PHT Morning Skate: Why is Alex Ovechkin supporting Putin?

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• It’s been clear for a while that Caps for Alex Ovechkin has been a Vladimir Putin supporter. The Washington Post is just trying to figure out why. (Washington Post)

• Sunday was the official 100th anniversary of the NHL,  which was formed in Montreal, Canada in 1917. It’s amazing to see how far the league has come. (

• Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo has been playing really well of late, but the team still has to manage the 38-year-old’s playing time. (Sun-Sentinel)

• The Los Angeles Kings’ mascot is being sued for grabbing a man’s buttocks. (

• It’s been a weird season for Tyler Seguin. He was productive on a line with Jamie Benn and Alex Radulov, but since the trio was blown up, it’s been a lot more difficult for him. (Dallas News)

• With save percentages dropping by a couple of points, looks at all the surprises between the pipes from the first quarter of the season. (

• The NHL is working hard to clean up every player’s trash talking on the ice. (Toronto Star)

• Washington has been a whole lot better since Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin were put back together. (

• Geoff Courtnall’s post-hockey life hasn’t been easy. He managed to overcome a lot of adversity since deciding it was time to give up drinking in 2010. (Vancouver Province)

• Roger Krafve found a hidden gem when he purchased an old hockey stick from at an antique store in Minneapolis. (Star Tribune)

Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.