Vikings: Making RMNB Last

vikings

Tommy L. wants me to write about the culture of vikings. Tommy L. is awesome. Here goes.

There never was a viking culture and there never were any vikings. Vikings as we know them– villains wearing horned helmets who sacked dark-age Europe– were just a name and a story told by people who weren’t vikings. To the northmen, no one was a viking unless he or she was on a viking, which is what they called their raids. In general use, viking was an exonym: a named used by people outside the group. Among themselves, the vikings were known as the Northmen or the Norsemen– not to be confused with the Normans, whom we’ll discuss below.

Norsemen were the people of the Nordic countries. At some point in the 8th century of the Common Era, the Norsemen decided to go sailing and bust some heads. They were a bustling culture already, but advances in art, technology, and specifically seafaring were what spurred the Viking Era.

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stan-galiev-scorpions

Photo: @Galixon_97

Washington Capitals forward Stan Galiev is on vacation with his wife Olya in Vietnam, and they’re having some new experiences. And by “new experiences” I mean eating some of the most disgusting things you can imagine – things I’m not even sure Andrew Zimmern would put in his mouth.

This weekend, for example, they ate scorpion kabobs.

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evgeny-kuznetsov

Photo: Bruce Bennett

It’s summer, which means we should be expecting Russian NHLers to do what they normally do: jet-ski on a lake in the middle of Siberia and maybe judge a beauty contest in Moscow. This summer, however, has been a bit different for Evgeny Kuznetsov, who is spending his summer break on this continent while he takes care of his newborn daughter.

In a three-part interview (1, 2, 3) with Sovetsky Sport’s Pavel Lysenkov, Kuznetsov talks about his baby (his daughter’s middle name is Evgenia) and the negotiations behind his new two-year contract with the Washington Capitals.

“It is not a secret that I wanted a long-term deal,” Kuznetsov said. “But we ran out of time. And decided that two years is the right option, and Washington did not object.”

That, and literally a million other things are covered in this mammoth interview.

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troy-brouwer-st-louis-blues

Photo: @truebluesstore

For those of you who thought Mike Green in a #25 Red Wings jersey was weird, take a look at Troy Brouwer‘s new Blues sweater. The Big Lebrowski will wear #36 in St. Louis with assistant captain Alexander Steen already wearing #20.

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tom-wilson-joel-ward-smashfest

Former Cap Joel Ward and current Cap Tom Wilson will paint the line in an upcoming charity ping pong tournament. Smashfest, held next Thursday in Toronto, is a celebrity table-tennis tournament held to raise money for rare cancer and head injury research.

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Caps Re-sign RFA Chris Brown to Two-Year Deal

Thursday evening, the Capitals announced that they re-signed restricted free-agent Chris Brown to a two-year, two-way contract. That leaves goaltender Braden Holtby and forward Marcus Johansson, who both elected arbitration last week, as the only RFAs the team has left to sign.

During the summer, MacLellan has talked about how Brown, who the team acquired from the Coyotes for Martin Erat, will have every opportunity to make the team’s bottom six out of training camp.

“We’re going to give Galiev a shot,” MacLellan said to Mike Vogel. “Chris Brown is going to get a shot. [Goaltender Philipp] Grubauer is going to get a shot and [Nate Schmidt] is going to get a shot. We’ve got some guys who have put in some time development-wise [at AHL Hershey], and it’s going to be up to them to perform. They’ll all have chances to make the roster.”

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carrick-ashburn

Photo: @ColdRushHockey

A few dozen kids attending a hockey camp at Ashburn Ice House in Virginia got a big surprise today when they ran into Capitals defenseman Connor Carrick.

Carrick was skating at Ashburn for a change of scenery in his summer training schedule. As he was leaving, a bunch of kids preparing to take the ice for a Summer Fun Ice Skating Camp noticed him and asked for autographs, so he stuck around.

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TJ Oshie Surprises Libby Lu With Caps Jersey

libby-lu-caps-jersey

Photos: Washington Capitals

Two weeks ago, long-time St. Louis Blue TJ Oshie was traded to the Washington Capitals for Troy Brouwer, Pheonix Copley, and a third-round pick. While we were sad to see Brouwer go (especially the Brouwer Rangers), one fan out in the midwest had an even more difficult time dealing with Oshie’s departure: five-year-old Libby Lu.

After seeing the video, Oshie surprised Libby on SportsCenter three days later, promising her a new Caps jersey (and the use of his swimming pool). Well, I can report that the new jersey part did indeed happen.

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steve-dangle-rmnb-shirt

Photo: @Steve_Dangle

Much like the New Horizons spacecraft, one of our RMNB t-shirts recently traveled to a whole new world thanks to super famous Leafs blogger/Sportsnet contributor Steve Dangle.

See if you can spot it.

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ilya-samsonov-caps

Photo: Mike Ehrmann

When the Capitals drafted Ilya Samsonov 22nd overall at last month’s NHL Draft, many people were surprised that the team, already stocked with goaltending talent, would select another netminder. In spite of conventional wisdom, the Capitals insisted that they always draft the best player available. In this case, Samsonov was the best player available.

“Our scouting staff as a whole, individually and as a whole, were more than happy to be able to call his name,” Capitals assistance general manager Ross Mahoney told reporters at the draft. “We’ve always talked in the past about trying to draft the best player that’s available to us and for sure we thought he was our best player that we could take with that pick, so we went ahead and took him.”

Despite a contract with Metallurg Magnitogorsk that runs for three more years, the Capitals planned on Samsonov’s attending their development camp in July to work with goalie coach Mitch Korn.

“He has a contract, but we’ve had players in the past, some Russian players that we’ve drafted and they were able to come over,” Mahoney said. “We have tremendous confidence in our goalie coaches, being able to help this young man develop his game and bring it to a level that’ll get him to succeed in the NHL.”

That, however, never happened. While the Capitals first claimed Samsonov was missing camp due to a visa issue, he was actually attending Metallurg’s training camp as first reported by our own Ian Oland. Despite the mix-up, the Capitals didn’t purport to be concerned when they addressed the issue last week.

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