Capitals

Coach Denies He's Joining Nationals

Coach Denies He's Joining Nationals

Thursday, May 6, 2010, 10:06 a.m.CSNwashington.comDraft Player, Sign Coach?
The Nationals are expected to make 17-year old College of Southern Nevada catcher Bryce Harper the first overall pick in next months draft. General manager Mike Rizzo spent last weekend watching Harper in person.Harper may not be the only member of that program the Nationals are pursuing. SI.com reported on Wednesday that the Nationals are working to hire coach Tim Chambers as a scout. Nationals assistant general manager Roy Clark told the website the events are unrelated, citing the years they worked together in Atlanta.Of the report, Chambers told the Las Vegas Sun: Thats pretty funny. I have never been offered a job by them. Those reports are wrong.Allen Not Helping Himself
Brad Biggs from the National Football Post made a good point Wednesday night amid reports that the Redskins had started the purging of their scouting staff by releasing Don Warren and Russ Bollinger.Warren is a former Redskin Super Bowl winner who was brought back to the organization during Joe Gibbs second tour as coach.Allen has made re-connecting with Redskins alumni a priority since he was hired as general manager last December.But Allens efforts to reach out to Redskins of the past might be undermined by the decisions made in the front office, specifically the move not to renew the contract of pro scout Donnie Warren, a 19-year employee of the organization, Biggs writes.Interesting Summer For Wizards
Following a debacle-of-a-season, the Wizards enter the off-season with a new owner (Ted Leonsis) and salary cap space to acquire a difference-making free agent. But will the Wizards flub another opportunity to get better?Matthew Brown of the Bleacher Report writes: There are plenty of things to be hopeful for in the future of the Wizards. The question is, will any of that hope come to fruition in the coming draft and free agency period?Brown advises the Wizards to be wary of bringing back Josh Howard, the center-piece of the Dallas trade that shipped Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson to the Mavericks.Josh Howard was shaping up to be a decent option before he went down for the season with an ACL injury, Brown writes. Now it isn't certain that the team will exercise the option on his contract, making him a free agent. The Wizards cant afford to invest in an injury-prone player, as Howard has become in recent years.Jagr Staying In Russia
It appears Capitals fans wont have the chance to boo Jaromir Jagr next year. Old No. 68 has signed a one-year extension with the Avangard Omsk of the Kontinental Hockey League in Russia.Around the Olympics, there was speculation Jagr would take one final twirl in the NHL.Next year I will be 39; I dont believe many clubs would like to have me on their team, Jagr said. One has to be realistic.Jagr is playing for the Czech Republic in this months World Championships. If he plays Russia, Jagr will probably have his head up after being freight-trained by Alex Ovechkin in the Olympics.

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: On to Vegas!

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USA TODAY Sports

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: On to Vegas!

The Capitals are the Eastern Conference Champions!

After dispatching Tampa Bay in Game 7, the Caps claimed the conference crown for just the second time in franchise history. But they're not done yet. Now it's on to Vegas to face the Golden Knights for the Stanley Cup.

JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir break down the Caps' win over the Lightning and look ahead to the matchup with the Knights.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.

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Michigan's Moritz Wagner could be Wizards' solution for a stretch-five

Michigan's Moritz Wagner could be Wizards' solution for a stretch-five

The pre-draft workout process can be an exhausting journey for players, with so many flights, hotel rooms and NBA arenas that they can all blend in together. Michigan big man Moritz Wagner, though, may have felt a sense of comfort in Washington for his pre-draft workout for the Wizards on Wednesday.

It was just over a year ago that his Michigan Wolverines cut down the nets at Capital One Arena as champions of the Big Ten conference.

"It was good memories, man. Never gets old," he said while glancing around the stadium.

Wagner, 21, will be seeing a lot more of Capital One Arena once he joins the NBA ranks and it is conceivable he ends up in Washington. They hold the 15th pick in the first round and the 44th pick in the second round and Wagner could be within their reach.

Wagner had an impressive workout in Washington and could provide what the Wizards need. He is a big, mobile and can spread the floor. Wagner was terrific at stepping out to hit threes off pick-and-rolls at Michigan and that ability would work well with Wizards All-Star point guard John Wall.

Wagner measured in at just under 7-feet at this month's NBA Combine, fifth-tallest among those who attended. He averaged 14.6 points as a junior this past season and made 39.4 percent of his threes on 4.1 attempts per game.

With three years of college experience and an NBA-ready jumper, Wagner believes he can step right in and help the Wizards.

"I think what we did at Michigan, sharing the ball and playing as a team, very organized basketball, that can help big-time," he said. "It's basically pro basketball I was playing on a different level."

As Wagner will tell you, he is very confident in his abilities. He is comfortable in his own skin and that includes openly discussing his faults. He feels good about his ability to score at the next level. Defense is where he needs to prove himself.

Despite his size, Wagner wasn't much of a rim protector in college. He averaged just a half-block a game as a junior. The Wizards need rim protection badly and he likely would not provide that.

Wagner, though, believes he can bring more to the table defensively than the numbers would suggest.

"I think I've been an offensive guy all of my life, but the more that you mature as a player, you understand that both sides are important. Without defense, you aren't going to play at any level," he said.

"I think the most important thing that I wasn't able to show in college is that I'm able to switch the ball-screen, especially with the way the league is going. Switch on everything and stay in front of guards as a big guy."

Wagner is from Germany and looks up to Mavs legend Dirk Nowitzki, who is entering his 21st season and will be in the Hall of Fame someday. Nowitzki's game has always been built around shooting and, though he developed into a decent shot-blocker in his prime, was never an elite rim protector.

Wagner hopes to follow in his footsteps playing a similar style.

"He was my MJ. He kind of shows you 'okay, this is possible and this is doable.' It's just basketball," Wagner said. "It gives you a lot of hope. It gives you a lot of belief and motivation."

Hear more from Wagner in his one-on-one interview with Chris Miller in our latest Wizards Tipoff podcast. His interview can also be found in the video above:

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