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Will Caps fans tune out the team without a title?


Will Caps fans tune out the team without a title?

It seems the folks at Bleacher Report enjoy poking the Caps fan base, and they've done it again. The latest BR proclamation said that the Washington Capitals need to bring home the Stanley Cup in the 2012-2013 season, or risk losing some fans.
"If ownership wants to continue to have a successful franchise, the real winning must start now," Bleacher Report said. "Yes, Capitals fans are loyal, but their patience is running out. Anything other than a Stanley Cup Championship is now considered a failure."
The authors point out the differences in the D.C. hockey crowd between diehard fans who will always attend Caps games, and some of the newer fans, attracted to the winning team and the successful branding and marketing efforts seen inside the Verizon Center.
Last season, the Caps snuck into the playoffs after a disappointing regular season that featured a coaching change. More mediocrity, and early round playoff exits, and the Bleacher Report crew expects empty seats for Caps hockey.
Maybe new coach Adam Oates will be able to get this talented collection of Capitals to perform at their highest level, both in the regular season and in the playoffs. If he does, the Caps will continue to enjoy great crowds at Verizon Center. But if the Caps stumble early in the season, or worse, what happens?
There has long been a feud between the bandwagon Caps crowd and the diehards; is this the year the bandwagon fans stop showing up?
Also a quick link to the District Sports Page. They've got some great pics of Rod Langway taking in the Potomac Nationals game at Washington Capitals Day yesterday. Slapshot and the Red Rockers also attended the minor league baseball game. I think the cross-sports D.C. promotional scene is a good thing; let me know what you think. I know for some it is a transparent attempt at selling more tickets and merchandise, but maybe I just dont have my cynic shades on today.

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2018 NHL Draft: Caps add 7 prospects, 4 from WHL


2018 NHL Draft: Caps add 7 prospects, 4 from WHL

The Caps made seven selections in the 2018 Draft this weekend. The group featured three defensemen, three forwards and a goalie. Interestingly, a couple of the picks have fathers who enjoyed lengthy NHL careers.

Meet the newest prospects:

1st round, 31st overall: D Alexander Alexeyev, WHL, 6'4", 196 pounds

The Caps' first first-round pick sine 2016, Alexeyev is a smart two-way defenseman with good size.

Read more on him here.

2nd round, 46th overall (from Florida, via New Jersey): D Martin Fehervary, Allsvenskan (Sweden), 6'2", 194 pounds

A physical style defenseman who is very strong in his own end, but does not have much offensive upside. Sort of a throwback style of play which makes him a surprise pick this high.

2nd round, 47th overall (From Colorado): F Kody Clark, OHL, 6'1", 179 pounds

Kody Clark boasts an NHL pedigree as the son of Wendel Clark, a first-round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs who recorded 330 goals and 564 career points in 763 NHL games.

3rd round, 93rd overall: F Riley Sutter, WHL, 6'3", 203 pounds

Riley Sutter also boasts a strong NHL pedigree as the son of Run Sutter and nephew of Darryl Sutter.

Riley is a power forward who played alongside Caps prospect Garrett Pilon on the Everett Silvertips in the WHL and recorded 53 points in 68 games last season.

4th round, 124th overall: G Mitchell Gibson, NAHL, 6'1", 187 pounds

A Harvard commit, Gibson posted a 1.59 GAA and .935 save percentage in the NAHL last season.

6th round, 161st overall (from Vancouver): D Alex Kannok-Leipert, WHL, 5'11", 194 pounds

The Caps certainly saw something they liked in Kannok-Leipert as they traded up from 186 to get him. That pick, along with a sixth-round pick in 2019, went to Vancouver.

7th round, 217th overall: F Eric Florchuk, WHL, 6'2", 174 pounds

Florchuk was taken with the last pick of the draft.


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


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.”