As Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin celebrates his birthday, the team is prepping for the start of rookie camp on Saturday. Several names will be looking to make an impression before training camp kicks off on Sept. 22.
Here are all the latest news and notes to catch up on from across the league.
- From Connor McMichael to Hunter Shepard, several prospects will be hitting the ice this weekend for rookie camp. Here are just some of the top names to keep an eye on. (Washington Hockey Now)
- Ovechkin turns 36 today and is returning from the NHL Player Media Tour in Chicago, where he had several interviews and also sat down with Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby. Ian Oland has more on what No. 87 had to say about the possibility of the Great 8 breaking Wayne Gretzky’s goal record. (Russian Machine Never Breaks)
- Speaking of the all-time NHL goals record, Ovechkin is well within reach of 894. J.J. Regan breaks down Ovi’s quest to catch No. 99. (NBC Sports Washington)
- Washington’s season opener against the New York Rangers will be broadcast nationally on TNT. The Capitals will also appear 13 times across TNT, ESPN, Hulu and ABC, and the full national TV schedule can be found here. (Washington Hockey Now)
- The NHL expects that 98 percent of its players will be vaccinated prior to the 2021-22 campaign. Adam Gretz takes a look at Bill Daly’s comments on the matter and what it means for the league. (Pro Hockey Talk)
- Evander Kane opened up about his gambling struggles, the recent allegations against him and possible locker room discord in an interview with Sportscenter. Sheng Peng shares what Kane had to say and how the Sharks winger plans to move forward. (San Jose Hockey Now)
- Who are the top names heading into the 2022 NHL Draft? Scott Wheeler releases his early prospect rankings. (The Athletic)
- Barry Trotz’s New York Islanders face high expectations coming off back-to-back Conference Final appearances. Andy Graziano examines burning questions for the team heading into camp. (NYI Hockey Now)
Sammi’s Top Shelf Takes
- Happy birthday to Alex Ovechkin, who turns 36 today. He has 730 career goals, and numbers aside, I believe that he is the greatest goal scorer to play the game. Teammate Anthony Mantha celebrated his 27th birthday on Thursday.
On this day in 2006, Alex Ovechkin (@ovi8) wowed the hockey world with "The Goal".
LOVE. TO. SEE. IT. pic.twitter.com/mep1gdctyz
— NHL (@NHL) January 16, 2021
- The 2022 NHL Draft will be in person, taking place at Bell Centre in Montreal. It’ll be the first time since 2009 that Montreal will host the draft and the first time since 2019 that the draft will be in person. The draft was held virtually over the last two seasons due to COVID-19 (it was going to be in Montreal in 2020).
- I’m excited to see how Connor McMichael performs at rookie camp before taking the ice at training camp. I truly believe he could make a run for a roster spot and even take on a bigger role.
- We caught our first glimpse of Marc-Andre Fleury in Chicago Blackhawks gear at the NHL Player Media Tour. He also told Sportsnet that 2021-22 “could be” the last season of his NHL career.
Marc-André Fleury with the vintage Chicago Blackhawks gear 🔥
— BarDown (@BarDown) September 16, 2021