See if you can spot it.
Last season, 23-year-old Stan Galiev saw a meteoric leap in his development. The Russian forward, who has always had NHL quality stick-handling and finishing ability, saw the rest of his game finally come together last year in the AHL. Avoiding the injuries that have plagued him in the past, Gally scored 25 goals and 45 points in 65 games, jumping from Hershey’s fourth line to the first in the second half of the season. He even played two games for the Capitals, scoring his first NHL goal during the team’s final regular season game.
On July 1st, Galiev, a restricted free agent, signed a two-year, $1.15 million deal to keep him in Washington through 2017. Caps’ General Manager Brian MacLellan will give him every chance to make the roster next year.
Photo credit: Amanda Bowen
Fans began lining up early Saturday morning, packing the top mezzanine at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. After 400 people were in their places, no more spots were issued. Caps fans were eagerly awaiting their first interaction with TJ Oshie, acquired last week from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for Troy Brouwer, goaltending prospect Phoenix Copley, and a third round pick in next year’s draft. Oshie had landed in Washington the day before and would be signing autographs after meeting with local reporters.
“It was really hard to talk yesterday,” Oshie, sporting his new number 77, said in conference room at Kettler. “My fiancée and me were walking around. I was just so excited after talking to the coaches that I just want to start playing right away.”
Photo: Amanda Bowen
When the Washington Capitals selected Alex Ovechkin first overall in 2004, they received a generational player, one that was supposed to lift them out of depths of the league and win them the Stanley Cup that has eluded them throughout their 40-year history. Eleven years later, the Caps have still not won a Stanley Cup. Despite his nearly point per game pace in the postseason, much of the blame has been shouldered on Ovechkin, the captain and face of the team. Capitals owner Ted Leonsis, who stood on the draft stage with Ovechkin back at RBC Center, however, defended his star player.
Last week, the Washington Capitals tore down the giant banner of Mike Green that hung over the parking deck adjacent to the Ballston Common Mall. On Friday, they unfurled a replacement banner: Braden Holtby.
That should be comforting to fans who are nervous about Holtby’s contract situation.
Rapper Kendrick Lamar gave a concert in Finsbury Park of North London on the fourth of July, which I suppose is celebrated a bit differently over there. That doesn’t matter. The point is this: Lamar, a California native, rocked a Washington Capitals Winter Classic hat at the concert.
Participants of the Capitals’ Development Camp come from many different backgrounds. The annual gathering this year features undrafted foreigners, college free agents, and some of the team’s top prospects. One invitee has a particularly interesting story: Kevin Lohan, cousin of actress Lindsay Lohan.
“We’re family, but I usually don’t say much about it,” Lohan said. “You can only control what you can control. You can’t control others.
“To be honest I haven’t seen her in a while,” he added of Lindsay, eight years his senior. “We used to be close when we were younger. Everyone went their separate ways.”
Photo credit: Chris Gordon
On Monday, the Capitals announced they had signed Evgeny Kuznetsov to a two-year, $6 million contract.
“I’m very happy to be here two more years,” Kuznetsov told reporters in a conference room at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, adding that talks originally centered around a longer deal.
“It’s probably good for me and good for the Caps too,” the Russian forward said of his so-called bridge deal. “I have two more years to show my hockey. It’s always motivation for you when have one, two years. Maybe long contract is good too but I’ve never been in that situation.”
New Capitals forward T.J. Oshie will wear No. 77, the team announced Monday.
Oshie wore No. 74 in St. Louis, but as you know defenseman John Carlson already owns those digits here in D.C. and was not giving it up.
Oshie tried to have a reasonable conversation about his new number on Twitter Thursday, but that was derailed by his new Capitals teammates.
Photo: Rob Carr
We’ve got at least two more years of Evgeny Kuznetsov ahead. The 23-year-old RFA forward has signed a two-year bridge contract with the Washington Capitals with an average annual value of $3 million, the Caps announced on Monday.
That’s another solid signing in a summer filled with solid signings.