Alex Ovechkin

Ovechkin dismisses Kolzig’s comments, McPhee doesn’t


Yesterday, Capitals associate goalie coach Olie Kolzig said that Alex Ovechkin needs to work harder, get back to playing “exuberant hockey,” and stop getting “wrapped up too much in the rock star status.”

Today, Ovechkin offered a rebuttal.

Via The Washington Post:

“Yeah I just want to look like him. He is a rock star, so — actually he was a rock star. Right now he’s in retirement,” Ovechkin said. “It’s no situation. I don’t think you guys have to give lots of attention about what he said.”

Ovechkin dismissed Kolzig’s notion that he’s not having as much fun as he used to early in his career.

“He’s not on the team right now. He don’t travel. He see couple games and I was suspended when he saw it. So probably he didn’t see me lots of time like he used to see me,” said Ovechkin, who was then asked if he had spoken with Kolzig since the comments.

The star left wing offered a tongue-in-cheek response. “Yeah, we go out last night together, make some fun, happy time.”

Meanwhile, Capitals general manager George McPhee wasn’t so dismissive: “I don’t disagree with anything that Olie said.”

McPhee acknowledged that Ovechkin didn’t become a superstar without working hard, but “you have to be reminded once in a while.”

In a related story, it’s official — Ovechkin is the real-life, hockey-playing version of Willie Beamen from Any Given Sunday.

Right down to the rap videos.



“He may sell a lot of t-shirts this kid…but he’s tearing this team APART!”

Related: Ovechkin laughs about “rock star” comment

Report: Kings, Richards nearing settlement

Mike Richards
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The Los Angeles Kings and Mike Richards may be nearing a settlement in their dispute over Richards’ terminated contract, TSN’s Bob McKenzie is reporting.

You can read the report for all the details, but we’re sure curious about this part:

If a settlement is reached, there’s no word yet on what salary cap penalties the Kings would still face. There’s bound to be something, but not likely as onerous as the full value of Richards’ contract, which carries with it a cap hit of $5.75 million. If there’s a settlement, Richards would undoubtedly become a free agent though there’s no telling at this point what monies he would be entitled to from the Kings in a settlement.

The issue here is precedent, and what this case could set. The NHL and NHLPA can’t allow teams to escape onerous contracts through a back door, and many are adamant that that’s what the Kings were attempting to do in Richards’ case.

Bettman to players: Don’t screw up ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ with drugs

Gary Bettman
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The NHL wants to take an educational approach — not a punitive one — to deter its players from using illicit drugs like cocaine.

“My interest is not to go around punishing people,” Bettman told Sportsnet today.

“My interest is getting players to understand the consequences of doing something that could jeopardize this great, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that they’ve been given, to play in the NHL.”

While some players have expressed surprise at hearing that cocaine use is growing, the anecdotal evidence of substance abuse has been very much in the news, from Jarret Stoll‘s arrest to Mike Richards’ arrest to, more recently, Zack Kassian‘s placement in the NHL/NHLPA’s treatment program.

“We don’t have the unilateral right to do things here. We need the consent of the Players’ Association,” Bettman said. “It’s not about punishment. It’s about making sure we get it to stop.”

Related: Cocaine in the NHL: A concern, but not a crisis?