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Oates joins panel to review penalties

Oates joins panel to review penalties

Adam Oates is about to get his first taste of the NHL as a head coach.

Having played 19 seasons for seven different NHL teams and having served as an assistant coach for two others, the Capitals new head coach is in Toronto today and Wednesday discussing the nuances of what constitutes a penalty and what does not.

Oates is on a panel that includes veteran NHL head coaches Joel Quenneville, Dave Tippett and Barry Trotz, along with NHL general managers Steve Yzerman, Ray Shero, Lou Lamoriello, Darcy Regier and Mike Gillis, senior vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell, and a group of players, referees and other members of league ops.

The two-day conference will focus on the way hooking, holding and interference is called during the season and playoffs and whether referees need to tighten up the way they call games.

Personally, I dont think the hooking and holding has slipped, Campbell told TSN. I think we have to find out what we want with interference on the forechecking and interference off the faceoff.

Since the NHL introduced a major crackdown on interference following the 2004-05 lockout, one of the biggest concerns expressed by defensemen is the dangers they face when retreating to get pucks out of their own zone.

Without interference, opposing forecheckers are getting a free path to those unsuspecting defensemen and drilling them into the boards behind the net.

Another issue among players is the recent trend of players turning their backs to opposing checkers with the intent of drawing boarding penalties.

Weve got lots of video clips to look at and we're trying to determine where our standard is and if we want to tighten it up at all, Campbell said.

Whats your take on NHL officiating since the last lockout? Are referees calling enough interference penalties? Not enough? And are players putting themselves in danger by turning their backs on opponents?Join the conversation below.

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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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USATSI

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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