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Vegas says Caps have best chance to win it all


Vegas says Caps have best chance to win it all

The Capitals have only played a quarter of their 82-game season but  the oddsmakers in Las Vegas already are giving them the best chance of winning the 2016 Stanley Cup.


In the span of one month – a month in which they went 9-3-1 – the Caps went from having 11/1 odds to having 13/2 odds to bring their first-ever championship to D.C. By the way, the Caps are also being picked to win the Eastern Conference.
As for individual awards, Alex Ovechkin has 12/1 odds of winning the Hart Trophy as MVP and John Carlson has a 15/1 shot of winning the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman.

Take a look at the latest odds from Bovada:

Odds to win 2016 Stanley Cup
Washington Capitals                       13/2
Dallas Stars                                      7/1
New York Rangers                          15/2
Chicago Blackhawks                        9/1
Montreal Canadiens                        12/1
Anaheim Ducks                                14/1
Los Angeles Kings                           14/1
St. Louis Blues                                 14/1
Tampa Bay Lightning                        16/1
Minnesota Wild                                  20/1
Pittsburgh Penguins                           20/1
San Jose Sharks                                20/1
Nashville Predators                            25/1
New York Islanders                            25/1
Boston Bruins                                     28/1
Detroit Red Wings                              28/1
Ottawa Senators                                 28/1
Arizona Coyotes                                  40/1
Columbus Blue Jackets                       40/1
Vancouver Canucks                             50/1
Winnipeg Jets                                      50/1
Florida Panthers                                   66/1
Calgary Flames                                   75/1
Colorado Avalanche                           100/1
New Jersey Devils                              100/1
Philadelphia Flyers                              100/1
Buffalo Sabres                                     150/1
Carolina Hurricanes                             200/1
Edmonton Oilers                                  200/1
Toronto Maple Leafs                            200/1

Odds to win the 2016 Eastern Conference
Washington Capitals                  13/4
New York Rangers                     4/1
Montreal Canadiens                   6/1
Tampa Bay Lightning                 8/1
Pittsburgh Penguins                   9/1
Detroit Red Wings                     12/1
New York Islanders                    12/1
Boston Bruins                            14/1
Ottawa Senators                        14/1
Columbus Blue Jackets             18/1
Florida Panthers                        33/1                             
New Jersey Devils                     50/1
Philadelphia Flyers                    50/1
Buffalo Sabres                           75/1                             
Carolina Hurricanes                   100/1
Toronto Maple Leafs                  100/1               

Odds to win the 2016 Western Conference
Dallas Stars                              13/4
Chicago Blackhawks                19/4                             
Anaheim Ducks                        13/2
Los Angeles Kings                   13/2                             
St. Louis Blues                          7/1                               
San Jose Sharks                       9/1
Minnesota Wild                         10/1                             
Nashville Predators                   11/1                             
Arizona Coyotes                        22/1
Vancouver Canucks                   25/1
Winnipeg Jets                            25/1                             
Calgary Flames                         40/1                             
Edmonton Oilers                        75/1                             
Colorado Avalanche                  100/1                           

Odds to Win the 2016 Atlantic Division
Montreal Canadiens                   2/5
Tampa Bay Lightning                 5/1
Ottawa Senators                        15/2
Boston Bruins                            12/1
Detroit Red Wings                     12/1
Florida Panthers                        20/1
Buffalo Sabres                          100/1
Toronto Maple Leafs                 100/1
Odds to win the 2016 Metropolitan Division
New York Rangers                     3/2
Washington Capitals                  3/2
Pittsburgh Penguins                  5/1
New York Islanders                    6/1                   
New Jersey Devils                     33/1
Columbus Blue Jackets             40/1
Philadelphia Flyers                    50/1
Carolina Hurricanes                  100/1
Odds to win the 2016 Pacific Division
Los Angeles Kings                    7/4
Anaheim Ducks                         2/1
San Jose Sharks                       7/2
Arizona Coyotes                        6/1
Vancouver Canucks                   9/1
Calgary Flames                         50/1                 
Edmonton Oilers                       75/1
Odds to win the 2016 Central Division
Dallas Stars                              3/2
St. Louis Blues                          2/1
Chicago Blackhawks                 9/2
Minnesota Wild                         7/1
Nashville Predators                   7/1                   
Winnipeg Jets                           25/1
Colorado Avalanche                  200/1

Odds to win the 2016 Hart Trophy (MVP)
Patrick Kane (CHI)                                2/1
Jamie Benn (DAL)                                 5/1
Henrik Lundqvist (NYR)                         6/1
Tyler Seguin (DAL)                                5/1
Sidney Crosby  (PIT)                             12/1
Alexander Ovechkin (WAS)                    12/1
Vladimir Tarasenko (STL)                       12/1
John Tavares (NYI)                                12/1
Carey Price (MON)                                 16/1
Steven Stamkos (TB)                             16/1
Max Pacioretty (MON)                           20/1
Ryan Getzlaf (ANA)                               25/1
Claude Giroux (PHI)                               28/1
Johnny Gaudreau (CAL)                         35/1
Erik Karlsson (OTT)                                40/1

Odds to Win the 2015 Calder Trophy (Rookie of the Year)
Artemi Panarin (CHI)                              3/2
Max Domi (ARI)                                     5/2
Dylan Larkin (DET)                                9/2
Connor McDavid (EDM)                        13/2
Jack Eichel (BUF)                                  9/1
Mike Condon (MON)                              10/1
Colton Parayko (STL)                            15/1
Sam Bennett (CAL)                                18/1
Oscar Lindberg (NYR)                            25/1
Sam Reinhart (BUF)                               30/1
Nikolaj Ehlers (WPG)                              35/1

Odds to win the 2016 Norris Trophy (top defenseman)
John Klingberg (DAL)                            11/4
Erik Karlsson (OTT)                               3/1
PK Subban (MON)                                 9/2
Victor Hedman (TB)                               9/1
Ryan Suter (MIN)                                   10/1
Brent Burns (SJ)                                    12/1
Drew Doughty (LA)                                12/1
Kris Letang (PIT)                                    12/1
Shea Weber (NASH)                              14/1
John Carlson (WAS)                               15/1
Oliver Ekman-Larsson (ARI)                   16/1
Justin Faulk (CAR)                                  20/1
Roman Josi (NAS)                                  20/1

MORE CAPITALS: Wilson escorts elephant out of locker room

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Now the Islanders' coach, Barry Trotz explains why he left the Capitals

Now the Islanders' coach, Barry Trotz explains why he left the Capitals

DALLAS — Hours after being named head coach of the New York Islanders on Thursday, Barry Trotz made his first public comments since stepping down in Washington earlier in the week.

And, from the sounds of it, his departure was mostly a business decision.

“Yeah, obviously, I love the D.C. area,” he told reporters on a conference call. “But when it came to the business aspect, from my standpoint, I felt that it wasn’t really sincere [given] what we did together. So I decided that it was better to just move on.”

“I thank the fans,” he added. “I’m glad we could get it done. I said we could get it done in four years, and we did.”

Although the value of his contract with the Islanders has not been publicly disclosed, Hockey Night in Canada’s Elliotte Friedman reported that Trotz is set to earn “at least $4 million” per year—or more than twice what he was earning in Washington.

A source told NBC Sports Washington earlier this week that Trotz, who directed the Caps to their first Stanley Cup two weeks ago, sought $5 million per season for five seasons. The five-year term, that source said, was a non-starter as far as the Caps were concerned, given the relatively short shelf life of NHL coaches and the fact that Trotz had already been in Washington for four seasons.

When it became clear that the sides weren’t going to close the considerable gap between their positions, Trotz offered to step down and the resignation was accepted, making the 55-year-old a free agent.

When “I got the [counteroffer], I guess I knew it was time to go in a different direction,” he said.

In New York, Trotz replaces Doug Weight, who was fired earlier this month along with GM Garth Snow. Lou Lamoriello, a longtime NHL executive, took over for Snow and immediately started a search for a new head coach.

Once Trotz became available, it didn’t take Lamoriello to zero in on the NHL's fifth all-time winningest coach. The two met, exchanged ideas and quickly realized that they had found a good fit in one another. Trotz said he's already reached out to the Islanders' star captain, John Tavares, who could become the biggest prize on the free agent market on July 1. 

And, like that, Trotz now is the coach of a Metropolitan Division foe. The Caps and Isles will face off four times next season, beginning with a Nov. 26meeting in New York.

It’ll be weird, for sure. But professional sports is a business. And all sides involved in the Trotz saga were served a painful reminder of that this week.

Asked if he felt wanted in Washington, Trotz said: “Well, I’ll leave that up to the Caps to answer that. I think, absolutely. We just won a cup together and so I don't think that was an issue. I think it was more principle.”

In the end, Trotz wanted to be compensated like one of the top coaches in the game. And now he will, settling in behind big market coaches such as Toronto’s Mike Babcock ($6.25 million per year), Chicago’s Joel Quenneville ($6 million) and Montreal’s Claude Julien ($5 million).

“It’s good to be wanted,” he said. “It happened really quickly because you go from one emotion of winning the cup to the next emotion of leaving the team that you just won the Cup with, and you have to make some quick decisions. I know the timing of it—end of the season, the draft coming up, free agency [and] all that—there was some urgency on that. Both parties knew that, so we went to work at it and got it done.”


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The NHL salary cap numbers are in, what does it mean for the Caps?


The NHL salary cap numbers are in, what does it mean for the Caps?

The NHL released the salary cap range for the 2018-19 season on Thursday. That sound you hear is the general managers frantically typing numbers into adding machines to figure out which of their players they can afford and which they are going to have to let walk.

The cap ceiling will rise from last year's $75 million all the way up to $79.5 million with the cap floor set at $58.8 million.

So what does this mean for the Capitals?

Here's a look at the team's pending free agents:

Unrestricted free agents: Jay Beagle, John Carlson, Alex Chiasson, Tyler Graovac, Jakub Jerabek, Michal Kempny, Anthony Peluso, Zach Sill, Wayne Simpson

Restricted free agents: Riley Barber, Madison Bowey, Travis Boyd, Adam Carlson, Philipp Grubauer, Tim McGauley, Liam O'Brien, Devante Smith-Pelly, Tom Wilson

We will not know exactly who will make the roster, so to project how much money the Caps will have to work with, let's assume Nathan Walker makes the team and Shane Gersich goes to the AHL. That will give the Caps a little less than $14.8 million with which to work.

Considering the team will need to use about half of that number if not more to re-sign Carlson, that's not a whole lot to work with.

Is $7 million enough to re-sign Beagle, Kempny, Bowey, Smith-Pelly and Wilson? Probably not and that does not even account for prospects who will try to compete for the NHL roster such as Barber and Boyd.

Here's what the cap ceiling tells us:

  • The team's entire offseason will depend on if the team can re-sign Carlson and for how much.
  • Carlson's cap hit last season was just under $4 million. A $4.5 million increase in the salary cap ceiling doesn't mean much when Carlson is going to get a raise of $3 million or more.
  • Grubauer will almost certainly be traded because he is an asset and because there won't be enough money for the team to commit $1.5 million or more to the backup goalie like they did last season.
  • If Carlson returns, fan favorite Beagle has almost certainly played his last game as a Cap. Everyone wants him back, but he would have to take a severe discount for the Caps to fit him and even then, he would be taking away a roster spot from a young prospect ready to make the jump to the NHL.

Free agency opens July 1.