2010 has been a tough year for Russia. See here, here and here. 2010 has also been tough for Fedor. See here, here and here. Sadly this summer, Mother Nature decided to pile on. Below, Fedor describes what it’s been like to live through the heat and wildfires surrounding Moscow.
Hey guys! While you were out enjoying the #rmnbparty a few weeks ago, I was sweating profusely in front of my PC in Moscow. Suffice to say, it’s been sweltering in my home city and it’s driving people crazy. For example on Twitter, some of the “trending topics” in Central Russia are heat and wildfire. Why all the hubbub? This Boston Globe report summarizes it well:
Last month, Russia endured the hottest July ever recorded since records began 130 years ago. The intense heat and drought affecting central Russia has been drying out trees and peat marshes, which have been catching fire recently, burning forests, fields and houses across a massive region. Some 500 new fires have been reported in the last 24 hours alone, and a mobilization of hundreds of thousands of emergency workers is underway to combat them. President Dmitry Medvedev has now declared a state of emergency in seven regions. To date, over 1,500 homes have been destroyed and 40 lives have been lost as wildfires continue across over 300,000 acres.
One look at the dismantling of the Chicago Blackhawks and it becomes apparent that the life blood of any hockey organization is its youth. If you can bring in young players that provide value at reasonable prices you have the ability to succeed in the long term. In the case of the Hershey Bears, it allows the Caps to fill their team with players who know how to win and execute Bruce Boudreau’s system.
The challenge then becomes not only which players to promote, but which players should be dangled in a trade and which you can simply cut bait with. The underlying question in all of this is simply: Does the front office feel a certain prospect can make it in the NHL?
The Caps need for a center resolved itself a little when Tomas Fleischmann signed a one-year, $2.6 million contract a day before his arbitration hearing on July 27th. Couple that with George McPhee stating that he was prepared to go into the season with the team they have, and that makes it clear the Caps will look within the organization to fill their need for a much-needed pivot in the long term.
One of those options, 2009 first rounder Marcus Johansson, appears to need more time to adjust to the North American game, while 2010 first round pick Evgeny Kuznetsov needs another Russian spy swap to play out his 2-year KHL contract. That leaves “undersized, but feisty” Mathieu Perreault – who has had a lot of success at the AHL level with the defending Calder Cup Champions Hershey Bears.
Our question is: Will Matty P’s success in the AHL translate enough to sustain him at the NHL level?
Everyone Needs More Bradley, right? Whether Matt Bradley was scoring game winning goals, working the PK against some tough competition, staying out of penalty trouble or just plain acting like a superhero, the Caps definitely needed more of it.
But do all players benefit from playing more with Brads?
Look we here at RMNB idolize Alex Ovechkin. But in this video via Alyonka Larionov, we’re a bit confused on Ovi’s wardrobe selection. Sure, maybe we’re not being open-minded enough or maybe we long for the days when Ovi’s T-Shirts were a bit more family-friendly. But we’d love to know what you think of it. At least we know now who Ovi’s new shopping partner is.
For those of you who weren’t able to make it to #rmnbparty, we announced that Andrew Gordon will be blogging with us again this month. August is traditionally the slowest month when it comes to NHL Hockey news, so it’s a great change of pace to hear from Gordo about his mental and physical commitment to training through the summer. This is where players build the strength, speed and skill to compete in the upcoming season. Below Andrew talks about the mental toughness he’s developed to get him through. Photo by Kathryn Hedrick.
Hi Folks! Just when you thought you got rid of me, I’m back with a summer blog! The guys at RMNB and I thought it would be interesting to try and put into words a bit of what’s going on in my life (and in my head) since the season wrapped up a few short weeks ago.
I’ll start right up where my last entry left off: the post cup celebration. This season’s win was a much different feel than the first time. I remember a much deeper feeling of relief as opposed to the rush of excitement that I had as the buzzer rang in 2009. Don’t get me wrong, I was still on cloud 9, but as the heavy favorites going into the season, and again in the playoffs, the win was more of a weight off our shoulders than a celebration of our accomplishments. We were expected to win, and we did, so our job was done. No miracles or underdog stories. Just a job properly executed.
Abram Fox, friend of the blog and contributor to the DC Sports Box, recently wrote to us asking if we could promote the Leap Towards a Cure Charity Hockey Tournament happening this Friday and Saturday at The Gardens Ice House in Laurel, MD. As a former art student myself, Abram’s story below particularly affected me. If any of you are free this weekend, I highly encourage you to attend the event and give to a great cause.
Earlier this year the local youth hockey community lost an unsung hero when Andrea “Froggy” Henderson, long-time art teacher at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, MD, passed away from complications from breast cancer. For three decades Froggy inspired students with her open heart and open mind, encouraging them to reach their fullest potential and opening her classroom to anyone who needed a safe haven or shoulder to lean on.
“We need a blueliner” is a typical Caps Fan’s lament this offseason (second only to DAMMIT!) and recently unrestricted free agent defenseman Willie Mitchell has been rumored to be in the Capital’s cross-hairs. Mitchell has been training and skating for 18 days and is finally symptom-free after his latest concussion – all fueling speculation that his signing is imminent.
But would Wilie Mitchell a good fit on the Capitals’ blueline?
Sam, Sam, Ian, and Wes Pose For a Photo at RMNB’s First Year Party. Photo by Jesse Vaughan
A Heartfelt Thank You: Over the last nine months, RMNB has taken away valuable time I could have spent with my closest friends or family. Honestly, I haven’t always enjoyed the late nights of writing, the five Diet Pepsi’s to get through the day or trekking across the tri-state area just to meet one person or get one photo.
But everything changed Saturday night when I met RMNB’s readers. You all are so fun, so passionate, and so dedicated. You showed us what it means to be a true Caps fan, and I feel so blessed that we have carved-out a place where you can all respectfully obsess with us.
At final count, over 150 fans of the blog gathered at Front Page Arlington to simply meet each other and have a good time. We gave you a great excuse to spend your money for a good cause; Samantha Casey’s charity Love146. At the end of the night, you were all gracious enough to donate almost $900 towards it. And yeah, some awesome prizes didn’t hurt either!
Simply put, you are all such inspiring people. You constantly encourage some of my closest friends: Peter, Neil, Fedor, and Kyle – to write insightful, creative, funny pieces about your favorite hockey team. We do this because you are so receptive, so responsive, and just so danged nice. Saturday night was really just a giant thank you to all of you for participating in a blog that has evolved from being more than just a hobby (that I do in my sweatpants). We eagerly look forward to this October and maybe – if we’re lucky – our 2nd Anniversary party can be in June.
Well, with that said, let’s relive the mayhem that was last Saturday Night.
All those that thought President Obama would attend a Caps game before physicists figure out how to teleport an object all the way across the galaxy, please step forward to claim your prize. Wait a minute, everyone, not so fast…
All hope is not lost. The Washington Post’s new Caps beat reporter Katie Carrera informed us that Barack Obama attended yesterday’s Washington Mystics game at the Verizon Center. Those of us here at Barack The Red were instantly filled with heartbreak.
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