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Caps fan from Scotland gets to live out dream by seeing team in person

Caps fan from Scotland gets to live out dream by seeing team in person

Billy Lang waited a long time before seeing his first Capitals live in person, but the wait appears to have been worth it.

Lang, a Scotland native, has been in Washington this month for the chance to watch his favorite NHL team play live in person for the first time.

On Tuesday night during the Caps’ 4-2 win over the Minnesota Wild, he joined the CSN broadcast periodically throughout the game to talk about the experience.

“A dream come true,” Lang told CSN’s Jill Sorenson.

“For anybody from Scotland to be able to come over here and see the team, I can’t even find the words to put out. It’s amazing.”

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Lang, a Caps fan for the past 22 years, said he became a fan at age 7 when he was given a Dale Hunter jersey and a Peter Bondra stick. “From there on, I just knew this was my team,” he said.

Sorenson spoke with Lang before the game, as well as during the first, second and third periods.

Early in the second period with the Caps leading 1-0, he called Alex Ovechkin’s goal, which ended his 10-game goal drought. During the third period with the Caps clinging to a 3-2 lead, Jay Beagle scored the insurance goal he said he was hoping for in the win.

Between the second and third periods, Lang also happened to run into Bondra.

“I was shocked,” Lang said. “I couldn’t believe my eyes after all the years I grew up watching him as a kid. I finally got to see him and I laughed. Out of all places.”

For Lang, Tuesday night was his fourth Capitals game after attending the team’s three previous home games earlier this month against the Devils (March 2), Flyers (March 4) and Stars (March 6). To date, the Caps have gone 3-1 in those games.

Lang has been staying with Robin Unzicker, a Caps fan herself, during his visit.

MORE CAPITALS: Alex Ovechkin has a vintage performance on a night when the Caps needed one

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

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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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