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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At the trade deadline, the Washington Capitals traded Brooks Laich and prospect Connor Carrick to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Daniel Winnik. After spending some time with the big club during the regular season, Carrick and his American Hockey League Toronto Marlies will face the Hershey Bears in the Eastern Conference Finals.

On Monday, the Marlies defeated the Albany Devils in a dramatic Game Seven. Carrick put the Marlies up 3-2 late in the third period.

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At the trade deadline, the Capitals flipped Brooks Laich and Connor Carrick to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Daniel Winnik. Despite all of the difficult emotions that come with being traded by your first-place, long-time team, Brooks Laich has received a more prominent role on the rebuilding club. It has also given borderline prospect Connor Carrick the opportunity of a lifetime: to be a full-time NHL player. It appears he’s seizing it.

Tuesday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Carrick scored his first NHL goal in two-and-a-half years, and second in his career, slamming a one-timer past goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy.

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Photo: Claus Andersen

Twenty-four hours after getting traded, former Capitals Brooks Laich and Connor Carrick made their debuts for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Laich, wearing number 23 (weird), had a shot and a hit in 12:27 of ice. Carrick, wearing number 8 (bold), had three hits in 19:13 TOI (fourth most on the team). Carrick also fought J.T. Brown in his second NHL bout. The Leafs fell to the Lightning 2-1, but they outshot Tampa 32-28.

After the game, Laich admitted that “there’s certain times where a little wave of emotion comes” when he thinks about his 12-year career with the Caps being over.

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Claus Andersen

Photo: Claus Andersen

At around 10:45 pm Daniel Winnik received a call that “shocked” him: he was traded from the from the Toronto Maple Leafs to the first place Washington Capitals. Within a half hour, Caps fans had the a similar reaction when they heard of the transaction. Brooks Laich, DC’s longest tenured athlete, who had played all but one game of his 743 game NHL career with the Capitals, was going the other way. Because of his loyalty to the organization, Laich was making $4.5 to skate on the fourth line. He had scored just one goal so far this season. And the Capitals made a decision to help their hockey team.

“I was a part of scouting him in the beginning, so it’s hard,” Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan, who said the 32 year old’s contract was “weighing us down” in terms of what the Capitals could do this offseason, said. “It’s frustrating, but we had to do what‘s necessary to keep the organization, keep the team going forward here.”

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The Washington Capitals just made a huge deal. The Caps have traded Brooks Laich (DC’s longest tenured athlete), prospect defenseman Connor Carrick, and a second-round pick to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Daniel Winnik and a fifth-round pick.

“Daniel is a versatile player who plays with grit and can be used in all situations,” general manager Brian MacLellan said. “This move enables us to add some depth to our forward group and balances our lineup. We would like to thank Brooks for all of his contributions to our organization over the past 10 years. Brooks is a true professional and we wish him all the best in the future.”

Winnick, a 30-year-old right wing, has a season remaining on a two-year, $4.5 million contract he signed over the offseason. According to Bob McKenzie, the Caps gain $2.2 million in cap space by shedding Laich.

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What Caps Players Did During the DC Blizzard


Photo: @Kuzya92

Over the last two days, the DC Blizzard dropped two feet of snow in the district and three feet in surrounding areas. The snow forced the cancellation of both Caps’ home games this weekend including tilts against the Ducks and Penguins. That leaves the Caps in a really weird stretch, where they’ll only play one game in 14 days.

Without hockey, the players spent time with their families and messing around on social media. I went ahead and documented it all.

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Tom Wilson Selfie: Six Caps, One Plane (Photo)


I have no idea if they’re coming or going, but here’s a quarter of the Caps roster– Tom Wilson, Justin Peters, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Connor Carrick, Andre Burakovsky, and Madison Bowey— on the same airplane.

Wilson, the mastermind of the selfie, Instagrammed this comment along with the pic: “Elbows up everyone. Looking good @kuzy092 #lotsoftigers”

Nope. No idea what that hashtag means.


Photo: @ColdRushHockey

A few dozen kids attending a hockey camp at Ashburn Ice House in Virginia got a big surprise today when they ran into Capitals defenseman Connor Carrick.

Carrick was skating at Ashburn for a change of scenery in his summer training schedule. As he was leaving, a bunch of kids preparing to take the ice for a Summer Fun Ice Skating Camp noticed him and asked for autographs, so he stuck around.

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Photo: Kyle Mace/Chocolate Hockey

Saturday night, the Hershey Bears and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (the New York Islanders affiliate) played one of the most entertaining and violent American Hockey League games of the season. The Bears and Sound Tigers combined to score seven goals and earn nearly 200 penalty minutes. The game featured a chaotic line-brawl, a goalie fight, eight ejections, and 12 misconducts.

By now, you’ve probably already seen the video (taken by RMNB alumnus Kyle Mace) of Caps prospects Steve Oleksy, Connor Carrick, Chris Brown, Liam O’Brien, and the Bears’ goalie combatant, Pheonix Copley. By Sunday night, the video had amassed over 130,000 views.

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