TSN just reminded me that Tomas Kaberle’s no-trade clause kicks in this weekend.
The Caps are publicly saying (in the Post) that Jose Theodore will be their No.1 goaltender. It is not surprising that they are saying this. But in the end it won’t be factual. His large contract makes the team say this stuff and it also makes coach Boudreau play him a lot. The job is his to lose and always has been. To me, that has never been in question. However, he’s bound to fail and Varlamov will be the starter. By the end of the season, Varlamov will have more starts. Will it be a lot more starts? I think so, but perhaps not. If the Caps start the year 0-3, Varlamov will take over right away. If the Caps start off 10-7 despite Theo’s goaltending, perhaps they will ride him a little longer. But you know that when it counts, such as the postseason, that the Caps will in no way, shape or form, trust their fortunes in Theodore. And for those of you who point to his Hart and Vezina trophies, I will point to the fact that over the last four seasons his SP is well under .900. An ECHL call-up could do better. It’s politics – the Caps need to publicly put their faith in Theodore to maximize the odds of him playing reasonably well. Just like they need to publicly state that Michal Neuvirth will also compete for the backup job. He’s an elite prospect and needs to have that hope to remain happy. And who knows? Varlamov has had some injury problems in the past, so Neuvirth will need all the confidence and support he can get, if he wants to be ready for that occasion.