Photo: Harry How
On Saturday night, the Capitals made what could be their final unrestricted free agent signing of the summer, inking center Brad Malone to a one-year, two-way contract. Malone, who dropped the gloves 9 times in 57 games last season for lowly Carolina, is likely to spend the entire season in Hershey.
Malone does have some fascinating history with two current Caps. During the 2007-08 season, Malone played with Taylor Chorney and TJ Oshie on the University of North Dakota.
Brian MacLellan also inked three other AHL players on Friday, the first day of free agency, including goaltender Joe Cannata (who will serve as the team’s starter ahead of Vitek Vanecek), defenseman Darren Dietz, and forward Christian Thomas (a lifting buddy of Brett Connolly and Tom Wilson’s).
Beyond RFA’s Dmitry Orlov and Marcus Johansson, the Caps only remaining free agent target is 2012 fourth round pick, Thomas Di Pauli. The center prospect, who just graduated from Notre Dame, must be signed by August 15 or the Caps will lose his rights.
On DiPauli, MacLellan said they're trying to sign him.
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) July 2, 2016
Via Chocolate Hockey’s Kyle Mace, here’s what Hershey’s depth chart should look like next season. Keep in mind, Jakub Vrana or Chandler Stephenson could make the Capitals out of training camp.
Here’s more on the Malone signing from the Capitals:
The Washington Capitals have signed center Brad Malone to a one-year, two-way contract, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
Malone, 27, registered six points (two goals, four assists) and 75 penalty minutes in 57 games with the Carolina Hurricanes last season. The 6’2”, 207-pound center established a career-high and led the Hurricanes with 75 penalty minutes in 2015-16 and ranked second on the team in hits (124). Malone established career highs in goals (7), assists (8), points (15) and games played (65) in 2014-15 and led the Hurricanes in penalty minutes (74) and hits (162). In addition, he was named the winner of the Josef Vasicek Award for cooperation with the local media by the Carolina chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association (PHWA). Malone scored a goal and had an assist on Feb. 28, 2015 at NY Islanders for his first NHL multi-point game and had two assists on March 26, 2015 against Pittsburgh, marking his first NHL multi-assist game and his second NHL multi-point game. The Miramichi, New Brunswick, native has earned 30 points (13 goals, 17 assists) and 188 penalty minutes in 176 career NHL games played with Colorado and Carolina. Malone was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in the fourth round, 105th overall, in the 2007 NHL Draft.
Malone has registered 75 points (29 goals, 46 assists) and 263 penalty minutes in 165 career AHL games with the Lake Erie Monsters. He finished tied for second among Monsters skaters in scoring with 36 points in 2011-12 and was second on the club in assists and ranked fifth in penalty minutes (89). In addition, he led Lake Erie and ranked second among league rookies with six game-winning goals. Malone earned 85 points (33 goals, 52 assists) and 329 penalty minutes in 161 career games with the University of North Dakota (NCAA) and was teammates with Taylor Chorney and T.J. Oshie during the 2007-08 season. Malone helped the University of North Dakota to the WCHA regular-season championship, the WCHA playoff title and a berth in the 2011 NCAA Frozen Four during his senior campaign and was named to the 2010-11 WCHA All-Academic Team.
Here’s more on Cannata, Dietz, and Thomas from the Capitals:
The Washington Capitals have signed goaltender Joe Cannata, defenseman Darren Dietz and forward Christian Thomas to one-year, two-way deals, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
Cannata, 26, posted a 20-13-6 record with two shutouts, a 2.52 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage in 40 games with the Utica Comets (AHL) last season. The 6’1”, 200-pound goaltender stopped all 30 shots he faced on Oct. 24 against Syracuse and earned his second shutout of the season with a 33-save performance on March 4 against Toronto. Cannata has posted a 41-33-6 record with two shutouts, a 2.59 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage in 88 career AHL games with Chicago and Utica. The Wakefield, Mass., native started for the ECHL All-Stars in the 2015 CCM/ECHL All-Star Game in Orlando and posted a 15-10-2 record with one shutout, 2.34 goals-against average, a .921 save percentage in 28 career ECHL games with Ontario and Kalamazoo. Cannata spent four seasons (2008-12) at Merrimack College (NCAA), posting a 59-46-16 record with seven shutouts, a 2.47 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage in 122 games. He holds the school record in wins, games played, goals-against average, save percentage and saves (3,152). Cannata also holds the Merrimack’s single-season records in wins (25), games played (39), goals-against average (2.18) and save percentage (.925). He was drafted by Vancouver in the sixth round, 173rd overall, in the 2009 NHL Draft.
Dietz, 22, registered five points (one goal, four assists) and 13 penalty minutes in 13 games with the Montreal Canadiens last season. The 6’1”, 201-pound defenseman made his NHL debut on March 12 against Minnesota and earned his first NHL point with an assist on March 22 against Anaheim. Dietz scored his first NHL goal and recorded his first multi-point game (one goal, one assist) on April 7 at Carolina. The Medicine Hat, Alberta, native was drafted by Montreal in the fifth round, 138th overall, in the 2011 NHL Draft. Dietz earned 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) and 61 penalty minutes in 61 games with the St. John’s IceCaps in 2015-16. He ranked second among St. John’s defensemen in penalty minutes, third in points and goals and tied for third in assists last season. Dietz has earned 38 points (eight goals, 30 assists) and 174 penalty minutes in 166 career AHL games with Hamilton and St. John’s.
Thomas, 24, registered two assists in six games with the Arizona Coyotes and Montreal Canadiens in 2015-16. He was traded from Montreal to Arizona on Dec. 15 in exchange for Lucas Lessio. Thomas earned an assist on Dec. 1 against Columbus and tallied an assist on Dec. 5 at Carolina. The 5’9”, 175-pound forward scored his first NHL goal on Feb. 12, 2015 against Edmonton and made his NHL debut on Feb. 23, 2013 at Montreal. He has earned three points (one goal, two assists) in 27 career NHL games with the NY Rangers, Montreal and Arizona. Thomas was drafted by the Rangers in the second round, 40th overall, in the 2010 NHL Draft. The Toronto native recorded 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists) in 34 AHL games with Springfield and St. John’s last season. He has earned 107 points (52 goals, 55 assists) in 219 career AHL games with Connecticut, Hamilton, St. John’s and Springfield.
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