At the end of this column, there is a list of 2009 free agents. In addition to FA's, the name of Chris Pronger (pictured above), who is currently with Anaheim, has come up in conversation as the prototype addition that the Capitals need for a real run at the Cup.
My shopping list, in addition to a power forward is a top flight defensive pair. With the strength of the Hershey Bears, we are looking to rent players at the NHL level rather than buy.
The question is, if we bank on players coming up form the Bears, who wants a two year contract to come try and win the Cup with the Caps.
If players are coming in, the next issue is who would be leaving? If we are discussing folks leaving, we only have three free agents. Of these players, Donald Brashear, Sergei Fedorov and Viktor Kozlov, I would think Federov and Kozlov would stay. I am not sure on Brashear.
If there is money available, I would hope we could have 16 skaters and 7 defensive slots for the entire year. At game time, coach Bruce would pick the 20 for the night. Everyone plays and everyone sits throughout the year.
The Back Line
If Mike Green was not so fantastic during the regular season, he probably earned a free one-way ticket out of town. Schultz missed most of the playoffs and was not missed. John Erskin seems set as well as Milan Jurcina.
If we choose to move in another direction, who would go between Poti, Pothier, Alzner (Hershey) and Tyler Sloan (Hershey).
The Front of the Store
I could see either Bradley or Gordon moving on. Maybe even Semin, he is just not physical enough. I am sure Nylander is out. Clark seemed good in his few 4th line shifts. I would like to see him stay.
Management's direction will unfold over the next few months. In my next Caps column, I will discuss the best of the free agent crop as it relates to the Capitals.
Top Free Agents
ANAHEIM DUCKS: Francois Beauchemin, Bret Hedican, Rob Niedermayer, Scott Niedermayer,
ATLANTA THRASHERS: Eric Perrin, Marty Reasoner.
BOSTON BRUINS: PJ Axelsson, Manny Fernandez, Steve Montador, Mark Recchi, Tim Thomas, Stephane Yelle.
BUFFALO SABRES: Maxim Afinogenov, Dominic Moore, Teppo Numminen, Andrew Peters, Jaroslav Spacek, Mikael Tellqvist.
CAROLINA HURRICANES: Erik Cole, Chad LaRose, Dennis Seidenberg.
CALGARY FLAMES: Adrian Aucoin, Todd Bertuzzi, Mike Cammalleri, Jordan Leopold, David Moss.
CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS: Martin Havlat, Nikolai Khabibulin, Samuel Pahlsson.
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS: Christian Backman, Wade Dubielewicz, Chris Gratton, Manny Malholtra, Michael Peca.
COLORADO AVALANCHE: Tyler Arnason, Ian Laperriere, Andrew Raycroft, Joe Sakic.
DALLAS STARS: Steve Begin, Jere Lehtinen, Brendan Morrison, Mark Parrish, Darryl Sydor, Sergei Zubov.
DETROIT RED WINGS: Chris Chelios, Ty Conklin, Johan Franzen, Marian Hossa, Mikael Samuelsson,
EDMONTON OILERS: Ales Kotalik, Dwayne Roloson.
FLORIDA PANTHERS: Craig Anderson, Jay Bouwmeester, Nick Boynton, Radek Dvorak,Karlis Skrastins,Richard Zednik.
LOS ANGELES KINGS: Derek Armstrong, Kyle Calder, Denis Gauthier.
MINNESOTA WILD: Marc-Andre Bergeron, Kurtis Foster, Marian Gaborik, Martin Skoula.
MONTREAL CANADIENS: Francis Bouillon, Mathieu Dandenault, Saku Koivu, Mike Komisarek, Tom Kostopoulos, Alex Kovalev, Robert Lang, Mathieu Schneider, Alex Tanguay.
NASHVILLE PREDATORS; Radek Bonk, Greg de Vries, Ville Koistinen, Scott Nichol.
NEW JERSEY DEVILS: Scott Clemmensen, Brian Gionta, Niclas Havelid, Bobby Holik, John Madden, Johnny Oduya, Michael Rupp, Brendan Shanahan.
NEW YORK ISLANDERS: Andy Hilbert, Joey MacDonald, Dean McAmmond, Mike Sillinger, Doug Weight.
NEW YORK RANGERS: Nik Antropov, Paul Mara, Derek Morris.
OTTAWA SENATORS: Mike Comrie, Chris Neil.
PHILADELPHIA FLYERS: Andrew Alberts, Martin Biron, Mike Knuble, Antero Niittymaki.
PHOENIX COYOTES: Dmitri Kalinin, Ken Klee,Steve Reinprecht.
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS: Philippe Boucher, Ruslan Fedotenko, Mathieu Garon, Hal Gill, Bill Guerin, Miroslav Satan, Petr Sykora.
SAN JOSE SHARKS: Rob Blake, Brian Boucher, Mike Grier, Kent Huskins, Travis Moen, Jeremy Roenick.
ST. LOUIS BLUES: Dan Hinote, Manny Legace, Keith Tkachuk.
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING: Marek Malik.
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS: Martin Gerber, Curtis Joseph, Olaf Kolzig, Brad May.
VANCOUVER CANUCKS: Jason Labarbera, Mattias Ohlund, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin.
WASHINGTON CAPITALS: Donald Brashear, Sergei Fedorov, Viktor Kozlov.