Kukla's Korner Hockey
Rod Oracheski of 411mania recently interviewed Mke Green of the Washington Capitals…
RO: Now that the Capitals surpassed some external expectations by reaching the playoffs last year, what is the feeling around the team going into next year? How close do you believe you guys are to contending for the Stanley Cup?
MG: Well, just getting off to a good start. Last year we had to fight so hard to even make that playoffs it was like we were dead when we got there. If we can get off to a good start and be in the running halfway through the season, not make it so hard on ourselves, I think we’ll be a lot better for going on a run.
RO: A lot optimism in Washington revolves around last year’s 65-goal scorer, Alexander Ovechkin. What is it like playing with him? Exactly how much does he impact the culture of the team both on and off the ice?
MG: It’s ... I mean you know, everyone knows. He’s the best, or one of the best players in the league. Yeah, anything can happen when he’s on the ice. He’s one of those players that can win you games and it’s just a good thing he’s on our team.
more, plus Rod also interviews Georges Laraque and some other NHL topics too…
from Japers’ Rink,
...yet another Alex Ovechkin gameshow clip, this time one that involves giant Bill Clinton and Gary Bettman dopplegängers and ends with Ovie in a speedo and knee-highs.
Watch the video at Japers’ Rink…
from Ted Leonsis at Ted’s Take,
I am tempted to out a few message board posters who sent me email after email ranting, cursing and telling me how tough and talented Vishnevski is and how much we needed him on our team; how smart NJ was to get him; and how badly we needed him in our lineup. I have two emails that suggested we trade Mike Green for him straight up. My favorite quote, “Mike Green is soft. He is pretty. He will never make a big impact in the NHL while Vishnevski is tough; plays with snarl in his game; and is a stand-up, bone-jarring D man the likes we haven’t seen in DC since Scott.”
continued… and I would wait Ted. A few Wings fans may be able to work out a deal with you. I have a feeling one or two Wings dmen wil be available soon.
Q. Why do you have a special knack against Washington, scoring every third of your goals in the regular season?
A. I don’t know, it just happens. Although it’s a pity that [Glen Hanlon] left Washington. I would have scored not three but six against them. Let him see who is “too young for the national team.”
Q: Do you remember the most original question American journalists have asked you?
A. You should not expect originality from them. Every other time they ask the same: “How do you like to play with your brother?”
I’ve received a lot of emails from readers since Michael Nylander put his Potomac home on the market and that news hit the blog circuit. I’m hearing that it’s nothing more than Nylander wanting to purchase another home (yes, in the Washington area). I’m not saying that he won’t be asked to waive his NTC and get traded, all I’m saying is that there’s no connection between him selling his home and his current status with the team.
-Tariek El-Bashir of the Washington Post, where you can also read a feature on Caps goaltender Brent Johnson…
from Ted’s Take,
From time to time, you have heard me rail against media pundits for their lack of criticality; original thinking; creativity; and basic non-understanding of what they are writing about.
Well here is another rant. This time against Ross McKeon and his blog post mentioning contraction of six NHL teams including the Washington Capitals. Read it here.
First, the throw away notion of shuttering six major league teams is just mean-spirited. Those six teams employ thousands and thousands of people and support tens of thousands of families. I guess Ross wants us to lay off all those people in the toughest economy ever. And those teams generate dollars for their cities in taxes and they generate dollars to hundreds and hundreds of small businesses as vendor/ suppliers.
from Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post,
Jim Van Stone, the Capitals vice president of ticket sales, said yesterday that 3,800 new full season ticket plans have been sold since late February thanks to a renewed interest in the team and more aggressive sales and marketing strategies. He also said sales of partial plans are similarly brisk, while the renewal rate for existing season ticket holders is about 93 percent, the highest since Ted Leonsis purchased the team in 1999.
“I’d love to say we expected this, or planned this,” Van Stone said. “We’re amazed by the support.”
“Alex Ovechkin, I think, is a historic player and will go down as one of those great players and great personalities,” Leonsis said. “We’re fortunate in that he’s a remarkably gifted talent, but he has crossed over. Is he Russian or North American? The way he plays is North American. He speaks beautiful English. He’s funny. He has embraced the tradition of the game. He’s very kind to the fans. He’s telegenic. He’s embraced it all and he is one of the two faces of the new NHL with Sidney Crosby.”
-more on the Washington Capital from Dan Rosen at NHL.com.
The Washington Capitals have signed center David Steckel to a one-year contract extension for the 2009-10 season, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today. In keeping with club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Steckel was already under contract with the Capitals for the upcoming season and would have been an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of 2008-09.
Steckel, 26, completed his fourth professional season and first full NHL campaign in 2007-08. A 6’5”, 222-pound native of Westbend, Wisc., Steckel averaged 13:33 of ice time in 67 games, leading the team and finishing seventh in the NHL with a 56.3% faceoff percentage.
Mike Vogel at WashingtonCaps.com sits down with Jose Theodore for a one-on-one interview.
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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