The Washington Capitals are less than a month away from their season opener and days away from the start of rookie camp on Saturday. They appear ready to hit the ice with a similar group to last season (that still looks a lot different), while other teams continue to evaluate their situations as they begin to take the ice for the 2021-22 campaign.
So without further ado, kick back, grab a soda (or coffee, water, whatever you prefer) and start your day right with the latest news and notes from across the league.
- While the Capitals are looking for Ilya Samsonov to prove his worth as a starter, don’t rule out Vitek Vanecek as the No. 1. We take a closer look at how he can make a case to take over the crease yet again in his sophomore season. (Washington Hockey Now)
- As mentioned, Washington is kicking off its season with almost the same group as last season. ThePeerless explains how the Capitals can make the most of a “do-over” this year. (Japers’ Rink)
- What are the latest odds for Washington heading into the season? Jon Sorensen breaks down the Capitals’ chances and best bets across the NHL in 2021-22. (NoVa Caps)
- Kirill Kaprizov still has yet to sign an extension with the Minnesota Wild, and Bill Guerin finally admitted there are “some obstacles” facing both parties. Michael Russo has the latest on the situation with the 2021 Calder Trophy winner and RFA. (The Athletic)
- Speaking of the Calder, who will be named the NHL’s Rookie of the Year this season? Adam Gretz shares his power rankings for the NHL’s top freshmen, from Cole Caufield to Connor McMichael. (Pro Hockey Talk)
- Jack Eichel trade talks may be simmering down a bit, but could the Vegas Golden Knights be a candidate for the Buffalo Sabres captain? Steve Carp makes a case for the Knights to roll the dice on Eichel. (Vegas Hockey Now)
Sammi’s Top Shelf Takes
- Taking a look at the Capitals blue line heading into this season, I’m expecting Alex Alexeyev to make serious noise at camp and to even vy for a roster spot. Though Martin Fehervary appears primed to make the NHL jump, Alexeyev took a major step forward last year.
- The Capitals and Audacy have extended their broadcast agreement to conitnue broadcasting games on 106.7 The Fan (WJFK-FM) and Hubbard Radio (WFED 1500AM). The networks will air every Washington game this season.
- Discover is now the official title sponsor of the NHL Winter Classic. They replace Bridgestone, who previously sponosred the outdoor game for years.