19 Total Updates since October 2, 2012
5 months ago Article 22 comments
A quick glance at the Caps during the lockout
5 months ago Article 15 comments
Nicklas Backstrom is beaming with optimism as the lockout ends and he leaves Moscow for Washington
5 months ago Article 3 comments
The Capitals' season ended in mid-May, but hockey soldiers on in this time of lockout limbo. Here are some pix of the Caps' diaspora, at home and abroad.
6 months ago Article 15 comments
The Washington Capitals forward brought some NHL-style showmanship to the capital of Poland. Oh, and don't try to run his goalie. Ever.
6 months ago Update 0 comments
Jason Chimera was able to find employment during the NHL lockout in the Czech Republic. But this week The Washington Capitals forward decided to return home to the United States after five games with HC Chomutov in the Czech Extraliga.
Chimera had trouble coping with playing while his family was back home in the U.S. TV NOVA Sport in the Czech Republic was first to report Chimera returning. His agent, Allan Walsh, confirmed that.
Chomutov manager Leo Gudas told TV NOVA Sport: "He wasn't able to live here separated from family, especially his children."
Another reminder of the human element associated with this lockout... and something to think about any time a player gets traded mid-season, really.
6 months ago Article 19 comments
The lockout - and the Caps' locker room - gets a little more interesting, as Troy Brouwer and Karl Alzner weigh in on recent comments by the Czech contingent.
6 months ago Article 9 comments
The Caps netminder expressly comes to the defense of one teammate... while implicitly throwing another under the bus.
6 months ago Article 9 comments
The veteran Caps blueliner has had enough with the lockout... and his union's leadership
6 months ago Article 10 comments
It seems the Kloten Flyers will have to make do without their first line center for an unknown amount of time.
6 months ago Article 3 comments
The speedy winger becomes the latest Cap to head overseas to find work during the lockout
7 months ago Article 2 comments
Nicklas Backstrom deals with bureaucracy and life in the KHL
7 months ago Article 5 comments
Marcus Johansson has signed with BIK Karlskoga of second-tier Swedish league HockeyAllsvenskan
7 months ago Article 28 comments
Nicklas Backstrom on life in the KHL, his contract and his unnecessarily controversial #99 sweater.
7 months ago Update 8 comments
Nicklas Bäckström spoke with Hockeysverige following his Dynamo debut (Backstrom was credited with an assist in the 3-0 win), and Malin Andersson provides this translation:
"It felt damn good to finally play a game again. I think it’s fair to say that I have been waiting on this for quite some time now."
What did you like the most about the game?
"As I was saying earlier - that we won the game. The first game of the season always feels a bit strange. I think you can say that it was a typical first game of the season."
How much of a role did your friend Alexander Ovechkin have on you ending up playing for Dynamo Moscow?
"He kept calling me, trying to get me to join his team. I told him from the start that my first choice was to play for Brynäs. But Brynäs told me that they didn’t want to bring on any more players at the moment. To be perfectly honest with you - I didn't have any other alternative than to play for Dynamo. If I wanted to play at all.
"Now when I’m here it feels like a great choice, and as I said, it feels so good to be playing games again."
How well did you know Richard Gynge before you arrived in Moscow?
"I played with Richard in Brynäs so we know each other fairly well. He is a pure sniper, and he is a great guy outside of rink too. Also, it’s always nice to have another Swede on the team because it’s not like people talk a lot of English in this locker room, haha...."
Why did you win tonight?
"I thought we had an overall solid effort. After we went up with 2-0 in the game it felt like we did well playing with the lead. The first period was pretty well paced but once we scored our goals we played it safe and didn’t take any unnecessary risks and it helped that our goalie, had a great game."
So what’s next for you and your team?
"We just jumped on a bus and are heading to the airport. We are flying to the town Torpedo [Ed. note: Alexander Semin's team] plays in. We play Torpedo on Wednesday."
7 months ago Update 0 comments
Nicklas Bäckström chatted with reporters as he prepares for to make his Dynamo debut, and Malin Anderson provides this transcription:
When you decided to come over did it take long for you to make the decision to come over?
"No, it didn’t. I told Ovi and you and everybody two weeks ago maybe. And that’s when I decided that I wanted to play and this was a good option for me and I’m glad that Dynamo wanted to have me here."
As you may or may not know Ovechkin was having critical comment on the NHL negotiation do you have any opinion on that?
"Yeah, not really. I heard what he said but I mean but I don’t have any comments right now, we will see what happens. The one thing I can tell right now is that nothing is happening. So we will see what’s going to happen."
When you were given bunch of numbers to choose, why did you choose number 99?
"Because I had a 9 in my 19 and 19 was taken and then I didn’t like the other numbers so 99 was the only one."
So you will be like the Swedish Gretzky?
"No. I will be like the Swedish Nicklas Bäckström."
Do you know anything particular about Dynamo or their history, or former stars or players?
"Yeah, they have a lot of history and last night at the museum I was looking around at pictures and stuff, for me as a Swede I saw a couple of Swedes that’s been playing there. It’s a famous club in Russia."
After watching a Dynamo game you had a chance to look at the system. Do you think this will be a system that is interesting to play?
"Yeah, I’m excited I mean. I think [...] is a great club and I’m excited to start playing and I think everything looks good, the system and everything."
Ovi and Backy from the capital in U.S. to the capital of Russia. Do you think it will be as comfortable for you as before?
"I hope so. I think so, I mean me and Ovi have been playing with each other for five years now so hopefully we know where we are on the ice."
7 months ago Update 9 comments
Nicklas Bäckström hasn't signed the contract with Dynamo Moscow yet. One of the things that still remains to be negotiated is the length of the contract. Bäckström wants an opportunity to break the contract with Dynamo if the lockout lasts all season. That is something the KHL club is not particularly interested in according to Sportbladet’s sources. Nicklas Bäckström has been very clear all along that he wants to play with Brynäs, if they let him, but so far they are turning him down.
"I don’t comment on ongoing negotiations, but I can confirm that all the details are not yet finalized." says, Gunnar Svensson, Nicklas Bäckström’s Swedish agent, to Sportbladet.
It's unlikely that anything here will cause a deal to fall through at this point, but stranger things have happened. And, to clarify, it sounds as if Dynamo would be fine with Backstrom leaving in the event that the NHL lockout ends, but wouldn't want to give him an out should an opportunity with another non-NHL club become available... which brings us to the next point, that bit about his former Swedish club, Brynäs, being Backstrom's first choice, which is something Backstrom himself told Expressen (see also here), as he spoke of his decision to head to Moscow:
"Brynäs was my first choice so of course I’m disappointed, but it is what it is. I just couldn't sit around and wait for them indefinitely, this was my only alternative. I’m really looking forward to playing some hockey again. I’m not sure when I will play my first game for Dynamo Moscow, it depends on how I feel when I get over there.
"It’s always fun to have another Swede on the team. I know Richard Gynge from when we both played together with Brynäs. He is a good guy.
"I’m really looking forward to finally play some games. I have been on ice over here in the States, but I probably am not in real game shape just yet. "
Brynäs is in a bit of a spot here, given the Swedish Elite League's lack of desire to make use potentially short-term NHL labor, something the club apparently supports and intends to honor. Back to Sportbladet:
"Of course it's a very strange feeling. It’s been an incredibly tough decision to say no thanks to Nicklas. But there are two dimensions to this: Nicklas - the man, is an incredible person and a true ambassador for Brynäs. But at the same time, we made a decision early on that we that we think will be the best for us in the long run and then you have to stay by that decision," says club director Hans-Göran Karlsson.
According to Sportbladet’s calculations Nicklas Bäckström insurance would cost Brynäs around 600,000 kronor per month. And they have financial means to afford to pay his insurance.
"Yes, we have the economy to bring him home, the fact that we do have the money makes this decision extra tough for us."
So there you have it - two Leagues (the NHL and SEL) now have said "No" to the Caps' top pivot, so he's off to Moscow to pair up with his pal Ovi... assuming the i's get dotted and t's get crossed. As with seemingly everything related to this lockout, it's clear as mud.
(H/t to Malin on the translations - super work, as always.)
7 months ago Update 19 comments
Washington's star forward Nicklas Backstrom choose to play in the KHL and Dynamo Moscow during NHL conflict.
"I want to play hockey and this will be a fun challenge," says Backstrom to SVT sport. It was teammate Alexander Ovechkin who persuaded Backstrom choosing Dynamo.
There may be a short-term stay in the Russian capital. The parties shall negotiate in the NHL tonight Swedish time. The employer has fallen somewhat with the hope to get the game on November 2. Players union does not seem impressed by the new bid.
Update: Katie Carrera confirms that Backstrom has indeed signed with Dynamo.
8 months ago Update 4 comments
The Kontinental Hockey League has reached an agreement with the US sports TV channel ESPN to broadcast games in the 2012/2013 KHL Championship. The games will be shown on the ESPN3 channel in the United States, Territories of the United States, and also in Great Britain.
ESPN3 reaches 73 million American households and devotes most of its output to live broadcasts of events, including college football, college basketball, the NBA, MLB, ICC (International Cricket Council) competitions and qualifying matches of FIFA tournaments.
During the first ten days of October, the channel will broadcast five KHL games. The planned schedule includes:
Dynamo Moscow vs Ak Bars on Oct. 3rd;
Lev vs SKA on Oct. 6th;
Slovan vs Dynamo Moscow on Oct. 7th;
CSKA vs SKA on Oct. 8th;
Lev vs Dynamo Moscow on Oct. 9th.
That's three games featuring Alex Ovechkin's Dynamo Moscow over the next week, which ain't so bad... until you remember that it's three games featuring Alex Ovechkin's Dynamo Moscow.
Update: Um... or not. Yet.
8 months ago Update 7 comments
With the NHL’s lockout ongoing, Caps general manager George McPhee decided that it would be best for his coaches and for the organization’s players in Hershey and Reading to benefit from the addition coaching and instruction that can be provided by the Washington staff.
For the time being, Oates and French will serve as co-coaches of the Bears.
"Mark French and Adam Oates will be co-coaches and they will work together and both will be very involved with the day-to-day [operations] of the team," says McPhee.
Vogs has much more on the move, so be sure to click through, but if you were hoping for signs that the lockout might come to a quick conclusion... this ain't one.