Thursday, August 24, 2006

Off-Season Reviews Part II

Today's contestant comes from Wes Goldstein of See-BS Sportsline:

Wes seems to think that the Caps aren't a playoff team and doesn't seem to rap them on the knuckles for trying to build a team instead of trying to make the playoffs with very little. However, another common thread is emerging in these reviews and that is lamenting the loss of Jeff Halpern. Before Halpern signed with the Dallas Stars, there was hardly any recognition of him league-wide as a player. Much like Steve Konowalchuk, the accolades came upon leaving D.C.

So what is this all about, are the Caps really letting high-quality players go? Well in the case of Kono, he hasn't exactly lit the world on fire since going to Colorado and Halpern is already buried deep on the depth charts in Dallas. Furthermore, Dallas and Colorado aren't the "black holes" of hockey that Washington currently is. For instance, on opening night last year, the NHL sent out a highlight package including Secondary Assist Sydney Crosby's first ever NHL assist and did not include A.O.'s two goals and board breaking hit. (Oh, the Caps won their opening night game, unlike the Penguins)

So maybe it is because these guys, Halpern and Konowalchuk, were the good players on a bad team? I don't know, but considering that the national media treats the Caps like some backwoods backwater franchise, it does not come as a surprise to me that they "discover" these players when they move to the "glamour" franchises. Anybody who goes to those franchises, are going there to win a Stanley Cup and the move is geared towards making those teams tougher to beat for the Cup.

And if Halpern and Konowalchuk were considered the better players on these recent Capitals teams, no wonder they failed to win many games. As somebody who has followed this team, yeah we let Kono go without a ready replacement, but we already have a center capable of filling Halpern's shoes by the name of Brian Sutherby. And if Matt "Princess" Pettinger can show that last year wasn't a fluke, they'll become the new Halpern and Konowalchuk and receive all sorts of accolades when they leave Washington, D.C. too.


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