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A little birthday surprise for Marcus Johansson

Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom were peering around a door connecting the Capitals' locker room to a players-only area on the other side, looking mischievously in the area where rookie center Marcus Johansson shortly would be speaking to the media following the team's morning practice at KCI. Indications were they had something planned for Johansson's 20th birthday.

When the first-round pick in last year's draft walked into the locker room and began taking questions, Ovechkin emerged from an entrance behind Johansson and presented his face with a towel covered in shaving cream.

"Happy birthday," Ovechkin said, laughing.

Johansson needed a few moments to recover from the ambush, but not even shaving cream in his eyes could diminish the good news he received yesterday about making the opening-day roster. Johansson, who won two medals with Sweden in the World Junior Championships and was captain of this year's team that won the bronze, beat out Mathieu Perreault for one of the final roster spots.

"Not too bad, actually," Johansson said when asked if his pupils were stinging. "I think I had time to close my eyes before, but my ear is pretty full."

Meantime, forward Andrew Gordon, who did not make the final roster, cleared waivers and is eligible to be called up from Hershey without being subjected to re-entry waivers. Gordon could be recalled and sent down until he spends 10 games or 30 days in the NHL, at which point he would have to go through waivers again.

By Gene Wang  | October 6, 2010; 2:00 PM ET
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Andrew Gordon, Marcus Johansson  
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Next: George McPhee on Caps' youth movement


Ovi, most people use terms of endearment, not shaving cream pies. Don't ever change.

Posted by: kittypawz | October 6, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully this is the last year of his contract.

Posted by: SoaringCaps |

Lol...he's on his ELC. He's going to be an RFA.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 6, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

From the previous thread, responding to complaints about Varly's injuries:

Hockey's rough, especially for goalies - it is all 'burst,' explosion type moves, repeated all game long. I've been on skates since before I turned two, and I still need recovery days after a hard skate. I really don't know how pros do it - it's like, if you lift and have a "max" session where you're completely maxing out - if you try and do that same activity the very next day, with zero rest / recovery time, at the same [if not greater] intensity, of course the human body will break down at some point.

I actually wonder if some of these guys overdo it in the offseason, a lot of these injuries sound like overuse injuries.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | October 6, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

As for Varly...I hate this not diclosing crap. I want to know what he hurt, how he hurt it, etc. Is this legit or is he taking his Baby Gus vitamins instead of his Flintstones ones.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 6, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

SAOTI - yeah I don't know that I'd put him in the "half & half" category yet but man what's up with this dude. Gotta say though that GMGM & BB have been saying this about Varly since we drafted him. When healthy he's clearly the better goalie but if you can't play you're not helping us. Let's just hope this is a minor set back and not a 2 month thing like last yr. Oh and BTW, we can active Varly any day so it's not like he's on IR for weeks or whatever.

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | October 6, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

The commonly heard description is that Neuvy is better at positioning and varly has more 'athletic' moves. Perhaps that is Varly's problem.
Man, we do not need a goalie crisis/controversy.

Posted by: bluejeener1 | October 6, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Varly, guess all those people clicking on you trying to stream preseason games hurted you huh

Posted by: guer_j | October 6, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

geez-> hurt

Posted by: guer_j | October 6, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Calm down people...Neuvy will be fine in there. Varly/Neuvy rotation is perfect.

Posted by: Iceman27 | October 6, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse


They can't just disclose it because the other teams will know what his weakness may be. i.e...groin, hand, back....

Posted by: Iceman27 | October 6, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Yeah poker, I guess my point was I wish we knew more about the injury so I could better judge which road he is going down. At this level, lets face it, injuries happen. I just want to know if was is a Joe Theismann (legit) or a Michael Irvin turf toe (come on sissy).

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 6, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

If Varly is a little nicked up right now, no big deal. If it's the playoffs, big deal. Neuvy can be the man between the pipes for a while, then later Varly. I imagine that these guys are going to be on sin wave in's and out's/up's and down's all year, anyways. It's Neuvy's turn now. But yeah, Varly does seem injury prone, but not at the AGus level, thank goodness.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | October 6, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Vancouver and Florida exchange gorillas on skates:

The trades are really heating up, lol

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | October 6, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Sheldon Souray is now a Hershey Bear. He got Nylander'd to us.

Posted by: ThePat | October 6, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse


Yeah I know the reasoning behind it and I still think thats lame.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 6, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

They can't just disclose it because the other teams will know what his weakness may be.

Posted by: Iceman27 | October 6, 2010 2:33 PM

High, glove side?

Posted by: Fro_2 | October 6, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Ok I am up for a challenge for today so I am going to try and turn Varly and his injury into a positive. Neuvy will get to start for a bit and could show that he is the real #1 goalie. However, it seems to work best for teams to have two goalies that can both play. Neuvy has already signed his next contract so him doing better then expected is not going to hurt us against the cap. If Varly only plays 30 or so games then the Caps can point to the fact that he has never played more then half a season when going into arbitration, if it goes that far. This could allow the Caps to keep Varly for much less then they would if he played 60 games this season.

I don't want any of the Caps to get hurt or have bad years but if it is going to happen better it happen before trying to get a new contract rather then after he has gotten a big new contract.

Posted by: icehammer97 | October 6, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse


Seriously? He's not worth a $5.4 cap hit for 2 years, which is what would happen if we called him up. Unless they are working something big with re-entry waivers.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 6, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse




That made me laugh, good one

Posted by: Steve_R | October 6, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Edmonton just loaned him to Hershey, much like we did with Nylander. Edmonton is still paying him. But I cant help think its bc our mgmnt wants to see if he is good in the locker room. If he plays well and is good then give Edmonton the signal for re-entry waivers and hope he falls to us.

Posted by: ThePat | October 6, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

The sources is every hockey news outlet from Canada.

Posted by: ThePat | October 6, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Anyone got words on what teams like San Josie, the Couver, Dirty Devils, Leafs, Calgary did to make cap? Havent seen anything, not even NJ who was suspected of placing 2 on LTIR and playing with 20.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 6, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Really SS to ChocoTown? Give me a link to legit source....

But SS -may- be an upgrade if he is willing to us his size to beat up on opponents. And he must be uber pi$$ed after what happened in Edm -- if he can turn that into smart on ice anger, he may be worth taking on if Flash and his contract can be moved...

And if this is bs, disregard the above

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | October 6, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Souray would be solid. A good shot from the point on PP

Posted by: Iceman27 | October 6, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

i knew souray we freakin come here...dang

Posted by: _stevo | October 6, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Here is tsn's brief write up:

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | October 6, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

ok, off blog topic, but how interesting is it that Souray is in the AHL on loan to the Hershey Bears?

Posted by: ds_kelly | October 6, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Kind of off topic, but TSN just released the one of the worst "top 50" lists i've ever seen. Not because Crosby is 1, Ovi 2 (i disagree, but i completely understand it). Toews at No. 3? kipprasoff in front of luongo?

Posted by: chatton | October 6, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

He's just in Hershey on loan, does not mean he will ever play for the Caps. But yeah my guess is he will at some point.

Posted by: ThePat | October 6, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

So the Caps agreed to take him? I guess this gives our system a chance to evaluate him, and see if he would be a fit in DC?

Sounds good to me..."try before you buy"...

Posted by: SA-Town | October 6, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Again, according to ThePat which is according to Canada (per ThePat) he is only being loaned ala Nylander. Meaning we cant call him up unless we claim/trade for him...and wouldnt be wise for us unless we get via re-entry waivers due to his cap hit. Currently it is $5.4 for 2 years. If we get him on re-entry its only like $2.7 for 2 years for both us and Edm.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 6, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmm, not bad if they can do something about the cap hit. Unlike a lot of others on here I think Souray can bring something positive to the team.....if the cap hit issue can be resolved.

Posted by: PhilR | October 6, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

He will be in a Caps uniform by the All-Star break....mark it down.

Posted by: Iceman27 | October 6, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

This is a recent tweet from Bob McKenzie, a very good hockey insider.

"WAS has shown no interest to EDM on Souray. I would not perceive this as a trial run for Souray to end up in D.C. Not at all, IMO."

Posted by: sgm3 | October 6, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Of course having Souray in Hershey doesn't mean anything immediately as far as the Caps are concerned, but it does give them a close up look at him as a player, teammate, and person. But if they like him enough would they trade for him, and his cap hit, or take a chance with re-entry waivers, given that they get last crack at it? I wonder if there is a "gentleman's agreement" among GMs about claiming players loaned to other teams?

Posted by: ds_kelly | October 6, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

For anyone thinking of trades for Souray, consider this statement that was in the above linked tsn article:

"Having assigned Souray to the AHL, the Oilers cannot trade or play Souray until he passes through re-entry waivers."

Posted by: sgm3 | October 6, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

What would be the cap hit if we took him off re-entry waivers?

Posted by: capscoach | October 6, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

@2.7 for 2 more years

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | October 6, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

"According to TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie, the Oilers and Capitals have not discussed one word about Souray becoming a Capital. They just supplied a soft landing place for Souray because Hershey is one of the bigger teams in AHL. McKenzie also states that Souray's arrival has more to do with Hershey's master plan than Washingtons."

"Soft landing" because Hershey is a "big team?" Huh? Does this make any sense? Doesn't it seem strange after all the talk about not having older vets (e.g., Nyls) take playing time away from young guys in Hershey? Maybe this is an indication that the Bears are weak on the blue line after the loss of Alzner and Carlson. But still, I've got to believe that the Caps have some potential interest in Souray for this to happen.

Posted by: zmega | October 6, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

He will be in a Caps uniform by the All-Star break....mark it down.

Posted by: Iceman27 | October 6, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

i'll take that bet. playing in hershey doesnt mean the caps have any more rights to him than any other team. there is NO way the oilers are going to put him on reentry waivers. just none. so the only way he comes to the caps or any other team is via trade. and the caps are just not going to take that cap hit for him, much less part with any assets.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 7, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

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