Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Heartbreak Of The Year

Two former starting goalies ride the pine down the stretch (for vastly different reasons) and don't get a minute of ice time in the playoffs. Their respective teams get bounced in the first round.

Here's one of the goalies' response:
"I don't take responsibility for the team losing in the playoffs, I'll tell you that much."
The other goalie handled the playoff exit by "remov[ing] his nameplate from his locker" and "declin[ing] to talk to reporters."

Frankly, I hate drawing this comparison here. For more than a decade, Olie Kolzig has been one of the NHL's most respectable players. From his on-ice achievements to his charitable work to his loyalty to the organization through its leanest years in three decades, he has almost always been the very personification of professionalism.

Clearly he felt wronged (perhaps justifiably) by the franchise when it went out and got another goaltender at this past trade deadline and turned the netminding duties over to the newcomer full-time in mid-March, especially when Kolzig had appeared to have salvaged a seemingly lost season - from February 2 through March 14, Kolzig was 7-3-2 with a 2.09 GAA and .923 save percentage.

But Kolzig's reaction last night was, to be blunt, immature and selfish. It distracted from the real story - the brilliant run his team had been on since Thanksgiving - and shifted the focus to his discontent, to his abandonment of and by the team.

Had he just walked out after hitting the showers, it would have been a non-story. But by his conduct - the simple act of removing his nameplate - Olie said with his actions, "I don't take responsibility for that team losing in the playoffs, I'll tell you that much."

And to me, that - and not the team's Game Seven overtime loss - is the biggest heartbreak of this whole wonderful season.


algoon said...

If he retires I think its a class move. Kinda like the wrestling tradition where after the last match, one leaves their shoes on the mat and walks away. If he signs elsewhere, then I agree with your take.

Rage said...

There's a great thread on Hockeys Future where folks had posted all the youtubes of Kolzig's fights. After watching how Roy reacted to anyone touching his crease, and Kolzig doing the same, it really made me miss the guy.

The one thing with Olie, you always know where you stood.

Anonymous said...

You're kidding right?? An old has been acting selfish is more disappointing than losing to the mother f'ing Flyers????


Carol in NoVa said...

Not speaking to the reporters was a class move, one that Olie has been engaging in since he was moved down the depth chart. Cleaning out his locker and removing the nameplate could have waited for another day.

pplc said...

This all just feels so old already. But at the same time it also feels premature, simply because he hasn't spoken a word yet and we do not know his future intentions.

sonia said...

i just hope that the nameplate removal was something totally unrelated, like he was giving it to his kid or something, or at least explained what that was about. i don't know. i just think this was a poor choice of timing to be a diva. if he thinks the caps dicked him over, i totally understand. but come on olie, take the high road.

JP said...

@ Eric:

That Olie played such a small part in the team's March/April run and couldn't take part in the enjoyment that came with it after what he's been through with this team is heartbreaking.

The fact that a guy who has been the face of the franchise and looked up to by thousands of fans for more than a decade felt he had to act that way and basically sneak out the backdoor while at the same time disrespecting his teammates is heartbreaking.

Losing to the Flyers just friggin' blew.

Soulie said...

Oh for Christ's sake. It's really easy for us in the stands to tsk tsk this. The guy is a warrior, he was a pro about this down the stretch. And we're going to get the vapors because he took his nameplate down? Boo hoo.

dmg said...

It isn't just that he took his nameplate down - it's that he did it at a time people would notice and then skipped the mandatory team meeting to close out the season the next day. Kolzig's basically saying, without saying it, that he doesn't have an interest in being part of the team anymore.

Ogre said...

I don't see a comparison between Emery and Kolzig.

Emery is a clubhouse bitchface.

Kolzig kept his mouth shut, or at least did to the media. All the media does after losses is look for something in your words to blow apart, if they don't like you, or something to suck your cock on if they love you. Good for him.

Boodgiesdad said...

Boy do I hope that there is a good explanation for what Olie did. I would hate for it to end this way for him in DC.

I guess it is just too much to hope that an athlete would spend his whole career in one city....

Seeing Art Monk in an Eagles uniform was as bad as losing to the Flyers...

Anonymous said...

I don't blame Olie one bit. This man has been loyal to this team since day 1. He fought his way up to the NHL level and stayed here many a times when he could have left and gone elsewhere, especially when times were really tough.

He's been the "unofficial" captian of this team for many years, and to have GMGM go out and get Huet when he did, basically tells Olie "your services are obsolete", can certainly dishearten a man.

Olie, being a pro until the very end kept his mouth shut makes him look good. I think his actions suggest he will play next year, just not in DC. I hope that's not the case, I hope to see Olie in net again for the Caps, but if not...let this be the end of his long and stellar service to the NHL.

ryptide said...

After almost 20 years of service to this team in the best and worst of times, a Vezina, a King Clancy, backstopping us to our only SC final, being shoved aside for a slightly younger model when the team made a run at the unthinkable, no matter how technically correct the decision was to bench him -- I'm reasonably certain this can be seen as an emotional and sentimental response to a heartbreaking loss and a possibly a heartbreaking end to his career or his time here in DC. He has been the pillar of professionalism in dealing with his benching which you have to imagine isn't easy when you've given your blood sweat and tears to an organization on the mend... You wait and wait and play hard behind ineffective teams, and age and have your abilities impacted in the mean time, only to be shoved aside when it's getting good and have some new guy take your spot? The right decision for the team, no doubt, but a lesser man would have lost his mind to the press and destroyed the locker room chemistry.

I told him after game 1 when I asked him to sign my jersey after practice at Kettler that saturday that I hoped he got some ice time. His response was "I don't. That would mean the team was doing badly." -- Between his dedication to the Capitals organization and his efforts in the community I think it is safe to say there isn't a selfish bone in his body.

So... I'm willing to give the man who has been the face of this team for so long a pass on removing his name tag at a time the arm-chair hockey gurus, most of which have likely never played the game at this level find inopportune. Some of you folks are acting like he broke it in two, threw it at Ted, wiped himself with his jersey and peeled out of the garage.

Honestly, I think it speaks volumes about the "fans" that it gets so much attention. Between this and pegging Jeff Carter in the face with a beer bottle I think Capital fandom has some soul-searching to do.

b80vin said...


I find the throwing of stuff on the ice reprehensible, but I don't think it speaks to the soul Caps fandom. I find that ridiculous. The ice would have been covered if even the majority of Caps fans had thrown things.

Second, I sure as hell hope Caps fans are wringing their hands over Ollie's actions, because we have questions (whether we've ever played hockey or not). This is not in Ollie's character so the action raises questions. We want the best for this hero we still admire and hope that this action doesn't preclude him from realizing that.

Some might take issue with the timing, and that's their right. But I imagine a competitor like Ollie was triple pissed about how Tuesday night ended and there was emotion involved. Personally, I see no reason why they should have changed goalies in the middle of a run. At the same time I'm somewhat disappointed that I didn't get to see Ollie in net, just as I will be upset if I ever see him in another uniform.
However, I think it's his right to play for another team. I hope he retires as a Cap. Seeing Bondra's quiet underplayed retirement was harsh after all he meant to me as a Caps fan and I don't want to see Ollie do the same thing.

RandyD said...

I think your analysis is a little harsh and premature on Olie. I don't know the hockey etiquette on nameplates, or what he did last year when he cleaned out his locker, but it could be a meaningless move. Experts on body language often say that when someone folds their arms they could be closing themselves or, or they could just be folding their arms. Maybe Olie was just folding his arms.

Another blog reported that Olie's nameplate was back up. So who know what any of this means.

What I do know is that it would be a terrible loss not to have him back. He played great down the stretch, and never created a distraction when his team needed him. He's always been a leader and a great guy in the locker room, so why would that change now?

I do have to wonder with the talk of Olie leaving the team, and Huet a free-agent, who will be in the crease next season? That would be a tough pill to swallow to be without a top netminder once we have what appears to be a stable group of d-men (finally).

Hazardous said...

I have to respectfully disagree with how you perceive this action. The not speaking to the media says it all. If he wanted to make a spectacle of it, he could've, and would've. He's a classy guy, he's not gonna do that. He feels the organization turned their back on him (because they did) and didn't give him another chance when he certainly deserved one. I cannot blame him for wanting to just cut loose from ill feelings and move on as quick as possible.

I know it won't happen, but I hope there's some serious reconciliation in the next few weeks, I can't bear to see Kolzig wearing someone else's jersey.

Scott said...

Have I given my heart and soul to this team like Olie? No way...but when the Flyers scored that goal I through my beer in the air and let it spill all over my carpet. I cussed and swung at the air.

If I had anywhere near the temper that Olie does, and if I was the one guy to stick with the team through the rebuild only to see myself get pushed aside just as the team started to gel, I would be pretty frustrated. I think what you see with this is the very human side of Olie coming out. He's at a loss for where he stands with the team, and where the team stands with him. He probably wanted to throw chairs and beer bottles at Flyers. He probably wanted to light cars on fire. But he didn't, he held it in as much as he could. I think this could be far worse. I think this is much more personal for Olie than it is a statement against anybody else. We'll see when he speaks up, but I have a feeling that much of his quietness is because of personal struggles.

b80vin said...

One problem Scott...

I have seen this "pushed aside" bit before. Emminger was "pushed aside", Ollie was replaced by someone who outplayed him in the stretch run (though Ollie was strong during that time, he wasn't as strong as Huet). There's a difference between being pushed aside and replaced. Being pushed aside would have meant Ollie was the scratch and Johnson was the backup. Other than that, I agree with you.


1) Ironically its possible that Ray Emery could be the Caps starting goalie next season.
2) As we mentioned yesterday; Its not a 100% lock Huet signs with DC. We believe its highly possible that Huet may end up in Ottawa when Emery is bought out as many anticipate
3) If that occurs the caps will have a gaping hole in the starting goal position with very few available competent (good) starters available this summer. As such Emery, even with his 'baggage' might be the logical alternative.

JP said...

1) There is a 0% chance that Ray Emery will be the Capitals goaltender next year.
2) Seriously.
3) No chance.

maruk said...

Olie gets a pass from me. You have to have an immense amount of pride to be a successful pro athlete. Olie had to swallow his each and every day for the better part of 6 weeks. He did so without negatively affecting the team in any way. I don't think very many guys could have pulled that off, especially given the fact that he was in fact playing pretty well when the deal was made.

He has an awful lot of well-earned goodwill in the bank. He may have burned up a little, but in my book, he's still got plenty.

Kim said...

JP you put into words exactly what I have been thinking about the whole nameplate issue. While I understand Olie may have been frustrated, felt wronged, etc. I think that the timing of his actions was wrong.

Of course nobody knows exactly what message Olie intended to convey. However, the fact that he even created the discussion by his actions is unfortunate and quite frankly not something I would have expected from a character guy like Olie.

Such a shame.


1) If Huet goes elsewhere, and the Kolzig bridge apparently burned, to whom would the Caps turn to start next season?
2) The list is NOT impressive. Gerber, Hedberg, Raycroft, etc?

tg said...

I dunno. I think I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt. Here's somebody who is proud, a professional athlete who still thinks he could get the job done yet wasn't given the chance. His team lost and he has no idea what's going on. He's frustrated. And since he doesn't know what next year holds (be it back with the Caps, signing with another team, retirement), just takes everything to be safe so he doesn't have to answer all these questions the day after the season ends.

Personally, I think it's much more likely that he either comes back or retires than moves somewhere else. You have to factor his child into the equation. Karma's gonna bite me for this one, but would it be worth it -- to him -- to uproot his family, and an autistic child, to move somewhere else where he can play? Or is it better to stay here in a reduced role? Or even say, "It was a great run, thanks for the memories, see everyone down the road"?

Paul said...

My son is a goaltender. He wears number 37. Olie is my favorite Cap of all time. He is the single reason for our one moment of glory. He's the only guy who stayed here for the rebuild. (Can you imagine how much different our D would look if Brendan Witt were still here and Milan Jurcina was not)? So I'm going to cut Olie some slack. No, I'm going to cut him about a mile of slack. He's a fierce competitor and he wanted to play. He was never disruptive to the team.

Eventually all this will be forgotten and we'll have an evening when we can rain cheers down on Olie while his jersey rises to the rafters.

JP said...

Great points by all, and there are really so many things going on with this issue.

I just want to drive home the point that Olie is probably my favorite Cap of all-time and to see it (potentially) end this way - with him in obvious pain and feeling like an outsider at such a high time for the team - is hard to see.

No doubt my frustration with his actions are really frustrations with the whole situation (not that I think it could/should have been handled differently - I don't), and he has handled himself very admirably throughout (with the possible exception of having his agent vent on the trade in its immediate aftermath).

At the end of the day, though, and whether or not he meant to, he shifted the spotlight from the team to himself. Case in point, Tarik's article today leads not with Boudreau's extension, AO's thoughts on the season, the now-disclosed injuries or what the team needs to do in the offseason, but rather with Kolzig's departure.

It's just disappointing and I'm sure we all wish it was otherwise.

JP said...

Eventually all this will be forgotten and we'll have an evening when we can rain cheers down on Olie while his jersey rises to the rafters.

And that's another thing - I'm not sure Olie realizes how appreciated he is here by the fans even while he feels underappreciated by the organization.

I mean, look at the poll we ran as to who should start Game 4 - Olie got 58% or so of the vote. With the season on the line, 3 out of 5 fans wanted Olie in net. That says a lot (admittedly it also says something about Huet's play and his ability to handle bodies in the crease through three games).

algoon said...

How many goalies, even HOF'ers, could lay claim to a teams crease for as long as Olie? He gave his all, but the situation in DC was perfect for him. The caps could have easily dumped him, traded him, humiliated him a million times. As pissed as he may be, certainly he must realize how amazingly unique his tenure was in the history of the league. Better goalie's than he have been treated much worse than getting legitamately nudged aside for a hotter hand. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doudt that he knows this.

Whatever happens, he'll get his digits in the rafters.

b.orr4 said...

I would love to know what some of the other players thought as they watched Olie get up and take his nameplate down and walk out the door. That's where I think the selfish stuff comes in. You've got teammates who have just played their hearts out and are devastated by the sudden end of their season and your response is to symbolically remove yourself from their suffering and leave them to deal with the aftermath. That's not my definition of a teammate. Rather, it's the act of a disgruntled employee who's attempting to give one final fuck you to an organization he's been with for twenty years. It's understandable, but I would have expected more from someone like Olie.

Brunella said...

I agree with JP but I think b.orr4 put it even more clearly and succinctly just now. It was a very deeply selfish thing to do. It's the quintessential bridge-burning gesture.

And so thus endeth the Kolzig Story. With a big fat resounding raspberry. I am not so sure I want his number in the rafters anymore.


1) Kuddos to Fehr for playing last night for the third consecutive night and chipping in 2 helpers to help the Bears stave off elimination

hotdog88gt said...

He's not under contract any longer. So he takes nametag down - big deal. When the goalie contracts are settled we'll find out the Caps starter going forward and if Olaf will still be a Cap. I suspect it's not time to put him out to pasture yet.

Anonymous said...

>> He's not under contract any longer. <<

Actually, he is until July 1, so when he skips a mandatory team meeting, he is violating his contract unless he had permission to do so. Nobody's gonna call him on that, but he is still a member of the team, contractually.

bill said...

He's a proud guy and the season is over. He hasn't mouthed off publicly and has not been a drag in the clubhouse ("detached" is the worst I've read about him). He's a goalie and so by definition marches to his own drummer. His actions don't bother me - he's human, but he's still a class act.

b.orr4 said...

@Bill, just wait. Olie will eventually have his say and trust me, it won't be pretty.

Mike said...

As much as we want to be loyal to Olie, you have to remember this is a business. This is not Beer league hockey or youth hockey, but the NHL. Getting Huet was the reason we made the play-offs. Does anyone here really think Olie would have rolled off 7 straight to get us to the play-offs? He was at the bottom of the league in Save % and wasn't quick enough to make the saves this team needs based on the system they play.

I love what Olie did for the Caps over the last 15+ years, but with everyone talking about how professional he has been about the whole situation, this was a very childish act on what was a heartbreaking night for caps fans everywhere.

I think he owes it to the club and his teammates to explain his actions. Remember, he has been paid very well for his services here, and with how he played this year some would say overpaid. Be professional and be a part of the team til the very end.

Pro sports are a buiness and no one can say that bringing in Huet was a bad business decision since it led to an incredible run, most likely a ton of revenue from jersey sales and 4 home play-off games.

Olie, maintain your good name and come out and justify your actions or at least come out and let everyone know you are sorry for what you did.

mark said...

Olie is a class act and has handled this situation with the same leadership, team commitment, and professionalism he's shown over the past decade. Not talking is sometimes the best option, especially when emotions are high. We're frustrated the season's over -- let's stop turning on each other and our players. Criticizing the only player who stuck with the team for the past 10 years? Blaming Abe Pollin, Ted Leonsis, and the ice for losing Game 7 (OFB)? Come on.

exwhaler said...

Everybody seems to be assuming that Kolzig made a big production of taking down his nameplate. It was such a dramatic moment, in fact, that Corey said in his Times story that no reporters saw it--he left before reporters were allowed in the locker room.

And that's the thing. We're relying on the word of somebody who didn't see it and making judgments on how it happened and affected the locker room and whether or not Kolzig said to the team based on the words of somebody who WASN'T THERE.

If Kolzig's not coming back next year, he's never coming back to the Verizon Center locker room after that game. If he wants his nameplate at the place he's played for a large portion of his career, he's going to have take it then. Tarik noticed that it was gone and correctly assumed that meant Kolzig doesn't expect to be coming back. That's all it is.

As for Kolzig skipping the team meeting...Bruce Boudreau told On Frozen Blog that he had a private and personal meeting with Kolzig. All he would say about it that Kolzig's "one of the classiest men I've ever met in this game."

You don't think he had permission to miss the manditory meeting? I'd guess again.

Let's not judge a man's character and actions unless we actually know the context, okay?

tg said...

From Tarik:

Posted at 10:16 AM ET, 04/24/2008

Kolzig Explains Nameplate Removal

Olie Kolzig returned the message I left for him early this morning. Unfortunately, I missed his call. But he spoke for about a minute and wanted to explain a few things.

First, Kolzig said he doesn't want to give any interviews for a few days as he collects his thoughts. He said he obviously has some decisions to make and will talk soon.

Second, he also said he didn't remove his nameplate from his locker stall at Verizon Center out of anger. He acknowledged that the Caps' Game 7 loss to Philly could "possibly" have been his last game in Washington, so he wanted to take the nameplate as a memento. He plans to frame it with a jersey.

"It had nothing to do with not playing or pouting," Kolzig said in the message. "I was real proud of the way the guys played. I thought there was going to be destiny with the way the last two weeks went. So I was probably as disappointed as anybody."

As far as my schedule, I plan to take a few days off. But I'll do my best to keep the blog up to date with the latest news.

Anonymous said...


KS said...

Sounds kind of like a guy who has had a day to cool off and is doing damage control. But I give him the benefit of the doubt. He has earned it.

Anonymous said...

I think I'll take Olie at his word on what he told Tarik. I read somewhere that he did not take down his nameplate at Kettler.

I will be crushed if he leaves the Caps organization, and more so if he leaves on a sour note. He's been an inspiration to a generation of kids in this town, including mine. My kid has her signed Olie picture by her bed at college, where she plays goalie on their club team.

dmg said...

It seems silly to even get this far into detail on the issue, but...

Him taking his nameplate isn't the end of the world. It could mean a lot of things: maybe he wants it as a memento, maybe he's giving it to his kid, maybe he's pouting, maybe he wants to auction it off to raise money for his charity. Could be any of those things. The bottom line, to me, is that he doesn't feel he's a part of the organization anymore.

The bigger issue is the skipping of the mandatory team meeting to close out the season. To me, there's only one way to interpret that: he has no interest in being a part of the organization anymore (at least as a player)

tandtb13 said...

I don't think its spin. I thought there was too much read into this action and it made a good story to assume he was making a statement. With everything that has happened I feel he deserves a few days to think before speaking to the press. I have more faith in Kolzig and believe him at his word. I hope can comes back even as a back-up.

JP said...

Not talking is sometimes the best option, especially when emotions are high.

I couldn't agree more, and if that's all he had done, this isn't a story. And if he had just passed on the team meeting, this probably isn't a story.

But isn't the fact that we're all talking about it proof that it is a story and that it has changed some of the focus of the postseason coverage? Wouldn't you rather be reading about Tarik's conversation with Mike Green's agent than with Olie having to explain himself?

Try envisioning the most favorable scenario which no one saw - Olie is in the locker room, tells everyone he loves them and would go to war with them any time, everyone cries and hugs, Olie says, "Fellas, I'm going to leave before the press gets in here so the focus is on you - where it should be," and then takes his nameplate as a momento and leaves. Even in that scenario, Olie knows that taking his nameplate wouldn't go unnoticed.

Have 'em mail it to you - I think they'd arrange that.

All that said, I think this boils down to a spur-of-the-moment move that was probably unintentionally disruptive and made by a phenomenally classy human being who has been known to act on emotion from time to time.

dmg said...

On a separate issue:


I think the odds of Emery being in net for the Capitals, while slim, are higher than zero.

Huet's going to be the most sought after goaltending free agent this offseason, so I think there's a pretty fair chance he waits until July 1 and sees what kind of offers he gets. It only takes one desperate/crazy GM to make a player vastly overpaid.

If Huet does leave D.C., the other options aren't great - the only other potential starter on the market looks like it's going to be Jose Theodore. Plus, there don't seem to be very many (if any) guys who are playing the role of backup who could clearly be starters, like Kiprusoff and Bryzgalov were in SJ and Anaheim. The only established goalie I can think of who might be available via trade is Dwayne Roloson.

I guess the RFA route is still a possibility - I think M.A. Fluery, Kari Lehotenen and Pascal LeClaire are all RFA's but I doubt the Capitals could put in a bid that makes sense and wouldn't be matched. Plus, that's an awful lot of compensation to give up (maybe they could look at trading for Lehtonen, he's clearly not happy in Atlanta and with Ondrej Pavelec may be their goalie of the future).

Anyhow, the possibility of losing Huet and not being able to pick up another #1 is very real. If that happens, shouldn't the Capitals at least consider Emery? Don't get me wrong, I'd much rather have Huet in net. It's just that the thought of the team going into next season w/o a goalie capable of being a #1 doesn't appeal to me b/c we saw how good the Capitals can be if they have a good goalie behind them

JP said...

@ dmg: All valid points, but I think Emery's baggage is a deal-breaker, especially for a young team with phenomenal chemistry like this Caps squad. Frankly, I think Ilya Bryzgalov's perceived mental instability could be the primary reason the Caps passed on him earlier in the year.

I don't know what Plan B is if Huet doesn't re-sign, but I'd be very, very shocked if it was Emery.

Paul Nichols said...

Olie gets miles and miles of leeway here.

He's hung in for 20 years, through the good and bad. And while I think getting Huet was central to making the playoffs, you have to know that Olie felt kicked to the curb.

He gets all the slack in the world from me. IF there are hard feelings, that kind of stuff happens. Remember Langways' last year or two? Wasn't exactly wine and roses.

That said, IF he decides to retire, which I don't think will happen, the Caps should immediately retire # 37. Any bullshitting around with that decision will really tick the fans off. What possible excuse could the team use for NOT doing so?

exwhaler said...

>>>"Try envisioning the most favorable scenario which no one saw - Olie is in the locker room, tells everyone he loves them and would go to war with them any time, everyone cries and hugs, Olie says, "Fellas, I'm going to leave before the press gets in here so the focus is on you - where it should be," and then takes his nameplate as a momento and leaves. Even in that scenario, Olie knows that taking his nameplate wouldn't go unnoticed.<<<<

And I would have not problems with that. Nor should anybody.

Everybody knows the situation that Kolzig's in, and I highly doubt anybody actually believes Kolzig would be happy in a back-up role for the remainder of his career. Whether that means retirement or trying to find another starting job elsewhere, it's no surprise that he's leaning toward leaving.

Kolzig would have been the story with or without nameplate. The same questions about Kolzig's future would have been the same, and Tarik would have led off with it being the story--it's the biggest question mark of the Caps' many off-season questions. Not Green, who's a RFA and not likely going anywhere. Not Huet or Federov, who were deadline acqisitions we'd like to keep. It's Kolzig--the face of the franchise who eschewed winning to help guide this team through rebuilding, only to falter when they finally got back to the playoffs. That's been one of the biggest storylines of the season, and the only reason it never took over the Caps run is because Kolzig refused to let it be a story (despite the best efforts of Mike Wise and Kolzig's agent).

Which is why Corey didn't lead his own story off with Nameplate Gate and buried halfway through. This "controversy" is a concoction of one reporter, who obviously already had his lead to his story and has blown something out of propostion, which forced Kolzig to break his silence.

It sucks to live in a world where every action is dissected and analyzed and criticized instanteously before the entire story is known. Kolzig has been incredibly classy about how he's handled a situation somebody in Washington handled with a great deal less maturity a few playoffs ago. Yet, he takes down his nameplate and quietly leaves before the reporters jump in to grill him on his future, and suddenly he's "immature and selfish."

Japer, you did yourself no favors drawing comparisons to Emery. Once's a cancer, the other's a classic act. That's all that comparison showed. Boudreau's description of Kolzig--said yesterday at Kettler--carries far more weight than your overreaction.

Soulie said...

I think it speaks volumes of us as fans that we are so quick to assume the worst from Olie's actions. We have no idea what was said with the coaching staff, GMGM, his teammates. You don't think everyone in there knows the tale of the tape?

The fans have raw nerves, and just assume the worst. Give the guy a frigging break.

dmg said...


Your point about the Capitals dressing room atmosphere (and Emery's locker room cancer persona) is well taken, especially since Emery's 3.25 and 3.5 million dollar salaries for the next two seasons mean it'd be costly to bring him in, have him fail, and buy him out. At the salary he's at I wonder if Murray will find any takers for him or if Ottawa will have to buy him out or lose him on re-entry waivers. If that's the case, I wouldn't be opposed to giving Emery a shot.

Another name worth throwing out is Alex Auld - he was always supposed to have potential and he put up a .919 save % for Boston this year, albeit in 20 games.

Really though, the Caps should push hard to re-sign Huet because things get real complicated if they have to look elsewhere.

JP said...

How anyone who has watched this guy's career can say, in essence, that it's impossible that he made a regrettable move in the heat of the moment with his emotions running high is a little curious to me, but I certainly respect all opinions on this.

JP said...

@ dmg - Auld would definitely be preferable to Emery. Pretty much anyone outside of Raycroft and Denis would be. Hell, for this team I'd rather have Brent Johnson as the #1 than Ray Emery.

b.orr4 said...

This team will have some serious cap issues by the time they get everone in the fold. I agree that signing Huet ahs to be priority #1 or 1A depending on where you slot Green. But if Huet doesn't want to resign, because of Cap restraints I think Plan B is acquiring a goalie via trade. They've got a lot of assets now in young players and draft choices and I could see them acquiring an Auld or a Mason or maybe even Anderson in Florida through a combination of players and choices.


1) @DMG: Its likely that Ottawa will buy out Emery. From has been written already it appears that under the CBA a player under 26 (like Emery) can be bought out at 1/3 (as opposed to 2/3) of his remaining deal.
2) Of course if Emery were bought out and became an UFA, his asking price would probably be in the 3 mil/per range anyway.
3) Regardless of actual/percieved 'baggage', there are more than a few teams in need of a starting goalie, and there are not a glut of them this summer. As such, he will latch on somewhere this summer. While its not a likelihood Emery will be in DC, if things don't go well with Huet its far from a silly notion to be dismissed out of hand

dmg said...


I believe that if a player is waiver eligible they must first be put on waivers before they are bought out. Really though, that's just a side note and I doubt anyone would claim him and I think he'll be bought out.

Regardless of what he's looking for I doubt he'll get much more than a million and I doubt even more he'll get more than a year. What I think is most likely is he'll have to come to camp on a tryout with someone and show that he has his act together.

As an aside on Emery, when I was doing research on him I noticed when he played Junior C he was 3-19 with w 6.36 GAA. A 15/16 year old Emery on a terrible team and getting lit up most nights? That must have been interesting...

JP said...

I respectfully disagree, Faux. Emery between the pipes for the Caps next year is, in fact, a silly notion to be dismissed out of hand.

On a related note, Mirtle had a good post on where Emery could end up.

b80vin said...

Jeez. Most issues drown in the black and white fallacies of "if A then not B". Yes, Ollie is and has been a class act. That does not preclude him from being able to something selfish. Evidence to the contrary is the emotion he plays with and we know sometimes gets the better or him. Nor does the fact that he does something selfish disallow us to admit that and forgive him. All these things can be true at the same time. Hell yeah he gets a pass, and hell yeah it's a shame that it's an issue when we should just be celebrating the fact that throughout the playoffs the "Hockey Song" wasn't played even once.

Bowler said...

" ... we should just be celebrating the fact that throughout the playoffs the "Hockey Song" wasn't played even once."

Good lord you are absolutely right! HA! Maybe it's safely on the shelf for good. One would fervently hope.

RE: the Nameplate: Heck it's a very valuable piece of hockey memorabilia. Money doesn't grow on trees, ya know. Olie probably didn't want some dweeb from the press to snag it. He'll probably have it up on Ebay within the week.

Bowler said...

" ... we should just be celebrating the fact that throughout the playoffs the "Hockey Song" wasn't played even once."

Good lord you are absolutely right! HA! Maybe it's safely on the shelf for good. One would fervently hope.

RE: the Nameplate: Heck it's a very valuable piece of hockey memorabilia. Money doesn't grow on trees, ya know. Olie probably didn't want some dweeb from the press to snag it. He'll probably have it up on Ebay within the week.

b.orr4 said...

@Bowler, well Olie did leave his nameplate from Kettler. Think they'll give that to me?

b.orr4 said...

@Bowler, well Olie did leave his nameplate from Kettler. Think they'll give that to me?

Hazardous said...

Does anyone here really think Olie would have rolled off 7 straight to get us to the play-offs?

I do. He picked his game up when it came time to do so.

People read WAY too much into stats. Stats are misleading and don't mean anything. Even if you want to go with stats, just before the deadline he picked his stats up considerably.

Regardless, stop going by stats. They do not mean as much as you may think they do.

I'm confident Olie is still a #1 goaltender and his play down the stretch was good enough to prove it. Best goalie in the league? No. Good enough for a #1 spot? Yes.

Ideally, I'd like to see Huet and Kolzig both stay and duel it out. Much like they did down the stretch, but over a much longer period of time.

I would not say Huet is the reason we made the playoffs. The whole team made the playoffs. I think they could've done the same in front of Kolzig.

dmg said...

People read WAY too much into stats. Stats are misleading and don't mean anything. Even if you want to go with stats, just before the deadline he picked his stats up considerably.

Regardless, stop going by stats. They do not mean as much as you may think they do.

Yeah, but when you're talking one guy who has the worst save percentage in the league and one guy who has the best post-lockout save percentage...I just don't think the statistics could be that skewed.

Of course, it goes beyond stats. Huet has the reflexes and agility to make saves Kolzig doesn't and the team plays with much more confidence as a result.

Hazardous said...

Yeah, but when you're talking one guy who has the worst save percentage in the league and one guy who has the best post-lockout save percentage...I just don't think the statistics could be that skewed.

They are. They played for two entirely different teams. Who got the majority of the starts while we were fumbling around before thanksgiving? That doesn't help whatsoever. Kolzig struggled a lot this year, but he started turning it around at the beginning of the stretch.

I fucking hate goalie stats.