Latest From the Washington Capitals Rumor Mill: Samsonov, Carlson, Trotz, Leonsis

Here is the latest from the Washington Capitals “rumor mill” for the week ending 4/20. 


John CarlsonAccording to Ray Ferraro of TSN, Carlson’s next contract will be 7×7 (seven years for seven million per). He also thinks Carlson will be avoiding options in Canada. “It won’t be 5 years …7x $7mm..can’t believe for a second he would sign in Canada.” TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie assessed Carlson’s market value on Friday morning, and he believes Carlson could become one of league’s top 10 highest-paid blueliners. “…..he’s going to get a six or a seven-year deal at $7 million-plus, is what he’s going to get,” McKenzie told TSN Radio Edmonton 1260. “That’s going to be the market value. And I don’t know if he’s going to get it from Washington. If he is, they’re going to probably have to move a few pieces around or what have you.

Ilya SamsonovAccording to Aivis Kalnins, Capitals goalie prospect Ilya Samsonov will be signing with the team after April 30th. His current KHL contract expires on that date. With the Bears season now complete, it will be interesting to see how the Capitals begin to acclimate Samsonov and ease him into the system. Regardless, goalie depth in Hershey next season will obviously be a strength of the Bears.

Barry Trotz, Brian MacLellanAccording to @DellowHockey, via Doug Maclean, the relationship between Barry Trotz and Capitals GM Brian MacLellan has been strained as of late, and possibly as far back as last summer. It’s looking more and more likely that Trotz will not be back next season, barring a deep run in the playoffs.

Ted LeonsisIn a recent article by Darren Rovell of ESPN, Ted Leonsis is making it known that on-site gambling at Capital One Arena is something he is pushing for. “If Leonsis has his way, fans are betting in his arena, on his app, making and tracking their bets using data prepared by a company that he partially owns.”


Metropolitan Division
According to’s Drew Rosen, The Carolina Hurricanes have named former agent Paul Krepelka as their VP of Hockey Operations. He will be in charge of all player contracts and other hockey ops matters. He comes to Carolina after being the director of player personnel for the ECHL’s Norfolk Admirals.

Now that he is 35, Ilya Kovalchuk is officially off the NHL’s voluntary retired list and is now an NHL UFA who can immediately negotiate and agree to terms with any NHL team. Can’t sign any deal until July 1.

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
This entry was posted in News and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Latest From the Washington Capitals Rumor Mill: Samsonov, Carlson, Trotz, Leonsis

  1. Pingback: The Latest Update on Andre Burakovsky | NoVa Caps

  2. I’ll only comment on the strained relationship between Trotz and Leonsis. I’ve always maintained that even though it can be argued that Barry is probably the best coach we’ve had–at least in recent year–to me, his work developing our youngest players leaves a lot to be desired. Also, the Caps keep getting ousted before they ever reach the third round, and I think the two are related.

    Regarding Barry’s career long distrust of rookies, I’ll let you read an excerpt from a Preds’ beat writer explaining why Nashville got rid of Barry and replaced him with Peter Laviolette—it had something to do with Barry’s refusal to play the former jewel of our farm system–Filip Forsberg–more than a few minutes per game–and when he DID it was on their fourth line for checking purposes, mainly…which shows that when it comes down to his approach to developing youngsters he hasn’t changed much: Please read and note the year:

    Sta. Monica
    Meat Loaf was wrong, and so is the way Barry Trotz is wasting Filip Forsberg

    The Nashville Predators’ season is sputtering like a half-built hot rod to its inevitable finish short of the playoffs.
    The team will burp smoke and spin out in embarrassing losses — a full stall in a one-goal effort to beat an Edmonton team that put up a lamer defense than the Mexican Army at San Jacinto, a goalless game in Vancouver that had all the beauty of fetid meat. Then they’ll rebound with spirited sprints — a six-goal outburst in Calgary, a shutout against the mighty Blackhawks.
    At this point, however, even a resounding season-ending winning streak won’t guarantee the Predators the playoffs. This season, for all intents and purposes, is more done than a discount pork chop.
    Which isn’t to say it’s not worth watching.
    With roster limitations lifted, the Predators can make calls to the farm and give wary fans reason to watch by granting opportunities to promising youngsters. (The Predators can do that; that’s never a guarantee Barry Trotz actually will.) Much of the drama this season has concerned three such new-blood Preds.
    First up from Milwaukee was center Colton Sissons, wearing the unlikely number 84 — a rarely permitted expression of eccentricity in Nashville, where weird jersey numbers are as uncommon as hat tricks. Sissons had 24 goals in 56 games with the farm team as a 20-year-old. Not an eye-popping number, but Sissons was never expected to be a prolific scorer. The youngster has settled into a role as a lower-line checker, and though the cackling crowd will argue he’s been buried, the fact is Sissons — regarded as perhaps the best defensive player among the crop of young Predators forwards — is being used correctly.
    No problem there.
    Then there’s Calle Jarnkrok, the Swede who came over from the Detroit Red Wings in the trade for David Legwand. After posting five goals and two assists in five games with Milwaukee, he got the call when Paul Gaustad went down with his annual upper-body injury. There was initial concern that Jarnkrok — whose surname means “Iron Hook” in Swedish because sometimes nicknames make themselves — would simply be slotted into Gaustad’s role between unskilled or underperforming wingers.
    But Barry Trotz surprised everyone by having the 22-year-old center, Calle Jarnkrok, a line including Craig Smith — the Preds’ top goalscorer, though that’s a bit like being the best classical violinist in a North Dakota oil field — and speedy forechecking enthusiast Gabriel Bourque. Thus far, the line has shown promise — and with all three players under the age of 25, the combination may have a bright future indeed.
    Playing against type, Trotz has heaped a significant amount of trust on Jarnkrok. He’s even playing the Hook on the penalty kill, where the coach often prefers his fetishized gritty veterans instead of smooth-faced, long-haired rookies.
    No problem there, either.
    But then there’s Filip Forsberg. Younger than either Sissons or Jarnkrok — he’s just 19 — the Swede came to Nashville from Washington in last year’s Marty Erat trade, the deadline shocker that had Preds general manager David Poile widely praised across the NHL (and charged with grand larceny in the District of Columbia). The book on Forsberg is that he is highly skilled with the ability to be a prolific scorer, the kind of forward Nashville has never quite figured out how to find. Called up when Patric Hornqvist left the road trip on paternity leave, Forsberg was slotted into duty with Sissons and Rich Clune — who is a profoundly interesting person and a prolific pugilist, but whose hockey skills aren’t exactly complementary to Forsberg’s.
    Trotz hasn’t yet warmed to the youngster, repeatedly burying him on what could generously be called “defensively minded lines,” even though such a setup doesn’t play into Forsberg’s talents. Sure, if Forsberg’s production kicked up, he’d likely be elevated on the depth chart — but it’s hard to say his production will go anywhere playing alongside two guys with 16 career points and six goals between them. Once Hornqvist returned, Forsberg returned to Milwaukee, and constant yo-yoing to Wisconsin will do even less to improve his NHL output.
    On a certain level, it’s understandable Trotz is giving more leeway to Sissons (a classic Predator-type forward) and Jarnkrok (who is a bit older than his fellow rookies, plus has that cool name). On the other hand, if, as Trotz promises, the team is going to show more offensive focus — which wouldn’t be hard — why not give more chances to a player who’s already got it in Filip Forsberg, instead of fishing for goals in free agency this summer? That’s a fast track to sleeping with said fishes, given the number of millstone contracts the Preds are carrying.
    While Bridgestone Arena’s shrieking sans-culottes harangue Trotz for miscasting all three rookies — and, to a degree, offense-minded blueliner Michael Del Zotto, another by-trade acquisition — the truth is he’s gotten it mostly right on two of them.

    But in Forsberg’s case, the Jacobins aren’t wrong. In this case, getting only two out of three is bad.

  3. Pingback: Game 5 Preview: Capitals, Blue Jackets Eye 3-2 Series Lead | NoVa Caps

  4. Pingback: Capitals Sign Goaltender Ilya Samsonov to Three-Year, Entry-Level Contract | NoVa Caps

  5. Pingback: Brian MacLellan Met With Media Friday Morning, Talked About Trotz’s Future With Capitals | NoVa Caps

Leave a Reply