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Oates' smarts lured Johansson out of TV

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Oates' smarts lured Johansson out of TV

If anyone knows what its like to be a Washington Capital, its Calle Johansson.

Today, the former defenseman who has played more games in a Capitals uniform than anyone in franchise history was named Adam Oates assistant coach.

Johansson, 45, appeared in 983 games with the Caps from 1989-2003. He holds club records for defensemen in points 474 and assists 361 and ranks third in goals 113.

Following his playing career, Johansson became a color commentator and provided analysis for Swedish television for both the Swedish Elite League (SEL) and the NHL. He was an assistant coach for Frolunda of the SEL during the 2006-07 season before returning to broadcasting.

Johansson was believed to be a candidate for the assistant coachs job when Dale Hunter was hired by the Capitals to replace Bruce Boudreau last November. Jim Johnson got the job and was relieved of his duties following the 2011-12 season.

At that time it wasnt the right time, Johansson told Caps365. I have no regrets about that. Jimmy Johnson did a fabulous job with the defensemen.

Johansson and Oates were teammates from 1996-02 and helped lead the Capitals to their only appearance in the Stanley Cup Final in 1998.

Oatesey is the smartest man I have ever played with, to be honest with you, Johansson said. And the toughest. You dont think like that, but Adam was tough, he was hard and he could be pretty mean on the ice, too.

I liked the combination he had, the hands. He knows how to treat the guys who are hard workers and dont score many goals and he also knows how to treat the top-end guys, which I think is a great quality.

Johansson was an alternate captain with Washington during the 1998-99, 1999-00 and 2002-03 seasons and in his 15 seasons in Washington, the Capitals reached the playoffs 11 times.

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GM Brian MacLellan: Capitals are close to re-signing John Carlson

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USA TODAY Sports

GM Brian MacLellan: Capitals are close to re-signing John Carlson

DALLAS—The Caps are “really close” to signing star defenseman John Carlson to a long-term extension, GM Brian MacLellan said Friday night.

“We’re getting closer,” MacLellan said following the first round of the NHL Draft. “Hopefully we can get it done here over the next few days. We’re really close.”

Earlier in the day, the Caps cleared significant space under the salary cap ceiling by trading Philipp Grubauer and Brooks Orpik to Colorado for a second round draft pick (47th overall). 

That space will now be used to lock up Carlson, who could become the best defenseman on the open market if he were to reach it.

MacLellan met with Carlson’s agent, Rick Curran, here on Thursday night.

MacLellan did not divulge any figures, but it’s expected that Carlson’s new contract could come in at eight years and $8 million per—or perhaps a bit more. 

He earned $4 million last season.

Carlson had a career year in 2017-18 and was critical during the Caps' run to the Stanley Cup. He led all defensemen in the regular season with 68 points (15 goals, 53 assists). The 28-year-old also skated a career-high 24:47 per game.

MacLellan has long said that re-signing Carlson was the Caps’ top priority this offseason. And now it looks like that could happen within days, assuming the talks do not hit any snags.

“We’re going to do our best to sign John,” MacLellan said. “We’ve said it all along. We waited until the end of the year. We’ve had discussions. We’re close and hopefully we can close the deal here over the next 24 hours.”

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Capitals go to the WHL again, select defenseman Alex Alexeyev with first-round pick

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Capitals go to the WHL again, select defenseman Alex Alexeyev with first-round pick

The last time the Washington Capitals had a first-round draft pick, they selected a WHL defenseman. They did not go off script on Friday.

With the last pick of the first round, selecting for the first time as defending Stanley Cup champions, the Capitals selected Alexander Alexeyev, a left-shooting, two-way defenseman from St. Petersburg.

Alexeyev, 18, certainly boasts NHL size at 6' 4", 196 pounds. He currently plays for Red Deer in the WHL, a junior league that has become a major pipeline for the Capitals. In his second season with Red Deer, he tallied 37 points in 45 games.

The NHL Central Scouting's rankings list Alexeyev as the 22nd best North American skater of the draft. TSN projects him to be a top-four, two-way defenseman.

Analyst Craig Button described Alexeyev as a "Smart, effective defenceman who moves the puck, plays with a calm and doesn't make things complicated for himself."

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