Strom, 25, is a Chicago team that chose to rebuild with younger players and new faces. Brown, 28, is ready to play with a rival again.
“When a team kind of walks away from you, and they don’t concede to you for nothing, you obviously have a little chip on your shoulder and you want to prove they made a mistake,” Strom said on Friday. “…I’m excited to be in Washington and it’s been an interesting process for this free agency but I’m happy to get it done.”
Regarding his role at Washington, Brown said: “I’ve been there long enough that everyone understands what I am and understands what I am as a player. For me, it’s just about helping the team win. I do everything I can to help the team win and get bigger. as productive as possible.
Strom and Brown are expected to make an immediate impact this season, filling holes in Washington’s squad after injuries Tom Wilson and Niklas Backstrom. Wilson, who is recovering from ACL surgery, is expected to return in December. There is no timeline for Backstrom, who is recovering from hip surgery.
Niklas Backstrom ‘optimistic’ about a comeback, but Caps’ injury remains
During the first rush to the Capitals training camp on Friday, Brown rushed as a right winger at the top line, alongside Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov. Wilson skated on the line with Ovechkin over the past few years as he began to establish himself as an offensive weapon.
There is usually a learning curve when playing on a streak with Ovechkin – which many players have noticed over the years – but Brown said the initial transition went smoothly. Capitals coach Peter Laviollette said Brown will be tried in various places of the squad and Friday’s streak rush was “just a starting point”.
“His speed, his tenacity, the way he chases the pirate out there, he has a good skill level,” Laviolette said of Brown. “He brings a lot on the table. So it’s just a first practice and we’ll move the lines a little bit as the training camp goes on, but he’s the guy who I feel can deliver some things in different locations.”
Brown, who had 10 goals and 29 assists with the senators last year, said he is still learning the Washington system but is confident it will soon become second nature. Brown would also be a focal point of capital punishment, as he excelled with Senators. Washington is already without Wilson on the death sentence, plus Carl Hagelin, who is out indefinitely because Treats lower body injury and eye injury.
Strom charged on Friday as the left winger in the team’s second line, along with Conor McMichael and Anthony Mantha. Strom played wing and center in Chicago and Washington will try him in both positions during training camp.
“I feel comfortable in both places,” Strom said. “And it was fun to be with these two guys (Mantha and McMichael). I played with Mantha a little bit in the World Championships and he’s a nice dynamic player, so it’s fun to play with him and then watch McMichael, he’s very skilled.”
Svrluga: Nicklas Backstrom needs to know he doesn’t owe anything to anyone
Strom’s opening night position will also depend on the play of McMichael and Lars Eller, as Washington decides who will take over Backstrom as the team’s second line center. Among the candidates are Strom, McMichael and Eller.
The Capitals coaching staff prefers McMichael in the center but is open to trying him again on the wing, where he spent some time last season. If McMichael wins the second line position in the center during training camp, Friday’s first line will likely be the capitals’ opening evening squad on October 12.
“I think everyone is open minded here,” Capitals General Manager Brian MacLellan said of who could replace Backstrom. “I think Lars [Eller] It can also go up. Strom could play there. McMichael could play there. I think the technical staff, all the discussions we had were open. If someone catches it and takes it, we’re open to keeping it that way.”