Player News - Capitals

Date: Team: Pos:

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

New Washington head coach Barry Trotz admits he was very impressed by Andre Burakovsky at the team's development camp.

Playing center for the first time in his career, Trotz called his performance "outstanding" and didn't rule out the possibility of Burakovsky competing with Marcus Johansson and Evgeny Kuzentsov for the second-line pivot's role. "I’m going to let them play it out," Trotz said. "We’re going to try to get the best three up the middle in terms of the people who are really good at distributing the puck and making things happen from the middle of the ice." Feel free to pencil in the young forward as a potential sleeper for the coming season.
Aug 2 - 7:54 AM

Unrestricted free agent Matt Watkins will play in Austria after signing a one-year deal with the Vienna Capitals.

Watkins was on one-year, two-way deals for three straight campaigns. He had 10 goals and 27 points in 73 AHL contests in 2013-14.
Jul 27 - 10:41 AM

Defenseman David Kolomatis is leaving the Washington Capitals' organization and is going to Finland after accepting a one-year contract with Tappara in Finland.

In the past season, which was his fifth full AHL season and first with Hershey after joining the Washington organization on a one-year, two-way deal, Kolomatis collected 30 points in 61 games, with 23 assists, both career-highs. He had previously spent four seasons with the Manchester Monarchs, the affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings. A former fifth-round draft pick in 2009, Kolomatis spent three seasons with the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack before being promoted to the AHL. He has never played in an NHL game. .
Jul 27 - 10:35 AM

Joel Ward figures the Washington Capitals will need to spend more time studying away from the ice next season since Barry Trotz has taken over as their coach.

"On ice, I expect us to be a lot more detailed, I think," Ward told CSN Washington on Saturday. "You'll get a sense of that right away; there might be some homework at times." Ward expects those assignments will pay off. The forward played his first full NHL season under Trotz with the Nashville Predators in 2008-09. The 35 points (17 goals) Ward scored that season were his career high until he put up 49 (24 goals) for the Capitals last season. Trotz was hired May 26 to replace Adam Oates after Washington failed to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2007.
Source: NHL.com
Jul 27 - 9:24 AM


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