Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkinis back from vacation and training for next season at Dynamo’s practice facility (Novogorsk-Dynamo) with rival Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin, according to an Instagram photo he posted this morning. “Getting ready for the season!!” Ovechkin said in Russian, as translated by RMNB reader Olga Fedorova. “Thanks to Andrey Vorobiev for training!!))) Malkin [thumbs up].”
Andrey Vorobiev is the governor of Moscow Oblast.
Due to the wonderful power of Instagram, we find that this is not the only Russian political leader Ovechkin has skated with this summer.
Friday night at 7:05 PM, RMNB’s hometown Frederick Keys will take on the Myrtle Beach Pelicans at Harry Grove Stadium. And they will be doing so in uniforms that are both ridiculous (think: Cowboy Monkey Rodeo) and awesome beyond words.
In March, Maxim and the rest of his family watched the Caps practice before being introduced to Ovechkin and the team’s two other Russian players, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov, in the locker room. That day, Maxim’s father Ivan promised Ovechkin a gift to thank him for his son’s amazing experience.
In mid-June, Ovechkin actually took him up on that offer – with help from his girlfriend, Nastya Shubskaya. During a quick meet-up in a Moscow restaurant, Maxim and his father presented the Russian machine with a portrait of himself.
Newest Capital TJ Oshie and long-time girlfriend Lauren Cosgrove tied the knot on Saturday in a large wedding ceremony in Minnesota. According to St. Louis Bride & Groom Magazine, Oshie was walked down the aisle by his adorable 16-month-old daughter Lyla.
While Evgeny Kuznetsov led the Caps in playoff goals (along with Alex Ovechkin) and carved out a spot in the top six last year, he doesn’t seem satisfied. Wednesday morning via a photo from @jgains, the Caps’ second-line center was out at Kettler alone doing skating and shooting drills. And apparently, this has been a routine thing.
Saturday was the last day of the Capitals Development Camp and, subsequently, the team’s annual fanfest. Fans began jamming the rink around 8 am, eager to get a prime position for the weekend scrimmage and the team’s year-end equipment sale.
The event featured an autograph signing with new addition TJ Oshie, attracting a packed group of admirers. Despite the damp weather outside, the Caps hosted street hockey and moon bounce for little kids on the top deck of the parking garage. Indoors, thousands completely packed Kettler Capitals Iceplex to watch the team’s draft picks and the camp’s free agent invitees battle it out in a scrimmage, won by Team Red 7-3. During general manager Brian MacLellan’s press conference, one reporter brought up the possibility the event could be moved to a bigger venue.
“We’ve never thought about,” MacLellan said. “It’d probably be a good idea.”
Part of the reason the event has gotten so big is due to the camaraderie of Caps fans. On Saturday, a group of Caps fans who met on Tumblr got together to watch some hockey and see some of their favorite prospects in the flesh. The Papa Squad (named after Tom Wilson’s and Michael Latta’s nickname for Nicklas Backstrom) of Sydney, Victoria, Alexi, Taylor, etc gathered together to get take some selfies and some signature. Victoria even got the prospects to sign her TJ Yoshie poster, created by a fellow fan.
“We just bonded over our love of the Caps,” Sydney told me.
Days like today are the reason this fanbase is so great. Below, take a look at Amanda’s gorgeous pictures from the day.
At this year’s Development Camp, the Capitals have shied away from the myriad of scrimmages they held under past regimes, teaching the invitees rather than pitting them against each other.
“We’re doing developing more than we are evaluating,” General Manager Brian MacLellan said. “This has been more education, more development stuff.”
Nevertheless, the team still hosted a big scrimmage at the end of camp, the anchor of the team’s annual summer fanfest. With one big chance to impress Washington’s brass, the players turned in a barnstorming, high-energy game.
One casualty of the chippiness was Chandler Stephenson‘s smile. The third-round pick lost parts of two false teeth when he was high-sticked by Marcus Basara during three-on-three play.
“I didn’t see the stick but just felt my head go back,” Stephenson said. “My front four are already fake. It’s going to be interesting to see what mom says.”
Saturday is the final day of development camp, which coincides with the team’s annual fanfest. The scrimmage will take place at Kettler Capitals Iceplex at 10:30AM. See how many RMNBers you can spot in attendance! Also I’m told Ranger Nathan is taking donations on any Troy Brouwer gear that you find at the equipment sale. Here’s the full schedule of Fanfest.