Evgeny Kuznetsov Gold Medal

Despite winning gold at the World Junior Championships and putting up one of the best years ever recorded by a 18-year-old in Russia, Capitals prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov spent most of last year playing through pain. The reason? A nagging shoulder injury that never completely healed after offseason surgery.

So Kuznetsov, who revealed to reporters in December that he struggled doing push-ups, flew back to Germany and went under the knife again in April. Thirteen and a half weeks later — with a renegotiated contract with Traktor and wife in hand – Kuznetsov seems optimistic of a full recovery.

Sport.ru’s Andrey Osadchenko recently spoke with the now 19-year-old and the two discussed a variety of topics. Most notably for Caps fans, Kuznetsov said that he has been looking at real estate in the D.C. area and plans to play for the Capitals in 2012-13.

Below, RMNB’s Igor Kleyner has your translation.

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All photos by Sweetest Hockey On Earth’s Kyle M.

On July 1st — the first day of Free Agency — the Capitals dealt 23-year-old Semyon Varlamov to the Colorado Avalanche for a first-round pick in the 2012 Entry Draft and a second-round selection in either 2012 or 2013. After weeks of speculation that pointed to Varly not returning to Washington and even potentially landing in the KHL, the Avalanche submitted an offer that General Manager George McPhee couldn’t refuse.

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The Lakers’ Kobe Bryant greets John Carlson before the match. (Photo credit: Chris Gordon)

As a member of the Washington Capitals, John Carlson is no stranger to lighthearted games of soccer, often playing along with his teammates to warmup before taking the ice.

But on Sunday, he joined in a pick-up match with meaning, participating in the Mia Hamm Foundation‘s annual Celebrity Soccer Challenge, held this year at Kastles Stadium in Southwest D.C.

The game, put on by Hamm and her husband, former MLB star Nomar Garciaparra, encourages people to join the bone marrow donor registry while raising money for Children’s National Medical Center. It was started in honor of Hamm’s late brother, Garrett, who passed away from aplastic anemia, a bone marrow condition, in 1997.

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