This is not a hockey story.

Last week RMNB published a two-part translation of an interview Michal Neuvirth gave to the Czech site iSport. Our articles contained translated, controversial quotes about Braden Holtby, Alex Semin, Alex Ovechkin, and Dale Hunter.

The story was picked up by Puck Daddy and The Washington Post, among others. Some of the articles that used our quotes excluded important passages where Neuvirth praised Holtby and Ovechkin, leading to a popular characterization of the interview that I don’t think matched what we published. On the other hand, an article for Sportsnet.ca by Chris Nichols copied our entire translation.

Before long, our translation came under scrutiny. To respond to questions from our audience, I wrote and published a note on our translation process and how much room for interpretation there is in that process, but we did not retract or correct our post. Social media and our own commenters wondered aloud if our articles had mistranslated the original article or if something had been “lost in translation.”

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SHOE: Check Out the New Hershey Bears Jerseys

Click Here To View The New Logo and Jerseys

Our brotherblog Sweetest Hockey on Earth has great coverage of the Hershey Bears’ new logo, jerseys, and mascot. The new debut was made to celebrate the team’s 75th anniversary. We all think the new design is fantastic, and Coco’s six-pack abs are okay too.

Go read about it over at Sweetest Hockey on Earth.

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On Monday, we detailed how Dynamo Moscow, Alex Ovechkin‘s former Russian Super League team, was not terribly interested in bringing back one of their most famous sons if a NHL lockout forced a cancellation of all or part of its 2012-13 season. Dynamo’s president Arkady Rotenberg told R-Sport, “If we really need [Ovi], maybe we will offer the money. But I don’t think we need him.”

Well, Vityaz Chekhov, a team better known for its fists, habitual losing, and owners with questionable connections, wants Alex Ovechkin to know that Hey, we’re interested.

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RMNB’s SB Nation Sports Blog Blog Name Ranking Index

SB Nation’s blog for the Buffaslugs takes on all comers. Photo by the great Clydeorama.

Like fantasy teams, sports blogs tend to have boldly silly names. Onomasticians fill their hours dissecting the tribalism and secret etymology of blogs with names like Russian Machine Never Breaks and the late, great, way too punny Kings of Leonsis.

Fun fact: here are some names we didn’t pick for RMNB: Red Line to StanleytownLaing’s Gang, various names with a bongo theme. Meanwhile, across the net at SB Nation (a blog network of which our colleagues at Japers’ Rink are members and Caps owner Ted Leonsis is an investor), there’s a blog for every team in the league. It’s a panoply of fun, imaginative names.

To pass the time on this long and languid summer, we decided to pick our favorites. Behold: the RMNB’s SB Nation Sports Blog Blog Name Ranking Index Presented by RMNB.

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Alex Ovechkin skating with Dynamo in 2010. (Photo credit: Sport-Express)

Over the weekend, it was widely reported that Alex Ovechkin‘s former Russian Super League team, Dynamo Moscow, would try to sign the Capitals captain if the NHL enters into a lockout on September 15th. According to rsport.ru, Dynamo general manager Andrei Safronov said to the press, “[Leafs' forward Leo] Komarov (who played on the team last year) will come. We will talk with Ovechkin. It will be up to the head coach.” And headlines across Russia and North America followed.

Well apparently, not everyone in Dynamo’s front office are as open to Ovechkin returning — even for a potential asking price of $3 million (plus insurance). In an extended meeting with the press on Sunday, president Arkady Rotenberg distanced himself from Safronov’s earlier comments.

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Michal Neuvirth Reacts to iSport Story and Translation

Photo credit: Greg Fiume

Michal Neuvirth stopped by Kettler today to speak with Caps senior writer Mike Vogel. Neuvy took time to address the recent comments he made to František Suchan of iSportz.Cz, that we translated in two articles earlier this week [I and II].

You can check out the interview below the jump.

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Willie the Dog Eats Slapshot, Feels Shame

Have you heard of Dogshaming? It’s the popular new tumblelog all about shaming naughty dogs for their transgressions. Georgia the fridge-raiding bulldog will be up there eventually, but for now I want to direct your attention to Willie, who nommed down on a certain feathered hockey mascot you may recognize.

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RMNB recently published two articles  [I and II] translating an interview Michal Neuvirth gave to František Suchan of iSportz.Cz. The original interview was conducted in Czech and translated by Kara Martinková with proofreading and edits by our team. While we stand by the articles we published, we acknowledge that translation is as much an art as it is an academic skill. Interpretations of syntax, grammar, and idiom always threaten to transform the intent of a statement, and some of Neuvirth’s meaning may have been misconstrued.

For example, we translated Neuvirth as saying the following:

I am really sure that I have the weakest competition (Braden Holtby) I’ve ever had.

But choosing competition as an apposition for Braden Holtby is subjective. Neuvirth might have intended for competition to mean competition-as-a-thing, not as a person. Given that interpretation, Neuvirth may simply have been saying this season is the best opportunity he’s ever had to earn the number-one goalie spot.

The underlying meaning of the two statements is nearly the same, but the tone is dramatically different.

The context of the article might support that interpetation too. Later in the interview, Neuvirth responds to a question about Holtby by first saying that he is a great goalie, albeit one with less experience than Varlamov and Vokoun. Using the alternate translation above and taking into account his later comment about Holtby, Neuvirth’s statements are not so incendiary.

This same interpretative gap can apply to other parts of the interview as well. Where Neuvirth describes himself as “angry” at not starting in the playoffs, the words down or unhappy might also have been used.

The vagaries of language are challenging, and there are many possibilities to lose the intent and tone of the original statement on its path from conversation to original article to translation. We hope our readers can grant a healthy amount of leniency to Neuvirth and our translators.

Photo credit: Joel Auerbach

When we last left Caps goalie Michal Neuvirth, he was calling Braden Holtby his weakest competition and patting himself on the back for convincing Tomas Vokoun to go to Pittsburgh. That was just the warm-up.

In the remainder of Neuvirth’s interview with František Suchan of iSportz.Cz, the Czech goalie shares his honest opinion of pretty much every other big-name Capitals figure. He gives Alex Semin the classic “he could have been the best player in the world, but he doesn’t want to” line; he laments Alex Ovechkin‘s decline but praises his leadership; and he sheds no tears over the exit of Dale Hunter.

Hoo boy, here comes some tawdry stuff.

UPDATE: Read our statement on interpretation and translation.

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Capitals goalie Michal Neuvirth spoke to the Czech website iSport.Cz on Monday, and boy oh boy did he have some fascinating opinions to share. Talking with František Suchan, Neuvirth departed from the meek personality he’s cultivated since joining the Capitals in ’08-’09 and spoke with remarkable candor about a wide range of topics. We’d like to direct your attention to his quotes on the goalie situation in D.C.— both last season and in the future. Neuvy says he considers Braden Holtby his “weakest competition” since he’s been in D.C., expresses his frustration over always being the “bridesmaid” in net, and admits that he urged Tomas Vokoun to sign with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Get ready to have your mind blown.

UPDATE: Read our statement on interpretation and translation.

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