Please contain your excitement. Ladies and gentlemen, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has arrived at the NHL Awards and he’s ready to mingle. In classic Ovi form, he has put on his most finely pressed blue suit (which is not at all new) and unbuttoned it. Guido look accomplished. All he needs now is a cigar to complete the look.
The NHL Awards show will be airing live from Las Vegas at 7 pm. Until then, we’ll be updating this post with all of Ovi’s escapades.
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.
At 7 PM on Tuesday, the NHL Awards will be held live in Las Vegas, Nevada. Everybody’s favorite Russian machine, Alex Ovechkin, will be in attendance. Ovi, who led the NHL in goals this season, is in town to accept the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy for the fourth time in his career. He’s also there to party.
But we at RMNB are concerned about something else much more important: the seating chart.
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.
Over the weekend, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin posted a shirtless selfie on Instagram. Again. As this is a regular occurrence, I didn’t make much of it, but just in case I asked actual RMNB Russian Igor Kleyner if there was any significance to the photo.
“I’m going to have a conversation with Ovi on his role with the group and how I would like to play,” Trotz said, before admitting he had some problems communicating with the Russian machine. “I haven’t really discussed that with him [though]. Actually, I talked to him when he was over in Russia and they won the World Championships, and he was at Mr. Putin’s house — I believe, or somewhere like that — so it wasn’t the proper time to really sit down and do that.”
If the Kremlin counts as “Putin’s house,” then yes Ovechkin was totally there yesterday.
Alex Ovechkin is the most important person under contract with the Washington Capitals, more pivotal than either the general manager or the head coach. Signed to a 13-year, $124 million dollar deal in 2008, Ovechkin has become the Caps. His jersey sales sustain the team off the ice while his goal scoring provides the plurality of their offense. The preeminent task for his coach, then, is to manage him effectively. Barry Trotz, hired Monday by Washington, will now have to do that.
“It starts with a relationship,” Trotz told reporters from the Verizon Center club level yesterday. “I know I’m going to work at that but it can’t happen until I have a relationship with him because there’s no trust. For me Alex has to trust that I’m giving him the best advice for the team, for him, to grow his game. I don’t know Alex as well. Going against him, I know what he does well, but I need to know Alex the person. Coaching’s not just about Xs and Os, it’s about people.”
Alex Ovechkin is the face of the Washington Capitals. In 2013-14 he scored more goals than anyone else. He also got more criticism than anyone else. Why? And what’s next for the world’s most explosive scorer, now about to play under his fifth coach and exiting his prime scoring years?