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Will Neuvirth face locker room backlash?

Will Neuvirth face locker room backlash?

Its one thing for Matt Bradley to go on a Toronto radio station and say what everyone else had been saying about Alexander Semin for years that his questionable work ethic prevented him from being one of the top players in the game.

Bradley was no longer a member of the Capitals when he made those scathing comments last summer.

Michal Neuvirth is still a member of the Capitals and thats why his recent opinions on Semin, Alex Ovechkin, Braden Holtby and Dale Hunter are gaining so much attention.

Essentially, Bradley had nothing to lose last summer when he criticized Semin. He was already a member of the Florida Panthers, who have since bought out his contract.

Neuvirth has a lot more to lose, namely the respect of his teammates. It is an unwritten rule in hockey that what happens in the locker room stays in the locker room.

Of course, it doesnt always work out that way and Neuvirth provided a less than flattering glimpse inside the Capitals dressing room when he told the Czech website iSportz.cz that Semin didnt have the best work ethic, Ovechkin isnt what he used to be, Holtby is the weakest competition hes ever faced with the Capitals and Hunter simply didnt talk to us goalies at all and its good he left.

The interview, which is translated in parts one and two by Russian Machine Never Breaks, is sure to be a topic of conversation when the Capitals gather in Arlington for the start of training camp and not just by members of the media that cover the team.

No matter how he tries to spin it, Neuvirth probably lost some support in the locker room with his comments, even if he believes them to be true.

Players are keenly aware of what their teammates say about them and you can be sure Ovechkin and Holtby will look at Neuvirth differently this season than they did last. At 24, Neuvirth has a career record of 51-30-9 in the NHL and has a lot more to accomplish before he starts criticizing the play of his teammates.

If Neuvirth was trying to endear himself to his new coach and teammates in an attempt to win back the starting job for the Caps, he picked a peculiar way of doing it.

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Capitals place Taylor Chorney on waivers, which could signal something, or nothing

Capitals place Taylor Chorney on waivers, which could signal something, or nothing

When the Capitals acquired defenseman Michal Kempny on Monday, that put the team at the maximum of 23 players on the roster including eight defenseman.

Another move seemed likely and the Caps made it on Tuesday by placing veteran blueliner Taylor Chorney on waivers.

Teams now will have 24 hours to potentially claim Chorney. Should he clear at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, it is expected that he will be sent to the Hershey Bears of the AHL. Whether he is claimed or sent to Hershey, his entire $800,000 cap hit will no longer count against the Capitals' salary.

One important thing to note, however, is that placing Chorney on waivers was not required in order for Washington to remain under the salary cap.

Having eight defensemen would mean scratching two every game — assuming the team does not dress seven and after that failed experiment in last year's playoffs, why would they — which means it would be a struggle to make sure everyone gets consistent playing time in the final weeks of the season.

Perhaps placing Chorney on waivers is the team trying to get him more playing time to keep him sharp in case the team suffers injuries on the blue line and he is called upon in the playoffs.

Or perhaps it could mean something else.

RELATED: RANKING THE CAPITALS' TOP PROSPECTS

Chorney played on Feb. 15, but that was during the mentor's trip. Barry Trotz's policy for those trips is to get everyone in at least one of those two games. Before that, Chorney had not played since Jan. 2. It certainly seems like the team was comfortable with him being the designated No. 7 and was not all that concerned about getting him regular playing time before now.

When asked if the Kempny trade would mean any roster moves, Trotz said Monday that he was not sure and hinted that perhaps more moves could be coming from general manager Brian MacLellan. Moving Chorney's salary off the books does not clear much cap room, but it does clear some.

Perhaps MacLellan has another move up his sleeve before Monday's trade deadline.

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Michal Kempny excited to move from last place Chicago to first place Caps

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USA TODAY Sports

Michal Kempny excited to move from last place Chicago to first place Caps

On Sunday, Michal Kempny was a defenseman struggling for a spot in the lineup for a team poised to miss the playoffs for the first time since 2008. On Monday, he became potentially an important piece on the roster of the first place Capitals.

The last few days have been quite the whirlwind for Kempny who tallied an assist for Chicago on Saturday in a 7-1 blowout against what is now his current team. While the Blackhawks may have gotten the better of Washington that night, Kempny is excited about the postseason opportunity that now lies in front of him.

"Nobody knows what's happening in Chicago, but I'm really happy and I'm really glad that I can be here," Kempny told reporters on Tuesday after his first skate with the team. "There is option of play a playoff and I'm very happy for it."

RELATED: WHERE MICHAL KEMKPNY FITS IN THE CAPS' LINEUP

The 27-year-old Czech defenseman played only 31 games for the Blackhawks this season, but considering Washington's need to shore up its defense before the trade deadline and the team's willingness to give up a third-round pick to acquire him, it is likely he will have a much more significant role with the Caps.

"I thought that I [was] going to get more space on the ice and more ice time, but I didn't play more than half games," Kempny said of his decision to originally sign with Chicago. "But now I'm here and I'm really glad that I'm here. Washington is amazing city and great organization and I hope I will get a chance to access myself on the ice more than in Chicago."

Kempny will not play in Tuesday's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, but did say he expects to play Thursday when the team visits the Florida Panthers.

When he does get into the lineup, it is unclear just how big a role he will play initially or how the team foresees utilizing him going forward. He is a left-shot defenseman and did tell reporters he prefers to play on that side. It seems unlikely the team would acquire him just to put him on his offside.

As of now, however, everything regarding his role in Washington is up on the air.

"I need everything settle down a little bit," he said. "New teammates, new people around here."

MORE CAPITALS: MEET MICHAL KEMPNY