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Capitals lose another assistant

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Capitals lose another assistant

Now that Jim Johnson has left the Capitals for an assistant coaching job with the San Jose Sharks, Adam Oates is officially a head coach without two assistants.

Oates said choosing his assistants is a process and that he and general manager George McPhee have a list of potential candidates.

Former Capitals teammates Peter Bondra, Rick Tocchet, Calle Johansson and perhaps Scott Stevens are a few of the names believed to be on that list, although Oates is not divulging his handful of candidates.

Associate goaltending coach Olie Kolzig said he is not interested in the commitment of being an assistant.

Honestly, I dont think Im prepared to be one yet, Kolzig said. Its something Im not committed to doing yet. Ive got three kids down in Florida and being an assistant requires a lot of time at the rink and I dont know if Im ready to make that commitment yet. Im not ruling it out at some point maybe down the road, but I have to learn more.

As a goalie coach, Kolzig is responsible for the development of the organizations six goalies spread across the NHL, AHL and ECHL.

I like what I do, he said. That one-on-one interaction is great because you can really get your point across as opposed to a whole team.

Ideally, the Caps would like to have an assistant coach with some head coaching experience, either at the AHL or NHL level. Larry Robinson filled that role by joining the Sharks and Tom Renney did the same when he was hired in Vancouver.

Oates has never been a head coach at any level, serving as an assistant in Tampa for one season and in New Jersey for two more.

Oatesy admitted himself there are some things he needs to learn as a head coach, like running a bench, Kolzig said. These prospect scrimmages give him an opportunity to do that.

The Caps would also like to hire an assistant who can coach the defense and Stevens would be an ideal choice if they can lure him from his home in North Jersey.

Kolzig said that as a head coach Oates may have to crack the whip more than he did as an assistant but said he has the right personality to do that and still have the respect of players like Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Green .

Hes still an interactive guy, he said. Hes always involved in conversation, whether its with the coaches or the players he sees. I think hes excited about trying to get the best out of Ovi, and Nicky and Greenie and our skill guys.

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Capitals Draft Tracker

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USA TODAY Sports

Capitals Draft Tracker

The 2018 NHL Draft starts on Friday with the first round and runs through Saturday. Here's a running tracker of the Caps' picks.

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.

Read more on him here.

2nd round, 46th overall (from Florida, via New Jersey): D Martin Fehervary, Allsvenskan (Sweden), 6'2", 194 pounds

A physical style defenseman who is very strong in his own end, but does not have much offensive upside. Sort of a throwback style of play which makes him a surprise pick this high.

2nd round, 47th overall (From Colorado): F Kody Clark, OHL, 6'1", 179 pounds

Kody Clark boasts an NHL pedigree as the son of Wendel Clark, a first-round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs who recorded 330 goals and 564 career points in 763 NHL games.

3rd round, 93rd overall: F Riley Sutter, WHL, 6'3", 203 pounds

Riley Sutter also boasts a strong NHL pedigree as the son of Run Sutter and nephew of Darryl Sutter.

Riley is a power forward who played alongside Caps prospect Garrett Pilon on the Everett Silvertips in the WHL and recorded 53 points in 68 games last season.

4th round, 124th overall: G Mitchell Gibson, NAHL, 6'1", 187 pounds

6th round, 186th overall: 

7th round, 217th overall: 

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

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USA TODAY Sports

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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