Sochi Olympics Ice Hockey Men

Video: Alex Ovechkin injured at Worlds


The Washington Capitals rough offseason may have just gotten a lot worse.

During the third period of Team Russia’s 3-0 win against Team Germany, Alex Ovechkin was upended on a hip check and put down on the ice. Ovechkin needed help from trainers getting off the ice and went straight to the locker room putting no weight on his right leg.

Slava Malamud of Sport-Express says things don’t look good at all at the moment as he was taken from the arena in an ambulance.

The peril of having star players participate in the World Championships means they can still get injured playing hockey, just ask Eric Staal last year when he was injured in a knee-on-knee hit by Alex Edler.

If Ovechkin is injured seriously, it’s a major blow to the Capitals as they’re in need of a new GM and coach as it is. Having to possibly deal without Ovechkin makes for a brutal turn of events.

Update (4:58 p.m. ET): According to Malamud, Ovechkin was taken to the hospital for a MRI to examine his lower-body. To cool down the possible hysteria, he clarified the person who said it was “pretty bad” was a team official and not a doctor.

The Capitals have also released a statement on the injury:

We are aware that Alex Ovechkin sustained an injury during today’s game versus Germany. Our medical staff is working with Ovechkin and Team Russia to gather additional information at this time.”

Update (5:58 p.m. ET): We might be able to take this down to DEFCON 4 in Washington — Ovechkin is back at his hotel and walking around.

To add to that, here’s more good news:

Finally, to put this to bed, here’s Ovechkin giving thumbs-up on Instagram.

Raffl coverts PTO into one-year, $575K deal with Jets

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There’s another Raffl in the NHL.

On Tuesday, the Jets announced that Thomas Raffl — the older brother of Flyers forward Michael Raffl — has signed a one-year, one-way deal worth $575,000.

Raffl, 29, was in Winnipeg’s camp on a PTO after a lengthy career in Europe. He spent time playing in Sweden and his native Austria, most recently with powerhouse EC Red Bull Salzburg — last year, Raffl scored 53 points in 52 games for Salzburg and three in seven games for Austria while serving as team captain at the World Hockey Championships.

“We would like to recognize and express our appreciation to the EC Red Bull Salzburg organization for allowing Thomas and the Winnipeg Jets this opportunity,” Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said in a statement.

With the Jets, Raffl projects to play in the bottom-six forward group, where he can utilize his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame in a checking-slash-energy role.

For now, though, he’ll start out with the club’s AHL affiliate in Manitoba.

Flyers to start season with seven d-men; MacDonald sent to AHL

Andrew MacDonald, Matt Calvert
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Seven defensemen will comprise the Philadelphia Flyers’ opening-day roster, which the club finalized today.

Those seven are Radko Gudas, Michael Del Zotto, Luke Schenn, Nick Schultz, Brandon Manning, Mark Streit, and Evgeny Medvedev.

Not on the list? Andrew MacDonald, who has cleared waivers and been assigned to AHL Lehigh Valley. (That move allowed the Flyers to keep both Manning and youngster Scott Laughton.)

Also not on the list were prospects Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hagg, Sam Morin, Ivan Provorov and Travis Sanheim. The first three will start the season in the AHL. The last two have been sent back to junior.

But the opening-day roster is not where this story ends. How the Flyers’ defensive mix changes as the season progresses will be worth watching.

They’d no doubt love to move Schenn, a pending unrestricted free agent with a $3.6 million cap hit. He could also end up in the AHL, a la MacDonald.

Medvedev, the 33-year-old who came over from the KHL and put up five points in five preseason games, is another pending UFA. The club could either look to re-sign or flip him.

Might 37-year-old Streit be a chip worth cashing in at the deadline, especially if the Flyers aren’t in a playoff position on Feb. 29? He’s only got two years left on his contract.

Meanwhile, GM Ron Hextall will be watching pending restricted free agents Manning and Gudas closely. Are they part of the future?

So, lots of decisions to make in Philly as the blue line continues its much-needed transition.