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Capitals breakdown: Tomas Vokoun


Capitals breakdown: Tomas Vokoun 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: Tomas Vokoun, who was traded to the Penguins for a seventh-round pick on June 4.

Tomas Vokoun
Position: Goaltender
Age: 35
HtWt: 6-1, 210
Games: 48
Record: 25-17-2
Goals Against Average: 2.51
Save Percentage: .917
Shutouts: 4
Contract Status: Signed 2-year, 4 million contract with Penguins 2 million cap hit in 2012-13

Strengths: Steady presence between the pipes and in the locker room. Good teammate willing to accept blame when he plays poorly and equally willing to point out areas his team needs to improve upon. Honest, sometimes to a fault. Excellent positional goalie capable of filling the role as a starter or backup, although he has not played fewer than 44 games in his past nine seasons.
Weaknesses: Guilty of allowing occasional soft goals. Has difficulty finding the puck through traffic. Average to below average puck handler. Suffered a groin injury on March 16 then returned prematurely and reinjured his groin on March 29, ending his season.

Memorable Moment on the ice: Vokoun looked like he might be the answer to the Capitals goaltending quandary on Feb. 7 when he stopped all 42 shots in a 4-0 victory over the Florida Panthers. It was his second straight shutout, moving him into 26th on the NHLs all-time list and improving his record to 22-13-1. We did some good things, Brooks Laich said after that win, which moved the Caps one point ahead of the Panthers in the Eastern Conference standings. But the difference maker was Tomas. Vokouns season went downhill after that. He went 3-4-1 in his final eight decisions and a groin injury ended his hopes of participating in the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

Memorable Moment off the ice: Vokoun was an open book all season. In September, when a plane carrying the entire Lokomotiv hockey team crashed, killing everyone on board, Vokoun expressed the grief of losing one of his closest friends, former teammate Josef Vasicek. Later, he talked about how he overestimated his value in free agency before signing with the Capitals and how much he missed his wife and two daughters, who spent the entire season in Florida. And, two days after the season ended, he was incredibly frank with reporters when asked about his playing future. I wasnt planning on being back here anyways, Vokoun said. For me, it was never intention to be here more than a year. A few weeks later Vokoun and his agent orchestrated a trade to Pittsburgh.
2012-13 Expectations: The Penguins might have acquired the perfect backup for Marc-Andre Fleury. Vokoun is certainly capable of giving Fleury the rest he needs while not sacrificing much in performance. Dont be surprised if Vokoun goes on a run or two that keeps Fleury on the bench and raises questions in Pittsburgh over who should be the starter in the playoffs. But it appears Vokou streak of nine straight seasons with 20 or more wins will end.

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


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


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."