Alex Ovechkin Easterns

We’ve heard plenty about the economic impact of the lockout on the players — the salary cap, hockey-related revenue, pensions. All of that can be a little mind-numbing. But there’s another factor at play for a few elite players: the effect of the lockout on their brand and their endorsements. There is obviously less demand for a guy like Steven Stamkos if he isn’t on the ice. While big-time players make the majority of their money from a few long-term deal deals, the possibility (which we almost experienced) of going a year and a half without any commercials and other sources of income isn’t something to overlook.

But what if you’re an international star like Alex Ovechkin, who spent the previous four months playing in the country where he’s arguably more popular than he is here? After all, Ovi’s appeal is limited in America. Hockey is by far the smallest of the major professional sports and athletes don’t generate much interest outside the cities they play in. In Russia, however, Ovechkin is a something of a national hero, not just a great player for the local team. There’s a case to be made, then, that Ovechkin could have actually made more money in his homeland than if he were in the NHL, both in salary and endorsements.

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Mike Green is Cosmo's Sexiest Hockey Player of 2013

Readers, Mike Green is so awesome, he has won a trophy before the season has even begun. On Tuesday, Cosmopolitan Magazine named the two-time Norris nominee as the sexiest player in all of hockey. Brooks Laich, who recently graced the cover of Shy Magazine, did not make the list. It is possible that Brooks, like Right Said Fred before him, was too sexy for the list.

Green, accepted his figurative award today at Kettler Capitals IcePlex, by looking splendid in his white Capitals jersey, blue snow pants, and…

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Ovechkin speaks to the media

Miss the media? “Not really,” says Ovechkin. (Photo credit: @SWhyno)

This morning, a bunch of Washington Capitals players jumped back on the ice for an informal practice. Those who skated include Alex Ovechkin, Braden Holtby, Mike Green, Mike Ribeiro, John Carlson, Michal Neuvirth, Matt Hendricks, Jason Chimera, Jay Beagle, Jack Hillen, and John Erskine.

At 11am, Caps general manager George McPhee then spoke to the press for the first time since dinosaurs roamed the earth. GMGM revealed that injured defenseman Dmitry Orlov is “improving” but questionable for opening night (but you already knew that), and side-stepped questions on Nicklas Backstrom’s health, acknowledging that the team can’t examine him until a new CBA is ratified. Hershey Bears defense prospect Cameron Schilling will also be given a shot to make the team out of training camp. McPhee’s full comments are below.

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