Reflections from a reporter born in 1987

Archive for November 2010

Capitals trade Fleischmann to Colorado for defenseman Hannan

November 30, 2010 - 03:45 PM
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Scenes like these are now a thing of the past after Fleischmann (14) was dealt to Colorado. (Photo: Associated Press)

Update-3:45 p.m. Earlier this afternoon, the Capitals held a conference call with the newly acquired defenseman Scott Hannan, who will join the team in St. Louis ahead of tomorrow night's game against the Blues, though whether he will play remains an open question.

"I'm really excited to be going to a team in first place, and a team that has a great chance to make a run for the Stanley Cup," Hannan said.

The 31-year-old, acquired from Colorado for Tomas Fleischmann in a trade earlier this afternoon, has played a total of 775 games as an NHL defenseman, which means he has played the second-most NHL games of anyone on the Caps defensive corps (only Tom Poti, at 795 NHL games, has played more).

The Caps are en route to St. Louis tonight ahead of tomorrow's game, and Hannan said he hadn't yet heard from many of his new teammates. "I talked to Matt Hendricks [a former teammate with the Avalanche] and I had a message from Alex [Ovechkin], but I'll meet the team in St. Louis tonight. I've been packing up some stuff quick and getting ready to fly out there."

Hannan also said that he first heard about a potential trade Monday, when he was asked by the Avalanche if he'd consider waiving the no-trade clause that was a part of the 4-year, $18 million deal signed in 2007. He also discussed what he believes his role will be on the Capitals: "I don't think the game has changed that much. I've been counted on to be a defensive player who can kill penalties and play against other teams' top line ... I expect to be put in a defensive role [in Washington]. I don't think they'll change that up too much."

"We'll just see where I fit in," he added toward the end of the call.

Update- 3:15 p.m.: Here's more from McPhee: "I really don't think our defense failed us last year, either in the regular season or the playoffs. We weren't scoring in the last three games of the playoffs. But it's nice to have this kind of player who does all those little things that make a difference in a game."

"We've been talking since, I think, August, about this deal. We're in good shape [salary cap-wise]. As I've said many times, we've managed our cap really well, and that allows us to do a deal like this. [Hannan] has an expensive contract, but we have the room to do it. I think we had about $3.8 [million] of [cap] room , so there's about a $1.3 [million] difference in this trade between Flash and Hannan, so we have about $2.5 [million] of room, which at the trading deadline is [worth] about $8 million, so we're in good shape."

"[Hannan's] a physically strong guy. He doesn't run over people a lot. He will when he has to, but he's about getting position in front of the net and not letting anybody get to the front of the net for tips and rebounds, that sort of thing, and keeping all the shots to the outside."

On Hannan's no-trade clause, which he waived: "I don't like no-trade clauses. We don't have any on our team. We have a couple that kick in a few years down the road and they're limited, but ... they travel with the player in that kind of trade, so we essentially took it on in order to get the deal done."

On Fleischmann's reaction to the deal: "He was really good. He's a great kid with great character. We've never had one issue with Flash. He's always come to play. He's a great organizational guy, good teammate, and had nothing but good things to say to us. Flash is a good player. He's not playing as well as he can right now, but he will. He'll pick it up again. He's helped get us where we are. He was a big part of the turnaround."

Update-2:30 p.m. Here's what Capitals General Manager George McPhee had to say about the trade this afternoon:

"[Hannan's] got lots of playoff experience and he's played in the league a long time. He's got as much, or more experience on the blue line than anybody on our club with the exception of Tom Poti. He's at a point in his career where he's been in the league a long time and wants to win a [Stanley] Cup. And I think he completes our defense. We're really happy with the way our defense has been playing, but to add one more guy like this helps. Our defense moves the puck pretty well, we can generate offense from back there, but to have one more shutdown guy that can block shots and do all the little things that make a difference, we felt was important to add."

The Capitals have set up a conference call with Hannan that will begin momentarily. Will give you some quotes from that ASAP.

Original Story: The Washington Capitals have just confirmed that they have traded forward Tomas Fleischmann to the Colorado Avalanche for defenseman Scott Hannan. The news was first reported by Bob McKenzie of TSN in Canada.

According to team officials, Hannan will join the Capitals in time for tomorrow night's game at the St. Louis Blues (8:00 p.m.) and will wear the number 23.

Fleischmann participated in practice this morning at the Kettler Iceplex, and news of the trade did not break until after the locker room had been closed to the media and head coach Bruce Boudreau had finished his daily meeting with the press.

The trade is expected to provide some needed defensive insurance for the Capitals, who have had to deal with injuries to defensemen Mike Green, Tom Poti, and Tyler Sloan at various points this year. The 31-year-old Hannan is in the final year of a four-year, $18 million contract with the Avalanche, which he signed in the summer of 2007. Prior to playing his three-plus years in Colorado, the native of Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, spent the first eight seasons of his NHL career with the San Jose Sharks.

This season, Hannan has played 23 games for the Avalance, recording six assists and an overall +1. He has played at least 71 games in each of his 11 professional seasons.

The 26-year-old Fleischmann, acquired by the Capitals in a 2004 trade with the Detroit Red Wings, has recorded four goals and six assists so far this season, though he has not scored a goal since a 5-4 shootout win over the Toronto Maple Leafs November 3. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent at season's end.

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Maryland's Friedgen named ACC Coach of the Year; O'Brien ACC ROY

November 30, 2010 - 02:15 PM
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Maryland head football coach Ralph Friedgen has been named the ACC Coach of the Year for the second time.

Friedgen received 29 votes for the award, which was voted on by 61 members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer placed second in the poll with 19 votes. Tom O'Brien of North Carolina State and Jimbo Fisher of Florida State each received six first place votes, while one ballot was left blank.

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United make it official; name Ben Olsen seventh head coach in team history

November 29, 2010 - 12:51 PM
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As first reported by The Washington Post yesterday, former D.C. United midfielder Ben Olsen has been officially unveiled as the seventh head coach in the history of the MLS club. Olsen, who served as an interim head coach for the club's final 12 games of the 2010 MLS season, was introduced to the media by United President Kevin Payne and general manager Dave Kasper at a press conference this morning at RFK Stadium.

 

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Redskins-Vikings Turning Point: Favre puts on his running shoes

November 28, 2010 - 10:25 PM
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Brett Favre made the biggest play of Sunday's game with his legs, not with his arm. (Photo: Jay Westcott)

How does a 41-year-old quarterback playing with a surgically repaired ankle and a hurting right shoulder manage to run for the most crucial ten yards of the season? The Redskins found out much too late Sunday afternoon, and by the time they did, Brett Favre had sealed a 17-13 victory for the Minnesota Vikings and dealt a body blow to the Washington Redskins' playoff chances. It's my turning point of the game and it comes at the 2:16 mark of this video.

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Report: Ben Olsen likely to be named new head coach of D.C. United

November 28, 2010 - 07:20 PM
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Steven Goff of The Washington Post is reporting that D.C. United interim coach Ben Olsen will be named the club's new head coach. D.C. United has called a press conference at RFK Stadium tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. to officially announce the appointment of a new head coach, but has not officially commented on Goff's report.

Olsen took over as United's interim head coach after 18 games of the 2010 season, when former head coach Curt Onalfo was fired. At the time, United had a record of 3-12-3 en route to their worst season ever in MLS play. With Olsen as interim head coach, United limped to a record of 3-8-1 to close the season.

Two days after the final game of the season, a 3-2 loss to Toronto FC on October 23, Goff asked D.C. United President Kevin Payne about Olsen's potential as a future head coach. Here's what Payne said to Goff:

"I don't think [Olsen]'s ready ... [but] I am sure he will learn a great deal over the next couple of years. I fully expect Ben will be our head coach someday." 

Immediately following the Toronto match, I asked Olsen if he would be interested in managing another MLS team if the job came up. "I have a contract with D.C. United," was Olsen's reply. 

A midfielder, Olsen played for D.C. United for his entire professional career, which lasted from 1998-2009. During his career, United won two MLS Cups (1999, 2004), one U.S. Open Cup (2008), and two MLS Supporters' Shields (2006, 2007). All told, Olsen made 221 regular season MLS appearances for United, and scored 29 goals. 

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Redskins-Vikings: Sunday Superlatives

November 28, 2010 - 03:50 PM
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Chris Cooley and the Redskins started well, but things went downhill from there (Photo: Associated Press)

That was a bit of a nightmare, wasn't it? Not only did Brett Favre not give the Redskins the game with his arm, but he actually gained the clinching first down with his legs. Not a superlative day for the Redskins by any stretch, but the Sunday Superlatives are still after the jump, anyway.

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Redskins-Vikings: TBD's pre- and postgame coverage

November 28, 2010 - 11:30 AM
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Good morning from FedEx Field, where the Washington Redskins will look to close Thanksgiving weekend on a high note and pull themselves back into the NFC playoff race with a victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

We here at TBD will have our usual smorgasbord of football coverage this Sunday. Let's begin with the big news of the weekend, in case you missed it: the Redskins have cut veteran wide receiver Joey Galloway and promoted rookie wide receiver Terrence Austin from the practice squad. My colleague Mike Jones had that story yesterday, and he's also got all the latest injury information. After you're done with that, bone up on your pregame knowledge with Mike's fast facts, key matchups, and five things to watch. For a more complete breakdown of the Vikings, check out my ever-popular "Know Thy Foe" feature. Also, Dan Daly tries to put Brett Favre's performance this season in historical context, and finds it's not all that bad.

During the game, you can chime in on our live Redskins chat, and keep up with the action from FedEx Field with Mike's running recap over at TBD Skins. After the game, Mike will have his postgame thoughts in the "4th-and-1" feature, while I'll have my Sunday Superlatives and Turning Point piece at the Chamberlain blog.

Enjoy your leftovers, and enjoy the game, everyone. And remember, for the best Redskins coverage, lock in TBD.com. 

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Howard and McGee a match between proven and potential

November 28, 2010 - 02:10 AM
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Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic had the last laugh over JaVale McGee and the Wizards Saturday night. (Photo: Associated Press)

Since Dwight Howard came into the NBA at age 18, drafted by the Orlando Magic as the first overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, he has been a nightmare for his opposition to deal with. On looks alone, Howard is the platonic ideal of the modern NBA center: 6 feet, 11 inches, 240 pounds of muscle, and a talent for succulent dunks and emphatic blocked shots

JaVale McGee, drafted with the 18th overall pick of the 2008 NBA Draft, is not quite the physical specimen that Howard is, but he's not a bad model to build off of: 7 feet exactly, 237 pounds, and that same talent for succulent dunks and emphatic blocked shots.

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Howard's putback dooms Wizards to second straight loss

November 27, 2010 - 09:40 PM
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Howard prepares to shoot the winning shot Saturday night. (Photo: Associated Press)

Dwight Howard scored 32 points, including a putback of a Jameer Nelson miss with 4.3 seconds left, to send the Washington Wizards a heartbreaking 100-99 loss against his Orlando Magic Saturday night at the Verizon Center. Gilbert Arenas answered with 31 points for the Wizards, but his runner from the left side of the lane bounced off the rim at the final buzzer.

The Wizards were playing yet another game without point guard John Wall-- who sat out this game with a sore left leg -- and another loss to the Magic (who beat the Wizards 112-83 in the season opener October 28 in Orlando) appeared a near-certainty as the visitors led throughout the first half and took a 55-43 lead into the halftime break.

But the Wizards' shooting came to life in the third quarter, as they shot 9-for-17 (52.9%) from the field and gained their first lead of the game, 64-63 on a pair of Arenas foul shots with 5:18 left in the period. The Magic led 74-72 after three quarters, but the fourth belonged to Nick Young, who went 6-for-8 with 14 points as the Wizards took a 95-91 lead with 2:13 remaining. But the Wizards couldn't hold the lead, and a Howard hook shot with 26 seconds left gave Orlando a 98-97 lead. Arenas answered with a runner to the left of the lane with 13 seconds remaining to give Washington a 99-98 lead and set the stage for Howard's late heroics.

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Caps not quite perfect, but come close enough in big win

November 26, 2010 - 08:45 PM
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This time, the Washington Capitals didn't give up a thing. There were no three minutes of madness, no blown leads, no skin-of-their-teeth or quick-of-their-nails cliffhangers. Just a dominating 6-0 home win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, who figure to challenge Washington for Southeast Division supremacy right down to the season's final days.

"I don't know if that was a perfect game," Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau said, "but it was as good as we've played all year."

In addition to outscoring the Lightning 6-0, Washington outshot Tampa Bay 29-17, outhit them 22-13, shut down the Lightning power play (fourth-best in the league coming in to the game, 0-for-5 Friday night), and generally played like a team that will be contending for the division, conference, and league titles.

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Semin hat-trick fires Caps to victory in holiday special

November 26, 2010 - 07:40 PM
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Semin celebrates his hat trick in tonight's 6-0 Capitals win (Photo: Associated Press)

The 18,398 who filed into the Verizon Center for this afternoon's Thanksgiving Friday Southeast Division showdown were expecting a high-scoring, closely contested affair on the order of what happened the last time the Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning met in Washington.

Instead, the rematch was no match at all, as the Capitals used a natural hat trick from Alexander Semin and a four-goal second period to light up the Lightning, 6-0. The result vaulted Washington back into first place in the Eastern Conference by a point over the Philadelphia Flyers--who lost to Calgary in a shootout earlier in the day--and moved Washington six points clear of Tampa Bay while also snapping the Lightning's five-game losing streak.

The game was very much in the balance after one period of play, with Washington leading 1-0 on a John Carlson blast from the right point at 3:09.

But the floodgates burst wide open in the second period, beginning with a point shot by John Erskine that deflected off Tampa Bay starting goalkeeper Mike Smith and barely rolled over the line at 4:38 of the second to make it 2-0 to Washington.

Then, the Alexander Semin show began, as the Caps' other Russian superstar scored three goals in a span of 4:29. First, he finished off a 2-on-1 rush by one-timing a pass from Swedish rookie center Marcus Johansson (who had two assists himself on the evening) past Smith to make it 3-0 at 6:52 of the second. Then, with Mattias Ritola in the box for tripping, Semin parked himself to the right of Smith's crease, took a pass from Nicklas Backstrom, and fired home to make it 4-0 at 8:56. That goal prompted Tampa Bay head coach Guy Boucher to pull Smith in favor of backup Dan Ellis. The move had little effect, as with 17 seconds left in a two-man advantage, Semin went to the same spot by the net, took another pass from Backstrom, and completed his hat trick at 11:21.

The second period ended 5-0 to Washington, and though the laws of the NHL required the completion of a full 60 minutes, the remainder of the contest was very much academic. Tom Poti added a sixth goal at 14:46 of the third period to account for the final score.

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Know thy foe: Minnesota Vikings

November 26, 2010 - 12:00 PM
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Lock up your ... well, I think you know where we're going with this (Photo: Associated Press)

All right, everyone, hands up if you thought before the season that the Vikings would have a worse record than the Redskins by two full games heading into Sunday afternoon's encounter at FedEx Field.

(Waits ...)

No, I didn't think there would be many of you. But regardless of Minnesota's struggles, the Vikings possess more than enough talent on both sides of the ball to give the Redskins fits. So, without further ado, allow me to jolt you from your tryptophan coma and get you to know thy foe.

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D.C. United trades for McCarty, loses Graye to Portland

November 24, 2010 - 04:55 PM
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McCarty, seen here prior to Sunday's MLS Cup final, will trade red, white, and blue for red and black this season. (Photo: Associated Press)

UPDATE- 5:00 p.m. D.C. United have just announced that they've acquired midfielder Dax McCarty and allocation money from the Portland Timbers in exchange for defender Rodney Wallace and the lower of United's two fourth-round selections in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft.

McCarty was selected first overall by the Timbers in this afternoon's MLS expansion draft, which also saw the Timbers draft United defender Jordan Graye with the 9th of their 10 picks. McCarty had previously played for FC Dallas, for whom he recorded one goal and two assists in 21 regular season appearances in 2010. FC Dallas's season culminated with Sunday night's MLS Cup final, which they lost 2-1 to the Colorado Rapids after extra time.

McCarty has played for Dallas ever since he was selected by the club with the sixth overall pick in the 2006 SuperDraft. In all, McCarty had made 93 regular season appearances for FC Dallas, scoring five goals and recording 17 assists. 

"Dax McCarty is one of our league's top midfielders, and we are pleased to welcome him to D.C. United," General Manager Dave Kasper said in a statement. "Dax has proven his abilities within MLS and we look forward to having him here in Washington."

The other party in the deal, Rodney Wallace, saw his 2010 season, his second with United, cut short as he fractured his left fibula in a June 5 game against Real Salt Lake. He underwent surgery to fix the fracture, but saw no more action this past season. In his 11 games for United in 2010, Wallace recorded two assists, one shot on goal, and two yellow cards.

Original Story: Yesterday, I reported on the list of players that D.C. United had left unprotected for today's MLS Expansion Draft. United was eligible to lose a maximum of two players from the unprotected list of 12 submitted to MLS (a list that included out-of-contract forwards Danny Allsopp and Jaime Moreno). I predicted yesterday that two of Jordan Graye, Adam Cristman, or Kurt Morsink were likely to be taken in today's draft and my prediction proved half-right.

Today, the expansion Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps made their selections, and only one D.C. United player, defender Jordan Graye, was taken. Graye was selected with Portland's 9th pick in the expansion draft, which was the 17th of 20 overall selections. Following Graye's selection, United moved Morsink onto the protected roster, but this turned out to be irrelevant.

"We are disappointed to have lost Jordan in the expansion draft," United General Manager Dave Kasper said in a statement. "He is a good young player with a bright future and we wish him the best of luck in Portland."

Graye, a native of Washington D.C. who played his college soccer at the University of North Carolina, was taken by United with the 55th overall pick in the 2010 MLS Superdraft. Prior to playing in Chapel Hill, Graye was with the D.C. United Academy, playing for the U-14, U-15, U-16, and U-20 teams. The 23-year-old Graye played 1,668 minutes in 20 appearances for D.C. United last season, recording three shots on goal, committing 10 fouls and receiving one yellow card.

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Albert Haynesworth discusses Turkey Day, and his role in the 3-4

November 24, 2010 - 01:35 PM
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For those of you who missed last night's edition of SportsTalk on TBD TV, hosted by Parker and Parker, you missed a treat as our intrepid hosts spoke to Redskins defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth. During his interview, Haynesworth discussed his acceptance of not starting in Jim Haslett's new 3-4 defense, as well as his plans for Thanksgiving.

Give the whole thing a look, it's really worth your time:

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With two overtime games, the Wizards have found their match in the Sixers

November 24, 2010 - 02:10 AM
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Wall, McGee, and the Wizards showed toughness, spirit, and determination in last night's overtime win over Philadelphia (Photo: Associated Press)

Wizards head coach Flip Saunders hit the nail on the head Tuesday night when he was asked how it happened that his Washington Wizards and Doug Collins's Philadelphia 76ers had played two tense overtime games in their first two meetings of the season, with both games involving fourth quarter comebacks by the Wizards, both games coming down to the final shot, and both games ultimately being won by Washington, the one just completed by the score of 116-114.

"I think," Saunders said, "in some ways it's because we are so similar."

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Young's late three-pointer nets an OT win for the Wizards

November 23, 2010 - 10:04 PM
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Another night, another overtime thriller against the Philadelphia 76ers. And as in the home opener on November 2, the Wizards got the better of their Eastern Conference rivals, as Nick Young's 3-pointer with 7.6 seconds remaining in the extra period gave the Wizards a 116-114 overtime win.

Young's clutch shot came at the end of a back-and-forth five minutes of basketball which saw the lead change hands five times. A Gilbert Arenas three-pointer and an Andray Blatche jump shot gave the Wizards leads of 111-110 and 113-112 respectively, while an Even Turner jumper put Philadelphia up 112-111 and Thaddeus Young's tip-in gave the Sixers a 114-113 lead with 14.6 seconds left and set up Young's heroics.

The Wizards, after trailing by 14 points at halftime, and by 15 points in the fourth quarter, showed great guile to force overtime at all. It appeared that their best chance at extending the game had gone when Nick Young's potential game-tying three-pointer fell short with 8.5 seconds remaining and the score 106-103 to Philadelphia. But Evan Turner missed two foul shots and Jrue Holiday inexplicably fouled John Wall 40 feet from the basket in the act of shooting. Wall made all three free throws with 3.5 seconds remaining to tie the game at 106-106 and force overtime.

Extending the game would not have been possible without a fantastic effort from JaVale McGee, who recorded career highs in points and rebounds with 24 and 18, respectively. Meanwhile, Wall, making his return to the Wizards from the bench after missing Washington's previous four games with foot and ankle problems, added 25 points and six assists in the win. Young (19 points), Andray Blatche (17 points, 12 rebounds), and Gilbert Arenas (17 points, 7 assists) joined Wall in double figures.

For Philadelphia, Andre Igoudala led their scorers with 23 points to go with 11 rebounds, but only scored four points in the fourth quarter and none in overtime. Elton Brand added 19 points, but only scored two points in the second half and was ejected with 3:31 left in the fourth quarter after committing a category 2 flagrant foul on McGee. Turner (11 points), Holiday (10 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds), Andres Nocioni (11 points, including a 3-for-3 night from beyond the 3-point arc), Marreese Speights (16 points), and Thaddeus Young (15 points) also put up double digit scoring numbers.

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D.C. United make 12 players available for MLS expansion draft

November 23, 2010 - 03:40 PM
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The MLS season ended on Sunday night with Colorado defeating FC Dallas 2-1 after extra time, not that many of you noticed.

So, the first official event of the new season is the MLS expansion draft, which will be held tomorrow to fill out rosters for the two expansion teams that will begin play in MLS next season: the Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps. 

In MLS, teams can only protect 11 players on their 2010 roster (homegrown players like MLS Rookie of the Year Andy Najar, goaltender Bill Hamid, and midfielder Conor Shanowsky are automatically exempt from the expansion draft). No more than two unprotected players can be selected from any one club. United has released its unprotected list and the lucky (or unlucky) people are:

Forward Danny Allsopp, midfielder/forward Brandon Barklage, forward Adam Cristman, defender Jordan Graye, forward Pablo Hernandez, defender/midfielder Devon McTavish, forward Jaime Moreno, midfielder Kurt Morsink, defender Juan Pena, goalkeeper Troy Perkins, defender Barry Rice, and midfielder Carlos Varela.

Leaving Allsopp unprotected is a no-brainer considering the club terminated his contract last week. It had been rumored that Allsopp would return to his old club Melbourne Victory, but this report implies that the striker will want a break from the game after a solid year of nonstop action.

Of the people on this list, I'd say that the most consistent player for D.C. United this past season was Graye, who played over 1,662 minutes in 20 games for the club last season. Perkins would be an expensive (by MLS standards) get for either Vancouver or Portland, as he made $200,000 last year and is due that again this coming season. Likewise, Hernandez's big-money guaranteed contract would cost his new team more than $250,000 on an annual scale through July.

So, with that in mind, I think that if any United players are going to get plucked away, it'd be two of Graye, Cristman (2 goals in 17 appearances last season), or Morsink (1,558 minutes in 20 appearances). But we'll see what happens tomorrow afternoon.

 

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Report: Nationals offer Adam Dunn arbitration

November 23, 2010 - 01:10 PM
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Adam Dunn's free agency process is rounding third and heading for home. (Photo: Associated Press)

Bill Ladson of MLB.com is reporting that, as expected, the Nationals have offered arbitration to free-agent slugger Adam Dunn. Today was the deadline for teams to offer arbitration to their Type A and Type B free agents, thus ensuring themselves compensatory MLB draft picks should those free agents sign with another team.

Dunn is unlikely to accept the Nationals' offer of arbitration, a decision he must make by Nov. 30, as there is expected to be a bidding war for his services on the free agent market.

Dunn is officially a Type A free agent as determined by the Elias Sports Bureau, meaning that he has been officially determined to be among the the top free agent first basemen, according to these statistical criteria. Practically speaking, it means that if Dunn is signed by another team, the Nationals will gain two picks in the 2011 draft in addition to their own high first-round choice: a supplementary round pick between the first and second rounds, as well as a either a low first-round pick or a high second-round pick.

The first 18 picks in the 2011 MLB Draft are protected, meaning that if a team with a protected draft pick signs Dunn, the Nationals will receive their supplementary round and second-round picks as compensation. The teams with protected first round picks (in addition to the Nationals, who have the sixth overall pick) are: Pittsburgh, Seattle, Arizona, Baltimore, Kansas City, San Diego, Chicago Cubs, Houston, Milwaukee, New York Mets, Florida, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels, and Detroit. It should be noted here that Arizona (3rd and 7th overall) and Milwaukee (12th and 14th overall) have two protected first round picks as compensation for their failure to sign previous first round picks, while Padres have one unprotected pick and one protected pick (9th and 25th overall)

If Dunn signs to a team with an unprotected first round pick (Oakland, Colorado, Toronto, St. Louis, Chicago White Sox, Boston, Texas, Atlanta, Cincinnati, San Francisco, New York Yankees, Minnesota,  Tampa Bay, or Philadelphia) then the Nationals would receive that team's first round pick as compensation. Either way, it should be interesting as the hot stove heats up.

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Wizards Notes: Wizards bring back Alonzo Gee, waive Lester Hudson

November 22, 2010 - 04:40 PM
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The Wizards said good-bye to Hudson by waiving him this morning. (Photo: Associated Press)

In a surprising move, the Washington Wizards announced today that they have signed Alonzo Gee, a former Wizards swingman who was waived by the San Antonio Spurs last week. In order to make the move, the Wizards waived point guard Lester Hudson.

Hudson, a 2009 draft pick of the Boston Celtics who was signed as a free agent by the Wizards this past September on a non-guaranteed contract, saw limited playing time for Washington this season, recording just 27 minutes in 6 games, totaling two points, six assists, a rebound, a steal and three turnovers.

"They called me in for a meeting at 10:00 and practice [today] was at 1:00," said Hudson, who spoke to reporters after today's practice at the Verizon Center. "'So, I had a feeling it was going to be something."

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Brad Childress fired six days before Vikings come to FedEx Field

November 22, 2010 - 12:51 PM
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Christmas came early for this guy. (Photo: Associated Press)

Remember seven days ago, when the Redskins had just been blown out at home and were the biggest mess in the National Football League? Well, lest you ever forget how quickly things can change in the NFL, the Minnesota Vikings, last year's NFC runner-up, fired head coach Brad Childress today.

Jay Glazer of FOX Sports had it first, and here's what he had to say:

[T]hings went sour quickly, as the Vikings lost three of their first four games. Then, at Childress’ behest, the team acquired embattled receiver Randy Moss, then, only weeks later, Childress released Moss without consulting owner Zygi Wilf. It was then that Childress’ job security appeared at its most tenuous.

The firing comes one day after the Vikings were embarrassed by the Green Bay Packers 31-3, their second loss in a row.

Childress also had a increasingly combative relationship with likely Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre, who signed with the Vikings as a free agent before the 2009 season.

The Vikings circus (with defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier as ringmaster)  sets up its big top at FedEx Field Sunday afternoon, and the Redskins would be wise to not get complacent. After all, the last time an NFC team fired its coach midway through the season with a tough road game coming up, this happened. And that was just a couple of weeks ago.

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