gillis

Ed. note: Here’s F.O.T.B. Ben Lutz, aka the DC Sports Dork, with an RMNB guest spot all about head coach and GM hires. You can see more of Ben’s work on www.dcsportsdork.com. If you enjoy his stuff, feel free to join his facebook page.

While hockey fans were paying attention to the Stanley Cup Finals, a handful of NHL teams were focused on hiring a new head coach and/or general manager. The Capitals found their guys by hiring Brian McClellan and Barry Trotz as GM and coach, respectively. Pittsburgh pulled off the unthinkable by hiring ex-Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford as their new general manager.

Hires like these inevitably lead to questions about the candidates’ credentials and organizational philosophies. Is it a good idea to hire a coach that has experience or one with a fresh set of ideas? Does the same apply to hiring a general manager?

Continue Reading

 

428221_357715344247223_1609240235_n

Just a few days from now, on August 2nd, The Gardens Ice House in Laurel, MD will once again host the “Leap Towards a Cure” Charity Hockey Tournament & Community Festival starting at 10 am. Proceeds from the Tournament will benefit the Andrea Henderson Memorial Fund.

The fund is named after Andrea “Froggy” Henderson, a long-time art teacher at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, MD, who passed away from complications from breast cancer in October 2009. From 1998 through 2008 Froggy served as faculty sponsor, friend, and advocate for the ERHS Ice Raiders, providing a guiding hand for the team through its inception, recognition by the school as a varsity sport, and ongoing growth. 

The Andrew Henderson Memorial Fund was organized by ERHS Ice Raiders alumni shortly after Froggy’s memorial service. For the last five years, they’ve hosted a hockey tournament to raise funds. Accoridng to the charity’s website, to date, they have donated nearly $65,000 to the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, MD.

Continue Reading

 

alex-semin-married

Photo: krsk.kp.ru

On the same day that one Russian star changed his number to become less enigmatic, news broke that a former ex-Capital/present-day enigma got married. Yes, Alex Semin took the plunge with his long-term girlfriend Alena. It was first reported by Sokol Krasnoyarsk, the same VHL team that Semin played with during the lock-out to be near his granny.

In true Alex Semin fashion, details about the ceremony are scant. It’s shrouded in mystery. We don’t know when it happened, where it happened, or have any photos. We just know that it happened.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

orlov-kuznetsov-soccer

Photo: @avv91

RMNB reader and mega Caps fan Max attended Tuesday’s exhibition game at FedEx Field between Inter Milan and Manchester United. Because, like I said, Max is a mega Caps fan, he donned his Caps hat instead of the traditional soccer kit or scarf or something. (I barely watch soccer, my bad.) That decision worked out well for young Max.

Sitting in his same section were Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov. The Russian Caps spotted Max in his Weagle hat and — get this — asked Max to come over.

Selfies ensued.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

joel-ward-donates-blood

Photo: @tcmorrison

RMNB’s been busy working on a special project, so we missed the Inova Blood Drive at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. Every few months, Inova holds a blood drive at the Caps practice rink and gives away bobbleheads and shirseys of certain Caps players. This past Saturday it was Joel Ward.

Unfortunately, the Wardo bobble heads got stuck in customs, but donators wound up getting a more special gift: meeting The Big Cheese himself. Ward signed autographs, took photos, and complimented people on their t-shirts.

And, of course, he donated blood.

Continue Reading

Alex Ovechkin Has Favorited One Tweet; It Was His Own

ovechkin-twitter-favorite

Tampa’s Steven Stamkos set off a mini firestorm this week just by favoriting a tweet that wondered aloud if he might ever play in Toronto. One month earlier we saw the same thing with Winnipeg’s Evander Kane, who favorited a tweet requesting that he come play for the Flyers.

Social media is a wild and wacky world; one that we as a society don’t fully understand. I deal with this a lot in my day job. Stuff is just not clear. Twitter’s “favorites” feature in particular is kinda poorly designed. It means different things to different people, and the feature is not nearly as private as the name suggests.

But the point I really want to make is this: Alex Ovechkin has favorited just one tweet, and it was his own.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

Photo: Tim Stough / Sweetest Hockey On Earth

The Washington Capitals have signed 2014 third-round pick Nathan Walker to a three-year entry-level contract. The 20-year-old becomes the first-ever Australian national to sign with an NHL team. Crikey!

Walker made his preseason debut with the Caps last season, playing as an unrestricted free agent on a tryout contract. He was one of the more impressive players during camp, showing off his speed, tenacious forechecking, and skill. His through-the-legs pass to Tom Wilson for a goal appeared on SportsCenter last September.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

evgeny-kuznetsov

Photo: @kuzy092

We’re still 7 weeks away from training camp, but two important Washington Capitals players have already made it back to the district: Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov.

(A whole month early for training?! What a bunch of lazy, unreliable Russians! Am I doing this right?)

We were tipped off to the players’ movements when Kuznetsov posted a selfie with his wife on Instagram shortly after boarding a plane at 2AM on Thursday. His caption was, “✈️✈️✈️ DC,” which means either that he had two connecting flights or — like me — he realizes that emoticons are effective only if you repeat them a lot.

Eight hours later, Orlov posted a photo posing with his girlfriend at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in D.C. I cannot tell if his broken left arm is healed or out of the cast yet.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

grubi-atomic-breath-new-mask

Photo: DaveArt.com

A lot has changed in Washington D.C. since last season, including the goalie situation. On the first day of free agency, new Caps GM Brian MacLellan signed veteran goalie Justin Peters to be Braden Holtby‘s back-up. That means goaltending prospect Philipp Grubauer, who shined in a one-month stint with the team last December, will likely be relegated to the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears for most of next season.

I bring that up because, um, well, this is awkward. Grubauer’s new mask from Swedish airbrush artist David Gunnarsson is 100% Caps-flavored.

Continue Reading

The End of the Trend

trotz and co

I’m really excited about the upcoming Caps season. After replacing Adam Oates with Barry Trotz, I predict the Caps will– finally– reverse their five-year decline and start to get better in 2014-15.

end-of-the-trend

But people who expect a coaching change to immediately transform the team into a Cup contender won’t find solace in the literature.

Teams changing coaches saw their Fenwick Close % increase about 0.35%; after a coaching switch, teams averaged one more Corsi attempt for and 0.4 more Corsi attempts against per 60 minutes, and saw very slight decreases in shooting and save percentages.

Nick Emptage, NHLNumbers.com

Long-term, there seems to be a 1-point boost (from 48.4% to 49.4%) once a team replaces its coach.

Gabriel Desjardins (I think), Arctic Ice Hockey

By that math (and before accounting for roster changes) we might expect the Caps to have around 48-percent puck possession next season. That would kind of suck. I’m a bit more optimistic.

Continue Reading

Tagged with: