New Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan addressed a wide range of topics today in a conference call with reporters. Here are some highlights:
On a new goalie coach: Mitch Korn is expected to join the Caps as their goaltending instructor, but MacLellan said current goalie coach Olie Kolzig has expressed an interest in spending more time with his family in Florida and the Caps are discussing ways to balance his obligations to the Caps and his family.
On compliance buyouts: MacLellan says the Caps have no plans to buy out any players on their current roster. “I don’t think it would make sense,” he said.
On the Caps’ goaltending situation: MacLellan says he’d like to go with Braden Holtby as his No. 1 goalie and add a veteran backup either through a trade or free agency. He’d prefer to see Philipp Grubauer develop in Hershey as the No. 3 goalie in the organization.
On free agency: MacLellan says there are “a couple guys” they’d like to pursue up to a certain point, but would not “get ridiculous” on their offers.
On filling the hole at No. 2 center: MacLellan says the Caps are still in talks with soon-to-be UFA Mikhail Grabovski, but is concerned about overspending. Grabovski reportedly is seeking $5 million a season. MacLellan says he’d like to explore Evgeny Kuznetsov as the Caps’ No. 2 center. “We’re going to have to develop one of our young guys to play second-line center,” he said. “I think it’s hard to add in free agency.”
On trade talk surrounding defenseman Mike Green: MacLellan says it’s the Caps’ priority to get Green “on track” and that there were circumstances that hindered his performance last season. “I guess I’m open to trading anybody,” he said, “but as of right now I think we’d like to bring Mike Green back.”
On obtaining a high-end defenseman: MacLellan says he would be aggressive in his attempt to land a top defenseman through a trade or free agency.
On drafting at No. 13: MacLellan says that if there is an opportunity to move up a couple spots to draft a defenseman or center he’ll do it, saying he places more weight on those two positions than any others.
RFA update: MacLellan says the Caps are in negotiations with their top three restricted free agents -- defensemen Nate Schmidt and Cam Schilling and center Michael Latta – and that he hopes to re-sign all of them.