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On Wednesday night, the Washington Capitals held an open house at Verizon Center. John Walton hosted a chalk talk in the lower bowl while Verizon Center employees began creating the new ice sheet for next season behind him. On top of that, Caps rookie forward Evgeny Kuznetsov, who may challenge for will win the Calder Trophy next year, signed autographs for the adoring public.

As I hung out around the line forming to meet Kuznetsov, a fan that looked awfully darned familiar introduced himself to me. “Hi, I’m Max,” the teenager said with a big smile. “I’m from this!”

He then pointed to a 8×10”photo that landed on RMNB in late July.

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Washington Capitals Prospect Rankings: Summer 2014

Andre Burakovsky is the best Caps prospect yet to play a game with the big club (Photo: Elsa/Getty Images).

With rookie camp upon us, RMNB presents the new edition of its semiannual prospect rankings.

Prospect rankings factor in a player’s potential, his probability to reach his ceiling (including an assessment of that player’s adaptation to NHL’s style of play), and physical and mental maturity.

The Caps prospect pool is considered top-heavy, with four Caps prospects ranked in top-50 league-wide by both Corey Pronman and NHL.com. However, there’s believed to be a significant drop-off in talent after that. While Capitals management has tried to make their prospect pool deeper, they’ve still got work to do. The Caps are considered thin at center in particular, underlined by auditioning their two top wingers for a center slot.

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Caps Season Ticket Holders Upset by Change in Ticket Policy

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UPDATED BELOW.

Scandalized by a late-breaking change in policy, Washington Capitals season ticket holders took to social media on Wednesday night.

The Capitals detailed their new policy at the bottom of an email to STHers:

PRINT-AT-HOME – 72 HOURS PRIOR TO EVENT

Effective starting with the 2014-15 season, tickets will only be available to print-at-home within 72 hours of the event. The time limit is an added security measure for our fans and customers as it helps to eliminate occurrences of counterfeited and duplicated PDFs. All other features of Account Manager, including Transfer and the ability to distribute tickets to friends/family/clients in advance, do remain available outside of 72 hours to the event.

The reason stated in the message is security– that the potential for counterfeit printed tickets endangers fans, players, and staff at the arena.

Another effect, as told to RMNB by season ticket holders, is the destruction of the secondary sales market.

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After months of nothing, the NHL has begun announcing news surrounding the 2015 Winter Classic, which will be held in our own backyard of Washington DC! This is why I must point you to the NHL.com website, which has tons of stories promoting the event and hey… why does Toews look like that?

I think we’re going to need to get our fancy schmancy graphic editing software program, vector some raster things, and enhance that bad boy.

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Photo: Neil Greenberg

The Washington Capitals announced Wednesday that they will unveil their new Winter Classic jerseys at the finally-agreed-upon-venue, Nats Park, on September 23rd.

“The Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® has made New Year’s Day a highlight of the season for NHL fans everywhere,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said according to the Capitals’ press release. “Nationals Park provides an ideal setting for all the excitement, entertainment and fun as the Blackhawks and Capitals bring our outdoor tradition to historic Washington, D.C.”

“We are thrilled the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will be played at Nationals Park as we welcome the Chicago Blackhawks and their fans to our nation’s capital,” Capitals majority owner Ted Leonsis said. “We are delighted the D.C. area and our great fan base will have an opportunity to experience the Winter Classic, and we know that Nationals Park will provide an incredible backdrop for the game.”

Commissioner Bettman, Caps owner Ted Leonsis, general manager Brian MacLellan, captain Alex Ovechkin, center Nicklas Backstrom, and goaltender Braden Holtby are all scheduled to attend the event.

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Fedor noticed something on Tuesday, and I just had to comment on it. Vitek Vanecek‘s bio photo on the Champions Hockey League website was not even close to being correct.

I made a crack about it on the Twitters.

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Finally, Alex Ovechkin Has Come Back to Washington, DC!

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The photo’s kind of dark, but that’s him, promise. (Photo: @WashCaps)

After spending Monday and Tuesday in New York for NHL Media Day, the Russian machine has finally come back to DC.

This morning, Alex Ovechkin donned his Caps gear and took the ice with his teammates.

That basically marks the end of summer, so put away your jorts and your neon tank tops. Hockey is coming.

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What Are Your Thoughts On NHL15 So Far?

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Every year during the second Tuesday of September, I do the same exact thing. I completely forget the new NHL video game from EA Sports came out, then I frantically go to the Frederick Best Buy right before it closes and purchase it. I then play it until 2 or 3am and then have the worst insomnia ever because I’m so amped and just want to get up out of bed and play it again until work starts.

Unfortunately, for whatever reason, I have broken the routine this year and am sitting on the sidelines. Again, I’m not exactly sure why, but feel free to blame Tom Wilson if you want.

So here’s where you come in. Please leave in the comments your thoughts on this year’s game. Should I buy it? Should I not? Are those selfies as sexist as Wysh says they are? Are Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom’s hugs as sensual as they seemed in that one GIF I made last week? What ignorant things does Ray Ferraro say about the Russian machine?

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Photo: Express Gazeta

On Monday, the Russian website Express Gazeta released on-set video and an interview from Katya Lel’s new music video. As you might recall, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is co-starring in the “unusual and somewhat provocative” clip from the 40-year-old pop star, which will drop sometime in the fall.

Welp, “somewhat provocative” is right judging by these GIFs.

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Photo: Allison Stancil

On Saturday, a bunch of you came out to Ft. Dupont Ice Arena, and helped raise more than $2,800 for charity in just two short hours. Because you guys were so frigging cool, I had to get even cooler at the end of the party.

With “help” from Troy Brouwer, the Brouwer Rangers, Connor Carrick, and Wes Johnson, I completed the Ice Bucket Challenge in front of 100 crazed lunatics at center ice. I’m told it was a balmy 25 degrees at ice level.

Check it out yourself below.

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