Kukla's Korner Hockey
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have re-signed defenseman Dmitry Orlov to a one-year, $2.57 million contract, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
Orlov, 25, registered 29 points (eight goals, 21 assists) in 82 games with the Capitals last season. The 5’11”, 212-pound defenseman played in all 82 games in 2015-16 for the first time in his career after missing the 2014-15 season due to injury. Orlov set career highs in goals, assists, points, plus/minus (+8) and game-winning goals (3) last season and ranked tied for first among Capitals defensemen in goals and third in assists and points. He tallied an assist in his 200th NHL/Capitals game on April 9 at St. Louis and earned two assists and was plus-4 against New Jersey on Feb. 20. Orlov extended his career-long points streak to four games with his third career multi-point game (1g, 1a) on Nov. 25 against Winnipeg. He has earned 60 points (14 goals, 46 assists) in 201 career NHL games with the Capitals and was drafted by Washington in the second round, 55th overall, in the 2009 NHL Draft. Orlov was the 20th defenseman selected in 2009 and ranks tied for ninth in assists, 10th in points, 11th in games played and tied for 12th in goals among defenseman in the 2009 NHL Draft class.
from Eric McErlain (a blast from the past name) at Medium,
On an unseasonably warm night last January, Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals winger, prolific scorer, hockey Rorschach test, Canadian media whipping boy, the most dangerous Russian living in America since Philip and Elizabeth Jennings and the only love our nation’s capital and Moscow have in common, joyously answered questions during an on-ice post-game interview.
Earlier that evening, he scored the 500th and 501st goals of his spectacular career against the Senators, becoming the 43rd player in the history of the league, but only the first Russian-born NHLer to reach that milestone.
Watching him answer with his trademark gap-toothed smile brought me back to his rookie season when I spoke with him a few days before his first NHL game. On an AOL Sports podcast, Ovechkin struggled mightily with his English as he answered my question about which NHL defenseman he thought would present the greatest challenge (Montreal’s Andrei Markov). He soldiered on through the interview, answering as best he could and embracing the challenge with the same bulldog attitude that’s become one of the trademarks of his game.
The young and promising Ovechkin of that interview has given way to a gregarious, albeit battle-scarred Ovi, his trophy case filled to the point of near bursting, a tangible manifestation of his glory to date.
via Pierre LeBrun tweets,
I asked Ovechkin twice, the 2nd time to be sure, and he said his plan would be to play in South Korea 2018 regardless if NHL there or not
And to be clear, Ovechkin wasn't militant about it. Just answered the question matter of factly. He loves playing in the Olympics
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have re-signed forward Marcus Johansson to a three-year, $13.75 million contract, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. Johansson will earn $4.25 million in 2016-17 and $4.75 million in 2017-18 and 2018-19.
from Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post,
With arbitration hearings in the NHL being rare occurrences, Washington Capitals forward Marcus Johansson appears poised to enter the unique process. Players or teams have filed for arbitration 307 times since 2006, but a hearing has been needed just 42 times, according to generalfanager.com, as a deal between player and team is usually reached before the mediation is needed.
Johansson was one of three players last summer who was awarded his contract through an arbitration, and if he and the Capitals don’t negotiate a deal prior to his July 20 hearing, he’ll become the first player since 2006 (as far back as the arbitration tracker goes) to go through the process twice. With both sides still apart on terms less than a week before the hearing, it seems likely that Johansson’s next contract will again be determined by an arbitrator, barring an 11th-hour settlement.
General Manager Brian MacLellan “and I have tried quite a few times to see if we can talk about something longer term,” said Johansson’s agent, J.P. Barry. “We really haven’t been successful on any attempts of sort of a longer-term negotiation. It could be just be the cap and different views of what’s going. So then obviously, we have to turn around and deal with our arbitration case.”
added 4:19pm, Release is below...
Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals has captured his first Vezina Trophy, awarded to the “goalkeeper adjudged to be the best at his position,” as selected by NHL General Managers. Prior to 1981-82, the Vezina was awarded to the goaltender(s) whose team allowed the fewest goals during the regular season, the current criterion for the William Jennings Trophy.
Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz has captured the Jack Adams Award as “the NHL coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team’s success,” as selected by the NHL Broadcasters’ Association.
from Isabelle Khurshudyan of The Washington Post,
“I’m pretty content with the core,” MacLellan said Monday. “I think the ninth, 10th forward are where we’re going to look to improve.”
The Capitals won’t have room to do much else, and the success of the regular season shouldn’t be completely ignored either. Just three players are unrestricted free agents: forwards Jason Chimera and Mike Richards and defenseman Mike Weber. MacLellan said he’ll prioritize re-signing the team’s four restricted free agents — Marcus Johansson, Dmitry Orlov, Tom Wilson and Michael Latta — before considering whether the unrestricted ones have a place next season.
But in identifying how a largely successful team needs to improve, MacLellan pointed to the bottom half of the forward corps as needing “a little work,” specifically in becoming more offensively reliable.
“You know, we’ve talked about it: It’s turned into a top-nine league,” MacLellan said. “I don’t know that we had a pure top nine. Maybe we had a top eight or a top seven-and-a-half or however you want to value that, but I think we were a little short on the top nine.
“I think you need two-way guys, guys who can play both ways. Ideally for us, I think we need some offense out of it.”
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
What happens next for this Caps squad will be interesting, as it always is. Some fans will lobby for Washington to blow up its roster, similar to the way many St. Louis Blues fans felt a year ago after their team made yet another first-round exit. But like the Blues of a year ago, Washington would be wise to consider the manner in which St. Louis GM Doug Armstrong tackled last offseason, making important moves like the T.J. Oshie-for-Troy Brouwer trade, but resisting making sweeping changes or blowing up the core. He chose to believe once more in what he had, and his team came back for another try.
It's what I believe Caps GM Brian MacLellan should do. Make some moves, yes, but not drop a grenade on the whole thing. "There's no way I would blow them up," said a rival Eastern Conference hockey executive. "You don't do that to a 120-point team. But I do think they need more team speed. That showed itself against Pittsburgh."
For starters, the blueline was exposed by the Penguins' speed in this series. After the top three of John Carlson, Matt Niskanen and Karl Alzner, this is a blue-line corps that thins out in a hurry. This is the area I would try to seriously upgrade this summer.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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