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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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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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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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