Hey, Caps fans. Peerless went to bed, so I’m here to add my two cents on this whole free agent weekend thing. And y’know, I think Caps fans are a little too happy about what went on. So I’m here to serve up some reality stew. This ain’t near as good as you folks think it is.
Take this Jeff Halpern. Yeah, he’s one o’those local boy done good stories, but hey… he done left outta here after the 2005-2006 season, and that was a team that was giving Bryan Muir more than 21 minutes a night on dee-fense. Ain’t like he lit up the world once he left, either. He’s got 55 goals in five seasons since, and he’s a combined minus-28. OK, he’s good at faceoffs, we’ll give ya that one.
Then there is that Joel Ward. First he plays four years in juniors, then after that plays four years at the University of Prince Edward Island. Then he plays three years in the minors, except for those 11 games he played with Minnesota in 2006-2007. OK, so he got his big break and went to Nashville, but then he scored 17, 13, and 10 goals...not exactly the direction you want to see him headed in. He had a nice playoff this spring – seven goals in 12 games – but so did John Druce once upon a time. He lasted another year and a half with the Caps after he had his 14 goals in 15 games playoff in 1990 before he started bouncing around the NHL and other places.
And what about Roman Hamrlik? He played with Rob Ramage once upon a time, who played for the Colorado Rockies. That makes Hamrlik once removed from the mastodon in terms of being old. He’s got 153 goals in 1,311 regular season games. And that ain’t bad for a defenseman. But he’s got two – two! (I had to look twice) – in 97 playoff games. We won’t talk about that being a minus player in each of his last six playoff series and not being a plus guy in the playoffs since 1999.
Which brings me to this Tomas Vokoun fellow. We were tinkerin’ around that hockey-reference.com site, and found out that since the lockout, only 27 goalies 35 years old or older have played in at least half their team’s games. And of that group, only nine of them had goals against averages under 2.50. And if you count guys who did it more than once – Martin Brodeur, Dominik Hasek – only five guys did it. Eleven had save percentages over .910; seven if you account for the guys who did it more than once – Brodeur, Hasek, Dwayne Roloson, and Tim Thomas. Vokoun might be a Roloson, but I’m gonna guess that not even Caps fans are going to put Vokoun in the same sentence with Hasek and Brodeur.
I don’t like to be the bringer of bad news, but hey, my name is “Cheerless” after all and…
“Cheerless! What are you doing down there?!?! Are you playing with that computer again?!"