Tag: Nate Ewell

Alex Ovechkin

Sounds like Alex Ovechkin isn’t having much fun in Washington


The Washington Post has an extensive story today trying to figure out just what’s going wrong with Alex Ovechkin. He’s mired in what’s the worst season of his career while the Capitals are struggling to make the playoffs.

In the extensive look at what’s going on with him on and off the ice, Post writers Rick Maese and Tarik El-Bashir find out a few things from players and those who wished to speak anonymously in order to be candid:

— 2010 might’ve been the turning point in his career and life. First, the loss to Canada in the Olympics, then being suspended for a hit from behind on Brian Campbell, followed by losing to Montreal in the first round of the playoffs. All three things combined to hurt his mental state on the game.

— Ovechkin’s friendship with fellow young stars Mike Green, Alexander Semin, and Nicklas Backstrom has changed over the years. What used to be a tight-knit friendship has seen the four of them all grow apart. Hey, getting older stinks that way.

— Ovechkin’s close relationship with his parents, notably his mother Tatiyana, appears to have rankled some in the organization. From handling his contract negotiations to being involved in his personal life, they feel his mother is too involved in his goings on.

“That’s his biggest problem — his mom,” said a person familiar with the situation. “She did what she did for Alex. She played a huge part in his growth, in his career. But it went too far. I understand it’s family, I understand they’re very close — it’s not that. The question is: Is he ever going to grow up? I’m not only talking about hockey. She’s in his life in many other areas — relationships with girls, with friends, with everyone. It’s bizarre.”

— Oddly enough, Ovechkin is sensitive to what’s being said about him. Former Caps PR man and current interim head of College Hockey, Inc. Nate Ewell says: “He reads message boards. He knows what people say about him. He’s very cognizant of that stuff.”

The entire story is well worth the read to dig in more, but it paints the picture of a superstar stuck in a frustrating situation on a mediocre team for the time being. It’s sad to read of Ovechkin’s struggles but also curious at the quotes given by those who chose to remain nameless. There’s a lot more going on in Washington that isn’t being told.

Back to Class: Paul Kelly’s exit from College Hockey, Inc. still stinging

Paul Kelly

We’re taking you “Back To Class” for our roundup of the weekend’s action in college hockey. Look for more college hockey on NBCSN this Friday night as No. 9 Denver takes on Nebraska-Omaha. 

When College Hockey, Inc. leader Paul Kelly resigned/was asked to leave last week, it sent a shockwave through the college hockey community. After all, Kelly went from being the leader of the NHLPA to being the figurehead of college hockey’s campaign to start marketing the game better and turn it into something bigger and attempt to get it on the same level of awareness as other major college sports.

In the wake of that we’ve seen College Hockey News’ Adam Wodon get the disappointed and even angry thoughts from some college coaches about Kelly’s sudden removal only to see Kelly sound off in return via Chris Peters’ United States of Hockey blog. People are confused, the situation sounds uncomfortable, and there’s seeming disarray across the college hockey landscape.

If this were an episode of Jeopardy! the question to this would be: What are three things college hockey didn’t need right now? Regardless of which side of the fence you fall on in this, it’s up to college hockey’s leaders from the athletic directors, conference leaders, coaches and CHI’s interim leader Nate Ewell to get it all figured out and let the mission of what they’re looking to get done be what guides them or else disarray and mistrust will never go away.

Elsewhere in college hockey:

Union College wrapped up a regular season ECAC title and head into the ECAC tournament as the top seed. The playoffs kick off this weekend with the top four teams with byes. (Parting Schotts, USCHO)

Air Force took home the Atlantic Hockey regular season title and top seed in their tournament. (USCHO, CHN)

Ferris State, Michigan, and Western Michigan will be the top three seeds in the oddly set up CCHA tournament. (CHN)

Boston College throttling Providence helped move them closer to the top seed in the Hockey East tournament. (BC Interruption)

Minnesota and Minnesota-Duluth are in for a Gopher-Bulldog fight down to the wire for the lead in the WCHA thanks to the Gophers sweeping Nebraska-Omaha. (USCHO)