Monday, August 23, 2010

Another Slow Week For Hockey News ... When Will This Drought End?

Well so far it's been another pretty slow news week for NHL fans. The UFA signings since my last blog post on 8/15 - a total of five (5) - Nick Boyton resigned with the Blackhawks on the 16th; Sean Bergenheim signed with Tampa Bay on the 17th; Ben Guite signed with Columbus on the 18th; Fernando Pisani signed with Chicago on the 18th; and Arron Asham signed with Pittsburgh on the 19th. All signed one year deals and Bergenheim and Asham got the bigger paydays - $700K per season. Yep - earht shattering deals. Like other NHL fans I continue to await the renegotiation and signing of Ilya Kovalchuck by the Devils. Like all Caps fans I'm thankful the scare with Alexender Semin's car accident in Siberia was basically nothing. From the video on Youtube I noted two things - little to no damage to Sema's Mercedes and he seems to be in fairly good physical shape for being home for the off season.

In other news there were several RFA signings this past week, for example just today, the Red Wings resigned Justin Abdelkader, but all in all things continue to move slowly.

I'm still trying to figure out if I'd like to see Willie Mitchell in a Caps Sweater come the start of Training Camp (September 18th) - actually the answer to that is - it depends on how much the Capitals have to give up so we Caps fans can see that. I'm still basically feeling as comforting Mitchell on the Caps Blue Line might be, I'd be more confident if we knew who the Caps had a hands down, solid Second Line Pivot between Alexander Semin and Brooks Laich at the start of the season. My feelings were only further solidified by two blog posts over at Red Line Station this past week: "Just How Good Is Alexander Semin" and "Complete Semin WOWY". I will repeat one of the botom line statements based on the statistics that RedArmyLineCaps did on last year's data though to highlight why I think this is an important item that needs to be addressed: "It looks like Flash and Semin have anti-chemistry. Clearly, the Caps need someone else to play with Alexander Semin." So at least based on that analysis my own gut feel is confirmed and it indicates that "Flash" is NOT the answer for Centering the second line. Interestingly, from the data at the end of last season and the playoffs, the jury is still out as to whether Eric Belanger is the answer. Of course if you accept that "Flash" isn't the answer that means that between Jason Chimera and Tomas Fleischmann, if the roster stays the way it is - with both of them on it - the Caps will be paying their #7 & #8 forwards $4.8M for third line minutes. That's basically 8.1% of the available salary cap space and IMO at least $1M too much ... So that's why I'm waiting to see a deal that addresses that issue, and I hope it's one that also "fixes" the 2nd line center issue....

Well I'm going to try and start posting more regularly, I actually have a few thoughts of Washington Capital related topics I want to explore and I am doing the analyses now to see if they are worth sharing with others. I am definitely starting to think about hockey and miss it. That started yesterday when I paid for my Winter Classic Tix and started wondering when my Tix for the 2010-2011 season would be sent out to me... Of course next week we go to the Beack - actually the Jersey Shore for the week before Labor Day so I don't know if my posts will be easy to make or not - it depends on whether the Internet coverage for the house has been turned off or not...

Is it September 18th yet?


No comments: