While Alex Ovechkin is easily the most celebrated player on the Washington Capitals, someone else was the star of Caps Con.
Everyone say hi to Ovie the Bulldog.
On the top floor of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Ovie’s human parents, Mike and Kim Robertson, set up shop with their leashed and well-behaved pup, greeting Caps fans on their way down to the convention. He made lots of friends.
Yep. (Photos by Chris Gordon)
There were some wild panels at this year’s Capitals Convention. My friend Kate cooked with Mike Green, George McPhee talked about getting verbal abuse about trades from teenage girls, and Ted Leonsis… well, I guess that one wasn’t so weird. The best one of all, though, was the ping pong tournament between pairs of Caps players. Taking part: Karl Alzner and John Carlson, Marcus Johansson and Nicklas Backstrom (aka Team Swede), and Mathieu Perreault and Troy Brouwer (Team Sexy Legs). Team Sexy Legs you ask? Well, just take a look at Troy’s outfit. I will never look at my thighs the same.
In the end, Team Swede won all their games, taking the tournament crown. Below, take a look at my photos.
Photo credit: Patrick McDermott
Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee went on ESPN980 Wednesday afternoon to talk hockey, and boy did he hit some interesting topics. McPhee explained what characteristics the Caps need to have to become a Stanley Cup winner in the future, and he defended his decision to anoint Brooks Laich the second-line center for next season. “There are a handful of teams that maybe have a better second-line center than Brooks,” he said. “It’s [an idea] we’ve been talking about for a few years, and the time has come to do it.”
The most interesting part of the discussion, however, was McPhee’s remarks on Capitals prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov, who is due in North America sometime next year. McPhee admits some frustration about the two-year contract Kuznetsov signed with Traktor Chelyabinsk last spring to stay in the KHL, saying that Kuznetsov went against a verbal promise he made after the 2010 NHL Draft. He also talks about how hard of a contract it was for Kuznetsov to turn down. “He’s 20-years-old, they gave him ten million dollars to play for two more seasons,” McPhee said. “It’s a 13% tax rate over there and even with that, most of the money is under the table. It’s probably no tax.”
The KHL never made Kuzya’s contract public, but it is believed his average annual salary from Traktor is in the two-million range. That would mean that the KHL gave Kuznetsov a bonus around $5 million to stay. And, as we learned from an Igor Kleyner post last year, the KHL’s Legal Regulations handbook has a open-ended rule that allows the league to do exactly just that.
[Traktor] may also apply to the KHL for a special stipend to supplement the young star’s salary. There are no specific limits on the amount of such a stipend, or any clear criteria defining eligibility.
Below, check out McPhee’s entire interview with ESPN980.
Photo: Chris Gordon
Sergei Fedorov left the Capitals in 2009, leaving a hole in the middle of the second line that the team hasn’t been able to keep filled since. There’s been Brendan Morrison and Eric Belanger and Jason Arnott and Mike Ribeiro, but no player has stuck at 2C for any length of time.
Looking at his options on Friday’s free agency frenzy, general manager George McPhee saw nothing to fill that hole. “We didn’t think it was a great class of players,” McPhee told the press after development camp practice on Monday afternoon. McPhee admitted he had a few discussions, but said that contract term was a frequent deal-breaker. “Salary you can compete with,” McPhee said, “but when people get into term that’s too long, you can ultimately hurt your competitiveness down the road.” That’s certainly in line with owner Ted Leonsis’ edict regarding signing veterans.
And so the club looked inward to fill its abscess at 2C. A nation’s capital turns its lonely eyes to Brooks Laich.
It was mid-March and Karl Alzner was on the Internet. Like most twentysomethings, he looked up silly videos on YouTube to kill time. He stumbled across one from early last year — it was of Peter Dill, a basketball player for Seton Hall. Dill scored a single basket in his two years playing for the school, but he did get very excited when his team scored. Alzner played the clip for Mathieu Perreault.
“The guy would just go crazy, pretend he had Thor’s Hammer and he’d be smashing the ground,” Alzner told me Saturday afternoon. “Perry, I could just see his eyes, like ‘this is awesome!’”
“We should do that after we win games,” Perreault responded.
Photo credit: Scott Levy
I don’t know how you guys are coping, but I am doing poorly. A playoff series between the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers seems constitutionally incapable of being stress-free. Game three’s penalty problems continued in game four, and the Caps struggled with special teams and other complex ideas such as shooting and passing. The Rangers seemed to be able to summon a lead on a whim, leaving the Caps to mount a comeback pretty much throughout.
Despite the Caps getting better (and more desperate) as the clock wound down, the Rangers won another game on home ice.
Rangers beat Caps 4-3. Series is tied 2-2.
“WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” (Photo credit: Patrick McDermott)
Jason Chimera hasn’t scored a lot of goals this season — so few, in fact, that’s it’s become A Thing. Chimera markers are special occasions to be celebrated– like a John Carlson backcheck. But Thursday, in game one of the 2013 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, we got another special occasion.
Just 46 seconds after Marcus Johansson took Steve Oleksy‘s divine saucer pass and put it behind Henrik Lundqvist in the second period, Chimmer added another goal to Washington’s tally. Taking a pass from Mathieu Perreault, the Bald Bullet swept the puck towards the net from the blueline. It seemed as if Chimera was trying to set up a play for Matty P, who by then had parked himself in front of net. Instead, Chimera’s puck trickled lazily past King Henrik.
“He’s had some struggles as far as the regular season goes,” Troy Brouwer said of Chimera. “To see him score early on, get confidence, play well [is good]. He loves helping the team out, he loves playing hockey, and he did a great job tonight.”
Happy playoffs, hockey people!
On this very special day, we’re releasing a bunch of new shirts to the RMNB store— and we’re sure you’ll love at least one of them. If you’re into Perreault’s post-game celebrations, The Wagon, or meteors, we’ve got a shirt for you. And if you hate Pennsylvania (and who doesn’t?), we’ve got you covered as well. Seven new shirts in all, in men’s and women’s cuts, all printed on the finest natural synthetic fabrics available.
Wwith Mother’s day coming up, all Women’s tees are 15% off. Just use the coupon code MOTHER2013 during check-out.
We’re real proud of this new batch of shirts. Take a look and let us know what you think!
It’s becoming a tradition — one that I truly enjoy. When the Caps win in overtime, Mathieu Perreault freaks out like a 5-year-old who has inhaled one of those giant pixie stick straws and starts flailing around erratically. Perry started the celebration thing after a shootout win over Winnipeg, and he did it again after the Caps beat the Islanders. When Eric Fehr scored in OT to give Washington a win in their final game of the regular season, Perreault delivered.
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