Wednesday, 12 September 2012

State of the Capitals: Brouwer Re-Signed, European Prospects Kick-Off Season, CATP Merchandise

(We'll steer well away from any lockout-related news in this particular post)

With September dragging on, news is slow on the Washington Capitals front. It's warm, there's too much NFL on TV, and for the hockey-loving, there's not much to do. But some significant news #Caps came through today, as the team announced that RW Troy Brouwer has been re-signed to a three-year, $11-million contract.

The 27-year-old forward, who notched 33 points last season and was already under contract this season, will be payed $3.6 million in 2013-14, $3.65 million in 2014-15, and $3.75 million in 2015-16.

This move certainly makes a lot of sense for General Manager George McPhee and the Capitals. With future stars such as Filip Forsberg, Stanislav Galiev, and Tom Wilson coming through the system, the team locked-up a longterm top-six forward who will play a big part in that mix going forward. With the salary cap's future in question, the Capitals got an important piece of the puzzle back at a reasonable price.

So, good work, GMGM.

In more signing-related news, minor-league defenseman Jordan Henry, who spent five days in the Capitals organization after being acquired from the Calgary Flames along with a 2013 5th-round pick for Dennis Wideman, has signed with Södertälje of the Allsvenskan, Sweden's second division.

Relatedly (a word?), the Allsvenskan have opened the door to locked-out NHL players, meaning the likes of Nicklas Bäckström, Marcus Johansson, and Mattias Sjögren could well ply their trades their this season.

With the signings, one name sadly stands out as still being on the free agent market. Star defenseman, second-unit powerplay quarterback, number-74-in-your-programs-number-1-in-your-hearts, resident twitter-destroyer, and all-around bad boy John Carlson remains unsigned for the 2012-13 season. Carlson, of course, is an RFA, meaning the Caps hold exclusive rights, but the fact that no agreement has been reached so far is still somewhat frightening. Here's hoping a deal gets done soon.

In more Caps news, several of the team's players are trickling in and informally training at Kettler Capitals IcePlex. Those who have made appearances include Bäckström, Jay Beagle, Carlson, Joey Crabb (#15), Galiev, Mike Green, Matt Hendricks, Jack Hillen (#38), Johansson, Michal Neuvirth, Dmitry Orlov, Alex Ovechkin, Mike Ribeiro (#9), Sjögren, Joel Ward, and Wojtek Wolski (#17).

Several of the Caps' European prospect have seen their seasons kick off recently. Evgeny Kuznetsov has scored in each of Traktor Chelyabinsk's first two games. Off to a good start there. Filip Forsberg's Leksand beat Karlskrona 5-1 in their opener, with Forsberg pointless. Christian Djoos and his Brynäs get under way tomorrow against Växjo Lakers, while Steffen Søberg and Vålerenga also start on Thursday in the GET-Ligaen, tangling with Stjernen.

Finally, please do check out the Caps Across the Pond merchandise store at, the only place you can get awesome designs like this:

That's all. Here's to those poor souls over at the NHLPA. Hoping we get a resolution to this CBA-nightmare soon.


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