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Johansson, Caps avoid arbitration with new three-year deal

Johansson, Caps avoid arbitration with new three-year deal

On the day in which the Caps and Marcus Johansson were set to meet in arbitration, both sides have avoided the hearing by reaching a deal for a three-year, $13.75 million contract, the team announced Wednesday. Johansson will earn $4.25 million in 2016-17 and $4.75 million in 2017-18 and 2018-19, with a cap hit of just over $4.58 million per year.

Johansson, 25, looked poised to go to arbitration for the second-straight year, becoming the first player to do so since 2006. Instead, both sides were able to reach an eleventh-hour deal to lock Johansson in for the long term.

The deal also includes a five-team no-trade clause in the last two years of the contract, reports Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post. A no-trade clause does not provide protection against next year's expansion draft meaning the Caps are not obligated to protect Johansson.

Just one year after setting career highs in goals (20) and points (47), Johansson put together another solid campaign with 46 points in 2016-17. The consistency earned Johansson a significant raise on the $3.75 million he was awarded in arbirtation in 2015. The new deal will also take him past restritced status meaning this will be the last arbitration battle we see between the two sides.

"I love the guys here, I love everything here," Johansson said at the end of the season. "I love the fans, I love coming to the rink here everyday and I hope I can continue to do that."

RELATED: How much faith do fans have in the Caps?

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Capitals are shaking up the coaching staff in Hershey

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The Hershey Bears

Capitals are shaking up the coaching staff in Hershey

The contracts of Hershey Bears head coach Troy Mann and Bears assistant coach Ryan Murphy will not be renewed for next season, the Capitals announced Wednesday. Hershey finished in last place in the Atlantic Division and did not qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2014.

“Troy is a dedicated and hard-working coach and we appreciate all he has done for the Hershey Bears,” said Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan. “At this point, we feel a fresh approach and a change in leadership is needed in order for us to continue to develop our young players towards the next level and for success at the AHL level. We also want to thank Ryan for his contributions to the Hershey Bears and wish him all the best.”

Just two seasons ago, the Bears under Mann were playing the Calder Cup Finals where they lost in four games to the Lake Erie Monsters. Mann served as an assistant coach for Hershey from 2009-2013 and was hired as the head coach in 2014. He led the Bears to a record of 162-102-22-18 during his tenure, good for sixth all-time among Hershey coaches in wins.

Mann coached several current Capitals players in Hershey including Travis Boyd, Chandler Stephenson, Jakub Vrana, Madison Bowey, Christian Djoos and Philipp Grubauer, among others. Hershey also currently boasts several of the Caps' biggest prospects such as Lucas Johansen, Connor Hobbs, Riley Barber and Jonas Siegenthaler.

Murphy was with the Bears for all four years of Mann's tenure. He started in video development in Mann's first season and was promoted to assistant coach the following year.

“We’d like to thank Troy Mann and Ryan Murphy for their contributions to the Hershey Bears organization,” said Hershey vice president of hockey operations, Bryan Helmer. “While we are looking to move our hockey club forward, today is certainly an emotional day. I had the pleasure of working with both Troy and Ryan behind the bench for two seasons, and consider them to be great people. We wish both all the best in future endeavors.”

Coaching in the AHL is a tough job as coaches are expected to bring the team success while also developing their NHL club's prospects. There are times when the two goals do not necessarily line up which can make it a difficult balance.

Considering how important it is to develop talent from within, AHL coaches are very significant parts of an organization. Getting the right guy in charge of Hershey won't just boost the AHL team, but will help the Caps down the line with developed players.

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: And so we meet again

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: And so we meet again

We all knew this was coming, right?

The Capitals will face the Pittsburgh Penguins in the playoffs for the third consecutive season and for the 11th time in franchise history. Washington has only beaten Pittsburgh once in their previous 10 series. This season gives them the opportunity to get over the second round and Pittsburgh hump once and for all.

Will this year be different? Will the Caps finally take down their arch nemesis? Will they finally advance to the conference final?

JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir break down the Caps-Penguins matchup in the Capitals Faceoff Podcast.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page