AUBURN, Ala. (AP) Auburn's Gus Malzahn has hired J.B. Grimes to coach the offensive line.
Grimes has more than 30 years of college experience and held the same post for Malzahn last season at Arkansas State. Auburn announced the hiring Wednesday.
Malzahn calls Grimes ``a tremendous coach who is one of the nation's top teachers at the offensive line position.''
Grimes' most recent posts before Arkansas State included stints at Kansas (2010-11) and Mississippi State (2004-08). He also has worked at East Carolina, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech and Arkansas among other stops.
The Capitals had two major items on their to-do list this offseason: Sign a coach and re-sign defenseman John Carlson. Now all they need is a coach.
Carlson was on the verge of becoming one of the most sought-after free agents of the summer on July 1. Instead, he has agreed to a major deal to stay in Washington, it has been confirmed to NBC Sports Washington. The deal will be for eight years, $64 million carrying a cap hit of $8 million per year.
The contract also reportedly includes protection for the lockout seasons.
The Caps attached Brooks Orpik and his $5.5 million cap hit along with Philipp Grubauer in a trade with the Colorado Avalanche on Friday, helping free up a significant amount of cap space to help re-sign the star defenseman.
Carlson, 28, had a career year with 15 goals and 68 points in 2017-18. He followed that up with an incredibly strong postseason performance with five goals and 20 points in 24 games.
The Carlson contract was one of the biggest decisions of the offseason because of the trickle-down effect it will have on the team's remaining free agents. Now general manager Brian MacLellan knows exactly how much he has to spend on free agents like Tom Wilson and Devante Smith-Pelly.
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Free agency does not start until July 1, but John Carlson's agent is already taking calls from other interested teams.
The interview period began at 12 a.m. on Sunday morning, which means teams are now able to reach out to any potential free agents, but no contracts can be signed until July 1. While Brian MacLellan said Friday that a new deal with Carlson to keep him in Washington was "really close," Carlson's agent, Rick Curran, has made it clear there was no deal in place yet as of Sunday.
So does this mean Carlson now has one foot out the door?
At this point in the negotiation, Carlson has a major advantage and that advantage is time. Sunday's interview period is just another way to hold the Caps' feet to the fire. The closer we get to July 1, the more pressure the team is under to get a deal done.
But the Caps still have some leverage too.
“I love it here and all that,” Carlson said during on breakdown day. “I want to stay here, but there's more to it than that.”
By rule, as his current team, the Caps are the only team that can offer Carlson an eight-year deal.
So Carlson may have turned up the heat a few degrees on the Caps, but it's not time for fans to worry just yet.
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