Friday, May 02, 2008

2007-08 Rink Wrap: Sergei Fedorov

From Backstrom to Steckel, we're taking a quick look at and grading the 2007-08 season for every* player who laced 'em up for the Caps during the campaign (and is still with the team) with an eye towards 2008-09. Next up, Sergei Fedorov.

Contract Status: UFA; 2007-08 salary of $6.08M
Age (as of October 1, 2008): 38
NHL Seasons (including 2007-08): 17
2007-08 Regular Season Stats: 68 games played, 11 goals, 30 assists, -5, 38 PIMs (18gp, 2g, 11a, -2, 8 PIMs for Washington)
Key Stat: Fedorov won 57.98% of his faceoffs for the Caps during the regular season and 54.6% in the playoffs.
Surprising Stat: Fedorov's point totals have dropped in each of his last four seasons.

The Good: Fedorov finished the season ranked 12th in the League (and third on the Caps) in faceoffs at 55.6% and gave the Caps a legitimate second-line center to take some of the pressure off Nicklas Backstrom and spark Alex Semin once he arrived. Feds was an outstanding penalty-killer and part-time decent power play quarterback for the Caps and a tremendous leader and mentor, especially to the Alexes (this was most clearly visible in Semin's playoff efforts). Once Fedorov was moved to the top line during the playoffs, his offensive numbers took off as he had a goal and three assists in the series' final three games. Without question, Fedorov is still a brilliant passer and an one of the smartest hockey players you'll ever see - if this was all the Sergei Fedorov Caps fans will get, it was a treat.

The Bad: Now, a lot of this has to do with the playing the bulk of the season for an offensively-challenged Columbus team, but... Fedorov had the second-worst points-per-game total (.60) of his illustrious career in 2007-08, and even his points-per-game for the Caps (.72) would rank as the third-worst season-long rate of his career. His 11 goals were the second-lowest total of his career, his thirty assists were his third-lowest total, and he had the fewest shots per game of his career, the second-worst shooting percentage, and the second-worse plus/minus - all of the above coming in the least amount of ice time per game he's seen in his 17 years in the League. Since the lockout, he has missed time with injuries to his groin (13 games in 2005), back (2 games in 2006), shoulder (6 games in 2006), elbow (3 games in 2007) and hip (1 game in 2008) and a concussion (13 games in 2008).

The Vote: Rate Fedorov on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) based on his performance relative to his potential for the season after he was traded to the Caps - if he had the best 18 games you could have imagined him having, give him a 10; if he more or less played as you expected he would, give him a 5 or a 6; if he had the worst 18 games you could have imagined him having, give him a 1.

The Question(s): Potentially an unrestricted free agent come July 1, should Fedorov be in the Caps' plans for 2008-09 and if so, in what role? If he is back, what will it take for him to earn a 10 next year?

If you've missed any of the previous 2007-08 Rink Wraps, click here, get caught up, and vote - polls will stay open for a while.

* And by "every," we mean every one who played more than just a handful of games.

26 comments:

Chuck G. said...

I gave Feds a 7 because he was a good leader and centerman, which is what I expected. I did enjoy watching him in a Caps jersey for the last quarter of the season and the playoffs though. As far as re-signing him, I think the Caps head office and GMGM need to take a look at the Nylander situation and judge his injury/surgery in terms of how it will affect his play and how likely it will happen again. If Nyls is good to go come September/October, let Feds go. If not, sign Feds to a 1-year contract. "Simple" as that.

Paul said...

Depends on what he asks for, but my inclination would be to bring him back for a year. He's enormously valuable as both mentor to the Russians and as team elderstatesman. And while he's not Sergei Fedorov anymore, he's still a really, really good and versatile hockey player. You can literally put him on the ice in any situation. I would envision him centering the third or even fourth lines, spending some time on IR, and being ready to step up at playoff time.

Tyler said...

He's worth it at $1.8M, if just for the PK alone. But I kinda half think that if he wanted to play next year he'd have indicated such by now...

FAUX RUMORS said...

1) Fedorov dide everything one could have expected of him after the trade. He played a variety of roles from 2nd line center, PP QB, to PK, doing all well.
2) However,as tempting as it is to say 'Bring him back', if all the rest of the team are healthy, and no trades are made, there would seem to be no room for Feds

b.orr4 said...

I gave him a nine based solely on what he did in Washington and I'd like to see him back as the third line center for at least another season. Ironically, the way he played for the Caps may make him far more attractive to other teams and put him financially beyond the Caps grasp. What really strikes me is that the Caps are now so deep that we can actually say that we don't know if Federov is the right fit for the team. Two years ago, we'd be on our knees begging him to come back.

breed16 said...

I gave him a 9. Short of breaking out into a scoring bonanza, he did everything we hoped he would, and some.

We should re-sign him if...
1.) It's a 1 year deal
2.) He is OK playing third line center/PK role with occasional PP time
3.) He fits under the cap after our higher priorities: Huet, Green, Mo, Laich, even Gordon and Steckel

bigonetimer said...

Simply put we get bupkus for playoffs this year without Feds. For his Caps efforts he gets a 10 from me; I don't care what he did in CLB.

He is well worth 2M for next year--go get him!

Anonymous said...

What, he won't drop the gloves either? Get rid of him..

Caps Dreamer said...

I'd love to see Feds back for 1-year, too, if it makes sense. It was such a pleasure seeing him in a Caps uniform and enjoying himself so much. Agree with your comment, too, JP that his mentoring of Semin showed up big time in the playoffs.

~Mark said...

I don't think you worry about where to put Feds. He'll be fine where ever, and with injuries, special teams, etc... he'll get plenty of playing time.
It 's really about money and term, but mostly about money. This all assumes he's not retiring or planning on a Russian league swan-song!

JP said...

The problem, of course, is that there are two sides to this negotiation.

If Sergei comes to GMGM and says, "Hey, I'd love to center the third line for $1M for a year," it's the biggest no-brainer in the history of earth [local radio ad reference]. But does anyone honestly see that happening?

I guess we don't know what Feds wants until we know what Feds want, but isn't it reasonable to expect that it involves a role on the top two lines and at least $2.5M for the year?

Ted said...

I thought that Federov would be a guiding light. But then Boudreau put him on one of the top lines, had him working the power play, working penalty kills, and taking key faceoff. If you buy Boudreau as coach of the year, part of his genius was in seeing the skill in Fedorov. Vote TEN guys, nothing less.

As to having him back, tough call, but why not. For $2M or so, go for it. Question is age; we all know that at any minute in hockey, the skills can drop dramatically when above 35 years old. Ain't no Chelios's playing forward, as you may note.

breed16 said...

@jp: But what is meant by "role on the top two lines"? Is it that he wants to be on a scoring line? Is it ice time? Is it that he wants to play with Semin or Ovechkin?

Each of these needs could be met if he plays a third line center role. How?
1.) We explain that we want the third line to be a scoring line, too! Some combination of Laich, Fehr, and Clark could constitute his wingers.
2.) He will get PK minutes and 2nd PP unit duties and be on the ice for critical late-game face-offs when we're holding leads. Which will hopefully be often.
3.) On top of the PP time with the skill guys, he is the #1 fill-in should a top six guy go down. Considering Nylander and Clark's age and injury situations, that is a likely scenario.

The money issue is the deal breaker. If there is anywhere in the league Feds would take a discount, it's either Detroit or here. I just hope there is room for him either way.

Marky Narc said...

Fedorov did well in the short stint here. I gave him an 8. It's as much for what he does on the ice as it is what he does off it. I think should the Caps sign Fedorov to a 1-year deal, there would be a neat symbiotic relationship between him and AO. The two would simply have fun playing together.

Obviously it all depends on whether Nyls is back next season. Where to put Fedorov shouldn't be a question - he'd be the second line center. I don't see why that's even up for discussion.

Is it absolutely vital that he be here next season? No. Would it be nice? Yes. Will the team be damaged if he isn't signed? No. If it were up to me (ha ha ha ha!) I'd sign Sergei to a 1 year deal (if he's willing) and let cut Nylander loose. But should that not happen, I won't be too worried.

breed16 said...

@ marky narc: He'd be the 2nd line center even if Nyls is back? So you'd have Backstrom centering the first line and Nyls centering the third line?

JP said...

I'm not sure where this "if Nyls is back" stuff comes from - he had said he could be ready to go at some point during the second round if the Caps had advanced.

And Nylander is going nowhere. Besides his no trade clause, we don't want him to go anywhere. Even if you were to argue that Feds could center a scoring line next year (I have my doubts), he's at best a one-year solution and the Caps would be back to square one (i.e. where they were before signing Nyls) after that, as they don't have any legitimate playmaking centers in the system ready to take that role.

Nylander is our best long-term option at 1st/2nd line center. Fedorov is not even an option there.

If Feds is here, it's as a bottom six pivot with PP and PK time, and spot duty on the top lines if injuries happen. If the team sees 91 and 92 as "either/or," I can guarantee that 91 is history.

breed16 said...

@ JP: it comes from Jim Matheson speculation: http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/sports/story.html?id=80dbb9d0-02ff-43ca-ac3c-70dde5d0f60f

I wouldn't want to see Fedorov anywhere but in a third line role either. But I can't think of a more perfect 3rd line center fit.

JP said...

Right. I thought I had debunked that junk here. :)

breed16 said...

Nylander + Feds = championship, lock it up.

Scott said...

Assistant coach (clap-clap-clap clap clap)

All the leadership, none of the salary cap

DO IT!!! said...

BRING HIM BACK!!!!!!!

HE IS THE FINAL PIECE

Anonymous said...

yeah scott, great idea, he clearly has nothing left to contributr on the ice.

Anonymous said...

i would be completely fine with feds for 1 year at a max of 2.5. thats how much money kozlov makes and hes produced around the same as him points-wise(if strecthed out over the course of a full season) and hes more versatile. If he fits within the budget, it would be a no brainer not to at that price. The impact that he has on the team speaks for itself. He makes it whole in many ways, and his leadership is a safeguard for a young team. With how much money ted has already invested in the boys, this would be similar to buying a jumbo flat screen tv and not getting the 1-year warranty. ITS A MUST.

b.orr4 said...

Feds would be the perfect insurance policy. He can play just about any position on all three lines as well as the PP and PK. And as everyone has said, he brings incredible leadership to the lockerroom. The only caveat is you only bring him back if you think you've got a legitimate shot at the Cup, because he IS going to take time away from some of the younger players.

Jimmy Jazz said...

I don't think he'll sign here for cheap, but if we could get him... Wow.

We're looking at Backstrom, Nyles, and Feds down the middle. That's not bad at all.

Ogre said...

No where to put him? Throw him on D. Hell, he won't play as well as our top 3, but he's better than the rest of the lot.