marcus-johansson

Photo: Al Bello

Here’s the best possible news. Forward Marcus Johansson has signed a three-year, $13.75 million contract with the Washington Capitals. The deal avoids what would have been a tense arbitration meeting scheduled for this afternoon morning.

The AAV of the deal is $4.58 million, a good price for a good player and a fair compromise between the parties.

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evgeny-kuznetsov-top-breakout-player

Photo: Sanford Myers

After running away with the President’s Trophy during the 2015-16 season, the Capitals have been accepting awards right and left during the offseason. Braden Holtby won the Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goaltender, Barry Trotz took home the Jack Adams Award as the league’s best coach, Alex Ovechkin won his fourth consecutive and sixth Richard Trophy overall, and Jay Beagle was tabbed with two of the weirdest plays of the season. On Monday, Evgeny Kuznetsov joined in on the fun, being named the top breakout player of the 2015-16 season by NHL Network.

The Blackhawks Artemi Panarin, the Sharks’ Martin Jones, the Jets’ Mark Scheifele, and the Penguins’ Matt Murray rounded out the top five. No other Capitals were named in the NHL Network’s top 40.

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evgeny-kuznetsov-pavel-datsyuk-camp

Photo: Pavel Datsyuk’s Facebook page

Tuesday, Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov was busy volunteering his time, serving as a guest instructor at Pavel Datsyuk’s Skill Development Camp. With all that magic under one roof, I’m surprised the hockey rink didn’t implode.

Datsyuk, who retired from the NHL and signed a two-year deal with Ska St. Petersberg 11 days ago, thanked Kuznetsov for his contribution on his Twitter account.

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cam-newton-volleyball

Photo: Susi K.

Monday night in Baltimore, players of a co-ed beach volleyball league got the surprise of their lifetimes when reigning NFL MVP Cam Newton showed up and asked if he could play.

Newton, who is in the area this week doing workouts for Under Armour, was joined at the Baltimore Beach courts by many of his Panthers teammates including fellow quarterback Joe Webb; wide receivers Damiere Byrd, Avius Capers, Tedd Ginn Jr., Stephen Hill, Tobais Palmer, and Miles Shuler; and tight ends Braxton Deaver, Scott Simonson, and Beau Sandland.

According to Kevin Lynch of southbmore.com, Newton and his teammates participated in a couple games of four-on-four with players from Baltimore Beach’s Men’s 2A League for about an hour.

My friend Susi K., who I graduated with at UMBC, had a chance to play with Cam last night. She was kind enough to share her experience below.

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bob-mcdonald-caps

Before most Caps home games, fans at Verizon Center are treated to a stirring, up-tempo rendition of the national anthem by Sergeant Major Bob McDonald. McDonald’s bass-baritone is popular; he has performed at the Super Bowl, the Winter Classic, Major League Baseball games, and, of course, RMNB Party 7: PARTYZORD. As an active-duty member of the Army, McDonald has entertained presidents, visiting heads of state, and supreme court justices.

This week, McDonald will perform twice at Arlington’s Signature Theatre, sharing highlights from his illustrious career and singing Broadway tunes and songs he’s sung for US presidents. Wednesday night’s performance is sold out, but Friday’s show still has tickets remaining. You can purchase tickets here.

On Sunday night, while I grilled a pizza and Bob grilled a steak, we discussed his upcoming concerts and what it’s like to perform at some of the biggest sports events in the world.

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jay-beagle-diving-save

In early July, NHL Network’s Top Shelf dedicated an entire show counting down the oddest plays of the 2015-16 season. Basically, it turned out to be a season review of the Washington Capitals.

Jay Beagle’s miracle diving stick save was named the oddest play of the year.

Let’s review the Caps plays that made the cut.

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marcus-johansson

Representatives for Marcus Johansson and the Caps will meet with an arbitrator on Wednesday to recommend a salary for the player’s next contract. According to Elliotte Friedman, the parties are far apart.

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nate-schmidt-gettin-jiggy-wit-it

On Friday, Washington Capitals defenseman and Minnesota millennial Nate Schmidt served up a random observation about music on Twitter.

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nate-schmidt-summer-league

Across the continent, there are several organized summer leagues that NHL players participate in, including Eastside Elite Hockey which is run in Michigan by former Caps defenseman Steve Oleksy. There’s also a popular organization in Minnesota that recently formed called Da Beauty League. Founded in 2015, the league boasts six teams sporting many NHL players and prospects including Dustin Byfuglien, David Backes, and Ryan McDonagh. See the full rosters here.

The Capitals also have several meat and potato players participating including Taylor Chorney, Aaron Ness, Travis Boyd, and Shane Gersich. And oh yeah, standout defenseman and former University of Minnesota Golden Gopher, Nate Schmidt!

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old-fat-bald-guys-hockey-tourney

I was born, raised, and currently reside in Frederick, Maryland. I have so much pride in this city and here’s the epitome of why. At 7pm, when I was driving home from work, I was flipping through my radio station presets and landed on WFRE, Frederick’s country station. This commercial came on.

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