Author: Joe Yerdon

kuznetsov 2

Leonsis still hoping Kuznetsov comes over after Olympics


Washington Capitals 2010 first-round pick Evgeni Kuznetsov still hasn’t come to North America to play, but that’s not stopping Caps owner Ted Leonsis from hanging on to the dream.

In his blog discussing the Caps sending down two players during the Olympic break, Leonsis mentions how the schedule following the Sochi games will be tough and the team’s quest for the playoffs will be difficult. He also hopes there will be help on the way.

“We need to heal and regain many players who have been injured back into our lineup. That will be most helpful to us as a franchise. And perhaps we will add a young player who was a high draft pick into the lineup at some time too after the break. Time will tell.”

Kuznetsov’s Caps future has been a hot topic for sometime, and the possibility of him joining the team late this season came up over the summer. It was just back on Jan. 21, however, it was reported Kuznetsov wouldn’t go to Washington until next season.

At this point, Kuznetsov’s arrival is a “we’ll believe it when we see it” kind of thing.

Scheifele’s play impresses his teammates in Winnipeg

Mark Scheifele

Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele is having an impressive first full season in the league and his teammates have taken notice.

Ed Tait of the Winnipeg Free Press shares the glowing words about the franchise’s 2011 first-round pick.

“Nothing really surprises me with him,” said Bryan Little of Scheifele. “I knew he was a great player, I’d seen him when he was younger. He struggled the first 10 to 15 games but it’s like the light switched after that and he was a different player because he had that confidence. You see that. He plays every night with that confidence. He’s going to be a great player in this league.”

When he was younger? As it is Scheifele is just 20 years old and in his first full season with the Jets. In 60 games he has 13 goals and 34 points. Seven of his goals have come in the past 16 games.

The Jets have been patient with Scheifele letting him develop with the Barrie Colts in the OHL and participating with Team Canada at the past two World Junior Championships. That patience is now be paying off.

No hard feelings: Soderberg rooting for Sweden despite snub

Carl Soderberg

Boston Bruins forward Carl Soderberg isn’t headed to Sochi for the 2014 Olympics and he feel OK with that.

Soderberg tells Joe Haggerty of that he’s still rooting for Sweden to win gold even though they may not have been looking at him to join the roster despite injuries to Johan Franzen and Henrik Sedin.

“I am going to watch it, for sure, especially the playoffs. Maybe the first round isn’t that…I don’t know…I think the best teams will make the playoffs, then it’s fun to watch,” said Soderberg. “Two years ago, I wasn’t even close to getting on the Olympic team. Then I’ve played great hockey now in two seasons so I’m close. But I’ll take my break, and cheer for the team.”

Soderberg, 28, may have hurt his chances on making the Swedish team last year when he skipped going to the World Championships in favor of joining the Bruins. The World Championships often are used as the measuring stick to choose players for the Olympics given the international competition.

This season, Soderberg has nine goals and 30 points in 49 games. His play of late helped give him a late push to be considered for the Olympics, but Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist and Capitals forward Marcus Johansson got the call ahead of him to replace Franzen and Sedin.