Monday, September 17, 2007


If you take a tour of the blogs this evening, you’re going to see something common in the recent posts…things are accelerating.

JP, over at Japers’ Rink, notes the return of Karl Alzner, Francois Bouchard, and Josh Godfrey to their junior clubs.

The OFB gang updates the training camp roster.

Mike Vogel also notes over on Dump and Chase that a few more cuts have been made (the Alzner, Bouchard, and Godfrey travel plans).

Move on to In the Room, Capitals Insider, and a few of the other regular haunts, and it is the same…things aren’t just a-changin’, they’re doing so quickly. And there is a subtext to this, suggested in Mike Vogel’s comments….

“…with the shorter training camps mandated by the CBA and the raised expectations of Washington’s fortunes this season, it’s more important to get the guys ready who are going to be here.”

The fact reflected in this comment is that there just aren’t that many roster spots open on this club. One can tinker with lines and ponder where Nicklas Backstrom might settle (as to position, not whether he will start the year in Hershey – he won’t), but the roster is largely set. Over these next couple of weeks, as things continue to accelerate toward opening night, the object of the exercise is to figure out, as best as the coaching staff can, who can play with whom. And that is not conducive to long looks at guys who won’t be here in October. Compare the training camp of the Redskins – 40 days of training camp in advance of their 2007 opener – to that of the Caps, who will have only 20 days preparation from the opening of camp last Friday to the opener in Atlanta on October 5th.

One supposes that the cuts will start to accelerate as the clubs that serve as destinations of players needing further seasoning start their own camps and seasons, and some guys will be here to gain a bit of game experience while the vets are rounded into game condition. There are always the tough cuts at the end for any club, but for the Caps, the assets they will have to work with are largely known. That is by no means evidence, with all due respect to those who offer the opinion, that the “rebuild” is done, and we’ll go into detail about that as we all go through the training camp schedule. For now, suffice it to say that the materials are in place – that is a happy situation the Caps have not enjoyed in several years, where some camps seemed more devoted to trying to cobble together a squad from spare parts and green wood. Not this year. And things will merely accelerate from here.