Capitals General Manager George McPhee says Coach Bruce Boudreau will be back next season

Shaone Morrisonn, right, is about to become an unrestricted free agent.
Shaone Morrisonn, right, is about to become an unrestricted free agent. "I would love to stay here," he said. "But we'll see how it goes." (John Mcdonnell/the Washington Post)
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By Tarik El-Bashir
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, May 1, 2010

George McPhee put to rest one of the many questions facing the Washington Capitals after a historic first-round loss to the Montreal Canadiens: Bruce Boudreau will still be the coach the next year.

"Bruce is a really good coach," the general manager said. "He's a really good coach. He's going to be here a really long time. No need to raise those issues because he's not going anywhere."

McPhee's support of Boudreau was the biggest bit of news on a somber day at the team's Arlington practice facility, where the Capitals gathered for physicals and exit interviews before scattering across the globe for a five-month offseason that arrived nearly two months earlier than expected.

Some of the players, such as goaltender José Theodore, could have walked out of Kettler Capitals Iceplex for the final time.

Theodore, a pending unrestricted free agent, enjoyed his best season since 2003-04. But the fact that he was replaced by Semyon Varlamov early in the Capitals' playoff run for a second straight spring does not bode well for his future in Washington.

"No, I didn't talk to [anyone] yet," said Theodore, 33, who went 20-0-3 in his final 23 regular season decisions. "As a player you always want to make sure you do everything you can. And this year I did everything I could to show them what I'm capable of, especially the last 25 games."

McPhee declined to address the contractual status of specific players, saying only that he plans to meet with ownership, Boudreau and the team's pro scouts over the coming days and weeks to chart the organization's offseason course.

There's going to be change. The salary cap dictates that. How much, though, remains to be seen.

Of the three pending unrestricted free agents who joined the Capitals at the trade deadline -- Joe Corvo, Eric Belanger and Scott Walker -- only Belanger said there's mutual interest in a contract extension.

"It's my priority number one right now to see if we can get something done before July 1," Belanger said.

Shaone Morrisonn, Brendan Morrison, Milan Jurcina and Quintin Laing are also due to become unrestricted free agents on July 1.

"It's an exciting time for me, in my career, having the opportunity to go on the market," Morrisonn said. "It's complicated here with all the guys that need to be signed up. I would love to stay here. But we'll see how it goes."

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