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If There's A Parade To Be Had, Rest Assured That Dave Fay Will Rain On It

Dave Fay - who had famously claimed that Nicklas Backstrom would not be coming to North America for the 2007-08 season - can't let a positive moment slip by without getting in a shot or two.

In his latest article, entitled "Capitals' Rebuilding Begins" (hey, Dave, that started three-plus years ago, no?), Fay offers his thoughts on the Caps' newest player:

Backstrom, rookie of the year a season ago for Brynas in the adult Swedish Elite League, is said to be a smart, highly skilled playmaker with exceptional hockey sense and an excellent skater who is adept defensively.

He lacks only one thing the Caps were looking for in their search for a quality center: He is not right-handed. The club wants a pivot who can maximize the potential of left wings Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin, and a right-hander might be better suited.

Note that Backstrom is not a smart, highly-skilled player, he's merely "said to be" that. But rather than dwell on unsubstantiated positives, Fay points out what Backstrom lacks (and, for the record, rightwing Brett Hull did fine taking feeds from right-handed Adam Oates, to name just one example of a duo who managed to succeed despite the awful handicap of having the scorer on the passer's backhand side).

Sure it's a little thing, but enough already, Dave. Backstrom's not going to walk on water, turn water into wine or pop every kernel in a bag of microwave popcorn without burning any of it either, but that doesn't mean he won't be a top flight second- (potentially first-) line center. Even with that crippling negative you noted, I'll take the positives that Nick is "said to" possess - you can have the right-handed Jiri Novotny.