Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thursday Roundup

With no game to recap or preview, today we reached out to bloggers from Montreal, C'Bus and Vancouver to get their takes on the three trades the Caps made on Tuesday (and if any Atlanta bloggers want to chime in on the Giroux-for-Motzko deal, feel free to do so in the comments... on another blog).

Here's what the other side thought of the Caps' trio of trades (both pics by KB from yesterday afternoon at Kettler, btw):

Trade #1: Cristobal Huet for a 2009 second round pick
Cristobal Huet is a fine person, a fine netminder and a fine team player. Unloading him for a late 2nd rounder in 2009 on the brink of possibly the team's best run since they won the Cup in 1993 makes no sense to me. Carey Price will one day be a great goaltender, so will Jaroslav Halak. Putting the season, the playoffs and your team's success on the shoulder of two goaltenders that haven't even combined for 50 NHL games let alone 0 playoff games is foolish and risky.

Huet will help a struggling Washington climb to win the division, and I hope Cristo all the best; he was a personal favourite and certainly well liked by the fans, the media and his teammates. The message he left on the locker room whiteboard was heartbreaking.

Only time will tell if Bob Gainey made the right move, but as it stands, he did not.

[But wait, there's more!]

The message Huet left? Nobody knows word for word, but Chris Higgins and Saku Koivu were both sad when interviewed about it, Higgins said he wished them the best of luck and that he was honoured to have been their teammates, something along those lines.

Price said he lost a big brother, and Koivu said he lost a friend.

This move was a headscratcher and I am growing tired of Gainey as a GM. He never made any great moves, in fact, what he's probably done more than anything is disappoint us. This year he didn't disappoint, he let us down...he's lucky we have Trever Timmins doing a fantastic job as a head scout, otherwise, he'd be out of a job by now.

I don't hate Gainey for yesterday, but I am not the first to pop up and defend his bonehead moves (such as the Ribeiro trade, and even worse now, the Huet trade).

George McPhee flat out stole Huet and now I'm confident you guys will have a menacing team heading into the playoffs. - Bleu, Blanc et Rouge via The Faceoff Circle

If Bob Gainey was in a high stakes poker game, then he certainly likes to take risks!! Gainey's trade of Cristobal Huet to the Washington Capitals for a 2009 second round pick on trade deadline day wasn't a complete shock but I must admit that getting a 2009 2nd rounder (Anaheim's pick to boot!!) was a disappointment. Needless to say, Gainey is taking a huge risk by trading his veteran goaltender and appointing Carey Price as the #1 netminder with the Eastern Conference wide open for a Stanley Cup berth.

I believe Price has shown he can handle pressure situations with a WJC and Calder Cup championships on his CV. He has accomplished more at the tender age of 20 years old than Huet has in his 10 year hockey career. Can Price handle the pressure cooker of Montreal and win a playoff series or dare I say the Stanley Cup? I certainly think he has the pedigree to do well but time will tell. Gainey will take the heat if Price or Halak (another very good goalie in the Habs system) can't carry the load down the stretch.

Cristobal Huet has struggled in his last four games and the stats don't lie (1-3, 4.50 GAA, Sv% of.859 in last 4 GP) with Gainey stating that the organization would not re-sign him at the end of the season.

I believe Gainey had no choice but to trade Cristobal Huet to get something in return and allow Carey Price to start his promising career with the Montreal Canadiens........Gambler Bob is certainly hoping to cash in his poker chips with Price's success and a long playoffs run!!!! - All Habs
Trade #2: Sergei Fedorov for Theo Ruth:
I believe the Jackets were a better team with Fedorov in the lineup, but it was more an intangible thing than anything else. Perhaps he survived more on his legacy than his current actions. However you slice it, though, paying that much money for a marginally interested guy who’d missed 15 games due to injury this year, and has produced 28 only points in 49 games was a cement block of a contract. Now… it’s gone.... Good move for the Jackets to get something (however unproven at this point) for what would have been nothing in less than two months. - End of the Bench

I think it was a good move for both of the teams, the Caps gained a veteran center who can make plays. The man has three Stanley Cup rings, he may be aging but, I think he has what it takes to help the Caps make the push; whether it's his veteran experience and voice in the locker room or if it's him winning some faceoffs for ya. The Blue Jackets gained a stay at home blue liner prospect, whom I'm sure will be good in the future. (He's close to home at Notre Dame so I plan on going to see the kid play). - Bethany's Hockey Rants
Trade #3: Matt Cooke for Matt Pettinger:

I don't think the trade is particularly important for either team. The Canucks got rid of a player they did not intend to re-sign and picked up a player with some upside on a reasonable contract for next year.

Cooke had been with the Canucks for a decade so most fans are a little sad to see him go. He's an "energy" player which means that now he plays for somebody else he's a dirty cheapshot artist. He first came to the Canucks during a particularly dark time. This made him a fan favourite from the start. Watching Cooke run around trying to decapitate people was a guilty pleasure during the Messier era.

On the other hand, I have an emotional connection to Matt Pettinger, too. Matt moved to Victoria as a young teenager and because he is close in age to one of my sons I watched him play minor hockey on Vancouver Island. I've been following his career ever since, so I'm delighted to see him get a chance in Vancouver. I love his speed and I look forward to seeing how well he does.

I don't expect either Matt will make a huge difference on their new team but if Cooke had to go, I'm glad Pettinger came back. - Tom Benjamin's NHL Weblog

From an on-ice perspective, it was hard to react too much as I don't know too much about Pettinger. From what I've read so far, this is probably a lateral move for us.

You guys will love Cooke. Other teams will hate you, but I think you'll love the style he brings. He's a pest and he hits everything in sight.

Off the ice, I think Washington fans will quickly warm up to him. Simply, he's a community guy. He's very well-know outside the rink and spends a lot of time at Canucks Place and various other charities. - Canucks Hockey Blog

[Cooke]'ll make an equal amount of big hits and borderline legal hits.
He'll raise his elbows quicker before he'll drop the gloves.
He'll get clutch goals at key times and no goals in twenty games.
Once upon a time he filled in for Bertuzzi, but this year he was fighting for ice time with Isbister.
If someone touches Ovechkin, you'll see Cooke be Cooke.
If you see a poor hooking call with time winding down in the third, you'll see Cooke being Cooke.
You'll love him and you'll hate him, but the bottom line is he gives it his all on the ice and can change a game with his style of play.
And Vancouver will miss him because, good or bad, you'd rather have a guy like Cooke on your side then play against him. Any day.

...and I can only hope this Pettinger guy can help fill that hole now.
I'm not holding my breath :) - The Yankee Canuck
Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:

Did somebody say Ice Girls?!... Another take on the Huet deal.... Here's a tidy run-down of all of Tuesday's deals.... Even an Edmonton journo has to admit that the Caps were winners on Tuesday.... When 22nd is an upgrade.... Memo to Ted Montgomery: You're kind of a dick.... A goal and three helpers for JGod.... Finally, one year ago today was the day after Deadline Day and we recapped another Caps loss and two years ago today we welcomed back the NHL and looked into the ugly world of Laybergerism, err, "borrowing" from bloggers.

Daily Awards
  • Hart: Steve Bernier (2G, A, +3, 4 SOG in first game as a Sabre)
  • Ross: Toni Lydman (4 points)
  • Norris: Toni Lydman (4A, +3, 2 SOG)
  • Vezina: Patrick Lalime (32-save 1-0 shutout win)
  • Richard: Steve Bernier, Mats Sundin, Jason Arnott, David Vyborny (2G each)
  • Calder: Mason Raymond (G)
  • Aiken: Chris Mason (L, 5 goals allowed on 19 shots against in 34:50 of work)


Anonymous said...

I was watching some of the interviews on comcast yesterday from Fedorov and Huet, and noticed a very different tone from each, where Fedorov had a much more uplifting tone and encouraging, Huet seemed kinda down and I had a feeling it was a Ryan Smith thing where he was saddened by leaving his old team and not unhappy with Caps picking him up, and this seems to confirm that

I hope soon they he and all of them fit in and create some chemistry and get us to the playoffs

Abhinav said...

That gal from the CBJ's is a little bit money.

JP said...

@ Rage -

Rink Rule #3: You can't reference in a comment an attractive girl whose picture isn't readily available (i.e. in the post) without providing a link to said girl.

Is this the lass to whom you're referring?

Chris said...

I've been a big admirer of Huet and watching him blank the Caps only cinched the fact that I hoped the Caps would make a play for him in the offseason. Do you guys think this trade will improve the chances of the Caps signing him to a 3 yr deal to help bridge the gap between our young prospects? What other teams do you guys think we will be bidding against in the offseason?


1) GMGM couldn't be quoted acuratly when he said that the Caps will keep Kolzig if he wants to come back?
2) If they are to sign Huet, and thats the move that makes the most sense, and they already have Johnson under contract for next season, where would Olie fit in?

JP said...

Johnny will "only" make $825k next year, so if the team decides that they want Olie back (that is, that he can contribute meaningfully in some role) and Olie decides he wants to come back (that is, at the price and role the Caps have for him), they can either trade, buy-out or send Johnny through waivers hoping for a taker.

I'd think they could trade him, but without question they could find a taker on re-entry waivers (which would mean that the team acquiring him would have him for the season at around the League minimum).


1) In a salary cap NHL its a rarity to have 2 goalies making top dollar. Therefore retaining Johnson as backup to either Olie or Huet makes the most financial sense
2) If Olie believes he's still a #1 caliber goalie its unlikely he'd settle for a 'back up' contract (1 mil or less). Certainly Huet will command top dollar on the open market (5 mil+) if he goes that far this July

JP said...

@ Faux: Check out these 2007-08 combined Cap hits for teams' goaltenders:

Anaheim: $9.073m
Chicago: $7.918m
Colorado: $6.227m
Dallas: $6.855m
Ottawa: $6.922m
Vancouver: $7.371m
Washington: $6.933m

There's a mix of good and mediocre teams, great and decent goaltenders, etc. on that list, but the point is I think it's fairly likely that the Caps could get Huet and Kolzig signed for less than what they're paying out to goalies this year - Huet won't make Olie's $5.45m anywhere, and Olie should be willing to take less than Huet's $2.75m this year. So there you go.

Whiter Mage said...

The last thing the Caps need is a bunch of ice girls ruining their ice more than it already is.


Anaheim: $9.073m- Traded Bryzgalov to reduce this
Chicago: $7.918m- Would LOVE to unload Khabibulin to lower this figure
Colorado: $6.227m- Theodore another salary cap albatross
Dallas: $6.855m- Most of it is Turco's 5.7 mil
Ottawa: $6.922m- A mess with 2 back ups making starting goalie money
Vancouver: $7.371m- 6.75 for Luongo alone
Washington: $6.933m-
2) We disagree that Huet won't get 5+ mil on the open market this summer. What other quality goalies will be available? Theodore? Kolzig?

JP said...

How 'bout a wager, Faux?

If Huet signs for less than what Olie makes this year - $5.45m - which is what I said, you and your many aliases never comment on this blog again.

If he signs for more than that, I'll pay for your Risperdal Rx for a year.

Abhinav said...

JP, my fault. Your link is correct, this is indeed the gal to whom I am referring.

Whiter Mage said...

Ok, so this is kind of Huet related - let's say a goalie(Huet) makes 19 saves on 19 shots in a game(of NHL 2008), but during a moment that he is pulled (Let's say it's for an extra attacker while a delayed penalty on the other team in my game, i mean, the Ottawa Senators) and the offensive team puts the puck into it's own net. Let's then say that me, I mean the Caps, won 4-1. If this situation were actually real, would Huet get credit for a shut out? I know he'd get credit for the ENG, but that's stumping the hell out of me.

Chris said...

I think the chances of Olie resigning as a backup is pretty slim. I wouldn't put too much stock in GMGM's remarks about Olie next year.

The fact is Olie and anyone who has been paying attention understands that the Huet trade is a vote of no confidence unlike earlier in the season when they passed on Brzgalov. I wouldn't be surprised if GMGM believes he could perform well as a backup but with Johnson under contract he would have to be paid as a backup and that might be too bitter of a pill for Olie to swallow. I can only see him accepting that if he truly believes that next year the Caps are true contenders for a cup.

JP said...

@ Ogre -

I can't imagine an individual could get a shutout in a game in which the other team, you know, scored. That would defy logic.

Easier question - when two goalies share a shutout, who gets credit for it? The starter? The finisher? Whomever played more minutes?

JP said...

N/m. The answer is neither. Which makes sense.


1) Say the word JP and we'll refrain from further comment. It would be disappointing as we enjoy reading/discussing caps news here, but if ya have a thin skin where ya don't enjoy having someone with a differing opinion then by all means we'll move on.

JP said...

Oh, c'mon, Faux. You know I love you... all of you.

I do, however, believe strongly that Huet is not a $5m/year goalie at this point, and this is based less on my opinion of his skills than on what the market had to say about him on Tuesday.

Look at the goalies currently making more than $5m per year. There's not a single guy on that list that wouldn't have been gobbled up for more than an 09 second round pick if he was going to be a UFA this summer... other than Kolzig, that is.


1) No problem JP. We'll be happy to buy ya an over priced Verizon beer Saturday
2) Just lookng at who will be available as far as UFA goalies this summer. Its slim pickings. Huet by all accounts is a top 10 goalie. A team like Colorado, LA, etc who may be in need of a starting goalie may be happy to pay out 5 or so mil for a goalie of his caliber

Anonymous said...

Re Ted Montgomery: dude's a dumbass and should have done three seconds of research to realize that Ovechkin and Backstrom aren't going to get broken up and Fedorov was brought in to be the second line center.

Reminiscent of when Mike Brophy wrote of "Ryan Hollweg, who is not a fighter" (emphasis his)

Anonymous said...

Okay so we need to start looking at all these other games going on and having some analysis of the implications. That's what I want need have to have. I can't even decide who I need to pull for in some of these games tonight. Rangers or Hurricanes? can they both lose?

Anonymous said...

I could not disagree with you more over the man who built Dallas into a cup winner and has pulled the Habs out of the dark ages and made them once again an exciting team to watch and a viable presence on the ice.

Mcphee did steal Huet but had Gainey thought Huet was a real difference in Montreal then Huet would have been theft proof. And had anyone ever offered anything for Huet that would have helped the team, I am sure Huet would have been traded. Montreal has gone through more good goaltenders in the last decade than any other team. I trust they know what they are doing.

The playoff experience Price gets this year is the start of a great thing.

And Micky Ribs? Good riddance. That boy was never going to be the player he has blossomed into in Montreal. That is just life.

Kudos to a GM that is not afraid to move things along .... think about it, we could be wallowing in our decisions forever like Toronto.

Unknown said...

Fedorov 's stoked to be playing on the team with Ovechkin and in lesser extent yet optimistic with the other russian players..Ovechkin has Fedorov fired up , which is great for the Caps...Huet was offered up , i'm grateful Mcphee went for him, great move..if theres a a good run here at the end of the season and a playoff berth than Huet will be given some money and a contract for certain, no doubt...Gaineys looking at Price and Halak with the mindset of his playoff run in 85-86 when Patrick Roy went from 3rd stringer late in the regular season to subplant Dougie Soetaert and Steve Penney as the starter