With the start of training camp less than a month away, Washington Capitals are slowly beginning to make their way back onto the ice at MedStar Capitals Iceplex.
Monday, a group of at least five players took the ice, headlined by full-time Bethesda resident John Carlson.
Carlson, 33, is returning to the Capitals for his 15th season in the District. The 2020 Norris Trophy finalist is coming off a campaign where he suited up in only 40 games due to a scary injury he suffered in December. Carlson fractured his skull and severed his temporal artery after absorbing a slap shot to the head from former teammate Brenden Dillon. Carlson was able to return at the very end of the season, finishing the campaign with nine goals and 20 assists.
Other notable players that participated in the session included Darcy Kuemper, Alex Alexeyev, Joe Snively, and new signee Alex Limoges. Limoges — a Virginia native — is the newest member of the organization, inking a one-year contract with the Capitals over the summer. Limoges is an alumni of the Little Capitals and Penn State hockey teams. He could end up becoming the first PSU player to play for the Bears since the team was elevated to varsity status in 2012-13.
Snively has been no stranger at MedStar Capitals Iceplex over the summer, volunteering with Wendy Marco’s summer camp. Marco is an ice skating coach for the team.
The informal skates come as the NHL and NHLPA agreed in June to trial new rules for offseason training this summer. The updates allow players to request an on-ice session with a skills coach during the offseason. Coaching staff were previously prohibited from participating in on-ice offseason training; the Vancouver Canucks were fined $50,000 in May for violating the rule. It is unclear whether any member of the Capitals’ coaching staff participated in the skate on Monday.
The Capitals will officially return to the ice on September 20 for training camp. Rookie camp will begin a week earlier, going from Saturday, September 16 through Tuesday, September 19.
Headline photo: Katie Adler/RMNB
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