It’s past the mid-point of August, and we’re even closer to the start of training camps and the preseason. The Washington Capitals are ready to bet on the group they already have heading into the regular season.
Meanwhile, changes may be happening in Buffalo, where a very interesting billboard went up on Monday. The Minnesota Wild are also taking steps to finish their offseason to-do list, and GM Bill Guerin had more to say about the Kaprizov situation.
Here’s more on the latest happenings across the league.
- Washington is sticking with pretty much the same lineup after a relatively quiet offseason that included re-signings and re-acquiring Vitek Vanecek. J.J. Regan and Andrew Gillis now explain how the Capitals can improve upon last season on the ice. (NBC Sports Washington)
- Dmitry Orlov continues to evolve his game, and next season will see a few changes on the Washington defense corps. Here’s how Orlov can take on a bigger role and why he’ll be vital to the blue line’s success in 2021-22. (Washington Hockey Now)
- With his dad T.J.’s help, one-year-old Campbell Oshie took the ice for the first time at MedStar Capitals Iceplex. Ian Oland has more on the wholesome skate. (Russian Machine Never Breaks)
- Martin Fehervary’s lacing ’em up with Team Slovakia for the 2022 Olympic Qualifiers. Jon Sorensen takes a look at the team’s roster. (NoVa Caps)
- The power rankings continue, this time with the top potential breakout players heading into next season. Adam Gretz makes his picks, from Jack Hughes to Nolan Patrick. (Pro Hockey Talk)
- Newest Avalanche blueliner Kurtis MacDermid is ready to stand up for his teammates and make an impact. Adrian Datar shares what the 6-foot-5 blueliner had to say about joining his new team. (Colorado Hockey Now)
- As Montreal looks to return to the Stanley Cup Final, the team took steps to make some changes to the lineup in the offseason. Mike Zeisberger examines the Habs’ performance and changes this summer. (NHL)
- Blueshirts Breakaway bought a billboard urging the Sabres to trade Jack Eichel, which reads “aren’t trade requests a pain in the neck? #freejack.” Steven Ellis has the full — and magnificent — story. (Sports Illustrated/The Hockey News)
Sammi’s Top Shelf Takes
- The WHL announced a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy, where all roster players, hockey operations staff and WHL office personnel must be vaccinated. In my opinion, it’s a smart move that’ll ensure a full season and allow these young players to continue to develop their games — and it should help set a precedent going forward.
- Here’s the latest out of Minnesota: Kevin Fiala re-signed with the Wild for one year at $5.1 million following his arbitration case. Bill Guerin spoke to reporters about the re-signing and also added that he’s not concerned about Kirill Kaprizov’s KHL offer. So, no reason to worry — right now.
- Nick Jensen is still showing off the silky mitts in Da Beauty League. On another note, I expect a strong season from him as he continues to grow his game under head coach Peter Laviolette.
Nick Jenson with the filthy move during Ze Hit Puck minute to give Nor-Son two more goals for the price of one!! 🚨🚨
— Da Beauty League (@DaBeautyLeague) August 16, 2021
- Shoutout to my doggo, my wonderful deputy editor, for being the best. Here she is, she gets a cameo today.