1 Day Out: Sochi

The NHL regular season begins tomorrow, and yet, for some people, the real action won’t begin until February. For the second time in our bloggity life, the NHL season will be interrupted for the Olympic hockey tournament.

Olympic hockey is great. The ice is big and weird, the rules confuse me, and the final games are like the All Star game except not absolutely unbearably awful like the All Star Game, which sucks. It’s Crosby and Team Canada vs Ovechkin and Team Russia vs Someone and Team USA vs Someone Else and Team Other Country Probably Sweden.

Here at RMNB, we are going all-out for the Olympics. We should — no wait, I just decided– we WILL send one of our writers to Russia for the event. Just picking at random… Fedor. There. Done. I’m a decision-maker. Fedor, if you’re reading this, please contact Ian for your traveling expenses.

Some people say Olympic gold is even better than winning a Stanley Cup. These people are called Europeans. For Europeans and European-sympathizing North Americans, the NHL season is going to be one big prelude to the Olympics. As rosters are finalized and the ice is laid down in Sochi and Evgeny Kuznetsov rehabs, our attentions might be momentarily swayed from Caps hockey. Please forgive us if that offends you. We feel duty-bound to cover it all and root for our preferred players’ quest for Olympic gold.

But we won’t ever forget that Stanley Silver is more valuable.

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Photo via Gizmodo

The NHL agreed last week to allow its players participate in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Up to eleven Washington Capitals could represent their countries in the two-week tournament, but the ultimate goal of Olympic gold just got a bit less awesome.

Chelyabinsk Region Culture Minister Alexei Betekhtin announced on Wednesday that gold medal winners on February 15th will receive a little something extra in their award: part of the meteor that crashed over the city a year before. According to R-Sport, only seven events will be awarding medals that day: the men’s 1,500 meter speedskating, the women’s 1,000m and men’s 1,500 short track, the women’s cross-country skiing relay, the men’s K-125 ski jump, the women’s super giant slalom, and the men’s skeleton events.

So no space rocks for hockey players.

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Kuznetsov during a National Team camp last year. (Photo credit: Anton Sergienko/Sport-Express)

Washington Capitals top prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov was named one of 35 players to Russia’s National Team camp, which will be held at the site of next year’s Winter Olympics, Sochi. The two-day camp, running from August 23rd to August 24th, will also feature Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, as well as former Caps players Semyon Varlamov and Alexander Semin.

Kuznetsov, a late addition to Russia’s World Championship team in the Spring, exclusively talked to Alexey Shevchenko of Olympic Team Russia’s official site about the honor and tried to temper his expectations for next year.

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Alex Ovechkin talks about the Sochi Olympics

Any article that captures Alex Ovechkin’s awesome personality is a total win in our book. Hence why we sent Fedor off to translate this Sports.ru story where a reporter asked Ovi and several other famous Russians what they think the mascot should be for the upcoming Sochi Games. Take a look below!

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Ovechkin Speaks!

Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

A full week after his first appearance on Russian radio this summer, Alex Ovechkin made his second appearance on the radio station Mayak, Saturday.  Ovi spoke with Regina Sevostyanova and their conversation covered a variety of topics including Russia’s failure at the Vancouver Olympics, how the Russian National Team should respond in Sochi, and the dreaded smoking scandal.

Below the fold, we translated the Sports.ru article which did a transcription of the interview.

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