Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday Smorgasbord 9-28

  • The Nats season came to a merciful end today with an 8-3 loss in Philadelphia. So did the tenure of every Nationals coach except for Manny Acta and Randy St. Claire. Will there be more house cleaning? We don't know but we're ambivalent on the potential dismissal of Jim Bowden. We don't advocate his dismissal but we certainly wouldn't be upset if he were. The bigger problems though seem to be higher up the Nationals Chain of Command. We've noted here before, this was a franchise neglected for almost half a decade and we're seeing the results of that neglect right now. Whether or not one thinks that the Nats are heading in the right direction with the right leadership, the Nats are a very young team; because if you're going to be 100+ losses bad, it is better to be that way with a young team than with an old team.
  • Stop the presses! The Caps are off to a 3-0 start in the preseason, for what little it is worth. It is still almost two weeks before the games count for real but the Caps are slowly whittling down their roster as they prepare for opening night. While we are not advocating losing, we remain concerned about the expectations game. Yes, the preseason means nothing whether you win or lose but only if injuries mount, but for most Caps fans, it is only building the belief that this is a team that can contend for the Cup this season.
  • We admit that we were able to infiltrate the Caps Opening Video Shoot last Monday night and were glad when it was over because our feet were killing us after standing up for almost four hours. We're interested in how the final product turns out and have to chuckle at those who are already panning the scenes already out on the internet. We're mentioning this however not out of shameless self promotion (we doubt we're getting much screen time in this thing, we're not that lucky, however, if we do end up in it, no autographs) but because we were able to "meet" a couple members of the Ice"Spirit Squad." One of the members was a guy and to his credit, he actually knew something not only about hockey in general and the Caps specifically but about the Phone Booth too. The young lady however was as clueless as everybody has feared and we plan to have some fun with her once our new camera arrives.
  • Interesting day in the ACC yesterday as both ranked ACC teams lost at home to unranked opponents. The bigger of the two upsets was Wake Forest being sunk by Navy. However, we were equally impressed by Maryland's come from behind 20-17win over Klempsun. We admit that we thought it would be a long day for Maryland with the way that the Tiggers were running all over Maryland in the first half but a great gut check at halftime by the Terps pulled out the win. Even more impressive is that Darrius Heyward-Bey didn't catch a single pass in the game but still did damage. While we're not one of the nattering nabobs of negativism that infects the Maryland fanbase, we do agree that until Defensive Coordinator Chris Cosh figures out how to stop a spread offense, the Terps will have all kinds of close calls. Like Bowden, we don't advocate his removal (right now) but we don't oppose it either.
  • Oh, and Dook beating UVA just makes us laugh. Hard.
  • So how about them Redskins? Left for dead and out of the conversation in the NFC East after a season opening loss to the Jints in the Meadowlands, the Skins are now 3-1 after a 26-24 beating of the Cowgirls in Dallas and are very much in the logjam that is the NFC East. Like most Redskins wins, there are some causes for concern such as the ease with which the Cowgirls were able to score at the end of each half and the Redskins being kept out of the endzone on four straight drives into the red zone. However, nobody is asking Jim Zorn how he won his maiden voyage into Texas Stadium and the Redskins-Dallas Rivalry. We've never been sold on Tony Romo who was less than impressive again and we also wonder just how in the world Chris Samuels not only keeps his job with the Redskins but also makes the Pro Bowl.
  • Yes, we do admit that the Redskins got away with some of the non-calls today, but it is Dallas and they've gotten more than their fair share of calls going their way over the years. Also, we understand why Troy Aikman is so far in the tank for the Cowgirls, but why is Joe Buck? We thought there was competition between the two to give the most effusive praise to the Cowgirls during the broadcast.
  • All we can say about D.C. United now, especially after their 3-0 loss in Dallas, is that, like the Nats, their season can't end soon enough.
  • Finally this week, the Caps continue their preseason schedule with games tomorrow in Joisey, Philly on Wednesday, and at home on Friday and Sunday against the Flyers and Bruins respectively. D.C. United faces Cruz Azul in the CONCACAF Champions league on Thursday night before hosting Chivas USA on Saturday night. The Terps travel to UVA on Saturday night for a 7 pm kickoff on ESPNU (available only in sportsbars around the country). The Skins travel up I-95 to face the Iggles at 1 pm.
  • As always folks, please send all comments, criticisms, questions, suggestions, corrections, and wedding gift ideas to "capsnut" over at gmail dot com.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday Smorgasbord 9-12

  • Well, only the 2008 Washington Nationals could find a way to score 18 runs over the course two games and lose both of them. The current losing streak has now reached five games as the Nats were swept by the Marlins earlier today. The good news is that they're honing on the first overall pick in next year's draft, the better news is that there's only two more weeks of misery left.
  • Well, the Caps training camp is around the corner and not only are the players starting to get ready for the season; so are Caps fans who are already freaking out over Nicklas Backstrom spraining his ankle and Alexander Semin's travel plans. Also our friends in Pittsburgh are getting into mid-season whining shape as well. Soon enough, real hockey will be played and there will be real things to talk about.
  • One thing a sports team in this area is constantly looking for is redemption and Maryland a little bit of it yesterday with a 35-27 victory over the 23rd ranked We say a little bit because despite carrying a 22 point lead into the fourth quarter and winning the game, many Maryland fans were upset over the lack of a "killer instinct." No longer is simple winning acceptable to Maryland fans, they now expect blowout victories every time.
  • Of course, leave it to Maryland fans to boo the Dook kid in the ACC Sportsmanship message...
  • Finally, we would be remiss if we didn't provide a link from yesterday of Jahvid Best "playing his guts out," literally. While we were happy to see the win yesterday after the poor performance last week; we have to wonder what the time difference did to Cal who arrived in College Park at 4 pm Eastern Time on Friday and had to play a game in hot and humid conditions at 9 am Eastern Time on Saturday. I guess Jeff Tedford's plan to get his players on East Coast time on the West Coast didn't quite work out the way he planned.
  • Speaking of redemption, the Redskins got a measure of it today as they came from behind to down the New Orleans Saints 29-24. However it was far from a perfect game with the Redskins missing two field goals, turning the ball over twice (the interception on the inexplicable two point conversion try in the third quarter counts), a poor punting performance, and questionable play calling (despite what some Obamessiah disciples were trying to claim on the Post Game Show). The most encouraging thing that emerged today however was Jason Campbell finally getting in sync with his receivers on deep balls as his 67 yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss showed. The Redskins called that play often early last season but Campbell's consistently overthrowing the pass got the Redskins away from it. For the "chicks dig the long ball" crowd, we could be seeing more of that in the future as long as it works out.
  • This week, the Caps rookies are on ice all week before playing the Flyers on Thursday while we still await the introduction of the Ice Squad. The Nats are home with a four game series starting tomorrow against the Mets and the San Diego Padres are in next weekend for the NL Pillow Fight for last place. D.C. United (sorry guys, we didn't watch the game last night) opens CONACAF Champions League on Wednesday night and then heads out to play the train wreck that is the L.A. Galaxy on Saturday. The Terps host Eastern Michigan next Saturday at 1 pm in a game only available on TerpVision in Byrd Stadium. The Redskins play host to Arizona at 1 pm next Sunday.
  • As always folks, please send all comments, criticisms, corrections, questions, suggestions, and compliments on our 10 year old "FEAR THE TURTLE" T-Shirt to "capsnut" over at gmail dot com.


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Waiting Is Often the Hardest Part

If you're like us, you're as jumpy as a three year old at Christmas. You keep waiting to hear something and the longer it goes without any word the more and more crazy you get. You logon to the Caps Official Website and continually hit F5 over and over hoping to see something. Yeah, the The Big Ten story and Q & A with Alan May are interesting, but that's not what you're waiting for.

You head on over to Tarik's blog to see if he has anything (some commenters may but you're not sure) Corey disappoints you because he's more interested in talking about other teams. You think this would be right up Dan Steinberg's alley but he just teases you with stories of media hijinks. Mike Vogel has neglected his blog but did write the aforementioned articles that briefly distract you.

On the off chance, you check in with J.P. and while you find some his sidebar stuff interesting, it isn't what you're looking for. You know Ted will post something, but ex post facto. You even hold your nose and check out the On Frozen Morons to see if they have what you're looking for. Hey they're in tight with Ted and they did lead all of North America with the A.O. contract extension news despite not having all their facts correct. (We'd say something like, but they're just as quiet as everybody else, but we can't because we don't know because they banned us)

Your frustration builds because you felt as though you were promised something on September 8th and now it is almost September 10th and you still don't know who the Inaugural Members of the Caps Ice Squad are. Trust us folks, while the announcement has been held up for some reason, we believe that the grand unveiling will be worth the wait.


Sunday, September 07, 2008

Sunday Smorgasbord 9-7

  • Not content to just play out the string, the Nationals completed an 8-1 homestand this week and then took two of four from Atlanta including today's come from behind win in extra innings. Of course, it wouldn't be a week for the Nats if somebody wasn't sent to the Disabled List and this week's lucky winner is Ronnie Belliard. Ok, so he wasn't actually sent to the DL but he's done for the season along with Jesus Flores. This hot streak has put the Nats a half game up on San Diego for the worst record in MLB but was not enough to keep them from officially being eliminated from all post-season consideration.
  • Pretty safe to say that the Jim Zorn didn't get off to the start he and the Redskins were looking for on Thursday night. First of all, everybody knew it was going to be a challenge opening the season in New York against the Jints and having three of the first five games being Divisional opponents on the road. Secondly, despite the shaky start, the Redskins were at least able to settle down on defense though the depth in the secondary is becoming very thin. Finally, the inability of the offensive line to protect Jason Campbell along with Campbell's own indecisiveness will stall whatever passing game the Skins try to run. Settle down folks as there are 15 more games to go.
  • Settling down however isn't an option for Maryland fans who are in full meltdown mode over Maryland's 24-14 loss to Middle Tennessee State. The same fans who cheered Chris Turner's entrance last week have to be wondering what just what happened as Turner was picked off three times. All of Maryland's points and most of their offense came on two long plays which did little to help a defense that allowed over 400 yards in almost 40 minutes of action. The good news is that the last time Maryland lost on the road to a non-BCS directional school (2003's 20-13 OT loss at Northern Illinois), they finished ranked 17th in the country with a 10-3 record capped off with a 41-7 smackdown of West-By-God Virginia in the Gator Bowl. What should be of great concern though is the continuing inability of a Chris Cosh coached defense to handle a spread offense.
  • However, Maryland wasn't the only school to suffer an embarrassing loss yesterday, "National Title Contender" West-By-God-Virginia saw their dreams of a National Title go down in flames as Eastern Carolina beat them 24-3. Eastern Carolina knocked off ACC Favorite Virginia Tech the week before and the burning question around College Football is "how bad is the ACC?" Well, we don't dispute that the ACC is pretty week this year, but we wonder why the Big East teams continue to be considered among the Nation's Elite? How many times must Big East schools lose key out-of-conference games outside of the exhibition bowl structure before they're given the same lack of respect that the ACC gets?
  • Congratulations to D.C. United who continue to be the only professional sports team in the Washington, DC area who knows how to win a title, no matter how small or insignificant. They won the U.S. Open Cup earlier this week with a 2-1 win over the Charleston Battery. Back in league play, they fell once again this time in San Jose 2-1 to the reborn Earthquakes. If we're not mistaken, DC is holding onto a playoff spot right now but the consistency they've been looking for all season continues to elude them.
  • As the first week of the NFL season wraps up, we're dreading the round-the-clock coverage of the injury to Tom Brady. We're as bitterly disappointed about the injury to Tom Brady as we were about the injury to the Canadian Diving Team Captain, Secondary Assist Cindy Crosby. We're also wondering if NBC has enough people in their studio to show, report, narrate, and analyze the highlights of the day's games. We think they need about four more talking heads in order to fill out the roster of Bob Costas, Chris Colinsworth, Keith Obamamann, Dan Patrick, Jerom Bettis, Tikki Barber, and Peter King. Joe Gibbs has worked with Bob Costas in an NBC NFL studio before and Joe Theismann isn't doing anything right now and did studio work for ESPN. That leaves only two more people to find and we're sure that isn't too hard to find. Though we are glad to see Chris Colinsworth being slightly more productive on NBC now than he was during their Olympic coverage.
  • This week, the Nats have a couple of days off around a two games series in New York with the Mets before they head to Florida for a weekend series with the Marlins. The Terps will try to get back on track when the Berkley comes to College Park for a Noon eastern kickoff on ESPN. D.C. United hosts FC Dallas on Saturday night. And last and certainly not least because it is the most important thing to ever hit the Washington Capitals Franchise since the drafting of A.O.; the 2008-2009 Washington Capitals Ice Squad will be announced tomorrow!
  • All always folks, please send all comments, criticisms, questions, suggestions, corrections, and Bachelor Party ideas to "capsnut" over at gmail dot com.


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Iced Girls

Yes, we saw this and quite frankly have been alternately amazed and amused by the whole sordid spectacle. What you see there now is NOT what was originally posted. Originally, they were only looking for females. Females "in great physical shape" Google Cache reminds that these females also needed to have a "a lean athletic figure. [Because] Uniforms consist of half tops, skirts, shorts and pants, so being physically fit and toned is necessary."

Now, our opinions on this matter are well known and do not need to be repeated. We were honing our photoshop skills (and would have taken the pictures ourselves thank you very much to avoid copyright claims) but what happened to this whole thing would have been down right comical if it wasn't so sad.

First Ted "defended" the idea by throwing the sponsor under the bus. (We're sure whoever these guys are were very happy about that.) Though we along with many other people didn't buy it for a second. #1. Ticket prices went up but so have the number season ticket holders. When the Caps traded for and then signed Jagr, there was no mention of starting a "Spirit Squad" to compensate for the additional payroll. It was just a ticket price hike. #2. We thought the NHL was awash in revenue and the league along with the franchises fortunes were going up, up, up??? #3. If this is about about raising $$$$$ to pay the player's salaries (which is by far the biggest expense) why are the "performers" themselves drawing a salary??? Call us crazy, but won't the salaries for the "performers" cut into the desperately needed $$$$$ to pay Tomas Fleischmann and John "Coach's Pet" Erskine Bowles a combined $1.275 million to sit in the press box/waste ice time? Not only would getting rid of those two players save $$$$$ but it would also increase the entertainment value of the games because we wouldn't have to watch them stink up the joint.

When lame excuse #1 failed to quiet the masses, wholesale changes to the scheme were made. Men were now invited to try out and women were no longer explicitly required to have "a lean athletic figure." The uniforms no longer consisted of "half tops, skirts, shorts and pants" and it was explicitly stated that the Ice Kids and Mites of Ice programs would continue (We're still trying to figure out why people thought Mites on Ice was endangered by this bad idea). Ted then claimed they were just trying to put the entertainment team on steroids and we didn't know what we were talking about when complaining about Ice Girls.

One thing we still don't understand though. Why if this is NOT a dance squad are the members required to learn sideline routines? Though, they are still drawing a paycheck and this is an example of a "professionally designed long-sleeve shirt and pants"...

Of course, we remember when Dishonest Abe and La Soose tried to import the "Amtrak DC Scream Team" to Caps and Bullets games in the mid 1990's. It didn't go over very well and barely lasted one season only because the contracts had been signed and the performers/entertainers were going to get paid anyway.

But what really amazes us is that for a guy like Ted who wants to be universally loved and adored (why else would he seek to manipulate Google searches of himself?) he has a serious stubborn streak about him. Despite continuing protestations of long-time Caps fans, he refuses to get rid of the stupid goal horn and return the Caps back to their roots of just a siren for goals (which would make them unique once again). However complaints about "violent videos on the scoreboard" and "Rock-N-Roll Part II" from parents got both of those deep-sixed.

So good luck figuring out what Ted is or isn't going to do next if you complain. It isn't as if there hasn't been a precedent for Ted floating out a trial balloon and quickly deciding to reverse course when it doesn't meet the reception he was looking for. Remember the ill-fated Tommy Hilfiger Uniforms? After getting over like a lead balloon, Ted denied the leak and the whole concept in spite of that fact that he went as far as to trademark the logo. Now we've seen the same thing again with the Spirit Squad.

One thing is for sure, when Ted first floated the trial balloon, his mind was made up to bring this to D.C. come Hades or High Water. According to our vast network of spies and informants, Ted was ready to run with this last year but decided to delay it for another year "for further consideration" (english translation = needed more time to sell it to a fanbase that clearly didn't want it). So now they're here and they may or may not stay but that is beside the point. The fan reaction to them will be interesting to say the least but considering the clumsy way they have been born, they will have a long uphill battle to gain any kind of acceptance from the fans. I hope the sponsor is writing a big enough check because this now sounds like it could be an older version of the awkward "Mistakes Mayhem" squad.

But at the end of the day, like Dan Snyder and the Washington Redskins, this is Ted Leonsis' team. He can do with it whatever he wants and there's really nothing us rabble can do about it. We'd have more respect for Ted if he came clean about this stuff because all the backpedaling and spinning about this had to have given him vertigo. It certainly made us dizzy.


Tuesday, September 02, 2008

An Overdue Honor

By now you already know that the Caps are retiring Mike Gartner's #11. It is odd for a number of reasons, most of which is that Tim Bergland, Bob Carpenter, Jeff Nelson, Esa Tikkanen, and Jeff Halpern have all worn the number since Gartner last did in 1989.

He stood atop the Caps career scoring list for over ten years after leaving the Caps and despite being scapegoated for the Caps Playoff Failures in the 1980's, he currently sits 10th all time in playoff points with 43 points in 47 games. He played in four All-Star Games for the Caps, starting in his first appearance, and becomes the fourth player in Caps history to have his number retired.

Despite what some may say, this is a "feel-good gesture." Caps fans have been clamoring for this since Gartner retired and it never ever hurts to placate the fans, no matter how good or bad things are going. This also completes the fence mending process between the Caps and Gartner because of the way he was run out of town and scapegoated for the team's failures in the playoffs. We get the feeling that this would have been done a lot sooner had those fences bend mended sooner (and a certain ex-captain had been willing to give up the number). Gartner was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001 and is only now having that accomplishment recognized by the club. In contrast, Rod Langway (who's jersey was retired at the final game at the Cap Centre in 1997) was honored by the Caps shortly after his Hall of Fame induction in 2002. (There might even STILL be some memorabilia from that night on sale at the Phone Booth.) Yvon Labre and Dale Hunter saw their jerseys retired by the Caps shortly after their careers ended. It is pretty clear that getting Garter to appear and that the reception he received at the Draft Party/Jersey unveiling last year put the wheels in motion.

However, there is good reason to be concerned about this. As noted, Gartner becomes the fourth player to have his number retired. The Caps will also raise their fourth Division Championship Banner. Not Stanley Cup, Division Championship. If it wasn't for the 1998 Eastern Conference Championship Banner, the Caps would have as many retired numbers as they have banners. As a matter of fact, there can be no doubt that Peter Bondra and Olie Kolzig will eventually see their jerseys retired and should the Caps fail to add new Championship Banners before then, they will have more retired numbers than Championship Banners.

Certainly being the first Cap to be voted into the Hall of Fame, an All-Time Fan Favorite, and being the franchise leading scorer for over a decade is worthy of consideration for having your number retired over a guy who never appeared in a All-Star game, is not in the Top Ten in All-Time Scoring either in the NHL or for the franchise.

But just because there's no reason to NOT retire somebodies number doesn't mean you should. With some of the talent currently on this team, you could make a serious case for retiring another three-four jerseys just based on their performance so far and their potential alone. Considering that winning three Cups over ten years is considered a modern day dynasty, you're talking about having more than twice as many retired numbers as you have Cups should the Caps actually become a modern day dynasty.

Again, we're not saying that Mike Gartner does not deserve to have his jersey retired by the Caps, we're just wondering if the standards are set too low.


Monday, September 01, 2008

Caps Summer Report Card

And you thought we had forgotten about the Caps....

  • So the Caps lived up to the script laid out for them and drafted Anton Gustafson and then came back and got John Carlson in the NHL Draft. It seems rather odd to us to move up not only once but twice to take players in what many are calling the deepest draft in years. We also aren't surprised about the trading of Steve Eminger to Philadelphia. This was a trade that came a few months late and quite frankly, a good move for both teams. Philadelphia needs young defensemen who can move the puck and the Caps needed to get rid of Eminger because it was crystal clear that he wasn't a part of the future plans for this franchise.
  • Let's cut to the chase and say that the Caps overpaid for Mike "BEAM ME UP" Green. Sure, the $5.25 million looks like a steal now and likely will moreso in a couple of years but consider that this seriously hampered our chances of resigning Christobal "WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE" Huet and Sergei (#3) Fedorov this season. We'll talk more about UA later but losing Federov could have hurt big time. Here's the leader that the Caps have been looking for and while we agree that $4 million is way too much, these contracts mean that the Caps have ended up maxing out the salary cap for the first time. Furthermore, Green's $5.25 million price tag from another team would have cost them 4 four first round draft picks. There weren't many teams that could afford to spend that kind of $$$$$ and let go of the picks. For a guy who put up those numbers only once in his career. We better hope that Green wasn't a flash in the pan.
  • As for UA, all the talk of "wanting to remain in Washington" was just that, talk. After the Caps gave him what he had been asking for all along, he decided to hit the market anyway. So, to the Caps took their sweet time in agreeing to UA's demands, why shouldn't they have? And for UA to pull that kind of bait and switch, well, see ya! Plan B wasn't groveling to Olie Kolzig, but to go with Jose "Alvin, Simon," Theodore. Maybe a little more $$$$$ than we would have liked for a #1 goaltender considering what we're spending elsewhere, but you have to spend the $$$$$ on that position. Two years is a good term as the hopefully the prospects will be ready to step in. If not, wash, rinse, and repeat this whole thing in two summers.
  • As for the departure of UA, well, we don't understanding the wailing and gnashing of teeth here. Some have even gone as far as to have said that the Caps chances at the Stanley Cup in 2008-2009 have gone up in smoke over the departure of UA. Quite frankly, we don't understand that "ideology" one bit. First of all those who are crying about that are beginning with a false premise, that the Caps were Stanley Cup contenders in the first place. Sure, based upon the way the team responded and played after Bruce Boudreau took over and hit the gas pedal is very promising. But now there's almost a full season worth of tape on the Boudreau. His system isn't a secret anymore and the question is, are the Caps good enough to overcome the adjustments other teams will make to play them or will Boudreau have to make adjustments on this own, and will those work? Secondly while everybody was enthralled with UA backstopping the team's seven game winning streak, let us not forget that those seven wins came over four teams that did not make the playoffs. Those wins also included an improbable comeback in Atlanta, a gimmick win over Carolina, and a come from behind overtime win against a Tampa team that finished dead last. What UA did down the stretch for the Caps was that he provided a Caps team that was suffering from the below average goaltending of Olie Kolzig (whom we're about to rip) with average to slightly above average goaltending because once UA faced a playoff team in the playoff themselves, he didn't play as well as he did during the streak. While we certainly are not blaming the first round exit on UA, had Koharski and Devorski not gotten in the way, UA also would not have been the reason we pulled off the comeback. Finally, the CW says that in order to be a real Cup contender, the Caps need consistent scoring from the right wing on their top two lines and a defenseman who makes opposing forwards keep their heads up in the attacking zone. The Caps are hoping that Eric Fehr becomes such a right wing and Captain Chris Clark can come back and stay healthy. As for the blueline, the early reviews on Karl Alzner are good but he won't make anybody forget Scott Stevens along with the fact that he's a rookie and not even guaranteed a spot in DC this year. In short the swap of UA for Theodore is nothing more than a even exchange provided that Theodore provides average goaltending. There's nothing that indicates that he won't.
  • As for the job of George McPhee this summer, well he used the stockpiled cap space this summer to keep the core of the team together. However, little was added and the Caps came very close to letting go of all three players acquired at the deadline last season. What is disturbing to us is not that the Caps are spending the limit of the salary cap space, it is the almost $2 million ($1.967 to be exact) of "dead money" the Caps are spending this season. While only Ben "What A" Clymer (who was bought out) fits the traditional definition; Alexander Semin, A.O., Brooks "and Dunn" Laich, and David Steckel are all costing the Caps more in salary cap space than they are in actual salary this season. Semin leads that bunch with an extra $800,000 cap hit. Throw in dead weight like John "Coaches Pet" Erskine Bowles and Tomas Fleischmann who combine to waste another $1.275 million in salary and cap space and you're looking at the difference between being able to improve the roster without subtracting anybody like we did last year and having to make parallel move just to clear space to make those improvements. The Caps are hardly in cap jail but are going to have to make some decisions in the coming off season with only some $13 million in cap space opening up (before the increase) and 13 free agents to resign.
  • Well, Olie, we hope you enjoy it in Tampa. Though we have to question your decision making process here. You openly signed up to play for a coach who isn't a former goaltender and as we all know how much you despise that. And we of course like how you continue to be the very definition of class by refusing to return phone calls. Maybe you've taken too many pucks to the head because you talk about playing well in Tampa despite a 6-10-1 career mark against the Ning and a 2-4 mark in the playoffs against the same. But seriously, enjoy playing behind a defense where the defenseman have collectively played fewer games than the Caps defensemen (by almost 1,000 games). Maybe you'll realize that retirement isn't such a bad thing because it would certainly be easier than trying to drag that bunch back into the playoffs. You couldn't get the job done here, what makes you think you can do it with another franchise?