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Inova Blood Donor Services holds blood drives at Kettler Capitals Iceplex every few months. Their next event is scheduled for Saturday, August 6 from 7AM to 5PM. This time around they will be giving away Dmitry Orlov bobbleheads and a Capitals t-shirt to anyone who donates blood.

For those who interested, you can sign up for an appointment here. Not only will you help save a life, but you’ll also go home with a collectible of the Caps’ best Russian defenseman.

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Photo: Harry How

On Saturday night, the Capitals made what could be their final unrestricted free agent signing of the summer, inking center Brad Malone to a one-year, two-way contract. Malone, who dropped the gloves 9 times in 57 games last season for lowly Carolina, is likely to spend the entire season in Hershey.

Malone does have some fascinating history with two current Caps. During the 2007-08 season, Malone played with Taylor Chorney and TJ Oshie on the University of North Dakota.

Brian MacLellan also inked three other AHL players on Friday, the first day of free agency, including goaltender Joe Cannata (who will serve as the team’s starter ahead of Vitek Vanecek), defenseman Darren Dietz, and forward Christian Thomas (a lifting buddy of Brett Connolly and Tom Wilson’s).

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brett-connolly

Photo: Kirk Irwin

After former bottom six players Jason Chimera signed with the New York Islanders and Michael Latta signed with the Los Angeles Kings, the Capitals made their first significant move of the day, signing 24-year-old Brett Connolly to a one-year, $850k deal.

The news was first reported by TSN’s Gord Miller.

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Michael Latta Signs One-Year Deal with Los Angeles Kings

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The Capitals opted not to give a qualifying offer to Michael Latta, but the pugnacious six-foot forward didn’t linger in free agency long. Elliotte Friedman has announced that Latta has been signed to a one-year deal by the Los Angeles Kings.

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Believe it or not, 37-year-old forward Jason Chimera was one of the most popular players on the first day of free agency. According to TVA’s Renaud Lavoie, 17 NHL teams had expressed interest in the Ice Cheetah.

32 minutes after free agency started, HNIC’s Elliotte Friedman announced that Chimera had signed a two-year, $4.5 million contract with the New York Islanders, earning a $250k raise from last season.

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Photo: Mark Goldman

The Capitals announced on Thursday that they have agreed to a two-year contract extension with forward Tom Wilson. Wilson, who was selected by the Capitals 16th overall in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft, was scheduled to become an RFA on July 1. The contract is worth $1.75 million next season, and $2.25 million in 2017-2018.

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Photo: Washington Capitals

The Caps announced Thursday afternoon that they have signed depth forward Zach Sill to a two-year, two-way contract. Sill played 10 games with the Capitals last season after being called up from the Caps’ AHL affiliate Hershey Bears.

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Photo: Amanda Bowen

Capitals 2015 first-round pick Ilya Samsonov made his Development Camp debut Tuesday after staying in Russia last summer to train for the upcoming KHL season. The 19-year-old goalie prospect is coming off his best season as a pro. Samsonov officially graduated from the MHL (the KHL’s developmental league) and played in 19 regular season games for Metallurg Magnitogorsk, registering a 2.04 GAA and a .925 save percentage. Metallurg would go on to win the Gargarin Cup as league champions. Samsonov played in six playoff games.

Despite being ranked the third best goaltending prospect by InGoal Magazine, Caps goaltending coach Mitch Korn believes the Russian netminder still has much to learn.

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Photo: @andreburakovsky

In February, I spoke to soon-to-be-former Capital Michael Latta and we chatted about his one-time roommate, Andre Burakovsky.

“He’s a little shy,” Latta said. “He’s a shy, cute, little guy.” Latta then went on to explain how the Burracuda was afraid to swim with the dolphins in the Bahamas.

That may explain Latta’s reaction Tuesday afternoon to a photo Burakovsky posted on Instagram. While holding up his dukes, Burakovsky, a veteran of 0 NHL fights, posed in front of a punching bag, looking tough.

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Michael Latta’s time with the Washington Capitals appears to be over.

The Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan tweeted today that the team will not extend a qualifying offer to Latta, meaning the restricted free agent will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Though the Caps could still pursue Latta as a free agent, General Manager Brian MacLellan appears to be focused on qualifying the team’s other RFAs — Marcus Johansson, Dmitry Orlov, and Tom Wilson — and trying to sign and re-sign other pieces of the puzzle, possibly including Latta’s linemate, Jason Chimera.

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