The Washington Capitals are keeping busy, as the team is gearing up for the 2021 Season. It was announced by the team recently that they have re-signed two players while also earning an award for the 2020 season as well.
Washington announced recently that they have re-signed forwards Brian Pinho and Daniel Spring to a two-year contract for both players. For Pinho, 25, he was able to make his NHL and Stanley Cup Playoff debut in Game 3 of the First Round against the New York Islanders on Aug. 16, becoming the fifth player in franchise history to make his debut in the playoffs (Tom Wilson, 2013; Trent Whitfield, 2000; Grant Jennings, 1988; Chris Felix, 1988).
This season, the 6’1″, 193-pound forward recorded 37 points (20g, 17a) in 62 games with the Hershey Bears, surpassing his 2018-19 total of 12 points (4g, 8a) within 31 games. The Beverly, Mass., native’s 20 goals were the second most on Hershey and he led the team in game winning goals (4) and shorthanded goals (3). Seventeen of Pinho’s 20 goals came at even strength, which tied for 11th in the AHL. Pinho was one of two Bears to play in all 62 games this season and posted the second highest plus/minus rating (16) on the team.
As for Sprong, the 5’11”, 191-pound forward recorded 33 points (12g, 21a) in 44 games between the San Diego Gulls and Hershey Bears in the AHL in 2019-20. The Amsterdam, Netherlands, native also recorded two points (1g, 1a) in eight games with Anaheim.
In his Hershey debut on Feb. 29 vs. the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, Sprong recorded three points (1g, 2a), including the game-winning goal. Sprong registered a point in four of his five games with Hershey.
In 97 career NHL games between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Anaheim, Sprong has 30 points (19g, 11a). Additionally, in 109 AHL games between the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, San Diego and Hershey, Sprong has 98 points (44g, 54a).
In addition to the re-signings the Capitals got a post season award, as alternate captain John Carlson was named to the NHL’s First All-Star Team, as voted by representatives of the Professional Hockey Writers Organization recently. This marks the first time Carlson has been named to the First Team in his career (in addition to one Second Team honor, 2018-19).
Carlson joins Mike Green (2008-09, 2009-10), Scott Stevens (1987-88) and Rod Langway (1982-83, 1983-84) as the only defensemen in franchise history to be named to the NHL’s First All-Star Team.
Carlson’s 75 points in 69 games (15g, 60a) led all defensemen this season, and his 1.09 points per game were the highest total by a defenseman since Ray Bourque, Al MacInnis and Sergei Zubov in the 1993-94 season. This season, Carlson was on pace for 89 points over an 82-game season. Only nine defensemen in NHL history have recorded 89 points in a season (Paul Coffey: eight times; Bobby Orr: six times; Bourque: four times; Denis Potvin: three times; MacInnis: twice; Phil Housley, Brian Leetch, Gary Suter and Zubov: each once). Carlson’s 89 points would have been the highest by a defenseman since Bourque and Zubov in 1993-94 (Bourque: 91 points; Zubov: 89 points).
Carlson’s 60 assists led all NHL defensemen and ranked fourth among all players in the NHL (Leon Draisaitl: 67; Connor McDavid: 63; Artemi Panarin: 63). Carlson is the first defenseman to rank fourth or better in the NHL in assists in a single season since Victor Hedman in 2016-17. He became the 10th defenseman since 1979-80 to record 60 assists within his first 67 games. Over the last twenty seasons, only three other defensemen have recorded at least 60 assists in a season (Nicklas Lidstrom, twice, 2005-06 and 2007-08: 64 and 60 assists, respectively; Erik Karlsson, 2015-16: 66 assists; Brent Burns, 2018-19: 67 assists). Carlson was on pace for 71 assists prior to the suspension of the season, which would have been the highest total by a defenseman since 1993-94.
Carlson led all defensemen in game-winning goals (6), two shy of the NHL record set by Oliver Ekman-Larsson in 2015-16. He ranked seventh in the NHL in time on ice (1,699:14) and led all defensemen in time on ice per shift (0:58).
There will be a ton more moves made and Awards to receive for the Capitals so fans are encouraged to stay tuned for more updates.
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