dominik-hasek

Photo: AP

Two years ago, Igor and I visited Caps 2012 seventh round pick Sergey Kostenko in Reading, PA for an interview. Kostenko, who sadly is no longer with the Caps, previously played in Metallurg Novokuznetsk’s system in Russia and had a lot of great stories.

My favorite story was about newly honored member of the Hall of Fame, Dominik Hasek. The Dominator wasn’t just smart, he was an athletic freak.

A partial transcript from Igor’s interview follows.

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Old Man Knuble

Mike Knuble

Photo credit: Chris Gordon

A 24-year-old Mike Knuble, then a promising forward prospect, played nine games for the Detroit Red Wings during the 1996-97 season.

Players who were still playing during Knuble’s first season in the NHL include Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Patrick Roy, Dominik Hasek, Steve Yzerman, Brett Hull, Mark Messier, Dino Ciccarelli, Brian Leetch, Grant Fuhr, and Ron Hextall.

Just days after Knuble’s first game, Phil Collins announced that he was leaving Genesis to focus on his solo career, M.C. Hammer wasn’t yet bankrupt, and it would be months before The Daily Show debuts on Comedy Central.

I guess what I am trying to say is Knuble is old getting up there in years, but don’t tell him that.

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Evgeny Kuznetsov Gold Medal

Despite winning gold at the World Junior Championships and putting up one of the best years ever recorded by a 18-year-old in Russia, Capitals prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov spent most of last year playing through pain. The reason? A nagging shoulder injury that never completely healed after offseason surgery.

So Kuznetsov, who revealed to reporters in December that he struggled doing push-ups, flew back to Germany and went under the knife again in April. Thirteen and a half weeks later — with a renegotiated contract with Traktor and wife in hand – Kuznetsov seems optimistic of a full recovery.

Sport.ru’s Andrey Osadchenko recently spoke with the now 19-year-old and the two discussed a variety of topics. Most notably for Caps fans, Kuznetsov said that he has been looking at real estate in the D.C. area and plans to play for the Capitals in 2012-13.

Below, RMNB’s Igor Kleyner has your translation.

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Caps prospect and cupake-connoisseur Evgeny Kuznetsov won this year’s KHL Breakaway Challenge by using some Ovechkin-esque moves on future NHL HOF goaltender Dominik Hasek. The video of it can be seen above. If I had to pick my own personal favorite breakaway, I’d choose Kuznetsov’s second attempt where he juggled the puck down the ice mid-air with his stick, threw it over Hasek’s head in reaction to The Dominator trying to tackle him, and then skated himself and the puck into the goal. All with only a spotlight on him! Kuzya, who also had a goal and four assists in Team Jagr’s 18-16 victory over Team Yashin, was the youngest player ever to play in the KHL All-Star Game at 18-years old. The future for this young Russian is certainly bright! The only question I have is: will Kuzya’s hot-streak ever end?

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The two kapitans, Ilya Kovalchuk and Alex Ovechkin

Sunday per Championat.ru, Washington Capitals Superstar Alex Ovechkin and recently-signed New Jersey Devil Ilya Kovalchuk held a charity hockey game at Sokolniki Arena in downtown Moscow. The reason? To raise money for the children affected by the terrible wildfires in Russia this summer. The high-scoring match ended in a 13-13 tie and raised 13,870,000 ruble or $451,900 American Dollars for the children’s fund.

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