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NHL Trade Tracker 2018: Latest deadline rumors, deals

NHL Trade Tracker 2018: Latest deadline rumors, deals

The 2018 NHL Trade Deadline is nearly here, marking the final point in the season teams can make major shakeups before preparing for the stretch run and the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The 2018 NHL Trade Deadline takes place a week earlier than in 2017, and teams have until 3:00 p.m. ET on Monday afternoon, February 26 to make their final pre-deadline deals. That being said, the trade deadline is not the end of player movement in 2018, but signifies the end of the open trade window.

But with less than a week left, the trade rumors are swirling, with teams putting out feelers and reaching out to potential trade partners.

The Capitals started the trade deadline period a week early, with a minor trade on Monday and another on Wednesday.

RELATED: TRACKING THE FAVORITES TO WIN NHL AWARDS

2018 NHL TRADE DEADLINE TRACKER:

February 26: TRADE — Defenseman Ryan McDonagh is headed to the Tampa Bay Lightning in a massive trade with the New York RangersThe Lightning will get McDonagh and J.T. Miller in exchange for Libor Hajek, Brett Holden, Vladislav Namestnikov, a 2018 first-round pick and a conditional second-round pick.

February 26: TRADE — The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired Josh Jooris from the Carolina Hurricanes for Greg McKegg.

February 26: TRADE — The Vegas Golden Knights added Tomas Tatar, but he did not come cheap. The Detroit Red Wings will receive a first, second and third round picks.

February 26: TRADE — The Minnesota Wild have traded defenseman Mike Reilly to the Montreal Canadiens for a fifth-round pick.

February 26: TRADE — Nick Shore will go to the Calgary Flames in exchange for a seventh-round pick heading to the Ottawa Senators.

February 26: TRADE — The Winnipeg Jets have acquired Joe Morrow. They will send a fourth-round pick to the Montreal Canadiens.

February 26: TRADE — The Edmonton Oilers traded Patrick Maroon to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for a third-round pick and a prospect.

February 26: REPORT — Defenseman Mike Green is staying put with the Detroit Red Wings.

February 26: REPORT— Reporters told at 3 p.m. that the Washington Capitals have not made any trades Monday.

February 26: TRADE — Forward Tomas Vanek is going to the Columbus Blue Jackets.  The Vancouver Canucks are expected to receive Tyler Motte and Jussi Jokinen in exchange.

February 26: RUMOR — The Washington Capitals remain interested in defenseman Ryan McDonagh, but they do not have much cap space. If Washington wants to get this deal done, they will have to clear the space.

February 26: TRADE — The New York Islanders have acquired forward Chris Wagner sending forward Jason Chimera to the Anaheim Ducks.

February 26: TRADE — Forward Evander Kane was considered one of the biggest names at the deadline and he is headed to the San Jose Sharks. The Buffalo Sabres will receive a conditional 2019 first-round pick, a conditional 2020 fourth-round pick and prospect Dan O'Reagan.

February 26: TRADE — The Columbus Blue Jackets have acquired center Ryan Kujawinski from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for center Jordan Maletta. It is a swap of minor league players.

February 26: RUMOR — The Pittsburgh Penguins may not be done just yet. They are reportedly one of a number of teams interested in New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh. There are some conflicting reports on the level of Pittsburgh's interest, however.

February 26: RUMOR — The Minnesota Wild have received offers for defenseman Mike Reilly, but have not made any moves yet and it is not guaranteed they do move him before the deadline.

February 26: RUMOR — A rough season means the Montreal Canadiens are open for business. It appears there is some interest in captain Max Pacioretty from the Anaheim Ducks and the Florida Panthers.

February 26: TRADE — Forward Brendan Leipsic has been traded to the Vancouver Canucks. The Vegas Golden Knights  will received defenseman Philip Holm in exchange.

February 26: TRADE — The Winnipeg Jets have made a surprise move, acquiring forward Paul Stastny from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a first-round pick and prospect Erik Foley. As part of the deal, the Blues will retain 50-percent of Stastny's salary. Stastny had to waive a no-movement clause to accept the trade.

February 26: WAIVERS — The Philadelphia Flyers have claimed defenseman Johnny Oduya off waivers from the Ottawa Senators. The Calgary Flames have claimed forward Chris Stewart from the Minnesota Wild.

February 26: TRADE — The Chicago Blackhawks have traded forward Ryan Hartman and a fifth round draft pick in 2018 to the Nashville Predators in exchange for a first-round pick in 2018,  a fourth-round pick in 2018 and prospect Victor Edjsell.

February 26: RUMOR — The Tampa Bay Lightning are still looking to improve their already dominant roster. They are looking to upgrade both on defense and on the faceoff. Detroit's Luke Glendening is a target for the faceoff.

February 26: TRADE — The Columbus Blue Jackets acquired defenseman Ian Cole from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a third round pick and Nick Moutrey.

February 26: RUMOR — Mike Green has reportedly waived his no-trade protection for specific teams, including the Capitals.

February 26: RUMOR — The Caps are one of the teams in the mix for star defenseman Erik Karlsson. The deal would require a third partner, however, to take Bobby Ryan.

February 25: TRADE — The Montreal Canadiens trade C Tomas Plekanec and RW Kyle Baun to the Toronto Maple Leafs for D Rinat Valiev, LW Kerby Rychel and a second-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. Defenseman Mark Alt has been claimed by the Colorado Avalanche from the Calgary Flames.

February 25: TRADE — The Nashville Predators, Columbus Blue Jackets and Edmonton Oilers make a three-team trade that sends LW Pontus Aberg to the Oilers, C Mark Letestu to the Blue Jackets and a fourth-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft to the Predators. 

February 25: TRADE — The New York Rangers finally trade veteran star LW Rick Nash. The talented forward was dealt the Boston Bruins for C Ryan Spooner, lW Matt Beleskey, D Ryan Lindgren and a seventh-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.

February 24: TRADE — The Edmonton Oilers trade D Brandon Davidson to the New York Islanders in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. 

February 23: TRADE — The Pittsburgh Penguins, Ottawa Senators and Las Vegas Golden Knights make a three-team trade. The Penguins receive C Derick Brassard, LW Vincent Dunn and a third-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. The Senators receive G Filip Gustavsson, a first-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft and a third-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. The Golden Knights receive RW Ryan Reaves and a fourth-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.

February 22: TRADE — The New York Rangers trade Michael Grabner to the New Jersey Devils for D Ygor Rykov and a second-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.

February 22: TRADE — The Boston Bruins trade C Frank Vatrano to the Florida Panthers for a third-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. 

February 21: TRADE — The Los Angeles Kings trade G Darcy Kuemper to the Arizona Coyotes for G Scott Wedgewood and RW Tobias Rieder.

February 21: TRADE — The Montreal Canadiens trade D Jakub Jerabek to the Washington Capitals for a fifth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. (TRADE ANALYSIS)

February 21: RUMOR — The Columbus Blue Jackets have shown interest in acquiring Artem Anisimov from the Chicago Blackhawks, a team attempting a major rebuild toward the end of the 2017-18 season.

February 20: TRADE — The Toronto Maple Leafs trade C Eric Fehr to the San Jose Sharks for a seventh-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.

February 20: RUMOR — The Ottawa Senators are looking to deal D Erik Karlsson and C Bobby Ryan. The Sens have already begun to enter "tank" mode. Moving Karlsson and/or Ryan would make it all but official.

February 20: TRADE — The New York Rangers trade D Nick Holden to the Boston Bruins for D Rob O'Gara and a third-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.

February 19: TRADE — The Chicago Blackhawks trade D Michal Kempny to the Washington Capitals for a third-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. (TRADE ANALYSIS)

February 19: RUMOR — The Anaheim Ducks look to be targeting Vancouver Canucks LW Thomas Vanek, but the Canucks may 'kick tires" on a potential trade if the return isn't right. 

February 19: TRADE — The Detroit Red Wings trade G Petr Mrazek to the Philadelphia Flyers for a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft and a conditional third-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.

February 19: RUMOR — The Pittsburgh Penguins are interested in pursuing speedy New York Rangers RW Michael Grabner.

February 17: RUMOR — The Ottawa Senators' fire sale continues to heat up. The St. Louis Blues are reportedly interested in Senators RW Mike Hoffman and C Derick Brassard.

February 15: TRADE — Toronto Maple Leafs trade RW Nikita Soshnikov to the St. Louis Blues for a fourth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.

February 15: TRADE — The Chicago Blackhawks trade D Ville Pokka to the Ottawa Senators for LW Chris DiDomenico.

February 13: RUMOR — New York Rangers LW Rick Nash is rumored to be a major trade target for virtually every team within playoff reach. The Nashville Predators have been rumored to be the favorites for the former No. 1 overall draft pick.

February 13: TRADE — The Los Angeles Kings trade RW Marian Gaborik and C Nick Shore to the Ottawa Senators for D Dion Phaneuf and C Nate Thompson.

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Date for Capitals home opener, banner raising announced and it's not against the Pittsburgh Penguins

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USA TODAY Sports

Date for Capitals home opener, banner raising announced and it's not against the Pittsburgh Penguins

Just before the Caps turn the page on their Stanley Cup championship season and open a new campaign, they will raise a championship banner to the rafters of Capital One Arena in the home opener. We now have a date for that banner raising.

The Capitals' home opener will be on Oct. 3, but if you were hoping Washington would raise the banner against the Pittsburgh Penguins, you're going to be disappointed.

Instead, the Boston Bruins will be the Caps' first opponent at Capital One Arena for the 2018-19 season.

The Capitals opened the 2016-17 season in Pittsburgh when the Penguins raised their Stanley Cup banner from 2016. That was rubbing salt in the wound as not only are the Penguins Washington's biggest rival, they also eliminated the Caps in the second round of the 2016 playoffs en route to winning the Stanley Cup.

The fact that the Caps had to endure that banner raising led to speculation that the NHL schedule makers would perhaps return the favor and bring the Penguins to Washington as the Caps prepare to raise their first championship banner.

Alas, that was not the case.

It is not typical that the NHL forces teams to play their rivals in a home opener during a banner raising ceremony and it should be noted that the Caps were not in Pittsburgh for the Penguins' 2017 home opener after Pittsburgh's second straight Stanley Cup. The 2016-17 season appears to be little more than a coincidence.

Seeing the Caps raise the Stanley Cup banner on Oct. 3 will be no less sweet without the Penguins in attendance. But it would have been nice.

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Who are the Caps' award winners this season?

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Who are the Caps' award winners this season?

There won't be any suspense for the Capitals on Wednesday night during the NHL Awards show (8 p.m., NBCSN). Alex Ovechkin will receive the Rocket Richard Trophy as the league's top goal scorer, but no other Caps are up for any other hardware.

Instead, let's give out some of our own.

If the NHL awards were reserved just for the Capitals, here's who would be getting each trophy for the 2017-18 season:

Calder Memorial Trophy (best rookie): Jakub Vrana

The Caps had nine players play for the team this season who qualified as rookies according to the NHL: Vrana, Chandler Stephenson, Christian Djoos, Madison Bowey, Jakub Jerabek, Nathan Walker, Shane Gersich, Travis Boyd and Liam O'Brien. Each of the first four were certainly worthy of consideration.

Vrana gets the nod with his 13 goals and 27 points. His game did suffer some inconsistencies throughout the season, but each rookie experienced that as well. Djoos and Bowey played major roles for the Caps this season as both were called upon to be regular blue liners, but they were largely protected by how they were utilized by Barry Trotz.

The deciding factor for me was this: Who was a better fit this season, Vrana when he played in the top six or Djoos when he played in the top four? The answer for me was Vrana.

Lady Byng  Memorial Trophy (sportsmanship combined with high standard of play): Chandler Stephenson

Stephenson recorded 18 points and proved to be a valuable member of the bottom six, but what really stood out was how clean his game was.

Here's a look at the players with the fewest PIM for the Caps this season: Jerabek (0 PIM), Gersich (0), Boyd (2), Tyler Graovac (2), Walker (4), Anthony Peluso (4), O'Brien (5), Stephenson (8), Taylor Chorney (8), Aaron Ness (8).

Excluding Stephenson, Chorney played the most with 24 games. Everyone else played in 11 games or fewer. Stephenson played in 67.

Bill Masteron Memorial Trophy (perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey): Devante Smith-Pelly

This award is unique in that every team gets a nominee as voted on by each local chapter of the Pro Hockey Writer's Association (of which I am a member). All 31 candidates are then voted on by the PHWA at large. I will go with the Capitals' nominee from this season, Smith-Pelly.

Smith-Pelly was bought out of his contract last season by the New Jersey Devils and came to the Caps on a two-way contract. He filled a key role for the Caps on the bottom-six all season despite a shaky training camp and played in 75 games with 16 points.

When faced with racial taunts from fans in Chicago, Smith-Pelly reacted with class and grace in the wake of the incident. The way he handled the situation allowed for a negative to turn into a positive as Chicago fans raised and donated $23,000 to Fort Dupont.

Frank J. Selke Trophy (best defensive forward): Jay Beagle

No Caps forward had a lower percentage of offensive zone starts than Beagle. His 58.5-percent faceoff win percentage was among the league's best. He also blocked 44 shots per game over the course of the season, sixth among the team's forwards, but he had less ice time than all but one of the five forwards ahead of him.

James Norris Memorial Trophy (best defenseman): John Carlson

This one's a slam dunk. Before Michal Kempny was brought on, defensive depth was the obvious weakness of the Caps even before an injury forced Matt Niskanen out of the lineup for 14 games. Carlson was called upon to play nearly 30 minutes a night and he proved himself capable of playing strong, hard minutes on both ends of the ice.

Carlson's 68 points led all defensemen in the league. In a contract year, he earned himself a lot of money with how he played this season.

Vezina Trophy (best goalie): Philipp Grubauer

This one was tough, but considering this is a regular season award, the nod has to go to Grubauer.

Yes, Braden Holtby played in 54 games, 19 more than Grubauer, and he earned 34 wins, 19 more than Grubauer managed. But Grubauer's superiority when it comes to the stats is undeniable.

Holtby: 54 GP, 34-16-4, .907 save percentage, 2.99 GAA, 0 shutouts
Grubauer: 35 GP, 15-10-3, .923 save percentage, 2.35 GAA, 3 shutouts

From Nov. 1 through the rest of the regular season, no goalie who appeared in at least 20 games had a better GAA than Grubauer and only two netminders recorded a better save percentage.

Grubauer stepped in to stabilize the Caps in net when Holtby was in the midst of the worst slump of his career and he helped Washington win the Metropolitan Division with a strong finish to the season, especially in a brilliant performance in Pittsburgh.

There is no doubt Holtby remains the Caps' No. 1 given what he did in the postseason and revisionist history will have many questioning why Grubauer started for the Caps at the beginning of the postseason. If you followed the team all year, however, there was no question who the stronger netminder was at the end of the regular season.

Hart Memorial Trophy (MVP): Alex Ovechkin

Who else?

Carlson comes in at a close second because of what he was tasked to do on defense, but Ovechkin was the MVP for this team.

Not only did he lead the team in points with 87, the Great 8 once again found the fountain of youth scoring 49 goals to lead the NHL after tallying just 33 the season before. His 49 goals accounted for over 19-percent of the Caps' goals this season. Had Ovechkin scored the same number of goals as he did last season, that would have knocked the Caps from 9th in goals all the way down to 15th. That's how important his resurgent offensive performance was to the team.

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