The Washington Capitals hosted their 2016-17 regular season home opener in style Saturday with a special red carpet event. As cars provided by Lexus dropped players off on F Street, diehard Caps fans lined the entrance, hoping for a picture or an autograph with their favorite athlete.
The event started at 3:30 and was hosted by PA Announcer Wes Johnson, who served as the master of ceremonies. Johnson introduced players as they arrived while preselected fans walked the players down the red carpet. Many Caps, including Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Tom Wilson, Nate Schmidt, and Andre Burakovsky, posed for selfies with fans before going inside Verizon Center.
That afternoon, RMNB had two photographers at the event, myself and the talented Katie Snyder (who you can follow on Instagram and Facebook). Snyder is one of the Redskins’ home-game photographers and graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Snyder also does a lot of freelance work, including family-based portraits.
Photo: Minas Panagiotakis
When the Caps signed Tom Wilson to a deal for $2 million per season, it further lowered the hope that they’d have the cap space to sign a guy like PA Parenteau or Kris Versteeg when free agency opened on Friday. Instead, it became more apparent that if the Caps were going to do anything in free agency, they were going to sign a cheaper option for the bottom six, perhaps a veteran like Brad Boyes or Tomas Fleischmann. There were also a couple of younger players like Brandon Pirri and Brett Connolly who fit this mold of a cheaper, more under the radar option for the bottom-six.
The Caps landed Connolly.
Connolly is a solid addition to the Caps forward group. Connolly is a guy who brings a skill-based game and can slot in on the bottom-six. He’s a former first round pick, still just 24 years old, so he may still have some untapped offensive upside. He’s a viable option to play wing on the third line, but he’s also not such an established player that he’ll be a roadblock in the spot. So, he won’t potentially block a player like Jakub Vrana if Vrana turns heads at camp and forces his way into the opening night lineup.
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.
Photo credit: Greg Fiume
In the second period of the Caps home game against Tampa, Lightning forward Brett Connolly got hit with an ugly one-two play when he was tied up in the corner by Dmitry Orlov, and Mike Green came in hard and hit him high, making contact to Connolly’s head with his forearm. Video is below the jump.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.