November 21, 2017

Washington Capitals trade rights to G Tomas Vokoun for 7th round pick in 2012 NHL Draft

The Washington Capitals announced this morning they traded the negotiating rights to goalie Tomas Vokoun to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a seventh round pick in the upcoming 2012 NHL Draft. The Penguins then almost immediately announce they signed the 37-year old goalie to a two-year contract. Reports have that contract worth $2 million per year.

Vokoun battled through an injury-plagued season for the Caps, playing in 48 games with a 25-17-2 record, 2.51 GAA and .917 SV%. His season ended following the March 29 game against Boston, where he played 18:25, trying to return from a groin injury. He left just before the end of the first period and did not play again for the Capitals.

Signed to a one-year, $1.5 million contract last summer during the free agency period, Vokoun was supposed to be the veteran netminder the Caps needed to put them over the top. It didn’t happen that way. For his part, Vokoun saw the Caps as a springboard to his last big contract, and while a two-year deal gives him some stability, it will be interesting to see the playing split he gets with Marc-Andre Fleury already entrenched as the No. 1 goalie in Pittsburgh, despite a very rough playoff series with the Philadelphia Flyers where Fleury posted some ridiculously ugly numbers (2-4-1, 4.63, .834).

__________________________

Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Nats and the Caps, and previously wrote Nats News Network and Caps News Network. Dave’s first sports hero was Bobby Dandridge. Follow Dave’s Capitals coverage on Twitter @CapitalsDSP.

Washington Capitals End-of-Season Roundtable, Part III: Overachiever and underachiever

Part three of our Washington Capitals end-of-season roundtable will focus on the players our panel thought were the biggest surprises and biggest disappointments this year.

Once again, our panelists are Dave Nichols (DSP Editor-in-Chief), Abram Fox (DSP Caps Page Editor), Erika Schnure (Ravings of a Rink Rebel and DSP’s Caps minor league contributor), Andrew Tomlinson (DSP Caps contributor) and respected Caps media Ted Starkey (author of Transition Game and Red Rising), Peter Hassett (Russian Machine Never Breaks) and Adam Vingan (NBCWashington.com and Kings of Leonsis). [Read more…]

Caps in Advance: Week 24

Little in the way of killer instinct has been evidenced by the Washington Capitals of late. In the first three games of a five-game road trip, Washington needed a late comeback to force overtime and eventually win in the shootout against the New York Islanders, and never held a lead in losses to division rival Winnipeg Jets and the Chicago Blackhawks.

Now the Caps have will wrap up their road swing with two games against dominating foes before taking on those same Jets in a rematch. Just 10 games and three weeks remain in the regular season, every point is precious. This team has a history of playing with significant leads in the division race, and seems ill-equipped to take over the race this late in the campaign.

Hampering things may be another injury to goaltender Tomas Vokoun, who has been struggling with a lower-body injury over the past month. Braden Holtby was recalled from the Hershey Bears late last week to serve as a backup for Michal Neuvirth, who will be expected to shoulder the load for the playoff push. [Read more…]

CAPS: Vokoun and Beagle Host Hockey School at North Springfield Elementary

Washington Capitals Tomas Vokoun, Jay Beagle and Asst. Coach Dean Evason answering questions at North Springfield Elementary School in Springfield, VA as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

SPRINGFIELD, Va. — Washington Capitals goalie Tomas Vokoun, forward Jay Beagle, assistant coach Dean Evason and Air Slapshot visited North Springfield Elementary School in Springfield, Virginia on Thursday, Mar. 1, to host the Capitals Hockey School. [Read more…]

GAME 60 Re-Cap: 20-Minute Effort Leads to 5-2 Loss in Ottawa

The Washington Capitals are beginning to enter desperation mode in their hunt for a fifth consecutive playoff berth, but it would be hard to tell from their performance Wednesday night on the road against the Ottawa Senators.  Instead, for the second game in a row the Caps delivered a positively tepid performance in an embarrassing 5-2 loss to the surging Sens.

John Carlson provided Washington’s first goal, an impressive one-timer from the right faceoff dot on the power play.  Mathieu Perreault’s goal was far less impressive, a shot that deflected off his face into the open net. [Read more…]

Caps in Advance: Week 19

The Washington Capitals find themselves in the same spot to start this week that they were in at the start of last week: sitting right behind the Florida Panthers in the Southeast Division, and just outside the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

Of course, for a brief few days in the meantime the Caps held that top spot in the Southeast, thanks to a dominating Tuesday night 4-0 shutout of Florida.  Unfortunately, that was the only win and two of the three points Washington picked up in four games.  Now four points back of the Panthers, the Caps desperately need to take two points in regulation against their division foes.

When Tomas Vokoun whitewashed his former team it appeared to be the start of a good run for Washington, especially when the Czech goalie maintained a blank slate late in his team’s next game, against the Winnipeg Jets.  However, two quick goals, one on a 6-on-3 and the other a fluke from center ice, knocked the Caps back on their heels and the team would lose that game in a shootout, and turn in a weak performance Sunday afternoon in a 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers that wasn’t as close as the score suggests.

Monday night’s game against the Sharks is the second half of a back-to-back for Washington, although Alex Ovechkin’s squad has the benefit of an extra few hours of rest since Sunday’s game was an afternoon matinee.  Their other two games are also back-to-back, as the Capitals visit both of their Sunshine State foes in short order. [Read more…]

GAME 53 RE-CAP: Capitals Answer Hunter’s Call With “Playoff” Performance, Shut Florida Out 4-0

Mathieu Perreault found the back of the net thirteen seconds into the game Tuesday night and the Washington Capitals never looked back. Washington kept piling on the goals and netminder Tomas Vokoun remained stalwart in net, dominating until the final buzzer in a 4-0 shutout win over the Florida Panthers.

Celebrating Ovi's second goal of the night on Feb. 7. (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

With the victory, Washington (28-21-4) vaulted over Florida (24-17-11) into first place in the Southeast Division and the third spot overall in the Eastern Conference playoff picture, while the visiting Panthers tumbled to second place in the division and ninth in the conference.

Head coach Dale Hunter termed Tuesday’s game a must-win “playoff game,” and the Capitals responded to their coach’s exhortation with aplomb. Captain Alex Ovechkin scored twice, and Perreault and Jason Chimera potted momentum-changers within the opening moments of the first and second period to keep Florida on its heels the entire game. [Read more…]

GAME 49 RE-CAP: Bolts Cancel Caps Comeback in OT, 4-3

Sloppiness is expected in the first game for NHL teams after the All-Star Break, and “sloppy” is unquestionably the best way to characterize Tuesday night’s tilt between the Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning.  Marred by turnovers and bad decisions, the game required extra time to reach a decision when Steven Stamkos scored at 2:45 to give the Lightning a 4-3 overtime victory at home.

Scoring for the Capitals were Matt Hendricks, Mathieu Perreault, and Troy Brouwer, and goalie Tomas Vokoun made 27 saves in the loss.

Stamkos’s goal marred a stellar late-game performance for Vokoun, who stonewalled Bolts captain Vincent Lecavalier a minute earlier in the extra frame.  Lecavalier snuck behind his man and was all alone when he took a pass from Teddy Purcell in front of the net. Lecavalier toe-dragged to elude Vokoun’s initial kick save attempt, but the goalie stabbed out his glove to make the save and make an argument for save of the year. [Read more…]

GAME 48 RE-CAP: Hattie for Matty; Caps win without young guns

It’s awesome. You can’t describe that feeling. This is what you dream of. You dream to play in the NHL, but when you get a hat trick, it’s even better. It was just a great feeling.” –Mathieu Perreault after his first career hat trick.

While President Obama was addressing the Nation a few blocks away, the Verizon Center erupted in shock and joy as Mathieu Perreault got his first career hat trick and the Washington Capitals defeated the Boston Bruins, the reigning Stanley Cup Champions, 5-3.

Ice scattered with hats and Hat Trick graphics on scoreboard for Perreault

Earlier in the day, things looked grim to some. The last game that both Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom did not play was back on Jan. 31, 2006. Last night was the first game without all three “big stars” since they were drafted, (Ovechkin, Backstrom and Green).The Washington Capitals needed to have players step up their game. And they did indeed. [Read more…]

CAPS: Hockey ‘N Heels 2012

Hockey ‘N Heels returned to the Verizon Center for the first time since the inaugural event in 2007. Many fans that had previous attended the Hockey ‘N Heels events at Kettler were excited about the venue change, especially the opportunity to see the Caps’ locker room. Getting a chance to walk across the Verizon Center ice was a treat as well.

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Caps Locker Room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

This was the second Hockey ‘N Heels during the 2011-2012 season. The first one was in November at Kettler and featured Nicklas Backstrom, Troy Brouwer, Mathieu Perreault, former Head Coach Bruce Boudreau and former Assistant Coach Bob Woods. (Re-cap and photos). After talking with several attendees, an overwhelming majority preferred the Verizon Center venue.

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Tour of Verizon Center: Fans with players' sticks in Caps Equipment Room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

On Monday night, Jan. 23, 2012, MIX 107.3 radio personality Chilli Amar kicked off the event with about 200 female hockey fans, close to half were first timers by a show of hands. The 6-9:15 p.m. event featured instructional lessons and on-ice demonstrations targeted towards the Capitals’ female audience. As always, this year’s event was only open to members of Club Scarlet, the Capitals’ female fan club.

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Chilli Amar and Caps Goalie Tomas Vokoun (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

The evening was divided into six sessions, including two on-ice demonstrations. The two on-ice sessions featured learning how to shoot the puck with defensemen Dmitri Orlov and Dennis Wideman and teaching the ladies how to stop the puck in the net with goalie Tomas Vokoun at the other end of the ice.

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Dennis Wideman providing shooting instruction (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Caps Goalie Tomas Vokoun helping fan put on goalie glove (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Caps Defensemen Dennis Wideman and Dmitri Orlov (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

The third session was a photo station, a new addition to Hockey ‘n Heels this season. Nicklas Backstrom posed for photos in November and this event featured forward Alexander Semin taking pictures with each Hockey ‘n Heels attendee. The photos will be emailed to the attendees after the event.

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Alex Semin posing for photos with fans (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

The fourth session featured Caps’ strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish explaining to the ladies what fitness routines the players go through. The ladies actually performed real drills that the players do before games.

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Mark Nemish (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Ladies running through strength and conditioning drills (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

The fifth session was a question and answer sit down with former Capital and Comcast SportsNet analyst Alan May (Caps assistant coach Jim Johnson was unable to attend as previously scheduled). May broke the news of Alex Ovechkin’s suspension to the ladies which prompted many questions about the suspension, hits, concussions and general play of the game.

Alan May can sure tell a story. One group was entertained by his animated tale of the scrap with Kevin “Killer” Kaminski during the Alumni Game in the fall. The one comment repeated throughout the tour (sixth session) was that there was not enough time with May. If you follow him on Twitter (and if you don’t you should), you already know that he is open, honest and funny.

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Q&A with Alan May (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

The sixth session was a tour of the event floor at Verizon Center including the media room, family room, players’ lounge, visitors’ locker room, Caps locker room and equipment room. During the tour, head equipment manager Brock Myles explained the different equipment the players wear, how he arranges the locker room in order to get ready for a game, which equipment was kept at Kettler and a lot of other fun tidbits. Mike Knuble prefers Big League Chew bubble gum. The team travels with 3,500 lbs of equipment for a game. He has the inside scoop. Many ladies expressed how much they enjoyed the tour and that it was their favorite part of the event.

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Brock Myles (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Tour of Verizon Center: Q&A with Brock Myles in Caps Locker Room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

There were also fantastic refreshments from Taylor Gourmet and attendees got to take home a souvenir Club Scarlet tumbler. Hockey ‘N Heels was another success and the women are looking forward to the next one.

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Attendees received souvenir tumbers (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Tour Photos:

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Tour of Verizon Center: Media Room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Tour of Verizon Center: Caps Family Room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Fan testing out couch in the Caps' family room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Tour of Verizon Center (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Game goals hanging on wall (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Caps hockey sticks (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Tour of Verizon Center: Caps Equipment Room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Tour of Verizon Center: Glove dryer in Caps equipment room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Tour of Verizon Center: Blade sharpener in Caps Equipment Room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Tour of Verizon Center: Skate blades in Caps Equipment Room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Tour of Verizon Center: Containers in Caps Equipment Room including gum for Ovi and Knuble (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Additional Photos:

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Dennis Wideman explaining how to hold a hockey stick (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Fan getting goalie tips from Caps Goalie Tomas Vokoun (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Caps Goalie Tomas Vokoun helping fan put on goalie glove (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Alex Semin posed for photos with each attendee (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Nemish coaching ladies through strength and conditioning drills (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Alan May at Q&A (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Ladies in Caps Locker Room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Caps Locker Room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Caps Locker Room (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Tomas Vokoun (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Dmitri Orlov (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Dennis Wideman (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Hockey 'N Heels 2012 - Last fans leaving Verizon Center (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)


Cheryl Nichols is a Columnist and Photographer for District Sports Page. She is credentialed to cover the Washington Capitals and has reported on the community service and fan events for Nats News Network and Caps News Network since 2006. Cheryl is an accomplished action photographer and has been published in The Washington Post and many other local media. She was a credentialed photographer for the 2010 season covering the Washington Nationals. You can follow her on Twitter @cnichols14.

%d bloggers like this: