Friday, July 11, 2008

Getting the band back together

The Washington Capitals have but one free agent left to sign, first pair defenceman Shaone Morrisonn, and are $332,788 under the cap, safely assuming Brian Pothier is placed on long-term injured reserve. If Sami Lepisto and his $700,000 is left off the roster, a safe assumption after general manager George McPhee said the team was looking to carry six or seven defencemen this coming season, then the Caps are over a million under the cap. If Chris Clark opens the season on LTIR, then the Caps would be $3,666,121 under the salary cap, Morrissonn's salary (to be determined by arbitration, I'd say around $1,800,000) notwithstanding. That number would dry up if Clark was activated, but it's a way to get around the salary cap if/when the Caps are over by less than a million dollars.

Here's what the Caps lineup should look like next year to start the season:

Alexander Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Viktor Kozlov
Brooks Laich - Sergei Fedorov - Alexander Semin
Tomas Fleischmann - Michael Nylander - Boyd Gordon
Matt Bradley - David Steckel - Donald Brashear

Mike Green - Shaone Morrisonn
Tom Poti - Jeff Schultz
John Erskine - Karl Alzner

Jose Theodore
Brent Johnson

Once Clark gets healthy, hopefully Eric Fehr and/or Sami Lepisto works their way into the lineup, and Alzner established himself as a top four defenceman, the lines could look like this:

Alexander Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Viktor Kozlov
Chris Clark - Sergei Fedorov - Alexander Semin
Brooks Laich - Michael Nylander - Eric Fehr
Matt Bradley - David Steckel - Boyd Gordon

Mike Green - Shaone Morrisonn
Tom Poti - Karl Alzner
Sami Lepisto - Jeff Schultz

I'm assuming Brian Pothier will be forced to retire due to concussions, and that the Capitals will be able to stay below the cap and won't be forced to make a trade, but that is a potentially devastating lineup, for my money the best in the east.

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