It’s A Wrap

Every team is generally happy with its draft in the moments immediately following the draft’s conclusion. You won’t find a single GM or scouting director who will speak ruefully of “the ones that got away.”

Given that it will take years to make any real sense of the draft and to figure out which teams hit the home runs and which struck out, that stance is understandable. We’ll be able to look back at this draft sometime around 2012 or 2013 and see which players lived up their billing and their scouting reports, and which did not.

Caps GM George McPhee and director of amateur scouting Ross Mahoney have been at this for a long time. The duo has worked drafts together for a decade and they’ve honed their skills over that span, something that shows in the team’s improved draft record in recent years. Both men were happy with their haul this year, and it’s not just lip service. They accomplished what they hoped to accomplish, and hopefully the steady stream of talent that has flowed into the Washington organization for the last half decade will get another jolt with some of the eight players chosen this weekend.

The Caps had multiple first-round picks for the fourth time in five drafts and the fifth time in the last seven drafts. Fourteen first-rounders have been chosen in those seven drafts, and Steve Eminger is the only one who has departed the organization. The Capitals dealt Eminger to the Flyers on Friday for the pick that enabled them to select defenseman John Carlson.

In the last seven Entry Drafts, Washington has collected nine defensemen in the first or second rounds. In the previous eight drafts (1994-2001), the Caps took seven blueliners in the first two rounds. Those seven defensemen played a total of 146 games for Washington. 

Of the recent blueline bunch, Eminger and Mike Green have already surpassed that modest games played total all on their own, and Jeff Schultz is likely to do so this season.

In taking Braden Holtby with the 93rd pick, the Caps chose a goaltender for the fifth straight year. Washington has selected five goaltenders in the last four drafts, taking one in the first, second, fourth, fifth and sixth rounds. The rights of all five still belong to the Caps.

For a more thorough and insightful review of Washington’s weekend, I urge you to watch the videos we shot of McPhee and Mahoney as they talked about the Caps’ picks, as well as the other video from this week and weekend. Finally, as is our custom at this time of the year, we will attempt to book Mahoney as our guest on this week’s Capitals Report podcast. 

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8 Comments on “It’s A Wrap”

  1. Adam Says:

    I am torn on the trade of Emmie, but understandable. My only question is, before or during the trade, do the players that are traded know or have an idea that they might be traded in order to make a deal with other teams?

  2. Jed Says:

    can we now hear that information on Eminger that you teased us with during the season when you thought he might be traded? I’m so curious to know what happened!

  3. doug Says:

    Unlike Jed, I’m not that eager to hear more ‘behind the scenes’ stuff about players. I think it might show a betrayal of trust between players & sports writers, or worse yet, between the organization and the news media. I see nothing served with more talk on Emminger. He was here, he played, he moved on. We got decent value for him. In-turn, Emminger allegedly goes to a team who will play him as a regular top six pairing. Good luck to him — EXCEPT for when the Caps play the Flyers.

  4. Anthony Says:

    There are quotes from Eminger post trade on Tarik’s blog.

    Its basically what you’d expect to hear though, in my opinion.

  5. Mike L Says:

    George and co. did an outstanding job this year as they have in years past. Unless one of the kids has a tremendous camp (and it has to be outstanding) none of them will be in DC next year. That said, there will be a steady flow of good young talent into the Phone Booth. Some of the logjam on the back line has been eased with Eminger going to Philly, but the Caps really need to move one more d-man before the season begins (going in with 9 NHL cabliber defensemen is nice, but it is cumbersome…)

    Now onto the hard work:
    – Signing Huet
    – Signing Green
    – Clearing up the Fedorov situation
    – Clearing up Pothier’s head (Still no news there?)
    – Signing Laich

    George is going to be busy this next week to be sure…

  6. Anthony Says:

    I go back and forth about whether Green or Huet is first on the list to be signed. Huet still to me seems like the most likely candidate, since he is a UFA and has indicated that he wants to sign here if the money works out. They can let Green go until after the deadline and still sign him, in theory. However in theory Green is more important to the face of the franchise and to our future. Huet is great, but there are other goaltenders, although with the signing of Ellis already, that pool is dwindling.

    I just hope that one of my daily checks of dumpnchase has a bigger news briefing soon, so I can stop wondering.

  7. Mike L Says:

    The Caps have exclusive rights to negotiate with these folks until July 1, then anyone can. The problem is they can match Green, they can’t match Huet (technically). Huet can get offers and then go to the Caps and say “This is what I was offered”, and they can match it, but there is no obligation that he do that.

    I have a hunch that Huet will be here in DC. While he is a great goaltender, there are not too many teams that have a major goaltending issue right now. The teams most likely to make changes are teams that missed the playoffs and a lot of them are set. In the Southeast, would any other team be interested in Huet? Carolina has Cam Ward, Florida has Tomas Vokoun, Tampa has Mike Smith (the key to the Richards trade) and Atlanta has Kari Lehtonen. None of these teams would be looking to sign Huet. Of the other non-playoff teams, the Islanders are set with DiPietro, Buffalo has Ryan Miller, Toronto has Andrew Raycroft and Vesa Toskala, Chicago has Khabibulin, Phoenix has Bryzgalof, LA has Labarbera, Vancouver has Luongo, etc.

    There really is only one other quality goaltender set to become a free agent on the 1st and that’s Jose Theodore of Colorado, so in reality, there are only 2 teams that have their starting goaltender in that position. And suppose Colorado signs Huet? I suspect then that George would make a run at Theodore. Not that I want Huet to leave, but Theodore is a former Vezina winner… he can play the game.

  8. Tom in FL Says:

    I still think Huet will cost between $16-18M for three years. Green will definitely be on the radar of many teams. Looking at the way two- and three-year players received offer sheets over the past two years, I expect some team to pony up 5 yrs/$25M for his services. GM can either match or take the draft choices, which might be three firsts and a second, can’t recall, but we don’t need more draft choices that will take five more years. So you either work out a deal now on your parameters or pay whatever some other team decides he’s worth. As for Laich, his grit and nose for the net could well land him a three-year, $7.5M offer from either the Caps or some other team. At this point, if you keep all three, and bring in Alzner, and you want to keep Federov, you are right against if not over the cap. Then you must get Pothier cleared to play and trade some salary or get Pothier’s contract off the books due to medical reasons. Hopefully it all works out. It would be nice if Varlamov were ready because you could save a bundle at goalie, but at what risk? (Ask Bob Gainey).


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