Attention SportsFans!

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent closing of schools and the spring sports season, we will be temporarily shutting down the site to make small changes and improvements for the fall.

As always, thank you for your patronage over the past 15 years and we look forward to seeing you online when this is over. Any questions can be directed to


Caps offseason moves

7/9/2011 9:15:21 PM
user avatar
7/9/2011 9:15:21 PM

They lose: Matt Bradley, Boyd Gordon, Scott Hannan, Jason Arnott, Eric Fehr, Semyon Varlamov, and a solid forward prospect in Andrew Gordon

They retain: Brooks Laich, Matt Hendricks, Sean Collins, Michael Neuvirth, Karl Alzner (not yet, but mcphee basically shipped fehr to the jets for free so this could happen)

And they sign: Jeff Halpern, Troy Brouwer, Roman Hamrlik, Joel Ward, Tomas Vokoun, and Matias Sjogren

Heres my take / predictions:

1) the caps have without question the best 1-3 goalie depth in the NHL, and 31 other teams will pay more for their goalies this season. First they robbed colorado blind by getting a 1st and 2nd rounder for Varlamov when they could have had him for nothing but a compensatory 2nd (and if the avs continue to suck, which they will, that means mcphee gets a lottery pick to play with next year). Then mcphee made hands-down the most cost-effective signing of his career by getting a top 5 goalie in vokoun who will put neuvirth on the bench for at least one year, and he'll actually be making half of what varly makes this season. unbelieveable. 

2) Ted said he wanted the team to be tougher, and it is. Joel Ward will be this year's matt hendricks. He plays the exact same grinder role and somehow carried nashville on his back through 2 rounds in the playoffs. Im pumped that halpern is back in town but recognize that hes a penalty-killing 4th line replacement for boyd gordon, basically an even swap there. I think with Brouwer they'll get what they hoped fehr would give them every year, around 20 goals and a lot of hits from a big body, and over 5 years hes shown that hes not made of glass like eric was.

3) My main gripe is that we didnt lock down the 2nd line center position for the 3rd straight year. This means that when the trade deadline comes around we'll be watching the same movie where mcphee signs a veteran pivot and the fans decide he's the most important player on the team all over again. Backstrom, Johansson, Perreault, and Halpern are serviceable but it bothers me that center will be a weakness again this year. Would not be surprised at all if they gave #21 a look at the 2nd line center job full time.

4) Roman Hamrlik was signed specifically to be paired with Mike Green. He's responsible enough in the defensive end to compensate for Green going coast to coast all the time, and he moves the puck much better than schultz or erskine so he wont slow down the rush. He'll also be helpful on the 2nd powerplay.

5) Jason Chimera and Tom Poti wont be on the opening night roster. They need to free up more cap space to get Alzner the 3 mil he deserves and have room to work with during the season (Mcphee will never start a season this close to the cap), so expect another minimal return trade like with fehr to drop chimera's contract. As much as I respect poti, its actually important for the cap situation that he retires before this season, and chances are he will.

6) Alex Semin deserves one more crack at it this year. He showed last year that at his absolute worst, he'll be invisible the majority of the time but literally win 15-20 games per year by himself for the capitals. If thats his basement and they want to trade him after this season then fine, but he's obviously a rare scoring talent and you dont release a guy like that without being sure.

7) Cody Eakin is an exciting prospect who will make the jump to the NHL this year, rookie camp starts on monday and he'll be there with Dimitri Orlov, who will play the year out in hershey and be a top 4 defenseman a year from now.

Long post but whatever, Im taking a week off from the nats after they blew an 8 run lead to the cubs.

user avatar
7/10/2011 12:09:01 AM

Colorado is not going to be nearly as bad as everyone is thinking. It was a great trade but i see the pick ending up being somewhere 10-15 at best. Unless they get hit with injuries just as bad as they were last year, but i doubt it. They could trade the pick at the deadline or package it with others and a prospect to move up and get a top 3 pick if they want. Options are good.

As for the acquisitions, they addressed the need to get tougher. Very happy they did not use the pick to draft another soft euro which we already have too many of, and wouldn't be ready for 4 years. Instead they go out and get Brouwer. Exactly the kind of player the Caps need more of if they have any intention of winning come post-season. 

The moves are a step in the right direction. Not there yet but it seems they are finally going to start gravitating towards a more physical style of play that wins come playoff time. The finesse crap gets you nowhere in the playoffs. 

If you remember my post about my theory awhile back.....turns out I was pretty spot on.

Hamrlik is awful, by the way.

user avatar
7/10/2011 12:20:21 PM

Should have added that Laich's massive contract (4.5 mil cap hit per year) is a travesty that will be seriously detrimental to cap flexibility for the next several years. He would have probably been the third most attractive FA on the market and I realize that a handful of teams like toronto would have overpaid similarly just to reach the cap floor for this season, but I had a feeling brooks would take a more reasonable deal so he wouldnt hamstring the capitals, guess I was wrong. I also love the ward signing but in that case they might have overpaid even worse.

user avatar
7/10/2011 3:55:18 PM

They can always trade Laich at some point. Its not like other teams are not going to want him because of his contract

user avatar
7/9/2011 11:00:52 PM

great post...very happy with these moves and cannot believe we got a 1st an 2nd round pick for varly. good work george

user avatar
7/9/2011 11:51:52 PM

Great post. Agreed with just about everything.

Absolutely ecstatic about Vokoun. I hope I won't bite my tongue later or anything, but it may be one of the best pick-ups in the Boudreau era so far when you factor in the price and everything. Fantastic that Neuvy will get another year to sit back and watch, especially such a talented veteran to learn from. I was quite concerned about putting the club on his back at that age. The goalie depth is absolutely unreal, its such a nice safety net to have. Many clubs in the league would love to play any of the three on any given night.