The owner isn’t thrilled with me. Infrequently but once in a while we squabble, always respectfully. He and I share a passion for seeing greatness on the ice here; we just might go about its architecture in different ways.
I’d like to see the Capitals annually look a heck of a lot more like the Hershey Bears: quality goaltending, two parts skill, one part snarl, a formidible blueline, an overdose of chemistry in the room. And inspiring, adaptable coaching.
Maybe, just maybe, in year six of Ovechkin, we’ll at last see that in D.C. I say Alex has been made to wait long enough for the support parts he needs. (There’s something less than a frenzy to get Jose Theodore signed this July, I notice.)
Yahoo’s Ryan Lambert this weekend authored a highly thoughtful overview on this week’s free agency feast. His thesis is one I wholeheartedly agree with: in general, most often, teams grossly overpay for unrestricted free agents each July. But there are exceptions — astute signings that make a significant impact, and those are fantastically important because signing UFAs, unlike trades, come at no cost to an organization’s prospect or roster assets. I took particular note of Lambert’s observations on Anton Volchenkov’s contract:
“The market for a guy like Anton Volchenkov, as it turned out, was just about what it should have been: a far cry from the astronomical figures that were being thrown around before the summer began.”
A good signing, I say. Time will tell indeed.
But with the owner’s blog file I have before me an interesting conflict of philosophies. The owner has asked for the benefit of the doubt, for even more patience. Fine. But let’s have some sport with our differing views.
If Mr. Leonsis is right, and his team needs merely another season’s experience to break through to elite status in the league (as judged by getting in done in the glory season), if his Charmin-soft team advances to the 2011 Eastern Conference finals, I’ll write a check for $500 to his charity of choice. Heck, I’ll make good on that irrespective of any roster tinkerings between now and next February. I’m a good-natured sort in such matters. All his team has to do next season is what was expected of them this past, and I’ll pony up some serious dough.
And I’ll add to the fun. If his blueline next spring looks as it does right now, with these seven guys and with Jeff Schultz partnered with Mike Green up top, and they merely get to the conference finals, I’ll make that check out for even grand.
However — however! — if any of the Devils, Flyers, or Penguins, this past week’s big spenders in free agency, take out the Caps next postseason, and thereby make this summer’s agony for me look like hot tubbing with hot twins, Ted, you put me and a blogger of my choice on a plane and lodge us in Hawaii for a week, to recover. That expense will be the least of your worries.