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Sammi’s Daily: Dubinsky Subtly Slams Tortorella; Capitals, Stanley Cup Notes

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Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin and Brandon Dubinsky

As the offseason continues for the Washington Capitals and the rest of the NHL, so does the everchanging NHL coaching carousel, which now puts John Tortorella back behind an NHL bench.

Tortorella will return to the Metropolitan Division after agreeing to a four-year deal to become the 23rd head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers., who officially announced the hiring on Friday. However, not everyone is happy with the decision, including former center Brandon Dubinsky, who played for years under Torts.

Dubinsky took to Twitter to throw some shade at his former bench boss, as he shared his sympathies for the Flyers players who will soon see Tortorella take the reins.

Tortorella spent six years with the Columbus Blue Jackets, going 227-166-54 (.568). However, he and some players ran into some controversy and tough times, including him and Dubinsky, who were also together on the Rangers.

“Me and John Tortorella were a shit show during my last year in New York,” Dubinsky told The Athletic in 2022, later adding that Tortorella cutting his ice time and changing his role led to more tension and disagreements between both parties.

Ultimately, Dubinsky hung up the skates in 2019 at the age of 33 as he dealt with a disintegrating wrist injury. His last season came in 2018-19 when he had just six goals and eight assists through 61 games while averaging a career-low of 12:21 minutes a night.

Tortorella is no stranger to criticism given his tough coaching style and persona. It’ll be interesting to see how he fits in with the Broad Street Bullies.

Beyond the Torts hiring, here are other news and notes from D.C. and across the NHL:

Capitals Links:

  • Matt Irwin didn’t play a lot for the Capitals in 2021-22, but the pending free agent blueliner still made quite the impact both on and off the ice. (WHN)
  • And, when it comes to impact players, here’s a look back at the GOAT, Alex Ovechkin, and a year-by-year look at his goal-scoring prowess with Washington. (Japers’ Rink)
  • T.J. Oshie joined the Alz Caps podcast with Steve Whyno and Karl Alzner to discuss the Capitals and longtime friend and former teammate, Andre Burakovsky, as he goes for his second Stanley Cup. (Alz Caps)

NHL Links:

  • As Tortorella prepares to join Philadelphia, here are five reasons why he will and won’t work out with the Flyers. (Philly Hockey Now)
  • Vegas finally moved Evgenii Dadonov — for real this time — sending him to the Canadiens for Shea Weber’s contract. Here’s more on the move and how it benefits the Golden Knights. (Vegas Hockey Now)
  • The Stanley Cup won’t be visiting Russia or Belarus this offseason amid the ongoing war in Ukraine. (Pro Hockey Talk)

Sammi’s Top Shelf Takes

  • I expect quite the bounceback performance for Andrei Vasilevskiy in Game 2 against the Avalanche, but still am predicting a Colorado win. Vasilevskiy has dominated when responding to losses, and his Games 2-7 record is pretty dang good.
  • To see both Oshie and John Carlson rooting for Burakovsky just goes to show how much of an impact he had on the locker room and how tight-knit NHL rooms are.
  • The NHL announced that its salary cap will be $82.5 million going into 2022-23. Washington is projected to have $8,978,334 to work with in cap space, per CapFriendly. So, with money to spend and a lot to do, I would look out for a busy offseason for the Capitals.
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