Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Tarik El-Bashir at Capitals Insider:
I just got off the phone with Brooks Laich, who is the NHL Players’ Association representative for the Caps. He said he was made aware of the steroids report early this morning and is in the process of calling all of his teammates. Here’s most of what Laich had to say:
Q: Do you have any idea what the suspect in the steroids case is talking about?
A: I have no idea. As far we know it’s just speculation. The guy didn’t say if it was 10 years ago that he sold to the Capitals. Whether it was five ago that he sold. We have no idea. I’ve already been in touch with our players, and there’s nothing on our side to report.
Q: What was your reaction to the sheriff coming out and repeating what a suspect said without offering any additional evidence?
A: I watched the video of it. I was kind of surprised he would say it. But he was also very careful in saying it because of the wake it would cause. As far we’re concerned as players, it’s just accusations of a desperate man trying to get some publicity, I think. But we’ll see how it plays out over the next couple of days.
Update 6:18pm ET: Given that steroids are such a big topic today because of this story, it might interest some people to catch an interview with Sean Hill that Toronto’s AM 640 will be broadcasting at 6:40pm ET. Hill was the first NHLer to ever fail a steroid test, back in 2007, so the topic is likely to come up.
Statements released by the Capitals and the NHL are below:
from Samara Sodos at the Tampa Tribune,
Cops say they have plenty of evidence that Richard Thomas and his wife Sandra were big-time steroid dealers. At a Tuesday night press conference announcing the arrest of the pair, Polk County Sheriff’s officials were surrounded by thousands of doses of anabolic steroids.
What investigators aren’t sure of is whether Richard Thomas, 35, is telling the truth when he says he is the biggest steroid provider in Central Florida and that he sold mostly to professional athletes, including those on the Washington Capitals hockey team and Washington Nationals baseball team.
RDS is reporting that forward Viktor Kozlov has signed a deal to play with Salavat of the KHL for next season. Details of the contract were not reported.
It appears Sergei Fedorov is ready to leave the Washington Capitals and play in the Kontinental Hockey League next season.
Citing sources in Russia, RDS.ca is reporting that Fedorov is about to agree to a two-year deal with Russia’s Metallurg Magnitogorsk.
The report indicates the two-year contract will see Fedorov collect $3.8 million per season.
Fedorov would be joining his younger brother Fedor on the Metallurg Magnitogorsk roster.
added 10:43am, via Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider,
I was just told moments ago by someone in the Fedorov camp that the 39-year-old veteran still has interest in playing for Washington next season. But for Fedorov to return to the Caps, I was told via text message, “a decision has to be made soon by Wash.”
from Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider at the Washington Post,
“I cannot imagine myself retired; I don’t know why,” the 39-year-old veteran said. “I still have got some legs left and I’m still enjoying the game and I’m certainly enjoying this group of young and very talented players. I didn’t think about retiring. By saying that, I would like to continue to play. With the young legs around me, it’s really helpful.”
Fedorov said his agent, Pat Brisson, spoke briefly to GM George McPhee about an extension back in February. But that discussion was put on hold—at the team’s request—until after the season
from Mike Wise of the Washington Post,
Penguins-Capitals was never merely about a tremendous Stanley Cup series showcasing the NHL’s brightest stars going the distance, one full of riveting theater until an abject dud of a Game 7.
No, to the hard-core traditionalists who view most uber-skilled players from overseas as little more than Euro trash, this was about validating their xenophobia.
Sidney Crosby, the quiet farm boy from Nova Scotia, won; his Pittsburgh team is going back to the Eastern Conference finals. Ovechkin, the YouTube demigod who once pretended his stick was on fire after a goal, got his just dessert.
Basically this game was over in the first period.
Too many early turnovers cost the Caps and they never could recover.
This was a great series to watch and sure had the star power to go along with it.
Congrats to both teams.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
How Pittsburgh can win
1. Crosby and Malkin … two is bigger than one
The three big boys in this series—Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Alex Ovechkin—have more than delivered the goods, combining for 31 points in the series. But let’s do the math. Can the Caps’ Ovechkin win a game by himself? Yes, he can. But if Ovechkin, Crosby and Malkin all bring their A-games Wednesday night, it should give the Penguins an edge, given the additional pressure on the Capitals’ defenders and rookie netminder Simeon Varlamov….
How Washington can win
1. The one-man wrecking crew
Yes, we know it’s a team game, blah, blah, blah. But as much as Crosby has been a dynamic force in driving the Penguins forward and overcoming obstacles, Ovechkin has been the same kind of figure on the other side of the ice.
...hard answer. Who wins tonight?
from Gene Collier of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
The 2009 Eastern Conference semifinals have had more layers than a Russian novel and nearly as many novel Russians.
Crosby and Ovechkin have been brilliant, Evgeni Malkin and Alexander Semin richly compelling, and the bad blood and political rhetoric have been flowing consistently in just the right dosages, not too bitter, not too mild.
Does it have to end tonight?
Fans of both hockey clubs, could they be absent their passion for five seconds, might find meaning in the ancient Jackson Browne lyric finally poked into the pop culture net by Glenn Frey:
We may lose and we may win, though we will never be here ag’in.
added 9:07am, from Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post,
So tonight, into the specter of Washington Game 7s, enter Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby, the stars of the Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins, respectively. As good as this Eastern Conference semifinal series has been—and, impossibly, “it’s lived up to the hype,” Washington forward Brooks Laich said—it is only tonight when it can cement itself as one of the best and most riveting events in Washington sports history.
“It’s what’s going to make these guys great,” Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau said. “It’s going to make them remembered. No one’s going to remember who lost Game 7. But they’ve got the ability to—and I told them yesterday—to create history again.”
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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