A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Caps ink Cassels

The Washington Capitals have finally done something else. This time, I kinda like what they're doing. They picked up center Andrew Cassels, signing him for one year at an undisclosed amount.

Cassels, who is 36, is still able to put up some respectable numbers. His best season was 1992-93, when he tallied 85 points (21/64) for the Hartford Whalers. That season was not unusual in that his assist total was three times that of his goals. With few exceptions, that has been the case every year. His career totals are 720 points on 200 goals and 520 assists. I'm still not sure who (other than Ovechkin) he will have to pass to, but he should have some decent numbers this year.

Cassels was actually part of one of the biggest trades in Hartford/Carolina history. During the summer before the Canes inaugural season, he and J-S Giguerre were traded to the Flames for Gary Roberts and Trevor Kidd.

With a VERY limited budget, this might be about all the Caps can do. According to owner Ted Leonsis, they want to spend $25M this year. He, along with Canes owner Peter Karmanos thinks two things. First, that his team will qualify for revenue sharing, allowing the team to break even or possibly turn a profit. Without the revenue sharing, there's no way. Second, that the league-wide cap will have to be lowered next season. In respect to this, he and Karmonos are preparing themselves to be in a situation where they can actually spend money next year while other teams are frantically trying to shed contracts. It's brilliant strategy, but it will take some time and patience for it to pay off. You can read Leonsis' letter to fans here.
One thing I find laughable is when he attempts to quell fans' frustration over the Jagr-for-Anson Carter (and subsequent Carter-for-Aulin) trade. He states, correctly, that there's no way the Caps could have afforded to keep him around, and they would have had to buy out the contract, losing $ and getting nothing in return.
If we would have kept Jaromir Jagr, we would have had to buy him out by writing him a bigger check than we currently do and we would have received nothing in return. We now have Jared Aulin in our organization as a result of the Jagr trade.

Where he's gone a little screwy, though, is that they could have done much better with their negotiating skills. Agreeing to pay half of Jagr's salary was more idiotic than getting Carter in return for him. Then the crack-smoking continued when they gave up Carter for Aulin, who is still barely more than a prospect.

This is freakin' brilliant, though.

And as a final gesture to display our gratitude for purchasing season tickets, I'm happy to announce that this year's season-ticket holder gift is a replica Caps CCM jersey.

For the record, Canes season ticket holders get a drawing of a player. They make it sound nicer by calling it a "limited edition lithograph". I've never collected mine.

Jaromir Jagr - age 33
career totals: 1027 GP 537 G 772 A 1309 TP 699 PIM

Anson Carter - age 31
career totals: 529 GP 158 G 180 A 338 TP 170 PIM

Jared Aulin age 23
career totals 17 GP 2 G 2 A 4 TP 0 PIM

You see the progression? Plus, they're still paying half of Jagr's salary! Unbelievable. What's next, I wonder. Trading Aulin for a couple of rolls of tape?

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