The Washington Capitals are busy preparing for their upcoming shortened season and their votes to ratify the new CBA. That will come today and tomorrow.
Looks like the Caps will kick off the season against Steven Stamkos and the Tamp Bay Lightning. That will be on Saturday, January 19.
Training camp opens this weekend. The Caps have decided against inviting juniors because, according to GM George McPhee, they stand little to no chance of making the roster. 2012 first round pick Tom Wilson did get an invite and will be present. Wilson's invite could have to do with the Nicklas Backstrom neck injury and perhaps Wilson could get a look from the Caps. Wilson will play Friday night for Plymouth before heading tot he District. Speaking of prospects, Caps have several prospects in the NCAA and playing in Europe, but they do have a small contingent in the CHL.
Although we anxiously await word on the extent of the injury to Backstrom, although we believe it may be a concussion, Brooks Laich addresses a possible injury with him. Laich apparently tweaked his groin while playing in Switzerland. Doesn't appear ot be anything significant.
“Just getting in a little extra work,” said Laich. “Just making sure that everything’s good to go. That was all. Nothing major.”
Asked if he is healthy, Laich laughed.
“I feel healthy. I feel good,” he said. “We’ll see. There are just a few things to work on to get better. Camp starts on Sunday and that’s exciting for us.”
As the players begin to reassert their team chemistry, the coaches themselves have chemistry dating back 15 years. Assistant Calle Johansson is former Cap and assistant Tim Hunter was on staff with Washington during Ron Wilson's tenure. Bench boss Adam Oates, Johansson, and goalie coach Olaf Kolzig all played together on the Caps during their one Cup appearance.
We wrap it up with another article on the return of Tom Poti. Poti's return from a year and half injury was even a surprise to the Caps players.
"They were excited to see me," Poti said at a press conference Thursday, recalling his teammates' reaction upon entering the locker room for the first time. "You guys know how [forward Jason Chimera] is. He was yelling his head off and everything and stuff like that. That's another thing. It's so much fun to be around the guys and hanging out. It's something that you really do miss when you don't have that."
"It's been a while," said Brooks Laich, one of just five current Caps who have been on the team longer than Poti. "He walked into the training room and I kind of did a double take."