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Caps' Alex Ovechkin to sit out NHL All-Star Game in Nashville

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Caps' Alex Ovechkin to sit out NHL All-Star Game in Nashville

Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin will not be playing in the NHL All-Star Game on Sunday in Nashville, Capitals coach Barry Trotz confirmed following Wednesday night’s game against the Flyers at Verizon Center.

TSN's Elliotte Friedman first reported the news.

Trotz confirmed Ovechkin will be suspended one game for his decision to skip the All-Star Game. That one-game suspension will be served next Tuesday night against the Florida Panthers at Verizon Center.

Ovechkin, 30, was the leading vote-getter among Metropolitan Division players and was named captain of the Metro All-Stars.

Ovechkin has been selected to play in six NHL All-Star Games but sat out the 2011-12 All-Star Game in Ottawa after he was suspended by the league just before All-Star weekend.

Trotz said Ovechkin has been bothered by an injury since November.

On Tuesday Ovechkin said he was “looking forward” to playing in Sunday’s All-Star Game and said the decision not to play was a "last-minute" one.

“Probably (for) most of the guys going it’s going to be hard to skate," Ovechkin said on Tuesday, "because we are going to spend there like two days before the game, so probably lots of guys going out and do some crazy stuff, but it’s OK. We’re going to do something special for the fans and it’s going to be fun.”

On Tuesday Capitals coach Barry Trotz, who will coach the Metro All-Stars, said he is concerned about players getting injured in the league’s new 3-on-3 All-Star format.

“When you’re fatigued you can actually probably blow a groin or something,” Trotz said. “If you have any kind of low back or groin issues, those are things that could lead to re-injury.”

Ovechkin leads the Caps with 28 goals and is third on the club with 42 points.

Ovechkin has played in four All-Star Games and last season lobbied for a car that was eventually donated to the American Special Hockey Association.

[RELATED: Backstrom, Holtby selected to NHL All-Star Game]

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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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Capitals go to the WHL again, select defenseman Alex Alexeyev with first-round pick

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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."

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