Capitals Have Locked in Burky and Kuzy

The Washington Capitals are investing in the future. They have struggled to manage their salary cap this off season. Two of their priorities are now under contract. Goalie Philipp Grubauer has yet to sign his new contract; however, we expect to hear something soon as general manager Brian MacLellan said Friday it was also a priority.

Andre  Burakovsky was once the youngest player on the Caps roster, starting with the team in October 2014 at the age of 19. He made a huge impression that first game with his first NHL goal. He ended his rookie year with a respectable 53 games with 9 goals and 13 assists. He has consistently improved his playing performance since that first year. He ended the 2016/17 season 12 goals and 23 points.

Some have said that his play is inconsistent; however, as the ninth highest scoring player on the team we see many more opportunities for him and the Capitals. In the upcoming season we want to see Burky taking chances and shooting the puck more to score. He has a capability that, along with the likes of the veterans on the team, could just a few of those shots with you while we wait for his return from Sweden!

Burakovsky is one of the shortest term contracts signed by returning players. Described as a “bridge contract,” it gives the Caps time to see if he can step up his performance before they commit to a longer agreement.  His is a two-year $6 million contract. Mike Vogel tweeted out terms of the deal:

Kuzy, Kuzy, Kuzy. Can we just say how excited we are to see him signed by the Washington Capitals? He has everything to offer the team as they begin to rely more and more on the younger players to augment, and eventually replace, the veteran players.  Kuznetsov is the third highest scoring Capitals ‘ player with 59 points, although his numbers are down from the previous high of 77 points in the 2015/16 season.  On balance, his playoff performance this year exceed his previous three points in two seasons and five this past season.

Kuzy is another personality that shines on and off the ice and we hope that he will bring back the magical scoring and talent that excites us so much. We have long thought he has the potential of becoming the face of the Caps as fellow Russian Alex Ovechkin nears the end of his time in DC. At 24, Kuznetsov could be on the cusp of a great career in the NHL.

His new contract should keep him in Washington for eight years. At $62.4 million he will average $7.8 million a year. It is clear that the Capitals also see him as the future face of the Caps – along with TJ Oshie who also signed an eight-year contract this summer.

Kuzy tweeted out his appreciation for the new deal:

And, we have to say that they are among our favorite players to capture with the camera. Congrats guys!!

 

Capitals Franchise: Some Signings and Some Waiting

BREAKING: Capitals Sign Chandler Stephenson

In the past couple of days the Washington Capitals (and Hershey Bears) have re-signed a few of their players. Meanwhile, we know that  the Caps tendered qualifying offers to restricted free agents Phillip Grubauer, Andre Burakovsky, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Dmitry Orlov. We are waiting and waiting to hear that these fellows are all locked up.

The NHL Free Agency begins 1 July. Players must have been provided with a qualifying offer to enable the team to continue to negotiate the terms of a new contract. Those not receiving qualifying offers become unrestricted free agents (UFA) and can negotiate with anyone (including their home team) for a new contract. Those with qualifying offers may accept the offer, reject the offer, or head into arbitration to try and get a better deal.

TJ Oshie is the first of the players signed last week. He inked an eight-year $46 million agreement with an annual salary cap hit of $5.75 million.

Bob McKenzie (TSN) reported that Brett Connolly – who we understand from the Caps was not given a qualifying offer – signed a “two-year deal with on AAV of $1.5 million per year.” Although Spotac has the details fed into their list of Capitals contracts, the organization has yet to officially announce the contract.

The Caps have five UFAs who most likely will not return to the Capitals next season, mostly because there just isn’t enough money to go around. There are lots of rumors circulating about Williams, Alzner, and Shattenkirk but nothing definitive yet. Most frequently we are hearing interest from the Leafs and Habs.

  • Centers Dan Winnik and Paul Carey
  • Right Wing Justin Williams
  • Defensemen Karl Alzner and Kevin Shattenkirk

According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie the Capitals have agreed to terms with Connolly on a two-year contract that will pay him an average annual salary of $1.5 million per season.

The Caps have signed the following players with the Bears:

Chris Bourque (One Year),

Pheonix Copley (Two Years),

Christian Djoos (Two Years)

Chandler Stephenson (Two Years)

Nathan Walker (Two Years)

Bears Coach Troy Mann has suggested that Walker and Stephenson are close to playing for the NHL.

These players do not yet have contracts. We have heard that Stan Galiev does not intend to return to play in the for the Caps this year and was actually placed on the available list to Vegas. .

Christian Thomas, Stan Galiev, Paul Carey, Garrett Mitchell, Tom Gilbert.Darren Dietz,Travis Boyd, Liam O’Brien,

The Caps reportedly tendered qualify offers to  Liam O’Brien and Travis Boyd, although we have yet to see a contract.

We’ll keep watching to see what happens. We are pretty confident that the RFA’s will be locked down as soon as General Manager Brian MacLellan and the team of lawyers settle on terms that fit the very tight salary cap. And lets’ not forget that there are some intriguing young players showing their stuff at development camp who could find themselves at Hershey when players move up to DC and the big league.

The Ovechkin Future: How Teams Deal with Their Fading Stars

The Capitals are in the position to begin thinking about transitioning their high-performing players to aging under-performing players. And by under-performing we mean players whose stats are on the decline compared to their previous performance or to the performance of newer younger players. Yes we mean Alex Ovechkin in particular.

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Just a year ago we were talking about the maturity of the Caps top line players. At that point we focused on how they had grown as they learned from their mistakes. They had time to hone their hockey skills. And yes, they had matured in their personal lives too, as most of the older players are now married (or in long-term relationships) with children. Today; however, they are the ‘aging’ players whose player maturity will have less impact as they come against younger, stronger, and faster players around the league. Continue reading “The Ovechkin Future: How Teams Deal with Their Fading Stars”