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Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin hasn’t played in a single game yet, but TSN’s Darren Dreger is already criticizing him for future wrongs. Two years after completely changing positions and not complaining under Adam Oates, Dreger is worried that the Russian machine won’t “buy in” on the plans of new Caps head coach Barry Trotz.

Welcome to Hot Take Central where the temperature is always scorching.

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Un-mute the video, then listen and smile with delight.

He’s gonna fit right in!

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“Where dis puny reporter?!”

Every year ahead of Washington Capitals training camp, the organization invites its best prospects early to compete in a six-day camp. This year’s session, led by new Hershey Bears head coach Troy Mann, sees the prospects run drills, perform strength and conditioning tests, and on the final day– compete in a scrimmage against the Philadelphia Flyers.

On Saturday, the Capitals released an artsy video of what has transpired over the last few days. Among those featured in the video is Hershey Bears defenseman Michal Cajkovsky. The 6-4, 229 pounds Czech defenseman is shown testing his vertical and HOLY TABERNACLE BATMAN – he just jumped entirely out of the screen!!

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Photo: @a0gr8

Well this is AMAZING. Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin just posted a photo on his Instagram and it’s a doozy. He’s hanging out with all the Caps Russians tonight, including a former one that’s very near and dear to our hearts: Alex Semin.

Dmitry Orlov just returned to DC today, after spending the last few weeks in New York (with Sasha Minor) rehabbing his injured wrist. Meanwhile Evgeny Kuznetsov and Stan Galiev have been in Arlington since late July.

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Photo: @RFCapsMoustache

Long-time Emmy-winning Washington Capitals’ play-by-play man Joe Beninati has kept himself busy this summer. He’s called the Lacrosse World Championships for ESPN and today he’s doing play-by-play of one of the biggest college football rivalries in the sport: University of Maryland & the University of West Virginia for the Big Ten Network.

This is the game UMD is wearing those awesome Star-Spangled Banner jerseys in honor of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Baltimore.

This is the second Maryland game Beninati’s helped narrate this season, earlier this month doing play-by-play of the UMD/JMU game.

If this Deadspin video is any indication, Joe B is absolutely killing it in the booth.

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Photo: @WashingtonCaps

“Watching paint dry” is another way to say something is boring, but when it’s the Verizon Center staff painting the ice sheet for the Washington Capitals 2013-14 season, there’s reason to be excited.

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Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin ended his summer in Russia with fireworks of the figurative kind. He injected himself into the debate about Ukraine, found his name bandied about (again) in KHL speculation, and co-starred in an “unusual and somewhat provocative” music video with a Russian pop star.

On Thursday, back in the loving confines of Kettler Capitals Iceplex, Ovechkin looked as cool as a cucumber, talking with reporters about the upcoming NHL season (yaye!) and hosting a private skate with 60 children with developmental disabilities.

Of course the skate was cute but there was one particular moment that is mind-blowingly adorable.

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On Wednesday night, the Washington Capitals held an open house at Verizon Center. John Walton hosted a chalk talk in the lower bowl while Verizon Center employees began creating the new ice sheet for next season behind him. On top of that, Caps rookie forward Evgeny Kuznetsov, who may challenge for will win the Calder Trophy next year, signed autographs for the adoring public.

As I hung out around the line forming to meet Kuznetsov, a fan that looked awfully darned familiar introduced himself to me. “Hi, I’m Max,” the teenager said with a big smile. “I’m from this!”

He then pointed to a 8×10”photo that landed on RMNB in late July.

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After months of nothing, the NHL has begun announcing news surrounding the 2015 Winter Classic, which will be held in our own backyard of Washington DC! This is why I must point you to the NHL.com website, which has tons of stories promoting the event and hey… why does Toews look like that?

I think we’re going to need to get our fancy schmancy graphic editing software program, vector some raster things, and enhance that bad boy.

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Photo: Neil Greenberg

The Washington Capitals announced Wednesday that they will unveil their new Winter Classic jerseys at the finally-agreed-upon-venue, Nats Park, on September 23rd.

“The Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® has made New Year’s Day a highlight of the season for NHL fans everywhere,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said according to the Capitals’ press release. “Nationals Park provides an ideal setting for all the excitement, entertainment and fun as the Blackhawks and Capitals bring our outdoor tradition to historic Washington, D.C.”

“We are thrilled the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will be played at Nationals Park as we welcome the Chicago Blackhawks and their fans to our nation’s capital,” Capitals majority owner Ted Leonsis said. “We are delighted the D.C. area and our great fan base will have an opportunity to experience the Winter Classic, and we know that Nationals Park will provide an incredible backdrop for the game.”

Commissioner Bettman, Caps owner Ted Leonsis, general manager Brian MacLellan, captain Alex Ovechkin, center Nicklas Backstrom, and goaltender Braden Holtby are all scheduled to attend the event.

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