Wow, busy week across the NHL. Lots of moves with the July 1 Free Agent Turkey Shoot, and the Washington Capitals are right in the thick of it.
McPhee managed to re-sign Mike Green on Monday, June 30, effectively sealing up a potential weak spot and relieving many diehard Caps fans. So one less headache to worry over when Tuesday hit.
And hit it did.
Biggest news? Smoking-hot goaltender Christobal Huet bolted for more money and a suddenly very dangerous team in the Chicagoland area. Can’t blame the Blackhawks there – missing the playoffs by three points with an average goalie squad made any potential FA goalies legitimate targets.
Unfortunately, it forced McPhee to take a Vegas-sized risk by approaching – and signing – Avalanche goalie Jose Theodore for a more-than-modest two year deal worth $9M. BIG risk. HUGE. Now, if this was 2003, then it wouldn’t be a big deal (ok, maybe it would be, considering his lackluster play the next few years) – but despite his sudden transformation from mediocre back to the old Hart and Vezina winner with the ‘lanche last season, it really remains to be seen which Theodore the Caps got on this deal.
The goalie situation really is crucial to the Caps’ success in the next year. With Huet bolting for more lucrative waters and Kolzig “bolting” to Tampa (for what will probably be his final year or two of his career) as a mentor for the Lightning’s fresh-faced netminders, the play of Theodore is going to either sink or rocket Capital play. All the offense in the world isn’t going to matter if the goalie position is leakier than Montgomery County’s water lines.
There’s still more signings and moves to be had, for sure, as McPhee is still faced with UFAs Cooke, Fedorov, Bournedienne, Arsene, Riazantsev, Stana, Morgan and Werner. It will definitely be an interesting summer on ice.