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Photo: R-Sport

On Saturday, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin participated in Ilya Kovalchuk’s charity hockey game, “From Pure Heart.” Also at the game was KHL president Alexander Medvedev.

A member of Sport-Express’s sports department caught up with Medvedev, asking a bunch of questions about the charity game and the KHL. At the end of their conversation, the interviewer asked a rote question about when Ovechkin and other Russian NHL stars might leave North America and come back home.

Medvedev’s answer was portentous.

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Photo: aftonbladet.se

Prior to Brynäs’s preseason game against Djurgården on Thursday, Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom took to his hometown ice and was given an Olympic silver medal. Federal Chairman Christer Englund gave Backstrom the award while flanked by national team coach Per Mårts by his side. The crowd gave Nicky a standing ovation.

Nearly six months to the day, Backstrom finally felt “vindication” after getting banned from the gold medal game for taking too much allergy medicine.

After the ceremony, Backstrom spoke to Swedish outlets about how happy he was that this drama is finally over.

The wonderful Matilda Wrigsjö has your translation.

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nicklas-backstrom-hospital-hockey

Photo: Conny Svensson of arbetarbladet.se

While in his homeland of Sweden, Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom does a lot for the community. Earlier this summer, Backstrom presented his scholarship for the fifth time to two talented 16-year-old student athletes.

On Sunday, as first reported by Malin Andersson of Hockey Ramblings, Nicky amped up the cuteness to 11 while visiting a hospital in Gävle to participate in the clinic’s Play Therapy program.

The program inspires sick children before they undergo needed medical treatments. And they do it by– you guessed it– playing!

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A return to Sweden looks like the likely option for Vrana (Photo: Andreas Froberg/SHL.se)

Capitals 2014 first-round pick Jakub Vrana is a talented player. The Czech forward put his skills on display at development camp this summer, where he lit up the opposition playing mostly next to another top prospect, Andre Burakovsky, and a free agent invitee, Slovene Olympian Jan Urbas.

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Photo: @Orly_81

Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov is up in New York City tonight with his girlfriend Varya for a special occasion. Varya is flying home to Russia tomorrow. To properly see her off, Orlov called up former Capital Alex Semin and had a double date at Cipriani’s on Broadway.

Excuse me for a second here.

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Photo: ITAR-TASS

On Monday, the Russian-language RBC-Sport released an exclusive interview between journalist Nikolay Chegorsky and Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin. The Great Eight’s comments with Chegorsky aren’t as juicy as they were with Sovetsky Sport’s Pavel Lysenkov, but Ovechkin still manages to talk about some intriguing stuff.

The 28-year-old Russian shares insight into his relationship with Evgeny Kuznetsov, his offseason training regime, and explains the story behind those Instagram push-ups.

RMNB’s Fedor Fedin has your translation below.

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Photo: Al Bello

Tuesday at noon, Swedish center Nicklas Backstrom will be playing in his first game since the Caps regular season ended on April 13th. Backstrom will be participating in Brynäs’s Black and White scrimmage – an exhibition that’s been held every year in Sweden since the 1970’s. Backstrom played three seasons for Brynäs as a teenager before being drafted by the Caps.

For those of you who are hockey starved, I’ve got some great news. The scrimmage will be available to be watched live online via a Brynäs stream at noon (as long as that link is not geo-protected).

Backstrom shot a video for Brynäs’s Instagram earlier Monday to promote the game.

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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.

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On Monday, Maria Kirilenko announced through R-Sport that she and Alex Ovechkin were dunzo. “There are a lot of reasons, but I wouldn’t want to go in detail,” Kirilenko said, as translated by Fedor Fedin. “I’ll say just that our relationship is over, but I respect Sasha as a person and an athlete and sincerely wish him athletic success in the future.”

Without sharing those details, the gossip hounds turned to speculation.

Case in point: Ovechkin, who is currently vacationing on a French beach, posed in photos that got published on the internet. One person in those photos was gymnast Karolina Sevastyanova. Sevastyanova was scrutinized in particular for a) being a woman, and b) being near Alex in those photos.

R-Sport, who first broke the break-up news (say that three times fast), later published a nonsensical story, which later got translated by Sport Illustrated’s Allan Muir. That article, entitled Alex Ovechkin dumped by Maria Kirilenko over Instagram photo, was shared widely across social media. Despite the fact that Kirilenko and Ovechkin hadn’t been seen together in weeks, the article made it seem as if the pictures were the scandal that split the couple up.

On Tuesday, Kirilenko shot back in an interview with Sovetsky Sport’s Nikolay Mysin, calling those reports “laughable.” “I made my decision to break up the engagement long before these pictures appeared on the social networks,” Kirilenko said, as translated by RMNB’s Igor Kleyner.

Kirilenko added, “it is not a secret for anybody that Sasha has certain habits and particulars of behavior that I did not consider worth tolerating anymore.”

Her full comments are below.

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Alex Ovechkin and Maria Kirilenko are engaged

Ovechkin and Kirilenko after they got engaged. (Photo: @Ovi8)

This morning, R-Sport announced that Alex Ovechkin and Maria Kirilenko have parted ways and ended their engagement. Kirilenko gave an official statement and retweeted R-Sport’s article on Twitter around 10:30 AM.

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