A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

alexander ovechkin

Just got news that Alexander Ovechkin has declared that he is opting out of his contract with Avangard Omsk, a Russian team. This makes him the sole property of the Capitals. Incidentally, the ink on that contract with Omsk hadn't even dried yet, as it was signed on July 8, 2005.

This should make Caps fans very happy, but I'm not sure what his role will be. He'll turn 20 in September, but I think you have to be 20 going on 21 to play in the AHL. His age may or may not preclude him from playing for their affiliate in Portland. At any rate, the Caps are really lean, and need the help. They've only got four players currently under contract, so they've got a lot of work to to in the FA market. This should ease some of the pain.

Although he had a less than stellar season 27 points in 37 games) for the Moscow Dynamo, it was still "good" by anyone's account. He'll likely be an immediate impact player on a team that needs a shot in the arm.

If the Rangers "win" the lottery and Sid Crosby, they'll probably suit him up right away. And if the Caps suit up Ovechkin, the #1 picks from the last two drafts will be in the Eastern conference, giving me plenty of opporunities to see these young phenoms. Not to mention Marc-Andre Fleury (Pittsburgh --the #1 pick of 2003), and Ilya Kovalchuk (Atlanta -- the #1 pick of the 2001 draft). I actually think Fleury still has a lot to prove, but he shows signs of greatness. He needs to learn not to play the puck, though. Hopefully the league will make that change for this season, as I've been hoping for many years now. I hate to see netminders handling the puck because I think it disturbs the flow of the game. In Fleury's case, he makes some poor decisions that result in the other team scoring a goal. Kovalchuk, though. Man, that dude is a joy to watch.

In any case, the excitement is about to start. In 48 hours or so.

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