ARLINGTON, VA–Crazy day today in Arlington as the Washington Capitals re-signed goalie Braden Holtby and defenseman John Erskine to two-year deals as they prepare for the return of Alexander Semin and the Carolina Hurricanes tomorrow.
Braden Holtby, 23, signed a two-year contract extension worth $3.7 million. Holtby has has played in eleven games this season, has a 5-6-0 record with a 3.37 GAA and a .896 Save pct. plus one shut out. Holtby had a 1.95 GAA, .935 save pct. in the playoffs last season. Holtby will start his seventh game in a row tomorrow night.
“Just trying to do it ahead of time,” Capitals General Manager George McPhee said. “We all believe there is a lot of upside there, good young goalie.”
John Erskine, 32, signed a two-year contract extension worth $3.925 million. Erskine has played in eleven games this season and has one goal and one assist. This is John Erskine’s eleventh NHL season and has been playing with John Carlson for the majority of the year.
“I thought he should’ve played more last year,” McPhee said on Erskine. “Unfortunately he didn’t.”
The veteran defenseman is very happy with his current role.
“Things have worked out this season and I’m glad to be here a couple more years,” Erskine said.
If that wasn’t enough, forward Troy Brouwer went off on Alexander Semin and the system they played under Bruce Boudreau.
“Some nights you didn’t even know if he was gonna come to the rink,” Brouwer said on Semin.
On playing under Bruce Boudreau, Brouwer said, “It was very laxidasical…kind of guys were able to do whatever they pleased. There wasn’t a whole lot of accountability and then when we had a little bit of trouble and there needed to be accountability it wasn’t received exactly with open arms, I’ll say.”
Brouwer does though enjoy playing under Adam Oates, “Everyone’s still accountable. Everyone has to do their job, but he’s letting guys play the way that makes them successful.”
Capitals Captain Alex Ovechkin says he still talks to Semin once a week and wishes he was still playing here.
“Yeah. Of course. He’s great player, good guy, but you know it’s a business.”
On the injury front…Mike Green (groin) says he’s “100 percent” and ready to go for tomorrow.
Marcus Johansson (upper body) is still not ready to go. “Marcus is progressing,” McPhee said. “We’ll see how he is the next few days.”
Nicklas Backstrom (sick) missed practice today and went to go see the doctor. “A little under the weather, we’ll see how he is tomorrow morning,” McPhee said.
Jason Chimera (lower body) left practice early today. “Nothing major, should be fine. Just being careful,” McPhee said.
Brooks Laich (groin) hasn’t skated in nine days. McPhee says he is “concerned about it” and has his “fingers crossed”. McPhee added that Laich’s current treatment that he is on takes two weeks.
McPhee said “we’ll see” if they’ll need to make a recall tomorrow and added that “it’s already been discussed and what we might do if we need to recall”.
The Caps forward lines today looked like Chimera-Ribeiro-Ovechkin, Fehr-Johansson-Brouwer, Wolski-Perreault-Ward, Hendricks-Beagle-Crabb.
Oates said we could see Michal Neuvirth in net on Wednesday in Philadelphia on the second game of a back-to-back.
Listen here to what George McPhee, Adam Oates, Troy Brouwer, Braden Holtby, John Erskine, Mike Green, Karl Alzner, Alex Ovechkin & Michal Neuvirth.
George McPhee Practice Audio
Adam Oates Practice Audio
Troy Brouwer Practice Audio
Braden Holtby Practice Audio
John Erskine Practice Audio
Mike Green Practice Audio
Karl Alzner Practice Audio
Alex Ovechkin Practice Audio
Michal Neuvirth Practice Audio