Player News - Capitals

Date: Team: Pos:

Evgeny Kuznetsov doesn't agree with people who think the Capitals are a bad team.

Washington has won back-to-back Presidents' Trophies, but they've failed to reach the conference final in the Alex Ovechkin era. "I don't like when people say we're a bad team right now," Kuznetsov said. "That's bull to me. It's not about the names. It's about the guys when they come together." The Capitals have lost some key players like Marcus Johansson, Justin Williams and Nate Schmidt, but they also managed to re-sign Kuznetsov to an eight-year, $62.4 million deal. They should remain one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference and in the entire NHL.
Source: NHL.com
Aug 15 - 4:38 PM

Nicklas Backstrom still hasn't gotten over Washington's Game 7 loss to Pittsburgh in the second round of the playoffs.

The Caps found themselves down 3-1 in the best-of-seven series against the rivals, but they managed to fight back to tie the series at three. Unfortunately, things didn't end well for them in that do-or-die game. "I think that when it comes to the playoffs it shouldn't be about individuals," Backstrom said. "It should be about the team and how we lose as a team. How we acted in Game 7, I think that's telling everything. They absolutely outplayed us in Game 7 at home. That shouldn't be the case."
Source: NHL.com
Aug 14 - 5:12 PM

It's unclear where Ilya Samsonov will play in 2018-19 after his current KHL contract expires.

Samsonov has one more season left on his deal, so he could come to North America as soon as this spring. On the other hand, the Capitals prospect may ink an extension to remain in Russia. Samsonov has a chance to be Braden Holtby's backup or he might spend some time in the minors. He said he is OK with playing in the AHL if it comes to that, which is a good sign for Washington. Still, there is usually some uncertainty when it comes to Russian prospects playing at home and the Capitals will likely have to be patient before they get an answer.
Aug 11 - 4:12 PM

Alex Ovechkin remains hopeful that he will get the opportunity to represent Russia at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Ovechkin told Russia's Sport-Express that there have been no changes in his status and he hasn't spoken to other NHLers about their intentions for the Olympics. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman does not expect any of the league's players to participate in the tournament. Ovechkin and other NHLers might be barred from going, but there hasn't been any talk about what the repercussions could be.
Aug 7 - 12:45 PM

Madison Bowey could be ready for the jump to the NHL in 2017-18.

"He looks like an NHLer," Hershey coach Troy Mann said. "He's got that demeanor out there. He has that size and the physical tools to play at the NHL level. Certainly his consistency is something we've worked on the last two seasons." Bowey skated in just 34 games for the Bears last season, as he missed a large chunk of the year because of a lacerated ankle tendon, but he played well when he was healthy. The 22-year-old blueliner will compete with Christian Djoos, Aaron Ness, Tyler Lewington and Lucas Johansen for a roster spot at training camp.
Jul 30 - 3:05 PM

Nathan Walker could become the first Australian to play in an NHL game this season.

Walker has a chance to claim a roster spot out of training camp on the fourth line. He had 11 goals and 23 points in 58 games with the Hershey Bears of the AHL last year. Walker also plays with an edge and described himself as a "pest."
Jul 30 - 9:20 AM

Hershey coach Troy Mann feels Christian Djoos can make the jump to the NHL this campaign.

"I think that Djoos is a perfect candidate when you start looking at the [openings on] defense," Mann said. "No. 1, he's a great puck mover. You've really got to come to a hockey game and watch him from up top to appreciate his skill set, and his ability to break pucks out. I think the NHL in the last couple of years has certainly gone in a different direction. I don't think you can have too many puck movers on your team, and certainly that's something he can do." Mann added that Djoos' lack of size is unlikely to be an issue because of the defenseman's high hockey IQ and his ability to avoid the forecheck. Djoos amassed 13 goals and 45 assists in 66 minor-league games last season. He doesn't have any NHL experience yet, but that could change in 2017-18.
Jul 28 - 11:25 AM

Washington GM Brian MacLellan is confident that Lucas Johansen will be a strong contributor at the NHL level.

"I really like Lucas Johansen, and whether it's now or six months from now or a year from now, I think he's going to be a factor," MacLellan said. There is a chance he could earn a roster spot with the Capitals out of training camp. If Johansen doesn't make the team then he could be one of the first call-ups in 2017-18 if Washington needs a defenseman.
Jul 26 - 2:07 PM

Tom Gilbert has signed a one-year contract with the Nuremberg Ice Tigers of the German league.

Gilbert had a goal and five points in 18 games with Los Angeles in 2016-17. The 34-year-old defenseman is a veteran of 655 career NHL contests.
Source: NBC Sports
Jul 22 - 2:06 PM

Kelly Zajac has inked a one-year contract with the AHL's Hershey Bears.

The Bears are affiliated with the Washington Capitals. Zajac, 29, played primarily in the ECHL last season, scoring 13 goals and 52 points in 59 contests at that level.
Jul 14 - 8:15 PM

Stanislav Galiev has decided to sign a two-year contract with Ak Bars of the KHL.

Galiev had 21 goals and 40 points in 56 AHL contests last season. The 25-year-old has a goal and four points in 26 career NHL games.
Jul 14 - 6:32 PM

Wayne Simpson has signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Washington Capitals.

Simpson can earn $650,000 in the NHL or $140,000 at the AHL level. He had 16 goals and 49 points in 76 AHL contests in 2016-17. The 27-year-old is unlikely to play in the NHL next season.
Jul 12 - 5:40 PM

Shane Gersich had a strong showing in the Capitals' rookie camp.

He was one of our best players if not the best player at camp," Capitals GM Brian MacLellan said in a conference call with reporters Monday. "Really happy about the way he's progressed and where we picked him. I think Ross Mahoney did a great job with that pick." Washington drafted Gersich with the 134th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. He broke out last season though with 21 goals and 37 points in 40 games as a sophomore with the University of North Dakota. Gersich is looking like a potential steal, but he plans to stay in college for his junior season so he won't be signing an entry-level contract in the near future.
Jul 10 - 4:59 AM

The Washington Capitals are betting on the idea that Devante Smith-Pelly can bounce back.

Smith-Pelly had a lot of upside at one point, but the 25-year-old hasn't developed as hoped and ended up with just four goals and nine points in 53 games with New Jersey las season. The Devils decided to buy out the final season of his two-year, $2.6 million contract, which led to Washington signing him to a two-way contract. "I think there's some untapped potential," Capitals GM Brian MacLellan said to reporters in a conference call Monday. "I think maybe conditioning played a factor in some of it. I think we're going to work with him to see if we can get a little bit of that back and create a player that we can use." It's an awfully low-risk gamble for Washington and one that might pay off nicely.
Jul 9 - 5:23 AM

Travis Boyd has agreed to a one-year, two-way contract.

Boyd can earn $650,000 at the NHL level or $115,000 in the minors. The 23-year-old forward had 16 goals and 63 points in 76 AHL contests in 2016-17.
Source: NHL.com
Jul 6 - 3:46 PM


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