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Caps sign center Nic Dowd to three-year contract extension

Caps sign center Nic Dowd to three-year contract extension

ARLINGTON — Nic Dowd did not let on that anything big had happened to him today. 

Sitting at his locker, hours before his first Stanley Cup playoff game, Dowd patiently answered questions about his role with the Capitals this season, about the ups and downs of trying to establish himself with a new team that had won a title last spring and came back almost intact.

Dowd’s day got better. The Capitals signed him to a three-year, $2.25 million contract extension on Thursday. A player drafted in the seventh round in 2009, Dowd had a long road to get to the NHL and finally has some stability .

He grew up Huntsville, Ala., where his dad, Alan, practiced medicine. That’s not exactly a hockey hotbed. The nearest NHL rink is a few hours up the highway in Nashville. But Dowd spent a year playing junior hockey in Indiana and then four years at St. Cloud State, where he went to a Frozen Four with current Capitals teammate Nick Jensen. 

After that came two full years in the American Hockey League playing in a loaded Los Angeles Kings organization. Dowd helped the Manchester Monarchs win an AHL title, but all that got him was five NHL games the next season in Los Angeles. 

After he broke in with the Kings in 2016-17 for a full season, Dowd was traded last year to the Vancouver Canucks and not re-signed after the season. 

The Capitals had a hole at fourth-line center when Jay Beagle left for a big-money contract with the Canucks. They liked Dowd and gave him a shot on a one-year deal worth $650,000. He has eight goals and 14 assists in 64 games. He had a nice streak in November with three goals in four games, including one in consecutive games in New York with Alan watching from suites on the team’s annual dads and mentors trip to games against the Rangers and Islanders. 

Dowd appeared in 21 of 23 games down the stretch as he solidified his hold on the fourth-line center role. He is second on the Capitals in faceoff winning percentage (51.9 percent). Ironically, his good friend Jensen, a college teammate and member of his wedding party, signed a four-year contract after being acquired by the Capitals just before the Feb. 25 NHL trade deadline.   

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Braden Holtby, Tom Wilson make strong statements in support of Black Lives Matter protesters

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Braden Holtby, Tom Wilson make strong statements in support of Black Lives Matter protesters

As protests have taken place in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., to raise the issue of racial injustice in the U.S., Capitals goalie Braden Holtby and forward Tom Wilson have mulled how to use their platforms in order to help the cause.

On Wednesday, both veteran stars released statements voicing their support for the Black Lives Matter movement, which has been in the national spotlight since George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer in an arrest that was captured on video May 25.

Holtby, whose wife Brandi posted a message on Twitter from both of them Tuesday, encouraged protestors to continue spreading their message and ridiculed the country’s current climate for its “injustice and hatred infused power.”

Wilson vowed to donate to the East Of The River Mutual Aid Fund and the Fort Dupont Cannons, who are based in D.C. and known to be the oldest minority hockey program in the U.S. He closed out his statement by writing, “I am contributing to these funds today, but I am committing to learn, to listen and to support going forward.”

Holtby and Wilson were the latest Capitals to weigh in on the protests after defenseman John Carlson committed to being “a part of the solution” and forward Alex Ovechkin called for everyone to “respect and love each other no matter what we look like.”

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Former Capitals forward Brett Connolly offers options to take tangible action against racism

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Former Capitals forward Brett Connolly offers options to take tangible action against racism

The senseless murder of George Floyd has shed light on the racism that still exists within America. In the wake of his tragic death, there are many who want to take action but are not sure how. Brett Connolly is here to help.

The former Capitals forward tweeted out a heartfelt message on Tuesday in response to a Tweet from J.T. Brown.

Connolly then took the extra step of Tweeting out a number of ways to take tangible action against racism including organizations you can support and donate to, places you can contact and movies you can watch to learn more.

Connolly was largely a soft-spoken player in his three seasons in Washington, but he did decline an invite to the White House extended to the Capitals as Stanley Cup champions. Connolly would not go into detail on why.

Connolly left Washington as a free agent in the summer and is in his first season with the Florida Panthers.

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