- The Washington Times - Monday, June 16, 2014

The Capitals promoted Ross Mahoney to assistant general manager on Monday.

Mahoney has spent the past 16 seasons as Washington’s director of amateur scouting, running the franchise’s NHL draft process. He will continue to work with new general manager Brian MacLellan, who was promoted in May to replace George McPhee.

“I’ve built a relationship with Ross over the past 12, 13 years. Obviously, there’s a comfort level, a level of trust between us,” MacLellan said. “We get along really well, we see the game and the players the same way. That was a big factor in the decision. And his performance – he’s done a great job at the amateur level.”

MacLellan said Washington would not use a compliance buyout on any of his players this summer. The Caps could use it to escape contract commitments to defenseman Mike Green (one year, $6.25 million) or Brooks Laich (three years, $12.5 million), among others, if they wanted. That won’t happen now.

“I don’t think it would make sense for any of our players if we pursued that path,” MacLellan said.

Washington has about $14 million in salary space open for next season, according to the web site CapGeek.com. MacLellan said the team is still negotiating with the agent for veteran second-line center Mikhail Grabovski, who becomes an unrestricted free agent next month, but that it could also use Laich, Marcus Johansson or top prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov in that role, if necessary.

Johansson primarily played on the wing under former coach Adam Oates and Kuznetsov, a natural center, was used at that spot upon arrival in the NHL in March. He appeared in 17 games to end the season after finishing his contract in Russia with a KHL team. A nagging groin injury has limited Laich to 60 games total the past two seasons. He had surgery in March, but is expected to be ready for training camp.

MacLellan would only say the organization is still “in discussions” with goaltender coach Mitch Korn, who worked previously with new Washington head coach Barry Trotz in Nashville.

Olie Kolzig, the current goalie coach, has asked for a new role with the Caps to spend more time with his family, MacLellan said. He hopes Kolzig will remain with the organization.

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