Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Capital Show

Join me Sunday, July 1st for the next live edition of The Capital Show. I'll take a look at free agency which is set to begin Sunday and I'll review the draft from this past week. All that and more. You can call into the show by dialing (646)478-5432 or im me at google talk, username capitalfanatic. Just click on the link below.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Chris Benoit and Family Found Dead in Atlanta

The details are still coming in but Chris Benoit along with his wife Nancy, 43, and their 7-year old son Daniel were found dead in their suburban Atlanta home on Monday afternoon. Multiple news sources are reporting that the incident is being investigated as a murder-suicide.

Benoit was supposed to wrestle C.M. Punk during Sunday night's WWE Vengeance pay-per-view for the ECW World Title. However he was unable to attend the event due to what the WWE described as "personal reasons."

World Wrestling Entertainment released this statement on Monday:

"World Wrestling Entertainment was informed today by authorities in Fayette County, Ga., that WWE Superstar Chris Benoit, his wife, Nancy, and his son were found dead in their home. Authorities are investigating, but no other details are available at this time.

Instead of its announced programming for Monday on USA Network, WWE aired a three-hour tribute to Chris Benoit.

Chris was beloved among his fellow Superstars, and was a favorite among WWE fans for his unbelievable athleticism and wrestling ability. He always took great pride in his performance, and always showed respect for the business he loved, for his peers and towards his fans. This is a terrible tragedy and an unbearable loss.

WWE extends its sincere condolences and prayers to the Benoit family and loved ones in this time of tragedy."

A year and a half ago one of Benoit's closest personal friends Eddie Guerrero died of a heart attack in his hotel room the morning before he was scheduled to win back the World Heavyweight Championship during the Survivor Series pay-per-view.

The pinnacle of Benoit's career came during Wrestlemania XX when he defeated Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship and celebrated in the middle of the ring with Eddie Guerrero.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Maxime Daigneault Among 8 RFA Non-Tendered

Of the players let go today goaltender Maxime Daigneault is the only one I question. The Capitals' second round pick from 2002, Daigneault won 23 games for the Hershey Bears last year in his first full season in the AHL. He is also only 23 years old and plays a position that usually takes the longest to develop.

Jiri Novotny was also a notable player not tendered a qualifying offer. He was acquired in the Danius Zubrus trade with Buffalo at the trading deadline this past season. In 18 games with the Capitals, the 23 year old Novotny registered six assists.

His departure should give center Dave Steckel an even bigger chance of securing a spot with the big club this fall. Steckel, 25, tallied 30 goals and 61 points for while leading the Hershey Bears back to the Calder Cup Finals for the second straight season. A 6'5" 220 pound center, Steckel is known for his excellent defensive ability to go along with his outstanding faceoff skills.

Players tendered contracts:
Steve Eminger, John Erskine, Tomas Fleischmann, Jamie Hunt, Milan Jurcina, Jakub Klepis, Brooks Laich, Dave Steckel and Brian Sutherby.

Players non-tendered:
Kris Beech, Trevor Byrne, Maxime Daigneault, Jonas Johansson, Jiri Novotny, Louis Robitaille, Matt Stefanishion and Joey Tenute.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Welcome the New Capitals Draft Picks

Karl Alzner
First Round Pick #5 Overall

Josh Godfrey
Second Round Pick #34 Overall

Ted Ruth
Second Round Pick #46 Overall

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Former Redskin WR Justin Skaggs Dies From Brian Cancer

A story like this is just hard to believe.

From The Salt Lake Tribune:

Utah Blazer receiver-linebacker Justin Skaggs died Friday after undergoing emergency brain surgery at the University of Utah's Huntsman Cancer Institute.

Skaggs, who was diagnosed with brain cancer on June 1, was taken to the hospital on Thursday at 5 a.m. by his wife. He was suffering a severe headache, according to Blaze director of communications Tom Goodhines.

Skaggs was examined and immediately taken into surgery to relieve swelling and pressure on his brain. But he remained on a respirator Friday, when Goodhines said members of the Skaggs family gathered in Salt Lake City to "talk about options."

The 28-year-old Skaggs was diagnosed with inoperable Stage III oligodendroglioma after suffering headaches and numbness in his hands and arms. He underwent a CAT scan and MRI on May 31, when two malignant tumors were discovered in the left lobe of his brain.

Due to the location of the tumors, doctors told Skaggs surgery was not an option. He started a planned series of radiation and chemotherapy treatments earlier this week.

"It sucks, but there's nothing I can do about it," Skaggs told the Tribune shortly after the diagnosis. "This is the most freaky thing that has ever happened to me. It is the most unbelievable thing. I am 28. I am healthy. I would never guess this would happen to me. But it has and I'm ready to deal with it."

Skaggs admitted he was "shocked" when doctors discovered tumors in his brain.

"It was the last thing I would have thought was wrong," he said. "I thought something was just wrong with my neck -- a pinched nerve or something like that. Any news like that would be tough to take. When a doctor [says] you have two brain tumors, there's nothing that can prepare you for news like that."

Skaggs attended Evangel University, a private Christian college located in Springfield, Mo., that is associated with the Assemblies of God Church. He has been a member of the Blaze since the franchise's inception in 2006. He finished with 47 tackles on defense and 52 receptions on offense last season, earning a two-year contract extension from the Blaze.

This season, Skaggs had not played up to expectations. A calf injury was considered a possible cause.

"Justin Skaggs is not the same player," coach Danny White said midway through the season. "We are in a quandary about it. He's just not himself. He has dropped some [passes], missed some [blocking] assignments."

Still, Skaggs did have some good moments.

He made seven tackles in a game against San Jose on April 28. He had seven receptions for 74 yards and a touchdown against Kansas City on May 12. He missed his first game because of his illness on June 4 against Colorado.

"These are the cards that I've been dealt," Skaggs said. "I am going to face it head on. ... I am ready to have a testimony, a story to inspire somebody -- a comeback."

Skaggs, the father of a 5-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter, played briefly in the NFL with Washington. He tried out but was cut in training camp by San Francisco and Tampa Bay. He signed with the AFL's Orlando Predators in 2005 before joining the Blaze.

Even before Skaggs' emergency brain surgery, his chance for recovery was bleak.
Randy Jensen, a neurosurgeon at the University of Utah Hospital who did not work with Skaggs and could not discuss his specific case, said the life expectancy for a person with Stage III oligodendroglioma is generally two to five years.

Skaggs' illness is rare.

About 17,000 cases are diagnosed each year. In only 10 percent of those cases, the tumor has diffused and separated into other parts of the brain. That's what has happened to Skaggs.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Caps Will Not Target Any Restricted Free Agents

George McPhee confirmed today that the Capitals will not be a player in the restricted free agent market. So anyone out there with hopes that the Capitals would target someone such as Thomas Vanek can forget about it. On the restricted free agent market McPhee said, "It wouldn't be our style because in most cases teams match (the offer). We'd just be waisting time."

I find this interesting because if ever their was a time to go after a restricted free agent, Vanek might just be worthy of the compensation required. The winger recorded 43 goals and 41 assists this past season and is only 23 years old. An offer of up to $3.9 million a year would cost the Caps a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round pick. I think that just might be worth it. What do you think?

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Latest Capital Show

The latest edition of The Capital show was recorded live on Sunday. There was some technical difficulties at the beginning of the show, so after the intro there is about 2 minutes of dead air. Just move forward to minute number 3 and the show will pick up there. Thanks for all the feedback I've received so far. Click on the media player to the right.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

The Next Live Show

Join me tomorrow at noon for the next live edition of The Capital Show. I'll discuss the Anaheim Ducks winning the Stanley Cup and the Hamilton Bulldogs knocking out the Hershey Bears. Also, is the NHL looking at expanding again? You can call into the show by dialing (646) 478-5432 or im me using google talk @ capitalfanatic. Just click the link below.

Listen Live

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

"Super Sykora"

Former Capital Petr Sykora is named European Player of the Month for March. Isn't it nice to know that he has developed into a great player for Pardubice? Too bad he never liked playing in the NHL. It would have been interesting to see how good he could have been playing in the best league in the world. And take a look at that uniform. It looks like Nascar on ice.
Article courtesy of

For 28-year old Petr Sykora it was soon clear he would become a hockey player. The Pardubice-born player, not to be confused with the current Edmonton Oilers forward, had a perfect role model in his brother Michal who is five years older than him. Together they played for the local HC Pardubice at the turn of the millenium.

So far for the comparisons.

At the time Michal was just about to crack the defensive line-up of the first team and was offered a chance to North-America, young Petr was scoring goals in bunches amongst the peers of his age. Whilst Michal Sykora quickly climbed up the ranks to register nearly 250 NHL games, Petr decided that there's no place like home. A single year across the pond in 1999-2000 had seen him play mostly in the AHL. Sykora didn't like what he was seeing and returned back home in Pardubice with a bag full of experiences. It didn't take him long to become a premier marksman in the Czech league. His return season saw him just bag seven goals, but the following season Sykora exploded for 26 goals in 47 games and his name was set.

Despite receiving several offers from abroad, Sykora pledged his future to Pardubice which had emerged as a strong force in the Czech league in the meantime. At the start of the 2005-06 season, Sykora was seduced for another North-American attempt though. Playing on a mediocre Washington Capitals team Sykora soon realized he had made a mistake and he decided to return home after just 10 games (4 points) where Sykora continued his point-per game scoring again.

The past season is one that will be marked with a red pencill in his book. Peter Sykora became Super Sykora as he broke all personal records. In 50 games, he scored 37 goals and notched 53 points. Enough to win him the Czech league scoring title.

In the post-season he got rid of another enigma. The playoff-funk. Until this season he scored just 13 goals in 61 playoff games for Pardubice. Although Pardubice was eliminated in the finals against Sparta Prague, Sykora was devastating. No less than 12 goals and 6 assists in 18 games earned him yet another scoring trophy as consolation for the missed cup. Furthermore he was awarded the League's MVP trophy.

Icing on the cake for Sykora was his invitation to the national team. Having played in his homeland the coaching staff has often overlooked him for World Championships with the heavy loaded forwards available in the country. Fnially being selected to play for him team in Russia, Sykora did not waste the opportunity and scored five points from 7 games to become one of the few highlights of a mediocre performing Czech team which finished just in seventh place.

In the month of March, Sykora was awarded the European Hockey.Net Player of the Month Award for his stellar post-season performance. He led his team to the final after almost single-handedly eliminating Pardubice's opponents in the Quarter-Finals (Znojmo Orli) and Semi-Finals (Ceské Budejovice). In 12 games he scored 10 goals and had 4 assists.

Although his heroics did not win him and his beloved home team the playoffs, Sykora is a worthy winner to join the previous set of winners of this award.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Toronto Star on Boudreau: NHL Job is Just a Matter of Time

The Toronto Star is singing the praises of Hershey Bears bench boss Bruce Boudreau. They, like most Capitals and Hershey experts, believe that he will end up in the NHL as a Head Coach someday soon.

Boudreau's coming up big behind the bench - Sports - Boudreau's coming up big behind the bench

`I don't know what else I could do if it wasn't for hockey,' ex-Leaf says of coaching the AHL's Bears

June 01, 2007
Kevin McGran

They used to say he was too short to play in the NHL. Surely they can't say he's too short to coach in the NHL.

Bruce Boudreau did what he was supposed to do in junior hockey and the minors to impress scouts, coaches and general managers. He scored. Lots. And his teams won. Plenty.

But the guy they called "Gabby" couldn't catch a break. The Maple Leafs, who drafted him out of the Toronto Marlboros, treated him like a yo-yo. He was up and down to and from the minors for seven consecutive seasons. Despite his talent, his 5-foot-10 frame was apparently the obstacle to a long NHL career.

Now 52, Boudreau has an impressive resumé as a minor league coach with a .583 winning percentage. Last year, he coached the Hershey Bears to the Calder Cup. This year, the top farm team of the Washington Capitals is at it again, defending their title by taking on the Hamilton Bulldogs in a best-of-seven series that series begins tonight in Hershey, Pa.

"This is my 32nd year of fighting to get to the NHL," said Boudreau yesterday. "It's always your goal. You're always plugging away and hoping something will happen. But at the same time, quite frankly, I don't know what else I could do if it wasn't for hockey.

"I loved everywhere I've gone. I just keep doing what I do and hopefully somebody will notice."

And he's been everywhere, a member of 16 pro teams as a player. Boudreau actually got his pro start in 1975 with the WHA's Minnesota Fighting Saints' top farm team, the Johnstown (Pa.) Jets of the North American Hockey League. It happened to be where and when the movie Slap Shot was filmed.

Boudreau landed a bit part playing for the Hyannisport Presidents against Paul Newman's Charlestown Chiefs. He wore No.7.

"I'm the little hog that stays in front of the net because I knew where the camera was," said Boudreau.

Perhaps it was there that his reputation as the Crash Davis of pro hockey began. He was a prolific scorer in the minors. One of four players in AHL history to top the 100-point mark three times in his career, Boudreau sits 11th on the AHL's all-time scoring list with 799 points in 634 games over 11 seasons, and his 1.26 career points-per-game average ranks second among the 71 members of the 500-point club. No player scored more in the AHL in the 1980s than Boudreau.

"I'm not as good looking as Kevin Costner," said Boudreau, in reference to the Bull Durham star. "It's sort of a compliment. But at the same time, Crash Davis, no matter how good he did, was never going to get to the big leagues. That, I hope, is the difference."

He believes he'll coach in the NHL someday.

"I'm very happy with the Capitals," said Boudreau. But if anybody ever came along, I would certainly look at it."

Former St. Louis Blues coach Mike Kitchen, Boudreau's friend since they were teammates on the Marlies, thinks it's a matter of time.

"He recognizes talent so well," said Kitchen. "As we all know, there's only 30 of those jobs out there.

"It's being patient, and timing is everything in those jobs."

Monday, June 4, 2007

Canadian Public Enemy #1

Chris Pronger - A dirty player, i.e. a disgrace to the game.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

The Capital Show: The First Live Episode

On the show I talked about the Stanley Cup Finals including the disgusting hit by Chris Pronger, the Hershey Bears after they tied up the Calder Cup Finals at a game a piece, and more. Just click on the media player on the right to listen to the show now, or click on the link below to go to my homepage.

blog radio

Join me next Sunday, June 10th @ Noon for the next live edition of The Capital Show.