shanahan). Most of the time Gordon and Steckel are just... there.
Interesting post, but I have a few followup thoughts.

- I don't think we can assume that the Caps are going to magically shed payroll. I think we can assume that they tried to move Nylander earlier this season unsuccessfully, and he's going to be even harder to move next year because he is a year older and his numbers were terrible in 08-09. Clark is also probably unmovable. And IIRC neither can be bought out until the following year. So where is the cap space going to come from?

- I haven't seen any evidence that Feds would take a paycut next year. Can you cite a source? I wanted him for $3m this year...

- We're rapidly getting to the point where Ovechkin is the on-ice mentor for the young Russians. Fedorov can do everything he's doing now off the ice in a coaching position, and Ovy, Kozlov (if he's back) and Semin can help out Varlamov, Kougar, or any other young Russian on the ice. No need for Feds.

- I'm not a big fan of Gordon or Steckel, but their minuscule cap hits are what let teams like the Caps go out and get some decent defensemen/veteran depth/whatever they need.

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04-16-2009, 11:50 AM
  #17
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Interesting post, but I have a few followup thoughts.

- I don't think we can assume that the Caps are going to magically shed payroll. I think we can assume that they tried to move Nylander earlier this season unsuccessfully, and he's going to be even harder to move next year because he is a year older and his numbers were terrible in 08-09. Clark is also probably unmovable. And IIRC neither can be bought out until the following year. So where is the cap space going to come from?

- I haven't seen any evidence that Feds would take a paycut next year. Can you cite a source? I wanted him for $3m this year...

- We're rapidly getting to the point where Ovechkin is the on-ice mentor for the young Russians. Fedorov can do everything he's doing now off the ice in a coaching position, and Ovy, Kozlov (if he's back) and Semin can help out Varlamov, Kougar, or any other young Russian on the ice. No need for Feds.

- I'm not a big fan of Gordon or Steckel, but their minuscule cap hits are what let teams like the Caps go out and get some decent defensemen/veteran depth/whatever they need.
From what I heard we were trying to move him for Byfuglien and Sopel. Byfuglien is Chicago's version of Penner and Sopel is Chicago's version of I don't even know what to call that abomination. Chicago was a bad trading partner anyway since they were closer to the cap than we were and had to shed as much salary to acquire him.

I think Florida and Atlanta is what we're looking at right now. If Atlanta drafts Kane, they'll pass on Nylander since they'll have Kane, White, Peverley and optionally Little down the middle, even though I think he's Kovalchuk's type of center. With Florida, I believe we actually could work out a deal. If they lose Bouwmeester (and that's extremely likely) and Boyton (who they seem to be seriously hating on), Poti would be an attractive commodity for them. If we get them to take Nylander (possibly Clark) as well and get a 2nd round pick or Tarnasky back, I'd consider it a major success. Hell, even a 7th would suffice just to get their salary off. Florida would probably jump at the opportunity to fleece a division rival, but little do they know of my other nefarious schemes that would put us out of their reach even so

At this point I even don't mind giving up mid level draft picks or Lepisto type prospects who most likely will never be worthwhile contributors. We're basically performing surgery on a team that's otherwise very healthy, and would be insanely good if it's done right.

I've heard rumors from message boards and friends who know friends who know common people with Semin that Fedorov would come back for a paycut. It's obviously unreliable sources, but it makes perfect sense. Fedorov's options at this point are take something in the 2-3 million range or retire. No team is gonna throw him anything better, and he's too old to come back for the KHL. I've read interviews with him where he states that he loves playing here a lot and hasn't enjoyed hockey this much since his days in Detroit (which I believe, he even went to the world championship to be with OV and Semin, something he hadn't done before). Using common sense and all those bits of information I believe it's fairly accurate to say that he would come back for a significant paycut, probably just enough money to prove to him that this team isn't just tacking him on as a cheap depth vet.

Kozlov I believe we should part with in favor of Ponikarovsky, who is better and cheaper (I have us dealing for him and Grabovski). And while Ovechkin and Semin are leaders, you have to understand, Russian players grew up idolizing this guy. If you're a young Canadian player and you get to play with Crosby you'd consider yourself pretty lucky, but if you also get to play with Lemieux, even if he's a shadow of his former self, (this is pretty much who he is to those people), you'd cling on to everything they say and try to learn from everything they do, not to mention give much more effort just not to seem inferior in the eyes of such a historic player. I think he's just the kind of guy we need to mentor Grabovski, who is somewhat of a wildcard and a hothead (which could be a good thing).

What do you think about my hypothetical roster overhaul in general? One thing I have trouble convincing friends is that Grabovski and Ponikarovsky would be worth a first round pick and good prospects to part with, and that Oduya wouldn't be over paid. They thought the same about signing Streit for over 4 million and when I considered trading Lepisto, a 2nd and 4th '10 for Babchuk last year as well though (I was even thinking of giving up Osala for him, which put a lot of people off).

Gordon and Steckel, both, are redundant. We'd be better serviced to either spend an extra half million and get real specialists like Betts and Sjostrom, or bring up guys like Laing, Aucoin and Beagle from Hershey, who have the potential to be better. Aucoin in my opinion is better then both of them right now. And we have a ton of cap room to upgrade on defense if we clear out Clark, Nylander, Poti and Morrisson, and Fedorov takes a pay cut of (assume) 1 million. That's around 13 million right there, and Theodore and Pothier are coming off the books soon as well. And I believe their salary can be dumped, it's just the matter of accepting underpayment or spiking deals with middle of the road assets, which we're in a position to do to significantly improve the team.


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04-16-2009, 11:52 AM
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Been saying it all season long, coaching....
Really? I mean..really?

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04-16-2009, 12:00 PM
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What do you think about my hypothetical roster overhaul in general?
I think A) you might be underestimating what it would take to get Poni and Grabs from Toronto and B) in both cases the Caps would be buying high. I like both players, but they both benefited from a ton of ice time on a poor team. Would they be able to duplicate that kind of success here, where they would be relegated to the status of role players?

I'm wary of mid-range guys who put up decent numbers on poor teams. Call it Pettingeritis.

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04-16-2009, 12:02 PM
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I'm wary of mid-range guys who put up decent numbers on poor teams. Call it Pettingeritis.
Clymeria

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04-16-2009, 12:12 PM
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To get to tne next level Washington needs besides their goaltending issues to upgrade their D. I recommend Washington getting Ovechkin's buddy Ilya Nikulin, best defenseman in the KHL. Nikulin has been getting better and better every year, he just won the KHL title. He already was looking to move to Atlanta (his rights belong to Thrashers) but he decided against it because he didn't want to play for a non-contender I think.

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04-16-2009, 12:20 PM
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Clymeria
i had that once, it was awful... got it from some floozy in Singapor- wait....... i read that wrong

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04-16-2009, 12:35 PM
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I think A) you might be underestimating what it would take to get Poni and Grabs from Toronto and B) in both cases the Caps would be buying high. I like both players, but they both benefited from a ton of ice time on a poor team. Would they be able to duplicate that kind of success here, where they would be relegated to the status of role players?

I'm wary of mid-range guys who put up decent numbers on poor teams. Call it Pettingeritis.
I understand where you are coming from, Dominic Moore was a classic example of that, but I don't think that's the case here. Grabovski really underwent a hell of a transformation.

I'm looking at what Antropov got at the deadline. Ponikarovsky is less valuable, and at the draft they generally go for lower.

Personally, I really want those two because I believe they would really complete our forward corps, Grabovski for possibly the next decade, Ponikarovsky likely resignable for under 3 million while bringing everything Kozlov does with more grit, scoring touch, and willingness to go to the net. He'd likely be able to get 1st or 2nd line ice time with us, and I see him as a 45-60 point player with good defensive and puck possession ability, signed for 2 million next year. Grabovski is definitely the real deal. He started the year as the player Canadiens gave up for nothing, and really evolved into a two way playmaking center. He's still got a lot to learn and his attitude did get in the way of his development for a while, I believe with proper linemates and further mentorship he can hit an offensive ceiling of 65-75 points while providing good two way play, he's not there yet, but he has the combination of talent and stubbornness to make it happen. They are rumored to have difficulty resigning him, and I believe if we give him something in the 3.33-3.7 million range over 3-5 years, equivalent of a 1st and 3rd offer sheet, it would pay huge dividents. Personally, I'd also negotiate with Burke and offer Osala, Lepisto, Finley and Bouchard for Ponikarovsky, Vorobiev and Stefanovich as a [backhanded] gesture of good will for not matching Grabovski. (Vorobiev wants to play in the NHL and is very similar to a pre-breakout Babchuk without the bomb from the point, Stefanovich will be an absolute monster and the reason I'd add Bouchard in, whom I like a lot, if Burke swallows this we win out very handily if they pan out). I've been carried away with players before, but generally they start playing up to my expectation sooner or later, especially guys I judge based on what I've seen in Russia (and I watched Grabovski live back with Dynamo Moscow in 05-06, was obvious he had talent but had trouble putting it together at the time; I've seen Vorobiev with Lada during the winter and believe him to be capable of 20-25 points from the blue line playing 2nd-3rd pairing minutes).

These guys are not a sure thing but I believe they're much more valuable (especially Grabovski) than Burke realizes. He has a history of undervaluing players and prospects (especially Europeans), which is why I believe we have an excellent chance to poach players from him during the rebuilding frenzy for under market value (Grabovski, Vorobiev, I believe he has his eye on Stefanovich but doesn't realize how good this guy will be). Grabovski and Stefanovich also have very driven characters, the 2nd guy worked his ass off to adjust to the North American game, which is something I look for in players as well. I know a good amount of Russian hockey people and go there pretty often, including to youth hockey camps and KHL games, so I have a pretty good grasp on which Russian, and Belorussian players are criminally undervalued over here, such as Grachev (surefire 1st -early 2nd rounder if he grew up playing here, **** the Rangers for getting him and McPhee for not).


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04-16-2009, 12:43 PM
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To get to tne next level Washington needs besides their goaltending issues to upgrade their D. I recommend Washington getting Ovechkin's buddy Ilya Nikulin, best defenseman in the KHL. Nikulin has been getting better and better every year, he just won the KHL title. He already was looking to move to Atlanta (his rights belong to Thrashers) but he decided against it because he didn't want to play for a non-contender I think.
If we could get Nikulin I would be extremely impressed, but I don't feel like Atlanta would want to give him up for anything short of a surefire thing like Fleischmann or Fehr PLUS. I've heard rumors that he wants to try the NHL once he's done with his contract, and if they're stacking on D (they are) they will keep him and attempt to sign him, possibly paying him a lot. A more or less automatic top 4 guy, if not top 2, which I believe he is based on his play over the last 2 years, is not gonna come cheaply. I mean, he's not that far off from Volchenkov in terms of stay at home quality, possibly on the same level with less shotblocking. Definitely funny how everyone is tripping themselves over Gilroy, who isn't even half as good.

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04-16-2009, 01:20 PM
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Let me put it this way, if Poni and Grabs could be had for the salary and return that you suggest, I'd definitely be interested. Again, I like them both as second tier players, and they would be strong replacements for Feds and Kozlov. I just don't see it happening, especially with Feds returning.

And, as others have pointed out, the Caps' issue isn't at forward anyway. They need defense and goaltending, and those pieces are already on the way.

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