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Capitals mailbag: Will the team visit the White House?

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Twenty-eight video games into the season, the Washington Capitals have weathered some early season inconsistency and a bevy of accidents to take a seat atop the Metropolitan Department standings with a 16-Nine-Three document. This version of the mailbag solutions whether or not the group will likely be visiting the White Area because the reigning Stanley Cup champions, what resulted in the Capitals and Russian winger Sergei Shumakov parting techniques, whether or not Tom Wilson will have to have fought Vegas’s Ryan Reaves early in Tuesday’s recreation and what’s Pheonix Copley’s long run is in Washington.

To put up a query for subsequent time, tweet it with #izzymailbag or electronic mail isabelle.khurshudyan@washpost.com.

It’s custom that the majority championship groups discuss with the White Area, even though there’s been extra controversy round that below this management. President Trump canceled the Tremendous Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles’ discuss with to the White Area in June after some avid gamers mentioned they’d skip the rite to protest the president and his rhetoric. When the Golden State Warriors received the 2017 NBA championship, more than one avid gamers, together with Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, mentioned they wouldn’t discuss with the White Area. They had been later uninvited through Trump.

I do be expecting the Capitals to ultimately discuss with. Their time table is quite versatile since they’re the uncommon championship group based totally in D.C., and with the new midterm elections, I believe there simply hasn’t been a time that’s handy for each side. However I’ve been advised the group has been in conversation with the White Area and a date simply hasn’t been set but. There’s been some rumor of a January or February discuss with, however not anything has been showed.

Forwards Devante Smith-Pelly and Brett Connolly have mentioned they wouldn’t attend a discuss with to the White Area, and whilst they will not be the one avid gamers who take that stance, just about each and every participant requested about it after ultimate season mentioned they’d need to move. Right here’s what proprietor Ted Leonsis mentioned about it on Oct. Three:

“What I’ve mentioned is, we’re in Washington, D.C., and the avid gamers and the training team of workers need to make a decision. I’m no longer going to steer, and if we move to the White Area, I can move to the White Area. However they haven’t made it to that dialog and a vote but. . . . I’m certain in the future because the season will get began, there’ll be a group assembly, they usually’ll discuss it and are available out and let us know what to do.”

The Capitals are putting Russian winger Sergei Shumakov on unconditional waivers, which means the 2 aspects are parting techniques. Washington signed Shumakov this summer season after his Kontinental Hockey League contract with CSKA Moscow used to be terminated, and the group used to be hopeful his KHL manufacturing, 17 objectives and 23 assists in 47 video games ultimate season, would lift over to the North American recreation. However he didn’t display neatly in coaching camp, suffering with the tempo of play right here, and not more than a month after the group reassigned him to the American Hockey League, he were given injured.

It used to be in the long run his determination to terminate the contract so he may go back to Russia, however the Capitals weren’t precisely begging him to stick both. It used to be a low-risk signing first of all — Shumakov used to be on an entry-level, two-way deal — and it simply didn’t figure out. It’s no longer like Washington spent a draft select on him after which labored to increase him for years.

Reaves’s blindside hit on Wilson in the second one duration of Tuesday’s recreation in Vegas used to be in the course of the shoulder, however Wilson’s helmet popped off at the collision and he then hit his head opposed to the ice. Wilson didn’t play opposed to the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night time as a result of a concussion, and with the Capitals no longer practising on Friday, I don’t be expecting he’ll be within the lineup opposed to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday both. Reaves used to be assessed a five-minute main for interference and in addition ejected from the sport.

Trainer Todd Reirden mentioned Reaves used to be concentrated on Wilson all recreation, and that a lot used to be beautiful evident. A part of Reaves’s position for the Golden Knights is to get below combatants’ pores and skin. Must Wilson have fought him within the first duration as tensions had been obviously escalating? Personally, no. I believe Wilson has turn into extra aware of his position at the group — a top-line ahead who entered Tuesday’s recreation with 8 objectives — and in an in depth recreation, he almost definitely didn’t assume it will lend a hand his group to be off the ice for 5 mins. In a struggle between Reaves, a fourth-liner, and Wilson, that’s a greater business for Vegas than it’s for Washington. The extra treasured a participant is for your group, the fewer you wish to have him preventing as a result of the chance of damage, particularly to the arms.

Except the 2 groups meet within the Stanley Cup finals once more, they received’t see every different for the remainder of the season, and if Wilson in point of fact feels there’s a ranking to settle the following time he and Reaves are at the ice in combination, I believe he’ll need to do it himself.

With Copley having so little NHL enjoy going into this season, there used to be an expectation that Braden Holtby must lift the goaltending tandem early on. However Copley has received six of the 9 video games he’s began, and there’s no longer a lot more you’ll be able to ask of a backup goaltender. On Thursday night time opposed to the Coyotes, he saved the sport shut because the Capitals struggled originally.

“I don’t need to have him sitting for too lengthy,” Reirden mentioned. “I assumed he made some excellent saves. Tricky to surrender the danger we do at the goal-against instantly, and he hung in there. That’s no longer simple for a backup goalie who’s looking for his approach within the Nationwide Hockey League. . . . He used to be in point of fact forged from that time shifting ahead. That’s an enormous, massive win for our group given the instances.”

The query of his long run with Washington is attention-grabbing as a result of there’s Holtby’s long run to believe, too. Holtby’s contract runs in the course of the 2019-20 season, and he’s due a pay elevate on his present $6.1 million cap hit. With 2015 first-round select Ilya Samsonov enjoying his first season within the American Hockey League, I believe the Capitals need to see what they’ve in him sooner than they decide on find out how to continue with Holtby. The plan as of now would appear to be that Samsonov steps into the backup goaltender position subsequent season, however Copley, an unrestricted unfastened agent on the finish of the 12 months, is creating a case for himself, and if there isn’t a spot for him with the Capitals, then it is a excellent audition for a unique group.

Learn extra at the Capitals:

Caps hope to keep away from the NHL’s Vegas Hangover

‘Reaves focused him all the recreation,’ however he received’t face suspension for Tom Wilson hit

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