Juice and KHL Konnections

Well it’s been two weeks since the Capitals season ended, and there’s already some talk of players moving on.  The loss of two key soldiers in the Capitals’ Russian Army is definite for one, Viktor Kozlov, and a maybe for veteran Sergei Fedorov.

Photo Courtesy of Alex Ovetjkin

Photo Courtesy of Alex Ovetjkin

There are also allegations in the air of steroids being sold to the Caps by a recently busted dealer down in Florida.  The one person you might think would be juicing on Washington is big time bruiser Donal Brashear.  His unleashing of fury on Blair Betts left him suspended and scratched for the remainder of the playoffs.  Here’s what he had to say:

“All I can say is that we get tested two, three times a year and there’s never been anybody that tested positive, so, I mean, I don’t know if that’s true or not.” [Capitals Insider]

A steroid scandal is the last thing the NHL, or the Capitals, needs right now.  The league should not take any further action based on the allegations of a desperate drug dealer.

As for the two misplaced Russian stars on the Caps.  Viktor Kozlov has made it apparent that he will move back home to Russia to play.

“I have definitely decided on coming back to Russia,” he told Capitals Insider, and he plans on playing for a team in the Kontinental Hockey League [KHL].

The slow but fairly large forward was a workhorse for Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom almost all season.  Although looking fairly sluggish at times ending the regular season with a -9, he had 41 points to make-up for it.  He was also quiet in the playoffs only recording six points (4g, 2a).

Also looking to head to the KHL, Sergei Fedorov has been in negotiations with the Caps to extend his contract.  He has also had many offers from KHL organizations but has not made a decision on what he is going to do yet.

Fedorov had only eight points but that included the only goal he scored all playoffs, which turned out to be the game-winner in Game 7 verse the Rangers.  He ended the regular season with 33 points, the lowest in his career besides a shortened 97-98 season after playing only 21 games. 

The Caps losing Kozlov is OK, but the loss of Fedorov will sorely diminish Washington’s locker room.  Players like Semin and Ovechkin look to Feddy as a leader and mentor, but if he ends up leaving then a younger player will have to step up to take on the leadership role.

This could also be good for the Caps because they unlock a lot of cap space for the off-season.  Both players combine for a total of $6.5 million in cap space, which could open up the possibility of bringing in a number of unrestricted free agents.

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