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Opening Comments From Media Day

Media Day just began at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. So far, there have been a few notable comments, the first of which came from GM George McPhee.

"I think we are good enough," he said, asked whether this year's team has a legitimate shot at making the playoffs for the first time since 2003-03. "If we stay healthy and play the way we can."

In other words, the playoffs are an expectation this season, not just a hope like the previous two.

The funniest comment came from Olie Kolzig. Asked whether he had spoken to Alex Ovechkin yet, the goalie said they had just chatted in the dressing room.

"He needs a haircut," Kolzig said with a smile. "I asked him if he had any input on the new uniforms, because it looks just like Team Russia."

Update:Here's another good quote from young Nicklas Backstrom.

Asked whether he had done any sightseeing yet, he responded:

"Not yet, I've been at the rink the whole time," he said. "I'm here to play hockey, so I want to see the rink."

Update:Ovechkin, when asked about his improved English, said with a laugh:

"I practice on the girls."

Asked to respond to Kolzig's comment about his longish hair, he shot back:

"It's my style -- gangster style."

Update:I'm hearing right wing Eric Fehr and minor league defenseman Dean Arsene won't be participating in training camp, at least not in the coming days. Fehr has a mysterious hip/back ailment. I'm not sure what's wrong with Arsene.

Update:Arsene is recovering from sports hernia surgery.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  September 13, 2007; 9:57 AM ET
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Next: Training Camp Is Here


Methinks that Olie and Alzner are going to get along GREAT with their unique personalities. I really hope Alzner sticks here this year.

Posted by: alt one | September 13, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I iz in yur barbr chair getinz haircutz

Posted by: Cat | September 13, 2007 10:35 AM | Report abuse

This is good inside stuff, Tarik - thanks very much! Please keep it coming! Also it was nice to see your organization print something about the only D.C. team that I care about today! Keep pushing them!

Posted by: JF | September 13, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Great quotes. I think everyone is "hungry for hockey." I too hope Alzner makes this team. Scotty did at 18, so why not?

Posted by: tokyo fan | September 13, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

If nothing else I hope the sense of humor stays with the team. A laughing team is a happy team is a team that plays well together...I hope.

Posted by: EricS | September 13, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

-"Are you gangsters?"

-"No, we are Russians."

Posted by: Anonymous | September 13, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

More on Media Day to come?

Posted by: A Hardwick | September 13, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Tarik: Any word on which rookies will remain here tomorrow to attend training camp?

Posted by: Blonde Caps Fan | September 13, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I was told only four rookies were cut-- Lynes, Leffler, Taylor and Lacroix.

Posted by: Tarik | September 13, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Arsene had surgery over the summer, so he may still be recovering.

Posted by: bearfan | September 13, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

It does not sound good about Fehr (see Nick Johnson).

Posted by: A Hardwick | September 13, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

good stuff Tarik - keep it coming!

Posted by: GoBucks | September 13, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, Can you try to find anything about Arsene? He's the heart and soul of the bears?

Posted by: Dan L | September 13, 2007 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Arsene, I'm told, underwent double sports hernia (abdominal) surgery. It takes a while to recover when it's single surgery; i assume it'll be longer since it was on both sides.

Players generally recover fine from these procedures. (Clark, I believe, had it on both sides, too).

Posted by: Tarik | September 14, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

AO is going to need that long hair when he signs with Toronto this offseason. It will keep his head warm on those cold Canadian winter days. :) :) :)

Posted by: "Ted's Take" hero | September 14, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Brat 2 - a classic!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 14, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Your early thoughts about Bäckström?

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