Photo credit: Bruce Bennett
As first reported by TSN’s Darren Dreger and now confirmed by the team, the Washington Capitals have named former team captain Adam Oates their new head coach.
GMGM’s finger-circles: an apt metaphor for his negotiations with Ray Shero.
Since the offseason began, it has been a well-circulated rumor that Penguins center Jordan Staal wanted to leave Pittsburgh to play with his older brother Eric in Carolina. When he turned down an offer of a ten-year deal from the Penguins, that rumor seemed all but confirmed.
It wasn’t much of a surprise then, when Gary Bettman stepped up to the podium at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and announced that Staal had been traded to the Carolina Hurricanes for a first-round pick, Brandon Sutter, and prospect Brian Dumoulin. Jordan got his wish (to be on a team which someday may only consist of Staal brothers), and apparently nowhere else was even an option.
This was disappointing news to George McPhee, who identified acquiring a respectable second-line center as a major goal this offseason. Despite landing veteran center Mike Ribeiro from Dallas a half an hour before the draft on Friday, McPhee was sarcastic and abnormally expressive (hand motions, stomping) when asked by the media if he had a conversation with Penguins GM Ray Shero about making a deal to bring Jordan Staal to DC.
Caps draft pick Thomas DiPauli.(Photo credit: Dave Sanford)
After trading their second round pick and Cody Eakin to the Dallas Stars in exchange for center Mike Riberio, Washington did not move any of their other ten picks in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. In the first round, they acquired talented winger Filip Forsberg and rough-and-tumble power forward Tom Wilson; through the next six rounds, they would go on to acquire four US players, a Canadian player, a Swedish player, and a Russian.
Notably, the Caps selected three players from the U.S. developmental team, and one player recently of the U.S. developmental team. “I asked [the scouts] ‘What are we doing here?” said McPhee about this trend. “Are we drafting the whole team?'”
“We made a lot of picks today,” McPhee said of the second day overall. “I don’t know those kids very well. […] It’s nice to sort of restock this year, and we’ll see how they are in a couple of years.”
Photo credit: Panini America
About a half an hour after the Capitals selected Filip Forsberg at number 11, they had several sexy options at number 16. Two talented Finns were still available in Tuomo Teravainen and Olli Maatta, while PK Subban’s brother Malcolm was also still without a team.
Instead the Caps went a little off the board (THN #25) and drafted six-foot, four-inch right-wing Thomas Wilson.
Filip Forsberg poses with Gary Bettman, George McPhee, and Ross Mahoney. (Photo credit: Bruce Bennett)
As the number 11 pick drew near, it seemed as if George McPhee would get a steal regardless of who he took. Both Mikhail Grigorenko and Filip Forsberg, rated as top five talents heading into the draft, had been passed over by the first ten teams.
Photo via Kristy Morrison
Before General Manager George McPhee even had the chance to select Filip Forsberg with the 11th overall pick of the 2012 NHL Draft, he was met by a loud round of boos by Pittsburgh Penguins fans. Fortunately, a noticeably irritated GMGM brought the sass, and unleashed his fury on the crowd.
Photo credit: Bruce Bennett
With the 16th selection in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, the Washington Capitals selected Tom Wilson of the Plymouth Whalers. Wilson is a right winger and projects to be a rugged power forward who hits hard and plays rough. Wilson is 6’4 and more physically developed than most players of his age, and is an excellent open-ice checker, winning the OHL award for best body checker last year. The Capitals will select next in the third round.
Photo credit: Bruce Bennett
With the 11th selection in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, the Washington Capitals selected Filip Forsberg of the Leksands IF in the Swedish ice hockey league Allsvenskan. Forsberg is a winger and projects to be an outstanding offensive player. He was rated the top European skater and had been projected to go 3rd overall. In three years with Leksands, Forsberg has scored 30 goals and notched 58 points, as well as being a dominant player in this year’s World Juniors tournament. The Capitals will now select again at pick #16.
Photo credit: Harry How
The Washington Capitals have dealt Cody Eakin and their second round pick (54th overall) to the Dallas Stars for high-scoring center Mike Ribeiro. Ribeiro is 32-years-old, has a cap hit of $5 million, and is in the last year of his five-year contract.
The Capitals have had tremendous success in drafting netminders these last few years with names like Semyon Varlamov, Michal Neuvirth, Braden Holtby, and Philipp Grubauer. Last year they drafted Norwegian goalie Steffen Soberg in the 4th round, who was a long shot to make the NHL. He declined to play for the Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL) and was dealt from the less-than-mediocre Manglerud Star team to a more powerful Valerenga squad and signed a multi-year deal there. Knowing that, the Caps may think they need to add one more goalie to their depth chart. If they’ll be looking to do it early, there are three pretty equal goalies.
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