brouwer hamrlik

Caps’ Hamrlik, Brouwer clear the air after lockout feud


It wasn’t Ari Gold-esque, but Troy Brouwer and Roman Hamrlik hugged it out.

That was the story out of Washington on Friday as the two Capitals teammates — who engaged in some verbal jousting during the lockout — said all was good between them.

“He’s still my friend, he’s still my teammate,” Brouwer told the Washington Times. “We came in, we had a good chat today.”

“He’s one of the best guys on the team,” Hamrlik added. “He’s a great teammate. We talked and we chat on the phone. And it’s no problem.”

The feud began in late November when Hamrlik told a Czech media outlet he was “disgusted” with union boss Donald Fehr, and that Fehr should be fired if the season got canceled.

Those comments made Hamrlik the first NHLPA member to break ranks (though Caps goalie Michal Neuvirth would soon join him.)

Unsurprisingly, they drew the ire of many fellow union members — including Brouwer, the Capitals’ alternate NHLPA team rep.

“For me, I think those guys selling us out, being selfish like that and making those comments…” he said. “Me being on their team, how am I going to trust them as a teammate from now on?

“Because you know they’re not going to support players in the big scheme of things when you go and you play on the team with them; it’s going to be tough to want to back those guys from now on.”

It now appears as though Brouwer 1) has amnesia, or 2) realizes he might’ve gone a tad over the top in criticizing his teammates.

“You can’t hold grudges and you cant have little high school grudge matches against each other,” Brouwer said. “It’s in the past, we aren’t worried about it anymore and we’re looking forward.

“We’re excited about this season and we have to play on the same team and we like where our team is right now.”

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.

Bruins put Morrow on IR, bring up Cross

Brady Skjei, Joe Morrow
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Lower-level defense is not the biggest of many worries for the Boston Bruins, yet it might be another in a series of headaches.’s Joe Haggerty points out that Joe Morrow has been placed on IR while AHL stalwart Tommy Cross was called up.

With a -3 rating and negligible offensive impact so far, few will really be missing Morrow (pictured). From the way Haggerty describes Cross, it’s a pretty cool story if he gets into the lineup:

Cross was named captain of the Providence Bruins this season, and actually had a strong training camp as the hard-hitting, tough stay-at-home defenseman he’s developed into during his five years in the B’s minor league system. The 2007 second round pick was a highly regarded potential puck-moving defenseman when he was drafted prior to his Boston College career, but a series of knee injuries negated some of his speed and puck-moving capabilities.

Granted, the Bruins would prefer a sure-thing improvement over a feel-good story right now, as this 0-3-0 start marks their worst beginning in some time.

Injuries have been an issue in general, too, with Zdeno Chara‘s slow start mixed with Dennis Seidenberg on the mend and Brad Marchand in limbo.

The Bruins’ next game comes against the Avalanche in Colorado. Maybe they’ll start to mend things on the ice?