ovechkin-vacation

This weekend, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin flew to France to enjoy the lovely beaches of St. Tropez. On what he described as his vacation, Ovechkin hung out with former KHL player (CSKA) Ruben Begunts and Brooklyn Nets small forward Andrei Kirilenko (Maria’s cousin).

And for the first time ever, I saw Ovechkin dive.

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Jakub Vrana Scores Sick Shootout Goal (GIF)

He’s good. He knows it. (Photo: Chris Gordon)

When the Washington Capitals drafted Jakub Vrana with the 13th overall pick, many wondered if the Caps were reaching. Vrana, the U18 World Championship’s best scorer, was called selfish by some scouts. Others said his play away from the puck could use some work.

After tonight, we know one thing for sure: the Czech has a sick pair of hands.

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Photo: @ajkais13

Earlier this week, Fedor wrote an article on Caps Development Camp invitee Eliot Antonietti. We highlighted the fact that Antonietti is a defenseman, Swiss, and really, really tall. Pretty tame stuff if you ask me.

The post instantly became one of our most read articles of the entire offseason, linked on both Puck Daddy and Reddit. Some are now calling Antonietti The Swiss Chara because of his massive height, while others, such as RMNB reader AJ Kaiser, are more fascinated with his majestic beard.

On Tuesday, Kaiser went to Development Camp and something special happened.

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Vrana (5 of 5)

Photos by Chris Gordon

At last year’s development camp, Andre Burakovsky was the resident adorable European, talking about eating “cinnamon rollers” and Tom Wilson making him peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. This year’s first-round pick, Jakub Vrana, has high expectations to live up to. He’s doing well so far.

“Okay, let’s get this out of the way: Is it Jakub or Jacob?” CSN’s Chuck Gormley asked as Varna stepped to the podium, trying to rectify the duel names Vrana is known by. “What do you prefer?”

“You can choose,” Vrana responded sheepishly. “Your choice. … Call me whatever you want.”

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ovi-judge-miss-moscow

Photo: ITAR-TASS

On Thursday night, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin returned to the spotlight for the first time since he accepted his fourth Rocket Richard Trophy in Las Vegas. The re-emergence was for good reason.

Ovechkin was the head judge of Miss Moscow 2014. (Hall of famer Pavel Bure was on the panel too.)

“In my opinion everything went very well, very lovely,” Ovechkin said to TV reporter Ivan Obydenkov. “For us, the judges on the panel, it was one hundred percent clear who the winner was.”

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Starting at noon, it’ll be open season on unrestricted free agents in the NHL. Last year’s contracts will be up, and we’ll be inundated by a flood of exorbitant salaries and impractical terms. For the last few years the Caps have mostly been bystanders to the free agency frenzy, but with $12.7M in salary cap space, they’ll likely be a bit more active today.

I cut this video to discuss what might animate the Caps’ offseason strategy: where they stand as a franchise, what holes they need to fill, and where the problems are not.

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alex-ovechkin-richard-trophy

Photo: @myregularface

At 7:45 pm, Alex Ovechkin was awarded his fourth Maurice “Rocket” Richard trophy for leading the league in goals. Instead of getting invited on stage, Ovechkin was interviewed at his seat by new Hockey Night In Canada host George Stroumboulopoulos.

Ovi said he was excited for himself and his team– and his coach… who doesn’t have a job anymore. So. Yeah.

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ovechkin-nhl-awards

Photo: @WashingtonCaps

Late last week, Alex Ovechkin flew to North America for a weekend-long electronica music fest. Also, the NHL Awards. After concerts and the time by the pool, Ovechkin also managed to take care of some serious business too: caucusing with his new coach, Barry Trotz.

The coach and his pupil had dinner on Saturday night (I’m guessing in lawn chairs behind Tiesto’s turntables) and discussed which wing Ovechkin would play, the team’s new system, and well, other stuff that we’re not allowed to know right now so quit asking because it’s private. I guess we’ll find out at training camp.

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ovi-in-vegas

Photo: @a0gr8

A year ago at this time, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was in London supporting fiancee Maria Kirilenko at Wimbledon. This year: not so much.

That’s because the engaged Ovechkin (still technically a bachelor) is in Las Vegas one week before the NHL Awards. He’s there with some of his best friends for what seems to be a party of some sort. In completely unrelated news: AskMen just named Sin City the number-one bachelor party destination.

Ovechkin has done us all a solid by incoherently chronicling his trip on Instagram. The most compelling thing he’s posted so far has been the video of him at the pool. People walk by him like he’s no big deal. Only in Vegas, I guess.

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evgeny-kuznetsov-dubai-vacation

Photo: kuzy092

Over the past week, Washington Capitals rookie forward Evgeny Kuznetsov has been jet-setting across the world on vacation with his wife Nastya.

Kuzya could certainly use the rest and relaxation. Last season, the winger played hockey in two different leagues and did not make the playoffs in either. He also participated in the World Championship and suffered two somewhat major injuries.

The 22-year-old has addressed his pressing mental and physical concerns by taking a vacation that is positively siiiiickkkk.

Let’s vicariously enjoy it (like we did with his car), shall we?

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