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The roster

FIRST LINE VITALS 2009-10 OUTLOOK

Alex Ovechkin

Left wing, No. 8
Age: 25
Ht: 6-2
Wt: 234
Years: 5
Goals: 50
Assists: 59
Points: 109
+/-: +45
How the fiery superstar responds after a year in which he made early exits in the Stanley Cup playoffs and Olympics will go a long way to determining how the Capitals finish.

Nicklas Backstrom

Center, No. 19
Age: 22
Ht: 6-1
Wt: 210
Years: 3
Goals: 33
Assists: 68
Points: 101
+/-: +37
Firmly entrenched as the franchise center after signing a 10-year, $67 million contract extension, the sublime passer has established himself as an elite pivot.

Mike Knuble

Right wing, No. 22
Age: 38
Ht: 6-3
Wt: 227
Years: 13
Goals: 29
Assists: 24
Points: 53
+/-: +23
The personable veteran shows no signs of slowing down as he thrives in front of the net. Comfortable entering the final year of his contract, he provides stabilizing perspective.
SECOND LINE VITALS 2009-10 OUTLOOK

Brooks Laich

Left wing, No. 21
Age: 27
Ht: 6-2
Wt: 200
Years: 6
Goals: 25
Assists: 34
Points: 59
+/-: +16
A valuable leader, he posted career highs in goals and assists last season. Entering the final year of a three-year contract, he'll look to continue the upward trend.

Tomas Fleischmann

Center, No. 14
Age: 26
Ht: 6-1
Wt: 195
Years: 5
Goals: 23
Assists: 28
Points: 51
+/-: +9
Armed with a new contract and clean bill of health, the versatile forward has made the full-time switch to center. He set career highs in goals and points last season.

Alexander Semin

Right wing, No. 28
Age: 26
Ht: 6-2
Wt: 209
Years: 5
Goals: 40
Assists: 44
Points: 84
+/-: +36
His dynamic talent and wicked wrist shot were on display last year, but he had a forgettable postseason. He's slated to earn $6 million in the final year of his contract.
THIRD LINE VITALS 2009-10 OUTLOOK

Jason Chimera

Left wing, No. 25
Age: 31
Ht: 6-3
Wt: 210
Years: 9
Goals: 15
Assists: 19
Points: 34
+/-: -1
A feisty physical presence, he meshed well with the Capitals after arriving via trade from Columbus last December. He has the ability to grind and lead a strong forecheck.

Marcus Johansson

Center, No. 90
Age: 20
Ht: 6-0
Wt: 197
Years: 0
Goals: 10
Assists: 10
Points: 20
The smooth skater could make a rapid rise up the depth chart and challenge for the significant ice time. (Statistics are from the 42 games he played with his Swedish team.)

Eric Fehr

Right wing, No. 16
Age: 25
Ht: 6-4
Wt: 218
Years: 5
Goals: 21
Assists: 18
Points: 39
+/-: +18
A regular contributor at even strength, he hopes to continue his upward progression in point production and increase his impact on the power play.
FOURTH LINE VITALS 2009-10 OUTLOOK

Boyd Gordon

Right wing/center, No. 15
Age: 26
Ht: 6-1
Wt: 201
Years: 6
Goals: 4
Assists: 6
Points: 10
+/-: +4
Plagued by muscle problems in his back, he appeared in only 36 games last season. In his limited action, the longest-tenured Capital won 61 percent of his draws.

David Steckel

Center, No. 39
Age: 28
Ht: 6-5
Wt: 218
Years: 5
Goals: 5
Assists: 11
Points: 16
+/-: +4
The faceoff specialist finished second in the league among qualifying players, winning 59.2 percent of his draws. He logged the most short-handed minutes of any forward on the team.

Matt Bradley

Left/right wing, No. 10
Age: 32
Ht: 6-3
Wt: 200
Years: 9
Goals: 10
Assists: 14
Points: 24
+/-: +6
The fan favorite posted career highs in goals and assists in just 11 minutes per game. A mainstay on the penalty kill, he will be an unrestricted free agent at season's end.
OTHER FORWARDS VITALS 2009-10 OUTLOOK

D.J. King

Left wing, No. 17
Age: 26
Ht: 6-3
Wt: 233
Years: 4
Goals: 0
Assists: 0
Points: 0
+/-: -4
Healthy after shoulder and hand injuries limited him to just 13 games the past two seasons, the bona fide heavyweight instantly adds extra toughness.

Matt Hendricks

Center, No. 26
Age: 29
Ht: 6-0
Wt: 208
Years: 2
Goals: 9
Assists: 7
Points: 16
+/-: +1
He played his way onto the roster after arriving at training camp on a professional tryout. Has experience at all three forward positions and adds grit to the lineup.
FIRST DEFENSIVE PAIRING VITALS 2009-10 OUTLOOK

Jeff Schultz

No. 55
Age: 24
Ht: 6-6
Wt: 232
Years: 4
Goals: 3
Assists: 20
Points: 23
+/-: +50
The towering Schultz notched a career high in points and led the league in plus/minus while solidifying his place as a top-four defenseman. Also led the team in blocked shots with 129.

Mike Green

No. 52
Age: 24
Ht: 6-1
Wt: 205
Years: 5
Goals: 19
Assists: 57
Points: 76
+/-: +39
Led all NHL defensemen in goals and points for the second straight season and finished as runner-up for the Norris Trophy, but once again struggled in the playoffs.
SECOND DEFENSIVE PAIRING VITALS 2009-10 OUTLOOK

Tom Poti

No. 3
Age: 33
Ht: 6-3
Wt: 198
Years: 11
Goals: 4
Assists: 20
Points: 24
+/-: +26
The team's short-handed ice-time leader anchors an otherwise young defensive corps. He has fully recovered from the gruesome eye injury he suffered in last year's playoffs.

John Carlson

No. 74
Age: 20
Ht: 6-3
Wt: 211
Years: 1
Goals: 1
Assists: 5
Points: 6
+/-: +11
Likely a Capitals defensive cornerstone for the foreseeable future, he thrived in his first taste of the Stanley Cup playoffs. His uncanny instincts should ease his transition to the NHL.
THIRD DEFENSIVE PAIRING VITALS 2009-10 OUTLOOK

Karl Alzner

No. 27
Age: 22
Ht: 6-3
Wt: 215
Years: 2
Goals: 0
Assists: 5
Points: 5
+/-: -2
After bouncing between Washington and Hershey the past two years, the stay-at-home defenseman has an opportunity to find his comfort level as an NHL regular.

John Erskine

No. 4
Age: 30
Ht: 6-4
Wt: 224
Years: 8
Goals: 1
Assists: 5
Points: 6
+/-: +16
The rugged role player did not suit up in any playoff games this past spring and will be an unrestricted free agent after this season. He has worked on his strength and skating ability.
OTHER DEFENSEMAN VITALS 2009-10 OUTLOOK

Tyler Sloan

No. 89
Age: 29
Ht: 6-4
Wt: 214
Years: 2
Goals: 2
Assists: 4
Points: 6
+/-: -1
After appearing in 40 NHL games last season, the workmanlike player hopes to show he can be a regular contributor for a team carrying seven defensemen instead of eight.
GOALTENDERS VITALS 2009-10 OUTLOOK

Semyon Varlamov

No. 1
Age: 22
Ht: 6-2
Wt: 207
Years: 2
Rec.: 15-4-6
GAA: 2.55
Save Pct.: .909
Sidetracked by an undisclosed injury, the projected starter went on injured reserve but is expected to return quickly. Dany Sabourin likely will be a backup in the meantime.

Michal Neuvirth

No. 30
Age: 22
Ht: 6-1
Wt: 203
Years: 2
Rec.: 9-4-0
GAA: 2.75
Save Pct.: .914
After becoming the first goaltender to win back-to-back Calder Cup championships since the late 1970s, the technically sound Czech wants more than a backup role in the NHL.
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