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Image by the Capitals

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was impressive on and off the ice in January. On Monday he was named the NHL’s first star for the month of January.

Ovi had points in 9 of 13 games and led all NHL players with 12 goals. You can relive all of those goals here on RMNB.

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As we learned during the Winter Classic, any NHL footage authored by GoPro cameras is awesome. That’s why we’re happy to hear that the two companies have partnered up. Today, the NHL and GoPro simultaneously released a video showing some of the world’s best hockey players wearing the cameras and basically showing off. The footage is freaking incredible. Even the Sidney Crosby part, which is like the entire video.

Also, Alex Ovechkin‘s in it too for like two seconds. And he wags his tongue. Appropriate.

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For decades, the ugly Christmas sweater has been a fashion faux pas, an ugly, handstiched gift from grandma that you felt obligated to wear on the one day out of the year you actually see her. The colors are often a garish red and green, featuring designs of reindeer, snowmen, holly, and a waving Santa sewn on it. It looks terrible. You look terrible.

The NHL is attempting to out-ugly nana this year by selling their own version of the ugly Christmas sweater. They are so hideous that they are kind of beautiful. You must own one. There is a design for most NHL teams. Three players are immortalized in wool: Jonathan Quick, Patrick Kane, and our own Alex Ovechkin.

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The Interesting Case of Vladimir Sobotka

Photo: Elsa/Getty Images

St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Sobotka has signed a three-year contract with the KHL’s Avangard Omsk. It’s been reported by iSport.cz and translated to Russian by Sports.ru that Sobotka has a clause in his contract that would allow him to return to the NHL during any offseason. Reports of his salary have varied: the initial report by iSport had Sobotka’s salary at $4 million per year. Andy Strickland of CBS Sports Radio St. Louis tweeted that according to his sources Sobotka will be making $4.3 million average throughout the life of the deal. Sobotka’s agent Darryl Wolski tweeted that his client will be making just $2.8 million per year.

There’s even more confusion as to whether he could return to St. Louis or any other NHL team.

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Alex Ovechkin Named NHL’s First Star of the Week Again

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Photo credit: Alex Brandon

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has been named NHL’s number one star of the week, beating out two goaltenders I’ve never heard of in my life.

I think you’ll agree, Ovechkin had a pretty good week. He scored two last-minute game-tying goals, had a four goal game, bloodied Brayden Schenn with a huge body check, and helped make this tremendous holiday-themed music video. Oh, wait, I’m being told that making the music video did not impact voting.

Dammit, it should have though!

The NHL’s press release is below.

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The National Hockey League just released a two minute video they produced commemorating the official end of the lockout. It features cameos by Alex Ovechkin, Jason Chimera, and Sidney Crosby… crying. Liev Schreiber, the voice behind 24/7, also narrates. “Hockey is back,” the video claims. No, that never really left. Just you, NHL. Just you.

For whatever reason, this video feels hollow to me, but I encourage you all to watch it for yourself and come to your own conclusions.

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Ticketmaster Email

Reader Stephen C. forwarded us this email. On Monday, Ticketmaster sent him a campaign promoting the December 4th Capitals/Islanders at Nassau Coliseum. Except there’s this lockout thing going on, so that ain’t happening. We figured it was just a screw-up in the system, some email marketing intern noob flying off the handle. Stephen thinks it is a sign that “our long (inter)national nightmare is nearing an end.”

On Wednesday night, I got this apology in my inbox from Ticketmaster.

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Photo credit: atlant-mo.ru

Let’s start with a disclosure: we aren’t actively covering the lockout. Financial negotiations (and their public face) are all about posturing, tedium, and equivocation, whereas our principal interest in hockey has always been scoar, moar, and goals. That said, our Alex Ovechkin has spoken out about the ongoing melee between NHL ownership and players, and it’s definitely newsworthy.

Talking with SovSport’s Dmitry Ponomarenko after Saturday’s game, Ovechkin gave his spin on the NHL’s offer to the players earlier this week, dismissing the proposal as “nothing new” and “good only after a quick look.” Ovechkin continued:

If we speak in Russian, the NHL provided a beautiful dream to the media and fans, but in reality it’s a lie. It’s showboating. The league is trying to show that they are kind of working, trying to save the season, but they offer nothing new. It’s all the same, just in different words.

In the interview, Ovechkin carries some water for the players’ association, but he ends with a bombshell: he is willing to walk away from the NHL if the new CBA is no good.

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Photo credit: hotice.ru

On March 12th, the MHL, the KHL’s developmental league, held an All-Star game for under-18 year-old players in Cheylabinsk, Evgeny Kuznetsov’s hometown. KHL president Alexander Medvedev attended the one-day event and made time to meet with the local press. When asked his opinion about the future of the league’s most popular player, Medvedev responded, “Kuznetsov would be better playing a couple more years here.”

Apparently Kuznetsov agrees with Medvedev, because today on KHL-TV’s “The Icing Show,” the 19-year-old Caps prospect revealed that he will stay in Russia next season.

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The NHL is Back on Russian Airwaves

After long negotiations, the Russian National Broadcasting Company (VGTRK) has secured the rights to broadcast the NHL on their sports channels (free SD Russia 2 and cable HD Sport 1).

Back when RMNB was in its infancy, I described what it was like to be a fan of the Washington Capitals in Moscow. Staying up until 6am and searching the internet for feeds of Caps games (where there’s no guarantee I will hear Joe B. and Locker), is neither convenient or healthy.

Understanding this shortfall, the NHL started offering a Russian version of their website this season, and they allowed Europeans to watch games on NHL GameCenter Live. The VGTRK deal — which was completed in November — is another step towards globalizing the NHL.

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