RMNB’s Guide To Free Agency

Photo illustration by Ian Oland.

Guess what tomorrow is? That’s right! Canada Day!

It also happens to be NHL Free Agency, the wildest and kookiest hockey day of the year. The Capitals aren’t expected to make any world-shaking moves this year, but you never know. The spirit of capitalism can possess even the most level-headed of GMs and make them act like crazy people, so stay tuned here tomorrow while we update you on what’s going down. The Caps have a few holes to fill, a few free agents who will find new homes — and who knows, maybe McPhee will trade Backstrom for Jeff Skinner or something, and we’ll all have to drink ourselves into oblivion.

Anything is possible! But luckily, not everything is likely, so follow us below the jump for your Guide to Free Agency 2012.

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Alex Semin goal

After taking a great feed from John Carlson, Alex Semin scores the Capitals first goal of the season on a breakaway.

Photo credit: Mitchell Layton

It was hard not to notice Alex Semin on Opening Night. Not only did he score the Capitals first goal of the season on a breakaway, he also made his presence known physically with a big hit on Bryan Allen. Semin, who had one of his necklaces ripped off in the melee sparked by the questionable check, was given a two-minute minor for boarding. On Sunday, Stephen Whyno of The Washington Times reported that Sasha Minor will not face any disciplinary action from the NHL.

After the game, Slava Malamud of Sport-Express caught up with Semin to get his thoughts on the Caps victory, his broken jewelry, and celebrating his goals with a smile. RMNB’s Igor Kleyner has your translation below.

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Screengrab via @TFGot.

In the Capitals thrilling 4-3 overtime-victory against division rival Carolina, there were several bigs hits of note. Nicklas Backstrom rocked Jiri Tlusty’s world with a fantastic counter-hit and Alex Semin decked Hurricanes Bryan Allen at the end of regulation.

While Backstrom’s hit was totally clean (shoulder to chest), Sasha Minor’s hit was borderline dirty and 2,000 percent unnecessary. Don’t believe me? Check out the video.

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[Editor's note: We are proud to welcome writers Craig Brownstein and Doug Johnson to the Russian Machine! You might already know Craig and Doug from their gay-focused hockey blog, Puck Buddys. You are hereby required to follow them on Twitter: @PuckBuddys. Puck Buddys is increasing its scope from Caps-centric coverage to the whole NHL, so you'll see C+D here a lot, especially for game previews. Please give them a very warm welcome and let us know if they break anything expensive.]

And now, a new season kicks off with an ominous sign of the Hockpocalypse - teh gays are now writing about the Caps for RMNB: a risky collaboration between the established Russian royalty (or oligarchy), and the gauche, nouveau riche upstarts.  The cheeky bastards of the hockey world will occasionally share insightful analysis, anatomy lessons, and keen fashion sense with a wider cross-section of the Caps fanbase. The questions on everyone’s lips?  1) Who’s going to embarrass the other first?  Answer: We’re demonstrating that right now. 2) How did RMNB end up with us? Answer: Dave Nichols of District Sports Page already grabbed all the talented free agents.

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