The Capitals have maintained for the last month that they would not make a big splash on the first day of free agency. Well, how about a stealth-like walk down those steel stairs into the pool?
At noon, GM Brian MacLellan made two important depth signings. First the Caps announced the re-signing of restricted free agent Stan Galiev to an affordable, two-year, $1.15 million contract. Galiev’s contract is two-way during the 2015-16 season and one-way during the 2016-17 season. GMBM has said that Galiev will be given every opportunity during training camp to make the team.
On April 11, 2015, In Highlights, By Peter Hassett
That’s the puck, stuck in the back of the net.
Stan Galiev has taken a grand total of two shots in his two games in the NHL, and he’s already recorded his first NHL goal.
In garbage time of the Caps’ loss to the Rangers in the final game of the regular season, Barry Trotz gave his rookie line the ice. Like usual, the rookies raided the offensive zone. Michael Latta loosed a desperate shot, and Galiev corralled the rebound for his milestone marker.
I want to start by saying I genuinely like Barry Trotz. I think he’s a good man and a good coach. He’s brought with him to Washington some of the brightest minds in hockey, he’s reversed a decline in the organization, and he’s helped Alex Ovechkin become a more complete player. I don’t think Trotz has gotten enough credit for that. He is exactly what fans wanted last summer: an experienced head coach.
But now that we’re more than halfway through the season, I see some worrying trends in this organization that reach all the way down to the AHL level.
Caps prospect Stan Galiev has put the work in this season and has become a great story. After initially struggling with system play as a teenager, the 23-year-old forward has carved himself out a roster spot in AHL Hershey. Galiev is fifth on the Bears in scoring. Earlier this season he authored a brilliant streak of 8 goals in 8 games, putting him on the Caps radar as a potential call-up.
“This year I played well in the pre-season, our head coach Troy Mann, trusted me and I began to score,” Galiev said. “I get power play time, get some points. I stay healthy too. You put all that together and you can say I’ve now got confidence.”
On Wednesday, the Hershey Bears opened their preseason by playing the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at the brand new PPL Center. The result of the actual game however is secondary to the sick goal Russian prospect Stan Galiev scored.
Galiev does a 360, passes the puck to himself, goes through two defenders, and then snipes the puck to the top right corner of the net.