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Russia, Slovakia Announce Pre-Olympic Camp Rosters

Russia and Slovakia announced their pre-Olympic camp rosters today, and as expected, the Caps are well represented. Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin and Simeon Varlamov are among the hopefuls for Russia while Milan Jurcina has been invited to Slovakia's camp.

Russia's four-day camp begins Aug. 29; Slovakia's starts Tuesday. Check out the full rosters here (Russia) and here (Slovakia), courtesy of the IIHF.

Although Ovechkin and Semin are locks to make the Russian squad, Varlamov has his work cut out, since he'll have to beat out a more experienced goalie (Evgeni Nabokov, Ilya Bryzgalov and Alexander Eremenko are the others) to snag a spot. But no one expected young Varlamov to play the way he did in the playoffs, either. So I'm not counting him out yet.

Jurcina, based on the competition he'll face, should manage to punch his ticket to Vancouver.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  August 3, 2009; 1:44 PM ET
 
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Next: Nylander Breaks Silence

Comments

var-LA-mauve

a new color.

Posted by: WhyGo | August 3, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Wow, you know it's a quiet day when I am the first to post. Anyway, if the Russians can manage to keep their goals against down to a manageable number then they should easily outscore everyone.

And I hope Juice makes the team as well.

Posted by: pkendrick | August 3, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

An article in Expressen (a major Swedish newspaper) published an interview with Nylander this morning. Apparently, Jagr has called Nyls several times begging him to come to Russia but Nyls claims he can't "break" the contract with Caps. He's also stating he definitely wants out of DC and that Bruce has told him (flat out) that he's not good enough.

Posted by: jakopz | August 3, 2009 10:34 AM

Anyone else wish that interviews like this were conducted by the team beat writers and not by reporters overseas? No criticism meant particularly, but couldn't Nylander be asked the same questions by the local media in DC? Or is there fear of stirring the pot? I'm not suggesting that there needs to be an adversarial relationship between the press and team, but isn't part of the press' job to root out info instead of reporting the company line, or not reporting anything at all? I mean, did we ever get a proper explanation of why Steve Eminger was in McPhee's doghouse for so long? He did manage to get into the playoffs against Philly and did well enough for the Flyers to want to trade for him, so why the almost season long benching by the Caps? No answers were ever provided, other than Boudreau deferring questions about it to McPhee. Isn't that a cue to get out the shovel and dig?

In fairness, maybe Nylander has been asked to give interviews in the past and declined, but since he's talking to a writer in Sweden, maybe it's time to seek out an inty again? The Nylander story is a very important issue to all of us who follow the Caps on a daily basis, so it'd be nice to see what the guy has to say when asked by our fave local Caps reporters. You think the 'Skins beat writers wouldn't pursue a story with far reaching implications for that team?

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | August 3, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Re: the previous discussion about BB telling Nyls he isn't good enough:

I don't see BB saying it that way, because all it would do is break down an already shaky foundation. What I CAN see BB saying is that Nyls has to earn a spot just like everyone else. BB has made it clear to all of his players that they have to work to keep their spots and that they have to earn their minutes. Through miscommunication I can see this getting twisted around, but I think this probably just means he told Nyls he wasnt playing well enough, that he had to be better and has to play up to his potential. All of which would be valid. Considering we will be keeping Nyls, I cant see any reason to insult the man but I can see a reason to try to light a fire under his caboose...

Posted by: mrszilla | August 3, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

@MetalCapsFan
Depends on the source, some of these European rags make stuff up. There was that Sykora thing and I'm sure I've read that made up quotes are partly why Semin hates the media.

I think Tarik has asked Nyls, but only gets "you'll have to talk to Coach" replies. Most of this stuff appears to be off the record or unnamed sources and Post standards probably means Tarik doesn't have enough for an article.

Posted by: koalatek | August 3, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Well, looks like Nylander definitely wants to talk. Here's a link to another interview in Swedish:

http://marieshockeyblogg.blogspot.com/2009/07/michael-nylander.html

Some quotes from the interview translated into English (I found them here as I don't speak Swedish myself. Maybe someone who does can verify that this is actually what he said?):

"...I have two years left on my contract, but I want to be traded and I've talked about my situation with the management. It's not hard to understand that I won't be playing there anymore. But we're both on the same page...

...The KHL is not an option. I want to play in the NHL. But I can't stay in Washington, not in the role I've been given. There has to be a change if I'm to stay...

...I'm used to these kind of situations, with my history. It's hockey, I know how it works over there. Since I have a no move clause they can't ship me without my consent, so I can wait until something that feels good turns up. I'm not worried...

...Hmm... I can't say I have a favorite team that I want to go to, but Edmonton would have been fun to try. Last time around I chose Washington because I had close friends there. But it's going to be tough for them to fit me under the cap..."

So, can we collectively lobby the fine people at WaPost or WaTimes to contact him and follow up? Not much else to report on hockey-wise in August anyway, right?

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | August 3, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I got sorta' misty-eyed when I read off Victor Kozlov and Sergei Federov and both names followed by their new teams and not 'Washington Capitals'. =/

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | August 3, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Just translated the page in Google and the quotes are pretty right on. Someone here with press credentials really needs to do an interview with him now. Or maybe one of the many great Capitals bloggers would like to take the lead?

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | August 3, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

MetalCapsFan - I find those quotes pretty interesting too, but about your comments on the beat writers not geting the story here, maybe it's because Nylander feels more comfortable talking to his countrymen? I know he's been in the league a long time and speaks English very well, there's something to be said about being home or around those more like yourself. I'm sure Tarik, Katie or Lindsay has asked, or is in the process of following up.

Posted by: superpaqman | August 3, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Russia will be scary good next year. Imagine a powerplay unit of Ovie, Semin, Malkin with Federov and Gonchar pulling D duty...

Posted by: TheCapitalist1 | August 3, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Could they possibly work a deal for Souray? Would we want him? He has three years and $14.5M to go, cap hit $4.833M/yr. What if you traded Nylander and Poti for Souray? The Caps get cap benefit of the three years remaining in Souray's contract (front loaded), and Edm gets benefit of front-loaded Nylander deal (it would be two years, $4.275M each).

The reason I suggest this is because I am going off Nyles expressed desire to go to Edm, and then I checked the Oilers cap figures. I'm not sure Souray has worked in Edm like they had hoped, so it is possible. The negative for Caps is that Souray has 3 yrs and the other two are 2 each. That third year would be tough due to entry-level deals being re-upped, but might be the best possible solution.

Posted by: tominfl1 | August 3, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Two Nylander interviews translated from Swedish are available over at Japers' Rink. Enjoy!

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | August 3, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

tom, souray's cap number is $5.4M. i think that would hold true even if he was traded to the caps despite the fact that the caps would not owe him the equivalent of $5.4M over the next three years. poti and nylander count $8.4M against the cap. not sure the oilers would take that deal, but i'd be in favor of it from a cap perspective. hs

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | August 3, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

DCSF: I really think when a player is traded mid-deal, the new team only counts "cap to go." That's how it was presented when Lecavalier signed the long deal, that he could be traded late in his career and the new team would only get the smaller cap hit.

Souray bounced back nicely last year. You might be able to do Nyles, Poti and a #1 pick. The Oilers are short on picks due to Penner, and might bite. Souray and Green on the PP would be world class!

Posted by: tominfl1 | August 3, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

MetalCapsFan - I find those quotes pretty interesting too, but about your comments on the beat writers not geting the story here, maybe it's because Nylander feels more comfortable talking to his countrymen? I know he's been in the league a long time and speaks English very well, there's something to be said about being home or around those more like yourself. I'm sure Tarik, Katie or Lindsay has asked, or is in the process of following up.

Posted by: superpaqman | August 3, 2009 3:16 PM


Good points, kind of a mirror of Semin speaking to Russian writers but not giving much in the way of quotes to anyone on this side of the Atlantic.

Perhaps, at this point, in light of the rather full-frontal statements Nylander made in those intys, it's time for McPhee to be queried about what he intends to do about the situation. Of course, getting anything out of McPhee seems to be quite difficult. He certainly has the skills to be a politician when he retires as he's fairly adept at avoiding quesions he would rather not answer.

However, Nylander has now lobbed the opening volley of what could turn into a particularly contentious and cancerous situation for the team. He's forcing McPhee's hand through the media. It's a reasonable expectation that the team's GM should address the issue, much as Ottawa GM Bryan Murray has been obligated to do regarding the insane situation with Dany Heatley. It would be very poor for the team and their fanbase to not have an idea of where things stand with Nylander prior to the beginning of training camp.

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | August 3, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

The beat reporters we have is the only people the WP can muster, that does not make them good reporters. Having said that, if you are a strickly CAPS fan, then Tarik is probably what you would like to read - a homer. If you are a hockey fan, I suggest you go to USA Today NHL for a good local reporter in Kevin Allen and others.

Posted by: hock1 | August 3, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Hmm after reading the Japers article I might have to retract my previous statement... Maybe BB was that harsh. This all just kind of seems like the Jagr-syndrome... great player falling totally flat because they just don't fit. Or are overrated to begin with. For me its a coin-toss. Some players we give a million chances to despite injuries etc (Pothier) but the ones that fit really seem to fight to get it back (Pothier again). Some players adapt and fight for their spots, others blame the team, playing style or even pull a Jagr ie blame your setbacks on an emotional breakup with your supermodel girlfriend.

At this point I'd say it's up to Nyls what kind of player he wants to be, and if he can adapt to the Cap's style this late in his career... Hope it works out for both sides...

Posted by: mrszilla | August 3, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

@MetalCapsFan
Yeah, that's a very accurate translation. He's kind of flippant during the interview. Not at all concerned about his situation except that he stresses he CAN'T stay in Washington.

Posted by: jakopz | August 3, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

The beat reporters we have is the only people the WP can muster, that does not make them good reporters. Having said that, if you are a strickly CAPS fan, then Tarik is probably what you would like to read - a homer. If you are a hockey fan, I suggest you go to USA Today NHL for a good local reporter in Kevin Allen and others.

Posted by: hock1 | August 3, 2009 4:04 PM


Tarik used to cover the Rangers for the NY Times. Here's a piece (from '98) he wrote about slacker Alexei Kovalev (the same guy that the aforementioned Bryan Murray just rewarded with a $5 million/yr contract, sheesh!) That was a controversial situation at the time, so I'm sure we'll get some follow-up on the Nylander situation from Tarik and Co.

Posted by: MetalCapsFan | August 3, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

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