WASHINGTON — Capitals forward Curtis Glencross admits that he had some anxious moments as he took the ice Monday morning for his first practice with his new team.
“It was weird,” said Glencross after a 60-minute on-ice session. “During the first drill I was actually a little nervous. You know everyone’s eyes are on you, and that everyone is watching you, checking you out for the first time.
“But after that, things went well and we were rolling and joking around with all the guys. So that was a practice where I had a grin on my face probably the whole time.”
Glencross was acquired from the Calgary Flames on Sunday for Washington’s second- and third-round draft picks in the 2015 NHL Draft. He is expected to make his Capitals debut Tuesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets (7 p.m., WFED 1500AM) where he will slot in as the second-line left winger alongside Evgeny Kuznetsov and Troy Brouwer.
“I felt we’ve had trouble with some matchups with our second line,” said general manager Brian MacLellan. “We needed better, tougher matchups to protect Kuzy a little bit. We needed a winger that could play offense [and] defense, and have a little physical aspect to his game. I think we found the perfect guy for that … I think that line will be a little more well-rounded than it has been.”
Glencross had nine goals and 28 points in 53 games with the Flames this season and is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. He joins the Capitals after spending parts of seven seasons in Calgary.
“I played a couple years against him in the (Western Conference), so I know what type of player he is,” Brouwer, a former Chicago Blackhawk, said of Glencross. “He’s got that capability to score 20 goals, 30 goals. He’s got some good grit to him. He works hard. He’s an honest player, and I think he’s a real smart hockey player as well. He reads the time in the game. He knows the situation of the games, and that’s the type of player we were looking for, and we were able to get him.”
Glencross acknowledged not knowing too much about his new linemates, but remembered facing Brouwer during the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
“We have the same style of game,” Glencross said. “I think we can definitely benefit off each other. And with Kuzy in the middle, he’s very skilled and a good puck distributor, so hopefully the two of us can clear some ice and open some space up for him.”
Brouwer (18 goals and 33 points in 64 games) and Kuznetsov (six goals and 24 points in 62 games) have been linemates for much of the season, with a rotation of players — including Marcus Johansson, Andre Burakovsky and Jason Chimera — slotting in on the left side.
“I think he gives [the line] a little more weight,” head coach said Barry Trotz of Glencross. “He can get some pucks out of the corners; he’s more of a determined player, if you will, where he will gut it out and get to those hard areas, and I think with Kuzy and Brow, he’ll be a good complement.”
Catch the Capitals and Columbus Blue Jackets Tuesday at 7 p.m. on WFED 1500AM and online at www.wfed.com. Coverage begins with Caps Pregame at 6:45 p.m.