CSNWashington.com Capitals Insider Chuck Gormley will evaluate the 2011-12 performance of each player on the Caps roster. One breakdown will occur every weekday in alphabetical order. Today: Jeff Halpern
HtWt: 6-0, 200
Penalty Minutes: 24
Average Ice Time: 12:36
Contract Status: Unrestricted Free Agent 825,000 cap hit in 2011-12
Strengths: Halpern was the Capitals best faceoff man, leading the club with a 58.4 winning percentage, fifth-best in the NHL. As a former Caps captain he was also a strong and steady voice in the locker room, but that voice was silenced when Halpern was a healthy scratch in 12 of the teams final 15 games and 12 of their 14 playoff games.
Weaknesses: The effects of 861 NHL games have taken a toll on Halpern, whose lack of speed kept him out of the lineup down the stretch and in the playoffs. Halpern could still fill a specialty role as a penalty killer and faceoff specialist, but it likely wont be in Washington.
Memorable Moment on the ice: On Nov. 4, Halpern responded to being a healthy scratch in the previous game by scoring his first goal as a Capital since 2006 when he converted a pass from Mike Knuble in a 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Halpern also helped kill off three straight penalties that helped the Caps improve their record to 9-2-0.
Memorable Moment off the ice: It was hard to find a player with more class than Halpern after he replaced Jay Beagle broken foot in the sixth game of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Rangers. Its not easy, Halpern said after logging 10:23 of ice time in the Caps 2-1 win, which forced a Game 7 in New York. The most difficult part is not being in the game. No matter what anyone says you dont feel part of the team. Mentally, youre trying to keep that game intensity somehow, whether its 3-on-3 games with the coaches or something.
2012-13 Expectations: Halpern says he has every intention of playing next season but after becoming a forgotten man down the stretch under Dale Hunter its hard to imagine it will be in Washington. It obviously wasnt the finish of a season that I personally would have liked, Halpern said. The team was doing well, but as far as for my own personal career and future, you hope that theres a lot of other options out there. A young team looking for veteran leadership might have an interest in Halpern, who has played 12 seasons in the NHL but has never been on a team that made it past the second round of the playoffs.
The Caps made seven selections in the 2018 Draft this weekend. The group featured three defensemen, three forwards and a goalie. Interestingly, a couple of the picks have fathers who enjoyed lengthy NHL careers.
Meet the newest prospects:
1st round, 31st overall: D Alexander Alexeyev, WHL, 6'4", 196 pounds
The Caps' first first-round pick sine 2016, Alexeyev is a smart two-way defenseman with good size.
Alexander Alexeyev’s teammates in Russia nicknamed him “poker face” because of his poise with the puck. And, yeah, he asked Alex Ovechkin about the fountain celebration during their FaceTime conversation yesterday. Haha. #ALLCAPSpic.twitter.com/iVguNmidFq
Wendel Clark was mowing the lawn at his Muskoka cottage when son Kody came running outside to tell dad he'd been picked No. 47 by Stanley Cup-champion #caps. "It's more exciting than when I was picked (1st overall, #leafs, '85)," Wendel said. "It's part of being a dad." #tmltalk
“Watching both of those young men play, they do a lot of the little things properly.” — #ALLCAPS Assistant GM Ross Mahoney on Kody Clark and Riley Sutter, both the sons of longtime NHLers (Wendel Clark and Ron Sutter). pic.twitter.com/aK9d1FnJvB
A Harvard commit, Gibson posted a 1.59 GAA and .935 save percentage in the NAHL last season.
Gibson is a Harvard commit from the Philly suburbs. He joked that he'll know his way around KCI at Dev Camp next week, having played for Valley Forge, Team Comcast, etc. in the @AYHL. So he faced the @LittleCapitals a lot.
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.”