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Trotz plans to let Johansson, Kuznetsov, and Burakovsky compete for time at center

Jul 29, 2014, 11:04 AM EDT

BarryTrotz Getty Images

Good interview here with new Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz, by NHL.com’s Dan Rosen.

The first part of the interview focuses on Alex Ovechkin and how Trotz plans to make the face of the franchise more “accountable”; however, since we’ve already written plenty on that topic, let’s turn our attention to Trotz’s comments on the all-important center position.

After Nicklas Backstrom, who will obviously play the middle, it sounds like Trotz wants Marcus Johansson and one of either Evgeny Kuznetsov or Andre Burakovsky to center the second and third lines.

“I’m going to let them play it out,” said Trotz. “We’re going to try to get the best three up the middle in terms of the people who are really good at distributing the puck and making things happen from the middle of the ice. After those three I think the fourth line will probably have a little more definition, probably more bite to it.”

The Caps, of course, lost one of their centers from 2013-14 to free agency, with Mikhail Grabovski moving to Long Island.

Washington has another potential top-nine center in veteran Brooks Laich, but Trotz suggested that the 31-year-old was likely destined for the wing.

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