Joel Ward Likely To Test Free Agency on July 1st

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Photo: Jared Silber

Brace yourself. This news may make you feel super sad. According to The Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt, 34-year-old winger Joel Ward appears likely to test the free agent market on July 1st.

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There were a lot of great Caps Father’s Day wishes Sunday. From Tom Wilson’s Instagram pic with his dad to Joel Ward’s sweet words for his deceased father Randal, Caps players brought the feels on social media.

My personal favorite Father’s Day tribute, however, was definitely the below tweet from Michael Latta.

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The New Hockey Emoji Kind Of Sucks

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For years, hockey fans have been begging for a hockey emoji. And on Wednesday, we finally got our wish. Unicode Consortium released a version of Unicode 8.0, which includes 37 new icons. The taco, burrito, cheese, and unicorn are awesome.

The hockey emoji – how can I put this delicately – kind of sucks.

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Photo: USA Today

33-year-old Patrick Sharp just won his third Stanley Cup in six years with the Chicago Blackhawks. He’s also likely won something else: a permanent trip to another team this summer.

Tuesday night, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun went on Montreal’s TSN 690 and had a discussion about the Blackhawks and their difficult cap situation. According to ESPN, the team has a little more than $66 million committed to 13 players next year. That includes the first year of identical eight-year, $84 million contract extensions for Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.

With next year’s cap expected to be $71 million, the Hawks have little wiggle room to fill out the roster, especially because they want to re-sign restricted free agent forward Brandon Saad. Moving Sharp would free up $5.9 million the Hawks could spend elsewhere. LeBrun believes Chicago will shop Sharp during the offseason and he could end up on the Washington Capitals.

Via Chris Nichols of Today’s Slapshot:

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Smile, everyone! The Capitals announced Wednesday morning that they have re-signed pending restricted free agent defenseman Nate Schmidt to a two-year, one-way deal. Schmidt will make $750,000 in 2015-2016 and $875,000 in 2016-2017. With Mike Green’s likely departure, Schmidt should receive a full-time roster spot next season.

The 23-year-old Minnesotan has scored three goals and seven assists in 68 career games for the Capitals, including one goal and three assists in 39 games last season. He has tallied six goals and 20 assists in 65 career games with the Hershey Bears in the AHL.

Though he was sidelined by injury for part of the 2014-2015 season, Schmidt made the Caps “wayyyy better” when he was playing. Schmidt’s 54-percent possession was first among Caps defenseman.

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Photo: @gnacarlson

The Summer of Caps Babies continued yesterday with the birth of John and Gina Carlson’s son, Lucca. Via RMNB reader Marianna S., Gina posted an adorable photo of the little man on Instagram and reported he arrived June 15 at 12:30 p.m., weighing in at 7 pounds 5 ounces.

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It sure sounds like the Justin Peters era, at least in Washington, is over. The Capitals announced Monday afternoon that they re-signed talented goaltending prospect Philipp Grubauer to a one-way, two-year deal. Per Mike Vogel, now that he is on his second NHL contract, Grubauer must pass through waivers to be reassigned to the AHL.

After the season ended, Caps’ general manager Brian MacLellan spoke to Mike Vogel and indicated Grubauer would finally be getting a full-time roster spot. “We’re going to give Galiev a shot,” MacLellan said. “Chris Brown is going to get a shot. [Goaltender Philipp] Grubauer is going to get a shot and Schmitty is going to get a shot. We’ve got some guys who have put in some time development-wise [at AHL Hershey], and it’s going to be up to them to perform. They’ll all have chances to make the roster.”

Grubauer played two games in Washington this season. He won both, including a wild 4-3 victory over the Islanders in game two of the first round. Congratulations on the promotion, Grubi.

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Sarge is in the middle, finger raised, letting everyone know he’s number one. (Photo: Manchester Monarchs)

Ladies and gentlemen, Jeff Schultz has done it againOne year to the day after winning the Stanley Cup with the Los Angeles Kings, Sarge won the Calder Cup with the Kings’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs. Schultz has won two straight championships since getting bought out by the Washington Capitals in June 2013.

Why am I laugh-crying?

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All the Juicy News About Caps Free Agents

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Baby, come back!

ESPN’s Craig Custance dropped a big old newsbomb on Caps free agency today, providing updates on the team’s plans for everyone from Braden Holtby (spoiler alert: good news!) to Mike Green (spoiler alert: also good news, depending on your perspective!).

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paige-reagan1

Photo: Sydney Madison Photography

Friday in Culpeper, Virginia, a few hundred Eastern View High seniors gathered at Cyclone Stadium, the school’s football field, for graduation. Like the thousands of other students across the area, graduation is a huge celebration– the culmination of many, many years of hard work (or just enough expert coasting to get by).

But there was one Eastern View senior who was walking with a heavy heart: 18-year-old Paige Hockman, who was graduating with honors. As she walked on stage and accepted her diploma, she blew a kiss into the sky. Most in the audience understood exactly what the gesture meant.

The top of her powder blue graduation cap had a message written in glitter glue: “Guys, I did it!!!” The names Reagan, mom, and dad accompanied the note with blue hearts. Blue was her father’s favorite color.

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