Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Few More Roster Moves

Most of you have probably already seen a couple of these items but here they are anyway.

The Bears reassigned 10 players to their respective teams on Monday.

They are:

Justin Bourne
Bryan Jurynec
Keith Johnson
Colin Nicholson
Michael Wirll
Alexandre Parent
Justin Sawyer
Bobby Goepfert
Christian Gaudet
Tyson Marsh

In other news.....Keith Aucoin was reassigned by Washington today. He will have to clear waivers, which isn't a guarantee for a player with his experience.

Jacub Cutta will NOT be a Washington Capital or Hershey Bear this year. He was invited to camp to try and make the Caps but he was cut today. He will be returning to Europe to play.

That leaves the Caps with 29 players on their current roster. They need to be at 23 to start the season.

Tyler Sloan, Simeon Varlamov, and Grant McNeill are more than likely headed to Hershey soon which would leave the Caps with 26 players. The last 3 cuts would include either Lepisto or Alzner, unless they both stay and someone like Erskine is sent down, and probably Chris Bourque and Quintin Laing. Laing would have to clear waivers however to return to Hershey.

The problem for Bourque and Lepisto is that even though they are probably better than some of the veterans on the Caps they won't make the roster. Because they can be called up and sent down without having to clear waivers. Which is vital because there will be injuries at some point for both teams.

I would expect to see Lepisto, Bourque, and Laing all in Hershey by the weekend. And I would also think that Aucoin would get picked up on waivers before Laing because Aucoin is a more accomplished offensive player.

But then again I am here writing a blog post.....not making decisions like that.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Something worth reading.....

Every time I walk past HersheyPark Arena I am overcome with memories and emotions from all the games I witnessed there.

I would love to see the Bears play some sort of exhibition game or intra squad scrimmage there every year and make it a tradition for fans to see.

There are numerous practices held there and I intend to get to some at some point but something that is intentionally scheduled for the building would be incredible.

One of the contributors to On Frozen Blog was up for the practice at the Arena on Friday night and he had this write up.

I truly suggest you read it.....a very well written piece.


And pay attention to the part about Oskar Osala. The new players here seem to understand the relationship between the fans here and this team. Character is important and Osala shows that he is aware of his image and what he does for a living. By giving the stick to the kid he surely gained a fan for life.....that is something that the kid and his parents will never forget.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

What Will Happen?

The question that players and fans of the Washington Capitals and Hershey Bears should be asking is how will the Caps get under the salary cap?

Currently the Caps are over by about 3.4 million. Assuming Brian Pothier doesn't play this season that would make it 900,000 over the cap.

And that is WITHOUT Quintin Laing in Washington. That figure is with 14 forwards, 7 defensemen, and the 2 goalies. Which is what the Caps have said they will more than likely start the season with.

So somewhere the Caps are going to need to cut some salary. And it will be interesting to see how they do that.

Guys like Chris Bourque, Keith Aucoin and Mathieu Perrault are still up with the Caps. What is going to happen to the roster? Are they all coming to Hershey?

Do the Caps get rid of a guy like Viktor Kozlov who is making 2.5 million this year and is in the final year of his contract? I wouldn't think so. But they have to do something. And if they move someone they will have to replace them but they still have to watch the cap.

If they were to move Matt Bradley, who is due 1 million, they would be under the cap but short a player. And they would only be under by about 100,000.

They are going to have to do something.

Keep your eye on the situation......it will influence the Bears roster in a BIG way.

Expect cuts from Hershey at the beginning of the week. Woods said he intends to start the season with 25 players on the roster, which - with the new rules - means there will be 5 players scratched for games at the beginning of the year.

Friday, September 26, 2008

4 More Cuts

Daren Machesney, Andrew Gordon, Andrew Joudrey, and Josh Godfrey have all been sent to Hershey this afternoon.

I would be surprised if any of those players were at practice tonight considering practice is in less than 4 hours.

I am sure there will be more to come in the following days. Check back for more later.

First Round of Cuts

The Capitals sent 20 players to Hershey today.

Defensemen: Greg Amadio, Dean Arsene, Sean Collins, Viktor Dovgan, Bryan Helmer, Sasha Pokoluk, Patrick McNeill

Forwards: Jay Beagle, Francois Bouchard, Alexandre Giroux, Maxime Lacroix, Tommy Maxwell, Graham Mink, Travis Morin, Oskar Osala, Steve Pinizotto, Darren Reid, Michael Dubuc, and Kyle Wilson.

Goalies: Michael Neuvirth

Any player not listed is still in Washington. There is the possibility of another couple cuts later today.

I am surprised to see Machesney still up there. I wouldn't be surprised actually to see him stay there and play in the next preseason game so that they can loan him out after that.

Guys like Bourque, Aucoin, Lepisto, Sloan, Varlamov, Godfrey, Perreault, and Gordon don't surprise me.

Another one that surprises me is Andrew Joudrey is still up with the Caps. That is good for him. Grant McNeill too!

If anything else happens, I will let you know.

Updates.....Not Yet

There is no news as far as who is being sent to Hershey as of yet.

Expectations are:

Bourque, Sloan, and Perrault will probably get to stay for another couple practices. I would also expect that Aucoin, Lepisto, and maybe Gordon will also remain for a couple days.

I am waiting anxiously to see who gets sent down and will have it for you AS SOON as I get it.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Good Debut

The Caps beat the Canes in the first preseason game for both teams 4-1 last night. They are looking solid enough where I feel comfortable doing some online sports betting.

Potential Bears were all over the roster including in goal.

And from what I hear, Varlamov looked great. Which is really good cause he is all but definitely going to be in Hershey.

The article in yesterday's paper made an interesting observation that I hadn't considered as far as the goaltending situation.

I have always supported one player going to the ECHL to keep them all close. But that is not going to happen. So then I thought that Cheese and one of the two, probably Varlamov, should come to Hershey with Neuvirth getting loaned out.

But Tim Leone made a good point when he said that due to Machesney's experience as a pro will make it easier for him to handle being loaned out. He has been around for a little over a season and has a pretty good feel of what to expect.

Neuvirth could probably handle it but why send him out and risk hurting his confidence or development. Varlamov doesn't speak English so you don't want to send him too far away because he needs to be helped and with Dovgan more than likely being in Hershey that will give him someone to translate for.

But I like the thinking here. Send Cheese out on loan for a player and then have the rookies platoon in Hershey.

So far they both appear to be handling the pressures of the job.

Another thing I saw mentions that Jurcina and Erskine are not locked in up with the Caps. Which could open the door to Lepisto making the Caps out of camp. And maybe Cutta as well. That would put Jurcina and Erskine in Hershey if they clear waivers, which I doubt both would do.

The reason Lepisto may be the odd man out and end up in Hershey is because he is an entry-level player and can go up and down without worrying about waivers. So I would think he will be in Hershey when the season starts. But the possibility is there that he will be in Washington.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Camp is just around the corner

Training camp is opening on Friday night as of right now. The Bears will be on the HersheyPark Arena ice at 7 pm for a light skate. And then another practice at the old barn on Saturday at 9:30 am and then they move to the Giant Center for a pre-game skate at 9:30 before facing the Norfolk Admirals at 5:00 Sunday night. For the rest of the camp schedule click here.

Other news and notes:

  • The lineup for the Caps game Thursday against Carolina includes Daren Machesney and Simeon Varlamov in goal. Bourque, Beagle, Aucoin, Giroux, Osala, Laing, Joudrey, A. Gordon, Morin, Perreault, Alzner, Lepisto, Godfrey, and Carlson, are all possible Bears that are going to be playing. For complete lineup click here.
  • There aren't really any slots open in Washington's camp. Any of the young guys like Gordon or Bourque will have to unseat a veteran if they want to start the season with the Caps. Even Quintin Laing may be on the outside looking in as far as an opening night roster spot goes.
  • They are expecting big things from Fleischmann this year in the District. I for one am hoping that he can show the Caps fans what he showed us for those couple years in Hershey. It may be his last chance to show the organization what he can do. If he doesn't perform he won't be there long.
I am getting really excited for the season. The Caps rookie team beat the Flyers rookie team 7-0 last week. And the line of Bouchard, Perreault, and Pinnozzotto has been getting much praise from the guys in Washington.

It is going to be a GREAT SEASON!!