Sunday, December 13, 2009

Out of Cap Jail

Well folks, it took some time, more than many people would have liked, but General Manager George McPhee has finally gotten Michael "Meadowlark" Nylander off the salary cap.

The immediate effect of this is likely to disappoint many as well.  After all, bringing up Karl "Malden" Alzner will only increase the log jam on the blueline that has forced Tyler Sloan into skating as a forward in order to get into a game.  And during his time with the Penguin Scum, Chris Bourque showed he's not ready to be a full time NHL player.  We don't see how minor league call-ups at this point can make the Caps any better.

What we believe this does do for the Caps is two-fold; first of all it gives us the flexibility to make a move to add salary at the trade deadline later this year.  Another rental like Sergei (#3) Fedorov or Esa Tikkanen.  Secondly without digging into the minutiae of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Caps now have the ability to get Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander "Slappy" Semin signed to contract extensions well before July 1st.

As for Meadowlark, we wish him well.  It just didn't work out for his second tour of duty and now he actually gets to earn his salary by riding the buses for Grand Rapids of the AHL.  It couldn't have been easy for him to sit as long as he did and to his credit, he didn't make waves and disrupt the team either last year or this year.  Maybe he'll now be able to convince a KHL team he actually wants to play for to pick him up.  But the bottom line is, he's gone for good and by agreeing to play out at least this year in the AHL, he helps the Caps become a better a team.

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