KHL team UHC Dynamo hires Alex Ovechkin as an advisor

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alexovechkinkhljob.jpgStarting in July, Alex Ovechkin became an official member of KHL team UHC Dynamo. Is this the NHL/Washington Capitals’ worst nightmare? No, not exactly, because he won’t be playing for the team.

Instead, Puck Daddy’s Dmitry Chesnokov reports that the Russian superstar will work in an advisory role with the offspring club of Moscow Dynamo.

Mikhail Tyurkin, UHC Dynamo’s president, told Sovetsky Sport, “Alex has already called me. He is now my official advisor. He is now employed by UHC Dynamo.

July 1 was the official date Ovechkin became a team employee. “Alex will work on promoting our club. And he will also work with children from our hockey school. He will hold a few master-classes. I think that famous people like Ovechkin should bring value not only to NHL teams, but to Russia as well, especially to the club that brought him up,” Tyurkin said.

It is understood that Ovechkin has already made a few suggestions to the club in his official position.

“We discussed a number of issues regarding the KHL. I was interested in his opinion on certain nuances that we should take from the NHL. With me being a member of the board of directors of the KHL, we had a long discussion. We also agreed that he will run a few joint practices with our players. In addition, Alex offered to help out young Dynamo players as a sponsor. Right now we are discussing how to best approach this – to help out our youth hockey school with equipment.”

Chesnokov reports that rather than being a volunteer, Ovechkin will be paid a “nominal” fee. I imagine with Ovechkin’s many endorsements and near-$10 million annual salary, money’s probably not a big factor in this situation.

Perhaps, instead, Ovechkin would like to be a front office figure either in the NHL or the KHL in the future? It’s reasonable for the superstar to ponder such things – even as such a young man – since his contractual needs will be met for some time.

Breathe easy, the Great 8 isn’t going to leave the NHL anytime soon. You have to wonder if Tyurkin is whispering in his ears about spending his swan song years in the KHL, though.

Struggling Sabre Tyler Ennis out with upper-body injury

Tyler Ennis, James Wisniewski
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Tyler Ennis can probably relate with the Buffalo Sabres’ opponent on Wednesday, as he’s struggling almost as much as the Nashville Predators.

Perhaps some of that has to do with health?

Whether that’s the case or not, Ennis is out for the Sabres tonight, as the team announced that he’s dealing with an upper-body injury.

The Buffalo News discussed Ennis’ struggles in this article.

“I’d say he’s pressing too much. You can’t make those plays in every situation and in every point you touch the puck,” Dan Bylsma said to the Buffalo News. “ … He’s just got to simplify his game. He is a special player who can make those plays, but he can’t be trying to do it every time he touches the puck.”

He’ll need to wait a while to start getting things together, anyway.

WATCH LIVE: Wednesday Night Rivalry (Flyers-Islanders; Blackhawks-Sharks)

Ryan White, Matt Martin
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You can check out tonight’s Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader on NBCSN, and you can also stream them online.

Here are the handy links for the two contests.

First, the New York Islanders host the Philadelphia Flyers.


After that, the Chicago Blackhawks visit the San Jose Sharks.


Braun out with upper-body injury; Zubrus to make Sharks debut

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The San Jose Sharks will be missing a top-4 defenseman tonight when they host the defending champs from Chicago.

Justin Braun has an upper-body injury. His status is considered day-to-day.

“Brauny has been one of our unsung heroes here through the first quarter of the season,” coach Peter DeBoer told CSN Bay Area. “He’s played some outstanding hockey. So, we’re going to miss him, but it’s a great opportunity for Mueller and Tennyson and one of these guys to establish themselves. It’s a great opportunity for us to reward Dillon for how well he’s played.”

Against the Blackhawks, Brenden Dillon will take Braun’s spot on the top pairing alongside Marc-Edouard Vlasic; Paul Martin and Brent Burns will stay together on the second pairing; and 20-year-old Mirco Mueller will skate with Matt Tennyson.

Mueller has played just four games for the Sharks this season. In his last game, Thursday in Philadelphia, he received only 9:13 of ice time.

Also tonight, new Shark forward Dainius Zubrus is expected to debut on the fourth line.

Related: Sharks sign Zubrus, because DeBoer

Johansen calls trade rumblings ‘weird,’ says relationship with Torts is ‘great’

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One day after reports surfaced of Ryan Johansen being at the center of trade talks, all parties involved from Columbus did what they’re supposed to do — downplay the situation.

You can read the denials in full over at the Dispatch, but here’s the gist:

— Johansen said the rumors were “weird” and that he’s “never seen it before.” He also said there were no issues between him and head coach John Tortorella, calling the relationship “great.”

— GM Jarmo Kekalainen wouldn’t address the report, nor would Johansen’s agent, Kurt Overhardt.

— Johansen added he hasn’t spoken to any of Columbus’ management about the trade rumblings.

So there’s that. What’s next?

At this stage of the game, it’s hard not to think about another Overhardt client, Kyle Turris.

Turris, you’ll recall, spent four (mostly) stormy years with the Coyotes before his trade out to Ottawa was orchestrated. Turris eventually told GM Don Maloney “this is not going to work out” with the club, and he was gone.

So, consider the similarities now:

— Turris was 22 at the time of the trade, with four years and 137 games under his belt.

— Johansen is 23, with five years and 291 games.

— Both had contentious contract holdouts with their respective clubs.

— Both are Overhardt guys.

— The Turris trade happened after the Coyotes went from Wayne Gretzky to Dave Tippett as head coach.

— Johansen is already on his third head coach (Scott Arniel, Todd Richards, Tortorella).

For now, these are all coincidences (or a forced narrative, depending what you think of the author).

And, of course, the one big — big — difference between the two is that, at the time of his trade, Turris wasn’t as good or established a player as Johansen currently is. Therefore, logic suggests any Johansen trade would be a lot more blockbuster-y and, therefore, probably more complex.

And as we know, complex deals aren’t easy to pull off.