Mike Green and Alex Ovechkin

Caps injury news: Alex Ovechkin returns to practice; Mike Green skates but isn’t sure when he’ll be back

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Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin has missed the last three games with an undisclosed injury and while we don’t know what it is that’s eating the Great Eight, it appears that he’ll be getting back to action sooner than later.

Today, Ovechkin practiced with the team for the first time since going down with his secret ailment. Ovechkin tells Katie Carrera of The Washington Post that he thinks he’s ready to go.

Ovechkin wasn’t sure if he would be back in the lineup for Tuesday’s game against Carolina, though.

“I don’t know. It’s not my decision,” Ovechkin said. “How I said, I’m ready to go, but I don’t know how it’s going to work right now with tomorrow.”

That’s good news on that front because the Capitals without Ovechkin in the lineup to steady their offense have been a bit erratic getting shutout by the Senators and scoring just twice in a 2-0 shutout against Montreal.

As for defenseman Mike Green who’s been out with a concussion suffered against the Rangers, he skated today in full pads for about 25 minutes. While that’s a very encouraging sign, he’s unsure about when he’ll be back to action but at least he’s feeling hopeful that it’ll be soon.

The two-time Norris Trophy finalist said he is feeling better, but acknowledged that he was still experiencing symptoms.

“Here and there, but nothing that’s progressing to get worse — it’s always getting better,” Green said. “We’ve done a great job here with the trainers and the staff of taking the right procedures for me to get better. The unfortunate part is that it does take time. It’s nice to get a good skate and hopefully now I can get back on the ice and back playing with the team.”

The Caps have been playing great in Green’s absence from the lineup but there’s no doubt that they could use his offensive touch from the blue line. Dennis Wideman’s addition has been welcomed and has given them a bit of a lift. Obviously with Ovechkin being close to back in the lineup that’s huge, but getting Green back after he has been out since February 25 to help steady their attack and improve their defense cannot be understated.

Brendan Smith still talking to Rangers, ‘trying to make it happen’

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It’s only a few days until July 1 and defenseman Brendan Smith still doesn’t have an extension in place with the New York Rangers.

Not to worry, says his agent. It doesn’t necessarily mean that Smith is going to sign elsewhere.

“No one should read anything into the fact that we don’t have a deal yet,” Anton Thun told the New York Post. “You’re never really close until it’s done, but both sides are trying to make it happen. We’ll have to see.”

Thun told the Post a month ago that Smith, an unrestricted free agent, was “open” to returning to the Rangers.

But there’s also been speculation that the Blueshirts will pursue Kevin Shattenkirk in free agency, which would probably mean less money available for Smith.

It remains to be seen if the Rangers will, indeed, make a big push for Shattenkirk. The addition of Anthony DeAngelo in the Derek Stepan trade may have lessened their urgency in that regard.

“He’s a puck-moving right-handed defenseman that can run the power play and shoot the puck,” GM Jeff Gorton said of DeAngelo, per Sporting News.

Which sounds a lot like Shattenkirk, no?

Smith, 28, was traded to the Rangers from Detroit on Feb. 28.

Sens extend McCormick — two years, $1.3 million

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Looks as though forward Max McCormick has a future in Ottawa.

On Tuesday, the Sens signed McCormick to a two-year extension worth $650,000 annually — and, perhaps most importantly, it’s a one-way deal in the second year.

McCormick, 25, also has a $250,000 guaranteed AHL salary next season.

The deal comes after he set a career high and tied for the AHL Binghamton team lead in goals last year, with 21. McCormick also appeared in seven games for Ottawa — this after playing 20 in ’15-16 — and emerged as a high-energy guy with an edge to his game.

Despite not being overly big (5-foot-11, 188 pounds), McCormick fought seven times for Binghamton last season, and led the team in penalty minutes. The year prior, he scrapped 12 times between the Sens and Baby Sens.

A spot at the NHL level could soon materialize. The Sens have already announced they’re moving on from free agent forward Chris Neil, and the futures of fellow UFAs Viktor Stalberg, Chris Kelly and Tommy Wingels remain uncertain.

Carolina re-signs Chelios, Brown

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The ‘Canes retained some organizational depth on Tuesday, agreeing to terms with defenseman Jake Chelios — the son of Hockey Hall of Famer Chris Chelios — and forward Patrick Brown.

Brown’s contract is a one-year, $650,000 extension, one that will pay $160,000 at the AHL level, with a guarantee of $190,000.

Brown, 25, split last season between Charlotte and Carolina, appearing in a career-high 14 contest with the ‘Canes. The Boston College product scored 12 goals and 28 points in 66 games with the Checkers.

Chelios, 26, has yet to make his NHL debut but is coming off a strong season with Charlotte. He served as an alternate captain and had a strong offensive campaign, with 32 points in 76 contests. That led all Checkers d-men in scoring, and he was the only player on the team to appear in every single game this season.

Like Brown, Chelios’ deal will pay $650,000 at the NHL level. It’s $85,000 at the AHL level.

Report: Sens tried to get Methot back from Vegas

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The Ottawa Senators did their best to make sure they didn’t lose Marc Methot in the expansion draft.

They attempted to get Dion Phaneuf to waive his no-move clause so they could keep Methot, but that didn’t work out.

On Monday, TSN hockey analyst Pierre LeBrun reported that the Golden Knights and Senators had been talking about a potential trade back to Ottawa.

In the end, Vegas GM George McPhee preferred to ship him to Dallas for 2017 seventh-rounder Dylan Ferguson and a second-round pick in 2020.

According to beat reporter Bruce Garrioch, Vegas’ asking price to allow the Sens to protect Methot before expansion was a 2018 first-round pick.

Methot has averaged at least 19:49 of ice time during his five seasons in Ottawa.

In the end, all this means is that the Senators will need to find someone else to play on the top pairing with Erik Karlsson next season.

During training camp, Ottawa put top prospect Thomas Chabot with Karlsson. They opted to send Chabot back to junior, but that could be an interesting combination if they think he’s ready to be a regular in the NHL.