Player News - Capitals

Date: Team: Pos:

John Carlson has been impressed by coach Barry Trotz.

He got to speak with Trotz and Washington's new coaching staff over the summer and they are all back together this week as training camp approaches. "Very detailed from what I've heard, from the summer camp to what he wants to carry over and stuff like that," Carlson said of Trotz. "He's very good with that, very directional, very detailed. I think our team could use a lot of that." Carlson is also excited by off-season acquisitions Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik, who are expected to add leadership and depth to Washington's back end. Their presence may take some pressure off of Carlson and ease his workload.
Aug 28 - 3:06 PM

Despite rumors, it doesn't appear as though Dustin Penner will be attending Philadelphia's training camp on a tryout basis.

Penner is an unrestricted free agent after spending the 2014-15 campaign with Anaheim and Washington. He generated 14 goals and 35 points in 67 contests.
Aug 27 - 4:02 PM

Alex Ovechkin could get off to a slow start in 2014-15 while he adapts to the way coach Barry Trotz wants him to play.

Trotz is expected to make Ovechkin take shorter shifts and to remove the "glide" from the sharpshooter's game. If Ovechkin buys into those practices then it will limit the amount of goals against that he's on the ice for because he'll be better rested and more engaged in the play. If he's trying to take pucks from the opposition and forcing turnovers then he will get more opportunities offensively. It would also help make him a more complete player. Ovechkin posted the third-worst plus-minus rating in the league last year at minus-35, but he led the league with 51 goals and finished eighth with 79 points in 78 games.
Aug 22 - 11:52 AM

Brooks Orpik responded to reactions that he was overpaid by Washington in free agency.

"Whether you make the minimum or $9 million a year, there’s always going to be people that think you’re overpaid," Orpik said in a phone interview Tuesday. "You're always aware of that. Washington, I think they know me well enough, so they know what they're getting." Coach Barry Trotz is excited about the intangibles that Orpik will bring to the team's back end. He was signed to a five-year, $27.5 million contract on the first day of free agency.
Aug 21 - 1:57 PM

FedEx Field has reportedly been ruled out as a possible destination for the 2015 Winter Classic, as the Washington Redskins will host the Dallas Cowboys there on Dec. 28 and officials will not have enough time to flip the field into an ice rink.

That leaves Nationals Park, the city's baseball field, as the leading candidate to host the event on Jan 1, 2015. RFK Stadium, home of the D.C. United MLS team is also in the mix, as well as a few far-fetched ideas of holding the game at the National Mall, Camden Yards or M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens. The Caps will host the Blackhawks in the annual spectacle, wherever it may be held.
Aug 17 - 12:26 PM

Washington first round pick Jakub Vrana will very likely represent the Czech Republic at the World Junior Hockey Championships in Canada this winter.

Vrana was the youngest player in last year's tournament and he followed up that appearance by being selected as the 13th overall pick by the Caps in this year's draft. His offensive numbers in the Swedish Elite League weren't all that impressive in 2013-14, but he possesses an immense amount of potential.
Aug 10 - 11:44 AM

Capitals defensive prospect Madison Bowey has his sights set on playing for Team Canada at this year's World Junior Hockey Championships.

Chosen in the second round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, this will be Bowey's last opportunity to make the under-20 squad in the tournament, which will be held in Canada this year. "That’s been my goal for the last few years and this year I definitely want to prove that I could be on that team," Bowey said. "I guess I was pretty close but I just didn’t cut it [in past years]. It’s one of the hardest teams to make when you’re a Canadian and you’re a young guy, so it’s definitely a big goal for myself and I want to try to prove in that camp that I can be there." The Kelowna Rockets rearguard is a gifted offensive talent and could find himself quarterbacking the Capitals power play a few years down the road.
Aug 10 - 11:40 AM

There's a chance that Brooks Laich will skate on the top line with Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin.

Coach Barry Trotz has hinted at using Laich in key situations. The versatile forward feels ready to contribute after being sidelined by groin issues for the past two seasons. If he's healthy then he's capable of posting 40-50 points. Keep an eye on how he performs at training camp.
Aug 8 - 10:27 AM

Tom Wilson may not be available for the start of the preseason due to a fractured left fibula that he suffered in a fall near his home in Toronto in late June.

However, he's expected to be ready to go when the regular season begins. Washington GM Brian MacLellan wants Wilson to get more ice time than he got under former coach Adam Oates last season. New bench boss Barry Trotz might give Wilson spot duty on the second line or play him on the power play to give him boosts in playing time.
Aug 7 - 2:43 PM

Braden Holtby appreciates that the Capitals have shown confidence in him during the off-season and he intends to prove himself this season.

"It's nice to have some confidence in you to start. But I always know in the past, and obviously the last few years, you're only as good as the game you start next," he said. "It's nice to have confidence in me that they believe in what I can do, and I do as well, but once we get on the ice, I want to fight for every game I can play and make sure that confidence is in the right place and it's up to me to find it." The coaching staff tried to change his style last year and he didn't adjust well to the moves. Holtby was better at the end of the season, but it was hectic year with Philipp Grubauer, Jaroslav Halak and Michal Neuvirth contesting for playing time. Washington appears to be more stable now with Holby as the starter and Justin Peters or Grubauer as the backup. Holtby feels he learned a lot from "an exhausting season" and he's excited for this campaign to get going. He could be an undervalued netminder to keep in mind on draft day.
Aug 6 - 11:19 AM

Winkler, Manitoba product Dustin Penner may be an option for the Winnipeg Jets.

It's believed the Jets would like bring in a top-nine forward to replace fellow free agent Devin Setoguchi, who struggled mightily during his only season in Winnipeg. Penner is still on the market after posting 14 goals and 21 assists in 67 games between Anaheim and Washington.
Aug 6 - 9:25 AM

Washington coach Barry Trotz wants his defensemen to rush the puck up the ice.

He encouraged his blueliners to do the same in Nashville and the Predators ranked first in the league in goals by defensemen last season with 52. Washington was tied for 15th with a total of 32. A unit that includes Matt Niskanen, John Carlson and Mike Green should be capable of more than that.
Source: NHL.com
Aug 4 - 5:38 PM

Brooks Laich feels "completely healthy" following two seasons of groin problems.

He is slated to resume skating on Monday and he's looking forward to getting back to playing without the fear of pain or injury. "Now when I step on the ice I feel completely free as opposed to very limited, like the last two years," he told NHL.com. He underwent surgery in mid-March to release a tight adductor muscle after he appeared in 51 contests. Laich is a versatile forward for the Capitals and coach Barry Trotz wants him at 100 percent going into the year.
Source: NHL.com
Aug 4 - 11:42 AM

Provided he can recover fully from his ankle injury, Capitals forward Tom Wilson could be a surprising source of offense this season.

Wilson managed just 10 points in 82 games last year, but his pedigree suggests he has more offensive upside, something new coach Barry Trotz believes he can help to deliver. After discussing his hopes for Evgeny Kuznetsov in the coming year, Trotz stated "...I’m hoping a guy like Wilson will be ready to do a lot of the heavy lifting and Kuznetsov can use his high skillset to make things happen." His high PIM totals make Wilson an intriguing rotisserie option in deeper formats.
Aug 2 - 12:47 PM

New Washington coach Barry Trotz reiterated this week that he sees Evgeny Kuznetsov as a center going forward.

Kuznetsov spent a bit of time on the wing under Adam Oates, but Trotz envisions him solely up the middle and believes he can be an asset to the team in the right situation. "I’m going to play [Kuznetsov] in the middle right through, and if you get some people who are pretty hard-driving guys on his wing he could be a great fit," Trotz said. Despite Trotz's reputation as a defensive-minded head coach, his arrival could lead to a breakout for the young Russian.
Aug 2 - 10:06 AM


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