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Caps re-sign goalie Philipp Grubauer on a one-year deal

Caps re-sign goalie Philipp Grubauer on a one-year deal

The Capitals re-signed backup goalie Philipp Grubauer to a one-year, $1.5 million contract on Thursday.

With Grubauer back in the fold, the Caps have now re-signed all five of the restricted free agents who spent last season on Washington's roster (Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov, Andre Burakovsky and Brett Connolly have all re-upped in recent days, while prospect Liam O'Brien remains unsigned).

RELATED: Why MacLellan felt he had no leverage with Kuznetsov

Grubauer counted $750,000 against the salary cap last season. According to CapFriendly.com, the 25-year-old still will be an RFA when his new deal expires.

The move gives the Caps 17 players under contract for next season with about $4 million of cap space to flesh out the roster.  

Grubauer did not elect salary arbitration prior to Wednesday’s deadline because the sides were closing in on a deal. Grubauer also did not want the Caps to have the option of choosing a two-year term for the award, according to a source.

As Braden Holtby’s backup last season, the German netminder went 13-6-2 with a .926 save percentage and a 2.04 goals against average. Grubauer’s .684 quality start percentage, meantime, ranked third among goalies who made at least 20 appearances. 

MORE CAPITALS: Caps re-sign 23-year-old Travis Boyd

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Summer of Ovi: Ovechkin teaches son Sergei how to walk during beach vacation

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Nastya Ovechkina Instagram

Summer of Ovi: Ovechkin teaches son Sergei how to walk during beach vacation

Despite how big and tough NHL players like Alex Ovechkin seem on the ice, this video is evidence that there is something softer underneath the jersey -- no matter how deep it is.

This video from Nastya Ovechkina's Instagram story shows her husband teaching their young son Sergei how to walk while they were hanging out on the beach.

This is a precious image, and it shows fans a side of the Capitals captain that they do not often get to see.

It will leave many wondering when Ovechkin will put Sergei in a pair of skates and send him out onto the ice.

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Caps GM Brian MacLellan addresses latest Andre Burakovsky trade rumors

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Caps GM Brian MacLellan addresses latest Andre Burakovsky trade rumors

Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky dodges trade rumors like Indiana Jones escaped giant rolling stones.

When Burakovsky made it through the Feb. 25 NHL trade deadline still with Washington it appeared he was here to stay a while longer. He even played better down the stretch. But that might not have been enough to save him. 

Multiple NHL sources said Wednesday that Burakovsky would likely be dealt at this weekend’s NHL Draft in Vancouver. There is no question he is drawing interest from teams around the league.  

“We'd like to keep him around, but obviously his name is out there a little bit, so we do talk to some teams about him,” Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said in a conference call on Thursday. “But we're not going to move him unless we get something we're comfortable with back.”

MacLellan, as blunt a general manager as there is in the NHL, might be employing semantics there. The Capitals are trying to get what they can and won’t undercut their own leverage by saying Burakovsky is out the door.

Burakovsky has frustrated coaches and executives alike in Washington. He flashes great potential and has the pedigree to be a solid middle-six forward. But he’s been stuck on 12 goals three years in a row and can’t seem to find a consistent role. Last year he was a healthy scratch six times. 

Injuries played some role in that in previous years. But Burakovsky hasn’t taken advantage of his opportunities, either. Yet he has also come up with some incredible goals. Three times he’s scored in a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup playoffs. No one can forget his goals against Tampa Bay in the 2018 Eastern Conference Final that secured Washington’s trip to the Stanley Cup Final. He’s also entering his age-25 season and had 17 goals in his second season in the NHL. 

But with a $3.25 million qualifying offer due Monday and the salary cap possibly tighter than expected, Washington might not have a choice even if it has a last-second change of heart on trading Burakovsky. 

It’s not know exactly what kind of deal the Capitals are pursuing: A one-for-one deal with a player who has his own issues? A mix of draft picks and prospects who won’t contribute to a team in “win-now” mode? Washington could always pull back – as they did at the deadline. But without knowing what MacLellan feels he needs from a Burakovsky trade it’s hard to know what would give him another chance to stay.

MacLellan wouldn’t even commit to tendering Burakovsky that $3.25 million qualifying offer by Monday’s deadline. He said Washington will take a look at the salary cap once the NHL gets around to announcing it hopefully by Saturday at the draft. Then they’ll check back with the agents of all their RFAs – Jakub Vrana is safe - and decide how to proceed. 

But if they don’t qualify Burakovsky, the one other RFA they have the rights to who would draw interest around the league, he becomes an unrestricted free agent and can sign anywhere. Hard to see how that benefits the Capitals to lose an asset they claim to value for nothing. Time is running short.

“Andre had a frustrating year this year, but I think he finished it up well,” MacLellan said. “I think from the trade deadline on, I thought he had a good playoffs. We like the player. There's been some inconsistencies there, but when he's on his game, he's a good player.”

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