Thursday, August 04, 2005

Day 4 . . .

Well, here we are in Day 4 of the new era of hockey (looks a lot like fantasy hockey so far, doesn't it?). INactivity on the part of the Caps raises the questions...what are they looking for, and why?

If you look at the Flyers, they're assembling a team to win a Cup in the next couple of years, after which guys like Roenick (if he's still around), Forsberg, Primeau, and some others will be gone or a good distance past their prime.

Now, what are the Caps doing? They're not competitive. It is unlikely, unless they had spent right to the cap, that they'd be competitive in the next couple of years. Their time horizon is further out (rebuilding, when you're doing it from scratch, is not a 1-2 year thing) . . . 3-4 years.

So, what are they looking for, and why?

1. I would think the Caps are not offering any FA any deal past 2 years, maybe three. What would be the point? To tie up payroll just when you're becoming competitive? When you would then not have any payroll flexibility to fill holes?

2. This probably means older FAs looking for perhaps one more payday. Look at the list, draw your own conclusions.

3. It will mean looking carefully for guys who have an understanding of the game, even if their skills have diminshed. In all likelihood, they will not contribute a lot to the score sheet, but if they can impart some wisdom on what is now a young team, that 3-4 year time frame looks better.

4. There is a whole secondary market that hasn't yet been established (think "Ron Francis" or "Mark Messier," although I think neither of these guys would entertain an offer from the Caps) . . . older guys with an excellent career body of work who would be precisely that kind of player to contribute wisdom, if not statistics. That's the market in which the Caps will be a player . . . so, dear Caps fan, turn off and and and wait a few days.

-- The Peerless

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