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Capitals add some punch to their lineup

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Capitals add some punch to their lineup

The Capitals have addressed their need for depth down the middle with Thursday's signing of unrestricted free agent center Zach Sill to a one-year, two-way deal. The Capitals announced the agreement after published reports of the signing.

A hard-hitting, glove-dropping instigator, Sill, 27, had one goal, three assists and 84 penalty minutes in 63 games for the Penguins and Maple Leafs last season, his first full season in the NHL.

“They came with an offer and it was a good one,” Sill told the Truro Daily News. “I think there’s a good chance I’ll be able to play there. They have a good strong team and it looks like a good situation to go into.”

At 6-foot, 202 pounds, Sill has 48 career fights, eight of them against either the Hershey Bears or Capitals, including one with Tom Wilson last season. He also fought Jay Beagle back in 2010 when Beagle was with the Bears and Sill was a member of the Wilkes Barre-Scranton Penguins.

Sill could challenge Michael Latta at the fourth-line center spot in training camp. In 53 games for the Capitals last season Latta had no goals, six assists and 68 penalty minutes, including eight fights.

At the very least Sill will provide the Bears with some of the veteran leadership they are lacking.

Sill told the Truro Daily News he expects to challenge for a roster spot with the Capitals in September, when he will be reunited with former Penguins teammates Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen, as well as assistant coach Todd Reirden.

 “I’m going to have to go in there and battle for a spot and try to beat somebody else out and play for that 12th or 13th forward. Kind of the same thing I did in Pittsburgh last year. It’s going to be hard and a challenge, but I think I’m up for it.”

Sill said he’s anxious to share the same ice as Caps captain Alex Ovechkin.

“I’ve played against him and he’s not that fun to play against,” he said. “He hits like a truck and he’s a hard-nosed player. It’s going to be good.”

MORE CAPITALS: Blast from the past: Galiev back in the picture

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Capitals stars react to losing Barry Trotz as head coach

Capitals stars react to losing Barry Trotz as head coach

LAS VEGAS—Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom weren’t expecting to lose their head coach less than two weeks after winning the Stanley Cup.

But business is business, Ovi said, and Barry Trotz is handling his by attempting to capitalize on claiming the championship.

“It’s sad,” Ovechkin said on the red carpet at the NHL Awards, where he accepted his seventh Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy on Wednesday night. “Obviously, we won together.”

The Caps’ captain also thanked Trotz for directing him—and his teammates—to new heights.  

“First of all, [I want to] thank him for a great job to be our coach, to be our dad, to give us a chance to win,” Ovechkin said. “But then again, it’s a business. You never know what’s going to happen. I’m pretty sure he’s going to be fine and I wish him luck.”

Backstrom, meanwhile, said he was caught off guard by Trotz’s decision to step down over a contract stalemate with the team. Trotz asked for $5 million per for five seasons; the Caps balked over the terms Trotz’s camp sought.   

“I was a little surprised, obviously,” Backstrom said. “I heard the scenario.”

Like Ovechkin, though, Backstrom praised the job Trotz did during his four-year tenure.

“He’s done a great job in Washington,” Backstrom said. “We obviously have him to thank for a lot. He’s done a tremendous job of schooling us and winning a championship. No one is going to take that away from him.”

Trotz’s next move is unclear, but he’s a free agent and currently eligible to negotiate with any team. The Islanders are the only team with an opening for a head coach.

As for Washington, GM Brian MacLellan said that associate coach Todd Reirden will get the first crack at replacing Trotz.

Ovechkin said he thinks Reirden would be a good fit.

“We all respect Todd,” Ovechkin said. “We all like him. Again, it’s not our thing to say who’s going to be head coach, but if it’s going to be Todd, it’s going to be fun.”

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A drawing of the moment Ovi lifted the Stanley Cup makes the moment joyful all over again

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Daniel Duffy on Twitter/@RealArtOfWords

A drawing of the moment Ovi lifted the Stanley Cup makes the moment joyful all over again

How do you make a photo of Alex Ovechkin hoisting the Stanley Cup for the first time even more memorable?

You make it out of all the Capitals' game scores this year, of course.

Capitals fan and artist Daniel Duffy (@RealArtOfWords) posted a phenomenal finished piece commemorating the Cup win on Wednesday, June 20. It's a little meta and astounding to look at, but very fun to try and read. If you want to relive the glory that was the parts of the 2017-18 Capitals season, check out the piece.

The piece, which appears to be done in a traditional medium like pen or marker, holds the team faced, arena played at, and final score of every game. It uses six colors and over sixty lines of text. Ovechkin roars as he holds the Stanley Cup overhead, the white away jersey shaded with bits of grey text. It takes a skilled eye to sort text and colors into shapes and shading, but Daniel did a fantastic job! It's awesome to see a fanbase create different interpretations of iconic moments. We'll surely see more of Ovechkin in this moment.

Just as we thought we were going to get tired of the celebration, fans find new ways to surprise us. Stay creative, Caps fans!

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