September 10, 2012: Comcast SportsNet to Televise 85 Wizards Games During 2012-13 Season

September 10, 2012: Comcast SportsNet to Televise 85 Wizards Games During 2012-13 Season

NETWORKS COVERAGE INCLUDESALL 82 REGULAR-SEASON GAMES AND 3 PRESEASON CONTESTS WIZARDSCENTRAL AND WIZARDS POSTGAME LIVERETURN THIS SEASONBethesda, Md. (Sept. 10, 2012) Comcast SportsNetMid-Atlantic, the regions leading source for multiplatform sports coverage,and the Washington Wizards have announced the teams 85-game regionaltelevision schedule for the 2012-13 NBA season. The networks schedule features all 82 regular-seasongames, three preseason contests and comprehensive pregame and postgame coveragewith Wizards Central and Wizards Postgame Live. Comcast SportsNets live coverage of the Wizards this seasonbegins with the teams preseason home opener against New York on Oct. 11 (7 p.m.) The networksregular-season schedule tips off with the Wizards opener Oct. 30 at Cleveland (7 p.m.)Comcast SportsNets live game coverage will be led byfour-time Emmy Award-winning play-by-play announcer Steve Buckhantz and veteran analyst Phil Chenier, who are entering their 16th seasontogether. Chris Miller, the networks Wizards TV beat reporter, returns as the courtsidereporter for home games. The network will again deliver extensivehalf-hour pregame and postgame shows surrounding Wizards games on ComcastSportsNet. Wizards Central and Wizards Postgame Live will featureanalysis from Ron Thompson, with Millerhosting for road games. Complete coverage of the team will also be featured onthe networks news and entertainment programs, including Geico SportsNet Central andSportsTalk Live, and across its digital platforms, highlighted byCSNwashington.com.Comcast SportsNets Wizards schedule this seasonincludes79 games on Comcast SportsNet and six games on Comcast SportsNetPlus. The networks full 85-game Wizards schedule will be available in HD toall cable and satellite providers throughout the region. For informationregarding Comcast SportsNet Plus HD carriage and channel location, check withyour provider or go to CSNwashington.com or CSNbaltimore.com.(See attachment for Comcast SportsNet 2012-13 Wizardstelevision schedule)CSN Wizards 2012-13 TV Schedule

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Continuing a trend, the Caps loaded up on defensemen Saturday

Continuing a trend, the Caps loaded up on defensemen Saturday

CHICAGO—The Capitals tried to move up a couple of times on Day 2 of the NHL Draft, but those deals did not materialize.

Instead, GM Brian MacLellan and his staff used the four picks they began the day with...and continued a trend the organization has established in recent drafts: selecting defensemen.

In fact, three of the players the Caps drafted Saturday at United Center were blue liners—Switzerland’s Tobias Geisser in the fourth round, Sweden’s Sebastian Walfridsson in the fifth and Minnesota high schooler Benton Maass in the sixth. (Winger Kristian Roykas-Marthinsen was the team’s seventh round pick.) Going back to last year's draft, Maass' selection marked five straight defensemen drafted by the Caps.

“It’s not a conscious effort,” MacLellan said of using three of the team’s four picks on defenseman. “The philosophy has been to take the best player available and our amateur staff liked these guys here today.”

Assistant General Manager Ross Mahoney added: “It comes down to taking the best player that was available to us, and there happened to be defensemen that we liked that were still on the board, so we took them.”

Conscious or not, the trend is tough to ignore.

Dating to the 2015 draft, the Capitals have chosen defensemen with nine of their 15 picks during that span. Among them are highly regarded prospects Lucas Johansen (first round in 2016), Jonas Siegenthaler (second round in 2015) and Connor Hobbs (fifth round in 2015). 

Mahoney acknowledged that have a surplus of blue liners in the pipeline can be a good problem to have.

“It is for sure,” he said. “Teams are always looking for defensemen. There’s no problem having extra defensemen in the farm system.”

Mahoney also said that as the game gets faster, finding and developing smart, puck-moving rearguards will become even more critical.

“You want your defensemen to be able to skate and have good sense and be able to make quick decisions because the game is so fast now,” he said. “The forwards get on the defense really quickly, so you want to make sure you get guys that can skate and move the puck well.”

None of the Caps’ draftees were in attendance. It was unclear as of Saturday afternoon if any of them will attend next week’s development camp at Arlington.

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Trotz: Re-signing Oshie was 'the highest priority' for the Caps

Trotz: Re-signing Oshie was 'the highest priority' for the Caps

CHICAGO—As excited as Barry Trotz was about retaining T.J. Oshie’s goal production, he was just as pleased to keep all the intangibles the 30-year-old brings to Washington's lineup. 

“For us, that was the highest priority,” Trotz said of re-signing Oshie. “Obviously, Osh means a lot to us.”

Earlier in the day, the Caps locked up the high-scoring winger to an eight-year, $46 million contract extension. 

“I think it sends a great message to not only our team [but] our fans,” Trotz said. “You see what Osh did the last two years. He’s a big part of our culture, a big part of our success.”

RELATED: Caps made 'a couple of good' offers but to keep Schmidt

Oshie has put up back-to-back career highs in goals, scoring 26 in 2015-16 and 33 last season. He’s also a lead-by-example type who plays bigger than his 6-foot, 189-pounds.

“He’s a guy that brings energy,” Trotz said. “He’s a guy that consistently brings a high compete level, a high execution level and a relentless attitude. That’s Osh.”

The Caps now have four of their top-6 forwards from last season under contract, with Oshie joining Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson. Restricted free agent Evgeny Kuznetsov, meantime, is expected to re-sign, while Andre Burakovsky figures to round out the top two lines. Burakovsky is also a restricted free agent.

“We knew we were going to lose some guys,” Trotz said. “We still feel we’re going to be a high-scoring team. Obviously Osh had a career year last year. We’re hoping that he can build on that and have other people step in and fill some roles.”

MORE CAPITALS: MacLellan: Caps likely done signing own UFAs