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Sammi’s Daily: Capitals To Watch, Why Wheeler Lost ‘C,’ Ovechkin Turns 37

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Washington Capitals

ARLINGTON, V.A. — As the Washington Capitals hit the ice for Day 2 of rookie camp, captain Alex Ovechkin is taking the weekend off after a busy slate of informal skates, and he’s also celebrating a birthday.

The Great 8 turns 37 on Saturday, and is days away from his 18th NHL season. In 2021-22, Ovechkin climbed all the way from sixth to sole possession of third on the NHL’s all-time goals list and also became the highest-scoring European of all time. Ovechkin will look to follow up on his record ninth 50-goal season and needs to average 29 more goals over the next four seasons in order to break Wayne Gretzky’s all-time record within the terms of his contrac.t

Meanwhile, rookie camp continues at MedStar Capitals Iceplex, where Vincent Iorio and more Washington prospects are putting themselves on the map ahead of training camp. The rookie showcase in Buffalo is also seeing Juraj Slafkovsky and more top prospects face off against one another.

Across the NHL, teams are finishing up free agency, and one player’s ongoing grievance with a team is finally over.

Here are all the latest news and notes from D.C. and across the NHL:

Washington Capitals

  • Iorio is a brick wall, Alexander Suzdalev’s got hands and more takeaways from Day 1 of Capitals rookie camp. (WHN)
  • Darcy Kuemper, meanwhile, closed out the NHL North American Player Media Tour with some on-ice soccer, and he did pretty well. (WHN)

NHL

Sammi’s Top Shelf Takes

  • It was surprising to see Wheeler lose the captaincy as Rick Bowness came in. Should be interesting to see how the Jets respond, especially since Wheeler was well-liked as the leader.
  • My players to watch at rookie camp Saturday: Dru Krebs, Ludwig Persson, Garin Bjorklund.
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