Season 8 profile: Edinburgh Capitals

pro Edinburgh

Farm Club – Glasgow (Scotland) Claymores GlasgowClaymores

GM: John Charles  (3rd GM in team’s history)

Coach: Bob Hartley (replaced Randy Carlyle before Season 6, who replaced Lindy Ruff)

 Last season: 22nd overall, out of the playoffs

Ins and Outs (Season 7 to Season 8)

Out: Alexander Sulzer (free agent), Pierre-Marc Bouchard (free agent)

In: Mathieu Perreault (free agent), Nolan Patrick (draft), Shane Bowers (draft), Shea Theodore)

In Place (Key players signed past Season 8)

Jamie Benn, LW; Sidney Crosby, C; Jakub Kovar, G; Gurkan Cetinkaya, D; Sam Reinhart, RW;




Three Questions

1. What should the Capitals be worried about? Puck possession. If they can get the little black thing to teammates more and opponents less, then they can fix the disturbing trend that is developing in shots per game and shots allowed per game. Edinburgh was 23rd in the league in both averages in Season 7. The Caps are relatively young and they will make mistakes. Young Sam Reinhart was a big part of the team last season and unfortunately he was also a big part of the problem. Given the plum assignment of working with Jamie Benn and Sidney Crosby up front, Reinhart produced a lot of points – 62 to be exact – along with an impressive 220 shots on goal. But he was not careful with the puck and that meant Edinburgh’s defensemen often found themselves in scramble mode. Reinhart recorded 112 giveaways to only 57 takeaways. Fellow youngsters Casey Cizikas and Adam Larsson turned over the puck 70 times each. The younger Capitals will get more responsible with time, but Coach Bob Hartley needs to find a way to improve puck possession or many games will be a struggle for Edinburgh’s goalies and defensemen.

2. What was with Jamie Benn last season? Benn is one of the very best players in the league, but he started off very slowly in Season 7. Perhaps he had a medical issue or an injury no one on the team disclosed, but surprisingly, he was nowhere near the league leaders in scoring and only third on his team in scoring at the all-star break – and he was minus 23 at the time. By the time Benn returned to form, the Caps were basically playing out the season. Benn improved markedly in the second half, General Manager John Charles noticed, and the two agreed to a long-term contract that will keep the three-time all-star in Scotland for at least three more seasons. Coach Hartley would love for his younger forwards to watch how Benn plays the game, because he has been the epitome of puck possession. He has never recorded a season with a negative turnover ratio and last season he was great in that department, with 99 takeaways and only 54 giveaways. He finished with 69 points, which paled in comparison to Crosby’s 90, but again, he started slowly. In 7 seasons, Benn has scored between 26 and 29 goals every year, and for some reason, his lowest point totals have come with Crosby as his center. Jamie Benn is Jamie Benn and Sidney Crosby is Sidney Crosby. It’s a pretty safe bet they won’t have another sub-standard season.

3. What are the team’s strengths? Edinburgh has a few, in addition to Benn and Crosby. The signing of free agent center Mathieu Perreault gives Hartley a solid second-line center and that has a positive domino effect down the lineup. That one signing – Charles’ lone off-sesaon transaction – will do a lot for the team. Generally, Edinburgh is a good mix of player types and styles. They could probably use a bit more beef up front, but they can skate well and all their forwards can shoot the puck once they get the chance. They also have – as stated earlier – youth, which means potential, which means a brighter future. But what could turn out to be their prize possessions are their two 24-year-old goalies – Jakub Kovar and Luka Gracnar. Both were very astute draft picks. Kovar, a Czech, was drafted in Round 2 of the Season 2 draft and Gracnar, a Slovenian, was a third-rounder in Season 5. The young netminders are best of friends and they work well together. For the last two seasons, Kovar has been the main starter and Gracnar has played about every third game. Kovar’s save percentage in that time is just under 90 percent, while Gracnar’s is exactly 90.0. Not many teams can boast two goalies with save percentages like that and they should get better and better every season. If Charles can keep both on the team until they reach their prime, then the Edinburgh boys will be well-known and admired throughout the league and Scotland will host a lot of playoff games.


Season                 Place        PTS        PP %      PK %      SPG     SAPG     GPG     GAPG    PIM

Season 7               22            66          14.8        79.9     25.82       33.50     2.59    3.44    7.68

Season 6               20           71            11.3        84.3    27.73       32.60     2.78    3.40    8.95

Season 5                14           85           19.2       83.1     29.62       31.85       3.23     3.40   8.79

Season 4               5             107          20.3       82.4       32.22      29.05    3.77     3.02    9.98

Season 3              13             83           15.7       81.3       30.16      28.44     3.44    3.51    10.66

Season 2              12             93           17.8        82.3      30.05     27.26    3.51    3.43    12.13

Season 1              12             90           15.2       80.8        29.84    29.06     3.11    3.13    9.11

Top Draft picks

Season 1: Henrik Lundqvist, G, current age 36. Games played: 464; save pct. 91.0

Season 2: Gurkan Cetinkaya, D, age 26. GP 378, Pts 111,  -8

Season 3: Casey Cizikas, C, age 26.   GP 179, Points 47, +4

Season 4: Sam Reinhart, C/RW, age 22. GP 123, Points 88, -65

Season 5: Alexander Kerfoot, RW, age 25. GP 207, Points 54, +13

Season 6: Mike Hoffman, LW, age 27. GP 162, Points 62, -23

Season 7: Jess Puljujarvi, RW, Age 19.

Season 8: Nolan Patrick, C, age 18.

Trade History

Season 1 (picks without years listed are from initial draft)

Traded Round 3 pick (used to draft Daniel Sedin) and Round 5 pick (Ray Whitney) to Bern for Round 2 pick (Derek Stepan)

Traded Round 15 pick (Evgeny Kuznetsov) to Bern for Dan Winnick

Traded Nick Bjugstad to Minsk for Matt Hunwick, for Round 25 pick (Daniel Paille) and another Round 25 pick (Alexei Emelin)

Traded Round 21 pick (David Moss) to Bratislava for David Steckel

Traded 2013 Round 2 pick (Gerhard Unterluggauer) to Milan for Andrew Cogliano

Traded Artem Anisimov, Blake Wheeler and Marc-Eduoard Vlasic to St. Petersburg for James Neal, Andrei Kostitsyn and Karl Alzner

Traded Henrik Lundqvist to Helsinki for John Tavares, Ilya Bryzgalov, 2013 Round 2 pick (Jakub Kovar) and $5 million

Traded David Steckel and 2013 Round 3 pick (Jamie Oleksiak) to St. Petersburg for Kyle Wellwood

Season 2 – None

Season 3 – None

Traded James Neal and Oliver Ekman-Larsson to Belfast for Tony Martensson, Olivier Roland, Ondrej Pavelec and Adam Larsson

Traded Ondrej Pavelec, 2016 Round 1 pick (Simon Hjalmarsson), 2017 Round 2 pick to Geneva for Kari Lehtonen

Traded Derek Stepan, Dan Winnick, Chris Stewart and Francois Beauchemin to Madrid for Rick Nash, Braydon Coburn, Fedor Tyutin and Patrick O’Sullivan

Season 4

Traded John Tavares to Lisbon for Claude Giroux

Traded 2017 Round 3 pick (Niklas Svedberg) to Berlin for 2016 Round 2 pick (Marc Peninou (named changed to Alexander Kerfoot))

Traded Tony Martensson to Berlin for Matt Read

Traded 2018 Round 2 pick (Radek Faksa) to Copenhagen for Martin Thornberg

Moves After Season 5 started

  • Claimed Bryan Bickell (waivers)
  • Signed Alexander Sulzer (free agent)
  • Signed Mike Cammalleri (free agent)
  • Claimed Nino Niedereitter (waivers)
  • Signed Grant Clitsome (free agent)
  • Signed Andy Sertich (free agent)

Season 6

After Season 6 started: Traded Claude Giroux to Belfast for Sidney Crosby, Mikko Rantanen, 2018 Round 1 pick (Jake Bean) and 2018 Round 2 pick (Andreas Athanasiou)

Traded Olivier Roland and 2018 Round 3 pick to Minsk for Kevin Hayes, 2018 Round 2 pick and 2019 Round 2 pick (Brandon Davidson)

Season 7

Traded Brandon Dubinsky to Copenhagen for Josh Holden and 2018 Round 2 pick (Brett Pesce)

Claimed David Savard (waivers)

After season started: Signed Thomas Vanek (free agent)

Season 8



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