alex-ovechkin-nhl-awards-2014

Photo: Bruce Bennett

A lot has happened over the last two weeks. Alex Ovechkin received his Rocket Richard Trophy in Las Vegas for scoring the most goals in 2013-14, and new Capitals GM Brian MacLellan started making his mark on the 2014-15 team. GMBM was aggressive in free agency, signing three players: Brooks Orpik, Matt Niskanen, and Justin Peters.

A few days ago, the Capitals captain did an interview with Konstantin Nuzhdenov of ITAR-TASS. Ovechkin said he was upset Mikhail Grabovski was not returning. He also spoke for the first time about the team’s defensive additions.

Igor Kleyner has your translation.

On winning the Rocket Richard Trophy again:

I believe to win the best goal-scorer title for the 4th time is a significant achievement. I am the first one to do it. I have to point out that my teammates and coaches are the ones who did everything for me to win this award. The 2nd All Star team? It’s always a good feeling to be among the best.

On next season’s goals:

To win, to be in good shape, to show the game I am capable of.

On Grabo leaving:

Of course I am upset about Mikhail Grabovski. We had a close relationship.

On the team’s free agent acquisitions:

That our team signed such guys [as Niskanen and Orpik] – that’s a very strong move. Orpik, for example, is a very physical defenseman. If he plays on your team – it’s a positive for you. But the results will be at the end of the season, it hasn’t even started yet. Who knows what other changes are coming to the team– maybe there will be a trade or something else.

On why Washington decided to make significant changes, such as a new GM and coach:

The owner said he wanted changes. There is a new GM. He had worked in the team’s system, knows it, he drafted me and other players. In principle, the same team remains. We signed two players and a goalie, so that we would be much stronger. We’ll see how it works out.

On if which wing he plays on matters:

Is it good that the coach sees me as a right wing? It does not matter to me which wing I am on. To win as a team is what’s important. At first, we are going to fight for a playoff spot. And what happens then– we’ll see. Playoffs are like a separate second season.

On Adam Oates being fired:

I had a very good relationship with him. More than just a player and a coach. But it is business. He is fired now. Maybe at some point in time me, Backstrom, and Green will be gone too to make the team better. You shouldn’t take it personally.

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  • Steven Lemmeyer

    ALL I TOOK FROM THIS ARTICLE…. “Maybe at some point in time me, Backstrom, and Green will be gone too to make the team better. You shouldn’t take it personally.” No, you are all indentured to us…FOREVER.

  • https://twitter.com/ChengBrittany Brittany C.

    I’m definitely shedding some tears if that moment comes and we haven’t won a cup yet.

  • Sam W.

    Heart wrenching to think about Ovi leaving, but it’s a possibility I’ve entertained for years. Hockey is a business. No doubt in my mind that he’d win a Cup the year after he was traded, for his new team. Because that’s our lot in life as Caps fans.

  • Ugh

    Can we stop with the Grabo funeral? It’s clear we couldn’t afford both him and Kulemin of that’s what he needed to stay. Defense was our biggest hole and we had to make the best decision for the team. It’s not the end of the world.

  • Ben

    If there is a time when there are no Young Guns on the roster I will be so sad

  • Lisa

    Very mature responses from Ovie.

  • Harold Lee

    We may have filled a problem. But now we have a hole at 2C.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    Well said. Haha.

  • Early

    Kulemin?

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    I think it’s kind of ridiculous to assume he was only going to sign with a team that signed Nikolai Kulemin too – unless there’s a quote otherwise from him (that I’ve missed) that says as such.

  • Early

    Why not Kuz at 2c?

  • VeggieTart

    Too bad Ovi couldn’t have talked Grabo into re-signing. But for the most part, he’s giving the stock answers you would expect in such an interview.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    He’s pretty terrible at face-offs, and he still has only played about 20 games of North American hockey. That might be a big jump for him at the beginning of next year, but I think eventually he ends up being that guy long term. I would much rather see him skate with Ovechkin on the wing though, but for whatever reason I doubt that happens.

  • Pete

    Many of us are still going through the grieving process. It’s not like we can even tell ourselves he’s gone to a better place.

  • Owen Johnson

    I tried to talk Grabo’s agent into re-signing during the Blackhawks game, but NOOOOO!

  • Jeff Yoders

    SIGN RIBEIRO! HE’S CHEAP NOW!

  • Ash

    I don’t know if it was a deal-breaker or absolute, but this article did seem to make it more likely they were trying to move as a package. I mean, I don’t know if I think they ONLY planned to move together, but I think it no longer sounds ridiculous that it was certainly a factor in their choices.

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/how-kulemin-and-grabovski-reunited-on-long-island/

  • serpent

    I hope this is one of those sarcasm thingys.

  • Maddie

    I feel like the year after he leaves were gonna win it all

  • Sarah

    Sign him if you want to, but y’all ain’t gettin’ our Eakin back. #GoStars

  • drew

    Seems like this is the second time in recent history Ovi has mentioned not being a part of the Caps organization…this and the “not fired yet” comment in Vegas. A bit strange coming from our Captain.

  • Marky Narc

    Yeah, I was thinking the same thing.

    I mean….
    I loved Peter Bondra. Peter Bondra is not a Capital anymore.
    I loved Dale Hunter. Dale Hunter is not a Capital anymore
    I loved Olaf Kolzig. Olaf Kolzig is not a Capital anymore.
    I loved Jaromir Ja…. ok, bad example, scratch that one.

    But you get what I’m saying.

  • Ben Brigida

    My favorite part of that quote is that Ovi is saying that Oates being gone has made the team better.

  • Jonathan Kenny

    Wasn’t Marcus Johansson supposed to develop into our bonafide 2nd line center, oh…two or three years ago.

  • Rob Young

    Regardless, he went to the islanders. He will regret that very soon.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    I think NYI won’t be that bad this season! Should be a great offense and goalie. D corps is weak sauce though.

  • jalabar

    Boo that man!