Capitals

Player out of hospital after near-fatal injury

Player out of hospital after near-fatal injury

HOUSTON (AP) A University of Houston defensive back left a hospital Monday, six days after a hit in practice tore a major vein that feeds his heart and left him in critical condition.

The school said cornerback D.J. Hayden was discharged from Memorial Hermann-Texas Trauma Institute in Houston. Hayden and his family won't be available for comment immediately, UH athletics spokesman David Bassity said.

The senior was taken by ambulance to Memorial Hermann Hospital after the collision last Tuesday. Hayden was rushed into immediate surgery for a tear of the inferior vena cava, the large vein that carries blood from the lower half of the body to the heart.

The injury is 95 percent fatal in the field and is most commonly associated with high-speed motor vehicle injuries, team physician Dr. Walter Lowe said.

``Looking at the whole course of events and the severity of the injury, D.J. has progressed remarkably well and is out a lot sooner than expected,'' Lowe said.

``He's got a lot of healing left to do as the procedure to repair the inferior vena cava is much like a heart transplant,'' Lowe said. ``The sternum should take around three months to heal, and D.J. is expected to be able to resume normal activities without contact in three to four months.''

Hayden was tied for the Conference USA lead with four interceptions and had returns for touchdowns in consecutive games against SMU and UTEP earlier this season. He was named the league's Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 29 after picking off two passes in the 45-35 victory over the Miners.

The 6-foot Hayden transferred to Houston after helping Navarro College win the 2010 national championship. In his first season in Houston, Hayden led the team with 11 pass breakups and five forced fumbles, helping the Cougars finish with a school-record 13 victories and a No. 18 national ranking.

The Cougars (4-6, 3-3 C-USA) have two games left in their 2012 regular season, starting with Saturday's game at Marshall (3-3, 4-6).

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GM Brian MacLellan: Capitals are close to re-signing John Carlson

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GM Brian MacLellan: Capitals are close to re-signing John Carlson

DALLAS—The Caps are “really close” to signing star defenseman John Carlson to a long-term extension, GM Brian MacLellan said Friday night.

“We’re getting closer,” MacLellan said following the first round of the NHL Draft. “Hopefully we can get it done here over the next few days. We’re really close.”

Earlier in the day, the Caps cleared significant space under the salary cap ceiling by trading Philipp Grubauer and Brooks Orpik to Colorado for a second round draft pick (47th overall). 

That space will now be used to lock up Carlson, who could become the best defenseman on the open market if he were to reach it.

MacLellan met with Carlson’s agent, Rick Curran, here on Thursday night.

MacLellan did not divulge any figures, but it’s expected that Carlson’s new contract could come in at eight years and $8 million per—or perhaps a bit more. 

He earned $4 million last season.

Carlson had a career year in 2017-18 and was critical during the Caps' run to the Stanley Cup. He led all defensemen in the regular season with 68 points (15 goals, 53 assists). The 28-year-old also skated a career-high 24:47 per game.

MacLellan has long said that re-signing Carlson was the Caps’ top priority this offseason. And now it looks like that could happen within days, assuming the talks do not hit any snags.

“We’re going to do our best to sign John,” MacLellan said. “We’ve said it all along. We waited until the end of the year. We’ve had discussions. We’re close and hopefully we can close the deal here over the next 24 hours.”

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Capitals go to the WHL again, select defenseman Alex Alexeyev with first-round pick

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Capitals go to the WHL again, select defenseman Alex Alexeyev with first-round pick

The last time the Washington Capitals had a first-round draft pick, they selected a WHL defenseman. They did not go off script on Friday.

With the last pick of the first round, selecting for the first time as defending Stanley Cup champions, the Capitals selected Alexander Alexeyev, a left-shooting, two-way defenseman from St. Petersburg.

Alexeyev, 18, certainly boasts NHL size at 6' 4", 196 pounds. He currently plays for Red Deer in the WHL, a junior league that has become a major pipeline for the Capitals. In his second season with Red Deer, he tallied 37 points in 45 games.

The NHL Central Scouting's rankings list Alexeyev as the 22nd best North American skater of the draft. TSN projects him to be a top-four, two-way defenseman.

Analyst Craig Button described Alexeyev as a "Smart, effective defenceman who moves the puck, plays with a calm and doesn't make things complicated for himself."

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