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Creating a trade package for Bobby Ryan

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Creating a trade package for Bobby Ryan

When George McPhee was asked last week about how tempting it was to enter July 1 with 20.8 million in cap space, he raised a cautionary flag.

Its expensive to use it now, the Caps GM said. If you do something, its always more than the guys worth. The question is how much more, and are you trying to trade him by November because he cost too much?

McPhee is apparently taking his own advice.

Through the first 24 hours of free agency the Capitals had spent just 950,000 on a one-year contract for checking-line winger Joey Crabb.

But that does not necessarily mean McPhee is finished tinkering with his roster, which is in need of a top-six winger and a No. 4 or No. 5 defenseman.

In fact, the Capitals could be quietly involved in trade talks for Anaheims Bobby Ryan or Columbus Rick Nash.

Prior to the June 22 NHL draft, Ryan told the Camden Courier-Post that he wants to be traded and would prefer to play for the Flyers, if possible. The Flyers reportedly have been involved in trade talks involving Ryan and Nash and have made offers to both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter.

Considering the asking price for Parise, the Caps might be better off acquiring a player under contract. Ryan, 25, has averaged 33 goals a season his past four seasons and has three years remaining on five-year, 25.25 million contract that carries an annual 5.1 million cap hit.

Nash, 28, has averaged 34 goals in his last eight NHL seasons and has six years remaining on a contract that carries a 7.8 million cap hit.

When you compare the two salaries, Ryan is a much better financial fit. But what would it take to get him? The Ducks are seeking a second-line center in return for Ryan. Would a package that includes center Marcus Johansson, defenseman Dmitry Orlov and the rights to Evgeni Kuznetsov get it done?

Or will the Ducks demand a package that promises more immediate help?

Failing a trade, the Caps could invest in a proven veteran such as Shane Doan or Jiri Hudler, or they can try to strengthen their blue line by signing Matt Carle or Bryce Salvador.

The free agent clock keeps ticking .

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Capitals stars react to losing Barry Trotz as head coach

Capitals stars react to losing Barry Trotz as head coach

LAS VEGAS—Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom weren’t expecting to lose their head coach less than two weeks after winning the Stanley Cup.

But business is business, Ovi said, and Barry Trotz is handling his by attempting to capitalize on claiming the championship.

“It’s sad,” Ovechkin said on the red carpet at the NHL Awards, where he accepted his seventh Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy on Wednesday night. “Obviously, we won together.”

The Caps’ captain also thanked Trotz for directing him—and his teammates—to new heights.  

“First of all, [I want to] thank him for a great job to be our coach, to be our dad, to give us a chance to win,” Ovechkin said. “But then again, it’s a business. You never know what’s going to happen. I’m pretty sure he’s going to be fine and I wish him luck.”

Backstrom, meanwhile, said he was caught off guard by Trotz’s decision to step down over a contract stalemate with the team. Trotz asked for $5 million per for five seasons; the Caps balked over the terms Trotz’s camp sought.   

“I was a little surprised, obviously,” Backstrom said. “I heard the scenario.”

Like Ovechkin, though, Backstrom praised the job Trotz did during his four-year tenure.

“He’s done a great job in Washington,” Backstrom said. “We obviously have him to thank for a lot. He’s done a tremendous job of schooling us and winning a championship. No one is going to take that away from him.”

Trotz’s next move is unclear, but he’s a free agent and currently eligible to negotiate with any team. The Islanders are the only team with an opening for a head coach.

As for Washington, GM Brian MacLellan said that associate coach Todd Reirden will get the first crack at replacing Trotz.

Ovechkin said he thinks Reirden would be a good fit.

“We all respect Todd,” Ovechkin said. “We all like him. Again, it’s not our thing to say who’s going to be head coach, but if it’s going to be Todd, it’s going to be fun.”

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A drawing of the moment Ovi lifted the Stanley Cup makes the moment joyful all over again

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Daniel Duffy on Twitter/@RealArtOfWords

A drawing of the moment Ovi lifted the Stanley Cup makes the moment joyful all over again

How do you make a photo of Alex Ovechkin hoisting the Stanley Cup for the first time even more memorable?

You make it out of all the Capitals' game scores this year, of course.

Capitals fan and artist Daniel Duffy (@RealArtOfWords) posted a phenomenal finished piece commemorating the Cup win on Wednesday, June 20. It's a little meta and astounding to look at, but very fun to try and read. If you want to relive the glory that was the parts of the 2017-18 Capitals season, check out the piece.

The piece, which appears to be done in a traditional medium like pen or marker, holds the team faced, arena played at, and final score of every game. It uses six colors and over sixty lines of text. Ovechkin roars as he holds the Stanley Cup overhead, the white away jersey shaded with bits of grey text. It takes a skilled eye to sort text and colors into shapes and shading, but Daniel did a fantastic job! It's awesome to see a fanbase create different interpretations of iconic moments. We'll surely see more of Ovechkin in this moment.

Just as we thought we were going to get tired of the celebration, fans find new ways to surprise us. Stay creative, Caps fans!

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