Boston: We don't get too many shutouts up here so thanks to the Caps for that. How has Ovechkin's contract "insult" comments gone over inside the locker room? Does this reinforce why contracts should not be discussed during the season?
Tarik El-Bashir: I was told by a reputable source that Ovechkin wasn't insulted by any offer, and that the offer that was reported was wrong.
AO 2 LA?: What's this I hear about the Caps trading AO to the Kings?
Tarik El-Bashir: I don't Alex getting traded. The Caps simply wouldn't get back fair value. The reason L.A. comes up is simple: they are the one team that has enough cap room AND enough young talent to make a deal work.
I still don't see it happening. Alex has said he wants to stay here and that he wants to win. He wouldn't get any closer to a Stanley Cup with the Kings (especially if they give away their future to acquire him).
DC: Hiya Tarik
Aside from the fact that Oilers GM Kevin Lowe is preparing a 40-year, $398.7 million offer sheet that the Caps will have to match, what reasons would you give Alexander Ovechkin for sticking with the Caps? There does not seem to be the organization's commitment to getting talented players that we originally heard about. What say you?
Tarik El-Bashir: If I'm the Caps, Ovechkin isn't the player I'm worried about signing an offer sheet. Everyone in the league knows the Caps will be forced to match.
If I'm the GM, I'm worried about someone like Lowe making a crazy offer to snag Mike Green. Something like five years, $25 million. It could happen.
Leonardtown, Md.: Do you think that if Crosby hadn't signed so early there wouldn't be all this panic about Ovechkin not being signed?
Tarik El-Bashir: Great point. Crosby re-signing early certainly put some additional pressure on Ovechkin's situation.
Rockville, Md.: Tarik,
Time to put on your GM hat! If you were GMGM what would you offer Ovechkin in terms of years and dollars? What do you think he is worth to the Caps and what is your impression of what other teams might be willing give him in the form of a offer sheet?
Tarik El-Bashir: I would give him more than Heatley, but not a penny more than Crosby.
Here's a bit on Backstrom:
Norman, Okla.: Do you think Backstrom will be the next Peter Forsberg? Do you think he'll get to that level?
Tarik El-Bashir: They are very different players. But from what I've seen the past month or so, there's little question in my mind now that Backstrom will be a star -- a big one.
I've got to admit that I didn't always feel that way. Especially after the first few weeks of the season.
Ditto on a big star!!!
Now back to Ovechkin rumors...
From CBS by Wes GoldStein, Jan. 3, 2008:
Once upon a time, the suits only had to worry about players who were about to become unrestricted free agents and whether they could be re-signed or needed to be moved by the deadline in order to avoid losing them for nothing. But in the NHL's current salary-capped world, there's the added challenge caused by the real possibility that restricted free agents might be lost to offer sheets that almost never came in the past.
It's enough to cause a lot of headaches in several front offices in the weeks and months ahead. Here's a look at 10 situations most likely to do so:
1. Alexander Ovechkin: It's hard to imagine the Washington Capitals will let their franchise face go under any circumstance, but Ovechkin has already reportedly rejected a deal worth $7.5 million annually and will almost certainly get an offer sheet approaching the maximum $10 million per season if he hits the open market. Ovechkin will be a restricted free agent, so Washington will get the chance to match any bid, but the 22-year-old Russian superstar hasn't been afraid to complain about the dearth of talent surrounding him in the past. The Caps don't spend much on payroll to begin with, and if it takes 20 percent of their budget room to get him back, chances are it will create a situation that won't leave anyone involved happy.
From OFB: John Buccigross: SportsCenter Anchor, NHL columnist, and … OFB Reader?
From Japer's Rink: Ovechkin Lets Ca[itals Contract Expire
This one is complete BS from Russian Kommersant based on Bruce Garioch rumor. I don't know why JP even mentioned that.