Capitals Hire Calle Johansson As Assistant Coach

A rare photo of Calle not in the terrible blue and copper uniforms. We looked hard.

Head coach Adam Oates started to fill out his staff today with the hire of former Capital Calle Johansson as an assistant coach. It is appropriate to shriek after reading that sentence, even if you are a grown adult.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

Photo credit: Bruce Bennett

One of the best moments of this year’s NHL draft was when George McPhee stepped up to the podium to make the first of his draft picks and was roundly booed by Pittsburgh Penguin fans. McPhee responded to the crowd with some sass, “Thank you, Pittsburgh. We’re touched. Thank you.”

Forsberg hugs his dad while Pens fans boo in the background.

Despite the heckling, McPhee somehow found the composure to draft Swedish forward Filip Forsberg with the eleventh overall pick.

Forsberg, sitting alongside his father, mother, younger brother, and two agents, was overjoyed upon hearing McPhee, exchanging hugs with his family and friends. Meanwhile, as he walked down to greet the Caps caravan and get his first ever NHL jersey, the boos — now somewhat softer — rained down from the crowd.

Forsberg did not understand why.

Continue Reading

Photo credit: Chris Gordon

When Filip Forsberg was selected by the Washington Capitals 11th overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, many draft experts praised his skill and scoring, projecting him as an offensive engine for his future team.

On Saturday during the Capitals’ final scrimmage of Development Camp, Forsberg showed off another part of his game which should put him on the fast track to the NHL: his defense.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

2012 Caps Convention Cancelled Because of CBA Uncertainty

Mike Green autographs a baby at last year’s Caps Con. (Photo credit: Chris Gordon)

The state of the Washington Capitals fan base is strong. Just this past weekend hundreds assembled for the team’s annual summer Fanfest, packing Kettler Capitals Iceplex on a July morning to watch to watch of bunch of teenagers and early 20-somethings play the final scrimmage of the team’s Development Camp. And while the Fanfest has become a big hit, the gathering many DC hockey fans eagerly await is the Capitals Convention, held during every pre-season for the past three years. Since its inception in 2009, Caps Con has grown into a huge event, with over 6,500 people making their way to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center a couple blocks away from Verizon Center last year. The event features panels with many Caps and NHL luminaries, autograph signings and over hockey-themed activities. But this year, however, Caps Con will not take place.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

After declining the Capitals’ one year, $5 million qualifying offer yesterday, restricted free agent Mike Green agreed to a three-year, $18.25 extension early Monday which will keep the two-time Norris trophy nominee in Washington through the 2014-15 season.

Despite only playing in a combined 81 games over the past two seasons and seeing his role with the team diminish, General Manager George McPhee thought enough of Green to give him a $1 million pay raise – or approximately 294 Vespas – to buy out the first two years of his free agency. The 26-year-old defenseman will earn $6 million in 2012-13 and 2013-14 and $6.25 in 2014-15 for an annual cap hit of $6.083 million.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

The teams shake hands following the game. (Photo credit: Chris Gordon)

As has become tradition, Kettler Capitals Iceplex was packed to capacity Saturday for the final scrimmage of the team’s Development Camp and annual Fanfest. On a mid-July morning, hundreds were jammed into the team’s practice facility to watch prospects and college and free-agent invitees duke it out for the last time. Fans also took advantage of autograph sessions with Caps prospects and new Capitals center/rapper Mike Ribeiro, who met the media for the first time yesterday.

As for the game itself, Team Red won in thrilling fashion, pulling out a 4-3 victory in overtime. After red pulled their goaltender, T.J. Syner scored in the final minute of the third period. In overtime, Max Iafrate set-up free-agent invitee Greg Miller for a slam-dunk one-timer in the slot. Stan Galiev and Riley Barber also scored for the red team. Daniel O’Donoghue, Taylor Stefishen, and David Vallorani tallied white’s three goals.

Below, check out my shots from the final day of camp.

Continue Reading

Adam Oates Thinks Mike Ribeiro Looks Like a Rapper

Photo credit: Chris Gordon

Three weeks after George McPhee traded Cody Eakin and a 2012 second round pick for Mike Ribeiro, the Capitals new second-line center finally met with reporters. And he brought out the bling.

Ribeiro, wearing a diamond stud, gold chain, bright white slacks, and what appeared to be black leather shower sandals, spoke excitedly about his new club.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

Forsberg speaks to the media after the scrimmage. (Photo credit: Chris Gordon)

The Caps prospects and invitees to Development Camp played their fourth scrimmage today, but once again some of the most interesting moves were made off the ice. First-round draft pick Filip Forsberg signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Capitals today, and goalie coach Dave Prior expressed disappointment in prospect Steffen Soberg‘s 2011-12 season.

Despite the fact Forsberg has one more year on his contract with Leksand of the Swedish Allsvenskan League, he stressed that he wanted to commit to the team. “It was a dream come true,” he told CSN’s Chuck Gormley. “I got a good first feeling from the Capitals and I thought it was a good decision to get it done right away.”

Team White won the scrimmage 4-1, with White’s goals scored by David Civitarese, Connor Carrick, Barry Almeida, and Chandler Stephenson on a penalty shot. Team Red’s lone goal was scored by T.J. Syner.

Below the jump, check out Chris Gordon’s photos from the day.

Continue Reading

Sergei Kostenko’s mask features a surprising amount of English on it, not all of which makes sense.

Day four of Caps Development Camps got a lot more interesting than the previous day, with a fight, two penalty shots, and nine goals.

Team Red beat Team White in Thursday scrimmage by a final score of 6-3. Team Red’s goals were scored by Matt Bailey, Greg Miller, Cam Wojtala, 2012 first round pick Tom Wilson, and two from David Vallorani.  Team White’s three goals were scored by David Civitarese, Michael Quinn, and Christian Djoos.

Russian draftee Sergei Kostenko played in his first scrimmage after arriving yesterday from Russia and impressed with his performance for Team Red today, stopping tough shots through three periods, including a penalty shot attempt by blue-chip prospect Filip Forsberg.

My photos from today are below.

Continue Reading

Caps Development Camp had its first fight today, coming after the final buzzer sounded on Thursday’s scrimmage, which Team Red won 6-3. Max Iafrate, son of former Cap Al Iafrate, dropped the gloves with 2012 third-round draft pick Chandler Stephenson after a scrum in front the white team’s net. The bout came after the squads were jawing at each other in the waning minutes of the game. (Some gems from Tom Wilson: “What are you, 25? Let the kids play!” and “Why you do us all a favor a take some skating lessons, [expletive]!”)

“Oates said he didn’t want us fighting, but when your [freaking] adrenaline gets flowing…” Iafrate told reporters at Kettler Capitals Iceplex immediately following the scrap. “I guess fight when the opportunity knocks. You don’t look for it.”

“I was playing the game,” Iafrate continued. “He kind of hit me after I put the puck down the ice. I kind of like swung my foot to try to trip him. Then he cross-checked me.”

Caps Head Coach Adam Oates was not impressed.

“I did talk to the guys [after practice]. I really don’t want that,” Oates said. “We’re all here under the Capitals umbrella. I know you want to show your stuff and there’s plenty of time for that down the road. But they still get frustrated at times and I understand that as well.”

Check out my photos of the scrap below.

Continue Reading