Yeah, I just surmised a similar possibility on the Caps boards (http://boards.washingtoncaps.com/index.php?showtopic=74255). Seems like an interesting time for an extension for a guy who has one good season under his belt.
So are you seeing Gordon being nervous for this year or for next year? The popular opinion over at the OBs seems to be that Steckel's extension for next year means that Gordon is gone this year, and I'm not sure I see the connection.
@Norske ~ Gordon was an RFA, so he had to be signed or we lose him for no return. Stecks did not have to get an extension, so with him there is an explicit showing of support/commitment. I think it's significant because we're committing to even more salary over the next 2 years, when we already need to shed some. When you see that practice taking place in a salary-cap world, it often means someone will be leaving sooner than later. That's the connection.
Don't see any concern here for Gordon. Brashear, maybe, since Steckel's contract now extends beyond his. Unlike Gordon Brashear is expensive (for a fourth liner) and potentially a UFA.
@ Norske: I hope I don't see Gordon gone any time too soon. But you've gotta admit that when you're a player that many people (not me, and hopefully no one in the organization) see as "redundant," with the cap concerns and the commitment they just showed to the guy who has made you "redundant," you'd have some reason for pause. Put another way, this team might be close enough to the cap where they don't want to carry healthy scratches who will just count against cap space and not be contributing on the ice, and if Gordon is one of those guys... who knows?I have no inside knowledge and am very much of the opinion that Gordon will and should be here this year. Nonetheless, if there's one person who might be worried about what the signing means, it's Gordon.
@ Nomad -- Brash? Gone? Don't tease me. :-)
According to Tarik Steckel will make 725,000 in the 09-10 season.And, he's going to be making 500,000 this year.
Chris:That's my expectation, but not necessarily in the short term. At the very least, I don't expect him to be renewed next season. The bad Bradley contract had him on unsure ground to begin with - that took Brashear's money. Now the Steckel contract takes away his roster spot.I don't expect Brashear to be moved as part of the money-shifting to get Clark on the opening night roster with room to spare to call up or keep up Alzner if there is call to do so. None of the third/fourth liners make enough for their departure to be helpful. I'm eyeing Kozlov for that.
None of the third/fourth liners make enough for their departure to be helpful. I'm eyeing Kozlov for that.The Capitals are about 900,000 dollars over the cap with Alzner on the roster and Clark healthy; Bradley makes 1 million and Brashear makes 1.2 million
Except that Bradley, with his shiny new overpriced contract, isn't likely to be traded or sent down (much though I would prefer it to make room for an Andrew Gordon or other from Hershey).Brashear's $1.2M buys you $700K in cap space if you replace him with a guy at the minimum, so some space would still need to be made. And there would still be no room for future moves that take up additional cap space (like a deadline deal bringing in a player for picks).Guys on the bottom are unrealistic targets because they just don't make enough money to make moving them worthwhile, since they would have to be replaced in the lineup and the dollar differential is too low. It would take several moves to parlay their roster spots into cap savings, and even that would not improve the Caps' lot significantly.
Except Brashear wouldn't necessarily have to be replaced, assuming you're satisfied with Erskine, Bradley, and (to a lesser extent) Clark, Laich, and Steckel as your fighters. A 22 man roster is the most likely solution here, so moving Brashear, sliding Steckel into his spot on the 4th line (Steckel - Gordon - Bradley), and keeping a single forward scratch would get it done. Ideal? Not really. But definitely doable.
If the Capitals are intent on having Alzner on the roster, then moving Brashear's contract will not be enough. Alzner's cap hit is $1.6 million. I agree with Nomad...the man most likely moved to create cap space is Kozlov. His contract ends this year, and Fedorov essentially is the shiner, more respected version of him.
Brashear is enough, because adding Alzner's contract (instead of Lepisto's) only puts us over by 900K. Moving, say, Brashear and Fleischmann or Fehr (whoever loses in camp), and replacing the two with Laing, would give us a decent amount of breathing room (~1 mil) with a 22 man roster. Moving Gordon and Flash/Fehr for Laing would give us a few thousand in room. Moving just Brashear for nobody would give us a few hundred thousand. Moving just Bradley for nobody would give us a few thousand. Bringing up Lepisto instead of Alzner would give us a few thousad.That said, Kozlov is the most likely, in my book, to be moved at some point. They may not trust Flash and Fehr (or Osala, or Bouchard, or A. Gordon) enough by training camp to have him be the initial move, but I can see him gone before/at the deadline in order to free up space for any new acquisitions to be used down the stretch. He still has enough to give for the regular season that I can see him kept around for a few months, but I imagine his lack of playoff contribution makes him almost dead weight at the end of the year.
Not to threadjack, but I think the 'foregone conclusion' that Alzner stays with the team at the start of the season is tenuous. He's got a ton of potential, but let's face it, the guy is a teenager and has not yet shown that he belongs on the big club--hell, he hasn't even shown that he can handle the Hershey Bears yet. Developmental camp is one thing; 82 games in the bigs is another. IMO, this is the assumption the front office is operating upon going into camp. If Erskine plays himself off the roster, so be it; if Flash continues to be exposed as a soft European, fine. Others are ready to step up--I just don't think Alzner is there yet.
Mark, no offense, but I think you have your RFA/UFA analysis exactly backwards. Steckel is a pending UFA, while Gordon isn't. The Caps will retain the rights to Gordon next summer whether they re-sign him in advance or not. That's not true for Steckel. I remain unconvinced that Steckel's extension for next season has the slightest thing to do with Gordon's standing for this season.
Alzner's is simply a case of him earning the spot in camp. He's almost have to be better than Erskine, otherwise he'd have "bust" written all over him (zing!).But seriously, Alzner's biggest competition is probably Lepisto. Alzner might be the better player right now, Lepisto might be a better replacement for Pothier, how the two do in camp will sort most of this out (assuming GMGM can get the cap issues worked out, of course).So it's certainly not a foregone conclusion, but I would say he'll be given every chance to earn his spot. It looks very likely that he will, just from seeing how good he already is, but you never know how things will play out until they do.
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