Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Tuesday Roundup: It's Not Cold, It's Friesen

As mentioned last night, the Caps have acquired wing Jeff Friesen from the salary cap-busting Devils for the proverbial bucket of pucks. The move should be a good one for the Caps, provided that Friesen's attitude stays positive and he welcomes a leadership role with a very young team. Come March, they may even be able to move free-agent-to-be Friesen for something.

The WaPo calls Friesen a "proven scorer" (maybe a bit strong - he has a career high 31 goals, the only time he's topped 30, and though he's scored 20 goals five times, he's only done it once since 1999-2000) and is appropriately pessimistic about Alexander Semin or Petr Sykora ever showing up in Washington.

The WTimes also notes the trade, but the real scoop is the projection on the twelve forwards that will likely break camp with the team:
At the moment, the left wings are Friesen, Alexander Ovechkin, Matt Pettinger, Ben Clymer and [Miroslav] Zalesak; the centers Andrew Cassels, Dainius Zubrus, Boyd Gordon and Brian Sutherby; the right wings [Jeff] Halpern, Brian Willsie, Matt Bradley and Stephen Peat.
Most glaring is the absence of Chris Clark, who is all but guaranteed a roster spot, probably at Bradley's expense. And Jeff Halpern's a right wing? Spend your entire career becoming one of the better shutdown centers in hockey and a team captain and they shift you to the wing? Interesting. Also notable is the fact that Chris Bourque isn't going to make the team. That's disappointing as he already is a fan favorite and plays with the passion the team will undoubtedly lack at time. If it were up to the Rink, Bourque would replace Miro Zalesak, who is shifting from right wing to left wing (and we're also not huge Steve Peat fans, but understand his role is a necessary one).

Monday's Scoreboard:


Anonymous said...

Quick question, why are the caps (who clearly need defense) still trading and picking forwards? Did I miss something here. Granted, getting Friesen is a huge deal, and it cost the Capitals nothing, but it just seems like we really don't have a plan for the blue line.

JP said...

I agree completely. This was too much of a steal to pass up, I guess, and they needed to do something up front with Semin and Sykora looking less and less likely to be in the picture.

I read this morning that the Avs might be cutting Boughner and/or Sauer. Boughner might be a good addition on the blueline, though he may be a step slow in the new NHL.