Tomas Fleischmann is the front runner to center the Caps second line between Brooks Laich and Alexander Semin this coming season, which has the fantasy guys at THN claiming he will likely get 65 points whether he plays wing or center. Like I said: fantasy.
A few weeks ago while the blog took a week hiatus, we asked if any of you had questions for player-turned-blogger Andrew Gordon. And boy did you! Tonight we present to you the first five answers out of the ten best questions we received. Also, make sure to check out the photos in this entry. They are from Game 6 of the 2010 Calder Cup Finals where the Hershey Bears celebrated the franchise’s 11th AHL Championship. The photos are from Gordo’s digital camera that he had on the ice. Take it away, Andrew!
Hi, everyone! Looks like this will be my last blog of the summer. Training camp is right around the corner, and once that hits my focus will be on hockey, not writing! I’m going to try to answer all these questions as best I can, but keep in mind some of them would take me forever to fully explain, so I’ll try to cover as much ground as I can without making this a complete yawner of a read. Thanks for reading!
tfirey asks, “Gordo: I have a lot of questions about how pro athletes train (as it’s a world that I’ll never know — alas!). Can you tell us what you do in your workouts? Are any exercises hockey-specific, as opposed to standard endurance and strength-building? How does your routine change throughout the year?”
Thanks for the question, tfirey. All players have different things they like to do to prepare for upcoming seasons. It’s kind of a trial-and-error thing. The majority of us have had trainers growing up, in junior, in college, and at various pro levels. They each have their own philosophies and training methods to get a player to the optimum level of fitness.
The Caps need for a center resolved itself a little when Tomas Fleischmann signed a one-year, $2.6 million contract a day before his arbitration hearing on July 27th. Couple that with George McPhee stating that he was prepared to go into the season with the team they have, and that makes it clear the Caps will look within the organization to fill their need for a much-needed pivot in the long term.
One of those options, 2009 first rounder Marcus Johansson, appears to need more time to adjust to the North American game, while 2010 first round pick Evgeny Kuznetsov needs another Russian spy swap to play out his 2-year KHL contract. That leaves “undersized, but feisty” Mathieu Perreault – who has had a lot of success at the AHL level with the defending Calder Cup Champions Hershey Bears.
Our question is: Will Matty P’s success in the AHL translate enough to sustain him at the NHL level?
Everyone Needs More Bradley, right? Whether Matt Bradley was scoring game winning goals, working the PK against some tough competition, staying out of penalty trouble or just plain acting like a superhero, the Caps definitely needed more of it.
But do all players benefit from playing more with Brads?
What started with an apology from Caps PR Mogul Nate Ewell ended with information that sent the Twittersphere into a tizzy: The Washington Capitals have signed forward Tomas Fleischmann to a one-year contract. The pact is reported to be for $2.6 million and avoids a potentially messy arbitration hearing that was set to be heard Wednesday.
The important thing to remember here is that the Capitals were going to sign Fleischmann to a one-year deal regardless. You simply do not let a developed asset like a 20-goal scorer walk away for nothing, and avoiding arbitration helps preserve goodwill on both sides. The only important detail was: for how much?
And that seems to be the rub for most: $2.6 million is too much. But is it?
With Tomas Fleischmann’s arbitration hearing looming in the next few days it doesn’t look like the two sides will come to an agreement beforehand. GMGM moved pretty swiftly to avoid the courtroom drama with Fehr and Schultz indicating, at least to this writer, that the two sides are VERY far apart.
It’s finally over!
If you’ve stood by your computer constantly hitting refresh like I did, then you know I am talking about the Kovalchuk Sweepstakes, which is reportedly a 17-year deal with the New Jersey Devils. Yes, seventeen YEARS. Yeah, that is a loooooong time.
How long, Neil?
Well, seventeen years ago Ace of Base ruled the airwaves, and The New Mickey Mouse Club got some new members: Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera. So yeah, 17 years is a long time.
Time will tell if he’s worth it, but Kovalchuk has put up some serious regular season numbers in his career before his 28th birthday: 642 career points in 621 career games at the NHL level. Not bad for the the first overall pick in the 2001 NHL entry draft.
I will leave others to debate whether or not the contract is worth it or how it just laughs in the face of the current CBA, but you have to believe that at least one Russian in the DC area was intently watching these talks unfold: Alexander Semin.
Now that I have gotten my feelings on free agency out of my system, I’m ready to take a look at some of the bargain UFAs that may still be available. I mean, does it matter if I think Matthew Lombardi was a decent contract and second line center option while you say The Little Viking, Matty P. and/or Flash can handle the load, since we’ll both be cheering the Caps to a Cup anyway? Together. Like BFFs?
Sure, maybe it was stating the obvious when we said the second-line center the Caps should target is Matthew Lombardi, but it’s more than that. If we look at the numbers, I think he is the ONLY viable option in free agency.
Luckily our first line center is set in stone for the next decade. You may have heard of him; he’s kind of a big deal. But then there is quite a drop off:
For the first 10 minutes of tonight’s potentially series-ending contest, the Washington Capitals went through the motions and were subsequently dominated in every facet of the game by the Montreal Canadiens. It wasn’t until our once-lost-but-now-found Russian Supernova, Alex Semin, made one of the most selfless plays of his NHL career with 11:20 left in the first period that the Capitals finally woke up and started playing hard. But by then it was too late. Mike Cammalleri’s wicked blast from the circles at 1:30 made it 1-0. Then five and a half minutes later, after a terrible defensive breakdown in front of the net, Travis Moen went short-side on Varly and scored his first goal of the series, the eventual game-winner. Despite peppering Jaroslav Halak with 15 medium range shots in the first frame (and 38 overall), the Capitals had way too many defensive breakdowns. And as Brendan Morrison so accurately surmised: “We made too many glaring mistakes.”
The Capitals lose to the Habs 2-1. Let’s make some excuses: