Toronto Maple Leafs v Washington Capitals

Capitals’ Johansson will play on line with Ovechkin, Backstrom


Saturday has turned out to be a pretty good day for Marcus Johansson.

Not only did the Washington Capitals announce they had re-signed the restricted free agent to a two-year, $4 million deal, but head coach Adam Oates confirmed Johansson will play on the top line with Nicklas Backstrom and some guys named Alex Ovechkin.

“He’s got a great opportunity to start with two great hockey players,” Oates told CSN Washington.

“It’s a good situation, where the coaches like him, the GM likes him and he’s got an opportunity in the next couple years to prove he can be a dominant player in this league and then you get rewarded if you succeed.”

Johansson, Backstrom and Ovechkin have previous experience playing together.

They were united in the latter half of last season and the results were as impressive as they were instant.

Johansson scored six goals and 22 points in 34 games, although 19 of those points came after March 16 with Ovechkin and Backstrom.

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Sharks name Pavelski captain; Thornton, Couture alternates

Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton
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Joe Pavelski is the new captain of the San Jose Sharks. The club made the announcement today via Twitter.

The former captain, Joe Thornton, will be an alternate captain, along with Logan Couture.

Pavelski, 31, was the Sharks’ leading scorer last season, finishing with 37 goals and 33 assists. He’s also signed through 2018-19, so giving him the ‘C’ makes sense from a long-term stability perspective.

Couture, 26, is also signed through 2018-19, while Thornton, 36, only has two years left on his contract.

The Sharks had four alternate captains (Thornton, Pavelski, Patrick Marleau and Marc-Edouard Vlasic) in 2014-15, but no captain.

Related: DeBoer says Sharks will have a captain next season

After PTO, Upshall signs one-year deal with Blues

Florida Panthers v Ottawa Senators
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Scottie Upshall has parlayed his training camp tryout into a contract with St. Louis.

On Monday, the Blues agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with the veteran forward, worth $700,000 at the NHL level. The deal comes after Upshall spent all of training camp and the preseason impressing the Blues his speed and skating ability, no small feat for a 31-year-old veteran with over 500 NHL games on his odometer.

But where Upshall fits in the Blues lineup — and within the organization — remains to be seen.

The club has plenty of depth up front and Upshall isn’t coming off a terrific campaign, having scored just eight goals and 15 points in 63 games with Florida last season. That said, he showed enough to be just one of a handful of veterans on PTOs to score a contract.