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Posted at 7:46 PM ET, 12/28/2010

Capitals among teams being considered to start 2011-12 season overseas

By Katie Carrera

Updated at 10:54 p.m.
Ken Yaffe, the NHL's senior vice president for international, said Tuesday night in an email that the Capitals are one of the teams being considered to participate in the 2011-12 season-opening NHL Premiere games in Europe.

"We are currently in the early stages of preparing our plans for international games next year," Yaffe said. "We have a number of teams and European venues we are considering. The Capitals are among those teams."

Because the planning is still in the preliminary stages, Yaffe declined to comment any further on the process.

----
On Tuesday afternoon, Capitals fan blog Japers' Rink posted a translation of a Swedish newspaper report stating that Washington had received an invitation to kick off the 2011-12 season in Stockholm.

But when asked whether Washington is among the teams being considered for the league's season-opening NHL Premiere games in Europe, both the Capitals and owner Ted Leonsis deferred comment on the matter to the NHL.

The NHL has started each of the past four seasons with multiple teams playing their earliest regular-season contests in various European cities. For the 2009-10 NHL Premiere, six teams faced off in three different locations, with the Hurricanes and Wild in Helsinki, Finland; the Blue Jackets and Sharks in Stockholm; and the Bruins and Coyotes in Prague.

Included in the story from the Swedish newspaper, Expressen, is a quote from European scout Mats Weiderstål, translated by Japers' Rink:

"I know we got the question one or two years ago. I can't remember which season it was, but our General Manager turned them down. All I know is that there's been some talk about us getting a new request but I haven't heard anything," said Washington Capitals scout Mats Weiderstål.

Washington, of course, has two Swedes on the roster, with Nicklas Backstrom under contract through 2020-21 and fellow center Marcus Johansson impressing in his first NHL season.

Would you like to see the Capitals start next season overseas?

By Katie Carrera  | December 28, 2010; 7:46 PM ET
 
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Comments

I've never been to Sweden but if the Caps play there I am there!

Posted by: blushfilms | December 28, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Great play in their own end and the neutral zones tonight.

Still not worried about the offense. I like that they're having to rely on defense and keeping things tight to win right now.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 28, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Although world-wide exposure for the Caps might seem very Swede from a marketing standpoint, I'm not sure starting the season 6 or 7 time zones away from the Phone Booth is a good Ikea.

The whole squad could end up jet-lagged for the first two or three weeks of the season after getting Backs to DC, and of course all the haters would dismiss the resulting @$$-dragging as just another Saab story.

Not to mention the f***ing trolls from Pensblog that would be over here crowing about how our best players all got Volvos.

So I say thanks but no thanks, Bettman. Of course, even if this has already been decided, the League will probably still keep a pretty tight Lidstrom on it.

After all, it's always been ABBA-out the money for those guys.

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 28, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

No, stay home.
As far as game tonight: Positives: Caps played hard, good solid effort, sweet backhand by Beagle, Varlamov looked great. Negatives: Power Play, Ovechkin-Semin-Backstrom need to produce.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | December 28, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

@Rhino40 other teams have done it and some have had slow starts coming back and some haven't it depends on the team. I think it would possibly benifit guys like Ovechkin to not be the big star on the team in the media with Backstrom probably being the biggest attraction.

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 28, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

POSTGAME THOUGHTS:
Just a quick shout out to any of you that felt the Caps still need to add a veteran netminder. At the moment - shhhhhhh. None is needed.

Stands up and applauds. What a defensive workmanlike effort by this team. It is starting to get it.

POWERPLAY: If this team can get it together they will roll even more. Boudreau needs to wake up and realize THAT THE SAME OLE SONG AND DANCE ISN'T WORKING. MOVE OVI off the point. It's pointless. He needs to be in front or on the half wall crashing the net for rebounds.

FEHR: For once he was all over the place. Still not finishing but a strong game.

VARLAMOV: Rock solid again. Neuvy and Varly are making it work between the pipes.

HANNAN: May be the best calming veteran presence to happen to Mike Green.

This team is still not perfect but it's growing up on the defensive end.

THE STAGE IS SET. It's on to Pittsburgh for an outdoors game. It's time beat the Pens and Crosby's streak.

IT'S BEEN A TWO POINT NIGHT.

ICE BREAKERS GOAL SHAKERS.

Posted by: Jonathan6 | December 28, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

I thought Eric Fehr was the best player on the ice today. He had some great chances, made some plays, even got his nose dirty in a dust up after the whistle.

The 3rd and 4th lines were the difference in the game today. It seemed like they played the whole game in Montreal's zone.

Posted by: SFcapsfan

I agree, Fehr was awesome tonight.

I have also been impressed by Jay Beagle. Not because of the goal tonight, which was great, but his overall game the past few games. He has been physical, has shown good speed, and has shown decent skill too in shooting and passing. In addition, he has been very solid defensively in the neutral zone and the defensive zone. He has also forechecked very well.

For all the noise on here about AGordon, Beagle is looking like a much better 3rd line(or 4th line) player. This isn't meant to slight AGordon, who has been decent. But Beagle has just been better so far.

Also, for all the whining about BB and the Caps system, that defensive system and play in the neutral zone looked great tonight and has looked solid over the past few games. I think the Caps have allowed 2 goals or less in six of their last 7 games, with the only exception being a 3 goal game(the one to Boston). That's very good.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 28, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

That was one fine 60 minute effort. Once the power play gets going -- and it will -- we'll have all aspects of the game covered. The PK work was excellent, as was our D overall; we gave them very little. And Varly looked very sharp. I'm pleased we'll be seeing him, no doubt, in the WC.

Jay Beagle has really impressed during this particular call up. His energy, hard work, and determination are having a nice effect on the team, and the highlight reel goal helps. He's had some real standout shifts during this 4-0-1 stretch.

Posted by: Justafan | December 28, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm curious to see who the Caps play in the Winter Classic. My guess would be(assuming MP and MJ are healthy enough to play):

Ovie/Backstrom/Knuble
Laich/MP/Semin
Chimera/MJ/Fehr
Hendricks/Steckel/Beagle

I guess you could switch up the 3rd and 4th lines and do:

Chimera/Beagle/Fehr
Steckel/MJ/Hendricks(with Steckel taking the draws)

This would be done to keep the Chimera/Beagle/Fehr line together.

Aucoin will be sent down and I think AGordon will be the one who sits. IMO, Beagle has earned the right to play in the Winter Classic.

Varly will be the goaltender, barring him pulling a groin between now and then(which is possible with him).

The D will likely be the same as tonight:

Hannan/Green
Alzner/Carlson
Erskine/Schulz

@Justafan

I agree about the PK. That was a great coaching move by BB in the off-season to change the PK system. The PK is significantly better than last year's. If they can keep it up, it bodes well for their chances in the playoffs.

Now they need to fix the PP. For all the problems they had in last year's playoffs with the PP and the problems they are having now, I think the Caps need to try to change it up some. They may need to bring in someone to help with it.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 28, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

A couple of other bright spots; while he's not 100%, getting Schultz back is going to have a great steadying effect on a team intent on playing stronger D and disrupting in the neutral zone, where his big stick will also come in handy, and David Steckel has really stepped up his game. With the extra rest the Caps are getting this stretch, there's a lot left to coalesce post-streak.

Posted by: Justafan | December 28, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3, I'm with you on Beagle staying up, and while your lines may be close, Johansson's still a question mark -- you wonder what's up with that.

If things stay roughly on this track, a big center really stands out as our key need as the deadline approaches. Though Marcus has come along nicely, after Backstrom we're quite small at center.

Posted by: Justafan | December 28, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

I hate to see guys like Subban stand over a fallen winger like Chimera with that fake "tough guy" look on his face.

What does Subban think he's recreating the Clay - Liston moment ?

More of this will happen in the playoffs, which is why DJK has got to play himself into shape. Hendricks needed to say something to Subban, and possibly fight if need be. That was pathetic. But, BB has told Hendricks he doesn't need to fight. After that Clay- Liston pose somebody needed to fight Subban. We're soft. The Flyers will beat us to death in 7 games.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | December 28, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

@hunterforcoach

agreed....subban is a punk

on caps playing over seas....HELL NO, stay home. teams that play overseas get off to terrible starts

Posted by: _stevo | December 28, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

also....they sent A. Gordon back to hershey

Posted by: _stevo | December 28, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

@Hunterforcoach - keep in mind it may not have happened tonight but you can bet PK Subban landed a target on himself for that crap and when the Caps meet again - someone will be looking for him. Believe me. He won't get away with that.

Your post is spot on and the Caps will need to counter that crap.

Posted by: Jonathan6 | December 28, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Chimera is Todd Krygier. Too fast for his skills.

Loved the way Varly played, but I would still love to see Vokoun in a Caps jersey for the playoffs.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | December 28, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

@_stevo

I see that AG has posted the news on Facebook. I'll miss him but Beagle probably played well enough to stay in the lineup. I assume that Aucoin will also be sent down since Perreault should be back on Saturday without any problems.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 28, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

I hate to see guys like Subban stand over a fallen winger like Chimera with that fake "tough guy" look on his face.

What does Subban think he's recreating the Clay - Liston moment ?

More of this will happen in the playoffs, which is why DJK has got to play himself into shape. Hendricks needed to say something to Subban, and possibly fight if need be. That was pathetic. But, BB has told Hendricks he doesn't need to fight. After that Clay- Liston pose somebody needed to fight Subban. We're soft. The Flyers will beat us to death in 7 games.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach

So what if Subban looked at somebody. Maybe ignoring Subban is what got him so aggressive that led to his horrible play on the Caps 2nd goal. Subban was overly aggressive and put himself out of the play when he tried to level Chimera(maybe Chimera said something that got under Subban's skin) which led to the open ice. If letting Subban look at guys creates more goal scoring opportunities for the Caps, the go ahead.

Subban looked at Chimera. He didn't cheap shot him, he punch him, he didn't even push him. A look is nothing to take a penalty over. You get him back for that by hitting him hard on the forecheck and making him look foolish when he over aggressively goes for hits instead of proper defensive plays. The Caps did all that. Good job by the Caps players.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 28, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

i would have to think that A. Gordon being sent down (probably also Aucoin), i have to think BB may be actually thinking of playing DJK in the classic, but then again BB never plays him so why would he in the classic

Posted by: _stevo | December 28, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

I hate to see guys like Subban stand over a fallen winger like Chimera with that fake "tough guy" look on his face.
------------------------------------

He wouldn't have been in the lineup had Gorges been able to play so I would say the Caps would take that swap any time since Gorges was the best player on the ice not named Halak in the playoffs.

Posted by: joek443 | December 28, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

I'd really like to see an exhibition against the current incarnation of Ovie's team in Moscow.

Posted by: j762 | December 29, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse

@Rhino40

Got a good laugh out of your post relating to playing in Sweden and all the puns.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 29, 2010 12:23 AM | Report abuse

@hunterfc...Coach didn't tell Hendricks not to fight, he told him he didn't need to fight every game

Posted by: boomer44 | December 29, 2010 1:07 AM | Report abuse

Not that it matters, but the last two teams to win the Stanley Cup did so starting their season overseas (PIT started 2008-09 in Europe as did CHI last season).

Posted by: jcurrin | December 29, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

I like the idea of playing games in the home countries of some of the players (on a very limited basis, of course). It'd be the thrill of a lifetime for Backstrom and Johansson to showcase their skills and their NHL teams before their home country. It would also be a major event in Sweden. Good idea.

Posted by: randysbailin | December 29, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

The regular season means NOTHING

Posted by: ginnyandrick | December 29, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Bring it on!
If they are coming here to Europe there's no way I'm going to miss that. Even though the tickets are pricy for locals,(100 € and up is too much for any kind of sport event's) I'll be there nevertheless.

Posted by: raimolaiti | December 30, 2010 6:03 AM | Report abuse

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