Nylander Fills a Need

Heading into the offseason, Washington had a need for a first-line center. That need was filled today when the Caps inked veteran center Michael Nylander to a four-year contract.

In the first two days of free agency, the Caps have added a center who averaged a point per game over the last two seasons, a right wing who is coming off a 25-goal season, and a proven power play quarterback. The Caps’ top four wingers totaled 139 goals last season, and now they’ve got a couple guys in the middle who can get the puck to them.

More info to come a bit later.

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21 Comments on “Nylander Fills a Need”

  1. Andy Says:


    I knew something was up when TSN didn’t confirm that signing. Welcome back Michael!

  2. TJ Says:

    I always like Niles when he was on the Caps, hes a solid player who can score as well as dish the puck.

    Our PP is shaping up nicely.

  3. sadcapsfan Says:

    Adding Nylander (again) is a good move at center. This makes what 2 or 3 centers in the last 2 years that were supposed to help? Forget Zubie coming back, he’s not crazy why come back where he was under appreciated and given a back seat to OV. Backstrom who has yet to play an NHL game may or maynot work out. The NHL is much different than Jr’s. OV has to learn to do something other than rush the left side of the ice and shoot from the circle and this last season he became a defensive laibility rather than an asset. Semin was a welcomed addition back to the team and Chris Clark acted more like a Captain than the last 3 to wear the “C” since the good ol’ days of Dale Hunter. Chris stood up for his guys and was always the first in the scrum when something happened. Goaltending needs to be addressed and not a back up for Olie or as I call him OLDIE, we need a young new starter who can play a complete season, it’s been a while since Olie has been able to do that.

  4. dumpnchase Says:

    There is no shame in taking a back seat to OV. Backstrom will be fine. He did not play Jrs., he has played pro in Sweden the last two years. He is used to playing wih and against men.

    Olie will be fine once the D in front of him is improved a bit.

  5. Absaraka Says:

    Well, well, well, and I just got done posting on the last thread to have patience, Caps fans. I thought we’d need a little more patience than that, but evidently, Mr. McPhee senses his fans growing restless just that fast.

    Nice addition, good to see him back in Washington, and what was it that everyone was saying about how we didn’t land a top-line center on day one? Better tell the kitchen to get some crow out of the freezer, fast.

  6. dumpnchase Says:

    I’m with you Absaraka, but I’m guessing some will merely assail it as another bad signing rather than tuck the napkin into their shirt and help themselves to some crow.

  7. TJ Says:

    Everyone wants the world, people are going nutz over this. Im happy with the additions, Id like to know how close we were to landing Gomez or Drury. But anyway this will be an interesting team to watch.

    Looks like the madness displayed on the msg boards is taking over blog comments.

    Have no fear Michael Nylander is here….

  8. GoBucks9 Says:

    Hey Vogs, any word on $ amount?

    So far,the off-season is shaping up nicely on many fronts. I hope the season is as successful.

  9. odessa steps magazine Says:

    For all the obvious reasons, I think this is a good deal.

  10. kiltman Says:

    Wow, that was quick, great pickup, I was sad to see him go the Rangers in the first place. 4 Years is ok, especially for a guy that is as fit as he is. How old are Lidstrom, and Sundin, most of these Swedes are in good shape, if they stay healthy they can play well into their late 30’s. This will be great for Ovie, I say he gets over 50 goals this year and Nylander gets close to 100pts. Poti is going to make a huge difference on the PP and Kozlov is another good winger with finally someone who can teach the rest how to score in the shootout. If we even win half the game we lost in the shootouts this year we would have been fighting into April for a playoff spot. One more Top 4 D-man necessary and we can go to camp and see whether the kids can step up.

    Let’s break the bank now and get Sheldon Souray. What a PP that would be, not since Hatcher , Iafrate have we had that. Setup by Poti, Clark in front, Nylander and Ovie with Souray on the point. Come on GMGM!

    Well done George, hats off you have made the Caps a better team in two days. Time to sit back and look at what happens at camp. The pieces are coming together for a decent team poised for the playoffs. Space for another puzzle piece after the All Star break. Great pickups, good veteran leadership, mentors for Ovie, Backstrom, Green and Eminger, people who want to play for the team, not cancers and big egos. Nice work and no longterm contracts to hobble us like the past.

  11. Ryan Milliken Says:

    By signing Nylander not only does it give us one of the most talented offensively gifted centermen in the league, but it also takes a tonne of pressure off Nick Backstrom. Backstrom is a star already, the question is going to be will he be able to become a superstar? Now with Nylander (assumingly) centering ovechkin, Backstrom can play 2nd line center and possibly help Semin notch 50. I am also extremly excited about Karl Alzner. The kid is a monster who can hit and move the puck. Very similar to Calgary’s Robyn Regehr. So far so good George. Now maybe let’s try for one more d-man that can play this season so we don’t have to use Schultz…..

  12. Chester Says:

    There is also something to be said for the mentoring factor in having a veteran Russian born player and a veteran Swedish born player.

  13. Joe Says:

    Mike: I’m curious on your take as to whether the Caps are pursuing, or will pursue, a “Veteran D”. It looks like our top four now is Jurcina, Morrison, Poti, and Pothier,- lots of minutes – with guys like Schultz and Green knocking on the door, and then there’s Eminger. Not bad. Do we need, or want, another “stay-at-home” guy? If so, what’s your take on guys like Markov (UFA) and Kubina (via trade), and D&C favorites?

  14. dumpnchase Says:

    I don’t think theyre done yet. And I do think they’re set in goal and up front. So that only leaves the D. But I believe they may try to make a deal to address this need. I would like to add a top 4 stay-at-homer, but that’s just me. I like Markov okay (like Montreal’s Markov better), and Kubina wouldn’t be awful, but I’m thinking it’s something else. The type of defenseman I believe they need is going to be hard to come by via the trade route, but the Caps have stored up lots of assets: three second-round picks in 2008, a handful of promising young defensemen and a handful of talented (but unproven) young forwards.

  15. Joe Says:

    Thanks, Mike.

    So tell us, what lessons that you learned in law school can be applied to the Nylander situation?

  16. Doug Says:

    To echo Joe’s question—What can you tell us about the sticking power of oral agreements versus signed papers in contract law? Who is the Caps’ legal chief and how will he/she handle the Nylander contract situation? Do you expect this to get (more) acrimonious? Happy Independence Day, by the way.

  17. dumpnchase Says:

    Never been to law school, but I almost took the LSATs once.

    I have no idea about oral agreements vs. contract law. I guess we”ll see how it all plays out, but for now I know nothing and have nothing to say about it.

  18. Doug Says:

    Got it. Thanks. We will indeed see when mgmt has a statement to make. I imagine the legal team is preparing its riposte even as the burgers burn and the fireworks fly. I don’t know anything about sports law, but it will be interesting to see whose claims hold water, who has jurisdiction, and whether arbitration or compensation will be involved. Who’s at fault, who’s in trouble, who has been wronged, who pays, and where does Nylander play? All good questions that we’ll wait anxiously to hear about.

    It sure would be nice to see Nylander back in DC, for all the reasons already stated.

  19. Joe Says:

    Mike: Do you think Phoenx is serious about moving either Jovo or Morris? If so,what would it take? Also, what do you think of UFA Andy Sutton?


  20. dumpnchase Says:

    Sounds like Phoenix is interested in moving one or both of those guys. New GM Maloney seems to be doing some housecleaning there. Not sure what it would take, but I like both those guys. Sutton, not so much.

  21. Joe Says:

    Thanks, Mike.

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