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Sammi’s Daily: 50 Years of the Capitals, Kadri News, Leonsis Exploring MLB?

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Capitals

Just one day after the four-year anniversary of their first Stanley Cup championship, the Washington Capitals are celebrating more history on Wednesday.

On this day 50 years ago, the NHL awarded the city of Washington, D.C. an expansion team. In 1974-75, the Capitals would debut. And, despite winning just eight games in its inaugural season, Washington would transform into a hockey town over time.

Thanks to the “Ovechkin effect” and the ownership efforts of Ted Leonsis, the Capitals transformed into one of D.C.’s top sports clubs. Washington has made the playoffs in 13 of the last 14 seasons and established a standard.

As the Capitals celebrate and continue prep for the busy offseason — and Leonsis potentially pursues the MLB market — here are all the latest news and notes to keep an eye out for.

Capitals Links:

  • With the 2022 NHL Draft approaching Washington could be in the market for a top forward to add to the depth chart. One interesting name that could be of interest at No. 20: Jagger Firkus.
  • Speaking of Leonsis, he is reportedly one of 20 applicants for ownership submitted to the MLB’s league office. There’s no word yet on which team he applied for. However, signs point to it being the Washington Nationals.
  • How did Johan Larsson do filling in for Carl Hagelin following his trade to the Capitals? Here’s a look back at his performance in the District.

NHL Links:

  • Nazem Kadri — a potential but long-shot Capitals free-agent target this offseason — underwent thumb surgery in Denver. With him on the shelf, here’s how Mikko Rantanen is helping fill the void as the high-flying Colorado Avalanche head to the Stanley Cup Final.
  • There are quite a few NHL coaches on the move these days with the offseason starting to get in full swing. Could the Pittsburgh Penguins be in the running for a new bench boss?
  • Meanwhile, in the Stanley Cup Playoffs news, the Tampa Bay Lightning have evened the series and are storming back — no pun intended — against the New York Rangers. Can they return to the Stanley Cup Final again?

Sammi’s Top Shelf Takes

  • Darnell Nurse played through a torn hip flexor for the entirety of the Oilers’ Stanley Cup run. Speaks volumes about what players will sacrifice in pursuit of the Stanley Cup.
  • A couple of mock drafts have the Capitals pursuing an option down the middle, but given the team’s center depth, one has to ask if the team will go with the top choice available or consider drafting by position.
  • Happy Pride Month. Reminder that “Hockey is For Everyone” — and that the Pride of Hockey Initiative remains in full swing. Join our community today. It’s open to everyone and a great networking opportunity that also promotes equality and hockey for all.
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