Tag: Tom Wilson

Tom Wilson, Zach Sill

Caps sign tough guy Sill to one-year, two-way deal


Washington has brought in someone to lessen Tom Wilson and Michael Latta’s fight load — Zach Sill, who announced his one-year, two-way deal to the Truro Daily News on Wednesday.

“They came with an offer and it was a good one,” Sill said. “I think there’s a good chance I’ll be able to play there. They have a good strong team and it looks like a good situation to go into.”

The 27-year-old split last season between Pittsburgh and Toronto, finishing with four points in 63 games… and nine fights. Sill’s willingness to drop the gloves should make Washington an even feistier team next year; the Caps were tied for the eighth-most fighting majors (31) last year, thanks in large part to Wilson (who fought 12 times — once against Sill!) and Latta (who fought eight).

No word yet on the financial details of Sill’s deal.

Capitals trot out new third jerseys

2015 NHL Awards - Nominee Media Availability

Alex Ovechkin wasn’t just on hand to do some interviews at the 2015 NHL Awards on Tuesday. He also served as a model for the Washington Capitals’ new third jerseys.

Here’s the write-up from Caps PR describing the alternate sweaters, in case “rock the red” doesn’t get the point across:

The primary color for the uniform is red and closely resembles the team’s jersey worn from 1974-75 through 1994-95. The original Capitals wordmark is featured on the front of the jersey with six stars above it and five stars beneath the numbers on each sleeve. The Capitals will wear blue pants and red helmets with their third jerseys. The new third jersey will replace the white third jersey the Capitals wore from 2011-12 to 2014-15.

The new duds certainly won Tom Wilson’s approval:

It sounds like the Capitals haven’t been shy about trying out new looks since Ovechkin came to town:

What do you think, is the red an improvement or should they instead stick with white?

For a full gallery, click here.

Get to know a draft pick — Lawson Crouse

Team Denmark v Team Canada

Like we’ve done in the past, we’re profiling top prospects who may hear their names called Friday in the first round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. But this year, something new — we’re featuring special guest analysis from former Minnesota Wild scout Mark Seidel, who currently serves as the president of North American Central Scouting.

Lawson Crouse (LW)

Height: 6’4 Weight: 215 Shoots: Left

Team: Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)

Country: Canada

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 5 among North American skaters

What kind of player is he?

One of the biggest in this year’s draft. A hulking, physical presence, Crouse’s strength is his size yet he showed good offensive skills this season, leading OHL Kingston in goals (29) and points (51) despite playing just 56 games.

Still, the jury’s out on what kind of player Crouse projects to be at the NHL level. Optimists think he’ll be a power forward along the lines of Milan Lucic; pessimists suggest he’ll be more like Tom Wilson — not necessarily a bad thing, but a bit underwhelming (offensively speaking) for a potential top-10 pick.

The wildcard with Crouse are his intangibles: work ethic, grit, dedication and leadership. The stuff that flies in the face of analytics and fancy stats, but endeared him to his GM in Kingston — former Maple Leafs captain Doug Gilmour.

“He’s a great kid in the dressing room, he’s going to be a great leader,” Gilmour said recently, per Sportsnet. “He’s a big body. He can skate, he’s got a pro shot — his release is phenomenal.

“He’s going to compete.”

Seidel says:

“Crouse is a man-child that skates exceptionally well and is comfortable in all three zones. Nicknamed ‘The Sheriff,’ he plays a heavy game, loves to finish checks and make opponents pay the price on every shift. His offensive game still has to evolve as he isn’t a naturally gifted scorer or set-up man, but does possess a pro-caliber shot that will serve him well in the NHL. He’s also a guy that will go into high-traffic areas. A surprise selection to Team Canada’s gold medal-winning team at the World Juniors, Crouse is the type of player coaches love to have in their arsenals.”

NHL comparable: Andrew Ladd/Scott Hartnell

For more 2015 NHL Draft profiles, click here.

Lubo won’t go: Visnovsky is ‘definitely’ playing next season

Columbus Blue Jackets v New York Islanders

Earlier in the offseason, Lubomir Visnovsky said he’d like to play next season – and preferably do so with the New York Islanders – if his injury-ravaged frame would allow it. After a couple of months, he seems a lot more confident about his ambitions.

Visnovsky’s agent Neil Sheehy said that he’ll “definitely” play during the 2015-16 season (and also reiterated his interest in sticking with the Islanders), according to New York Newsday’s Stephen C. Lorenzo.

At first glance, one wonders why the Islanders would be all that interested in having him return.

He’s suffered from lousy injury luck basically during his entire NHL career, and it’s difficult to imagine his body holding up any better at his age (he’s turning 39 in August).

“Lubo” was limited to 53 regular season games in 2014-15. Many will remember his campaign for how it ended, as he was on the receiving end of a savage hit by Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson:

It’s a more appealing thought if both sides keep expectations in check, though.

While the Islanders seem like they’re poised to take advantage of other contenders’ salary cap woes a year after poaching Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy, Lighthouse Hockey rightly points out that GM Garth Snow must consider the young players set for raises after the 2015-16 season expires.

Visnovsky’s offensive skills could still be of use to the Islanders, especially on the power play … and especially at the right price.

If the Slovak defenseman is expecting anything close to the $4.75 million cap hit (and even larger salary in 2014-15) from his last contract, he’s listening to the wrong advice. However, one could imagine him getting a decent enough deal, especially if he settles for one year.

“The Silver Fox” isn’t the dynamic asset he once was, but he might be just the right fit for the Islanders.

(It’s kind of strange pondering Visnovsky courting the Islanders considering how much he initially resisted joining the team though, isn’t it?)

Caps GM shares position that tops his UFA shopping list

Nicklas Backstrom, Alex Ovechkin

Washington Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan already made some interesting comments about free agents who might leave town, but what about players who might join the fold?

The still-fairly-new-GM shared some interesting thoughts on the development of forwards such as Tom Wilson (he’s hoping to see the brutish winger become a top-six guy some day) and Andre Burakovsky, yet the position that tops his free-agent shopping list is awfully interesting. As he told the Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt, the Capitals are hoping to sign a first-line right wing.

Capitals fans are all-too-familiar with a revolving cast of linemates for the dynamic duo of Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin. It’s actually been a theme even before the Capitals changed their management combo.

Sometimes, the Capitals have rolled with a power forward-type such as Joel Ward or Wilson. Other times, a “finesse” player would compliment them, such as Burakovsky or Marcus Johansson. (These “With or Without You” stats show how erratic things got for Ovechkin + Backstrom.)

Naturally, there are plenty of questions that arise, including “are you sure there’s even a suitable right win out there?” As you can see from this list, the choices fall off fast after Justin Williams and Martin St. Louis, two players who could conceivably stick with their current teams.

Still, plenty of things can change, and you can’t blame MacLellan for pointing out an obvious hope.

Speaking of hoping, Japers’ Rink did an amusing job of cobbling together Prewitt’s findings into what would seem to be MacLellan’s ideal top-six scenario:

Oh man, Dude Not On Roster can play.