Friday, October 19, 2007

Stingrays Announce Opening Night Roster

Let's try to forget about that debacle of a game last night by taking a look at the Capitals "AA" team. This is how they will start their 15th anniversary season. Click on each player for career statistics.

Caps Prospects include: Patrick McNeill, D; Steve Pinizzotto, RW; Stephen Werner, RW; Travis Morin, C;

Now for the rest of the roster.

The Forwards: Bryan Esner, RW; Tom Maxwell, F; Marty "Cap Killer Bill" Guerin, RW; Chris Chaput, C/W; Captain Cail MacLean, RW; Pierre-Luc O'Brien, C; Matt Reid, LW; Matt Scherer, RW; Paul McIlveen, C/W;
The Defensemen: Tim Judy, Nate Kiser, Grant McNeill, Scott Romfo, T.J. McElroy
The Goalies: Josh Johnson, Davis Parley

For the rest of the teams' opening night rosters click here.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Capitals/Islanders Recap

Well this is an easy one. The special teams decided the game with the Islanders going 3-5 on the PP plus a short-handed goal late, while the Caps were 0-6 on the PP. Hmmm.... how long until we put Glen Hanlon and his coaching staff on the hot seat??? (Photo courtesy of Haraz N. Ghanbari/AP)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Courage Caps

I was proud to be a part of putting together this nice piece on the Capitals visit to the Children's National Medical Center. This is the full piece that aired on Monday during the 10pm SportsNite. The best part is Poti's exchange with one of the kids in which the kid goes from saying "You'll turn it around" to "You won't turn it around" (in regards to the Capitals current two game losing streak). Poti was quick to change the subject. It was a great event. (Photo courtesy of

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Trip to the Movie Theatre to Watch Some Hockey?

I have definitely never heard of this before, but it sounds like a great idea. A trip to the theaters to watch your favorite team on the big screen, which also happens to be in high-definition. Toronto and Calgary are both taking part in this experiment.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Stingrays Announce Training Camp Roster

Capitals prospects include Steve Pinizzotto, Stephen Werner, Travis Morin, and Patrick McNeil. An interesting note: Only 4 defensemen are listed on the roster. Perhaps that will change as Hershey just inherited another in Jeff Schultz.

Monday, October 8, 2007


I don't get it, but I like it.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Here Are Some Dedicated Caps Fans

They have remodeled their basement to resemble the Verizon Center, home of the Washington Capitals. My only question is, what are they going to do now that the Caps have changed their logos and colors?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

New Scoreboard @ Verizon Center

Looks pretty sharp.
Click on the Photo for a Larger Version.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Coach of the Week

That award goes to the head coach of the Oklahoma State Cowboys Mike Gundy for sticking up for his player after he was bashed in the local newspaper.

I agree with him 100%. If I was a player I would be proud to have him as my football coach.

The State of the Redskins

Yesterday's 24-17 loss to the New York Giants was the perfect example of what has been wrong with the Washington Redskins ever since Joe Gibbs returned to the team in 2004.

  • Halftime Adjustments - During his first reign as the Head Coach of the Redskins, Gibbs was known for his excellent halftime adjustments and his team was always better in the second half of games. Since his return to Washington, that has not been the case. Yesterday's game was just another example of this, as Gibbs was thoroughly out-coached by Tom Coughlin in the second half. Les Carpenter from the Washington Post described exactly what happened, "the New York coaches figured out what the Redskins were doing during halftime -- both on offense and defense, which had been equally as dominating -- and then came up with a quick solution to stop it. He would not be specific as to what those adjustments were. Only that they had been made. And he seemed to note, with about as much of a smile as the often irascible Coughlin could muster, many of them had worked."
  • Confusion - Once again when the game was on the line, the Redskins coaches seemed confused and indecisive about what to do. And in response, the Redskins players played confused. Take the games final moments as an example. The Redskins failed to convert on 3rd and goal from the Giants 1 yard line, as Ladell Betts was stopped short on a sweep play to the left side of the line. After that play, the clock was moving and the Redskins players were looking around trying to decide what to do. They hurried to the line and, having not called a play at the line, everybody in the stadium knew that they were going to run the same play. They did, and Ladell Betts was stopped once again. There were a couple things that were particularly disturbing about this last series at the Giants goal-line.
      • The Redskins ran the last play with 20 seconds still remaining in the game. They had plenty of time to call another play and confidently come to the line.
      • Clinton Portis was on the sidelines when the game was on the line. Gibbs has praised Portis for his ability to lead the Redskins power rushing attack, yet when the team needed one yard to tie the game, Portis wasn't even on the field. What was the reasoning behind that?
      • Coming into the season the Redskins re-signed tight end Chris Cooley to a new 6-year $30 million dollar contract with a $14 million signing bonus. Yet with the game on the line, the team failed to run a play designed to get him the ball. How it is that the 'Skins did not utilize their best weapon in the red zone is just puzzling.
  • Personnel - Besides Chris Cooley, the team has no receiving threats in the red zone because all of their receivers fail to stand higher than 5'11". In a goal-line offense you need to have a receiver that stands 6'3" to 6'5" tall with leaping ability in order to be able to throw a fade pass. When was the last time this team has had a player like this? Can we say Darnerien McCants anybody? He was a stud at catching touchdown passes during his stint in Washington for this very reason. Of course this gets back into the argument as to why this team will never succeed until it hires a general manager. Let's face it, head coaches can not be trusted to perform this role because of the nature of the business. It is the job as a head coach to do everything in his power to win and win now. While at the same time it is the general managers job to acquire personnel that will assure that the team has long term success. These two jobs almost directly conflict with each other. That is why a team will always struggle when they try to fill these positions with the same person.
  • Optimism - Despite all of the problems with this team listed above, they are still 2-1 and after their bye next week, they'll have home games against Detroit and Arizona sandwiched around a road game in Green Bay. Wins at home over these traditionally weak teams would give the 'Skins at least 4 wins if not 5 before going into a road game at New England.
So in the end, the fact that the Redskins lost a game yesterday that they were in complete control of is not that important. What is important is how the team adjusts in order to right the ship and stay on pace in the NFC East with the 3-0 Dallas Cowboys.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Senators Rally, Top Caps

Caps Blow Two Goal Lead, Fall in Battle of the Capitols

Ottawa Senators 5, Washington Capitals 4
(Photo Courtesy of Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images)

Thanks to a tip from Japers’ Rink, I was able to get my first taste of Washington Capitals hockey tonight courtesy of

Here were the lines as they started the game. Keep in mind that they were changed up even more than normal during the course of the game due to the fact that this was a preseason game.

Line 1: Ovechkin, Kozlov, Fleischmann
Line 2: Klepis, Nylander, Backstrom
Line 3: Pettinger, Gordon, Clark
Line 4: Laich, Sutherby, Bradley
Defensive Pairing 1: Morrisonn, Pothier
Defensive Pairing 2: Poti, Green
Defensive Pairing 3: Schultz, Jurcina

Michal Neuvirth was scheduled to get the start to night according to the Rogers Television commentators. However he suffered an injury during the pre-game skate and veteran Olaf Kolzig took his place in the lineup. Despite the short notice, Kolzig was sharp early stopping Antoine Vermette who delivered a nice shot from the slot just two minutes in.

The Capitals first power play unit saw Kozlov centering Ovechkin on the left and Clark on the right, with Green and Poti on the point. Ovechkin took a hooking call during the team’s first man advantage nullifying the extra man.

At about the 16:50 mark of the 1st period, captain Chris Clark got the scoring started on the power play as he knocked home the rebound off of a Tom Poti shot from the right faceoff circle.

Senators’ captain Daniel Alfredsson responded less than a minute later as he finished off an excellent play by Jason Spezza. The playmaking center maneuvered from behind the Caps net towards the left side and fed Alfredsson cross ice who fired the one-timer over Kolzig’s catching glove into the upper right corner tying the game 1-1.

With only 30 seconds remaining in the opening period, Tomas Fleischmann provided the first evidence that he deserves a roster spot with the Caps entering the offensive zone and finding Ovechkin making a move towards the net. His pass deflected off of Senators defenseman Chris Phillips and past goaltender Martin Gerber, giving Washington a 2-1 lead heading into the intermission.

Back to back penalties to Matt Pettinger and Jeff Schultz started off the second period for the Caps. But they were able to kill both of them off and later in the period notched their second power play goal of the game. Tom Poti took the faceoff win from Viktor Kozlov and delivered a devastating slap shot from the point that found the net cleanly making the lead 3-1.

That lead however would be short lived. In a 4 on 4 situation, Jason Spezza tapped home the rebound following Christoph Schubert shot from the left board cutting the lead to 3-2 at the 10:05 mark. Minutes later, youngster Nick Fuligno took a nice pass from Vermette and moved in on Kolzig all alone. He deeked to the forehand before backhanding the puck over Olie’s glove, tying the game at 3.

The 3rd period started out the same as the 2nd as back to back penalties to Nylander and Pettinger gave the Senators a 5 on 3. This time Ottawa would take advantage as Dany Heatley tapped home the rebound from an Alfredsson shot from the point, giving his team a 4-3 lead. Chris Kelly would follow that up moments later finishing a nice one timer from Fuligno past Kolzig to stretch the lead to two goals.

With about four minutes to go, from behind the Senators net, Fleischmann found Ovechkin in front as Ovy beat Elliott to record his first goal of the preseason, making the final score 5-4.

Players who stood out to me: Tomas Fleischmann, Jakub Klepis, Tom Poti, Brian Sutherby, and Nicklas Backstrom (wow does this guy have excellent puck control skills)

Game Notes: Former Capitals defenseman Lawrence Nycholat dressed for the Senators and was paired up with Wade Redden. He provided the hit of the night, drilling Matt Bradley with an open ice hit near the Senators blueline. After the next whistle Nycholat found himself in a scrap with Brian Sutherby who stuck up for his fallen teammate, challenging the former Hershey Bears standout to a fight….. Brian Elliott replaced Senators goaltender Martin Gerber halfway through the 2nd period.

Monday, September 17, 2007

A Couple Surprises Among Caps First Cuts

The Capitals announced today that Karl Alzner, their 1st round pick (5th overall) in the 2007 draft, has been reassigned back to his junior team, the Calgary Hitmen. While the fact that Alzner did not make the big club this season does not come as a complete shock, the timing of the move does. It was speculated by many throughout the summer that the talented young defenceman would be given every opportunity to secure a spot on the Caps roster.

Perhaps it was nothing more than a numbers crunch situation as the Caps have as many as 10 defenceman with NHL or at least professional experience.
  1. Josef Boumedienne
  2. Steve Eminger
  3. John Erskine
  4. Mike Green
  5. Milan Jurcina
  6. Sami Lepisto
  7. Shaone Morrisonn
  8. Brian Pothier
  9. Tom Poti
  10. Jeff Schultz

Still, the prognosis going into camp was that Alzner would at least be one of the last cuts, not one of the first. On the bright side, the move allows him to start the season with the Hitmen on time as they open up at home against the Red Deer Rebels this Friday.

Also reassigned today were a pair of 2nd round picks, defenceman Josh Godfrey from '07 and winger Francois Bouchard from '06. While Godfrey and his hard slap shot was expected to see more time in juniors, Bouchard was another surprise move as their was talk that should he have an impressive camp, he could open up with the big club as well. He led the QMJHL in points last season with 125 and caught the attention of coaches and fans with his play during the summer development camp.

The good news about all these moves is that the Caps finally have the depth on their roster where they don't need to push their prospects before they're ready.

Defending Champs Hit with Key Injury

Mathieu Schneider was supposed to be an insurance policy this season in case their team captain decided to retire. Now he will be out for at least the next four weeks with a broken bone in his left ankle.

The question now is, will this injury force the Ducks to convince Niedermayer to return for another season?

It looks as though Anaheim has some questions to answer before their season begins.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Capitals' Owner to Appear on Sportstalk 980

Ted Leonsis will be a guest on Feldman & Maloney during the 11am hour today. Be sure to tune in. You can also listen online at If you miss it, the station also podcasts most of their shows on their website.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Fan Fest to Kickoff Training Camp

The Caps announced today that training camp will open up Friday, September 14th with a Fan Fest celebration. According to Caps PR department, "Fan Fest will feature autograph sessions with players, a town hall-style meeting with chairman and majority owner Ted Leonsis and a live broadcast by DC101's Elliot in the Morning Show. For each of the first three days of camp fans can play interactive hockey games and four of hockey's most prestigious trophies - the Calder, King Clancy, Norris and Vezina - will be on display.
Fan Fest also marks the first opportunity for fans to purchase the Capitals' new jerseys. The jerseys available at Fan Fest will be Rbk Premier Replicas without names or numbers; fans will have the opportunity to order personalization that day."

The team also announced it's practice schedule for training camp, which unlike the football team in town, are all open to the public free of charge.

2007 Washington Capitals Rookie Camp and Training Camp Schedule
Date Time Event
Sat., Sept. 8 Rookie Camp Opens
10:30 a.m. Rookie Camp practice (Capitals Rink)
Sun., Sept. 9 10:30 a.m. Rookie Camp practice (Capitals Rink)
Mon., Sept. 10 10:30 a.m. Rookie Camp practice (Capitals Rink)
Tues., Sept. 11 10:30 a.m. Rookie Camp practice (Capitals Rink)
Wed., Sept. 12 12:30 p.m. Rookie game vs. Philadelphia, Vorhees, N.J.
Thurs., Sept. 13 9 a.m. Off-ice testing and media availability (closed to the public)
Fri., Sept. 14 Training Camp Opens; single-game tickets available
10:30 a.m. Groups A and B practice (both rinks)
11:30 a.m. Group C practice/Groups A and B scrimmage (both rinks)
Sat., Sept. 15 10:30 a.m. Groups B and C practice (both rinks)
11:30 a.m. Group A practice/Groups B and C scrimmage (both rinks)
Sun., Sept. 16 9:30 a.m. Practice (Capitals Rink)
3 p.m. at Carolina, Raleigh, N.C.
Mon., Sept. 17 10:30 a.m. Group A practice (Capitals Rink)
11:30 a.m. Group B practice (Public Rink)
Tues., Sept. 18 10:30 a.m. Groups A and B practice (both rinks)
Wed., Sept. 19 10:30 a.m. Groups A and B practice (both rinks)
11:30 a.m. Scrimmage (Capitals Rink)
Thurs., Sept. 20 Red Thursday
10:30 a.m. Practice (Capitals Rink)
7 p.m. at Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario
Fri., Sept. 21 Heroes Day
11:30 a.m. Practice (Capitals Rink)
Sat., Sept. 22 10:30 a.m. Practice (Capitals Rink)
7:30 p.m. at Tampa Bay, Tampa, Fla.
Sun., Sept. 23 Off
Mon., Sept. 24 10:30 a.m. Practice (Capitals Rink)
Tues., Sept. 25 10:30 a.m. Morning skate (Capitals Rink)
11:30 a.m. Practice (Capitals Rink)
7 p.m. vs. Carolina, Verizon Center
Wed., Sept. 26 10:30 a.m. Practice (Capitals Rink)
7 p.m. at Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa.
Thurs., Sept. 27 Red Thursday
11:30 a.m. Practice (Capitals Rink)
Fri., Sept. 28 10:30 a.m. Morning skate (Capitals Rink)
7 p.m. vs. Philadelphia, Verizon Center
Sat., Sept. 29 Kid's Day
11:30 a.m. Practice (Capitals Rink)
Sun., Sept. 30 10:30 a.m. Morning skate (Capitals Rink)
5 p.m. vs. Ottawa, Verizon Center
Mon., Oct. 1 TBD Caps Care Classic Golf Tournament, Springfield, Va.
All practices and morning skates at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Va.

Quick Roster Notes

The Caps yesterday signed defenseman John Erskine to a new two-year contract.
  • I don't know exactly what took so long to get this done, but he will provide more competition for the top six blue-line positions in training camp.
  • Morrisonn, Poti, Pothier, Jurcina, Boumedienne, Schultz, Green, Eminger, Lepisto..... the list goes on and on. It's going to be an intense battle to get a sweater this fall.

The Hershey Bears signed defenseman Tyler Sloan to a contract for the upcoming '07-'08 season.

  • With McNeill, Arsene, Collins, Dovgan, Hunt, and Pokulok along with several other veterans signed to AHL contracts, the Bears blue-line is looking just as crowded as Washington's. It's great to see so much depth on the defensive end heading into the season.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Redskins/Ravens Saturday Night

Mike Patrick and Joe Theismann will call the game for Comcast SportsNet. Hopefully we'll be treated to another zinger such as this video from last week's game.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Hershey Re-Signs Robitaille

The Bears have brought back agitator Louis Robitaille, a left winger who's a fan favorite in chocolatetown. Here's the link from Hershey's homepage.

Update: Robitaille and his girlfriend Lauren Young are expecting their first child in February. Congradulations Louis!

Patrik Stefan Heads to Europe

The former 1st overall pick of the 1999 entry draft has signed on to play with SC Bern in Switzerland. It's disappointing all-around, not only has he never lived up to his potential, but we'll never be able to see an encore of this performance. (Thanks to Spector for the reminder of this "great" play.)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Michael Vick Pleads Guilty

Not a big surprise really. Did he have any other choice??? With all the evidence and witnesses that the fed's are claiming to have against him, it's a no brainer on Vick's part.

The big question is, why would the fed's choose to go this route? They've made claims to the fact that they believe Michael Vick was the kingpin in this dogfighting operation and the one who financed it. So if this is true, why even negotiate a plea agreement?

If this case had gone to trial, Vick could have been sentenced to up to five years in prison. But that doesn't even begin tell the whole story. More charges would have been brought against him, including gambling and tax evasion that could have brought a sentence of over 20 years easy. Plus, the state of Virginia could have brought charges against him as well that could have seen a sentence of up to five years for every dog that he participated in killing.

The rumor has it that as part of the plea agreement Vick will have to serve anywhere from 12 to 36 months in the slammer. Plus, he most likely will not have to worry about any further charges in this incident from the fed's or the state.

Let's face it Vick got off easy. So what message does this send??? Is this another case of a celebrity getting a break that an average Joe wouldn't??? Or is this a fair sentence for such a barbaric and inhumane crime?

Either way, I still believe in my earlier prediction that Vick has already played his last game in the NFL. Whenever he eventually gets out of jail, he would still have to serve his suspension that the NFL will hand down, which could be anything from one year to a lifetime ban. Plus, there is going to be serious financial repercussion from the Atlanta Falcons as they will seek to recover a large portion of the $37 million in bonuses he received as part of his last contract signed in 2004.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Lack of Updates

Sorry for the lack of updates lately. I blame Madden '08 and my work schedule, which will see me spend over 12 hours today covering the Redskins pre-season game vs the Steelers. With all that I still haven't decided about the show tomorrow, might have to skip another one this week. I'll have an update on that Sunday morning.

Update: No show this week. I promise to pick up the show full-time again next week.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Stingrays Announce Pre-Season Games


For the first time, the Stingrays will play two home exhibition games at the Carolina Ice Palace in preparation for their regular season opener October 20 against the Columbia Inferno. The dates, opponents and times for the contests are: Friday, October 12 versus the Charlotte Checkers at 7:05 p.m., and Sunday, October 14 against the Augusta Lynx at 4 p.m.

Caps Draft Pick to Attend St. Cloud State

Goaltender Dan Dunn, the towering 6'5" sixth-round pick from the '07 draft, will be moving on from the Wellington Dukes to attend St. Cloud State this fall. From The Intelligencer.

He's definitely somebody worth keeping an eye on down the road.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What Not to Do When Reporting the News

As a broadcasting student, I especially found this interesting. I wonder if this anchor is still employed.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Capital Show: August 12th

A short version of the show today as we are still in the hibernating part of the NHL calendar. I talked about a couple of news worry stories regarding the Caps extending their affiliation with the Stingrays, the announcement of a rookie camp scrimmage against Philadelphia, and the news of increased season ticket sales. I also mentioned some news around the NHL as Tampa was sold, the Blue Jackets continue to sign the Caps castaways, and Michael Wilbon who once again attacked the state of the NHL in comparison to the MLS. The show finished up with some Washington Redskins talk about their struggles in last night's pre-season debut.

The show can be heard through the media player on the homepage top right sidebar, through linked below, and through iTunes.

blog radio

Saturday, August 11, 2007

MVP of the Redskins 1st Pre-Season Game....

Punter Derrick Frost. 'Nuff said.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Michael Wilbon's At It Again

During tonight's DC United game with David Beckham in town, Michael Wilbon was a guest in the broadcast both. In their discussion of the current state of soccer in America he once again reiterated that it has already "blown by the NHL" as the 4th sport behind the NFL, MLB, and NBA.Hey, I love soccer too, but it's nowhere near the NHL yet in revenue or popularity.

Wilbon, stop spewing your biased propaganda.

I've already proven you wrong here.

South Carolina Stingrays Add Two

A tough guy in Nate Kiser and a solid defenseman in Marc Busenburg. Read the whole story here.

Monday, August 6, 2007

We've Officially Bottomed Out

There is absolutely nothing going on in the hockey world right now. And as a result, there is not much to talk about.

  • If you're looking for a great analysis of the Capitals defensive corps, check out On Frozen Blog's article here.
  • If you live in the Hershey area, the Bears are looking for national anthem singers for the upcoming season. Check out the details here.
Hang in there, we're less than six weeks away from the start of training camp.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

No Show This Week

I'm on vacation so there will not be a new episode of The Capital Show this week. Check back next Sunday at noon for another live edition of the show. And thanks for all the emails I've received so far, I appreciate the support.

blog radio

In the meantime: The Hershey Bears have signed Chris McAllister to a contract. The towering 6'7" 255 pound defenseman should help offset the loss of Kip Brennan and Derek Engelland. Click here for the report from Tim Leone and the Patriot News.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Ducks Pass on Penner Offer

Dustin Penner became a member of the Edmonton Oilers today as the Anaheim Ducks declined to match Kevin Lowe's 5 year $21.25 million offer for the up and coming power forward. The Ducks now receive the Oilers 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round picks in next years draft, which is projected to be a deep one. It's a steep price to play for a player that only has one full season under his belt and averaged only 13:59/game of ice time.

After playing the role of a support player with the Ducks, there's no doubt that Penner will be counted on to immediately to step in and be one of the Oilers big guns on a team desperate for help up front.

Update: Penner was quoted on, saying "The pressure that I receive from the media and fans won't be near the pressure of what I put on myself," he said in a conference call. "I know myself I didn't peak this last year as a player in Anaheim. I don't know what my potential is, but I think in the next five years I'll find out."

Sounds like he believes he's up to the task. He better be or he and Kevin Lowe will be eaten alive by the media and the Oilers' fans.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Hershey Bears News

From their homepage:

07/31/2007 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 31, 2007



HERSHEY – The HERSHEY BEARS announced today that right wing Scott Barney has been signed to a contract for the upcoming 2007-08 season. The announcement was made today by BEARS President/GM Doug Yingst.

Acquired in early March from the Grand Rapids Griffins, Barney scored six goals in 11 games after coming to Chocolatetown. He was one of HERSHEY’S most prolific scorers in the 2007 Calder Cup Playoffs, scoring 10 goals and assisting on nine others in 19 playoff games. A proven goal scorer, Barney scored 32 goals in just 53 games in 2005-06 with Chicago (AHL), and 20 goals in 44 games for Manchester (AHL) in 2003-04.

Last week the Bears also agreed to terms with Quintin Lang:



HERSHEY – The HERSHEY BEARS announced today in conjunction with the American Hockey League the club has signed left wing Quintin Laing for the 2007-08 season.

Laing, who played the previous five seasons for Norfolk (AHL) prior to joining HERSHEY in 2006-07, scored a career high 15 goals last season and accumulated 43 points. The winner of the 2006-07 BEARS Unsung hero award, Laing added seven points in 19 games during the 2007 Calder Cup Playoffs.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Where is the Technological Breakthrough in the NHL's Television Broadcast?

John from OnFrozenBlog asks the question after hockey fans "were promised bold new broadcast initiatives" following the lockout.

My suggestion: Look no further than the leader in professional sports broadcasting, the NFL, and their invention of the "Cablecam." If applied to the NHL this could dramatically improve their television presentation and at the same time put the league's failed "Rail Cam" out of commission.

What do you think? Is this the answer to the NHL's television problems? Or do you have a better suggestion?

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Capital Show: July 29th

My thanks to David Berry of "Covered in Oil" for appearing on the show today to talk about the Edmonton Oilers. We talked about the Dustin Penner offer, the Michael Nylander incident, and the bid by local billionaire Daryl Katz to purchase the team among other topics. I also took a look back at the Caps moves of the past week as they resigned Brooks Laich and Milan Jurcina. And finally a little Redskins talk to close out the show. The show is available on iTunes as well as by clicking on the link below or the media player to the right of the homepage.

blog radio

Saturday, July 28, 2007

An In-Depth Look at Bednar and the Stingrays

It's often very hard to find information on minor league hockey so whenever I do I make a point of sharing it with all of you. Here's Brian Compton, an correspondent, taking a look at the South Carolina Stingrays new head coach Jared Bednar and their upcoming season.

Click here for the article.

Friday, July 27, 2007

A Look Back at Ovechkin's Highlights So Far

Since we are officially in the slowest part of the NHL calendar, it's a great time to reflect back on the highlights of Alex "The Great" in his career so far.

Update: Milan Jurcina has re-signed with the Caps today avoiding an arbitration hearing that was scheduled for Monday. According to Tarik of the Washington Post, Jurcina will make $850,000 next season and $912,500 in '08-'09. This is another great job by McPhee locking up a promising young defenseman and sidestepping the arbitration process that has lead to hard feelings in the past between players and management.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Thursday Bullet Points

In the World of Hockey:

  • Brooks Laich was awarded a $725,000 one year one-way contract through arbitration. That amounts to a 19.6% raise for a player that totaled a whopping 18 points last season while failing to secure the second line center position despite being given plenty of opportunities to do so. I guess my only response to that is what kind of season does it take for a player to actually lose an arbitration hearing?

  • Milan Jurcina's arbitration hearing is scheduled for Monday. He made $500,000 last season while manning the top defensive pairing with Shaone Morrisonn last season. You can forget the numbers he put up in Boston as he received limited playing time at best after falling out of favor with the team. In 30 games with the Caps, Jurcina tallied 2 goals and 7 assists for 9 points and was a +5 defensively. I wouldn't be surprised to see a ruling around $1 million for a defenseman that has a lot of potential ahead of him.

  • Goaltender Ray Emery re-signed with the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday. The three year deal will see him take home an average of $3.16 million a season after putting together a career year last season . In what is another sign of how screwed up professional athlete contracts are, Emery will make $2.75 million next year which is about $1 million less than the man he took the starting job from this past season, Martin Gerber. The Senators are desperately trying to rid themselves of Gerber but are having trouble finding another team to take on his current contract. While it was previously rumored that the team might send him to Binghamton of the AHL to free up salary cap space, general manager Bryan Murray denies that option in this article found on

In the World of Sports:

  • After the news of the past week, fans of the NBA have now been given justification for complaining about the league's officiating. The question now is when will be find out the details involving Tim Donaghy and what games he fixed and to what extent he decided their outcome. One thing you can guarantee is that this will only fuel the fire of enraged fans, coaches, and players when questionable calls are made in the future. David Stern has said that this is an isolated incident, while Donaghy has said that he can name other officials and players in connection with this scandal. Stern better hope that he is right or the NBA is in serious trouble.

  • Michael Vick will be in court today and ESPN will be there with five hours of coverage beginning at 1pm. I know that we need to reserve our judgment on Vick until the trial plays out, but it is hard to believe that he is anything but guilty. The guy owned the kennel called "Bad Newz" that was involved in organizing the dog fights, and approximately 60 dog remains were found on his property. Anybody that is involved in dog fighting is just plain sick. My prediction: Michael Vick has already played his last game in the NFL.

In the World Itself:

  • Lindsay Lohan was arrested early Tuesday for her second DUI in the past three months. On top of that reports that "Lohan was popped for possession of cocaine, transporting a narcotic into a custodial facility and driving on a suspended license." This comes after she recently spent six weeks in rehab.
Analysis: It's hard not to believe that this girl is not trying to kill herself. How can a body stand so much abuse and still keep on ticking? First, Lohan needs to go to jail for a while as any normal person would should they be arrested for the charges brought against her. Second, she needs to find some friends that care about her because no good friend would allow her to get so inebriated and behind the wheel of a car, especially given her history of drug and alcohol abuse. Lohan desperately needs to turn her life around before it's too late.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Jim Schoenfeld Named New Rangers Assistant GM

With the former Capitals coach in the news once again, I figured it was a good time to reminisce on this classic playoff encounter. Schoenfeld and Penguins coach Bryan Trottier get into a heated arguement after Tinordi leaves Stojanov a bloody mess.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Capital Show: Week in Review

Thanks to Kevin from The Kevin Hatcher Fan Club and Rebecca from A View From the Cheap Seats for joining me on the show today. We talked about the Chris Clark resigning and the roles that Steve Eminger and Brian Sutherby will have in the upcoming season. Plus Michael Wilbon's comment on hockey and even an interesting reference to Harry Potter by Kevin. The show finished with some Redskins talk thanks to a longtime Skins fan and a good friend of mine Matt Garin calling into the show.

To listen to the show you can click on the media player on the right side of the homepage, click on the link at the bottom of this post, or the show is also available on iTunes for download to your iPod or MP3 Player. Don't forget to tune in next Sunday at noon for another live edition.

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Late Sunday Update: I just found this article from, which provides a very well written synopsis about my show. Check it out, and as always I appreciate the nice feedback.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Michael Wilbon Continues the Media Blasphemy

Thanks to Japers' Rink for bringing this article to my attention.

The media is at it again. This time it's PTI host and Washington Post columnist Michael Wilbon who once again makes a blanket statement about the popularity of the sport in comparison to the MLS. In his Friday article about the impact that David Beckam will bring to the sport of soccer in the US, Wilbon makes this comment:

"Soccer has already surpassed hockey on the American sports landscape."

Has it really? And what proof do you have of this Mr. Wilbon. Look if you want to talk about the popularity of major sports internationally, then he is right because soccer, or football as it's called everywhere else, has always been the biggest sport. But because of the American media, most people in this country don't realize that ice hockey is the second biggest sport played internationally. Just take a minute and look at the NHL. Is there another league in the United States that can claim to have the diversity of players that we have in hockey? Absolutely not.

Statements such as this from Michael Wilbon is the reason why the media drives me crazy. They make blanket statements with no evidence to back it up and try to pass it off as a fact.

Here is a short report by Michael Hiestand of

The U.S.-hosted World Cup in 1994 seemed to make soccer, as a spectator sport in America, the sport of the future. MLS' 1996 debut season averaged 0.4% of U.S. cable TV households.

Now, soccer looks more like it might just always be the sport of the future. Last season, ESPN2's MLS games averaged 0.2% — and 0.2% so far this year. Strangely, MLS still limits team TV appearances, so only about half of ESPN2's remaining 2007 games include Beckham's Los Angeles Galaxy team.

Sunday Morning Update: Thanks to reader Dov for the comment and link to this article on that provides even more evidence in contrary to Wilbon's statement.

The markers: attendance figures, gate receipts, television audience ratings and advertising revenue. In 2005, MLS counted 3.1 million spectators, fewer than auto racing and golf.

Major League Baseball in 2004? More than 20 times more, with 74 million. The NFL and college football: 69 million.Total 2004 soccer gate revenues – MLS plus other forms of soccer – amounted to less than $60 million.

MLB: $1.4 billion.

NFL: about $1 billion.

NHL: same.

Soccer boosters, Wilson observed, often say the NHL is the sports entity MLS is most likely to overtake. This, though, is how far soccer has to go: The NHL's gate revenue is 17 times greater than all soccer revenues combined.

Bass fishing and bowling regularly beat MLS ratings by "wide margins," according to Wilson's paper. Soccer trails baseball, football, basketball and hockey in TV advertising revenue – along with, as well, professional wrestling, bowling and rodeo.

There you go Wilbon. Next time how about acting like a professional writer and do a little research before you write one of your inflammatory articles. It's times like these that make me want to move to Canada.

On a side note, Kevin from The Kevin Hatcher Fan Club and Rebecca from A View From the Cheap Seats will join me on The Capital Show tomorrow at noon. We'll talk about the latest news from the Capitals this week. I'll also have a good friend of mine and a big Redskins fan on later in the show to talk about their upcoming season as training camp begins on Friday. It should be another good show so don't miss out, and feel free to call in to the show (646) 478-5432.

Gotta Get Something Off Your Chest?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

South Carolina Stingrays Update

Check out this article on the Stingrays new head coach from the and The Post and Courier:

No Offseason For New Stingrays Coach
July 12, 2007
By Andrew Miller

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. - If Jared Bednar has learned anything in his brief stint as the head coach of the South Carolina Stingrays, it's that there is no offseason.

Bednar, the Stingrays' longtime assistant coach, was named the team's fourth head coach in April and has spent most of the last three months recruiting players for the upcoming ECHL season.

"This is the prime recruiting season," Bednar said. "You might get a little bit of a lull after the season is over. There are some budget things to work on and things like that, but when June and July roll around, that's when you really start to hit the recruiting trail pretty hard. There's no such thing as an offseason. This is a year-round job."
Recruiting is nothing new to Bednar, who, as an assistant under Jason Fitzsimmons for the past five years, made more than his share of phone calls to prospective players.

"I'm a little deeper into the recruiting process this summer than I have been in the past," Bednar said. "In the past I would focus on a smaller group of players. Last year, we had a lot of turnover on our team, but we also had some guys signed a little bit earlier than this summer."

Bednar begins his days early, getting to the office by 8 a.m. He figures he spends between eight and 10 hours working the phones or the Internet, exchanging calls and e-mails with prospects, agents, coaches and general managers from across the hockey community.

"I'll spend the first couple of hours looking at all the transactions from all the leagues," Bednar said. "I want to make sure I know what's going on across all the leagues. For the first month or so, I spent a lot of time gathering information on all the college kids and all the junior players. You can never gather enough information on those players.

"I'm still making calls on guys I did research on two months ago. I'm trying to get as much information on prospects as I can and that takes time."

Bednar says he's probably averaging more than 100 phone calls a week.
"It can get a little frustrating because one week I'll make 100 calls and I'll get one or two calls back," Bednar said. "I'll go a couple of days without getting anyone to return my calls and then I'll get 20 messages the next day. I've been on kind of a roller-coaster ride the last few weeks. I'll come home depressed one day because no one returned my calls or I didn't sign someone. Then the next day, I'll get a guy and then I'm pumped up again.

"It's a lot of legwork and it's not that much fun right now. But once I get a couple of players in and I see them and the team having success during the season, I'll know all the hard work was worth it."

Bednar hopes to bring in at least five or six rookies this season.

"We'll have eight to 10 guys from last year's team and five or six prospects from our affiliation," Bednar said. "Then I want to bring in five or six first-year pros. Guys who are hungry and who want to get to the next level. I want to target those guys because they have the most potential to improve."

Bednar did get some good news on the recruiting front earlier this week when veterans Cail MacLean and Matt W. Reid signed for the upcoming season.

"It's a huge step in the right direction to get these two guys," Bednar said. "Both of them bring so much to the table on and off the ice. I think they're both certainly capable of having their most productive seasons.

"They both have an extremely good work ethic, and I think that's what you need from your leaders. You want the leaders on your team to be the hardest workers, and Cail and Matt leave it all on the ice every night."

MacLean (Pictured), 30, was second on the team with 25 goals last season and ranked fourth in scoring with 58 points.

"Cail has a calming influence on the team," Bednar said. "He's a consummate professional in every sense of the word. Being without an assistant coach this season, I'm going to have to lean heavily on Cail's leadership in the locker room."

Reid, 29, is coming off the most productive goal-scoring season of his career. The former Clarkson University star led the team with 29 goals and was third in scoring with 60 points.
"Matt is a very emotional guy, he wears his heart on his sleeve," Bednar said. "I thought he had a great season last year. He's arguably been our MVP the last couple of years."

This will be MacLean's third season with South Carolina. In 106 games with the Stingrays, MacLean has 91 points on 42 goals and 49 assists.

"I know Jared and I trust him, so there was no hesitation signing with the Stingrays again," MacLean said. "I know he's going to do a great job of putting a team together. I know how hard he works. I'm really excited about coming back this season."

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

What Do Eminger and Sutherby Have In Common?

Besides the fact that they were both re-signed today, defenseman Steve Eminger and forward Brian Sutherby have more in common. They are both former 1st round picks who started their professional careers with great fanfare and promise, only to struggle so far to live up to expectations.

Eminger, the 12th overall selection in the 2002 draft, began his Capitals career later that year at the tender age of 19. He showed that he was clearly overmatched at the NHL level, so after failing to secure a regular spot in the lineup, and playing in just 17 games with the big club, the Caps reassigned him back to Kitchner of the OHL.

Here we are five seasons later and the talented but inconsistent Eminger has yet to secure a regular spot in the lineup. In fact he was a healthy scratch nine times last season including six consecutive games back in February. Eminger has always been touted to be an offensive defenseman ever since he tallied 19 goals for Kitchner back in '01-'02. The problem is he has never shown that offensive ability at the professional level totaling only nine goals combined in the NHL/AHL.

Even though he is still only 23 years old, with the abundance of young defenseman at the Capitals disposal Steve Eminger is running out of time to live up to his potential.

It may be hard to believe, but Brian Sutherby was the Caps 26th overall selection all the way back in 2000. Over the years he has excited fans with his ability to agitate opponents and chip in key goals along the way. But nagging injuries and inconsistent play have prevented him from reaching his full potential.

After spending the entire lockout season with Portland of the American Hockey League, Sutherby put up career highs in '05-'06 with 14 goals and 30 points in 76 games. But this past year the checking line specialist failed to build on those numbers, slipping back to only 7 goals and 17 points in 69 games.

With Boyd Gordon emerging as the team's top checking line center, what role will Brian Sutherby have with this team in the upcoming season? While the Capitals brass love the intangibles he brings to the game, the 25 year-old Sutherby will have plenty to prove as he looks to fight off a number of the Capitals young forwards that look ready to try and break into the lineup.

Other Capitals News: The team has announced that it has come to terms with center Jason Morgan who spend the past season with the Minnesota Wild organization. Morgan appeared in four games with the Wild and 57 games with their AHL affiliate, the Houston Aeros, talling 12 goals and 14 assists. He should provide the Hershey Bears with some quality depth at the center position as he is described by as a player who, "Posseses sound work ethic and leadership qualities."

Monday, July 16, 2007

On Frozen Blog Chimes In On CyberRadio

Thanks to John Keeley at On Frozen Blog for his complements in his most recent article about CyberRadio:

Add to the names of the Revolutionaries Allen Popels, who a few months ago asked the question, “Is it too much to ask that we the hockey loving and Caps’ fans have a broadcast fan forum for 30 or 60 minutes a week?” The Caps of course asked a similar question a few years back and answered it with the excellent “Caps Report,” hosted by Mike Vogel and Spike Parker. Popels wanted his own show, on the weekend, a fan-driven one. He had technology at his disposal and did something about it. Beginning earlier this summer, every Sunday, he began hosting his one hour on the frontier air of cyberspace, ‘CapitalFanatic: The Fan’s Voice of the Washington Capitals.’ (A podcast is available; and Popels makes his program available via iTunes.)

Yesterday Eric McErlain and Dmitry Chesnokov and I appeared as guests on Popel’s program, where we discussed the recently completed Rookie Camp and a few other tidbits puck. Interestingly, we had no shortage of topics hockey to discuss for the full hour in the middle of summer. If we’re invited back, we’ll return. Telling, though, isn’t it, that the region’s hockey fans have their hockey audio itches scratched by the Caps themselves and their fans . . . and not say local radio?......

......The remarkable irony now abundantly broadcast and published, and filling the vast void, is that by virtue of their abdication of covering hockey professionally, as their trade has ever required, local media have unwittingly bred a cottage alternative industry of impassioned experts.

Click here for the full article.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Capital Show: Development Camp Roundup

A special thanks to John Keeley of On Frozen Blog, Eric McErlain of Off Wing Opinion, and Dmitry Chesnokov of Sovetsky Sport for joining me on the show today for an in depth analysis of the development camp and the state of the Washington Capitals. You can listen to the show two ways, either by the media player on the right side of the homepage or by clicking the link below. Be sure to tune in next Sunday at noon for another live edition of the show.

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Development Camp Concludes

The only lineup change for today was a switch of goaltenders as Simeon Varlamov moved to the Blue Team and Michal Neuvirth moved to the White Team. Also, defenseman Patrick McNeill was noticeably absent today.

Today's scrimmage consisted of three twenty minute quarters along with penalties being called for the first time in the camp.

Goal of the Game
Nicklas Backstrom and Francois Bouchard combined on this, in what could be a nice look at a future top line duo in the coming years. From the boards Backstrom found Bouchard all alone in front of the net as he beat goaltender Justin Mrazek to give the Blue Team a 3-2 advantage 11:03 into the 2nd period.

Physical Presence of the Game
This was provided by defenseman Viktor Dovgan who had a number of big hits during the scrimmage. Maxime Lacroix, Luke Lynes, and Justine Taylor were just a few of his victims on the night. His hit on Taylor led to a little bit of a scrum after the whistle.

Goaltender of the Game
Simeon Varlamov, who overcame some shaky outings earlier in the camp to finish it up with a strong performance. He had an outstanding sprawling save on Andrew Joudrey toward the end of the 1st period that drew oohs and awes from the crowd.

Save of the Game
That would go to Daren Machesney who robbed Crowder in front as he had a wide open net. While diving Machesney threw out his stick and blocked the shot in mid air.

Recap of the Goals on the Evening
Blue Team -Yeo, Kronick (PP), Francois Bouchard, Jamie Hunt (2), Andrew Glass
White Team - Andrew Gordon, Josh Godfrey, Jay Beagle

Don't forget to tune into The Capital Show Sunday at noon for an in depth analysis of the development camp. I'll be joined by John from On Frozen Blog and Eric from Off Wing Opinion.

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Scrimmage Time Changed for Today

From Paul Rovnak, Manager of Media Relations:

Today’s scrimmage at Kettler Capitals Iceplex will now begin at 4 p.m. as opposed to the original 4:30 p.m. start time. Today’s scrimmage will also feature three full periods.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Double OT Thriller Today at Kettler

Blue Team
Forwards - Nicklas Backstrom, Francois Bouchard (Pictured), Steve Werner, Andrew Glass, Travis Morin, Pasi Salonen, Brett Bruneteau, Brett Leffler, Mathieu Perrault, Lovecchio
Defenseman - Jamie Hunt, Theo Ruth, Sami Lepisto, Viktor Dovgan, Joe Finley
Goaltenders - Michal Neuvirth, Daren Machesney
White Team
Forwards - Oskar Osala, Kyle Wilson (Pictured), Maxime Lacroix, Andrew Joudrey, Andrew Gordon, Justin Taylor, Phil DeSimone, Luke Lynes, Backman, Lerg
Defenseman - Patrick McNeill, Karl Alzner, Oscar Hedman, Sean Collins, Josh Godfrey
Goaltenders - Simeon Varlamov, Justin Mrazek, Dan Dunn

Today's scrimmage continued with the structure of two 30 minute continuously running periods. Special teams were the main focus of the day as the final 15-20 minutes of both periods were spent alternating five on fours. Despite the numerous odd man advantages though, the scrimmage was a defensive battle led by Karl Alzner of the White Team and Jeff Finley of the Blue Team. Each defender dominated in their own particular style of play.

Alzner shut down his side of the ice by always being in the right place at the right time. He doesn't stand out with big hits or a booming shot from the point. In fact the average fan probably would not even notice him on the ice because he silences his opponents so quietly. But the fact is the guy flat out does not get beat. It will be great to see how he fairs against NHL competition this fall.

Finley on the other hand makes his presence known on the ice. He punishes his opponents by lining them up and throwing his 6'7" 233 pound body at them. He had the hit of the night with two minutes left in the second session, knocking the much smaller Lerg on his backside as he tried to maneuver around him on the attack. One thing Finley needs to learn is when to be aggressive and when to lay back, as he put himself out of position one time while trying to line up a huge hit.

After 60 minutes of play the teams were stuck in a 2-2 tie. The first overtime period followed traditional NHL rules as both teams played four aside. Michal Neuvirth had the save of the night, and the camp, as he made a sprawling save on a breakaway chance by Bryan Lerg. Lerg deeked and tried to beat him on the backhand, but while lying on his chest Neuvirth snapped his glove up and snared the puck out of mid air. Truly an amazing save that makes me excited about Neuvirth's Hasek like abilities.

Still with no winner after 65 minutes, Tarik (who I had the pleasure of talking hockey with for a good long while) and I were hoping for a shootout. But instead Coach Hanlon decided to go to a second overtime period with three men aside. One minute into the session Francois Bouchard streaked up the right wing in an odd man rush and found Backstrom in front for the game winning goal and a 3-2 Blue Team victory.

Your other goals on the night were scored by:
Blue Team - Lovecchio, Travis Morin
White Team - Backman (who has shown great quickness), and Josh Godfrey (Pictured)

A couple of inside tidbits to note. Tarik confirmed to me that Francois Bouchard will definitely be signed and brought to training camp this year. He described Bouchard as the MVP of the camp so far and that he has a very good chance of making the club. Sasha Pokulok is at the camp but is not participating due to an undisclosed injury. No word on what exactly that injury is, but he did miss most of the last season with two separate concussions.

And yes Ted was in the house again today checking out the action.

Also, a shameless plug here as well. This Sunday at noon I'll have John from OFB as well as possibly some more Capitals experts on The Capital Show. We'll be discussing the rookie camp and the team's off-season moves in great detail, so don't miss it.
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