George McPhee signed quite a few players to the Washington Capitals this past week sending the team over the regular season salary cap into the off-season cushion. Someone was going to have to go and that it was Eric Fehr who finally fell, probably was probably a surprise to almost no one, being shipped out to the
Atlanta Thrashers Winnipeg Jets for prospect Danick Paquette and a fourth round pick in next year’s draft. Other folks are going to write and post much better stories on Fehr and his time in DC. I’ll add links when some are posted. Some links: Russian Machine Never Breaks, Japers Rink, Washington Times, Washington Post, Capitals Outsider.
I’ll miss Eric Fehr partly because he was the player in some of my favorite photos that I’ve taken at Capitals games in the past few years. I hope you enjoy them.
And the rest from 2010-11.
Washington Capitals General Manager George McPhee’s first signing of the 2011 NHL free agent season was former home grown Capital Jeff Halpern. Halpern played for the Capitals from 1999 through 2006 and was the team captain in 2005-06. I brought a film camera to a couple of the few games I attended and found some photos. They and the quick scans are what they are, but there they are.
Slapshot wore a suit while carrying the Capitals flag before the NHL ice hockey game between the Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning at Verizon Center.
The Tampa Bay Lightning came to Verizon Center in Washington, DC last night riding a five game winning streak, scoring 22 goals along the way. Yeah, Semyon Varlamov put a stop to that by pitching a shut out. Alexander Semin scored a hat trick…just like the last time the Lightning came to town. The Capitals defense didn’t help only by limiting the shots getting through to Varlamov to just 17, but added three goals of their own from John Carlson, John Erskine, and Tom Poti.
After the game, I was walking down the stairwell about two strides behind the Capitals General Manger George McPhee. I was torn between two things I wanted to say to him. One was a simple, “Thanks,” for building a team that has been so much fun to watch the past few years. I still remember the night late in the 07-08 season I had “the talk” with my wife about buying season tickets for the following year. It was during their late season run to the playoffs. It felt like something special was about to happen and I wanted to be there for it. I’ve been to 95 regular season games since then and maybe only seven of them have been duds (thankfully, most of the duds seem to come on the road…although one of those seven duds was the game I watched in person in Los Angeles last January). Even when Alex Ovechkin appears to be just another player on the ice, the Caps are a fun team to watch. For some reason, whenever I see McPhee, I want to thank him for that.
The other thing I wanted to say to him was about Ovechkin. While he maintained his position as the third leading scorer in the NHL by adding two assists but still seems off. If the Captials keep playing like this as a team, maybe it doesn’t need to be fixed, but some Ovie-Tine still wouldn’t be a bad thing. Not that I would expect a meaningful response from McPhee, I’d still like to ask just to do it. Or maybe it’s just me and every other team the Capitals are playing have found the magic needed to shut him down. Yet he’s put 18 points up on the board in 13 November games while the Caps have posted a 9-2-2 record, so, who knows. Is there anyone else playing in the NHL scoring over 1.3 points per game on a winning team that can leave you asking about a slump?
But, of course, I said nothing to McPhee about any of it.
Anyway, read some good recaps (instead of this drivel) at Japer’s Rink, Russian Machine Never Breaks or your favorite other Capitals blog. Some of my photos below or on flickr.