Jay Beagle proved himself as a hard-nosed, shot-blocking center willing to sacrifice himself when it mattered most and on Thursday he was rewarded with a three-year contract extension.
Beagles signing leaves the Capitals with just two remaining unsigned restricted free agents, defensemen Mike Green and John Carlson.
Beagle, 26, set career highs in goals four, points five, games played 41 and penalty minutes 23 last season.
He finished the season ranked second on the Capitals in faceoff percentage (57.7) and recorded 66 hits and 23 blocked shots during the regular season.
In the post-season, Beagle tallied his first career playoff goal and assist and finished sixth among forwards in average ice time 18:25 before his playoffs were ended in Game 5 of the conference semifinals with a broken foot.
In the playoffs Beagle tied for sixth on the team in hits 25 and ranked second among Capitals forwards in shorthanded ice time per game 2:42.
The Calgary, Alberta, native has collected 10 points seven goals, three assists in 82 career NHL games, all with Washington.
Beagle won back-to-back Calder Cup championships with Hershey in 2009 and 2010 and tallied 95 points 47 goals, 48 assists in 209 career AHL games. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound forward was originally signed by Washington as an undrafted free agent on March 26, 2008.
He won a Kelly Cup championship with the Idaho Steelheads of the East Coast Hockey League ECHL in 2007 after spending two years at the University of Alaska-Anchorage 2005-07.
In what is perhaps the most unexpected Stanley Cup Final pairing in recent memory, the Washington Capitals and the Las Vegas Golden Knights are going to make history this year.
Either it is going to be the first expansion team to win a title in their first season, or it will be a team looking to end a 27-year title drought for one of the biggest cities in the United States.
But what it will not be is the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup.
Going even farther back than the Capitals last Stanley Cup appearance (1998), the Georgetown Hoyas and UNLV Rebels met in the 1991 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Sin City took the first, and up until now, the only postseason bout between these two cities. The Larry Johnson-led University of Las Vegas squad powered right past the Hoyas in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament.
[D.C. sports and Second Rounds, I know right?]
Coming fresh off the NCAA title in 1990, UNLV waltzed right to the Final Four before meeting their demise against Duke. It also ended up being the last game for Dikembe Mutombo in a Georgetown uniform.
While in all likely-hood this will not be the final game/ series for Alex Ovechkin rocking the red, it may be his last and only chance for him to play this far into a postseason.
In the past two seasons, Vegas has gone from zero professional teams to having a Stanley Cup contender, a WNBA franchise, and lined up to take over the Oakland Raiders in 2020.
Now time for the Golden Knights' Cinderella story to come up a little bit short.
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The odds have never gone the way of the Washington Capitals.
After years of being the common pick to finally break through and win the Stanley Cup, this was most definitely not the year.
Yet, here we are with the Capitals as one of the final two teams standing.
For their upcoming Stanley Cup Final, the Caps are the underdogs against the Las Vegas Golden Knights. The opening line from OddsShark has the Golden Knights as -135 money line favorites to win the Stanley Cup. The Capitals were listed as +115 underdogs.
Vegas (the betting entity, not the team) has not exactly been the most reliable this year though. After all, the Golden Knights were 100/1 odds to win the whole thing. Now they are four games away.
In their past two series, Washington was not the favorites. The Capitals have not been favorites since the First Round against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
For years in the Alex Ovechkin era, they have been the favorites to not only go on to play for the Stanley Cup but winning it.
In 2018 they started the season tied for the fifth best odds to win the Cup (14/1), one of their lowest opening marks in the past decade. For the full perspective, Washington was tied with the Toronto Maple Leafs and behind the Dallas Stars at the start of the season.
Without question this underdog role has fit them quite well, they shouldn’t want anything to change heading into the biggest postseason series in 20 years for Washington D.C.
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