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Caps acquire Tyler Graovac, go on defensive ahead of expansion draft

Caps acquire Tyler Graovac, go on defensive ahead of expansion draft

The Capitals have acquired center Tyler Graovac from the Wild in exchange for a 5th round pick in 2018, the team announced Wednesday night.

The move gives Washington a young depth forward. More important, it allows the Caps to protect center Lars Eller in the upcoming expansion draft.

Having appeared in 52 games last season and under contract ($625,000 cap hit) for 2017-18, Graovac, 24, meets the requirements for exposure in the draft, from which Las Vegas will chose one player from each existing club. 

Per expansion draft rules, teams must expose two forwards who are a) under contract next season and b) played in 40 or more NHL games last season or played in 70 or more NHL games the prior two seasons combined. 

RELATED: A re-do of the 2012 draft is not kind to the Caps

Prior to acquiring Graovac, Caps GM Brian MacLellan would have been forced to expose Eller and fourth line center Jay Beagle. Now MacLellan can expose Graovac while protecting Eller, the third line pivot for whom he traded two second round picks last summer.

Protected lists will be made public on Sunday morning. 

Graovac (6 foot 5, 212 pounds) is a right-shot fourth line center who amassed seven goals and two assists while averaging 9:50 of ice time for the Wild last season. In 26 AHL games for Iowa, he produced 10 goals and five assists.

The Brampton, Ontario native was picked by Minnesota in the seventh round of the 2011 draft.

MORE CAPITALS: 20 questions: Which forward prospects will make an impact?

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Alex Ovechkin takes home ESPY for Best Male Athlete Award

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Alex Ovechkin takes home ESPY for Best Male Athlete Award

Alexander Ovechkin's offseason continues to be one for the books. 

Just a week removed from celebrating with the Stanley Cup in Moscow, Ovechkin was named Best Male Athlete Wednesday night at the 2018 ESPYs. 

The 32-year-old is the first NHL player to win the award since it was first introduced in 1993. 

"The Great Eight" beat out Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros, James Harden of the Houston Rockets and Tom Brady of the New England Patriots. 

Ovechkin was not in Los Angeles to accept the award.

 

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Braden Holtby’s save in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup wasn’t even nominated for an ESPY

Braden Holtby’s save in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup wasn’t even nominated for an ESPY

On Wednesday night ESPN hosts their yearly sports award show, the ESPYs, to celebrate the best of the last 365 days in sport. 

One thing they will not be celebrating, or did not even consider celebrating, was Braden Holtby’s save in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final

This year there were 16 plays nominated to be the “Best Play” and were seeded into a bracket. For the past month fans have been voting in each head-to-head matchup culminating in four pretty outstanding plays:

All of those plays can be viewed here

Three of those four were in a championship game, the other was a just a once in a lifetime play from a teenager. 

But the ESPYs are saying that there are 16 plays from this past year that were better than Holtby’s save… Can we really believe that? Everyone loves buzzer beaters, but they accounted for six of the 16 plays. One of them could have easily gotten bumped. 

And aside from the three listed above there were only two that were in the championship event for each sport. Holtby could have rounded it out for six.

We’re not saying that Holtby’s play was the best in the past year, or even in the top four. Heck, there should be no one that tops Ogunbowale’s incredible heroics. But arguably the best play in D.C. sports history not making the top-16 for best plays in a 365 day period? 

It must have been one heck of a sports year.  

For those that are nominated, Alex Ovechkin is a finalist for Best Male Athlete and Best NHL Player. The Capitals are in the running for Best Team.

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