Last Friday in his much-discussed (around here, anyway) blog post on the Caps' payroll, WaPo beat writer Tarik El-Bashir asserted that the Caps have "fewer NHL-caliber players than any other team in the league."
Fast-forward a few days to his story in today's paper on the team's efforts to re-sign Richard Zednik. El-Bashir quotes Zednik's agent... and that's it. No quote from the player himself, no quote from the general manager. Or the head coach. Or the owner. (On the plus side, at least he didn't quote the WashingtonCaps.com message boards again). But his lack of a recognizable (to fans, at least) source must be because the team is tight-lipped about contract talks, right? After all, El-Bashir does note that "Capitals General Manager George McPhee declined to comment on the contract talks." Odd, as GMGM was happy to be quoted on the topic in last week's paper, saying, "We would like Richard to be part of the future here," among other things. Zednik was also quoted in the same article.
Now, the Caps cancelled practice yesterday, so player and team availability was understandably limited and likely the reason for the above - I'm sure GMGM would still happily tell Tarik how much he would like Zed to be a part of the team's future. But the dynamic between the writer and the team bears watching going forward. Do you think that a hard-working guy like Boyd Gordon is looking to spill his guts to a guy who may or may not think he's "NHL-caliber"? For that matter, does anyone in such a tight-knit group take kindly to an outsider taking such an unsupported cheap shot at the team? I should think that El-Bashir has made his job a little harder, don't you?