Alex Ovechkin credits coach Adam Oates with his successful turnaround during the 2013 campaign.
"Right now I can tell to work with him, it was probably one of the biggest reason to my success this year," Ovechkin said. He was still productive in his previous two seasons, but his star among the NHL's elite players had been waning a bit. After a sluggish start to the lockout-shortened season, he emerged as a top-tier player again while recording 32 goals and 56 points in 48 games.
Braden Holtby didn't let a shaky start to the 2013 campaign derail his confidence and at the end of the year he emerged as a solid option between the pipes and the team's undisputed starter.
He posted a 23-12-1 record, a 2.58 goals-against average, a .920 save percentage and four shutouts in 36 games. "If you're not improving every year, you're doing something wrong," said Holtby. "It was nice to get sort of a full season in, and every little experience can help if you use it the right way." He brought some stability to Washington's crease for the first time in a while and will likely be given the number one job again heading into next season.
Marcus Johansson will need a new contract this summer.
He is a pending restricted free agent and is coming off his entry-level deal. He skated alongside Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom on Washington's top line for most of the season and coach Adam Oates praised Johansson's play down the stretch. He should get a nice bump in salary, but he'll probably have to prove himself further before he earns a substantial contract.
Karl Alzner is a restricted free agent this summer.
He made $1.27 million last season and carried a cap hit of $1,285,000. The steady, 24-year-old defenseman will no doubt be getting a raise and given his importance to the team it will probably be a long-term deal.
Matt Hendricks will get offers from other teams if the Washington Capitals don't sign him to an extension before free agency opens on July 5.
He can play left wing and center, take faceoffs, block shots, hit and work on the penalty kill. "I think I've established myself more in this league," Hendricks said. "Proved I can play throughout the lineup ' special teams, penalty kill, things like that. I'm pretty good at faceoffs. I think I'm just more of an established player at this level." Washington GM George McPhee praised Hendricks for his work, but it's unclear if the team wants to commit to the longer term deal that he is reportedly seeking. Hendricks hopes to be back with the Capitals though and several of his teammates want that to happen as well.
Wojtek Wolski has signed with Torpedo Nizhni Novgorod of the KHL.
He wasn't utilized much by the Washington Capitals during the lockout-shortened season and was set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Wolski produced four goals and five assists in 27 games with the Caps.
Matt Hendricks' teammates are hoping the Capitals re-sign him.
Hendricks is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after completing his two-year/$1.65 million contract. "There's always changeover from year to year, but he's one of those guys you're not going to replace," Jason Chimera said. "It's not an easy job to go out there and fight guys twice his size. He sticks up for guys on the team and brings energy when no one else has it." Hendricks had eight points, 73 penalty minutes, and 93 hits in 48 games this season.