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Wednesday Caps Clips: Going Back to Cali

Daily Washington Capitals news and notes: The Caps head West without Burakovsky, the team signs two new college free agents, Alzner reveals the true cost of shot-blocking and more.

NHL: Dallas Stars at Washington Capitals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Your savory breakfast links:

  • American Beauties - the 2017 offseason will bring the unwelcome task of choosing which of the Caps’ pending free agents will get contract offers. They can’t keep ‘em all, so here’s a T.J. Oshie / Kevin Shattenkirk pick ‘em. [Rink]
  • The Caps announced the signings of two more college free agents - Lake Superior State defenseman Kris Bindulis and Merrimack College forward (and Hobey Baker nominee) Hampus Gustafsson. They will both report to Hershey this week to begin their pro careers. [Caps Today, WaPo, CSNMA, NoVa Caps]
  • SBN College Hockey scouting reports:
  • Kristofers Bindulis: “Listed at 6-3 180 lbs., Bindulis is a good skater for his size and brings considerable physical presence for an offensive-minded defenseman. He struggled on the defensive end in his first college season, and still has a lot of work to do in that area, but has the raw potential to be an effective pro with time and development.”
  • Hampus Gustafsson: “At 6-4 205 lbs., Gustafsson is a prototypical power forward that is a big, strong presence around the net. His skating is an area that will need improvement to make it at the NHL level. While he lacks elite hands, he is good at collecting hard-working garbage goals in front of the net.”
  • A bit more on Gustafsson, from the folks who knew him when. A fun note from the story from Sweden - Lars Eller’s dad once coached Gustafsson’s baby Swede team (though prob’ly not the actual player.) [The Mack Report, små]
  • And Bindulis is good at hockeying while wearing unis with lots of stars on ‘em:
  • The team is prepping for its first of two Western roadies:
  • Andre Burakovsky learned that he will not travel with the team. He will remain in Arlington to continue his hand rehab and conditioning work with team trainers. [CSNMA, NoVa Caps, WaPo]
  • Paul Carey has been reassigned to Hershey, and if absolutely necessary, Nate Schmidt will be able to fill in at forward on this West Coast swing. [Caps Today, NoVa Caps]
  • A few leftovers from #CapsStars:
  • Postgame notebook. [Dump-n-Chase]
  • Point: Take a deep breath, Caps fans. It’ll all work out. [WashTimes (Loverro)]
  • Counterpoint: Slow starts. It always starts with the slow start. [Frankovic]
  • Numbers for the morning after. [RMNB]
  • This Scotsman finally made it to the Verizon Center to see a game in person. And he got to meet JoeB and Locker! [Caps Outsider]
  • Tick-tock and it don’t stop - Nicklas Backstrom ought to be headed to the Hall and here’s why. [NoVa Caps]
  • Related - Where all those power play assists come from. [Winners View]
  • Karl Alzner inadvertently revealed a whole lot more about the sacrifices a pro hockey player makes. The not-being-able-to-open-jars-because-your-hands-are-so-broken kind of sacrifices. Yikes. [CBS Radio, WaPo]
  • In news from the KHL, Ilya Samsonov and Metallurg Magnitogorsk are preparing for their Thursday quarterfinal series against Barys Astana. [Championat]
  • Finally, happy 48th birthday to Rob Zettler, happy 40th to Chris Clark, happy 54th to Mike Lalor, happy 46th to Rob Pearson, and a few fond "whoop whoop"s for Larry Murphy, who turns 56 today.