Braden Holtby

Caps ink Kuznetsov to two-year, $6 million extension

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Coming off an impressive first full season in Washington, Evgeny Kuznetsov has scored a new deal.

On Monday, the Caps announced they’d signed Kuznetsov to a two-year, $6 million extension with an average annual cap hit of $3M. The deal allows the two sides to avoid arbitration — the Caps had until today to file — and comes after the 23-year-old put together a solid rookie campaign, notching 11 goals and 37 points in 80 games to finish ninth among first-year players in scoring.

Kuznetsov, who was an RFA, was carrying a $900,000 cap hit on his old deal.

The move is just the latest from Caps GM Brian McLellan, who’s been a busy man of late. He made a splash in free agency by acquiring former Conn Smythe Trophy winner Justin Williams, then orchestrated the T.J. Oshie trade shortly thereafter.

Previously, MacLellan suggested that Williams and Kuznetsov would play together on a line next season, along with Andre Burakowsky.

As for what’s up next — the Caps still need to reach new deals with two other RFAs: Braden Holtby and Marcus Johansson.

Arbitration filed: Holtby, Nyquist & Stepan highlight list released by NHLPA

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A total of 23 players have filed for arbitration, according to a list unveiled by the National Hockey League Players’ Association.

Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby along with Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist and Rangers’ Derek Stepan are part of the list released on Sunday.

The deadline for club-elected arbitration is Monday at 5 p.m. ET. Salary Arbitration hearings will be held from July 20 to August 4.

Here is the complete list of players who have filed:

Arizona Coyotes
Mikkel Boedker
Phil Samuelsson
Brendan Shinnimin

Buffalo Sabres
Phil Varone

Calgary Flames
Lance Bouma
Paul Byron
Josh Jooris

Colorado Avalanche
Andrew Agozzino
Mathew Clark

Detroit Red Wings
Gustav Nyquist

Minnesota Wild
Erik Haula

Nashville Predators
Taylor Beck
Craig Smith
Colin Wilson

New Jersey Devils
Eric Gélinas
Adam Larsson

New York Rangers
Derek Stepan

Ottawa Senators
Alex Chiasson
Mike Hoffman

Philadelphia Flyers
Michael Del Zotto

St. Louis Blues
Magnus Paajarvi

Washington Capitals
Braden Holtby
Marcus Johansson

Caps agree to terms with veteran goalie Dan Ellis

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The Washington Capitals have agreed to a one-year, two-way contract with Dan Ellis, per the team’s website.

Ellis is a veteran of 212 career NHL games. The 35-year-old netminder posted a 2.35 GAA and .914 save percentage in eight contests with the Florida Panthers in 2014-15. He also had a 2.71 GAA and .904 save percentage in 37 AHL contests.

He’ll probably start the campaign competing for playing time in the minors with another veteran goaltender in Justin Peters. Meanwhile 25-year-old Braden Holtby and 23-year-old Philipp Grubauer are projected to begin the 2015-16 season as the Capitals’ starting and backup netminders respectively.

Due in part to the youth of the Capitals’ top two goalies, the projected AHL tandem has logged more NHL games than their Washington counterparts.

Washington has already had a busy summer with the signing of Justin Williams and acquisition of T.J. Oshie, but the team isn’t finished yet. It still needs to come to terms with restricted free agents Marcus Johansson, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Holtby.

Caps select Samsonov — a first-round goalie pick!

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SUNRISE — There wasn’t one last year, or the year before.

But this year, we got one — with the 22nd pick of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Washington broke the mold and selected Russian netminder Ilya Samsonov from KHL club Metallurg Magnitogorsk.

Samsonov, 18, was one of the Russian league’s top junior-age goalies this season, and appeared in one game for the senior Metallurg squad. At 6-foot-4 and 203 pounds, his size and athletic ability put him out in front among draft-eligible goalies this season.

As mentioned above, we haven’t had a goalie go in the first round for quite a while. Calgary took Mason McDonald 34th overall in 2014 and, the year prior, Montreal took Zachary Fucale with the 36th pick. The last goalies to go in Round 1 were both in 2012, when Andrei Vasilevskiy went No. 19 to Tampa Bay and Malcolm Subban went at 24 to Boston.

It’ll be interesting to hear why Caps GM Brian MacLellan opted to go this route. His starter, Braden Holtby, is still just 25 years old and the new backup, Philipp Grubauer, doesn’t turn 24 until the fall. That said, it’s been an awfully long time since the team drafted a goalie — three years ago, the Caps took Sergei Kostenko in the seventh round.

Agent: Green and Fehr will ‘move on’ from the Caps

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From CSN Washington:

Defenseman Mike Green and center Eric Fehr will not be returning to the Capitals next season and will test the unrestricted free agent market on July 1, the agent for both players told CSNWashington.com on Thursday.

On a conference call this afternoon, Caps GM Brian MacLellan did not confirm that Green and Fehr would not be back.

However, the agent for both players, Craig Oster, told CSN Washington otherwise.

“It’s a function of where the Capitals are as an organization, changes that have been made there and the salary cap as to why they weren’t in a position to do much more than they were,” Oster said. “At the end of the day, it’s a decision by them as to how they make their best team and based on all the factors it wasn’t going to work out for Mike or Eric or the organization and both sides will continue to move on.”

The Caps still have to sign restricted free agents Marcus Johansson, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Braden Holtby. In addition to Green and Fehr, Jay Beagle, Joel Ward, Curtis Glencross, and Tim Gleason are pending UFAs.

MacLellan said today that he still plans to add a seventh defenseman, but what kind of player will be determined by how much cap space is left over. It’s possible Gleason could be re-signed.

MacLellan also said there were “a few possibilities” among the pending UFAs, as well as on the trade market, to add a top-six winger.

The Caps have been rumored as a potential destination for Patrick Sharp.

Related: Mike Green, a pending UFA, says it’s ‘not about the money’