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Caps face salary cap questions next season

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Caps face salary cap questions next season

By JP Finlay
CSNwashington.com

While most Washington Capitals' fans focus on the upcoming Game 7 against the New York Rangers on Saturday, the Caps face some tough questions this offseason. Many key players are slated to become unrestricted free agents, perhaps none more vexing than enigmatic right wing Alex Semin.

The website Capgeek.com calculated salary cap figures for all 30 NHL teams to determine what teams will have the highest payroll on the books for 2012-2013 before free agency hits. Though Washington had the second-highest payroll in the NHL this season at more than 66 million, some of the team's biggest names are scheduled for free agency when this year's playoff run ends.

For 2012-2013, Capgeek predicts the Caps to come in with the 16th highest payroll at 45 million, with the cap set at 64.3 million. Besides Semin's 6.7 million contract coming off the books, the Caps also have expiring contracts for veterans Mike Knuble and Dennis Wideman totaling another 6 million. Veteran goalie Tomas Vokoun has a 1.5 million contract coming off the books, a deal that looks particularly expendable with the incredible play of rookie goalie Braden Holtby.

Combined with the contract of restricted free agent Mike Green at 5.2 million potentially rolling off the Caps' ledger, and other smaller expiring contracts from players like Jeff Halpern, Keith Aucoin and Dany Sabourin, projections show the Caps will have more than 19 million in cap room this summer.

John Carlson will also be a restricted free agent after the season, though his current contract accounts for less than 1 million of payroll. Holtby is scheduled to make 637,777 next year.

None of the eight teams with the highest payrolls for next season are still playing this year, including the No. 1 highest payroll team Philadelphia or No. 2 Pittsburgh. Projections show the Flyers have 61 million on the books for next season while the Penguins come in at almost 60 million.

The third highest payroll team, the Boston Bruins, lost to Washington in the first round of the playoffs, while the second-round opponent Rangers come in with the 10th highest payroll for next season at almost 48 million.

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Alex Ovechkin and wife Nastya Ovechkina welcome baby boy

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NBC Sports Washington/USATSI

Alex Ovechkin and wife Nastya Ovechkina welcome baby boy

After lifting the Stanley Cup just over two months ago, something else very exciting has happened in Alex Ovechkin's life.

Saturday morning, Nastya and Alex Ovechkin welcomed their first child, a baby boy named Sergei, after Ovechkin's late brother. 

Ovi spent this week practicing at the Florida Panthers' facilities with other NHL players living in the surrounding area.

After the Cup's visit to Moscow, Nastya and Alex settled down at their apartment in Miami, staying put and preparing for the birth. 

The couple were married two years ago but didn't hold an official ceremony until July of last year. The celebration was as lavish as you'd expect.

She revealed her pregnancy shortly after the Cup victory, and has kept us up to date on life this summer via Instagram. A few weeks ago, the Ovechkins graced HELLO! Russia magazine, showing off Nastya's baby bump among their glamour shots.

💛 @aleksandrovechkinofficial #hello #hellorussia @hello__ru

A post shared by Nastasiya Ovechkina (@nastyashubskaya) on

Congratulations to Ovi and Nastya, and all our best wishes for health and happiness!

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Capitals draft pick admits he is...a Flyers fan

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USA TODAY Sports

Capitals draft pick admits he is...a Flyers fan

Say it ain't so.

Mitchell Gibson is the first goalie the Capitals have drafted since Ilya Samsonov in 2015, but they may be thinking twice about their selection after a recent shocking interview.

Gibson spoke with a local Philadelphia CBS station and revealed that both he and his family...are Flyers fans.

Insert dramatic music.

"I think my family will always be Flyers fans in their hearts and I guess I will be a little bit," Gibson admitted, hopefully with guilt in his voice.

Gibson was selected by the Caps in the fourth round of the 2018 draft, but clearly the scouts did not do their homework. It's as if Gibson grew up a hockey fan in a place like Phoenixville, Pa. (about an hour outside of Philadelphia) without anticipating the future that he may one day be drafted by a rival team like Washington.

Shame, shame.

The young netminder tried to make up for his horrifying admission later in the interview.

"The Capitals are definitely treating me well right now so I would like to be their goalie," he said.

A likely story.

Gibson is only 19 and set to begin his first collegiate season at Harvard in 2018 so at least there is still time for Gibson to overcome his shameful past. And hey, it could always be worse. At least he's not a Penguins fan.

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