According to the always reliable “sk84fun_dc” of HFBoards, two undrafted KHL players are participating in Capitals Development Camp this week. Kristaps Sotnieks and Nauris Enkuzens are both Latvians, and both play for Dynamo Riga, one of the most hardworking teams in the KHL. Dynamo Riga is known for their business savvy, seldom overpaying for players like other KHL teams do. Our very own goaltending coach Arturs Irbe spent several seasons with Dynamo as goalie, which seems to imply that he’s the matchmaker here.
Day 1 (View All Of Addison’s Photos)
Walking into Kettler Capitals Iceplex this morning, a chill flickered across my skin as I admired the clean sheet of ice that stretched in front of me; not only because the rink was 30-plus degrees cooler than the humid July air outside, but also because of the fresh start that this development camp represented. After the crushing first-round defeat in the 2010 playoffs that sent the Caps home early, development camp is the first milestone on the path to the 2010-2011 season. It seemed many other people had the same idea. During both sessions, there was a good number of spectators in the stands – probably 75 or so – definitely a good turnout for a weekday.
The goosebumps on my arms were complimented by butterflies in my stomach – as a rookie journalist, today I would be passing through the heavy metal gate separating players and press from the general public on the back side of the practice rink. After meeting the Caps PR staff and receiving my press pass, my nervousness abated somewhat, until about a minute later, when I walked into the press room and found myself surrounded by Tarik El-Bashir, Mike Vogel, Brett Leonhardt, Corey Masisak, Dan Steinberg, and all the other big name journalists who cover the Capitals.