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Caps GM McPhee: “I could never take [Luongo’s] contract”

Feb 4, 2013, 11:46 AM EDT

Image (5) georgemcpheecapsgm-thumb-250x192-17530-thumb-250x192-17531-thumb-250x192-20484.jpg for post 15373

Nobody was surprised when the Capitals brushed off this weekend’s Roberto Luongo trade rumors. After all, even if they did have interest, why would they admit it in public?

But there’s brushing off rumors, and then there’s what Caps GM George McPhee told the Globe and Mail about any talks he’s had with the Canucks.

“We have not had one conversation about goaltending,” McPhee said. “And on TV they’re talking about what prospect I’m going to give up. Well, I could never take [Luongo’s] contract.”

Luongo is signed through 2021-22, with a cap hit of $5.3 million. And given the Caps already have a couple of big long-term contracts on the books — Alex Ovechkin is also signed through 2020-21, and Nicklas Backstrom through 2019-20 — McPhee’s inability to add another is understandable (and believable).

So if not Luongo, the obvious follow-up question is, would McPhee be interested in Vancouver’s other goalie?

Well, even if he was, Vancouver isn’t trading Cory Schneider, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

Last week, Gillis said he hasn’t “been thinking about, thought of, or considered” trading Schneider.

Related: Luongo will start in fourth straight game

  1. mp1113 - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    GMGM is a bum

    • rsl22 - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:52 PM

      I used to defend him, but I’m starting to realize if he thinks something is a good idea, it’s probably a bad idea, and vice versa.

      He’s the 4th longest tenured GM. 2 of the 3 of ahead of him have Stanley Cups. The only time the Caps made it out of the second round was in his first year, 15 seasons ago, and I think a lot of that Cup run should be credited to Poile.

      He signed Jagr.

      In the last couple seasons, he let Semin, Vokoun, Wideman, Fleischman, and Hannan all go for nothing. He kept Neuvirth and Holtby and got rid of Varlamov.

      It’s hard to imagine anything he has actually done right.

      • jpelle82 - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:50 PM

        well stated, but lets give him credit for bringing back that #1 pick eric fehr though…full circle

      • dcfan4life - Feb 4, 2013 at 2:02 PM

        Oh it gets worse. Since the Capitals returned to anual playoff runs, Mcphee has made at least one trade every season. For all the guys we traded away, including important guys like David Steckel and Thomas Fleishman, we have gotten back nobody who stayed with the team past that season. The only 2 guys we traded for that stayed a Cap more than that one season in the last 7 are Chimera and Wideman. That means we let more guys walk for nothing that you think…

      • bcjim - Feb 4, 2013 at 2:32 PM

        “Got rid” of Varlamov for Filip Forsberg (draft) and Mike Ribeiro (the other pick was sent to Dallas). I’d do that deal 100x/100 even if Varlamov has an above average career. Which is not yet certain, though I do like him.

        I liked Hannan but there are 8 of him on any street corner.

        Wideman is a less skilled nearly as expensive Mike Green. 5/$26.5m? Pass. And they needed him at the time so they could not dump him in a trade.

        Semin..I agree should have been kept and I said as much at the time. Could be a $$ issue though. Cant afford everyone.

      • rsl22 - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:57 PM

        Forsberg hasn’t played a game in the NHL.

        Ribiero was a good trade, but that was for Eakin as well, not just a draft pick.

      • huffstet - Feb 9, 2013 at 11:32 PM

        Trading for Luongo would be awful. He’s overrated and his contract is terrible…..I would potentially never watch another caps game if they traded for him.

        The Varlamov trade was great…..he didn’t want to play for washington and he got a first round pick from a mediocre team for him.

        Signing Jagr wasn’t the problem….Jagr was the problem.

        He couldn’t have traded any of the players you mentioned and how can you justify re-signing Wideman or Vokoun. Vokoun wouldn’t have come back, Wideman was very overpaid. Not sure semin or Fleischman would have come back either, so basically he didn’t re-sign Hannan.

        That being said-Mcphee makes great moves and terrible moves and seems to keep changing his direction (Go all offense in free agency one year then all grinders the following). No idea why he signed Poti twice, Hamerlik signing was awful (Not sure if he ever plans on bringing in a solid stay at home D-man) and not sure how you can let Semin walk without replacing his scoring (Not sure if he was banking on a lockout and was planning on saving the $6 million plus in cap that they have left for next seasons stronger free agent class). The worst move he’s made recently is getting rid of a coach with the best active winning percentage.

    • valoisvipers - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:37 PM

      So in other words McPhee is calling Gillis an idiot for signing Bobby Lou’s contract. Leaves you wondering what other Gm’s think about what he said even if they agree it’s not good for your team to be trash talking other Gms as you have to make deals with them at some point in time.

      • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Feb 4, 2013 at 8:40 PM

        $9.5m cap hit for Ov over the next 8 years or $5.3 cap hit for Luongo over the next 9 years. For an added bonus, we’ll throw in a better chance at winning the SC. Do the math Mr. McPhee.

  2. jeremyroenickdanceparty - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    I’m not saying this is likely, but he can afford Luongo’s contract if he offloads Ovi or Backstrom in the deal.

    • zetaone - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:15 PM

      Leonsis would slit McPhee’s throat before that happened. Ovi anyway.

    • themohel - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:27 PM

      One main reason for Van to trade Lu is to get rid of salary for cap reasons. Taking back big salary in return defeats the purpose and leaves Van in cap difficulty.

  3. DTF31 - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    I feel as if the capitals are denying and protesting way too hard over this.

    • jpelle82 - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:38 PM

      because they are guilty of something…maybe not luongo – but i wouldnt be surprised if schneider isnt on the table for the right deal.

      • rg3isvictory - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:47 PM

        They better be guilty of something because it highly unacceptable to lose player after player with zero in return! Mike Shanahan traded fat Albert away for a 7th rounder! Everybody knew he was going to get cut and the Skins still got some value out of that debacle! I’ve been a GM apologist far too long. But Leonsis is cheap and won’t do anything about GM and he has too much riding OVI to pull the trigger on a trade. This could be a long and painful journey with GM and Leonsis. I’m just crossing my fingers that Oates helps OVI successfully play his selfish brand of hockey until the Caps seem ready to move on.

      • elvispocomo - Feb 4, 2013 at 2:10 PM

        Gillis has already said he’d consider a deal for anyone if it makes the team better. As mentioned in the article, he’s not pursuing a Schneider trade, but if someone came to him with a significant offer, he’d at least think about it.

      • huffstet - Feb 9, 2013 at 11:38 PM

        Yeah, I agree if they work a deal for a goalie it will 100% be for Schneider….uongo deal is a disaster that no team is going to take on

  4. bensawesomeness - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    He can take the contract if he uses one of those amnesty buyouts over the next summer…

    it’d essentially be a 1-year tryout, otherwise he gets bought out. Still a 30+ million paycheck but still.

    • zetaone - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:45 PM

      This isn’t NHL ’13…

    • kitshky - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:10 PM

      That whole “take on the contract and if you don’t like it just dump it next year” idea only works if the team gives up assets in relation to a one year rental and Vancouver is not giving Luongo away for nothing.

  5. steverolley - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    Caps goaltending situation is ugly.

    Can they afford not to have Luongo?

    • rsl22 - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:27 PM

      Neuvirth had a tough first game, but since then has had a .912 S% and a 2.75 GAA. His record is pretty miserable because he has had very little help from his team. The team has the 5th most minor penalties and terrible PK.

      What I’m trying to say is that Neuvirth is solid enough; the Caps are in more need of a defenseman and a scoring winger instead.

  6. mpbonaco - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    I think we are ignoring this comment “We have not had one conversation about goaltending,” So they have had conversations, just not about Goaltending. So forget goalies, if there is a trade, who will it be?

    • ikillchicken - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:32 PM

      Very interesting point. I’m not sure who the Canucks would give up. Keith Ballard seems like an obvious candidate. He’s struggled majorly in the past but has been playing really well lately. He skates and moves the puck really well but he can also be physical and fight occasionally even though he isn’t that big. His defensive play has improved a lot too. If Washington is willing to take a gamble on him I think they could easily see Ballard return to being the player he was a few years ago when Van traded for him. Mason Raymond could also be a possibility. With the emergence of Zack Kassian (which in turn shifts Burrows to the second line) Raymond becomes expendable when we’re healthy. Of course, we most certainly are not healthy. Kesler is close (maybe) but Booth is still a ways away. Until then they definitely won’t part with Raymond (and he still has value as insurance even when we are healthy).

      In either case though, I’m not sure how a trade would work in a more general sense. I really don’t see them making a trade now that makes their team worse in the short term (even if it helps in the long term). So a deal for prospects/draft picks is unlikely. It is very questionable whether we can afford to add any salary long term though. (They’re going to need to move Ballard and let Raymond go as it is after this year). So for a deal to happen I would think we would need a player who can help us now but also has a very manageable cap hit going forward.

  7. tobie1003 - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    I agree with rsl22. Goalie is not the problem, at least not nuvi.the defensemen aren’t playing d and the forwards aren’t scoring. He might want to think about getting rid of karlson. He’s been on the ice for75% of the goals given up so far this year.

  8. cspsrbums - Feb 4, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    GMGM needs to go he has ruined this team Should have never let Semin go Now they have no second line threat. Johanson can go hasn’t helped This team at all

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