Tag Archive | "capitals"

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Capitals select five players on day two of NHL Entry Draft

Posted on 29 June 2014 by WNST Staff

ARLINGTON, VA. – The Washington Capitals selected goaltender Vitek Vanecek (39th overall), left wing Nathan Walker (89th overall), forward Shane Gersich (134th overall), right wing Steven Spinner (159th overall), and right wing Kevin Elgestal (194th overall) on the second day of the 2014 NHL Draft, held Saturday at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

Vanecek, 18, posted two shutouts, a 2.64 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage in 38 games with Billi Tygri Liberec of the Czech Republic’s under-20 league during the 2013-14 season. The 6’0”, 180-pound goaltender represented the Czech Republic at the 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship, posting a 4-2-0 record with a 2.74 goals-against average and a .897 save percentage to help lead the Czech Republic to a silver medal. Vanecek also represented the Czech Republic at the 2013 World Junior A Challenge in Canada and the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial at the World Junior A Challenge and posted a 2.61 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage to help the Czech Republic win a bronze medal at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial. The Havlickuv Brod, Czech Republic, native was ranked eighth overall among European goaltenders by NHL Central Scouting.

Walker, 20, registered 11 points (five goals, six assists) and 40 penalty minutes in 43 games with the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL) in 2013-14.  The 5’9”, 185-pound left wing represented Australia at the 2011 IIHF World Championship Division II tournament and at the 2012 World Championship Division 1 Group B tournament. Walker registered six points (four goals, two assists) and four penalty minutes in four games at the 2011 tournament and was named Australia’s best player by the tournament’s coaches. During the 2012-13 season, Walker recorded 27 points (seven goals, 20 assists) and 63 penalty minutes in 29 games with the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL.

Gersich, 17, recorded 16 points (eight goals, eight assists) and four penalty minutes in 26 games with the U.S. National Under-18 Team of the USHL in 2013-14. The Chaska, Minn., ranked sixth on the team in goals and eighth in points last season. In 2012-13, Gersich scored one goal in six games with the Omaha Lancers of the USHL. The 5’10”, 165-pound forward has committed to play at the University of North Dakota in 2015-16.

Spinner, 18, earned 39 points (17 goals, 22 assists) and 42 penalty minutes in 25 games with Eden Prarie High School in Minnesota during the 2013-14 season. The 5’11”, 192-pound right wing was ranked 96th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting. Spinner has committed to play at the University of Nebraska-Omaha in 2015-16.

Elgestal, 18, registered 35 points (13 goals, 22 assists) and 34 penalty minutes in 44 games with Frolunda of the J20 SuperElit in 2013-14. The 6’0”, 172-pound right wing represented Sweden at the 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship and 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial, recording three points (one goal, two assists) and 27 penalty minutes in seven games at the U18 World Championship and two goals in four games at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial. Elgestal was ranked 51st overall among European skaters by NHL Central Scouting.

The Capitals also acquired goaltender Edward Pasquale and the 159th selection in the 2014 NHL Draft in exchange from the Winnipeg Jets for the 164th and 192nd pick in the 2014 NHL draft and a seventh-round selection in the 2015 NHL Draft. Pasquale, 23, posted a 17-13-1 record with one shutout, a 2.43 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage for the St. John’s IceCaps of the AHL in 2013-14. In 136 career AHL games, Pasquale has registered a 66-59-7 record with 10 shutouts, a 2.63 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage.


NHL.COM PROSPECT PAGES

Vrana: http://www.nhl.com/ice/draftprospectdetail.htm?dpid=72641

Vitek: http://www.nhl.com/ice/draftprospectdetail.htm?dpid=86201

Walker: http://www.nhl.com/ice/draftprospectdetail.htm?dpid=11093

Gersich: http://www.nhl.com/ice/draftprospectdetail.htm?dpid=85823

Spinner: http://www.nhl.com/ice/draftprospectdetail.htm?dpid=84759

Elgestal: http://www.nhl.com/ice/draftprospectdetail.htm?dpid=86196

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Capitals select Vrana in first round of NHL Entry Draft

Posted on 28 June 2014 by WNST Staff

ARLINGTON, VA. – The Washington Capitals selected forward Jakub Vrana with the 13th overall selection in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft on Friday at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

Vrana, 18, was ranked fourth overall among European skaters by NHL Central Scouting. The Prague, Czech Republic, native spent the 2013-14 season with Linkoping of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) and split the season between the senior team and junior team. Vrana registered three points (two goals, one assists) and two penalty minutes in 24 games with the senior team and collected 25 points (14 goals, 11 assists) and 26 penalty minutes in 24 games with Linkoping’s junior club.

Vrana has represented the Czech Republic at the World Junior Championship twice (2013, 2014) and at the Under-18 World Championships three times (2012, 2013, 2014). He led the Czech Republic in scoring at the 2012 and 2014 Under-18 World Championships and ranked first in goals (8) and third in points (10) among all skaters at 2014 tournament, including the overtime winner in the quarterfinal as the Czech Republic captured a silver medal. At the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial, Vrana earned four points (three goals, one assist), including a goal and assist in the bronze-medal game to lead the Czech Republic to victory. It was the country’s first top-three finish at the tournament, which they co-host, since 2005.

 

NHL.COM PROSPECT PAGE

Vrana: http://www.nhl.com/ice/draftprospectdetail.htm?cat=2&dpid=72641&sort=finalRank&year=2014

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Lambert rejoins Trotz as assistant coach for Capitals

Posted on 27 June 2014 by WNST Staff

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 27, 2014

ARLINGTON, VA. – The Washington Capitals have named Lane Lambert assistant coach, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.

Lambert, 49, spent the previous three seasons as an assistant coach with the Nashville Predators. Lambert was responsible for the team’s forwards and penalty kill. In his first season with the Predators in 2011-12, Lambert helped guide Nashville to the NHL’s fifth-best record during the regular season and finish among the top 10 in goals, goals against and penalty kill efficiency.

Prior to joining the Predator’s coaching staff, Lambert served as head coach of the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League (AHL) from 2007-11. Lambert led the club to a 178-103-39 record, the sixth-most wins in the AHL in that span, while giving up the second-fewest goals (821) in the league. Milwaukee posted 40-or-more wins and 90-or-more points all four seasons under Lambert, making them the first team in AHL history to reach those marks in eight consecutive campaigns. In addition to four straight Calder Cup playoff berths, Lambert helped the Admirals capture a pair of West Division titles and post the Western Conference’s highest point total in 2010-11 (102 pts, 44-22-14 record). He also captured a division title in 2008-09 when he led the team to a 49-22-9 record, tying for the most points (107) in the AHL. The win total tied a club record since the team joined the AHL for the 2001-02 campaign.

Prior to joining the Admirals as an assistant coach in 2006-07, the Melfort, Saskatchewan, native spent one season as an assistant for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the New York Islanders’ AHL affiliate. Lambert started his coaching career in the Western Hockey League, spending parts of two seasons as head coach of the Prince George Cougars (2003-05) and parts of two campaigns as an assistant for the Moose Jaw Warriors (2002-04).

Lambert was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in the second round, 25th overall, in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft. He finished his NHL career with 125 points (58 goals, 67 assists) and 521 penalty minutes in 283 games with Detroit, the New York Rangers and Quebec from 1983-89. Lambert enjoyed his most successful NHL campaign with the Nordiques in 1987-88, recording career-highs in points (41) and assists (28) in 61 contests. Lambert won an AHL Calder Cup title with Adirondack in 1986 and helped the Houston Aeros claim the IHL’s Turner Cup championship in 1999.

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This #WNSTSweet16 is “streaking” toward the heat of summer

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This #WNSTSweet16 is “streaking” toward the heat of summer

Posted on 24 June 2014 by Luke Jones

This week’s #WNSTSweet16 deals with the all-time greatest streaks in local sports history, ranging from personal accomplishments to team-wide feats at the professional and amateur levels.

More than a few readers and listeners suggested the Orioles’ astonishing 21-game losing streak to begin the 1988 season and the Washington Capitals’ NHL record 17 straight losses in their inaugural season of 1974-75, but this list will focus on the positive — even if both of the aforementioned losing slides are quite historic. Some streaks included in the list played out over only a couple days while others lasted decades, providing plenty of room for discussion and heated debate.

Some streaks are better known than others among the 16 anointed spots, but a greater emphasis was generally placed on individual accomplishments, which explains why the top six streaks come from a single athlete rather than team accolades.

Continue to next page for No. 16

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Capitals announce 2014-2015 regular season schedule

Posted on 22 June 2014 by WNST Staff

ARLINGTON, VA. – The Washington Capitals will host the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 1 and open the season against the Montreal Canadiens at Verizon Center on Thursday, Oct. 9, the National Hockey League and Washington Capitals announced today. The game will mark the NHL’s seventh Winter Classic and Washington’s second appearance in the outdoor game. The Capitals defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 in front of 68,111 fans at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on Jan. 1, 2011.

Washington is 24-15-5-1 all-time at home against Chicago, including a 4-0 win over the Blackhawks on April 11 at Verizon Center. Further details on the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic including venue, ticketing information and uniform design for each team will be released in the coming months. Every Washington Capitals full-season account holder will have the opportunity to purchase tickets for the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. Details on ticket availability and pricing will be sent to full season-ticket holders when they become available.

The NHL also announced the 2014-15 regular season schedule for its 30 member clubs. The NHL will pause for the 2015 NHL All-Star Game, which will be held on Jan. 24-25 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The Capitals will host the St. Louis Blues at Verizon Center on Feb. 1, marking the eighth time in the last nine seasons and the seventh consecutive season the Capitals will host a game on Super Bowl Sunday.

Washington has four homestands of at least three games on the schedule, the longest being a five-game stretch at Verizon Center from March 5-15. The Capitals have eight stretches of at least three consecutive road games and a season-high four-game road trip from Feb. 11-17. In addition, the Capitals will have 16 sets of back-to-back games.

Nearly half of the Capitals’ 41 home games at Verizon Center fall on weekends, which includes four games on Friday, nine on Saturday and six on Sunday. The schedule features holiday home games on the day after Thanksgiving (Nov. 28 vs. NY Islanders), New Year’s Day (Jan. 1 vs. Chicago) and Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1 vs. St. Louis).

Television broadcast plans will be released at a later date. All Capitals games can be heard on Caps Radio Network (flagship stations FAN 106.7 and 1500 AM), WashingtonCaps.com and on Washington Caps mobile app.

 

HOME DATES TO REMEMBER:

  • OCT. 9 – Season opener at Verizon Center versus the Montreal Canadiens.
  • OCT. 29 – The Detroit Red Wings make their first of two visits to Verizon Center in 2014-15.
  • JAN1 – Washington hosts the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2015 Bridgestone Winter Classic.
  • JAN. 28 – The Pittsburgh Penguins make their first visit of the season to Verizon Center.
  • FEB. 1 – On Super Bowl Sunday, the St. Louis Blues make their way to D.C.
  • FEB. 3 – Washington welcomes the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings.
  • MARCH 11 – The defending Eastern Conference champion New York Rangers visit D.C. for the first time.
  • MARCH 28 – The Capitals face head coach Barry Trotz’s former team, the Nashville Predators.
  • APRIL 11 – Washington concludes the regular-season at Verizon Center against the New York Rangers.

 

OCTOBER

THU, OCT. 9           MONTREAL              7 P.M.

Sat, Oct. 11            at Boston               7 p.m.

TUE, OCT. 14         SAN JOSE               7 P.M.

THU, OCT. 16         NEW JERSEY          7 P.M.

SAT, OCT. 18          FLORIDA                  7 P.M.

Wed, Oct. 22         at Edmonton          9:30 p.m.

Sat, Oct. 25            at Calgary              10 p.m.

Sun, Oct. 26           at Vancouver          10 p.m.

WED. OCT. 29        DETROIT                  7:30 P.M.


NOVEMBER

Sat, Nov. 1             at Tampa Bay        7 p.m.

SUN, NOV. 2           PHOENIX                7 P.M.

TUE, NOV. 4           CALGARY                7 P.M.

Fri, Nov. 7             at Chicago              8:30 p.m.

SAT, NOV. 8            CAROLINA              8 P.M.

TUE, NOV. 11         COLUMBUS            7 P.M.

FRI, NOV. 14           NEW JERSEY          7 P.M.

Sat, Nov. 15           at St. Louis             8 p.m.

Tue, Nov. 18         at Phoenix             9 p.m.

Thu, Nov. 20         at Colorado            9 p.m.

SAT, NOV. 22          BUFFALO                 7 P.M.

Wed, Nov. 26        at NY Islanders      7 p.m.

FRI, NOV. 28           NY ISLANDERS        5 P.M.

Sat, Nov. 29           at Toronto             7 p.m.

 

DECEMBER

TUE, DEC. 2           VANCOUVER            7 P.M.

Thu, Dec. 4            at Carolina             7 p.m.

Sat, Dec. 6             at New Jersey         7 p.m.

Tue, Dec. 9            at Tampa Bay        7:30 p.m.

THU, DEC. 11         COLUMBUS            7 P.M.

SAT, DEC. 13          TAMPA BAY           7 P.M.

Tue, Dec. 16          at Florida               7:30 p.m.

Thu, Dec. 18          at Columbus           7 p.m.

Sat, Dec. 20           at New Jersey         7 p.m.

MON, DEC. 22        OTTAWA                 7 P.M.

Tue, Dec. 23          at NY Rangers        7 p.m.

Sat. Dec. 27           at Pittsburgh          7 p.m.

Mon, Dec. 29         at NY Islanders      7 p.m.

 

JANUARY

THU, JAN. 1           CHICAGO                1 P.M.

SUN, JAN. 4           FLORIDA                  3 P.M.

Wed, Jan. 7            at Toronto             7 p.m.

Thu, Jan. 8             at Philadelphia       7 p.m.

SAT, JAN. 10          DETROIT                  7 P.M.

MON, JAN. 12        COLORADO              7 P.M.

WED, JAN. 14        PHILADELPHIA        8 P.M.

Fri, Jan. 16             at Nashville            8 p.m.

Sat, Jan. 17            at Dallas                 8 p.m.

TUE, JAN. 20         EDMONTON             7 P.M.

Tue, Jan. 27           at Columbus           7 p.m.

WED, JAN. 28        PITTSBURGH            8 P.M.

Sat, Jan. 31            at Montreal            1 p.m.

 

FEBRUARY

SUN, FEB. 1           ST. LOUIS               1 P.M.

TUE, FEB. 3            LOS ANGELES         7 P.M.

Thu, Feb. 5            at Ottawa               7:30 p.m.

FRI, FEB. 6             ANAHEIM              7 P.M.

SUN, FEB. 8           PHILADELPHIA        3 P.M.

Wed, Feb. 11          at San Jose             10:30 p.m.

Sat, Feb. 14            at Los Angeles       10:30 p.m.

Sun, Feb. 15           at Anaheim            8 p.m.

Tue, Feb. 17           at Pittsburgh          7 p.m.

THU, FEB. 19         WINNIPEG             7 P.M.

SAT, FEB. 21          NY ISLANDERS        12:30 P.M.

Sun, Feb. 22           at Philadelphia       3 p.m.

WED, FEB. 25        PITTSBURGH            8 P.M.

Fri, Feb. 27            at Carolina             7 p.m.

 

MARCH

SUN, MARCH 1       TORONTO                 7 P.M.

Tue, March 3         at Columbus           7 p.m.

THU, MARCH 5       MINNESOTA            7 P.M.

SAT, MARCH 7        BUFFALO                 7 P.M.

WED, MARCH 11    NY RANGERS         8 P.M.

FRI, MARCH 13       DALLAS                   7 P.M.

SUN, MARCH 15     BOSTON                  TBD

Mon, March 16      at Buffalo               7 p.m.

Thu, March 19       at Minnesota          8 p.m.

Sat, March 21        at Winnipeg           7 p.m.

THU, MARCH 26     NEW JERSEY          7 P.M.

SAT, MARCH 28      NASHVILLE              12:30 P.M.

Sun, March 29        at NY Rangers        3 p.m.

TUE, MARCH 31      CAROLINA              7 P.M.


APRIL

Thu, April 2           at Montreal            7:30 p.m.

Sat, April 4            at Ottawa               7 p.m.

Sun, April 5            at Detroit               5 p.m.

WED, APRIL 8        BOSTON                  8 P.M.

SAT, APRIL 11        NY RANGERS         3 P.M.

 

All Times Eastern

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Bovada gives Capitals 33/1 odds to win 2015 Stanley Cup

Posted on 16 June 2014 by WNST Staff

Courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv, Twitter: @BovadaLV)

Odds to win the 2015 Stanley Cup

Chicago Blackhawks                             7/1

Boston Bruins                                       8/1

Los Angeles Kings                                9/1

Pittsburgh Penguins                              10/1

St. Louis Blues                                      121

Anaheim Ducks                                     14/1

San Jose Sharks                                   14/1

New York Rangers                                 16/1

Colorado Avalanche                              18/1

Minnesota Wild                                     20/1

Montreal Canadiens                               20/1

Detroit Red Wings                                 22/1

Tampa Bay Lightning                             25/1

Vancouver Canucks                               25/1

Philadelphia Flyers                                28/1

Dallas Stars                                         33/1

Toronto Maple Leafs                             33/1

Washington Capitals                              33/1

Columbus Blue Jackets                         40/1

New Jersey Devils                                 40/1

Edmonton Oilers                                   50/1

Ottawa Senators                                    50/1

Phoenix Coyotes                                   50/1

Winnipeg Jets                                       50/1

Calgary Flames                                     66/1

Carolina Hurricanes                                66/1

Nashville Predators                               66/1

New York Islanders                                66/1

Florida Panthers                                    75/1

Buffalo Sabres                                      100/1

Odds to win 2015 NBA Championship   

Miami Heat                                            3/1

Oklahoma City Thunder                          6/1

San Antonio Spurs                                6/1

Los Angeles Clippers                            9/1

Chicago Bulls                                        12/1

Indiana Pacers                                      12/1

Houston Rockets                                  16/1

Golden State Warriors                           25/1

Portland Trailblazers                              25/1

Brooklyn Nets                                       28/1

Cleveland Cavaliers                               33/1

Dallas Mavericks                                   33/1

Memphis Grizzlies                                 33/1

Washington Wizards                              33/1

Los Angeles Lakers                               40/1

New York Knicks                                   40/1

Toronto Raptors                                    40/1

Boston Celtics                                      50/1

Denver Nuggets                                    50/1

Detroit Pistons                                      50/1

New Orleans Pelicans                            50/1

Minnesota Timberwolves                        66/1

Atlanta Hawks                                       75/1

Charlotte Hornets                                  75/1

Phoenix Suns                                        75/1

Orlando Magic                                      150/1

Sacramento Kings                                 150/1

Utah Jazz                                             150/1

Milwaukee Bucks                                   200/1

Philadelphia 76ers                                 200/1

 

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Caps Off-Season Ahead, Potential Buyouts for Washington?

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Caps Off-Season Ahead, Potential Buyouts for Washington?

Posted on 13 June 2014 by Nick Dorsey

The most strenuous part of the NHL off-season was taken care of for Caps owner Ted Leonsis when he filled in the vacant positions at the top of the organization. Barry Trotz is now behind the bench and Brian MacLellan is the guy responsible for bringing players in to fill the players bench. Now that a head coach is in place along with a general manager, what is next for the Washington organization as the Stanley Cup playoffs is near conclusion?

MacLellan has already dealt away pending UFA Jaroslav Halak and re-upped the franchises deal with the AHL affiliate Hershey Bears as interim GM, but that is only the tip of the ice berg. MacLellan has a lot on his plate this off-season and his time to shine begins in the near future.

The Caps have tough decisions to make on veteran players that have been around the organization for quite some time now as the end of the Stanley Cup playoffs is on the horizon. Some of those decisions are whether to buy out any of the veteran players that are currently on the roster.

The buyout period in the NHL begins 48 hours after the Stanley Cup comes to a close. So if the Kings close out the series tonight in Los Angeles, the buyout period would begin Sunday and would come to an end on the 30th of June. When this time begins, there are a few names that come to mind that could be potential buyout candidates.

Brooks Laich is the most common name as the top buyout candidate on the Capitals roster. Laich turns 31 this month and still has three years remaining on a six-year deal he signed in 2011 under former general manager George McPhee. Since signing that deal, Laich has not been consistently in the lineup to earn the kind of payday he was given.

When the NHL lockout occurred during the 2012-13 season, Laich suffered groin injuries playing overseas that have kept him in and out of the lineup for the past few seasons. During the past two seasons, Brooks has only played 60 out of the 130 games because of his groin difficulties. In his 51 games played this last year, Laich produced 15 total points (8 G, 7 A), which is not going to cut it as a top six forward.

So the first decision to make that comes to new general manager Brian MacLellan’s table is should the Caps buyout Brooks Laich? If I were to make a decision or have a word in the discussion, my answer would be yes. Washington needs to move on from Brooks Laich and here is why.

First of all, if MacLellan decides to make this move, the following would occur. A buyout for Laich would mean the Caps would need to pay him two- thirds of his current salary with double the length. Breaking that down thanks to Capgeek.com, that would mean Washington would owe Brooks $8.33 million total over a six-year period. With the financial aspect of Laich’s buyout covered, here is why it is a good hockey move.

Paying Laich the kind of money he now currently earns warrants him to be a top six forward. Producing only 15 points per 50+ games played is not the kind of production you want out of a top six forward. So, lack of production is one reason why a Brooks Laich buyout is reasonable, but there is more.

The top six can be viewed as crowded with the current Capitals roster and having Laich still in the lineup can be seen as problematic. Washington has promising young prospects that need to see more ice time and having a crowded top six lineup can cause valuable minutes to diminish. Young players such as Evgeny Kuznetsov and Tom Wilson need to get within the top six rotation in order for them to grow and show what they can do at the highest level.

Kuznetsov showed a promising future last year in his small stint after coming over from the KHL in Russia. Tom Wilson also has shown great things over time playing amongst the third and fourth lines. Kuzy has his place in the top six already, but keeping Laich in the rotation keeps a guy like Wilson out of the six. Wilson is a physical player that is not afraid to hit or fight anyone on the ice and has shown glimpses of being a real good all around player.

With all that Wilson has shown, it is now time in the upcoming season to see what he can do within the first two lines. He needs to develop a better offensive game and surrounding him potentially with Ovechkin or Backstrom would do wonders for his development Increased ice time is the experience that Wilson needs and Laich could be preventing that from happening.

It doesn’t stop at Wilson and Kuznetsov as the Caps also have a promising prospect that could be trying to creep up into the roster for the upcoming season. Last years first round pick, Andre Burakovsky, is a player to watch out for.

Burakovsky spent his first year in the Caps organization playing for the Erie Otters. In the 57 regular season games that Andre got to play as left wing for the Otters, he recorded 87 points (41 G, 46 A). He also was productive in the 14-playoff games he played in Erie, finishing with 10 goals and 3 assists. This kind of offensive talent might need to find its way on to the major roster, especially for a team that struggled to score at even strength play on a consistent basis.

So with a crowded top six due to young and upcoming talent and a lack of production, it is time for the Caps to move on and buyout Brooks Laich. He is an aging player who has yet to prove he can stay on the ice consistently in the past few seasons. The young players need to be able to get on the ice and gain valuable experience that can bode well for the team in the future.

Another name that comes up as a potential buyout player is veteran defensemen Mike Green. Buying out Green would not be a good idea for the Caps due to their defense being the weakest unit on the team.

The Caps defensive rotation last year was a never-ending carousel with over double-digit defenders getting a chance to hit the ice. Green was not at his best throughout the season, but that is not all on him.

The top priority for MacLellan is to bring in another top four defensemen in the rotation. Adding a talented top four defensemen to pair with Green could help Green improve his play. Buying out a defender would leave another gaping hole for a unit that does not need any more holes.

Keeping Green is a necessity because not only brining in another top four-defensemen talent could rejuvenate Greens game, but also his presence in the offensive zone is imperative to this teams success. When Green is on the power play, he adds another element that many defenders on this team cannot. When Green is a threat to shoot from the point, it is another threat on the power play that helps free up Ovechkin. When Green is not on the ice, teams key on Ovechkin’s blast and prevent him from producing. The power play unit is a lot more lethal when teams have to account for Green as a potential shooter from the blue line.

So a Mike Green buyout is not a real good idea, especially when the depth at defense is an issue. Jack Hillen was hurt for almost the last season’s entirety and is still getting back to normal form. Dmitry Orlov has also sustained a wrist injury that he is still recovering from. So with defensive depth being an issue and with that limited depth in recovery mode, buying out Green should not be an option.

The first task at hand for the upcoming off-season for Brian MacLellan is coming in shortly and must be sorted out before the June 30th deadline. This is just the first of many decisions that “GMac” must make as the teams new general manager.

The logical move in my mind is for GMac to buyout Laich and keep Green. After that, the next move of interest is whether to keep Mikhail Grabovski in DC or let him walk in free agency. My thoughts on that move will come in a different column. Until then, it will be interesting to see what MacLellan decides to do once the Cup comes to a conclusion. Once the Cup is hoisted, Caps fans be alert because the time begins to tick on the buyout clock.

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Capitals trade G Halak to Islanders for draft pick

Posted on 01 May 2014 by WNST Staff

ARLINGTON, VA. – The Washington Capitals have acquired a fourth-round draft pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft from the New York Islanders in exchange for the rights to goaltender Jaroslav Halak, assistant general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. The fourth-round selection was acquired by New York from Chicago.

Halak, 28, posted a 29-13-7 record with five shutouts, a 2.25 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage in 52 games with Washington and St. Louis this season. The Bratislava, Slovakia, native was acquired by the Capitals from Buffalo with a third-round choice in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft in exchange for Michal Neuvirth and Rostislav Klesla on March 5, 2014. Halak has registered a 144-85-29 record in his career with 30 shutouts, a 2.38 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage.

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This week’s #WNSTSweet16 will get you “ice’d”

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This week’s #WNSTSweet16 will get you “ice’d”

Posted on 21 April 2014 by Glenn Clark

We’ve been doing this for nearly four months now. I think you know how it works.

We’re celebrating our 16th year as Baltimore’s sports media leader here at WNST. We’re having some fun with our own Sweet 16 by tackling some “water cooler” topics that we’ve discussed during the course of the WNST era.

Oddly enough, this is the 16th week in our 16th year and we’re tackling our 16th topic. Also odd? My favorite actress is Molly Ringwald! Would you believe that?

If you missed any of our first 15 topics, here’s a look back.

(The “Sweet 16″ is driven by our friends at Jerry’s Automotive-Jerry’s Chevrolet & Jerry’s Toyota Scion!)

Week 15: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 games we’ve been treated to
Week 14: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 Masters moments of the last 30 years
Week 13: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 greatest pro wrestling moments in Baltimore history
Week 12: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local sports goofballs/personalities
Week 11: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 local sports saints-athletes who gave back
Week 10: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 events a Baltimore sports fan must attend
Week 9: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 greatest Baltimore college basketball players
Week 8: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 Orioles who didn’t live up to the hype
Week 7: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 most underappreciated Maryland basketball players
Week 6: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 local sports “Heartbreakers”
Week 5: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local Olympic sport athletes
Week 4: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 local athletes who deserved to win a championship but didn’t
Week 3: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 local sports people who “had a dream”
Week 2: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local sports playoff moments
Week 1: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 “debuts” in local sports history

So we have to admit this didn’t really play out the way we had hoped it would up to this point. You see, when we cooked up these #WNSTSweet16 ideas we thought the Washington Capitals would be in the throws of a first round matchup in the NHL Playoffs. I mean, it’s been seven years since this has happened and all. We were pretty confident that hockey would be fresh on the minds of a number of Baltimore sports fans.

So can we just pretend like that actually happened? It will make this list a bit more relevant.

The NHL Playoffs have been GREAT thus far, with many overtimes allowing fans additional time to figure out where CNBC is on their cable package. Despite the Caps falling short of the postseason, this week’s list has a hockey twist.

Drew Forrester takes the reigns again for the #WNSTSweet16 this week, recognizing the Sweet 16 “Greatest Players in Washington Capitals history.”

You don’t necessarily HAVE to be a Caps fan to be able to get in on the fun-you simply have to have an opinion.

How does the team’s current MVP (Alex Ovechkin) rate against some of the franchise’s best ever-like Dale Hunter, Rod Langway, Yvon Labre or Mike Gartner? Where does Peter Bondra fall on this list? What about goaltenders like Olaf Kolzig or Jim Carey? Who else from the Ovechkin-era Capitals needs to be a part of the sixteen? Nicklas Backstrom? Mike Green? Alex Semin?

Drew cares about this type of stuff as much as anyone I know but he needs your help. As always, we’re not just trying to make Drew’s list, we’re trying to make something as close to an “official” list as we’re capable of.

Drew wants your ideas. Leave them here in the comments or email him via drew@wnst.net. We will be discussing the list throughout the day Monday on AM1570 WNST.net. We’d love to have you Tweet with us or discuss the topic via Facebook by using the hashtag #WNSTSweet16.

On Tuesday morning, Drew will unveil the “official” list here at WNST.net and then discuss it with Luke on “The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction” at 8am. He will then re-visit the list at 4pm Tuesday on “The Happy Hours” with Nestor Aparicio.

Consider this one final opportunity to enjoy Caps hockey for the season. And considering how things went, this will probably end up being much more enjoyable than anything else that happened during the course of the year. (As Drew and Ian Eagle might say: “It’s not a low blow, it’s just a fact.”)

This is your chance to make your voice heard. Who are the greatest players in the history of the Washington Capitals? Let Drew know!

-G

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Driesell, Weller, Kolzig to receive Hall of Fame honors

Posted on 16 April 2014 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Former Maryland basketball coaches Lefty Driesell and Chris Weller, in addition to the “Voice of the Terrapins” Johnny Holliday, have been named as part of a seven-member class in the Washington DC Sports Hall of Fame.

The honorees be honored during pregame festivities prior to the Washington Nationals series finale against the San Diego Padres on Sunday, April 27 at Nationals Park. This year, the renowned sports club will enshrine the following inductees:

o   Charles “Lefty” Driesell – Former Men’s Basketball Head Coach, University of Maryland

o   Johnny Holliday – Sports Broadcaster, Voice of Maryland football & basketball and Nats Xtra television host on MASN

o   Olaf “Olie” Kolzig – Former Goalie, Washington Capitals

o   George Solomon – Former Sports Editor, The Washington Post

o   Theodore N. Lerner – Managing Principal Owner, Washington Nationals

o   Michael Weiss – Olympic and Professional Figure Skater

o   Chris Weller – Former Women’s Head Basketball Coach, University of Maryland

These honorees were selected based on their outstanding contributions to the world of sports, thereby bringing honor and recognition to the Nation’s Capital. They will join a select group of Washington-area standout athletes and sports personalities already in the Hall of Fame, including Sammy Baugh, James Brown, Dominique Dawes, Josh Gibson, Walter Johnson, Sonny Jurgensen, Morgan Wootten, Bob Wolff and many others.

Each new inductee will receive a Washington DC Sports Hall of Fame plaque commemorating their induction during the pregame ceremony, and their names will be added to the large Hall of Fame display at Nationals Park, located on the side of Garage B facing the field.

“As a native Washingtonian, and a huge sports fan, it is a thrill to induct this new class of honorees into the Washington DC Sports Hall of Fame,” said Charlie Brotman, co-chair of the Washington DC Sports Hall of Fame and Founder/CEO of Brotman-Winter-Fried (a division of Sage Communications). “We now have more than 100 members in this exclusive club, all of whom have helped further the high standards of athletics in the Greater Washington community.”

Driesell won 348 games in 17 seasons (1969-86) as head coach of the Maryland men’s basketball team, building the Terrapins into a perennial ACC contender. He developed such players as Tom McMillen, Len Elmore, John Lucas, Albert King and Buck Williams.

Under the guidance of Driesell, Maryland won the National Invitational Tournament in 1972 and the ACC Tournament Championship in 1984.

In 27 seasons (1975-2002) as head coach of the women’s basketball team, Weller guided her alma mater to a national title game and three Final Four appearances. Her Maryland teams enjoyed national rankings in 18 seasons and she engineered an unprecedented eight ACC titles.

Weller coached four All-Americans (Vicky Bullett, Jasmina Perazic, Debbie Lytle, Deanna Tate) and amassed 499 wins at the helm.

Holliday joined the Terrapin Sports Radio Network in 1979 and has called some of the most memorable moments in Maryland sports history. He called four ACC football title and seven bowl wins, in addition to men’s basketball’s 2002 national championship seasons and the 2004 ACC Tournament title.

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