With George McPhee out, the Capitals have a vacancy at the GM slot. But all the buzz in recent days has been about a position higher than that: the newfangled President of Hockey Operations, which sounds to me like general manager, but what do I know?
I’m sure you’ve heard the scuttlebutt. Word on the street is the Caps might bring in one of the biggest names in sports to become the big boss in Arlington. A real pro star, if you catch my drift.
I’m here to say that’s a real good idea. Actually, it’s a great one.
Over the summer, Schultz signed with the Los Angeles Kings. He didn’t make their team out of training camp, so he spent the entire season with American Hockey League’s Manchester Monarchs. He put up pedestrian numbers there–two goals and 11 assists– but Sarge has never been a stellar boxcar stat guy. On Monday night, with Robyn Regehr injured, Schultz was given a jersey by Kings coach Darryl Sutter. He looked like a changed player.
It was weird– and not only because he was playing his first NHL game since DC against Bruce Boudreau, Mathieu Perreault, and the Anaheim Ducks.
Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby is going to win the Hart trophy at the end of the season. Not only was Sid the only guy to score 100 points this year, he is also a good defensive player too. That’s why on Friday night against the New York Rangers, I was surprised to see Crosby completely give up on a play in the defensive zone.
[Ed. note: Eric Bovim shares his perspective as an aggrieved season-ticket holder. – Peter]
I have invested nearly $60,000 since 2008 as a season ticket holder into the Washington Capitals. But it’s time to put that to an end.
Even with the overdue changes to the Caps front office announced this weekend, I have decided to give up my tickets as a protest to ownership. I doubt the voice of a lone STH matters much to them; no doubt they will quickly sell my two seats in my section 102, row F to someone on their waiting list. Management never knew me. But I will not let them forget about why I have made the decision to forfeit my precious seats.
For the past 6 seasons, from those seats by the faceoff circle near the glass, I have seen it all. I remember the time I took my little boy to his first game – early 2009 – when he was merely two and a half. Alex was so young then I had to bring along his diaper and pacifier. His mother packed him his bottle. I bundled him up. We were playing the Canadiens. Jose Theodore was out goalie then. We won 3-0. I still remember his face that night at the game, him cheers along with the Horn Guy, him falling asleep later that season in the third period as the Caps rallied to beat Detroit. He stayed asleep even as Verizon Center celebrated a vintage Mike Green goal. I stood and held him as he slept. It was not easy, but it was fun.
We saw many other games over the years together. We became quite comfortable at Verizon together. We had our pre-game dinners all mapped out. He made his tour around the concourse, seeking free handouts from the Red Rockers. When I told him that I had given up the seats he was rightly upset. The games with dad were a childhood ritual that I have abruptly ended. He expected to be able to go. It would be hard to explain to him, however, that I expected much more from the Capitals this year, and that I felt like I was pouring my money down a hole.
During the 2012 NHL Draft, the Washington Capitals sent a B-level prospect to the Dallas Stars for Mike Ribeiro. The then 33-year-old Ribs played one season for the Caps as the team’s second-line center. His overall possession numbers were disappointing, but hey, he collected power-play points like coins in Super Mario.
George McPhee offered Ribeiro a contract extension at the trade deadline that year. Ribeiro did not agree to the deal, so McPhee traded Filip Forsberg for a top six-depth in Martin Erat, and Ribeiro walked away for nothing on the first day of free agency before signing a ridiculous five-year deal with the Phoenix Coyotes.
Meanwhile, that B-level prospect that the Caps gave up was Cody Eakin, who has become quite a player in Dallas.
WARNING:This post may upset readers who get emotional about human fingers. Not all of the fingers. Just the one in the middle.
Last night, the Philadelphia Flyers hosted a home playoff game for the first time since 2012, when they lost to the eventual Eastern Conference champions, the New Jersey Devils, in five games. The Flyers lost again on Tuesday, this time getting smacked 4-1 by the New York Rangers. They are down 2-1 in the series.
This first round match-up isn’t over yet, but some Flyers fans are already melting down. After a goal by Martin St. Louis put the Rangers up 2-0, a Flyers fan flipped him off. It made for good TV.
It’s been ten days since the Washington Capitals’ season ended and the proverbial axe has yet to fall. As of press time, both George McPhee and Adam Oates are still gainfully employed. That has some people upset.
The Caps are at a fork in the road. I can see three potential futures ahead of the team, and now Ted Leonsis has to choose one. It’s a daunting decision, one that merits careful deliberation and planning. If the Caps pick incorrectly– or fail to properly execute that decision– things could get grim and dark. Things could get grimdark.
Since entering the NHL in 2000, the Columbus Blue Jackets have been a laughingstock. Sure, Rick Nash’s goal scoring gave them some respectability, and they had that weird playoff appearance in 2009, but it wasn’t until last week that I finally found respect for the franchise and its fans.
After scoring one of the prettiest goals of the year, Pavel Datsyuk nabbed all the headlines after the Wings-Bruins game on Friday night. In the neutral zone, the 35-year-old Russian reached behind his body, pulled a puck through his legs, skated into Boston’s offensive zone, and scored. That was the game one game-winner.
John Carlson, drafted in 2008, is the most recent Caps defenseman selected in the first round. (Photo: Andre Ringuette/Getty)
Reading the comments in Ian’s post covering the draft lottery, most fans seem convinced that the Capitals must select Haydn Fleury with their 13th pick, if he’s available. It’s easy to see why: Fleury, who plays for the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL, is a responsible defenseman in a draft dominated by forwards. It is likely that 13 out of the 15 top picks will be forwards. And the Caps blue line struggled with injuries and inconsistency all year long. Defense hasn’t been Washington’s forte for the better part of the Ovechkin era, and those defensive shortcomings have often been pegged as the key to the Caps’ early playoff exits (or, this year, pre-playoff exits).
Despite all of this, I’ll disagree with the notion that the Caps should select Fleury, or any other defenseman, with their first-round pick.