We've got contract news!
Tomas Fleischmann has been re-signed to a two year extension, bumping his salary up from the current league minimum to about $725,000 a year and giving some security to a guy who came into camp without a contract.
Thoughts? I think it's a great deal. There are a lot of people around here (myself included) who have questioned Fleischmann's role on this team and his potential to be what he's supposed to be - a consistent scorer and top six candidate. He's even earned himself a not-so-nice nickname here in the Cheap Seats that unfortunately cannot be printed in a family friendly blog.
Sufficed to say, that nickname has since become more of a term of endearment than a knock on his playing ability (much to the confusion of anyone who sits around me at games) and he's slowly starting to win me over. His timing and finish are still a little off but he's made some fantastic plays recently that show glimpses of the player he can be. Flash is exactly that - he's flashy, and when he finally finds his game he's going to be an entertaining player to watch for sure.
The biggest knock against him before was that he just wasn't physical enough. Too much stickhandling, taking a nanosecond too long to shoot, getting knocked off the puck much too easily...but in the last month or two he's really started to step it up a bit, and while it doesn't always show on the scoresheet it's at least a marked improvement on the ice.
A two-year deal at this amount of money is ideal for someone like Flash. It gives him time to prove that he belongs in the lineup as Fehr starts to find his stride and Clark (hopefully) returns, and at a rate that isn't going to break the bank. If he performs, he's a bargain; if not, it's a contract that is easily moved if necessary. Good deal all around.
The media blitz around the Caps continues, with mega-newsmongers USA Today and the New York Times paying our little team (and some Russian kid) a bit of attention. I like what Ted had to say about it all, though - "come back and see us when we make the playoffs". I agree. It makes all of us a little nervous to be the center of attention when there are still 20+ games to go...I think we can get used to it, though.
Oh, and newsflash - Ovechkin is MVP-worthy.