Dogs

via Vlasic's Twitter feed

End the dog days of hockey summer with Vlasic, Kopitar

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You might look at Arizona Coyotes GM John Chayka as the MVP of this hockey summer after a dramatic makeover of his team. Others might prefer perennial offseason All-Star GM Jim Nill of the Dallas Stars.

Personally, the credit should go to a different kind of MVP, whether the “P” stands for puppies or pooches.

During the dog days of this hockey summer, when politics have heated up to an especially nasty temperature and very little was going on, players and their furry beasts have frequently provided smiles and respite.

So, with the season-opener barely more than a week away, let’s look at two more adorable pets.

Let’s start with another perennial star: Gustl Kopitar, Anze Kopitar‘s well-documented, absurdly cute dog:

Almost feels like a riff on Captain America’s reunion:

San Jose Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic might be underrated, at least from a mainstream perspective, but dog lovers might just have to get a number 44 jersey at this rate:

That straddles the line between cute and kind of creepy, doesn’t it?

Also, who is this dog painter and will they charge less for a blogger’s dog? Asking for a friend.

More dog fun at PHT:

Teams celebrate National Dog Day, and it is good.

Matt Murray, pup, Stanley Cup.

Dog gets ice time with puck.

Hampus Lindholm’s absurdly cute, skate-sized puppy.

* – Not a “Most Valuable Primate,” though.

The Washington Capitals had a dog day afternoon

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One of the best blogs in the business not called ProHockeyTalk is the Washington Post’s Capitals Insider, authored by Katie Carrera and Tarik El-Bashir. They bring you anything and everything from the world of the Washington Capitals — and today was no exception.

Several Caps players brought their dogs to practice for a photo shoot with the Washington Animal Rescue League, and Caps Insider was all over it. Reports indicate Mike Green, Dennis Wideman and Nicklas Backstrom were just a few of the players that took part — Jeff Halpern took his puppy onto the ice, Michael Neuvirth walked his dog, Tractor, through the dressing room while Bruce Boudreau swatted Alex Semin with a rolled-up newspaper. (*Jokes*)

In non-canine related activity, Green missed his second straight practice today with a bum ankle. He injured the ankle during the first period of Saturday’s win over Detroit, but will travel to Vancouver and Edmonton with the team for their Western road swing.

And since we already mentioned Neuvirth (and his good buddy Tractor, a Shar-Pei) — Boudreau dropped a few hints that suggest he might get the start Thursday against the Oilers at Rexall Place. Neuvirth hasn’t played since the season opener, party due to a bruised foot and partly due to the fact Tomas Vokoun has been on fire.