When Brooks Laich left his teammates behind at Kettler Capitals Iceplex for a chance to play in Switzerland last month he knew it came at his own risk.
Fifteen games into his season with the Kloten Flyers Laich reportedly suffered an injury to his groin area on Friday and has returned to North America for treatment.
The severity of the injury is unclear and Laich has not returned a message left for him by CSNWashington.com. Laich was injured during the Flyers’ 8-0 win over Lugnao. In 15 games he was fourth on the club in scoring with six goals and eight assists.
Laich, 29, has been an iron man for the Capitals in recent years, playing in all 82 games in three of the last four seasons and missing just four games in 2009-10.
Meanwhile, representatives from the NHL and its players’ association are scheduled to meet in New York on Monday in hopes of moving forward on negotiations that broke down last weekend.
Locked in its second work stoppage in eight years, the NHL has canceled all games through Nov. 30 and the two sides are trying to salvage a shortened season.
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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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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