Sunday, March 18, 2007

Ask FS! 3/18/07

Welcome back loyal readers! It's time once again for the only advice column that climbed the great pyramid, it's "Ask FS!" Today's question comes from Alexander in NY. Alexander asks,
Since Ted has stated that he is willing to spend money on FA's this summer, why not bring back Peter Bondra.

We could use him to mentor the young guys on the 3rd line.
Thanks for the question Alexander, but I'm going to have to disagree with you in every single way possible. While there are certainly many Caps fans that love Peter Bondra, there are many of us that are absolutely fed up with him and the way he treated the fan base coming out of the lockout.

For those of you unaware, the Caps General Manager George McPhee made an offer coming out of the lockout to Bondra for 1 year, $750,000+ incentives. After about 12 hours of free agency, McPhee double the offer to 1 year, $150,000 + more incentives than before, without prompting from Bondra's agent. Several days later, Bondra's agent went to the local media complaining about the offer from the Caps, in an attempt to get a better deal. Both the Washington Post and Washington times ran large articles about the Caps low balling Bondra. The only problem is that the numbers used were NOT the most recent offer from the Caps. Throughout the summer rumours of ongoing negotiations floated, while Bondra continued to publicly complain that he wasn't taking a hometown discount to stay with the Capitals. Rich Winter claimed that he had better offers on the table from the Rangers, the Maple Leafs and the Red Wings, and that Bondra wanted the Caps to match their offers so Peter could finish his career with the Caps. The Caps countered by adding a plush front office position to Bondra's contract that Bondra could assume upon his retirement. The Wings, Rangers and Maple Leafs all denied that they had offers to Bondra. Bondra still refused the Capitals offer. Eventually Bondra signed with one of the Capitals biggest divisional rivals in Atlanta for far less guaranteed money, and no post-career front office job. Last summer when Bondra was a free agent again, Caps owner Ted Leonsis was asked about the possibility of reacquiring Bondra. Ted informed the fan that the Capitals organization has moved on.

Some fans are irate at the way Bondra attempted to use their loyalty to him to try to get more money out of the company. Some are even more irate that his agent lied to the fans about offers from other team. In the end, the fans are most mad about the fact that Bondra's agent lied to the press about how much money the Caps had offered Bondra, who then signed with another organization for even less money than what Bondra's agent considered an "insulting offer" from the Caps.

Putting aside all this, what does Peter Bondra have to teach a 3rd/4th line player? Bondra was a top line player, and his skill set is so diminished that he would have a hard time making the lineup many nights. Bondra was a healthy scratch for Chicago on more than one occasion this year. The Blackhawks aren't any deeper up front than the Capitals. The Washington Capitals organization does not want Peter Bondra back. Peter Bondra made it abundantly clear through his actions that he does not want to come back to the Capitals. Many (but certainly not all) Capitals fans do not want to see Peter Bondra back again either. He has almost nothing left in the tank, and has very little to offer to any organization in the NHL at this point.


Anonymous said...

It is impossible that you be so irresponsible in what you write for the general public to read. You wrote what you read and heard from the press. First,I can tell you firsthand that PB was disappointed over the procedure that the Caps used to trade him to Ottawa, second he wanted to come back to the Caps and told GM and TL that he would sign for a discounted value off of market value, third, he did have several offers and only asked that the Caps come close to them, which they chose not to. I do agree with you that neither party should have negotiated in the press. As for his level of play diminishing - he didn't look too bad in the Olympics last year, and has played all this year with a severe injury. He is a first class family man and terrific influence to his team. Judging by this years team, money spent, results and attendance, it would seem that signing him would only have been a benefit. Wouldn't it be great to have had him score his 500th goal here - which he wanted to do. In my opinion it was another, of many, poor moves made by GM.

FS said...

There's one flaw in that argument. Bondra signed with a division rival for less money. Bondra was NOT waiting for an offer from the Caps to come close. The Caps made their offer, and Bondra chose to go with another team for less money. These are factual happenings, there is no debating them.

As far as irresponsible writing, at least my name and email address are both out there, "Anonymous."

Meghann said...

Despite all the drama, I would have loved to see Bondra end his career as a Cap, and get his 500th here.

Anonymous said...

Bondra is past it.

One can never forget how the Leafs shut him down in the playoffs when he was traded to that other team in Ontario.

Bondra should hang up the skates while he still can.

As far as I'm concerned he didn't do shit for the Caps when it counted. Pivonka carried his ass much of his career in Washington, and he was a total non-factor in the Finals against the Wings.