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Caps GM Brian MacLellan gives early thoughts on the trade deadline

Caps GM Brian MacLellan gives early thoughts on the trade deadline

With the trade deadline a little over a month away, Brian MacLellan says he’s still evaluating what path the Capitals should take.

He told CSN’s Al Koken on Tuesday’s game broadcast that the Caps’ health between now and March 1 will impact his decision making.

MacLellan also indicated that he’s comfortable with the organization's depth, particularly up front.

“I'm not sure yet,” MacLellan said, asked by Koken if he's inclined to make any moves. “It’s going to depend on our health going into the deadline.”

MacLellan added: “We’ve had a chance to see [prospects Jakub] Vrana and [Zach] Sanford, so we know we have some depth there. And there are a couple of other guys that have played well in Hershey that we could possibly use.”

RELATED: Senators snap Capitals point streak

Vrana and Sanford have played 12 and 20 games for the Caps this season. Both rookies are currently in Hershey.

Other Bears forwards who have seen ice time in Washington this season include Liam O’Brien, Paul Carey and Chandler Stephenson. Stephenson made his season debut with the Caps during Tuesday’s 3-0 defeat in Ottawa, the team’s first loss by more than a goal in 54 days (dating to a 3-0 loss to the Islanders on Dec. 1).

At last year's deadline, MacLellan added a couple of depth players to a roster that eventually claimed the Presidents’ Trophy, dealing for winger Daniel Winnik and defenseman Mike Weber, who cost the Caps a third round draft pick in 2017 and ended up appearing in only 10 regular season games and two postseason contests. 

This year, though, MacLellan hinted that he’s happier with his group.

“Fairly similar,” he said, asked to compare this year’s roster to last year’s. “Maybe we’re a little deeper this year. I like what our third line has done this year. I like what our fourth line has done. Maybe our penalty killing is a little bit better. Our power play hasn’t produced at the rate it did last year, but I think we’re generating chances. And we haven’t relied on it, which is a positive sign.”

All that said, it doesn’t mean MacLellan will stand pat. A good executive never tips his hand and, although the Caps have been mostly healthy this season, a lot can happen over the next four-plus weeks.

But we already know this much: Washington has stayed under the 23-man maximum quite often this season in an effort to bank as much cap space as possible.

“We’ll explore everything,” MacLellan added, “but I’m more comfortable with our depth than I have been the past two years.”

MORE CAPITALS: Ovechkin wrestles Senators forward to the ice by his head

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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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