The following article was posted on www.nhl.com on Thursday, July 25 featuring former Brown University standout Garnet Hathaway.
By Tom Gulitti.
After the Washington Capitals' run as defending Stanley Cup champions ended with a loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in seven games in the Eastern Conference First Round last season, they realized changes needed to be made.
Their focus this offseason has been on retooling the bottom half of the lineup with the hope of making another run at the Cup. It began with the acquisition of defenseman Radko Gudas in a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers for defenseman Matt Niskanen on June 14 and was followed by defenseman Brooks Orpik's retirement announcement June 25.
Then, forwards Richard Panik (four-year contract), Garnet Hathaway (four-year contract) and Brendan Leipsic (one-year contract) were each signed as an unrestricted free agent July 1 as replacements for Brett Connolly (agreed to terms with the Florida Panthers as an unrestricted free agent July 1), Andre Burakovsky (traded to the Colorado Avalanche for two draft picks and unrestricted free agent forward Scott Kosmachuk on June 28) and Devante Smith-Pelly (unrestricted free agent who won't be re-signed).
"I think it's just a natural evolution," general manager Brian MacLellan said. "I think we were fortunate last year to bring most of the guys back. When you have a successful team and guys playing well, they're going to get paid for that success and players move on. … I think we still have a good team, we're still a competitive team and we should be a contender [this season]."
Here is what the Capitals look like today:
Richard Panik, F: The 28-year-old had 33 points (14 goals, 19 assists) in 75 games with the Arizona Coyotes last season. … Garnet Hathaway, F: The 27-year-old set NHL career-highs with 11 goals and 19 points in 76 games with the Calgary Flames last season. … Radko Gudas, D: The 29-year-old had 20 points (four goals, 16 assists) in 77 games with Philadelphia last season. With Gudas (255), forward Alex Ovechkin (223), forward Tom Wilson (200) and Hathaway (200), Washington has four of the 29 players in the NHL who had at least 200 hits last season. … Brendan Leipsic, F: The 25-year-old had 23 points (seven goals, 16 assists) in 62 games with the Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings last season...
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