Wednesday, October 18, 2006

And You Wonder Why I Bash You.....

There's a simple reason why I refer to the Caps Message Boards as Darwin's Waiting Room and it is because of nonsensical threads such as this.

As noted in throwaway lines at the end of the (Com)Post and Times articles today, John Erskine has been placed on waivers and should he clear, he'll report to Hershey of the AHL.

Yet we're treated to (at the time of this post) five freakin' pages of how Caps General Manager George McPhee should be drawn, quartered, drug out into the street and shot, strung up by his toenails, and burned at the stake for placing this vital cog of the 2006-2007 Washington Capitals on the waiver wire. If you think I'm kidding, check out the thread.

Even a poster I respect, Nomad, mentions something about "a unhealthy desire to keep Bryan Muir and Rico Fata." First of all, Fata is a forward so throw that out right there. Secondly, Muir has only played one game this season. While it is one more game than Erskine, let's look at some facts:
  1. Erskine has never played more than 34 games for an NHL team in one season and that was after last year's trade to the Islanders.
  2. The Islanders who are hardly considered defensive stalwarts but aren't considered the keystone cops on the blueline either wouldn't give the potential RFA a qualifying offer to retain his rights.
  3. The Caps signed Erskine on September 14. The day before the Caps hit the ice for the first time in training camp.

I think we can clearly say that Erskine isn't an NHL caliber defenseman at this point in time. At the age of 26, he's at the point where he's either going to make it in the NHL or he's never really going to blossom. Instead of being MIA, sending him to Hershey at least gives the guy a chance to play and to develop his game.

But the scouting report on him isn't all that good. In the "new NHL" slow footed defensemen are worthless. Some of the posters on that thread agree with me and see that's there's a reason why he was available so late. But too many posters over there will use the flimsiest of excuses to bash McPhee, or Ted, Hanlon, or anybody on the team. This is why I have little respect for the message boards and I've stopped listening to the open line show.

If you want to bash McPhee for putting this guy on waivers, blame Doug Armstrong for trading him, Mike Milbury for not qualifying him, and 27 other general managers for passing on this obvious missing piece for a Stanley Cup contender. There are too many of those threads over there and that's why the place has well earned its nickname. Until the nattering-naboobs-of-negativism and the Ultimate Fighting fans are run off the boards, the nickname will stick.

Cordially;

Caps Nut

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