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Possible Caps free agent target Shipachyov to stay in Russia for another year

Possible Caps free agent target Shipachyov to stay in Russia for another year

Russian forward Vadim Shipachyov turned heads at the IIHF World Championships in May, but he will not be headed to the NHL anytime soon. According to KHL reporter Alvis Kalnins, Shipachyov will be staying with his KHL team SKA St. Petersburg for at least one more year.

RELATED: 2015-16 CAPITALS SEASON IN REVIEW: DANIEL WINNIK

Shipachyov led the IIHF tournament with 18 points (6 goals, 12 assists) while playing for Team Russia leading Evgeny Kuznetsov to label him the "Russian Crosby." Given his free agent status and a Russian roster that included three Caps—Kuznetsov, Alex Ovechkin, Dmitry Orlov—Washington made sense as a possible NHL destination.

Initial reports of Shipachyov's status in the KHL, however, were not as clear-cut as previously thought. While the exact details of what his contract status was remain unclear, what is clear is that he will not be coming to the NHL in 2016.

In fact, in his 30 Thoughts published on Wednesday, Elliotte Friedman reports that SKA is trying to sign him to an extension. Given his current age (29), if he were to sign an extension, it seems unlikely that he would ever come to the NHL at all.

MORE CAPITALS: 2015-16 CAPITALS IN REVIEW: JASON CHIMERA

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: The Caps add two defensemen, problem solved?

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NBC Sports Washington

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: The Caps add two defensemen, problem solved?

The Capitals got their trade deadline started early by trading for defensemen Michal Kempny and Jakub Jerabek. Washington has been struggling of late, but do their new acquisitions address the team's weaknesses?

JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir evaluate the two trades and talk about where they could fit into the lineup.

You can listen to the latest episode here on the Capitals Faceoff page or with the player below.

Want even more great Capitals coverage? Follow @TarikNBCS and @JJReganNBCS on Twitter!

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Caps make second blue line addition, acquire Jakub Jerabek from Montreal

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USA TODAY Sports

Caps make second blue line addition, acquire Jakub Jerabek from Montreal

The Capitals continued to retool their scuffling blue line on Wednesday, acquiring 26-year-old defenseman Jakub Jerabek from Montreal in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2019.

The move comes a couple of days after GM Brian MacLellan dealt a conditional third-round selection to Chicago for swift skating Michal Kempny.

Both Jerabek and Kempny are left shot, puck-moving defensemen who move well and make crisp outlet passes. Both also hail from the Czech Republic.

RELATED: BRADEN HOLTBY BLAMES HIMSELF FOR TAMPA LOSS

The team sees Jerabek as a No. 5 or 6, I’m told.

On Wednesday, the Caps also officially said goodbye to Taylor Chorney, who was claimed off waivers by Columbus. Chorney will report to the Blue Jackets.

The Caps were off on Wednesday as they made their way Florida for Thursday night’s meeting with the Panthers, so it’s unclear how Coach Barry Trotz intends to deploy his new defensemen.

But it’s probably safe to assume that Kempny will move into a spot within the top four with John Carlson, Dmitry Orlov and Matt Niskanen.

MORE CAPITALS: GET TO KNOW MICHAL KEMPNY

That figures to leave Brooks Orpik and Jerabek on the third pair, while rookies Christian Djoos and Madison Bowey jockey for position as the next man up.

Kempny is expected to make his Caps’ debut on Thursday night.

Is the Caps’ D corps better? Well, that remains to be seen. But it had become clear to MacLellan and Co. in recent weeks that the status quo was not going to cut it. This month, in fact, the team has allowed 39 goals in 10 games. Only the Rangers (40) have allowed more in the same span.

With the trade deadline looming next Monday, the Caps now have roughly $617,000 in cap space, according to www.capfriendly.com, and are at the roster maximum of 23 players. So they would need to make a move in order to add another body.