Wednesday, May 30, 2007


I am going on a temporary hiatus as I start the long and tiring process of moving. I hope to be back and blogging by Monday or Tuesday of next week. And by blogging I mean trying get my fingers to hit the right keys because they will likely be bloody and sore from a weekend of assembling Ikea furniture.

I leave you with some hockey gossip for the rest of the week.

In 1992-93, his final season as a player with the Winnipeg Jets, Ducks coach Randy Carlyle had a rookie teammate he didn't care for: his current No. 1 right wing. "He wasn't my best friend," Carlyle said of Teemu Selanne, who scored 76 goals that season. Carlyle didn't think Selanne practiced hard enough, and he wasn't afraid to let the Finnish Flash know.

After the 3-2 loss in Game 1, Ottawa coach Bryan Murray talked to Scotty Bowman, his former boss in Detroit. Part of their conversation was whether the Senators should break up their No. 1 line, as the Wings did at times with Tomas Holmstrom-Pavel Datsyuk- Henrik Zetterberg, to avoid Anaheim's checkers.

Bryan Murray was seeing red yesterday. The Senators coach doesn't want to instruct his players to do anything stupid, but Murray indicated if the Ducks are going to get away with hooking, holding and obstruction, he's going to tell Ottawa players to try to do the same. With Game 2 tonight and the Senators trailing 1-0 in the Stanley Cup final, Murray has decided that what is good for the goose is good for the gander, so the Ducks can expect Ottawa players to change their game.

The Rangers made a counter-offer to keep assistant Don Maloney, who has intimate knowledge of the team's minor league and junior prospects, but it is believed he used that offer as leverage to negotiate a four- or five-year general manager contract from the Coyotes.


I cant help but rant about my lack of cable over at Hockey's Ladies of Greatness.

Dany Heatley

Dany Heatley recently spoke with an AP reporter about his new life in Ottawa. Heatley is still serving probation from his 2003 accident, in which Thrashers teammate Dan Snyder died.

Heatley was driving when he lost control of his black Ferrari and crashed while speeding on a residential Atlanta road on Sept. 29, 2003. The car was torn apart. Heatley broke his jaw and injured his knee. Snyder lingered in a coma for six days before dying at 25.

Heatley pleaded guilty to second-degree vehicular homicide, driving too fast for conditions, failure to maintain a lane and speeding.

Snyder's parents, Graham and LuAnn, hugged Heatley at their son's funeral. Graham Snyder and his other son both testified in court that they didn't want Heatley to go to jail or lose his hockey career.

He didn't.


Off the ice, Heatley's life is a bit different from his teammates.

He was sentenced to three years of probation, which is ongoing. He cannot drive except for work and medical purposes or for going to the grocery store or to the 150 speeches he's required to give.

"I'm on pace," he said. "I'll probably finish them up by the end of summer."

Heatley talks to young people about the dangers of speeding.

"Maybe you can help somebody along the way or help them make the right decision along the way," he said.

While Heatley continues remaking his life, the Snyders remain attached to the past.

They visited all 30 NHL arenas this season. Not to harp on the accident, but to remind fans of their son. They started a foundation in his name that provides college scholarships.

"We talk," Heatley said. "Not a lot, but we talk regularly."

But Heatley shuts down when asked about carrying Dan Snyder's spirit with him.

"That's something that I've kept close to me since it happened and something I'm not going to talk about," he said.

Heatley and the Snyders will reunite in July for the fourth annual Dan Snyder Memorial golf tournament in Elmira, Ont. Heatley has attended each year.

How much would he enjoy bringing the Stanley Cup with him this summer?

"I don't want to jinx it," he said. "It's always fun to go there, it's a great day."

NHL in the future for Boudreau?

This is a good article about Hershey Bears Coach Bruce Boudreau. I know his name has been mentioned a number of times as a possible replacement for Glen Hanlon, should he get the ax. Personally, I hope the Caps keep Hanlon around but its clear that Boudreau is eager to make the jump.

Fans in Washington were clamouring for his promotion given that club’s disappointing 2006-07 season. And Boudreau has a heck of a resumé with the Calder Cup, the ECHL title and trip to the Turner Cup finals in the old IHL among his coaching accomplishments.

“This is our second finals in a row,” said Boudreau. “I think our teams have been pretty well prepared. We’ll let the people in the higher-ups make the decision.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Calder Cup Finals

The Hershey Bears finished their sweep of the Manchester Monarchs on Saturday night with a 3-1 win. They will take on the Hamilton Bulldogs in the Calder Cup finals. Unfortunately, I will be moving on June 1-2, but if the Bulldogs push the series past five games, I will definitely make it up to Hershey.

GAME 1: Friday, June 1
Hamilton at HERSHEY
7:00 p.m.
GIANT Center

Saturday, June 2
Hamilton at HERSHEY
7:00 p.m.
GIANT Center

Monday, June 4
HERSHEY at Hamilton
7:30 p.m.
Copps Coliseum

Wednesday, June 6
HERSHEY at Hamilton
7:30 p.m.
Copps Coliseum

Thursday, June 7
HERSHEY at Hamilton
7:30 p.m.
Copps Coliseum*

Tuesday, June 12
Hamilton at HERSHEY
7:00 p.m.
GIANT Center *

Friday, June 15
Hamilton at HERSHEY
7:00 p.m.
GIANT Center*

*if necessary

Friday, May 25, 2007

Tocchet pleads guilty in gambling ring case

From the Ottawa Citizen:

MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. - Former NHL player Rick Tocchet pleaded guilty Friday to running a sports gambling ring, but might not have to serve any jail time.Tocchet, who played for Phialdelphia, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington and Phoenix in a career that spanned 22 seasons, is on leave from his job as an assistant coach for the Phoenix Coyotes. He pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to promote gambling and promoting gambling.


The 43-year-old Tocchet is the third man to plead guilty in the case, which New Jersey authorities dubbed "Operation Slapshot." The others, including state Trooper James Harney, are expected to get jail time.

Janet Jones, the wife of hockey great Wayne Gretzky, was accused of betting but was not charged in the case.
The scandal first emerged last year. Lets hope this is the end of it.

To stay or not to stay

JP over at Japers Rink has a great post up about Caps RFAs and UFAs this off season. He has a full break down of the decent number of players the Caps are going to have to make decisions about this summer.

Caps overhaul

There is a decent AP article floating around today about the Caps "overhaul". Some of it is a re-hash of what we have heard since the season ended, not to mention that this "overhaul" has been taking place for a couple seasons now. But, a couple quotes caught my eye.

"I would like them obviously to bring in some veteran talent," said the 37-year-old Kolzig, who added he'd like to play three more seasons. "We need some depth in the organization, there's no question."

"We've got lots of work to do. We have a real good young core. We have some good veterans. But we need to add some more to really make the team better than it is," general manager George McPhee said. "And we'll be aggressive this summer."

Leonsis mentioned bringing aboard another center, adding defensemen and perhaps adding a wing, promising "a significant amount of change—and hopefully upgrade."

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Blog bizness

Just a quick note: When I started this blog, I lumped all the hockey links together in one list. I figured we were all erudite enough to figure out which ones were Caps links (Caps Chick, Caps Buzz, etc). Since then, I have recieved a lot of requests to add links on the site. I am always happy to do this and anything else to help the hockey blogging community grow.

That said, I went ahead and restructured the lists into Caps links and general hockey links. If I didn't move your link over, many apologies and you can email me at I promise to rectify the mistake ASAP!

In general, feel free to send me links to any hockey sites that you like. As long as they aren't claiming OJ's innocent, or any other nonsense, I am happy to link to them.

Thank you for reading and your feedback!

Preds being sold?

The big news in hockey world this morning is that the Nashville Preds are possibly being sold.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Nashville Predators owner Craig Leipold reached an agreement to sell his franchise to Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie after 10 years of losing money.

Leipold told Predators' employees of the sale in a meeting Wednesday afternoon in Nashville, according a person familiar with the sale who spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday night on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been finalized.

Whether the sale would involve relocation of the franchise remained unknown. The NHL's Board of Governors must approve any sale, but the Predators have struggled to sell tickets for years and their future in Nashville has been in doubt.

Team officials declined to comment when contacted by The Associated Press.

Balsillie, the co-CEO of Blackberry makers Research in Motion Ltd., has offered an undisclosed amount for the team, Canadian sports network TSN reported. In December, Balsillie withdrew his offer to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins for $175 million.

UPDATE: Bleatings from a Caps Nut has a good take.

Hershey update

Last night the Bears won Game 3 of the AHL Eastern Conference final against the Manchester Monarchs in ManchVegas, NH. The win propels the Bears to a 3-0 series lead and gives them the opportunity to close out the series with a win on Saturday in NH.

Quick highlights:
- Caps D prospect Mike Green scored last night, and the Bears official stats have him with goals in the past three games and points in five straight games
- Caps F prospect Tomas Fleischmann had a goal and a couple assists
-The Bears have outscored the Monarchs 15-4 through the first three games of this series

Not good, part deux

Respected sports columnist Helene Elliott is getting smashed by Red Wings fans for no good reason. You can check it out here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


On Frozen Blog has an excellent post up about Caps prospects and their role in the 2007-08 season. Check'em out, its great reading.

scary quote of the day

Paris Hilton is claiming one of her interests are hockey. Not just Jose Theodore, but hockey.

When asked in a recent interview what she would list as her top talents, Hilton replied, "Shopping, ice hockey and cooking."

Hilton says, "(I played) at high school in Connecticut at boarding school. I was on the ice hockey team.

"I don't know (what position I played). I would always move around, I wasn't just one position."

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Hello HLOG

Just a little blog business -- I will be regularly blogging over at Hockey's Ladies of Greatness, as well as continuing here at Cap Addiction. The bloggers at HLOG are tremendous hockey fans, and all female. Its a great space for us hockey addicts, whatever your gender. The writing is terrific and a broad range of subjects (from hard hitting forwards to goat cheese) is covered. You can check out my intro Q&A here.

Not Good

A bunch of a--holes punched a female Sabres fan in the face "repeatedly" after the Senators lost Game 4 of the Eastern Finals in Ottawa last Wednesday.

Cyril Leeder, the Senators chief operating officer, said Friday the team has offered tickets to Renee Luck after learning the Buffalo woman was repeatedly punched in the face following the Sabres' 3-2 win in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals Wednesday.

Luck's face was swollen and cut after she was assaulted by two men as she and a group of friends were leaving their seats at Scotiabank Place. Luck was rescued by other Senators fans.

Ottawa police have identified suspects but have not pressed charges.

"We don't condone that kind of activity," Leeder said after the team arrived in Buffalo in preparation for Game 5 on Saturday. "This is the least we should be doing in this case.
Instead of just offering her free tickets, why doesnt Ottawa ensure her that this will never happen and send a message by banning those who assaulted her from Senators games if they are proven guilty?
Leeder added the team would also consider revoking the suspects' ticket rights if they are convicted.
"Consider"?? So you dont condone the incident but you would only "consider" revoking thier ticket rights? Why doesnt the Senator's organization "consider" the safety of other fans? If they are proven guilty, I wouldnt want violent idiots like that around me or my family at a game.

Wilson v Wilson

Sharks GM Doug Wilson is conducting a tough and thorough examination of his team, after their relatively early playoff exit. ESPN has the dirt:

General manager Doug Wilson needed two weeks to calm down after the San Jose Sharks' second-round exit from the playoffs, and he's still not ready to make any quick decisions on the futures of his players and coaches.

Saying he's "frustrated and disappointed" with the end of an otherwise successful season, Doug Wilson plans to decide by next week whether coach Ron Wilson will return to San Jose next season.
And this:
The Wilsons, who aren't related, went through a 12-hour meeting last week evaluating every problem with the Sharks. Ron Wilson asked for a few more days to find answers to Doug Wilson's questions, and the two will meet again later in the week, with a decision expected to be announced next week.
On Captain Patrick Marleau, who Wilson is rumored to be open to trading:
The Sharks' postseason collapse included Ron Wilson's thinly veiled scolding for captain Patrick Marleau, who struggled throughout the Detroit series despite a reputation for strong postseason play. Marleau's leadership skills are questioned repeatedly by fans who don't see how the taciturn son of a Saskatchewan farmer can be an effective captain.

"I trust that dressing room," Doug Wilson said. "I don't micromanage. There will be conversations that will take place. We'll handle it."
On the Sharks current goalie duo:
He also said it's "highly unlikely" that goalies Evgeni Nabokov and Vesa Toskala both will return for next season. Both are proven NHL netminders who shared an uneasy platoon until Toskala got hurt this spring, and Wilson fully intends to trade one of the goalies before training camp -- though he failed to find a similar trade last summer.

"I don't think there's many goalies that would have done what they did for us, but that will not continue," Wilson said.

Zubrus to stay in Buffalo?

After the Caps were not able to come to terms with Dainius Zubrus during the season and traded the pending free agent to Buffalo, there was a lot of speculation that Zubie would end up back in D.C. before long. Not so anymore. The Buffalo News is running an article today about Zubie's possible signing in Buffalo. In fact, when the Caps came to Buffalo to play the Sabres after the trade, Zubrus seemed like he was pretty happy in his new environs. Yesterday, Zubrus had this to say to the media:

“The best part is hockey. When you have a winning team it’s much easier to come to the rink. Hockey will be a huge part of my decision.”
I am hoping that Zubrus ends up back in Washington. They picked up a center in Backstrom (who will likely either play center for Ovie or Semin), but Zubrus would give them a solid, experienced center for a dangerous first line with Ovechkin and possibly Clark on the wing. A Backstrom/Semin combo would give the Caps a great second line, and depth. Not to mention, Ovie is very comfortable with Zubrus, and I'm sure wouldnt mind having his good friend and mentor back in town.

Monday, May 21, 2007


Dan Steinberg's take on Nicklas Backstrom's introduction to the Caps.

A brief excerpt:

"No girlfriend, no hot dog, no beer," Leonsis said, of Backstrom's baseball game experience, speaking to his dedication to hockey. In fact, when I asked Backstrom for his favorite author, hoping he'd say, I don' t know, Selma Lagerlof or something, he said "I don't read."
UPDATE: You can get the Cap's official take here.

weekend update

The Bears beat the crap beat the Manchester Monarchs this weekend in the first two games of the conference final. The total score for both games was 11-3. Caps defensive prospect Mike Green now has at least one point in four consecutive games, something Caps Coach Glen Hanlon will be happy about after Green was sent back down to Hershey this season to work on his offense. Green is considered to be a d-man with offensive upside, rather then a stay at home guy. Here is a great video of Green displaying some of that upside.

A lot of credit for these wins also goes to goalie Freddie Cassivi, who spent approximately half of game two with the Bears on the penalty kill. Games three and four take place in Manchester this week.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Draft plans

Ken McKenna at the Sporting News is doing a series of blogs on the NHL teams that have the top five picks for this year's draft. The Caps round out that list at number five and Ken offers his take on prospects in the works:

The Capitals also have two good goaltending prospects in Semen Varlamov, a Russian taken in the first round of the 2006 NHL draft, and Michal Neuvirth, another player chosen in what is looking like a very good 2006 draft for the Capitals. Neither backstop is ready to step into the NHL at this time, but the combination gives the club some enviable goaltending depth for the future.

And, in addition to the defenders Green and Schultz, the Capitals also have several solid defensive prospects for the future. Twin towers Sasha Pokulok (6-5) and Joe Finley (6-7), both first round selections in 2005, should provide a commanding presence in the future. And diminutive Sami Lepisto could be a power play quarterback for the Capitals when he comes to North America to begin his pro career.

In honor of the Sens...

This is a hilarious video of Canadian comedian Shaun Majumder as his alter ego, Indian journalist Raj Binder. His interview is with last year's Senators team, but includes current players Dany Heatley, Mike Fisher and others. After watching the video, let us know which one you pick: The Stanley Cup or the protective cup?

Blog business

It looks like I will be hosting some visitors this weekend and will not be able to make it to Hershey on Saturday for the first game of the conference final. If anyone does attend and takes pictures they want to share, I will be glad to post them here. Go Hershey!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Zubrus injured

Former Capital and current Buffalo Sabre Dainius Zubrus is injured and will likely miss Game 5 of the Sens v Sabres series in Buffalo this Saturday, per ESPN. Apparently, Zubrus was already struggling with the injury during Game 4 in Ottawa on Wednesday.

Zubrus, acquired from Washington in a trade deadline deal in March, has been hampered by a lower body injury that limited him to just four minutes of ice time in Buffalo's 3-2 win in Game 4 on Wednesday.
The article didnt mention how he got the injury or how serious it is, and clubs tend to be notoriously tight lipped about that information. However, it must be substantial to cause Zubie to sit out this weekend's must-win game for the Sabres. I hope we see him on the ice again soon.

Summer lovin', had me a blast...

Its a slow news day for the Caps, after yesterday's announcement about signing 2006 top draft pick Nicklas Backstrom. Nothing new on the Chris Pronger end either, just some endless re-hashing. So here is today's Caps news, courtesy of the latest ESPN Magazine, about the summer plans of a few players.

Chris Clark: A huge Bosox fan, the Caps cap took in opening day at Fenway.
Matt Pettinger: Vacationed in Barcelona in mid-April
Around the league:
RJ Umberger (Flyers): He's finishing his bachelor's degree in business marketing at Ohio State.
Joe Piskula (Kings): After leaving the U. of Wisconsin to join the NHL in March, the defenseman went back to school three days after the season ended.
There is also something in there about Flyers forward Geoff Sanderson putting a diaphragm in his mouth to lure wild male turkeys to him, then shooting them. You are on your own if you want to read that one.

Note: I forgot to add that there is also an excellent article on UFC fighter Chuck Liddell in the Mag. Definitely worth reading.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Fan Interaction

Tonight, instead of being the hockey fan in the bar who mumbles under her breath and nurses her LaBatt, I thought I would reach out to my fellow hockey lovers watching the Sens v Sabres game at Ventnor Sports Bar in Adams Morgan.

I was the only one in the bar cheering for the Senators, which I thought for sure would cause a Sabres fan to break a bottle over my head by the end of the night. But, as much as Sabres fans get a bad rap, I had the pleasure of hanging out with three very nice ones. Vanessa, Joe and Thom with an H all assured me that their second favorite team is the Caps. I didnt let them get away easy though, I asked a series of hard hitting questions:

Shmee: What would I get if I decided to become a Sabres fan?
Thom with an H: The knowledge that whatever city you went to, you would always be able to find fellow Sabres fan. (This was seconded by Joe)
Shmee: Nothing shiny, like a prize?
Thom with an H: Um, no.

Shmee: What do you think of the new Sabres logo?
Joe: I dont like it, I think it looks like a slug.
Shmee: Oh. (note: this blogger has heroically refrained from posting a picture of a Sabres player next to a picture of a slug)

Shmee: Why do you like the Sabres?
Joe: Well, I am from Buffalo, so I grew up a fan. And this team is just like the little engine that could...I believe in them.
Shmee:What color engine?
Joe: What? Um, blue?

They were great to hang out with and I would definitely recommend Ventnor to watch any sporting event, especially hockey. Plus, they all had reason to rejoice as the Sabres clawed their way back from a three game deficit to force a game 5 in Buffalo on Saturday. The only bad part of the night? The one rude Sabres fan who had to say something snide as I was leaving the bar. After tonight, I can honestly say that he gives Sabres fans an undeserved bad name.

Goodbye Sweden, Hello DC

Tarik El-Bashir at the Washington Post has gotten word that Nicklas Backstrom has signed an entry level deal with the Caps. Backstrom was the Cap's top pick (4th overall) in the 2006 draft and has spent the past year playing in Sweden. He would be one of two centers (along with a pair of D-men and maybe a winger) that the Caps need to fill holes in the roster.

I am posting a video of Backstrom shooting some pucks below. There is really nothing special about it, except the way his golden hair glistens under the light as he gives us a little fistpump at the end. Yes, I have high hopes for Backstrom.

UPDATE: You can get a good take on the Backstrom deal here.

Speak, prospect!

The NHL has decided it likes blogs. A lot. So along with the celebrity blogs (and I use the word celebrity cautiously) they have been running during the playoffs, they are dedicating space to let the top 2007 hockey prospects blog leading up the NHL Draft on June 22nd. Its a great way to get some insight into what the top prospects are experiencing, especially when you consider that almost all of them are still in their late teens. James vanRiemsdyk, who is ranked by TSN as the third overall prospect in the 2007 draft, blogged about his excitement at getting to attend his high school prom:

With less than a month to go before the NHL Combine, I’m basically living the life of a normal high school kid. I’ve been lucky enough to get out and play tennis and toss the football around with some of the guys on the team, and I even got to attend my senior prom last week on my birthday, May 4.
Among others, the list of bloggers includes Keaton Ellerby, Karl Alzner, and Angelo Esposito. They are respectively ranked #4, #5 and #8 for this year's draft. Check'em out.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Willa Ford-Modano (almost)

David Amber at ESPN does the occasional interview with a hockey player, coach or model/actress/reality show contestant type. In this case, the model/actress is Willa Ford, who used to be on some reality show I never watched and had a hit song I never heard. Her current claim to hockey fame is that she is engaged to Dallas Star Mike Modano.

Ford is one of a handful of B-listers who are writing playoff blogs for I checked them out a couple weeks ago and some of them were okay, but I stopped reading them after I got to Christy Brinkley's and she called herself a "passionate Islanders fan", then said she had just attended her first hockey game. Ever. And that she disapproved of fighting in hockey. You lost me there, Christy.

Anyway, Willa's inteview with David Amber is definitely worth reading. Some parts are unintentionally funny, while others are strikingly candid. As you read the piece, it becomes clear that Mike Modano is in the room with her while she is giving her phone interview, so its pretty safe to say that she is expressing both their points of view. Some of the highlights are:

Q: What was it like watching Mike play in what was the most dramatic first-round series -- that seven-game series loss to the Canucks

A: It was tough, lots of ups and downs. There are some holes in the system when it comes to the Stars right now. There are some changes that need to be made and I think everyone is pretty aware of it. Within the coaching staff, you know that "too many cooks in the kitchen" thing; there's a bit of a struggle. One head coach is saying one thing and then you have another coach saying another. They either need to come together on that or see eye to eye because it's a little confusing to the guys, I think. This is all stuff I noticed firsthand.
Regarding Modano getting another chance at the Cup:
The team has got to go out and get his wingers for him. There are just a couple of things that need to happen because there is a lot going on that is very frustrating for him. And last year, when they didn't make it past the first round of the playoffs, it was like, "Oh, let's throw it on Mike's back because he's the captain and make him an assistant captain now." I mean, that was the cheesiest thing. That was the most classless thing the organization has ever done.
More on Modano losing his Captaincy:
A: I was completely flabbergasted and pissed off to be quite honest with you. I mean, how rude....Mike's leadership has never been an issue. Mike speaks and the guys listen. Mike's feeling is, "I'm not here to baby-sit these guys. As a captain, I'm not here to baby-sit and check on people. Everyone has their job. My job is to make the whole thing work. Everybody come together, I need to speak when it's time for me to speak, but otherwise, there is no need to baby-sit people."

I think the staff and the GM [Doug Armstrong] have a different idea of what a captain should be. They think a captain should be yelling at their team. They think a captain should be absolutely as verbal as possible. I know from running a household with Mike how he can be quiet; but when he says something, it can be very powerful. I really think it was one of the saddest moments of Mike's career, I really do. It was a long time coming to even get the captaincy. He waited a long time, considering [Derian] Hatcher was there and he already had it
....I think the whole thing was really nasty, how it went down.

Upcoming Caps Events

I just got the Caps newsletter, here are some highlights:

Passes are going fast for the Washington Capitals special Draft Day Party and new uniform unveiling on Friday, June 22 at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. The ticketed event includes free skating, Caps player and alumni autographs, interactive games and more, begins at 5:30 p.m.The unveiling ceremony for the team's new uniform will take place around 6:30 p.m., prior to the NHL's Entry Draft, televised live from Columbus, Ohio at 7 p.m. on large screens throughout both rinks. You can get tickets here.
And an event with Brian Pothier, who along with Chris Clark is newly returned from the World Championships in Moscow:
Caps defenseman Brian Pothier will be one of many local professional athletes taking part in the Washington Mystic's "Strike Childhood Obesity," on Wednesday, May 16 at Lucky Strike Lanes inside Gallery Place in downtown D.C. The event, which also features Washington Mystics players and coaches, is a fundraiser benefiting the Saint Louis University's Obesity Prevention Center. The center's obesity intervention program targets elementary schools in the D.C. area and provides them with healthy food, drinks and physical activity.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. and includes bowling and dinner for $70 per person. Tickets and additional information about "Strike Childhood Obesity," is available at
As always, if you go please feel free to pass along any pictures and I will post them here.

Bollywood + Football

This really has nothing to do with hockey, but its so funny that I can't help but post it. As an Indian woman who has been forced to watch dozens of Bollywood films, I can honestly say this is the best damn Indian dance sequence I have ever seen. Thanks to Dan Steinberg for the video.

Own your Ovie

My Google alert will never again be able to match what it sent me this morning: the press release for a company selling an Alex Ovechkin All-Star action figure.

Why Ovie, what large legs you have! And neck. And shoulders. And caterpillar like eyebrows. But, the Upper Deck company wants you to know these action figures will be sure to sell out shortly, so buy yours right away for the bargain price of $49.99. And Upper Deck also wants you to know this:

At 11 inches and produced in the underground style of urban vinyl, Upper Deck's All-Star Vinyl action figures are a combination of art and realism not typically found in sports licensed products.
If you decide to shell out the fifty bucks for one of these, let me know so I can post a picture of the lucky Caps fan and his vinyl Ovie.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Backstrom coming to US?

Tarik El-Bashir at the WaPo has an unconfirmed report that the Caps and their 2006 top draft pick Nicklas Backstrom have agreed to a deal. Backstrom has been playing in the Swedish league and is regarded as a future 1 or 2 center for the Caps.

Bears playoff update

I made the trip to Hershey, PA on Friday night to watch the Caps' AHL affiliate Hershey Bears play. The Bears are the defending Calder Cup champs, and on Friday they cinched their spot in the conference final by defeating the Wilkes-Barre Penguins 7-6 in OT. (Click on the pictures for a bigger view)

The game winning goal was scored by Caps prospect Alexandre Giroux and Tomas Fleischmann finished the night with 5 points, tying a Hershey playoff record for most points in a single game. Scott Barney scored a hat trick, which caused the biggest concentration of John Deere hats I have ever seen to hit the ice.

The best part of the night was the fan in section 102 who lead the entire arena in a chant of "B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T" when the refs called a penalty on the Bears. Everyone joined in -- from the kid sitting in front of me who couldnt have been more then 6 years old, to the grandma four rows over. The Bears begin the conference final this Saturday at Hershey, you can get tickets here. Let me know if you are heading up, I plan on being there.

A Mother's Day quote

"Why isnt anyone calling security?!"

--my Mother, watching two players duke it out at her first ever hockey game on Friday night in Hershey.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Hershey Time

I will be on the road for the rest of the week but I will be attending the Hershey Bears game in Hershey, PA tomorrow. The Bears are the defending Calder Cup champs and they are in round two of the AHL playoffs. A win tomorrow against the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins (say that fast three times) will cinch the series for them, the Bears lead the series 3-1.

On display will be a handful of prospects and players that have spent time with both the Caps and the Bears this season. The list includes Mike Green, Jeff Schultz, Alexandre Giroux, Freddy Cassivi, Tomas Fleischmann, Jakub Klepis and Dave Steckel.

I have already forgotten my digital camera at my apartment but I will try to borrow someone else's camera to get some pics.

NHLPA Dir. will be fired today

Ted Saskin, the embattled NHLPA Executive Director, will be fired today with cause according to ESPN.

If player reps decide to fire Saskin with cause, it means Saskin will not be paid the estimated $6 million remaining on his contract.

In March, union representatives from the 30 NHL teams voted to have Saskin and NHLPA senior director Ken Kim placed on paid leaves of absence, effective immediately. The vote was prompted by allegations that Saskin ordered the monitoring of NHLPA player e-mails. The e-mail system the players use is administered by the union.

In the ensuing months, the union's executive board retained outside counsel to address the allegations made against Saskin and Kim to determine whether they have grounds to dismiss them from future compensation.

Saskin has said no illegal activity has gone on at the NHLPA.

The thing that really sours me on this is that Saskin got to negotiate employee contract not with a lawyer, but with Canuck Trevor Linden. He got a fat paycheck and a nice benefits package, (in fact more then his counterpart at MLB makes) and the players will have to find another Exec. Dir before the ink dried on the last contract.

Thanks to Nicole for the tip!

Premier v Governor

As is tradition, Governor Spitzer from New York and Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty have placed a wager on the outcome of the Senators-Sabres series.

McGuinty says he is betting a month's supply of Tim Horton's coffee against Spitzer's wager of a supply of chicken wings from the famous Anchor Bar in Buffalo.
I am going to cross international lines and go with the Senators as I am holding just a little bit of a grudge against the Sabres for blanking the Caps 2-0 during the last game of the year. Oh, and someone named Ray Emery might have something to do with it.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Gomez testing free agency

The NJ Devils talented center, Scott Gomez, has made it clear that he intends to test the market when he becomes a free agent on July 1st. He has been one of the names bandied about the most for becoming the top line center the Caps need. Yesterday, Gomez cleared out his locker at Continental Airlines Arena and said this to the press:

"We have gone this far, it would be foolish not to see what's out there," Gomez said. "That doesn't mean anything. It doesn't mean I am leaning one way or I don't want to be here. I have talked to all the guys that have played here and gone through this. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity."
Gomez has won two Stanley Cups with New Jersey, and is one of seven unrestricted free agents for the Devils this summer while GM/Coach Lou Lamoriello has struggled with the salary cap. I am hoping that Gomez decides he likes the east coast, and wants to move a about four hours south.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Victoria Cup

There is some pretty neat news coming out of the IIHF today. The IIHF announced that they are creating a new hockey tournament, the Victoria Cup, that would feature two teams from the European Champions Cup and one NHL team. Its set to kickoff in September, 2008. From what I can tell, the NHL team will not be a "Dream Team", but a regular NHL team.

The IIHF said it hoped the annual tournament, which would be played in Europe, would eventually include the Stanley Cup champion but initially the event would have a team other than the NHL champions taking part.
And this from IIHF President Rene Fasel:
"For over 35 years European fans have been asking the question how can European clubs match against an NHL team. Now we will have an NHL team coming to play for the Victoria Cup."
I would be curious to see this match as well, especially if they managed post-free agency to reassemble whichever team won the Stanley Cup that year and get them to participate. And its a great opportunity to watch the European passing game versus the NHL's dump and chase style. I hope Bettman works out a TV deal for it to be carried on this side of the pond.

Monday, May 7, 2007

The best Flames fan in the world

If you want a break from all the "Ovechkin is a dirty player" madness hitting the hockey world today, check out the video below. The CBC channel in Canada is running a "Bring Home the Stanley Cup" contest. The short version is that Mark Messier will go to one lucky fan's home with the Stanley Cup and party like an Oiler (I made the last part up). Best video submission wins the contest and I put my favorite below. You can seem them all here.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Ovechkin suspended at Worlds

Alexander Ovechkin was rapped with a one-game suspension today by the disciplinary committee of the IIHF. Ovechkin is serving the suspension for putting a check from behind on Switzerland's Valentin Wirz during their match on Saturday. Wirz suffered a concussion, per Swiss coach Ralph Krueger. After the hit, Ovechkin was served with a five minute major and a game misconduct. He will miss Monday's Russia-Sweden game. Russian coach Vyacheslav Bykov had this to say:

"I've talked to Ovechkin and he said the hit wasn't intentional," Bykov told reporters.
Over the course of this season, Ovechkin has faced some controversy in the NHL over a couple hard hits. The infamous Briere hit that he was fined a thousand bucks for pops to mind. But as Ovechkin has said, none of his hits that are precieved as dirty are intentional, and the footage only proves that. As anyone who has watched Ovie play can tell you, he isnt a dirty player - he doesn't have to be to win (ahem, paging Sean Avery and Claude Lemieux). Realistically, that amount of on-ice intensity from a guy who is 6'2 and 200 pounds plus is going to lead to some hard hits. The IIHF widget at the top of the page has a blog about this from the crew in Russia.

UPDATE: Tarik El-Bashir has video of the hit here.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Caps News

Some quick housekeeping from the Caps. Yesterday, they signed defenseman Patick McNeill to a three year deal after drafting him 118th overall in the 2005 NHL draft. McNeill has been playing for the Saginaw Spirit of the OHL for the past four seasons and his numbers have improved every year, while playing the same number of games more or less.

His amateur contract will send him to the Hershey Bears, who are in the middle of a hot battle to defend their Calder Cup. You can read the Cap's official release here and get another take here.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Goodbye Forsberg?

By now, a lot of hockey fans heard Predators GM David Poile's words about Peter Forsberg potentially retiring from the NHL. If you haven't read the article, you can see it here. Everything that I have read and heard about Peter Forsberg over the years has indicated that he is a decent guy. I also give Forsberg credit for taking on the tough task of honestly examining if he has something left to contribute. That's a brutal mental and physical assessment.

A friend was poking around YouTube and sent me this video of Forsberg's NHL commercial for the 2006-07 year (I'd post it here, but YouTube wont post for me today). It makes me sad to think that this might have been his last NHL pre-season commercial. Either way, I hope that this seven-time All Star continues to be a part of the NHL in some capacity.

Cheechoo Train

After the Caps finished toward the bottom of the standings, I decided to pick a favorite for the playoffs. It was a bit hard for me, as my two favorite non-Caps teams are the San Jose Sharks and the Nashville Predators, who played a bruising opening round against each other.

The Sharks won, and are currently in another tough series against the Red Wings. One of the big reasons I like the Sharks is Jonathan Cheechoo. Cheechoo is the first member of Canada's Cree Nation to play in the NHL and is one of just a handful of indigenous NHL players. An ESPN reporter recently tried to travel to Moose Factory, where Cheechoo is from. His experience went something like this:

To get there from Toronto, it's best to fly commercial to Timmins, take a small plane to Moosonee and then your choice: helicopter or -- in the winter -- drive across the river.Drive it is, by snowmobile...Most of the population of 2,700 live in wood-frame homes, many with canvas tepees in the back.

And this from Cheechoo:

Knowing he would need to get out of the boondocks to get noticed as a player, Cheechoo left home at 14 to live with another family in Ontario. "A lot of native people don't like to leave the reservation, so I go back and speak there as much as I can, encouraging them to venture out and, hopefully, have the same kind of success."

Needless to say, Cheechoo didn't have the same access to rinks or coaches until much later then many of his counterparts in the NHL. But what I like most about Cheechoo is this - he was told repeatedly in the AHL that he was not good enough for the NHL. But he worked incredibly hard on his skating and fitness and clawed this way to a roster spot. The result of all this? Cheechoo won the Maurice "Rocket" Richard trophy last year for most goals scored in the NHL. Jonathan Cheechoo, one part of why the Sharks are my playoff team. You can see a quick interview with Jonathan here.


For the past few years, its been incredibly fun to watch blogs really develop and take off. I think they have an enormous amount of power, and have become a bullhorn for people around the world. I am sure the Zeng Jinyan would agree with me, as well as every new blogger who feels like they finally have an outlet.

So, here is my blog. I love hockey, never miss a Caps game and wanted to create a place to have fun with my favorite sport. I suspect its going to end up being more playoff and hockey news centric until the season starts in the fall. I hope that most of the time this blog will be a good read and I know that sometimes it will be very quiet around here. Here's to hoping the latter doesn't happen too often. Feel free to drop me a line anytime with ideas, feedback, hockey trivia, gossip, articles, photos and anything else you can think of.