Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals skates against the New York Rangers in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 6, 2013 in New York City. The Rangers defeated the Capitals 4-3.
(May 5, 2013 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)

Ovechkin on KHL interest: It’s nice, but I have a contract


Capitals GM George McPhee doesn’t seem too concerned about Moscow Dynamo general director Andrey Safronov’s interest in luring Alex Ovechkin to the KHL, but for any Capitals fans that didn’t share his confidence, Ovechkin did his best to quell those fears.

“Yeah, I’m here and I’m gonna work for my contract,” Ovechkin said, according to CSN Washington. “Not gonna worry about it.”

Ovechkin admitted that it was still nice to hear that Moscow Dynamo was interested in him. He played for them in his youth before moving to North America and returned for 31 contests during the lockout.

“But I’m here and I have a contract,” Ovechkin reiterated.

Ilya Kovalchuk’s decision to bolt to the KHL despite being under contract has led to a lot of “what if” speculation and Safronov’s comments fed into that, but every situation is unique. Other Russian stars renewed their commitment to their respective NHL clubs over the summer by signing new contracts and while Ovechkin might end up playing in the KHL again someday, he’s “excited” to return to the Capitals for the 2013-14 campaign.

Here are the 10 oldest players to play a game this season

Jaromir Jagr
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This isn’t breaking news or anything. We just thought you’d like to know that three of the NHL’s 10 oldest players (who’ve played at least one game this season) are members of the Florida Panthers.

Oh, and the Panthers’ starting goalie? He’s the oldest starter in the league. (Scroll down.)

Here’s the list of skaters, topped by 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr:


Yet another veteran Panther, 36-year-old defenseman Brian Campbell, ranks 17th on the list.

Granted, the above list does not include 39-year-old Patrik Elias (who’s hurt) or 39-year-old Eric Boulton (who just re-signed with the Isles). As soon as those two play, Thornton will get pushed out of the top 10.

Now here’s the list of goalies who’ve started at least one game this season, topped by 36-year-old Roberto Luongo:


For the record, Luongo isn’t the oldest goalie under contract. That would be Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom, who’s 37.

Related: Can Florida’s old guys hang on while the young guys get better?

Hamburglar (groin) returns, Sens demote O’Connor

Andrew Hammond
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Matt O'Connor‘s time in the Canadian capital was brief, but still noteworthy.

O’Connor, the losing netminder in Sunday’s “Battle of the Backups” against Montreal — Habs No. 2 Mike Condon got the win — has been sent down to AHL Binghamton to pave the way for Andrew Hammond‘s return from a groin injury, per the Sun.

The Hamburglar has been out since the preseason, but his return is earlier than expected.

He was originally supposed to miss the first two weeks, yet now sounds as though he’ll play one of Ottawa’s two games on an upcoming road trip through Columbus and Pittsburgh.

It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.