The National Hockey League just released a two minute video they produced commemorating the official end of the lockout. It features cameos by Alex Ovechkin, Jason Chimera, and Sidney Crosby… crying. Liev Schreiber, the voice behind 24/7, also narrates. “Hockey is back,” the video claims. No, that never really left. Just you, NHL. Just you.

For whatever reason, this video feels hollow to me, but I encourage you all to watch it for yourself and come to your own conclusions.

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Here’s Your 2013 Washington Capitals Schedule


Yes, they finally released it!

The players ratified the CBA, and so here we are. 48 games, 48 chances.

I recommend you download the schedule to your calendar using the Capitals’ convenient downloady thing.

The schedule and our impressions are below.

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Photos: Capitals Prepare for the Start of Training Camp

Capitals Practice 1-12-13 (14 of 14)

Carlson signs for the people. (Photos from Chris Gordon)

The Caps have been back (though not officially) for almost a week now, with just about every player taking to the ice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. Saturday was the biggest day yet, with 20 players skating in front a large crowd despite a lack of promotion by the team. A few players were missing, however. Tom Wilson — a 2012 first-round pick who was invited to training camp two days ago  — was not there. Brooks Laich (with his reported injury) didn’t skate either with Mike Ribeiro, Marcus Johansson, and Braden Holtby also skipping the session. Word also leaked that the team was preparing to sign former Cap and Winter Classic hero Eric Fehr to a one-year deal. Since coach-led practices can’t begin yet, there wasn’t much else to report — except, of course, for Mike Green’s eye surgery fueled hijinks.

Training camp is expected to begin in ernest Sunday morning at 10:30.

Take a look at some of my shots from the day.

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Evgeny Kuznetsov

There will be no NHL All-Star festivities this year, another casualty of the lockout. That means no Ovi wearing a hat with a Canadian flag, no Ovi swimming on the ice, and no players just trying not to get injured. Across the pond in the KHL, however, things are going on as planned. Actually, better than planned with the addition of some Russian NHL stars like Ilya Kovalchuk and Pavel Datsyuk.

For Evgeny Kuznetsov, the game is also somewhat of a dream come true — it’s being held in his native Cheylabinsk. And on Saturday, the 20-year-old Washington Capitals prospect played a big role in the KHL Skills Competition.

Video is below the jump.

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Mike Green Bulls Over Michal Neuvirth, Goes Upside Down

Mike Green Michal Neuvirth-9906

Photos by Chris Gordon

Caps training camp may not be officially underway yet, but almost all the players are now taking part in self-led practices at Kettler Capitals Iceplex (the team can’t hold formal workouts until the CBA terms are finalized). Without coaches leading the drills, these sessions haven’t been particularly riveting. Still, hundreds of fans filed into the rooftop rink to get a glimpse of world-class NHL hockey for the first time in months.

Speaking of world-class NHL hockey, the highlight of the day came when Mike Green got too close to Michal Neuvirth before bulling over the young netminder. Green then got lodged in the net upside down. Man, it’s good to be back.

“I had Lasik eye surgery yesterday so my vision’s a little off,” Green told reporters after the practice. “I didn’t realize he was that close to me. I apologize though.”

Take a look at some pictures of the incident after the jump.

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Eric Fehr Returns to the Capitals

Photo credit: Gregory Shamus

The man Ted Starkey called the “franchise leader in outdoor goals” has returned to the flock. The Washington Times’ Stephen Whyno reports that Eric Fehr is ready to sign a one-year contract for $600k.

Fehr left the Caps in ’11 for the newfangled Jets of his hometown Winnipeg. Fehr was one of the principle contributors to the Capitals’ previous SCOAR MOAR GOALS style of hockey, so his return may bring good tidings for the those yearning for a more offensive Caps team. I’d like to see him take the right wing on the top line with Ovechkin and Backstrom. What do you think?

I invite you now to peruse RMNB’s Eric Fehr tag.

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Alex Semin Happy in His New Carolina Hurricanes Jersey

Alex Semin as a Carolina Hurricane

Photo credit: @NHLCanes

Here’s your first look at Alex Semin as a Carolina Hurricanes player.

Does this mean we have to stop writing about him?

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Photo credit: Chris Gordon

Earlier in the week, George McPhee told the media he had no interest in inviting junior players to training camp. “There’s no sense… in that sort of thing because they wouldn’t be able to make our team right now anyway.” After Brooks Laich returned to camp with what appears to be a groin injury and Nicklas Backstrom still regaining form after suffering a neck injury, a depth forward or two couldn’t hurt.

That’s why on Thursday, McPhee announced that Tom Wilson, the 16th overall pick of the 2012 NHL draft, would be coming to camp after all.

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