The Washington Capitals have been fairly active this off season, so here is a quick wrap up of the things that have happened and some of the things that are on the horizon:
The Caps signed three of the players that they were targeting last week (defenseman Tom Poti and forwards Michael Nylander and Viktor Kozlov), and this week they continued their calculated foray into NHL free agency.
The team started with 28-year-old defenseman Jame Pollock. The Quebec City native has spent the last three years in Europe after a brief stint in 2003-04 with the St. Louis Blues. Last season, the 6-3, 208-pounder led the Sunipret Tigers of the German Elite League in goals (22), assists (32) and points (54) in just 46 games. The 22 goals tied the league record for goals by a defenseman.
Next up for McPhee and company was center Kyle Wilson. Wilson, the Caps AHL-affiliate Hershey Bears’ rookie of the year last season, is just 22 years old. In 54 games with the Bears, the native of Ontario netted 24 goals and posted 54 assists. In 19 Calder Cup playoff games, Wilson lit the lamp seven times and registered 16 total points.
Last, but certainly not least, is right wing Joe Motzo. The Bemidji, Minnesotan spent the second half of last season with the Stanley Cup Champion Anaheim Ducks. Motzo has only one career NHL point – a goal scored 10 days before being traded from Columbus to Anaheim – but the 6-0, 196-pound winger has racked up 168 points in 279 career AHL games and 142 points in 154 games in his four years at St. Cloud State University.
Pothier Gives Back
Wednesday, July 11, Caps defenseman Brian Pothier will be a special guest at the opening ceremonies for Camp Shriver. Pothier will take part, along with approximately 140 campers and volunteers, to mark the start of the Camp, which provides Special Olympics kids with the opportunity to participate in both individual and team sporting events. As part of the festivities, the attendees will take part in activities, dancing and a birthday celebration for Eunice Shriver, the founder of the program that hosts more than 20 camps nationwide.
Speaking of Camps…
The Caps development camp also starts today, running through Saturday, July 14. All on-ice activity is open to the public and free of charge. It will give fans an opportunity not only to check out 33 of the Caps top prospects, but also a chance to check out the new practice facility at the Kettler Capitals IcePlex. Among the scheduled attendees are all of the last five first round draft choices. Most notably, it will be the first chance to see center Nicklas Backstrom (2006 / fourth overall) and defenseman Karl Alzner (2007 / fifth overall) in the red, white and blue. For a complete list of attendees and a complete schedule of ice time, check out WashingtonCaps.com.
The Most Accessible Owner In Sports
Sure, most owners claim to care about the fans, but no owner keeps up his end of the bargain more that Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis. Between his Ted's Take blog, his direct interaction with fans via email or even extensive research to find out exactly what it is the fans like and don't like about his franchise, Leonsis always takes Caps fans as what they are, the fuel that drives the Caps engine.
In keeping with his high visibility, Leonsis recently posted an all-encompassing article on the Caps' website that talks about all of the off-season activity, and it is a must-read for any one that bleeds red, white and blue.
- Scott Hurrey
This article was released on 2007-07-11.
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