On Thursday, Washington Capitals forward Anthony Mantha spoke to the media following the first day of the 2021-22 training camp at Medstar Capitals Iceplex. He discussed getting settled in the area and his excitement for the new season.
Mantha explained he spent the summer packing up and selling his house in Detroit before settling officially in the D.C. area last month. “It’s a nice change of environment, and I’m excited to be here, so that’s all that matters,” he said.
The Capitals acquired Mantha from the Red Wings in exchange for a 2021 first-round pick, a 2022 second-round pick, and forwards Jakub Vrana and Richard Panik on April 12. He feels this upcoming season will be a “new start” for him, especially since it will be a normal 82-game season with fans back in the stands. “It’s just all positive, and I’m excited to see how it all rolls around.”
Mantha said there is “obviously a different mindset” than what he had in Detroit where the Red Wings were focused on a rebuilding phase. Now, it’s gearing up for another Cup run in Washington. “It’s just something I can’t wait to get another experience at and be more mature in the next playoff coming up.”
“They’re both great players, obviously. They’re going to be Hall of Famers one day,” Mantha said about captain Alex Ovechkin and center Nicklas Backstrom. “To be in the same locker room with them you learn their work ethic, how they prepare…just the way Backy controls the puck on the power-play-it’s something I was kinda looking at…it’s just all useful for me if I ever play on that second-unit.”
Mantha said during the offseason he worked and trained on playing a “more intense” game and making each shift impactful regardless of how much time on ice. “You learn a lot and now it’s for me to bring it to the table…bring what I can do and try [to] help them win more games and hopefully have a long run in the playoffs.”
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By Della Young