Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind, don't matter, and those who matter, don't mind. ~Dr. Seuss
Girls just wanna have fun ~ Cyndi Lauper
Make some fun, happy time ~ Alex Ovechkin

Sunday, November 28, 2010

1st Semin-ester Report Card

Oh Sasha, you constantly surprise me. It’s as if you are making sure you will get the best contract offer possible. On second thought, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised after all.

We all know that the Capitals have to wait until January to begin negotiations with Alex Semin. At the beginning of the season, Semin signed a one year $6M contract, so he will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2010-2011 season. On a side note, other players that will also be unrestricted free agents at the end of the 2010-2011 season are Mike Knuble, Tomas Fleischmann, Brooks Laich, Matt Bradley, Boyd Gordon, Matt Hendricks, and John Erskine. If you’ve been counting, that’s 8 players on our current roster that could potentially not be Washington Capitals next season. Please note, I said COULD. Oh, and one last player who we will not have to worry about anymore- Michael Nylander will finally, finally, finally be an unrestricted free agent in July of 2011. Sorry Circles, your time is up.

Obviously, Alexander Semin is HOT, HOT, HOT right now. This bodes extremely well for a chance at being offered a lucrative contract from the Caps in January. That is if Semin wants to stay on the team and the Caps have the cap space. The formerly fairly inconsistent Semin has tallied 3 hat tricks, with 17 goals and 12 assists in 24 games. Pretty awesome stats. However, for penalty minutes for offensive players, Sasha is second only to Matt Hendricks, with 22 minutes in the sin bin. But, with 85 shots on goal and a +8 rating, it looks like (so far), Alex could write his own ticket if he keeps this up. It’s all up to him. In a little over 30 days, our tweet stream and the blogosphere will be filled with contract negotiation rumors and reports. What do you think will happen?

Regarding the 7 other players who will be UFA at the end of this season; I think we won’t have any clear indications until maybe even July when it comes to re-signing any of them except Brooks* and Brads*. I’d wager they get decent offers that they will accept. I know there are going to be readers who will vehemently disagree with me on a few of these, but I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Knoobs*, Flash*, and Gordo* don’t get the nod. I may be alone in this, but with Boudreau constantly changing which line Knoobs plays on this season, I think his time may be coming to an end. As for Gordo, as much as I like him, I’m going to say his health issues will be a stumbling block when contract time comes up, I hope I’m wrong. And Flash…well, I think it’s just time*. The only other players I have any re-signing expectations for are Matt Hendricks* and John Erskine*.

Having played for Gabby before, and seemingly fitting very well into the Caps system, I could see another Washington Capitals contract for Hendy by July 1. I really appreciate how he stands up for his teammates and shows team spirit. I’ll admit it; I like him and hope he gets to stay a little longer, no matter how many penalty minutes he racks up.

As for Erskine, frankly I don’t know why I think he might get another contract*. Something about how he plays a type of enforcer role for us, and you gotta admit, he throws a pretty good punch when needed. Call it gut instinct, if you will, but I get the feeling that Bruce just likes the guy, no matter how frustrating he can be at times to us fans.

There are a couple players who will be restricted free agents at the end of the season: Karl Alzner and Semyon Varlamov*. Don’t think we’ll have any worries about those two.

Finally, with the December 1 deadline fast approaching, of all the players we let go from last year; it looks like only Scott Walker may be the only former Caps player without a contract for the 2010-2011 season. Other than stating that fact, I got nothing else to say on that except I’m glad everyone else found a place to play.

I know I’m really jumping the gun on all of these predictions, but for now, let’s just call them my woman’s intuition. At the risk of looking totally stupid, I just wanted to get these out there now. Come July, I’ll revisit this post and see how right or wrong I was. And you can totally rib me if I am way off base, but if I’m right, I’m reserving gloating privileges.

*Editors Note: 11/30/2010 Caps trade Tomas Fleischmann for Colorado Avalanche defenseman Scott Hannan.  I'm gonna call this is a win in my prediction column.
12/17/2010 Boom! Caps sign Erksine to a 2 year extension. That's 2 correct so far!
1/27/2011 Caps sign Semin to a 1 year (reported 6.7 million ) extension. That counts for 3 right, doesn't it?
2/23/2011 Caps sign Matt Hendricks to a 2 year extension. That's 4 correct, damn, I did pretty good so far, eh?
4/11/2011 Caps sign Mike Knuble to a 1 year extension. Happy to be wrong about this prediction!
6/28/2011 Caps sign Brooks Laich to a 6 year contract. Cougar Bait re-signing makes 5 correct in the prediction column.
7/1/2011 Gordon signs with Phoenix, Varly traded to Colorado for a 1st & 2nd round draft pic. 1 right and 1 wrong
7/2/2011 Bradley signs with the Florida Panthers. Another one wrong. But only 3 wrong ain't that bad, right? Only player left from this post is Alzner. Fingers crossed!


  1. Very good analysis, BG -- many thanks! The only thought I would add is that I'm not sure Alex S. would want to take the big bucks to go somewhere else where the size of his contract would mean he has to be the Main Man. He might be happier to stay here for a little less and let Alex O. have to carry the burden of the spotlight.

  2. Glad I stumbled on to this blog... good material!

    Why so few images of Sasha at the Winter CLassic? What gives? Even the NHL network seems to have none! :(

    Would like a few decent shots of him in the spotlight. He did play over 12 minutes that night, so why the lack of photographer love?