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Capitals Insider: May 16, 2010 - May 22, 2010

Ovechkin, Russia to play for gold at worlds

Alex Ovechkin and Team Russia moments ago avoided a potential second international disappointment this year. Pavel Datsyuk came to the rescue in Germany, scoring with 1:50 remaining to beat the host nation, 2-1, and clinch a berth in tomorrow's world championships goal medal game vs. Jaromir Jagr and the Czechs....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 22, 2010; 2:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (81)
 
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Ted Leonsis: NHL is stronger financially than NBA

Capitals owner and soon-to-be Wizards owner Ted Leonsis said today that after reviewing the NBA's finances, he believes the NHL is in better shape financially because "it has a CBA in place that protects owners from taking stupid pills." Leonsis might stand alone with that assertion, but at any rate,...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 21, 2010; 3:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
 
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Caption contest: Alex Ovechkin and Brooks Laich

(Martin Rose/Getty Images) Above, officials separate Capitals teammates and international rivals Alex Ovechkin and Brooks Laich during Russia's 5-2 thrashing of Canada. (Gamer is here.) Let's take advantage of today being a Friday (the only day that allows for something as trivial as a caption contest) and have at...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 21, 2010; 10:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (90)
 
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Varlamov, Ovechkin set to face Laich, Canada today at worlds

With the Stanley Cup playoffs in full swing, it's possible you've missed the fact that Semyon Varlamov and his Russian teammates are tearing up the world championships in Germany. Varlamov is 3-0 with a 1.00 goals against average and a .967 save percentage (he's stopped 87 of 90 shots), while...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 20, 2010; 1:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
 
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Ted Leonsis: No. 1 pick helps, 'but you have to build around them'

After Lady Luck (or fate?) gave Ted Leonsis another No. 1 pick last night at the NBA draft lottery, he spoke to The Post's Michael Lee about how his experience with the Capitals will help him as Wizards owner. On the importance of getting a No. 1 pick: "We got...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 19, 2010; 12:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (71)
 
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Nicklas Backstrom: 'I wanted the long term'

(Dayna Smith/The Washington Post) Here's more on center Nicklas Backstrom's new 10-year deal with the Caps: Backstrom's new contract gradually escalates from $6 million in each of the first four seasons to $8 million in the final year. His cap hit of $6.7 million puts him second on the...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 17, 2010; 4:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (203)
 
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Video: Marcus Johansson rocks the white

Marcus Johansson received his Capitals jersey this morning from Coach Bruce Boudreau. He'll wear No. 90 and figures to compete for a job on the starting roster right away, according to GM George McPhee. "He had a very good season in the Swedish elite league this year," McPhee said. "We...

By Gene Wang  |  May 17, 2010; 1:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
Tags: Marcus Johansson  
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Bruce Boudreau: 'Nick's going to be a very big leader'

Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau looked like a proud father earlier today when he spoke about 22-year-old Nicklas Backstrom signing a 10-year deal with the team. He called Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin perhaps two of the top five players in the world and mentioned his first-line center's leadership. "As we know...

By Gene Wang  |  May 17, 2010; 12:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
 
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Nicklas Backstrom: 'We're capable of winning the Cup'

(Dayna Smith/The Washington Post) Nicklas Backstrom talked about what influence Alex Ovechkin's long-term deal had on him signing a 10-year deal with the Capitals. Here's some of what Backstrom had to say at the start of his new conference: "I just wanted to say I'm so happy to be...

By Gene Wang  |  May 17, 2010; 11:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
Tags: Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom  
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Contract details for Nicklas Backstrom, Marcus Johansson

Nicklas Backstrom's contract escalates from $6 million to $8 million, I'm told. It breaks down like this: $6 mil., 6, 6, 6, 6.5, 6.5, 7, 7.5, 7.5 and 8. Marcus Johansson's three-year entry level is for $900,000 ($810,000 salary plus $90,000 signing bonus) each season. There are no team-paid performance...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 17, 2010; 11:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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Caps sign Nicklas Backstrom to 10-year, $67M deal

The Capitals announced this morning that they've signed Nicklas Backstrom to a long-term contract, locking up the 22-year-old center for another 10 years alongside linemate Alex Ovechkin, who has 11 years left on his 13-year, $124 million contract. Backstrom's deal is worth $67 million. "I think we have a good...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 17, 2010; 10:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
 
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Marcus Johansson set to sign, too? (Updated)

Update: The Caps did indeed announce that they've signed Johansson to a three-year, entry-level deal. The Caps' 2009 first-round draft pick -- and future second-line center -- Marcus Johansson just walked into Kettler Capitals Iceplex flanked by his agent. The team has not said anything official regarding this morning's announcement(s)....

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 17, 2010; 10:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
 
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Eric Belanger: 'I felt my teeth shatter right away'

(Dushan Milic for the Globe and Mail) In case you missed it this weekend, James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail wrote a delightful (if you're into horrific mouth injuries) piece on NHL players and their many dental issues. Featured is Caps center Eric Belanger and his recent teeth-shattering...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 17, 2010; 9:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Tags: Eric Belanger  
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Caps to announce Nicklas Backstrom extension today

Pay up, George. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post) The Capitals are expected to announce today that they have re-signed center Nicklas Backstrom to a long-term extension, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. Backstrom, who is coming off a breakout season, was set to become a restricted free...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 17, 2010; 7:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
 
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Source: Nicklas Backstrom re-signs with Caps (updated)

The Caps are expected to announce tomorrow morning that they have re-signed Nicklas Backstrom to a long-term extension, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. I'm still working to get the particulars of the deal -- team officials are not answering their phones -- but Backstrom's salary is...

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 16, 2010; 4:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (55)
 
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Habs and Flyers: How did they get here?

For the first time, a No. 7 and No. 8 seed will play each other in the Eastern Conference finals, and for both the Philadelphia Flyers and the Montreal Canadiens, the path to this point is as remarkable as it is unlikely. Click here to read the full story.  ...

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  May 16, 2010; 10:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
 
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