Capital Summer

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Slapshot at Game 7
Modified; originally uploaded by clydeorama

Now that the dust has (partially) settled, let’s look at the Capitals. Yes, that’s right, I said Capitals. Hockey in July.

Because the summer is when a team’s foundation is made.

First off, Brooks Laich and Shaone Morrisonn elected to take the team to arbitration. Nothing to get worked up over, just that Ted’s going to pay a bit more for their services if things proceed as normal. Laich wants about double of his current $725,000 salary.

Matt Cooke has gone north and signed with the Penguins. Not terribly surprising, after Matt Bradley signed his three-year extension back in May.

The team is still talking to Sergei Fedorov; according to WaPo, GM George McPhee is confident they’ll get something done to retain the 38-year-old winger.

Welcome Keith Aucoin from the Hurricanes – he signed a 2-year deal over the weekend. But don’t expect him to stick around too long; word is he’s headed out to Hershey, as it’s a two-way deal with a NHL-sized salary next season.

Speaking of AHL players, the Caps also signed on winger Graham Mink and defenseman Tyler Sloan. Mink’s a promising winger, having been a member of Hershey’s 2006 Calder Cup championship team. He scored 55 goals and 118 points in 132 games with the Worcester Sharks over the last two seasons.

The Caps opened up their annual summer development camp yesterday at the Kettler Iceplex in Arlington. Twenty-five players were invited; a lot of the attention is going to be on goalies Michal Neuvirth and Simeon Varlamov. If Jose Theodore shows signs of the post-Vezina player he’s been lately (the last half of the 07-08 season notwithstanding), the Caps may well turn to one of these two prospects. Hopefully, they’ll instead get some quality time with the Caps’ AHL affiliate in Hershey.

And finally, the team is hosting their annual Capitals Fan Fest this Saturday at the Kettler Iceplex. There’s a public skate from noon to 3, along with autograph signing by some of the draft picks and centerman Brooks Laich. Lots of kids activities are scheduled and there will be an annual equipment sale by the team. Season ticket holders can get in between 9 and noon; the general public can enter between 1 and 3 p.m.

The Kettler is located atop the parking garage at the Ballston Common Mall; take the Orange Line to Ballston Station if you’re coming by Metro.

If anyone manages to visit the camp or Fan Fest this week, snap some shots for us of some future stars and post them to our Flickr group!

Having lived in the DC area for ten years, Ben still loves to wander the city with his wife, shooting lots of photos and exploring all the latest exhibits and galleries. A certified hockey fanatic, he spends some time debating the Washington Capitals club with friends – but everyone knows of his three decade love affair with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

A professional writer, gamer, photographer, and Lego enthusiast, Ben remains captivated by DC and doesn’t plan on leaving any time soon.

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