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‘Brobeans’ Tom Wilson and Michael Latta reunite on Caps Social

‘Brobeans’ Tom Wilson and Michael Latta reunite on Caps Social

On Friday, Tom Wilson surprised some of his former teammates as he joined the Capitals’ Twitter show Caps Social. On Thursday, it was his turn to be surprised. Wilson was the guest for the show on Thursday when his former teammate and roommate, Michael Latta, joined in.

You can watch the full video here:

Here are some of the best moments from the interview.

Funny you should mention him…

Before Latta joined the video chat, Wilson was asked who from the NHL he has been chatting with during the season's pause and he actually brought up Latta.

"I actually talked to Latts today a little bit," Wilson said. "He was checking in on me which a good ol' roommate would do."


Halle makes an appearance

Halle has taken Washington by storm since Wilson adopted the young pup. Not surprisingly, she made an appearance, though she was very sleepy.

She's getting big.

Latta makes his entrance and provides commentary on Wilson's pictures

Latta joined the video while Wilson was in mid-sentence.

"No way!" Wilson said. Latta just as they began going through old photos of Wilson and the commentary was pretty great.

When shown a nervous-looking Wilson at the combine, Latta remarked he was probably just worried someone would ask him to read something since, "You can't read."

Some of the pictures also included Latta as the two were roommates when Latta played with the Caps. The infamous picture of their refrigerator was shown in which they had almost nothing but three gigantic bottles of ketchup. As it turns out, the ketchup was from Costco and just too good of a deal to pass up.

There were plenty more pictures and banter between the two, as well as a visit from Wilson's partner at Bash Box. For those of you missing hockey, this is a good distraction.

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Grading the Caps' offseason moves: Letting Chimera and Latta go

Grading the Caps' offseason moves: Letting Chimera and Latta go

The quest for the Stanley Cup doesn't begin on the ice, but during the offseason as general managers build their teams for the upcoming campaign.

The Caps have made a number of moves this summer to try to make their team better and get over the playoff hump.

Let's break down and grade each move the team made this offseason to help figure out whether it was the right move for the team.

Today's move: Letting go of Jason Chimera and Michael Latta

It's always sad to see players go, especially one that has been with the team as long as Jason Chimera, but knowing when to walk away is part of the business.

After some struggles in his first season with Barry Trotz, Chimera thrived in the second year, tying a career high in goals with 20. His 40 points in 2015-16 were the second-highest of his career. But at 37 years old, how much could the Caps reasonably expect to get from him next season?

Selling high seems to be a lost art in professional sports. Contracts are supposed to be based on what you believe a player will do, not what he did. Chances are Chimera, a player who's biggest asset is his speed, is not going to hit 40 points again.


Let's also consider what his role would next season. After trading for Lars Eller, the Caps are set at center on all four lines. That means someone, either Marcus Johansson or Andre Burakovsky, is moving to the third line and bumping Chimera down to the fourth where Daniel Winnik is already set to play. Is Chimera a better fit than Winnik? You could argue that, but Winnik is already under contract and Chimera is not.

Chimera's career year would also mean paying him at least $2 million, money the team no longer had thanks to the Eller deal.

"With the trade for Eller and our RFA guys, Johansson and Orlov, we weren't going to be able get to that two range or above two range," general manager Brian MacLellan said to the media. "You get attached to Chimera, he's been a good player for us, a fun guy to have around, good personality so it's disappointing to see him go, but sometimes you've just got to move on."

The decision to walk away from Michael Latta came early in the offseason when the Caps chose not to offer him a qualifying offer thus making him a free agent.

Latta is a fourth-line player who can play center or wing. With Jay Beagle and Mike Richards playing center, Latta became primarily a wing in the 2015-16 season. He was ultimately bumped out of the lineup as Tom Wilson moved down to right wing on the fourth line and did not appear in a single playoff game in 2016.

Richards is gone, but the trade for Eller will push Beagle to fourth line center. That leaves right wing on the fourth line as the only spot for Latta. Wilson will likely move up to the third line this season, but with the signing of Brett Connolly, the Caps still don't have room for Latta in the lineup. The team could have kept him as a 13th forward to cycle in and out of the lineup, but that appears to be the role Stanislav Galiev will fill again this season.

Grade: A-

With a roster as talented as the Caps, you could tell there was going to be a cap squeeze heading into the offseason. The writing was on the wall for Latta when he did not make an appearance in the playoffs. The only thing the Caps are thinking about now is winning in the postseason and if they don't feel Latta helps them there, it makes perfect sense to move on. If Connolly can remain healthy, his upside is much higher than Latta's.

Chimera ultimately played his way out of Washington with his fantastic season. The Caps could not afford to re-sign him at a price anywhere close to what he would have gotten on the market, as his new two-year, $4.5 million deal shows.

The only thing that bumps this down from an A to an A- is losing Chimera's speed. Speed is becoming more and more valuable in the NHL, as the Pittsburgh Penguins showed, and the Caps just lost their fastest player. This was the only option, however, after the team traded for Winnik at the trade deadline. There's just not room for both. If you think Winnik's cap hit is too high for a fourth line player ($2.25 million) they would have had the exact same problem if they re-signed Chimera.

It's sad to see Chimera, a true locker room personality, and brobean Latta leave, but MacLellan didn't really have any choice.


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For Capitals' Michael Latta, writing was on the wall

For Capitals' Michael Latta, writing was on the wall

For the past several weeks, whenever he was asked about issuing qualifying offers to his four restricted free agents, Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan always said he would.

He followed through with those three quarters of those intentions on Monday night by qualifying forwards Marcus Johansson ($3.75 million) and Tom Wilson ($874,125) and defenseman Dmitry Orlov ($2.25 million), but declined to retain the rights of center Michael Latta, who required a minimum qualifying offer of $632,500.

Johansson and Orlov each have arbitration rights because they’ve been in the NHL for more than four seasons. Wilson, who has been in the league three seasons, does not.

The Caps’ decision not to qualify Latta, 25, should not come as a surprise to Capitals fans after a season in which Latta clearly became the odd-man out, especially after the midseason signing of free agent Mike Richards.

Aside from AHL callups Chris Brown and Chandler Stephenson, no one on the Capitals roster averaged less ice time than Latta’s 8:05. Latta dressed in just two of the Caps’ final 24 games of the regular season and was a healthy scratch in all 12 playoff games. He finished the season with three goals, four assists and 50 penalty minutes in 43 games and finished his three-year career with the Capitals with four goals and 13 assists in 113 games. 

Latta, 25, expressed his gratitude to the Capitals and their fans in a tweet, saying, “Thank you Washington, love the city, love the fans. Looking forward to earning an opportunity somewhere else.”

Latta will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and is hoping another NHL team signs him.

 “We’ll see,” Latta said when asked about his future in Washington following the Caps’ playoff exit. “We’ll figure it out. I’ll talk to Trotzy (Barry Trotz) and Mac (Brian MacLellan) and kind of see what their plans are for me. I’m not really sure what they’re thinking. We’ll take it a day at a time and go from there.

“It is what it is. We’ll see. I came to practice every day and showed up and worked hard and tried to be a good pro and not bring the team down. I tried to be a pro that way and hopefully it pays off with a new contract.”

After the season, MacLellan acknowledged that Latta had become a spare part that was rarely used in the second half.

 “He’s got to be frustrated,” MacLellan said. “I think he’s a great teammate. Guys love having him around, coaches like him. I think the key for him is he’s got to bring something besides energy in that fourth-line role. He’s got to kill penalties, there’s got to be another dimension to his game for him to be successful in the league.”

With Latta and his pugnacious playing style no longer on the Capitals' roster it will be interesting to see if the team tries to replace his grit by signing a hard-hitting fourth-line winger like Islanders forward Matt Martin, who becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1. 

Here is a list of teams that reported their lists of qualifying offers

Anaheim Ducks (3): F Stefan Noesen, F Rickard Rakell, D Hampus Lindholm

Arizona Coyotes (5): F Stefan Fournier, F Tyler Gaudet, F Tobias Rieder, D Connor Murphy, D Michael Stone

Boston Bruins (6): F Brian Ferlin, F Alexander Khokhlachev, D Chris Casto, D Torey Krug, D Colin Miller, D Joe Morrow

Buffalo Sabres (7): F Daniel Catenacci, F Marcus Foligno, F Zemgus Girgensons, D Jake McCabe, DCasey Nelson, D Rasmus Ristolainen, G Jason Kasdorf

Calgary Flames (4): F Johnny Gaudreau, F Freddie Hamilton, F Sean Monahan, D Tyler Wotherspoon

Carolina Hurricanes (7): F Patrick Brown, F Victor Rask, F Brody Sutter, F Brendan Woods, D Keegan Lowe, D Ryan Murphy, D Dennis Robertson

Colorado Avalanche (5): F Mikhail Grigorenko, F Nathan MacKinnon, D Tyson Barrie, D Duncan Siemens, G Calvin Pickard

Columbus Blue Jackets (4): F Alex Broadhurst, F T.J. Tynan, D Scott Harrington, D Seth Jones

Dallas Stars (4): F Valeri Nichushkin, F Matej Stransky, D Jamie Oleksiak, G Maxime Lagace

Edmonton Oilers (1): David Musil

New Jersey Devils (5): F Reid Boucher, F Jacob Josefson, F Sergey Kalinin, F Kyle Palmieri, D Reece Scarlett

New York Rangers (6): F Chris Kreider, F Kevin Hayes, F J.T. Miller, F Nicklas Jensen, F Marek Hvirik, D Dylan McIlrath  

Ottawa Senators (7): F Casey Bailey, F Ryan Dzingel, F Mike Hoffman, F Max McCormick, F Matt Puempel, D Cody Ceci, D Fredrik Claesson

Philadelphia Flyers (5): F Nick Cousins, F Jordan Weal, F Brayden Schenn, F Petr Straka D Brandon Manning

Montreal Canadiens (3): F Daniel Carr, F Phillip Danault, F Andrew Shaw

Nashville Predators (4): F Calle Jarnkrok, D Taylor Aronson, D Stefan Elliott, D Petter Granberg

Pittsburgh Penguins (1): F Dom Uher

San Jose Sharks (4): F Ryan Carpenter, F Tomas Hertl, F Matt Nieto, D Dylan DeMelo

St. Louis Blues (8): F Jacob Doty, F Magnus Paajarvi, F Ty Rattie, F Jaden Schwartz, D Jordan Caron, G Jordan Binnington, G Pheonix Copley, G Anders Nilsson

Tampa Bay Lighting (7): F Yanni Gourde, F Alex Killorn, F Nikita Kucherov, F Vladislav Namestnikov, F Tye McGinn, D Nikita Nesterov, G Kristers Gudlevskis

Washington Capitals (3): F Marcus Johansson, F Tom Wilson, D Dmitry Orlov

Winnipeg Jets (8): F Joel Armia, F JC Lipon, F Adam Lowry, F Mark Scheifele, F Brandon Tanev, D Brenden Kichton, D Julian Melchiori, D Jacob Trouba