Wednesday, June 30, 2010

An Unforseen Problem When Buying a New Team

The Boss posted a blog entry earlier today titled, "I Can't Comment."  In it, he states...

"Team owners and officials can’t comment on free agency or free agents.

This is a good article. I thought it was pretty spot on.

We have articulated our plan. We are in control of our own destiny as a franchise. We have a lot of work to do to rebuild a foundation around young players — to heal, and to create a new winning culture. We have to do the work. We have to create our own upside. There is no easy magic wand to wave to make us a great team. I will have to be honest and authentic to our fan base on these matters.

But we will be in control of our destiny, and it won’t be a random plan. It won’t be filled with empty promises, and with “the best laid plans” built around unknown and third parties.

We just executed a trade that fits into our plan. We received a young player — a player with size, skill, and upside."
A young player with size?  Skill?  Upside?  I almost made a mad dash for the exits to hop over to the Caps web site to see for whom the club traded.  Good thing I didn't, for here is the rest of the entry...

"A player who can shoot, and run the floor for a big man. A player with unique potential. A player who is working hard this off season to improve. Another small piece has been added to rebuild our team to be a better and more competitive team for next season. A good day’s work. Real. Authentic. Honest."
Had I not known that "run the floor for a big man" was a basketball reference, I might have spent the rest of the day searching for who it was the Caps traded for, and for whom. 

Uh, Boss?  Might want to let your readers know up front it's basketball you're talking about.  You're going to give us Caps fans heart attacks doing that.

Speaking "McPhee"

In barely 24 hours, the clock will start on the signing period for unrestricted free agents. Fans of the Washington Capitals might have visions of an Ilya Kovalchuk or a Anton Volchenkov pulling on a Caps red sweater come October, but it is unlikely in the extreme that such will ever happen. George McPhee splashed cold water on that in remarks in Tarik El-Bashir’s “Capitals Insider” this morning.

While it is always good to get the scoop straight from the horse’s (or in this case, GM’s) mouth, it helps to speak “McPhee,” too. Fortunately, we have completed the Rosetta Stone CD lessons in “General Manager” (after “French” and before “German” in the index of titles, but you have to look hard), so as a bonus for our readers, let’s see what he really meant in his comments…

What he said… "We'll be involved but I don't expect to do a whole lot. We're in a great position right now where we have a good team. So rather than getting seduced into signing three- or four-year deals, we believe we have young people who are ready to go."

What he meant… “Two year deals, $5 million… max.”

What he said… "We think we have centers that are ready to go. There's Mathieu Perreault who's fairly close, if not ready to go. We like what we've seen from [Marcus] Johansson. A year from now [first-round draft pick Evgeny] Kuznetsov might be ready to play. Cody Eakin might be ready to go in a year. So we want to be really careful not get drawn into any long-term deals at that position. The issue is, are they ready this year or next?”

What he meant… Two year deals, $5 million… max.

What he said… "Rather than do a deal we don't like and come to regret it six months from now, we would probably be more inclined to go with our drafted players. And, in fact, they look a lot better than what's out there right now. Why wouldn't you play Perreault? He's a really talented young player."

What he meant… “Any takers for Perreault?”

What he said… "If they're not better than Perreault or [Tomas] Fleischmann, why do it?"

What he meant… “Any takers for Fleischmann?”

What he said… "We don't have to spend [the remaining cap room]. You don't ever want to go into the season right up against the cap. Ideally, you put a good team on the ice and you have room."

What he meant… “Two years, $5 million… max.”

What he said… “There's not much out there [in this year’s free agent class]."

What he meant… “…maybe $4.5 million… max.”

What he said… "We're going with our young goaltenders. They're both 22 years old now and they've got a couple of years of pro under their belts. Varly's played two years at the NHL level and Neuvirth has won two Calder Cups and got an MVP. They're blue-chip prospects. It could become a real strength of our team and our organization.”

What he meant… “Nashville took Kostitsyn instead of Fleischmann.”

What he said… "We actually think this is going to be good for both of them because there isn't going to be the pressure on either one of them to play 65 games. It's an opportunity for both of them to play more games at the NHL level without the pressure of trying to carry the team. We think it's a great situation to be able to platoon a couple of very good young goaltenders."

What he meant… “They’d better not suck.”

What he said… “We probably won't make any changes to our defense. We've got seven guys ready to go."

What he meant… “To the Islanders, to the Blue Jackets, to freakin’ Edmonton if they pull another one-and-done in April.”

What he said… "I don't think any deals are imminent [with any of the important RFAs]"

What he meant… “I don’t think any deals are imminent.”

What he said… “[We expect to talk to Eric Belanger’s representatives] in the next 24 hours."

What he meant… “ hey-ey-ey... go-o-o-od-bye...”