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2005-06 Finish: 29-41-12, 14th East
General Manager: George McPhee (9th Season)
Head Coach: Glen Hanlon (3rd Season)
2005-06 Goals For: 237
2005-06 Goals Against: 306
2005-06 Power Play: 14.7% (26th)
2005-06 Penalty Killing: 78.9% (28th)
Points Leader: Alexander Ovechkin (106)
Goals Leader: Alexander Ovechkin (52)
Assists Leader: Alexander Ovechkin (54)

Offseason Moves: Signed defenceman Brian Pothier, who had been with the Ottawa Senators, to a four-year contract; acquired right wing Richard Zednik from the Montreal Canadiens for a 2007 third-round pick; signed left wing Donald Brashear, who had been with the Philadelphia Flyers; signed defenceman John Erskine, who had been with the New York Islanders; signed defenceman Timo Helbling, who had been with the Tampa Bay Lightning; signed left wing Chad Wiseman, who had been with the New York Rangers; signed left wing Alexandre Giroux, who had been with the New York Rangers; signed left wing Quintin Laing, who had been with the Chicago Blackhawks; signed left wing Pete Vandermeer, who had been with the Montreal Canadiens; signed defenceman Trevor Byrne, who had been with the St. Louis Blues.

Goaltending: Olaf Kolzig signed a two-year contract extension with the Capitals in February, and it looks like he will be playing the rest of his career in the U.S. capital. The team maintains that it did not sign the veteran netminder to end up trading him. If that's true, he certainly has his work cut out for him after churning out his worst numbers as a starting goaltender (3.52 GAA, .896 save percentage). Brent Johnson is penciled in as the No. 2 man, and it doesn't look like the team has a bonafide goaltending prospect to challenge either veteran - yet. The Caps first-round pick in 2006, Semen Varlamov, is still a couple of seasons away from getting a serious look.

Defence: There are no star names on Washington's blueline, with free agent Brian Pothier joining Jamie Heward, Shaone Morrisson, Bryan Muir and Steve Eminger in the back end. The Capitals are in desparate need of experienced physical defencemen, especially after losing a towering presence in Mathieu Biron. Timo Helbling is an acquisition with great size (6-3 and 209 pounds) and a good two-way game, and could take a full time spot with the team this season. John Erskine, who was acquired at the start of camp, will certainly help as well. If Washington's defence corps can't handle opposing forwards, Kolzig and Johnson are simply in for some long nights.

Forwards: Calder Trophy winner Alexander Ovechkin scored more than twice as many points (106) as the team's second-leading scorer, Dainius Zubrus (57). Needless to say, Alex the GR8 is in dire need of offensive support this year. After Zubrus, there isn't a whole lot of scoring punch at centre with Brian Sutherby, Brooks Laich and Kris Beech down the middle. Losing Jeff Halpern to free agency was also a hit to the depth chart. On the wing, the Capitals will certainly benefit with the return of prodigal son Alexander Semin, while veteran winger Richard Zednik should improve after a lacklustre season in Montreal. Anyone wanting to mess with Ovechkin and company may want to think twice with Donald Brashear joining the squad.

Welcome to the NHL: Blueline prospect Mike Green played a handful of games for the Capitals last season before being sent to the AHL for more seasoning. After a successful season in Hershey that saw him tally 43 points in 56 games, he may be ready for a full-time role in D.C. More importantly, he also uses his 6-1, 200-pound frame effectively, especially in front of his own net. As mentioned above, the team needs a physical presence in their own end.
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