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Five Caps signings that went under the radar


Five Caps signings that went under the radar

While the Caps were busy making headline news by signing three-time Stanley Cup champion Justin Williams and trading for Olympic sensation T.J. Oshie, general manager Brian MacLellan was also fortifying the club’s depth by signing three forwards and two defensemen to two-way contracts.

Forward Chris Bourque, the son of former Bruins great Ray Bourque, returned to the organization by signing a two-year contract, while forwards Carter Camper and Sean Collins and defensemen Mike Moore and Aaron Ness inked one-year deals. All are expected to play for the AHL Hershey Bears next season.

Here is a little more information on each player:

Chris Bourque, 29, left wing

Bourque has eight points (two goals, six assists) and 18 penalty minutes in 51 career NHL games with Washington, Pittsburgh and Boston. The 5-foot-8, 174-pounder appeared in 13 games with the Capitals from 2008-10, scoring one goal. He was originally drafted by the Caps in the second round [33rd overall] in the 2004 NHL Draft.

In 2014-15, Bourque earned 66 points (29 goals, 37 assists) and 68 penalty minutes in 73 games with the AHL Hartford Wolf Pack. The Boston native led Hartford in goals, points and assists last season and ranked fifth in the AHL in points and tied for fifth in goals and power-play goals (11). Bourque played 392 games for the Bears from 2005-12 and ranks 25th on the club’s all-time games played list.

He won three Calder Cups with Hershey (2006, 2009, 2010) and earned the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy as playoff MVP in 2010. Bourque has registered 499 points (171 goals, 328 assists) and 374 penalty minutes in 510 career AHL games with Hershey, Providence and Hartford.

Carter Camper, 26, center

Camper has one goal in three career NHL games with the Boston Bruins. The 5-foot-9, 176-pounder recorded 52 points (15 goals, 37 assists) and 16 penalty minutes in 75 games with Binghamton (AHL) in 2014-15.

Camper finished the season ranked second among Senators skaters in assists, fourth in points and sixth in goals. The Cleveland native has earned 200 points (56 goals, 144 assists) in 264 career AHL games with Providence, Springfield and Binghamton.

Sean Collin, 26, left wing 

Collins tallied two assists in eight games with the Columbus Blue Jackets last season. The 6-foot-1, 198-pounder made his NHL debut on Feb. 18, 2013, at Anaheim and earned his first NHL point with an assist against the Capitals on Nov. 12, 2013. Collins has earned three assists in 19 career NHL games with Columbus.

The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, native registered 36 points (17 goals, 19 assists) in 64 games with the Springfield Falcons (AHL) in 2014-15 and ranked tied for first on the team in goals, third in points and tied for fifth in assists. In 203 career AHL games with Springfield, Collins has recorded 113 points (45 goals, 68 assists).

Mike Moore, 30, defenseman

Moore has one goal and seven penalty minutes in six career NHL games with the San Jose Sharks. He recorded 14 points (three goals, 11 assists) and 47 penalty minutes in 41 games with Hershey last season and served as an alternate captain for the Bears.

The 6-foot-1, 200-pound defenseman was named Hershey's Man of the Year for his community contributions in 2014-15, marking the fourth time he has earned the honor (Worcester in 2008-09 and 2009-10 and Providence in 2013-14). Moore has registered 123 points (29 goals, 94 assists) in 419 career AHL games with Worcester, Milwaukee, Providence and Hershey.

Aaron Ness, 25, defenseman

Ness has three points (one goal, two assists) in 29 career NHL games with the New York Islanders. The 5-foot-10, 187-pounder earned 45 points (eight goals, 37 assists) and 62 penalty minutes in 74 games with Bridgeport (AHL) last season. Ness served as captain for the Sound Tigers in 2014-15 and finished the season ranked second on the team in assists and third in points. The Roseau, Minn., native has earned 123 points (23 goals, 100 assists) and 179 penalty minutes in 280 AHL games with Bridgeport.

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Blackhawks fans tossed after directing racist remarks at Washington's Smith-Pelly

Blackhawks fans tossed after directing racist remarks at Washington's Smith-Pelly

CHICAGO—Four fans were ejected from United Center on Saturday night for taunting Devante Smith-Pelly as the Capitals’ winger sat in the penalty box.

The fans, according to a team spokesman, yelled “basketball, basketball, basketball” at Smith-Pelly, who is black. Smith-Pelly was in the box for fighting in the third period of an eventual 7-1 loss to the Blackhawks.

The taunts were confirmed by an off-ice official, the spokesman said, and the fans were subsequently removed from the arena.

Smith-Pelly did not speak with reporters after the game but is expected to address the incident at the team’s next media availability. The team is scheduled to practice Sunday at KeyBank Center in Buffalo.

Caps Coach Barry Trotz did not hold back when asked about the fans' comments.

“There’s absolutely no place in the game of hockey or our country for racism,” Trotz said. “I think it’s disgusting, and there’s no place for it. …It just shows ignorance.”

The Blackhawks responded on Twitter with an apology to Smith-Pelly, who is one of roughly 30 black players in the NHL.

February is Hockey is For Everyone month in the NHL.

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3 stars of the game: Caps suffer ugly loss to scuffling Blackhawks

3 stars of the game: Caps suffer ugly loss to scuffling Blackhawks

Just about everything that could go wrong did for the Capitals on Saturday in a 7-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Caps were coming off a strong 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday, but none of that carried over in the trip to Chicago. The Caps took on a Blackhawks team that had lost eight in a row, but Chicago quickly took control in the first period and never looked back.

Washington gave up 21 shots on goal in the first period and found themselves down 3-1 after the opening frame. Things did not get much better from there as they gave up another three goals in the final four minutes of the second.

Here are the three stars of the game.

1. Jonathan Toews: Toews opened up the scoring in the first period with a quick shot from the corner that caught Braden Holtby by surprise.

Later in the first, he recorded an assist as his pass sparked a breakout that led to Brandon Saad's deal that gave Chicago back the lead. The Caps tried to make a game of it in the second period, but Toews intercepted a pass from Brooks Orpik that led to a 2-on-0 with himself and Patrick Kane that Kane netted to give the Blackhawks a 4-1 lead and signaled to everyone that the rout was on. Saturday was only the second three-point night of the season for Toews.

2. Patrick Kane: Toews helped the Blackhawks take control early, but Kane helped provide the knockout punches in the second period. A bad pass from Orpik was intercepted by Toews that led to a 2-on-0 with Kane. Holtby made the initial save on Toews, but Kane was able to knock in the rebound for the goal.

Kane also added an assist on Artem Anisimov's power play goal which extended Chicago's lead to 6-1.

3. Tom Wilson: Before this one got out of hand, it looked like Wilson had erased the tough start for the Caps as he deflected a shot from Matt Niskanen into the net to get Washington on the board.

Saturday's tally was his third goal in two games and his 10th of the season, marking the first time in his career he has reached double digits in goals.