They’re Back

Okay, so it’s after lunch on Tuesday now. Things have a way of getting away from you on the road. Time is short and the travel takes its toll, too. But I took good notes and I have a good memory, so I will get around to compiling a recap of what I witnessed on and off the ice over the last week. First, off to the streets with the kids for some candy.

Quickly, it was a very satisfying trip. That always makes for a quick and pleasant plane ride home, and the D.C. area weather was a nice treat too. I was on my way back to Baltimore when I learned that the Caps waived Rico Fata today. I’m a little surprised, because I thought he had played well enough in the early going. On the other hand, everything I’m hearing from my friends in Hershey, everything I saw during last spring’s Stanley Cup playoffs, and everything I read between the lines of what’s going on behind the scenes in Capsland tells me that Tomas Fleischmann will be wearing the blue, black and bronze very soon.

If he comes to Washington and the coaching staff can carve out a meaningful spot/role for him, the Capitals could find themselves with three scoring lines of varying degrees of potency. Last night the Caps had one line with Dainius Zubrus between Chris Clark and Alex Ovechkin, another with Kris Beech centering Alexander Semin and Matt Pettinger, and a third with Donald Brashear and Richard Zednik flanking Boyd Gordon. That last one might not throw much fear into opponents on paper, but it was a pretty effective trio in Calgary last night.

If you add Fleischmann to the mix, there is even more potential for offense. Finding a role and a regular spot for Flash could be the tricky part, and it may take a deal to ease the logjam on the wings (which would be even worse if Ben Clymer was still among the forwards on the depth chart). In the pre-lockout days, November was a somewhat busy month for the trade business. Bobby Gould came to the Caps in November. Chris Simon joined the Caps in November and left in November. Ditto Andrei Nikolishin. It’s a time when general managers have seen their team play a dozen or more games. That’s enough time to get a handle on what kind of team they’ve got, what kind of holes they’ve got, and how they might best fill them.

Before anyone starts with the “Vogel says the Caps are gonna make a trade” stuff, here’s the fine print: I know absolutely nothing here; I have no inside info of a pending deal nor whiffs of any actual trade winds blowing. I’m just saying.

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15 Comments on “They’re Back”

  1. Empty Maybe Says:

    Ah, c’mon, Mike. Bet the mortgage!

  2. strungout Says:

    Wonder how Boudreau is feeling about having to now scratch 3 vets per night and at the same time losing his best player?

    Ahhh…the life of an AHL coach.

  3. dumpnchase Says:

    Can’t bet the mortgage, been living in a tent since the draft. ;)

    I was thinking the same thing about Boudreau, assuming Fata clears of course. He’s been claimed on waivers three times already, and everyone wants speed.

    The logjam of vets in Hershey is another reason why a trade might make some sense. Interesting problems to have, and certainly something the team didn’t need to worry about last year.

  4. JLO Says:

    Wow. Vogel says the Caps are going to make a trade!

  5. the dude Says:

    man thats too bad rico fata was cool

  6. tr Says:

    Flash is ready for the NHL. No question about that! He’s been a pleasure to watch in Hershey!

  7. Mike Says:

    Fata is a nice guy and a decent player but when a team is rebuilding they should not fill a spot with a guy like Fata. You cannot build a team buy putting those types on the team when the younger, higher skilled, guy like Fleishmen needs the spot to build his NHL skills. He has spent enough time in the AHL and then some. It’s time to find out if he is for real which most seem to think he is.

    Ovechkin Zubrus Clark
    Semin Beech Pettinger
    Fleishmen Gordon Zednik

    That is a decent top three lines right there. Then you have that shut down 4th Line (or line 3b) lead by Sutherby. It seems like the forward ranks are set for years when Fehr takes over for Zednik and Beech hands his spot over to Backstrom who is looking like a healthy Forsberg at the same age (with a little less physical).

    Now to fill those D spots.

  8. dumpnchase Says:

    Agreed, Mike. It’s a good sign organizationally that a guy like Fata gets pushed aside for a younger player with higher upside. No disrespect to Rico, because he worked his tail off every shift from day one of camp and was a good energy guy the first month of the season. I figured another team might take a chance on him, but looks like he’ll be continuing his career somewhere in Europe.

    Also agree/hope that Fehr and Backstrom will be able to step in next season, and that the D is still a work in progress.

  9. sk84fun_dc Says:

    Sure does appear that a trade is coming with the extra vets in Hershey and the line-up changes in DC; I’m interested to see if it invoves only AHL players or if it is a bigger trade involving players from both line-ups.

    Fleischmann has earned the recall; hopefully, he can bring the confidence he is playing with in the AHL to the Caps and get some decent minutes. I am looking forward to seeing him score his first NHL goal.

  10. sk84fun_dc Says:

    Sure does appear that a trade is coming with the extra vets in Hershey and the line-up changes in DC; I’m interested to see if it invoves only AHL players or if it is a bigger trade involving players from both line-ups.

    Fleischmann has earned the recall; hopefully, he can bring the confidence he is playing with in the AHL to the Caps and get some decent minutes. I am looking forward to seeing him score his first NHL goal.

  11. Bob Says:

    I dont agree with fata getting waived, him and zed r the fastest skaters on the team. fata is so good on the kill also. sure hes not the best player out there but thats y we got guys like ovech zub semin, and more. we need fata for his speed and for how good he is on the kill, bc we will prob b on the kill a lot this season. and u sure fata even got waived, bc i havent seen it in any transactions?

  12. dumpnchase Says:

    Fata most certainly did get waived. He was not at practice today, and won’t be reporting to Hershey either. He is currently exploring opportunities in Europe, and I wish him the best.

  13. sk84fun_dc Says:

    So was Fleischmann at practice today? If not, any update on whether someone is being recalled from Hershey before tomorrow night’s game or will they go with a 22 man roster for awhile given the ease of calling up players from Hershey (now that the NW roadtrip is over)? News was that McPhee mentioned a player would be recalled in an interview during the Calgary game.

    Oh, and for the doubters, Fata is no longer listed in the NHLPA player database.

  14. dumpnchase Says:

    Fleischmann was not at practice, and there is no official word on whether/when he will be recalled.

  15. sk84fun_dc Says:

    Thanks for the update (and sorry for the double post earlier).


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