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Deadline Day On Ovechkin And Other News & Rumors

TSN reports here,the WPost here and the WTimes here. It doesn't sounds encouraging, Caps fans, though I question whether we'll actually know today if he has chosen to play in the NHL, since the Caps can't technically sign him until the CBA is ratified on Friday. I assume there would be an announcement that the sides have "agreed in principle" or something to that effect, but since they can't sign him until Friday, perhaps they won't announce anything until then. Of course, if Ovechkin backs out of his deal with Omsk today, it'll be a pretty good indicator.

The NHL is certainly a tougher sell now. Think about how ready you'd have been at 18 to travel half way across the world to a country where you don't speak the language, all so you could get paid less than half as much as you would make if you stayed at home. As the WTimes notes, "[t]he new CBA caps rookie pay at $850,000 a season for four seasons, with hard-to-achieve incentives available. Playing for Omsk, Ovechkin would make $1.8 million, be supplied with a car and a condo and pay no taxes." The Caps would still retain Ovechkin's rights for another year, but that's cold comfort. Anyway, on to other quick hits...
  • The Panthers like Markus Naslund (who doesn't) and may have the cap room to sign him. [Canada.com]
  • For some reason, the Isles are supposedly interested in Brian Leetch as well as a sniper (Alexei Kovalev, Ziggy Palffy or Peter Bondra) to play on Alexei Yashin's wing. [Newsday]
  • Possibly "in" in Detroit: Nikolai Khabibulin, Glen Murray and former Wings Chris Osgood (?) and Martin Lapointe. Possibly "out" in Hockeytown: Hatcher, Whitney, McCarty, Chelios. [Detroit News]
  • Jeff O'Neill wants to be a Leaf. [TSN.ca]