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Who's That Kid?

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From Slava Malamud of Sport-Express:

As you can see from this picture, posted on his page on Odnoklassniki (the Russian version of Classmates.com), a certain Caps player has been harboring hockey ambitions since the early in his childhood. And his parents were quite supportive, putting a hockey stick and a helmet under the Christmas tree (we call it the New Year's Tree in Russia and the presents are opened January 1, but that's the only difference). It is pretty safe to assume that this is his first hockey stick ever. The contract with CCM, as well as the fame, the fortune and the five-time-broken nose would come later.

The stick he is holding, of course, is not, strictly speaking, an ice hockey stick. It looks like something they use in either field hockey or bandy, a game played on a soccer-field-sized ice with huge goals and a small ball. Bandy, in fact, is quite popular in Russia and there are efforts to make it an Olympic sport. All and all, though, it's probably good this particular player eventually chose "puck hockey" (which is what we call the Canadian game).

He isn't half bad at it.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 17, 2009; 1:40 PM ET
 
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Comments

That's Ovie!

Posted by: patrone | February 17, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Is that Donald Brashear?

Posted by: SA-Town | February 17, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

That kid is Semin.

Posted by: guer_j | February 17, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

"Is that Donald Brashear?"

We have a winner.

Posted by: Section117 | February 17, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Wonder where are the bongos he got that year :-)

Posted by: guer_j | February 17, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Unh-uh. That's Semin. Look at the face structure, and the fact that he's Russian narrows it down.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 17, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

That's Ovechkin, folks.

--Tarik

Posted by: el_bashir | February 17, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

it's Feds!

Posted by: Leeguru | February 17, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Semin? It says 5-time broken nose! Does anyone actually read around here?

I'm looking forward to seeing Alzner and Kozlov tomorrow.

Posted by: oo7 | February 17, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

is it Joe B?

Posted by: _stevo | February 17, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

It must be Feds, the pic is old

Posted by: JStreet24 | February 17, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

The Atlanta Thrashers have traded defenceman Mathieu Schneider to his former team, the Montreal Canadiens.

In exchange, the Thrashers receive a second round draft pick in 2009 and a third round selection in 2010. In addition to Schneider, the Canadiens will receive a conditional draft pick from the Thrashers.


*Not sure if this was posted already, and I dont have time t check.

Posted by: oo7 | February 17, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

@Tarik: hahahah. Shows how much I know. Baby pictures of Ovechkin. God that's awesome.

Posted by: kittypawz | February 17, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I knew it was AO. I think that stick just snapped and he's headed to the bench for a new weapon.

Posted by: saintex | February 17, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

They still play Bandy over there? Wow.

Posted by: Section117 | February 17, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Sad, showing how old I am, my first reaction was "Wow, pretty bold having a tree during Soviet times", but then I re-did the math and realized that it wasn't 1975, but more like 1985+.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | February 17, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I still dont think thats Ovie. My guess is Stalin.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 17, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I contend that is a young Viktor Kozlov.

Posted by: Tex21 | February 17, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I knew right away that was Ovie. Come on people.

Posted by: Caps1Fan | February 17, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Come on, it's obviously a current B&W picture of Neuvirth. :)

Posted by: koalatek | February 17, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

His first words, at eleven months, were, "If Malkin puts head down, I run him."

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 17, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

@koalatek "Come on, it's obviously a current B&W picture of Neuvirth. :)"

WIN.

Posted by: Caps1Fan | February 17, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I looked up the odnoklassniki.ru site, and unless this is a hoax, Ovechkin, Malkin, Kovalchuk and Semin all have their pages there. Of four, Kovalchuk's and Ovechkin's look most suspicious and Semin's the least.

Posted by: fnralch | February 17, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

That was too cute of a picture. Though I'm wondering how people got Semin out of it. The mention of a five-time broken nose rules out Semin since it looks like his is still set properly. Ovi came to mind immediately when they mentioned the broken nose. Interesting article, TEB!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | February 17, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

It must be Feds, the pic is old

Posted by: JStreet24 | February 17, 2009 2:04 PM

remember, this is pre-wall coming down USSR time frame. it looks old because it was probably taken w/ 1950 technology.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | February 17, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

My guess was either Tarik or Obama.

Posted by: opita1 | February 17, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I don't think we can rule out that international man of mystery and general Capitals agitator, Mr. Cal Clutterbuck.

Posted by: Tex21 | February 17, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

THIS SUNDAY WHEN CROSBY TOUCHES THE PUCK EVERYONE NEEDS TO CHANT DEADWOOD, DEADWOOD!!!!

Posted by: vik191 | February 17, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

@fnralch - So you speak Russian, eh? I sure don't! And my work is now blocking Babelfish for some bizarrio reason... especially since we HAVE to publish all of our information in English and French now... Canadian offices. It's the law. :-p

Posted by: irockthered | February 17, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I'd figured it for Ovechkin, but only based on the background information provided, and knowing Ovi's bio. Ovechkin's face as an adult has thinned considerably, and it really does look more like Semin as a kid than it does Ovi, due to the fact his cheeks aren't razor prominent... but a child of 3-4 years would still have enough "baby fat" that you wouldn't see that, anyway.

As for the pic being "old" - no. It isn't. B&W film and photography are still around, and film is still better than digital for quality. This photo is in tip-top condition. There's no sign of aging in the photo, like photos from the 1950s-1960s would show - and believe me, I've restored quite a few of those! It's crisp, it's clean, and it's probably only this tiny because it was the only size that would fit on the website. Yes, it's a little overexposed on the sweater; I see a pattern, but only barely. But I'd expect an amateur photographer to focus on the face and let the camera decide the exposure. With all that dark background, chances are that the camera was mistaken. Most folks out there don't have light meters to make the exposure perfect, and they don't have the skill to fix it in the darkroom if it isn't. I could geek out on the photography, but this isn't an old photo. I've seen plenty of old B&W shots, and I was shooting B&W film as recently as 2006 (shortly before I got my first professional-grade digital camera). It's still around, and a lot of people still prefer B&W as a medium...

Posted by: irockthered | February 17, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1 - BAHAHAH! Great first words for a budding hockey star!

Posted by: irockthered | February 17, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

@irockthered

I do. Mother tongue...

Continuing the ondoklassniki.ru story, some Ovechkin's pictures indeed look quite private, say in http://i79.odnoklassniki.ru/getImage?photoId=191380727554&photoType=0 or http://i79.odnoklassniki.ru/getImage?photoId=190510611458&photoType=0. So I may retract the previous statement of hoax... ;-)

Posted by: fnralch | February 17, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

If you look at it though, it really does look like Ovie. Look at the eyes and mouth, as well as the dark hair (whereas Semin has more blondish hair).

Posted by: Caps1Fan | February 17, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

@fnralch: D'oh, it says no hotlinks allowed. Boo.

Posted by: Caps1Fan | February 17, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

irock: Speaking of English and French, perhaps you know the answer to the one question I can't find answered:

Why is the writing on radish bags always printed in both French and English?

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 17, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

@fnralch - I can't get there off the hotlinks, but even if the photos are quite private, that doesn't make it not a hoax...

@Caps1Fan - My hair color was very light as a child, and darkened to a medium brown as an adult... I can't tell on this photo where the hair begins and the helmet shadow ends, though... point is, hair color can change, and often does. :-) It's not a good enough photo to just look at it and say "Ovi" without the background information provided.

Posted by: irockthered | February 17, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

No boo. The first one did work. The second used to.

Posted by: fnralch | February 17, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

JStreet24:
the picture is not really that old. i just think the USSR had banned color.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | February 17, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1 - RADISH bags? I've got absolutely no idea, as I can't stand the things, so I've never looked at one of the bags that closely. If they were bagged in Canada, it would be a requirement, I'd suppose, if they were being *sold* in Canada, but in Florida, that doesn't make as much sense to me. English and Spanish, I could see... weird.

Posted by: irockthered | February 17, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Yes I know hair color can change, my hair was very dark brown as a child and is now medium brown. Dark hair doesn't change as much as light hair (my sister used to be very blonde but is now dirty blonde). But I see some dark hair under there on the right side. But I'm just saying that I definitely see that it's Ovie looking at that picture.

Posted by: Caps1Fan | February 17, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

The dark eyes are a bit of a trick when trying to determine who the shot is of, too; chances are, given Ovechkin's pale blue eye color, that the photo was taken with a flash, and we're actually looking at "red eye", rather than Semin's darker eye color. The reason I'm saying this is A) lack of detail in the face and sweater, and B) the eyes look all pupil, which is something you get when you get "red eye," which Ovechkin would be very susceptible to.

Don't get me started camera-geeking. I'll admit the only reason I knew it was Ovi is because I knew he wanted to play hockey from the first time he saw it. I don't know enough about Semin to know whether he had the same desires...

Posted by: irockthered | February 17, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

It's Ovie. Look at the eyes, mouth, cheekbones.

Posted by: RedRocker1 | February 17, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

You're all wrong. It's actually Don Koharski. The clue that you all overlooked was the box in the bottom left hand corner of the picture. Upon closer inspection, you can see that it's a trunk filled with Krispy Kremes.

Posted by: VeloStrummer | February 17, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Dudes,
Ovechkin closed his Odnoklassniki account sometime last year. He said it in one of his interviews (somewhere on Alex Ovetjkin blog). Everybody else there is an impersonator.

Posted by: CodePoetry | February 17, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

The pic was published in some Russian web site 2-3 years ago. From family archives by Tatiana Ovechkina.

Posted by: CodePoetry | February 17, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

it doesn't stop. it just keeps talking and talking and talking and talking and talking.....

Posted by: Leeguru | February 17, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: CodePoetry | February 17, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Oh thanks CodePoetry! On the close-up you can definitely tell it's Ovie!

Posted by: Caps1Fan | February 17, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Now THERE'S a young picture of Semin! http://images.izvestia.ru/lenta/60801.jpg

Posted by: Caps1Fan | February 17, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

@Leeguru

funny!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 17, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Brash, Neuy, Koharski... this blog is in rare form today.

Posted by: FFSEnough | February 17, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Anybody know where I can get a Caps snuggie?

Posted by: Tex21 | February 17, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone realized we're 9 points out of 1st in the east?

Posted by: Greg S. | February 17, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Lyle, it's worse than the voices in my head!

Posted by: Leeguru | February 17, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Is it Tarik?

Posted by: nativedc | February 17, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Lee,
Exactly my thoughts.

Section117,
Bandy is still played, I caught a little recently on a Eurosport TV channel, Norway vs Russia IIRC. It's mad, like a weird football, hockey, field hockey hybrid. They have short corners like field hockey, the goalies don't have sticks, there's no boards, the ice pad is football pitch size, 11-a-side. Weird.

Posted by: DaveUKCapsFan | February 17, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Can someone tell me why we're technically third in the East when we've got the season series against NJ?

We have exactly the same points and games played, and fewer losses, so I don't know why we'd be third and not second. Anyone?

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | February 17, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

new jersey has more wins

Posted by: _stevo | February 17, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

DrinkingPartner

NJ has more wins than we do.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 17, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Oh, crap.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | February 17, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Change of topic?

The Weagle is among the lamest logos in sports-- it's the federal equivalent of the old Ducks jersey. If we get our third jersey featuring it, it will shame on the same level as the last missed oppportunity, the backwards star eagle and the Capital exploding with sticks...

Having Washington spelled across the Jersey would be classic, in Navy

Posted by: capsfan7 | February 17, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Everyone knows that Ovechkin was a 220 lb baby that looked exactly like he does today on the day he was born.

Im calling BS on this picture.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 17, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Alex Kovalev has been benched indefinetly! He was told with the current way he's playing, the team doesn't need his services. Also Sergie Kositisyn was sent down to the Ahl! What's going on in Hab country?!?

Posted by: ludeman95 | February 17, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

You clowns...that's Varlamov! haha

Posted by: dcox50 | February 17, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

S. Kostitsyn made it through waivers?

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | February 17, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

That's what Tsn is saying, crazy.

Posted by: ludeman95 | February 17, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Change of topic?

The Weagle is among the lamest logos in sports-- it's the federal equivalent of the old Ducks jersey. If we get our third jersey featuring it, it will shame on the same level as the last missed oppportunity, the backwards star eagle and the Capital exploding with sticks...

Having Washington spelled across the Jersey would be classic, in Navy

Posted by: capsfan7 | February 17, 2009 4:45 PM

You're in the minority then. Icethetics.blogspot.com ran a survey of best alternate logos in the NHL, and the Weagle won.

I love the thing. I think it adds a subtle sharpness to the shoulder of the jerseys. Your idea is good too.

Posted by: ThisGuy | February 17, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

No Kovalev for tomorrows games....

BROSSARD, Que. - Struggling veteran Alex Kovalev has been given some time off by the Montreal Canadiens.

General Manager Bob Gainey said Tuesday he met with Kovalev to tell him he won't be on the team's trip this week for games Wednesday night in Washington and Thursday night in Pittsburgh.

His status for a home game Saturday against Ottawa remains uncertain.

Gainey said Kovalev is not suspended and will still be paid. He said the right-winger appears to be tired and has not been playing well of late.

The Canadiens also sent slumping winger Sergei Kostitsyn to AHL Hamilton and recalled physical forward Gregory Stewart, at the request of coach Guy Carbonneau and his staff.

The moves came a day after Montreal sent a pair of draft picks to Atlanta in exchange for veteran defenceman Mathieu Schneider, who practised with the team Tuesday.

Posted by: numero94 | February 17, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Interesting ThisGuy. I don't mind it on the shoulder, but I think the thing is way too flat to be considered as a principal logo.

Really pulling for Washington spelled across a Navy jersey...

Posted by: capsfan7 | February 17, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

@ Tarik

What do I win? ;)

The CCM contract gave it away - how much fuss has their been over his broken sticks this year?

Posted by: patrone | February 17, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Kostitsyn doesn't need waivers. He's 21 and working on his entry contract.

Is it out of the realm of possibility to swap Nylander for Kovalev?

OK, all you sensitive types who get bent out of shape at the mere thought of any trade - sorry.

But...Kovalev is a UFA after the season. Montreal earlier in the year was rumored to want Nylander. The Caps would then not have to worry about the cap hit over the remainig two years. And, get this, making it easier, Nylander's salary is 5.5 next year and only 3.0 the final year of his pact. If a player under multi-year is traded, the acquiring team is only liable cap wise for remaining salary...Habs actual payout and hit for Nylander would be 8.5 for two years. And if true that Nylander loses NTC after the third year, with 4th year at only 3.0 he would be easier to move.

Any more on the rumor that Nylander stormed out of the rink after practice today?

Could something be afoot?

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 17, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

I think we need more than maybe "stormed" Otherwise it's tabloid journalism tominfl1

Stormed - like Dr. Evil's son Scott running out of the room?

Stormed like he's late/one of his kids got in trouble?

Stormed like we won't see his name in the lineup tomorrow?

I'm going to Boston in March and my choices are seeing them play the Senators or the Islanders. Laaaame.

Posted by: austinsteve | February 17, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I also don't understand why New Jersey is in front of us... we've played the same amount of games, have the same amount of points... aren't we tied for second because even though they DO have 1 more win than us, they have one more regulation loss than us, so technically aren't we tied? So confusing! ;(

Posted by: rachel216 | February 17, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Did S. Kostitsyn have to go through waivers? No way he wasn't picked up!

Posted by: patrone | February 17, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Now THERE'S a young picture of Semin! http://images.izvestia.ru/lenta/60801.jpg

Posted by: Caps1Fan

Wait, are you kidding, or that really is Sasha? Can't tell if you're being sarcastic...lol

Posted by: rachel216 | February 17, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

No, that's actually Sasha. The caption from the slideshow is Александр Семин, which is... Alexander Semin.

Posted by: Caps1Fan | February 17, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

It's from the same slideshow that CodePoetry posted. http://www.izvestia.ru/cgi/lenta.cgi?id=2282&num=7

Posted by: Caps1Fan | February 17, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Hang on a sec... Kovalev was "sent home" on a team that the Caps consistently do well against. He's playing poorly, like he's tired. TSN says he's "not suspended".

So you want to trade FOR him? What's the issue? I'd want to know the answer to that and talk to him before I give up someone. Nylander is at least running hot and cold. This guy's like ice.

Posted by: Greg S. | February 17, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Kovalev is a slumper... we don't want him...

Posted by: ovisgod | February 17, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

lol at everyone saying that the picture looks old just because it's black and white.

I was born in Russia in 1989 and all my pictures are grainy and black and white (our technology was CLEARLY superior to your technology here in the States).

Let me tell you, when we moved to Germany and got a color camera it was like WHOA. REVOLUTIONARY.

Posted by: InSEMINator | February 17, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

If given the choice between Nylander for the next 2 years or Kovalev for the rest of this year, I'd take Kovalev.

We've already discussed how anyone playing RW on the 1st line can produce, so you put him on the 1st line, keep the FFF line together, and then field a line of something like:

Semin/Laich/Kozlov

Nylander, due to injury, may get some games on the 3rd line, but he might as well be a healthy scratch. I have nothing against him, but I'd rather have his cap room this summer (along with Fedorov's 4mil and Kozlov's 2.5 mil) to make sure we can grab the right 2nd line C for BB's style.

Posted by: Jeff_ | February 17, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Have one spare ticket in 426 if anyone wants to join me seeing Kovalev not play.

Posted by: Steve_R | February 17, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Here's hopin' the Panthers and Canes pull out wins tonight, that'd be GREAT for us! ;)

Posted by: rachel216 | February 17, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

As far as taking Kovalev, who knows what more Russian synergy could do... would anyone here have predicted Fedorov would have come in and been so meaningful, a year ago? he was washed up in Nashvilleland...

Posted by: capsfan7 | February 17, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

It's me!!

Posted by: coastallp74 | February 17, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

It looks exactly like Ovechkin...unreal

Nice Find

Posted by: GoUnited | February 18, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Sweden beat Russia in the bandy WC finals 6-1 a month or so ago.

Posted by: jens_millgard | February 18, 2009 4:08 AM | Report abuse

@ oldtimehockey

You're not being old. You're being ignorant. As Malamud said the tree is not considered a religious symbol in Russia so everyone had it during Soviet times. X-mas was changed to a secular holiday called New Year's which was celebrated on the night of Dec 31 - Jan 1. It still remains this way today. The point is that having a tree was not some bold act of defiance. Everyone had one.

BTW, tracing the history of X-mas back it's not even a Christian holiday and has absolutely nothing to do with the birth of Christ. It was a Pagan holiday originally and was adopted by Christianity because people just wouldn't let it go. The same thing essentially happened in the USSR. People would not abandon it so it was changed to be a secular holiday.

We even had Santa Claus, except he was also changed to a secular character called Ded Moroz (Grandpa Frost). However, he looked and functioned exactly the same way as Santa.

Next topic. Bandy is actually a really fun sport to watch. It's almost always played outdoors on an ice the size of a soccer field. It's a highly skilled, high scoring game. In fact, bandy is where Russian style of hockey originated from. The first Russian puck hockey (called hockey with a ball in Russia) players were bandy players. They were converted to puck hockey, but since they were used to a skilled possession game it translated to the way they played it. You can see some videos of it on Youtube.

Posted by: ranndino | February 18, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Correction. I meant that bandy is called hockey with the ball, of course.

Posted by: ranndino | February 18, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

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