ryan-miller

Photo: Kevin Hoffman

When the Washington Capitals traded Filip Forsberg for Martin Erat and Michael Latta last year, an upset and cranky me commented on my own website,”Horrible trade. I’m embarrassed to be a Caps fan today.” To the two people who downvoted me, I will accept your apologies via email, tweet, and/or public groveling.

I didn’t hate the trade because the Caps were trading Forsberg (though I have the utmost confidence he will be a productive player in the NHL). I hated the trade because of the timing and philosophy behind it. The Capitals, worried about losing Mike Ribeiro to free agency, acquired another aging and expensive player. They loaded up for a playoff push despite being pretty dang far away from Stanley Cup contention– and in the process they gave away seven years of a talented young player who just a month ago was named MVP of the World Junior Championships.

A year later, we’re back at the crossroads. General Manager George McPhee — as well as Ted Leonsis and the rest of the organization — have some tough decisions to make about the team’s philosophy moving forward. The Caps are the sixth worst team in the league in the standings, three of their players have publicly requested trades, their defense is holey, and their offense lacks chemistry. But they also have a bevy of talented, young players knocking on the door for roster spots or waiting for bigger roles: Evgeny Kuznetsov, Tom Wilson, Michael Latta, Riley Barber, and Philipp Grubauer.

So are the Caps rebuilding, retooling, or loading up?

Whatever they decide, these next few weeks will be pivotal for the Capitals. They must make trades ahead of the March 5th deadline. But here’s one deal they better not make: trading for Buffalo’s Ryan Miller.

On Monday afternoon, former NHL goaltender and now NHL Network analyst Kevin Weekes talked likely trade destinations for Miller during an appearance on NHL Live. He-who-has-no-five-hole thought Washington could be a potential fit.

I don’t know that if [trading Miller] is inevitable, but I’ve talked to people in both Buffalo and St. Louis.. You’d think that’d be a natural fit for the St. Louis Blues simply because of the fact that Ryan Miller is a world class goaltender and he’s been excellent for the Buffalo Sabres this year. He hasn’t been whining. He’s been really focused, dialed in Olympic year. …

I see St. Louis being a fit. I also see Washington being a potential fit. Both St. Louis and Washington have young goalies in return as assets. Jake Allen certainly being one of them in St. Louis who is playing for their minor league team, the Chicago Wolves. Then if you look at the Washington Capitals, they have three young goalies as assets they could potentially move. That’ll be interesting to see.

This makes no sense. For a bunch of reasons.

First and foremost, goaltending is not the problem in Washington. The Caps have one of the most inexpensive goalie duos in the NHL: Michal Neuvirth ($2.5M) and Braden Holtby ($1.85M). The value George McPhee has gotten in net is one his biggest achievements and one of the team’s biggest strengths. Holtby has proven himself to be an above-average goaltender on the NHL level. Better yet: he’s kicked it up a notch in the playoffs, sporting a .931 save percentage and a 2.04 goals-against average in 21 career playoff games.

Secondly, while Miller is an elite goaltender, he will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Even to get him at the quarter pole of 2013-14, the Caps would have to pay a steep price, dealing away either Grubauer or Holtby, and mortgaging their future even more. All that to solve a problem which isn’t even a problem: the Caps already have good goaltending.

Some might bring up the Huet deal in 2008, which arguably helped the Caps make the playoffs that year. Let’s chat about that for a minute. When the Caps made that deal, they were a different team. They were young, dominant on the puck, and had the flexibility to take on a bad contract. Even more: they needed a shot in the arm. Olie Kolzig had been withering in net, and as much as I liked Brent Johnson, he wasn’t the guy to deliver the Caps to the promised land for the first time since 2003.

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The Capitals of 2013-14 are a world away. They’re not young, they’re not weak in net, and they’re not flush with cash, which brings me to my next point.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the Caps are cash-strapped. A slew of overpayments and the Erat deal are really limiting the team’s options. Check out Capgeek.com. Only four teams have less cap space than Washington: two of them are Cup contenders (Chicago and Pittsburgh) and a third (Toronto) is the richest team in the league. The Caps have just $750K to play with in their quest to make the postseason.

Ryan Miller makes $6.25 million, and he’s definitely going to get a pay raise on his next deal. Unless they moved metaphorical mountains, the Caps would not be able to re-sign him. Even to fit Miller under the cap now (which, again, they don’t need to do) would require finding trade partners interested in players like Martin Erat and Brooks Laich, who take up $9 million against the cap but are not desirable assets. The glut of overpaid veterans on the Washington roster just don’t make for good trade bait.

Ryan Miller is a great player, but he’s a solution to a problem the Capitals don’t have. The Caps are in the top ten of thrifty teams when it comes to goaltending. Their peers are Calgary, Chicago, Colorado, Edmonton, New York Islanders, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Jose, and Tampa Bay. Just two of those teams have gotten better five-on-five goaltending out of their guys:  Colorado and Tampa. There are certainly problems on the Caps roster, but they’re not between the pipes.

I don’t know why Kevin Weekes sees Ryan Miller and the Caps as a fit. It seems like we hear this rumor around this time every year, but it’s never made less sense than right now. Washington is certainly going to have to be aggressive this spring– perhaps more than they’ve been in half a decade– but that aggression should be focused entirely on the 189 feet in front of Braden Holtby and Michal Neuvirth. Now let’s all lie down until the rumors go away.

Thanks to @jspears8 for first telling me about Weekes’ comments.

  • Diller M

    It’s always interesting when professional commentators stick to terrible stereotypes for teams and don’t really pay attention to the reality of a situation. The caps needing an elite goalie was maybe a problem three years ago, interesting to see it brought up again and again despite the glut of teams that are making a push and could actually use/afford miller NYI, and the Bules are obvious, but you could even make a better case for Detroit or even LA with their injury concerns. Its almost like Weeks was out on his morning jog and someone popped out and sprung the question on him.

  • o’ rly

    post all the fancy graphs you want, holtby chokes in the playoffs. hes not an elite goalie, hes like peyton manning, will give you a good regular season, but wont win you the title.

  • VeggieTart

    I agree that trading for a goalie will not solve the Caps’ woes. And this is in spite of the horrible December and early January.

  • Dustin Sier

    …What? You mean like the series he essentially stole from Boston? This isn’t Jose Theodore we’re talking about here.

  • Tom Martin

    The 2011-2012 Bruins would like to speak to you. I don’t have time to look up series specific statistics, but Holtby had a .935 save percentage for all 14 games, and he played better than that against the defending champion bruins. So I disagree with your point. He’s actually significantly better in the postseason.

  • Jim Kelly

    I am pretty sure I was one of the ones who down voted that, primarily because it was so absurdly hyperbolic. I can see being critical of the trade (although it still remains to be seen what Forsberg becomes), but the comment that you were embarrassed to be a Caps fan is a bit much.

    We save that embarrassment for the playoffs.

  • kemiisto

    In short: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  • Alex

    Holtby was the #3 goalie of the 2012 Playoffs, behind Lundqvist and Quick. Your argument is invalid.

  • kemiisto

    I think we need a goal scoring winger, a replacement for Alex Semin GMGM was unable to find yet. Someone who can score 30-40 goals per season. And we also need a stay-at-home defenceman. But honestly speaking I do not expect anything from GMGM: the problem is that Laich, Erat, Brouwer, Green are eating to much cap space and I do not see any way to fix that until March. GMGM already did everything he could by first creating a cup contender team (I still think we were that team in 08-09, 09-10, and 10-11 except for inexperienced and sometimes just totally idiotic head coach) and then literally ruining it by belated coaching change, awful trades, and crazy signings.

  • kemiisto

    While I disagree with “Holtby >> Neuvy” statement, saing that Holtby chokes in the playoffs is overly trollish. Yes, he did not prove that he is an elite goaltender yet, but he is young. Tim Thomas proved that when he was over 30. And actually none goaltender wont win you the title, only the team can do that.

  • Shaun Phillips

    Caps need to actually score goals to win games in the playoffs. They got shut out back-to-back in the 7 games last year (when all they needed was a win) and the 3 games they did win were largely thanks to Holtby (< 1.00 GAA). Also, he's played in 3 playoff series. That's not much of a sample to say he's a "choker." His SV% is .922 in both playoff years (no fancy graphs, just staight forward stat). That actually is in elite company. Finally, it would help if the caps didn't give up 30+ shots a game in the playoffs.

    Also, Peyton has a ring and might have a 2nd after Sunday.

  • Shaun Phillips

    Detroit has been destroyed by injuries this year (Z and Dats both out again, but Howie back tonight). Fortunately, the Wings are a lot like the Caps in their goaltending depth: a great starter, a solid backup, and a great prospect in the AHL who’s started to show NHL quality. As much as I’d love to see the Spartan back in the state, there’s no fit for him in Detroit either.

    Islanders could definitely afford him, but would he actually want to go there? And I doubt the Sabres trade him to someone in the same conference. Jets maybe? good team with suspect goalie.

  • Alex

    Well, we’ll see how the Kuznetsov experiment goes. Let’s also remember that Andre Burakovsky is waiting in line too, so perhaps both of them will be viable solutions next year. If you want something more immediate, I’d say going for a rental with someone like Thomas Vanek or Matt Moulson. They may be a tiny bit older, but they’ve proven that they can hit the 30-goal mark (Vanek hit the 40-goal mark twice). Plus, they seem to be having a good year. IF (key word) we can get either of them for cheap, then we should definitely jump on it, though I doubt we’d be able to without losing something that’ll come back to bite us. We’ll see how things play out.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett
  • Shaun Phillips

    Rumors are Vanek is destined for the Wild to play with his buddies Parise and Suter. Moulson would hopefully be more than a rental as he’s young and has connections with the Caps (http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/2013/10/31/matt-moulson-named-his-child-after-george-mcphee/). Doubt he’d be cheap though.

  • JH

    Thank you for demolishing the arguments of those who would urge a Ryan Miller trade. I think a lot of the commentariat that follow hockey but don’t follow the caps as microscopically as we do just don’t respect our goaltenders because to them they are “young” and “unproven” – which we all know is lazy, but I think that’s the prism they view these guys through. Agree problems are a few vets not living up to contracts (Laich, Brouwer, Erat, ahem) and one solid blue-liner. Not an easy problem to fix. Who wants a bloated contract of an underachiever? To some extent I think we’re stuck. Personally, I’d put the youngsters on the third line and put Laich and Brouwer on the 4th line at this point. Tell me Wilson couldn’t do more sharing time with Grabo and Ward, or even Chimmer and Mojo.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    Why am I not surprised that the guy with the Putin avatar goes off the board and chooses option D.) DEFIANCE

  • Stardawg

    I think the reason that Weekes thinks Miller and the Caps are a fit is because the Caps don’t have an experienced goaltender. True, Holtby has been a great goaltender and has been fantastic in the playoffs, but he is still relatively inexperienced. The league has seen numerous goalies come in with a bang and then disappear just as quickly, Jim Carey, Patrick Lalime etc. I totally agree that trading for a goalie right now would be a terrible move for the Caps, but I don’t think its outlandish for outsiders to think Miller may go to the Caps. I mean, if the Sabres offered Miller, Moulson and Ott for Neuvy, Erat, Brouwer and a draft pick would the Caps say no?

  • Jim Kelly

    If it’s any better I like this piece a lot. :)

  • Bryan Gleason

    While I understand the sports media having to pull stories out of their ass to fill up time on the air, I feel like they could be a little less lazy and maybe pin things like this on teams that have a legitimate need for the player they’re discussing.
    If NHL Tonight even kept up with A stat, let alone many stats, it would be clear to them that a goalie is the last thing we need.
    Don’t get me wrong, I love Ryan Miller. What he did for my country in 2010 left me with an unwavering resolution to always support him no matter what the situation, unless it keeps the Caps out of the playoffs, or a HIGHLY unlikely playoff matchup against the Sabres. Spending the money on him would be Heinsworth-esque of Ted and GMGM to do.

  • Shaun Phillips

    And then Thomas went off his meds…

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    That’s a good point about experience, but for the record Holtby has seen more shots as a Cap than Carey did, and he’s got a much higher percentage– even compared to their contemporary league averages.

  • ErskSMASH

    PLAYOFFS!?!?!? playoffs?

  • Shaun Phillips

    Of course the Caps wouldn’t say no to that. Would the Sabres actually offer that? No way in h-e-double hockey sticks. They’re rebuilding (again), they want draft picks and prospects.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    “I feel like they could be a little less lazy”

    Yes.

  • Fedor

    Thing is, right now there are maybe two teams in the NHL that need goalies. And neither of them wants an upcoming UFA is his 30s. Market for Miller is slim to none. Somebody will do something stupid, that’s what the Sabres should be hoping for.

  • Bryan Gleason

    I feel like I just made the biggest understatement of the millennium.

  • Shaun Phillips

    I know its slightly random, but Holtby has always reminded me of Miller. Both long, lanky goalies with good positioning and excellent reflexes. I got to see Miller for 3 seasons at MSU and now Holtby for 2 and there’s just something that seems similar.

  • Bryan Gleason

    While the patriotic, bald eagle loving person in me wants him in a Caps sweater, the Caps fan in me wants a Shutdown D, a Semin that doesn’t slap fight, and 5 million more in cap space.

  • Stardawg

    Thats my point…if the Sabres make a great offer, Milller could be a Cap. Even if the Caps aren’t really looking for a goalie.

  • Bryan Gleason

    My god, I don’t know what I’d do with myself if the Caps re-built again.

  • Shaun Phillips
  • Bryan Gleason

    Where were you when Semin started THE slap fight?

  • Bryan Gleason

    Neverforget.jpg

  • Shaun Phillips

    Rooting for a Cup repeat for my Wings. :) Hadn’t started following the Caps yet (and had never actually seen this ‘fight’).

  • Rob W.

    Good stuff Ian, i completely agree that it would be stupid to get Miller. I think this team needs to retool this offseason. They need to get younger at the forward position and let a few guys go and maybe get a few draft picks in return. Currently the caps have some great prospects that will come up int he next year or two but compared to the rest of the league we have a rather shallow pool of prospects. I dont want to make it worse with a desperate GMGM in maybe his final year in control.

  • Owen Johnson

    Why can I only upvote this once?

  • Owen Johnson
  • Owen Johnson

    “hes not an elite goalie, hes like peyton manning,”
    Also I believe Peyton Manning is pretty elite. I would LOVE for Holtby to be as good as Manning.

  • Shaun Phillips

    And now the tweet…ugh Please GMGM don’t do it!

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland
  • Lance Perrier

    I agree that Miller is a bad trade for the Caps to make, but I disagree that the Caps have good goal tending. They have goalies that play good at times, but nothing even close to a consistent, NHL level, starting goalie. Not even close!

  • Eric Hobeck

    Who’s to say it’s not broken?

  • kemiisto

    The Caps goaltending situation is far away from being broken.

  • OlietheGoalie

    Our defense is a big part of our goalies’ problems. Holt, Grub, and Neuvy aren’t invincible, but we are fine with them.

  • Chris Cerullo

    George Mcphee is an idiot if he tries this.

  • Chris GMUFan

    Not a chance that Caps’ management thinks they are “a world away”. Plus, its much harder to acquire top 4 Dmen then it is to acquire an elite goaltender. Might be worth it to roll the dice and hope that Miller could go nuts for 2 months. But there is NO chance GMGM ever takes his medicine on Erat, Laich or Mike Green.

  • johnnymorte

    Even a goalie like Miller would get undressed with this defense. Go for Tallinder instead. The blueline needs size and veteran leadership, and he has both.

  • Rob W.

    Im so scared about this, imagine what GMGM will give up to get a rental

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    me

  • Bryan Gleason

    Now that I think of it, what if GMGM is trying to get Miller just so he won’t stand on his head against us again in the regular season this year?

  • Shaun Phillips

    A top prospect? Oh wait…

  • dylan wheatley

    caps need to get rid of everyone over the age of 24 not named backstrom, grabovski, erat and ovechkin

  • dylan wheatley

    forgot green, don’t get rid of green.

  • dylan wheatley

    and fehr. keep fehr.

  • Dumdums

    Caps fans know nothing about hockey.

  • Graham Dumas

    This is a non-snarky question born of ignorance. What COULD McPhee give up (i.e. what viable options are there on the table that would create the cap space necessary to pay Miller)?

  • Jack Conness

    I hate to jump in so late on this conversation but I am siding with most of you here. This makes no sense. We all here watch the Washington Capitals. We KNOW they don’t need a goalie. It isn’t Holtby’s fault. Or Neuvy’s. Or Gruby’s. They have an awful defense in front of them and a very inconsistent offense. We do not need Ryan Miller. And we also don’t need to trade an arm and a leg for him either.

  • Jack Conness

    I am done with this team if they acquire Ryan Miller. Especially if they give up Burakovsky, Barber, or anything else.

  • Jack Conness

    Miller, Moulson, and Ott for Neuvy, Erat, Brouwer, and a draft pick? Now I could have a conversation about that.

  • P.H. Beats
  • harjot singh

    im not totally understanding your logic here grabo is a good second or third line center and Ovechkin??? really?

  • Rob W.

    If they did this trade then they would probably give up green and ask buffalo to retain some of miller’s salary. this a nightmare scenario i dont want to experience

  • Graham Dumas

    See, I mean, that right there says this isn’t gonna happen. I’ve got to agree w/ Peter et al. on this one.

    As opposed to all those other times, when I totally don’t agree with this blog, but continue reading it.

  • Graham Dumas

    The cap may save us from stupidity on this one…

  • Alex

    Currently, the offer is Miller (with 50% salary retained) for Neuvirth, Fehr, 1st round 2015, and 2nd round 2016. The Caps are currently the frontrunners in the Miller saga.

  • GMGMNeverBreaks

    I love this blog and don’t post much. For some reason though, your posts about trades have rubbed me the wrong way. I feel like a few things should be said in defense of this possible trade and the mindset behind it. (I apologize for the super long post)

    Regarding McPhee’s general strategy: (1) A few sources (e.g. Eklund, Mackenzie, etc.) have suggested that this is the final year of McPhee’s contract with the Caps. If we don’t make the playoffs or make another early exit, then McPhee would likely be out of a job (at least for a little while). I have no way of confirming whether this is true, but McPhee’s seat has been getting hotter with every year that passes and it’s not unreasonable to think (regardless of contract status) that this is McPhee’s final chance with the team since everything from general roster construction to coaching staff has changed except for the guy constructing the roster. For better or worse, I think that’s a motivating factor in this situation. I, for one, am happy to let the guy who gave Lorne Molleken a black eye and took on the entire Chicago Blackhawks team a chance to save his job. (2) Ovechkin’s and Backstrom’s primes are here and, as the Caps’ core, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to surround them with the best players we can get in order to win now or in the next few years. As good as someone like Forsberg or other prospects currently in the pipeline might be, I’d be more upset if we prioritized keeping those players on the basis of their *potential* (and RFA years) over trying to win when *proven stars and beloved franchise players* like Ovechkin and Backstrom lack a sufficient supporting cast to win when they’re best able to. We might take issue with certain moves made to form that supporting cast (e.g. I hated moving Perreault, especially for the return we got) but that doesn’t convince me that the win-now-or-very-soon approach is the wrong one. To convince me of that, you’d have to show that the Caps as currently constructed aren’t just a piece or two away from being a viable threat in the playoffs (e.g. a real offensive threat to pair with Grabo and a 4D). If you think the addition of those two pieces would be enough to make us a viable playoff threat (assuming we don’t have to give up anything too important in return), as I get the impression a lot of people on this blog think, then I don’t see why we should be so inhospitable to McPhee’s general strategy even if we might question his execution of that strategy (e.g. going after Miller instead of a left-handed 4D).

    Regarding the Miller rumor: (1) I don’t value thriftiness on goalies for its own sake. I only care about it insofar as it affects how the rest of the roster can be constructed and if we can send out some overpaid talent at forward to make room for a better, albeit more expensive goalie, I wouldn’t mind. (2) As much as I like all three of our young goalies, they’re not proven NHL stars like Miller. We still don’t have a big enough sample size on Holtby to take his performance this year as an aberration (though I optimistically believe it is). Neuvirth’s number have never been much better than NHL average if at all. Grubauer’s still green and I definitely don’t think he should be counted on to start in the near future. Our goalie situation isn’t broken. In fact, it’s enviable for rebuilding teams and emerging contenders. If the emphasis is on winning in the next few years though, it can be improved by getting someone who is proven at the NHL, has more experience, is more consistent, etc. Miller meets those criteria. Maybe getting him shouldn’t be a priority, but what’s wrong with kicking tires to see if we can get him at a decent price? (3) I don’t know what Buffalo is looking for in return, but one of our three young goalies should be interesting enough for their rebuild plus decent salaried forward (e.g. Erat could fit – good veteran whose contract expires next year, they can give him all the minutes he wants to showcase him for a deadline rental next year), it’s conceivable we wouldn’t need to give up *too much* more in valuable assets to make that deal happen – swap a young, promising goalie and a solid-or-good forward for a stud goalie who wants a change in scenery. I’m speculating, of course, but so is everyone else. (4) Obviously Miller wouldn’t be worth it if we couldn’t resign him, but why should that be an issue? If we trade away enough to make Miller fit this year and the cap goes up the $7M people are estimating it will (and GMGM knows better than we do), why wouldn’t we be capable of signing him (especially since we’re a team that’s proactively trying to win now when Miller wants to be on a contender) with $7M? The only other players we have to worry about signing are Grabo and Orlov. I definitely don’t see Orlov getting Carlson money, maybe $3M (I suspect even that’s generous). Assuming Grabo gets a $2.5M raise (to $5.5M) + $2.3M raise for Orlov (to $3M), that leaves us with $2.2M to give to Miller over his current $6.25. Even if he gets a decent bump in pay, we can afford that.

  • yv

    Depending on what is offered for Miller. If, for instance, Neuvirth, 1st pick and one older player and BUF retains some RM salary (necessity, b/c no room) I’m all for it.

  • Alex

    The current offer is Miller (with 50% salary retained) for Neuvirth, Fehr, 1st round 2015, 2nd round 2016, from what I’ve gathered.

  • Bryan Gleason

    Another over-priced goalie that we don’t need?
    Ugh…just die in my sleep already..

  • Bryan Gleason

    Source?

  • Alex
  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett
  • Shaun Phillips

    Waaaaaaay too much to be giving up.

  • yv

    Sounds not bad, especially if Kuzya and Burakovsky will play next season to their promising potential, those picks should be late ones, I hope.

  • Bryan Gleason
  • Bryan Gleason

    Goodnight, sweet timelord

  • madflava76

    Praying to the hockey gods that GMGM can’t make any moves because of the cap and he’s finally fired at the end of the season.

  • madflava76

    God I hope not. Watch the Caps 2015 1st round become a lottery pick. I can see teams trying to load up on 2015 1st round picks at the deadline and the draft this year with McDavid as the projected #1.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    I don’t know what you’re talking about Peter. I totally believe the guy with 100 followers tweeting from PARTS UNKNOWN. Is that you Ultimate Warrior? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdkOeMeCvpY

  • madflava76

    Agree. We have three very young goalies and the goalie position probably takes the longest to develop. Caps need to have patience at this point as they built their team with no veteran goalie to take the majority of starts while the prospect goalies develop. Caps need to realize that the playoffs are not in the cards for this season and be sellers at the deadline.

  • Eric Schulz

    The biggest problem in that 3 year run was GOALTENDING. We used rookies every year, and got a return that was similar to what you’d expect. Puck luck was 2nd, although, of course, having more experienced goaltending could’ve helped with that.
    And yes, you are correct, GMGM has botched that so, so much the past few years. It’s jarring to see how far we’ve come. Just looking back at all the moves he’s made is a blueprint for how to get fired.

  • FirstCapsFan

    Holts is a good young goalie, but is he the guy to lead the Caps to the Cup? How about Nuevy? When Miller is on he is unbeatable period. This is a franchise goaltender who could deliver the holy grail after 40 years. Stats and salary are one thing, the race for the Cup is another. I’d give them both Nuevy and Holts for Miller and Ott and let Grubi back him up.

  • Eric Schulz

    I thought it was in no way hyperbolic, and I felt the same way. I am STILL embarrassed, chagrined, and pissed about that trade. Taking on cap is bad; giving up the 2nd best prospect in a draft is bad; acquiring a guy that is redundant and has no fit on a team is bad; GMGM knocked all 3 of those out in the same trade. Just mind-numbingly stupid. I had a problem accepting it at first… making it worse, oh yeah, we are a team with very, very little cap, which means we need young, cheap talent. It’s very, very hard to acquire that, and we had it fall into our goddamn laps… and GMGM shit all over it. I hate him right now thinking about that trade. I can’t believe it happened; I have no idea how that was allowed to happen. I’d’ve blocked the trade and fired GMGM on the spot were I able to do so.

  • Eric Schulz

    Why do the Blues need goaltending? Don’t they have two very good ones? I mean, to me the only obvious destination is the Oilers, who badly need a goalie. I mean, the team looks bad this year, but it’s been 90% goaltending. They have tons of young assets; if they actually want to compete next year, Miller is all it should take. Buffalo doesn’t need centers or defense, honestly, they are stacked there with young talent, so… if the Oilers really want to/are willing to move Yakupov, that seems like a fair deal, straight up.

  • Eric Schulz

    That’s why we keep those guys…

  • Safoster

    Only way I would consider this a win for the Capitals is if it’s Laich/Erat + Neuvirth + 2nd for Miller. (Almost) even salary changing sides, Miller being a UFA frees up salary and allows for quicker rebuild next year. Recoup a lower draft pick by trading Miller’s negotiating rights before UFA.

    Anything else makes no sense and is too much. Buffalo would likely sneeze at that deal though.

  • Eric Schulz

    That sounds AWFUL. Losing Fehr would hurt an offense that already has NO room for error. Giving away 1st rounders for a rental that we can’t afford is a bad strategy too.

  • ZyphZorg

    After Winnipeg I don’t think people are going to take a chance on Fehr. He’s a Cap as long as his shoulders stay operational and he is a reasonable scoring threat. Someone may pick him up on a tryout basis if the Caps and he part ways but I’m not trading something away for his balky shoulders.

  • Myan

    Could we realistically afford that in terms of cap room?

  • Jim Kelly

    The cap space argument is the best one against the trade, I think, but the others don’t hold as much water.

    What Forsberg was originally as a prospect and how he was viewed at the time of the trade are two different things. By all accounts scouts both within the Capitals organization and from what I’ve read viewed him less favorably than he was at draft time.

    Regarding fit, obviously in retrospect he hasn’t been utilized well, and it’s anyone’s guess as to why, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t seem like he had a role at the time of the trade. A ~50pt winger should have been an improvement over what we had for the 2nd line but he wasn’t consistently deployed that way.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    “Puck luck” and goaltending are two sides of the same coin. MTL 2010 was a loss to a hot goalie. 2011 and 2012 were possession defeats. 2013 was a hot goalie and most possession.

    Goaltending is very volatile. Having a good goalie doesn’t guarantee a good performance in the playoffs. Even if it did, Holtby’s career numbers (still a small sample) are higher than Miller’s. http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/2013/12/22/braden-holtby-philipp-grubauer-and-ants-on-a-chandelier/

  • Eric Schulz

    Oh, you need proof that we aren’t ready to contend? Watch some games this season. Ovie and Backstrom are YOUNG, we are much better off building with young players to supplement them, like Johansson, Kuznetsov, Forberg, Burakovsky… and some veterans. If GMGM wasn’t such a short-sighted fool, we could roll into next year with something like:
    Kuznetsov – Backstrom – Ovechkin
    Fehr – Grabovski – Wilson
    Chimera – Johansson – Forsberg

    Laich – Beagle – Brouwer
    Alzner – Carlsson
    Schmidt – Green
    Orlov – Oleksy
    Holtby
    Grubauer
    scratches or AHL callups – Hillen, Stoa, Erskine

    plus we’d have Burakovsky developing along with a bunch of other 2nd tier prospects (Galiev, Bowey, Sanford, etc), whatever we got in exchange for Neuvirth (a mid-1st + a prospect, probably).
    I have that as my 20 man roster, then Stoa, Wellman, Hillen, and Erskine as the scratches (too many, I know, but for salary purposes that will be a conservative estimation). That gives us just about $8.3 million in cap space, before accounting for Grabovski’s raise (if he stays), and whatever Kuznetsov’s deal is. However, that doesn’t take into account that the cap will likely rise next year. Which team would you rather have? My lineup gives me a mental-boner. (We still need a top-4 defenseman, I think, but I continue my crusade of Laich-on-defense, and pair him with Green, push Schmidt down, then fill Laich’s place with Stoa probably, maybe Wellman… or you can try to use Neuvirth as bait for a top-4 guy, along with Galiev and/or other prospects – I’d say as long as the prospect isn’t Bowey, I’m probably okay with it.)

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    When people say “period,” it’s kind a clue that they’re not thinking this through.

    When ANY goalie is “on” they are unbeatable.

    And no, stats and salary are not separate from winning the Cup. Those are important ingredients in the delicious slow-cooked stew called Stanley.

  • Eric Schulz

    Really, after two months he suddenly wasn’t a top-3 prospect anymore? Yeah, I call BS on that.
    Also, I called Erat not being utilized well because he was redundant, as I said; it’s obvious in retrospect, but it was just as equally obvious AT THE TIME!

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    Totally a fair point about Forsberg’s decreased value, and I agree, but I think Ian’s point isn’t that Forsberg > Erat, but that choosing Erat OVER Forsberg meant going “all in” on a team that wasn’t strong enough to win a championship rather than building a stronger team for the next season.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    That’s what GMGM said his scouts said the day after the trade. I think we gotta take him at his word there.

  • rapmadrob

    won’t happen. Doesn’t matter

  • Eric Schulz

    I completely disagree about Forsberg’s decreased value. If a guy is the consensus top-2 or top-3 guy in the draft, as he was, then you don’t give up on him IMMEDIATELY. Perhaps you give it as many as 4, maybe even 5 months before seeing if he can turn things around? I don’t know, maybe I just have the patience of a Buddhist monk. If you give up on a guy THAT fast, you need to be fired, IMMEDIATELY. Forsberg is, what 18? Yeah, inconsistency from a teenager? Shocking, we clearly must move on from him.

  • Eric Schulz

    Also, Forsberg IS greater than Erat.

  • Jim Kelly

    Who does he replicate? He was a 50pt/y guy in Nashville of all places. I think it’s reasonable to assume he should have been at least that in Washington, especially if he was paired with Grabo regularly, ie really given a chance.

  • Safoster

    We should question McPhee’s strategy because all of his moves since the Caps were eliminated by the Canadiens have been short-sighted band-aid fixes. This team peaked that year and has been on a steady decline since, and McPhee’s moves have been a large part of that. He has systematically dismantled a team that was young, fast, and inexperienced into a team of old, slow grinders.

    The time for McPhee to have been bold was when Pronger was on the block in 09 and ANH asked for Varly, Alzner and picks. McPhee pulls the trigger on that and we likely have a Cup in DC.

  • Eric Schulz

    I know, I made that point (“having more experienced goaltending could’ve helped with that”).
    And my point was about that 3 year stretch where we started 3 rookies: Varly, then Neuvirth, then Holtby. It wasn’t a great way to win the Cup. I ABSOLUTELY agreed with it, I would rather give the young, cheap, talented guys the chance rather than have overpaid for a proven, expensive goalie, but just realize going in that if you fail, it may be solved by doing nothing; the goalies have more experience, that may be enough. Don’t try to change the team drastically, as GMGM thinks we needed too.

  • Jim Kelly

    Sure, although I think stating it was going “all in” is back to overstating Forsberg’s value. We got a prospect that was potentially worth at least as much as Forsberg in the eyes of scouts, or perhaps worth less, but coupled with a guy that should have been a decent second line winger.

  • Eric Schulz

    No scout thought Latta was worth anything near as much as Forsberg was. You are vastly underrating Forsberg. I’d guess you are basing your judgement solely on stuff leaked out by GMGM and his people after the trade, wanting to justify it. He’s a stud.

  • Eric Schulz

    WHAT? He put up 50 as THE MAN in Nashville, and you expect him to replicate that as a secondary scorer somewhere else. Um, no, that’s not how that works.
    He is a 2nd line or 3rd line winger… looked to me more like a 3rd liner on a great team… we already had Fehr, Laich, Chimera, Brouwer, Ward… how many 2nd/3rd liners do you need? (4; we had 5 already.)

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    “What Forsberg was originally as a prospect and how he was viewed at the time of the trade are two different things.”

    I would argue that his value increased from his draft year. From what I saw he was even better, an even more sure-fire player than I thought he was when he was originally drafted — especially after spilling out of the Top Ten of the first round. Being MVP of the WJC’s backs that up. His 6 points in 17 career NHL games before the age of 20 backs that up. His point-per-game pace in the AHL backs that up. The fact that he’s a good penalty killer backs that up.

    He is the most mature prospect I’ve seen play or interacted with. I don’t know what the Caps had envisioned for him — if anything at all — but he would have been a great guy to plug in on the third or fourth line and let him grow. Unlike Wilson, at least he could penalty kill.

  • Jim Kelly

    Um, doesn’t Erat currently have almost 4 times as many points as Forsberg, despite getting the shaft pretty frequently?

    And no, I’m basing on what LeBrun said other scouts were telling him. Concerns about his value didn’t exist solely in Washington.

  • Eric Schulz

    YES! Thank you.

  • Chris Cerullo

    I’ve given more thought to this issue other than my previous “George Mcphee is an idiot if he tries this.” statement. That Erat trade, in my opinion, has soured the media and other figures in the NHL regarding Mcphee enough that they now believe that the guy is prone to another overpayment at this years deadline. In the past he has been one of the stingiest GMs in the NHL and there is no way he’s interested in Miller unless it’s a bargain like Huet for a 2nd in 2008. The goalie market is also horrid so IMO Buffalo really has no leverage when it comes to dealing Miller. I could easily see them dealing him very late for a 2nd + a mid level prospect based purely on the fact that they don’t want him to just walk at the end of this year especially when they’re rebuilding. Vogs put it best “People asking about trade rumors: Ask yourselves, how many times have you heard #Caps trade rumors that came to fruition? There ya go.”

  • Eric Schulz

    Yes, in 4 times the amount of games played, Erat has 4 times the points. Very impressive.

  • GMGMNeverBreaks

    Thanks for your response! I’m excited about Kuznetsov and was about Forsberg. I also would rather we would have erred on the side of being too patient, but one of the things I wanted to call to attention was that relying on Kuznetsov and Forsberg to boost our lineup carries some inherent risks, e.g. Forsberg being stuck in the AHL right now – yes, I’d rather have him in the AHL with Perreault at 3C than Erat playing musical chairs and Latta in the pipeline), that may not be palatable *especially* if you want to be a serious contender for the next few years. I shy away from arguing in counterfactuals – there are plenty of things we could and probably should have done differently. I don’t support every move GMGM has ever made nor will I continue to. I’m just trying to express what might be the rationale behind his general approach and its instantiation in interest in Miller.

    Ovechkin and Backstrom aren’t ancient, but they’re reaching an age where production tends to go down (although there are exceptions). I am more optimistic about Backstrom remaining productive as the years go on, but there has always been a concern (for a lot of people, anyway) that Ovechkin’s playing style won’t help him later in his career. He is a generational talent, so maybe the typical drop-off in scoring around 27-28 (that Neil Greenberg used to argue for a drop in Semin’s goal totals that’s come to fruition) won’t apply to Ovechkin, but it’s often prudent to pay attention to statistical norms especially if it means that the highest paid NHLer and cornerstone of your team will be less and less productive in a few years.

  • Jim Kelly

    Perhaps, I mean I know you guys watched him pretty closely, so I’ll have to take your word for what you saw in him. I can only point out that scouts had concerns.

    Maybe you are right and they are wrong, but you don’t have GMGM’s ear, they do. Given the information he had available to him, from his perspective it sounds like Forsberg’s stock had dropped.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    I don’t think Forsberg is greater than Erat now. Erat is actually putting up tremendous possession stats despite being buried as all of us agree. Again though – do you — as a team that is floundering — put all your chips on a 32 year old winger who makes 4.5 million (on a team that has a lot of bad contracts) or do you put your money on 7 years of the best european skater in the draft. You’re throwing away value.

  • Jim Kelly

    Right, and why isn’t Forsberg playing? That’s right, isn’t he back in the minors?

    Forsberg may some day be a stud. That day is not now, and Forsberg is not greater than Erat at the moment.

  • Jim Kelly

    Nashville is not exactly an offensive juggernaut. A lot of people expected age effects would be countered a bit by playing with a more offensively oriented squad (although where that squad is today I guess is something we’d all like to know).

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    Well didn’t Trotz say they didn’t have a place for him in the top 6 so they wanted to develop him in Milwaukee? At his age and the league he was coming from, I don’t see that as anything but smart. It’s like the reverse-Tom Wilson.

  • Eric Schulz

    It seems like you have two options. One is to overpay for old guys, the other is to supplement with young, cheap talent. With the second, you have much more flexibility, and it only doesn’t work if you don’t have great prospects. By any measure, Kuznetsov and Forsberg count; the former is accepted as the best non-NHLer right now, the latter was the 2nd or 3rd best player in his draft class, depending on who you asked. When Ovie and Backstrom drop off, we would’ve had Johansson, Kuznetsov, Forsberg, and Wilson to step up to more than pick up the slack. That means we can contend now AND in the future.
    The first way, if we don’t win NOW, we have nothing. Also, when we had Semin, we EASILY could’ve won the Cup, we didn’t need to overhaul things the way GMGM thought; sometimes you have the best team in the league, and it just doesn’t happen. No need to panic.

  • Jim Kelly

    Sure, I’m just making the point that the argument that Forsberg is currently better than Erat is absurd.

    Some day is incredibly hard to know. Now? We know.

  • Eric Schulz

    I expected him to drop off because a) it wouldn’t be easy to find a spot for him in the line-up, b) he wouldn’t be THE MAN, so he would have the puck less and get less playing time, and c) he is getting older.
    I mean, I’m not exactly getting paid to do this analysis, I do it in my spare time, and I called it exactly right. It’s not remotely unfair to expect a general manager of an actual NHL team to have at least the amount of hockey knowledge that I possess.

  • Jim Kelly

    Yeah I liked your Grabo pick-up this summer too. If only you could be GM full time. Oh wait…

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    I think it was all about foot speed, not overall skill or smarts. Tom Wilson for instance — is a faster skater than Filip, but I’d bet the farm on Forsberg having a better NHL career than Wilson.

    Over the summer, GMGM talked to Elliot in the Morning and said he was very focused on having a quick, puck-moving team like Chicago. If you look at the defense – if you look at guys like Chimera, etc, GMGM is looking for guys who can do things very quick. With the fact that Forsberg fell into their laps at 12, I think they found him expendable. They do have plenty of skill forwards coming up through the pipeline.

  • GMGMNeverBreaks

    I tend to think you’re right about Pronger. Unfortunately, we won’t know. Remember, though, that the Caps were criticized after that loss for being a young, fast, talented team, but we lacked gritty grinders who would get the job done when it counted and defensive accountability. The whole organization re-oriented after that loss, including the systems Boudreau implemented. Maybe we shouldn’t have changed our identity the way we did, or as thoroughly as we did, but a heck of a lot of people thought changing in that direction was warranted and wise.

    GMGM’s trustworthiness may be undermined by the specific moves he made. I think that’s a reasonable response. I just don’t think it’s the only reasonable response you can have.

  • Eric Schulz

    THIS YEAR, I’d rather have Forsberg for less than $1 million (or nothing, if he’s in the AHL, which I think is better – although I see that the Wilson/Joe Thorton/Vinny Lecavalier plan isn’t BAD, I just prefer the other way) than Erat for $4.5 million. Forsberg isn’t just Forsberg; he’s Forsberg + somebody else for $3.5 million. Easy, easy choice; in the future, the choice becomes easier… and easier… and easier.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    Totally, I agree.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    For the Capitals and how they’ve played this year — I would too.

  • Eric Schulz

    I agreed with that pick-up; that was a no-brainer. I think everybody was expecting it pretty much from day 4 or 5 of free agency.

  • MuzzMuzzington

    Maybe if we could trade Erskine, Brouwer, and Laich for him…. A man can dream

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    Revisiting some old stats from when I compared Holtby to Lundqvist. http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/2013/12/22/braden-holtby-philipp-grubauer-and-ants-on-a-chandelier/

    Using 6-game samples (which is weird, I know):

    Holtby spent 13% of his games under .890.
    Lundqvist spent 11.5% of his games under .890.
    Miller spent 12.7% of his games under .890.

    Holtby spent 17.9% of his games over .940.
    Lundqvist spent 17.4% of his games over .940.

    Miller spent 14.1% of his games over .940.

    So Miller is MICROSCOPICALLY less likely to slump than Holtby and less likely to sustain insane-o high percentages.

  • Eric Schulz

    You want to critique me as a GM? Here’s some other moves I would’ve done (all of them without using hindsight): I would’ve signed Ovie and Backstrom to shorter contracts… if they took a discount, I wrap them up for 7+ years. They didn’t, so I would’ve gone for about 5 years; at the end of it, I’d expect them to drop off, and even if they didn’t, I don’t know what’s gonna happen with the cap, so I want that flexibility to adjust their contracts down if need be. As it stands, it looks like that won’t matter; they are playing as well as ever (“well” in Ovie’s case, “productively” in Backstrom’s). I would’ve done the same thing with Green; looks like that would’ve been nice. I didn’t think Laich was worth the money or length we gave him. I don’t know what he would’ve taken, though. Maybe I’d cave and give him that amount, but I wouldn’t have gone longer than 3, MAYBE 4 years. Again, that’d be nice. I’d’ve REALLY liked to retain Semin, and would’ve if we had the ability to do so (money-wise, I feel like we can, role-wise… I couldn’t promise him 1st line minutes, but he left the year we finally got a legit 2C, so I feel like that should’ve helped).
    I liked the Ribeiro trade, obviously, and the Brouwer trade; assuming it comes up (maybe GMGM had to persuade the other GM’s, maybe I am unable to do that, who knows?) I do both of those deals. I didn’t like the Ward signing; I either knock a little over a half a million off the offer, or one year. He maybe goes elsewhere; I’m not terribly concerned. Obviously I make the Grabovski signing.
    Back in the day, I would’ve tried to keep Scott Hannan; I have no idea if that would’ve been the right move, since I haven’t been able to watch him that much, but he would seem to be a nice fit with Green on the 2nd D pairing.
    I would’ve drafted Forsberg, but I would’ve grabbed Teuvo Teravainen instead of Wilson; this year, I would’ve grabbed Adam Erne instead of Burakovsky.

  • Eric Schulz

    He’s also an idiot if he doesn’t… I think he’s an idiot.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    Ah, I misunderstood. Sorry!

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    I see how my analogy is misleading, but I didn’t mean “all in” to imply anything about Forsberg’s value, but rather than the team intended to win NOW rather (i.e. acquiring a vet on a medium-length contract and maxing out the Cap) than build for future (drafting and trading for assets to be exchanged later)

    I think that shows that the team’s management thought the team was better than it was (or excessively worried about missing the playoffs and thereby losing their jobs).

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett
  • Jim Kelly

    Ah, I see, that makes sense.

    Although I will say I think it’s going to be hard for any GM to not make moves that they think will get them to the playoffs, regardless of whether they are in the hot seat or not.

  • Eric Schulz

    My point to that would be: if I’m the owner, then what I want from the GM is for him to improve my team as much as possible, and make smart moves. If he drafts and develops well, and we have a good team, but during a down year (during a shortened – and therefore fluky) season, then I still want him to be focused on having the best team we can. If he tells me that he *could’ve* traded some very young, cheap prospects to get a few middling veterans to get us in this year, but didn’t think it was worth it b/c it would’ve lost us too much in our young talent, and also hurt our cap situation, I am okay with it. If you are building a good team, and you have young guys like Ovechkin, Backstrom, Johansson, Grabovski, but you’ve made some missteps with the supporting cast (overpaying Brouwer, Ward, Laich – bad luck, IMO, since he’s down b/c of injuries, although I still thought the contract was too much even before that), but you have young guys coming up that YOU drafted (Kuznetsov, Forberg, Wilson, Burakovsky), then I realize that the team you put together ISN’T just the NHL team, it’s also the farm system, and they look like they’ll be ready soon… I continue to employ you. You have put together a team that can compete (Ovie, Backstrom, Kuznetsov, Forsberg, Wilson, Burakovsky; that core is a core that can compete for the Cup); if you continue to draft well, we can continue to compete for perpetuity. It takes good luck to win the Cup; as long as you are putting out a team that is good enough, we’ll have a shot. But if you mortgage the future for selfish, stupid reasons? You’re gone.

  • Eric Schulz

    I guess you didn’t see my comment below? I’d rather have Forsberg than Erat, because I wouldn’t have just Forsberg; I’d have Forsberg + $3.5 million to spend on other players.
    Also, I don’t know where to put this, so here it is: if you want to make the point that Erat could be better utilized, that his production, and play, would be better but for how Oates is using him? That point is valid. However, Oates doesn’t want to optimize ERAT, he wants to optimize THE CAPITALS. Now, I have a problem with some of his lines, of course, but the way he uses Erat is about 5th on my list on forward changes I’d like to make; I don’t think how he used Erat has made much of an impact on the team this year, as far as we wouldn’t be too much better if Erat (and Erat alone) were in a better position to succeed.
    (I’d say it would make the biggest impact in that, if you wanted to put ERAT in the best position for him, it’d be on the first line with Ovie and Backstrom, and he’d push somebody down, who’d eventually push Volpatti out. Having Erat playing big minutes wouldn’t help a lot over, say, Johansson playing those minutes; having Volpatti NOT playing would be nice.)

  • Eric Schulz

    I hate when teams say they aren’t “rebuilding,” they are “retooling,” (or whatever dumb word they use), but that’s exactly what we COULD’VE been doing. Having guys in the pipeline like Kuznetsov, Forsberg, Wilson, Burakovsky, Schmidt, Bowey, Carrick, Grubauer, etc… that’s a core that a rebuilding team would LOVE to have. But we also have Ovie, Backstrom, Grabovski, Fehr, Johansson, Alzner, Carlson, and Holtby in the NHL (plus Neuvirth as a trade asset). I would like to see a team try to compete for a long time, realizing that winning the Cup takes some luck as well as skill, so the point is to try to be good enough to win it for as long as possible. Don’t make a dumb move like Forsberg for Erat… keep rolling your talent over from season to season. Yes, it’d be great to win with Ovie and Backstrom in their prime, but if they start to slip in 3 or 4 years, that stacked prospect pool will more than make up the slack.
    In the case of the Sharks, that didn’t work out well; the Patriots, in football, have much better results to show for it, however.

  • Diller M

    I think miller would put the Blues over the top going into a tough WC playoffs. It’s far from a sure thing but he would make a good rental for them

  • dcsportsfan85

    I might be in the minority, but I wouldn’t mind getting Ryan Miller to help mentor Holtby (especially if we could resign him). It all depends on what assets we would have to include in a package for him. If we trade them Neuvirth ($2.5MM), Erat ($4.5MM), and our 2014 1st Rd pick (relatively weak draft class this year) I think I’d be fine with that. The Sabres would get another talented, young goalie with a reasonable contract, a disgruntled but talented veteran winger who they could trade at next years deadline and provide some leadership/veteran presence this year on a young team, and another high pick.

  • Jack Conness

    True. It would never happen.

  • Cthulu’s Alarm Clock

    Am I gonna be the a-hole that says it? ….alright fine:
    I have the serious dreadful feeling that Miller’s coming here in exchange for Kuznetzov…

  • erinamanda13

    This really concerns me. What we need to do is fix the holes in our D and get some fire in our offense. In addition, we need to quit yanking our goalies around and busting their confidence. They are young, they will make mistakes, that is not a panic situation. You are totally right about the deal they are getting in goaltending currently…and sinking money in Miller isn’t in our best interest, IMHO.

  • Jaymoney

    This guy loves to shit on Brooks Laich. I don’t get it. I understand he has been injured and if that was his argument as to why Laich is overpayed, then he is 100% correct because all injured players are overpayed since they aren’t playing. But Laich earned that contract. When he isn’t injured, he has been a huge part of the Caps success, valuable in any situation. Great on the penalty kill, one of the better offensive players, an asset to the pp, and maybe the best defensive forwards we have. All I’m trying to say is that it’s way to soon to say Brooks is overpayed right now if he can stay healthy from here on out. If he stays injured then I get it, but give him enough games back at full strength and I think he will prove his worth. There are a lot of other players that people should be arguing are overpayed(I.e. Mike Green).

  • Dan Stump :{o

    Why would anyone be worried about getting Ryan Miller? Seriously…?

  • DPSisler

    As a beer league goalie, I agree with you. I am yelling at the TV every time Holtby is left hung to dry by his defense. Last night, buffalo scored on the third rebound attempt as Ovie and Erskine(?) watched in front of the crease while Chimera was clamoring to the ref about something (high stick?). The team needs to focus on defense in front of the goal and let Holtby focus on stopping the puck and not worrying about how his defense will fuck him this time.

  • DPSisler

    I ranted on my FB page right after the deal. To me, it smacked of desperation from GMGM in order to make a playoff push last year in order to save his job. IMO, the moment the Caps fail to make the extra money from the playoffs costing Ted money, GMGM is gone. That, to me, seemed the motivation for last year’s trade. That is why I hope that the Caps stay pat trading for rentals this year. I hope that Ted has said to GMGM, “You have made this team. No more trading the future for today’s results. We make the playoffs this year, we will discuss. Else, we will bring in a new GM and reevaluate the entire roster with new eyes”. That, at least, I hope is the pragmatic owner.

    Stop selling the (prospect) farm!

  • Goalieman29

    I have to say the Caps have decent young goaltenders. They are not the problem, the problem is that of all the young defensemen. Young forwards are good to have as you can use them on the 3rd and 4th lines to generate the energy, with the exceptions of the few young ones that produce well in the beginning as top 6 forwards. Defense is what they need. good quality veteran defenders. More than one that can be paired with the young guys and help give pointers on where they should be doing a giving situation. Defenders take a little longer to mature into their position. I would take 2 Carlson’s over 1 Green anyday.