General Manager George McPhee held his usual state of the summer address Saturday during the final scrimmage of development camp, and in addition to evaluating some of the prospects he offered a few noteworthy updates about the NHL club.
• Assistant coaches: McPhee hasn’t been in a rush to assemble the Capitals’ coaching staff, but the next few pieces will be falling into place soon. Washington expects to name one of its assistant coaches in the coming week, McPhee said, with a second to be announced later in July.
“I hope to have an announcement next week on one of the assistant coaches. I think it’s a good fit for the club,” McPhee said. “I think we’re getting close to wrapping it up. We have agreed and we just have to iron out a few more things.”
Oates wouldn’t divulge who they’re set to name, but offered the hint that it’s someone he played with.
“For me, it’s vital who my assistants are going to be because it’s my first job,” Oates said. “To help me pass my messages along fast to a veteran team. To have a guy that played in the game that I’ve had some personal time with, is very important to me.”
• RFAs: Mike Green and John Carlson are the only two restricted free agents from last year’s NHL roster that remain unsigned. The qualifying offers both players received earlier in the offseason expire on Sunday, but the two sides can continue to negotiate a deal after that date.
Unsurprisingly, McPhee wouldn’t divulge details of the negotiations but said that the deadline won’t play a factor in their re-signing with Washington.
“When you’re sort of negotiating in good faith and trying to get it done — I don’t think anybody’s trying to squeeze anybody on the other side and so in some ways it’s an artificial deadline,” McPhee said. “I think we’ve had healthy discussions with both players, and there are deals to be made there. So I don’t expect tomorrow to be a big day with respect to signing these players. I think that’s something we’ll get done sooner than later and they’ll be deals that we can live with and they can live with.”
Asked specifically about Green, McPhee hinted that the defenseman could be signed within the next few days.
“We’re talking and I think there’s a deal to be made there,” McPhee said with respect to Green. “So hopefully we’ll have an answer today or tomorrow.”
• On Semin: Free agent Alexander Semin remains unsigned and when asked if the Capitals would re-sign the Russian winger, McPhee was intentionally vague. At this point it seems unlikely that Washington would bring Semin back.
“I’ve never really discussed that sort of thing – whether we’re going to sign someone or not or where we are in negotiations. I’d rather not start now,” McPhee said. “I know it’s not a great answer for you guys, but I’ll just stay neutral.”
Asked if he was surprised Semin was still available, McPhee replied: “Not necessarily. It would have to be the right fit for him.”
— In other news, the Capitals have signed AHL tough-guy Matt Clackson to a one-year, two-way contract worth $525,000 at the NHL level and $75,000 at the AHL level.
In 43 games with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves last season, Clackson (6-0, 190 pounds) piled up 193 penalty minutes along with one goal and one assist.
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