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Trotz introduced Shattenkirk to Caps by showing video of his fight with Williams

Trotz introduced Shattenkirk to Caps by showing video of his fight with Williams

Teams have different ways of welcoming new players. Some players have to sing, others have to give a speech, all in the name of breaking the ice with their new teammates.

So what did Barry Trotz do for Kevin Shattenkirk’s first practice with the team? He showed the team a video of Shattenkirk's fight with Justin Williams.

“That was pretty funny,” Tom Wilson said on Thursday when asked about the video. “I had no idea that that even went down. I think they hugged it out in the weight room after that.”

While still a member of the St. Louis Blues, Shattenkirk dropped the gloves with Williams, then a member of the Los Angeles Kings, on Dec. 18, 2014.

You can see the fight here:

RELATED: Prediction recap: Caps outlast Flyers

Shattenkirk and Williams are seen jawing at one another before finally dropping the gloves. The fight ends once Shattenkirk loses his balance and both players fall to the ice.

Who was the winner? Voters on HockeyFights.com gives Williams the clear advantage, but there was no clear consensus from the team.

“I think it would have to go with a scorecard,” Trotz said. “I think it would be a split decision. I know [Williams] would say he won, but Shatty said [he] hit him with the first one and he fell forward on him.”

“I think Willy actually had the takedown,” Wilson said. “It was kind of short lived, it was probably pure emotion.”

But if you’re worried about whether there's any lingering animosity there,  don’t be. Both players have embraced the other as a teammate and that was on display in Saturday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Early in the first period, Shattenkirk laid a big hit on Flyers forward Nick Cousins. Brandon Manning didn't seem to appreciate the hit and he delivered a few shoves of his own to Shattenkirk.

That was all Williams needed to see.

The veteran winger immediately came to Shattenkirk’s defense by stepping in and shoving Manning away. Cousins grabbed him from behind, eventually leading to Williams dropping the gloves and delivering a few swings at Cousins who suddenly looked as if he wanted no part of Williams.

Coming to the defense of his teammate was a gesture that did not go unnoticed by Shattenkirk or the Caps.

“[Williams is] such a good leader and he recognized that there's people coming in there and he jumped right in and stood up for his teammate,” Trotz said after the game.

“For him to stick up for me especially with our little tussle that we had a few years ago, that's the type of guy he is,” Shattenkirk said. “That's why he's been in this league for so long, because he' such a great teammate and I hope he knows that I would do the same for him.”

MORE CAPITALS: Wilson puts his butt on the line for the Caps

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The 25 most important players for the Caps: No. 20 Taylor Chorney

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The 25 most important players for the Caps: No. 20 Taylor Chorney

Every player on an NHL team plays a role.

Some play bigger roles than others.

In the coming weeks, Tarik El-Bashir and JJ Regan will rank the 25 most important players in the Caps’ organization, from least to most important, weighing factors such as past production, future potential and intangibles. 

Today’s player: No. 20 Taylor Chorney.


One of the more interesting storylines during training camp is going to be the battle along the blue line and where everyone, particularly a veteran like Chorney, fits into the plan as the Caps skew a bit younger.

The top pair is easy to figure out; it’ll be Dmitry Orlov and Matt Niskanen.

After that, it gets a little more interesting.

John Carlson will be on the second pair, perhaps with Aaron Ness.

If that's how things shake out, it would make sense to have Brooks Orpik anchor the third pair, especially if the No. 6 spot goes to a rookie since they'd surely benefit from the steady hand of a soon-to-be 37-year-old.

But will that spot go to a youngster like Christian Djoos, Madison Bowey or someone else? 

Or will it go to Chorney, a 30-year-old who's appeared in 141 NHL games spread over eight seasons for four clubs?

The Caps anticipate that Djoos and Bowey are closer to being NHL-ready than their other defenseman prospects.

Djoos lit up the AHL last season to the tune of 58 points in 66 games and the team needs to replace some offense. Bowey, meanwhile, has the look of a promising two-way defenseman.

But here’s the drawback—and where Chorney, in my opinion, fits into the equation.

Neither Djoos nor Bowey have done it yet. And until they do, no one can be 100-percent sure they’re completely ready to handle the everyday duties that the NHL demands. 

Chorney, to that end, has a significant advantage in experience, at a position where it matters a lot. He appeared in 18 games last season and a career-high 55 games the year before, also with the Caps. 

The bottom line: I suspect Chorney, who is entering the final year of his contract, will open camp penciled in as the team’s No. 6/7.

I also expect that he'll play a decent amount this season, maybe more than last year but perhaps less than 2015-16. I could even see him in the opening night lineup. Eventually, though, the Caps will want to see Djoos, Bowey or another youngster squeeze their way past Chorney and into the lineup full-time.        

Check out the full list of the Caps most important players as it comes out here and check out previous player profiles below.

— No. 25 Aaron Ness
— No. 24 Chandler Stephenson
— No. 23 Riley Barber
— No. 22 Pheonix Copley
No. 21 Devante Smith-Pelly

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What Caps prospect Jonas Siegenthaler is doing to show he's ready for roster spot

What Caps prospect Jonas Siegenthaler is doing to show he's ready for roster spot

Jonas Siegenthaler joined the Capitals' informal practices on Monday morning in an effort to get a head start on what figures to be a critical couple of months for the 20-year-old.

When training camp opens in mid-September, he'll be one of a handful of bubble players and prospects battling for two openings on Washington's blue line, if you count the spare. Even for those who don’t make the cut out of camp, it’s a chance to establish their spot in the pecking order for early-season call-ups.

Siegenthaler says he’s ready and looking forward to the competition.

“You work hard even more in the summer if you know [there are jobs available],” he said at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. “And, obviously, every young guy knows that. I think every guy will get in great shape and do everything for the spot. And at the end, the better one will get a spot.”

“It’s going to be a hard battle,” the 2015 second-rounder added, “and I’m excited to accept that challenge.”

RELATED: Previewing the 2017-18 Metro Division

Siegenthaler is the first of the young defensemen to join the Caps’ informal offseason skates, having arrived from Zurich a few days ago. He wanted to get here early for a couple of reasons: to work out at the team’s top-notch facility and to show everyone how serious he is about earning a spot next month. A year ago, Siegenthaler did not get the chance to play in a preseason game.

“It’s a great opportunity to train here with Nemo,” Siegenthaler said, referring to Washington’s strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish. “I can get used to it and be more ready for camp. I’m trying everything to set my goals high — that’s why I’m here.”

He continued: “I want to show them that I want to play here. I think’s a pretty good sign. I think I’m ready.”

Coach Barry Trotz and his assistants, of course, will ultimately determine whether he’s ready — or at least how close he is to being ready based on camp and the preseason.

Siegenthaler, a left shot who is listed by the Caps at 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, said he worked diligently with his personal off-ice coach in Switzerland this summer to improve his explosiveness. He also said he focused on building more upper body strength — another area the staff asked him to address following a solid showing at development camp in June.

“My skating, especially my quickness — it was my weakness over years and years,” Siegenthaler said. “I’m still working on it. You never can get to 100 percent, but you want the highest percentage [possible]. I will be working on quickness my whole career. I think that’s normal. I see improvements right now, and I hope I can improve more [before] camp and over the season.”

Another area where Trotz and company will want to see improvement from Siegenthaler will be his comfort level on smaller North American rink. It takes time, and he’s appeared in just 18 regular season and playoff games for the Bears over the past two seasons.

“It’s another game from Europe,” he said. “In Switzerland, the rink was bigger and you have more time. I need to get in my mind that you can’t always look for a beautiful [outlet] pass, or good pass. Sometimes it’s got to be a chip out with the boards.”

If he’s got to work his way up the ladder, he indicated that he’s ready to do whatever it takes. That said, his focus over the few weeks is going to be a singular one: earning a spot on the Caps’ roster.

“Everything is going to happen quicker, so I got to be ready,” he said. “But I think I am. We’ll see at camp.”

MORE CAPITALS: Devante Smith-Pelly on the list of top 25 most important players