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Holtby says he'd prefer a long-term deal

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Holtby says he'd prefer a long-term deal

Holtby’s future: Caps goaltender Braden Holtby, a pending restricted free agent, said he does not plan on getting too involved in contract talks but would prefer to have a long-term deal that keeps him in Washington as long as possible.

“Job security is something that doesn’t come around very often in this profession,” he said, “so if you can find some it’s great.

“If you don’t have any ties it’s a lot different. But with family [he has two children] you’d like to stay and get to know the community and get involved. So the longer term the better.

“But at the same time, I expect if it’s a one-year deal I want to earn it for the next year. If it’s longer term I want to earn every single year of it. I’m just happy to be here and happy to be a part moving forward.”  

Fehr reveals injury: Caps center Eric Fehr said the hit he took from Islanders forward Kyle Okposo in Game 3 against the Islanders resulted in a third-degree sprain of his AC [acromioclavicular] joint and was not a labrum injury, which has plagued him throughout his career.

Fehr said he also suffered an elbow injury earlier this season and does not anticipate having surgery in the offseason.

“Having a lot of shoulder injuries in the past has been an issue and people have shied away from me for those reasons,” he said. “This is more of a hockey injury.”

Fehr said he would “love to be back” with the Capitals but is not sure if the Caps will be able to make it work.

Orpik on Boyle hit: Caps defenseman Brooks Orpik took exception to the New York media that has criticized him for the open-ice hit that knocked Rangers defenseman Dan Boyle out of Game 7 with an apparent head injury.

Boyle practiced today and is expected to face the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.

“I play the game hard. He was trying to go wide on [Evgeny Kuzentsov],” Orpik said. “I think it probably would have been far less impactful if he wasn’t hunched over. That’s the way I play every shift, play hard and make it tough on opponents. You always want to make it difficult on guys but you never want to injure guys. I think he practiced today, which is good.”

Gleason’s future: Defenseman Tim Gleason said the Capitals were the best team he’s ever played on and would like to stay in Washington because “at some point you get tired of living out of a suitcase.” He also recognizes the challenges in keeping him.

“The team is pretty tight with the cap,” he said.

Gleason said he had a hip issue and a couple of disc issues with his neck but could have kept playing through the playoffs. He said he does not anticipate needing surgery for either issue and would like to remain in Washington.

“I feel like I can play the game,” he said. “I believe I showed it and we’ll see if anybody agrees.”

Curtis Glencross said he enjoyed his short time in Washington but said it was difficult being a healthy scratch in the playoffs, especially in Game 7 when he was replaced by Fehr.

“He’s one of the go-to penalty kill guys and they wanted him back in the lineup,” Glencross said. “I didn’t know until just before the game I wasn’t playing and I was definitely disappointed.”

Glencross said he’s not closing the door on returning to Washington but said he will “see what’s out there” on July 1 when he becomes a free agent.

Whether he’s a part of it or not he said he believes the Caps will win a Stanley Cup within “the next few years.”

Orlov update: Sidelined all season with a wrist injury, defenseman Dmitry Orlov said he was healthy enough to play in the playoffs and turned down an offer to play for Russia in the World Championships because the Caps were in the playoffs. He said he wishes he could snap his fingers and make training camp arrive tomorrow, saying he feels he can return to the level of play he showed before his injury.

[RELATED: Mike Green addresses his summer of uncertainty]

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D.C. artist turns her love for the Washington Capitals into works of art

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@tkopaintings on Twitter

D.C. artist turns her love for the Washington Capitals into works of art

Local artist Taylor Kampa has taken her love for the Washington Capitals and turned it into works of art. 

You can find paintings done by Kampa of Alex Ovechkin, Tom Wilson, Nicklas Backstrom, T.J. Oshie, John Carlson and Braden Holtby on display at Circa Chinatown – a restaurant neighboring Capital One Arena – along with other D.C. celebrities.

A professional artist for the last decade, Kampa told NHL.com that the pictures were "passion projects," and took about eight hours to finish. She became a fan of the Caps after she began dating her now-husband back in 2009.

Her work has even caught the eye of The Great Eight. After posting a video to Instagram of her painting Ovechkin hoisting the Stanley Cup, the Conn Smythe Trophy winner liked and commented on it. 

"I almost died," Kampa said.

"It has been amazing sharing something that I am excited about that resonates with the people in my city," Kampa said. "I've been painting these portraits for a long time, so it's awesome to have them seen by so many people."

Kampa will also create paintings for the Capitals foundation's annual Casino Night fundraiser next year. 

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Key Caps questions: Who will play center on the fourth line?

Key Caps questions: Who will play center on the fourth line?

The dog days of summer are officially here, but it's never too hot to talk some hockey.

Capitals correspondent JJ Regan is here to help you through the offseason doldrums as he discusses key questions facing the Caps for the upcoming season as Washington prepares to defend its title for the first time in franchise history.

Today's question: Who will be the team's primary fourth line center?

With the departure of Jay Beagle, there is a spot open at center on the fourth line. There appears on the roster to be three clear candidates to fill that position: Chandler Stephenson, Travis Boyd and Nic Dowd.

To find out why you should cross Stephenson’s name off the list, you should read yesterday's Key Caps Question about whether or not Stephenson is a wing or a center. To summarize, Washington sees Stephenson as more of a wing which explains why they both re-signed Boyd and brought in Dowd.

So who will it be between those two?

Both players seem to fit the mold as effective centers in the AHL where they were both productive. Dowd has an edge in NHL experience with 131 NHL games as compared to Boyd’s eight.

But Barry Trotz clearly had faith in Boyd at center which is why we saw him fill in on the top line on March 18 in Philadelphia. Boyd rewarded that faith with a spin pass to Alex Ovechkin for an assist, his first career point.

Trotz is now gone and Todd Reirden is in charge, but there is at least a level of familiarity there with the coaching staff and Boyd, more so than with Dowd who is new to the organization.

Second, the Caps may have tipped their hand a bit when you compare the two contracts. Center is an important position and Brian MacLellan has frequently referenced the team’s strength in center depth as a major reason for their Cup run.

Both Boyd and Dowd were signed over the offseason. Both contracts are one-way, suggesting both will be in the NHL, but Boyd’s cap hit is $800,000 while Dowd’s is $650,000. Of course, that will not matter when the players get on the ice. If Dowd outplays Boyd, he will start over him. Plus, the market ultimately dictates price. Even if the Caps wanted Dowd for their top line, if you can get him for $650k, you sign him for $650k.

Considering how important a position center is, however, even on the fourth line, it seems telling that the team was willing to give Boyd, a player with eight games of experience to his name, $800k while Dowd was signed for the minimum. That seems to suggest the Caps at least foresee Boyd having a bigger role which, for two players penciled in for the fourth line, would mean playing him at center.

Other key Caps questions: