Thursday, June 18, 2009

So, umm...Fedorov is Done, Right? Right?!?!**

I keep waiting for the balls news to drop about Sergei Fedorov officially signing in Russia, and it keeps not happening. According to Fedorov’s agent Pat Brisson, negotiations are ongoing with the Caps. Is McPhee inching closer to Fedorov’s demands or vice versa? I don’t know and it makes me nervous, like I just dropped my kid off at day care and Gary Glitter introduced himself as the headmaster.

When the Caps wrapped up their season last month, Fedorov had this to say:

“I still have got some legs left and I'm still enjoying the game and I'm certainly enjoying this group of young and very talented players. I didn't think about retiring. By saying that, I would like to continue to play. With the young legs around me, it's really helpful…I haven't met with the coaches or GM yet, but I hope the feeling is mutual because I really enjoy this organization and it's an awesome city to play in, too.”

Oh Sergei how you flatter me so. Unfortunately, it’s 2009 and I’m not sure I can return the favor. Sorry homeslice.

If the rumors are true and KHL club Metallurg Magnitogorsk is offering Fedorov $3.8 million over two seasons, that’s about $2 million per season more than the Caps can and should offer (Feds made $4 million this season). As previously noted, the Caps are a few obvious summer re-signings away from having ~$52 million in salary towards the 2009-2010 salary cap. With the cap decreasing (TBA) from its current $56.7 million line, the Caps will barely be able to afford a taco let alone a washed up 40-year-old centerman. Unless we’re talkin’ Crosby’s mom’s taco, which can be had on the cheap.

And washed up is exactly what Fedorov is at this point. Let’s take a ride down the Fedorov Numbers Slide, soon debuting at a crappy Russian amusement park near you (click to enlarge):

More alarmingly, if it’s possible to have a more alarming red flag than declining games, goals, and points totals, Fedorov has become a penalty-committing machine, and killing penalties is the Caps' kryptonite. At this point in his career only Crosby’s mother hooks more than Fedorov, but with Crosby’s mom at least you get something out of it before feeling shame. He just doesn't have the legs to skate with guys any more, and it hurts to watch him fall to the ice untouched, which happened frequently this season.

I was ecstatic when McPhee acquired Fedorov last spring for a mid-level prospect, and he actually scored a game-winner in a Game 7, which never happens in DC let alone to the Caps. And the dude will always be a legend, and I'll always be a fan. But it's time to get real. Nylander’s corpse and a slowing Fedorov (the nominal second-line centers) produced 7% of the Caps' goals and 9% of their points while eating up 15% of the cap space in '08-'09. McPhee simply has to do better than that. Step one is parting ways with Feds.

**All of this is moot, of course, if Nylander the albatross agrees to waive his no-movement clause, cross his fingers and pass through waivers (a.k.a. the Atlanta Thrashers) and go on loan to the KHL, NHL salary cap hit free. Something tells me he (his wife) is cool stealing Leonsis’ fat checks, though. I hate you for making me want to ditch Fedorov you lutefisk eating bastard.

[Image via Wikipedia Commons]

1 comment:

  1. I'm not sure it's fair to call Sergei washed up. Sure, he's slow, and a defensive liability at times, but his leadership, faceoff ability, and versatility make him valuable for anything up to $2.5 million a year. Especially considering how bare the Caps organization is down the middle at the moment.


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