Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Zubie-Doobie-Doo...

I fear I have been neglecting my ladies of greatness...so I had every intention of coming on yesterday and posting something witty and urbane. And then the rain came.

I was sitting at work, listening to the NHL Network's deadline show while *ahem* working. Suddenly I heard 'Washington Capitals'. Then I heard 'Dainius Zubrus'. Then 'Buffalo Sabres'. I almost cried. (Almost only because I was sitting at my desk and there was no way to explain why I was crying without sounding like a total lunatic.)

We knew it could happen. An unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, the Caps needed to lock up Zubrus with an extension or trade him in order to get something in return. But in my naivete I thought they would get something done. Even as reports came out that the two sides remained far apart on the terms, I believed Zubie would never leave the team.

I'm not really sure how much people outside of DC know about Zubrus, so I'll give you a quick rundown. Zubie came to DC along with Trevor Linden in a deadline deal back in 2000 that sent Richard Zednik and Jan Bulis to Montreal. He took a while to settle in, but he made a bit of noise and performed reasonably well.

Then came that day back in November of 2005 when Hanlon paired Zubie up with Alex Ovechkin and Chris Clark for the first time. And the rest, as they say, is history. Zubrus switched from wing to center and became the guy responsible for setting up Ovechkin - not a bad gig. He set career marks in goals (23), assists (34), points (57) and PIMs (181...although we don't need to focus on that one). This season he is poised to shatter every single one of those marks, with 52 points in 11 fewer games.

Off the ice his value has arguably been even higher. He has played the role of mentor on the team, first to Ovechkin and more recently to Alexander Semin. Being the only Russian speaking player on the team, he has served as translator and guide for both Alexes as they made the transition from Russia to the NHL and has done an amazing job. His place as a leader on the team was cemented when he was given one of the A's.

*Sigh*. I don't really have a point. I'm just sad. I know we're all in the same boat right now - a lot of us have lost those beloved players to other teams and I've read and sympathized with all of you as you've poured your hearts out here. I doubt I'm alone in hating the trade deadline. I just don't handle change well.

So to Heather B. and Paige, our Buffalo gals, I say this - take good care of my Zubie. Treat him well, make sure he's happy, cheer him on. And most of all, tell him I miss him and love him...and I want him back.

Oh, I guess I should answer this week's discussion topic - well, now that Zubrus plays for Buffalo I guess I can say him, but I'll also throw Vinny Lecavalier in there.

Not that he needs my help...the boy likes to score on the Caps. A lot.

7 comments:

Paige said...

I'm sorry for your loss, but on the other hand- yay me! It's great to hear that he'll be a useful contribution. I also love Russians, both Afinogenov (my boy!) and Kalinin speak Russian too.

hockeygirl said...

but I'll also throw Vinny Lecavalier in there.

That's random, but I do too - you'll be happy to know my others include your Ovie and Semin.

Heather B. said...

Darcy said he called Max and asked him how he felt about Zubie (I guess they've played on the international level) and Max was totally stoked about playing with him and said he thought he'd be a great fit with the other guys. So I'm excited.

Eventually I'm going to actually post on this, I think, but Vinny's definitely on my list as well.

Margee said...

I'm sorry you lost Zubie. It sounds like Ovie will miss him too.

And HG, the phrase "Your Ovie and Semin" look so dirty at first glance. Awesome.

Sherry said...

I can't say I'm experiencing the same sense of loss as the other ladies are as my GM did, oh, I don't know...nothing.

But I think this is a great chance for Zubrus. He really is a dynamic player and has developed nicely. Going to Buffalo is a nice chance for him to go on a Cup run. He's UFA at the end of the season right? There's a chance he can sign back with the Caps in the summer.

Paige said...

Heather- Yea, him and Max are friends, but he also knows Dmitri Kalinin and Jason Pominville. Pommer is from the same home town as Zubie's fiance, so I hear they participate in pick-up games in summer. I wish pick-up games around here included some of the NHL's best!

I like him already. He's been friends with my fave, Maxim, for 5 years, and he just sounds happy and thankful to be here, and have a real running for the cup.

CapsChick said...

Can't blame him for being happy - the Caps are headed for another top five draft pick and Buffalo is poised to make a good run at the Cup this year.

Oh, wait, I'm a Caps fan. I can blame him. DAMN YOU ZUBIE! (Just kidding...*sigh*...I miss him already)