Yesterday, I was able to participate in the conference call with newly signed Karl Alzner and General Manager George McPhee. It was a call short on time, but not on content.
I asked Karl if the team had expressed their expectations of where he might play this fall — Calgary, Hershey, or Washington. He told us that conversation had not taken place. He plans to arrive at camp in the best shape of his life and give it everything he has. We wants to make a good impression and stay with the Caps.
When asked about what part of his game needs work, he replied that it would be his offensive game. He doesn’t think he’s good enough on the offensive blue line. He mentioned Mike Green’s play and how he wants to be more like Mike and less like Karl.
George McPhee spoke for the second half and put one question to rest. Karl will not return to juniors. George said he has nothing left to prove at that level. I asked George if a spot on the Caps is Karl’s to loose or if he has to have an outstanding camp to make the team.
“I don’t know how to characterize it properly other than to say if he comes to camp and if he is good enough to play here and make us a better team, then he will play. If he is a month away or three months away, then he’ll play in Hershey until he is ready to make us better. We’re completely open-minded. This is a good team now and we like where we are going, but we’ll make room for someone who will make us better. We expect that he can make us better.”
George was asked about the health of several Caps. Brian Pothier is still showing symptoms, but improving. They will keep an eye on his condition and come September, “if he can play, he’ll play and if he can’t, he won’t but it will be his decision.” Michael Nylander was cleared to play on the 5th of May and considered playing in the World Championships, but decided to skip the tournament and return healthy next year. Chris Clark has made good progress and expected to be ready to go in time for camp.
A transcript was not available, but Corey Masisak typed up his notes that captured the majority of the call. His notes were much better than mine, but that’s why he’s a pro.