Monday, June 1, 2009

Pronger Could be the D-Bag the Doctor Ordered for the Caps

So I'm sitting at a bar in Brooklyn on Saturday nursing a beer. Apparently someone that speaks hipster had spread the word about the Sierra Nevada draft special and a horde of these fuckers took over the bar. After four to six full sips of beer each, they started "dancing" like wacky, waving, inflatable arm flailing tube men and irritating me to no end. So naturally, my thoughts turned to violence. How sweet would it be, I wondered, if Chris Pronger walked into this bar, elbowed and stomped these clowns, hoisted the Stanley Cup over his head and paraded around the bar in triumph over their bloodied corpses? And then Caps GM George McPhee traded Tom Poti, Tomas Fleischmann, D prospects Josh Godfrey and Joe Finley and a 1st rounder for him?

But my fantasies rarely become reality, except for the time I ordered the Super Juicer. And the obstacles preventing this dream from coming to fruition are steep. For one, the Ducks' ridiculous asking price: three blue-chip prospects, one of whom is a studly two-way defenseman in the Pronger mold. That, however, was during a seller's market trade deadline and the asking price is sure to go down this offseason - especially if Scott "Brett Favre" Niedermayer decides to return to the Ducks for another year.

For another, that pesky salary cap. By my math, and after making a few logical assumptions about which RFAs will be retained (Fehr, Gordon, Schultz, Jurcina) and which UFAs will not, the Caps will have around $52 million in salary towards the cap with only one open forward spot available. The 34-year old Pronger has one year left at $6.25 million. The cap this year was $56.7 million and is expected to go down. Balls.

Details shmetails, I say! Pronger is 100% tenacious in his defensive end, which makes him a perfect fit on a Caps blue line that currently has 0% of that. His track record alone would make guys think twice about coming across the middle. Mike Green needs someone to ease the burden of being an offensive stud AND a physical presence, which he tried and failed to be these playoffs. Erskine and Jurcina...Scott Stevens and Rod Langway they are not. Plus I think Pronger would like it here: we have plenty of hot sports reporters available for him to impregnate.

Pronger bait. [Photo via Wikipedia]

More importantly, however, Pronger will bring the edge to the backline that Ovie takes care of up front, and the young guys like Alzner - who curiously prides himself on not hitting - could stand to learn a thing or two about what it takes: namely a dose of d-baggery when appropriate.

As I finished my beer one particularly pissy, life-hating hipster was at the bar whining about his $3 Sierra Nevada being too hoppy; about Modest Mouse becoming too "commercial;" and other such bullshit things. It occurred to me that this was the Michael Nyander of the bar: he talked in circles like Nylander skates them and sucks the life out of the room like Nylander sucks it out of the Caps' offense. And similarly, is the final road block to fun/improvement. The 36-year-old Swede is $5 million in cap deadweight for the next two years and it'd be a shame if that kept the Caps from acquiring a guy like Pronger. Though not nearly as shameful as the way in which the corporations have like totally screwed us over again, man. Dumbass hipster.

[Pronger image via CBC Sports]


  1. Well, this post is dear to my heart for many reasons, not the least of which is the hipster bashing.

    And while I share your optimism about Pronger's prowess as he enters the twilight of his already accomplished career, and the impact he would have on a Caps team that desperately needs a confident, skilled, minute eating, veteran brute on the blue line, (it's really a bonus that Pronger would contribute offensively, in terms of what the Caps really need), I also just can't seem to crunch the numbers that would bring him to DC.

    So, every night before I go bed I wish upon a star, hoping to wake up the next morning to Hannah Storm relaying to me a terrible tradgedy involving a certain Cap's forward. There is a terrible car accident where, miraculously, no one is seriously hurt... except for this certain Capital who has snapped his femur in 4 places and won't return to the NHL for... about 2 years.

    Boy, that 4.875mil of cap room(x2...sigh) would go a long way.

    Just dreams though. Great post, Rover.

  2. Aside from a horiffic car wreck, I'm also unsure how the Caps can get around Nylander's contract. There has been speculation that a KHL team might want him, and I don't think McPhee or the NHL would set up any roadblocks, not for an old crook like Nyls (and he is stealing paychecks at this point). But Nyls' wife didn't want to go to Edmonton, so I doubt she'd want to go to Siberia. So how to make room?

    Theodore ($4.5 mill) is semi-tradable but I honestly doubt McPhee is ready to give the keys to Varly or Neuvirth full time. Brent Johnson just can't handle full time duties so we need a minute eater like Theodore at least.

    Poti/Pothier make $3.5 mill and $2.5 mill respectively. I doubt the Ducks want either but...maybe both? Ha.

    A more radical option: trade Semin ($4.6 million). Ovie would lose his BFF and a third Russian, the Power Play would suffer...but it's going to be hard to re-sign him next season anyways. Is another year with Semin better than one with Pronger? Not so sure.

    Thanks for reading, Bushwood.

  3. Here is a real cool site to play with (it's not porn):

    Nylander would cost about $6 mil to buyout over 4 years, even though he's only under contract for the next two. The actual cap hit for each year we buy him out:

    09-10: $.7 mil
    10-11: $3.3 mil
    11-12: $1.4 mil
    12-12: $1.4 mil

    Similarly, Theodore can be bought out for $3 mil (he is due $4.5 mil next year, his last under contract), but the cap hit would be $1.5 mil spread out over two years.

    What does this all mean, you ask? It means that the chances of a Nylander buyout are slim to none, unless of course Leonsis is willing to part with $6 million for absolutely nothing. Even if he was, it would not benefit the Caps, as the cap hit would still be around $7 mil spread around 4 years. I think Nylander is about as useless as my third nut, but as Bushwood mentions, the numbers don't seem to crunch.

    A Theodore buyout makes more sense numbers-wise at this point, but I think losing Theo is a bad idea from both an on-ice and a salary standpoint. Varlamov is still very much unproven, and raw, and has had injury problems his entire playing career. We can not gamble our cup hopes on a 21 year old goalie who has never played a full season of healthy hockey, unless of course we have a proven backup who can step up in a pinch. I think Theodore is that guy.

    Lastly, Rover mentioned the idea of trading Semin, who is a free agent after this season. While Semin is one of the top-5 most skilled players in the NHL, it makes sense to me to sell high on him because I seriously doubt we will be able to afford all our young stars (Ovechkin, Backstrom, Green, Alzner, Carlson) down the road. Plus, a guy like Pronger could put us over the top.

    In conclusion:

    1) Do not buy out Nylander
    2) Do not buy out Theodore
    3) Trade Semin in a package for Pronger? Perhaps.

  4. It is make sense for selling it..amanda vanderpool model


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