Capitals sign Niskanen to a seven-year deal

Matt Niskanen 1 2012-03-11.JPGThe Washington Capitals continue to rebuild their defense by signing Matt Niskanen to a seven-year $40.25 million dollar contract.  Niskanen is only 27 years old and in the prime of his career.  Niskanen was the 28th overall pick in the 2005 NHL draft.  Niskanen has spent the past four seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins and scored a career high 10 goals last season.

I like that the Capitals are putting forward the money to revamp their defense that greatly struggled last season.

Here is the Capitals press release.

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Capitals sign Orpik add big defenseman

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The Washington Capitals added to their defense today by signing Brooks Orpik to a five-year deal.   Orpik has always given the Capitals trouble and is a veteran defenseman in the prime of his career.

Orpik has played on the United States Olympic team the past two Olympics.  Orpik is 33 years old but looks like he still has plenty left in the tank, speed was never really part of Orpik’s game.  Orpik plays smart and physical and always positions himself well.  Orpik is also known for being a good team leader.  Read more about Capitals sign Orpik add big defenseman

Capitals select Vrana with the 13th overall pick: news and thoughts

The Washington Capitals selected Jakub Vrana with the 13th overall draft pick in the 2014 NHL draft.  Vrana is a small center from the Czech Republic and is known as a natural scorer.

Right off the bat, I am a little worried about this draft pick.  I do not expect Vrana to sign right away and I think he will put on some weight, right now he is only 172 pounds.  The Capitals have had a history of drafting European players high and while they have put up the stats the Capitals have never made a real deep playoff run.

The Capitals have lacked toughness the past few seasons and investing in another European skill player will not help with that.  European players tend to be softer, they play in bigger ice rinks and considerate more on skills and fighting is banned.  Marcus Johannson is a good example, very talented player and has a great skill set.  Johannson has the potential to be a truly great player but he does not have the toughness that a Brooks Laich type player has.  While Johannson has the overall better skill set Laich has had a much better career and has been way more important to the Capitals.  Laich grinds out plays and on rare occasions will fight when his team needs him to. Read more about Capitals select Vrana with the 13th overall pick: news and thoughts

Capitals promote MacLellan to GM, name Trotz coach

The Washington Capitals have finally announced who will be their next general manager and coach. The Capitals have promoted Brian MacLellan to general manager. MacLellan has NHL experience and has worked closely with the Hershey Bears. The Capitals have also hired Barry Trotz to be their coach.  Trotz is also an experienced hockey mind having coached the Nashville Predators for 15 seasons.

I like both these signings as both the MacLellan and Trotz are experienced hockey minds.  Both are still young in terms of General Managers and Coaches.  The Capitals press release has all the information on both men.

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Capitals sign Mitchell

The Washington Capitals have announced that they have signed forward Garrett Mitchell to a one-year, two-way contract.  This mean Mitchell can play for the Capitals and the Hershey Bears.

Last season Mitchell played 17 games for the Bears recording two assist.  Mitchell is a developing prospect and is only 22 years old, he will likely play for the Bears next season.

Here is the Capitals press release.

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