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MacLellan addresses progress of contract talks

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MacLellan addresses progress of contract talks

In a conference call with reporters previewing tonight’s NHL draft at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., [7 p.m., NBCSN] Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan addressed a variety of subjects, including the Caps’ strategy regarding trades, free agency and the desire to add the pieces that could bring a long-awaited Stanley Cup to Washington.

We’ve condensed the conversation into topic-specific categories. In Part One, MacLellan addresses negotiations with the Capitals’ restricted [Braden Holtby, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Marcus Johansson] and unrestricted [Mike Green, Joel Ward, Eric Fehr, Jay Beagle, Tim Gleason and Curtis Glencross] free agents:

On talks with the Caps’ RFAs:

Negotiations are ongoing right now. I think we’re progressing. They’re a priority for us and hopefully we get them all signed here shortly.

On if he has a good idea how much it will cost to re-sign the Caps’ three RFAs:

I think it’s getting more clear as it gets closer to July 1, an approximate level of their contracts. On my part there’s still a little insecurity where they come in at. We still have to make a few decisions on term and that affects the dollar amount, so it could still change.

On progress with the Caps’ UFAs:

Talks are ongoing. We haven’t changed our strategy in that we need to get Holtby, Kuznetsov and Johansson signed. We’re in contact with our UFAs and we’re going to have to see what the contract demands are in the end for them and what’s going to work for us. We’re trying to balance all of our priorities right now.

On which UFAs are definitely not coming back [the agent for Green and Fehr said they will test free agency, while the agent for Ward said his request for a four-year term has been met with resistance by the Caps]:

It’s hard to tell. We keep talking to people and now there’s a free agent window where they can talk to other teams, so I think they’re going to gauge their role on our team and dollars that can be made in the free agent market and we’re going to be doing the same thing. If we can come to an agreement we will, or we can just keep it going until we can figure out what works best for both parties.

On if he thinks signing one or more of the Caps’ UFAs becomes more difficult once free agency begins on July 1:

No, I don’t. I get the sense there’s not many UFA contracts being signed right now. I’m not sure what’s going on in the market place, but I think a lot of teams are struggling to get their guys signed and I think it’s just what’s going on in the market.

On if the Capitals could circle back and renew talks with any of their UFAs on July 1:

I hope so. Ideally, that would be the way it works, but it’s hard to predict. I’m not comfortable [waiting] but that’s the circumstance we’re in.

On the need to acquire a depth defenseman to add to the top six of John Carlson, Brooks Orpik, Karl Alzner, Matt Niskanen, Nate Schmidt and Dmitry Orlov:

We can probably be adding. The level at which we add on the defense side is going to be dependent on the amount of dollars we want to allocate to that spot. If the money [for Holtby, Kuznetsov and Johansson] turns out to be less than we anticipate it will be a lower-end guy. If we have more money to spend on that spot it will be a higher-end guy.

On the possibility of signing Gleason:

Yeah, we talked to him and his representative a few times. It’s not going to be a priority off the top, but we’ll stay in communication with him. He’s a possibility.

On meeting with pending UFAs from other teams [Los Angeles Kings right wing Justin Williams, perhaps?] during the current interview period:

We don’t have any scheduled yet. We might have a possibility of one player. It’ll work itself out over the next few days here, whether we need or want to do that.

On whether he believes this interview period is valuable, since it helped the Capitals sign Orpik last summer:

I do, especially given our circumstance. I think meeting the coaches, seeing the practice facility, seeing our setup is a good selling point for our organization. I think it went a long way in getting Orpik.

On the NHL’s new $71.4 million salary cap:

I was a little concerned it would come in a little lower. But I like the number. I don’t know if it helps our situation out a lot, but it’s good it came in at that level.

On if he wants to begin next season with a salary cap cushion:

We’d always like an injury cushion of approximately a million [dollars]. That could change a little bit depending on circumstances, but that’s where we are [philosophically] at the moment.

MORE CAPITALS: WHY FEHR WON'T BE IN WASHINGTON

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How the Caps upset the Lightning to win the conference championship

How the Caps upset the Lightning to win the conference championship

It wasn't supposed to happen.

The Capitals celebrated too hard after beating the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Second Round. The Tampa Bay Lightning had been here before. Tampa Bay's roster was deeper. Their goalie was hotter. They had home ice advantage. They had easily won their first two series. Nicklas Backstrom was still injured. Washington wouldn't be able to stop the Lightning's power play.

Here's how the Capitals were able to shock the hockey world and upset the Lightning.

For all of those reasons, many did not even give the Caps a chance. Washington overcame every obstacle in their way and was, for the most part, the better team through seven games defeating Tampa Bay to win the Eastern Conference for just the second time in franchise history.

The Capitals showed in their second-round win over the Penguins that these weren't the "same old Caps." They continued to prove that in the conference final when they stunned the Lightning to win Game 1 and Game 2 both on the road.

Here's how the Capitals were able to shock the hockey world and upset the Lightning.

When Washington lost the next three, many thought that meant the real Lightning had awoken, but it was the Caps who rose to the occasion in Game 6 and Game 7 where they face elimination as they completely dominated Tampa Bay by a combined score of 7-0.

The Caps now advance to take on the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Final. The Knights have lost only three games this entire postseason and will hope to carry that momentum with them into Game 1.

If there is one thing this Washington team has proven, however, it's that you should never count them out.

Here's how the Capitals were able to shock the hockey world and upset the Lightning.

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NHL Stanley Cup Final 2018: Capitals vs. Golden Knights full schedule announced, date, time, TV channel, how to watch

NHL Stanley Cup Final 2018: Capitals vs. Golden Knights full schedule announced, date, time, TV channel, how to watch

The Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights are the only two hockey teams left standing and will meet to decide the 2017-18 NHL Stanley Cup champion.

The Capitals advanced to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1998, thanks to a 4-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.

The Golden Knights, in their inaugural season, shocked the NHL world, defeating the Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks and Winnipeg Jets to become the first team in major American professional sports history to reach the championship game in the franchise's first season.

The Capitals and Golden Knights met twice during the regular season, with Vegas coming out on top in both games. The Golden Knights blanked the Caps 3-0 in the Caps' first trip to Sin City, and bested the Caps 4-3 at Capital One Arena on Feb. 4.

Game 1 of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final between the Capitals and Golden Knights takes place on Monday, May 28 at 8:00 p.m. ET on NBC and is available to be streamed online by using the NBC Sports App.

NBC Sports Washington will broadcast pre and postgame coverage of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final between the Capitals and Golden Knights,  with Caps FaceOff and Caps GameTime preceding Capitals vs. Golden Knights puck drop and Caps Extra and Caps OverTime following the end of each game. 

2018 STANLEY CUP FINAL HOW TO WATCH

Game 1: Capitals at Golden Knights
Date: Monday, May 28
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.
TV Channel: NBC 
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)

Game 2: Capitals at Golden Knights
Date: Wednesday, May 30
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.
TV Channel: NBCSN
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)

Game 3: Golden Knights at Capitals
Date: Saturday, June 2
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: Capital One Arena. Washington, D.C.
TV Channel: NBCSN
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)

Game 4: Golden Knights at Capitals
Date: Monday, June 4
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: Capital One Arena. Washington, D.C.
TV Channel: NBC 
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)

Game 5 (If Necessary): Capitals at Golden Knights
Date: Thursday, June 7
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.
TV Channel: NBC 
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)

Game 6 (If Necessary): Golden Knights at Capitals
Date: Sunday, June 10
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: Capital One Arena. Washington, D.C.
TV Channel: NBC 
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)

Game 7 (If Necessary): Capitals at Golden Knights
Date: Wednesday, June 13
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.
TV Channel: NBC 
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)
 

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