Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Caps 4 Wild 1 but Big News Is Trade Deadline Deals

Caps 4 - Wild 1 while Mark is working and driving home from Glen Burnie , MD but big news is the trade deadline deals. First thought - woo - I didn't think the Caps would make a move today, let alone four deals all of which you have to judge pretty positively. Yes for a loyal fan and sentimental guy like me there are downsides. First the Huet deal could easily affect Olie Kolzig in a manner he doesn't fancy and Matt Pettinger is a solid Hockey Player and Solid Citizen. But you have to admit both deals definitely have the potential to positively impact the Caps the remainder of this season and, possibly in future years.

Huet is a solid top ten goalie and easily the best potential available UFA at the end of the season, if the Caps can resign him they likely have a solid, younger than Kolzig, number one for two or three years. Matt Pettinger wasn't getting any offensive production this year a the change of scenery and getting to play for the team he rooted for as a kid has to be a potential positive for him and if he responds for the Canucks. The Caps get Matt Cooke a grittier forward then they had and that "nudgey" kind of player to compliment what Brashear brings to the team. As for the Federov deal this is unexpected, but definitely "no-brainer" move - I don't know why Columbus was willing to part with him for Theo Ruth. Ruth isn't even in the Cap's Hockey Future data base but given Michael Nylander's injury it's a good and necessary deal for the Caps if they could make it happen. The Motzko - Giroux deal is a fair swap for the two teams and given the Thrashers recent selloffs/trade offs Motzko might get a chance to play more at the NHL level in with Atlanta, Giroux is a player the Caps know who is two years younger than Motzko.

Again on the sentimental side I like both Olie and Johnnie and feel sad about that but Huet is also a class act - just look at his final comments to the press in Montreal: "I'm very excited to join a young team like the Capitals and to have the chance to play with Ovechkin instead of facing him," Huet told reporters in Montreal. "I'm a bit surprised by the trade but I had some thoughts about it yesterday when I found out that I would not be in the net versus the Thrashers. I had 3 great years in Montreal, a classy organisation, great teammates, special relationship with the fans. I will miss that. I would have liked to finish the job in Montreal. I did not play well enough in the last few games.""Washington will be a great new challenge for me," he added. "I don't know about their plans, if I will be use as a no 1 goalie." Clearly another mature, classy goalie who takes responsibility for his actions - would you rather that the Caps tried to improve their goal tending if the off season with this guy?

So now we watch and wait to see what this means for the the goaltending situation now the Caps have three goalies. If the possibility of resigning Huet is real, I expect we are probably watching the sunset of perhaps the greatest Capital so far in Olaf Kolzig, hopefully we will all see a great person treated with dignity so he can act with dignity if that's the case. Also what about both Brent Johnson and Fredric Cassivi? Why do I bring up Cassivi? Look at his bio and age, if the Caps resign Huet and opt for a NHL level tandem of Huet & Johnson do they really need/want a 32 year old goalie logging the bulk of the ice time on their developmental team with Machesney, Varlamov, and Neuvirth in the system? I doubt it of course they could end up withKolzig and Huet for the playoff push this year, not resign Huet and be right where they were yesterday or either and be in more flux. I doubt that scenario happens but you never know.

On the Pettinger - Cooke deal, good luck Matt Pettinger, you are a classy, solid guy and on a personal level all Caps fans wish you well. Playing for the team that was/is the team you rooted for as a kid has to be cool, Vancouver is a beautiful city as well. Hopefully, Matt Cooke also works out for the Caps, his grit is certainly something that at times will be helpful. Now as this guy says "Let's kick it up a notch"; February hasn't been a bad hockey month but January was so cool you spoiled us all. Finally, I'm getting piggy I want it all - please shoot the moon - win the Division, get the secondary scoring going so teams have to give AO the room to enable him to hit 60+ goals and Caps fans eat lots of wings after home games. LETS GO CAPS!!!!

1 comment:

dmg said...


Great find on Ruth's absence from the hockeysfuture.com page. I know he was a second round pick, but that's probably a bit telling!

As for Pettinger, I too feel a little bittersweet. I always liked the guy and thought he was a solid player but he just wasn't clicking this year in D.C. and he gets to go back to Western Canada. Best of luck to him.