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2022-23 Washington Capitals Thread


ixcuincle
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The future isn't entirely bleak.  Our future Center depth looks pretty good.  Strome was a steal of a pickup and is plenty young.  Miroshnichenko has recovered from his cancer treatment and is tearing it up over in Russia showing why he was considered a top-5 pick before the Hodgkin's Lymphoma diagnosis.  Lapierre or McMichael are banging on the door to take over #3 duties soon and grow into a bigger role down the line.  I feel pretty safe in our top 3 Centers between those four players, plus Aliaksei Protas would make for a great #3 if not for the logjam at the position.  Fortunately, he's also proven to be an effective wing, which will be a boon to our post-Ovie team.

We are a bit light on top-end Winger prospects right now, but they should be easier to acquire via trade and FA than Center.  Still, we do have Wilson and Mantha who are both under 30 that will be part of our transition to the next generation.

We're a bit light on young defenders, as well.  Would be really nice to have Siegenthaler right about now; really wish we didn't do him so dirty just so Chara didn't have to take any maintenance days.  Still, though, Fehervary is looking like a quality defender.  We'll see if Alexeyev and/or Johansen manage to stick, but they might only be 3rd pairing/7th skater types.  Iorio may be fighting for a roster spot soon, and Ryan Chesley is supposed to be a pretty good prospect, so we'll see how he develops.  Plus, Orlov and van Riemsdyk are only 31, and D is a position that tends to get better with age and experience while Forward tends to decline, so it may be worth keeping them in our post-Ovie transition consideration.

Obviously there are holes in there, but that's to be expected in future-projection of an aging team.  But as the old guard leaves, that frees up cap space to bring in reinforcements via Free Agency.  With judicious use of FA and trade market, we may be able to fill some of those holes at top-six winger and top-4 D.  Ovie, Kuznetsov, Backstrom, Oshie, and Carlson combine for a cap hit of around $40 mil.  If we choose to trade guys like Kuznetsov and Carlson after Ovechkin retires, we may be able to get some value for the future.  That would lead to a bit more short-term pain, though, rather than the more gradual transition of letting them all retire in their own time.

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1 hour ago, PokerPacker said:

The future isn't entirely bleak.  Our future Center depth looks pretty good.  Strome was a steal of a pickup and is plenty young.  Miroshnichenko has recovered from his cancer treatment and is tearing it up over in Russia showing why he was considered a top-5 pick before the Hodgkin's Lymphoma diagnosis.  Lapierre or McMichael are banging on the door to take over #3 duties soon and grow into a bigger role down the line.  I feel pretty safe in our top 3 Centers between those four players, plus Aliaksei Protas would make for a great #3 if not for the logjam at the position.  Fortunately, he's also proven to be an effective wing, which will be a boon to our post-Ovie team.

We are a bit light on top-end Winger prospects right now, but they should be easier to acquire via trade and FA than Center.  Still, we do have Wilson and Mantha who are both under 30 that will be part of our transition to the next generation.

We're a bit light on young defenders, as well.  Would be really nice to have Siegenthaler right about now; really wish we didn't do him so dirty just so Chara didn't have to take any maintenance days.  Still, though, Fehervary is looking like a quality defender.  We'll see if Alexeyev and/or Johansen manage to stick, but they might only be 3rd pairing/7th skater types.  Iorio may be fighting for a roster spot soon, and Ryan Chesley is supposed to be a pretty good prospect, so we'll see how he develops.  Plus, Orlov and van Riemsdyk are only 31, and D is a position that tends to get better with age and experience while Forward tends to decline, so it may be worth keeping them in our post-Ovie transition consideration.

Obviously there are holes in there, but that's to be expected in future-projection of an aging team.  But as the old guard leaves, that frees up cap space to bring in reinforcements via Free Agency.  With judicious use of FA and trade market, we may be able to fill some of those holes at top-six winger and top-4 D.  Ovie, Kuznetsov, Backstrom, Oshie, and Carlson combine for a cap hit of around $40 mil.  If we choose to trade guys like Kuznetsov and Carlson after Ovechkin retires, we may be able to get some value for the future.  That would lead to a bit more short-term pain, though, rather than the more gradual transition of letting them all retire in their own time.

 

You understand that Ovechkin isn't going anywhere for a few more years? Kuznetsov and Carlson will be FAs by the time Ovechkin retires. Wilson and Mantha (both FAs after next season) will be 32 at the end of Ovi's contract. The Caps have cap space after this season, but only cause they only have Carlson under contract on defense. 

 

If the Caps are smart, they will be sellers over the next two months. Might not get much, but go ahead and tank. 

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I don't think we have enough tank in us to pick up a guy that will be of the caliber to play opposite Ovechkin before he retires.  If Miroshnichenko can play wing, maybe he can come in and play opposite Ovechkin with Kuznetsov in a couple years, but otherwise, I think it's a pipe dream to get someone up through the system that quickly.   We'd have to be really bad and fall into a really good top-heavy draft.

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22 hours ago, PokerPacker said:

I don't think we have enough tank in us to pick up a guy that will be of the caliber to play opposite Ovechkin before he retires.  If Miroshnichenko can play wing, maybe he can come in and play opposite Ovechkin with Kuznetsov in a couple years, but otherwise, I think it's a pipe dream to get someone up through the system that quickly.   We'd have to be really bad and fall into a really good top-heavy draft.

 

Completely agree.  The NHL draft is a complete crapshoot after the 3rd or 4th pick, and as disappointing as we've been for most of the first 2 months, we're still too talented to fall that far in the standings.  Talk of tanking is nonsense.  The team made a decision to go for it this year, and we just have to hope it comes together (even though we know deep down inside it probably won't).

Nice win tonight, though.

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We're the second oldest team in hockey, and we're playing like it. I went back and looked at our draft history - the most recent year we drafted anyone who is currently considered a solid player in the league was 2015 when we picked Samsonov and Sigenthaler (who are both with other teams now). 2015 - before Trump even entered politics, and 5 years before Covid. I know we drafted late every year because of good regular seasons, and I know the NHL draft is a blind roll of the dice, but to have 7 drafts since then, and have only 2 average guys on your roster to show for it (Fehervary and Protas) is unacceptable. That falls completely on MacLellan.

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2 hours ago, capcrunch98 said:

We're the second oldest team in hockey, and we're playing like it. I went back and looked at our draft history - the most recent year we drafted anyone who is currently considered a solid player in the league was 2015 when we picked Samsonov and Sigenthaler (who are both with other teams now). 2015 - before Trump even entered politics, and 5 years before Covid. I know we drafted late every year because of good regular seasons, and I know the NHL draft is a blind roll of the dice, but to have 7 drafts since then, and have only 2 average guys on your roster to show for it (Fehervary and Protas) is unacceptable. That falls completely on MacLellan.

 

Prior to the SC run and they moved some picks for players, that was reasonable. But since that time, he still hasn't valued picks and that will always come back to haunt teams when there is a salary cap. Look no further than the Wizard. Like all Leonsis teams, the organization values loyalty above winning. 

 

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2 hours ago, capcrunch98 said:

We're the second oldest team in hockey, and we're playing like it. I went back and looked at our draft history - the most recent year we drafted anyone who is currently considered a solid player in the league was 2015 when we picked Samsonov and Sigenthaler (who are both with other teams now). 2015 - before Trump even entered politics, and 5 years before Covid. I know we drafted late every year because of good regular seasons, and I know the NHL draft is a blind roll of the dice, but to have 7 drafts since then, and have only 2 average guys on your roster to show for it (Fehervary and Protas) is unacceptable. That falls completely on MacLellan.

I feel like you're really downplaying Fehervary.  He's a 23 year old defenseman playing on the first or second pairing.  That's definitely a hit.  If we were to re-draft the 2018 draft class, Fehervary probably goes in the top half of the first round.  Now Alexeyev?  Sure, we'll call him an average player.

 

And most of those drafts are too recent to expect to see dividends outside of the top few picks of the first round.  Connor McMichael is an NHL center stuck on a team with too many centers.  Hendrix Lapierre could be an NHL Center as well, and he's just gotten out of Juniors.  Vincent Iorio could probably be in the NHL in the next season or two, especially given how many UFAs we currently have on Defense (Orlov, Jensen, van Riemsdyk, Gustafsson, Irwin).  If he is, that would be pretty young for a defenseman.

 

Something interesting I found using CapFriendly's player search filters: There are 11 players in the NHL aged 21 or younger (think 2019 draft and on) that were picked at #20 overall and later.  Aliaksei Protas is one of them.  Brett Leason was also in that same 2019 draft, but he was an over-ager which is why he was eligible for and lost to waivers this season.

 

Playing some more with CapFriendly's filters, I looked at defensemen in the league as old as 23, and found there are only 41 of them.  19 were drafted 20th or later.  That list includes both Fehervary and Alexeyev.

My main point is it's way too early to judge 2019 draft and beyond based on who is currently playing in the NHL, especially for a team picking after 20 with a roster of veterans meant to make a cup run that doesn't have the luxury of making roster space for younger players.  Also Fehervary is good.  It's not to say we haven't had some issues with some of the earlier drafts since MacLellan took over, though.   Lucas Johansen is looking like a bust.  Siegenthaler... man I really was looking forward to him coming up through our system and then Laviolette did him dirty, and now he's killing it over in NJ.

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On the topic of judging recent draft picks, some recent news on some of our 2022 picks:

1st Round: Ivan Miroshnichenko has been tearing it up in the MHL (juniors) in Russia since being cleared after his cancer treatments (Hodgekin's Lymphoma; same one Lemieux put his career on hold to treat, recovered, and resumed playing).  8 goals and 3 assists in 8 games.  Called up to the VHL (Russian AHL), he managed 3 assists in 2 games.  He's since gotten the call all the way up to the KHL, so he is now in the top Russian hockey league as an 18-year-old who just finished cancer treatment earlier this year.  Not a lot of playing time in his first game, but in the few minutes he was out there, he showed he could play physically against grown men, delivering a couple hits to take guys off their skates.  Kid is gonna be a stud.  Damn good skater, killer shot, soft hands, and hits like a truck.  Put a little more weight on him and look out.

 

2nd Round: Ryan Chesley was just picked for the preliminary USA World Juniors Championship team.  There's still a roster cut-down to come in the future.  Hard for me to find much on him; I guess it's not easy to get excited about a defenseman who isn't scoring.

 

3rd Round: Alexander Suzdalev has scored 10 goals in his last 13 games in the WHL for the Regina Pats.  Overall, he has 16 goals and 19 assists in 26 games.  He's third on the team in points behind Connor Bedard--the presumed #1 overall pick in the upcoming draft--and a winger playing with Bedard on the top line.  Suzdalev is largely playing on the second line without Bedard to feed him.

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3 hours ago, Warhead36 said:

Once he passes Howe the race to Gretzky is gonna be insane even if it'll take another couple of years at least.

Yeah. Do we home games coming up? I’m sure ticket prices are going to start soaring now that he’s 7 from passing Howe, so people can say they were there to witness it. and then especially so once he’s about 10 goals from passing Gretzky 

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24 minutes ago, TheGreatBuzz said:

Is it worth it to book a hotel now for 1st round playoff time frame vs just getting a room once we the schedule is announced?  

 

*Asked at Buzzette's direction.


You’re looking at late April, so there prolly are some good deals out there right now.  BUT…the Caps might not be in those playoffs.

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