Posts Tagged Washington Capitals

The Offseason “Losers” So Far Are ….

Written by Greg Stamper, who can be found on twitter @g_stamp91.

In part one of this article (which can be found here) we took a look at some of the teams that were blessed with a solid offseason and deserved their title as winners.

It’s time to take a look and see which teams have had far less success and are deemed this year’s losers; some of which may surprise you.

Part 2: Losers

Washington Capitals

One thing is for certain, Washington tried.

Although the Capitals managed to sign the top defenseman available on this year’s market in Matt Niskanen, it’s widely believed that they massively overpaid in the process of doing so. For the time being, this deal should work in the Caps favour, but, near the end of the massive seven-year, $40.25 million deal when Niskanen still has a $5.75 million cap hit in his mid-30’s, it then might really come back to bite them.

Washington didn’t stop there though.

On top of Niskanen, the Caps also elected to sign his 35 year-old teammate from Pittsburgh, defenseman Brooks Orpik, to a five-year, $27.5 million deal. This move quite simply is the reason for Washington making the loser section of this list; it is totally insane.

Losing Mikhail Grabovski and not replacing him didn’t help the Caps either.

The fact that the signing of back-up goaltender Justin Peters to a two-year, $1.9 million deal appears to be the best / least risky move the Caps made shows just how rough this offseason was.

Read the rest of this entry »

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NHL Rumors III: Friedman’s Final Thoughts of the Summer

  • Elliotte Friedman: Teams could be eyeing Coyotes Antoine Vermette, who has one year left on his deal. GM Don Maloney would like to sign to an extension.Have to think Ryan O’Reilly will follow Paul Stastny out of town. There is a $1.225 million salary gap in their arbitration filings, which is a less gap than what their contract talks were rumored to be.

    Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom’s linemate may depend on who their second line center is. They want to move Tom Wilson up in the lineup. Braden Holtby is their No. 1 starter. The Caps are lukewarm on the idea of trading Mike Green. They want to see how he does in Barry Trotz’s system.

    Shouldn’t be surprised if Christian Ehrhoff gets an extension after January 1st from the Penguins.

    The Islanders offered Jarome Iginla a four year contract.

    The Islanders will give Brock Nelson a shot with John Tavares and Kyle Okposo.

    The sale of the Islanders may have hit a snag last week.

    The Oilers are still looking for a center as they don’t want to rush Leon Draisaitl.

    Justin Schultz and Jake Gardiner could sign bridge deals.

    The Flames continue to tell teams they can take on players with a tough cap hit. The Flames would like adjust their blueline. Dennis Wideman’s name has been out there. They may have looked at Cody Franson.

    Rumors that the Canadiens asked the Maple Leafs about Joffrey Lupul. Sounding like the Leafs will keep him.

    Talk from teams that Evander Kane may start the season on Winnipeg.

    Canucks GM Jim Benning is concerned with their depth due to the heavy travel schedule. Benning on rumors that he is not a Chris Tanev fan:  “I don’t know where this comes from. I’m a big fan of his, he made big strides last year.”

    It’s thought that the Canucks and Oilers tried to trade for Blues Patrik Berglund. Berglund more likely to remain in St. Louis after the departure of Vladimir Sobotka.

    Talk that the Blues tried to trade for Jason Garrison before he was dealt to Tampa Bay.

    If Jason Spezza accepted the trade to Nashville, it would have been similar to what the Predators gave up for James Neal. (Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling)

    Ales Hemsky will start the season with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. Valeri Nichushkin could lineup with Jason Spezza.

    Flyers GM Ron Hextall on Braydon Coburn rumors: “He’s a big man who can skate. Not surprised people ask about him.” Teams saying Flyers are looking at other options first.

    If he doesn’t sign with the Blackhawks, the Bruins and Penguins could be favorites to land Kevin Hayes over the Panthers.

    Dmitry Kulikov’s three-year contract with the Panthers may not mean trade rumors are over.

    Teammate said that striping Joe Thornton of his captaincy may not force him out. Thornton got the “C” when they striped it from Patrick Marleau.

    There has never been talks between the Devils and Ilya Kovalchuk’s agent, Jay Grossman, about returning.

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NHL Rumors II: Capitals, Blackhawks, Oilers and Predators

  • Chuck Gormley of CSN Washington: Speculation out of Detroit that they are looking at Capitals right-handed Dman Mike Green. The Capitals could use a second line center, and head coach Barry Trotz has spoken highly of Gustav Nyquist. The Caps would have to add more than Green to be able to land Nyquist. If the Caps are looking to trade Green for a second center who are entering the final year of their deals similar to Green, candidates could be: David Krejci, Mike Fisher and Antoine Vermette. They could look at Ryan O’Reilly or possibly Joe Thornton.
  • Tracy Myers of CSN Chicago: Agent Pat Brisson on Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.

    “We had to study, financially, to keep the puzzle together, how we could do this but at the same time get the players compensated the way they should be?” Brisson said. “They could’ve come in at 13.8 million each. At the same time, hockey’s a team sport and the reason why they’re so successful is the environment they’re in — and I give them credit for understanding that – and the role they can play now and in the future.”

    GM Stan Bowman still needs to reduce their cap number by $2 million for this year, and isn’t concerned with Toews and Kane’s future numbers.

    “That’s our job, to make it work,” he said. “We’ve been able to do that in the past and I have a lot of faith in the ability to keep that going. The most important thing for us is… you have star players who have shown the ability to win and they want to be here. It’s not even a discussion point. We’re just thrilled we have two of them; most teams would die to have one of these players on their teams. The rest will work itself out.”

  • Alex Prewitt: Capitals RFA Cam Schilling’s agent on contract talks: “Making progress but nothing imminent.”
  • Jim Matheson: “Not sure why there’s so much angst that Oilers didn’t sign No. 2 centre. Will be addressed via trade after camp if need be.”
  • Josh Cooper of the Tennessean: Projected lines by Cooper:1st – James Neal-Mike Ribeiro-Colin Wilson
    2nd – Viktor Stalberg-Derek Roy-Craig Smith
    3rd – Olli Jokinen-Calle Jarnkrok-Filip Forsberg
    4th – Rich Clune-Paul Gaustad-Eric Nystrom

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NHL Rumors III: Sharks, Dmen That Could Be Available and Kulikov

  • David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News: Despite saying that the Sharks on in a “rebuild phase,” GM Doug Wilson still wants to win.

    “I never lowered the expectations of making the playoffs, because we’re still a very good team,” Wilson said.

    “I can understand when people say there are different types of rebuild,” he said. “We’re not going to finish last to try and draft people first or second. This is not something this franchise can do, because we already have some good players in key positions. You’re not going to see us with 50 points next year — we’re too good a team for that.”

  • Tim Kavanagh of ESPN: Defenseman that could be available for trade this offseason:

    1. Mike Green – the Avalanche and Red Wings have been mentioned as potential landing spots if the Capitals decide to trade him. If the Caps don’t move him this summer, and if they are out of contention at the trade deadline, they could trade him then.

    2. Dion Phaneuf – carries a big cap hit and was rumored to be part of the Maple Leafs offer to the Panthers for the first overall pick at the 2014 draft.

    3. Tyler Myers – Sabres GM Tim Murray isn’t actively shopping his young players, but added that he’d listen to offers. Offers would have to be huge. There have been rumors that the Canucks and Red Wings have had interest.

  • Harvey Fialkov: Panthers GM Dale Tallon said they are very close on a deal with defenseman Dmitri Kulikov.

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NHL Injuries: Crosby, Hertl and Wilson

  • Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Penguins Sidney Crosby will have arthroscopic surgery on his right wrist in the next few days after therapy on it could not fix the problem. Source said that Crosby “did play with a terrible wrist” during the playoffs. A source close to Crosby said “is not major, but you can’t play the same way.” Crosby is expected to be ready for the start of the season.
  • David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News: Sharks Tomas Hertl tweaked his knee yesterday and may not play in their prospects game. GM Doug Wilson said it was a minor tweak and just soreness. Hertl missed 45 games last year after a knee-on-knee hit.
  • Alex Prewitt of the Washington Post: It’s not being made public exactly how Capitals Tom Wilson injured his ankle, nor exactly what is wrong with it. They are only saying it happened during a “fall.” Wilson is not expected to be back on the ice until after training camp opens in September.

    “Tom is recovering very well and all indications are that he will be on the ice at some point during camp,” his agent Mark Guy said in an email.

    Capitals head coach Barry Trotz.

    “He’s getting evaluated,” Trotz said. “Right now, basically we want to get a little more information, but it looks like he’ll be ready for training camp, or be coming into that part of training camp. Right now, I have him in training camp.

    “Right now he’s expected to be ready for training camp. I haven’t taken him out of anything. He’s young. Young guys, they’re conservative when you go to doctors, whatever the time frame with young guys, they always beat that. They’re pretty consistent with that. Older guys, sometimes they’re right on as you get older.”

  • Updated after above article was posted: Alex Prewitt: Confirm that Wilson had surgery, and that his agent told Chuck Gormley of CSN Washington that it was a fractured fibula bone.

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NHL Rumors III: Trade Candidates, Wings, Green, Brodeur, Hayes and Pokka

  • Tim Kavanagh of ESPN: Top centers that are rumored to be on the trade block: 1. Vincent Lecavalier 2. Ryan Johansen – there is the unlikely scenario that due to the stalled contract talks that teams may call to see what it would take to get him. 3. Nazem Kadri.
  • Tim Kavanagh of ESPN: Top-six winger trade candidates for this offseason: 1. Evander Kane 2. Patrick Sharp 3. Cody Hodgson.
  • Art Regner of Fox Sports Detroit: A team source is saying that the Red Wings have made Mike Green their top trade target and have reached out to the Capitals regarding  Green and his availability. The Capitals have indicated in the past that he’s staying, but it might make sense for them to move him given their salary cap situation. Green is owed $6.2 million this year with a $6 million salary cap hit. The source added that the longer the Capitals hold on to Green, the more likely other teams could inquire about him. Green has a modified no-trade clause. The Red Wings would like to move quickly on a deal and are hopeful they can get something done.
  • Matt Larkin of The Hockey News: Five landing spots that make sense for Martin Brodeur: 1. Winnipeg Jets – if the Jets trade for James Reimer, swap in Toronto here  2. Columbus Blue Jackets 3. Boston Bruins 4. Arizona Coyotes 5. New Jersey Devils.
  • Scott Powers of ESPN Chicago: Blackhawks prospect Kevin Hayes won’t be attending their prospect camp as he’s still without a contract. Hayes has been to four of their previous camps. The Blackhawks have until August 15th to sign him to an entry-level deal or he will become an unrestricted free agent.
  • Arthur Staple: Understanding that if Ville Pokka doesn’t make the Islanders out of training camp, he’ll return to Karpat of the Finnish league. Staple’s thinks it’s unlikely that he makes the team.

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NHL Rumors II: Dmen Options for Red Wings, McCann and the Islanders

  • Ansar Khan of MLive: After the Capitals signed Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik at the start of free agency, it appears that Mike Green’s days in Washington could be numbered. The Red Wings are looking for a right-handed, power play QB, and Green would be an ideal fit. The Wings have inquired about Tyler Myers, Jeff Petry, Cody Franson and others.

    Green has a year left at $6 million, and wouldn’t cost the Red Wings as much as some of the others. The Capitals currently have eight defenseman and just 12 forwards under contract, with about $1.1 million in salary cap space.

    If the Red Wings bring in another defenseman, they would likely want to move out Jakub Kindl, who has three years left at $2.4 million. The Capitals don’t need another defenseman though.

    The Capitals may not be in a rush to trade Green. There are about 10 teams that could fit Green’s salary in without having to move out a contract. Green has a no-trade clause.

    The Stars could use another defenseman, same with the Sharks.

  • Dave Davis of Kuklas Korner: Red Wings reporter Helene St. James was on WGR Sprots Radio, talking about whether the Wings should go after Tyler Myers, Alex Edler or Keith Yandle.

    “The {Detroit} defense just isn’t as good as others in the Eastern Conference, much less the West.  I think they need to take a look at somebody in Tyler Myers.  He’s still only 25.  Many of his best years are ahead of him.  He’s got a really appealing contract.  He’s the only guy who can look Chara in the eye… unfortunately, for Detroit’s sake, if you’re going to pick up a franchise defenseman like Myers, or maybe they try to see if they can pry Keith Yandle from Arizona, you’re going to have to give up one of your young players.  I don’t think they would trade Mantha for pretty much anything, but no doubt the other team would ask for someone like Nyquist or Tatar. or Jurco and a pick and maybe another player as well.”

  • Vancouver Canucks: Canucks GM Jim Benning on Jared McCann: “Since drafting him, I’ve had 2 or 3 GMs call me who are interested in him. Those conversations weren’t long”
  • Daniel Friedman: There’s talk that the Islanders don’t need to trade anyone before the start of the season. Looking at their depth chart, they kind of have to.

    Strome – Tavares – Okposo
    Kulemin – Grabovski – Neslon
    Bailey – Nielsen – Grabner
    Martin – Cizikas – Clutterbuck

    Lee, Conacher, McDonald and Boulton

    Hamonic – De Haan
    Strait – Visnovsky
    Hickey – Reinhart

    Donovan, Brennan and Carkner

    Halak
    Johnson

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Morning Hits: Free Agent Notes on the Penguins, Avalanche and Capitals

  • Josh Yohe: The Penguins signed six free agents to one-year contracts.

    “For right now,” Rutherford said, “I find that I’m very comfortable in dealing with one-year contracts.”

    The Penguins have only eight players under contract past next season: Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Chris Kunitz, Pascal Dupuis and Patric Hornqvist, and defensemen Kris Letang, Olli Maatta and Rob Scuderi.

    “I think the one-year deals that we’ve been giving players definitely help us in different ways,” he said. “What I like most about it is just how much flexibility it gives us moving forward.”

    “The fact is that we don’t know where the cap is going,” Rutherford said. “So this puts us in a strong position going forward.”

  • Terry Frei of the Denver Post: Frei doesn’t think the Avalanche will keep a coveted pending unrestricted free agent past the trade deadline like they did with Paul Stastny. If they had traded Stastny at the deadline this year, they definitely would have been ripped for sending the “wrong” message. Frei doesn’t think that Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy will worry about that in the future.
  • Chuck Gormley: Capitals head coach Barry Trotz played a big role in their ability to bring in some free agents.

    “When I met with Barry and saw what his plan and his vision was,” Orpik said, “it was kind of a no-brainer for me, to be honest.”

    “I heard nothing but great things about Barry Trotz and the way things are going there,” Niskanen said.

    “When a head coach on a team looks you in the eye and tells you he wants you to be there, that goes a long way,” Peters said. “If you’re to pinpoint it, that’d be it. The head coach on the team looking you in the eye and saying, ‘We want you to be a part of this.’”

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NHL Rumors VII: Capitals, Penguins, Reimer, Ott, Mueller and Downie

  • Adam Vigan of NBC Washington: In addressing his free agent signings Tuesday, general manager Brian MacLellan reiterated that Mike Green is very much in the Capitals’ immediate plans. MacLellan and coach Barry Trotz have already begun to confer on how they envision the defense lining up. MacLellan said he could see newly signed defenseman Brooks Orpik as Green’s partner.

    “I also think with Mike Green, [Orpik] would help stabilize his game, make him feel a little more confident in the D-zone and maybe give him more confidence to go offensively,” MacLellan said

  • Will DePaoli of Inside Pittsburgh Sports: The Penguins hope to add an assistant coach any day now, but it will not be Travis Green. Green told the Penguins he will be staying with the Vancouver Canucks.A scout on Monday said Christian Ehrhoff the best defenseman who was set to hit the open market. No team on Ehrhoff’s short list of 3-4 teams were willing to go beyond three years for him at the money the he wanted. Getting a one-year deal with a no trade clause was also important for Ehrhoff.
  • Hope Smoke: Darren Dreger: “The Reimer situation is still up in the air. The goalie market has pretty much dried up” … “Reimer is property of the Leafs” … “Reimer was told when he made his trade request that they would try & maximize him as an asset but not giving him up for free” … “If Reimer wants a fresh start he may have to be patient
  • John Vogl: Though he might fit in better elsewhere, the Sabres haven’t closed the door on Steve Ott returning.
  • Frank Seravalli: Though Peter Mueller’s agent won’t say which teams are interested in him, the Flyers are believed to mix for him.
  • Greg Brady: Source said that the Maple Leafs were in contact with Steve Downie before he signed with the Penguins.

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NHL Rumors IV: Legwand, Stempniak, Vokoun, Ott, Green, Vrbata, Berglund and Petry

  • Hope Smoke: (before the Petri Kontiola signing) Darren Dreger: “We’re waiting on Legwand and so are the Leafs.” … “The Leafs are one of the teams that have put in an offer on Legwand” … “The Leafs think Legwand can be a real good fit as a 3rd line C” … “The question is, what is that offer [for Legwand] RE term and money?” … “I don’t think the Leafs are eager to spend more than $4 m. In fact, I’m pretty sure they want to get him for less” …. “Word on the street is that Ottawa is interested and perhaps the Sabres are interested in Legwand as well” … “Some work to do for Nonis and CO. If he doesn’t get Legwand he may retreat and wait for the bargains to emerge. They always do”
  • 67Sound: “In theory if Legwand signs, having 5 Cs is a good thing. Move one to W for depth. But this is a team that dumped Colborne to keep 2 goons.”
  • David Pagnotta: Expect decisions from David Legwand, Lee Stempniak, Tomas Vokoun and Steve Ott today.
  • Andy Strickland: Lee Stempniak is talking to five or six teams and is not in a rush to sign a deal.
  • Jeremy Rutherford: (answering question) Reports are that Steve Ott wants more term than the Blues are offering.
  • Aaron Ward: Indications are that the Capitals are not looking to trade defenseman Mike Green.
  • Craig Morgan: Radim Vrbata was willing to move money around on a four-year deal with the Coyotes. They couldn’t agree on a no-trade clause/no-movement clause.
  • Jim Matheson: Matheson could see a Patrik Bergund for Jeff Petry trade. The Blues have plenty of forwards, and even though they have seven defensemen under contract, Petry is a lot younger than Jordan Leopold.

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