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Capitals Insider: July 8, 2007 - July 14, 2007

Summer Camp Ends

Well, I hope you got your mid-summer hockey fix this week. I know I did. Here are a couple of quick thoughts on today's scrimmage: *The story of the session was Nicklas Backstrom. After a quiet start to camp, the 19-year-old center seemed to get better with each scrimmage. He...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  July 14, 2007; 6:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
 
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Notes From Friday's Scrimmage

*Nicklas Backstrom finally got on the board -- and he did it in style. The 19-year-old center scored the game-winner in double overtime (three on three) in today's scrimmage, tapping in a cross ice pass from Francois Bouchard. Speaking of Bouchard, he's making a strong case to be named MVP...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  July 13, 2007; 6:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (36)
 
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Thursday's Scrimmage

A couple of quick thoughts: After a relatively quiet performance Wednesday, Nicklas Backstrom looked more comfortable. Though he didn't factor into the white team's only goal, the 19-year-old showed off some of the skill we've heard about. The highlight came when he weaved his way through virtually the entire blue...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  July 12, 2007; 6:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
 
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Arbitration Dates

Just in case you were wondering, Brooks Laich will have his arbitration case heard in Toronto on July 23 and Milan Jurcina's will be heard on the 30th....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  July 12, 2007; 5:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Varlamov Wants Another Year in Russia

During a brief interview with goaltender Simeon Varlamov last night, I asked him why he wanted a clause in his contract that allows him to return to Russia next season. Here's what he said: "Because there is such a provision in my contract, that means I want to play next...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  July 12, 2007; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
 
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Report Card From Tonight's Scrimmage

Here are the guys who I felt stood out during today's scrimmage, in no particular order: Forwards Nicklas Backstrom, Francois Bouchard and Mathieu Perreault; defensemen Karl Alzner, Sami Lepisto and Joe Finley; and goalies Michal Neuvirth and Simeon Varlamov....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  July 11, 2007; 6:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
 
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Leonsis: Caps, Ovechkin Are Talking Extension

A day after the Penguins locked up Sidney Crosby, Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis acknowledged today that the club and all-star winger Alex Ovechkin have had exploratory talks on a contract extension. But nothing is imminent, he said. Ovechkin, who is in the final year of his entry-level deal, does...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  July 11, 2007; 6:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
 
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Caps Schedule Announced

First the Caps go out and spend millions of dollars on UFAs. Then they find out today they're also going to get some help from the schedule makers next season. Not a bad July. There are four homestands of at least four games, including a five-game stretch from Jan. 9-19....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  July 11, 2007; 2:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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Caps Sign Prospect Varlamov

Goaltender Simeon Varlamov has been signed to a three-year entry level deal. Because he does not have not have a contract in Russia, the Caps do not have to pay any transfer fees. Another interesting tidbit: The contract contains a clause that allows him to be assigned to the Russian...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  July 11, 2007; 1:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
 
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Interview With Hanlon

I caught up with Coach Hanlon after this morning's development camp sessions. Here's what he had to say: *Backstrom looks good, but he should look good in development camp. He's excited to see the 19-year-old Swede in training camp, when he's facing NHLers. That's when he'll really know where Backstrom...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  July 11, 2007; 12:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Development Camp Begins

I'm out here at Kettler Capitals Iceplex taking in the opening morning of development camp. Not much to report yet. There are about a dozen fans in the stands and Hanlon and Boudreau are at the markerboard diagramming systems. It's hard to tell which players look good because they're doing...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  July 11, 2007; 10:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
 
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Summer Development Camp Roster

Here's the roster. Note: The NHL just announced that next season's schedule will be released tomorrow....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  July 10, 2007; 4:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
 
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Caps Sign RW Motzko

The Caps have signed RW Joe Motzko to a two-year contract. It's a depth signing, meaning he'll probably spend the season in Hershey, Pa.. But he could be used as a fill-in with Washington if there are injuries next season. The 27-year-old Minnesota native finished last season with the Stanely...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  July 10, 2007; 11:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Crosby Gets a New Deal

As you may have seen by now, the Penguins have extended Sidney Crosby's contract. According to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, it's five years at about $9 million per. Over the past few weeks, a lot of people have asked me what's up with Alex Ovechkin's contract situation. Here's what I...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  July 10, 2007; 11:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
 
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Melrose Like McPhee's Moves

From George Solomon's Sunday column: "The Capitals are much improved -- without breaking the bank," said Barry Melrose, ESPN's hockey analyst and a former NHL coach. "Nylander had a great year for the Rangers, Poti is a solid addition on defense and Kozlov gives them depth. I think they've signed...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  July 8, 2007; 12:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
 
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Brooks: "Really Lowe"

In his Sunday column, New York Post hockey scribe/columnist Larry Brooks takes some shots at Oilers GM Kevin Lowe for his handling of the Vanek and Nylander situations last week. Lowe had every reason to be upset once Nylander reneged on the deal he and his agent, Mike Gillis, had...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  July 8, 2007; 8:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
 
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