“We Are in Ongoing Discussions”: Brian MacLellan Talks Jakub Vrana’s Status, Braden Holtby And Nicklas Backstrom Contracts, and More


After a day in which the Capitals added to their bottom-six forward corps, General Manager Brian MacLellan spoke with reporters about the additions of Richard Panik and Garnet Hathaway, contract negotiations with Jakub Vrana, contracts for Braden Holtby and Nicklas Backstrom, and more.

When asked about Panik, MacLellan praised the 28-year old’s ability to contribute to the lineup, stating that he expects him to reach the 35-45 point mark on the season, adding that Panik “is a well-rounded player” and that the team was impressed with his penalty killing this past season, in addition to his two-way play.

When asked about the salary cap, MacLellan admitted the team added an extra year on the contracts for Panik, Hathaway, and Carl Hagelin, who the team re-signed earlier in the offseason, to lower the annual average value of the deals. After commenting on the offer sheet to Carolina’s Sebastian Aho by the Montreal Canadiens, MacLellan was asked about a team offering Capitals’ Restricted Free Agent Jakub Vrana an offer sheet. While the GM admitted the team is cautious, he brushed off the possibility and iterated the team feels comfortable with the situation they are in at the moment with the former first-round pick, and that while the team is close to the cap ceiling, they have some maneuvers they can do to make some room.

MacLellan also touched on the makeup of the team compared to the team that won the Stanley Cup, saying that the core remains the same and the turnover in players is a “natural evolution” and the Capitals will remain a contending team next season. When asked about the contract for goaltender Braden Holtby (which is up after next season), MacLellan admitted the team is cognizant of the situation and that Bobrovsky’s deal is comparable to Holtby’s, but that Holtby has won a Stanley Cup in his career and that he will sit down with both Holtby and Nicklas Backstrom in August.

MacLellan also revealed the Capitals have come to terms with free agent forward Brendan Leipsic, a 25-year old, former third-round pick of Nashville in 2012 who recorded 23 points in 62 games played this past season with Vancouver and Los Angeles. Further details of the deal were not disclosed, though Caps Senior Writer Mike Vogel reports it is a one-year, one-way deal worth $700,000.

By Michael Fleetwood

About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan, the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. His favorite player became former Capital Nate Schmidt after he met Schmidt in a Hershey hotel while in Hershey PA to see the Bears play, shortly after Schmidt was injured during a conditioning stint. Michael is also a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Orioles, and enjoys photography, watching WildEarth TV's SafariLive live safaris, and watching animals in his spare time. (Photo by Adam Vingan in 2014 at the Capitals Development Camp).
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7 Responses to “We Are in Ongoing Discussions”: Brian MacLellan Talks Jakub Vrana’s Status, Braden Holtby And Nicklas Backstrom Contracts, and More

  1. Day One Caps Fan says:

    The Caps are major players in NHL Free Agent Whirlwind-day!

    Inbound: Leipzic, Hathaway, Panik, Maillet, Sgarbossa (I hope!), Kosmachuk (maybe) and a pretty good haul at the 2019 NHL Draft

    Outbound: Connolly, Burakovsky, Walker, Barber, Jaskin

    Do you like this evolution, NovaCapsFans? I do.
    Messrs. Panik and Hathaway have beaucoup potential for “breakout” seasons in Washington. Put together they might be an upgrade in size, snarl, versatility and desire than the outgoing Connolly and Burakovsky. Day One believes that Panik is a serious-business big-time NHL forward. Playing with Ovechkin and Backstrom and Oshie should help! Hathaway is the real deal too – if he wants to be. GMBM has set the table nicely for these two gents. Now deliver!

    Baby Caps at Hershey and elsewhere, there are plenty of eager-beavers clamoring to crack the Big Club Caps’ roster. This fan would like to see Fehervary and Lucas Johansen in Caps’ Red THIS season! What are we waiting for?

    I say hats-off to GM MacLellan, as he has yet again found solid, healthy players who WANT to be here. I like the term for Panik. Term is good.

    Caps need a few bounce-back seasons too. Lars Eller comes to mind. Djoos and Chandler Stephenson do as well. It all bodes for a BLISTERING hot competition for the Opening Day Caps’ roster.

    Caps Coaching will need to knit this diverse bunch into a lean mean fighting machine to launch Washington back into a long playoff run. Will Reirden & Co. be up to the task? Hmm? Will they? Let’s see a show of hands!

    • Day One Caps Fan says:

      Oops and oops! I left out “Inbound” Gudas and “outbound” Niskanen
      A Wild West Week for the Caps!
      But I like it!

    • hockeydruid says:

      Shame to see barber go as he never really got a chance to play in Washington and this would have been his year to play for a spot on the 3rd/4th line. He can score and that will be missed. Signing Hagelin was a waste as he is just like DSP and his better days are behind him. The money spent on his could have gone towards Connolley and Varna and Barber. Would also like to see a change to the power play, put Wilson in the middle instead of Oshie as he is bigger and has good hands and can take the beating. Lastly for the power play to be more effective Backstrom has to score thus pulling a player towards him and help unclog the middle.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The Caps have certainly undergone a few changes since the end of the season. Rebuild or retool, the team will look quite different in October.

  3. Pingback: A Closer Look At Capitals’ Free Agent Acquisitions: Richard Panik | NoVa Caps

  4. Pingback: A Closer Look At Capitals’ Free Agent Acquisitions: Garnet Hathaway | NoVa Caps

  5. Pingback: A Closer Look At Capitals’ Free Agent Acquisitions: Brendan Leipsic | NoVa Caps

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