Friday, June 20, 2008

Draft Day Open Thread

This is your open thread, people - use it wisely.

Also, join Mirtle, myself and others in a 1:00 draft chat over at FanHouse that may well last until the draft, the way The Good Doctor likes to dish the info and talk pucks:


Anonymous said...

not a bad first line on the top row

Charlie G. said...

So what do we think, with such an apparent deep draft, will it be a Center or a Defenseman the Caps pick first? What do you think the system needs more?

JP said...

I really think they go best available, though if Chet Pickard (G) is available at 23, I wouldn't be shocked to seem him picked.

Eric said...

I agree. Best available. What I'm curious about is whether they'll take a Russian. What with the transfer agreement non-existent, it may be difficult to get a Russian to cross the lake. Then again, with Ovie here, there may be incentive to leave the Motherland.

JP said...

The Russian question is a really interesting one, especially when you see in today's Toronto Star that the revamped RSL wants to pay Malkin $15m (US) per year to return.

If you're thinking of drafting Filatov at #2 overall and know you can only pay him the capped entry-level salary for three years, you'd better be pretty damn sure that he's not going to be lured back to Russia by some oil man for $5m per year, no?


1) The great news for Caps fans is that today is NOT the most important day of the season like it has for the past 3 years!

JP said...

No, the great news for Caps fans is that they ditched those black uniforms. I swear they get worse every time I see them.

JP said...

GMGM on the Euro question:

“I think clubs will be real careful with the Russian players,” McPhee predicts. “With some of the other European players, some clubs may be comfortable drafting them because they will now get defected status on them, which you hope will extend their rights so you don’t have to sign them within two years or lose them. You can have them for three or fours years and let them develop.

“We’ll see how the draft goes and what it looks like at the end, but I’m guessing that’s how it’s going to go: careful with the Russians, and maybe not so worried about the other guys.”

b.orr4 said...

I just don't see George standing pat with all those second rounders. I could see him packaging one or two of those with a player to get another first rounder. Or including his own first to move up into the top 10 or 15.

JP said...

For giggles, which Cap would y'all be least surprised to see traded today?

My entry: Milan Jurcina.


1)"which Cap would y'all be least surprised to see traded today?"
Steve Eminger

b.orr4 said...

Ditto on Jurcina with Boyd Gordon a close second.

JP said...

I've seen others suggest Gordon as a trade possibility, but I just don't see it for a (Faux-style) number of reasons:

1) He's real cheap;
2) He's versatile (positionally, at least, in that he can play center or wing);
3) He's a very solid PKer and faceoff guy;
4) Bruce loves him; and
5) If they trade him and Fedorov doesn't re-sign (which I think is likely), the Caps would suddenly be very shallow up the middle.

I just don't see it happening, but if the price is right, I'm sure anyone's available.

JP said...

BREAKING: Nashville Goalie Moves

The Predators significantly clarified their goaltending situation today, announcing they have reached an agreement in principle with Dan Ellis on a multi-year deal and then trading Chris Mason to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a fourth round pick in this year’s draft.

PPP said...


I guess the Mayers deal was just the first domino ;)

Anonymous said...

some people are saying the caps would draft pickard. Why would they draft a goalie that wouldnt be able to come in and start when they've already got varlamov and neuvirth in the pipeline. I know we are still negotiating with huet but I still don't understand the move

JP said...

@ most recent anon: Well, it's unlikely anyone you draft at 23rd is going to be NHL-ready. Couple that with the belief of some (see Muir, Allan and others) that Varlamov isn't quite as good as had been hoped and Neuvirth may not project to an NHL #1 either and it would be a move to increase the chances that the team did, in fact, have a franchise goalie in the system. That and the fact that you can never have too many good goalies in the system - they're always sought after trade chips.

DMG said...

So what do we think, with such an apparent deep draft, will it be a Center or a Defenseman the Caps pick first? What do you think the system needs more?

Center. At defense the team has Eminger, Green, Morrisonn, Schultz, and Jurcina under at least some control with Alzner, Lepisto, Godfrey, Finley, Dovgan and Pokulok in the system. At center Backstrom is great but Nylander is fairly old, as is Fedorov (if he re-signs), and both Gordon and Steckel are checking line guys. The system's only good offensive prospect is Perrault and he's got questions about his size. I actually think the Caps are deepest at defense in terms of prospects.

However I do think the Capitals have a good enough team and farm system that they should take whoever's the best player available, rather than drafting for need.

JP makes an interesting note about Pickard and I think it'd be a good move for the Capitals - so many teams have gotten burned assuming that their goaltending situation was set because they had one good prospect, so it'd be nice to have a lot of depth. You have to think that at least one of Pickard, Varlamov and Neuvirth will turn into a pretty good NHL goalie.

JP said...

so many teams have gotten burned assuming that their goaltending situation was set because they had one good prospect

One need not look very far for an example, either. *cough* Maxime Ouellet *cough*

breed16 said...

"so many teams have gotten burned assuming that their goaltending situation was set because they had one good prospect, so it'd be nice to have a lot of depth"

And one of those so many teams was us, with Maxime Oulette. We're in a tight spot still because of it.

@ JP: Agreed on the uniforms, they're just plain gross. I never understood why we had to ditch the road blues, those were nice(r).

breed16 said...

Also, is it just me or does Mike Green look completely baked in every picture?

DMG said...

@ JP & Breed:

The funny thing, I was about to put in Ouellet as an example of this but decided not to because I didn't want to give the impression I was basing that belief just on the Capitals' past mistakes.

NS said...

wouldn't mind picking up a Goalie in the first round, if he's got good upside like Pickard.

Trade bait:

....not the best trade bait

Anonymous said...

Quick thoughts:

1. No drafting Gustafsson. If his name was Fransson, no one would have any idea who he was.
2. No Russians. Transfer agreement.

Mostly those thoughts are to piss off the pundits.

I'm not sure about Pickard. I don't really see the Caps going goalie, but they've seen the guy a bunch and I haven't see Neuvith play since rookie camp or Varlamov since getting shelled in Canada. Where does the ever-forgotten Machesney, who put up good numbers in Hershey, fit in?

Not sure who I'd like the Caps to pick at 23, though Greg Nemisz has stuck with me after reading about him.

I'd like to see some reasonably talented toughness picked up at some point.

Most likely Cap to get traded, that's tough. I'm guessing Eminger. I'm not sure the Caps have a lot of non-core guys that other teams would want.

- Empty Maybe

tg said...

Can I just say that it's nice to see all of the rumors about trades, contract offers, etc. are surrounding someone ELSE'S star Russian player?

Regarding the other questions raised, pretty much anything outside the top 5 is a crapshoot, and past experience has shown that even the top 5 aren't sure things. So they could draft pretty much any position and it wouldn't be a surprise. I'm sure they have their eyes on someone that they hope falls to them, but they've probably got about 5-6 players that they'd be happy getting at #23.

As for trades, probably Jurcina, maybe Emminger, and I would think that Nylander has to at least be under consideration to be moved.

DMG said...

The only guy I think holds potentially more value in the trade market than to the Capitals is Eminger:

Gordon is a solid penalty killer who plenty of teams would want but not many teams will give up a lot for.

Fleischmann was so mediocre last year that I doubt anyone would give up much for him, but he has enough potential that the Capitals shouldn't given him away.

Jurcina was pretty solid at times, but I think that Erskine's going to be relegated to a 7th/8th defenseman role next year so I think the Capitals want Jurcina's physical presence enough that they'd have to get a significant offer to let him go.

Eminger, on the other hand, is clearly not too highly regarded by the Capitals organization but has shown enough potential (and played well enough in 07-08) that I could see another team being interested in him.

Of course any of those players could be the part to seal the deal if the Capitals decide to move up in the draft: the 23rd, 54th/57th/58th pick and Eminger seems like a pretty good package for a team that has a lot of rebuilding to do.

b.orr4 said...

tg,I'm pretty sure Nylander has a no movement clause, so he's not going anywhere.

DMG said...

Quick thoughts:

1. No drafting Gustafsson. If his name was Fransson, no one would have any idea who he was.

You don't get to be #34 in the ISS rankings and #5 among Euro skater with the CSB on your name alone (if you did, Staal would be much, much higher).

JP said...

@ Empty: Agreed completely on your two "quick thoughts." Your first round pick has to be less risky than a guy with a wonky back (we've already got a prospect with that issue, thanks) and a guy who could easily be poached by Mother Russia.

As for Cheese, I think he's an AHL "loan" candidate, but I could be wrong.

@ tg: I can't see the Caps even thinking about moving Nylander after what they went through last summer to get him. The player chose to be here, put himself through some professional straits to make it happen, and got half an injury-plagued season out of the deal so far. If you trade him (and I don't recall whether he has an NTC), it doesn't send the right message, imo.

breed16 said...

I wonder if trading Eminger's rights - he hasn't been qualified yet - is worth as much as trading him under contract? I'd assume yes, because there's no real risk of him receiving an offer sheet right?

dcrock said...

@breed16 10:53am:

LMAO. I was thinking the EXACT same thing.

And #55 looks that there's anything wrong with that.

Empty Maybe said...


He's also 44th on Red Line and McKeen's, and 30th in TSN's rankings for completeness' sake. My comment wasn't that Gustafsson wasn't a decent prospect, it was that everyone is linking the Caps and Anton because his dad played for the club. If his name was Anton Fransson, I don't think you'd see that link much.

His last name is the reason that that Caps fans and mock drafters seem to be paying special attention to him. And there will be much kvetching if the Caps don't pick him.

McPhee has indicated he wasn't thrilled watching him (though he did say he didn't see him a lot) and Vogel pretty much re-iterated that stance (not that it means alot).


I think you are onto something with the loan thought.

overall, I think my favorite part of this draft is that I didn't really start following it until about two weeks ago. Which beats the Hell out of starting to follow it closely in December.

DMG said...


He's also 44th on Red Line and McKeen's, and 30th in TSN's rankings for completeness' sake. My comment wasn't that Gustafsson wasn't a decent prospect, it was that everyone is linking the Caps and Anton because his dad played for the club. If his name was Anton Fransson, I don't think you'd see that link much.

I think I understand now, and I agree: Gustafsson is a solid prospect, but he's being overplayed as a future Cap because of the family association. I also agree that the Capitals spending their first pick on him would be a huge waste - too many questions for a first rounder, especially in a draft this deep.

One name that hasn't come up very much here is Kirill Petrov, he of first round talent and a three year RSL contract. Personally I think that if he's still there 57 or 58 it would make sense for the Capitals to consider him. With 3 of 5 picks between 54 and 58 and a deep farm system, they can afford to chance it and with Semin, Ovechkin and possible Kozlov and Fedorov on the team, I think they'd have a better chance than most teams of luring him to the Americas.

JP said...

I have major reservations about picking any Russian player the way the KHL has basically incentivized poaching NHL players (it's a salary capped league but they have a rule that any player lured away from the NHL doesn't count against the cap... how's that for a shot across the bow?).

Ovechkin/Semin/Kozlov/Fedorov aside, I'd pass on any Russian unless he's in a spot (based on what you've done earlier) that you can afford to take that risk.

On a sidenote, I still don't buy the Malkin-to-LA rumors from yesterday, but from a Pens perspective, it sure does make more sense to get something for Malkin while you can if you believe he's going to be bought up by the KHL and leave his NHL team with nothing.

breed16 said...

@ dcrock:

And do you notice the little "flavor saver" he's got going under the chin? Definitely for those loose cheez-it crumbs he's shoveling in his mouth at 3 AM.

b.orr4 said...

It's never going to happen, but how ironic would it be if Malkin bolted from his NHL contract to join a Russian team two years after he bolted from his Russian league contract to join an NHL team. Again, it's never going to happen but I do take delight in knowing how much it has Pen's fans stomach in a knot.

B19 said...

Tedenby please! This kid has so much skill and he's so fast. And he plays hard every shift. He's not afraid to go into the corners.

I really want Tedenby, but I don't know if he'll be around when we pick.

dcrock said...

@breed 16

LMAO part deux

tg said...

I'm not saying they SHOULD trade Nylander. The question is who would I be least surprised to see them trade.

Now, of course this is all moot if he does have a no movement clause, but I would think there's a demand out there for a (presumably healthy) playmaking center. Moving the $4 million contact opens up added room for Fedorov or another mid-level free agent. Package him with one of the second round picks and you could move up probably to the 10-15 range. Pair him with the first rounder and you can probably get in the top 10.

I'm not expecting Nylander to get moved, but it wouldn't surprise me.

JP said...

So... who's definitely watching tonight? If I hosted a live chat, would anyone be around/interested?

exwhaler said...

@tg: "Now, of course this is all moot if he does have a no movement clause..."

He does until the final year of his contract, plus it would be very foolish to trade the only veteran offensive center you have for the next few years without a replacement in the system. The 38-year-old Fedorov I don't consider a replacement.

I also don't understand the trade bait talk about Gordon--he's a valuable defensive player who's cheap, and he's coming off an off-season stats wise, so the Caps can lock him up for a while without breaking the bank. I think Laich is more trade bait than Gordon.

One thing to keep an eye on tonight are Nashville and Columbus's second first round picks--15 and 19, respectively. With most draft analyists, GMs, and scouts (Red Line notwithstanding) saying this is a deep draft, I wouldn't be too surprised to see several teams including the Caps make a play for those two draft positions. They won't cost as much as moving up to the top 10, and they'll still get a high-quality prospect.

bigonetimer said...

I'd be least surprised with Flash being dealt, but with his glaring exposure in the playoffs, we aren't exactly bargaining from a position of strength there...

I'm going out on a limb to say our best trade bait is Brooks Laich; I want to keep him, to be sure, but he's the most attractive RFA we have this side of Mike Green. Eric Fehr is another RFA teams will inquire about, but I don't see him going anywhere.

My guess (hope?) is we stand pat with who we have and draft D's, RW's and C's with our top 4 picks

bigonetimer said...

lol--ex-whaler steals my thunder...

b.orr4 said...

The numbers are in on the contract for Dan Ellis. According to the Tennessean, Ellis signed for two years with $1.5 million in the first year and $2 million in the second. Incredibly cheap, in my book and if I'm Huet's agent, I'm not happy.

GSOAT said...

I hope that they do NOT package any picks to move up. As many have said, the NHL draft can be a crapshoot, so using all of our picks increases the chances that more of them will pan out. GMGM has been wrong before- how much would it suck if he traded a 1st and 2nd rounder to move up to take a player who didn't pan out?

Bailey said...

I'm gonna say C, RW & D are the Caps top 3 priorities, respectively. Gustaffson intrigues me b/c of his 2-way ability and playmaking skills (especially in the light of Detroit's dynamic duo of Datsyuk and Zets). Nemisz and Petrov would probably be my choice on RW if no viable Cs are available. i know the Russians are a bit tenuous right now, but I think I'd be willing to take a flyer on him since the Caps are apparently Russia's surrogate NHL squad. As for D-men, there's a billion first rounders here, so it's hard for me to choose. I think a bigger, more stay-at-home guy would fit the bill ... maybe Carlson or Teubert (if he drops that far)

bigonetimer said...

good stuff at Fanhouse...I think the comments over there about Huet staying for 3yr/13M are about 2 yrs and 15M short of what he's gonna be asking for

breed16 said...

Actually, Huet has gone on record expecting, and being satisfied with, a 3 year deal. (it was his French newspaper interview which I'm too lazy to find and link to, but can be found on the Caps message boards).

Though I agree the $$$ guesses my James and Eric were off by a couple million.