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Photo: @CapitalsPR

Standing in front of reporters three hours after the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft began, Capitals General Manager Brian MacLellan was happy that he finally got his man. He was not referring to the draft pick the Caps made an hour earlier.

With a sly “yes” and a smile, MacLellan confirmed that Lars Eller, whom the Capitals traded for earlier in the night, would be the team’s third-line center heading into next season. According to the 2016 GM of the Year finalist, the deal was in the works for a long time and that he inquired about the center’s availability frequently.

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After landing TJ Oshie and Justin Williams and re-signing Braden Holtby during the summer, General Manager Brian MacLellan watched his Capitals win a franchise record 56 games during the regular season. The Caps became the tenth team in NHL history to accumulate 56 wins or more. Alex Ovechkin led the league in goals. Braden Holtby tied Martin Brodeur for most wins in NHL history.

In May, MacLellan was named a finalist for the NHL General Manager Of The Year award. Ovechkin (Richard, Messier), Holtby (Vezina, Lindsay), and Barry Trotz (Adams) were as well.

Tonight in Las Vegas we learned MacLellan did not win. Mac finished a distant second to Penguins’ General Manager Jim Rutherford.

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Photo: Bruce Bennett

Tuesday, Washington Capitals General Manager Brian MacLellan held a conference call with the media from Las Vegas, where the 2016 NHL Awards are taking place. MacLellan touched on his plans for the Caps’ restricted free agents, his thoughts on hockey coming to Vegas, and his worries about the upcoming expansion draft.

MacLellan also talked at length about current restricted free agent Marcus Johansson and what the current plans are in regards to contract talks with the Swede and his agent. MacLellan said that he was “optimistic” about the negotiations, but that some of the comparables for Johansson may have a higher salary than they are comfortable with.

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Ovechkin poses with the Rocket Richard Trophy, which he won again this year, at the 2014 NHL Awards. (Photo: Harry How)

The Washington Capitals had a domineering regular season in 2015-16, running away with the Presidents’ Trophy by 11 points. On Wednesday evening in Las Vegas, their personal feats from this past season will be honored. Well… most of them.

One Caps player already has hardware locked up: Alex Ovechkin, who won the Richard Richard Trophy as the NHL’s leading goal scorer. It was his third straight 50-goal season. But there will be no crazy blue suits on the red carpet this year. Ovechkin will not be in Las Vegas to claim his prize.

“Alex will not be attending the Awards this year,” a Capitals spokesperson said in an email to RMNB, declining to elaborate further. A spokesperson for the NHL also confirmed Ovechkin’s absence.

Ovechkin is also a finalist for the Mark Messier Leadership Award for the work he did for the American Special Hockey Association. Let’s assume he’s not going to win that one, lest the Awards become even more awkward.

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Wednesday night, the NHL announced that the Capitals’ Brian MacLellan is a finalist for the 2015-16 General Manager of the Year Award. MacLellan helped guide the Caps to the President’s Trophy (as the league’s best regular season team) and the most wins in franchise history (56) this season. Over the summer, MacLellan acquired key veterans TJ Oshie and Justin Williams and re-signed Braden Holtby to a long-term deal.

The Capitals have reached the 100-point plateau in each of MacLellan’s first two seasons as general manager. MacLellan was previously the understudy of long-time Caps general manager George McPhee, who pieced together most of the core of the current roster.

The Penguins’ Jim Rutherford and the Stars’ Jim Nill are also finalists.

MacLellan becomes the the fourth Capital up for an NHL Award this season. Mac will join head Ccoach Barry Trotz (Jack Adams Award), goaltender Braden Holtby (Vezina Trophy), and captain Alex Ovechkin in Las Vegas (Richard Trophy, Messier NHL Leadership Award).

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Photo: Bruce Bennett

Monday, Washington Capitals General Manager Brian MacLellan held his end of the season press conference with the media. MacLellan touched on his plans for the offseason, his thoughts on top-rated prospect Jakub Vrana, and what he thought was missing from this year’s team.

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Photo: Chris Gordon

General Manager Brian MacLellan addressed the media on Wednesday to discuss what lies ahead for the Caps. MacLellan touched on a number of topics, including the decision to sit Braden Holtby in the final game of the season and Jay Beagle’s availability for Game 1.

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Photo: Patrick Smith

General Manager Brian MacLellan met with the press Thursday to discuss the Capitals’ acquisition of Mike Weber and talk about the team’s thinking as it heads into the trade deadline next week.

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The Year of Brian MacLellan

Brian MacLellan

Photo: Bruce Bennett

Let’s forego a flowery intro and get right to the point: Brian MacLellan crushed 2015 out of the park. The Caps GM had a spectacular year and currently presides over not only the hottest team in the NHL but the best team as well, according to the standings. Basically, Brian MacLellan was The Undertaker and 2015 was Mankind on top of the Hell in a Cell.

To celebrate MacLellan’s year, we’re going to revisit his three best moves of the past calendar year, with an honorable mention thrown in for good measure.

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Photo: Alex Brandon

We already told you that Alex Ovechkin took home the Rocket Richard Trophy for the fifth time and Braden Holtby finished fourth in voting for the Vezina Trophy. But there are a few other juicy tidbits from the NHL Awards ceremony that we missed.

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