Updates on Alexander Ovechkin, Corey Crawford, Loui Eriksson, Mikael Samuelsson, Ryan O’Byrne and more.
WASHINGTON POST: Katie Carrera doubts Moscow Dynamo will be able to convince Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin to play in the KHL. She noted the Capitals would likely block such a move, and suggested Dynamo general director Andrey Safranov was engaging in “wishful thinking”.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Agreed. Unless the Capitals and the NHL declined to contest such a move, Ovechkin won’t be able to go the Kovalchuk route to the KHL. As Carerra noted, there’s no indication the Capitals captain is even considering that option.
RIANOVOSTI: Capitals prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov he is “yearning” to play in the NHL to avoid stagnating as a player. Kuznetsov said last week this season would be his last with his hometown team Traktor Chelyabinsk and will join the Capitals.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Depending upon when Chelyabinsk’s season ends, Kuznetsov could join the Capitals late in this season or in the 2014 playoffs.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman wasn’t concerned about the effect Corey Crawford’s new six-year, $36 million contract (effective 2014-15) could have upon his club’s salary cap down the road. “The one thing we do know is we’re going to have a great goaltender”, said Bowman. “That’s why this was an easy decision.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I commented on Crawford’s new contract yesterday. If he carries over last season’s performance throughout the period of his new contract, it’ll be worth the investment. The Blackhawks management obviously consider Crawford a core player and, as they do with all their core players, want to keep him around for a long time.
CSNNE.COM: New Boston Bruin Loui Eriksson skated with some of his new teammates for the first time yesterday. Eriksson was acquired on July 4 in a blockbuster deal with the Dallas Stars.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eriksson is a three-time 70-plus point winger, though his production was down last season (and not just because of the lockout-shortened season). If he regains that 70-point form, he’ll become an invaluable part of the Bruins offensive attack.
MLIVE.COM: A healthy Mikael Samuelsson looks forward to this season with the Red Wings.
TSN.CA: Former NHL blueliner Ryan O’Byrne signed with KHL team HC LEV Praha in the Czech Republic.
SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL: Christopher Botta reports NHL commissioner Gary Bettman received more than $8.3 million in pay and benefits during the fiscal year which ended June 30, 2012.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s right, the commissioner gets paid more than most of the NHL’s stars.
TORONTO STAR: Dave Feschuk reports the salary cap is forcing NHL teams to pass on veterans in favor of younger, affordable players. That’s especially true this season, with the cap dropping to $64.3 million.