Washington Capitals forward Troy Brouwer was disgusted after the team’s 5-1 shellacking to the Colorado Avalanche. The Capitals have lost four of their first five games and if you ask Brouwer, the losing has nothing to do with the team’s talent level. Brouwer thinks it has everything to do with the team not working hard enough.
“We’re going to be be hard-pressed to make the playoffs if we continue on the path we’re on now,” a calm but frustrated Brouwer said to Monumental Network. “I think playoffs should be the furthest thing from our minds as of right now.”
Comcast Sportsnet sideline reporter Al Koken spoke with Washington Capitals assistant coach Calle Johansson during the first period. Koken wanted to know what the Caps franchise leader in games played thought of his new giant defenseman, Alex Urbom.
George McPhee doesn’t tip his hand often, but during an interview with DC101’s Elliot In the Morning last week, the man some call The Undertaker revealed his softer, less-cage-matchy side when he discussed Matt Hendricks’ new four-year, $7.4-million deal with the Nashville Predators.
Washington Capitals general manager George McPheewent on ESPN980 Wednesday afternoon to talk hockey, and boy did he hit some interesting topics. McPhee explained what characteristics the Caps need to have to become a Stanley Cup winner in the future, and he defended his decision to anoint Brooks Laich the second-line center for next season. “There are a handful of teams that maybe have a better second-line center than Brooks,” he said. “It’s [an idea] we’ve been talking about for a few years, and the time has come to do it.”
The most interesting part of the discussion, however, was McPhee’s remarks on Capitals prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov, who is due in North America sometime next year. McPhee admits some frustration about the two-year contract Kuznetsov signed with Traktor Chelyabinsk last spring to stay in the KHL, saying that Kuznetsov went against a verbal promise he made after the 2010 NHL Draft. He also talks about how hard of a contract it was for Kuznetsov to turn down. “He’s 20-years-old, they gave him ten million dollars to play for two more seasons,” McPhee said. “It’s a 13% tax rate over there and even with that, most of the money is under the table. It’s probably no tax.”
The KHL never made Kuzya’s contract public, but it is believed his average annual salary from Traktor is in the two-million range. That would mean that the KHL gave Kuznetsov a bonus around $5 million to stay. And, as we learned from an Igor Kleyner post last year, the KHL’s Legal Regulations handbook has a open-ended rule that allows the league to do exactly just that.
[Traktor] may also apply to the KHL for a special stipend to supplement the young star’s salary. There are no specific limits on the amount of such a stipend, or any clear criteria defining eligibility.
Below, check out McPhee’s entire interview with ESPN980.
After the second day of Caps Development Camp, Wilson was asked if anyone in the coaching staff requested before last year’s camp that he tone down his game. Wilson responded with a wry smile and a chuckle. “I don’t know,” he said. “I can’t really remember having that conversation. Yeah, there’s a couple guys that went down last year. That’s just the way I play. It’s not really going to change.”
Later, Wilson revealed how nastiness became a part of his game at an early age.
Alex Ovechkin was awarded his third Hart trophy on Saturday night, a feat accomplished by only eight other NHL legends: Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe, Mario Lemieux, Bobby Orr, Bobby Clarke, Eddie Shore, and Howie Morenz. Fine company for Ovi, a point not lost on our friends in Canada.
Alex Ovechkin sat on the bench, glaring down at the ice with his head between his hands. He looked defeated, because he was. His sixth visit to the Stanley Cup Playoffs was about to end in another disappointing loss, after another year failing to meet expectations.
After the game, Ovi stood in front the white board at the far end of the Capitals locker room and went off.
I am not saying there was a phone call from [the NHL], but someone just wanted Game 7. For the ratings; you know, the lockout, escrow, the league needs to make profit.
In game six on Sunday night, the Capitals did not receive a single power play despite a few egregious fouls by the New York Rangers. One of the worst missed calls came in the first period, when Mathieu Perreault was decked into the boards by Michael Del Zotto.