Latest on Alexander Ovechkin, Milan Lucic, Mike Fisher, Tom Gilbert and more.
CSNWASHINGTON: Chuck Gormley noted recent comments by Moscow Dynamo’s general director Andrey Safronov about their interest in Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin. “Ovechkin has a current contract with the Capitals,” Safronov said. “Can we try to pull him out? We’ll talk, we’ll look at each other and will have some result”.
He added, “Right now all Russian national team players want to come back to their homeland. KHL shows its force and credibility. And finances are important too. Taking taxes in account, playing in Russia has become way more attractive for players.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Gormley noted, Ovechkin has eight years and $79 million remaining on his current contract with the Capitals, and has given no indication he wants to follow in the footsteps of Ilya Kovalchuk by retiring from the NHL to play in the KHL. While it’s possible Ovechkin at some point might consider going the Kovalchuk route, I think he’ll play out his contract with the Capitals.
The NHL and KHL have an agreement not to sign players under contract, though the Kovalchuk retirement creates a loophole for those wishing to jump to the KHL. I’m assuming, however, it works both ways.
BOSTON GLOBE: Bruins winger Milan Lucic blamed heightened expectations brought on by a lucrative new contract for contributing to his struggles last season. Lucic regained his form during the 2013 playoffs, and claims he’s in better shape and regained his focus. He’s also hopeful of making Team Canada for the Sochi Olympics, though that appears a long shot at this point.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If his performance in the 2013 playoffs was anything to go by, Lucic has matured and put last season’s struggles behind him.
TORONTO SUN: Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher recently grappled with a chipmunk which got into his home.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson wonders if former Oilers blueliner Tom Gilbert can bounce back as an NHL defenseman. Gilbert, 30, was bought out of the final year of his contract by the Minnesota Wild, but has yet to sign with another NHL team.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Tickets for the LA Kings-Anaheim Ducks outdoor game at Dodger Stadium are selling at a record pace.