Perseverance And Measured Enthusiasm

In case you missed it, former Cap goaltending prospect Maxime Ouellet signed a deal with the New York Islanders late last month and will try to work his way back to the NHL, starting with a stint in AHL Bridgeport.

Ouellet was the second goalie taken in his draft class (Nashville took Brian Finley sixth overall), but has seen action in only a dozen NHL games and found himself playing in Germany last year. He actually had a couple of very solid years with the Portland Pirates when he was a member of the Caps' organization, but his game went downhill from there and in December of 2005 the Caps traded him to Vancouver for a fifth round pick.

So good luck to Max, and if his story shows us nothing else, it's to have cautious optimism regarding young goalie prospects. After all, Ouellet was taken with the 22nd pick in the 1999 Entry Draft - one spot ahead of where the Caps took Simeon Varlamov in 2006.

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