Author: Cam Tucker

Capitals owner Leonsis has a message: ‘Don’t take Alex Ovechkin for granted’


Alex Ovechkin will turn 30 years old in September. He started his NHL career in 2005-06 when the league came out of its second lockout and posted 52 goals and 106 points.

He’s coming off another 50-plus goal season in 2014-15. It’s the sixth time in his NHL career he’s accomplished the feat, including his 65-goal season in 2007-08. But the one thing that has eluded him in his time with the Washington Capitals is a Stanley Cup, much to the lamentation of the club’s owner Ted Leonsis.

“He’s a fantastic player. I think all of you in this room, don’t take Alex Ovechkin for granted. I think that happens sometimes. You see him all the time and there’s this repetitiveness about his greatness,” said Leonsis, as per CSN Washington.

“But when people from outside the organization come in, I think you heard that with Justin Williams, this is the best player in the league. He’s been that for the last 10 years. And the consistency that he has brought is really historical.

“He doesn’t miss games. He plays hard all the time and I feel I haven’t met my commitment to him, that we would build a team that would be able to win Stanley Cups. That we’re in it together.”

Eliminated by the New York Rangers after a seven-game, second-round series that went the distance in May, the Capitals have had a busy off-season trying to bolster their club to take a run at the Stanley Cup next year.

They signed unrestricted free agent forward Justin Williams, known for his penchant of scoring important goals in Game 7s, and then acquired T.J. Oshie from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for Troy Brouwer, Pheonix Copley and a 2016 third-round pick the following day.

Oshie admitted in an interview with Mike Vogel of the Monumental Network that he’s unsure at this point in the summer of where he will fit into the Capitals lineup.


Report: Ducks sign Stewart to one year, $1.7 million deal


The Anaheim Ducks have inked winger Chris Stewart to a one-year contract worth $1.7 million, according to a report Saturday evening from John Shannon of Sportsnet.

The Ducks have yet to officially announce any deal for the 27-year-old Stewart.

It’s worth noting that enforcer Brian McGrattan announced his deal with the Ducks via Twitter well before the club did.

Stewart spent last season with the Buffalo Sabres and then the Minnesota Wild following the NHL trade deadline.

Stewart scored a combined 14 goals and 36 points last season with both the Sabres and Wild, and he also brings size on the wing at 6’2″ tall and 231 pounds and an element of toughness.

‘It was a blast’: Sheldon Souray writes emotional retirement letter


In a letter authored for the Players’ Tribune, retired NHL defenseman Sheldon Souray reminisced about the players, personalities, executives and family members that helped shape his playing career, which has officially come to a close.

He also discussed how he finally got his big break in hockey as a teenager, following a brawl during his minor hockey days in Alberta and how that led him to play in neighboring British Columbia.

From the Players’ Tribune:

I could thank a million more people for making my life so special. I knew this had been coming for a long time, but when I woke up the first morning after officially announcing my retirement, I definitely had a heavy heart. It’s not the spotlight that I’m going to miss. It’s the moments of tedium spent with the boys. When I’m 70 years old and looking back on this wild life, I don’t think I’ll get nostalgic about skating out in front of 20,000 people, as cool as it was. But I will get a little misty for the times me and a few of the boys broke curfew after a terrible loss in Minnesota and sat around the hotel room with a case of beer, trying to solve the world’s problems.

It went fast. It was a blast. I can’t believe it happened.

I was just a wannabe who got to be. What a ride.

Armed with a wicked slap shot, Souray played 758 regular season games in the NHL, scoring 109 goals and 300 points. He also played in 40 Stanley Cup playoff games, scoring three goals and 11 points.

His last NHL game came on May 12, 2013. That summer, he suffered a torn wrist ligament that eventually required surgery the following year.

Report: Swedish officials exonerate former NHL tough guy Deveaux for pre-game slash


Andre Deveaux, who earlier this year slashed an unsuspecting opponent during warm-ups prior to a Swedish league game, has been exonerated by Swedish officials for his role in the attack, according to The Canadian Press.

Deveaux played 31 games in the NHL, including 22 for the Toronto Maple Leafs combined between the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons. He recorded two assists and 104 penalty minutes in his brief NHL career.

A member of the Swedish club Rogle BK, there was a report at the end of March that Deveaux had his contract terminated following the incident — a vicious two-handed slash to Per Helmersson of Vasteras IK.

“I fully co-operated with authorities throughout this entire ordeal, despite the unfair process and inaccurate reporting by the Swedish media,” said Deveaux, as per The Canadian Press.

“I was always confident that this investigation would go nowhere.

“It was unwarranted, particularly given the facts. I now look forward to Rogle BK living up to their obligations.”

In April, the Swedish league suspended Deveaux until February of 2016.

Lucic stresses playing well for Kings, not contract status


Milan Lucic donned a new jersey Saturday, as he met with the media in L.A.

The Kings acquired Lucic from the Boston Bruins at the NHL Draft late last month. The 27-year-old power forward, coming off an 18-goal season in Boston, is entering the final year of a three-year, $18 million contract, which comes with an annual cap hit of $6 million.

A pending UFA at the end of the 2015-16 season, his contract status and the possibility of an extension was a talking point Saturday, although Lucic maintained his focus was on playing well for the Kings, a team that won the Stanley Cup a year ago but didn’t make the playoffs in 2014-15.

“You don’t want to put the emphasis on that heading into the season,” said Lucic, according to LA Kings Insider.

“You want to put the emphasis on playing well and the team winning, and like I said, that usually takes care of itself if you’re focused on the right things.”