Capitals Offseason And Free Agency Report
By Stephen London
The Washington Capitals have been busy since the NHL Entry Draft, resigning Mathieu Perreault and Jay Beagle during the last week and also adding Joey Crabb to the roster.
Crabb, formally a Toronto Maple Leaf, had career highs in goals (11), assists (15) and points (26) during 67 games for the Maple Leafs as a consistent third- or fourth-line player during the 2011-12 season. The 29-year-old right winger was ranked eighth on the Maple Leafs last year in goals and had four game-winning goals. Originally drafted by the New York Rangers, Crabb registered 18 points during 34 games for the Maple Leafs' AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies.
The Caps also brought in Ryan Stoa, a center who was signed to a one-year contract. The 25-year-old bruiser played in the Colorado Avalanche's franchise last year, playing in 25 games at the NHL level. The Bloomington, Minn., native is known for his hard work and using his body. (6-foot-3, 200 pounds) played for the University of Minnesota in college, and helped the United States win a bronze medal in the 2007 U-20 World Junior Championship.
Although neither Crabb nor Stoa has a lot of experience, they are both young and have specific skills that will help the Capitals in the future. The Capitals also signed some defensemen last week -- Jack Hillen, Garrett Stafford and Kevin Marshall.
Hillen, a Nashville Predator last season, recorded six points and 20 penalty minutes during 55 games for the Predators. A native of Minnetonka, Minn., Hillen has tallied 56 points and 129 penalty minutes during 230 career NHL games. Hillen, 26, finished eighth on the Predators last year in both plus/minus (+6) and blocked shots (65). Hillen was teammates with Crabb at Colorado College.
Stafford tallied 28 points last year during 48 games in the AHL. A 32-year-old, Stafford has been a career AHL player, playing for seven AHL franchises.
Marshall was originally acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers for Matt Ford in February of this year. Marshall, 23, collected two goals and four assists during 63 games last season with the Hershey Bears and Adirondack Phantoms. He also recorded 116 penalty minutes. Marshall, a native of Boucherville, Quebec, was a second-round selection of the Philadelphia Flyers in 2007 and has appeared in 10 NHL games.
There are rumors that the Capitals are in trade talks for some highly valued players, including the Anaheim Ducks' Bobby Ryan, but the Ducks' asking price will likely be more than the Capitals are willing to give up.
Joe Yerdon of NBC Sports reportst that Alex Semin not only has no timetable to sign, but also might have a KHL deal waiting for him in Russia. Semin's deal is reported to be around three years and $30 million from Sergei Federov's KHL team, CSKA Moscow. Semin also has offers from some NHL teams, and some sources say the Capitals are looking into trading his signing rights, but his off-the-ice issues have been driving the offers down.
Posted July 9, 2012