Alex Ovechkin is no stranger to the Olympic games, but this summer in London he’s just along for the ride. He’s been watching his girlfriend Maria Kirlienko compete in tennis for Russia and soaking in the special atmosphere of the Olympics, watching events, meeting new people, forming new friensh —
Caps fans have gotten used to the annual summer tradition of negative rumors about Alex Ovechkin — he’s fat, he’s partying, he’s an international spy. This year, the rumors have been suspiciously tame, and we’ve got a new one that’s downright adorable.
Hey everybody, it’s that time again. The season is long over. So too are the playoffs and the finals, free agency season and development camp. Stretching out before us is the red waste we call August, the month where so hockey is unimportant you’d think you’re on Long Island.
Our Caps have signed their free agents. They’ve said goodbye to one coach and hired another coach– along with two assistants that make it feel like we time-warped back to ’98. A couple prospects have signed their entry-level contracts, and the Caps have renewed their vows with Hershey (a huge relief to us and SHoE). Elsewhere in the league, that drama with Parise, Nash, Weber, and Staal has played itself out. Almost all of our questions have been answered.
Kostenko, who was drafted 203rd overall in the 2012 draft, spent last year with Metallurg’s affiliate in the Russian junior hockey league, the MHL. His season was disappointing as he was unable to improve his prior season’s numbers or make the KHL team. He ended the year with 2.98 GAA, .897 Sv% and 15 wins in 40 outings (note: games that go to the shootout don’t count as wins or losses for a goaltender in the KHL). He also served on the Russian junior national team that won a silver medal at the 2012 WJC, but he didn’t see any ice time.
The Capitals new head coach Adam Oates named his second assistant on Monday, and it’s a face Caps fans might recognize. Tim Hunter will return to Washington with thirteen seasons as an NHL assistant under his belt, filling Washington’s needs for both a) an experienced assistant; and b) a member of the coaching staff named Hunter.
Hunter worked for the Capitals for five seasons under head coach Ron Wilson, during which he coached both Oates and Calle Johansson. We’re considering referring to him as “T. Hunter” or “Timmy” in order to reduce confusion about the number of Caps alumni currently on staff. Stay posted.
It’s summertime: lean days for hockey fans. But I’ve got some good news though: here’s an opportunity to play (or watch) hockey– and do it for a good cause.
On August 3-5, the Gardens Ice House in Laurel, MD is hosting the Leap Towards a CurePresented by Outback Steakhouse, Laurel, MD, hockey tournament. 26 teams will compete in the tourney to raise money for the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins.
Leap Towards a Cure is looking for players for the tournament right now, so if your rec league is winding down, please get the word out. There are a bunch of divisions for different talent levels, so please don’t worry about your skills. They particularly need free agent skaters for the women’s division.
Plus, you might see some hockey guys you might know.
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I spent draft night like I would any other. I had my personal sommelier open a bottle of fine wine, reclined on my settee, and tuned my 65″ Sharp Elite PRO-X5FD series television onto TSN.
My Capitals had two pics in the top 20, but I pondered how they’d handle it. Would they trade up for a top pick? Would GMGM infuriate the entire fan base and take more Russians? Would they work a deal for a veteran player? The possibilities are endless, I thought to myself as I fed my hairless sphynx some truffle shavings.
Sam Jacobson, a 16-year-old lymphoma survivor, had his wish come true when he spent two days with the Capitals and his hockey hero, Alexander Ovechkin. The Make-a-Wish Foundation set up the experience for Jacobson, who played on his hockey team during his recovery from lymphoma.
He spent two days with the Capitals, starting with a tour of the practice facility and locker room on March 7 of last year. Jacobson was given had his own stall stocked with hockey equipment donated by Bauer. After suiting up, he ended the day by skating with Ovechkin, Karl Alzner, Jason Chimera, and other players after practice. On top of that, Sam attended two Caps home games and spent some time with Ovechkin after the games in the locker room.
One of the remaining mysteries of this free agency season is what will be done with the elite-scoring, media-baffling Alex Semin. Now that Suter and Parise have picked their fates and signed their contracts, Semin is the remaining conspicuous free agent. Rumors abound that Semin is looking for a long-term deal, only to be rebuffed because GMs like Carolina’s Jim Rutherford have “heard the stories about him.”