Well, with less than a month now until training camp, various hockey pundits will be offering their dime-store analysis on what the Caps did and didn't do this past off-season.
Today's first contestant is the always incorrigible Alan Muir of Sports Illustrated
. You might remember that Mr. Muir thinks the Federal Minimum Wage and the NHL IIHF transfer agreement have something in common
Well, in my $.02 analysis of Mr. Muir, he got about half right, half wrong. The Caps need help everywhere, period. Yes, that means in net too. Kolzig ain't gonna play for forever. The loss of Halpern was no big deal, they could use a veteran "rugged" defenseman but it isn't a necessity IMHO, and I do think Pothier will struggle at least for this season in his new role.
Muir says that the Caps goal isn't to compete, but to develop. Well, the team seems to think that they can do both this season. Muir also says that they should have been more aggressive in the Vishnevski hunt. Well, I don't know what need Vishnevski necessarily fills for this team, but McPhee has never been one to publicly tip his hand and we can likely get something better than Vishnevski for cheaper down the road.
But let me end this by saying that I really, really love the writers and the fans who think that every move in every season and off-season must lead to winning the championship in that season (or the one upcoming). There is such a thing as "rebuilding." The Caps are still in rebuilding mode and one should grade them on that, not on their ability to win the Stanley Cup this season.
Contestant #2 Dave Strader from the Florida Panthers TV booth
makes exact same mistake. Hello guys, we know we aren't making the playoffs. (Cue Jim Mora, "PLAYOFFS!?!? YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT PLAYOFFS!?!?)
Personally, I'm not too sure about the "upgrades" that Boston made (or Florida for that matter)
and the mess on Long Island. My point being is that there are teams that even the Caps have a chance to pass this season.
Though the only nitpick I have with him was that we traded for Richard Zednik
and did not get him as a UFA. Furthermore, we bought-out Nolan Yonkman and weren't too upset about losing Halpern, Brian Willsie, or Mathieu Biron. I mean if we're being hit over the head for losing Biron....