Happy Wednesday and second day of our existence, Washington Capitals fans! It’s an honor to be here and start this journey with you. I’m excited to bring analysis, features, and more high-quality content, but also share the latest happenings in Washington and across the league.
So grab a cup of coffee (or go with the Sammi morning routine and start your day off right with a Dr. Pepper), kick back and check out some clips and thoughts on the state of hockey.
- Alex Ovechkin‘s 13-year deal will expire in July, but the pending UFA and the team put any speculation of a departure to rest. The Great 8 said he wants to finish his career in D.C., and the feeling is mutual in the front office. J.J. Regan and Andrew Gillis break down what his extension may look like with the Capitals. (NBC Sports Washington)
- Evgeny Kuznetsov says he’s ready to learn from his mistakes in 2020-21, but his future in D.C. remains uncertain. What should the Capitals do in regards to No. 92? (Washington Hockey Now)
- Dmitry (Sc)Orlov came in clutch several times for the Capitals this past season. Peter Hassett grades his performance in 2020-21 and dives deeper into his play. (Russian Machine Never Breaks)
- Greg Young continues to impress with Japers’ Rink Radio and brought a unique perspective to the table for episode 192, hosting a roundtable to discuss the ups and downs of being a Caps fan. (Japers’ Rink)
- Ilya Samsonov’s sophomore year had its ups and downs as he shared the crease with Vitek Vanecek. Michael Marzzacco dulls out his season report card. (Stars & Sticks)
- We take a closer look at potential expansion draft scenarios and debate who the Capitals should protect. (Washington Hockey Now)
- Kevin Allen explores the Wings’ goalie search and top netminders they could take in the 2021 NHL Draft. (Detroit Hockey Now)
- Meanwhile on the Island, Lou Lamoriello has won his second consecutive Jim Gregory GM of the Year Award; it’s a bright spot for Isles fans following a whopping 8-0 loss to the Bolts in Game 5 that has them on the brink of elimination. (NYI Hockey Now)
- Sean Kuraly‘s been a strong fourth-liner for the Bruins, but will he head to the free-agent market or stay in Boston? Joe Haggerty has more in his intermittent offseason series. (Boston Hockey Now)
- Rest in peace, Tom Kurvers and Rene Robert. Kurvers, assistant GM of the Wild and former NHLer was 58. Robert, the Sabres’ “French Connection” winger, was 72. The Duluth News Tribune and Buffalo Sabres pay tribute to Kurvers and Robert respectively by remembering their impact on and off the ice.
- There’s rumblings that Matthew Tkachuk may want out of Calgary; what would be the best fit? (Yahoo! Sports)
- Gerard Gallant is a man on a mission with the New York Rangers as he looks to ignite change and turn the Blueshirts into a top playoff contender. Larry Brooks reflects on the new bench’s introductory press conference. (New York Post)
Sammi’s Top Shelf Takes
- The Capitals’ ECHL affiliate South Carolina Stingrays are moving on to the Kelly Cup finals following a 2-1 Game 4 victory over the Greenville Swamp Rabbits Monday. South Carolina will make its sixth finals appearance and seeks its first title since 2009. If they win, the Rays would secure their fourth title in franchise history, which would set a new ECHL record. They will face either the Allen Americans or Fort Wayne Komets in the finals.
- Speaking of championship runs, there’s something special brewing in Montreal. A shot in the dark at the start of the 2020-21 season became a reality, as the Habs sit one game away from the Stanley Cup Final following a 4-1 victory over Vegas in Game 5. Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield continue to shine with respective hot streaks, but Carey Price has got to be among the top Conn Smythe candidates in my book.
- The Bolts are on the verge of advancing to their second consecutive Stanley Cup Final. This is the third time in the last four years they’ve faced former head coach Barry Trotz in the Conference Final. They’ve won two of those series, their last loss coming in 2018 when they fell to the Capitals in seven games. We all know what happened next.
- I need to give another major thanks for all the support on our launch. It’s been less than 24 hours, but your words of encouragement and motivation truly mean the world. Here’s to more coverage and good times ahead.