Sunday, June 24, 2007

More Prospect Profiles

Via the Caps' site, here's a little more information on D.C. draftees Brett Leffler, Nick Larson and Andrew Glass.

35 comments:

FAUXRUMORS said...

1) So are Caps fans pleased with this weekend? From a non-fan from afar it seems they didn't(yet) upgrade the team's biggest need: More skilled forwards.
2) Unless they plan to move several rearguards in a trade, it would seem some decent/quality forwards were to be had by the caps instead of bolstering at a position which they already had a surplus.
3) Guess the key will be what GMGM does over the next 2 or so weeks with regard to trades and FA signings. The pressure should be on him/the organization to show improvement on the roster.

JP said...

It wasn't the most exciting draft, but you can never have too many good young defensemen or picks in next year's much stronger draft.

Regarding decent/quality forwards, the Caps didn't pass on anyone that could have helped them on the ice this coming season (or likely even the following season).

You're right - the key will be the next couple of weeks.

Tyler said...

In an Ovechkin-less draft, they did what they could.

Furthermore they clearly (to my mind anyway) enabled the organIzation to trade a young defenseman to get F help. It's easier to trade an Eminger when you have the draft's top defenseman in the system.

Peerless wrote about this at his blog too: The Caps likely have the best under-25 D depth in the NHL: Green, Schultz, Eminger, Morrison, Jurcina.

FAUXRUMORS said...

1) So guess you guys are waiting for the proverbial 'other shoe to drop'?
2) Will fans be content with a basic status quo line up in October? With a Backstrom and perhaps another Pothier-type defender added?

Rage said...

In my mind, we've got Mo, Jerky, Pots, Boomer, and two/three open spots. Mo-Jerky seems like one pairing, and the other remaining spots are filled with:
a) An FA (hopefully)
b) Green
c) Schultz/Eminger
d) Surprise youngster

Either way, Vogs said this best. If we pair Pots and a youngster, and another vet with the young guy, we'll be a lot better off. We stunted the young people's development last year with a lot of youth-youth pairings.

Vogs was talking about this with regards to Flash, but I think the analogy holds here too.

Rage said...

Btw, nicknaming is one of the best things about hockey.

JP said...

Without question getting away from vet-kid pairings stunted the progress of some of the kids. You look at when Witt and Gonchar came up, and they were able to play with Johansson and Reekie, respectively. You can't say enough about how much those two vets helped the youngsters come along.

The past year or two, however, the Caps haven't brough in or had that type of veteran blueliner, so you ended up with pairings like Green-Eminger, which gives neither a real chance to succeed.

I'd love to see these pairings to open the season (not necessarily in order):

1) Hannan-Green
2) Mo-Jerky
3) Pothier-Schultz/Eminger

Not sure where Boumer fits, though I'm also not sure Emmy will be here on opening night.

Tyler said...

I've thought since they brought him back that J. Boum is Backstrom's translator/roomie and the healthy-scratch reserve D. And I can't imagine what would change that.

I like those pairings JP but: Where's the PP QB? That's still a problem for this team.

JP said...

Pitkanen? Preissing?

Truthfully, though, therein lies the rub.

Schultz could conceivably be sent back to Hershey, but outside of him (and perhaps Green), the rest are NHLers. So someone would obviously have to be moved. Consensus is Eminger, of course, but why trade a guy whose value is low and is just about to hit his prime? If you're developing players, presumably you're doing it for yourself (why would the Caps want to be San Jose's farm system?).

I know the team needs to make a splash, but honestly, I think I'd rather see them do it up front than on the blueline. Put another way, I have more confidence in Eminger and Green becoming productive NHLers than I do of Fleischmann and Fehr doing so.

Tyler said...

I agree with that evaluation, but I think they do need another veteran D (see this discussion). But I think/agree that if you can't get a top-two PP QB, then sign a mid-priced, top-four vet. Like Preissing.

Is Eminger's value *that* low? I can see him being one of those guys that other GMs see (and maybe me too) as simply needing a change of scenery. Young, promising D always have value.

JP said...

That's kinda my point on Emmy - he's undervalued right now b/c he hasn't done much at the NHL level. There's almost no way you get fair value for a guy who will likely be an NHL regular for the next 5-10 years.

Here's a question - would you rather have an offense-first guy now to pair with a guy like Schultz or a defense-first guy like Hannan to pair with Green to let Green's offensive skills develop? I think the latter would be more valuable because I see Green as having more upside and don't want to see him spend another year paired with either a kid or Pothier. Schultz I'm less worried about if paired with Potsy.

Again, though, the question of who QB's the power-play is unanswered. To me, though, Green's development long-term (not to mention an improved PK, which you'd get with a Hannan-type) is more important than finding the right guy right now to make the PP click. Tough call, though.

Tyler said...

But what if the difference between making the playoffs and not is improving the PP? And I can't imagine the Caps' PP improving much without improving at the points.

JP said...

Well, for one thing the PP will be improved because it will have more skill up front. Backstrom is a more talented passer already than anyone they had last year, and if the team signs a top-six forward or two, the power-play will be much improved.

Clearly a better point guy is needed, but isn't every goal prevented the same thing as every goal scored, in terms of goal differential?

In theory, grabbing a guy who is a defensive stud and prevents 20 additional goals (due to his penalty-killing abilities, taking fewer penalties than the guy he's replacing b/c his positioning is better, being better at even strength, etc.) is the same as grabbing a guy who is an offensive stud and adds 20 goals (via improving the PP, better outlet passes, etc.). The difference being, perhaps, that the defensive stud allows young players to better develop b/c he's more responsible and can cover for mistakes that the offensive stud can't. Not to mention he'll be an ass-load cheaper to acquire.

Here's another way of looking at it - with the Caps up 2-1 late and the Mo-Jerky pairing coming off the ice, would you rather Scott Hannan jump on or Sheldon Souray?

Of course, this is theoretical, and it is possible to get a guy who does it all (see Rafalski, Brian).

JP said...

Btw, no comments on The Rink's new look? Weak.

Tyler? Rage? Fauxes?

kb said...

>Btw, no comments on The Rink's new look? Weak.

>Tyler? Rage? Fauxes?

Maybe they're color blind? Or dogs?

Tyler said...

Oh I dig it, just a big week for Caps news and all so I've been focused on that stuff.

I hear you, but the reason I raise it is this: The problem with the points on the PP wasn't just scoring, it was defense. Only one team allowed more SHGs than the Caps.

Jason said...

I think the gray is a tad dark.

JP said...

Only one team allowed more SHGs than the Caps.

True, but there's a big clump of teams there and it's a little fluky - if the Caps had given up just five fewer (or 1 every 16 games), they'd have been in the top half of the League.

Tyler said...

I hear you, but: They gave up 14, which any way you parse it is just horrid. (It's not like they gave 14 while having the No. 3 PP in the league, which can make up for a little. They gave up 14 and ranked 24th or something. The whole f'in thing was a mess.)

FAUXRUMORS said...

1) Yes, like the new blog design.
2) Seems our inital question has really sparked some interesting debate. If the question is whether to get a true PP QB or a reliable vet to pair with Green, it may come down to $$ and who is really available.
3) How many true PP QB's are really out there and available? Souray? For 6+ million and a huge minus, GMGM should pass on that. 4) The problem on the caps PP in our opinion was a lack of a regular scoring/playmaking pivot, not a lack of a PP QB. Its too bad Mr. Witt didn't want to remain. His type is probably what would fit best on their defense corps.

CapsChick said...

Wow, lots of comments - I'll try and jump in here with my two cents, as valueless as they may be w/ you boys. (And the Rink looks great, JP, nice work - all it needs is a little picture of Muffins floating somewhere...any thoughts?)

For my money I would just love to see a guy who can hold the puck at the blueline and not let it hop over his stick, allowing an odd-man break. Offensive numbers among defenseman don't concern me as much - if the team is clicking those points will come, and all of the guys we have right now are capable of picking up a few points. (Just please god don't go get Souray...)

As for pairings, I would love love love to see Hannan here and have him paired w/ Green; Mo and Jerky seem set although I'm not completely sold on the two of them together; Pothier and Schultz looked really good together at the end of the year. That leaves Emmy and Boumer as extras, which is fine - we always had 2 spare d-men this past year, too, didn't we? I'd love to keep Emmy and really let him develop, he's still so young...

Anonymous said...

On what type of defenseman to add...ideally the Caps would get a solid, two-way play-in-all-situations type. Not a stay-at-home guy nor a one-dimension PP QB but a guy that can do a little bit of everything.

Which UFAs fit that description?
Souray? Hell no.
Rafalski? Maybe
Hannan? No.
Schneider? Yes, but he's getting old.
Preissing? Maybe, and he'd be cheaper than most.
Poti? No.
Danny Markov? No.
Lukowich? No.
Sarich? No.

As far as free agents go, the pickings are somewhat slim.

Joe said...

I was just over at the the Caps message board and you'd think gmgm single handedly destroyed the Caps by not making a deal at the draft. I was wondering which gm deserved the most credit for his teams deals at the draft... Hello, no one was dealing this weekend. I guess they wanted gmgm to trade all 10 picks to CHI for the chance to negotiate with Micheal Handzus. It would have been bold - and really stupid. The other thing that sticks out is the overall sentiment that the Caps won't put any money out for the big free agents. The Caps spent $30,500,000 on payroll last year putting them over $13,000,000 below the cap. They also traded away almost $5,000,000 worth of payroll at the deadline. If the cap rises to the expected $48,500,000 level the Caps HAVE to spend $7,000,000 just to get to the floor. So if they wanted they have as much as $23,000,000 to play with. Before I judge what did or did not happen at the draft, I want to see how the next couple of weeks shake out and judge the off-season as a whole. With that said I'm with capschick; if Sheldon Souray is in a Caps jersery next year we might as well mail it in.

Joe said...

By the way, At the Caps Website this guy Jame Pollock is shown to be #9 on the roster. Anybody know who he is?

JP said...

I expect the Caps' payroll to be almost smack-dab in the middle of the floor-to-ceiling range (meaning likely around $40m).

Souray is not a GMGM-type player - I would fall off my chair (and not int a good way) if the Caps were to sign him.

I would call it a pretty good chance that he signs Preissing, less of a chance that he signs Hannan, and remote that he'll sign Rafalski. But those are just WAGs - I have no clue.

JP said...

By the way, At the Caps Website this guy Jame Pollock is shown to be #9 on the roster. Anybody know who he is?

Some Hershey signee, likely. They were discussing it over on the Message Board the other day.

Rage said...

JP, I'm a blind dog and didn't notice the site had changed.

Woof.

FAUXRUMORS said...

1) Here's another question for Caps fans: If GMGM can't get that top center through trade/UFA, would you be happy with reacquiring Zubrus and if so, in light of what Hartnell got in Philly and what Gomez, Drury, et all will probably get, what would you offer for his services?

Rage said...

I'd love to have Zuby back, but not as my top line C. Not as my 2nd line C. Not as my any line C. RW plzkthx.

Tyler said...

Zubie as a $2-2.5M/year, second-line RW & PK would be fine with me.

But the Caps already offered him more than that and he turned it down.

JP said...

What he said.

Joe said...

Hey faux,
Do you like firing up the Caps faithful or do you not like gmgm or maybe something else. I'm just questioning because you gave the Caps the Loser award for their draft this weekend. Reasons given were that they took defense players, didn't get any skilled forwards and made no big deals. But you also said that the draft was a crap shoot at best and that you had a limited knowledge of the players. The Caps made 10 picks, took the #1 rated defenseman, and parlayed 3 more picks in next years draft. How is that any worse than what Columbus or Boston did? I just don't understand... Please enlighten me.

Tyler said...

Joe, I owe you a beer.

(In a related story, see Faux(es') multiple positions on a Yashin signing.)

CapsChick said...

JP: I think Preissing would be a good pickup for the Caps, although I doubt it will soothe the naysayers because he's not a "big name" player. He did a great job filling in for Chara in Ottawa and performed well throughout the playoffs - he'd be cheap, consistent...and if you've ever heard him mic'd up, really entertaining! (Although I guess that doesn't matter to most people - just me...)

FAUXRUMORS said...

1) Joe, all fair questions. We have NOTHING against the Caps. We however do not believe that GMGM has done a particularly good job. There are extenuating circumstances for sure, but all GM's have to deal with that sort of stuff and many have far better track records
2) As for picking the Caps a draft day 'loser', we did have a caveat that its still possible they will add the player(s) that management promised the fans they'd add, but so far the team is little improved on paper than the one that ended the season.
3) Yes, they added yet another defensive prospect, Great. However, as Ted said in the spring: "the team doesn't need anymore draft picks". Its time to surround the most dynamic player in the NHL with 1st/2nd line players. With all the pre-draft hype/expectation nothing has(yet) happened. That's why the Caps were classified(along with others) as losers on draft day.