Tuesday night at Verizon Center, former Capitals defenseman Connor Carrick will be playing the second game in his former barn since being traded. While Carrick struggled at times during his stint in Washingon, he’s turning into a very dependable player for Toronto.
In 32 games this season, Carrick has scored only one goal and registered four points. But his possession tells a different story. The five-foot, eleven-inch defenseman has pushed play, ranking second on the team with a 53.99% score and venue adjusted Corsi. The only player he trails is Jake Gardiner.
After the team’s morning skate, Carrick spoke about his familiarity in Washington, as well as his longtime friendship with “big boy” Tom Wilson.
While Auston Matthews was making history by becoming the first NHL player to score four goals in his debut, Connor Carrick was providing more cerebral contributions to the Leafs. In the third period of Toronto’s 5-4 overtime loss against the Ottawa Senators on opening night, the former Capitals defensemen blocked a puck with his temporal bone.
In the third period in a contest against the rival Sens, Carrick got down in front of goaltender Frederik Andersen to stop a shot from center Chris Wideman to protect a 4-3 lead. It worked — sort of.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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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