Monday, July 02, 2007

Now That Looks Better, Doesn't It?

Remember the depth chart we were playing with on Friday? Needless to say, it looks a little different today (below). And that ~$28 million salary number? Even counting all twenty-six players in blue (and operating under the same assumptions we used last week), the total is only $38,671,305.60 - way south of the midpoint on the salary spectrum.

What's most encouraging to me is that GMGM et. al. have put together a team that, on paper, should contend for a playoff spot without having to move a single asset (bodies or picks) and with plenty of cap space to play with, should the need arise.

I don't think the Caps are done wheelin' and dealin' yet, but you can see that something's gotta give, roster-wise, especially down the right wing and on the blueline. So who stays and who goes?

Right wings
Locks for the roster: Chris Clark, Viktor Kozlov
Tradeable assets: Eric Fehr, Tomas Fleischmann, Brooks Laich
Other: Ben Clymer, Matt Bradley
Quick analysis: Given Fehr's health, Flash is likely the most attractive of the group to potential trade partners. His gaudy AHL numbers (114 points in 102 regular season games and 52 points in 39 playoff games over the past two seasons) and the fact that he just turned 23 would put him in high demand as trade piece, regardless of what he's been able to accomplish so far in his NHL auditions. Then again, this team isn't developing players for other teams, so it would surprise me to see them move more than one or two top prospects just as they're about to hit their primes. Laich's versatility and grit are great assets, but with the emergence of Boyd Gordon, Laich's services might be somewhat redundant in D.C.

Blueliners
Locks for the roster: Tom Poti, Brian Pothier, Shaone Morrisonn, Milan Jurcina
Tradeable assets: Mike Green, Steve Eminger, Jeff Schultz
Other: John Erskine, Josef Boumedienne
Quick analysis: Green and Schultz could be sent to Hershey without clearing waivers (though I think it more likely that Schultz will make the team), Boumedienne might very well head back to Sweden, and Erskine will spend many a night in the press box. Despite being a favorite scapegoat in certain circles, Eminger still has plenty of trade value, but may get the change of scenery he might very well need to get his career back on track.

Frankly, I'm happy with the group of rearguards currently on the roster. In fact, I'm pretty happy with the roster overall. But if the Caps are to make another move this summer, it will likely be for a shut-down defenseman. What kind of blueliner do you think they can get for Eminger, Laich and a second-round pick in 2008?

14 comments:

Tyler said...

I hate to say it, but we all expected Suts to follow a Muffins-like season with improvement, and he really regressed last year. So I'd think the Caps will keep that in mind.

Uh, Hal Gill? I'm not sure how attractive Laich is. Sub in Flash and you might make a bid for Colin White?

JP said...

Flash and Emmy would be overpaying for Colin White.

Here's my new crusade:

Pavel Kubina

The Leafs want to get out from under his contract, the Caps could absorb the hit (3-years, $15m left).

I'm not exactly sure what it would take, but Poti-Kubina, Morrisonn-Jurcina, Pothier-Schultz with another year of development for Green sounds damn good to me.

JP said...

And you know I don't love Suts, but the "A" on his sweater indicates that important people do.

Tyler said...

Except that Colin White has a pretty good contract. Maybe a really good contract after yesterday.

The Caps could... but would Pops Muckler allow JFJ to do it? ;-)

Chimaera said...

I'd still like to talk to Stuart.

Heck, I'd even still be willing to talk to Zubrus.

Lubomir Visnovsky would be tempting. I know we have Poti to run the PP. Maybe Zidlicky or a few other trade targets.

Marky Narc said...

maybe Karlis Skratstins? or Derek Morris?

CapsChick said...

I think Flash and Emmy for Kubina and maybe a low draft pick would be a possibility.

I've crusaded for Emmy in the past but there are only so many young blueliners this organization can cultivate at once while giving them all fair ice time (and more are coming in the next few years)so a change of scenery might do him good. As for Flash, despite, er, "flashes" of brilliance at the end of last season I'm not convinced. Ship him out, see what we get in return.

Boy, with GMGM's moves these last two days that Boomer signing is more and more of a head-scratcher, isn't it? Buh-bye, Boomer.

The Peerless said...

Boumedienne was and remains insurance. But it's a policy with diminishing value, given the other assets on the roster.

I'm not as sanguine on Kubina, precisely because of the remaining contractual obligations. The Caps could absorb the hit this year without too much pain, but that contract becomes much more painful next year when the RFAs the Caps have on the roster (Ovechkin, Semin, Morrisonn, among others) need to be renewed.

It's a very difficult position to fill, given that skating deficiencies in any such player can be exploited the way the game is played these days.

I'd expect the Caps to remain under the salary midpoint this year (to start the season, at least) with next year in mind -- signing RFAs and looking at what might be a deeper UFA class.

Snktimoniuz said...

Jagr, Lang, Gonchar, Bondra, Nylander, Zubrus, Halpern, Semin, Grier, Witt, Eminger, Boumedienne... also looks good on paper...till you turn it over and read Doig, Rohloff, Stroshein (still makes me laugh remembering him try to skate), Gruden, Yonkman, Kwiatkowski...

I'll be less of a negative Nancy after seeing how this group performs but, yeah, on paper things are shaping up. Let's just hope it isn't toilet paper.

Tyler said...

To finish the thought: Gordon, Olie, CC, Brash, and Mike Green round out next year's UFA/RFAs that matter. The cap will likely nudge up to what, $51-52ish?

Tyler said...

So Tarik is still saying there may be another signing or another trade. Given Nylander's salary numbers and Nagy's signing, they're out.

But what about a one-year deal with Ruslan Fedotenko? The Caps are still thin at RW, especially if injuries hit. Fedotenko could probably be had in the $1.75-2M range.

Joe said...

FYI: If anyone needs information on the salary cap I recommend this site:
www.nhlscap.com

FAUXRUMORS said...

1) Overall have to compliment GMGM. Nice moves. The team(on paper) appears to be significantly better than last. Improved and didn't give up any asset.
2) Probably still a move or so from real playoff contention, and going into a season with a 38 yr old starting goalie is always a risk, but you guys have to feel pretty good today!

Scai said...

I would NEVER take on Kubina's contract. With the FAs added, the Caps' cap hit has to be around 40 Mio now. Add to that Kubina's 5 Mio and you wouldn't have enough cap room to retain Semin and Ovechkin. And remember, there's always a chance the cap could come down after next season!
Kubina is a slow, overpaid defenseman, a rich man's Erskine if you will. The Caps don't need him.
Let the kids play!